The Enmity of Scolrys, Part VIII: Chaos

As Prime and Chaos became increasingly entwined with the attention of Primordial Chaos, profane whispers perverted the tranquillity of Prime, heralding an abominably eldritch tendril that split the sky, carving a steadily widening abyss across the heavens. The empyreal wound festered and expanded with the deafening sizzle of marinating rot. Pustulent greens and bleeding reds oozed out of Chaos’ ingress, the gap slowly widening to offer a glimpse of a tumultuous conjoining of Chaos splinters.

Through the window, the unmistakable forms of Tyranny and Corruption, both radiant beacons of Divine fire, were immediately recognizable. All manner of eldritch monstrosities pressed in upon them from all sides at the behest of a Chaos Lord comfortable within his domain, showcasing the ironclad mastery of his influence. Lahkencai scarcely resembled the sunken form that had intervened upon Prime; his profile was bolstered by the activity of the ancient embodiment of Chaos. The Withered Lord sprouted appendages innumerable from his crackling form, shrouded in a miasmic aura writhing with the malleable tentacles of his god.

Abhorash was the first to notice the widening breach into Prime. A quick touch to Chakrasul’s elbow drew Her attention as well; the Divine shared a glance and then a quick nod. Corruption’s elegant hand rose alongside Tyranny’s clawed grasp, both stretching towards the rift. Then, with violent haste, both brought them back in tugging motions.

The faithful of both Divine tumbled through the air in a reversal of gravity, with little dignity to be found in their meteoric ascent into and then through the rift. From the Reavers of the Hegemonist came Akarn, Aren, Azvameth, Elene, Gael, and the fashionably late Maeve; they were accompanied by Neoma, not yet ascended into Abhorash’s fold but a Chaos Lady in her own right. Among the faithful of Corruption came Azarae, Kiershu, Legyn, and Tina. When the last travelled through, the breach snapped shut, leaving what was to come shrouded by uncertainty. They arrived upon a turbulent conjoining of splinters of Chaos; the forced connections of the Nazedhan, Umbral, Astral, and Abyssal realms birthed this battlefield, a surreal landscape entwined in a fierce war for dominion and survival alike.

The moment to summon them was all the Stewards of Umbral and Abyssal could spare, the pair of Gods foregoing greetings as They returned attention to Lahkencai in a renewed assault.

Arrayed against the Withered Lord, Abhorash sprouted wings of skeletal Blood that claimed dominion upon all they touched, their flickering threads pulsing with His sanguine legacy. The God was carried forward atop these summoned appendages, each vein striking autonomously as everything in His reach was impaled upon a crimson spear. Lahkencai was His target, and the Hegemonist’s advance was swift and merciless. Even in the face of a God, however, the Withered Lord showed no fear; powerful as the Divine were, Their experiences within Chaos were but a flickering flame against the inferno of the once-Nazetu’s mastery. This disparity was made abundantly clear when Abhorash reached him. As the God’s wings planted into the shifting ground, a click of Lahkencai’s fingers rewrote the laws of the realm; up suddenly became down, and now the Progenitor God fell upwards, dangling vulnerably.

The Withered Lord’s next strike was entirely less elegant; he balled a fist, swiftly striking the God with a titanic blow that sent Him crashing into a corner of the realm, where He was swiftly set upon by the hostile hordes of Chaos. The faithful of Hegemonist and Corruption alike took the field now. Ground apart by faceless entities of rippling teeth, swallowed whole by bipedal mouths slick with manifold tongues, and infested by vermiform masses of fungal atrocities, the faithful found themselves hard-pressed by abominations. Inch by bloody inch they progressed, ultimately reaching and freeing Abhorash from His predicament.

As the Abyssal recovered, Umbral’s Steward took His place, whorls of jade fire encasing both Her hands.

Yet, before the Dark Lady could fully assert Her power, Lahkencai descended upon Her like a tempest of darkness. His movements became a flurry of callous blows, each strike draining Her of strength as She struggled to withstand the onslaught. Despite Her best efforts, Chakrasul found Herself overwhelmed by the relentless assault of Her ancient adversary, Her Divine form battered and broken beneath Lahkencai’s implacable fury. Summoning the last shreds of Her resolve, Chakrasul attempted to recover, gathering Her strength to charge towards Lahkencai with ferocious determination. Before She could fully close the distance, however, Lahkencai’s immense power swatted Her aside with contemptuous ease, casting Her away like a mere nuisance in the face of His overwhelming might.

It was time yet again for the mortal faithful to shine, as now they carved bloody paths to come to Chakrasul’s aid. Each individually bested by Lahkencai, the Gods came to an unspoken coordination agreement. Abhorash flared out to the right, His makeshift wings a blender of death as they sliced through countless entities of Chaos. When His course charted to Lahkencai, bolts of heaving Chaos were there to greet Him –

Until they were met by the ephemeral flight of a duskywing butterfly, its form manifesting from jade fire.

The temporary shield bought the Hegemonist just enough time to burst apart into mist form, thousands of glowing particles evading the Withered Lord’s counterstrike. Just before they reached Lahkencai, however, the Chaos Lord closed a fist, forcing the mist to condense into a sphere that he casually batted aside.

This distraction provided an ample opening for Corruption. Chakrasul seized the opportunity, emerging undetected upon Lahkencai’s left flank. With swift and calculated precision, She delivered a devastating strike, channelling the full force of Her power into a single, concentrated blow aimed directly at the Withered Lord’s core.

The landed blow was the first sign of vulnerability for the Withered Lord, sending him into a fury not yet seen. Immense eldritch energy gathered about his fist, ready to strike. Amidst the cacophony of the unfathomable, a rupture in the fabric of existence suddenly yawned wide. Unleashing a torrent of eldritch energy that reshaped the battlefield, it twisted reality into a kaleidoscope of nightmares as both realm and combatants were consumed in an indescribable maelstrom of otherworldly destruction.

Wrath unfettered, Lahkencai adapted quickly to the coordination of Gods. He closed his eyes for a moment, raw will flowing from him in abhorrent waves. Horror overcame the Gods’ mortal followers as dozens of sores suddenly appeared on their bodies, each a painful slit upon their skin.

When the Withered Lord’s eyes opened, hundreds more opened alongside them – the nature of the trespass upon the faithful’s beings was revealed to be eyes themselves, granting the Chaos Lord unrestricted vantage of the battlefield through every angle. This vantage was seized not a moment too soon, for the assaulting Gods had taken the opportunity granted to unleash a two-pronged assault on the temporarily vulnerable emanator of Chaos.

Sighting every detail of the planned assault through his newly birthed eyes, an almost lazy flick of Lahkencai’s wrist sprouted strings of Chaotic essence from each finger that bound both Gods with incredible dexterity. Control so established, the puppeteer was almost gleeful as he sent both enemies flying apart with the spread of his arms, and then brought Them violently crashing together in a mirror of his clapping hands.

Wading through abominations and titanic attacks by Lahkencai himself, the Gods’ followers eventually reached Them, helping each recover from the latest strike. Though relative newcomers to Chaos, not for nothing did these Gods claim dominion on the plane. Annoyance writ across Her features, Chakrasul cast a hand outwards, Her fingers sent aflutter in a spiralling twist of a caress.

Corruption’s touch slithered across the mortals’ skin, almost gentle – until the moment it contacted a trespassing eye. Then it was wrath, unseen fingers gouging directly into the iris as fingernails sank into each pulpy offence. Mercifully quick was Chakrasul’s work, conducted with surgical precision married to sizzling haste. Each eye was carved out of each faithful’s body, its offending essence thrown into the air to seethe impotently about the atmosphere.

The follow-up was Tyranny’s to claim; His defining smirk absent, the God’s brows were knit in a thundercloud as His aura bled into the atmosphere to claim the wayward strands of freed essence. His work was equally quick as Corruption’s, the Hegemonist exerting His indomitable will; the strands streaked towards Lahkencai, elongating as they approached. Snakes they became, hissing serpents that speared towards the Withered Lord. It was not him who proved the direct target, ultimately; each abruptly veered off on its own trajectory, finding a tentacle upon the Chaos Lord’s writhing shroud to devour.

The Withered Lord’s scream of primal fury echoed throughout this splinter of Chaos. His will so fragmented, Lahkencai struggled to regain his feet – until a single, all-encompassing heartbeat suddenly wracked the realm.

“IT COMES!” Lahkencai declared as something massive pressed against the contours of the battlefield. Cracked lips split into a smile, manic pleasure gleaming in his eyes, the Withered Lord gestured for all to behold.

Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 6th of Dharos, in the year 3 AC.