So, Snooze set about her task of advancing her Earth Magic.
She began at first by setting the parameters of where she wanted her ground to be. She took her time finding the perfect level, and then populating that area with her various clumps of earth. After some time (who could be sure how long, but definitely at least a few weeks,) Snooze had established a spacious stretch of dirt that covered over a mile. She’d thrown herself into it, taking breaks when she felt tired, but working with a meticulous fervor. Each new section of ground was one step closer to achieving her higher rank. As she did, she learned that--with enough concentration--she could modify the size and consistency of her pieces of earth.
They’d never get bigger than four-feet-by-four-feet, but they could be smaller, and the shapes could be wildly contrasting. She realized she could make the clumps more rigid or more malleable, shifting them to fit her whim. Snooze had fun with this discovery, and played around in her downtime by making interesting formations that sometimes looked like animals, or X-Rated body parts.
Meat was her constant companion in this process, helping the fledgling god keep her creation level, and indicating when she should adjust the shape or dimensions, and finding spots where the earth did not overlap. The work was, at times, arduous, and expending the energy for the magic exhausted Snooze. She didn’t sleep, but she soon began taking breaks after prolonged activity to recharge and refresh. Then it would be back to work for her and Meat.
It was no surprise to her, when after literally countless hours, Snooze reached Level 2 in Earth. In her mind, it was long overdue. She had thought, however, there would be more of a celebration, perhaps some streamers or even a chirping little melody of fanfare, but no, she felt a shift in her abilities, and saw the Book of Leaf flash at her. Then, she checked it to find that she had indeed gained a new level.
This unlocked a new Curio as well.
A shimmering new tablet with several curved lines carved into it hovered in front of Snooze, radiating with pale gray light.
And so, the always curious Snooze began experimenting with this new power. She swapped Earth in the Ritual Command for the new element, and set to work.
Air was interesting in that she didn’t expect to have a visual representation, however, she soon learned that if she focused on the energy, she could see a faint, glittering outline where it was cast. She spaced the Air in front of her, letting it fill the confines of the void. Much like with Earth, she discovered that each Air Godspell cast utilized a finite space of roughly the same dimensions.
She worked just as diligently as she had with Earth, except after she’d filled the same expanse as the rock and soil, she began building up. Over the next--let us continue to call them weeks, as that is technically correct--she built a veritable atrium of air into a gigantic square. The volume of elemental air stretched several miles high, and covered a phenomenal distance congruent with the ground.
She’d stopped intermittently of course, to rest, relax, and play with Meat. The archangel delighted in being blasted with currents of wind, and Snooze found that the little helper soon learned to coast thermals, riding clear up onto the top section of her fabricated cube of invisible air.
Snooze learned in (relatively) short order how to properly set up a wind stream, and remarked as to feeling the breeze on the… skin(?) of her triangle body. She was learning so much here, and felt so much more useful than she ever did in the previous world--where she couldn’t even remember who she was-- but she knew that she was much more remarkable here than she ever could have dreamed.
With that, her Air leveled up to two, and she was gifted another curio: Water.
This is so much fun! Snooze said, creating rivulets in the rock with her extraordinary new abilities. She crafted streams, and rivers, and watched as the wind rippled across the top of it. She reached out beyond her original parameters for the soil and built a vast sea beyond the original borders. She spent a great deal of time perfecting this, and made sure that once it was just as far as she imagined it would be, she also built her new ocean down. She’d always had a fascination with the deep. Never one to suffer from thalassophobia, she took delight in plunging the great reaches of the sea, her sea.
However, she’d discovered she’d made it too deep, and now, the mass of earth she’d made floated freely on top of it, like a raft. So she had to fix that.
She swapped her Water for Earth, and set about replacing the sections she’d parceled for the wet with the rock, and built a sloping ridge of earthen support for her island. She then created another crust of land beneath her ocean, so that the island had its full support above the calm surface of the water. She grew very tired, and knew she’d soon be needing a rest, so she returned to the surface.
When she reached her island again, she noticed something strange.
It was raining.
The moisture of the Water had somehow combined with the Air, and created a fleet of fluffy clouds far out to the edges of her land ocean. However, they’d collected together in a dark mass near the central area where she found herself, and had begun a torrential downpour.
This just won’t do! Snooze thought, looking around for the Book of Leaf. Before she spotted it, however, Meat came fluttering toward her, and Snooze wondered abstractly if he’d always been so big…
But the chipper orb glowed rosily and directed her to something.
Floating nearby was another curio!
In all her feverish waterworking, she hadn’t realized that she’d received an updated level in Water!
Floating before her was the wondrous and red hallmark of what she knew to be the last key in her first journey: Fire. The curio itself smouldered and smoked, blazing hot beneath the emblem of flame hewn into the tablet. She hurriedly activated it, and felt a new power well within her.
There was a gentle prompt and flash, and Snooze could now see the illuminated petal of the Book of Leaf, nearly a mile away. She realized quite suddenly how much larger the landmass she’d crafted had become, and floated to it.
WELCOME BACK, SNOOZE
CONGRATULATIONS ON OBTAINING ALL OF THE FIRST ELEMENTAL CURIOS. YOU HAVE NOW COLLECTED EARTH, AIR, WATER, AND FIRE, AS WELL AS ON ADDITIONAL FORGED-ELEMENT CURIO: WEATHER.
YES. YOU HAVE GAINED A NEW ABILITY
[ GAINED ABILITY - ELEMENT-SMITH - LEVEL 1 ]
YOU NOW HAVE THE ABILITY TO COMBINE ELEMENTS, AND FORGE NEW ONES, SUCH AS WEATHER. SOME OF THESE FORGED-ELEMENTS WILL HAPPEN NATURALLY, HOWEVER, IF YOU’D LIKE TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS AND GROW YOUR ELEMENT-SMITHING MORE QUICKLY, YOU MAY ATTEMPT TO COMBINE CURIOS INTO NEW ONES.
Ooh, that’s neat-o!
FORGED-CURIOS MAY NOT BE USEFUL MORE THAN A HANDFUL OF TIMES, THOUGH THAT IS TO YOUR DISCRETION. THEY WILL GROW IN POWER AND IN SOME--RELEVANCE AS YOU LEVEL. YOU MAY FIND THAT SOME ELEMENTS, BOTH NATURAL AND FORGED MAY SEEM LESS CAPABLE UNTIL AN APPROPRIATE TIME. IT IS YOUR WHIM AS A GOD TO DECIDE HOW BEST TO UTILIZE THESE ABILITIES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Well, it sounds like I have a lot of work to do. Snooze thought.
There were still a few things she wanted to shape with the current lineup of Curios, before she delved into Fire or Weather. She knew that soon enough, based on her current progress, she’d be morphing her environment even more so, and the Book of Leaf had teased her delightfully about the concept of designing a world. She wanted to be sure she was fully prepared when that time came.
It sure is flat around here…perhaps I should do something about that?
So the god set about forming rocky hills with Earth, taking her time to deliberately set them just so and then, when those were completed, she returned to the portion of her landmass where the Book of Leaf resided. She found a wonderful surprise awaiting her when she arrived.
It was everywhere! Snooze made the assumption that it must have begun near the banks of rivers, as the lush carpet of greenery was most dense there. But it seemed that it had spanned a healthy majority of the available dirt and rock she’d spent time placing.
Lo and behold, another Forged-Curio awaited her as well: Plantlife.
Snooze spent a long while running her footers through the blades of grass, delighting in the sensation. As she rediscovered her creation, she spent less time floating, and far more time cartwheeling along the ground, enjoying the wind, the grass and the occasional rain.
Before long, she noticed that the grasses had grown longer, and had even crept up to the hills she’d made recently.
It’s important at this moment to note that while “time” didn’t exist when Snooze began, the moment that she accessed her first Curio, “progress” came into existence in the space she dwelled in. Certain comparisons could be made as to how “long” something had taken her to do. For instance, designing miles of land would have been arduous, even in 4x4 increments. So too, would have been a massive dome of air and sky populated with clouds, and a deep, mysterious ocean.
If time existed here--which, as we have established, it did not-- but if it had, Snooze would have spent the equivalent of five-hundred years from the time she began to the moment where she currently sat, her inert triangle body reposing care-free in a patch of Poaceae.
It took a long while for Snooze to rouse, and truly, she stayed, enjoying the feel of the grasses, for longer than it had taken her to design her first hundred feet of land. Eventually, however, she was able to pull herself away from her relaxation long enough to remember that she had a new Curio to utilize.
She was able to find the Book of Leaf after some time, and within it, swapped out Earth for Fire, and stood, holding her arguably cute little footer out in front of her, focusing on the burning red color of the magic that danced along its length.
Her eyes found an isolated rock, jutting out of the grasses, and she turned her attention to it, circulating magical energy in her body before releasing it with a word.
The rock ignited in a wondrous blaze, looking to Snooze a bit like a torch. She realized she could snuff out the flame just as easily if she focused, and watched as the fire dispersed with a hiss.
I am become Death, destroyer of… things. Destruction is my middle name! ...and my first name! My last name is still going to be Ginblossom though!
The rock had been burnt in the process--an oddity that she hadn’t expected. Snooze noticed now that some of the grass had caught fire, and the fire had begun to spread, burning away at the little green blades in a rolling cascade.
She rushed to the Book of Leaf, and quickly grabbed her Water Ritual Command, and booked it back to the spot she’d left. Meat zipped along in her wake, whistling anxiously as if to usher Snooze on faster. Finally, she reached it and a gasp was caught in her throat.
The grass had been burned away in a massive stretch of land that covered dozens of acres. Black smoke curled high into the clouds, and the dome of air itself began to darken. She could see the flames fanning out in every direction as the chain reaction of fire quickly devoured the grass. As quickly as she could, Snooze began dousing the sections of the blaze, but the fires kept growing.
She raced back to the Book of Leaf, swapping out the Water for the Weather, and returned to more chaos. Finally, she was able to use the Forged-Curio to force the clouds to gather and she blasted the area with a heavy deluge that pounded the ground, flooding the entire expanse of her little island.
A long while later, as the last of the ash finally cooled, Snooze sat sadly in the center of her swampy destruction. She had accidentally ruined her little habitat in one fell swoop. All of that fabulous grass had been eaten by the flames, and nothing remained except wet goop as the storm continued unrelentingly with Snooze unable to care enough to stop it.
Meat tried his best to cheer her up, dancing around in the air, glowing various colors, whistling tunes she enjoyed, but it was to no avail. Snooze couldn’t believe she’d been so careless.
From the ashes, a Curio suddenly appeared. The tablet shimmered with a bleak, smokey energy that curled away from it and dispersed like brimstone. On its face was a gruesome skull, hewn as if with a hatchet, and the very sight if it filled Snooze with dread.