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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:20 pm 
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Note: slightly more sci-fi than usual. Hopefully still comes across as Magic, though.

***

Saggal's nose twitched.

It was a meaningless gesture when one's awareness was synonimous with light itself, reaching into the furthest edges of the vastness of space, but the thing's odour was potent, a nauseating void that infused the surroundings with the decay of death, even if there was no air.

Saggal did feel air, from the corpses on the battlefields, clogging the lands with darkness, or from the tortured breaths on research facilities, infusing flesh with artifice. Horrors that made the angel fight with a furious fire: a living vortex of light and heat, at his command was the very power of the stars, that cleansed dying worlds and research facilities with blessed radiance. All who could prayed, be it solemn last exaltations before a fiery death, or safe but traumatised, keeping up behind screens.

Saggal's frenzy was as intense as it was desperate. All he wanted was to find the source of those horrors and kill it, then hopefully tend to the wounded. How fast he shifted from an agent of divine retribution to a medic to a cuddly dog never ceased to amuse mortals. He loved them, in ways neither mortals nor other angels could comprehend, too intensely passionate and compassionate, like the light of a star.

And, like it, he was forced to keep a distance, a distance that hurt him immensely.

He flew across solar systems, eyes scouring entire planets in search of a clue, something that should had been much easier when eyes adorned each feather of his wings. Light shifted and expanded, and he could feel other angels and starships approaching, trailing behind him in streams of gold.

Eventually, light wilted and withrew, and he met his adversary. Darkness was tightly wedged, but it still produced a colossal shadow: a cephalopod monster of some kind, mechanical arms weaved into flesh and into bizarre opalescent material in various shades of dark blue and green, like the egg of an emu. Its eyes were unambiguous black pits, event horizons on a face, and mortal minds recoiled at the inconsistency, driven to insanity.

To Saggal, however, it was just boring.

"Let me guess, another cosmic horror" he mused, both in boredom and in utter disgust.

I am beyond your comprehension, It spoke wordlessly, through headaches, You are above mortals, and you lack their flesh, but bear a simulacrum, a false-flesh of light, betrays you role as an extension of their belief, their foolish attempt at deifying the cosmos.

"You know", Saggal started, his head tilted, "All these eldritch horrors supposedly beyond the limitations of physical reality sure do all just resemble black octopodes with dark powers. It's hard to take "cosmic organisms" seriously when they are essentially discount demons."

Demons are monikers mortals utilize to describe us. They are irrelevant-

"Nailed it!" Saggal said, mimicking a bottle being drunk.

-as they do not convey our nature. You cannot comprehend us, you cannot find a link in pure, mechanised logic, that long predates machines and logic. Your thralls are mine, insects to smash, corpses to perfect. The shadows will take mind and flesh alike.

"I love how you "cosmic types" never realise the power of the sun" Saggal said, his fist producing a red dwarf, "One would think that supposedly all powerful gods would pay attention to the most powerful weapon in the universe, but I suppose its not sad and depressing enough for your tastes."

What are stars but sparks, sparks that last just enough to gather organic filth around them, but inevitably die, returning to the darkness, our darkness?

"Don't know, even a spark is better than non-existence" Saggal mused.

The entity's eyes narrowed, and Saggal smiled. Simultaneously, the angel released a supernova, and the horror a black hole. Light filled darkness and dealt massive burns on the monstrosity, its various flesh and metal materials melting and blending into an orange protoplasmic mess, similar to molten rock. The blast seemed to have blinded the monster, and parts of it were being sucked into the black hole. The monstrosity fired an ice beam, but under the harsh light it bubbled instantly into plasma, then nothing. Slowly, darkness was being consumed, alien flesh was being desintegrated and the blackhole was quickly converted into a white whole, ejecting matter.

In a last ditch effort, the monster activated ships full of dissecated, cybernetics-infused corpses, their decay and artifice unable to stand the life and passion in starlight.

"You know, I also have to question your whole "beyond comprehension" nonsense, since you use my people like toys" Saggal said in disgust.

Puny mind! I am far above you! I am a god, not a puppet by mortal hands!

Just to spite the eldritch creature, Saggal willed an orange light construct around his left fist. It took a form of a puppet, a fairly intricate one meant to replicate the wooden crafts of Laggar, a little version of himself. Then, he punched towards the monster's direction, and it launched.

Upon contact, there was a mild explosion, but strong enough to tear the dissolving remnants of the cosmic horror apart.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Light vs. dark is the most classic conflict built into the color pie. Granted, it doesn't usually play out on the solar scale...

I'm confused about the nature of the cosmic entity. It proclaims itself to be an entity of pure logic, but acts like an arrogant child. It claims to be so much higher than Saggal, so much more than a demon, but feels like a demonic counterpart to a stellar-power angel. I'm not even entirely convinced that it was truly destroyed by this attack.

Either way, I imagine Ungar Landvik would have something to say about destroying one of THEM.

I love the emu eggshell analogy, and the idea of a stench in space, but the white hole part distracted me for a while. And the title sounds more like a fable than space fantasy. I'm also amused by the thought of planeswalking onto a starship.

Meanwhile, this feels like an introductory piece, but not exactly a story. Perhaps because, from Saggal's perspective, it's just another Tuesday in a long war against the darkness.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:35 pm 
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This was interesting. As you said, it was very Sci-Fi, and while I don't dislike Sci-Fi in and of itself, I am not a fan of mixing heavy Sci-Fi with Magic.

My personal tastes aside, I do like this image of a crazy-powerful god-being going around its universe cleaning up after what I interpret as full-scale Phyrexian success. And while I have stated on several occasions that I am not personally fond of the Phyrexians, I do, morbidly, like this odd mash-up of Magic's Borg and Lovecraftian horror. And let's not forget that Magic does have its own Cosmic Horror, of course.

I'm not really sure what to think of Saggal, as nigh-omnipotent beings are sometimes a bit difficult to get a handle on. He's a snarky little divinity, and I'm not sure why he feels the need to banter with a cosmic entity, but I'd guess it's self-amusement. If you're all-powerful, it can be tricky to find people with whom to converse, so I guess I can't blame him for speaking to hear his own voice.

Brentain pointed out two things that I also wanted to mention. Firstly, the title is pretty silly for something with this level of gravity.

...

Sorry about the pun. Kind of.

But in all seriousness, the title really doesn't match the tone of the story to me, and I wasn't overly fond of the effect, personally.

The other thing was, as Brentain pointed out, that "emu egg" analogy was great. I didn't even know what an emu egg looked like when I read that line, but that line still really popped for me as something clever and evocative (and looking up an image of one, even more so).

Thanks for posting! It's not my taste, in general, but it was an interesting look at this world and the way it works.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:30 pm 
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And we think of Zhiran as top-of-the-scale powerful... :D

-As Brentain said, this doesn't feel like a full story, more like a prologue to set the stage for a longer arc. That said, it's interesting and makes me want to know a bit more.
-Ungar (or They for him) would either plan some sort of sick revenge or dismiss the cuttlefish as a failed copycat, I think.
-I agree with Raven about the title; I expected a Aesopian-like fable, and while I don't really mind the scale and setting, the narrative is hardly fitting. I'd suggest considering other options.
-The expression "event horizons on a face" is very good, and not the only interesting turn of phrase.

Thanks for posting!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Thanks everyone! The title was kind of tongue-in-cheek, since Saggal has a dog head, but I an see why it is distracting. If I make more out of this (after/while I finish Matahouroa), it will have a different name.

Just we're clear, I was thinking that this is a branch of Phyrexia (, probably the result of mixing with some aetheric eldritch being), though Ungar's reaction upon this would be hilarious

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