At the end of the seventh month of the third year of Althos's life a single, humbly dressed young man appeared in the capital city of the civilization of Ascendance, on the small but magically rich world known as Retribution. The young man materialized in a small, empty alleyway, and immediately began to walk, obviously intending to leave the alleyway.
The young man carried a simple, but quite beautiful staff that had belonged to him for a long time in one hand. His other hand tightly gripped an unimpressive-looking, and deceptive grimoire, which was a much newer acquisition of his. His robes were blue, a color that had a specific, cultural meaning in this particular world. He had known that coming in and made his robes that color for that very purpose.
He carried himself with confidence and speedily exited the alleyway. When he left it behind he stepped out of the shadows and into the light of the bustling city. He stepped onto a thick, well-made sidewalk and into a speedy crowd made up of other robed magic-users. As he did he smiled gently. It had been a while since he had walked through a crowded city like this. It was something a small part of him had missed.
As I navigated my way through the crowd of city-dwellers I quietly activated a number of powers I wasn't fully used to. Among them, I activated my happiness aura, and my peace aura, both of which were comparatively new and hyper-charged abilities.
My happiness aura allowed me to fill those near me with joy, and my peace aura temporarily made those who were in my presence, even if they didn't know they were in my presence, want to prevent and when applicable, end fights. Both were immensely handy and fun abilities especially since I was here on a mission and fighting would have been a distraction.
A few days had passed since I had resurrected Orfeo and fully begun my war against Morehammer and I was now ready to begin to expand my influence throughout the universe. And I had chosen to begin that by finally visiting Retribution in the flesh and truly incorporating it into my empire.
This world was one of several worlds in the solar system of my birth. It was also one where my influence had been strong even before I raced past the status of greater god and achieved my current status as a nascent overgod. As a god of magic worlds like Retribution had always been places where my faith was popular since I could and often did bestow magic onto my followers.
The city I was in was close, in the level of technology, to a city I'd expect to see in a world like Mercy or Htrae. Around me, I could see skyscraper-like buildings and I could see flying vehicles if I looked at the skies above me. I could hear tens of thousands of voices speaking in a dozen different languages, and I could see the scents of thousands of different people going about their lives, unaware of the fact that their home was being visited by a god.
I walked with confidence and purpose and made my way towards the heart of the city. As I did I passed by people dressed in robes of every color. I gazed at the assorted robes openly and I admired the strange but handy custom that these people were engaging in. Even beyond my ability to know everything about a person with a glance, the colored-robes custom was a handy identifier for knowing what sort of powers any single individual purported to have.
Eventually, the crowd around me began to die down as I dove deeper and deeper into the city. The place I had appeared in was the area on the edge of the outskirts of the city, the border between the proper parts of the city and the city's less refined areas. As I inched closer and closer to the beating heart of the capital city the crowd around me stopped being made up of ordinary people and instead began to become made up of people like me: individuals with purpose.
People around me stopped being empty-handed and started to carry magical equipment, though obviously, their magical equipment was much less potent than my own. I studied their items and chuckled, silently, as I appraised their magical swords, staffs, and other handy arcane equipment. In the years since I had come to power here, weapons and equipment created by cults devoted to me had begun to spread like wildfire throughout the masses, and the altered items I could see were prime examples of that.
I kept my eyes opened and examined countless arcane instruments as I made my way through the city and eventually found myself in front of the entrance to a subterranean library. I was at the end of a line of scholars who were intent on entering the vast library and making use of the vast resources within, resources that were protected by Ascendance's royal family.
At the end of the line was a stairwell that led down to a door that led into the first level of the vast library. Before one could step onto the stairwell they had to speak to a number of guards, guards who were universally clerics of mine and servants of or even former members of the royal family, and explain why they sought to make use of the library.
There was a long line in front of me but the line was moving quickly. I could hear the questions that the guards of the library had for visitors and they were fairly mundane, which helped explain the quickness with which the fairly lengthy line was moving. It wouldn't take me long to find myself at the head of the line.
A quarter of an hour would pass before I found myself at the front of the line and in front of a guard who had questions for me regarding my reasons for visiting the library. The guard who was about to question me was a young-looking human who wore the bright red robes of a member of the priesthood of the state religion, and as such was a fanatical worshiper of mine who worked here to protect knowledge. He smiled politely at me, as the effects of my aura began to truly affect him, even in spite of his status as an undead creature.
"Good morning sir, I see you are wearing blue robes. You do know what those signify in this city and region right?" The guard asked me as I stepped forward. I nodded at him and smiled back.
"I do. Blue robes indicate that one is a magical generalist." I replied back, my voice gentle. The undead creature, one of many on this particular planet that I had stopped from hating the living using my powers over emotions, nodded back at me.
"Correct! So then is it fair for me to assume you are a magical generalist?" The man asked me, his eyes studying me subtly. He glanced at my staff and my grimoire as well, and he was putting his investigative skills to good use. I laughed softly and replied to him with a fair amount of pride in my voice.
"You could call me a bit more than a 'generalist', but it's certainly not the wrong thing to call me. I do have skills in many fields of magic." I told the man. His eyes narrowed, skeptically, as he listened to my words. As they narrowed I studied the creature before me.
The man was a powerful type of necromantic creature known as a "Revived". "Revived" were creatures who had been necromantically brought back from death and then infused with sparks of life and sparks of death, allowing them to look and even behave as they had in life. I knew this, not just because of my powers over necromancy but because I had been the one to revive him and the other members of the royal family of Ascendance. He continued to examine me through narrowed eyes before speaking next.
"Well, what are your reasons for visiting today?" He asked, his voice still pleasant but containing a note of skepticism. I considered his words for a moment before coming up with an answer that I found amusing.
"I am a natural magic-user, not a scholar of magic like many of the people in this city. I want to write a book on the history of magic for the average person." I explained, and even as I said it I felt my mind filling with knowledge of the history of magic, including the three lost schools: dimensional magic, holy magic, and void magic, which I had gained power over when I transcended beyond the power possessed by an intermediate god and became what I am now.
"Oh! You're a magician... Well, I bet you are glad that Althos loosened the restrictions we once placed on magic and your kind, aren't you?" The guard asked me, upon hearing that I was a magician. Magicians were a type of magic-user who had an innate connection to magic as opposed to the one learned and honed through the study of magic, which was the sort of connection to magic possessed by sorcerers. I grinned at him and chuckled.
"Oh, I am so grateful! I see his hand in everything I do. I feel his presence all around me." I stated, exaggeratedly. The guard sized up my words, before chuckling and smiling back at me.
"I see that you are one of those... Oh, in Althos's name, what were they called? Fatetarians?" The guard asked as he wracked his brain to recall the name of a newer faith that had in the last few months begun to spring up throughout the world.
"Fatetarians, yes. A lot of my brothers and sisters in the faith are remarkably more passive than I am though. Most are content to reside in the temples Althos made and to live peaceful, quiet lives unless Althos himself asked them to do tasks for him. In their own way, they are remarkably devout as they seek to fully give their lives to Althos and to be instruments of his will." I replied to the man, opting to embrace the handy lie. The guard nodded at my words.
"I find them a bit odd, but they appear to be good folk. Simple, sure, and passive, but I've heard that they constantly feel Althos beside, around, and inside themselves." The guard remarked, and I heard a touch of envy in his voice. I gently sent a surge of pleasure to one of the sparks that infused him and gave him his eerie imitation of life. He abruptly shivered in delight and I could hear his body react to my action, and then he began to laugh lightly.
"Anyways, I suppose we should move this along shouldn't we stranger?" The man asked, his eyes relaxed now.
"What is your name, stranger?" The man asked me, his eyes beginning to glow with warmth as he was in the throes of my powers, even more so than he was just by virtue of existing as an undead being I had reanimated.
"My name is Jonah. I hail from the small town of Andersburg." I told the man, effortlessly coming up with an easily believable lie. Small towns were the perfect place for fatetarians to appear and spread their faith.
"A small town huh? I remember my father telling me tales of the small town he was from." The guard told me, his mind momentarily wandering back to an ancient age, in the years following the end of the mythic age. He was a member of one of the first generations of the royal family and had been alive an incredibly long time ago.
"Alright, well Jonah, from the town of Andersburg. As you no doubt know, the library you are about to set foot into is the Althonite library of the royal family of Ascendance. Althos, being a god of knowledge and magic, encourages us all to share wisdom, and because of him the royal family adopted various progressive policies." The guard began to explain.
"You, whenever you openly reveal your status as a magician and are not persecuted against by the state, are benefitting from one of the most aggressive of the changes he encouraged the royal family to adopt. That said, even this library being open to the public is the result of his influence and power. In the past only nationally recognized sorcerers could explore this place, and benefit from the countless tomes gathered here." The guard revealed, "informing" me as to how I helped transform the political and socio-cultural landscape of Ascendance.
"This library is a sacred temple to Althos, the grandest of all temples in Ascendance and quietly possibly in all of Retribution. It is a living holy place, and though we have guards and staff stationed throughout it, the library itself is quite capable of both defending itself and helping those who are desperately in need of aid and have hearts that please Althos." The guard explained, "revealing" to me what I had known for a while now: the library was a living, breathing place, a unique and holy temple to me and the instant I stepped into it, it would sense my presence and react.
I had brought the library to life the very same day that I sunk both the royal palace and it, into the ground. The royal palace had entrances that someone could enter through the library, partially as a result of the incident in which I sunk them both into the very world they were built on top of.
The guard would talk for another few minutes, before finally letting me go past him and into the vast library. I approached the place with a smile on my face, ready to enter the holy site and pursue my own, magic-related, goals.