The Worldeater Saga, Part XIII: The Fires of War

Within the confines of Her prison, Seelis, the Harlot – dreaded foe and beloved divinity of fiery passion – stirred for the first time in millennia.

Spontaneous combustion heralded the awakening of Lightwrought Fire, the Polyargan air rapidly consumed in a cataclysmic chain that daubed the island in an incandescent halo. Ancient Seelis lifted Her colossal vulpine form upward from Her rigid supinity, the weakness of aeonic imprisonment curtailing Her pace, and called to Her what might She could muster in this brief calm before the storm.

As Light’s Blazing Accord rose, so too did the spirits of all mortalkind. One and all, hearts lightened, enkindled by an alien passion that spread like wildfire within their bosoms. Ardour’s song swelled within their mind, drawing living and dead alike into an emotional tumult that ranged the entirety of mortal possibility. Fervent devotion bloomed within these raging fires incited by Seelis’ liberation, Her scorching influence tempting fanatical zeal into calescent inferno.

Conflagrant essence alighted then upon the bestial being that was Seelis, Her innumerable tails igniting in a display of eldritch divinity testing Her rapidly reawakening might. Upon six fiery legs did She stand, Her myriad eyes like burning coals in the dead of night. Her fiery puissance rekindled, Seelis drank in Her surroundings in search of Her saviour-assailant. An imperative urge for survival radiated from Her, suffusing the hearts of all life with a hopeful warmth: to fight, to live on, to deny this argent interloper the prize He so sought. A mere ember at first, it rapidly expanded into a towering inferno that laid claim to soul around the world entire, driven to overwhelming heights by ardour and purpose writ clear upon the manifold.

In a flurry of murderous motion, the Warlord made His first strike against His hated foe; deific violence made flesh, His harsh aura gleamed as an expression of vengeant wrath.

Bellowing aloud a battle cry in the ancient tongue of creation, the Favoured Son advanced upon the abominable goddess, Caelestis clutched in one gauntleted fist. In a low, sweeping strike, Bamathis carved into one of Seelis’ six legs with the wicked edge of His blade, its argent fire clashing with the burning essence it met upon impact. Eldritch ichor blossomed there where Strife claimed first blood, the agonised howls of Passion Most Divine echoing off the earthen walls of the kiln that contained Her effulgent might.

Leaning heavily upon Her five unharmed limbs, Seelis’ lissom frame grew taut as She mustered the vulpine grace at Her command. Confident and spry, She leapt into the fray with an agility at odds with Her millennia-long imprisonment, Her obsidian teeth bared, each glimmering point dripping spittle-thin strands of lava. The burning goddess pounced forward, Her fiery bulk slamming against Bamathis as She closed Her jaw around His arm. Seelis’ raging fangs punctured the Warlord’s armour, their keen points inciting silvered essence to seep from His burning wounds.

With a grunt, Bamathis heaved His foe upward with His captured arm and slammed Her down against the hardened stone of Her prison with a nauseating crunch. Lifting His weapon on high with His opposite hand, He brought the pommel crashing down upon Seelis’ head over and over, brutally smiting Her with a series of ruthless collisions. Polyargos trembled with each harsh blow it witnessed, its burning aperture venting more magma and asphyxiating ash with each horrifying expression of Divine enmity.

Issuing a wordless roar as He tossed His foe aside, Bamathis showed no mercy for the wretched Other before Him. The vulpine goddess sailed through the air towards the other side of the smoky vault, Her enkindled body slamming against the wall with a thud that rolled across Sapience like crashing thunder.

Swiftly springing back to Her paws, the Harlot of Fire launched Her next daring assault, Her tails dispersing into a seething firestorm that drowned out all sense, all sight in such a constrained space. She tilted Her muzzle and emitted a mournful howl then, its issuance inciting inconsolable misery within the very bones of the land.

The world quivered in response, its commanded sympathy empowering the fiery holocaust that She conjured to combat Her hated foe. No longer restrained by the sable seals of Her once-prison, Seelis’ blazing might flooded the kiln, its inhospitable temperature reducing the walls to a state bordering upon liquid. Alacritous shapes bounded within the fuggy hellscape that was Her awakened intensity, and primal silhouettes surged forward to beat back Her argent assailant.

Bounding throughout the prison, Seelis lunged forward to nip and bite at the Warlord caught in Her fiery ruse. Under the obfuscating influence of Her burning potency, She opened several angular wounds in His flesh, Her teeth digging into Bamathis’ legs and ankles in swift assaults punctuated by quick retreats, Her evasive technique employed to avoid further harm to Her own body.

Strangulating smoke and acrid ash swirled in Her wake, vague impressions of Her profile left behind for all of a breath before the oppressive aura that was Strife stamped them out like errant embers. All around, fire manifested and found feeling, sentience, made to arise as an army of fervent dedicants desperate to hold back Her assailant.

Standing resolute within the heart of heretical heat and infidelic inferno, Bamathis remained unbowed.

A mantle of silvery essence beat back the Albedi assault, ensconcing Him within the protective embrace of His boundless power and conviction. Where creative trickery and inspired deception sought to lead Him astray, Bamathis stood unmoved. Whipping the Blade of Sapience about, He slashed through the fiery outpouring that sought to reduce His mission, His vessel, His very being to impotent cinders.

Where Immortal War remained calm and collected, the ancient Accord that was Light’s Torch plumbed the depraved depths of frenzied, fiery fury. She redoubled Her efforts, Her wroth essence pouring forth in an infinite upwelling of relentless, burning assaults. Each attempted attack found itself turned aside, each fanatical servant’s last sound that of discordant chimes as the argent aura of Strife’s crucible judged them weak and wanting

Blinding incandescence to rival the sun’s very core reigned supreme within the kiln. Shadows vanished, their hazy silhouettes captured forevermore upon the prison’s damaged walls. A column of fire burst forth from Polyargos’ volcanic mouth, the island’s foundations buckling beneath the punishment of horrific theomachy. Fire’s roar was the song of Their fated duel, punctuated by the percussion of steel’s clang and searing screams, its dread lyricism comprised of hoarse Ankyrean battle hymns.

Anointed in fuligin, the Son of Autumn strode forth from the heart of Seelis’ fury, His blade held at the ready. Silver radiance poured from Him in palpable waves, its argent potency quelling the fervent blaze barring His warpath. His eyes reflected the cold, calculating judgement of Varyan’s will, barbarous intent writ clear upon His steely countenance.

Graceful Seelis darted beyond Bamathis’ reach, trailing glimmering fire in the wake of Her flight. No longer possessed of enlightened calm, the Goddess blazed all the brighter as She leveraged Her greater speed against the implacable foe that sought Her end. Lashing out with claws of searing keratin, the Harlot scored a savage blow against Strife’s face, leaving seared scars upon His Ankyrean mien. Unwilling to allow Her impudent strike to go unanswered, Bamathis’s retort came with breathtaking speed and Caelestis surged forward in a devastating slash, severing Seelis’ wicked paw at the wrist.

Molten essence spewed from the resultant stump, its emergence doing naught to deter the murderous God’s next move. Like unto a conqueror staking their unquestioned claim, Bamathis wedged His blade into the prison floor and lunged forward, His hands alight with the silver luminescence of all His unveiled might. Reeling with pain, Seelis failed to evade the fatal grasp of Her opponent. Bamathis’ hands dug deep within Her incandescent being, Her primordial fire shunted aside in the face of Strife’s ultimate purpose.

Plunging the goddess into the throes of His terrifying aura, the Favoured Son set to the task of systematically dismantling the Albedi threat captured by His unyielding mastery, eliciting an inharmonious wail from Seelis. The raw power that is Bamathis’ domain rampaged outward from the staunch shell encapsulating His essence, its brilliant effulgence dwarfing the captive flame within His clutches.

Methodical in His grim work, Bamathis’ argentine essence smothered Seelis’ sizzling form inch by inch. As He held Her helpless within His brutish grasp, jagged strands of His quintessence scourged Her animalistic avatar, untrammelled assault gouging into Her and tearing showers of short-lived alabaster sparks from Her lithesome frame. Such treatment elicited a scream like hissing smoke that rang out from the darkened kiln, the sorrowful sound mingling with vulpine howls of ancient anguish that echoed throughout Aetolia entire.

Capitalising upon Her blinding agony, the Warlord seized another of Her limbs within Strife’s unstoppable tide. With a roar that shook across Polyargos, He viciously wrenched it from Her body, its removal clearing the way for another spurt of magmatic ichor that splattered across Bamathis’ hands and face like torrid warpaint. Showing no mercy for this fundament of reality, the Warlord terminated Seelis’ serenity with the tension of His virtue. The scintillating scoria that served as Her heart crumbled within His cruel crucible, torn asunder by something beyond the bounds of the Eschaton’s omnipotent design.

Even without Her volcanic core, Fire’s Accord squirmed to escape the butchery that was Bamathis’ brutal deicide, though it was all for naught. The Warlord’s destructive essence trapped Her within the gravity of His frightening violence, an oppressive, hysterical catastrophe that broke Seelis utterly beneath its lustrous tides.

The Harlot’s panicked cries ceased, Her agonised howls silenced.

Despondent dullness reigned from a cruel throne at that moment, its icy touch enervating the forcible ardour enkindled within mortalkind’s chests. Empathic extinguishment broke the spell of their shared perception, full sovereignty once more restored to the will of all Sapient beings.

Peals of Paimri fio Oihia’s mournful music set Creation’s foundation to a tremble at that moment, a clarion deathknell for their beloved Goddess of Passion. Countless Chapters cried out for Her passing, one and all lost amidst the sorrowful clamour.

Heaving with the exertion of His victory, Bamathis cast aside the lifeless husk of His quarry and collected Caelestis. With one downward slice, He severed the vulpine head from Seelis’ fulgent body, allowing Him to take the trophy emblematic of His hard fought battle. Sheathing His blade, He used His free hand to seize one of Seelis’ smouldering tails and dragged Her smoking corpse behind Him as He retreated from Her once-prison.

And yet, even as Favoured Son fought Accordant Fire, the Creators’ Monomachy raged ona

Penned by my hand on Closday, the 25th of Midsummer, in the year 511 MA.