In the aftermath of Seelis’ demise and the subsequent razing of Bamathis’ fortress, a period of relative quiet overcame Sapience as the Collective mourned and the Watch sought to regroup in new headquarters. While the Monomachy continued to rage unabated overhead, it was on the 127th day of the Creators’ Conflict that unrest began to stir in the Port City of Delve.
The death of Passion Most Divine and the apparent victory struck by Varyan Celestine had stolen the faith from many of the Free City’s people. Gossip abounded in droves never before seen throughout the metropolis, issued from hushed conversations and grand proclamations both. The topics, while varied in their clarity, lucidity, and foundation in reality, centred almost entirely around the battle between Bamathis and Seelis and the fear of what consequences may befall in the wake of Her loss.
Many voiced a lack of faith in the Eschaton and a desire to seek asylum in Sapience among the Varian supporters. Others reviled the Celestine and openly grieved the loss of Accordant Fire. Confusion took yet others, and the histrionics seemed to snare the city in a web of dramatic tension that threatened to boil over at any given moment.
On the one hunded and thirty third day of the Monomachy, a funeral procession was held in homage to the beloved Seelis, Accordant God of Fire, Vulpine Lady of Flames, the Harlot, Passion Most Divine. Spearheaded by members of the Eschatonic Collective, chief among them Rasani Morrog and Xenia Seirath, Sapience and Delve both turned out en masse to pay tribute and respect to the departed Goddess.
The funeral procession swiftly became a spectacle worthy of the slain Lady Flame, the smoke of censer and the music of mournful hymns lending a sombre but strangely relieving air to the proceedings. Gifts were borne and kind words were spoke by many among the throng, its members far too numerous to name yet drawn from all across both Sapience and Albedos in their march across the Port City. Though protesters gathered and gainsayers stood ready to disrupt, they were swiftly driven back by the resolute Collective, and, after many hours of speeches and tributes, the crowd returned to their everyday lives — some with spirits uplifted, all yet bearing a deep sadness for murdered Seelis.
Some days later, the tension simmering within Delve began to bubble over. The volume of gossip grew to a fever pitch as it seemed every inhabitant of the city – and some more besides – had some opinion on the matter. Violence, then, was inevitable.
And so it came to be that on the one hundred and thirty ninth day of the Monomachy, the first punches were thrown. Makeshift explosives, incendiary devices, and all manner of home-baked weaponry emerged from merchants and shopkeepers and pilgrims and citizens alike, singular purpose driving them: riot. Families fell in the chaos, gang warfare resumed in a manner not seen since the last grand turmoil, and the entire citizenry seemed poised for catastrophe on all sides.
In the midst of the mayhem, Veran Eldriss, one of the more elusive members of the Delvian Council of Five, found himself at the end of a blade. He was not the first, nor the only casualty in what was rapidly becoming a major, violent riot. Demands for the council to act continued to wrack the remaining members, yet it seemed nothing would be done. Seizing the opportunity to increase the Celestine’s influence, members and sympathisers of the Argent Watch soon devised ways to fan the flames of this unrest, arming the crowds, weaponising the gang leaders, and inciting even peaceful onlookers to violent revolution. It had taken only a spark, and the Watch had turned it into a burning flame.
The Collective, seeking to quell the unrest and restore order to the city, soon mobilised their own forces. While the Watch continued to foment aggressive action, the Collective strove to disperse the crowds by any and all means necessary, providing refreshments, entertainments and more in order to assuage their discontent, all while ferrying crowds through the city.
Delve yet remains in Chaos. The Watch and the Collective continue to lock horns. The Council of Five remains short one member. And yet, in the midst of all this catastrophe, there is one civilisation whose purpose is not fractured, whose leaders are resolute, and whose forces are mobilised, airborne, and preparing to strike.
Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 12th of Niuran, in the year 511 MA.