Book of Kaoz - Of Gods and Mortals

Kaoz sat with her Mother in the tent the Slavers had set up over the stream so they could bathe. It gave them privacy and also confined them to streams edge were the water was only knee deep. Kaoz hated it.

‘I bet the others are swimming downstream or racing across.’ She thought.

Ilana sat on the small stool pouring water over her head with the pitcher rinsing her hair. Kaoz sighed.

“Is it such a chore, Kaoz?” Ilana asked. She knew how it bothered her to be confined, she had gotten used to the freedoms being a Slaver, even a woman Slaver afforded her. The constant travel, which she correctly assumed was the highlight, which kept her away from the Keep and Skitzo. Ilana couldn’t picture Kaoz being just as vicious and blood thirsty as the men. Something all the Slavers in Phylo’s caravan kept quiet. Kaoz hid that part of herself from Ilana though she wasn’t sure if it was out of fear or shame.

“No.” Kaoz grumped. She slapped at the water between her knees. “I don’t know.” She turned to Ilana looking more like the little girl she used to be than ever.

“Why does it have to be this way? Why does he give me-.” Kaoz bit her lip and cast her eyes down. The water rippled around her calves, circling, shifting from dark gray to black as it flowed past.

“Why can’t we be…normal? Why did the Gods put me here?”

Ilana turned to her seeing the ebony tresses cling to her daughter’s bronzed skin. She set the pitcher on the table and moved to kneel in front of Kaoz. The girl squeezed her eyes closed pushing the tears away before looking at her.

“You’re here for me.” Ilana spoke quietly, smiled gently sliding away a strand of hair from her face. The water rushed around her hips pulling the ends of her red hair in its wake.

“I asked many times to be given a child to love. After many years of emptiness, of a lonely existence, the Gods gave you to me. Have I not loved you enough? Have I not been good to you, taught you…” Ilana broke off, a knot forming in her throat. Thoughts of Skitzo in his rages beating Kaoz, putting her on a caravan even though she was just a child, sending her into danger… No, she hadn’t protected her and wasn’t that a Mothers job?

“It’s not your fault.” Kaoz broke the heavy silence and placed a slender hand on Ilana’s shoulder. “He’s not playing with a full deck. I don’t think he ever had one.”

Ilana could feel strength flow into her from her daughter.

“I’ve been weak-.” She began only for Kaoz to shake her head.

“You’ve endured and that’s more than any one else could do in your place. I just-.” She let out a frustrated breath. She wanted to tell Ilana it didn’t have to be that way. Neither of them had to suffer his beatings or abuse, that she wished with all her heart and soul he would never come back or die but she couldn’t. She couldn’t show her Mother that ugly side of herself.

‘Am I like him? Am I just as ugly inside? Gods! What am I? What monster lives in my soul?’

Ilana mistaking the look in her eyes took Kaoz in her arms hugging her.

“There is something we all must do but before we do we must figure out what that is.” she smiled pulling away enough to see her face. “The Gods have a sick sense of humor and who are we to say they are wrong about how they do things?”

‘I say they’re wrong!’ Kaoz looked up at the tents billowing canvas taking a deep breath.

‘You hear me! You’re wrong! Your all USELESS!!’ Kaoz sent her angry thought up to them. What good was being put here if she didn’t know what she was supposed to do or help?



A girl’s voice echoed from the deep pool in the center of the temple. The cry reverberated all through the stone hall and out into the terraced garden where Xabyne reclined in a bower of blooms. As usual, she was being tended to by maidens while a chorus of birds serenaded the Goddess. Xabyne sighed, lazily sitting up. She waved away the maidens in preparation of Kaladan’s raging presence.

‘Xabyne…’ a watery voice echoed in her head.

‘I know, Mesta. I heard the mortal.’ The Goddess sighed a bit exasperated. ‘Why doesn’t Nisha-.’

‘Because it is better to deal with the beast using a gentle hand than brute force.’ Mesta interrupted. It was the same argument every time and it was getting tiresome.

‘Nisha is his equal, she can subdue him just as well if not better than I.’ Xabyne lifted a strand of hair from her pale shoulder and began to stroll through the terraced foliage.

‘Would you have the Gods fight amongst themselves? The worlds would not survive without us.’

Xabyne moved her lips to Mesta’s tedious speech as she ran a hand over the leaves. It was the same every time some mortal cried out against the Gods, as this one had; Kaladan went into a rage declaring them ungrateful of all HE had provided them.

Xabyne walked through the garden covered in petals and sedately made her way to the deep pool. She peered in and saw the girl. The Goddess arched a delicate eyebrow. Sun glinted off the pool shooting sparks through her coppery hair. The emerald eyes shimmered changing shades as she examined the mortal. The corners of her lips lifted with the barest hint of a smile.

The girl was beautiful with black hair darker than a moonless night cascading in wet waves down her back and chest. The tips trailed in the water lazily, her eyes were slightly pulled giving them an almond shape with long lashes framing deep brown eyes. A flicker of envy passed over the Goddess that a mortal should possess such beauty and have the impudence to cry out against them.

Xabyne narrowed her eyes examining the girl more closely. Besides the lashes, she noted the girls face; it was slightly rounded giving it a sort of cherubic loveliness belied by the straight nose and full lips any man would want to kiss. She ran her gaze over the girl’s body seeing her stand. Her shoulders were slightly less wide than her hips and as she lifted her arms she could see the girl was strong and wasn’t pleased though it comforted her the girl still had a woman’s curves.

Her mouth twisted in concentration as she lowered her gaze. Something else had caught her attention and it wasn’t the sun glimmering over the water as she’d first thought. Xabyne squinted trying to see what had shimmered on the girl’s chest. Unable to find any thing she dipped a finger in the pool and hooked the image. She pulled it out as she stood so she could see the girl in more detail. Xabyne blew on it slightly so it rotated.

The Goddess continued to examine the girl noting the high breast and dark rose colored tips down her chest to a flat stomach, over hips and rounded buttocks, down firm thighs and calves to the tips of her toes and up again. The bronzed color of her skin lent her a golden glow. She ran her gaze up the girl again and saw the shimmer.

‘I can see you hiding.’ The Goddess mumbled and used her finger to slow the image as soon as the girls face came into view.

‘Aha!’ she jabbed her finger into the image stopping it she ignored the ripples it created. There on the girls chest between her breasts lay a milky glimmering white disk slightly rounded on top with a flat back. It hung on a delicate silver chain. The Goddess smiled showing even white teeth and dimples in her cheeks.

‘Well, aren’t you a surprise…’ she whispered. It hadn’t been visible directly and it was obvious someone had taken the time to hide it. Xabyne wondered if the girl knew what hung around her neck.

‘WHO IS THE UNGRATEFUL…!’ Kaladan’s roar sent ripples through the girl’s image and Xabyne sighed. She removed her finger from the image and turned to the God of War. He was spitting in his Godly rage hitting the pillars so the temple shook. Most of what he raged was incoherent and Xabyne didn’t try to decipher it. Apparently, Kaladan had been raging the entire way to the deep pool. His scarlet mane stuck up at odd angles and spittle hung on his beard.

‘Cant you rage in a cleaner fashion, Kaladan?’ Xabyne grimaced delicately. The God turned burning red orange eyes on her, momentarily stopped.

Of all the goddesses he found Xabyne the most beautiful and though she spoke pure nonsense he knew she was just or more conniving than Nisha.

She waited for his silent perusal to break under another barrage of raving. For the moment he took in the fiery lights in her coppery tresses. There were petals inter woven through the long curls. He could feel his fingers twitch with the urge to pluck them out.

Seeing his gaze roam down her body Xabyne smiled turning seductively towards the deep pool. Sunlight glimmered over her pale skin which in turn seemed to glow warmly with the heavenly oils the maidens applied daily. She was clothed in petals of every pale shade. She knew some of the others found her nakedness embarrassing to their modestly boring persons. Xabyne didn’t care, she was a Goddess, she was beautiful and loved on sight. A Goddess had to dress her part and she did, enticing only the worthiest mortals, with the barest look, to her bower. Xabyne raised her arm pointing at the girl. Kaladan’s breath hitched seeing the pale curve of her full breast, his blood burned through him.

‘Here is the mortal who so ungratefully said you were worthless.’

Kaladan’s gaze snapped up to the image wavering before him. His face flushed, blood rushing to his head as he pulled out a long blade and slashed down hacking the image in half.

The image parted, wavered for a moment then splashed back into the pool. Kaladan gripped the marble edge breathing heavily. Xabyne stomped towards him, eyes flashing green.

‘You brute!!’ Xabyne dug her nails in his arm yanking him around. He turned, cheek stinging, to see her green eyes flash angrily. Slowly he raised a hand to his stinging cheek and came away with blood. He arched an eyebrow looking at her showing his blood stained fingers.

‘You deserve worse!’ she cried out defensively. ‘Hacking at me with that big knife you carry around.’ Xabyne turned her anger to a pouty seductiveness. She pointed at the blade Kaladan held by his side and grimaced prettily. ‘Cant you clean it?’ she shuddered delicately and turned away.

Kaladan glanced at his dripping sword then at the goddesses retreating form. She left a trail of petals in her wake. He could see a few float down from her hair but most fell off her skin. Kaladan set his sword by the terrace entrance before following Xabyne.

The others thought Xabyne would subdue him in her flowering bower when ever a mortal behaved as this one had. They had been correct in thinking that and he had been angered once he’d figured it out but before he could confront them little Valin sowed the seed of an idea. Why should he fight against the Gods when they provided him with such a pleasant distraction?

Xabyne motioned the maidens forward and they hesitantly approached the God of War. He ignored their gentle hands as they removed his dirty blood encrusted armor. He watched as Xabyne seductively lay in her bower with her back to him. The flowery vines gently swung down to block his view. Once he was bathed and the maidens had anointed him with the oils he moved purposely towards her bower. Kaladan pushed aside the vines and lifted her from the couch. He turned taking a playful Xabyne to a steaming pool at the end of the terrace where they could see the land below.

Kaladan watched as the water rose around them and peeled the petals from her skin until she lay naked in his arms. He turned slowly while Xabyne trailed her hands in the water; petals circled around them in pale shades of purple, pink and blue. Kaladan stopped, reclining against the stone and as he sat a stone ledge grew wide enough for his huge frame. Xabyne grazed her fingers over his chest and he released her legs taking her waist in his big hands and sat her down.

‘Just like a man, mortal or immortal.’ She sighed.


“Get her dressed!” Skitzo hissed at Ilana. He squeezed her upper arm getting a small gasp from her before he shoved her back into the CaraWagon.

“I want you both mounted by the time I get to the front!” he ordered them slammed the door closed.

“I’m dressing! I’m dressing!” Kaoz yelled from the inner quarters. She flung the curtains out of the way as she rushed out still clutching the belt and stopped short as the door slammed. She clenched her jaw and gently helped her Mother up.

“I’m sorry, Mother.” Kaoz glared at the door.

“No, no.” Ilana tugged her skirt into place then reached to fix the belt on Kaoz. She tightened the cinch around her waist and was rewarded with a harsh gasp.

“Mother!” Kaoz gulped in a breath and looked over her shoulder at Ilana. “I can barely breathe.”

“Then you’ll need to concentrate on that in stead of speaking.” Ilana smiled taking Kaoz by her shoulders and sitting her on a low stool. She deftly picked up part of her hair and set it artfully on her head with jeweled pins while the rest cascaded down her back.

“There.” Ilana patted a strand down and turned to set a pair of combs in her own hair. “Why? Why do I have to wear white?” Kaoz grumbled. Ilana turned to see Kaoz stand and hold out the edges of the white muslin skirt looking unhappy. She poked a foot out from beneath the skirt as she let it drop showing the tan sandals she’d only worn once before.

“You look beautiful.” Ilana breathed, she smiled wondering at the beauty she was growing into. Kaoz grabbed a handful of the skirt and turned towards the door.

“You say that because you’re my Mother.” She opened the door rolling her eyes up. “We’d better go before your husband returns.”

Ilana quickly clamped an arm bracelet where Skitzo had left his fingers marked on her pale skin.

“Lady Ilana.” The young Slaver held the reins to her white mare so she could mount. Kaoz already waited impatiently mounted on Smoke. She was impatient to get to the front as Ilana carefully mounted the mare. She wasn’t used to riding since she spent most of her time locked away inside the Keep. Seeing her Mother finally seated on the horse Kaoz nudged Smoke forward and reached for the reins.

“Give me the reins.” She ordered the Slaver. He stepped back frowning, he was obviously new to his post. Kaoz narrowed her eyes and urged her mount closer. She looked him over not liking him and snapped an order.

“Rank, name, caravan!”

The young Slavers jaw dropped though he quickly tried to stammer a reply.

“Wh-white recruit, Sal, Vas5.” he looked extremely confused at her authorative tone and just a little afraid.

“Sal.” Kaoz spat his name as if tasted vile.

“I outrank you.” She leaned forward glaring at him. “Now give me the bloody reins and get your butt-chuckling ass to the rear of the Caravan!”

Kaoz heard the light gasp from her Mother and flinched inwardly at her use of foul language. The Slaver still stared at her uncomprehending until another moved in from behind and took the reins shoving Sal towards the back.

“Move Slaver!” he kicked Sal’s rear end before handing her the reins. “Sorry about that. He’s new, still hasn’t seen you around-.” he began to make excuses which Kaoz didn’t care to hear.

“Name, Caravan and Rank.” She repeated.

The Slaver straightened looking at her. “Ayar. Vas8. Master tracker.”

Kaoz arched her eyebrow then shrugged. She wrapped Ilana’s reins around her pommel and ordered; “Make him walk the rest of the way and give him something to carry.”

She kicked Smoke forward and called over her shoulder. “Make it heavy.”

Ayar waved then turned smiling to carry out her orders.

“She’s mean alright.”


“Kaoz!” Ilana cried from behind. She clutched the pommel with both hands and leaned forward bouncing precariously in the saddle.

“We can’t slow down Mother! Just hold on.” Kaoz called over her shoulder. She wasn’t exactly putting the horses to a gallop but they weren’t cantering either. All that bouncing wouldn’t keep Ilana in her seat.

‘She’d fall off for sure.’

The Caravan was moving slowly but the fact that it was moving at all made her hasten their pace.

“Kaoz.” Ilana called to her once more. With an exasperated sigh she turned to look over her shoulder.

“Yes?” she asked.

“That poor boy.” Ilana began. Kaoz’ face darkened imperceptively at her Mother’s intrusion. This was something she knew nothing about and feeling sorry for a Slaver disregarding her order was not acceptable.

“No.” Kaoz cut her off, her tone surprising Ilana. “I’m sorry Mother but this is not something you can interfere with.”

“But he’s only a boy-.” She began once more.

“No. He’s not a boy; he’s a Slaver and a stupid one at that.” Kaoz shook her head and turned to scan the front of the Caravan hoping Skitzo wasn’t at the front. “He disregarded an order. My order and in the field that could cost a Slaver their life. My life.” Kaoz turned to Ilana again. Her Mother had a disappointed look in her eyes as if Kaoz had behaved badly which exasperated her all the more. She grew more annoyed with her Mother though she loved her but some of her sentiments had no place in the world Kaoz lived in.

“He got off lightly considering he could cost you a beating from Skitzo.” She reminded her Mother. Ilana pursed her lips letting Kaoz lead them to the front and hoped they made it there before Skitzo.

“Besides he’s only walking.” Kaoz faced front again and mumbled; “While he carries something really heavy.”

Ilana sighed heavily noting the changes in Kaoz that living with the Slavers had brought about in her. She knew that her sweet, loving daughter still existed but there was something else in Kaoz that fought against her sweet nature. She looked from Kaoz’ back to where Skitzo trotted at the head of the Caravan.

‘It’s because of him. That’s why she’s changed so much. He’s making her change.’ Ilana thought. Deep inside she hid the burning hate she felt for him. The psychotic husband who’d killed her children, who’d left her dry and bare for years before the Gods finally pitied her and gave her a child. Ilana looked at Kaoz’ back seeing her shining black hair wave lightly in the breeze and knew it wasn’t the life she’d hoped to give her.


Ilana closed her eyes unconsciously running a hand over her flat stomach. She remembered the excruciating pain of the last beating, almost seeing the tear inside her, the life inside dying and flowing out of her womb…


Ilana jerked out of her memories at Skitzo’s bark. She found his glare on Kaoz. Then he jerked his head towards Ilana.

“Give her the reins. I won’t have her embarrass me!” seeing Kaoz move slowly he jerked the reins from her hand. She lurched forward and would’ve fallen had Smoke not followed the movement.

Skitzo threw the reins at Ilana and turned his mount to the front of the Caravan. He raised his fist and yelled out the order.

“Move out! Get those wagons moving! Shut those slaves up!”

“Bah-Fungoo.” Kaoz spoke under her breath leading Smoke to the front where she followed behind Phylo and Ilana.

Gavin leaned side ways keeping his eyes to the front. “Don’t let any one else hear you.”


Book of Kaoz - Of Gods and Mortals


Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

The past holds the answer… the future only pain… child of secrets… The Gods will never tame…

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