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Over the course of time Defender had many children. The eldest where the powerful and conceited Storm and his mild and giving twin sister Empathy. Then came Radia and Darkity who knew much of their mothers gifts for weakening a foe. Kin, like her older sister Empathy, was a giving sort, perhaps with less generosity, but with more of her mothers speed and strength. Young Trick was a tinker who made toys to copies his mothers powers, while Sonic and Bubbles both inherited talents for enshrouding a ally with a protective grace.

 

These elder children in turn had children of their own until Defender was graced with many grandchildren and great grandchildren to help watch over the progeny of her siblings.

 

It came to pass that one of these later generations decided to learn which of the branches of Defenders children was the greatest. So he went in turn to his Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Grandaunts and Granduncles to ask.

 

Empathy answered, "Why my children of course, because we make those under our care more powerful than any hero alone."

 

Storm answered, "You have to ask who is most powerful?!" And swept the child from his home with a powerful wind.

 

Kin answered, "My charges are as safe as Empathy's and move twice as fast! My children are clearly the strongest."

 

Bubbles answered, "Protected by my children you need fear no harm, what could be more powerful than that!". Listening nearby Sonic retorted, "Mine shall do that and weaken the foes around you, clearly I and my children are more powerful."

 

Radia and Darkity both fell to squabbling about the most effective way to weaken a foe, but both agreed this was the strongest of Defender’s gifts.

 

Trick laughed and said, "Show me what another can do that I cannot!" The child replied, "Heal?" So Trick shot him with a sharp arrow and the child fled.

 

Confused and frustrated the child sought Defender herself and asked, "Great Mother, which of your children is strongest?" Defender chuckled and laid before the child some fruit she had in a nearby bowl and said, "Which of these fruit is greatest my child?". The child thought and answered, "Well watermelon is cooling on a hot day, and orange will help ward off illness. Apple is sweet and filling, but grapes are jucier and make heady wine. I could not say. What do you say?". Defender then took the fruit and chopped them, mixed them together in a bowl and handed to the child saying, "That my child, is wisdom."

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Do you have the rest?

I'll see what I can find...

 

In the beginning the servers were shapeless and without form. Then Statesman moved across the servers and created the City, and he filled the City with villains to be defeated, challenges to be met, and Skuls to be hunted, and he saw that it was good.

 

Villains, challenges and Skuls will soon lose their appeal if you have nobody to share them with, so Statesman next brought forth his 5 children, Blaster, Controller, Scrapper, Tank and Defender.

 

To Blaster he gave great strength but a jaw of glass. To Controller he gave the power to silence and still her foes and allies to aid her, but little strength of her own. To Scrapper he gave great strength and great toughness, but a short reach so he would not be over mighty. To Tank he gave even greater toughness yet but made him slow and short of reach.

 

To Defender he gave the greatest gifts giving her great speed, great reach, much strength, and the ability to avoid harm. Then Statesman spoke to Defender saying, "I have given you these gifts so that you may watch over the others for that one keeps dying, that one has been running around in circles for ages now, and those two have been fighting the same motionless Skul for 10 minutes." Defender looked over those she was tasked to protect and replied to Statesman saying, "Do I have to?". Statesman was angered and thundered a curse upon Defender for her impudence, "While you have a great many gifts, the greatest shall be of more use to others than they are to you!" And so it is to this day that the children of Defender have many gifts they cannot use alone so that they, from time to time, "have to".

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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One day Defender grew hungry for experience, but did not want to labor herself, so she sought out Scrapper and said, "Won't you join me on a team so that we may both gain more and faster experience?" Always eager for more foes Scrapper readily agreed and they ventured forth. Whenever they reached a foe, Scrapper would rush up to fight while Defender would stand behind and idly watch. After a while, Scrapper became aware of this and asked, "Why do you not join me in the fight?" Defender reached out with the least of her powers and removed some minor harm Scrapper had taken and said, "Why Scrapper! I stand back here and heal you, for if I did not you would surely die!" Scrapper thanked Defender for her kindly vigilance on his behalf and they continued on. In this way Defender gained her experience while Scrapper did all the work and thanked Defender for the privilege!

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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It is said that Statesman's favorite son was Tank, who was most like him. While Tank received fewer gifts than his sister Defender, those he did receive he received in abundance. Tank could stand amidst a sea of his foes and take no harm and yet hold their rapt attention while he slowly whittled them away.

 

One day Tank set out to test the limits of his powers. So he sought out the Drek who has famed for his numerous children. The children of the Drek were so kind to the children of Statesman as to stand back up once defeated so that they could be fought again, and were much valued for this.

 

Tank set about gathering about him all the children of the Drek, and indeed they came about him in a great throng, and yet could do him no harm.

 

In time Tank's brother Blaster wandered by to see what his brother was doing. Seeing his brother lost in a sea of foes, Blaster called out, "Brother Tank! Do you need help?" Tank replied "No. I shall put these in a box, just set them on fire and I shall bring more." So Tank piled many of the children of Drek into a box he had found and went to seek more, while Blaster amused himself setting them on fire.

 

In time Blaster's sister Defender wandered by to see what her brothers were doing. Seeing her brother lost in a sea of foes, Defender called out, "Brother Tank! Do you need help?" Tank replied, "No, I am putting these in a box so brother Blaster may set them on fire. Help him do it faster." Amused by the game Defender reached out her gifts to strengthen and speed her brother, who once more set it on fire, laughing to himself.

 

In time Defender's sister Controller wandered by to see what her siblings were doing. Seeing her brother lost in a sea of foes, Controller called out, "Brother Tank! Do you need help?" Tank replied, "No, I am putting these in a box so brother Blaster may set them on fire while sister Defender aids his strength and speed. Go help your sister." Amused, Controller reached out her pale imitations of her sisters gifts to aid her in her task, while Blaster once more set the box on fire, laughing to himself.

 

In time Controller's brother Scrapper wandered by to see what his siblings were doing. Seeing his brother lost in a sea of foes, Scrapper called out, "Brother Tank! Do you need help?" Tank replied, "No." So Scrapper amused himself by poking at the box while his brother set it once more on fire.

 

In time Statesman noticed his City was growing strangely quiet, and the challenges he had created for his children going unmet. So Statesman set out to see what his offspring were doing. Seeing his beloved son in a sea of foes, while his sibling sat playing with a box laughing inanely, Statesman called out, "Son Tank! Do you need help?" Tank replied, "No...", and so Statesman took half the power from each of his children and replied: "You do now!"

 

Thus a lesson was learned.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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You have heard the tale of how Defender tricked Scrapper into doing all the work when she wished to gain experience without effort. Well Scrapper never quite learned that he had been tricked, and he told all his siblings how Defender watched over and made sure he never died. Scrapper’s brother Blaster knew more of risk than his brother since he had a thinner hide and had to be more careful in his own hunting. So it was that Blaster saw through Defender’s trick and decided to play one on her himself.

 

Blaster went to his sister and asked, “Sister Defender, will you not watch over me while I hunt as you have done for our brother Scrapper?” Defender replied, “Why brother Blaster! I would be glad to do so, let us go over here and confront the Skuls. They have been tugging on that purse for near a day now.”. So they ventured out.

 

Blaster used his great strength to smite the Skul, then turned to his sister and asked, “Are you watching sister?” Defender reached out with the least of her powers and cured some minor harm Blaster had taken and replied, “Why brother Blaster! Of course I am watching. If I did not, you would surely die.” Blaster smiled to himself and said, “Thank you kind sister. Watch this!” So saying he leapt into a crowd of Bone Daddies that stood nearby. There Blaster set lose a great burst of flame that scorched and angered his foes but did not defeat them. They turned and attacked Blaster with great wrath. Surprised, Defender reached out to try and heal her brother, but the wrath of the Skuls was to great to be thus overcome and he fell. This bothered Blaster little, it was his way and he was used to it, but Defender was startled and fled sore afraid. From a safe place she called her brother to her and breathed life into him. Blaster arose smiling and said, “Sister! Were you not watching?” Through a smile that did not reach her eyes, Defender replied, “Sorry dear brother, clearly that was my fault. Let us try again!”

 

Not wishing to appear weak before he brother, Defender now reached out with her full might. Her brother was greatly strengthened and his foes weakened and slowed so that when he leapt once more into their midst they fell swiftly and he took little harm. As the last fell Defender reached out with the least of her powers and removed some minor harm her brother had taken. Blaster turned to her laughing and said, “Great heals sister!”

 

Now Defender began to suspect that perhaps she had been played the fool, so she resolved to turn the tables on her brother. They continued for some time achieving great deeds as the children of Statesman can when they use their full might, but when the opportunity arose Defender allowed her brother to fall once more while only the least of his foes remained. Rather than withdrawing and calling her brother to her as she had done before, Defender sped forward and began to strike, but with not quite enough strength to defeat her foe in any good time. Exasperated, Blaster’s spirit spoke to Defender saying, “Must you defeat him yourself in such a way? We could be well on our way!” Defender replied, “It is true brother, your strength could fell him in no time, if only you could lend it to me a short while.” “Of course Sister!”, Blaster replied, and moved part of his spirit into her. Exploding in light, Defender defeated her foe, but then ran off laughing, and has not returned her brother’s gift to this day.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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The City you see about you is beautiful, but it is only a fraction of the whole grandeur of Statesman's creation for it is but one aspect of the 11 fold nature of the City as it crosses the Servers. The Servers in turn hang like a row of dew drops on the vast stretch of the Web that is the Universe. For the universe in which the Servers exist is a web, and on a web there are spiders...

 

One day a Spider came to the City, and seeing what Statesman had created for himself and his children it grew jealous and wished to own the City for itself. So the Spider took a mirror and put in a place where beautiful mermaids sang, and behind this mirror he wove a web.

 

The first of Statesman's children to find the mirror was Scrapper. Startled by his own reflection, Scrapper did what Scrapper does in these situations, and struck it with a swift blow, cracking the mirror. When he saw what he had done, Scrapper laughed at his own folly and went to tell his siblings of the mirror. Together they came and stood to look into this curious thing. The cracked mirror twisted and blended their reflections. Tanker's reflection mingled with his brother Scrapper's while the crack appeared to twist his face as if in range. Defender and Controller's reflections mingled with that of their brother Blaster. Blaster's reflection split, mingling with his brother Scrapper's in a way that made them both seem thin a gaunt, while fracturing into a multitude of images near where it mingled with his sisters. Disturbed by this strangeness, the Children of Statesman shied away from it, and went to seek more familiar things.

 

Now images and webs both have power to trap, and as the Children of Statesman looked into the mirror some of their essence was caught in the Spider's web. The Spider took this essence and from it spun his own children. Brute from the rage twisted reflection of Scrapper and Tank. The twin sisters Corrupter and Dominator from the mingled image of Defender, Controller and Blaster. Stalker from the twisted and gaunt reflections of Blaster and Scrapper. Mastermind for the multitudinous reflections of Blaster and his sisters. The Spider then gathered together his children, these twisted and cracked reflections of what Statesman had wrought, and commanded them to win the City for their creator.

 

They moved swiftly and attacked without warning, finding each of the siblings alone. Stalker, moving in shadows, struck down Defender first before she had chance to react. Dominator held Blaster with her power so he could not resist her, and soon brought him low. Corrupter weakened Tank's defenses with her reflections of Defenders gifts and felled him with bolts such as her brother Blaster might use. Mastermind overwhelmed Scrapper with the creatures he could command, for Scrapper could face but one at a time. Brute sought Controller, but could not find her.

 

Hiding in fear Controller listened to the laments of her sibling's spirits. Defender, always loudest in complaint, felt she had been particularly ill treated, but it is Defender's gift also to find solutions. "Sister", said Defender, "take of my spirit as I once took of our brother Blaster's and you can rouse us all!" Defender moved part of her spirit into Controller, who then called her siblings to her and breathed life back into them.

 

"Listen my siblings", spoke Defender, and so saying handed her sister an arrow. "Break that arrow sister", said Defender, and Controller easily did so. Defender then took a bundle of arrows, handed it to Controller and said, "Now break these". Truly while the arrows were tied together, Controller could not break them. Defender than spoke earnestly to her siblings, "Alone we fell easily. Stand together and share our power, and we are greater than this evil!"

 

The siblings who had not yet shared their spirits now did so. Tank gave some of his spirit to Scrapper who in turn gave some of his to Blaster. Controller gave some of her spirit to Blaster and Blaster, looked at his sister meaningfully. And Defender smiled.

 

The battle that followed was long and great. It shattered the earth and rended the very walls of the City. But as Defender had said, while the Children of Statesman stood together, they were greater than the Children of the Spider, and were in time victorious. The Spider and his children fled though a gap in the walls of the City far out into the ocean, and were never seen again in the City. While their children and their children's children may from time to time assault its walls, the City belongs now, and forever, to the Children of Statesman.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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The Children of Statesman prospered and multiplied in his City until the streets teemed with the descendants of Blaster, Controller, Defender, Scrapper and Tank, and Atlas Park rang with their calls. And so the time came, as it need must, for the Great Progenitors to leave the City so that their children would not forever seem small in their great shadows. Each, before parting, wished to leave their children with a gift by which they would be remembered. So it was that they called their families togther...

 

Blaster spoke to his children saying, "My children, I must leave you now and cross over the ocean. I leave you with this: So that you know that my spirit is always with you, when your strength wanes and you stand on your last footing I will lend you my strength so that you may strike down your foes with your last breath." A grandchild of Blaster stood forth and spoke, "But Great Father, you will only lend us your aid when we are near death?" Blaster laughed long and deep and answered, "My child, if you are truly a child of mine, you will find yourself there often!"

 

Controller spoke to her children saying, "My children, I must leave you now and cross over the ocean. I leave you with this gift: So that you know that my spirit is always with you, when your foe is helpless in your grip, I will lend my own strength to your blows that you may strike down those you have subdued." A grandchild of Controller stood forth and spoke, "But Great Mother, is not our role to aid our siblings by subduing their foes. Not to surplant the Children of Blaster?" Controller laughed and replied, "My child, the children of Blaster and Scrapper will soon grow bored if you never allow them a fight!"

 

Scrapper spoke to his children saying, "Kids, I must leave you now and cross over the water, but before I go: So that you know that my spirit is always with you, I will from time to time lend you my strength, doubling your own!" A son of Scrapper stood forth and spoke saying, "Thanks Dad". Scrapper smiled and replied,"Good on ya Reg! I don't care what Statespop says, I love ya!"

 

Tank spoke to his children saying, "My children, I must travel now over the ocean and leave the City to your keeping. Before I go, I leave you with this: So that you may know that my spirit is always with you, while you engage a foe I shall see that he does not flee from you." A grandchild of Tanks stood forth and said, "Great Father, does this mean I need no longer waste all my breath taunting my foes" Tank laughed and answered, "It may at that my daughter, but I don't know if the others will ever believe it!"

 

Defender spoke to her children saying, "My children, I leave you now to travel over the ocean so that you may grow without me overshadowing you. Before I go, I leave you with this: So that you know that my spirit is with you in your darkest hour, when you are exhausted and your allies near defeat, I will lend you a small part of my vigor." A grandchild of Defender stood forth and complained thus, "Great Mother, If I do my work well my allies are never anywhere near defeat! Scrapper and Controller have given their children far greater gifts, why do you give us so little?!" Defender looked sternly and answered, "You are arrogant, impudent, and ungrateful!" Then smiled and added, "Truly you are my daughter. Never change that, it shows you care about what you do. Why do I give so little? What little I give, is what little you need. I need not give much for you are MY children and you are strong!"

 

Defender no longer walks these streets, my brothers and sisters, but her spirit is with us. She may not need to lend us her aid often, but why should she need to. We are the Children of Defender and we are strong.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Over time the First Children of Defender grew older and wiser, but as is it will, the City of their childhood changed and filled with younger generations. In this way much of the City became strange and foreign to them. As you grow old, my beloved child, you will see for yourself how this is so. Perhaps the strangest place to them, in this world both new and old, was the lands around the deep pit that lies near Atlas Park. This land was home to a tribe known as the Pugs, who had ways and language all their own.

 

It came to pass that one day the youngest of Defender's First Children, Trick, journeyed past this land, where he was accosted by a Pug. "Are you Healer?", asked the Pug. "I am Trick?", Trick answered. "Lawl" said the Pug in his own strange language, then, "Do you heal? We need help to defeat a great monster of fire and ice." Trick replied, "I do not heal, but if you need help..." The Pug answered is his own language saying, "EhnEhm. KayKay. Tanks" then ran off to accost another passing hero. Trick supposed the Pug had behave politely in its own way, but he felt irritated and prideful at it's behavior. So Trick resolved to journey into the Land of the Pit to see this great monster for himself.

 

Near the mouth of the pit Trick came upon a large throng of Pugs surrounding a young Child of Empathy. She sat reclining like a Queen and nibbled on a bowl of grapes. Trick fought his way through the crowd to ask the Child of Empathy what manner of strangeness was at work here. Reaching near the spot where she reclined he called out, "Child! Why do the Pugs crowd around you so and feed you grapes?" Aitchelar, for that was her name, answered, "They love me because I am their healer and they could not face the great demon of this land without me." Trick's pride swelled within him and he spoke, perhaps unjustly, with anger in his voice. "Do you think this is what a Child of Defender is meant to be? Sitting here eating only grapes and following Pugs around to heal them? You do not need 'heals' to defeat this monster of fire and ice!" Aitchelar laughed, for Trick seemed a foolish tempermental old man to her, and the Pugs mocked him saying "lawl" and calling him "nube". "So be it!", thundered Trick, "I go to slay this monster. Who will come with me?!" The throng laughed all the harder, but one young girl child of the Pugs stepped forward and said, "I will come". So it was that Trick and a Pug Girl ventured out together to slay the Monster of Fire and Ice.

 

The girl led Trick to a cave of ice in which could be heard the laughter of Trolls. Trick strung his bow and crept cautiously forward, the Pug, wide eyed, following behind. As they came upon the first Troll, Trick used his crafty arrows to blind it then freeze it in a block of ice. He noticed the girl cowering in fear nearby and saw that she had a bow, almost new and unused, strapped to her back. "What are you waiting for?", laughed Trick, "You finish this one while I prepare the next!" The girl hesitantly drew her bow. While her aim was poor and her shot weak, blinded and frozen by Trick, the Troll could do little in response. Soon enough she defeated it. They traveled on in this way, the girl growing ever bolder in her use of her bow, and it seemed to Trick that while this young Pug was with him some of the strength of his own youth returned to him. As Defender taught us, the Children of Statesman are strongest when they stand together. By the time they reached the Monster of Fire and Ice, Trick and the Pug Girl were acting as one, and it was soon felled with little harm to either.

 

They walked together back to the gathering place of the Pugs, and Trick threw the slain monster before them saying, "See, no "Healer" is needed!". "Lawl" said the Pugs and "Ellemayoh", "You had a healer with you!". Trick turned to the girl and saw that, indeed, she did have look of his sister Empathy, and realized why he felt his old strength return when with her. No healing had been needed, but Trick knew now that he would never convince the Pugs of this. Sighing in exasperation he turned to leave. Before he had taken a step, the Pug Girl ran up to him and said, "Great Father, take me with you and teach me!" Trick's face brightened and he tossed the girl some fruit from his pack saying, "Come! You will need food, for we have far to go. I shall show you things you have never seen before!"

 

So some young Children of Defender go to play with the Pugs, where they are loved for certain things, and some young Pugs join the Children of Defender and see and do more. In this way there is Balance. But always wise old men and women shall grumble and be prideful. In this way there is Tradition.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Scrapper had three sons, Dark, Essar, and Reg. Of these, his favorite was Reg, and he gave him great gifts. The Children of Scrapper and the Children of Tank will often stand rigid, braced against the might of their foes. It was Reg's gift to bend to their might, but quickly recover and not break. As the thin Reed can survive the storm that fells the mighty Oak, so Reg could survive much that his siblings could not. But remember my child, it is not wise to laugh at the storm.

 

In his youth, Reg was given much to laughing. He would laugh to himself while meeting challenges alone that would daunt his cousins en masse. He would laugh to himself while felling the greatest foes, then come to the meeting places to brag of his deeds. While his allies in a task struggled to withstand an onslaught, Reg would laugh and run on alone to the next challange that awaited. In this was his undoing.

 

There was a day when Reg found himself standing with Storm and Tank's daughter Ice against a great force of Thorns. Sighting another mass of their foes standing nearby, Reg laughed and ran off to face them. He noted not the ones that, roused from their slumber, turned not on him, but his friends. Their own numbers reduced and their enemies doubled, Storm and Ice found themselves overwhelmed. Now Storm had been holding back his strength out of respect for his cousin, but now he unleased his full force. The Thorns were thus beaten back and destroyed, but not before Ice fell beneath their weight. As they waited for Ice to recover her strength, she chastised Storm saying, "I have told you before it makes my task harder when you do that!" Reg added his support to Ice saying, "Yeah! Whenever you unleash that Tornado it just brings us trouble!" Reg would have been wise to note the dark cloud that crossed his cousin's face.

 

From time to time, Statesman would gather his children together to have them show what deeds they could accomplish, and what challanges they could meet. As one such time approached, Storm went in secret to where the shattered Mirror of the Spider lay and gathered from it some of the Spider's webbing. He then took a lowly Skul and using the webbing fashioned a false appearance around it such that it appeared a great and fearsome monster.

 

As each of the Children of Statesman demonstrated for their creator their deeds great and small, Storm spoke out saying, "Oh Mighty Statesman, Scrapper's son Reg has often told us in the meeting places of the great deeds he accomplishes alone. There is a great and fearsome monster just over there. Why if half of what Reg tells us is true he should be able to fell it without aid!" Now Statesman knows that his children require challenge to thrive and grow, so Storm's claim caused him great concern. "Show us", commanded Statesman. Reg, though sure he would fail, did as he was told.

 

When the monster was felled in short order with little effort, Reg was too puzzled to laugh. Statesman spoke saying, "My child you have become over mighty. I must take some of your strength so that you will be challenged. I know this will pain you now, but you will thank me in the end." Reg pleaded saying, "No! There is some mistake! I cannot have done this! You are lying when you say this is why you take my strength!" Statesman face clouded and he turned to Scrapper saying, "Your son does not seem to wish to be challenged. You must teach him better."

 

In time Statesman learned of his mistake, and returned some of Reg's strength to him, but not all of it. Reg does not laugh as often these days. He must pay attention now to the fates of his allies. He needs their support, and this is well. Someday he may yet learn how Storm's gifts work, but that day has not yet come to pass.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

 

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Balance. Balance is important in all things. Imbalance soon leads to destruction, and thus to balance again. Statesman, it is often said, knows his children need challange to thrive and grow. Too little and they will perish from boredom. Too much and they will perish from despair. Balance must be sought. But inertia is another form of death. While there must be balance, their must also be change. The pendulum may always swing about the balance point, but the pendulum does swing.

 

There is a land in the south of the City noted for its sunny plazas and towering waterfalls. Pleasant though this land is, it is beset at times by a great and powerful Titan. A worthy challange for many heroes. Bold Children of Statesman would summon this beast to face it, almost always they were victorious till it came to seem not the challange it once was. So it was that Statesman took some of the power he had taken from Scrapper's son Reg, and gifted it to the Titan.

 

One day it came to pass that Radia was travelling through the Land of the Falls when she noted a sad a somber procession marching forth from the place of healing. Radia stopped the leader of the procession, a Child of Blaster, and asked, "Why such despair my child?". The Child of Blaster answered, "I was defeated in battle.." Radia interrupted asking, "This is unusual Child of Blaster?" "I WAS DEFEATED IN BATTLE", came the reply more loudly "And woe is upon us for I have unleashed a great evil. I summoned the Great Titan, as many have done in the past, but the Titan who now lays waste to the south of this land is like none before! Though we assault it in great numbers, it seems to feel not our blows. It seeks me, I go to give myself to it in hope that it will leave us in peace." Radia replied boldly saying, "I shall not let you give way to despair. I shall face this Titan, and together we shall see what can be done!"

 

Traveling to the south they found the Great Titan, alone an unharmed, surrounded by a multitude of the fallen. All could hear their spirits greatly lamenting the power of this foe who seemed to recover faster than ever they could do it harm. Radia gathered her strength and sought inspiration from within until she glowed with an inner light. Then launched herself, alone and unaided, against the mighty beast. The multitude watched in suprise, for they had spent much time amongst the Pugs, and had not before seen such bold action from a Child of Defender. Radia's movements were truly inspired. Her attacks hit home while the Titans mighty blows could not find her. Assaulted by Radia's unique gifts to weaken her enemies the Titan did what no other had seen it do: It staggered back. "Join me!", Radia called out, and so saying revived those around her adding her own great strength to theirs. Encouraged, all there present rushed to her aid.

 

The battle was long and difficult. The rewards split amongst so many, were few. None the less, as the Great Titan fell, a fierce joy filled the company. They called out hailing Radia and asking what reward they might offer her. Radia answered saying, "I need no reward except this joyous moment with you, and this one boon: Remember always that great challenges will from time to time be set before us. Despair not! Relish them instead as opportunities for great deeds!" Somewhere, Defender must have smiled. Proud of the wise words of her daughter, and amused that one of her children would chastise others for complaining

 

Heed Radia's words my friends and relish great challenges as you would relish great power. Both in time must pass. Always there is balance, but the pendulum does swing.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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When the City was young and the Great Progenitors still walked its streets, there was a land at its borders of high mountains and many caves. Within these caves grew the Kora fruit, which has power to give strength to a Child of Stateman. Each day as meal time approached, Defender would send some of her children to these caves to gather fruit. An offering of chopped fruit is still, to this day, considered an honorable offering amongst the Children of Defender. In those distant days when the First Children of Defender were still young, they would compete to be the first to return with the best fruit.

 

First in these contests was Kin, who was gifted with great speed. Last was dour Darkity, who was slowed by a black sheep she was required to care for in her travels, but that is different tale. In this tale it is Darkity, last and slowest, who is first to make a great discovery. In the deepest part of the deepest cave in the furthest mountain she came upon a wonder. Darkity found two great and shining fruit, one of silver, and one of gold. Resolving this time to be first back, she secured her sheep in a safe place and ran as fast as you could manage towards her home. Wreathed in dark clouds and vapours, she did not escape her brother's notice.

 

Running towards his sister with all his great speed, Kin saw the two great fruit and desired greatly to take them home himself. So when Darkity came to a narrow bend on a high pass, he reached out with his gifts and greatly increased her speed. Darkity hung, startled, in the air for a moment before Gravity took notice and flung her down. In that instant her brother rushed past and stole the fruit.

 

Now the game was on.

 

Pulling herself up from the ground, Darkity reached out with her own gifts and set before Kin a great patch of clinging darkness. Some aura of the fruit must have enhanced her strength for as Kin reached it he came to a sudden stop and fell flat. The fruit arced through the air shining brightly in the City light, and Darkity ran towards them, her arms out stretched. She was almost within reach when Kin freed himself at last. Kin reached out with his gifts again to slow his sister. He too must have gained strength from merely holding the fruit, for his sister was slowed as if time itself had nearly stopped, the fruit balanced gently on her fingertips. Again Kin rushed past and stole the fruit.

 

Darkity released a clouding darkness as she had done in the past to hide herself and her friends from harm. She hoped that she might obscure her brothers way, and he might trip in the darkness, but again the presence of the golden and silver fruit seemed to greatly enhance her power. A great all consuming darkness spread forth for miles around till all that was visibly was the twin glowing orbs clutched close to Kin's chest. He stopped, unable to see his path before him, but Darkity was daunted by no darkness and it was her who this time rushed past and stole the fruit.

 

And so the chase went on, one sibling tricking or thwarting the other as their strength grew and grew under the influence of the fruit. Soon they began to discover skills they had never known before. Darkity found the gift to draw strength from the life around her, and to protect herself with dark auras. Kin found mastery of his own strength such that he could focus and conserve it as never before. The contest became a series of ever greater bursts of light and dark until the very mountains about them began to shatter and drift into the Outer Void, and Statesman himself took notice.

 

Statesman caused a great weariness to come upon the two Children of Defender and they soon fell into a deep slumber, Kin clutching the golden fruit and Darkity the silver. He then took the fruit and set them in sky above the City, where they continue the chase to this very day. In time all would benefit from their invigorating glow. The children Statesman returned to their mother, who was most displeased. For Darkity had lost her sheep.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Controller and her daughters had the gift of summoning to their aid elemental creatures of fire, stone, ice, light, and even the very fabric of the world. Now Defender and her children had been cursed from the Beginning to not use their greatest gifts for their benefit alone. So it was with great jelousy that the Children of Defender watched the Children of Controller use the gifts Defender once shared with their mother to aid their loyal pets. It was this dark emotion that moved Defender's dark daughter to gain herself a pet.

 

If Darkity was Defender's dark daughter, then Illusion was Controller's light daughter for it was her gift to weave weapons, traps, and allies from the Luminous Either itself. It was to Illusion that Darkity went to seek her prize. "Do you not like me cousin?", asked Darkity. Sighing in a way that suggested that at this moment she did not, Illusion replied, "Why whatever makes you say that?" Darkity answered thus, "Every day I watch you stride the City aided by the companions you weave for yourself. I watch you strengthen them with gifts you have from my family. You have so much, but do not share with us. So I wonder, is it that you don't like us?" "Of course I like you cousin", said Illusion with little conviction, "what would you have me share?" "Make me a pet!", was the rapid reply. In the pause that followed, there was a twinkle in Illusion's eye.

 

"Of course dear cousin!" Illusion beamed, "But first you must make me a promise." "Yes?" asked Darkity eagerly. With a stern expression Illusion commanded, "You must swear an Unbreakable Oath to always keep and care for the pet I make you." Her prize in sight, Darkity eagerly did as her cousin asked. Taking some of the darkness that surrounded her cousin, Illusion called on her gifts and wove from the Ether a small black sheep. The sheep and its new mistress stood staring at each other, both looking slightly bewildered. Illusion laughed saying, "Why cousin! It looks just like you!" As she faded from sight, her laughter lingered in the air.

 

Ah brothers and sisters, someday the other Children of Statesman may learn it is not wise to anger a Child of Defender. As she walked home holding her shivering charge, Darkity's thoughts turned to revenge...

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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The Children of Statesman will often gather at the Great Hall in Atlas Park to trade stories, to see, and to be seen. This has long been the case. So it was to an audience that Darkity stode the next day into the plaza. Her head was held high and proud, and her sheep walked behind her, trotting to keep up. The gathering fell silent as heads turned one by one to see this novel sight. Illusion, standing by her siblings, whispered to them and laughter broke out from that corner. Scrapper's son Essar was first to speak,

 

"Cousin?"

 

"Yes cousin Essar?"

 

"Uhmmmm, Why do you have a sheep?"

 

Darkity laughed and replied, "Why this is my noble and powerful ally in battle, woven for me from darkness and light by our cousin Illusion. I am almost afraid to be seen with it, but swore to always keep it with me."

 

"Afraid cousin?" asked Essar, puzzled even futher.

 

"Yes afraid!", Darkity said earnestly, "For such an ally has made me so strong that I fear I will draw Statesman's eye. Why already today I have felled a great foe unaided!" Then glancing nervously around, "...but I should not speak of it..."

 

"Bah!" said Essar, to the sheep's agreement, "Children of Defender cannot do such things alone! I shall need to see it or it never did happen!"

 

"Very well then.", Darkity replied calmly, "I shall prove it, but I think some form of wager is called for. I shall offer a Boon if anyone shall do the same." "A Boon?!", laughed Essar, "Just that, anything we care to name you shall do? I should not make such a wager for any cause!" Darkity seemed so sure of herself that the Children of Statesman there gathered grew doubtful. Perhaps this little sheep was indeed a force in battle? Illusion, of course, suffered from no such illusions. She stood forth from her siblings and spoke surely saying, "We shall match your wager cousin." Darkity smiled.

 

The smile had its intended effect, for as the company followed Darkity forth from Atlas Park, Illusion's siblings spoke nervously to her. "What have you done sister! Clearly she is up to something. Tricks and traps are your gift. Do something!" "Shhh!", Illusion hushed them, "she must have planned some trick using the sheep. I shall use a trick I know so that she cannot aid it as an ally." So saying, Illusion reached out her gifts and did just that. Darkity pretended not to notice.

 

The company reached a distant place, and standing by a burned and battered box Darkity called out. "Dreck! I challange you! Come forth!" So summoned Dreck, Great Father of the Freaks, approached the company and spoke saying, "Wh47 i5 thi5?" "A challange!", answered Darkity, "Join me in that building nearby, so my family cannot aid me, and I shall fell you in combat!" "U pwn me!", laughed Dreck, then walked to the building and gestured to show he was ready. Darkity strode confidently forward. As she walked, Darkity used a trick she knew and sometimes used on her foes. She shrouded the sheep in darkness such that it was unable to do any harm, but also removed from all harm. The former was, in this case, a technicality.

 

Darkity strode into the building and, walking to the far wall, placed the sheep before Dreck. They looked at each other, both slightly bewildered. Darkity spoke with authority saying, "This is my great and powerful ally in battle. You cannot defeat it. Surrender now." Dreck laughed mightly and drawing all his strength to him, smote the sheep. The wall crumbled around them and the earth shook, but the sheep was unharmed. Stepping to her right and guiding the sheep with her, Darkity spoke again, "I had heard you were a mighty foe. Is that your best effort?" Again Dreck called upon his strength and struck down upon the sheep. The earth shook, the wall crumbled about them, and Darkity herself was thrown back and forced to call upon her gifts to remain standing.

 

The sheep was unharmed.

 

Stepping into the doorway, Darkity spoke again, "I had thought there were no female Freaks, but it appears I was mistaken. Here, try again!" So saying, she set the sheep again before Dreck. Again Dreck called upon all his strength and smote down upon the sheep. "That's three", said Darkity as she grabbed the sheep and stepped back out of the building. As the third wall crumbled, so did the entire building, and its vast weight crushed Dreck to the ground. The company burst into applause. All except the Children of Controller.

 

For her Boon Darkity had returned to her all those aspects of her mother's gift to Controller that resembled her own gifts. To this day, the Dark Children of Defender alone share no gifts with the Children of Controller.

 

The sheep, as you know, was one day lost in the furthest and deepest cave where Kora fruit grow. An Unbreakable Oath cannot be broken, and so the sheep even then returned to Darkity's keeping. It was, in some strange way, changed by the experience and a true aid in danger from that day on. The sheep has never been able to satisfactorily explain how this came to pass.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Kin and Darkity's Chase shattered the Land of the Kora Fruit into many shards of land and rock that floated in the Void Beyond. Strange creatures came from the Void and took up residence there, and jealously garded the fruit. So strong were these creatures, that while they all tried their best tricks, none of the Children of Defender were able to best them and return home with the Kora. Defender and her family went without their meals of chopped Kora Fruit for a great while, and lamented it greatly. So one day it came to pass that Sonic and Bubbles resolved to set competition aside and try together to win some Kora Fruit.

 

As they entered a cave together, each encircled by the protecting gifts of the other, they were beset upon by a large brutish monster that guarded its entrance. The creature rushed upon Sonic and would have surely struck him down had not his sister come to his aid. Bubbles called upon her gifts to push the fiend back against the cave wall, where it could not harm them. This began to sap her strength, and it would have failed her ere long had her brother not been with her. Sonic sang a Resonant Note that weakened the monsters defenses and togther the sibilings struck it down before Bubbles lost the strength to hold it at bay.

 

Travelling deeper in the came upon a wraith like spirit that sang a song designed empty the mind of those that listened. Bubbles might had succummbed to this siren song, but her brother sang a song of clarity of mind and drowned it out. Bubbles then trapped it in globe where it could do no harm, and the siblings travelled on together.

 

At last they came to a chamber where the Kora Fruit grew, watched by a great and baleful Eye. It turned its gaze upon the siblings, and that gaze was like a fire that burns, but it burned not these brave Children of Defender. Bubbles summoned her strength and threw out a great protective dome that protected them from harm and threw back their foe. Sonic tapped his strength and sang with such force that they very ground about quivered and the Eye was stunned by its force. They then both turned upon it with full fury until blinded at last, it sank into the earth.

 

As they proudly set their basket of fruit before Defender she offered praise saying, "Well done! Which child of mine has done this, for they shall choose the best fruit for themselves!" Sonic and Bubbles both spoke at once, Sonic telling how his great song had stunned the baleful Eye. Bubbles how they passed the wraith like spirit after she captured it in a globe. Soon, each hearing the other, they turned about. Bubbles reminded Sonic how he might have been burned to ashes by the Eye had she not protected him. Sonic reminded Bubbles how she would still be listening to the Spirit Song had he not sung all the louder.

 

Defender noticed the argument beginning and how her Children grew angry with one another and spoke firmly but kindly saying, "Have we not gone without fruit for many days because my Children must fight? Yet here we have fruit again before us because you worked together. Neither of you could have done this alone. Be proud my Children not only in your own deeds, but what others can achieve with your aid! Remember this and you will have much to be proud of."

 

Remeber this lesson Children of Sonic, Children of Bubbles. As did your distant Great Mother and Great Father, you have much to be proud of.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Kin's gifts included great speed and the ability to share it with others. This was much valued and praised amongst the other Children of Statesman. They would assail Kin saying, "Boost my speed please", and "This is wearing off, another please", and sometimes, "Cut that out! Everytime you do that I collide with the wall!" So Kin had many friend's amongst the Children of Statesman and few enemies, and those few enemies could be recognized by their flat noses.

 

Sadly, in time, gratitude will turn to expectation and expectation to demand. So it was with Kin's gifts. Over time the courtesy faded from the pleases, and "Thank you" became replaced by "Where is..." and "Why haven't you...". Rare is the man so noble that he will always give thanks for that which is freely given. It is the curse of Kin and his Children to learn this hard lesson again and again.

 

One day Kin was hunting with Tank's son Granite. Granite had inherited many gifts from his father, but was also the very apotheosis of his father's slowness. Granite often sought Kin's company, for it benefitted him greatly, but he had perhaps grown to take his cousin's help for granted. So it was that when Kin was startled by a Thorn Wizard and held tightly by his evil magics, Granite did not notice.

 

Granite noticed himself slowing and called out, "I slow! Speed me cousin".

 

"Mmmph!" replied Kin.

 

Time passed while Granite pounded methodically upon a Caster of Fires till he called out again, "Where is my speed cousin!"

 

"Mmmmph, mmm!", replied Kin.

 

Granite cirlced about to face another foe, and unknowingly drew the Wizard's attention. So it was that the Wizard also fell in time, a great time in fact, to Granite's patient work. By then Kin had freed himself. "Hmmph", said Granite, "I know this trick. If you just intend to watch someone work, watch someone else.", and so saying went on alone. Kin went to see his sister Darkity.

 

The next day as Granite set out to hunt he found, wating in a cave he often hunted in, a strange black creature the like of which he had not seen before. "Ha! Be gone!", said he as he struck it was his mighty right fist. His fist sunk into the creature and stuck solid. "Let go!", bellowed Granite, and attempted to push his foe away with his strong left hand. His left hand was soon as well stuck as the right. "You may think you have defeated me", warned Granite, "by I have feet to fight with too!", and so saying kicked hard at this strange new threat. Soon his foot was as solidly stuck as his hands, and Granite was left slowly hopping about the cave. In time he colided with a wall and both he and the creature made of tar, for such it was, both stuck fast to the rock.

 

As Granite struggled to free himself, Kin walked by and asked, "Do you need help cousin Granite?" "You can see that I do!", replied Granite angrily. "Yes I can", replied Kin, "Why I was just thinking yesterday, while held still by the magic of a Wizard, that a good friend notices when His Friends Need Help." The last words Kin clicked into place like heavy blocks of stone, so that Granite was sure not to miss them. Sheepishly, Granite asked, "Will you help me cousin?"

 

So Kin lent a hand, and Granite was in time freed, though he was left with great slabs of the cave wall stuck about him. He claimed to his siblings, perhaps out of embarrassment, to like the protection they provided. His Children continue the custom to this very day. Of all the Children of Statesman, they are also the most likely to show gratitude to the Children of Kin.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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One night Empathy was awoken by a great light. Stepping outside to see what had broken the darkness, Empathy was startled to see Statesman writing in a great book.

 

"What do you write Great Father?" asked Empathy in an awed voice.

"I write the names of those who have met the greatest challenges." answered Statesman.

"Do you write my name?" asked Empathy, lower still.

"Nay", replied Statesman. He shut his book, and darkness fell.

 

The next day Empathy set out to hunt with her siblings, determined to achieve great things. Together they faced a great monster. Her brother Trick stumbled too close and was struck by a powerful blow. Empathy knew her brother would be hard pressed to recover himself, and so reached out her gifts to heal him. He and the others thus rallied and defeated the foe. Trick turned, smiling, and imitated the voice of Scrapper saying, "Great heals sister!" All the company laughed, but Empathy was troubled that she had not yet met a great challange.

 

The next day Empathy again set out to hunt with her siblings, again determined to meet a great challange. Together they faced a great hoard of Skuls. Each was individually of little challange, but their numbers where so great that they Children of Defender would in time tire and fall. Empathy could speed and envigorate a companion, but one alone would not be enough. She therefore reached out her gifts and lent speed and vigor to Kin, who was thus able to share his gifts with all the others. The Skuls were defeated and all congratulated Kin on his help. Kin turned to his sister and said, "I know if the others don't, we couldn't have done it without you.". Empathy thanked her brother, but was troubled that she had not herself met a great challange.

 

The next day Empathy set out once more to hunt with her siblings, still determined to meet a great challange. Together they battled a force of the black clad Malta and brightly dressed Carnies. Empathy knew that it was important to make sure they not stun or disable Darkity or Radia, whose concentration on weakening their foes would be greatly needed. She concentrated much of her effort on keeping their defenses strong and their heads clear so that they would not become distracted. Thus freed to act, Darkity and Radia achieved greater things than Empathy could hope to herself. While they earnestly thanked her, Empathy still was troubled that she had not herself met a great challange.

 

That night Empathy was again awoken by a great light. Stepping outside she once again saw Statesman writing in his great book. Empathy spoke to him, quietly but earnestly, saying, "I may not myself meet great challanges, but write me as one who has gained the love of the Children of Defender."

 

Statesman showed her the book, and Empathy's name led all the rest.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Statesman was proud of his son Blaster who strived always and never gave up, though he fell often. He desired, therefore, to give him a gift to reward him. So he called Defender to him and asked, "You have often hunted with my son Blaster and protected him with your gifts. Surely you must know as no other, what is my son’s greatest weakness." Defender answered saying, "Why that he has no means to protect himself from harm. Tank and Scrapper have their armors. Controller has her allies, and I can blind and weaken my foes, but Blaster has no such gifts." So Statesman said to Defender, "I shall create from the darkness of night weapons that can smite and blind a foe such that Blaster might gain protection from his enemies as he fights them. Go tell your brother of this boon."

 

Now Defender quite liked the sound of such weapons, and did not wish her brother to need her aid any the less. So Defender went to her brother and said, "Our father spoke of you to me earlier today". "Oh?" asked Blaster, "What did he say?" "Well", said Defender, "he said that you clearly enjoy your ability to do great harm at distance, but for the sake of all, you should do more to weaken them instead. He said he would call you to him and change your gifts to make this so." Blaster did not wish to give up any of his great fires and energies and said, "This is terrible sister, whatever shall I do?" Defender replied earnestly saying, "Such things are my job brother. Tell Statesman that I will gladly take whatever he has planned for you, and that you wish it so. I am sure he will listen." So the next day when Statesman called Blaster before him, Blaster said, "Father, whatever you have planned for me, my sister Defender has agreed to take. Weakening our foes is her job, so I gladly agree." Smiling Statesman said, "If that is what you wish. Such generosity of spirit! Truly I am proud of you my son." Blaster was greatly annoyed when he realized what his sister had done, but with such praise from his father, what could he say?

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Defender's daughter Bubbles in her own time had many children. One of these was her son Shield. Shield was a diligent companion in seeing to the protection of his friends. After his duty was met, however, Shield would let his attention wander. If there were glowing prizes to be had, Shield would run off to claim them, even while his friends still fought.

 

One of Shield's friends was Blaster's son Dev. Dev's talents lay in tricks and traps. Talents Dev decided to use to teach Shield a lesson. So Dev took a brightly polished box and lined it with honey. Then he placed it near a spot where he and Shield liked to hunt.

 

The next day they hunted together, Dev lead them along a path he had prepared. Shield extended his gifts to protect his friend. Then Dev patiently began laying a series of traps. Shield watched for a while, then growing restless asked, "What ever are you doing!" "Laying a trap for someone.", replied Dev. Dev continued to patiently construct his increasingly complex set of snares. "This is taking forever!", complained Shield, "What could possibly be worth all this work." "Fear not!", answered Dev, "you will not soon forget the experience you gain today." Shield grew bored beyond his limited ability to bear and looked around for a way to amuse himself. Nearby, he saw the box shining in the light. "Ah", said Shield to himself, "shiny!", and rushed to open the box. Forth from the box came a cloud of insects. Many of them had stingers. All of them were annoyed.

 

Dev turned to see Shield jumping and waving his arms about in frustration, and laughed heartily to himself. Dev took much pleasure in repeating the tale to all who would listen. Always his favorite part was to imitate Shields motions. In this way, Shield was taught a lesson, and dancing was brought to the City.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

 

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You have read how the Spider came to the City from the Web that is the Universe. You have read also how when the Land of the Kora Fruit was shattered creatures came from the Void Beyond to dwell there and guard the fruit. Not only evil exists beyond the walls of the City. There is good also, and it, in time, also came to the walls.

 

Thus came the strange Kheldians to our land. They watched the Children of Statesman and were amazed and desired to become more like unto them. So one amongst them went to the each of the Great Progenitors to ask what most defined them.

 

"When are you most like yourself?" it asked Blaster. Blaster laughed and replied, "When I act before my foes and strike them down. When the battle is over ere it began. When I stand wreathed in fire and smoke encircled by my fallen foes. Then I am most like myself."

 

"When are you most like yourself" it asked Controller. Controller considered thoughtfully and replied, "When I move through the world with patience and grace, stilling and befuddling my foes. When my friends and allies, protected and strengthened, move before me like an all consuming wave. Then I am most like myself."

 

"When are you most like yourself" it asked Scrapper. Scrapper answered without hesitation, "When all others have fallen or fled and I alone stand and finish the fight. When the all too clever cannot cut the knot, and I draw my sword. When I Scrap! Then I am Scrapper!"

 

"When are you most like yourself" it asked Tank. Tank considered briefly, then answered slowly but confidently, "When I stand at the center of a great host, and their slings and arrows avail them not against me. When I hold against the charge so my friends may shelter behind me. When I am a touchstone of strength for all who follow me; I am myself."

 

"When are you most like yourself" it asked Defender. Defender had long before considered this question and replied thus, "When Blaster stands encircled by his fallen foes. When Controller has all in her grip. When Scrapper stands alone against great odds and prevails. When Tank stands unharmed against a great host. When all these things occur. When all these things come to pass because I did what needed to be done at the moment it needed to be done, and they barely realize it. Then I am their Defender."

 

So the Kheldian resolved to be like Blaster when needed, to be like Controller when needed, to be like Scrapper when needed, to be like Tank when needed. To be what was needed, when it was needed. In this way, it chose to be like Defender.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Look brothers and sisters! Do you see him, or is it her? Standing on the ridge just there, silhouetted against the dying sun. His white vestments flowing over her shoulder in the wind. The Mighty Storm! Proudest of Defender's Children. A feat which requires a great deal of pride indeed. Powerful and changeable, many may mistake her way for the way of Chaos. Not you and I, brothers and sisters, we know that his way is the way of Controlled Chaos. What you may not know is that this was not always so.

 

Long ago a young Storm went on his first hunt with her uncle Tank. As they approached the first group of Skuls, Tank began to offer advice. Too proud already to take advice from Tank, Storm laughed and rushed ahead. Tank waited and watched, expecting his young charge to learn an important lesson in humility. No lesson yet for Storm, who drove her foes before her with a mighty gust of wind and pelted them with snow and ice. Then, laughing still, Storm stood within a great hurricane of wind and sent them flying about.

 

"Stop!" cried Tank, "you are just making them angry!" "They cannot reach me uncle!", laughed Storm, and threw another dozen nearby high into the air with a tornado. "You will have the entire park chasing us if you keep that up!" warned Tank. "Sounds like fun!" shouted Storm" setting a lightning cloud to chase another dozen. So in this way Storm worked a circle round the park, infuriated Skuls pursuing in ever greater numbers. Till at last Storm came full circle.

 

"Uncle?" said Storm.

 

"Yes little one?" Tank replied.

 

"Some of them seem to be getting through.", said Storm, with perhaps a tiny hint of concern.

 

"That is to be expected." called out Tank, "there are some four score attacking you."

 

"Do you think perhaps you might help me?", asked Storm, attempting to sound calm and confident.

 

"There may be some four score attacking you little nephew", shouted Tank, "but there were twice that again in pursuit. I am somewhat busy myself!"

 

So it was that Storm learned a lesson. What lesson was that you may ask? Later, as she tended her child's bruises, Defender did just that. "Have you learned anything from this?" asked Defender. "Yes!", replied Storm earnestly, "If you are being chased by a dozen score of Skuls, run in a straight line." Defender laughed and said, "That is very wise my child."

 

Much later Storm learned control, but that is a different tale.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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The season has turned again, and once more the City is renewed. It streets and towers teem with life as the Children of Statesman seek out the new challenges set before them. We have seen some hard seasons in the past, and reaped some bitter harvests, but always there was also the joy of the new gifts a new season brings.

 

Look out over the City! See the crowd there at the new House of Trade. Here a line of Statesman's Children stand laughing and toying with bats as they wait their turn to meet the Avatar he has placed amongst us. Someday the Endless Winter may come, but today there is Spring and new life.

 

Someday the Endless Winter may come.

 

Turn now from the happy and lively sight of the City and our new Springtime and look with me into the future that may come. Here is Atlas Park, quiet and forlorn. A single voice calls out asking if anyone wishes to join a Hunt in the Sewers. No answer comes, his voice echoes across empty streets. We move on to the Land of the Pugs by the Great Pit. A few gather here. They stop us and ask if we are the one they seek, but Aitchelar has not been seen in this land for some time. Here is Perez Park. Ah brothers and sisters, do you remeber the crowds that gathered here once in the Springtime of the World. No crowds teem here now. Skuls gather and dance, but nobody watches. The Endless Winter has fallen.

 

Someday the Endless Winter may come.

 

But not today. Today it is Spring! And we go to play. Fear not the Winter today. In Statesman's City, while we play, the Winter shall not come.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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This is the last of the original stream of stories I produced. I was running out of ideas and wanted to quit before I wrote something with an annoying amphibious character with a strange accent that nobody really likes. So this story echoes the first post and speaks of endings and new beginnings.

 

Before signing off, however, I did promise to post more if inspiration struck. Thus there are three more stories to follow this one. Then we will have to see if my Muse rewards me for this (happy) labor.

 

- Jock Tamson, Who has not even the smallest intention of leaving for WoW and doesn't know how TMS got that impression the last time.

 

In the end the servers will be empty and without voice. Statesman shall move across the City and close the doors one by one. The City has been filled with villains to defeat and challenges to be met, and Skuls to be hunted. In the end, villains, challenges and Skuls lose their appeal when there are too few to share them with.

 

So Statesman will call back to him his 5 Children, Blaster, Controller, Scrapper, Tank and Defender. He will give them new life and new gifts and they shall move into new lands to begin the tales again.

 

To Defender he shall give the greatest gifts: The Knowledge that supporting your friends in need can mean much more than it has meant before in other lands. The Knowledge that with great power there comes great temptation to break copyright laws. The Wisdom of Fruit Salad and Pointed Sticks. Then Defender and her Children shall move out into other worlds and change them for the better.

 

But Defender, who is timeless and therefore changes not, shall say, "Do I have to?" Then, brothers and sisters, if we have all been very good, Statesman shall build us a new City.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist

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Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention!

- William Shakespeare

 

The fire has grown cold now. No warmth remains in these ashes. I had thought my tales here were done. The Spirit of Defender herself had perhaps inhabited and inspired me for a while, but Defender does not sit long in one place as Tank might. Her's is a restless spirit. It might touch and inspire you for a while. You might mistake what it brings for your own greatness. As many a Blaster and Scrapper has learned, mistake Defender’s might for your own and you will fall hard when her grace is withdrawn. So I sought to withdraw before I fell.

 

Yet here I stand again and stoop once more to build a fire in this hearth. Not because Defender’s grace has touched me, but because it has touched others and their tale must be told.

 

In the distant land to which they have withdrawn, the First Children of Statesman argue. This is the way of the Children of Statesman when taken away from his City. They gather to discuss and argue. One day it came to pass that they debated the best set of companions with which to confront the Avatar of The Spider Statesman had recently placed near his City.

 

“Certainly one of my family”, said Tank. “Someone must distract The Spider while others destroy his web. He is unassailable while it stands intact.”

 

“You’ll surely need one of my kids”, said Scrapper, “To take care of all the dangerous brood he summons about him. Tank’s kid will be too busy calling The Spider names. Someone has to take ‘em down fast.”

 

“You will need some firepower to take down the web then”, chuckled Blaster, “a couple of my family to do that without having to run about like mad things would be wise. Besides, everything always goes better with the occasional large explosion.”

 

“Well you will need some of my grandchildren to protect you then”, said Controller, “or some of Defender’s. Haven’t you always said we are strongest when we stand together sister? I think some of all our talents would be needed.”

 

Defender smiled. “Send enough of my children and it would not matter who else came.”

 

“Who would hold of The Spider?” scoffed Tank. “You would never have enough strength to destroy the web!” cried out Blaster and Scrapper. “They are right”, agreed Controller, “if not one of Tanks children, then one of my daughter Illusion’s children to help hold off The Spider or he would destroy all.”

 

“Let us see then”, said Defender and moved her spirit out into the city.

 

J-BOT 247

Mental Giant

Bard Song

Dark Blue Demon

Vanessa Valentine

Esoterrorist

Totalitarian

Not Putzing

 

While others may debate about the need for a Child of Tank, while the Pugs may cry out for a healer, while others may worry about the team they take with them to confront The Spider’s Avatar, the Children of Defender do not need to worry themselves. We adapt to what is needed. Statesman has yet to set before us a challenge that Defenders cannot meet. These eight Victors demonstrated this truth once more. Others will follow, but remember these names: The first all Defender team to complete Statesman’s Task Force.

 

- Jock Tamson, Mythologist.

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