Well, in for a Minor, in for a Major.
You bring your focus and attention onto this mysterious thing extending from your being and channel yourself and your power into it. It grows and expands, until you become very alarmed as you realize that A, this thing seems to be divine in nature and B, most importantly, it is becoming self aware!
Did you just make another Godling?!
You become completely still and silent, in all ways, as the entity...hatches, in a sense. It is...strange. One moment it is like an ethereal Kirin, then a vaguely equine mass of fire, now a great beast, and something...mortals have no proper adjective for the final shape. Something unearthly, almost eldritch. Almost like Chaos in some sense, but more...consistent in its strangeness.
You set aside your thoughts on that as this creation of yours, still ever shifting in form, looks around slowly before looking up at you.
And you see perfect obedience reflected in them.
"Master," it greets in a voice of reverence, bowing to you submissively.
You stare, your shock compounding itself as you come to understand. Forcing this being into existence had forced your mind to unlock the knowledge of what it is: A Servant. YOUR Servant.
Often called Angels or Demons, they are semi-divine creatures that exist solely to serve their gods in any and all fashions. Which wasn't unexpected as they are literally made from a god's essence. Luckily, they would regenerate even if they were killed, so you didn't have to worry about losing a piece of yourself entirely. Even better, they could use lesser versions of your powers and miracles! Their existence allowed them to move between the spiritual and physical world much easier than a god could. Which meant you could manifest them here. Or this one, at least. He...she...it was all you could make for now. Thankfully, that number would grow some over time, and eventually cap around the triple digit mark.
"How may I serve, Master?" it asked with a head tilt.
Okay, you'd deal with the finer details of WHO this Servant was later. Right now, you had to keep track of Shaded Gold. Servant wordlessly followed behind you as you came to the Hunter's location once more. He had only just entered the swamp proper, observing everything even when he didn't appear to be.
You were both relieved and uneasy about the lack of activity, but that gave you a moment to try and...process what you needed to do, to know.
Every God or Pantheon only had one type of servants, who could be customized to do anything:
The Elementals, and you could only pick one element, who were defined by their given nature...almost assuredly fire at this point. For some reason, Elementals were naturally talented at crafting, better than a mortal could do without a divine blessing. Interesting, powerful and potent, but probably a bit of a risk summoning one in a swamp.
The Akins, those that resembled a god's favored race, albeit a more idealized version of them. While not the physically mightiest, they had above average powers over magic and could interact with mortals the easiest. Which would make this revealing thing a lot easier, especially since the Akin were natural leaders, even more so in war time.
The Ferals who took on more monstrous appearances of a wild creature or monster, giving them incredible physical might without sacrificing mana. Their natural ability was more of a feature, being much larger than a creature of that type would normally be. The only downsides were the large size delaying their transit between the aether and the mortal realm, albeit briefly, and...their animalistic nature made them poor servants for non-violent tasks.
Then there were the Eldritch, who you were unbelievably and frustratingly tempted by despite them reminding you of Chaos: Yes, they were otherworldly. Yes, they were physically weak. And yes, they were probably the ones that had the hardest time interacting with mortals. BUT...they slipped between planes easily, they were the best in terms of magical power, and, by You, their natural talent! They were the guardians, the Guiders! Those that sought out the souls of your dead followers if they were unable to find their way to whatever afterlife you granted them: often the chance result of dying in far off lands or the potential intentional outcome of being slayed by another god's servant.
Note to self, don't be an unintentional flankhole by accidentally blocking another god's faithful passing on. Unless you really want to or have to be a flankhole.
You calm down, reminding yourself that you CAN grant that ability to any of the other three servants in time, just that Eldritch had it as part of their very being, like how the Eldritch could be great leaders like the Akin inherently were.
You glance at Your Servant, who is staring at you ever patiently. You direct It, still genderless in its unfinished state, towards Shaded. "You wish me to protect him as he searches, Master? With respect, I can aid him in locating your lost faithful if you complete me," It suggested, and you can sense its pure desire to be of use to you.
You conceded that point, but you aren't certain what Shaded may or may not be facing. Because whatever, if anything, that he has to fight here is something your followers will likely being dealing with long term. The servile entity falls silent, focusing your shared attention on Shaded's quest.
Just from the Hunter's surface thoughts and feelings, you knew he believed this was about the place where the party should have been. Something you confirmed if only to yourself, feeling that Kirin had passed here and never returned. It looked like the rest of the swamp so far. Plenty of plants and giant trees, patches of mud, and a large overturned trunk nearby.
Shaded stopped at the base of the over-sized stump, and bowed his head low to the ground, sniffing before shaking his head. "Poison, but not deadly," he murmured to himself as he used his magic to pull something off the floor. It looked like the skin of some large, berry-like plant that had popped like a balloon. You liked it even less than Shaded. It wasn't divine, but there was some trace of magic about it. Life magic, nature magic. Which, ironically, meant it wasn't natural. Magically enhanced and engineered to be some kind of gas bomb.
Not a god, but skilled none the less.
"No blood," Shaded continued as he scanned the area. None of you perceived any clues of a fight. "Ambush," he concluded grimly.
"Master," Servant called, floating up on the stump, at least three times the height of a Kirin. You glance to Shaded, who is already following drag marks up the stump's slope, before heading up to your servant. The broken trunk has a hollow path within in, making a convenient and hidden bridge. But in the ring of the stump were pudgy berries, half the size of an apple, clearly filled with something unpleasant. There were also more normal plants, mainly bananas. But the real give away was the foliage used as make shift camouflage.
You felt Shaded reach the last of the marks and knew he was coming to the same conclusion you had. Something intelligent had setup an outpost here.
He promptly sat down, leaned on his spear, and feigned a long, tired sigh. You knew it was an act, for whoever was watching. If they hadn't been observing him before, Shaded and you had no doubt they were now.
Unlike Shaded, you knew something he didn't. It was the only reason you hadn't rushed into making Servant into one type of another: Whatever was watching them wasn't a sapient creature. It was smarter than most animals, but it was still just an animal.
Shaded sprang to the side as a creature leapt down, trying to attack him. Shaded responded in kind by using the pole of the spear to knock the foe back, the tip leaving a a small wound.
You and Shaded both pause only briefly to take this creature in. It is primate based, but small, just below Shaded's haunches. Its head was rather large on its body, and it had hands and feet both suited for gripping and grabbing, along with a rather sturdy tail. But the most catching detail was that this creature seemed to be made out of wood and plants. Bark for skin, moss for fur, and little plants about its back and head. From the wound on its chest dripped tree sap.
It left out a rather large, howling screech as it lashed out at Shaded, its arms extending and enlarging as masses of vines.
You dub this creature a Vineky, and plant that thought in the back of Shaded's mind for when he tells this story. The hunter, in turn, merely scowled and lit himself ablaze. The Vineky screamed in animalistic pain even as the flames died out before they could spread. The beast backed away fearfully, sprouting vines from its tail to fling itself back into the trees and run off.
"That thing might have caught them, but it wasn't the one who planned this or took them away," Shaded concluded as he watched the faint shadow of the Vineky scurrying through the trees. "And it'll probably be back soon with backup..."
As the hunter debated what to do, exactly, so did you as you turned towards Servant, who was standing next to the contemplative Shaded. You had to make a decision, and it was one that you wouldn't be making yet if you had a choice. Because these wouldn't just be your servants, but the servants of the Kirin Trinity. While there could be some variance on abilities, your fellow gods would be stuck with whichever type you picked here and now.
Did you take Feral Servants, who would be right at home in the Grand Swamp and fight the battles your Kirin couldn't on their own?
Did you take the Akin Servants, who could mingle and connect with your followers the easiest, spreading your word directly at times?
Did you take the Elemental Servants, who would act as living forces of nature under your command, and craft wonders?
Did you take the Eldritch Servants, who could wield magic like the greatest of mages, could slip between realms with ease, and gather the lost fallen?
You look towards Shaded, who was already making his way down the path within the tree trunk. You didn't have long to figure out what to do, you knew that much. Because your Hunter would find his quarry soon if they didn't find him first.
Yep, next day post again, couldn't resist. Mystery was the supreme victor, double anything else. So, yes, you have servants. Angels, Demons, Spirits, call them whatever you want. But you only get one type, each that has an inherit nature and a free perk. If you had skipped on this, you would have made all the choices for them before...bringing them into existence.
And you met a native creature, a plant-based monkey that had something to do with your missing party, but not likely the true culprit. You know, unless Vineky already got the Simian Flu.(Planet of the Apes joke, lol)
For the record, you can get the perks for any type later, this is just what they start with. You can get Crafting, Leaders, Giant, and Guiding to any type later, among other things.
Always, got a good idea of where everyone is on regarding Chaos: Uncertain, Wary, but Optimistic seems to be the general mindset.
So, what type of servant shall you have?
If you voted C, also vote here:
SQ1: If B is picked, what type of creature do you want most servants to be?(Felines, canines, etc) Light Chimeraisms are fine, think Avatar Last Airbender world.
SQ2.: Suggestions for Servant Naming Schemes(like how Angel names all mean "Blank of God"). I can come up with these to be honest, I just wanted to know if you all wanted any special themes or such for the names.
Last Poll Result:
A. God of Life and Death7
B. Kirin Connection5
C. Shaded Blessing4
D. Godling Scouting4
PS HAPPY HALLOWEEN!