The Worldeater Saga, Part XLIV: Worldeater

Slithering snakelike through rock and stone and crack and crevice, the wisps of darkness crossed the Court of the Gods like atramentous lightning. Low hissing emanated from everywhere and nowhere before these tenebrous ephemera crawled like blackened veins along and across the throne of the Celestine. Flowing like liquid dusk, threads of ever-gloam surrounded the auspicious seat, forming the outline of an empty silhouette whose muted canvas soon filled itself in with a smear of midnight brushstroke. Languid and smug, Severn sat His Father’s throne without reservation, the sum of His Immortal gaze weighted with manifest scorn for those in attendance.

“A strength You would squander in pursuit of freedom. A boon You would waste in the name of free will,” the Minotaur God answered as His shadowy silhouette’s writhing ceased.

“Out of all of Us, it is only I that possesses the necessary vision to wield Father’s might,” Severn continued as He lifts His remaining hand upwards to gesture towards the embattled Creators. “Look only to Your freeing of the Child – you mimic Me even as you curse My name.”

“Behold,” The Manipulator murmured as He cast His eyes upon the roiling world woven into heavenspace and snapped His fingers.

A virulent, wriggling line of shadow then laced itself into the borders of the realm that should not be, its movements shifting in time with the Artificer’s guiding hand. The tenuous fabric of the world-within-a-world wavered beneath the corrosive effect of Severn’s manifest power, its swollen distension doing naught to preserve its integrity. A lunge of one savage digit birthed a violent cacophony akin to myriad mechanical failures, its auditory chaos accompanied by a sudden surge of shadow across the firmament.

Several discordant clicks resounded throughout the heavens as the mysterious arena world finally fell away, its debris carving fiery swathes through the embattled skies. Wave after wave of glimmering energy crashed down upon Aetolia in an all-consuming flood of obliterating light and uncertain possibility, shattering landscapes and shaping new vistas with their omnipotent force. As the brutal tides churned all throughout the Prime Material, the centre of this destructive maelstrom revealed itself to countless onlookers below: the twin Creators. Existing at the heart of cosmic chaos, the unquestionable identities of these two Makers were writ upon the psyche of every being fortunate enough to behold Them in a moment of glorious inspiration. Freed from Their stalemate, the Two once more began Their displays of uttermost power with rancour renewed.

As His Siblings watched the display with mixed visages of mute terror and revolted disgust, Severn rose from His Father’s throne and lifted a beckoning hand toward the shambled wreckage of an alternate reality, its trajectory carving fiery swathes through the delicate fabric of Sapience’s Primal boundaries. The seething remnants of that shattered world became innumerable gossamer filaments that coursed downward towards the Manipulator. Triumph reigned upon His brutish mien as every single thread melted away into His waiting frame, bolstering His already prodigious might with the fabled potency of an omnipotent Creator. Commonfolk in cursed cities and doomed townes and crumbling villages across that fallen realm emitted shrieks of terror or else spat curses upon this new, nameless menace as they acted as unwitting audience to His repetition of a Father’s sin. Anguish and lost hope ruled over all that remained as they one and all embraced the bleak destiny that awaited them – a destiny shared with civilisations never meant for Sapience’s recollection, save for the mythical Source of Knowledge that served as lone testament to its Maker’s sordid past.

Bards and storytellers rued their inevitable end in the face of such a tragic, loathsome act, their sorrow ringing throughout the dying realm as a song unto itself. Its raw melancholy manifested as a foreboding rumble, nihilistic violence sustaining its tempo. Before the murderous melody can reach its crescendo, however, Severn the Betrayer turned His eye towards the impossibly distant home of its threatening din and sneered. Swept aside on a wave of callous megalomania and single minded greed, millions perished at the hands of the Forsaken God, the threads of innumerable lives cut short to slake a would-be tyrant’s hubris.

One by One, Varyan Celestine’s children looked on in horror, aghast at Reason’s dreadful paternal mimicry. For each Who bore witness to His echo of a crime that served as the abrupt epilogue of another timeline, only shock and terror served as adequate expression.

All save for Two.

Damariel mot Lanosaryon set aside horror, His weathered visage instead twisted into a portrait of utter disgust. Righteous indignation flared in His eyes, twin rivals to the blazing sun struggling in vain to compete with the prismatic violence of a sundered world.

Lexadhra’s veneer of impassivity fell away to reveal an impassioned shock scarcely recognisable upon the mauve-skinned Goddess. The mists surrounding Her lounging form twisted into a frothing rage for lack of guidance from Her iron will, weathering glowing patterns upon the throne underneath Her.

“Worldeater,” She breathed from Her place upon Lleis’ throne, Her eyes affixed to the grim spectacle that had until then occupied Her recollection only as a detached phantom – an irreversible moment of the far flung past.

The Favoured Son was the first to escape the throes of astonished horror and fearful revulsion; snarling, He lunged towards Severn with Caelestis thrust outward, its point intent upon His treacherous Sibling’s heart.

Nigh-unstoppable might met the immovable force of a newly empowered Creator. An umbral aegis manifested in the incalculably narrow space between blade and God, its hissing shadows smothering the weapon’s enchantments even as that overwhelming murk sent the blade’s wielder reeling across the marble court.

The Unbound Lord then filled the space so recently vacated by His younger Brother, His greatsword thundering downward in an overhead swing that dispensed with elegance in favour of crushing force. Lurid radiance and punishing fire blossomed in the weapon’s lethal arc, threatening Severn with threefold annihilation.

Once more did whirling strands of everdark essence and atramentous artifice turn aside the threat to the Betrayer-turned-Creator’s personage. With a dismissive gesture and a satisfied smirk, Severn forced Damariel to His one good knee amidst the clamour of Daybreak falling to Mount Memonaransa’s stony promenade.

“I shall end this,” Incarnate Reason promised, staring down at His defeated brothers, Their accumulated might – that of almost the Celestine’s entire pantheon – weathered and overcome with scarcely an effort. Without further elaboration, Severn ascended to the heavens amidst the shimmering tatters of a condemned world, His silhouette stretching out to join the world-rending violence of the other Makers. Thus did the Monomachy transform into a dread Triomachy, a new challenger swiftly impressed upon the skies.

Aetolia reeled in the aftermath of such abrupt, widespread destruction, the renewed furore of the raging Creators turning loose tempestuous storms of shimmering quintessence with each violent blow struck. As the lucent starfall soared across reality like an army of flaming comets and smouldering supernovae, the accelerated genesis of light and fire resolved to unfound possibility and potential made real, spectres of unrealised imagination and discarded architect’s opus cast adrift to roam the world. Still the cupola-world that was Sapience strained to withstand the immense force and pressure arranged against it. Clinging fast to the world that was its host, toxic symbiosis enkindled the twilight of reality’s demise as dread rifts opened in the surface of the earth, gaping wounds catalysed in ylemfire and Creator’s jingoistic jetsam.

As the Triomachy threatened to tear through Creation’s ragged fabric, adventurers rushed to inspect the rifts marking their world’s impending demise. Commanded by Warlord and Unbound both, Sapience united in an effort to seal reality’s rents through the desperate application of captured possibility essence. In the wake of their convalescent efforts, terrain scoured by Dejaani and Ohlsana’s prior carnage found itself wiped away, restoring portions of Sapience once thought lost to the ravages of the second War of Night.

Even as Sapience’s finest warriors scrambled to rescue their realm from unthinkable peril, something wicked ensued within the Lich Scriptorium…

Penned by my hand on Gosday, the 1st of Omeian, in the year 0 AC.