Template:PostDuring a bacchanalia, Pan Post 8 sees drunk gods arguing over who is the most powerful. Ares, the God of War, makes for a crusade against the Angels of Ordimar in vengeance for the mortal death of his son, Nick, who is now miserable that he's a god and not with his mortal friends. Runekeeper then appears on Mount Olympus and asks Nick where he can find Thoth. Hermes Trismegistus, instead, appears and they discuss the nature of Earth's magic. Hermes agrees to reveal the locations of Earth's nexus nodes if he is permitted to view a single page of Runekeeper's book. Hermes, however, has speed beyond comprehension and he is able to read the entire book in a second so that Runekeeper thinks he only read a single page.


Parties & Politics

On Mount Olympus, the gods are partying. This is not unusual; gods always party, particularly the old gods of Earth, who no longer have any worshippers to attend to. The Monkey King is challenging all comers to a dance-off; Bacchus is passing out endless kegs of maenad wine; Quetzlcoatl is loudly proclaiming his feathered ensemble to be more colorful and fashionable than anyone else's getup.

Ares: Son, you have GOT to loosen up.

Ares, the Greek god of war, has a wench on his lap and holds another in his arm, drinking from a golden goblet with his other hand. His son, Nick the God of Jam Doughnuts, is picking at some nectar-berries off his plate.

Nick: I miss my friends, Dad.

Until recently, Nick was a mortal demigod, and member in good standing of Earth's premier super team, Hero Force One. Killed in the line of duty by a treacherous angel from another planet, his father Ares appealed to Zeus to grant him divinity and thereby restored life.

Ares: Forget them! There are all sorts of hot chicks who would love to get with you. I've seen Amaterasu giving you the eye all night, and I bet the Norns--

Nick: I dunno. Not really feeling it.

Ares: Still bound by the memories of your mortal days. Well, only one thing to do!

Nick brightens.

Nick: Go visit my old friends?

Ares: Don't be daft. No, we've got to declare a crusade on those alien angels from Ordimar who killed you, and get your revenge!!!

Nick: But--

It's too late. Ares is already rounding up his furies, and gods of war from other ancient pantheons are joining in, eager for any excuse to fight. The party continues in full swing despite their departure. Nick sighs and continues to brood.

Amaterasu: Hey, baby, want some company?

Nick: Not really, no.

He thinks of his former teammate, Magick Snowflakes, and misses her.

Amaterasu: Don't be like that. Just think of all that the most powerful deity can do for you...

Horus-Re overhears the Japanese sun goddess's bold claim, and instantly objects.

Horus-Re: Full stop, wench! You may hold authority over the sun, but I rule over both the sun AND the underworld!

Amaterasu bristles, but before she can reply, Zeus cuts in.

Zeus: That's small potatoes, Horus-Re. In my pantheon, the gods of the sun and the underworld are BOTH subservient to ME!

Horus-Re glares, but more gods are drawn into the argument.

Odin: If we're going by that logic, Zeus, then I'm superior to you, the god of sky and thunder, as the thunder god in my pantheon is ruled by ME!

Argument breaks out in full force between several drunken deities, and Nick sighs, extricating himself from the mess and finding himself another seat.

Runekeeper: Excuse me.

Nick turns to see a god he doesn't recognize; not an uncommon occurrence, given how many deities there are.

Nick: What do you want?

Runekeeper: I am the Runekeeper, god of all magic in the NeSiverse. I would like to speak to Thoth, but I can't seem to find anyone in all this ruckus. Do you know where I can find him?

Nick: Um... I'm not really sure, actually.

There is a slight whoosh of displaced air, and Hermes Trismegistus - super god-mage with few equals in the arts of wizardry - appears.

Hermes Trismegistus: Thoth rarely partakes in these bacchanalias. He is most likely reading. But what you seek from him can also likely be obtained from me.

Runekeeper: Trismegistus. You are powerful, but I require knowledge. I seek the god over Terran magic. Despite your aptitude for it, you do not rule over all magic on this planet.

Hermes Trismegistus chuckles.

Hermes Trismegistus: If that is what you seek, then you shall be disappointed. There is no singular god of magic over Earth. Surely you can sense the wild nature of the quintessential weave here.

The Runekeeper frowns.

Runekeeper: The ley lines were ordered when last I was here.

Hermes Trismegistus: Indeed, once upon a time they were, a lattice of thrumming power centered on Atlantis.

The Runekeeper scowls.

Runekeeper: That ley center should have been Mega Jonestown Prime's, not usurped by your WriterGod's chosen city.

Hermes Trismegistus shrugs.

Hermes Trismegistus: He's not my WriterGod. Anyway, there were a succession of Atlantean archmages, many of whom might have succeeded at taming the ley lines to their will, but none attempted such divinity so far as I know; for they all revered the WriterGod, almost monotheistically.

Runekeeper: Your Atlantis fell. Why has no god over magic arisen since then.

Hermes Trismegistus: Atlantis's destruction was so catastrophic, that it ruptured the ley lines. There is now no single supernexus, but a collection of lesser supernexes. Therefore magic is wild and fractured here; it answers to magecraft without difficulty, but would be practically impossible to rule over it entirely.

Runekeeper: How... odd. Where are the current supernexes?

Hermes Trismegistus: That would be telling, wouldn't it?

Runekeeper: Do not play games with me, Trismegistus. My power far outstrips yours.

Hermes Trismegistus: And you seek to add Earth's magic to your domain. Why should I assist you?

Runekeeper: Earth's magic was mine to begin with! Along with Aeon and the Three Cosmic Fates, I forged this world and its destiny and its ley weave, centering the very universe upon it.

Hermes has a slight smirk upon his face.

Hermes Trismegistus: It must be frustrating, no? Like ruling an entire country EXCEPT for its capital city.

The Runekeeper says nothing, refusing to rise to the bait.

Hermes Trismegistus: I shall give you the information you seek...but you must let me look at your Book.

He gestures to the large bound book that the Runekeeper carries, connected by a chain to a manacle on the god's wrist. The Runekeeper recoils at the suggestion.

Runekeeper: Certainly not! I can find these lesser supernexes on my own quite easily.

Hermes Trismegistus: Then why did you bother asking? Perhaps...because Earth's wild fractured quintessence frazzles your own spell-senses?

He smirks again. The Runekeeper is expressionless, but finally says.

Runekeeper: Very well. I shall show you ONE page.

Hermes Trismegistus: We have a deal. The ruins of Atlantis remain a nexus, albeit not as uber and all-encompassing as it once was. Doughnutdelf, in England, another. A spot in France, upon which the Magium was built for precisely that reason. A remote outpost in Antarctica, where ancient hedrons older than the universe lay. Shangri-La, in Asia. And a house in America.

The Runekeeper takes in this information silently, then nods. He flips open his Book to a page, Hermes watching closely, then turns the Book to show the page to the super god-mage. Hermes smiles in triumph.

Runekeeper: I trust you are satisfied.

Hermes Trismegistus smiles. He is slyer than the Runekeeper knows. As a god of phenomenal superspeed - this divinity which he possessed long before he ever took up the study of magecraft - his senses process faster as well... and he caught glimpses of all the pages that the Runekeeper leafed through.

Hermes Trismegistus: Quite.


Al Ciao's Commentary

"I wanted to return to the roots of Pan being an outlet for bickering deities, and threw in an old idea of mine about deities in comparative mythology to begin said bickering about supremacy.

I also wished to establishe who controls magic on Earth - that is, no one does. Britt used the nexus information that Hermes Trismegistus gave the Runekeeper in order to write the Second Cataclysm of Magic, and I was most pleased to see another writer spin something off a story element I introduced." - Al Ciao the Writer