Before the existence of time...

Long ago, before the epoch of the Mer, the mystifying Jungle stood united during the end of the second era. Prosperity lingered, a harmony that had not since been repeated but was preordained to unravel. Cicilly Del'Henberheim served as a conscript within the Jungle forces. She was a former sex slave freed of one bond, only to be shackled by another yoke. Her time within the military was seldom of note. The Giantess was just a foot soldier, doing her part to survive with the cards fate felt so inclined to deal. The stability abated as Men and Mer's greed created a schism in what was otherwise utter diplomatic harmony. Marching their forces north, under the guise of a foolish crusade to reclaim what they considered to be their birthright, the primordial heart. This artifact from another world fueled the Giants' strength and propelled the Jungle to new heights of luxury.

 

Ignorant of their southern neighbor's envy, their empire weakened by prosperity proved ineffective- struggling to keep the tides of the newfangled foe at bay, they eventually broke through their lines, setting the thickets ablaze. A hellstorm of ruination spread outward, as the residents of this ancient land were butchered and pushed back time and time again. Their abodes and libraries burned, the foreigners righteous indignation (As the invaders saw it) permitted such an ardent approach. These foreign soldiers felt the elder ones had chosen them to reign supreme. At the same time, these savages stood in the way of their transcendence. The soot of strife crusted over the ferns, while blood saturated the soil. Meanwhile, those fueled by contempt marched into the epicenter of the Jungle.

Cicilly Del'Henberheim, stationed at the ruins of trepidation, was given a spear and told to stand the line. What followed was a valiant, although futile attempt at repelling the inevitable. The auburn-haired beauty watched in horror as men and women, those she came to see as family, were gutted like swine even when they surrendered—their metallic weapons, far too superior for armaments of bone and wood to resist. She was then bound, tortured, and ridiculed. This former slave was forced to watch with her comrades as the ornate armored men ventured into the sacred site. Their clad fingers were ripping the crystal from the blanket of tissued roots, scoffing at such morbid displays, labeling the denizens as immoral savages. The Primordial heart, a hellish crystal smashed against the stone wall, shattering the epicenter of their society. These curs declared the captives to be degenerates unworthy of their lands. For countless eons, that artifact toiled as the bedrock of their world; without it, the jungle seemed poised to wilt away.

As punishment for their sins, an edifice of flesh, bone, and eldritch magic materialized in the air. The obelisk loomed overhead, projecting its umbra on those below. The air chilled as a cloud of dark smog ejected itself from the floating base and that crown of its horned skull. The sun was denied as a perpetual eventide blotted the welkin. The victors looked skyward, bewildered, their eyes unable to compartmentalize what their brash actions had awoken from torpor's spell. The air being pulled inward as tumors attached to this horror throbbed, the blisters popped, coating the exterior in congealed blood as all those within the night's influence were drawn inward.

 

Their legs plucked from the soil without clemency, including Cicilly, as their bodies were pushed into the budding lesions, melding with this vile abomination. Trapped within a prison beyond description, their bodies suckled inward, undergoing a metamorphosis. A single phrase ringing within the mind while the influence of time, seemed to hold no relevance within this fleshly incarceration.

 

"Beyond the existence of time, slumbers your infinity. I am the harbinger, the bringer of the new age, and with it, I must birth children for the alterations to come. Your tainted vessel, like clay, request...no...demands to be molded." 

Most of those devoured were ejected outward, maturing into monstrosities to plague the living; but some were cursed to tarry within the cells, becoming a cancer as they united, digging beyond the body of this otherworldly interloper. Rather than rip free from the outside, they inadvertently delved deeper into the ever-shifting domain of fleshly delirium. What awaited their emergence wasn't organs, but a world, a plane of existence composed entirely of organic tissue. On the peak of a summit, within the core of it all, rested a drumming heart. Seeing a small window of opportunity to preserve those outside, recognizing themselves as lost causes, the survivors devised a strategy. What few weapons they held onto still in hand while they charged toward the throbbing organ. Surmounting the bubbling hill, as ticks were dispatched, latching onto and gorging on most survivors.

 

Cicilly and twelve others hacked away at the beating muscle as, one by one, those that protected them were overwhelmed. Blood and pus were coating her form as the spear broke. Not to be deterred, and for all those unknowingly depending on them. The Giantess clawed and gnawed her way deeper into the fabric of sinew. The elongated, boney legs of those insects, prodding the back, as suddenly, darkness...

She woke up within the ferns coughing, expelling bodily fluids from the stomach as she inadvertently took in a part of the corrupted entity's flesh. She rolled to her side, witnessing the remnants of that tower sinking into the river, creating an eternal whirlpool. Cicilly Del'Henberheim and two other survivors, a Kitsune named Devante and a human name Herbahn, became figures of legend, destined to be lost to time. The "champions," oblivious of their evolution and biological immortality as their lineage had forever become tarnished by what they endured. Decades past, she never aged, her body refuted gravity, as those children she raised grew old around her. After burying generations, the woman ran off, disappearing to languish and train, ignorant that the art of flesh magic that became one with her cells proved hereditary. Eventually, she returned to the jungle, masquearading to be a displaced giant from an unknown tribe, she reintegrated.

 

Feigning ineptitude, as Cicilly Del'Henberheim perished that day, while Valerna Jorgenskull was born from that carcass. What inspired her sudden resurfacing? She was exasperated of beholding destruction, the film of begrime that is this fourth epoch, and sought to unite them all in some attempt to renew the era of stability she long since panted for. To build a better world, one brick at a time. In preparation for the horrors that still slumbered behind the curtain.

"I do not know what happens after death. And while I have stood at the bedside of many passings and witnessed the ghost escape from one's vessel innumerable times. I never once considered the concept of an afterlife. No, we only live on through the memories of those we leave behind. And to be forced to tarry onward for perpetuity, that is a fate that weighs more onerous on one's soul than facing oblivion."

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