With the death of Incandescent Hope, the Eschaton’s focus finally tore away from the interminable war It waged against Varyan Celestine. Even Its mournful silence imposed transcendental serenity, the peace of an ending scrawling bleak, blackened vistas upon the surface of the cosmic tree It rooted within the scorched ruin of Yggdrasil. Soon, the fiery vine wrapped around its nebulaic trunk withered, its blissful blossoms drooping and transfiguring into ash that raced off upon a bitter, despondent breeze.
The ceaseless Creators’ Monomachy pressed on, however, its every moment impressed upon Sapience’s sundered skyscape as an animate mural of deific carnage. The world-within-a-world, ensnared in the throes of fateful apocalypse, came to know only hardship at the hands of two omnipotent figures. Seeing an opening to strike at His forever-foe, Varian reached within this alternate world with one shining, silver hand and set to tipping the scales in His favour. Recognising Him as its partial Creator, the secondary reality shifted and moved to make way for one of its two masters, its people mere pieces upon the board of some existential game.
The Celestine’s touch bestowed renewed magic and purpose to His chosen peoples, infusing them with the immeasurable puissance of a deity triumphant. Girded in silver arcana and power overwhelming, his people went forth to spread His will within the world that formed Their mutual sequester, cosmic fire glimmering at their fingertips. Sulfuric vortices spanned this foreign dimension’s skies, conjured by the hands of ambitious sorcerers that soon crushed their would-be opponents ‘neath callous heels. Sundered by greed, misfortune, and hubris, the dying world-turned-arena went to war over the barest of essentials, rendering civilisation and plenty a dream long ago lost to forsaken antiquity.
Torn from Its sorrowful reverie, the Eschaton returned Its inscrutable gaze to Its fated duel with Varyan. The Cosmic Being reached out with one nebulaic hand to shield Its fleeing peoples, allowing those embattled mortals It held dear to run to ground and escape the wrath of the Celestine’s chosen champions. Ensuring that they would fight another day, the Albedi Creator expended some of Its interminable might to quell the raging fires in these alternate skies, costing It yet more time and attention.
Only ash existed in the wake of these fleeing Eschatonic believers, leaving Varian’s empowered civilisations to rise as the dominant force within a shattered, alien world. Ages and eras progressed on in a blink and scattered images of temples and keeps, constructed by arcane and divine manifestation, impressed themselves upon the theatre of the mind. Soon, this once-damned world flourished once more beneath the fist of Varyanic dedicants, a paradise wrought for them and them alone – a reward for their faith, a symbol of His dominance in this fateful chapter of the Monomachy.
Taking the upper hand in the darkest times of brief apocalypse, Varian redirected His attention to a glimmering prize familiar to all the mortal eyes of Sapience: the Eschaton Moon. Gathering what remained of His excess might, the Celestine forged a shining spear of uttermost possibility. It too shed burning light upon mortal mindseye with its shimmering potency, its boundaries barely comprehensible to even the most wild of imaginations.
Serene calm brought order to Varyan Celestine’s victorious expression then, the air moving gracefully around His arm as He let loose His manifested strength. The lance screamed through the air like a beam of fiery radiance, bound for the Eschaton’s beloved moon. Trails of argent essence scattered in its wake, rendering makeshift aurorae upon the heavenly vault.
The Cosmic Being, so unfathomably sensate as to know all that has happened, is happening, and will happen turned Its sidereal being to observe the course of Varian’s fateful strike. As if by instinct alone, the Albedi Creator lifted Its free hand to bat away this puissant missile, existence’s curtain parting and soughing in recognition of Its beloved Maker’s desperate move.
Like unto a dreaded thorn, Varyan’s strike speared through the Eschaton’s cosmic hand; argent radiance bored through Its being, folding space around its immense impact. Fulgent supernovae brightened the sky, bathing all Aetolia in rapid flashes of silver brilliance, this violent strike impressed upon all the world’s perception.
For a moment, the Eschaton’s hand momentarily existed within a state of jarring superposition. Countless outcomes whipped by, light and space and time all dancing to the tune of collective will as Creation mulled over the end result of such a collision.
The consensus of the masses, achieved by the belief of innumerable mortal witnesses, sealed the outcome.
Creation’s entirety fell to solemn, sombre quietude in understanding of Eschatonic agony, a pain experienced in Its stead by reality’s already strained fabric. Though no wound seemed evident upon Its immaculate being, it became clear that mortals momentarily perceived one nonetheless – a hole, a splatter of Immortal life-energy that showered the safeguarded moon in potent essence.
Then, the Eschaton redirected Its attention to a mostly conquered arena, the Monomachy once more reignited into terrifying fervour.
~ ~ ~
As His Father scored a devastating blow in this omnipotent duel, Bamathis sought to celebrate His own victory. Declaring that faith in the enigmatic Eschaton was a waste, the Warlord once more made clear that Varian’s claim was the only way forward for Sapience. He lashed the broken remains of Accordant Fire to His chariot and took flight across the sky, hoisting His trophy to the air for all the realm to feast their eyes upon – be it in adoration, or in horror, or else in utter hatred and disgust.
Racing across the firmament, the God’s kill splattered the seas with magmatic blood, birthing a bridge of igneous rock in the wake of His cruel exultation. He carried on towards His fortress and the twin trees that awaited there within the blackened ruin of Yggdrasil, glory and sadistic glee ruling upon His usually stoic visage. Upon His arrival, the Warlord offered up the remains of the Harlot to His Father, declaring that Her downfall was a sign of His waxing strength and a victory that was sure to come.
Seizing upon the corpse, the force of Varyanic Creation took unto itself this Accordant offering, reducing it to energy to suit the furtherance of the Celestine’s designs. Soon, fiery might rippled across Life’s masterfully wrought Tree of Creation, coalescing into myriad crimson fruits that immediately burgeoned into full, luscious size. Sparing little time for this act of miraculous Creation, the Warlord cast His argent gaze to the skies one last time – to look upon His Father and the nemesis that is His mirror: the Eschaton. Grim resolve once more asserted itself upon His perfect countenance and, soon, He marched back into His fortress to recover from His myriad wounds and heroic exertions.
Thus ended the first act of the Worldeater Saga, its final lines written in the fuliginous ink of Passion Most Divine’s burning blood.
Penned by my hand on Closday, the 25th of Midsummer, in the year 511 MA.