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Thread Contributor: BesRhythm of life
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#1
This soul was one of his.

Bes rested his head on the empty vessels shoulder, tears slowly carving down dark cheeks, he had failed this mortal in his life, he held onto the sullenly glowing embers of his soul, awaiting his Sister or Father, or one of Deaths direct minions.

His followers were nominally craftholders, homemakers, families, but anyone that invoked his name to make their home welcoming was his. And he theirs.

He did not mind being a minor god, never seeking power, dominion, and in this world his hold was weak, unable to do enough to bless this man. To lighten his burden, because if Bes had been a greater god there would be no way a follower of his would succumb to despair in his home, in Bes’s bailiwick.

“I failed him.” He explained to the familiar presence that joined him.

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#2
Raani knew her realm. She knew the moment when a fire of the soul was replaced with coals. Just as the first to use fire did, she would carry that small lingering heat to her realm, feeding it until it grew strong once more.

But even more than she knew the touch of death, awaiting rebirth- she knew the feeling of her brother's heart. It beat inside her chest, alongside her own, and she always knew when he needed her. She knew when he was happy, when he was proud, when he was sad- and she could feel through him, the life that had just been ended.

It was with that that she left behind her duties for the day. She waved off obligations, asking her priests to fulfill a role they shouldn't need to. She rarely cared enough to seek out an individual when they passed. But Raani would allow no other than her father or herself to carry the soul of her brother's faithful. She stepped into existence, taking a deep breath at the sight before her.

Walking forward, Raani bowed her head, pressing a kiss to her little brother's scalp. "No, Brother. You did not fail him." She whispered, crouching and taking a moment to wipe the tears from his cheeks. She took his hand in hers, giving a brief squeeze to remind him he wasn't alone. Then, she let go and carefully reached forward, her hands going through the vessel's chest as she cradled the last spark. Her aura flared warm for once. The heat of raging inferno, feeding the ember and cleansing what she could from here.

She stayed still, mind focused on the task until at last, a small fire grew from the soul she held in her palms. "There is always tomorrow." She offered to her brother, showing him the dancing flame.

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#3
Not every soul that passes went through his hands. In some worlds, there were other, lesser gods of death that handled their own. On other worlds they would cry the names of their deity during life and go to rest with them. But in many, many worlds, it was him or his underlings that brought the dead to his kingdom.

On the occasion that a dying soul called out for his wife or children, it was always Seth that came to them. The faithful of his pantheon would always fall under his banner, his responsibility, and he saw to them himself lest they grow lost or despondent.

Tonight a soul called for Bes, and Seth was there immediately. His son had not seemed to wish for many followers; for one to die would be noticeable for him.

Seeing the state of his son, however, the old god paused, passing through the veil enough to be solid in this world for his children, “You did all you could. That is all that can be asked of you.” Seth moved to sit next to his distraught son; the man could wait, he was calm and in his care he was warm and comforted the way it seemed only the dead ever were.

He let his daughter comfort her brother, shifting away even as Raani moved to sit, his hand reaching out to grasp Bes’ shoulder firmly, but gently.

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#4
He was a young god, a minor god, but his purpose, his reason, his very being was to lead his followers to deliverance. He never promised a painless road, but his pact was that the trials and burdens would mean Something, that their end be worth the suffering. Tears slid past his sisters tender touch, craving tracts across the normally joyful gods visage; “I failed him here.” He saw Rani breathe the cycle of rebirth into John Wakefield’s soul and it brought him none of the peace she intended.

“This was his home Ranni.” They were twins, they knew each other’s hearts and minds; yet the specificities of each other domain must of necessity remain obfuscated, but those words should mean Something to her, that here where his dominance should have been supreme he had failed.

His Father was so beyond Bes that he could stand next to the young god and be unnoticed unless he trespassed directly onto Bes’s bailiwick, ‘all he could-‘ dark eyes turned towards the feel of his Father, seeing the moment he stepped between the veil and allowed Bes to see him. “And I failed him.” He repeated, his whole existence was as a God as they all were; his Father could never fail his main domain, people would always die, his sister could but only by willful action. Bes? Bes was not strong enough to fail willfully!

“I was with him this night, I knew he would need the comfort, the healing of Home as he had so many other nights and-“ Bes didn’t sob, but a resurgence of liquid blurred his vision. “It was not enough, he couldn’t see the path-“ Bes was not Fate, but he worked closely with that Eternal and the thousand broken threads whipped his being mercilessly; a child never born, a wife never met, hundreds of cases never solved-

“I failed.”

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#5
The word was in fact more than enough to drive Bes's point deep into Raani's heart. To fail the man here, was the same as Raani accidentally cursing a faithful to a life of nothing but pain. It was, beyond anything, their purposes. Bes had the hearth, and happy endings. Raani had Ruin, and Rest. But when ground down to one word, Raani was the Goddess of Rebirth, and her brother was the God of Home.

A sympathetic tear rolled down her cheek at the sheer pain she could feel emanating from him. Raani forced her eyes closed, forced herself to close off from Bes, just long enough to channel even more strength into the soul she held. When she could give no more without damaging, she smiled sadly at her brother and folded her hands closed around the flame. When her hands opened again, they were empty.

They soon found a different precious item to hold, carefully placing the empty vessel to rest on a nearby table, to free up her brother's arms so that she could tuck his head under her chin and hold him to her side. She stroked his hair slowly, not knowing what to say, but allowing the run off of her brother's pain to dredge up tears she would have otherwise not shed.

"You can not take all of the blame on your own shoulders. I do not know enough to say for certain why this happened, but I know you well enough to know that you offered him everything you could. You did not fail him." She whispered, rocking him slightly, saddened for both of them. Him, that this was so unfamiliar as to cause unbearable pain, and Her, that she was so used to death that her heart held no sadness for John Wakefield. Only for her brother.

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#6
Seth blinked as the soul left the veil. His eyes, soft and hazel where he had appeared to help his son, to ease and comfort as he could, closed momentarily as he registered the change, the abrupt sense of the soul going elsewhere, leaving him alone.

He could see where he was unwanted, and apparently, unneeded.

There was no contest for the soul; his daughter took it, forcefully, but he wasn’t going to argue this, not right now. Not when his son was so distraught. Fighting about this now would only further upset him.

Home was a foreign concept for the older god; his home had once been Egypt, then he had moved to Sumeria, then to Greece, and on and on, but the closest thing, the place that had once been what he had thought was home had been a little island with a resort on it and people who were hearty and happy. He hadn’t known a true home in many millennia. Home. “You were with him, Bes, and that should have made a difference. This is not your failing, not alone, this is…” Seth sighed, “Tragedy.” But he had seen countless such deaths, had watched gods fail.

They moved the body about, made a mess of the scene, but Seth said nothing; he would put things to rights once the two had moved on, he would take care of this, it was the least he could do. “Tell me, son,” he looked to Bes as he spoke of failure, “Do you intend to bless him in his next life?” He tipped his head, waiting for the affirmative, “Then you will not have failed him.”

Seth had a place in his heart for John Wakefield. The reason he was angry with his daughter was because she stole any chance Seth would have to bring him to the afterlife, to let the man stay in his kingdom until it was time for him to be reborn, as all souls were meant to. She rushed it, and yes, he was angry. What had been his point here, then? What purpose was he to have? He would have asked Bes if he wanted to accompany them to the Underworld, but that was not where the soul was anymore. It left him uncharacteristically unsure of how to proceed. He had little to offer either of them in terms of platitudes, and Bes had already shunned little he had offered.

“Death,” he offered quietly, “Is a window, not a door, son. Yes, in this life, this man suffered, but with help,” he motioned to Bes and Raani, “His next can be better, and that is not failure.” He reached to place a hand on each of his children’s shoulders, trying to steady them, to comfort them, regardless of his own feelings, “It is not, perhaps, the way you wished for things to be, but no one, mortal or god, has the ability to control all things. All we can do is our best, regardless of the outcome.”


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#7
Death did not upset Bes; he was too familiar with it and was not so young a god to be a stranger to his faithful finding their final rest. But Death...itwas for him the end. He did not touch souls that passed, held no sway in where they spent their rest, or rebirth. When life left the body Bes was for lack of a better word; done.

It was not that John Wakefield had died, it was that he’d died in pain, out of turn, that he’d felt so alone that he exercised that human strength of free will to cut short his existence.

It was that He had died hopeless.

It was that he’d died believing it would bring him more happiness than the life his god had carefully arranged.

‘Do you intend to bless him in the next life?’

Bes understood his Father and Sister held a more pragmatic view; that the pain and mistakes of one life could be rectified in the next and all would be well.

The problem with that was that it was Bes who settled those scales, and in this man’s case he had failed.

Their power was for the cycle. His was for the now, the living.

He was a naturally easy going god, and he heard his Father’s deep heartfelt attempt to comfort him-

“The next life he could choose not to be mine and I could not blame him.” Bes blinked to the living room, his tiny altar was nothing more than a dish beside the TV with a open packet of skittles.

Bes was a simple god, all that was required was a small offering of food, on this world the Mythos said he had a sweet tooth so faithfully John Wakefield bought a few packages of travel sized skittles every week, some for Bes and some to give to the children his job put in his path.

Bes had been honored that his follower had put his offering at the same level as the tiny bits of comfort he offered the young often traumatized souls he found in his work.

“He cared so much.” And that was the cux, his Father and Sister held hope and focused on the next life and Bes could only live with the grief for THIS life lost.

It was not the first follower he’d lost, but Bes’s power intersected with Luck and Fate enough that it was vanishingly rare for him to lose one before they were meant to.

“Thank you for coming Father.” He could See Last his grief to how uncomfortable the elder god was, that even his sister flailed for a way to make this right.

All their great power but neither came close to his domains.

He was not dismissing Seth, trying to reach out even as he pulled away from his sisters comfort; he deserved to be in pain. And He could not let Ranni bring him Rest.

He had never wished for power, content to lay his blessings, tease the patterns of fate, but now… “I wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t- he couldn’t feel my Love.”

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#8
Death was a necessary part of living. Without it, no world would survive. Humanity claimed that death was the end of life, but the dead knew better; there was so much more afterward. Bes, however, seemed to agree with the mortals, and that… Threw Seth for a loop. Bes was a god, he shouldn’t be so upset about a mortal’s death, there would be another life, another chance. He asked Bes if he would bless John Wakefield in his next life, not because he wanted to upset his son, not because he knew there would be a next life even though he did, but because…

Ah. Seth nodded slowly, “Yes. He might turn away from you,” it was possible, mortals could be fickle, and their love was never guaranteed, even for a god. But… “But I did not ask if he would worship you in his next life, my son. I asked if you would bless him then.” Even as Bes disappeared to the living room, his father was still there, beside him, hazel eyes watching his son, sad but steady, “Because you can, you know. They need not choose you for you to bless them.” It was a matter of power. Bes had little interest in becoming powerful, but his lack of power was what had caused this mess.

It went against every rule Seth had made for himself when it came to his children. Every caution he had taken. And yet… Bes was so very sad. It hurt Seth to see him like this, grieving so deeply for this life, for his follower who had cared so much. Who had been, in that way, so much like his son.

He was being dismissed. Or perhaps not. It had sounded like a dismissal, and yet Bes was here, reaching for him. Even as he pulled away from Raani, Seth moved closer, cool and calm, but all of him attempting to comfort nonetheless. It was easier for him to give comfort in another form, but tonight, he was needed like this. Bes had always been human when Seth had seen him, and so Seth was human now. He needed time, just a little of it, really, to prepare what he would do.

Quietly, Seth’s essence embraced Bes’, soothing and gentle, “I’m sorry, Bes.” It was, at least in part, his fault that his son had so little power. A problem that Seth could work to rectify, though not all at once. “You must allow yourself to grieve, son. But later, perhaps a week or so from now? I would like very much for us to share a meal. If you would like that.” He could prepare in a week. “I would like to help you if you would let me.”

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