Mere moments had passed following the battle, the Ruins a littered grave of countless dead. Drawn by the din of violence and murder, a tiny spark kindled at the edges of the horizon. Soon it grew to nascent flame, filling the skies with black smog as the smell of sulphur descended upon the world. The heavens caught aflame, ignited in a beacon of inflamed rage, all burning beneath Its terrible gaze. Storms of ash and soot followed Its languid path across the firmament, accursed shrieks clamouring from within Its torrid heart. Fire rained from above, rampaging daemons converging on Masilia with blazing menace. Yvalamon, the Fury, had awoken.
Radiating an oppressive, all-consuming hunger to destroy, devour, and burn, the Fury smouldered, crackling embers seething their way through the Ruins. Wreathed in a corona of shimmering silver, Bamathis stepped forth to meet His hated foe, bellowing aloud a command to His forces to turn back the daemons. Blinding light then erupted from the confluence chamber, the Unbound Lord manifesting a brilliant aegis to shield both Himself and the device from harm. Fully aware of the Fury’s intended target, Damariel urged His own children to join the fight, His expression one of intense focus.
Caelestis once more came alive in the Warlord’s hands and battle began. His speed enhanced by divine might, Bamathis brought His sword to bear in a surfeit of savage blows, His merciless brutality matched only by the impossibly precise agility with which He struck the opposing Yvalamon. Explosive sparks burst from the Fury with each attempted strike, turning aside the blade as Its anger grew ever more inflamed.
The clarion cry of a hunting horn sounded, cut short by a guttural shout of exertion. The Ithmias shook with the passage of Haern, the Hunter, who appeared in Masilia through a gateway of bright, verdant flame. Rhythm’s Spine yearned within His grip, His quiver slung across His back and filled to the brim with arrows. War paint smeared His snarling face as He howled, low and savage, before hefting His spear and launching it at the Fury. Unfathomable anger pealed from Yvalamon as the spear connected with Its calcified form and was devoured in a monstrous flare of white-hot fire.
Undeterred, the Hunter drew Whisper, a single arrow transforming to dozens in a passing moment. The volleys streaked towards Yvalamon from all directions, converging with deadly accuracy. Impassive and languid, It lifted a single arm, melting the arrows to blackened ash before refocusing Its attention upon Bamathis, smothering Him in a blanket of scorching, unquenchable flames. Writhing free of the encroaching blaze with a grunt of exertion, the Warlord pressed His attack in a frenzy of cross cuts and rapid jabs, yet despite bringing to bear the best of His skill, the Tumult blazed riotously, fuelled by hatred, anger, loathing, and barely bore a mark of harm.
Shadows boiled up from the ground with the reappearance of the Artificer, already moving with speed defying perception to join the fight, Blade of Artifice aloft in His hand. Strife and Shadow fought in tandem, Severn dissipating with each assault before reappearing elsewhere to launch another, then another, then another, unable to be caught by the searing Fury. Haern bellowed again, cacophonous thunder accompanying the drawn string of Whisper. A score of lances borne of rippling green fire hung all about the God in the air and He loosed them in a terrible swarm, lighting the sky to emerald brilliance.
Living darkness crawled about the burning Yvalamon by the will of Severn, wrapping It in blackened tendrils as Haern’s projectiles struck true in a bloom of bright gemstone moss. Thinking It restrained and weakening and tasting triumph, Bamathis bore down, victory alight in His eyes. Then with a roar of wrath unparalleled It loosed Its pent-up hate, centuries of thunder magnified into a singular moment of disdain. Yvalamon shrugged off Severn’s bonds and swelled to magnitudes unseen, blistering heat threatening to devour the world as Fury sought to claim Its kill.
Unfurling wings of colossal size cast Spinesreach into sudden darkness, the entire city quaking with unleashed might as a winged Goddess took flight amidst a storm of coruscating lightning. Her silver eyes blazed with draconic hunger, the firmament yielding to the passage of Tanixalthas with a thunderous sonic boom. She swept through the skies with effortless grace, wreathed in all the power of Sky Dreaming. Recalling well Her past hunger to battle It, Midwinter’s Star had come to claim Her due.
Crying a challenge to the Ancient One, the Sun Drinker wheeled above Masilia, Her immense form tensing before She dove, fearless and sublime, toward Her enemy. Warlord, Hunter, and Manipulator were all turned aside with a dismissive shift of Her enormous bulk, and Tanixalthas trained Her avaricious eyes upon the flame-wreathed Fury, fully focused on Her prey. Rearing back, the air shattered with the magnitude of Her unleashed roar as She lunged, falling upon Yvalamon in a rampant frenzy of tooth and claw.
Fire scorched at Her craggy form yet She pressed on, undeterred, Her tail cracking like a whip alongside bolts of azure lightning erupting from betwixt Her tremendous jaws. The ravenous flames of the Burning God flickered and waned under the arcing manifestation of Sky Dreaming’s merciless storm. With a callous squall of delight She struck true, hunger yielding to sudden terror as the flames encircling Yvalamon faltered, oppressive heat receding under the sudden wound.
Quelled to mere embers, a deafening howl of anguish ravaged the atmosphere as the Fury – wounded and weakened – at last conceded, Its form diminished before It escaped, scattering upon the air. Tanixalthas loosed yet more threats of destruction before taking wing in search of further sport, the Gods converging about the confluence in the wake of Fury’s retreat.
Flurried, curt conversation ensued, the Warlord restless and eager to pursue His fleeing foe. Dismissing the counsel of Damariel – offered up in an attempt to ensure the device’s continued protection – Bamathis assured all present that Yvalamon had only fled and would return – and in short order. Haern rebuffed the attempted praise from the Warlord and departed first, with Strife’s silver portal following closely behind.
The Twins – one bright and radiant, the other dark and ominous – exchanged a look, eons of consternation wrapped up in a single glance. Glowering, Severn glided through the argent gateway, leaving only the Unbound God remaining beside the device. Frowning, His thought drowning in suspicion, He too finally departed, fading in a dim burst of light.
Now alive with electrical currents, the aeonic confluence had begun to undulate and ripple, spilling forth disjointed scenes in no discernible rhyme or reason, haphazard moments in fragmented time.
Meanwhile, in a place far from the Ruins of Masilia, a lone figure strode along a darkened pier.