Beginning of the End: Atris.   Posted by Talon.Group: 0
Talon
 GM, 132 posts
 Weaver of Tales
 The Underlying Order
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 01:53
Beginning of the End: Atris
Melancholy had a taste and texture. It felt like tweed, rough and scratchy and sticky. It tasted of stale air from a room sealed up too long. This realm dripped with melancholy. Here every TV glowed with the grainy images repeating reruns of chances never taken, guilt laden mistakes and missed opportunities. This was the dominion of the God of Regret and it was a place not many chose to visit voluntarily, but someone had to represent that sharp edged introspection and so Atris ruled this dominion of broken treasures and might-have-beens. Atris had read all the quiet frustrations penned into diary entries, she had heard the whispered confessions and hear the pleas for second chances. But Atris was not the god of second chances, she was the God of Regrets.

Most other denizens of the realm divine gave a wide berth to the Realm of Regrets, but regrets had a way of intruding and this little pocket realm had a habit of spilling into other domains. Those other worlds quickly reassessed their lives and embraced the opportunities around them and gradually regret would recede. Mostly. Within its many tight halls and windowless rooms the denizens of the realm lived surprisingly full lives for they knew the weight of wasted potential and wasted opportunity more so than most.

It was to this world that a great cataclysmic shift came. Unlike most world, the Realm of Regret did not rage or battle at this indignity. It only sighed and wished it had better spent the time it had. As its apartments and halls unraveled, as its abandoned parks and vaults of half-remembered treasures disappeared, Atris at its center had a few brief moments before the rush of destruction reached her. A few scant moments to clutch at the things nearest to her.

A few brief moments to salvage something so she had one less regret in the coming days. If there were coming days.

Aspects Available

I Regret Nothing: One was not a god of regret without knowing how to avoid the experience. At least Atris knew it once and she could know it again if she held onto the fleeting ability.
Supernatural Ability: Second Chance - Once per adventure, roll back one instance of harm, recovering 2 HP.

Pick Your Poison: It was a little known fact, but the formula for alcohol had come from the realm of Regret. Now that brew was watered down, nothing like its source material. The original concoction came in a small crystal vial, its stopper also acted as a dropper. Just a drop of the tincture added to anything caused the imbiber to do something they would most assuredly regret.
Artifact: Tincture of Regret - A potion that can be used to spike other food or drink, those who consume it will take an action they later regret. (Obviously results may vary as regret is based on an individual.)

Lost Vitality: Lastly, there was Atris' wasting form. She would regret the weakness that she could already feel taking hold, but it was a regret she could avoid. She could cling to some traces of her strength.
Stats: +2 to Atris' stats, +15% to her next Inspiration
Atris
 player, 19 posts
 Goddess of Regret
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 04:16
Beginning of the End: Atris
Few may come to the Realm of Regret willingly, but fewer still never brushed the realm's edges, dropping things of value as they matured, fell out of love, fell into love. All things are forgotten eventually, and many ended up here.

At first blush Atris might have appeared to be one of those things; a half-scale doll with exposed ball joints, clad in a threadbare frock that might once have been quite striking in the dress' girlishness. The doll's hair, once uniformly long and straight, was now bent up and broken into unsightly random lengths, the former rich chestnut coloration only evident in splotches amid a sooty grey. That porcelain-perfect face was intact, although smeared with black tracks of mascara like those left by tears. The doll retained that everpresent shy smile and those glass eyes almost look happy when light hit them right in spite of a clear state of destitution.

This doll was perched on the edge of a rotting sofa, once the site of many a romantic conquest, with eyes passively reflecting the glow of an old CRT telly tuned directly to Broadcast Series Never Renewed For A Full Season. The spaceship on screen looked as well-worn as the rest of Atris' realm, but danced beautifully in a dogfight. The show was great, sure to be a cult classic, and the regret at never seeing where the story went would one day get a feature length film sequel. This Atris knew... or perhaps fervantly wished. Perhaps the movie had already been made but not found cause to land itself here. Such sadness... but that is what living in the Realm of Regret meant.

Atris' attention was drawn away from the screen by an ache in xir wrist, distinct from the general ache of loss that suffused xir entire existance. The doll moved, looking down at the visible wrist joint. At first xe thought xe simply needed new lubricant, but as the pain spread xe began to fear for the elastic cords that functioned as xir muscle. But no, this pain went deeper. The doll goddess sprung to xir feet, bounding up the stack of discarded CRTs as their screens winked out one by one. Standing atop the mound Atris looked out to the furthest corners of xir realm, corners which no longer seemed so far and were closing in with a most frightful speed.

A hollow, bitter laugh escaped Atris' usually-quite-rigid lips. Xe had been discarded once -- must have been, to end up here -- and now it was happening all over again. Xe wondered what would happen to xir this time, and what little portion of xir existance here should accompany xir when xe arrived there. No contest; while the goddess could easily rebuild xir power (such as it was) with the scraps and remnants that crossed xir path, xe could not so easily cope with losing one of the few things to have been created in this meager, shunned land.

With seconds ticking down and divinity trickling away, Atris summoned the tincture of regret and deposited it in xir bra. Satisfied, xir diminutive form faced the oncoming onslaught, arms spread wide in accepting embrace.

The stacks of televisions fell from under xir feet, and soon, xe did too.

I pick Pick Your Poison as my poison!
Talon
 GM, 137 posts
 Weaver of Tales
 The Underlying Order
Wed 5 Feb 2020
at 00:56
Beginning of the End: Atris
"Somewhere.... beyond the sea... somewhere waiting for me... my lover stands on golden saaaaands and watches the ships that go saaaailing… so long sailing, bye bye sailing..." Song lyrics crooned Atris back to waking. The melody had a hollow quality to it, like it was a copy of a copy of a copy, but it still played. Now it just had a wistfulness that hadn't existed in the original version. Shifting Atris felt a threadbare cushion beneath xir and the small movement made the air smell of a dry dust. The world came into focus around xir and Atris found xirself peering through cluttered shelves lined with dusty knickknacks. The God of Regret was reclined on a musty velvet chair, its red fabric turned nearly gray from dust. A tired yellow glow shone down from bulbs overhead. Atris knew this locale well. It was an antique shop.

"Three silver pennies, one preserved caterpillar, a collection of pinned moths," are you getting all that?" The voice came from deeper in the shop. Through the shelves Atris could make out a bit of movement. Moving down the narrow rows of shelves, a desk came into view along with the shop proprietor. With wide spectacles balanced on the end of his nose and a crown of thinning gray hair the shopkeepers eyes were magnified behind the glasses and were currently narrowed in concentration as he examined a paper in front of him. "Two tickets to the matinee showing of 'Her Time to Dance' at the Ozark Grand Theater." Behind the shopkeeper a record player lazily spun and the music played, "If I could fly likes birds on hiiiigh then straight to her arms I'd going sailing..." It appeared he was addressing a large stuffed rabbit on the desk beside him while he scrawled each note into an oversized ledger open in front of him.

Atris could feel doorways here, paths that led elsewhere. At the front of the shop the main entrance seemed to serve as a portal, then there was also the door behind the desk that should have led deeper into the shop but seemed to go elsewhere. One of the dusty windows also had a sense of otherness to it. Where any of them went was anyone's guess.

"Are you browsing or buying?" The shopkeeper asked without looking up from his cataloging. "Or are you something to catalogue too?"

Hm? What was that sound? It was ever so faint, but... was it the sound of that techno-soaked theme song from the spaceship show she had just been watching? Yes, yes Atris thought it was. The bold, and a tad overcompensating, mix was just barely audible as it drifted in through the slightly cracked window that served as the portal to elsewhere. Perhaps Atris was not as far from home as she had thought.
Atris
 player, 21 posts
 Goddess of Regret
 "Do you still love me?"
Wed 5 Feb 2020
at 16:35
Beginning of the End: Atris
It smells like home...

There is a quiet, nearly-imperceptible tick as the doll goddess' articulated eyelids flick open. Xe cast xir eyes about at the musty surroundings, expending as little energy as possible as there wasn't much left to spare. That xir small, fragile little porcelain body could move after losing so much was a small miracle, and also likely the largest the former divinity would be performing for some time. Every part of xir hurt, but pain meant something different to a creature with no nerves to feel, no blood to leak, no tears to cry. Pain was battle damage to be repaired.

Atris was in an... antique shop. How hilariously apposite. What else could a god be called with no realm of existence to rule? A realm was not merely a kingdom presided over by a filthy mortal with delusions of power; a realm and its ruling divinity were inseparable, one and the same. Everything the doll goddess knew said xe should not still be alive, yet here xe was. A living antique, no longer serving any useful purpose. It was beautiful.

With loss came the opportunity to rebuild one's identity. Atris didn't need to be the Goddess of Regret anymore if she didn't want to be. Xe had regrets of her own, missed opportunities, experiences only read about in others' diaries. But before xe could begin to rebuild, xe needed to pick up what was left.

Atris sits xir body upright, as well as xe was able. Those glassy eyes, windows to the soul, fix the shopkeeper in their reflections. He couldn't help but feel her intentions; we want to help; we want to catalogue the pieces.

Atris had noticed the portals, of course, but fate had decided to land xir here of all places. This was not a bad place, or at least seemed such; xe would stay for the moment, least 'til some purpose or direction was offered. Xe hadn't cause to take initiative in a very long time, and dolls rarely act on their own.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:49, Wed 05 Feb.

Talon
 GM, 141 posts
 Weaver of Tales
 The Underlying Order
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 00:37
Beginning of the End: Atris
The small shop keep blinked his magnified eyes behind the thick lens, clearly surprised by the offer if not the fact it was extended by a living doll. Staring for a moment he shrugged. "If it pleases you. There's a seat over there," he said gave a nod of its nose. And indeed there was, buried beneath a stack of shoeboxes it took some doing to clear it off, but Atris did and pulled it over to the front desk where the man, his ledger and stuffed bunny, were at work. He slid a messy box full of various silverware across to Atris. "Now see that you don't mix the styles, they should be grouped by era and then the sets should be- yes, yes, put together like that..." He grumbled, trailing off as Atris had already begun to deftly pluck up the utensils and start to pair them. "I'm Marmin." He said as way of introductions. From time to time the curmudgeonly fellow started to speak up to offer some advice of admonishment, but the interruptions trailed away. He didn't say it outright, but it seemed he found little to critique in Atris' assesments. It was true. Diminished as xe might have been, finding a place for the broken things of the world was still a simple task.

So the two worked side by side. It was hard to say for how long, the ticking second hand on the clock on the back wall kept flicking back. It was a pleasant sort of silence, the sort filled with a task rather than discomfort. Aside from the click and clatter of the knickknacks they pulled out, there was little in the way of conversation. Atris had soon enough moved on from utensils. Xe sorted out snow globes, untangled doilies, polished several porcelain babies and arranged them out neatly all the while the perpetually frowning man scratched out the information into his ledged with the nub of a quill. And all the while the sounds of grainy old television coming through the window had grown louder.

At least the man seemed content. He leaned away from the desk and stretched his arms wide with several pops and crackles. "You did good work." It sounded begrudging. Closing the ledger with a weighty whump he struggled for a moment to bring the book under one arm. "You can keep that," he said nodding towards the last bauble Atris had been placing. It was a cloudy white marble, a crack running through its middle. "And word of advice, I'd steer clear of that." Marmin said motioning towards the window. The sound of the television had risen from the ghost of a noise to a level suitable for a midafternoon viewing, "Whatever it is, it wants attention and anything that wants attention wants something." Hopping off the seat, Atris realized Marmin was a tiny fellow, his head only reached the top of the counter. Tucking the ledger under his arm with some difficulty, he waddled towards the door to the back of the shop and disappeared through leaving Atris with xer marble and the steady buzz of television reruns. Atris' sense of the portal there vanished when the door closed leaving only the front entrance and the side window.

The marble left behind clicked against Atris' porcelain fingers. There seemed to be glimmer of power inside it. But a power that did not answer to Atris.

At the edge of the room the window, which only cracked when Atris started xer cataloging, was now open and the flickering glow of a screen illuminated the darkness before the frame.

Shard Obtained

Note: A Shard is fleeting power, it has been polarized against the entity which obtains it and will not release its power to them. A Shard is only useful as a gift.

Shard of Discord: The cracked marble can be used once. When rolled it will unerringly roll to a targets feet and go underfoot causing them to stumble or fall.
Atris
 player, 22 posts
 Goddess of Regret
 "Do you still love me?"
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 02:31
Beginning of the End: Atris
For a time Atris contented xirself with the simple tasks being set out. There was satisfaction and pleasure in having something to do and in chasing the thoughts away. The doll was small by conventional mortal reckoning but quite large by the standards of dolls and so struggled with high and small places alike, movements awkward and fumbling like a child acclimating to xir new body and circumstances. Physically Atris' condition left much to be desired, but xir skill -- at least in this small, specialized area -- was undiminished. A single look was all it took to understand the logic in Marmin's eclectic little filing system.

Like that springy theme song drifting in through the window however, xir thoughts were not content to be ignored for long. It took some time to collect them.

We want to know what happened to Illia, Atris feels at the shopkeep. Xe takes a moment to finish smoothing the creases out of an old cloth with her smooth fingertips, free of the oils and sweat that plague organic hands. When done, she looks at the curmudgeonly man directly. What happened to our realm. Our home. Do not want to become another antique for collecting. Hoping that does not offend.

Regardless of whether answers are forthcoming, Atris returns to xir work. Xe was so deep into it that xe was taken aback on discovering the man was no taller than xir doll body. Xe was even more surprised at the ghost of power contained in this innocuous marble. She cupped it in both hands, peering down at the deep fissure in its surface. We want to know where you came from, she thought to its spirit, its history. We want to hear your story.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:40, Thu 06 Feb.

Talon
 GM, 146 posts
 Weaver of Tales
 The Underlying Order
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 00:28
Beginning of the End: Atris
Before Marmin had left he'd shrugged his shoulders at Atris' question. "Who the hell knows what happened to anything. All that seems to be left is picking up the pieces and figuring out how they still fit together. If they don't fit, then figuring out what good they still are." Patting the ledger under his arm he nodded, "One page at a time. So long as you're the cataloguer, you'll probably not be the one catalogued." He paused for a moment and chewed his lip contemplatively. "Probably." He'd shrugged and shaken his head, as though such hypotheticals were

Holding up the marble to the yellow lights of the antique shop Atris examined the unassuming bit of glass and the unexpected drop of power contained inside. One of Atris' powers remained intact and its story unfolded before xer glass eyes.

Not one marble, but many, that was the start of the story. Dozens of brothers and sisters. This one was simple clear glass, but others were much more exotic, blue, green, sparkling, all of them coveted by small hands, crashed together in gleeful battles. In the beginning there had been so many of them, they'd lay out on concrete under the hot sun and play their games, guided by small hands. Over time they disappeared by ones and twos. Then this one followed the sam<i>e fate, a passing man stepped on it and as he flew into the air this one had flown! Bouncing clattering, for some time this one was still, lying in a gutter, cooled by water and warmed by sun, then a passing car had run over it, the rubber of the tread had picked this one up and thrown it again! Thrown it into this car, it pinged and bounced and clattered, it found its way into an engine where it bounced and ricocheted till something had given, then there was smoke and leaking oil. Finally this one was retrieved, gloved hands had pulled it loose.</i> 'Complete loss' were the words someone said, 'Bad luck' were others. Such an exciting journey!

It was a humble story, a small one by most measures, but grand for such a simple thing as a glass marble. All the while Atris watched the story unfolded xe could hear the mischievous giggles of the thing. This tiny shard of discord still had one last bit of mayhem it was excited to bring about.
Atris
 player, 23 posts
 Goddess of Regret
 "Do you still love me?"
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 05:52
Beginning of the End: Atris
Atris wasn't sure what kind of answer xe was expecting, or even whether there were answers to be had. Realms were not meant to fall so easily, yet that they did. What did it mean for her -- for all gods -- if they could lose everything they were so easily? Was that even a question would considering; would xe have chosen not to be a god, were that option on the table?

Xe didn't know. The marble's simple pleasure at the sheer unluck it had caused was refreshingly direct. No hard questions there. Xe would have to make sure the marble passed to the hands of one well-suited to give it what it wanted.

What did Atris want? Right now, answers mostly. As much as the greatly diminished wreck of a god probably deserved to be poised on a shelf in this dusty place and forgotten about until another doomsday, answers weren't to be found here. Xe would move on.

The window... xe had been advised to stay clear, because noisy wanted attention and anything that wants attention wants something else. Atris wanted things too; perhaps the two could help each other. Or xe would get thrown into a kung-fu lazor fite lmao that xe was ill-prepared to participate in, or mistaken for the villain of the week. Creepy dolls were rarely heroic characters. It was a very bad idea go to through the window, Atris decided.

Atris went through the window.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:07, Fri 07 Feb.

Talon
 GM, 154 posts
 Weaver of Tales
 The Underlying Order
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 00:11
Beginning of the End: Atris
Walking over to the window, Atris looked through. Outside it was black. Not the black of night or the black of a cave. It was the black of a void, but in that void Atris saw the comforting glow of a television screen, the old glass sort mean to magnify the screen behind it and give the illusion of something greater. In front of that glowing and grainy screen was a silhouette of an arm chair, the oversized sort that had begun to fray and its stuffing start to poke out. In the faint glow of the television xe could also barely make out a stack of VHS.

So Atris stepped through. The void underfoot was solid. Xer steps were silent as xe entered this realm which Marmin had warned again. "Step right up, step right up! Everyone's a winner!" shouted a boisterous announcer on the television. He wore a too wide smile and his eyes met Atis'. "Are you seeking relevance? Are you seeking purpose? Do you worry that the world has passed you by? Then by-golly you've come to the right place! Have a seat, get comfortable and be relax while we return you to relevance! Someone out there, right at this very moment, cares about you, you mean the world to them and it's only a matter of time till you know it too!"
Atris
 player, 25 posts
 Goddess of Regret
 "Do you still love me?"
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 06:01
Beginning of the End: Atris
Opps, looks like xe had joined during a commercial break. Even more amusingly, it was one of those disturbingly on the dot campy commercials that older television broadcasting tended to have. Hilarious.

Atris approached the television and its announcer, trying not to think too hard about the solid void or how gravity was supposed to work. Something else seemed slightly off which occupied a greater share of attention. Leaning this way and that and observing how those eyes followed her movement, xe realized what it was. Being an animated object xirself this didn't strike her as particularly odd. Xe crawls into the overstuffed and well-worn armchair and wiggles herself into position, legs dangling freely over the edge of the seat with feet failing to touch the nothing-floor. Her eyes shone in the cathode ray light, wide and inviting.
Talon
 GM, 159 posts
 Weaver of Tales
 The Underlying Order
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 22:14
Beginning of the End: Atris
Climbing into the seat, Atris watched this commercial contentedly. "Yes, you've made the right decision, made the right decision indeed!" the announcer reassured xer with his too wide smile. "Now, make yourself comfortable while we venture into the realm of self-discovery and reimagined relevance!" A series of inspiring images played out across the screen. Babbling brooks, sunrises, the lapping waters of a tropical beast. Hopeful music swelled in the background.

While Atris watched xe was vaguely away of movement. In the black of the Void there was little to differentiate one part from another, but she thought she sensed movement. It was vast, like the movement of a tide, a thing that changed the pressure in the air with its presence. Behind her a pair of yellow eyes opened while the light from the antique shop was gradually blotted out as something moved to place itself between the television and chair and the way back.

But those images had faded on the screen and the announcer had returned, he image slightly tighter now, his face larger. "Now, do you feel you've made mistakes in the past?" He waited as though he actually expected a response. The silence stretched into uncomfortable lengths for a broadcast. Those too direct eyes stared back at Atris while those too many teeth flashed in the camera light. And behind xer, that steadily growing pressure.
Atris
 player, 27 posts
 Goddess of Regret
 "Do you still love me?"
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 09:13
Beginning of the End: Atris
Atris cocked her head at the commercial's response. Perhaps that everpresent shy smile widened just a bit at the corners in response. If not for the little doll goddess' empathic manner of communication this gesture might have been too easy to dismiss as a trick of the television's flickering light. Because xe communicated in feelings rather than words however the invitation to continue was very clear.

The scenery was nice, Atris supposed. Especially nice considering the nothingness all about. But then, something changed. Illia was a tranquil realm, one where the biggest threats to its inhabitants often came from within... or picking a poor place to cry out one's sorrows. Even when mayhem-minded intruders came they were often brought low by their own deep-seated regrets and the realm's invasive melancholy before the goddess ever realized xe was under attack. It took xir a long time to identify the strange sensation that came over this place; that feeling of kneeling beneath a precariously balanced stack of old cars, of walking down the railroad tracks at just the wrong time.

Was it... danger? It had been so long, xe had forgotten the word.

The living commercial came back, looking somehow wrong. Atris looked about, concerned. It was hard to tell the black from the black, but those few points of light betrayed the thing's presence when it carelessly slipped in front of them. What was it, besides blocking the only way back? Clearly a shade less than intelligent, if it thought Atris so diminished as to not see the bait being dangled even as the trap formed around xir.

Atris slid off the chair and backed herself towards the television. A plastic hand brushed the surface of the other living inanimate, slipping past the material to touch the buried consciousness inherent to all things. Spirit of the screen, has something happened to you?

Even as Atris asked the question xe reached out with what little was left of xir divine senses, trying to tease another way out from the infinite void. Inside xe was panicking, so very out of practice with being forced into the initiative.
Talon
 GM, 162 posts
 Weaver of Tales
 The Underlying Order
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 15:20
Beginning of the End: Atris
There was still an awareness to Atris. A sense of caution. In some gods that feeling had been dormant for so long it took a long time to rouse, but for Atris the feeling came quickly enough. Hopping off xer armchair and landing silently, the Void underfoot did not seem to echo, xe crossed over to the television and touched the glass screen to try and glean some information about what xe had stumbled into.

Just moments old. That was the first impression she got from this television, despite its dated appearance and even a few dings in its faux-woodwork, the thing was only hours old. Nothingness, then a window of light, then a small doll came through. Atris reached out to try and contact whatever spirit lay inside, xe had the growing suspicion that those on-point commercials were just a tad too self-aware. And xe was correct. But there was no spirit inhabiting this newly formed telly. No, xe connected to entity whose presence who inhabited the screen, but whose presence was funneled into it, connected by a cord like how a television drew electricity. Atris' power struggled to adapt to contact this... thing, and succeeded to a degree as it did inhabit an object. Hunger. Xe sensed. Patience. Xe felt. There was no sense of self to it, only disparate parts of base drives.

Pulling back Atris through out xer senses. They way back to the antique shop was blocked. It's light entirely vanished. Atris looked every which way. Every which way lay the Void. Empty, infinite... but not uniform. Atris felt wrinkles and pockmarks, places where the Void were uneven, they felt like the window through which xe had climbed. That meant there were likely other ways out, it was only a matter of getting to them.

So Atris hurried off to find one.

OOC: Opening a new thread.