Soon, the aged mechanisms guarding Seelis’ final seal abated. In a flurry of hastily hatched plans, the Argent Watch and Eschatonic Collective both mobilised, desperate to ensure they staked their claim upon Polyargan shores before the opposition could reach the prison first.
Empowered by weeks of direct exposure to the Monomachy’s metamorphic fallout, the endless streams of possibility possessed new, terrifying power, their assault bringing myriad soldiers on either side to their knees with ruthless force. Blood stained the island’s jagged cliffs and splattered its volcanic soil, a militant, haphazard testament to the fervent beliefs of both sides.
Holding out for almost a quarter of a day, the Collective proved themselves a vast and dangerous force, standing as staunch sentinels of the final seal. Unwilling to allow this opportunity for victory to slip through His ghostly hand, the Underking manifested upon Polyargos and warned any and all mortals to retreat, lest they be sent directly to His halls.
Though most made the wise decision to flee, Azvameth and Haleth suffered the strangulating wrath of Death Incarnate, snuffing out the spark of their existence with but a twist of His wrist. Joined by Ivoln, Dhar and the Earth Father toiled through eons of enmity to reluctantly work together. Silently They set to the task of tearing apart the final seal and deconstructing the last remaining layers of Seelis’ imprisonment, the way into the abyss barred by a curtain of Divine energy.
Not a moment later, the island’s namesake reached a fever pitch of volcanic activity, a violent eruption of lava searing through its mountainous cliffs and pristine shores. Upon noticing a flock of Harpies taking flight to evacuate the island, Rhulin Glintspear called upon the Hammer to execute a rescue mission to save the Templar representatives and the lepers that they oft tended to. Rhulin called upon the city to produce a suitable helmsman, though his cries were swiftly cut off by Captain Ralir and his crew forcibly boarding the Dawntreader to set out with similar aims.
Joined by the Maelstrom and the Unbound Lord, the Hammer set out across the Beryl with Ralir as their captain. Slyphe employed an immense act of Divine magic to hasten the ship’s journey, and an honour guard of angels assembled at Damariel’s behest for the purpose of protective escort, allowing it a safe and uneventful trek along Sapience’s southern shores. As they sailed within view of both the Bloodwood and Polyargos, however, the ship found itself burdened with two additional passengers.
At the bow and stern of the Dawnbreaker, twin doorways of Divine fire rippled into view. Viridian light spilled forth from the front-facing gateway, allowing the Hunter to step through onto the deck. A moment later, the Dark Mother Chakrasul stepped forth from Her own portal, whorls of jade fire coalescing within Her cruel clutches. Corrupted Strength unveiled Her crackling wrath immediately with an arrogant snap of Her slender fingers, scourging the ship’s sails with sinuous, serpentine fire. Despairing wails arose from the crew at the sight of Her Immortal sorcery, smothering courage and valour alike in the feeble hearts of mortal mariners.
Weaving its way across the Dawnbreaker’s deck, the fiery serpent spawned smoke and steam, its glimmering length dappling the ocean’s surface with sickly jade light. After baring its wicked fangs, it lunged forward, only to be met by a shimmering aegis of stormy condensation wrought by Slyphe’s aquamancy. Cleansing water met foul, burning sorcery, the hiss of steam arising as the music of their nullified union. Furious at this counterspell, Chakrasul conjured further fiery constructs, attacking the sails from hundreds of angles to no avail.
As these Two Immortals worked Their opposing magic, Damariel bared the blade of His newly forged greatsword to the salt and smoke of nautical battle, its razor edge reflecting dawn’s first light. Pallid flames manifested upon its gleaming length, anointing it as an instrument of the Light’s merciless retribution that He held high as He charged forward towards His Sister, intent upon enacting an executioner’s sentence suggested eons ago. As He rushed forward, Truth swore to make Chakrasul’s end painless, killing intent hardening His steely gaze.
Soon, the screech of reinforced dejanite against enchanted elder wood rang out across the ocean as wild Haern interjected in Damariel’s charge, Rhythm’s Spine clutched tight in His feral grasp. His bestial lips peeled back in a vicious snarl, Immortal Life thrust His spear forward, upsetting His Brother’s balance long enough to press the attack like an aggressive, hunting predator.
Where the Hunter sought prey, however, the Unbound Lord proved He was no easy meat. He met His Brother blow for blow, His weapon swinging in wide arcs that demanded distance and caution from His foe. Dawn broke in brilliant sunbursts with each carving arc of His colossal blade, reality’s fabric parted by flashes of merciless radiance that gave the Wild God pause in His berserker rage.
Sparks of gold and green scattered across the deck as Haern parried a strike to His hamstring from Truth’s deadly, but oddly reticent assault. The colliding strength of two Gods at war sent the Dawnbreaker tilting dangerously from one side to the next, Glintspear’s craft rocking in erratic motions atop the waves. Unrelenting in His pursuit, Haern thrust one feral claw out towards the open waters, summoning sodden strands of rope-like kelp breach the ocean’s surface. In a surge of divine hypergenesis, their entangling mass lashed around Damariel’s starmetal leg like unto a Sentinel’s trusty snare, hampering His movement and rendering Him vulnerable for a dangerous strike.
The Dawnbreaker’s underlying structure groaned as it listed dangerously towards starboard, the inexorable force of undersea vegetation threatening to drag it down into the oceanic depths. Unwilling to endanger any of the mortals on board, the God of Truth manifested a meagre scrap of His power, His wordless command answered by a lance of solar light that struck downward and vapourised the seaborn overgrowth. Reduced to little more than a malodorous smear upon the vessel’s starboard side, the remaining kelp fled to the lightless depths, allowing Damariel’s retreat to safety.
“You fight like Arion, You arrogant bastard! Like You think You’re better than the rest of Us!” Haern howled as He hefted His spear.
“I know,” Damariel admitted to His savage Brother, His expression grim. He stumped forward with His greatsword in hand, intent upon engaging for another flurry of strikes.
Venting Her frustration at being left out of the fray, Chakrasul swiftly flooded the Dawnbreaker’s deck with an outpouring of Her sickening might. Spirals of jade light coursed upward from the putrid, fuliginous carpet of Her unveiled power, one and all fluttering upwards towards the sails in the form of fiery duskywings. Though Slyphe rushed to smother these new conjurations, the Maelstrom could not quench all of them at once, taxing yet more of Their time, attention, and essence in the attempt.
With Her Changing Sibling suitably distracted, the Dark Mother directed Her attention to Truth’s turned back and fired forth a shimmering bar of nauseating, chartreuse energy from Her outstretched palms. Its screeching passage set reality’s fabric to a disorienting ripple, natural light recoiling in the wake of Her unleashed might. Possessed of eminent martial awareness, Damariel raised His sword to meet Corruption’s underhanded interference, its reflective surface keening in protest as the Unbound Lord swat the vicious blow aside. Corruption’s opportunistic sorcery soared off into the ocean depths, its terminus illuminating enigmatic fathoms in a concussive burst that set the boat to an unsteady sway once more.
Joining together to take down Their arrogant Brother, Life and Corruption combined Their power as an unholy union of terrifying blows. Savage predation burned in Haern’s gaze as He brought forth emeraldic fire to cover His lumbering approach, its vital thrum comingling with the jade calesence of Chakrasul’s dread assault. Charging forward through the flames, the Hunter slammed His bulk into Damariel, pinning Him to the Dawnbreaker’s railing with Rhythm’s Spine at the Unbound’s chest.
Unwilling to allow His Brother to be brought low by the collective might of Chakrasul and Haern, Slyphe made a desperate play. Calling upon all that comprised Their undersea kingdom, the Maelstrom shaped two swirling tidal spouts from the surrounding waters and slammed them into the deck. The first swept Truth and Immortal Life away into the confines of a watery arena, sequestering Them from Chakrasul’s vile interference.
As Haern and Damariel exchanged blows within the confines of Silafi’s gambit, the Maelstrom drew Their cutlass and lunged forward to put an end to Corruption on Their own terms.
Penned by my hand on Closday, the 25th of Midsummer, in the year 511 MA.