As the last vestiges of ordnance dissipated, a lone figure stood before the grievously wounded Trees, motionless save for the steady orbit of a long, slender blade of hilunite floating about Him.
Ever the opportunist, the vampire-turned-deity wasted little time in seizing the situation presented to Him. Abhorash’s greedy claws extended forth, His aura of Tyranny whipping about Him in a frenzy as tendrils of Creation oozed forth from the bulwarks of Celestine and Eschaton alike. The substance coated Him then, forming veins that crisscrossed in their journey inwards, flowing towards the dead heart of Sapience’s neoteric God. The pulsing shine of Creation warred with the ravenous dark of Abhorash’s attire, forming an eerie chiaroscuro of luminosity that stood against His stark, enveloping shadows. Dark and light reflected off the creases of his suit and stygian cravat, its ceaseless interplay dancing along the edges of an ornate silver pin and its curious, coin-like embellishment.
Veiled in the potent illumination of commandeered essence, Abhorash tilted His head back and basked in the embrace of stolen ascension. The effusive contentment that spread across the God’s features was a harrowing sight, the genuine smile that split His lips more chilling than the fiercest snarl. Content meditation did not overstay its welcome, however, for the Hegemonist soon turned toward the Dreikathi menace suspended in the air so far away – and yet now so near for Him.
Insisting that the terms of Their agreement had concluded, Abhorash ordered the Dreikathi to begone from these lands. The Bloody Tyrant insisted that Drakkenmont’s fleet would discover vassaldom ‘neath His mighty fist had they refused and went on to claim that Sapience knew but one true Empire.
The arrogant edict elicited no hint of trepidation from the Dreikathi armada, however. Indeed, their response manifested as a coldly efficient threat: hundreds of turrets swivelled from Trees to God, the figure’s immaculate glow providing an impossible target to miss. Staring down certain annihilation, the Hegemonist remained steadfast, unwavering. He lifted a hand in invitation, a beckoning finger crooking ever so slightly.
The foreign armada obliged in turn, their turrets spewing forth a stream of prismatic rays. The first shot rang true, tearing a smoking hole in the God’s chest. Hundreds of its like followed the marker as Abhorash disappeared behind a cloud of acrimonious devastation, His deific form lost in the blackened smoke and shimmering ylemnic mist. As the obscuring fog of war fell away, their passage uncovered the bleeding remains of a decimated God.
The bleed of vitae soon changed nature, however. It thickened then, becoming brighter, the undeniable fabric of Creation enshrouding the remains in a luminous aureole. Time itself walked back its decisions, the hands of destruction forced to retreat as bones once shattered into oblivion reformed with architectonic precision. Sinew and muscle sprang into being, intertwining and knitting together over the steadily reformed silhouette. The God’s marble visage stitched itself together as the final touch, its contours arranged into an infuriatingly self-satisfied smirk. Standing reborn in spite of the devastating force brought to bear against him, Abhorash faced down the Dreikathi once more, robed in the essence of Creation.
The ascended vampire lifted a single hand aloft, callous dismissal overtaking His self-satisfaction.
Cries of alarm soon echoed from the nearest Dreikathi ship as the Eschaton’s Creative essence manifested at the Hegemonist’s behest. Lances of cosmic ire coalesced on all sides about the airship and converged upon the engineered leviathan in myriad streaks of absolute annihilation. Immense pressure followed in the wake of these arcing assaults, crushing the diced remains of the Dreikathi vessel beneath the weight of a collapsing star. In the blink of an eye, the entire ship found itself crumpled into a tiny, inert grey marble which soared into Abhorash’s waiting grasp.
Abhorah’s edict then imprinted itself unto the tapestry of Creation, His ensuing threat writ immortal:
“It is only for the service you have rendered that I afford you the choice once more. Retreat or be unmade,” the Hegemonist warned. “I will not offer a third time.”
Despite the proffered illusion of choice, the mighty armada soon realised they had no other option but to abandon their position. The airship crews scurried to shift gears, uniting as one to begin the fleet’s homeward trajectory. As their dread collective reached the ocean, however, a single ship peeled off, soaring high out of sight of the wrathful God.
With the present chapter closed, Abhorash vanished from the drained husks of the arbour, intent upon wielding His fleeting omnipotence to achieve His own ends.
Penned by my hand on Quensday, the 4th of Variach, in the year 512 MA.