Prologue

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When you consider the multiverse, it immediately evokes the image of an interwoven tapestry of multiple parallel dimensions, the infinite scope and enormity of which can leave a person dazed and on the edge of hysteria. This place, which could perhaps more accurately be termed a chamber, was nothing like that. For all intents and purposes, it could be considered a universe within a universe, as opposed to a universe beside a universe. Small pinpoints of light twinkled against the black backdrop of the void, like small white sparks strewn across the tapestry of infinity, but the similarities ended there.

This universe spanned infinity devoid of all else but the shimmering shards of light that pulsed in counterpoint to the all devouring blackness around them. There was not a single galaxy or nebula present to spread its awe-inspiring mix of colour amongst the void. Black and white vied starkly with each other as they disappeared into the seemingly endless reaches of the expanse. New lights burst into existence or were extinguished at an alarming rate. A mortal mind could bend or snap in this chamber of sparks if left to ponder the immensity and meaning of this place, this Soul Crucible.

The Soul Crucible housed the nigh uncountable number of soul-sparks constantly being crafted at the Soul Forge; those small shards of power used to infuse the God's creations with the final spark of life. It could be said all mortal life began and ended in this chamber. Soul-sparks vanished from here as they left to empower a mortal host, or burst back in to existence on separation from the body. Thus was the cycle of reincarnation perpetuated.

A small red fleck appeared at what could be considered the centre of the void and grew at an almost leisurely pace into the shape of a door. The slowly expanding portal set stars spinning off on new trajectories as it eased them aside in its growth, until it finally reached a predetermined size and stopped. The doorway flared briefly and brilliantly once, before settling into a red that was the colour of sunset on a golden summers eve. Muted sounds began to intrude on the chamber, filtering through the doorway and giving lie to the vacuum: murmured conversations made unintelligible by distance and the muted, metallic tap-tap-ting of a master craftsman lost in the rhythm of the forge, both vying to be heard against the underlying sounds of a working forge.

Three beings of a similar height emerged side-by-side from the portal and strode in tandem along an unseen bridge, before stopping a short distance beyond the glowing door. All three were generally human in appearance, although each bore differences that set them apart from both each other and humanity. Their very auras were palpable and radiated from the trio in invisible waves which spread and echoed through the void, causing the stars to begin to oscillate as each Gods aura caressed them and drew forth a unique response.

The central figure of the three resembled a hairless human male in peak physical form, with angular features that were edged like the ridge of a sword blade. He was naked from the waist up and garbed only in black trousers and leather apron from the waist down. The grey, metallic cast to his skin and basalt grey orbs that were his eyes lent him a strange, alien appearance. As the trio came to a halt he crossed sinewy, powerful arms across his chest and cast his gaze into the expanse, scrutinizing every star he locked on to.

The leftmost of the three also resembled a hairless human male, with strong attractive features and a powerful, athletic physique, but any similarity ended there. Golden, feathered wings were furled at the back of his naked torso, arching from almost the floor to a few feet overhead, while skin the colour of burning desert sand shed a faint light that seemed to vie with the blackness of the void. As he came to a stand, he turned his head to regard the figure at the centre of their trio with his cerulean orbs.

The rightmost of the three bore similarities to the other two, yet her differences were as polar as dark is to light. She wore a functional black leather bodice and skirt/trouser combination that combined to accentuate her form. Hair that shimmered like a black opal framed a coldly beautiful face and cascaded down her back from the long, black pins which kept part of the mass contained. Feathered black wings, similar in size and shape to the leftmost member of their trio, sprouted from her back and also glittered playfully in the light of the stars. Her porcelain skin cast no light, but instead seemed to have the unnerving and opposite effect of absorbing the darkness of the void. Her jade orbs narrowed as she ghosted to a stand, before she also turned her face toward their central companion.

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