Snooze paused, looking down at her populated list one last time.
[ SNOOZE - LEVEL 3 GOD ]
EARTH [ LEVEL 5 ] 22% TO LEVEL 6
AIR [ LEVEL 5 ] 10 % TO LEVEL 6
WATER [ LEVEL 5 ] 10 % TO LEVEL 6
FIRE [ LEVEL 4 ] 99.80% TO LEVEL 5
WEATHER [ LEVEL 4 ] 45% TO LEVEL 5
PLANTLIFE [ LEVEL 4 ] 10% TO LEVEL 5
FUNGUS [ LEVEL 3 ] 15% TO LEVEL 4
LIGHTNING [ LEVEL 3 ] 8% TO LEVEL 4
ORE [ LEVEL 3 ] 3% TO LEVEL 4
DEATH [ LEVEL 1 ] .020% TO LEVEL 2
ELEMENT-SMITH [ LEVEL 4 ] 38% TO LEVEL 5
RITUAL COMMAND [ LEVEL 3 ] 70% TO LEVEL 4
SHAPE CHANGE [ LEVEL 2 ] 85% TO LEVEL 3
OMNITUENS [ LEVEL 2 ] 50% TO LEVEL 3
PERMEABILITY [ LEVEL 1 ] 2% TO LEVEL 2
ARCHANGELS [ 1 ]
Snooze felt accomplished. She wasn’t sure how much time would have passed, but it had been fun while it lasted.
Coincidentally, in the nature of a living creature bound by simple constructs, and a prisoner to that which is called “time”, exactly two thousand four-hundred-and-thirty-eight years would have been the equivalent passage of progress that she’d existed in this place. While that may seem like an extraordinary amount of time, the Book of Leaf had never seen advancement so quickly.
At one time, the Book had spent over thirty thousand years trying to get one god to achieve the art of casting his first Godspell. In fact, somewhere, on an entirely different plane of existence, that god (who had intentionally named himself Rage Skeleton) was trudging along, failing fantastically at casting Air ninety two thousand years later. It took all types. Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day. Nor, it would seem, was it built in one hundred and twenty millennia.
Alright, Snooze announced, waving away the Book’s display, I’m ready to take the final plunge.
THEN PLUNGE YOU SHALL.
Snooze looked out at the valley beneath her from the top of the slope she stood on, closed her eyes, and leaped.
She hit the slope of rushing water, and shot like an arrow down the trench.
WAHHHH! She cried, and opened her eyes. Everything sped passed her, fast as lightning. Far beyond and below, she could see the marvelous expanse of the valley, green and lush and teeming with a variety of blooming flowers and trees. The end of the trench sped toward her with alarming finality, and she traced the contour of its upward arc, and opened her hand--yes hand.
As she hit the bend of the trench, she tightened her fist, activating Water, and dropping the temperature to freezing. The spout of wet that had been rushing away in the same direction suddenly froze, and as Snooze slid over it, she picked up even more speed, suddenly flying along the smooth surface of ice and shot up into the air.
She saw the precariously balanced piece of wood supporting a dish of boulders, and she shot at it with her Earth spell as she passed, hitting the branch with a summoned clump of stone, and forcing the boulders to drop off the edge of the peak.
Looking down, she saw the six-hundred-foot waterfall, now a column of glittering ice as it stabbed at the gigantic lake pressed into the valley floor below. She sailed through the air, feeling the rupture of wind around her body, and with her other hand, sent a plume of Air shooting up at her. She hit the blast with an unmatched glee, and bounced off of it as it sent her higher than before, soaring through the clouds.
Then there was a whistle and a rosy glow in the corner of her eye, moving quickly in her direction. Meat flew at her, its ethereal and light-made-solid form was now as large as a bear, with four strong legs and four massive, insect-like wings that coasted along the thermals in the air. The mouth in his cat-shaped head opened wide in what Snooze knew was a smile, and as he reached her, the two of them began a marvelous pirouette in the air. She blasted the both of them higher and higher, until they broke through the dome of atmosphere and found themselves in the blue void of the plane’s natural state. Then, she nodded to the archangel, and the two of them turned their bodies, and began a descent back into the habitat, breaking back into the dome of air and firing like meteors toward the ground again.
They hit a velocity that could only be described as “fatal,” were they of the standard variety sort, and now she could see the boulders she’d released had reached their mark, striking the support-stem of the frozen waterfall. Large pieces broke away, landing in the lake, and causing a wave to roll across the water’s surface. This forced the tree trunk that had been waiting patiently below, to sail forward, to the center of the lake, exactly beneath the location they were currently hurtling toward. On the back of the trunk was a crudely-carved target. Snooze raised her hand.
A thin shaft of fire flashed out of her palm and hit the trunk just before the two of them hit the water, and the trunk exploded in a wondrous display of power, sizzling as the pieces landed around the lake.
Both Snooze and Meat hit the water at a speed that would have liquefied an organic lifeform. The two of them plunged to the bottom of the cool water, kicking against the bed at the bottom, and launching themselves back to the top. They broke through the surface, and watched as showers of flaming splinters cascaded down around them and fizzled out as they landed in the water.
Yes! Snooze shouted, and Meat and she slapped their palm and paw together in a sopping wet high-five.
She felt a change in her body, and knew she’d done it. She’d ranked up Fire enough to reach Level 5!
The god took a moment to enjoy the splendor and majesty of her creation. It had been some time since she’d begun, but now, as she looked at all that she’d made, she felt pride well up within her. The lake they paddled in had been formed at the heel of a valley between the meeting point of two mountain ranges she’d made herself. Far beyond was the beautiful horizon, always a cool blue, where fluffy cumulonimbus clouds trailed lazily across. She couldn’t see it from here, (though she could if she’d wanted to) but she knew that her vast, dense forest lay just beyond the swell of the hills.
She sighed, and turned to look up at the top of the mountain she’d leaped from, and twisted her wrist in the air, summoning the winds around her, and watched as a shape began floating down from the peak.
She held the Book of Leaf in the air for a moment, and then floated out of the water herself, spinning to dry herself and looked down at her reflection in the water. She was a featureless blob with arms and legs spilling out, in roughly human dimensions, and if she’d had been forced to tell someone the color of her… flesh, she’d have said it was like a smokey indigo. No eyes to speak of, nor a mouth, but eight fingers and toes.
Snooze glanced at the Book, releasing a pleased chuckle as she saw the new text populate.
FIRE [ LEVEL 5 ] .009% TO LEVEL 6
Then, the Book of Leaf continued.
THAT WAS ENJOYABLE. GOOD CALL ON THE RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE.
The Book had definitely come around in the last few centuries. The three of them had planned the elaborate chain of events as a way to usher in Snooze’s last blast of flame needed to reach Level 5. It was cause for celebration. Meat chippered around the top of the water, ever-so slightly touching the surface tension without breaking it.
Snooze would have been beaming were she able. All the shape changing she’d done, and still wasn’t able to take a form with a mouth.
Hopefully, that will change soon…
She looked at the gigantic leaf display that belonged to the Book and waited.
How do we do this? She asked, what can I expect from this experience? Will it hurt? Will I hurt someone else? Will it be uncomfortable? Will it be pleasurable? Are there going to be wasps?
YOU HAVE REACHED LEVEL 5 IN THE FOUR BASIC ELEMENT GODSPELLS
IN JUST A MOMENT, YOU WILL BE READY TO CREATE YOUR WORLD. THE WORLD YOU HAVE MADE HERE WAS A TEST OF YOUR ABILITIES, AND YOU HAVE RECEIVED A GRADE:
WORLD BUILDING : A-
A-minus? Snooze wondered, that’s way better than I thought. When you told me I’d receive a grade, I thought for sure you’d give me a fail, or a D minus at best! I’m very surprised and elated by these results. Can I hang them up on my fridge?
YOU WOULD HAVE RECEIVED A PERFECT SCORE, BUT YOU MISSED A SINGLE FORGED-CURIO. PERHAPS YOU WILL DISCOVER IT LATER?
Ooh, I didn’t catch one, eh? Well, that’s alright. Can’t win ‘em all. This is the first time I’ve gotten a good score on anything, actually. Except for the time I got a 400 on my SATs--no wait, that was my credit score! My SATs was a 17. Double digits baby!
Snooze was indeed a creature of unambiguous intelligence. But it was part of her charm. One hopes.
YOU HAVE GAINED [ 4 ] NEW ABILITIES:
[ GAINED ABILITY: GRAVITY ]
[ GAINED ABILITY: LIGHT ]
[ GAINED ABILITY: DARKNESS ]
[ GAINED ABILITY: LIFE ]
THESE FOUR NEW ELEMENT GODSPELLS WILL HELP YOU CREATE A WORLD. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ATTEMPT TO UTILIZE AS MANY GODSPELL IN YOUR ARSENAL AS YOU CAN IN WORLD FORGING.
YOU HAVE GAINED [ 1 ] NEW [ OTHER ] ABILITIES, WHICH YOU HAVE REFUSED TO CALL FEATURES.
Feature sounds like a creature made out of feet… Snooze explained, shivering, and that’s an image I would like to stay between my mind’s eye and the floorboards beneath my bed.
AS YOU WISH, SNOOZE. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THIS NEW FEA--UH-- ABILITY?
Why, Book, Snooze began, adopting an air of elegance, that would be delightful.
[ GAINED ABILITY: AURA ]
That better end up being cool…
ARE YOU PREPARED TO WORLD FORGE, SNOOZE?
COMMENCING WORLD FORGE…
COMMENCING WORLD FORGE…
COMMENCING WORLD FORGE…
GOD PATH CHOSEN…
[ YOU HAVE GAINED A GOD PATH ]
[ ACQUIRED GOD PATH: HUMBLE ]
WORLD FORGE ACTIVATED!
Suddenly, the world around Snooze turned and twisted, everything looked as though it was being crushed into a ball and sucked through a narrow tube. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t. Her body was pulled in what felt like an infinite line, stretched out into an eternity. Colors she’d never seen before swam before her eyes, and shapes that had no names appeared and disappeared around her. At one point she thought she saw a dog with a hat on.
Then, just as suddenly, the world froze and then shattered, tumbling away in pieces.
Snooze found herself in the darkness of a void again.