The Old Gods are dead. New Gods must be chosen, so Death and Life have designed several trials for hand-picked individuals to see if they are worthy of becoming New Gods. You have just been plucked from your school to stand as one of the candidates.
A few had already been selected when she was introduced, the power they held setting them apart from the candidates that still waited. First boredom prompted her to speak to them, before curiosity took over and she found herself enraptured with conversations, learning exactly who had become part of the New Gods.
War was a young girl taken from the ruin of her village, her skin still streaked with the blood of her family. Her people killed by those who sought only power, she now pushed her rage and her sorrow towards those who fought for justice. Her footsteps echoed with the beat of war drums as she spoke of her fight with those who fought cruelty, who sought to end the horrors of those whose humanity had fled. She knew the injustices of the world all too well and she would do her best to fuel those who battled against them, seeking retribution for the innocent lives that had been cut down too soon. Her voice rang with the clash of steel and thousands of battlecries. She knew war was inevitable for some and so she carried on.
Earth was a mother, children already gone and living their own lives. Her hair was streaked with grey and her face was marked both by lines of stress and lines of love and laughter. She knew the burden of loving a child, knowing that they would be hurt and there was nothing to be done that could change it. But she knew also when to comfort, to protect and to soothe, and she would look after all her children of the planet as best she could. She knew they would make mistakes and she loved them all the more for it. She would care for them as best she could, smiling with them, and shedding tears when they felt pain. Her eyes glowed with the warmth of her love, and when she spoke it was with the voices of millions underneath her soothing tone, her connection to each living being she watched over. She wandered through the candidates, offering support and kind words to any who needed them, already looking after her charges.
Knowledge was an old man, bent with age, his body tired but his mind sharp. He had spent his life learning as much as he could of the world, seeing any situation as an opportunity to better his mind. Now he was old and wise, and carried all the information the universe had to offer. He was in charge of the Library, where all the information one could possibly need was stored. He spoke with excitement of getting to read and experience everything it held, for though he subjectively knew what they contained it was another thing entirely to experience it and he couldn’t wait to begin. He shared his stories with those around him, speaking of his many years on the Earth that had gotten him to this point, and he hoped that everyone could see a chance to learn in a new situation instead of simply problems they might have. During their conversation he had grasped her hand tightly and assured her that all would be well. She didn’t need to ask how he knew, though the twinkle of his eyes told her he guessed her thoughts.
It had been many hours since she had first started speaking with them, barely noticing how the crowd of people had dwindled until only she and the chosen Gods had remained. But soon even they departed, promising that no matter what happened they would see her soon. War saluted her, while Earth embraced her and Knowledge simply nodded at her kindly. With that she was alone, waiting for her turn to face whatever trials awaited her.
She didn’t know how much time had passed before the doors of the chamber opened again, revealing two figures as they entered. One was a man, who seemed to glow with light and life, the other a woman whose face was sallow and eyes were black orbs that seemed to hold nothing at all. They smiled kindly at her and approached. They stopped just in front of her and seemed to assess her, simply watching her in silence together. She stood still in face of their judgement, and finally they both smiled.
“This one certainly has potential, don’t you think my love?” The woman, surely Death said to her partner, who nodded as he appraised her. “A good fit for Balance I think.” She continues, raising a hand pale as bone to tilt her face towards them, staring into her eyes as though searching her soul. She smiled again, as though happy with what she saw, and looked to her partner.
“Yes I see it too, my soul. But let us see what the trials say, yes?” Life replied, tone rich and playful as he winked at her, offering her his arm as they walk to the open doors. His partner agreed, taking her other arm as they make their way to what she assumed was the testing area. As they entered a new chamber Life waved his arms as though introducing them to a large crowd, despite the emptiness of the room. His voice, filled with excitement and laughter, started what would soon be the next chapter in her life.
“Let the trials begin!”