This is a short story. For those who have followed Villains Lore well enough, it should be obvious who the infant is, especially at the end. Since this is a short story, it is not meant to be edited. It is here simply to be a record of an important happening in a character's distant past. There are connections in this story to The Gate of Genesis, and it takes place about six years before Arbiter's Tale: Young Blood.

Down the streets of the Golden City, a cloaked woman carried an infant wrapped in blankets through the heavy rain. She ran quickly, her cloak fluttering behind her, and her mind was racing. Tears streamed down her frenzied face as she looked at the infant, whose eyes were closed, body was limp, and lungs had ceased to breathe. She stroked the infant's hair, which had already begun turning a shade of emerald.

She told them that she would bring her child back; she told them all that after he had died. Nobody believed her, everyone told her it was impossible. People who have used Thaumaturgy to tamper with life have paid heavy prices, they all said. She didn't care- she'd pay any price to see her child breathe once more, for his tiny heart to begin pumping again.

She entered an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town. After taking a few moments to catch her breath, she set the child down gently on the floor and quickly extracted a crumpled scrap of paper through her pocket. On the scrap of paper was a diagram of a complex circular pattern, titled "Life-Maker". Grabbing a slab of chalk from her other pocket, she quickly set to work, copying the "Life-Maker" circle on the floor, with her child in it's center. After ten minutes of inscribing the circle and the runes that were written around it's circumference, she stood up, observing her handiwork for a moment. Not wasting another second, she placed her palms on the ground. The lines of the circle began to glow and crackle with energy. The energy formed into a violent vortex that swirled around the mother and child. There was a flash of white and then everything disappeared into darkness...

Some unknown time later, the mother awoke on a stone surface. She could see her child, still wrapped in blankets, lying next to her. She began to reach out for him, but stopped when she noticed something that made her heart skip a beat- the stone slab she was lying on was surrounded by what appeared to be an ocean of blood, and the distant horizon faded into darkness. Fearful, she took the child and held him close to her, but to her dismay, the child still was not breathing. Her rune circle failed, and now, she was in some alien realm with her unbreathing child... the mother broke down and wept bitterly.

After what seemed like minutes, the mother looked up to see the brightly glowing figure of an old man standing above her- despite his apparent age, the man seemed to exude power.

"Who- Who are you?" she asked through tears.

"I am the Lord of Creation; my title is Father. The precious few mortals who know of my existence call me God."

Father continues to look down on the sobbing woman with a seemingly passive look on his face.

"Tell me... for what purpose have you broken the first law of Thaumaturgy? I am aware you have heard before that it was a taboo for this very reason."

"...My... my child..." the mother sobs.

"I understand." Father states. "All things in this universe come with a price. What will you be willing to sacrifice for the life of your child?"

"Anything..." the mother whispers. "Anything and everything I have. My very own life."

"A life given out of love for another is a worthy trade." Father says. "But are you willing to make this exchange?"

"Yes." the woman said. "Yes, I would."

"Very well then." Father says. The very air seems to ripple briefly. There is silence for a moment, before the infant begins to cry. Shock, then teary-eyed joy overtake the woman as she holds the child closer to herself. Then the realization of the deal that she had justmade catches up to her. She looks up at Father. "...I'll die now, won't I?" she asks.

"Yes." Father said.

The mother nods. "That's okay, then... it's worth it... take care of him... please..." the mother begged.

"I will release him back into your world when he is old enough." Father said.

She embraces the child one last time, wishing that moment could last for eternity. Then she hands him to Father.

"...Thank you..." she whispers, collapsing. Her vision began to blur and darken. "I'm sorry... my... son... that I can't... be there... for... you..."

With those last words, the woman breathed for the last time.

Father looks at the still-crying child in his hands and marvels to himself. "If some of the living have that kind of love in their hearts..." he thought to himself, "...then there might be some hope for them, after all..."

As the child opened his eyes, Father could see that his irises were a brilliant gold color.

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