A Solitary God In A Dark Multiverse Chapter 40: A Conversation
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Goblins were scattered about the encampment. Most, but not quite all, of the goblins outside of the hole in the ground loomed close to the skeletons of the stags.
The flesh and fur that once covered the bodies of the creatures I had delivered to the goblins were gone, and the skeletons of the creatures were visible. Before I said another word to the goblins, I targeted the two skeletons and envisioned twin beams of obsidian energy shooting from my hand and infusing them with unlife, reanimating them as skeletal servitors in my service.
With that potent, imagined image my main focus, I began to attempt to use one of my divine powers "Create Undead". I was determined to use it without asking for guidance since I had asked for help so many times before, and I was doing it by instinct and by inferring that activating my powers tended to be done mentally.
For a few moments, nothing happened. I was silent, as were my undead minions, and the goblins I had just fed chattered away amongst themselves. A few of them gave me awed looks, but whenever I turned to look at them and smile they'd turn away in a blur of motion.
But then the newly visible skeletons of the truly deceased stags began to vibrate and radiate an eerie, yellow light. The sight of this was so odd that my other undead followers revealed themselves and approached the encampment. Their eyes were collectively locked on the vibrating piles of bones.
Mentally, I sighed in annoyance at them and told them to step back. Grudgingly, they acquiesced to my demand and stepped back out of view, hiding in the shadows of the forest.
And it was at that moment that I received a notification.
[New Title Received: The Resourceful One
Title explanation: This title has been bestowed upon you by the subdomain of necromancy. It has been given to you because of your odd instincts regarding violence, namely that you don't seem to like it, and that you are perfectly fine with the creation of and even modification of undead and corpses you didn't create.
The Resourceful One passive powers:
Natural undeath: Undead you create lose the drawbacks of being magically animated creatures, such as growing weaker they are hit by anti-magic effects. This would apply even if they were actually created through magic. This also causes corpses in your presence to have a chance to spontaneously arise as undead beings under your control unless you opt to not allow this to occur.
Heal The Undead: You can use unlife energy to inject unholy vigor into the undead. This grants you greater effectiveness at healing the undead.
The Resourceful One active power:
Infusion: Once a day you can grant an undead servant of yours a twenty-four-hour boon based on the domains and subdomains you have influence over.]
"Oh hey, my first undead-related title. Nice." I thought, in the safety of my mind as I read through the notification. While I was doing that the skeletons of the stags completed coming into unlife once more. They rose to their feet and looked majestically at the goblins. And the goblins looked at them, with terror and awe-filled eyes. I chuckled and turned to address the crowd of tiny creatures.
"Fear not little ones. The creatures you see here are not your foes. In fact, they are your friends." I arrogantly declared, channeling pride and self-confidence into my voice so that I may burn a majestic image into the minds of the tiny creatures.
"I am an endlessly resourceful master and I have come to you with a number of gifts. The food you just ate was only one of what I come bearing." I explained, smiling at the skeletal stags.
I studied them and focused on their eerily empty eye-sockets. And I began to reflect on an unexpected but noteworthy benefit of my decision to supply the goblins with the skeletal stags.
"I'm giving them sentries sure, but I'm also supplying them with spies that are both eager to inflict violence and utterly loyal to me." I thought, a strange smile on my face as I focused on that thought. It was a thought that had occurred to me when I was chatting with my first goblin followers, the four goblins I had previously interacted with in one way or another.
Troik was the first goblin to approach one of the stags. He walked over to the thing but stopped short, not wanting to reach out and touch it but hoping to examine it more closely.
The undead stag's eyeless skull turned to examine the strangely childish and innocent goblin. My creation didn't show any hostility to the goblin, but the link that tethered the skeleton and I together grew hot thanks to the annoyance my worshiper was unable to physically express.
"If you'll allow me, I intend to give you these skeletons. It will be a free gift given in good faith and to foster goodwill between us. These skeletal stags are sleepless, hungerless entities that you can use to guard your homes at all times, thus freeing you up to pursue other tasks." I revealed, aware of one of the biggest weaknesses of being a mortal: the need to sleep.
As soon as I said the word "Sleepless" I heard an audible cheer from some of the goblins. It brought a smile to my face and I knew at that moment that I had already achieved at least this decisive victory.
"I can see that that prospect excites you. I'm glad to be able to help make your lives better." I told them, speaking truthfully. I actually did like the feeling of winning them over not through terror and fear, but by making their lives easier and by giving them reasons to worship me as a helpful god.
I felt their awe begin to slowly pour into me. It made me feel lighter, and stronger, while also boosting my ego. I had to work to suppress a sense of genuine, possibly even earned, pride and arrogance, but I managed to put a lid on it after a few seconds of internally struggling with myself.
"I have come here to earn worshipers. Or at least to begin to do that. I know it may take time, which I think is reasonable. I wish to improve your lives and to show you how you could be living if you wish too. I possess powers both more useful and stranger than the ones you've seen, little ones." I told them, whispering of the already considerable diversity of powers I could use to change and alter reality.
They began to whisper to each other, awe and fear mixing together in their voices. I heard them ask curious questions, about healing, about housing, and about safety. It was actually surprising to me to hear them ask such well-thought-out questions and wonder, reasonably, about my powers.
Eventually, their whispers got louder and louder and turned into regular-volume, spoken conversations.
"This creature clearly possesses great power. We should see what it is willing to help us with!" One goblin told a neighbor of hers. There was cautious excitement visible in her pink eyes. A thin smile on her full lips.
"But think of what it's asking? It wants us to serve it, to worship it!" A peer of hers replied, concern and even a bit of outrage audible in his voice. He glared at her and then turned to glare at me. There was a fire in his gaze, not a magical one or another, but a fire of anger at the thought of losing something, and I speculated that maybe he feared to lose some sense of freedom or independence.
"I wonder if it could heal... Just imagine if it could restore Xiax's arms?" Another asked one of his sisters, a goblin that looked just like him and had the same last name. I was about to reply when that goblin's sister responded before I could.
"Look at it! It's clearly an elemental of some soul. What sort of elemental can heal?" She asked, sarcastically.
It was as if it were common knowledge that elementals couldn't heal, which I added to my list of known trivia, a list that was admittedly quite small while reminding myself that overhearing something doesn't make it true and that later on. I was more than capable of admitting that I'd need to research this to see if it's true. I refused to assume something that serious and far-reaching without evidence.
It took the goblins a few minutes of discussion and conversations to decide how to move forward as a community. Shortly before they turned to speak to me, and in the span of seconds between them having their communal time and them readying themselves to speak, I explored an idle thought.
I found it quite interesting that this conversation about the future of the goblin tribe was taking place without the mysterious orc chief who supposedly lorded over the goblin tribe, especially because he was a real person. He just wasn't here.
Instead of being here with his goblin minions the orc chief and his animal companion, creatures I had detected using my not-so-mini-map over the last few days, the orc chief was deep underground. He was gradually making his way towards us, alongside his animal companion, but he wasn't here yet. And judging from their pace, the duo was quite far away.
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