The ABC drabblet collection that people sometimes do. Partially inspired by diamondmist's daeva ABCs.
Generally post-AV3. Posting this in increments of ten because I'm too tired to write more at the moment.
Note: If someone is referred to as “their”, but it's just one person, it means that the being in question has no gender. Dang English for not having gender-neutral singular pronouns. I try to summarize any necessary backstory so you won't be head-scratching and going all “Whuh, what happened there?”. If I missed any explanations at all, feel free to ask me.
A is for Alcoholic
Tawrich never spent a day without alcohol when he was human, and the lack of a digestive system in his skeletal demon form would not make him break that habit (well, there was no such thing as “days” in the Demon Realm, so he just asked for a drink to be delivered to him whenever he felt like it, but still). It's always funny to watch the faces new attendants make when they saw him drink, the liquid running through his hollow body and splashing all over the floor.
B is for Burden
It was one of those moments when Agas found himself wanting to torch the entire pile of paperwork before him and be done with them. He was a daeva. He could damn well do that if he so wanted it, but Aesma's constant insistence that Agas take care of everything properly had been ingrained in him so deeply that he couldn't bring himself to do it. How he wished he could. After the whole Ahriman fiasco, the reports he had to deal with had multiplied by a dozen, most of them about uprisings in various districts. Not to mention the pointless paperwork, completely unrelated to security and/or the armed forces, that the other daevas sometimes tried to dump on him. Those he promptly sent back to the responsible daeva. Stamping yet another document with his seal, Agas wondered just why would anyone even want to take over the world. In his opinion, the burden one had to carry far outweighs the merits of being in power.
C is for Children
“Will you stop doing that?” Indra snapped at the little creatures on the floor.
The green creature looked up from the slime puddle it had been splashing in. It stared back at her with its big, round eyes and giggled. Then it began to make bigger splashes. Its twin, a lighter shade of green, ignored her and continued poking at a slime blob it had in its hand.
Indra scowled. The green creature had, for some reason or another, suddenly spewed a load of slime from its mouth. It then proceeded to jump into the puddle and play with it, spraying the slime everywhere. Thankfully the pale green one didn't make as big a mess as its twin.
Muttering expletives, Indra turned the slime puddle into a ball, trapping the green creature's body and leaving its head sticking out on top. The creature wiggled around inside the solidified slime, then tried to jump. The slime, stuck to its body, jumped with it. The creature giggled again.
“Good riddance,” Indra muttered, watching the creature bounce out of the room happily with its twin trailing behind.
Ever since she first saw Agas, it was firmly planted in Indra's mind that “children” meant “useless, loud beings that only served to give you a headache”. If she had believed in karma, she would have said that her current predicament was a result of bad karma. Except she didn't, so the only reasonable reason why she was stuck with these two uncontrollable brats that tumbled out of her body was caused by the goddess pulling a prank on her for some reason or another.
D is for Druid
Sometimes Nanghaithya wondered what would it be like if he were a druid. Rashnu had always said that between the two of them, people would be more inclined to believe that Rashnu was the daeva and Nanghaithya the druid. Maybe if he asked nicely enough the Oracle would let them trade places for one day.
E is for Exercise
If Gyendal had known that agreeing to join the army unit would mean spending more than half his time being practically enslaved, he would have chosen the dungeons.
Not too long after his sister sent him flying into the Demon Realm, he had been arrested for being in possession of the Staff of Destiny, which was apparently a forbidden artifact. After a grueling interrogation, he received additional charges for assisting Mordred Darkthrop's attempt in taking over the world. The guards had then told him that he could get off lightly because it wasn't his fault that he stumbled across the staff or that he didn't know that participating in world domination was against the law, but he still had to accept punishment as a warning to be more careful when dealing with Demon Realm's inhabitants. He had been given the option of being thrown to jail or serving under ther military as penance when he was arrested. He didn't like either option, but there wasn't much he could do.
Gyendal had decided to choose the military because he thought he might have a better chance at escaping. It was a choice he regretted when he received the schedule of menial duties he was supposed to perform.
“It's exercise, because you didn't pass the physical test,” the troop leader had told him when he protested, “Daeva Agas' orders.”
As it were, the so-called exercise involved lugging huge sacks of goddess-knows-what and feeding dragons with them; cleaning up dragons' pens; hauling eggs of these odd bird-like creatures from their nests to the incubation huts while dodging the angry parents' attacks; cleaning up in libraries and laboratories; and many other weird activities.
It wasn't his fault that he wasn't very strong physically. Father had always insisted he focus on training his magic and physical training is for the women. (At some point he had suspected that there was something wrong with that logic, and he regretted not following his instincts)
He made a mental note to find this “daeva Agas” and make a complain at some point.
F is for Flames
Saurva was so frequently seen wielding fire that to many it had practically became a part of him. Heat followed him wherever he goes; he was not only guardian of the flame, but the flame itself was him, some would say. Not many knew of the fact that that could nbot be further from the truth (really, he did not purposely make fire burst from the ground when he accidentally stepped a little too hard). It wasn't like he had trouble controlling his power. No, not at all. It's just that the element was a little too attached to his emotions that it could manifest itself at the most unfortunate of times. While he didn't mind the skewed perception others had of him, Saurva would much rather that he was not identified quite so closely to fire. He hated the heat, and he would rather his quarters were not heated up so much by eager-to-please attendants, dangit!
G is for Gossip
“Do you know if the gossip is true, sir?” the officer asked in a whisper, barely containing the eagerness in their voice.
Tawrich set down his tankard. If he had eyebrows they would be raised. His officers never talked about rumours. At least not directly to him, even when he was “officially off-duty”.
Every once in a while he would declare himself “off-duty” to go down to the local taverns or the army's barracks to drink. It wasn't as much fun drinking alone. At first, his presence created an awkward atmosphere in the establishment. Partly because of the mess he always makes when he drinks, and partly because he was a daeva. It took everyone some time to get used to Tawrich being there and not act all strict and formal around him.
“What gossip?” Tawrich finally asked.
“About daeva Indra.”
“Never heard of any,” he said with a shrug. “What's it about?”
The officer scratched their head. “Uh, I heard it from one of the capital's patrols. Something about the daeva Indra giving birth?”
Tawrich's jaw dropped.
“I mean, with all due respect, the daeva Indra looks like she was one of those water elementals. Them elementals don't usually spawn children,” the officer added nervously.
If Tawrich had eyes, he would have blinked. Then he proceeded to laugh uncontrollably. Maybe he would inquire about the truth later. Emphasize on “later”. After he's done laughing. Which would take quite a while.
H is for History
In the beginning, the daevas were simply guardians of the elements. They took care of the realm and preferred to remain secluded. For a long time, Ashth Pereth was under the rule of the Sun King. Then everything changed when the king was assassinated. Ashth Pereth was thrown into chaos as lords and generals waged war to claim the right for the throne. So great a war it was, that the lands were rent asunder. Mountains were flattened and islands drowned and great chasms split the earth. Two daevas fell in the battle, and the realm was nearly destroyed from the war. The goddess, fearing that the war will destroy both the realm of Man and Shadows, whispered a solution to one of the new daevas: to gather the seven daevas and use their powers to stop the war. The young daeva listened and did as the goddess told. No army could stand against the full extent of the guardians' combined power, and so the great war was stopped and the realm was saved from destruction. The daevas divided the lands amongst themselves and worked together to rule the land. Under the rule of the daevas, Ashth Pereth was rebuilt and returned to its former glory.
I is for Inebriated
Earlier, Tawrich had met Aesma in the library to ask a question, but could not stop laughing long enough to form the words. Aesma suggested that Tawrich come back later when he has calmed down a little. Naturally, the blasted skeleton took it as an excuse to drag Aesma out for a drink. Somewhere along the way, Kelloth and one of the new human recruits somehow got dragged along.
Aesma had insisted that he get to order the drink, because if he was going to be forced to drink it better be something he enjoyed, and Tawrich obliged. He chose his favourite: the Akatash brew. Made with the wyrd vegetables and the lava-like waters of the swamps native to the Eastern wastelands, served cold. It had a distinctly strong taste that was hard to find anywhere else.
The drink arrived, and the daevas helped themselves to some. The humans stared awkwardly at the liquor and didn't take any.
“Now, what was the question?” Aesma asked.
Tawrich seemed frozen, and at that moment Aesma really hated the stoic skull that betrayed no expression. Tawrich suddenly shook his head, then swayed on his seat and nearly fell off.
Tawrich, having managed to stable himself, stared back. Then promptly began to sing.
The humans looked at each other with pained expressions on their faces. Kelloth then mumbled something about Agas and hastily walked out of the tavern with the newbie in tow.
Aesma couldn't blame the two for escaping. Everyone in the tavern was staring at them. When he caught the words “kisses” and “sunshine” and “flowers” among the song's lyrics, he realized that Tawrich was drunk. For the longest time, he had been under the impression that Tawrich couldn't get drunk because the liquor would just splash through his body and not have any effect at all. Now Aesma knew that the Akatash brew does, in fact, still have alcoholic effects on the skeleton.
I need to keep this in mind, Aesma thought as he cast Motion Freeze on Tawrich and hauled him away.
J is for Jealous
It's a common knowledge that Demon Realm's magic items were generally more advanced than the magic items from the human world. Nanghaithya could never figure out how his enigmatic cousin Rashnu managed to create things that were far more complex than anything Nanghaithya had ever seen. His cousin was the only one who could ever make him feel like a novice all over again, and as much as Nanghaithya hated to admit it, he was jealous of Rashnu.
Indra has babies! Gyendal is serving penance in the military! Saurva hates fire and Tawrich is a drunkard! Oh my word!
That Gyendal one is something I've mentioned before, but I wouldn't blame anyone who hasn't come across it yet or have forgotten. The Indra one... Um. Because somebody gave me ideas and I thought it would be funny to write how bad of a mother my Indra is. Compared to... well, some other mommy!Indras that may exist out there somewhere *cough*
Also, short history of Demon Realm. Or rather, the "daeva court". Woohoo.