In the beginning, there was nothing. This pleased Hadeana-Eonus. No world to maintain, no co-workers to endure and above all, no bloody creatures that would undoubtedly develop ridiculous and convoluted theories in answer to questions that were both tiresome and irrelevant. Needless to say, Hadeana-Eonus had spent considerable time pondering the results of creation, before deciding wholeheartedly that the notion was a terrible, terrible idea. Despite this conclusion, Hadeana-Eonus could not help but question her own purpose within the universe. Nothing else had a purpose. In fact, every other thing in the universe lacked an important aspect of purpose – existence. This being so, the question of ‘why am I here?’ was pressing on Hadeana-Eonus’ mind more and more as time went by.
‘Well that just raises more questions…’ pondered Hadeana-Eonus, ‘presumably time must exist for me to exist… or must it?’ Hadeana-Eonus quickly realised she was dangerously close to pursuing a needlessly argumentative line of thought and decided to forget the whole thing. Instead, she decided to develop a purpose for herself. A good one. She was lucky after all, not many creatures get to define their own goals in life. Not really anyway. At first, the High Lady thought about mastering an instrument, or perhaps learning a language. Yet these tasks could only end in one thing…creation. She shuddered. A world to care for was the last thing Hadeana-Eonus wanted. An instrument must first be created to be mastered, so that was off the table and High Ones only know what the creation of a language would spawn! The High Lady thought some more. ‘I could go to sleep?’ she said to no one in particular. Sleep was always an option, yet Hadeana-Eonus found herself quite awake. The High Lady sighed. ‘Of course, sleep requires some form of exertion… I could always try running?’ Hadeana-Eonus sighed once more. ‘But that would also imply creation’. And so she was. Hadeana-Eonus took to the fine art of existing, and a swell job she did of it too. Year in, year out, she existed when all else did not.
It wasn’t until a particularly intense moment of existence came around that anything changed. During this moment of stressful existence for her, Hadeana-Eonus, blinded by her boredom, wanted more than anything for someone to give her something to do! Thus, Claustrus was brought into existence. Claustrus smiled a toothless grin at Hadeana-Eonus.
“Hello there My Lady! I am Claustrus, the Steward of Responsibility.” Hadeana-Eonus stared. Her mouth was held slightly agape and her eyes widened. For several moments there was silence. Claustrus stared back expectantly, like a puppy awaiting a treat.
‘You aren’t supposed to be here, you are a mistake, you are the result of an accident, I don’t want you, nothing here want’s you, go away please’. Claustrus’ toothless grin seemed to slowly but surely fall from his wrinkled face. As it went, his beard (already well past his waistline) seemed to sag. The elderly looking Steward shifted his gaze downwards slightly. As his mouth departed from what could be classified as ‘expressionless’ and started to enter the realm of misery, his eyes too began to show the weary man’s crushing disappointment. Slowly watering, to the point where Hadeana-Eonus could see herself within their icy blue cores. Hadeana-Eonus did not move. She didn’t know what to do or say. She had never had to deal with another being before. She had only said the truth after all…What was so wrong with the truth? He really was an accident and he should bloody well deal with it. Naturally, she did not say this, rather, the High Lady stayed perfectly still. Her mouth still agape, and her eyes still wide. “This is it,” she thought to herself, “He is going to cry and moan and groan and heavens know when he is going to stop. How do I deal with this? I won’t have to create something else will I?” Right at the moment of no return, where it looked like the wrinkled steward was going to truly break down. His expression began to change. Like a boulder losing momentum as it rolls up a hill, Claustrus’ features began to shift. His eyes dried up. Now bloodshot from what was almost crying, they gazed straight into Hadeana-Eonus’ deep blue eyes. His mouth began quivering and what Hadeana-Eonus could only describe as foaming. The lines around his nose became deeper as his fury become more apparent, but it was not until his eyebrows shifted into place that the true effect was unleashed. Claustrus’ eyebrows slowly and surely sunk into position. The finished product was truly terrifying. The Steward’s eyes seemed to pierce Hadeana-Eonus’ very soul exposing her to the brutal emotions of Claustrus’ rage. No one likes to feel judged, but this was something else. This was a bitter mixture of fury, disappointment and judgement. Hadeana-Eonus’ voice faltered.
“I’m sorry” she whispered meekly. “I just thought…” Her voice died off, it felt like every word that left her mouth was receiving a thorough beating from Claustrus’ gaze. Instead she elected to remain silent.
When there is nothing in existence except for you and Claustrus, most beings will last about an hour before considering suicide. However, the High Lady was made of sterner stuff. She lasted nearly three whole hours! Since Hadeana-Eonus’ outburst, Claustrus had done nothing but give her that look. The one that made her hair stand on end. The look that rather than instilling fear, seemed to rip open ones very soul and drown it in horror. Any student who has done wrong can account for this sensation. Research into this phenomenon, as carried out by various knowledge keepers of emotion (the lowest of the low when it comes to the art of ‘knowledge keeping’) have named the feeling the ‘Ohmigawditworsnutmey’ paradox – discovered by and named after Orwen Hmigawditworsnutmey. The paradox accounts for the fracture in time that is only created in times of extreme stress, wherein time literally pauses so as to account for the emotional backlog the universe has just created. This unnatural state of affairs usually sends the sufferers body into an emotional overload, causing them to blather and lie and usually rendering them incapable of looking other beings in the eyes – not that it would do any good should they try to, the time paradox ensures that the sufferers eyes are in fact several seconds behind their usual position within the universe… time wise, not space wise. Regardless of what the sensation is called, Hadeana-Eonus at this moment was feeling it. The ‘Ohmigawditworsnutmey’ paradox had been working its way around Hadeana-Eonus’ body for the last…
“A body?!” Hadeana-Eonus shrieked, “Oh bugger it all I knew this would happen!” When any being is suddenly confronted with something terrifying, their primal instincts kick in. For some beings this is to fight, for others it is to cry for their mother. Rather unsurprisingly, the High Lady of Creations primal instinct is to create. Previously, Hadeana-Eonus’ face and body had only been metaphorical, now they were undoubtedly real. The High Ladies newly formed face went rather pale. “I need to stop now” she thought, “If I end up mothering a universe because of this sour old man I’ll….I’ll…” Hadeana-Eonus did not know what she would do in truth. She supposed she might get very angry, yet without the universe to feel her wrath it seemed somewhat irrelevant. No, she mustn’t think like that. Careless thought starts lives! The first step was to try and remove the stress from her life. Hadeana-Eonus didn’t need to ponder for long to work out what that was. One glance back at Claustrus made her realize that whilst he was there, she would never be able to stop creating. The solution presented itself almost accidentally. In her moment of panic, the High Lady created for herself a room, her room. It was a simple space, rectangular with white walls; spacious, yet homely. One thing that was immediately apparent was that her new body would require some degree of sustenance. A bed was required, naturally a large one, with at least eight pillows. A wonderfully thick duvet that seemed to mould around its inhabitant was also a must, she felt. Slowly, the room was built, an ornate oaken desk, filled with parchments, a fireplace grand enough for a castle, a workbench with half constructed items laid upon it. Hadeana-Eonus realised the irony in the workbench, she did not need a workbench to create anything, yet she felt it fit with the theme of the room, and provided something to fill the excessive amount of space she had otherwise. To complete the room, the high lady created a wooden floor, the orange of which seemed all the brighter on account of the white washed walls. A rug and several armchairs were placed around the fireplace, with a loveseat being positioned directly opposite. Hadeana-Eonus looked around her new room and she thought it was good…until she noticed the door. The door itself was grand. Easily twice as tall as Hadeana-Eonus and about a foot thick. The double door loomed over her, suggesting that although the spruce wood had not been in a forest for years, it had never forgotten its origins. It was almost difficult to tell whether the door had been hewn from a tree or if a tree waited to be shaped from the door. However, the door itself was not the High Ladies concern; it was the face that was peering at her through the open doorway. Claustrus glared at her.
The Steward of Responsibility was starting to make his goal quite clear. Hadeana-Eonus had no choice. She was the High Lady of Creation, she must create. It was all fairly logical upon reflection – as most things are. The irony of it all was certainly not lost on her. Hadeana-Eonus had always toyed with the notion of mothering a world, but she had always concluded that maybe she would be better off adopting. It was safer that way. Adoption meant she could pick the world that needed caring for the most and she need not run the risk of getting a world that would only end up disappointing her. Or even worse…twins. Furthermore, should the adopted world be a disappointment, regardless of the High Ladies careful selection process, she could always sleep easy at night, safe in the knowledge that the world was not actually hers, thus, absolving her of all parental responsibility. Sadly, Hadeana-Eonus’ attempts at adoption had all been met with rejection. All of her applications had fallen upon deaf ears, literally. Creating a World Adoption Centre in order to process her requests for world adoption seemed to go against the spirit of the whole thing. So, she had cast aside all thoughts of creation. Until, of course, this foul old man had suddenly, and without warning, appeared in her life. ‘Well’ Thought Hadeana-Eonus, ‘if I must create, and it would appear that Claustrus is giving me no choice, then I suppose giving the old man a room to go to would be a logical step’. The High Lady heaved herself from her desk, dragging herself over towards the door. She opened it. Claustrus shuffled inside the room, never dropping his glare. Hadeana-Eonus began to wonder if that was actually his default expression. She couldn’t work out which answer was worse. An awkward silence ensued…
“I’m going now” blurted Hadeana-Eonus after what felt like an eternity. She proceeded to slide out of the room. The corridor had now come into being. It was a grand space, floors of marble and walls of regal red dominated the High Ladies view. Pillars lined the walls, with approximately twenty feet of space between them. More doorways had appeared in these gaps, but each one appeared different. One seemed to be made of granite, with no door handle. Upon closer inspection, Hadeana-Eonus began to suspect that the door was in fact one single slab of granite. How on earth it was to be opened was anyone’s guess. Just opposite the High Ladies room was less of a door and more of a…curtain? The drapes were a rich purple and they were inlaid with patterns of sparkling gold. As Hadeana-Eonus proceeded down the corridor, more and more doors appeared: one was simply an open door frame, another was a portcullis. These being the more extreme examples, the majority were simply conventional doors, albeit grander than your conventional entrances. The High Lady walked for nearly an hour before she reached the end of the hallway. It was there that she found it. This, was undoubtedly Claustrus’ room. The door was small (in relation to the High Lady) as well as rotten. Both of the hinges looked like they had been submerged underwater for centuries, the wood functioned more as a symbol of ownership rather than providing any form of security. However, the most distinctive feature of the door was the noise it made. Hadeana-Eonus placed her hand upon the door and pushed. A squeaking noise forced its way into her ears. Despite her best efforts to block out the spasm inducing sound, it still seemed to reach the High Ladies very core. As the door started to slowly creak its way shut again, Hadeana-Eonus noticed a faint clinking noise behind her. She tried to turn but was too slow, Claustrus barged past her. He had the look of a child entering a toy store- a very ugly and wrinkled child, presumably with some horrifically crippling bone disease. As the door swung freely, Hadeana-Eonus looked to enter the room. She delicately placed her hand upon the doors rotting wood, before recoiling almost instantly. It took less than a second for it to happen. A thin bamboo cane had whipped through the open crack in the door and caught Hadeana-Eonus square on the knuckles. The pain took a mere few seconds to materialize. Pain was a peculiar notion for Hadeana-Eonus. She had understood its purpose when she had created it, but she sure as hell didn’t enjoy it! In addition, pain was doubly dangerous for the High Lady, as pain also tends to cause the sufferer to revert to primal thoughts and actions. Such as shouting profanities or crying. It wasn’t until Hadeana-Eonus was well into her fourth bout of profanity that it occurred to her just what she was doing. The High Lady stopped swearing almost as quickly as she had started. She cautiously shifted her gaze upwards. The end of the hallway was not another wall as she had originally thought, it was a pillar. Looking up revealed that the pillar seemed to be the centre of the building, and Hadeana-Eonus was stood on the ground floor. There were hundreds of floors above her. A quick walk around the pillar also revealed seven other hallways leading off from the central column. The scale of the building then dawned on the High Lady. For the first time in her life, she felt pride. Not only had she had created something truly marvellous she had also solved her ‘Claustrus’ problem at the same time. Hadeana-Eonus had a quick glance down one of the corridors. This particular corridor was clearly the main entrance. It was wider than the other hallways and there were no doors on either side. It was here that she noticed the sign. Above her head, clearly designed to be seen as newcomers walked into the building, it read:
WELCOME TO THE BASTILLE
NO TRESPASSERS ANYONE!!!!
Hadeana-Eonus did not wish to guess how Claustrus had gotten to the sign before her…
The halls of the Bastille were silent. Claustrus had locked himself away in his own room and Hadeana-Eonus had no intention of trying to bring him out of it. The High Lady had retreated back to her own room, to sit at her workbench and try to discern what the past few hours now meant for her going forward. She was now a mother was the conclusion. The mother of a world, or maybe it’s best we call it a building. Not to put the achievement down of course! To mother a building of such magnificence is no easy feat. Hadeana-Eonus looked up from her workbench. A mirror had appeared across the room. The High Lady got a proper glimpse of her new body. Her skin was pale and seemed to complement her blond hair well. The High Ladies hair was best described as glamorous, it fell down to her shoulders. Her face was heavy set but her skin was flawless. The bluest of blue eyes stared back at Hadeana-Eonus, they would be beautiful if it weren’t for the bags under her eyes. Hadeana-Eonus realised that she had barely created anything and she already looked nearly dead! The High Lady also noted her robes, they appeared to have once been white, but one day on the job had even seemed to age her clothes - they were now a dreary grey. The highlight however, was her forehead. There, right in the centre was a star shaped jewel that glistened and sparkled. However she moved the beautiful gem seemed to find just the right light to let its beauty be known. The High Lady instantly moved her fringe to at least somewhat cover the jewel… the damned thing just reeked of pomposity! A sharp creaking sound broke the High Ladies concentration. She turned her gaze towards the door (yet her nose had told her who was there moments beforehand). Claustrus stood there, stooping expectantly.
“You want more?” sighed a most exasperated Hadeana-Eonus “I don’t even know what else there could be to create…” This was clearly not the response that Claustrus was looking for. He began to prepare the glare. Hadeana-Eonus could not help but somehow admire the way his face seemed to warm up in preparation. ‘He really must be some sort of machine!’ thought the High Lady. Nothing in his face seemed to move naturally, it was all calculated, mathematical. Hadeana-Eonus had no wish to see this machines movement to the end however, she knew what was waiting for her at the end of the motion and she did not wish to relive it. Without a word, the High Lady swept out of the room, with Claustrus hurriedly trying to keep up. The High Lady was taller than Claustrus by several inches easily, meaning Claustrus need to take three steps for every two of hers. Hadeana-Eonus did not let this bother her or slow her down. Rather, Claustrus’ huffing and puffing started to amuse her after a while. “I trust you have somewhere in mind for this to take place Claustrus? Beings are irritatingly animate, and me making a whole load of them is not going to make them any less docile”. Claustrus, for the first time since he had started to exist, gave Hadeana-Eonus a cooperative look. So taken aback by this was the High Lady that she nearly stumbled mid stride. Claustrus started shuffling his way past Hadeana-Eonus. He had surprising speed when he wanted to. He quickly overtook the High Lady and made his way towards the central tower of the Bastille. He then swiftly proceeded down one of the eight offshoot hallways. Hadeana-Eonus followed him for fifteen minutes before they finally reached their destination. The door itself seemed plain as they come in the Bastille. Double door, oak with iron hinges standing about twelve feet tall. Hadeana-Eonus had assumed that it was simply another door leading to another room (of a rather boring being it would have appeared). Instead, what she found behind the doors was rather extraordinary. A huge hall, with a ceiling that stretched at least thirty feet high, intricate carvings had been made into the wooden columns that supported the roof and the walls had been painted with tableaus of creation thus far. Hadeana-Eonus noticed the creation of Claustrus, with his face caught almost perfectly. Next to which was an image of herself, resting in her chambers. She couldn’t help but notice the degree of artistic license that the painter had taken with her image. She certainly didn’t have such angelic features, nor did she ever pull such compassionate faces as she sat at her workbench. Come to think of it, she never truly used her workbench… OR pulled compassionate faces, yet the artist had clearly disagreed based upon this particular painting. The High Lady made a note to ban artists from using her image should she ever see fit to create them. The next painting was one of the Bastille. No artistic license was needed for this painting to be awe inducing. The Bastille was so magnificent that she doubted any artist could actually make it seem more impressive. Whilst these paintings impressed the High Lady, she was also somewhat shocked to note that there were four other spaces, all of which were empty. She did not like the implications of that. Rows of benches lined the walls, all set at different heights so to let everyone be seen. At the end of the hallway was a raised platform, Hadeana-Eonus made her way over to it. The platform seemed even higher once the High lady was stood upon it, gazing out over the hall she realized what a powerful position it was to be atop the platform. From up here she could see all across the hall, and undoubtedly, everyone else would be able to see her. Claustrus (being the only other being present… at all for that matter) caught her eye. He nodded his head in a sagely manner. Hadeana-Eonus realised what she must do. She did it. She immediately regretted it.
The hall exploded with noise. Shouting, wailing, laughing, weeping, guffawing, murmuring, arguing, talking, Hadeana-Eonus’ ears seemed to explode. Never had she known such a racket, and she had been around since the beginning! The hall was filled to the brim with all manner of people. Tall, thin, fat, handsome, ugly, beautiful, black, white and all other manners of person you could possibly imagine, and they were all making the most horrendous racket! Hadeana-Eonus realised then the mistake she had made. What had she been thinking? All these people? All at once? She could barely stand having the one other being to socialise with, and he didn’t even talk! No, they would have to go. She would retry this, and take it slow this time. The High Lady coughed.
“Excuse me?” The words escaped from her lips but not even she could hear that she had said them. “Excuse me?!” Again, her words fell on deaf ears. Hadeana-Eonus started to become frustrated, yet as she braced herself to try and make herself heard over the awful din, she was interrupted by a piercing crack. Claustrus had realised the High Lady’s frustration and had taken it upon himself to silence the room. The steward had been smuggling a chain within his robes that he had brought out and cracked like a whip in the air. Despite herself, Hadeana-Eonus couldn’t help but be impressed by the stewards agility. All eyes turned from Claustrus to Hadeana-Eonus. The room was silent. The High Lady took the moment to clear her throat. “He…Hello!” there was a murmur of a response from the crowd. “I…I appear to have made a mistake…yes. You see…all of you lot are, um, not meant to be here…at the uh….same time” Hadeana-Eonus couldn’t help but notice a few puzzled expressions shared between various members of the crowd. Regardless, Hadeana-Eonus continued her foray into the strange world of public speaking. “So, um…we need you all to uh….go. So, if everyone could maybe…hold their breath? Just for a few minutes…yes, that should do it”. The entire room stopped breathing.
Minutes passed. The complete silence of the room was broken by the occasional cough, or the sound of someone shuffling in their seat. More minutes passed. Someone sneezed. As the thirty minute mark passed, a High Lord sitting on the front row of benches stood up. He was an elderly, pale faced, man who was dressed in the finest clothes imaginable. His posture was impeccable and his tailed waistcoat fit his slim figure perfectly. The High lord made his way along the bench, using his stick to nudge people out of the way. This was doubly impressive seeing how the man appeared to be blind, he was blindfolded, that much was certain. Once free from the clutter of legs, he approached the platform. Hadeana-Eonus lent down so that the High Lord could be heard.
“My dear” whispered the High Lord in the most polite manner possible, “I trust you are aware that we are in fact immortal?” Hadeana-Eonus was dumbfounded.
“Oh…” answered the High Lady meekly. “Well, you can all breath again in that case”. The entire room let out a breath at the same time. A hum of conversation started around the hall, whilst the High Ones were preoccupied with their conversation, Hadeana-Eonus decided to take this opportunity to start debating the ethical implications of genocide. Does it count if it’s eradicating a group of people you created? During this moment of self-reflection another High Lord approached Hadeana-Eonus. This High Lord was also dressed well, maybe not as impeccably as the older man standing the other side of Hadeana-Eonus, but still smart. The High Lord had a dark skin tone and wore a jacket that was unbuttoned with a shirt that also had the top buttons undone. The look was both smart and casual. Hadeana-Eonus decided to call the look ‘indecisive’. The High Lords head was shaved and he wore a smart, sensible moustache. He was staring intensely into the High Ladies eyes, making her uncomfortable. The High Lord then began to smile and his gaze weakened.
“I know that look” started the High Lord, “You’re plotting a genocide of some kind” Hadeana-Eonus was more than a little startled. How could this High Lord have read her mind?
“I…it’s just…” stumbled Hadeana-Eonus. The High Lord laughed, a cheery laugh that would likely brighten the day of any young soul.
“Don’t worry about it! I’m the High Lord of Death! These things don’t get by me. Now, between you and me, I would probably go for a less violent approach. Not least because I am part of that group of people you want to eradicate…we all have rooms don’t we? Just send everyone back to them, that’ll solve your problem”. Hadeana-Eonus nodded. Genocide was probably a tad extreme and no one really wants the reputation for that sort of thing this early on in creation, she reasoned. The high lord of death turned to the other high lord. “Could you give us a hand? I don’t know if I can get them all to leave on my own”. The other high lord stopped inspecting his nails and lifted his head.
“Very well sir, might I ask, to whom do I owe the pleasure?”
“Call me Synth” replied the High Lord of Death who extended a hand in welcome.
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance Synth, I am Veromere, High Lord of Justice” Veromere took Synths hand and the two shook. Once the High Lords business was adjourned the two faced the throng of High Ones milling in the hall. Veromere and Synth started spreading the word around that all High Ones were to head back to their respective accommodation. Slowly but surely, the masses started heading towards the door. It was a long and arduous process, made all the harder by the High Lord of Manners and the High Lady of Courtesy coming to blows over who should go through the door first. However, Hadeana-Eonus quickly resolved the matter by demoting the High Lord of Manners to the title of steward. Once the Steward had been removed kicking and screaming (yet never screaming too loudly nor kicking too violently) the masses were able to continue draining out into the hallway. It took about 30 minutes for the hall to empty. Hadeana-Eonus finally stepped down from her platform and made her way over to the door. As she traversed the hall she noticed that another mural had appeared in the fourth slot. The painting depicted a hall, full of people, all looking submissively at a blond, beautiful, compassionate looking lady. Hadeana-Eonus made a note to find the High One of compassion and strangle them in their sleep.
Hadeana-Eonus left the hall, only to run straight into Claustrus. The steward looked relatively contented for the moment and Hadeana-Eonus was relieved that he now had other beings to divide his attention between. Synth and Veromere were stood in the middle of the corridor, deep in conversation. Hadeana-Eonus made to sneak away, but Synth caught her arm.
“Hey there Hadeana, do you mind if I call you that? It’s a bit easier on the tongue” smiled Synth. Hadeana-Eonus was (in what was fast becoming a trend for her) taken aback. The High Lady contemplated the notion, a nickname is something often shared between friends and that level of social interaction is a commitment that one must dedicate themselves to. Several seconds later Hadeana-Eonus finally returned with her answer.
“yes” after a few more seconds had passed, the High Lady realised that it was in fact her turn to speak and despite her fantastic start, she had to see the conversation through “yes, you can call me that if you want”. Hadeana-Eonus turned around and started to congratulate herself on her social prowess when she remembered another social norm that she needed to recognise. “Oh, thank you. For helping me. In the hall. Just now.” Veromere placed a hand on her shoulder.
“No problem my dear, it wouldn’t have been right to have just let you struggle through that ordeal alone. Especially not a High lady of such importance”. Despite the High Lords kind words, the physical interaction was most assuredly the step too far that Hadeana-Eonus had been scared of. Externally, she remained calm and passive, internally, the High Lady died. Synth looked concerned and Veromere quickly realised that no reply was coming from the now vacant looking High lady and withdrew his hand. He turned his head to look at Synth. “Well, all this creation lark is giving me quite a thirst. Would you care for a drink Synth?” Synth rubbed his hands together eagerly.
“I most certainly do care for one or two, I can always make time for a drink”. As Synth began to excitedly make his way along the corridor a distinct clinking noise caused him to halt. Synth turned around and saw Claustrus standing next to the still expressionless Hadeana-Eonus. Claustrus was staring Synth down. “Oh of course!” Exclaimed Synth slapping his forehead. “Veromere, go on without me, I’ve got my first bit of work to be doing. It seems someone is already holding a funeral, they clearly couldn’t wait to get out of the gates!” Veromere nodded his approval.
“No problem my friend, just feel free to knock on my door when you are able, you shall be more than welcome” announced the High lord. Smiles and handshakes were exchanged before Synth headed down the corridor and disappeared from sight. Veromere glanced once more at the still empty looking Hadeana-Eonus. Veromere coughed. “Well my dear…I will see you at a later date”. Veromere turned one hundred and eighty degrees and proceeded to stroll down the corridor at a leisurely pace. Just before Veromere rounded a corner out of sight, Synth came rushing down the corridor in his busy manner.
“Veromere! Veromere! It’s fine, I’m not needed after all! Turns out the High Lord of Manners was holding a funeral for his dignity! Are those drinks still on offer?!” As the two of them disappeared down the corridor, Hadeana-Eonus had just what she needed to return to her senses. Complete isolation – Claustrus withstanding. As the High Lady came to, she was overcome with a sense of fulfilment. She had completed her task at long last; she had created beings and a place to put them all. She had assigned them all jobs and given them all bodies. So why was Claustrus still giving her that look? Since she had regained her vision, Hadeana-Eonus had noticed that the Steward had done nothing but glare at her. Not his most venomous glare, she noted, but a sort of ‘yes, I am watching you for when you muck up’ type of glare. Hadeana-Eonus tried to shuffle past Claustrus but he barred her way. The steward indicated towards the door. That previous sense of fulfilment disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, and was instantly replaced by its considerably rowdier brother, dread.
“I…”Hadeana-Eonus began, but her voiced petered out. There was no point in arguing this anymore. To go from being the only being in creation to one of many beings in creation was a humbling experience. To be the instigator rather than the centre of the universe was a thought that Hadeana-Eonus was forced to come to terms with. Hadeana-Eonus, the High Lady of Creation therefore decided it was best to do as she was told. She entered the hall once more. The High Lady quickly resumed her position upon the platform overlooking the hall. Claustrus stood by the door in a manner which suggested he was playing bouncer for the moment. The High Ladies next creation would have to a form of worker she decided. Although the High Ones embodied their various aspects entirely, there were many other smaller aspects of creation that would also need a being to represent them. Stewards were the logical answer. Two of them already existed, Claustrus, Steward of Responsibility and Hityus, Steward of Manners, to add another several thousand couldn’t hurt. However, this time the High Lady was determined that she would maintain control of the situation. Rather than creating all of the stewards at once, Hadeana-Eonus created the stewards in batches of ten. Each batch was considered a family (although nearly no families shared any physical traits). The process was long and boring yet seemed to entertain Claustrus thoroughly - Hadeana-Eonus decided to put that down more to her misery than the actual creation of the stewards. Slowly but surely, the roster of Stewards grew. It wasn’t until Hadeana-Eonus was several thousand stewards in to the process that she really appreciated the scale of the task ahead of her! It was not satisfactory to simply have a steward of warfare, there need to be a steward of arms, of armaments, of strategy, of war, of battle, of skirmish, the list seemed to be endless. Just as the High Lady thought she had finished one aspect of creation, she would remember an entirely new side to the aspect. The Morsus family alone was several hundred big in order to fully steward the aspect of pain. Hours rolled into days. Days rolled into weeks. There was little to interrupt the High Lady from her work, not even an attempted intrusion from the (highly intoxicated) High Lord of debauchery swayed Hadeana-Eonus from her task. Claustrus played his role of bouncer well. The elderly steward had a deceptively swift hand. On more than one occasion the door to the hall was opened by another High One seeking Hadeana-Eonus. Every time, the High One got as far as ‘Hadea…’ before Claustrus would slam the door in their face. He would then resume his position. Hands in front eyes forward. Ready to strike at the next wannabe intruder.
Needless to say, it was with great satisfaction that Hadeana-Eonus created the Steward of the Gate. Her time in the hall had created so many stewards that the High Lady had lost count. Over several hundred thousand easy. Naturally, the stewards needed a place to go once they had been formed, so several hundred stewards in (with the hall once again reaching dangerous levels) Hadeana-Eonus created for them a city. The Bastille had been hewn into a mountain, so the High Lady decided that a mountain city would be suitably magnificent to support such beings. Furthermore, if you are in the position where you can create your own accommodation, it’s logical to grab the best real estate you can. The City-Upon-High was a vast sprawling metropolis. It wrapped itself around the mountain and was divided into three districts. The High district contained the Bastille, so Hadeana-Eonus deemed it fit for the grandest buildings the city had to offer such the library of creation or he Musea-Tempi. The Central district was a residential space, where most of the stewards chose to live. Nearly any service that a steward might require was normally within walking distance. The houses themselves varied wildly in theme, it was a crazy place to behold that in some places could hurt to just think about. The central district was also where the gates to the city were contained. Ironically rather unassuming, the gate to the City-Upon-High was about eight feet tall and made of simple oak. However the locks on the door were intricate and elaborate and there were at least thirty of them. The wall surrounding the city was at least twenty feet thick and stood nearly 50 feet high. It was intimidating to say the least. Finally, the last section of the City-Upon-High is normally referred to as either the ‘shaded district’ or the ‘fun district’ depending on how you view things. This district sits in the shadow of the central district and is ominously overlooked by the Bastille itself. Very few stewards live here as it is often regarded as the seedy part of the city. Even the steward of sleaziness chooses to live in the central district (although this is more due to the fact he enjoys upsetting his neighbours than actual location preference). This district contains the many guilds and associations of the City-Upon-High. Nearly every steward is member of at least three different guilds, it is often viewed as the best way for stewards to socialise with likeminded individuals. However, this rarely works out. Stewards will often attend guild meetings assuming everyone else is going to be just like them, yet as it turns out, like interest doesn’t guarantee a friendly relationship. A clear example of this would be the fighters’ guild. It took the grand total of two meetings for weapons to be drawn on each other. The Steward of Strategy and the Steward of Reckless Abandon could not decide how to feed the members present with the Steward of Strategy carefully detailing out who had what and who had paid for what whilst the Steward of Reckless Abandon simply ate without regard for the consequences. Rabashtok (Steward of Reckless Abandon) was well into the steward of swordplay’s peppered duck before he was found out. Needless to say, weapons were drawn and a four day battle (or skirmish or melee or war depending on which steward you ask) swept through the shaded district. Many buildings were damaged/liberated and many tactical/strategic blunders/masterstrokes were made/plotted/never came to fruition. To truly work out the truth of the event is difficult as each steward will insist on telling the story differently. Except for Rabashtok -he still views the battle as ongoing.
Hadeana-Eonus drew a deep breath. She had finished the stewards. They were done. Finished! With the steward of the gate created (a short bucktoothed man with a wiry head of hair) there were no more stewards needed. Not for the moment any way. Claustrus looked satisfied. Not that Hadeana-Eonus was in any way trying to please him for his sake. Rather, the High Lady was only trying to please him so she could finally be left alone. Claustrus raised his aged prune of a head and locked eyes with Hadeana-Eonus. He raised an eyebrow and tapped his foot impatiently. Hadeana-Eonus sighed. ‘One more bout of creation, that’s all that’s needed’ thought the High Lady. After all, she had come so far, the only thing worse than a created world, was a half created one.
The process of creating the world itself wasn’t difficult or time consuming. Instead, Hadeana-Eonus almost enjoyed it. The world itself wasn’t going to try and talk to her, or place a hand on her shoulder (she was still vomiting internally about the whole ordeal). Instead, the world reminded her of the Bastille. Huge, magnificent and oh so much better when not full of sentient beings. The High Lady created mountains (admittedly none as big as what the city-upon-high rested on) she created rivers, forests, oceans grasslands. She even had a great deal of fun forming deserts and jungles, tundra and canyons. Hadeana-Eonus decided to name the world Sion. The High lady looked down on Sion and saw that it was good. It was also empty. That was the best part! To put the finishing touch on her creation Hadeana-Eonus created wildlife. The High Lady had a rule, the world would require nothing more sentient than a fish in order to maintain itself. This way, she could still have her world (of which she was fast becoming rather fond) and not have to put up with the worst denomination of sentient beings. Ignorant ones. At least the High Ones and Stewards knew things, but for a creature to develop divine level sentience and be born of Sion… that would be a worst case scenario, decided Hadeana-Eonus. Claustrus was still staring at her.
“No.” Stated the High Lady. “I’m not doing it. Claustrus, I don’t care. I’ve created something that doesn’t make me want to vomit which is in itself a miracle. I am not going to ruin it by putting something ignorant in my world that will only ruin it for everyone. My world, my rules Claustrus!” The Steward didn’t move a muscle. Or so Hadeana-Eonus thought but it soon became apparent that he was in fact preparing the glare. The lip began to quiver and the eyebrows started to sink. Yet at that moment, another miracle happened. There was a loud crash and Claustrus was sent flailing to the floor. There, stood in the doorway was a squat, motherly looking lady. She was eating an apple with one hand and had her other hand held out from where she had opened the door. Claustrus didn’t move. The lady in the doorway swallowed her mouthful and wave cheerily at Hadeana-Eonus.
“Hello sweetie! How was your day?” Hadeana-Eonus was experiencing another social interaction overload. It was difficult enough socialising, but with the emotional trauma of watching an elderly steward fall flat on his face mixed with the overwhelming joy of having narrowly avoided the glare it was near impossible. Hadeana-Eonus managed to blink in reply. “Awww, poppet!” cooed the newcomer, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intimidate you, you must have had a hard day” The Lady moved into the room and plonked her squat frame down upon a bench. “Come and have a seat, my name is Tempi-Mox-Verona-Et-Tu, was Claustrus being unfair again?” Hadeana-Eonus couldn’t quite work out what was going on, but she felt that this woman might be mothering her. She didn’t mind too much however, Tempi-Mox-Verona-Et-Tu had one of those voices that just seemed to make everything better. Hadeana-Eonus also noted that she had the same haircut as her albeit Hadeana-Eonus was blonde not black haired. The High lady of Creation warily sat down next to Tempi-Mox-Verona-Et-Tu.
“Oh, I should probably let you know Hadeana-Eonus! I am the High Lady of Time, I would be attending to my duties, but there really isn’t much to do right now, the world is only a few weeks old after all!” Tempi-Mox-Verona-Et-Tu looked straight at Hadeana-Eonus with her beautiful almond shaped eyes. “Would you like an apple?” she asked gently. Hadeana-Eonus managed a hurried nod whilst still staring at her sandals. Tempi-Mox-Verona-Et-Tu produced an apple from her satchel and handed it to Hadeana-Eonus. “Now my lovely. Before Claustrus wakes up, maybe you should do what he wants, he can be very mean can that Claustrus.” Hadeana-Eonus for the first time felt truly comfortable in a social situation.
“I don’t know if…” The High Ladies voice faded into a murmur.
“Speak up poppet, I can’t hear you when you mumble” snapped the High Lady of Time.
“I don’t want to make anything vaguely sentient, then they become ignorant and that makes me feel bad” Hadeana-Eonus couldn’t quite believe the sound of her own voice, she sounded like she was seven years old.
“Oh sweetie, I know it’s hard…between you and me, just put some legs on a fish or something to shut him up” Tempi-Mox-Verona-Et-Tu pulled a hankie out from her satchel and handed it to Hadeana-Eonus. “I need to go check on some of the other High Ones Hadeana, but come let me know if you need a hug. I’m always here for you sweetie” The High Lady of Time gave the High Lady of Creation a reassuring hug. Tempi-Mox-Verona-Et-Tu then stood up (although it was difficult to tell on account of her stature) and swept out of the room. Hadeana-Eonus stood stock still for a few moments.
“Legs…on a fish?” She wondered aloud. Meanwhile, Windar was sitting alone in her study twiddling her thumbs. Since she had been created, she had nothing to do. She wasn’t much of a party goer and there were startlingly few animals to dissect. So, there she sat. She hummed to herself for a while, that killed a few minutes, Windar started to reminisce about those few minutes when suddenly, she was bombarded by a sudden realisation. Windar had work to do, Hadeana-Eonus had given legs to a fish which was now moving its way onto land. Windar, Steward of Evolution smiled to herself. She got to work.