The Enmity of Scolrys, Part VII: Bloodlust

A thin line of silver essence slashed downward beside the protective dome, its brilliance soon stretching out into that of an ethereal portcullis. The rattle of a winch and chain filled the air as the gate rose, revealing the manic visage of Bamathis, the Lost.

“Our ends come as they will. If I fall here, it will not be because I am bound by some meaningless creed; there is only Strife and it shall stand as the only truth that can endure oblivion,” declared the former enforcer of a fled Creator’s will.

Drunk upon suicidal glee and the glimmer of purpose returned, the once-Warlord barrelled out from His hidden demesne with Caelestis held at the ready. Crazed laughter escaped His throat as He summoned the whole of His essence, the unnerving tension of Strife clashing against the pure, unadulterated insanity of a Fundamental Being. Seizing upon the distraction, Slyphe and Celezor emerged from Their shimmering dome and joined the Forsaken Son’s assault without reservation. Standing shoulder to shoulder, the trio made a renewed assault upon the countless tentacles rooting about through Mournhold’s bedrock, Their combined powers meeting Lanu Du’s machinations blow for blow.

As if on cue, a hunter’s horn rang out from the heart of the Ithmian Forest as Immortal Life emerged from His wanderings within Dia’ruis.

Emerald fires ignited beside Bamathis, their sacred conflagration weaving into the form of an Immortal gateway. As soon as it opened wide enough to allow His muscular bulk to lunge through, Haern pounced onto the battlefield and batted away a legion of shrieking minions intent upon flanking His younger Brother. With an ursine roar, the Lord of the Hunt smashed His fists down upon one of the vile tentacles – an act that reduced it to naught but festering, squelching pulp. Dia’ruian energy blossomed in the wake of the Wild God’s rage, imposing natural order so vast and unquestionable as to obliterate rank upon rank of manifested chaos servants.

The thrill of purpose awakened swept throughout the entirety of the land as the Heart of Sapience rose to meet a threat born of despair and madness, signalling the arrival of a fifth deity to repel the Faceless One’s ravages. Cries of relief echoed from Jaru’s Arqeshi as Euthymius emerged, their despair and worry soothed by the virtue’s purest expression. The dim light of celebratory lanterns bloomed at the heart of the deific formation, its precious brilliance bespeaking the presence of Virtuous Morale.

Young and new, the Immortal flitted betwixt Their compatriots in fulfillment of Their resilient essence, elevating the four gods to greater heights of power by way of Their glowing presence. Though Celezor, Slyphe, and Haern took this bolstering in stride and pressed on without change, Bamathis’ mania only intensified in the face of Euthymius’ blessed aid. His laughter boomed throughout the realm like unto unnerving thunder, His martial perfection morphing into brutal butchery as He plumbed the depths of depraved bloodlust and traumatic loss.

Despite Its ritual empowerment, the Faceless One’s might flagged before the resolute strength of the five deities that assailed It. Knowing It had little time now, It hastened in Its unknown work. Seizing upon something within the depths beneath Mournhold, Chaos Incarnate hissed out a whisper of triumph from unseen lips. That hiss, however, tapered off – into something closer to agony and revulsion. The Prime Material’s fabric twisted for a moment as Lanu Du’s legion of tentacles retreated from the earth, the corded muscles and geometrically defiant sinew riddled with tumourous growths. Life and energy and an empty vessel’s torment all converged with the Mad God’s power. Growth without boundaries leaped to its own rapid origination, severing tentacle from host in an explosion of extraplanar gore and sickening ichor that threw Sapience’s five defenders back in a stunning series of filthy detonations.

Its grisly appendages spurting lurid essence, It That Woke turned away from Its window into the Prime and fled deep into Its realm to nurse Its wounds.

The Forsaken Son was the first to give chase, a lust for endings and victories burning in His haunted gaze. He ascended to the rent and passed through in a surge of argent vengeance, His sword clutched tight in His bloodied grasp. Light, Water, Life, and Morale followed suit after exchanging glances and words lost to mortality’s screams of panic, Their collective essence forming a shining shield to deter the ravages of Chaos that They would surely face. A slash of multifarious light knit closed the rent into the outer realms, sparing Sapience the sight of eldritch expanse and maddening machination.

The Withered Lord seemed supremely unconcerned with his eldritch God’s predicament; instead, the ancient being of Chaos feverishly scanned the horizon in a single minded hunt for specific prey. Finally did his oscillating orbs of jade flame find a pair of Gods observing hitherto unnoticed from atop the Sanguine Fist. The smile that stretched his thin lips was as ravenous as it is terrifying, the once-Nazetu pointing a finger skyward.

“I have found you at last, Hansekkaramnis,” Lahkencai declared. “It matters not that you appear wearing new skin – I will flay this one from your bones all the same.”

Abhorash’s glowing stare cut through the paltry veneer of distance, illuminating the challenger. He raised a hand then, a smirk carved into the God’s marble visage as He invited Lahkencai’s provocation with a smug beckon. Chakrasul’s fury transcended the mere smugness of the God by Her side, however, manifesting as a chilling force that eclipsed the Hegemonist’s wrath. Each affront etched a line of malice across Her features, immortalising the theft of Her Umbral charge, the dilution of Her dominion by the summoning of Lanu Du, and the abandonment of faith by the ascended hunter of Tiyen Esityi. The threat posed by the Withered Lord, seeking to consume the splinters of Sapience’s Chaos, added fuel to the inferno of Her rage.

The gauntlet thrown, Chaos enveloped Gods and Lord alike, and the trio departed to the theatre of war upon another plane – the domain within which history claims Lahkencai wields unmatched mastery.

Varach Scolrys, newly ascended Chaos Lord of the Faceless One’s vast court, turned the remainder of his ritual might to an arcane focus produced from his cloak. A seething vortex formed from the heart of what remained, its every glimmering mote pouring into the crystal set within the trinket clutched in his clawed grasp.

Satisfied with this empowered token, the Chaos Lord gestured with his free hand.

A wave of might rippled outward from the triskaidecagon, bathing all of Sapience in the uncertain energies of a mad god. Some fundamental undercurrent underneath reality shifts and swells, empowered by the Court Mage’s bequest. The ritual fires guttered out; bone, blood, flesh – all vanished, consumed by the crescendo of Varach’s efforts. The triskaidecagon dispersed to the wind, scattering ash across the Prelatorian Highway.

“You have done well, my allies. We have all we need to move forward with our plan,” Varach declared.

Treading cobblestones shattered by Immortal might and madness, Varach Scolrys delved the wreckage of the Dreikathi airship. He turned the empowered focus towards the Demon Blade and drew near as its sorcery clashed against the artefact’s maddened sentience, his taloned digits settling around its hilt. With a mighty heave, Qor Qogol’s High Endorone drew the Demon Blade from the hissing airship core and held it aloft, triumph glittering in his eyes. He regarded the damaged engine for a long moment as numerous jellies were expelled from its interior by the Blade’s withdrawal. Then, bending his newfound mastery over Chaos into a colossal gate, he displaced the wreck to somewhere else for safekeeping.

“We shall convene in the coming days, my compatriots. Qor Qogol will not abandon you,” the freshly ascended Chaos Lord promised. With that, Lanu Du’s newest Noble fashioned a gateway and steps through it to parts unknown.

Even as warfare recommenced and the alliance pushed into Rimewatch, they heard Huanazedha’s exultations from everywhere in the realma

Penned by my hand on Kinsday, the 24th of Haernos, in the year 2 AC.