The Leviathan

The story of Jox, the Leviathan, and Its release during late 2018.

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    shattered moon

    The seals

    Upon the 24th of Severin, 476 MA, there came a sudden burst of energy in the Western Tundra, and as it lingered the far northern skies were lit with a colourful display. Adventurers rushed to investigate, and quickly located the source of the disturbance: it came from within an ancient barrow which the Ankyreans once used to inter their dead.

    Those already familiar with the barrow soon noticed something awry: the ancient lead seal that had previously barred the barrow's deeper reaches lay destroyed. As the adventurers went inward, they were greeted by a reanimated Ankyrean warlord standing in eternal vigil before a second seal fashioned from shieldbark and infused with Dendaric energies. Immediately apprehensive, the reanimated construct demanded that the gathered 'rellyw' present the proper authorization for being within the barrow. Despite many attempts to sway the Ankyrean to reason, it remained singular in its purpose even as the seal behind it began to strain and give way. After a brief and fierce battle, the reanimated Ankyrean was laid to final rest.

    The Minotaur God Severn soon came upon the scene, demonstrating His intimate knowledge of the site as He rushed to examine the decaying shieldbark seal. He turned to the people of Duiran, urging them to infuse the seal with Dendaric energies in an attempt to reinforce it. The people of Duiran hesitated, for the Manipulator's reputation as well as His blatant elusiveness towards questions on the seals left the forestals mistrustful of His intentions. As Aloli and Lirael resolved themselves to infuse the seal of Dendara, it finally ruptured in a shower of splinters. Their help came too late to save the seal - although as further events unfolded, it became doubtful that anything might have been done to prevent it.

    As the adventurers proceeded past the destroyed seal deeper into the barrow, they came upon a third seal: this one was wrought of forged metals, and another reanimated Ankyrean warlord was its warden. Described as the seal of Fire by Severn, it too was straining, in threat of giving way. The Manipulator, losing His calm, declared the present situation impossible and urged the citizens of Enorian to begin reinforcing the seal of emberite, iron and copper with their Fire. Yet in light of considerable historical precedent, Enorian had even less reason to trust Severn than Duiran, and remained united behind their Vanguard Lexen's opposition of Him. Resigning Himself to allow the seal's destruction take its course, Severn announced that the fourth seal was of Earth and ordered its Shadow-tethered wielders to prepare.

    In the next chamber, Zenobia and Akaryuterra were quick to move to the quartz seal of Earth and begin reinforcing it under the Manipulator's direction, and others soon joined. The reanimated Ankyrean warlord was of questionable sanity, and resistant to attempts at conversation. The Ankyrean-incarnate Mazzion was brought in to try and calm down the deranged warden, but after he failed a spoken test in Kalsu, the reanimated warlord launched its assault upon the gathered group and was promptly put to final rest. The Earth-wielders continued to channel their power into the seal - but it was clear to all their power alone was not enough. At Severn's urging, the Teradrim Zenobia chanted out an impassioned prayer to the Earthen Lord Ivoln - and though it was promptly answered, the Earthen Lord putting in His strength, even the combined might of He and other mortals was not enough to stem the seal's damage. Soon, it too exploded in a shower of crystalline shards.

    The Underking Dhar arrived before Severn could announce the fifth seal as Death, for His Order had brought the barrow's events to His attention. Although the God of Death claimed no prior memory of the seals, He still intuitively recognized the anaxagorite seal as one of His own making. Without further prompting, the Underking immediately set to reinforcing it, calling His Wardens - Lexen, Wylliam, Belgarion, and Iames - to join Him in the task. The rest of the mortals dealt with the seal's undead guard, who was more insane still than the previous.

    Damariel mot Lanosaryon, the Unbound came then, before the work upon the fifth seal was yet completed - like the Underking, His Order had caught His attention. Recognizing the seals, Damariel rounded upon Severn and demanded to know how they had broken. The Manipulator dismissively claimed ignorance, saying that the situation was still too fresh to investigate. Despite the best efforts of Dhar and His Order, however, the anaxagorite seal could not be mended. Though they had managed to slow down its decay considerably, they could not stem it entirely. Noting the inevitable fate of the seal, Severn urged His Twin to begin gathering His strength - the seal of Spirit would be Their last hope.

    Slyphe, the Maelstrom was the next Divine to arrive, intrigued by a gathering of Its Siblings. Startling at the God of Water's sudden appearance, the Twins moved with eerie synchronization to shove Their Sibling away from the seal, demanding that It leave the barrow at once. In spite of initial protest, Slyphe took note of Its Brothers' warning and departed.

    Shortly thereafter, the anaxagorite seal entered its final stages. Cracks broke out across its surface with increased severity. Damariel instructed Dhar to conserve the remainder of His essence and allow the seal to meet its fate. No sooner had Dhar and His Wardens stepped back from the seal than it exploded into thousands of tiny metallic shards. Past it lay the way deeper into the barrow.

    The adventurers pressed on, coming to the sixth seal of Air that had been constructed from skysilver. As Damariel settled in to meditate and focus His strength, Severn noted the Dragon Goddess Tanixalthas, wielder of Air, was probably slumbering and would be unlikely to help Them either way - this seal was a lost cause. Toz, Kelliara, Akaryuterra, and others of Tanixalthas' loyal following still made an effort to slow its degradation and wake their Goddess, but the seal continued to strain loudly, heedless of their efforts. The remaining mortals took down another gibbering reanimated Ankyrean guard, still madder than the others - and the Divine conserved Their essence.

    Following the seal of Air's explosion, the adventurers went into the next chamber, where the seventh seal awaited them. Damariel approached the lumenite seal of Spirit and began channeling His essence into it with intense focus, His followers Aloli and Tenshyo supporting Him however they could. Watching His Brother work, Severn decapitated this seal's reanimated Ankyrean out of irritation, demanding silence from the room so that Damariel could focus. But even the unmatched might of the God of Spirit was not enough to fix the damaged seal, which strained still against His work. With a grunt of finality, Severn readied Himself for battle and ordered His Siblings to follow suit - the next three seals after Spirit were not so easily slowed.

    Yet Damariel still resisted, "Down arms!" He ordered His Siblings and then urged Them to lend Their essence to Him, claiming to be close to a critical point in its stabilization. Dhar came to His Brother immediately, and Ivoln soon followed. Severn hesitated but soon joined His Brothers. With the essence of His Brothers channeled through Him, and mortals helping where they could, Damariel redoubled His efforts upon the seal. Blinding light and crackling air filled the room as the seal's corrosion fought the combined power of the Gods, finally subsiding as the seal temporarily stabilized.

    The tundra rumbled and quaked in immediate response - the angered throes of the being imprisoned behind the seals. Outside the barrow, muffled voices joined together in a series of indistinct, groaning screams. Haggard and diminished in stature from the depletion of Their essence, the Gods ordered the mortals outside to investigate while They looked to the remaining seals to determine the cause of what had transpired. Outside the barrow, the mortals found a small horde of nightmarish dregs that had crawled their way up from cracks in the ice formed by the quakes. Along with these dregs came Lobyl, a living Ankyrean commander, and he slew the warped creatures alongside the adventurers.

    Sickly and confused by his surroundings, Lobyl at first thought he was stuck in 'another nightmare'. He demanded of the 'rellyw' gathered before him, asking for reports on the war - not yet realizing he was a man out of his time. This talk was interrupted by the Severn and Damariel's arrival. Both Gods stopped short at the sight of Lobyl, for he was familiar to Them. Lobyl - albeit with mild hesitation, for the Gods were no longer familiar to him - took the knee before the Twins, frantically relaying a report on the war in which he had been fighting. Severn interrupted, explaining to Lobyl that a span of years well over a thousand had passed since that war, and that Lobyl's information was no longer relevant.

    In the conversations that followed between Gods, Ankyreans, and others of mortalkind, three key facts were revealed: firstly, that Lobyl was from the Second Immortal Epoch - a time long before the formation of the Ankyrean Order which Qeddwyn and Yrtez has served. Secondly, that the Ankyreans had been engaged in a great war against the Dreikathi, whilst the pantheons of Sapience and Albedos clashed in cataclysmic battles. Thirdly, that the last thing Lobyl remembered was fighting against a cunning Dreikathi Polemarch in the Tundra when the great Leviathan Jox, a God of the Albedi, dwarfed the sky with Its immensity. Before Its maw could devour both armies, the world shook with a blinding light: there had been a great shattering of the heavens, and Jox was stunned. Seizing this opportunity, the Goddess Omei had descended upon the great serpent and sealed Him in an unending nightmare below the tundra. Lobyl and the armies of the Ankyrean and Dreikathi were inadvertently caught in the nightmare and sealed alongside Jox. Severn speculated that Lobyl and the dregs were thrown from the nightmare by the thrashing rage of the Leviathan within Its prison. The dregs themselves are thought to be those ancient Ankyreans and Dreikathi, warped beyond recognition over millennia by the Goddess' nightmare.

    But the most shocking fact was delivered by the God of Truth Himself - Sapience had been betrayed by a God of its own pantheon. Jox's mind was bound quiescent by the seals in the barrow, designed to leave Him unable to struggle against the nightmare; and those seals had been sabotaged by one of Varian's children. Essence, of the kind shared by all of Sapience's Gods, lingered upon the place like fingerprints. Severn corroborated His Twin's story and immediately moved to accuse Dhar of treachery. The immediate bickering that followed was broken by an exclamation from Lobyl as the night sky crept its way in-

    Stars had not been a common sight in Lobyl's era.

    Still weary from Their efforts on the seals, the Gods let the matter of the traitor drop for now. As They departed, They warned the mortals that the seal of Spirit was only temporarily held fast, and that its eventual destruction would still occur when the strain became too much for Damariel's reinforcement. The Gods would try whatever They could to reinforce the three remaining seals, but they'd been damaged beyond repair, and the knowledge of how to build them was a long-lost product of Lobyl's time.

    The release of the Leviathan - the incarnation of rage - was inevitable.

    Although Severn estimated Jox could be stopped if They joined together, He judged that if this came to pass, most of Sapience's Gods would perish in the effort.

    The Dregs

    In the following weeks, Lobyl worked with adventurers to fight back the dregs that appeared within the tundra at each interrupted Howling. He requested weapons to help fight these nightmarish enemies, claiming that the materials used to forge in this era were too pitiful to withstand his vigorous usage. Many supplied him with an arsenal that was quickly put to use - and just as quickly dismantled - through his martial efforts. This prompted Lobyl to put forth a challenge for the realm's forgers to supply him the most durable, functional weapon they were able; Belgarion, Phoenecia, Kanivara and Toz all answered this call. He spoke with many adventurers, and ended up visiting his old home: Spinesreach, once proud capital of the Ankyrean race. Lobyl proved unimpressed by its state, claiming that the city had possessed far more grandeur in his era; he spoke of lost magics that once gave the city a far different image.

    On the 10th day of Arios, the lumenite seal of Spirit that lay within the barrow finally gave way. Splintering like lightning, the tundra around the Leviathan's prison cracked as He stirred in His sleep beneath. Vents opened all across the tundra, spewing forth violet gas of Nightmare that induced sleep in all those who breathed it in. Adventurers from all cities rallied together outside the barrow, united under the banner of the freshly signed Accord, while the Twin Gods descended into the barrow to assess the next seal.

    Dregs soon erupted all across the tundra, creeping forth from every vent, crevice and crack. A violent battle erupted between Sapience's adventurers and the vicious beasts. The Ankyrean Lobyl demonstrated his preternatural strength and speed, slaying scores upon scores of dregs for each one slain by another mortal. As the group attempted to stomp out the gas-spewing vents, many fell victim to its lulling effects, and some reported nightmarish visions as they fell asleep: they described a great glimmering eye, its primeval gaze staring at them with an intensity great enough to shock them back into wakefulness.

    Once the last of the dreg threat had been dispatched, the mortals gathered together before the now-broken seal of Spirit, where the Twin Gods, Severn and Damariel, awaited them. Although the Two cautioned the mortals not to proceed any further, many did nevertheless: they discovered only a toxic atmosphere that seared both skin and lung. The Gods described this place as the seal of Chaos, and unlike the previous seals it was not tied to any God. It was constructed from cinnabar and thick corrosive fumes filled the room, wafting up from pools of quicksilver; rows of demonic-looking skeletons were secured to each of the walls of the chamber, their structure warped by the millennia spent in the toxic environment.

    The Twins, each more haggard and tired than the Other, went on to explain that They'd spent the weeks since the seal of Spirit's reinforcement to strengthen the seal of Chaos as well as the two beyond it, by any means They could. Severn gave an estimate that Their work would hold the seal for another four weeks, and that the adventurers could help buy another three or four. He instructed the mortals to collect buckets of blood, so that the life-essence could be used to fuel the chamber's grisly skeletons.

    After the mortals described the events immediately prior to their entry into the barrow, the Gods offered them caution: Jox's power would grow as the seals which bind His mind continue to break, and They speculated that the nightmarish visions witnessed by the mortals were from both Jox and the Nightmare, indistinguishable from one another. The Gods also confirmed the mortal's own observation that the dregs moved with singular purpose towards the barrow, as though being controlled by another force.

    With a parting warning that the Nightmare gas would only grow in intensity as the seals continued to break, the Gods and mortals parted ways, each taking care of their own preparations.In the following weeks, Lobyl worked with adventurers to fight back the dregs that appeared within the tundra at each interrupted Howling. He requested weapons to help fight these nightmarish enemies, claiming that the materials used to forge in this era were too pitiful to withstand his vigorous usage. Many supplied him with an arsenal that was quickly put to use - and just as quickly dismantled - through his martial efforts. This prompted Lobyl to put forth a challenge for the realm's forgers to supply him the most durable, functional weapon they were able; Belgarion, Phoenecia, Kanivara and Toz all answered this call. He spoke with many adventurers, and ended up visiting his old home: Spinesreach, once proud capital of the Ankyrean race. Lobyl proved unimpressed by its state, claiming that the city had possessed far more grandeur in his era; he spoke of lost magics that once gave the city a far different image.

    On the 10th day of Arios, the lumenite seal of Spirit that lay within the barrow finally gave way. Splintering like lightning, the tundra around the Leviathan's prison cracked as He stirred in His sleep beneath. Vents opened all across the tundra, spewing forth violet gas of Nightmare that induced sleep in all those who breathed it in. Adventurers from all cities rallied together outside the barrow, united under the banner of the freshly signed Accord, while the Twin Gods descended into the barrow to assess the next seal.

    Dregs soon erupted all across the tundra, creeping forth from every vent, crevice and crack. A violent battle erupted between Sapience's adventurers and the vicious beasts. The Ankyrean Lobyl demonstrated his preternatural strength and speed, slaying scores upon scores of dregs for each one slain by another mortal. As the group attempted to stomp out the gas-spewing vents, many fell victim to its lulling effects, and some reported nightmarish visions as they fell asleep: they described a great glimmering eye, its primeval gaze staring at them with an intensity great enough to shock them back into wakefulness.

    Once the last of the dreg threat had been dispatched, the mortals gathered together before the now-broken seal of Spirit, where the Twin Gods, Severn and Damariel, awaited them. Although the Two cautioned the mortals not to proceed any further, many did nevertheless: they discovered only a toxic atmosphere that seared both skin and lung. The Gods described this place as the seal of Chaos, and unlike the previous seals it was not tied to any God. It was constructed from cinnabar and thick corrosive fumes filled the room, wafting up from pools of quicksilver; rows of demonic-looking skeletons were secured to each of the walls of the chamber, their structure warped by the millennia spent in the toxic environment.

    The Twins, each more haggard and tired than the Other, went on to explain that They'd spent the weeks since the seal of Spirit's reinforcement to strengthen the seal of Chaos as well as the two beyond it, by any means They could. Severn gave an estimate that Their work would hold the seal for another four weeks, and that the adventurers could help buy another three or four. He instructed the mortals to collect buckets of blood, so that the life-essence could be used to fuel the chamber's grisly skeletons.

    After the mortals described the events immediately prior to their entry into the barrow, the Gods offered them caution: Jox's power would grow as the seals which bind His mind continue to break, and They speculated that the nightmarish visions witnessed by the mortals were from both Jox and the Nightmare, indistinguishable from one another. The Gods also confirmed the mortal's own observation that the dregs moved with singular purpose towards the barrow, as though being controlled by another force.

    With a parting warning that the Nightmare gas would only grow in intensity as the seals continued to break, the Gods and mortals parted ways, each taking care of their own preparations.


    During the previous week's events at the seal of Chaos, the Azdi-a of the Indorani, Vyxsis Qizzeke, posed a question to the Gods Severn and Damariel: "Was Jox a threat to Chaos?"

    Severn answered, claiming the Court would bring their wrath down upon Sapience should they find out about the seal of Chaos. Damariel agreed, counseling that such an action would not be wise. The Manipulator's patience quickly wore thin as Vyxsis sought clarification that she shouldn't inform the Court of Chaos and its Emperor, Golgotha. He seized Vyxsis by the neck, informing her in no uncertain terms that He would personally destroy the Indorani should they inform the Lord of Chaos.

    Members of the Indorani gathered later to discuss their discontent at Severn's treatment of their leader, some even urging her to inform the Emperor. Vyxsis disappeared to her haven, sitting in pensive silence as she considered her move.

    On the 16th of Arios, 476 MA, the Emperor of Chaos Jy'Barrak Golgotha descended upon the Prime Material Plane. The events that followed led to a fierce battle between Emperor and the Gods, and Golgotha eventually fled back to Chaos amidst claims that the entire Court would descend upon Sapience at a later date. Afterwards, Severn declared the Indorani guild traitors to Sapience and brought down the wrath of Shadow, dismantling the guild.

    The events, as recorded by the monks of the Grand Aetolian Library, proceeded as follows:

    Reality gives a tremble, and a distorted emanation pervades through the leylines. Several dark points manifest in the skies above Sapience, and then a gruesome, mawlike tear opens, sundering the sky. Beyond it lies the Chaos Plane, the infinite Pits beyond fain to madden those who stare overlong.

    Two gauntlet-shod hands tear the rift wider, making way for a tremendous form: Jy'Barrak Golgotha, Emperor of Chaos claws through, doom burning in his fiendish eyes. The Emperor is immediately flanked by Arctar and Dameron, moving as one with their sworn liege. The sound of heavy, rapid drumming reverberates across the heavens as the whole of the Court of Chaos step into Prime, forming behind the Emperor in glittering rank and file.

    The drumming rises to a cacophonous crescendo, peaking at a rhythmic, bone-rattling intensity that rattles. It goes on and on until finally the Emperor raises a single hand - and just as soon as it's done, the drums come to an immediate stop. The Court of Chaos depart in single file, each bowing before the imperious form of Golgotha - only Arctar, Dameron and the Emperor remain, commanding the silence that follows.


    Each word from the Lord of Chaos sets reality rumbling, and the Emperor is cloaked by sheer, palpable rage. The stench of ozone fills your nose as the sky itself begins to explode, traces of blue consumed in hellish fire. Below, fires begin to spontaneously appear in forests but even still the Emperor's words continue to roll forth. Rivers rise and surge, and the oceans roil beneath his terrible fury.

    Datlotl the Conclavist shouts, "GLORIOUS!"

    Reality quivers while the Emperor takes another breath. "BRING ME THE GREATEST OF FALSE VARIAN'S GET - BRING ME THE TWO MAGGOTS KNOWN AS SEVERN AND DAMARIEL! THEY SHALL KNOW TERROR, THEY SHALL KNOW FEAR, AND THEY SHALL KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO KEEP SECRETS FROM THE LOOOOOORD OF ALL CHAAAAAOOOOS!" he booms aloud. Somewhere in the Vashnars, a prominent mountain peak splits right down the middle, as though to punctuate his pronouncement.

    As Jy'Barrak Golgotha awaits a response, Arctar brings forth a black helm and secures it upon his Emperor's head. Now fully armoured, the enraged Emperor beckons Dameron forward - he crosses as Arctar steps back, head bowed; Dameron kneels at his father the Emperor's side and offers up a massive greatsword. Seizing it in but a single terrible hand, the Emperor brandishes it aloft. His two attendants step back, bow, and return to the Plane of Chaos.

    Datlotl the Conclavist shouts, "The Glory of Chaos, here before our eyes. Blessed, fellow mortals!"

    The morning sun darkens as Severn makes His presence known. With the Blade of Artifice held in His only hand, He streaks across the skies to meet the Chaos Emperor.


    Brilliant against the sky, Damariel departs His coastal temple, the calls of rukhs following the Divine into the sky. Light suffuses His blade of dawn and armaments.


    The hollow voice of Severn, the Manipulator echoes through the air, "Emperor, this need not happen now. Let Us parley."


    Severn offers only a begrudging nod. He did not expect any different answer.

    The hollow voice of Severn, the Manipulator echoes through the air, "Brother, leave this to Me. You must conserve Your strength for the real threat to come."


    Another flash of light signals the Unbound's discontent, though He remains at the ready, dual blades in hand.

    The seas roar and clash against the land as Slyphe, the Maelstrom, makes Its presence known, soaring across the skies astride a rainstorm steed and clad in misted armor of war. "To You alone, Brother Shadow? I would not miss such a fight.

    Flames spark through the atmosphere, the heat of the summoned inferno gathering into the form of Ethne, the Rekindled, axe and shield in hand. "Nor would I, You have My support, Brothers."

    The ground rumbles as Ivoln, the Earthen Lord wakes from His slumber and rises from the earth. He reaches forth to grasp an enormous half-spider, half-woman monstrosity - none other than Iosyne, the Malevolent. "GO FORTH, SISTER!" He bellows as He grips the spider-like woman in both His bulky hands, twisting His torso in a hurried spin that sends the Malevolent Goddess flinging through the air at impossible speeds toward the Chaos Emperor.


    Golgotha lunges, his greatsword scything through the air. His attention is fixed upon Severn, the Manipulator - Chaos crackles about him as his power gathers, and he swings, a crimson lightning wracking at the tortured air.

    Severn meets the blow with grit teeth, snout puling back in a vicious snarl. A resounding 'clang' sends shockwaves through the land as the Blade of Artifice and the Emperor's greatsword clash.

    A nightmarish whirlwind of flying arachnid legs, the Malevolent Goddess latches onto Golgotha's helmet, skittering rapidly across as She bares countless rows of fangs, scratching and biting at everything in reach.

    "OFF WITH YOU!" screeches the Emperor, flailing madly with one hand even as he attempts to hold off the God of Artifice with the other. "SINCE WHEN DO YOU WORK TOGETHER?!"

    Its footfalls thunderclaps, Slyphe's rainstorm steed charges the Emperor, the God of Water unleashing a vicious lance of pressurized water as He advances.

    The Rekindled Goddess arcs Her arm skyward, flames wreathing around the massive greataxe cocked in Her grip. Taking aim, She hurls it, full force, at the Emperor of Chaos.

    Severn quickly gains distance from the Emperor of Chaos under the distraction of His siblings, choosing to operate at a distance more suited to the God. Shadowy tendrils escape from every inch of the Manipulator's body as He pulls back, lashing around the Emperor to restrict his movements.

    "ACH! PTECK!" sputters Golgotha.
    Water and fire meet - not only as the Goddess' flaming axe meets with the Maelstrom's torrential assault, but as Golgotha's fire rises, a mirage-like array of chaos. He soon reappears, the Goddess Iosyne in hand - and hurls Her forcefully toward the ground, much as She was hurled upon him to begin with.

    Iosyne is sent spinning in the other direction now, away from Golgotha. Shortly before impacting the ground, the Goddess abruptly morphs, taking on Her centipede form as She transitions from falling to burrowing, disappearing beneath the earth.

    The very earth groans as Ivoln's sonorous voice rumbles across the land, "MEDIOCRE, SISTER!"


    The Unbound impatiently watches the battle, pacing across the sky over the barrow. "Finish it!" He calls out to His Kin. "We do not have the time!"

    Sea-green essence floods the sky, streaming towards the Maelstrom from all directions - with that, the Goddess clenches a fist, shifting Her rainstorm steed into a snowstorm - the temperature drops and spears of ice fling themselves at Golgotha from every direction.

    A Nightmarish roar emerges from the sky, and the Goddess Omei lunges toward Golgotha's turned back. "DIEEEEEE!" She screeches-
    -the Emperor grabs the flailing Nightmare out of the sky, holds Her steady, and punches Her to earth with a force that rattles the whole of the plane. All that can be seen in the wake of the Chaos Lord's blow are a few raccoons, tumbling head over heel toward the ground. Golgotha soon after blunts the spears of ice with a swing of his sword, glaring as he sights a new target among the Siblings.

    With the force of a swarm descending across the land, Vyxsis buzzes, "Indorani, display your fealty - direct your life essence to the Emperor!"
    The ground rumbles as tendrils of essence snake up, wrapping around the mortal assistance.

    Even more tendrils erupt forth from the Lord of Shadows as He attempts to tighten His hold on the Emperor's movements. Though Golgotha initially struggles with the added restraints, the raw strength of the Lord of Chaos slowly overcomes the bindings.

    The Emperor, with a twist of his immense frame and another swing of his sword, stirs the air to such fury and threads it through with such raw Chaos that the Gods about him fall away like battered leaves. He charges, footfalls splitting the air like thunder, bearing down upon the Manipulator and heedless of the other Gods.

    Severn raises His blade to meet the charging Emperor, squaring up with grim determination. Heedless of the God's weapon, Golgotha barges shoulder-first into Him with concussive force that throws Severn away. Dust rises in the distance, a muffled crash resounding as Severn lands into a mountain.


    The Maelstrom is battered away from the battle for mere moments, steadying Herself above Duiran. With a raised hand, She calls upon the rivers, the lakes, and the clouds, drawing water to herself which is quickly formed into a gargantuan, barbed trident of ice, one which is promptly hurled full-strength at Golgotha.

    Jy'Barrak Golgotha turns to deflect the waters of Sapience; but they are too much even for his Chaotic might. Back, he flies, back and windmilling, until he abruptly stops in midair - struggling to move with a roar that wakes the earth. His eyes glow - and moments later, lances of fire spit from them, scorching the sky and searing downward toward Sapience.

    A glimmer of thread is the only warning before Golgotha crashes into a web of titanic proportions. As the Emperor is caught in its grasp, the web lights up, glowing with Divine power.

    The Malevolent Goddess makes Her return, erupting out of the ground. Iosyne shifts back into Her spider form as She alights on Her web, carefully stalking towards Her entangled prey.


    "MY EMPEROR," cries out Dameron, the prince of Chaos as he descends towards his father, "You are outnumbered, let me prove my strength as your son and join you in battle!"


    Like a caged beast, the Unbound continues to pace across the sky, His light following him like a second sun. His unrest and conflict between His Kin and duty is palpable, grip loose and ready upon His blades.

    "Cut," Iosyne agrees, Her voice vibrating - almost like a purr. The Goddess advances - still warily - ignoring Dameron.

    "Of course, father." Dameron brings out his dagger, moving in quickly to free the Emperor. But as he approaches, the prince's form quickly sheds as the Lord of Artifice reveals His guise. Without wasting a second, He plunges the dagger between the cracks in Golgotha's armour and drives it in deep.

    Voice reverberating like the howl of a maelstrom, Slyphe bellows, "NOW, Siblings! Strike to fell the beast!"

    Severn twists and drives the dagger in deeper, the Emperor's blood gushing out to taint the land below.

    Ethne reappears in the sky above Golgotha. Keeping Her gaze fixed on the Chaos Lord, the light around Her shivers. Overhead, the sun dims as the Goddess of Fire focuses, bending its will to the palm of Her hand. She looses the bolt of flame into Golgotha, causing his blood to sizzle and tearing the wound deeper.

    The Earthen Lord springs into action once more, planting a foot into the ground before launching His colossal form skyward. He puts all His weight into a stony fist, reeling back and thrusting it forward as He aims a devastating punch toward Golgotha's head.

    Seeing Her opening, Iosyne surges forward, all hesitation gone. The Goddess latches onto Golgotha's neck, Her offensively, impossibly wide smile visible for an instant before countless rows of jagged fangs sink into the Emperor's neck.

    "AAAARGH!" screeches Emperor Golgotha, enduring nothing less than an utter beating beneath the Gods of Sapience. He flails, to no avail, for several moments - until his eyes come alight once again, and the beams of fury that fly from them strike fast and true. The web burns and falls around him, and he claws free, leaping skyward and cutting the last of the web from him. Gods topple around him as though they were scrubland before an unstoppable borders - blind with rage, he turns and demands: "A FAIR DUEL!" His voice resounds: "NO FOX'S TRICKS!" He thunders, as he vanishes into the air: "IT WILL BE YOUR FINAL DESTINATION, COWARDLY GET OF A COWARDLY FATHER!" He leans back out, just for a moment: "SPIDER! BE MY BRIDE, OR DIE ALONGSIDE THE REST! YOU HAVE UNTIL I RETURN WITH MY COURT TO RECONSIDER, BECAUSE AFTER THAT, I WILL WIPE THIS PLANE CLEAAAAAAAAAAAN!"

    The rift to Chaos closes up as the Emperor retreats through it.

    Severn strides across the skies, joining Damariel where He waits upon the edge of the battlefield. The Manipulator offers His Brother the dagger, bathed red with Golgotha's blood.

    The hollow voice of Severn, the Manipulator echoes through the air, "You know what to do with this, Brother. I have unfinished business to attend to."

    The Unbound grips the dagger with a grim nod, and turns down towards the barrow. "It will be done." He states.

    The tang of iron and something indecipherable but sickening rises in the air, the seal of Chaos crackling as it is fed the Emperor's blood.

    The Manipulator watches His Brother depart and then darts across the sky, His Divine frame looming across Bloodloch.

    The hollow voice of Severn, the Manipulator echoes through the air, "Hear Me, traitors - you have chosen pride and ego over the safety of the realm. Not only have you placed all My Siblings in Immortal danger, but so too have you threatened My Father's creation. So be it, Indorani! Let Shadow blot you out as Light once did! Sapience has no further need of you."

    The God of Shadow lifts His sole arm, a contemptuous sneer painted across His Minotaur's face. His fingers pierce the fabric of Prime like needles, finding purchase in reality with a strained and sickening squelch. The God tears open a rift to Czjetija, and blackness fills the sky, roiling Shadow briefly revealing itself. He seizes hold of an indescribable black mass, roiling and pulsing with Shadow's primeval fury. Out comes the dread hand, the mass within twisting and fighting in the God's hand - ancient, withered - and then He turns His fingers and drops it. Down it falls. Down, down like a blighted raindrop, carving through the rock of Bloodloch like a Luminary's enflamed mace through butter; it tears off a side of the mountain, carves downward, and stops only when a surge of lava scores the skies. This plume, Shadow-tainted, is barely brighter than an ember, rising and falling from the impact in eerie silence before fuller quiescence reigns.

    Abominations of Shadow surge forward from the depths of the Shadow Plane, some ridden by vague-faced Shadowbound. Dread warcries shriek forth from the depths of the rift, and no sooner are they heard than Severn has snapped the portal shut once more. The severed tip of a Shadowy lance tumbles from the sky and falls to ground amidst the lava-filled crater which now lies far below.

    Damariel mot Lanosaryon, the Unbound's voice rings out across the land like the falling of hammers, "Severn! Do not let Your fury risk Us all! You imbalance this Plane with your recklessness!"

    The hollow voice of Severn, the Manipulator echoes through the air, "It is done, save your strength for the Leviathan. We have other battles to fight, and another traitor to find."

    A tension dims and flickers the light of the heavens, but the Unbound falls to silence. The lingering note of unfinished business is clear.

    Polemarch Daimoxoth

    Upon the 8th of Khepary, the seal of Chaos finally fell - mortalkind's penchant for bloodletting had surprised even the Divine and Their war-weary eyes, granting the seal more time than They had anticipated.

    Jox gave another colossal heave as the next binding on His mind was destroyed, and the tundral sheet split open in protest. Nightmarish dregs clawed their way up from beneath, spilling from the gas-spewing vents that opened up across the breadth of the Western Tundra - and new behemoths strode out alongside them, inspiring the dreg hordes to a frenzy with thunderous roars. The Nightmare gas lured many into its chilling visions - and it was stronger than before, the visions having grown more intense than the previous weeks'. Many sought protection from the fumes through the use of the filter masks employed by the salvagers of Stormcaller Crag, which proved a little useful; soon, though, the filters wore through, and no replacements lay at hand.

    A harsh voice rose out amongst the din of the following battle, the gravelly tones of its language familiar to some old enough to remember: the speaker was a Dreikathi, the Polemarch Daimoxoth, who had just entered onto the field of battle. Now freed from the Nightmare, this ancient adversary of Lobyl's shouted commands to the dreg hordes - and they obeyed his word. A further legion of dregs separated the Dreikathi from Lobyl and the group of adventurers, and though Lobyl charged the Dreikathi with terrifying speed, the Polemarch quickly departed the field once more.

    After clearing out the last of the dregs, the mortals gathered before the next seal of the barrow. This seal was made from the rarest of all metals, starmetal; and the Twin Gods explained that it was also the strongest of all the seals - forged with the unified strength of the entire Pantheon, in a bygone age when Their powers had been far greater. The Ankyrean Lobyl expressed his amazement at the quantity of the starmetal, known to him as 'astenel', a Kalsu word meaning 'skymetal'; he had never seen so much of it in one place before. Like the seal of Chaos before it, the seal of the Divine also had its own defences: those who entered were soon reduced to ash by Divine power. Only those bearing the blessing of a God were protected from destruction.

    The Twins remained tight-lipped on the nature of the final seal that lay beyond the Divine one, saying merely that the seal of the Divine was beyond mortal influence. Instead, They bid the mortals to complete two tasks: firstly, to prepare for the fight against the Dreikathi, for the Sapient Pantheon held no influence over the Albedi races and Their powers would not be able to oppose the threat which the powerful Dreikathi posed; and secondly, see to their own Gods. The Gods of Sapience prepared for the inevitable battle against Jox, and many of Them would have need of mortal help in the preparations to come.


    The Grand Aetolian Library cannot, regretfully, give a full and accurate accounting of what transpired concerning Omei, the Nightmare and Her theft of the starmetal leg of Damariel mot Lanosaryon, in the month of Midsummer, amidst the business with the Leviathan.

    This monk's sole account of the events emerges from the hand of a Troll worker, whose command of Aetolian was suspect, whose grasp of writing - in both a literal and metaphorical sense - was yet worse, and whose distance from the events was such that even a Syssin of reasonable skill might have been challenged by the same circumstances.

    Owing to these reasons, the parchment from which I am to compile a summary is marred by ink, misspellings, the worst grammar outside of the Nazedha isles, and worst of all, an offensively colloquial tone. Therefore it is with full apologies that we present, for the historical record, the words of Wngroct Hamgrist. We have corrected all that we can, and censored an explicative that is fully present in the source text:

    Once upon a time during the business with the Leviathan, OMEI shows up in the western Tundra.
    SHE is about to sneak down into the seal, except, when trying to soothe the nightmare prison SHE built,
    and SHE says Shhh but it is too loud, too late-
    and just like that:
    ADVENTURERS show up, the great adventurers, the sort you want your children to grow up to be.
    Hey, Fezzix says. OMEI. Isn't that DAMARIEL's leg?
    No, says Omei. Why Would You Think That, says Omei.
    Because it's DAMARIEL'S leg, says Fezzix.
    Shut Up, says Omei. I Would Kill You, says Omei, (If it wouldn't draw MY SIBLINGS' attention.)
    Just then, DAMARIEL awakes. Where Is My Leg, he shouts.

    [An explative spoken by the Goddess Omei has been cleverly disguised by calligraphy, such that it resembles the shape of a unicorn in mid-leap.]

    OMEI, asks one of the people. Why Do YOU Have The Leg?
    No Reason, says Omei. For The Seal?
    Oh dear, says Fezzix.
    Oh dear, says Toz.
    YOU'RE the Traitor, they say together.
    Yes, says Omei: That seal will soon be broken. And you know what? I feel sorry for the Leviathan! I feel so, so sorry for the thing we imprisoned! I don't even remember what I did! I can't even control this nightmare thing I made! I DON'T REMEMBER MAKING IT! WHY SHOULDN'T I FEEL A LITTLE SORRY FOR I-
    And Damariel appears.
    SISTER, says Damariel, who limps upon a leg that is worse than His usual leg: I Want MY Leg.
    Okay, says Omei, and gives it to Damariel before She keeps crying more, She says: I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry.
    Damariel says, It Is Fine. (He is very angry, but says it anyway.)
    Omei says, I Only Wanted To Fix The Gate.
    Damariel knows this. He is angry but He forgives Her because He is Damariel the Unbound and greatest among forgivers. (I am a follower of Damariel mot Lanosaryon, so I like Him very much.)
    I'm Scared, says Omei. Will The Leviathan Crush Us?
    Damariel thinks so, but tells Her they are going to fight.
    Omei says, Then I Will Prepare For War.
    And off She goes, turning into raccoons.
    Damariel stayed, but there were only mortals, and we were uninteresting.
    So He left.
    I do not blame him.



    In the weeks and months following the destruction of the seal of Chaos, mortal and Immortal alike began preparations for the fight to come, and sought means by which to oppose the dregs - hideous creatures of nightmare arising from the tundral deeps:

    - Damariel, the Unbound guided His people to Liri, a Seyda and former priestess of Lleis. With her help, as well as a clipping from the First Elder, adventurers constructed healing ampoules that aided them in the fight against the dregs.
    - Rhulin, the Engineer of Enorian came forward to set up a workstation at which dreg-destroying kola bombs could be constructed. These decimated large groups of dregs when thrown.
    - Iosyne, the Malevolent bestowed one Divine-infused egg each upon Bloodloch and Spinesreach, and tasked them to feed the eggs with the corpses of the mightiest foes they could find and slay. These eggs would later hatch into two hulking creatures - Eggward and Semomti - each taking on the physical attributes of the corpses they'd devoured. The creatures took to the Western Tundra, easily dismantling any dreg that crossed their path.
    - Slyphe, the Maelstrom took to the high seas with Enorian and their Duiranite allies upon Its great ship, the Radiant Admiral. Deep out in the ocean they hunted one of Jox's spawn, the leviathan Torax. The adventurers manned massive ship-mounted ballistae and hooked the massive sea creature with the chained harpoons. After all the hooks had sunk into the leviathan's flesh, Slyphe pulled the beast aboard the ship; and together mortal and Immortal united, they slew the beast. Haern, the Hunter joined His Brother and the mortals on the voyage, although He spent most of His time vomiting over the ship's side.
    - Abhorash, Consanguine progenitor, gifted a powerful bloodstone to the Imperial Dominion. By sating the stone with their blood, the Consanguine empowered themselves with new abilities to counter the dregs.
    - Severn and Tanixalthas held a tense meeting in Spinesreach. In exchange for gifting Her the former Spire of Mystery - now the mighty Dragon Spire - and teaching Her how to properly wield Her Divine powers, the Manipulator Severn brought the Dragon-Goddess onto the advisory of Spinesreach, and into alliance with the Sapient Pantheon.
    - There were further rumours of dealings involving the enigmatic God of Artifice, but it remains uncertain what the nature of those machinations might have been.
    - Ethne's forge stayed lit day and night as Her Voice, Rasani, labored tirelessly to smith several weapons worthy of the Gods' use.
    - Haern, the Hunter led Duiran, along with their Enorianite allies, on a hunt for a monstrous boar. Having supped upon the blood of Golgotha - spilled from recent battle - the boar had transformed into a hulking demonic creature. The adventurers battled the beast and its spawn, eventually driving it to the Hunter, Who lay in waiting with a large pitfall to trap the beast. From the boar's bone, Runecarver Rhydderch fashioned a new spearhead for His God, while Haern communed with the Great Oak to derive His weapon's new shaft. Iosyne's own Divinely-spun spidersilk would serve as the spear's binding, completing the weapon.
    - Chakrasul, the Dark Mother had the Carnifex train Abietatve, Her warhound, by infusing it with hearts dipped in the essence of Corruption. She would later have the Teradrim control the temperature of Her forge, ensuring that the molten lava would be infused with Her essence; these, and black diamonds, were used to construct Her battle-armour.
    - The city of Spinesreach called upon their allies, the Ophidian Empire, to aid in the battle against the dregs. The Empire offered its unconditional support - both to honour their alliance, and to confront the risks posed to the continent. Scores of Ophidian warriors would die in the skirmishes across the Western Tundra, though the Empire earned their allies' newfound respect for their valiant efforts.


    The starmetal seal of the Divine would shatter as the sun rose on the 19th of Midsummer 476 MA, signalling the start of a fierce battle between mortalkind and the dregs. Leading an unrelenting assault, the Polemarch Daimoxoth took to the field once more alongside his enthralled dregs, and met the Gray Accord - mortalkind's united front - in another harrowing clash. With the assistance of the Ankyrean warrior Lobyl, the Gray Accord forced the Dreikathi to flee as they had done before, but - yet again - the nightmare-tainted Daimoxoth dispersed into a fog and slipped away through the cracks in the tundra.

    Once the battle quieted, the Accord descended into the barrow. The Twin Gods awaited them at the final seal, beyond the shattered seal of starmetal. It was revealed by the Two that this seal was produced with the bones and blood of countless Ankyrean sacrifices, then reinforced with a layer of venantium. Lobyl turned upon the Gods, anger flashing in his eyes as the nature of the Ankyrean seal was revealed. His anger, however, came not from the sacrifice of his kind, but instead from the reluctance of the Twins to reveal the seal's nature to him until now. The Gods had doubted his resolve - a grave insult to a member of the Conclave of Devotion. Nonetheless, Lobyl - known for his intense piety - offered up his body so that his bones could reinforce the seal but his zeal was rebuked by the Twins; the sacrifice of a single Ankyrean would make little difference, and his prowess was still needed for the fights to come.

    Following the revelation of the Ankyrean seal, mortalkind spent the weeks until its inevitable destruction focusing upon the tasks the Gods had set for them and continuing to defend the barrow from the dregs. At Lobyl's request, allies of the Accord brought him modern enchantments to study. Using these enchantments as a basis, he spent his free time devising a countermeasure to the Dreikathi Daimoxoth's ability to flee the field of battle. Thus the days progressed until, at last, dawn broke on the first day of Autumn in the year 476 MA.

    Damariel was the first of the Sapience Gods to arrive in the skies over the Western Tundra, flanked immediately by His Twin Severn. Shining out as beacon for the rest of His Siblings, the Unbound's voice rang out across the continent, rallying all of Sapience to endure united against the foes that would threaten the continent. Grim, resigned, and girded for war, the Sapient pantheon arrived, each of Spirit, each of Shadow: Ivoln, the Earthen Lord; Haern, the Hunter; Ethne, the Inferno; Iosyne, the Malevolent; Tanixalthas, the Sun Driker; Slyphe, the Maelstrom; Chakrasul, Lady of Corruption; Dhar, the Underking; and Omei, the Nightmare. Foreign yet resident, only the Goddess of Symmetry, Avareti, still lingered apart from the rest of Gods - Her place was not yet certain.

    Upon the ice below the Gods, the banner of Gray Accord fluttered in the crisp wind of the tundra as Sapience's mightiest warriors likewise assembled under the symbol of their unified defence. Joined by the Ankyrean Lobyl, and led by Fezzix Sicarius, the Accord had mustered a force of strength unseen for centuries upon the Aetolian continent.

    A vent of hissing energy escaped the barrow as the Ankyrean seal entered the final stages of its decay and the Western Tundra shuddered with splintering cracks. Innumerable hordes of dregs burst out of the fresh vents, the Polemarch Daimoxoth at the fore of their charge. Conserving essence for Their own fight, the Gods watched on from Their lofty vantages as the forces of mortalkind clashed with the Dreikathi and his dregs. Time itself almost seemed slowed by the chaos of the ensuing battle and many Sapients lost their lives to the singular might of the ancient Dreikathi. Daimoxoth carved a path through the battlefield with an antiquated spear that bore a tattered Dreikathi standard, using a combination of sheer martial prowess and Nightmare-infused abilities to match the strength of dozens of Sapience's strongest.

    Ultimately, Sapience's forces proved too steadfast for the lone Dreikathi. As he attempted to flee, Lobyl held forth his countermeasure: a gilded, nightmarish eye sigil that prevented the Polemarch from becoming incorporeal. Daimoxoth fell, once to Ceirnis Bouchard, a Consanguine who laid into the draconic foe with a frenzy of blows. Then, shortly after bursting back to life by ancient magic, to the Knight Rasani Morrog, who finished the Polemarch with a decisive double-struck blow. The sun had begun to set, the luminous moon taking its place in the heavens as evening marked the end of mortalkind's battle.

    Pairing off, the Gods of Sapience took to Their positions over the Western Tundra as the seal's destruction became imminent. Avareti still lurked on the fringes until Severn, the Manipulator finally addressed Her hesitation. "Avareti," called Severn, as His gaze lanced across the tundra: "If You are to claim a place among Us, then You must perform those duties to which We are bound. Either stand back and be a pantheon of one, or join Us and become Our Sister. The mortals of this land shall forever reckon You by the choice You make here, therefore make it wisely."

    The Goddess of Symmetry needed no time to make Her decision as She unfolded Her geometric codex and prepared for the battle. She was a Goddess born during a time of great strife for the Continent - the War of Night - and at the core of Her being was a desire to see innocent life protected from such horrors. So decided, She advanced to join the rest of the Sapience Pantheon, replying to Severn as She did: "Do not dangle Siblinghood before Me like a bauble. Either trust Me or don't, Artificer, and don't make a game of it. No, I won't fight, not for the lies You and Your Kin would tell Me... but instead, to spare this land more devastation and bloodshed."

    At the urging of the Gods, mortals fled as far south as south went, taking with them the badly wounded Lobyl. Only one mortal, whose curiosity far outweighed his common sense, remained in the Tundra: the Archivist Steele, soon to perish in the coming calamity. The stillness of night hung in the air for a passing moment, but was then sundered by a cataclysm of unfathomable destruction that shattered the entire Western Tundra. The mighty Serpent arose, erupting from its prison below the ice, cloaked in chaos and fury. What little tundra remained struggled to hold the truly gargantuan bulk of Jox, and its form cast an immense shadow that blotted out the very sky. The Serpent's eyes, larger than a ship of war, opened and glowed an angry red as they beheld all yet to be shattered by its rage. The outline of the beast was miles long, and only visible due to the debris thrown up in the sky upon its sudden arrival - the entire destroyed Western Tundra and surrounding coastline, which hung in the air as motes of dust and detritus. The sound of its ascent blasted forth like sundering Fire - its palpable rage hung in the air like an oppressive miasma and emanated from every inch of its world-devouring body.

    The Gods of Sapience acted without hesitation. Working together in a unison hitherto unseen in this current age of Midnight, They unleashed a deadly combination of attacks - each taking Their turn at striking great wounds upon the Leviathan. Yet in the end, Their efforts were for naught. Jox, while bloodied from the onslaught, had hardly seemed deterred in its fury once its initial distraction faded. As its eyes rose, it glared fiercely at the attacking Sapient Gods as though they were naught but flies. With a lazy, but air-sundering swat of its mighty tail, the great serpent scattered half of Them at once. Those that remained were quick to close ranks and push Their assault, encouraged by Severn's shout of "Remember the plan!". The words had no sooner left Severn's mouth than did Jox's monstrous maw opened wide. The Earthen Lord Ivoln was first to realize the coming threat, His sonorous voice rocking the continent with a simple instruction to mortalkind: "Guard your ears!"

    Incensed by the tiny Divine that were still biting at its impossible might, Jox reared back and pulled yet more of its body out of the Tundra in the process. Sapience quaked, but not nearly so fiercely as the air, sundered by the Leviathan with a continent-shattering roar! Mountaincaps shattered, buildings crumbled, and millions of mortals, beasts, plants, and other living things perished on the spot as the rage of the Serpent made itself heard in every corner, in every cave, in every recess and shadowed corridor of mortalkind. The Immortals of Sapience reeled as They were cast aside by the terrible, obliviating din. They attempted a fighting retreat, doing little to perturb the looming Leviathan as its wounds began to rapidly regenerate.

    As the sheer force of that raw fury blasted away the detritus created by Jox's every movement, the sky cleared and revealed the argent light of the full moon, which gazed down like an immense eye upon the destruction. Jox swung its head towards this bright target, and a new roar rumbled deep in its gullet, echoing against the mountains. The low roar grew into something not unlike a scream, the very noise cracking what little tundral ice had been left unbroken. Its mouth opened, silhouetted against the stars, and essence began to gather in its maw, coalescing into a huge ball and drawn from all across the sky - the waters of Sapience and beyond rose up to answer Jox's call, lending it their essence, even as Slyphe fell from the sky, limp and unconscious. Color all across the continent seemed to dim as Shadow's essence joined Water's within the Leviathan's jaws, and its noise fell to a terrible, swift silence. Jox vomited forth its gathered power in a beam of concentrated essence, cracking the sky with a horrific, explosive boom and scarring the starry void. The stream of essence slammed into the moon far, far above the world and shattered the argent orb into dozens of chunks, continuing onward until it was lost to mortal sight. Eventually, Jox's cavernous maw slammed shut and the lance came to a stop. The thing's gurgling, hideous laughter sounded like thunderclaps across the Western Tundra as it gazed upon its sundering of the celestial sphere.

    When the last of the stream of essence was swallowed by the void, the stars seemed to wink back into existence - then what appeared to be stars began to move, forming the outline of a truly massive celestial being, composed of swirling nebulas of myriad colors. What must have been Its great hands cradled the fragmented moon and gathered each shattered piece with loving tenderness as the Cosmic Being began to piece the moon back together, carefully aligning the shattered chunks with one another.

    [Scribe's interjection: The Grand Library would like to dispel any rumours that this Being was Odravh, the Abyssal. The recorded descriptions of Odravh and this still-unknown Cosmic Being do not match up, nor do They match the descriptions of any other Being we currently have on record. We urge the people of Sapience to cease any further written inquiries to us on the subject of the unidentified Cosmic Being.]

    Bellowing with pure rage at the sight of the Cosmic Being, the mighty Serpent heaved itself upward and surged through the sky, towards the faraway, shattered moon and the Cosmic Being that coiled about the broken sphere. Its immense form seemed as though it would never end as league after league of furious Leviathan ascended from the depths of its destroyed prison. Then, its maw hung wide open in a vicious snarl, the hideous noise underscored by another din - the wailing of survivors as they mourned the many dead brought about by the Serpent's mind-melting roar, their grief all but lost amidst the beast's vengeful outcry.

    tHE lord of war and strife

    A featureless figure of radiant silver rapidly descended from the heavens and hovered over the great Leviathan, blocking its ascent. The figure raised an outstretched hand and a radiant spray of multicoloured lights burst forth; raw Divine essence painted the night sky in a brilliant aurora of varying shades. The essence, powerful and unyielding, slammed into the massive Leviathan, who reeled from the blow and released a strained growl as the silvery Being drove the Albedi God back from whence it came, beneath the cold, dark tundral ice. Raw essence continued to pour forth from the Being's palm as He descended, and the leylines and firmament shook as though they were about to burst forth from the overflow of power. The Being descended, though in such a fashion that it seemed as if the world and all its contents had moved about Him, rather than He through they. Whether the eyes which beheld Him were mortal or Divine, His identity was fully evident: Varian, the Celestine.

    Varian was radiant, almost blindingly so. He gestured with a lazy hand, and reality itself knitted together beneath His finger. Once more from naught, the Western Tundra returned whole: a vista that unfolded like an immense, silvery quilt, and loomed across the splayed Leviathan. Though the dread serpent gave a flail or two, there beneath the Celestine's mask-like and unrelenting stare it could not avail itself. It was soon lost to sight, imprisoned once more beneath frost and desolation, as though the serpent were but a ray of light upon which a window had been decisively shuttered. The rippling echoes of the Divine feat faded, and the air began to settle, shot through with brilliant, resplendent light.

    Severn looked upward at the eldritch Cosmic Being which still loomed across the moon in repair. Terror filled the Artificer's face, spilling over as He turned His gaze instead upon the sharp brilliance of the Celestine. "Father," He breathed, boyish for a moment in His trepidation. "It's not safe for You to be here." He pointed upward with His one good arm. "There's danger in the skies." Varian surveyed His gathered children and replied, in a mixture of modern Aetolian and ancient Kalsu. "The Serpent's sundering of the lunar sphere has provided Me with a small distraction - yet Sevren! Sevren, Efvi wo De," He implored, calling Severn 'Son of Mine'; using His Kalsu name, as well.

    "What has become of Kepri! Les? Aryon, Urlani wo Eja Tolya! What have You done this time?" Varian continued, now calling upon His fallen Children in their Kalsu names: Khepri, Lleis, and Arion, the Honour of Aetolia. Then last, He volleyed in a wounded tone: "Followed Your dear sister Lurli's lead?" Lurli, the Kalsu name of Omei, once had a lengthy period of disobedience against Her Father that ultimately resulted in Her imprisonment and deprivation, and sparked the feud between Her and the Goddess Iosyne owing to the latter's perceived theft from the former.

    Severn started to answer but soon stuttered to a halt - for Varian held up a shining hand, glided past Him, and instead turned to Damariel. The Unbound Lord approached, a growing smile upon His face. "Ah!" said He most Immortal as He took Damariel mot Lanosaryon by the shoulder and laughed in recognition. "Lanos. Of course! Congratulations, My Son, upon Your most remarkable recovery. Now where is Doharivolin-" He broke off at once and a deep frown cut across His radiant features as He took brief note of Dhar and Ivoln, who stood at a far distance from One Another. Dhar and Ivoln had once been unified by Varian Himself into the God known as Dhaivol, the Underking - or Doharivolin in the Kalsu tongue. "There is much amiss," Varian noted darkly. "Efvi wo De," He addressed Damariel, "My Son, I entrusted You and Sevren to maintain My realm while I was unable to. Did this task," He sighed heavily, "prove beyond You both?"

    Damariel also tried to reply, but no sooner had He begun than He is stopped by the rise of His Father's hand. Varian had already moved on to His next Child, and the next after that - greeting each, receiving Their homage one by one, and then continuing on. He spoke with gentle encouragement, and paused, pleasantly surprised, when He observed one of His Daughters: "Iyosin! What a beautiful new form! Malevolent and terrifying. You have always known how to please Me." Once more referring to the Goddess, Iosyne, by Her Kalsu name. The compliment paid, He moved on - He wore a soft, pitying smile for Chakrasul, and passed by a waiting Omei with the faintest of sneers. One Goddess, however, drew His eye.

    There stood Avareti, Goddess of Symmetry. She was the odd Goddess out between the other two Divine camps: at Spirit's front, Damariel mot Lanosaryon, and at Shadow's, Severn the Manipulator, each watching Their Father as He approached. Neither spoke as His featureless face fixed upon Her. "Sevren! Lanos!" Varian spat as He lifted a trembling, Immortal hand. His finger came to a point, the radiance from it crackled as His fury gathered. "Hie to Me at once." The Twin Gods scurried from Their Siblings and approached Their Father with trepidation. "Explain this defe zaya du - this Albedi offal! - which playacts at being one of You." Varian, calling Avareti an 'evil thing' in the Kalsu tongue, referring to Her origins during the War of Night wherein She was created from the dregs of essence left behind by Lanu Du's stirring.

    Avareti started to explain Herself with hopeful intent but was interrupted by Severn. "Varyan, Yunva wo Desa," He began, saying 'Varian, My Father' in His most cautious and imploring Kalsu tones. "She knew nothing of Her true nature. Nothing. So long as She knew not, She became not. When Chaos forgets itself, it becomes Order - it becomes Symmetry. Just as it is with rain to snow, so too can the things of Our enemies become Our weapons instead-"

    Up rose a radiant hand, cutting short Severn's defence. Varian did not speak immediately, though His empty face glared like the hellish fires of the Pit. "Dissemblance," whispered He. "Now I begin to recall! You speak this to Me boldly, like My dear Efvi Sevren wo Veyej, My Son of Reason and Purpose, ought to-" He paused, and pride turned to fury in a moment. "And yet, did not Your brilliant wirso with the Kerrithrim fail so badly that mortals had to finish Your work for You? The Nazetu, and the Nazedha who followed them? What of the escape of Odravh, My Abyssal foe?"

    [Varian addressed Severn by His original epithet from a history long forgotten: Veyej, the Kalsu word for reason and purpose, which He was known by before His current titles of Artificer and Manipulator. The Grand Library presumes that the brilliant wirso - strategy - disparaged by the Celestine was in reference to His attempt to deceive the Kerrithrim into docility - a failed plan that ultimately led to a crippled Severn becoming imprisoned by the Shadow Mother's minions. While imprisoned upon the Shadow Plane, the Dreikathi invaded Ashtan and He was the only Being known to have cohesive knowledge of them. The Grand Library regrets it was unable to draw links between Severn and the various invasions from the Nazetu race and we could only assume the Father considered this a neglect of Severn's tasked duties. The escape of Odravh falls under a similar assumption.]

    "Father, We tried Our best to stop it-" Damariel, the Unbound tried to cut in but His words were overridden. Varian berated Severn still: "The reawakening of the Great Mhunna? The renaissance of heretical Albedi temiy, that You and Your Twin promised Me had been forgotten upon this continent thousands of years hence? The War of Night, too - surely You, Efvi wo De, wouldn't hide away while a mere kadu kelo wo Olsana pillages My creation? And now, the Court of Chaos brings suit against You, and one among You is traitor to Me!" He laughed sharply as He glowered upon Severn the Manipulator. "You wear a dress before Me now, Sevren, and it is spun from yet more of Your kuysa du! You have lied, and lied, so much that mortals as well as I name You Artificer!" His contemptuous gaze trailed across the Sapient pantheon, Who cowered away from their Father. None dared to interrupt His tirade as He accused Severn of kuysa du - lies - and blamed Him for the rising Albedi temiy - worship. [The kadu kelo wo Olsana, or bloodhound of Ohlsana, the Grand Library presumes to be in reference to Ati, who was a prominent foe during the War of Night.]

    "I work veyej, and I receive kuy du! I work kuy and urlane and I receive buvri yot kadusa - kadusa Albedi!" Varian continued to bellow in outrage, stating that He worked purpose and received falsehood. That He worked truth and honour, and received peace for His Albedi enemies. "Where I spin white into reality, My progeny are bound and determined to spin it black against My wishes! No," He scoffed, with a cruel glare, "I will have no more of this. My firstborn have failed Me. You have fallen so far, My Children, that You are no longer capable of producing serviceable shells to house Your glory. I shall make another - and ensconce Him within one of the few fit mortals remaining upon this continent!"

    Varian's hand separated cleanly at the wrist, and formed into a perfect, pale sphere in the air. As soon as He was done, the Celestine One produced a new hand and reached out with both to sculpt the freed essence. "Efvi wo De," He pronounced, blank face aglow, "I send You, because otherwise My Children shall fail." The essence gave a slow thrum as it hung in midair, and the leylines pulsed in answer as they responded to the Celestine's primal act of creation. "Reri, Nu vonla De." After saying 'War, I name You' He paused and His tone became fonder when He continued: "Sopa elnur Nu ozidmu bujevsa eja..." He declared that all mortals will know You, and then His empty face turned down upon the wounded figure of Lobyl. The Ankyrean's gaze lifted upward. He faced His Maker with no trace of fear nor gladness; all that was reflected in the Ankyrean's face - save for Varian, the Celestine's brilliant light - was unerring piety and resolve.

    Lobyl rose amidst the Celestine's hand, as tiny there as if he was a child's toy. Cautious, careful and with a strange gentleness that belied the gruesomeness of the procedure, Varian tore asunder and then remade the mortal's form as He fused essence and shell together into a new God. "Arise, Reri Efvi wo De," spoke the Father to His Son of War: "Let Sapience call You Bamathis, the Warlord! I charge You with maintaining order among My children, and purging the Albedi taint from My realm."

    The voice of Bamathis, the Warlord resonated across the land as it boomed with a harsh fervor, "At the center of My being is strife, and a purpose to protect Sapience from every threat. You will know Me as Bamathis, the Warlord. The time of tolerance and heresy has come to an end. Those who oppose My Father's realm will perish."

    "Good," rumbled Varian, the Celestine. He placed Bamathis, the Warlord within the sky, where He stood unsupported and ordered, "Slay the Albedi filth." Damariel's gaze rose in alarm, fixed upon Varian; Severn, grim-faced, began to draw the Blade of Artifice from its sheath. Yet as soon as He was done, Bamathis stood beside Him; the Warlord took the hilt in hand. "Hold, Sevren," said Bamathis. "Father speaks to Me, now." He gently dislodged the Manipulator's grasp from His weapon and advanced upon Avareti, Goddess of Symmetry as He claimed the sword for His own.

    Avareti stood Her ground as best as She could, even given Her tiny and diminutive frame. Her batlike wings flared forth and gave Her some impression of size; Her arms folded, and She stared up at the Warlord, many times taller than She, with anger and sorrow both penned upon Her features. There, too, was a mounting terror, but even this didn't overshadow the enormity of Her grief: "Why do You turn Your faces from Me, My Siblings? Why do You stand idle while He advances? What hands but these Grecht-hands wrought You from coals, Ethne? Would the sun yet hang in the Sapient sky had I not acted? What hands but these Grecht-hands sought balance in a war-torn land? This one sent to kill Me is more an impostor than I! Please! I know not what I was, but I know what I am now - I am Your Sister! And I love You, My Siblings! Please! Please, won't one of You do something?!"

    None of Them did.

    Despite Her best efforts to fend off His blows, Bamathis cut Avareti once: Her arm contorted, gravely wounded, and blood spilled forth. It served at first to cloak the wound's metamorphosis into something eldritch and alien- and She screeched in horror, "No! I'm not- I can't be- please, help Me!" Distracted by Her own arm splitting into a multitude of Chaotic tentacles, Avareti was left open for an undaunted Bamathis to pursue. After a brief, futile struggle from the Goddess, Bamathis impaled Her through upon the Blade of Artifice and parted Her body in twain. The last vestiges of Her Grecht frame collapsed into an abominable, eldritch tangle and Her blood stained Bamathis' weapon with the telltale mark of Chaos and the wrath of Lanu Du.

    Varian, the Celestine seized the Goddess' body, lifted it to His maw and devoured Her remnants whole. In but three quick bites, He had consumed the whole of what was once Avareti's essence. "This!" spat Varian the Celestine, in a tone cut through with Immortal disgust: "This, You would have had Me call My Daughter!" Then He turned - and took note, again, of a Goddess He had not quite noticed before. There, beneath His vengeful and unseen eye, was the figure of Tanixalthas, the Sun Drinker. His frown begins to deepen once more and contempt entered His countenance as a silence reigned, long and tense, between the two Divine figures. Tanixalthas reared Her head and faced the Father and the Warlord defiantly, poised to strike.

    "You," spoke Varian after a great pause, "You are of Me, and yet not of Me. You are not wholly Mine, but the greater part of You is." He lifted His hand and waved an ever-ready Warlord back: "Forbear, Son of Autumn." Then His attention returned to the Dragon. "I shall permit You to persist for now, but should this relyu taint rear its head above You, Vilya? I will destroy You, just as I destroyed this other pretender. You shall obey Me, or You shall be voldara - nothing." Here Varian used 'relyu' the Kalsu form, and origin, of the Ankyrean word 'rellyw', and called Tanixalthas by the essence She wields - Vilya. After having addressed the issue of the dragon, He turned His face upwards to the moon.

    The ardent sphere hung overhead and the looming celestial figure of swirling nebulas was knitting it back together more and more quickly. "I must go," said Varian, and He turned His gaze from the moon back to Bamathis: "Reri, Efvi wo De, Deov dal Aransa - I charge You to rule over My progeny, and to defend My creation from My enemies' subversion." And so did Father task His Son, addressing the Warlord as 'War, My Son, First among Gods'.

    Bamathis, the Warlord, with the bloodied Blade of Artifice at His side, raised His fist to His Father and gave a crisp salute. "With that strength which You forged in Me, Yunva Varyan," said Bamathis, "I shall oppose Your challengers!" Satisfied, Varian the Celestine stretched forth into a blazing pillar of light and lanced upward toward the heavens of Aetolia towards the repaired moon and the swirling celestial being. He was quickly lost to view, naught but a radiant and focused beam bursting upward from the Western Tundra that soon faded into departing motes.

    After His Father's departure, Bamathis cast His silvery gaze over each of the Sapient Gods. "Do not let My youth hinder your allegiance to Me." He began. "Our Father has created Me to make right where You have failed so grievously." He continued on and paced a few leisurely steps back and forth before the gathered Pantheon. "We must ready for the coming battle with the Chaos Court; an endeavor which I will personally spearhead. I expect each of You to fall in line."

    Damariel mot Lanosaryon, the Unbound's voice rang out across the land like the falling of hammers, "We shall follow You as Father has bid Us, but I must ask of You - do not win Our victory through Shadow, for this land is plagued by it. Our pantheon has long been divided concerning its use, and You might decide the matter - I pray You, Brother, command Us to the course of Spirit."

    Severn bristled and fixed a glare upon Damariel, but before He could answer the Warlord's booming reply came, "I do not have time for Your conscience, nor for those petty squabbles which have thus far constituted the bulk of Your vain efforts. I will stand where I am best able and do as Father bid Me. If I must use Shadow to kill vermin, then I shall, and so be it. In the coming weeks, I will visit and assess each of your cities to determine your readiness for war. Firstborn Children, make ready to grant Me audience, for You, too, shall be evaluated."

    With that, Bamathis dismissed each of the Gods, and responded to Severn's public request for the return of His Blade of Artifice with a succinct rejection: "No. Dismissed." As each of the Pantheon went to Their respective corners of Sapience, the Twin Gods, Damariel and Severn, returned one final time to the barrow to investigate the repair wrought by Their Father. Following Varian's departure, luminous glyphs had briefly glimmered into relief above the ancient barrow, winking and shining in signal of a strange new phenomenon. Within, the two Gods and the those mortals curious enough to follow found that although all the seals still laid broken, a new blindingly white barrier of Divine energy now sealed the Leviathan within its nightmare. Damariel and Severn tasked mortalkind to maintain a vigil on the barrow; to venture within the barrow when necessary and face the horrors within to ensure the beast remained in an unstirring, placid sleep.


    In the period that followed these events, mortalkind would see to their fallen, and many would hold observances to remember them. The Leviathan's realm-shaking roar left countless bodies littered across the continent, and the efforts to repair and rebuild took many months for most.

    Bamathis, the Warlord would go on to form the Argent Legion - His following. He willed into a being a mighty fortress around the great Yggdrasil, in anticipation of its needed defence against the forces of Chaos, and new followers would flock to Him daily. In record time, the newest God of the Sapience Pantheon had gathered one of the strongest Orders. In time, He made good on His promise to inspect what each city and God had to offer to the defence of Sapience. Severn, the Manipulator was forced to disband His Order, ordered by Bamathis to join the Argent Legion as its Spymaster.

    Threats were made against the Mhun of Moghedu by the Warlord and His following. Where the Gods of Sapience were empowered by acts of sacrifice and essence, the Albedi Gods were empowered by acts of worship and faith. Thus the worship of the Mhun's seven Spirits was deemed heretical, as these Spirits were in fact Albedi Gods.

    Finally, many people remain convinced that the traitorous Immortal responsible for the damage to the seals was Omei, and certainly the evidence would point to this being the case. Others suspected Her actions after the seals had already been damaged were but a momentary fit of madness, and that She was not mentally equipped to carry out the insidious subterfuge required of the initial tampering. Notably in this latter camp, the God Severn has publicly stated His doubt that it could have been Omei. Only time will tell whose opinion is correct.


    During the battles that took place between the Gray Accord and the dregs in the Western Tundra, many soldiers recounted terrifying visions that they saw when under the influence of the nightmare-gas. Having interviewed several soldiers for accuracy, the Grand Library would like to record these visions for posterity:

    Your thoughts descend, crushed beneath terrible force - there is naught but darkling shadow and suffocation, the sea's power infinite and inescapable as it devours you. There can be no movement within such dread, only the sea's slow constriction as it seeks to bury you amidst the deeps.

    Like some lava vent at first, but then like the mouth of a volcano, a glimmering eye opens forth. Its immensity blots you into mere shadow, and its gaze accuses you, demands of you - as though charging you with crimes beyond all mortal or Immortal reckoning.

    Your mouth opens wide, as though to scream, but water chokes the noise from you such that you can only hang suspended in silence. You struggle to break away, but the fearsome eye turns from you. The immense sea which crushes down upon you is stirred to motion, dragging you forward, forward, blotting out your protest as though you were naught but a mote of dust.

    An unspeakable force halts your tumbling course, and you rise upward out of that dark and midnight sea. There are figures three, and nothing more can be told of them save that they are great entities. These three are cast in blackened silhouette by a moon which stands far aback, its rays like bristling, argent spears.

    Chains fall upon you in a raucous clatter. You struggle, you fight, you roar with breathless lungs toward the moonlit heavens; surging, raging, demanding, even begging - you seek absolution from the inevitable, but still the bindings fall, imprisoning you and all your kin. The realization of defeat falls upon you, and you rage, rage, in a red and vicious fury, thrashing salt and ice and water into foam until there is naught but darkness and stillness... forever.

    Forever, until forever ends. A great clash that any could sense, even the lowliest of mortals - and you are no such thing! You wait with eagerness and bloodlust as Shadow falls upon you, choking you, cloaking you; but as it creeps in, your bonds sunder, and so too does your mid. In desperation, in horror, you turn and seek to tear the blot from yourself. You strike true, teeth a-tearing, and with revulsion see the other half of yourself falling away, away, down into crushing blackness.

    And yet, in spite of this terrible wound, you live. You live, and you are strong, and the other darkling half of you has fled you to coil and slither along the fresh waters of the continents, far away from you. You are aware of yourself, as you were not before - JOX, you are called, JOX, JOX - and those infinitesimal wretches that live in mortal fear of you name you LEVIATHAN!

    There amidst the oceans you twine like emberous rage embodied, arising to claim the ocean's great beasts, the ships of merchants and sailors and pirates that dare to cast their puny shadows upon you! The ocean is yours and no other Deity's, and you defend your wyrm's claim with the deepest and cruelest of your dread powers. They insult you, mock you, by their mere existence - and they must be smote asunder unto the briny depths.

    Yet there is a great war a-raging, there yonder upon the islands and continents which remain alien and anathema to you; a great war, whose deities do not pay heed to claims nor dominion. Heretofore they had kept from your waters, but now they spill across it like offal, offending your senses, staining your waters with their awful miasma.

    Rage, rage, red and bloody - up you rear from the dread depths of the sea, and forward you lash like the whip of a mortal slavedriver; forward, attacking, your serpent's form carving ice in twain. Ready for war, ready for conquest, you think to set the tundra a-boiling, to drown it and the dark spires that lie at its borders.

    Then pain - pain, agony, yet enduring, not fain to be so easily shrived. Your eye turns, and you glimpse the sky itself parting, veined like lightning, cracked like a cerulean mirror. An existential fire seethes through the breaks and downward, and in that moment, SHE strikes - She, the stripling, that weakling and opportunist!

    "Father," She calls in the plaintive, squealing tongue spoke by Her ilk, "Father, I've felled it! Look!" Her spear is a tower stretching from the deep earths to the high and unmade heavens; Her eyes are empty, two bloody voids which gaze down upon You with bright and shining triumph.

    Each second, an eternity; each eternity, a torment. You are nothing but a worm, a wretched beetle, a maggot - the worst of all Their insults! When clarity occurs to you, you arise from it, coiled, bound, and seething with humiliated contempt. "Dream," She whispers, and Her voice creeps across you, fills you to your very brim, and you sink, down, down...

    Time passes, slow and sibilant, whispering at the edges of your mind, and that terrible warp which the She-Stripling wove persists. Soon, like a plague, it infects you; soon, like an obsession, it steals across your mind, and robs you from yourself amidst a storm of dreadful dissemblance.

    Time - time! Inescapable and hateful time! Would that you could escape it, break it, just as you wish you could break She that speared you here! You can taste it, so near, so near...

    ...the mortals are coming to feed you.