Elyon - Gods among us
—Are you joking?— Anpiel replied with a look of uncertainty to the old woman's comment.
—Why would I joke about this, young man?— The elderly woman answered with a benevolent look.
—Well, I don't feel any divine power in you— The Malakim replied.
—You, gods from the other side of the world, still have much to learn— The woman answered, as she stood up and began to walk towards the ocean where Rodrigo and his companions were waiting on the boat.
As Anpiel saw the woman walking, he began to follow her. The leader of the group approached the old woman and asked her a question, which Anpiel could not understand. The woman shook her head and continued to walk slowly.
—Do you know how complicated it is for a human to speak divine language?— The elderly woman asked Anpiel, who was following her.
—No, I've never seen a human do it, but one of your men could utter a few words— The Malakim answered.
—Of course, Nukilik is a genius— The elderly woman replied.
—The way the tongue moves to express such sounds is excessively complicated, which makes most humans who dare try to speak that language give up— She explained.
—I've never thought about it that way, madam— Anpiel replied.
The angel noticed that the old woman's hand, the one that held her staff, was missing three fingers.
—Did you have an accident with your hand, madam?, Anpiel asked, unable to take his eyes off the woman's hand.
—This? My father tried to kill me, and I lost my fingers because of it, but there will be time to talk about that later— The woman replied, just as she arrived at the shore of the sea.
—Look, Anpiel is coming back!— Epona said joyously, and everyone else began to wave their arms to indicate that they were still there.
—Who is that old woman he's with? The goddess of this tribe?— Ana asked.
—Possibly, but if she is, she must be an expert at hiding her divine presence— Tania answered.
—Wait a minute— Rodrigo interrupted. —Are you considering going down to the bottom of this almost frozen sea? With the cold weather?—
Everyone began to laugh.
—Rodrigo, don't be such a coward— Epona replied, while she and the others got out of the boat.
—Rodrigo-san, you must become stronger— Susanoo replied. —How can my rival be afraid of the cold?—.
—I don't understand, Rodrigo— Tania interrupted. —When we traveled through space, which is much colder than here, I've never seen you feel such discomfort. The cold here is nothing compared to that—.
—For some reason, I've never felt cold in space— Rodrigo said, puzzled.
Everyone got out of the boat and stood next to Anpiel, watching the old woman disappear into the waters.
—Well, go ahead— Anpiel said. And he, along with the others, began to descend into the cold sea in the bay.
But at that moment, they discovered a new inclemency of the anti-divinity barrier. Everyone began to drown once they were in the water.
Tania and Anpiel knew how to swim, but the others didn't, and everyone began to try to surface desperately. Then bubbles appeared around their bodies, spinning, and a larger bubble covered their heads, making it possible for them to be underwater and swim without knowing how.
Quickly, they found themselves swimming under the Arctic Sea of Vinland. Only huge pillars of stone and ice could be seen on the seafloor. However, further away, they could see a strange creature swimming, it was like a mermaid.
—Can you already move under water? Then follow me!— A very beautiful voice was heard coming from that mermaid in the distance.
—Is that... the old woman?— Epona asked.
—She told me she was Sedna— Anpiel answered.
—Well, what are we waiting for? Let's follow her!— Menrva said, as she began to swim towards the distant mermaid.
The others nodded and did the same.
As the gods followed the mermaid, the sea became darker and darker, to the point where they could no longer see anything. There weren't even any fish or mammals in it anymore. The deeper they descended, the more they felt a tremendous atmospheric pressure crushing their bodies. Rodrigo was the most affected by this phenomenon.
—Come on, Rui; it was worse in Pallas!— Ana said, trying to cheer the boy up.
After swimming for about thirty minutes, right at the bottom of the ocean, they could see a very bright blue light emerging from it. It was the only thing visible because everything was submerged in darkness. The mermaid entered through that light and disappeared.
—We should do the same— Tania commented and everyone nodded.
Then, they all swam towards the luminous blue column, and everything disappeared in an instant. When they opened their eyes, they were no longer at the bottom of the ocean, but in a gigantic ice cave. The bubbles had also disappeared.
—Is this Adlivun?— Anpiel asked as he looked around the enormous enclosure.
—It seems so— Ana replied, admiring the place.
—Tania, could you start a fire here to dry our clothes?— Epona asked while wringing water from her coat.
At that moment, a warm breeze was felt throughout the enclosure. The gods' clothing, their bodies, and hair dried instantly.
—Are you better now?— A voice was heard from afar.
The warm wind ceased, and at that moment, the mermaid they had been following appeared; but her fish tail was gone. She was a very beautiful brown-skinned woman with blue, slanted eyes. She had dark blue hair tied in two braids. She also wore a white coat and pants, and there were two white seals next to her.
—Are you the old woman?— Anpiel asked, surprised.
—Yes, as I told you, I am Sedna; and this place is my kingdom, Adlivun— the deity responded.
—How were you able to hide your divine presence up there on the surface, in the form of an old woman?— Menrva asked, intrigued.
—I live among humans, it's normal for them to expect to see me age— the polar goddess answered.
—Besides, for some reason, they want to see me as an old woman, so I show myself to them as such— she concluded.
Adlivun was a huge cave with very high walls, all completely covered in ice. Among these walls, one could see various paths and huge cavernous doors, all with elaborate architecture that gave a touch of glamor to the region. On the ceiling, there was a layer of sea, and one could see seals, fish, and sea lions swimming in it, although it was hard to observe, as the walls of the cave were extremely high; they could easily reach above two hundred meters.
—Wow, this place is beautiful! Another kingdom more beautiful than Tuatha Dé Danann— Epona mentioned sarcastically to Ana.
—I suppose you must feel strange, Epona, it doesn't stink of manure, and people aren't fornicating with horses like in Avalon— Ana responded without interest.
—Bah, what do you know about good taste— Epona replied grumpily.
—Why do you insist on bothering Ana about her homeland, when you know she doesn't like to talk about it?— Rodrigo asked the equine goddess.
—Well, that would be another reason for her not to like her homeland— Epona replied indifferently.
—I'm glad you like my kingdom— Sedna commented, as she turned her back and began to fly.
—That's right! We can already fly here— Menrva exclaimed excitedly.
—Yes, there are no anti-divinity barriers here— the polar goddess said.
—Please, follow me— she said, and at that moment, she began to fly towards the upper part of the complex.
They all nodded and followed her.
There was a lot of activity in Adlivun, with several deities walking and flying between the huge ice corridors and bridges of the complex kingdom. It easily looked like a huge maze. A bluish light shone over the entire cave, coming from the sea ceiling at the top.
In one of the upper parts of the kingdom, there was a gigantic door made of frozen bricks. Sedna opened the door, and inside, there was a gigantic room with an ice throne, which was in front of a huge table, also made of ice.
Inside the room, a brown-skinned man with slanted eyes, wearing a bear coat, armor, and spear, was waiting for the goddess.
—Welcome, Majesty Sedna— the man greeted the goddess of the ice.
—Thank you for taking care of the kingdom, Nanook— the polar goddess replied, as she sat down on her throne.
—Please, sit down— the armored man said to the members of Orniskem, as he sat down on the right side of Sedna.
They all sat around the queen of Adlivun, who was located right in the center top of the table. Sedna was sitting on the throne in a majestic way, but it was impossible not to notice that three fingers were missing from her hand. Anpiel thought it was part of her illusion in human form, but realized it was an actual injury she had.
—Several days ago, some gods from Asgard entered my territories; they said they were looking for their father— Sedna commented.
—Yes, we have come to join in their search, do you know where they went?— Menrva asked intrigued.
—West, to Haida territories— the goddess said.
At that moment, the table, which was made of ice, clearly showed the map of Vinland. With her staff, she pointed to the northern part.
—This is my kingdom, Nitassinan, the territory of the Innu— the goddess commented.
—Innu? Aren't they called Skræling?— Anpiel asked.
—Those stupid Asgardians— Sedna said, covering her face with her hand. —That name is degrading to my people. They are Innu, simply—.
—Oh, sorry, we didn't know— Anpiel commented apologetically.
—It doesn't matter— Sedna responded, and pointed again to the Innu territory.
Sedna and Nanook explained to the members of Orniskem the distribution of what they knew as Vinland.
In the north was the kingdom of Adlivun, ruled by Sedna. This region, in the human world, was called Nitassinan.
To the west of Nitassinan, a group of tribes called Dene were ruled by Yamozha, who resided in the kingdom of Denendeh.
To the west of the Dene tribes was the Haida Gwaii kingdom, ruled by the crow god Y'aahl. The humans here were called Haida and were powerful warriors.
To the south of Nitassinan was the Waabanakiing kingdom, ruled by the warrior god Wenabozho. The humans here were called Anishinaabe. These kingdoms were allies of Adlivun.
To the south of the Waabanakiing kingdom, in an area called: 'The Great Lakes', there were the Iroquois kingdoms, ruled by Sawiskera. It was a group of powerful warriors, similar to the Haida. These kingdoms were enemies of Adlivun.
To the south of the Great Lakes, a gigantic empire began, formed by dozens of enormous cities with gigantic pyramidal mounds. It was the powerful Mississippi kingdom, whose capital was Cahokia, and were ruled by the falcon god Heshuka. Their powerful sun gods lived in a tree planet, similar to Asgard, called Ckaárus.
To the west of the Mississippi kingdom, there was a group of warrior cultures without adherence, but their gods were known to be very strong and fierce, and they never made diplomatic alliances. Among these kingdoms are Hisatsinom, Diné, or a mysterious kingdom called Aztlán.
To the south of the Mississippi kingdom and the Hisatsinom kingdoms, the land of CeAnáhuac began. A gigantic desert served to separate the powerful Mississippi empire from the Toltec empire. To the south of this desert, as well as the west of Mississippi, it was formed by warrior gods called Chichimecas. However, these served as a defense point for the kingdom of Tula.
To the south of the Chichimeca kingdoms, a large green valley, called Anahuac, was where the Toltec empire resided, with its capital in the city of Tula-Tollan. They were ruled by the god Tezcatlipoca, and the world of these beings was called Ilhuicatl Iohtlatoquiliz.
To the south of Anahuac, the powerful Zapotec and Mixtec kingdoms began; and to the southeast, the kingdoms of an area called Mayapán. The relationship between these kingdoms and Tula was difficult and complicated.
—As I was explaining, the Asgardians headed to Haida Gwaii. However, that decision was taken by that man named Thor, without any reason to find his father— Nanook commented.
—What do you mean by that?— Tania asked.
—Well, the Haida are known to be the fiercest, most powerful and ruthless warriors in the region
— the god in armor continued to comment.
—Thor, when he heard that, got excited and convinced his team to measure forces with those people— Sedna added.
—I doubt that mission still has the objective of finding his father, it seems more like a whim of that group of savages— she concluded.
—Do you have any idea where his father might be?— Menrva asked.
—No one has come here from the Eastern Continent in quite some time— Sedna responded.
—That man named Leif Erikson and his crew had been the last ones, until Thor came along with four other gods to these lands, also on a ship— she added.
—Wait a moment!— Ana interrupted.
—It's supposed to be that a member of Orniskem should also be in these territories... What was her name? Bellanova?— the goddess asked.
—Bellona— Anpiel answered.
—Yes, exactly, her— Ana continued talking.
—She also came to help Thor and company, but in Asgard they told us they haven't seen her. Still, she has not communicated with Pallas or anything like that— she said.
—We're sorry, only Leif Erikson, and later, the Asgardian gods have entered Nitassinan— Sedna commented.
—Could they have entered somewhere else, in some of those kingdoms in the south?— Epona asked intrigued.
—Not without Lel's permission— Sedna commented.
—I have a question— Anpiel interrupted. —What would happen if someone tried to enter the continent from the sky?—.
—The anti-divinity barriers that exist all over the continent, also function as a dimensional shield— Nanook responded.
—If any divine being wants to enter from space, it will be left floating in the stratosphere— he explained.
—The only way to enter the continent is with Lel's permission, or one of the leading gods in this region— Sedna added.
—So you knew all along that we were from Orniskem?— Anpiel asked.
—Yes— Sedna answered. —That's why I had sent my advance to pick you up. But I had to know your intentions first—.
—If the father of the gods of Asgard or your friend entered, they must have done so with the permission of one of the gods in the south— Nanook concluded.
—Damn, we'll have to go to the other kingdoms and ask for Odin and Bellona's whereabouts— Epona commented annoyed.
—Well, we will give you a copy of the map of this region so you know where you are moving— Nanook commented, as he extended a rolled up parchment made of skin, to the gods.
—We appreciate it very much— Anpiel commented as he received the parchment.
At that moment, as if a lightning bolt had fallen, a huge rumble echoed throughout Adlivun.
—What was that?— Rodrigo asked, surprised, as more rumblings were heard.
—It seems we are under attack— Tania said, surprised.
—They must be the Iroquois gods with some stupid request again— Sedna replied as she rose from her throne with an annoyed look.
—Please, great Sedna, don't go— the god in armor interrupted. —Let me handle this—
—Don't worry, they just want to get our attention— the polar goddess replied. —Sawiskera is not foolish enough to start a war against us—
—We will go!— Menrva said as she stood up.
—No, you stay— Sedna replied. —There is a chance that they are looking for you—
—But...— Menrva tried to continue speaking, but was interrupted by Nanook.
—Don't worry, young warriors, but our queen is very strong— the armored god replied enthusiastically.
Meanwhile, on the surface of the planet Adlivun, a tanned-skinned man with slanted eyes, hair tied back in a braid, two white feathers in his head, a necklace of stones shaped like fangs, a white and brown skirt with ornaments, and armed with two knives and a bow was floating. With this bow, the man was shooting several arrows at the mountains that formed the frozen planet, and these, upon hitting the surface, caused terrible tremors.
The planet Adlivun, on the surface, seemed a gigantic ocean filled with islands of ice, icebergs, and several frozen mountains. Outside, it was snowing heavily, and the sky was completely gray.
—If you don't come out immediately, I will be forced to continue my attacks!— the man yelled as he prepared another round of white-feathered arrows taken from his quiver. He was making arrows magically.
The man took eight arrows and prepared them, aiming at a huge frozen mountain range in the middle of the ocean. Suddenly, from a whirlwind that appeared in the ocean, the goddess Sedna appeared majestically.
—Sosondowah, if you have the nerve to attack my lands alone— the polar goddess replied to the call of the archer god.
—My mission is only to come to look for a man you have hidden in your kingdom— replied the hunter god. —If you pretend not to deliver him, then we will be forced to attack you—
At that moment, the sky, which was already gray, darkened completely. Behind the archer god, a red circle with a cross in the middle appeared. Its glow was so powerful that it illuminated the entire planet in a crimson color.
—Come to me, great and powerful Gaasyendietha— Sosondowah shouted.
From within the circle, the head of a gigantic dragon appeared. Its skin was scaly and green, its eyes yellow and it had two huge horns on its head. From its mouth, it panted lava and sulfur; which, upon falling onto the surface, evaporated part of the vast ocean and the icebergs, without passing to the liquid state. But Sedna remained completely unmoved.
—Will you give me the man now? Or do you prefer that Gaasyendietha ravages your little planet?— the archer god asked with a victorious look, while pointing his arrows at the goddess.
—Well, Sosondowah— Sedna calmly replied. —Go and tell Sawiskera...—
At that, the goddess created ice fingers right where she had lost them. The ices detached from her hand and fell into the ocean.
—...that the affairs of my kingdom are persona— the goddess continued to say, when hundreds of ice sculptures of marine animals such as seals, sea lions, fish; even whales began to emerge from the ocean.
Sosondowah saw the hundreds of animals on the ground and started to laugh.
—Do you plan to attack a hunter with animals?— he asked.
Immediately, he took hundreds of arrows from his quiver and placed them on his bow. He then shot them all at once at the ice creatures, which were quickly destroyed. But more and more creatures began to emerge from the ocean, to the point of covering the entire visible surface.
The hunter god continued to launch rounds of hundreds of arrows, but the creatures kept appearing.
Desperate, the god shouted to the gigantic dragon behind him: —Gaasyendietha, finish them all!—
But, to his surprise, the ice animals immediately raised their gaze to the invaders, and with imperceptible speed, they attacked as if they were ice knives.
The attacks quickly decapitated the gigantic dragon, while its breath froze. On the other hand, Sosondowah was pierced by hundreds of animal-knives without being able to move. Each time he was cut, his body was frozen, until he finally became an ice statue floating in the air.
The attacks stopped and the ice animals disappeared. The statue of Sosondowah floated with a look of agony, while the gigantic dragon had disappeared, being invoked out of that place before it died.
—If Sawiskera wants to negotiate, go and tell him to come— the goddess said, while three ice fingers reappeared from her injured hand, and these were shot at the statue of the hunter god, breaking it into pieces.
But Sosondowah was recovered, without any injury. However, he realized the enormous power of the goddess, and after calming his breath from the fright, he stored his huge bow.
—I am just a messenger, rest assured that there will be repercussions for disobeying Sawiskera's orders— the hunter replied with an angry and frustrated look.
—We will wait for him here. We will not give you anyone!— Sedna shouted resolutely, as Sosondowah flew away across the surface until he disappeared.
—Thank goodness, they still don't know that the members of Orniskem are here, but we must hurry— the polar goddess thought with a smile.