The fourth section of the Ontiba contains six chapters. The first chapter tells the story of the remaining time between when the last Deities were created and the Timekeeping Reset from Haket’s point of view. The remaining chapters cover the life of the five kets: Roa, Niu, Lue, Mao, and Key.
1: After Death comes Haket. In the small details was Haket. In the large view was Haket. In the first times of peace after the birth, small fissures of chaos were sewn. Each of us Eight could not complete our domains alone. In this act of opening ourselves and our creations in request for aid we revealed our weakest points. The worst of these were shown to Haket by other Ontautt, and though he did not take note they could not be forgotten from Haket’s mind.
15: Peace was undone when Destruction had outlasted the need for his creation. All Eight were not to die. We were both Death and Life, both Creation and Destruction. As years passed and the Eight matured, the need for Destruction to erase their mistakes was not a view that endured. Maturity led to desires of working with one’s mistakes and to grow with and past them. Destruction realized it was this maturity that had left him uninterrupted for years.
29: After Death came Haket. Passed to Haket from Destruction was news that Trickery had created a death as punishment. This death was not Death. A forgery. Still, life outside this death could not go on. Haket was called after Death could not take the souls of those in the fake-death. Haket would try to meet with the souls of the fake-dead and pass on life experience as he would if Death had taken them. Instead, Haket found himself inside a star with Death, Knowledge, and Nature. They were trapped inside.
44: The Unending Light robbed Haket of the sensation of the passage of time. Knowledge had a plan of escape. Igniting herself in flames, she melded with the star that formed their prison. This too took time, but soon the star no longer hummed with her presence. She could take on Destruction. In the Unending Light, time passed, Haket was sure.
53: Haket did not notice Knowledge in her departure, but at once Haket was sure that Trickery had escaped from the prison too. He could not surmise how she had left, though he did not know the same for Knowledge either. The power of fire was hers to control, among several others. Perhaps she wielded some unknown power or ability in order to meld herself with their prison and eventually make her escape.
66: Haket had much time to reflect on Omneutta and his past while in the Unending Light. Reaching into his own mind, Haket could see the past through the eyes of those souls he had carried on. It was clear eventually to Haket what Destruction had done—built a star, and tricked the rest including Trickery herself inside, and sealed the planet around the star.
77: Omneutta shook with great violence and Unending Light was torn asunder. Haket looked out to the star-planets and caught glimpses of both Knowledge and Destruction emerging from two separate star-planet prisons. Each emerged changed in appearance but Haket knew the patterns of thoughts that made up the two instantly. Once both Destruction and Knowledge could see their own imprisonment had passed they fought. Violent explosions of colliding force shook Omneutta repeatedly. Creation, Death, Haket, Nature, and Balance did their best to intervene. Far from the fray was Trickery, alone.
95: Haket saw amongst himself and the other Ontautt changes in form as time passed. No longer were they clothed and bound to simple forms by the tools of Creation. Haket’s body soon bore wings from his back and the interior became hollow and flowing in his wake. His spirit billowed out the bottom of his cloak, though it appeared hollow elsewhere. His wings were long tendrils from Haket’s back.
107: It was in this time that Haket saw each Ontautt change, that their fighting slowly moved from central Omneutta where they had broken free to Omneutta’s fringes where they pushed at the edges with their violence. Knowledge and Destruction chased one another around the edges with most of the Ontautt in tow. Creation and the other Four sought to push away violence from what was left of our peaceful creations, but not far enough that what existed beyond the influence of creation might be disturbed. The Creator’s sole defense was creation. He would not or could not wield the violence born of Destruction and Knowledge.
126: It was ultimately an act of creation by Nature that ceased the violence. Wielded as its own violence, Nature brought into existence an entirely new material. When the hot violence of Knowledge was thrust on this material it did not break, but instead created more of itself as the harsh and cold environment of space cooled it immediately. Haket knew that Nature would seek to hold the other Ontautt in this manner, confident that if the flames of Knowledge could not break free than no violence hoisted upon it by other Ontautt would.
144: Haket knew that if it were not the Creator, the Nurturer would be the most sensible choice to rebuild Omneutta in the wake of such a long period of violence. Haket acquiesced and was the second Ontautt to be imprisoned in this new material. This prison was different than the star that had been made together by Destruction and Trickery. In this, he could keep his mind on Nature’s spirit. Haket was not surprised that she had little difficulty in capturing the others. He could feel frustration in her and felt freedom from Sham’ayn. Trickery it seemed, had not been imprisoned.
163: Time passed until this no longer frustrated Nature, but the sense of freedom in Trickery’s self was felt. She was holding on to this feeling, but Haket felt it nonetheless. The Nurturer went about restoring Omneutta and Haket relaxed into this confinement. Suddenly, he felt Nature fade. Haket strained to sense her consciousness among the void.
174: This too took much time, and when the Winged One had found his sister’s mind it was strained. Barely latched on to her body, Haket was consumed with worry. Haket was unsure he could reconnect her soul to her being. Perhaps Death could instead.
181: Death! As he thought of Death, Haket found his spirit drained. Unlike the Nurturer, Death’s spirit was not separating from his body but was shriveling inside it. Death’s energy was running out; Death was dying. With haste Haket spread his wings with such a force that he found himself no longer caged. It could not expand evenly in as many directions as his wings could push, though he believed it nearly indestructible otherwise. He would fashion a staff from this material, but left it broken to remember the division that violence had caused amongst the Eight Ontautt.
199: Free from imprisonment, spirits across Omneutta called to him. Haket could just barely stand the burden. Looking across the stars of space, it was clear Nature had spent much of her time rebuilding and repopulating planet- stars and star-planets with the life they had in times of peace. Haket always came after Death, and Death had taken much of this new life without care to their souls. Across the portion of Omneutta that she had rebuilt, dead were strewn about. Many whose bodies had long since broken apart still had spirits tethered to what little remained. In some cases, spirits attached themselves to descendants’ bodies.
218: When Haket was finished learning the lessons of the spirits’ lives, he set out to find Nature. The Winged One had kept her condition in the back of his mind for much time, but this was running out for her. Once Nature’s body was found Haket called out to her spirit. The trees around the Nurturer shed leaves and grew anew several times over as Haket called to her spirit. Haket knew that he was not the strongest or smartest of the Eight. Haket thought surely another of the Ontautt would break free of their prison soon.
234: Haket took Nature’s body to the center of Omneutta as quickly as possible without detaching the spirit from the body. The Orrery would be Haket’s fastest route to Death. When he arrived Haket found an odd crystalline structure covering entryway. Haket thrust his staff into the ground and the crystals were lit by a brilliant light from within until they withered from where they stood. He raced into the cave to find Trickery in the corner. Her spirit was weak like that of Death. But like the crystal door Haket did not have the time.
251: After finding the light that stood for Death in the chamber, Haket flew Nature to where he knew Death to be. His spirit was drained, Death was exhausted. The Deity was also unwilling. Nature had created too much life without regard to the load Omneutta could withstand, according to Death. Haket slammed his staff into the ground once more and shone a bright upon Death. The once unwilling relented, and the two worked to reunite the spirit and body of the Nurturer whole.
266: The Nurturer was not revived a moment too soon. Omneutta shook around them just as she stood on her feet again and regained her senses. The others broke free of their prisons nearly at once and the second period of chaos began. It first was an attempt at the containment of Destruction. Pent up differences inherent between the Eight were exacerbated by many disagreements over how to contain the wanton Deity drove all Eight against each other. At the end of this second time of violence, Destruction again prevailed; he was again alone.
284: With brute force the Deities were cast into another realm at Destruction’s hands. This region was blank and not unlike what Aster had told them of the beginnings of Omneutta. At their present size they were impossibly cramped. No matter how much they reduced themselves the feeling continued. Haket and Death were worn down from the previous years, and the rest were hardly in better shape. With a combined effort the seven Ontautt stretched the boundaries of this realm until it no longer compressed them into each other.
300: In this realm and in their tired states they discussed the event of the years since their creation. The long-term goal for the Deities must be peace amongst themselves and peace in Omneutta. None of them would be satisfied without large- scale, long-term peace. Destruction was an obstacle to these plans and would have to be considered. He had the power to remove them from Omneutta, and pending their return, would likely be displeased with the majority’s desire for eternal Omneuttian peace.
315: As it was centuries prior, Aster was the first to find his way back to Omneutta, bringing the others in after him. It took all seven of their combined powers, abilities, and skills of persuasion to subdue the Deity. Eventually Destruction was persuaded to assume his original and relatively powerless form. Still, he was a Deity and their work would only last as long as Destruction was persuaded to not pursue his purer form.
330: Destruction did not remain in the confined form. Over the next several years the Ontautt would again and again reunite to subdue Destruction. After many repetitions of this cycle, Trickery conceived of a medallion that would bind the troublesome Deity to the original form and reduce his thoughts towards removing it.
341: After six peaceful years, Aster came to Haket and the other Ontautt with plans to rebuild Omneutta as it was when they shared it before the violence. Death and Knowledge contributed to the records to be kept as the Eight rebuilt from the center out. Destruction was not satisfied and destroyed their records hall with a single blow. Together all Eight rose again, creating a paradise for each Deity. It took them several years of their collective power holding them in stasis, but the completed compound would have a section where Destruction could rein freely and unchecked without imparting his violence on others. The great hall built on top of this area would be known Ttimeaut, and the Deities would council within its purpose built main chamber.
365: Aster told Haket and the rest that their homes across Omneutta led to their separation from each other spiritually as well as physically. They all knew this to be true. Aster continued, revealing homes for each of them on this star-planet, surrounding this center continent known as Eupeaaurt. On the surrounding continents, each Deity would find themselves with temporary portions of Aster’s powers to reshape the land as they saw fit— they could build their own ideal world for themselves here and remain close.
381: Aster clapped his hands together and with a thunderous boom, the Eight were seated in the central chamber. Each Deity sat in a throne that suited them and their appearance, and each in front of a tapestry that bore their form, associated colours, and what each had made for themselves in Omneutta. Trickery stood first to the surprise of the Seven. She proposed a vow that bound all Eight to their promises of peace, including Destruction. She brought forth a cauldron from the air and with the aid of Justice the two crafted a mixture. All Eight, led by Aster, let their blood and took a vow that would bind them into peace and cooperation. There would be no violence among them.
402: Ninetey years passed in times of peace and prosperity. There was space on Ttimeaut for each of them to conduct their activities in and keep records of their work. For Death, as more time passed and the natural life began to spread the task became too much. Creation and Death unveiled a new species with minds of their own—sentience— but in the image of Death. They were to assist the Deity in his many tasks. In time and to Haket’s prediction, Knowledge was interested in having workers of her own to assist in the development and the execution of new research.
420: Each of the Deities had a Sentient Species made in their image one by one, including Destruction. Haket too was soon overwhelmed with the number of spirits needing to be removed from their bodies, especially in light of certain Deities having unique preferences in what to do with their creations. For a year Aster and Haket met over his species to be called Kettlah. Haket was exact on how the Kettlah would help him. The five would be similar in that they were clearly his children, but distinct enough to be seen as five true individuals.
438: The five Kettlah would look after the souls of the past, look towards the future, manage the present Omneutta and keep the spirit of the Tribe—Kettlah that would spring forth from these five. They were to live between the gates connecting the future and the past, tethered to tethered to the present through their travel across Omneutta with their parent Haket, the Winged One.
449: Once each of the Ontautt had a species—Aster had the Eight and each of the other seven had their Sentient Species—Death raised a concern. Each soul passed from Death to Haket could count how long it had been alive by the number of rotations of Astran that passed in its lifetime, but there were no certainties contained for the start and end of their life for the purpose of record keeping. All were in agreement that a form of time keeping should be kept from the present backwards in with the aim of accurate record keeping moving forward. The issue with his concern was when to begin the start of this record. Death put forth the date of his own species’ creation as the beginning with their work prior notated in reverse until Aster’s birth.
472: Many understandibly put forth the same suggestion for their own child species. Years and lives went by; generations came and passed as the Ontautt met once per Astran’s rotation within Omneutta until no longer could the solution be denied. It became clear that when two of the species contacted each other through the advent of space travel, this event was what would split what they did before from what they would do. What came before would be kept in reverse and their work from this date forward would be sequential.
488: Haket and the others made a promise to their children that they would leave Omneutta to them from this point forward. They would not be present in the lives of mortals, though it pained Haket not only to see the Kettlah and the Tribe behind other Sentient Species, but behind in their duties to the Winged One—their father—too.
1: The five were made at once to be the wings of Haket. From his cloak his spirit and the others did emerge. The spirits found themselves on a plane of nothingness. It was here that Haket brought spirits to see their past, but they had no past. Haket took them from this plane into a realm that was unlike where they had been. In this realm land grew high around them on all sides.
12: Other entryways to this realm were there when they arrived to each side. As they entered, the five gained physical forms around each of their spirits. They would carry the wings of Haket on their arms. These tendrils would move on their own and would not give them flight. Haket’s eyes were theirs, and they had no need for mouthes. Their hands had a form, but would adapt to other shapes that were not inherently of their own.
24: Haket called to them before they could venture from these gates. Roa and the other four were made to be Haket’s assistants; their immortal lives were to be filled by duties Haket could no longer perform alone. Roa and Niu—the first two—were to each keep watch over a gate, with Roa assigned to the gate of the past. Lue would take care of the light, Mao would assist in Haket’s transfer of knowledge, and Key would keep their spirits lifted.
38: After Haket had spoken to them all, the Winged One and Roa spoke by themselves, once more on the plane of nothingness. The body did not follow Roa’s spirit to this plane but Roa could hear and understand Haket all the same. Roa would help Haket by corralling the spirits of dead animals and mortals that would be brought to Roa when their forms expired. They would be shown their past for Roa to learn what they had discovered before spirits could move on. Roa would give this information to Haket or Mao, and it would soon then be taken to where it was needed.
56: The work was tiring and often laborious, but it prepared Roa for going through the long and complicated lives of the mortal Omneuttians. Porrair’s children were odd creatures, and their lives seized less of Roa’s interest than some of the fauna. Their lives were repetitive and mundane. The fauna Quarrnyl called insects seemed more apt to compare than the semi-autonomous creatures Roa had grown accustomed to dealing with. They existed for Porrair, and though they thought about much, they thought little. Soon, the first xiruens would also have used up their mortal bodies, but as Roa was helping Haket show their souls their pasts, Extiru came and all at once seized his children.
78: Roa sought to speak with Haket about the matter. Extiru’s children were mortal creations to die as mortals do; Haket had word from Aster that they were to join Extiru on his own continent—their death was only removal from their families. This concept was new to Roa. The ket had dealt with the lives and the memories of ancestors and their descendants for some time but to have a family—that would require some sentience. They wished for a family, but Roa did not know if they were mortal. If they were not, would their offspring be as well? He pressed Haket on these issues, but answers were not provided. Roa thought about starting a tribe to call their own.
99: When the time had come for avocs that Davoto was going to allow to die—to be mortal— Roa was ready. Their lives were long and complicated, as was expected. The first avoc was difficult—seeing those they knew ascend to immortality was gratifying, but losing their body, spirit, and presence was not. The avocs that followed were much harder for Roa to deal with. Seeing their loved ones pass on brought grief, and reliving those memories with Roa brought them many complex and new feelings.
115: Despite the repeated brushes with grief over death, reliving the memories of Omneuttians as they passed introduced Roa to the joys of life. Creating something—a living creature—was an unfathomable moment, with complicated emotions that even sentient beings could not fully process. Roa had desired the experience, and resolved to start a tribe to call their own. But Roa knew this tribe could not exist in the deep. Lue thought often of the world beyond the deep. Niu spoke of seeing events, times, and places beyond the deep that should have not been seen. Roa could not see what Niu saw, and Niu could not see what Roa saw, only that Roa would guide spirits to the same location day after day.
138: The land grew around them in all directions such that the gates were in a winding valley, but they had explored the bottom of this valley years ago. Nowhere but up could they go that held any promise of that which they had not already experienced. Lue was full of wonder and also excitement of these worlds beyond, and when Niu refused to speak of the horrors out of fear of altering what the future would be—Roa’s choice was apparent.
152: Roa believed the five of them were immortal, but with each and every sentient life brought to and through the gate to relive their past Roa could feel life slipping from the body surrounding their spirit. Key had counseled that the spirit of the tribe, the feeling of life they collectively shared, was possible because each of them felt attached to life, Roa however knew their attachment was slipping. Roa must leave soon.
165: A day came without a spirit brought to Roa, and Roa climbed. They were not gifted physically like Lue, but the climb continued. Unlike Lue, Roa had no need to climb to the tallest of the lands. Roa was not curious, but determined. When the mist met the body, Roa could feel the emotions of frustration and anger slip away from their mind. The agony of facing death and grief repeatedly did not feel as bad now, but Roa was determined to not lose resolve. The climb continued until the clouds of mist were fully below.
183: New land emerged to Roa. There were still mountains and land above, but the mist was below. The deep was no longer home. On this ground Roa collapsed from joy, and from this joy came a pain emerging from their spine. Slow and throbbing at first, it became unbearable for a moment before there was no more pain. Roa felt a new mind in their consciousness. A child. Roa had made an offspring, thus began the tribe to call their own.
1: The five spirits that would be five Kettlah emerged from the cloak of Haket into an empty plane. In this plane was where Haket brought spirits to see their past, he could create at will—it was within and outside Omneutta. We know this by other accounts; Niu did not know, as they were not to be concerned with the past. Haket took the five spirits from this plane to the deep where the land grew out, and up around them on all sides.
14: Haket spoke to them as a group first, to explain to them their own general roles to be filled. They would compliment each other, but their work was done for Haket. Niu, like Roa also watched over a gate. They were to be concerned with the future. It would appear before them through the gate. Alone once more in the plane, Haket told Niu that the gate could only be entered, but they could not move totally through the future’s gate.
27: Niu spoke to Haket with some frequency, and most rarely to the other four kets. Key spoke with Niu in conversations that, despite being often, were one- sided by necessity. When Haket spoke with Niu, each time, the deity reminded the ket that what Niu saw could not be told to anyone, and this unfortunately meant Haket.
38: Niu was left alone to bear witness to the future, and bode to do nothing about it. They asked Haket often what the point was of seeing the future if they could not change it or even alert others. Haket would at times relent and let Niu tell them a recent vision, and would inquire about the many sensations of traveling through the gate and into the future.
50: Haket could at least see the gate. In the few times Niu spoke to the other kets, it was clear that only Mao could see the gate Niu watched. Niu knew Roa had a gate that could not be seen, and there were suspicions Mao could see a third gate. For Haket and Mao, the gateway was a window whose scene changed regularly. They could see events that would come to pass, but Niu could enter the gateway—mostly—and feel and experience the events. They could look around and view more of the future at once; Niu felt several senses after stepping partially into the gateway.
68: Having to withhold foresight that could be helpful from the other kets—and even at times Haket— was a tough load to bear. Niu knew that the Winged One had picked the right ket for the weight. Roa had told Niu several years after their creation that their eyes were starting to darken; both knew that none of the other three had changed in appearance. Roa too dealt every day with grief, loss, and suffering. Yet, Roa could at least turn to the spirit whose past was being shown for comfort. There was good in these lives, Roa often told Niu. The ket saw good rarely, and when it was seen Niu often felt it fleeting.
87: Niu had no choice but to watch the horrors of the future creep toward the present. It was what Haket needed. Niu saw each of the other kets leave years or even decades before it would happen, and did eventually prepare Haket following the departure of Roa. By the time Niu was the last of the five in the deep, their eyes were dark black. But Niu was not alone. Of the many futures seen by Niu was the development of their own tribe, kept secret in the far end of the valley last visited many years ago.
104: When Niu was the last of the five, the tribe could live out in the open area of the deep, free to develop on their own. Niu offered suggestions for their tribe for Niu had not seen beyond the tribe’s existence and their eventual departure. Niu bode them to have a ket be a spirit for their tribe—a ket who saw to emotional needs of the tribe as a whole through individuals—so that Key’s legacy would live on. The tribe too saw their own futures but saw only glimpses and flashes of what was to come unlike Niu.
1: The plane spun endlessly out from Haket. There was nothing here, but they were creations. Five spirits emerged from the Winged One, we were his children. This dimension was for and by Haket but in this moment it was for the five that would become Kettlah. They emerged from his cloak, from nothingness, just as he would create worlds that would recreate vivid memories from nothing for those who had passed. Lue was on this plane three times, each with a different purpose. The first was creation of the five.
16: The second time Lue was on the plane was not long after. Haket had called to the five after they became Kettlah, but after this Lue and Haket were on the plane once more. It was yet again flat, but this time felt different. gone was the bleak and emptiness of the plane. In its place was the sky of the deep, and the ground could be seen— it was the ground of the deep as well yet unnaturally flat. It was clear of objects, but in this present it was not nothingness.
30: Lue’s final time was much later and as mystifying as the first. Through the valley Lue had went, finding the edge that rose highest before it met mist. Peculiar it was, that the mist met different cliffs at different heights though the deep itself was fairly flat where the mountains grew upwards from. On the tallest cliff Lue climbed until the mist took hold, grabbing at the mind and soul. Here, the light was obscured— not dark, but Lue could no longer see light clearly. Lue persisted, and after traveling through the mist Lue climbed onto what should have been the top. Lue stepped up to the plane to find it blank as it was during creation. Yet the mist and cliff were no longer beneath.
50: Haket was the Winged One and in the same way that Aster was the High Father, Haket too was theirs. From his cloak they spun out to the endless plane Haket had chosen it as their spot of creation. Aster had helped in this effort, but Haket himself had brought the five spirits to the plane—they were to know his power. From there, he took them to a land known as the deep where they gained physical forms.
62: To Lue Haket gave no special instructions—there was no gateway for the light—and there was no time for Lue to keep track of. The Winged One told Lue that they were unlike the other kets; Lue was faster, stronger, and more energetic. Lue’s body stretched further, Lue’s hands adjusted more rapidly and tighter around objects, and Lue at times had control of tendrils. This displeased Haket, who had no pressing need for Lue or their skills.
75: They took on his appearance in many ways; the wings of Haket grew from their arms and their skins were each a hue of brilliant gold. Lue shone like no other—Haket had decreed that Lue would love the light and Lue would keep light within the body that would emanate from the physical form. This was the only gift to Lue from Haket, and unlike the others Lue was not asked for much in return for the gift—just that Lue not leave the deep.
88: Haket had ensured that more than this light but all light captured Lue’s fascination for good. Ever captivated, Lue climbed the walls of the deep to get closer to the light, seemingly just beyond the mist. The light scattered as it attempted to break through the dense and ever-moving clouds, but light made it through the mist nonetheless.
98: All of light was mysterious. All of light was fascinating. The light emanating from the physical form was not as strong as the light from above the mist— but there were parts of the deep that this strong light could not reach. Lue’s light, the light from within, could be seen by the other kets from any distance. Their light was light, but it was not alike the other light.
109: Lue set out to find light above the mist. Not only to compare it to their own, but to see it as it was. Lue yearned to see the light without obstruction of the mist, without obstruction at all. The only light Lue had seen in this way was their own and Lue was not satisfied by this. After Lue climbed onto the plane, Haket let them free onto a cliff that met their expectation. What Lue saw defied their previous understanding—multiple lights! Here, there, all over what Lue knew to be the sky. Some were large, while others were small, yet all were light.
126: Though Haket forbade it time and time again, Lue climbed up to the upper edges of the deep most days. Haket appeared to Lue in these moments often, and more he spoke frequently to Lue within the mind of the ket. They seldom had discussions, instead the Winged One dominated and Lue was restricted in their movements. Lue knew their creation was to serve Haket, but nevertheless their exploration would continue.
139: Haket offered nothing for Lue. Their physical form was different from the other kets’, and Haket had embedded in Lue’s mind a yearning for the light. To restrict their search for it was an absurd and unjust test. If Lue passed by remaining—how ever long must Lue remain—what would the reward be? A task to keep Lue focused for eternity? Lue sought this focus from the light already.
151: With resolve, Lue spent many days, months, years perched atop small footholds and ridges in the walls of the deep. Lue looked across the deep on many climbs to the far reaches of the valley, studying how light cast across all Lue knew to be home. Lue wanted more. Not more land, more spaces to climb, or more light. Lue wanted all of this yes, but not personally. Lue would share this with others that would be made like them. More was for a tribe.
1: After Haket came Mao. In the small details was Haket, was Mao. In the large view was Haket and Mao followed. From the time of their creation where the five spirits of what would become kets spun out from beneath Haket’s cloak in the plane of nothingness, Mao was close to Haket. The plane was Haket’s realm, where the recently dead were shown their past so Haket could learn.
12: Haket took them to a place he called the deep—the plane was not the realm for kets—the five were given their physical forms. Roa and Niu were given gateways to look after the past and future. Mao went with Haket after the Ontautt spoke to the five as a group. Each of them spoke with the Winged One for what felt to the rest but a moment, returning to the plane for a conversation— only Key came then after Mao.
25: Haket took Mao again to the plane of nothingness, though it looked much like the deep for this second visit by Mao. Here, Haket would talk to the ket about what would be Mao’s forthcoming duties. Mao would travel across the present with Haket, where Mao would see the wonders of Omneutta firsthand. Imbued with some of the calm that Key possessed, Mao was to see the Known Universe and the light that Lue chased, Mao would be reminded of the good throughout Omneutta and be calm. Mao would see through the two gates of Roa and Niu in addition, but like Haket, Mao would not enter them. Mao was beloved by Haket who said such.
44: Haket spoke to Mao and revealed that these gifts were not his alone. Haket had spoke to Taruthe—who himself was bestowed aspects of each other Ontautt’s powers— and Haket wanted this treatment for his perfect ket. Mao would hold parts of the others’ gifts, to see their gates, Key’s calming presence, and be guided by the light. But it was Taruthe not Haket who gave Mao these abilities, and Mao would not forget such a kindness.
57: Mao often went through the present alongside Haket across the Known Universe. To all corners of Omneutta they went. Mao learned about the magics of other Omneuttians and how they varied from one species to the next. Some danced in fire, while others grew trees or prisms of ice. Sham’ayn had children created some time after the two began traveling and Mao was fascinated by their unpredictability.
70: Despite these excursions across Omneutta with Haket, Mao was t old after Roa’s departure that Mao too would leave. They knew this to be true, eventually. But Mao wished to keep adventuring across space with Haket for as long as they could; Lue’s departure did not hasten Mao’s feelings. They knew before Haket spoke, that they would leave eventually, but the Winged One bore such certainty that Mao knew it to be true. One day, the deep would no longer be home; after Haket would not come Mao.
85: Almost one hundred years after their creation, Mao decided it was time to leave the deep. It was the passing of Roa that spurned this decision, though Mao did not know it at first. Mao’s feelings changed slowly over the years as Haket became more insistent. Days after Mao had resolved to depart soon, Haket told Mao that Roa’s physical form was no more. Once Mao knew the five were mortal, they knew that they must leave at once.
98: Neither Roa nor Lue had left instructions on how to leave the deep, Mao only knew that they had climbed and not returned. At the top of the cliff Mao’s senses told them they climbed on the plane of nothingness, but once their feet touched the ground they were on real, solid land. These rocks stretched out before Mao. A tribe would be started here. But first, Mao must ready the land to be a home.
1: Key was the last spirit, but a crucial spirit. On this plane of nothingness the five spirits twirled out from Haket. This would be their home, and here the five would carry out Haket’s tasks. For eons they would work in harmony on this plane, viewing the memories of those who had passed—no. This was not to be their home. The spirits knew, Haket knew; the spirits moved to Haket once more under his cloak.
13: From the plane Haket took them to a new land: the deep, he called it. When the spirits came from under Haket’s cloak to peer at the deep they emerged with physical forms. Roa was the first that Key could see. Shorter—though they were all short compared to Haket—than the rest. Haket’s wings flowed from each of their forearms but Roa’s tendrils were short as well, and their skin was a deeper gold. Niu shone a strong and bright gold, with eyes to match. Key, Niu, and Lue were the same height. Lue was thinner, as were all of their tendrils and though their skin glowed brighter than Niu’s it was from a duller gold. Mao stood taller than Key and the other three, but with eight tendrils just as lanky.
33: Soon after their creation, the Winged One called to them with a voice that filled the deep and their heads. The first two would watch the gates, keeping track of what had been and what was yet to come. Mao would join Haket often, and Key would watch over the other four. Lue seemed to be forgotten—or preoccupied? Haket spoke individually, in the plane once more. Key did not anticipate the discussion. Key was to be the spirit of the tribe—they were unnaturally calming for the others, and this would be needed to relieve the stress of the tasks he had given the others. As his singular gift, Haket taught Key how to peer inside the minds of others through only touch. Haket had one last instruction: Key would receive no guidance from Haket and would not report to the Winged One, and if information to maintain the balance of the tribe was needed, Key would need to find it alone. In this, Key had Haket’s blessing.
61: Roa worked constantly, though Key rarely saw them somewhere other than sitting in front of their gate. Key knew that they stepped into the gate with the souls of recently departed fauna and mortals, but the time inside the gate was felt only by Roa. Rarely, Key found Roa sleeping and sought to see what they had seen. Sometimes, these were happy memories and Roa seemed to be happy with recalling them in their sleep. But, there were bouts of sadness that wore Roa down even in their sleep.
96: Lue was with the others rarely, and if it were not for their link to each other Key often thought there would be no clues as to Lue’s whereabouts. Haket left little for Lue, other than filling their mind with light. Key thought that Lue was given isolation from Haket too, being the only ket without a task, and whose sole gift drove them from the tribe. Key sought to remedy this feeling, but Key could not overcome the drive for light Lue had been given. Key could only soothe the effects of Lue’s absence in the rest of the tribe, reminding them that Lue was meeting Haket’s tasks away.
114: Mao too was often gone, though their absence was in the presence of Haket and thus accepted by the tribe more readily. Still, there were nights where the kets would gather to eat with Lue present and not Mao. Key could occasionally feel resentment rising. After long excursions Key sought details of Mao’s journeys. In addition to traveling with the Winged One frequently, with the help of the Fulcrum, Mao was given aspects of the other’s abilities, to be Haket’s own Taruthe. Key now knew what emotions Niu must go through, to know something that would change the tribe’s morale if known.
132: Niu and Key watched, knowingly as Roa left. Niu, and thus Key knew that Roa would meet the end of their physical form soon. The five had assumed themselves to be immortal, but those privy to the future suspected that departing the deep ensured their mortality. Roa had seen much sadness, but sought happiness in departure, to start their own tribe. Lue too would go on to start their own tribe, though it was the light that pulled Lue from the deep. Key and the others suspected Roa’s death following years of waning and the eventual ending of their mental links, but Haket’s confirmation drove Mao out of the deep in grief. It was likely the first encounter with death and sadness for Haket’s perfect ket.
154: Key too would leave soon, with only Niu remaining behind. The ket that watched the future had long since become scarred; years ago their eyes had lost colour and darkened to the point of blackness. Niu could still see, but Key sought no such transformation. Out of the deep they climbed, determined to start a tribe of their own. The first steps on this land brought a momentary sensation of the plane once more, but after it subsided Key could tell they were a great distance from the deep, and so were they all.
169: As years passed Key picked two young kets from among the older members of the tribe. They would become the tribe’s balance. Key passed on knowledge, techniques, and lessons to earn the title of spirit of the tribe. The most important task for them would be to collect the knowledge of the living for the good of the tribe. Unlike the permissions granted by Haket, Key bade them to inform others of their work, and obtain memories only from willing ket participants.