The Eclipse passes without the loss of the young. For the first time in
centuries, cubs are not taken from their parents - they do not disappear into
the ether. Nothing comes to take them away to a faraway land from which
they may not return.

They are born. And they stay.

But a God's mark appears over them - at first it is just a symbol that glows
ethereal above their shoulders. Then it stretches and blooms into a tangible
idol. A living presence of the Gods, the idols hum with power and promise.  

Their Elemental Mutations are small, contained and quarantined to the right
or left arm.

The cubs remain with their Mother, but feel no attachment or pull to her. They
stay near here for protection only until they're big enough to not fear
aggression from others. Then they drift away, leaving the bonds of family to
wilt and wither.

They grow unnaturally fast.

Cubs for three days, teenagers for five, and adults by the two week mark.

They age as if time itself is broken around them, like it doesn't know how to
tell them apart or - perhaps - how to make them belong. There is no joyous,
free, cubhood full of mistakes and learning. No teenage months to explore
and stumble. Just a fast approach to adulthood that feels like a race, and no
observer is sure what victory means.

The Eclipseborn are aloof. Oddly mature, as if the loss of youth means
nothing to them. As if they were never meant to exist as cubs.

They stand apart from their family. Distant, disinterested. Not at all curious
about what their blood means to them, or what family might have to offer.

Born with the weight of Purpose, the Eclipseborn have no room for anything
else.
The dreams start the first night the Eclipseborn cubs fall into the embrace of sleep.

They awaken in a dreamscape where the spectre of their patron God is waiting. They
speak to the cubs of strength, of promises, of protecting the Dimensions from harm.
They've been chosen for this task, and been granted the powers to defend and
overcome the threats that rise against them now.

Scions.
Champions of the Gods themselves.

In their dreams they learn how to fight; how to defend, how to kill. How to hunt, and how
to hide. They are the Assassins, and they are the Shields. Those born to destroy the
monsters that hide among them.

It is in the dreams where the Gods teach them how to use their powers, and it is in the
dreams where they gain the adornments they bring back to the waking world. The
tattoos start in their teenage days; dark curls of symbols that draw upward from the leg
that contains their Elemental Mutation.

(
There are times they awaken from the dreams, their bodies having been moved
somewhere else. It's disorienting, but dismissed as sleep walking. There is no one close
to tell them of how their eyes shift, how they speak with an echo from afar, or how they
seem to be trying to figure out where they are
.)
Each Scion is born with the rank of Initiate. It's the rank of their Standing with their
patron God, that will evolve and increase with the quests they complete.

As they learn and grow their connection to their Patron God, their God Idol and
Elemental Mutations will evolve and change as well. Each quest that is completed will
increase the strength of the connection between Scion and God.

The Scions are born with the power to sense those who do not belong - to sense
Shade Corruption, and those sympathetic to them (
Black-Curse Order, Whispers of
Rekura, Shade-Touched, Abyss, Plague, Central, Belief, Varishi
). With a touch they
can burn out the Corruption, the tainted powers and ill-gotten magics, releasing and
redeeming the contaminated soul.

When near those who carry such taint, their own blood boils with absolute rage. The
need to
Destroy overtakes; they attack and burn out the enemy, regardless of who they
are.

But it is not enough. It is just a start, and the Gods tell them that there is a great threat
that must be stopped.

A
Purpose rises, and the call rings out in their dreams:

Get to the Gates.
Reopen the door to the Fire Plains.