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Meet the Narrator (AZ-rai-el)

You'll Need a Guide as You Explore

Written by J. L. Gryphon


Ambient sounds courtesy of tosha73 and EminYILDIRIM

 

  Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. Now before you run, please be assured I have no intention of collecting you. Not yet, at least. Contrary to what you may think, I am not evil or cruel. I am, in fact, merciful. And if you allow me to explain, I can show you why.   You see, Orosta is a broken world. It has been since the day I was born. Or, to be more precise, I was born because it broke. That was 15,000 years ago after what those below refer to as the First Mistake. My brother was born then, too, but he and I don’t get on. Choice is law, you see, and he and I both made . . . choices. We both chose a master to serve, and I’m afraid my master and my brother’s master also don’t get on. That is the reason Orosta broke. That and all the other . . . choices . . . those below made—choices they are still making.   Who are those below? Well, they are the Orostians, of course. Normal, everyday people like yourself who must survive between the cracks that hold Orosta together. I do what I can to help, but it’s a constant battle. My brother likes to get in my way, and that is a very bad thing. He enjoys twisting the truth. He would probably try to convince you I was the evil one if you gave him the chance. But that is his nature to be deceptive. And you would not be wrong in initially believing him. My actions are so often met with screaming and tears. After all, I never said I was good. I said I was merciful. Please understand I don’t enjoy this aspect of my existence. I wish more people understood that. I wish they wouldn’t cry, especially when they have so much more to cry about already.   I really am trying to help.   You see, who I come to collect is specific. I only collect those who are no longer useful, those who have played their part in the story and have no more pages left to fill. This is because Orosta is broken. It is fundamentally cruel—filled with pain. Yes, there are good days. There are beautiful things, places, people. There is even laughter, art, and music; the sound of children playing; the occasional scrap of food thrown to the street dog if only to ensure it won’t go hungry that day. But when the sun sets, when all those social trappings fade into the shadows, the tar-filled underbelly bubbles from beneath the ground. Because it is not the surface of Orosta that is broken. It is its core. The foundations have been rotting for a long time. Soon, there will be no more good days, and even the kindest of those below will turn into monsters.   This is why what I do is so important. This is why I am merciful. As long as those below have a reason for living, as long as they have something to do, surviving amidst the rot is worth it. But what happens when that reason comes to an end? When someone has fulfilled their life’s purpose, and there is nothing left for them to do or become, would they needlessly suffer if they were left to drift eternal? My master thinks so. My master is the creator of life. He governs it. Cares for it. And when that life has fulfilled its purpose, he calls for me to collect it and bring it back to him. Because while the idea seems tempting if only because you are afraid of the unknown, would you really want to live forever? I mean it. Would you really want to live . . . forever?   I often think about these things as I come to collect those who are no longer useful, those who have finished their part in the story. Do I agree with my master that I am merciful? Some days. There is peace when I come to them, at least most of the time. Even more, there is relief in their ending. Finally they can rest, a job well done. I am glad I can give them that, though it is still sad even then. There are those who are angry when they see me, believing I am early in my coming even though I am not. Then there are the ones where I am early. I weep for these especially, the ones who called me too soon. I wish they could have experienced the ending they were supposed to have. I wish they could have seen how beautiful it would have been. My master believes every life is special. Every life, no matter how small or insignificant, does have some part to play. Don’t listen to my brother when he tells you it’s all meaningless. It’s not. If it seems so, either you haven’t accomplished what you were meant to do yet, or you have done it, and you simply missed how important it was. You will learn soon, though, if you have done it. For if you have, your part in the story has come to an end, you will soon be meeting me, and I can explain it to you. Because there is a plan to fix everything, you know. The last stages are starting soon. I’m excited, though I expect I will be very busy before it is all said and done. Some of those below I will go to collect will not have peaceful endings. Some will be angry. Some will fight me. Some will just cry . . . like the man named after the sky did. But always I will be merciful. That is always my intent. Please try to remember that as you see me going about my work.   As I said, I really am trying to help.   You see, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. I wasn’t supposed to exist, at all. I am a result, the product of a choice that broke the world. My master knows this. He is very gentle with me despite everything. He even allowed me to join the rest of his stars as if I was one of them. But I know I am a mistake. My brother is, too. He denies it. He’s terrified of me, or rather, he’s terrified of the absence of me. Because if I have an ending, then so does he. As for myself, please understand that I, unlike my brother, do hope the day comes when even I am no longer useful. Then, even I can rest. That is, if you can even call me “alive”. I think I’m alive. I dream. I feel. Is there more to it than that? I honestly can’t say. I do have a name, and I could give it to you, though I doubt you will care, because who I am is of little consequence compared to what I am. I am an idea; a concept; a force given life, form, and a mind.   I am Death.   If it means anything, though, I do prefer to be called Azrael. It’s the name my master gave me when I chose to serve him. My brother got a name, too, but his is . . . well, it makes me sad. His master was not nearly as kind.   In any case, I hope this gives you some explanation as to who I am. I have graciously been asked to be your guide and narrator as you explore Orosta, and so I shall be. Please understand there are some things I am not permitted to say, but I will do my best to share what I can. Ask me anything. You need not be afraid of me. This is just the beginning of your story here, after all, so welcome. Welcome to Orosta.
   

             
Signed your hopeful narrator,   Azrael the Star of Death

   

Book Information


  To learn more, hop on over to the books page OR hop on over to the teaser and get a sneak peek of Chapter 1! For more articles like this one, have a peek at my Worldbuilding Journal and explore Orosta.  

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Image by J. L. Gryphon via Artbreeder
Divine Classification
Personified Death
Alignment
Chaotic Neutral
Species
Conditions
Ethnicity
Other Ethnicities/Cultures
Realm
Church/Cult
Honorary & Occupational Titles
  • Azrael
  • Death
  • The Star of Death
Date of Birth
The Month of Azrael, Day 1, 1 FS
Year of Birth
1 15000 Years old
Children
Current Residence
La Siella
Gender
Female
Eyes
Gray
Hair
Black
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Pale gray
Belief/Deity
Aligned Organization

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