1 As The Legend Goes

There was a time when humanity was nothing more than a simple after-thought, a meager existence, mediocre in creation compared to the other creatures that once dominated the mortal realm known as Terra.

It was certain that such a cheap and weak species surely wouldn't survive. Not compared to creatures like the Fae whose poised elegance and adaptability made them expert survivalists. Not compared to dragons who soared through the sky, snake-like bodies swimming in open air, untouched by the dangers of the ground.

Humanity especially couldn't compare to the Gods. So how could they survive?

You see, while creatures had hopes of being able to compete with each other and sustain a sliver of common ground, humans were nothing more than the dirt under their shoes, perhaps even lesser than that in their eyes. Yet these creatures were nothing more than a wick to the erupting volcano that was the Gods.

This perception, in turn, equated humanity to less than the ash that fell from that wick.

What a cruel fate for an existence so young. It had not even unfurled its wings from its cocoon, and was already destined to die. The purpose of their existence lacking, with clipped wings humanity was mocked and downtrodden, robbed of their breath.

This was the first mistake.

With a grievance that could rival the cries of all the Heavens and Hells, humanity turned their backs to the creatures who would not even shed a tear of mercy for them. Those creatures becoming the center of their suffering. A suffering so deep it had led them to the brink of death. Willful, they kneeled before the Gods and pleaded:

"Please, save us! If you do, we'll be in your debt!"

Yet, the Gods looked on with apathy. A stark contrast to the meek desperation that proliferated the air.

Why would the humans come to them? They chose to stay out of such trivial matters, viewing themselves above it, but not out of a sense of superiority.

It was out of fear.

They had their own matters to deal with, and a creature had never dared before beg to a God. And for what reason? Relief? Relief from the Fate they had been given? Practically destined for? Who were the Gods to go against something as clean cut as Fate? Doing such a thing would no doubt bring a backlash of Karma. As powerful as the Gods were, not even they would dare test Fate. Even then, some of the Gods reeled their head back in laughter finding amusement in the woes of humanity that couldn't and wouldn't be answered.

It was truly a hopeless situation. But somehow humanity still hoped, as if everyone had a right to live. As if they were entitled to it. Peculiar fickle things they were.

So as humanity kowtowed before them ignoring the scrutiny cast upon them, suddenly one of the Gods stepped forward. Hair made from the rays of a rising sunset, robes of white and gold shrouding this figure of divinity - they allowed themself to be seen. Humanity could only bow their head in anticipation and dread.

This God could see the desperation in humanity's eyes, and although a God could not feel sympathy, this God felt pity. After all this young species had been through, how could this God not feel pity?

Since the creatures that the humans were mocked by would not show mercy, perhaps a higher and more omnipotent being would. So of course they would come and kowtow to them. They wished to appeal to the ruling overlords of Terra for a change of fate. A fate that humanity thought these rulers could shuffle when others couldn't. Because if they didn't, they would surely perish.

As this God of Rebirth stood before them, all of what was left of the scraps of humanity were unable to gaze upon the God or else their eyes would burn from divinity. Then the God simply turned, gaze dropping over the barren land they stood on, back turned to both the Gods and the humans. No one dared breathe.

The God did not speak though. To allow a species weak as humans hear them speak, they would surely bleed from their orifices. So instead, this God was the one who dared to take a deep breath, ignoring the cries of reluctance and warning from the other Gods, ignoring the laughter that was immediately stifled from the great peaks of mountains they sat on. It turned into sheer panic, then mute shock as the God exhaled on the barren land.

Before them, the lifeless deserted terrain was uplifted, dreary rocks turning to fertile dirt, grass appearing along with plentiful trees. The inhabitable land was turned into a haven meant for the humans in a tsunami of Rebirth made of blinding white light.

The humans wept as their grievances were answered and their fate changed, while this daring God become the first to not change fate, but test it.

This was the second mistake.

If a God answered to their call did it not make sense that more of their prayers would be answered? What was one more prayer in the grand scheme of things? Soon, greed became well associated for humanity as they built temples for various Gods, seeking prayers of selfishness disguised as modesty and humbleness in such places.

But behind closed doors, worship was nothing more than a tool for their benefit.

Even the Gods were fooled, treasuring the temples built for them, some even blushing as they answered prayers that were nothing more than honey-coated shards of glass. They didn't think much of it because this change of Fate seemed to only bring plentiful good things. From offerings of food, treasure, and incense sticks, they failed to realize their control on the land was slipping as humanity expanded, reaching outward for reasons of both greed and sheer curiosity.

No one could understand the complexity of humanity, so how would they know that a viper was lurking in the rose petal bushes? They were truly all fooled.

By winning the favor of the Gods, humanity became respected, able to intermingle with other species and evolve. Through this, they gained magic that they were previously not able to obtain, humans even bedding some creatures such as Elves and Fairies, new offspring coming to light, but most definitely still human.

It was then that humanity found themselves above the creatures that used to spit on them.

And it was then that they striked against the other creatures that they falsely befriended.

The Gods went into a uproar, the scent of blood permuting the air across all the lands on Terra as rivers ran red, corpses of innocent life filling the sea. It didn't take them long to turn to the God who once dared to change the fate of humanity, the God forced to look on in shame at what their own action had done, for Karma had finally struck.

It was amazing how the mistake of not showing mercy to a species already destined to die, led to humanity kowtowing in front of the Gods. The second mistake being the action of mercy by a God who simply let out a single breath to change fate, the breath saving humanity out of pity, which then led to the merciless slaughter of other creatures as humanity scrambled for dominance. The Gods could taste the bitter irony.

"Go and fix this!" They roared at the God of Rebirth who could only tremble under their gaze. This God's one act of salvation having turned into an act of destruction, was revolting for them. A single breath of grace that has now lead to bloodshed, for that breath had been turned into one of calamity. With this in mind, there was no fixing anything. There could only be retribution.

So as the God was pushed down from the tallest mountain peak, black flames erupting across their skin, they struck down on Terra below, and the slaughter turned into complete annihilation.

This was the final mistake.

From the ashes, human spite rose, and they did not hesitate to topple the temples of the Gods they once worshiped. The temples no longer had use for them except to simmer their rage as they were demolished. The flames that rose were cheered on, humanity adding more to the fire and insult. Their false worship paled in comparison to these actions. Not even ruins were left of the temples.

With this, it became apparent that there was no longer a place for the Gods in this world. It wasn't even spoken or discussed, it simply became fact for all of them as they turned and looked to the Heavens and Hells as a place of refuge, for Terra was no longer theirs. It belonged to humanity.

With this, they shamefully ripped open the Heavens and Hells, chasms appearing all across Terra as fiery magma rised, devils and demons alike forced into the world as they were evicted from their homes. And from the skies, burning stars fell, as angels whose wings had been burned off from the sky fell from down from the Heavens. Having been thrown out there was nothing left for them to do but fall. And fall they did.

The Rise and Fall lasted seven days, Terra turned into chaos as humanity was met with new adversaries, and it truly became a living hell. With the Heavens and Hells locked by the Gods, the archaic creatures that once acted dependent on the Gods started to fade amidst the execution stage that became every day existence.

Dragons, Kitsunes, the legendary Roc, and Phoinex had been left to wither on Terra by the Gods, unable to adapt.

"Why didn't you take us with you? Have you no mercy?" The archaic creatures cried, seeking a change of fate that had been handcrafted for them by the Gods. But lessons had been learned, so history did not repeat itself.

The Gods did not answer to their pleads.

Neglected, weary heads could only lay down to die.

Time was the only thing that healed the past. Time helped distance memories and wounds, even leading to forgetfulness as new generations were born, the past becoming nothing more than a legend.

As humans and other creatures reached peace, how could such a legend be true? With the harmony that rung out between the later generations that were spared of the terror of the Rise and the Fall, and it's aftermath, denial of it ever actually happening led to an ignorant bliss.

The Gods were myths. Therefore the Legend couldn't possibly be real.

With this, time moved forward, humans co-existing as urban life soon developed. Angels were neighbors with devils, humans could go out for a bite to eat with their siren colleagues (most likely lured just so they could pay for them), the person sitting next to you on the subway could even be a ghoul.

But there was naturally species who preferred to remain secluded.

Vampires had long disappeared into the shadows, forming their own society underneath the one that already existed. Perfectly hidden in plain sight.

The Elder Fae, which were the closest thing to the Gods in the legends, locked themselves away, protecting the ancient texts of long ago, studying and devoting their lives to scribes. They were nothing more than scholars that built great towering libraries and seemed to never leave them, preferring seclusion.

In the 20th century the Paranormal Containment Division was created and instated in this new and broad society. They dealt with mysterious and dangerous Paranormal cases, such as putting ghosts to rest, containing situations where magical powers got out of hand, equipped to deal with a vast multitude of things for they were the Police of this new world.

And it was their research division that categorized different species in 'realms', based on potential power. It helped society conform to a system.

Most didn't say their species, just what Realm they were from. It helped put forward a sense of privacy, although most of the time it was easy to tell what species someone was if they had horns or a pair of feathery wings.

And with this new system, a new bright and shining society, a new blissful existence emerged, the 21st century brought forward, continuing seamlessly as every other century before.

But a penny is paid to every fool who forgets the past.

For Karma is a bitch.