The place in the world I felt safest was my strange island sanctuary. While I was here I was in a place where all of the local flora, fauna, and even the gigantic horde of the undead, owed their existence to me. It was a good place for me to be alone with my thoughts.
A god who was alone with their thoughts was a god in their ideal circumstances. I stood in an empty room in my tower and I allowed my mind to wander. And that was still a productive usage of my time, because my wandering mind was capable of doing most of the things I was physically capable of doing.
In the safety of my tower, at the heart of my island sanctuary, I let loose my mind. And in doing so I was able to explore the world and more.
Roughly a day and a half ago at this point I had thrown the world into disarray. I had revealed myself to the world and made demands that were almost as dramatic as the way I proved to the world I had existed.
I had shown myself to the world by healing it. I had targeted every living creature, and healed them. This act was a simple one for me to do, and the truth was it was the sort of simplistic display of power I had done before.
The demands I had made following my announcement of my existence were also dramatic. I had demanded an ending of the practice of slavery, and a temporary end to all major conflicts. These two demands had, rather unsurprisingly, met with resistance. I knew this before now, but was only just now truly taking in the scope of how immediately I was changing the world.
Now that I was alone with my thoughts I was able to focus on the change I sought to bring about throughout the world and how the world had reacted to it. And to my surprise, there were a number of reactions to my actions that I hadn't anticipated.
The ability that most immediately shed the most light on the global situation was my domain-sense power. This power of mine allowed me to sense any and all things and events pertaining to the domains I possessed influence over. Among other things I possessed influence over things like rebellions, murder, order, and death, and that allowed me to sense the chaos the world was in.
The world of today was different from the world of yesterday. In the time since I had announced to the world that I existed entire villages had fallen, new ones had risen up, and conflicts had both begun and come to an end.
I took a minute or so to familiarize myself with the changing global situation and the collapse of the old world order. I had more miracles to perform and if I wanted them to be performed as smoothly as possible I needed to understand the current shape the world's powers found themselves in.
As one part of my mind took a few moments to familiarize me with the current global realities, another part of my mind did something equally important and more immediately beneficial. It scanned the world using my sensory abilities and targeted each undead creature it found.
I took a few minutes to mentally explore the entire world using my sensory abilities and to track down each undead creature in the world. The undead were the one sort of being I hadn't healed during my earlier miracle.
As an entity in command of a horde of the undead, who was also a potent and indiscriminate god of healing that simply wouldn't do. I was ready to correct my mistake. I was even happy to do it.
I passively scoured the darkest corners of the world, aided by my potent sensory abilities, even the most remote trenches of the deepest oceans, and secretive caverns deep beneath the surface of the world. I found all sorts of undead horrors. I found zombies, skeletons, liches, vampires, ghosts, and other, stranger things. I targeted them indiscriminately, eager as always to heal.
Healing things was something that never failed to bring a smile to my face. And it wasn't just the living I wanted to heal either. I wanted to heal every creature. My desire to heal wasn't so exclusive as to exclude the creatures who weren't among the living. And that was reflected in my powers.
Right as I completed my global search for the undead I received a handy notification. One that really hammered home my healing powers and skills at the most opportune time.
As a deity of healing, among other things, your decision to target every living creature on the planet was... well frankly it was annoyingly in-character for you. Admittedly though you did it a bit earlier than any of the domains, subdomains, or even I predicted, but it was definitely a thing we should have seen you jumping right into when you gained your 'Stellar awareness' ability.
The subdomain of healing and I have spent the time since you did that locked in a furious, private conversation. We were trying to decide how to reward you. And we finally have it. You are gaining immediate access to the second tier of healing subdomain powers, and we are giving you one other special prize.
Your power to resurrect someone is being enhanced in a way that makes it far more approachable. You can now perform true resurrections up to five times per week.
I know that that might seem... either a bit too powerful, or not powerful enough given what you did, but I feel like it'd be a good idea to let you know that true resurrections are beyond the capabilities of any being who isn't a god.
There are no beings aside from gods with the capabilities to wholly restore a deceased being, who isn't themselves, to life. Some creatures have or had methods from which they could raise themselves from the dead, or survive death, but no non-deity has ever successfully, wholly resurrected a creature who wasn't themselves. True resurrections are undeniably the work of the gods.
This is a serious power you've earned. You shouldn't be worried about using it at the wrong time. And now you don't have to be. And now what you were probably really waiting for: the new and modified abilities you've gained, or had upgraded.
Healing subdomain passive powers:
Healing burst: Initially this was an active power with a cooldown. It isn't anymore. As of the moment you earned the second tier of influence over the healing subdomain you could use this ability freely.
Healing strikes: You can strike a creature and heal it. If your attacks would heal a creature past their maximum hitpoints you can instead choose to cure negative conditions on them, or you could allow them to temporarily gain hitpoints beyond their maximum, up to a quarter of their max.
As an example, if you struck a creature whose maximum hitpoints were sixteen and they had all sixteen of their hitpoints when you hit them, you could give them four additional hitpoints. This power also allows you to attack non-lethally all while appearing to attack lethally.
Magic control: You can target and alter damaging magical-spells in mid-air. If you wish, and you spot projectile-type evocative or necromantic magic you can take control of the magic and make it heal targets instead of hurt them.
This synergistic power takes from the domains of magic and chaos, and the subdomain of alteration, as well as healing.
Energy conversion: This power synergizes the subdomain of alteration and the subdomain of healing and allows you to convert energy from one type to another and heal using any energy on any type of creature. This is an automated power that takes your intention into account whenever you perform heals that aren't just using healing energy to heal living targets
Rejuvenative aura: This is an upgraded aura that heals anyone near you, aside from those you consciously exclude from the power. If a creature stands near you and you permit them too, they naturally heal a hitpoint every thirty seconds.
This power's real potential comes from the other powers you can mix with it. Get creative with it!
Healing water creation: This synergistic power allows you to convert regular water into panacea-like water that restores the health of anyone who drinks it. This water could even cure magical diseases.
Font of healing: Your bodily fluids are now panaceas. This power is on by default though you can turn it off by default. With it you can use any of your bodily fluids to heal targets, and this power works on both undead and non-undead targets. If you wish, you can also make spores you generate serve as panaceas as well if they are ingested or otherwise absorbed by targets.
Sonic healing: You can generate a sound that heals those who hear it.
Praise the sun: This power exclusively affects living targets, but you can make sunlight a source of considerable natural healing. Unsurprisingly this is a synergistic power that takes from the domains of life and light. If you target a living creature that normally can't stand the sun, they gain the ability to soak up its light without suffering from the conditions that would normally affect them.
Healing subdomain active powers:
Conditional recovery: This power synergizes the domain of law and the subdomain of healing. With it you can alter someone's natural rate of recovery and impose conditions which they must fulfill to speed their recovery or to slow the rate at which it is decreasing up to fifty percent in either direction. This power can be used up to one hundred times a day.
Spiritual energy investiture: You can target a non-magical creature and make them magical through bluntly infusing their souls with spiritual energy. This is a once-per-twelve-hour power at the moment and works on the living and the undead alike.
Spiritual energy is the force people manipulate when they perform magic. In this universe most creatures are born with enough spiritual energy that they can manipulate it in minor ways, but there are entire planets and whole other universes where even the most advanced races don't possess enough spiritual energy to perform magic. With this power you can change that.
True resurrection: This power is the same as when you earned it before, but now you can use it five times a week.]
The whole time I was reading through the potent powers I had gained thanks to my acquisition over the second tier of the healing subdomain I had a grin on my face. These powers all creatively and effectively boosted the ways I could heal creatures. And that was what I needed to see to increase my motivation to do what I was about to do.
I took a deep breath and activated my now passive "Healing burst" power. I had many targets selected already. I was, after all, intent on healing all of the undead I had initially missed with my first worldwide "Healing burst".
I exhaled, feeling odd, as my power activated. The activation of the power left me physically unchanged, but internally I felt the effects. I had just generated a massive miasmic burst of unlife energy and expelled it to distant corners of the globe, all to heal distant undead nightmares.
Generating such a tremendous amount of unlife energy affected even me. I felt cold, and for a few moments after the energy I felt its stain. I felt the faintest echoes of the inhuman hatred that the undead felt towards the living. I stopped moving and waited for the feeling to fade. As I stood still I composed the notification I would send to the undead that was the equivalent of the one I had sent to the living.
It didn't take me long to make. I did spend a few moments editing it and making it appropriately dramatic. I wanted it to touch on the themes common to the undeath that I knew of so far. And that wasn't the last thing I did either.
I was in a jubilant mood after discovering my new healing abilities. So I decided this was an opportune time to make use of some of my other powers, especially a few I hadn't really made use of just yet.
I targeted every single zombie in the world and decided that they would be the first to receive a special surprise. With the same casualness as a human might check their hair in a mirror, I awoke every single zombie in the world. And they were far from the only undead I bestowed special gifts upon.
[Alert: The God of the Grave Calls to You
From the deepest, darkest pit of the multiverse, a ghoulish god has arisen. This god of the grave calls to you, and demands your service.
Every undead being in the world, no matter their strength, or the origin of their unlife, has been healed by this god of ghastly glory. This deity of death and of darkness whispers to your soul even now. If you listen, in submission and silence, you can hear him.
The monarch of the macabre is an eerie, inhuman deity who is the natural master of the undead. He is the source of your power and of your unlife. Give him what he is owed: your service, your love, and your faith. Join him as he begins the next phase in the war against life.]
The god's power reached across the entire planet in an instant. No corner of the globe was able to hide its undead, or keep secret its ghosts. The god's assortment of powers allowed him to empower even undead on the other side of the planet without any difficulty. And those who felt the grace of the self-proclaimed "Monarch of the macabre" were instantly and permanently changed by it.
The moon was high in the sky above the ruined town. Moments ago only the sounds of broken teeth tearing into rotten flesh challenged the otherwise absolute silence that had long fallen over the town. Now even that sound had faded away into nothingness.
A trio of disheveled and pale people were on their knees, surrounding an unmoving corpse. All three of the disheveled people had just frozen stiff, even stiffer than the days they had been killed and shortly thereafter reanimated.
The three figures were frozen because they were being healed. And improved. Their bodies were abruptly covered in thin cocoons of darkness while miasmic unlife energy seeped into them and performed eerie, unholy miracles.
The three zombies were among the countless hordes of Torunian undead that were being healed by Althos. And as zombies they were receiving another gift as well. The gift of sapience.
For the first time in the weeks since they had been among the first people of their long-destroyed town to reanimate as undead, they were beginning to think. And their first, weakest, and most animalistic thoughts were not of the hunger they now keenly felt gnawing at their unholy mockery of sanity, but of praise.
Their first thoughts were to praise their king. Their god. Even trapped in the cocoon of miasma that had surrounded them while Althos' eerie powers over the grave took hold, they wanted to whisper praise to the god of the grave. Even awakened, zombies were simple-minded and they wanted little more than to mutter words of devotion and of the undead equivalent of love to their master.
One of them, a creature who in life had been a male human, began to try and speak. The words were ineffectual groans and moans, a product of atrophied and decayed vocal cords that had yet to be healed. But their intention was to praise the mysterious god who had given him and his zombified companions the gift of a second life. Well... Not a true second life. A true unlife.
The zombie didn't know it, but on the other side of the world, Althos heard him. And understood him. And the god of the grave smiled. The zombie's heartfelt praise and devotion warmed the heart of the fierce god he had given himself over too.
[New title received: The God of the Grave
Title explanation: This is a self-given title. Self-given titles are only rarely given system-wide recognition. That said, the system has decided to recognize the power you demonstrated just now and the... theatrics of what you've done.
The God of the Grave passive powers:
Death is Not the End: Once you gain influence over a creature you affect its body with an incurable condition, unless of course you want to exempt them from this condition or you choose to undo it on someone, that guarantees that hours after death their bodies will rise up as undead.
The undead the bodies rise up as will be naturally awakened and will worship you. This power does not affect their souls. If you granted them religious class levels in life, their bodies will retain those class levels and the skills and abilities that came with those levels. This power upgrades as you gain greater influence over the subdomain of necromancy. Eventually it will grow so strong that even long-dead beings who once walked where you walk will rise up as undead in your service.
You can still deanimate an undead and resurrect it as you could any other, non-animated corpse.
Intoxicating presence: As a reward for accepting and stepping fully into the role of the god of the undead the system has awarded you a power that affects undead themselves as well as and necromancers, be they living or dead.
This power grants you a considerable charisma boost whenever you use your necromantic powers as well as an aura that increases the abilities of any necromancers who swear to serve you or are already sworn to your service. Necromancers and undead who are near you find your presence intoxicating and seek to win your praise unless they have the presence of mind to stay themselves, which would be a commendable feat.
The God of the Grave active power:
Call of the grave: This power has different effects on living targets than it does on undead targets. On living targets this is a brutal attack that deals damage that cannot be healed and continues to deal damage over the course of an entire day. Targets who die from this attack rise up as either ghouls or vampires who worship you as a god of gluttony and undeath.
If you hit an undead target with this attack then they lose their free will. This power corrupts and overrides their source of unlife energy and ties it to you, which for all intents and purposes transforms them into undead created by you.]
"Influence huh? What a fun trigger condition..." I muttered to myself, as I was inundated with new notifications and received prayers, praise, and more from the immense horde of the undead I had just added to my forces.
Not every undead creature had converted to my worship, but I had just gained a considerable amount of power and followers. I felt their twisted hearts transmit their bloodthirst, awe, and hatred to me and I reveled in the sensations I felt. It was that revelling that made me want more.
I felt my mind twist as my desire for more made itself known. I felt... greediness, a greediness that had always existed in me and only rarely truly manifested roar into my mind. And after debating how to handle it, I came to an easy conclusion: sometimes you got to give yourself what you want.
I didn't even need to think hard about how to most efficiently achieve my goal here. My goal was quite simple: I wanted to gain as much influence as possible over as many people as possible. I had a spell that was perfect for this: "Create Food".
The spell was quite handy and it had no range limit. More than that though, I could now create meats and a range of other types of food as well. I wasn't limited to fruits or veggies anymore. And that inadvertently gave me more diversity to play with.
The scheme I devised was quite simple. All it took was for me to spend the next few minutes doing two things: targeting every place where living people or animals congregated, and composing another notification. It was about time for my second worldwide miracle anyway, so this was just fortunate timing.
[Alert: Praise be to He Who Feeds!
All over the world gigantic mounds of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meats, and fresh fish, are appearing. These mounds of food are a gift from Althos.
He is a kind god who knows that starvation is one of the greatest enemies of civilization. The fear of starvation was once one of the great foes that drove our ancestors to come together and create civilizations.
Starvation is unnecessary as the world is productive and Althos knows better than any the bounty of the earth. Take this gift and be reminded of Althos' power and his benevolence.
Kind people of Torus: Althos is as great in his benevolence and mercy, as he is in his power, as you have witnessed firsthand. And yet, as is to be expected, there are people in this who insist on benefitting from Althos' kindness, without following his few commands.
Althos only wishes for everyone to have the freedom to live as they wish. And for that to happen, slavery must be abolished.
Althos is not without understanding, he knows that the abolishment of slavery will not be instantaneous and he will wait, where appropriate, for that to happen. But in places where no attempts are made, there will be consequences for inaction.
This is an opportune time to restate the other demand that Althos made: an immediate, and temporary ceasefire to all inter-empire and inter-kingdom conflicts. This is a more pressing demand. Any ongoing inter-empire or inter-kingdom that are not in a ceasefire in two days will provoke a divine intervention.
The system and Althos speak as one when we say this: kind people of Torus beseech your leaders and urge them to act in their best interests. To act in their best interests, nobles would demand a temporary ceasefire of any conflicts their kingdoms and empires are in. The time to cease fighting, even for a few days, is now. To wait would only court disaster.]
Althos' powers were varied and vast. As easily as he had healed the planet's undead population, he conjured an incredibly vast amount of real food. Entire tons of the stuff, appeared out of nowhere all over the planet.
Food appeared in the oceans, in city streets, atop mountain peaks, in village squares, within boggy swamps, atop glaciers, and in other places where life could be found in shocking numbers. And all over the world people once more observed the amazing abilities at Althos' fingertips, unaware of the longer-term consequences of their actions.
All manner of creatures, from eldritch abominations, to deep-sea leviathans, to dragons of all ages, extraplanar beings of all alignments, and countless humanoids naively or even eagerly went to the closest mountain of food, food which was never more than a few kilometers apart.
Whether someone ate the food cautiously or tore into it ravenously, the end result was the same. Trillions of lifeforms had just unknowingly opened themselves up to the strange power and stranger mind of Althos. In his distant and remote sanctuary, the god smiled as he received an incredible number of notifications, even more than when he had healed the planet's undead.
Part of the reason why the god was smiling as he read through the notification was that the increased potency of his powers was paying dividends. Those who ate his food weren't falling 1% under his influence, they were falling 5%, 10%, or in a few cases, even higher percentages under his influence.
This made it so that the mere act of feeding the people of the world, coupled with his earlier action of healing them, left an incredibly significant impact on their hearts. The greedy god's decision to give into his greed had actually worked in his favor, and thanks to his actions over the last two days there were entire kingdoms that were sincerely singing his praises.