The Worldeater Saga, Part LI: Fratricide

Rage asserted itself upon Varian’s countenance as He beheld yet another depraved usurpation carried out by His manipulative Son. His eyes tracked the shimmering trails of stolen essence ripped free from countless mortals, vivid outrage setting His argent silhouette to an agitated bristle.

Adopting Its Opponent’s serenity, the ethereal Eschaton paused once more to observe the Zenith’s catastrophic rise in power. In spite of the glimmering omnipotence suffusing Severn’s brutish frame, the Albedi Creator’s constituent stars neither dim nor flare, representative of a detached disregard for a new, chilling development.

Damariel mot Lanosaryon looked on from His place within the Court of the Gods, His outrage a mirror to His estranged Father’s fury. Tearing His storm-grey gaze away from the betrayal unfolding in the skies, Immortal Truth’s eyes settled upon an unlikely sight wedged within the marble: expired Instinct’s wicked spear. Amidst the ‘click-click-click’ of starmetal against stone, Damariel paced nearer to the fell weapon, leaving behind Bamathis Who yet still stared on in hopes of His Father’s victory. The Unbound Lord closed one hand around its magewood haft and lifted it from the court’s shattered grasp, then looked back towards His Twin. Duty and certainty conspired upon His weathered visage, hinting at the consideration that dwelled within Truth’s mind.

Light equal parts brilliant and terrible suffused Severn’s frame as He enacted the final moments of a scheme spanning centuries, His silhouette swelling to an ethereal enormity to match the greatness of His Father.

Damariel firmed His grip upon the once-abandoned weapon and exerted a mere shred of His now overwhelming power – a power bolstered by a fallen Sibling, by the castoffs of a filicidal Father, by the echo of a virtuous Sister lost and the prison fashioned by Her hand. In spite of an absent sun, a spear of aureate morningtide lanced upward towards the heavens, casting flaxen illumination across the realm entire. With one final tap of His starmetal prosthetic, Damariel strode into the conjured column of solar majesty and ascended to the firmament to join His Father, His Brother, and the rightful Creator of Aetolia.

Meanwhile, the Zenith strained yet still to contain the breadth of His usurpation, the roiling manifestation of a truly ascended Creator crashing outward to demand the respect of His omnipotent fellows. Unbeknownst to His Brother, Damariel alighted in the heavens upon a carpet of heliacal effulgence. The Lord of Light and Truth clutched His Sister’s spear in both hands as He stumped forward past apocalyptic clouds and seething scars carved by starfire and cosmic quintessence.

Without preamble, without warcry, without righteous declaration of crimes committed and peoples wronged, Damariel – Truth Incarnate, Lord of Valor, Righteous Hand of the Dawn – hefted Midnight one final time before sinking its eldritch point into the exposed back of His Brother, Oldest Companion, and Twin. The chitinous tip of the glaive ripped through the Zenith as if He were naught but threadbare cloth, the deleterious influence of a mad god’s child ravaging once-Reason’s prodigious essence as if it were a flame devouring kindling dried by a sweltering, eternal sun. The Manipulator gasped and turned His head to behold the face of His undoing; shock and anguish war upon His face and He struggled to speak as He drowned in tides of kerrithrim-wrought devastation. Sable blood blossomed at the corner of His mouth with each strangled syllable, words lost to all but Truth’s ears – words meant only for Him, words meant to pass betwixt Brothers estranged and mournful.

In spite of a choice made, a choice with no other outcome, Damariel mot Lanosaryon emitted a ragged sob and sank down, His Brother’s remains clutched in His arms. He howled out a raw, inarticulate sermon of fraternal loss as He mourned the twilight of His Twin, the despair of a lost Brother warring against resignation to a duty upheld. The bountiful, boundless darkness of a struggling realm seethed and swirled as it mourned the death of its short-lived king of misery, all the world’s gelid shade throwing themselves before their briefly abandoned queen in a plea for mercy.

The empyreal brilliance holding the Lord of Truth upright faded, carrying Him and His Brother’s remains back down to the Court of the Gods. Even as Damariel grappled with tearful sorrow, however, He looked back up towards the ensuing Monomachy. After imploring the Hammer to pray one final time for the victory of the Eschaton, the Unbound Lord’s own lips moved in silent prayer as He clutched Severn’s remains to His chest. Innumerable threads of prismatic essence dispersed from the Minotaur God’s impaled chest, wavering in the air as a promise of unlimited power and unquestionable, omnipotent authority.

Callous calm remained affixed to Varian’s features as He looked down upon His Twin Sons. He stretched out His remaining hand towards Mount Memonaransa as if to beckon Severn’s broken essence – and all the boundless potential pilfered from His other Children – back to Him in another attempted repossession of gifts given at the first dawn of Sapience.

As if possessed of an implacable will of their own, however, the strands did not heed their Maker.

What remained of Severn, of Sevren, of once-Reason, once-Manipulator, once-Zenith, spiralled around His living Brother in a cocoon of pearlescent radiance. It clung to Him in utter defiance of a Father’s authoritative command, eliciting a groan of refusal from the heart of the Celestine’s realm.

Damariel’s head tilted in one nod of permission, sending the shining threads upward towards the heavens.

Inch by inch, the countless filaments of omnipotent puissance ascended to heavenspace, forming a cloud of lustrous brilliance that cast the light of a fallen Son upon the entirety of a realm He sought to save by His own standards. When those threads neared the Celestine, however, they diverted – and drifted into the mysterious gravity of the Eschaton, Who drank of the offered might without a word, without a flicker of ethereal light.

The Albedi Creator waxed in strength, exceeding even Its limitless potential as the Zenith’s erstwhile essence suffused Its galactic profile.

Varyan Celestine bellowed a curse that set Sapience to a baleful shudder, His attention upon the evanescing remains still clutched in Damariel’s arms.

Torn from His observant reverie by this new betrayal from one of His elder Brothers, Bamathis whirled around to level His gaze upon the Lord of Truth. Seething, incomprehensible rage ruled His visage, emblemizing the hysterical violence of His essence. He drew Caelestis as He strode nearer, barbarous designs radiating from Him in smothering waves. Setting aside His Brother’s remains and taking up Daybreak once more, Damariel rose to parry Bamathis’ first strike, His sorrow wiped away by the pressing needs of a valorous duty.

The Monomachy resumed then; almost immediately, the Eschaton made unfathomable use of Its newly acquired strength by exerting Its will upon both Its own Creation and that of Its Foe – a fact that incensed Varian, pushing Him further away from His emblematic tranquillity. Sapience soughed in unrivalled rapture as its time, space, and energy heeded the call of a masterful Creator far beyond the calibre of its Originator. Universal laws, writ into ordered existence by the Cosmic Being, imposed themselves upon the Celestine, narrowing His power and influence further and further.

As the Eschaton began to overpower Varian, Bamathis and Damariel battled to a frustrating stalemate.

Fervent zeal lent a burning glow to the silhouettes of Favoured and Firstborn Sons both, each thunderous union of Caelestis and Daybreak setting the Mountain of the Gods to renewed tremors. Truth’s unyielding tides spilled across the court’s marble akin to the blinding brilliance of an oncoming dawn, defying the lightless doom of a world robbed of its solar influence. Where He met Bamathis’ brutality in physical space, His essence extended outward to war with Strife’s silvery aura, searing esoteric designs of Divine struggle into the bloodied surface underfoot.

Disciplined, regimented, and determined, the Warlord pressed the assault, His smaller blade darting and lunging to score wounds upon His Brother’s shell with the titanic might invested within Him by the Father on High. For each strike suffered and for each cut scored, however, Damariel delivered vengeful wrath in turn, the edge of Daybreak shearing into Strife’s arms and legs with a soldier’s stolid butchery. Each wide arc of His greatsword commanded distance that forced Bamathis back, aurulent devastation blooming in its wake like sunlight peeking out upon the eastern horizon. Hysteria and bloodlust reigned supreme as Two Brothers battled for the fate of a ruined realm, in the name of callous Creators yet still struggling overhead.

Bamathis roared as He lifted His sword up and brought it crashing down, His overwhelming might in the heat of battle dragging the weapon down through shoulder, through sternum, right to the gleaming Immortal power within Damariel. Truth exhibited no admittance of pain, no sign of stopping an assault whose consequence He has already embraced. Though He stepped into a fatal blow, His greatsword thundered into Strife’s side, casting Him to the marble with an almighty thud that coursed deep into the very bones of the mountain. Having chosen to suffer a mortal blow in exchange for casting aside His opponent with one final, mighty swing, the Lord of Truth staggered back.

Gasping for breath, Damariel propped Himself upright with Daybreak as He gazed down upon His bloodied Brother. Acceptance brought peace to His rugged mien, the tracks of recently shed tears outlined by the grit and grime of pitched battle. In a mirror of Aryon’s brave sacrifice, Damariel mot Lanosaryon embraced dissolution amidst a solemn pledge of faith in the Eschaton, surrendering in hope of one promise: the dawn that must come. As His life ebbed away and zeal’s empyreal flame guttered out, the Lord of Truth and Valor murmured one last word beneath His final breath and then He dispersed into resplendent motes that drift upwards…

Penned by my hand on Kinsday, the 18th of Omeian, in the year 0 AC.