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Thread Contributor: SethYou're No Priestess tag: Raani
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#21
Betrayal wasn't something that Seth wished upon another, no matter who they were. Even his enemies had never been wished such cruelty, and Seth hoped against hope that Raani and her brother would never actually have to experience such a thing. Betrayal, especially from someone you loved, someone you trusted, was often a devastating thing.

Seth took the memories that Raani offered him without complaint, and with a caution that even Adhira might have been surprised by, even as gentle as he always was with her and her mind. Yes, it was a sorrow, but it was a piece of her, a piece of his daughter that he was only now beginning to truly know, and that was indeed a gift. Pain was a part of life, just as joy was; not even gods were exempt from it.

The embrace he offered, which she accepted and returned, was offered with a smile. He wouldn’t admit or acknowledge the fact that he loved his children, he couldn’t, not without admitting and acknowledging that he was vulnerable to them like that, but he cared. He did love them. As things stood currently, neither of his youngest were ‘targets’ of the death god.

Bes was… Complicated. Raani reminded Seth so much of himself, when he’d been young and brash and the world had been new. And he had thought that things would stay good, that humanity was this beautiful species that they could love and share. Before the world had changed, before his brother had grown greedy and murderous, before humanity had turned their backs on the gods and the war had begun. Raani reminded him of that version of himself. Bes reminded him of… he wasn’t sure, but he liked the boy.

There had been so many lifetimes since the one that Seth remembered so poignantly. He knew, as a god, he should have left that all behind him, he should have dismissed those events and started over. And yet, he found himself unable. He found his heart still ached for a son who had died eons before, for a mortal man who had turned against him long ago, and a mortal woman who had been his friend before he’d become the god of worlds and universes in entirety. Squeezing his daughter’s hand in return, he smiled, “Mortals are amazing creatures, daughter. I still believe they are capable of nearly anything should they turn their minds to it. And yet, they are also young, looking at the world through eyes that are…” He let his mind catch on that last memory, “So fresh, so unclouded.”

This time, he didn’t share a memory with her. Instead, his hazel eyes found hers, concern lighting them as he looked at his daughter, “Be careful with them, though. They are young and so often pure, and yet they are a harsh, raw, and passionate race. They can be dangerous, even without meaning to be.”

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#22
Raani hoped never to feel betrayed either. She also knew without a single doubt that if her brother were betrayed, she would act her domain and ruin the person who had done it.

And then she would hold back her domain. Sentence them to an eternity languishing within the veil, unable to move on from what they had done.

Raani was happy to share her memories with her father. Even if they were sad, she also knew without a doubt that knowing the outcome, she would have made the same choices. Would have remained friends with Alia, enjoyed every bright moment her companionship offered Raani. It was simply also true that sometimes lifetimes could warp a soul, and that the pain of that was enough that it was a kindness to grant them a permanent death.

Alia was Raani's rainbow that turned to dew. With her first priest's permission, she even gave him a spark of the essence of Alia. Raani had not lost a friend. Not truly.

Raani would be very grateful to know that her father would not try to hurt Bes- if she knew such. Instead she simply tucked away the knowledge, such that she could actually enjoy this conversation instead of watching his every move warily. She knew she had a number of things in common with him. That didn't make it easier to look at him without fear.

In fact it made it much harder. Raani could be kind one moment and cruel the next if the situation cared for it. She may be less frightening- but only by nature of what they fought for. Both her and her father fought to protect their hearts. Unlike her father who had his wife and his own heart- Raani only had the one. It did not beat inside her chest.

Or rather, He.

Raani smiled in return to her father's comments. "I know." She said easily. She had not been raised around Gods. Even the long lived of Adhira's temple had been mortals for the most part. Their attitudes rarely changed to match their lifespans. "But thank you for watching out for me."

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#23
Woe to any who crossed either of the gods currently enjoying Belle’s little cafe. While Seth tended to be reasonable, even benevolent, once crossed he could be vengeful and violent. The person who did harm to those he had claimed as his own would rue their own birth.

That had surprising grown to include two young gods who were his children, even if he were only now beginning to know them.

Truth be told, Seth missed having conversations, he missed companionship. He’d been long without it this time around, two millennia, and he understood why Adhira had done it, accepted it, but that didn’t mean he hadn’t grown accustomed to being alone. He hadn’t grown close to the mortals of his last world like he had done in the past, and he had spared no gods in that world, because there had been none to spare. It had been a peaceful epoch, quiet and almost gentle, how he had won over the mortals of that world, but it had been no less lonely for all of that peace.

A simple thank you, and Seth smiled, reaching to pat his daughter’s hand gently, “Is that not what I am supposed to do? Watch out for you and your brother?” He may always be on the lookout for that moment when one of them would betray the other, when one would betray their mother and him, but that didn’t mean he didn’t care for them, that he didn’t want, in his heart, to keep them safe.

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#24
Raani was not a vengeful god. Not for the most part. Bes was an exception, she would defend him with ferocity and get revenge for slights against him with the fire of a thousand suns. Certainly she'd protect herself, but she took a decidedly colder stance on that. It was almost more cruel in that attacking her wouldn't even earn her fury. Just her boredom with the inconvenience.

And her father wasn't the only one who was enjoying having someone to talk to. Certainly she was going to need to see her brother after this, her anxiety having not disappeared, simply retreated for the time being. Yet, there were very few people who she felt able to be genuine with, and somehow her father was one of them. She had many worlds where she had taken another God into her being, remaining herself but more. Worlds where she had become a leader of the world's sole pantheon. A scheme that she had perfected over a number of worlds, until she had a very good idea of how to encourage other deities to follow her but never rebel.

There was no room for the weakness of crying. No room for mourning her lost friend, or longing to once again see her high priest. She had to be resolute, and unbreakable, and it was nice to be able to sit with a cup of tea and share her memories with her father.

A part of her genuine personality was a sometimes unfortunate bluntness however, so she laid a dark look at her father with a small laugh. "Don't you mean watching me and my brother? Or are we using watch out to mean 'watch out for that threat'?" She asked drily, leaning forward to meet her father's gaze, humour clear in her eyes.

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#25
Seth would have liked to say he wasn't vengeful, and in many things he was not. But there were some things that would deserve full and fierce vengeance.

Still, as quiet a god as he could often be, Seth had always been more of a social creature, seeking out companionship and conversation where he could. There had been a time, now longer ago than he could truly account for, when Seth had been thrilled to be a part of a pantheon. First his birth pantheon, his parents and siblings. Then Sumeria, Greece… When the war began, he had laid low, watched and waited. Over the millennia, he had ebbed and flowed in power, growing less sometimes, and more others. But though he had the urge to find others, to create a family, a pantheon, the death god was haunted by the memory of what had happened the last time, his last attempt to form a new pantheon.

Of course he shied away from the idea. His first pantheon had fallen to pieces, ripped apart from within. His second had slowly died out. The Greeks slowly turned away from their gods to embrace science and mathematics, leaving them to slowly starve and turn on each other for scraps of belief. And finally, when the war was over and Seth had thought they could live in peace, make a family, a pantheon, the moment he had relaxed into that good thing, that lovely life, greed and jealousy had struck and taken what could not be given back.

Still… That did not mean he worried ceaselessly about every child.

So when Raani accused him of watching them for a threat, Seth laughed and shook his head, “No, I mean watch out for you to keep you out of trouble, daughter.” His eyes glinted with amusement mixed with something else, something warm and gentle, “Because if either you or your brother are anything like your mother, then you’ll manage to find plenty of it, I’m sure.” No, he wasn’t concerned that either of them might come for him or his wife, or even that they might join forces against them. Far more powerful had tried and failed, after all. No, what worried him was the idea of one turning on the other… And right now, that didn't appear to be a problem, leaving the god...relaxed.

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#26
Raani would have thrown her arms up in frustration if she knew what her father was thinking. That her and her brother were only safe from each other 'for now.' Bes would never be in danger from Raani. If he was- then that being attacking was no longer Raani. It was as simple as that. She didn't care what the path between the two were, whether the changes were natural, all that mattered to her was that if Bes was in danger from her, than she was no longer Raani, and she needed to be put down.

And if Bes were a danger to her- than it was for a good reason. That was what her trust meant.

Unfortunately, she didn't know what he was thinking, so she couldn't tell him that. Raani couldn't explain to her father that if something went wrong it was almost certainly her fault. Or if it wasn't, it was at least for the best that she would be gone.

Her lips did curl at her father's accusation, a small bite of her lip trying to force down the desire to small like she was mad. "I haven't the foggiest what you're talking about Father." She said, faux innocence clear in her tone, eyelashes fluttering to accentuate her point. She glanced up at him from above her tea cup. "After all, we certainly couldn't have inherited any trouble finding tendencies from you, could we?" She added, her smile peaking through as a single eyebrow arched in his direction.

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#27
But see, that was the problem. Raani and Bes would look at themselves and each other and say, ‘Never, not us!’ but there had been a time when Rudra and Kayin had been much the same way. Things had changed, and they had done so more quickly than even Seth or Adhira had been able to intervene, to change the path they had all been on. Not a day passed that Seth didn’t wish at least fleetingly that he had seen what had been brewing, that he knew then what he knew now. It was easy to say ‘if I were to change like that, then I wouldn’t want to be anymore’ but it was a different thing to have it happen, to have those changes happen to you and remain aware enough, to continue to care that you were different. Seth had loved his sons, both of them. Were the god to be honest with himself, he still loved them. Perhaps that was why it had hurt him so dearly…

But sitting at a table in a sweet little cafe, sharing a few moments with his youngest daughter, Seth wasn’t looking to the future, and he wasn’t dwelling overmuch on the past. Instead, he was enjoying the present, his manner turning just a bit playful as he poked and teased his daughter, who poked and teased back. He chuckled lightly at her false innocence, and when she stated that their propensity for trouble couldn’t have come from him, he straightened, nose climbing just a touch into the air, the picture of a perhaps too self assured god, “Of course not. ‘Tis your mother that enjoys finding such things, not I.” But even as he spoke the words, it was clear that he knew it was a sham. He, just as much as his wife, found trouble. She might be of chaos, but Seth was of the deeper darknesses and the capricious storms. He was the scorching summer to her dewy spring, the tumultuous sea to her gentle gardens.

Of course, he was also the spring rains to her raging monsoons, the soft autumn to her frostbitten winter, the warm brush of beach to her stark cliffs. They complimented each other, one gentle when the other was hard, one unyielding where the other bowed. “Whatever would make you even ask such a question?” His eyes sparkled with mischief and amusement even as he asked his daughter the silly question.

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#28
Raani was more than saying 'no not me.' She wasn't saying that the being who would hurt her brother wouldn't wish to live. She was saying that she had sworn to herself to never hurt her brother- and that to do so would have that oath cut apart the being that was Raani. She had no desire to even allow herself the freedom to hurt her brother. It was safer that way- especially when she brought old dying gods into herself. She had no way of guaranteeing the kind of being they had been and to allow them to influence her while she was without restraint was out of the question.

She laughed easily at her father's tone. The noise was simultaneously cold as ice and soothing, a seeming contradiction to most, but what was better than the cold on a hot day? or on an injury? Gods were full of contradictions, and Raani was no exception.

"Oh I haven't the foggiest. I know that it's wholly impossible to be both mischievous and organized." She offered easily, trusting that he also knew what a lie that was. There were so many wonderful loopholes in most things- and sometimes order was incredibly annoying. Such as seating people in the order and logical sense of alphabetically- thus forcing certain sets of people together and apart.

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#29
Without delving into Raani's mind, Seth couldn't know exactly what his daughter thought, what she meant by her claims. He knew not of her oaths and bonds. It was this very lack of knowledge that had the god sitting here, talking to his daughter, getting to know her. Of course, he didn't know that she took other gods, living gods, he would have cautioned her against such things, surprisingly not because he wanted to keep her powerless but because he wouldn’t want them to overcome her, or to change her.

Her laughter was welcomed; an icy drink at midday tenet the desert. Seth reclined easily in his seat, a small smile on his lips. This was nice. Something that he hadn't had in a long while.

"Entirely impossible." His hazel eyes held laughter and amusement. They both knew the truth, but that was the point here, wasn't it? "Besides, daughter mine, mischief does not always mean trouble." Order had a place and time, but so too did impishness. "The trick is to be able to have one without finding the other, which is no easy thing.”

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#30
Raani had very specific reasons for why she acquired power the way she did. She had spent more than her share of time sowing her belief among very young civilizations- but it was hard to gain much of a foothold in the older ones, and she had thought long and hard before she had offered to bring an elderly god into her being. It was about as close as you could come to eating another god without actually fighting, and it was the fastest way to build her power.

Which allowed her to establish herself as a sort of lead god in many universes, and from there, one day as a supreme goddess. She didn't care to rule over everything, but one day, she would have a realm who would know her and only her as the cycle, no others in her path.

But she was still cautious. Raani did extensive research on any god before she even approached them. Change did not frighten her- it was her very being- and so she chose only from those who she would be happy to take on the traits of. Those who represented better versions of herself.

Raani laughed at her father despite the previous lines of thought. "What is immortality for, save perfecting one's craft?" She offered, aforementioned impishness clear in her eyes. With a final sip of her tea, she placed a few coins on the table, the money appearing from her hand despite it's previous empty nature.

Standing up, she straightened her robes. "Unfortunately father, I do have plans to meet with Bes shortly, and I hate to be late." Raani explained smoothly, her smile softening, even as she bit her lip. Making a split second decision, she leaned forwards and pressed a quick kiss to her father's cheek. "We should do this again." She added, before dropping from sight even as a jewel toned snake slid rapidly out of the door.

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