"Give us a gift, o fox!" Some called and challenged.Heady and bold on wine.
"It's as red as Fox, but how do you know it's not his?" One mortal joked as he warmed by the fire playing a game of chess against a friend, "It's useful."
That one had stung, it was good, damn it, but it stung! I had laid out kingdoms and nations, spread stories aplenty through out the world, and been the source of fun for many. It would appear Foxhair weed was ignored until it was needed. It riled me a bit, the ingratitude.
As if any of them could do a better job than...
and that's when I thought of my gift.
A gift that would be like no gift ever given!
Inscissivus helped make it possible, carving whole chunks between the world, oh a severing, but there are cracks, there are grooves made. And I slipped between them and wandered old worlds and new before returning to our own creation which had many names. I tended to call it "Fox's Wonderful Playground with Dubious Playmates". Ah, but what had I returned with?
I had dug up sites of old power, and bubbling cauldrons of creation untapped. I had been to the lands where stories died half said, where old tales had been undone because no one spoke of them anymore, and a story unspoken, unrecorded, and unremembered is a terrible thing, as if oblivion of all that it is was growing by increments never to yield up a fraction of it's empire. It takes a god, a master bard, or a madman to seize a story from Oblivion.
I've been all three.
But I didn't just come back with stories. I came back with power. The stories will tell how I seduced the widow of the greatest key smith of all time to use recreate her husband's work. Others that I used the sharpest Sevittrium to shape the strongest Adamantite key which I heated in the fires of Shayol's hidden forge and then laid into the coldest frost of the God of winter. There are tales that it is not metal at all, but the bones of a dozen dead gods fused together. SO many stories.
But however I made it happen, I made it happen. I brought forth the Key of Divine Sorrow.
Every hundred and sixty nine years, the key would appear somewhere in the world. Which ever mortal (Neither God, nor mythic) found the key first and took it in his or her grip would find bestowed upon them Godhood! Full of Divine power (and restraint) able to work miracles and calamity upon their fellow mortals and the world itself!
For what most would count as thirteen days (Whether the light came or not lest they try to get around the rule by causing an eclipse or the like) the new God would work his or her will! As immortal as any being. And each day, a small cut or scar appear on that god's otherwise perfect form until eventually 13 distinctive marks be upon them.
And then, as that last hour clicked away, the new God's divinity would depart, and that now ex-god would become mortal again and is struck down dead for Eternus to sort out.. The gods can hold a vote on each miracle the 13 day god did. A majority can undo the worst of the changes and damages done, though never fully. Otherwise, it stands.
Now, if the key isn't found, the cycle doesn't start again... the key just waits. To make things interesting, besides myself, Only I, and the Man of Gold know when the Key can be quested for... after all, if ever there was a time to save the world, it's when a villain might attain godhood, or a hero needs it. I send Faux out to either give parts of the story as a mad hermit or minstrel if I'm not going out in forms like that myself.
Thirteen days of godhood, at the cost of a full life as a mortal! Not everyone who goes after it will no the price until it's too late.Some will know the price and decide it is worthwhile. I place the key. Some doomed lucky soul finds it, becomes a god, and can change the world.. maybe.
Gift to Civilization: A Path to (Temporary) Divinity via the Key of Divine Sorrow