Across centuries and rebirths did the Goddess Iosyne harbour a secret, closely guarded even from Her Siblings – the resting place of an ancient calamity, its horrors sealed away and forgotten, festering in the deepest recesses of the world. His name, lost to the continent of Sapience, is writ in recorded history but a handful of times: Hansekkaramnis he was called, and his containment was an unspoken duty befalling Iosyne, who raised Her very temple in the Aureliana above whence he rested. There the Goddess kept steward over the Abyssal Lair, staying the stirring of Hansekkaramnis.
This secrecy, once a boon in keeping that calamity at bay, slowly invited disaster as She was cast down, Her duty sundered by the strike of Bamathis. Left without the confining touch of its captor, Chaos began exerting its warping hold upon the lurkers hidden from the skies, unnoticed until swathes of them finally burst forth, tunneling into the cities of Bloodloch and Enorian. As Draden Jibbs, once a favoured Apostle of the Malevolent Goddess, opened the confines of Her Lair to the world once more, adventurers plumbing its depths came upon a maddening sight: a bridge between an eldritch realm of Chaos and Prime, offering a glimpse into the twisted reality cropping up around the massive decaying remains of what Iosyne had kept hidden.
It was only a matter of time before the discovery would draw selfish interests to the surface; aided by the fragmented memories of the Divine essence He usurped, Abhorash was the first to make His move, summoning His Reavers Asaraii and Bulrok to accompany Him into the unveiled depths. Assigning interim command of His Hegemony to Maeve in His absence, the God fully severed the wavering line between the two Planes, immersing the trio fully in the realm of Abyssal Chaos.
No sooner did Asaraii and Bulrok alight upon Chaos than it enveloped them, an overwhelming will demanding their subservience to its whims. The pair of Reavers writhed under its crushing oppression, forced to change forms a thousand times in the blink of an eye, their bones splintered and remade as they twisted at the mercy of that upon which they trespassed – until their God re-exerted His claim upon them, reforming their bodies with grinding agony. Locked now in an unseen battle with Chaos itself, Abhorash turned His focus to keeping its overwhelming powers at bay, assigning the task of finding His prize to the Reavers.
Even as eldritch beings swarmed them – faceless entities of rippling teeth, vermiform masses of fungal atrocities, bipedal mouths slick with manifold tongues – Asaraii and Bulrok bent Chaos to their whims, forcing the realm to unveil its secrets. Thrice did Tyranny’s favoured cast their wills against the awakening consciousness of the realm, and thrice did they emerge victorious: at the end of each forged path lay a third of the monstrous remains of Hansekkaramnis, collected and delivered to the Hegemonist.
At each offering, the realm shuddered, twisting and turning as the memories imprinted upon the remains rose to the surface.
Visions paint the arrival of a young Hansekkaramnis, mortal then, upon the shores of Sapience. Guided by Divine providence, the maddening touch of Lanu Du’s hand, the Nazetu trudges forward to conquer this foreign land, to become a god unto its pitiful, simpering natives. Followers and peers flock to him, principal among them the Human boy Yetrent. Collaborators they become, but even as the continent fell under Yetrent’s heel, Hansekkaramnis’ focus turned to the realm of Lanu Du, the Chaotic dregs of the multiverse. There, he finds the route to Godhood.
One by one, the demonic inhabitants of a Chaos splinter fall before the Nazetu’s undeniable will as he evolves – scales, tentacles, spurs of bone and muscle boiling out from beneath his flesh. Syl’ghardos, the Red Queen puts up the greatest fight, her six scimitars spinning death until he breaks her arms, her smooth sleek scales appealingly smooth until Hansekkaramnis claws wounds into her. He crushes the once-Queen until she is sworn to him for seven lifetimes over, and it is she that whispers the last secrets of becoming to Hansekkaramnis, eldritch understandings so vast that they defy comprehension; the last piece of the puzzle, and thus does Hansekkaramnis burst from himself, consuming the Chaos he had won, placing himself beyond the reaches of mortal death. There is no line between imagination and reality in Chaos: Hansekkaramnis becomes all there is, and there finds certainty that he will not return to his homeland; he had become a homeland in and of himself.
The Chaos Lord crafts a doppelganger of himself out of primal chaos and sends it back across the planar divide to continue to teach the Indorani and other dark sorcerers of Chaos all that he has learnt of triumph and conquest. When the forces of the Light finally come to stop Hansekkaramnis, they purge scores upon scores of his students, his own Prime shell slain beyond repair and the bridge between Prime and Chaos severed. There his remains rest, deep underground, forgotten over the centuries as the Chaos Lord turns his attention instead to guide the Nazedha isles.
It is in Nazedha that Hansekkaramnis finds his greatest student: Lahkencai, a man who can truly unite the divided isles and begin the work of conquering the mainland. Unto this Nazetu does Hansekkaramnis deliver his revelation, and beneath the Chaos Lord’s watchful eye and the fell grace of Lanu Du, Lahkencai raises a dark tower upon the central isles of Nazedha. Their relationship steers close to friendship, the young Nazetu always probing about the transformation unto Chaos itself – yet Hansekkaramnis guards this knowledge, the tension of give-and-take ever present in their dealings.
One day, Lahkencai asks a trinket from Vhaug, Hansekkaramnis’ Keeper of Keys, which the Lord grants. The ambitious Nazetu locks away a part of his Chaos mentor, shutting the door so tightly his realm splits in two, sundering the twinned halves of Hansekkaramnis’ awareness. The Chaos Lord is left paralysed, defenceless, and Lahkencai tears the heart from Hansekkaramnis’ doppelganger mask, drinking the wealth of Chaos’ essence and memory. Thus did one Chaos Lord fall and another ascend.
God no more, Hansekkaramnis is locked away from existence, bridges broken and severed, floating in the dark, unconscious. Yet his bones remain on Sapience, an anchor to which the broken fragments of Chaos drift. Piece by agonising piece, the remnants of his consciousness gather – a process of centuries by mortal measure, of millenia in the forgetting void.
As the visions faded and the Hegemony’s vanguard understood what it was they faced, Abhorash steeled will and might alike admist the awakening realm that was Hansekkaramnis. Casting aside the Bard Bulrok’s attempts to deflect attacks unto Him, the God led His Reavers into a titanic confrontation as the entire universe about them warped to suit its needs.
The Progenitor took to the air, His visage terrible as He brought the full depths of His power to bear against Hansekkaramnis. Down on the churning hellscape below, Asaraii and Bulrok weaved through countless hordes of hostile entities, traversing unfettered Chaos with skill and haste to avoid the brunt of Hansekkaramnis’ attacks, awaiting their opportunity. Soon it came – a mighty blow from their God sheared pieces of the realm’s will, freed ego raining down upon the field. Battling their way across the landscape, the pair engaged each fragment of floating will, drawing upon the imperious authority searing through their veins to abolish its very right to exist.
Thus did the battle rage on – and when hundreds of swarming creatures dragged Abhorash to crash down onto the battlefield, His Reavers came with fury, clearing the horde besetting their God that He might resume His deadly duel. Blow after blow exchanged between Tyranny and Chaos, the Godly clash underpinned by the carnage wrought by Asaraii and Bulrok as they continued to crush the realm’s spawn and will alike beneath bardiche, falchion, and Tyranny. As the Hegemony’s trio withered away the realm’s puissance, Hansekkaramnis, fueled by the desperation of impending death, wove cataclysm: hundreds of pale tentacles erupted forth from every inch of the realm, stretching with singleminded purpose towards Abhorash. Though the first to meet the God was shorn in two, carved asunder by manifesting claws of crystalline blood from betwixt the vampire’s knuckles, the next dozen found purchase, coiling about the Progenitor in a heaving pile before forcibly dragging Him to crash against the hostile landscape.
Offering no quarter, Hansekkaramnis formed stalactites of crackling Chaotic energy that cascaded downwards, slicing through the enveloping ball of tentacles to reach Abhorash and puncturing through Him at every angle. Steps hastened by the predicament of the Progenitor, Asaraii and Bulrok carved their way to their injured God, their surroundings running thick with His Blood and essence. With brutal dominion and resolve did they free Him from the mountains of eldritch creations assaulting Him; though Bulrok’s attempt to disperse the impalement pinning Abhorash ultimately failed, the Reavers’ intervention created the opening needed for the God to strike.
Naked fury twisted every contour of Abhorash’s face as He gathered Himself. One moment He was pinned beneath the terrible might of Hansekkaramnis – the next, the vampire diffused into crimson mist, droplets streaming out of Chaos’ hold. In the meantime, drawn by the irresistable pull of the streamers of Abhorash’s Blood and essence coiling about the air, Asaraii and Bulrok alike stretched forth their hands. Obligingly did the Godly vitality seek them out, forming rings that swirled about their wrists.
The vampiric mist coalesced into Abhorash’s physical being once more, the God ascending the stalactite that once bound Him, cape flaring with the violent speed of His movements. Simultaneously did His freed essence plunge into the skin of His faithful, flaying bare their veins and ripping their forearms asunder in a crimson spray. Even as their vitality poured free, Blood Divine rushed in to plug the tide, suffusing the pair with the reign of Tyranny and ushering in their rebirths as His first Adherents.
As their God wove dark magic and burning resolve into a trembling vortex of tyrannical will made manifest, Asaraii and Bulrok wrested the accumulated oppressive might of the essence of Tyranny still suffusing the room into their grasps. Bending the Hegemonist’s tangible coalescence to their own wills, they shaped torrents of sanguineous wrath, the confidence and surety of their own supremacy inciting the burgeoning phenomenon to tremble and shudder with violent portent. Hansekkaramnis was naught before them; this they knew in their very bones as they turned loose that which they had wrought, unleashed puissance crushing Hansekkaramnis’ body, mind, soul, and will to resist beneath the heel of their inevitable dominion.
Rushing to fill the opening provided by Asaraii and Bulrok’s conquest, the gathering storm about Abhorash finally acceded, exploding outwards in a vicious onslaught of all-consuming fire and shadow. Finding the tears laid bare by His Reavers’ sanguineous wrath, the barrage annihilated all in its path, sundering the Chaos realm’s ego and breaking Hansekkaramnis’ will. Chaos energies torn free slithered into Abhorash’s hands, patches of Prime breaking through the hellish landscape in their wake – and now the trio stood in the Aureliana forest, firmly anchored on the Prime Material Plane once more.
The sky wept crimson as Asaraii and Bulrok emerged from Abyssal Chaos wielding hitherto unreached heights of Tyranny, and it was underneath this crimson backdrop that Abhorash now stood, flanked by His Adherents, His right claw embedded around the throat of a slender, humanoid Chaos Lord – a world no longer, Hansekkaramnis had been reduced to tangible form. Gone was the rage that had consumed Abhorash – now the vampire regarded His prey calmly, fangs pushing past the line of His lips. The moment was short lived before the Hegemonist sank those fangs into the creature’s neck, slurping with unrestrained greed as Hansekkaramnis’ remains withered and faded, consigned to join the God’s Hegemony.
As the abyss beneath it crumbled, the southeastern quadrant of the Aureliana exploded with the release of centuries of pent-up power, leaving naught but a pulsing crater behind as a violent harbinger of a new age of despotic dominion – and the official end of Maeve’s short-lived reign at the head of Abhorash’s Hegemony.
Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 24th of Arios, in the year 508 MA.
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