The Worldeater Saga, Part XXXV: Fire and Water

Even as Sapience fought a bloody battle against Marzpawn Zorusthi and his surviving underlings, the Clawhook’s sparse streams parched beneath the Fury’s searing force. Rivers ran dry, lakes boiled, and even distant bodies of water began to sizzle and steam as they yielded to murderous heat incarnate. Empowered by war and enlivened by the defeat of Marzpawn Zorusthi, each of Yvalamon’s motions scalded the world, one and all leaving behind the welt of hysterical aggression.

As Its physical manifestation branded the world with unending heat, Its metaphysical reach sieged the psyche of all beings of the mortal realm. Hatred and rage reigned as eternal tyrants within the minds of all peoples, demanding adherence to their cruel rulership. Destruction became sacramental sustenance and everlasting war ran through veins one and all as newly boiling lifeblood, veiling reason in a crimson haze. Drawn to mortal battle and unshackled through the death of Its opposite, the Fury descended upon the Clawhook with sickening, gleeful wrath. Meteoric showers of hellfire touched down upon the ridges, reducing soldiers to ash with an indiscriminate brutality that only a berserk god could achieve. Agonised cries mingled with the maddening violence that gripped the ridge, Liberation and Drakkenmont alike plunged into the throes of near thralldom to Yvalamon’s bellicose essence. Distant oases and sacred aquifers began to dry up, spelling impending doom for the distant ecosystem of the Red Quarter. Cries of dismay heralded the woe of the Caentoi people.

The land offered only a ragged sob bereft of moisture, the lifegiving resource of water stolen so utterly so as to deny even the tears of impending demise.

Then, soil and stone trembled as something coursed beneath their hardened surface, myriad fissures and cracks rending through the mountain range underfoot. Even as the Hammer’s zealous crusaders lifted their voice to the heavens and cried out for salvation, rivulets of pure water wept from these breaches of earthen integrity, bespeaking an aqueous presence just out of sight. A distant mountain within the Clawhook Range soon collapsed as an untapped aquifer yielded its riches to mortality, flooding ridges and chasms for just long enough to allow the rippling outline of Kaj, the Child of Accordant Water to dart forward into the battle.

Clarity’s refreshing tides soon washed over the inferno licking at the edges of mortal sanity, freeing all who yet lived beneath Yvalamon’s calescent thumb from Its hateful tyranny. Gradually, adventurers managed to claw back control of their psyche, the shackles of war weathered away by the influence of Accordant Water. Granted the gift of change unending, the surviving soldiers turned away from bellicose rampage and watched in awe and terror as two fundamental beings locked in a deadly, cosmic struggle.

His whiskers flailing wildly, Kaj scattered His riches to the beleaguered Clawhook, transfiguring fire to hissing steam with a mere splatter of His waters. By His direction, His makeshift mountain river tightened into a roaring waterspout that carried Him up to the skies – directly towards Yvalamon. As Accordant Water and Tumultuous Fire met in the skies, They served as a mirror for the violence overhead. The tremendous catfish god barreled into the hulking calcine deity, bringing with Him a stream of roaring waves that threatened to snuff out the Fury’s hellacious pyroclasm.

Steam hissed and popped as Yvalamon redoubled Its infernal intensity, Its accumulated might serving as an impassable wall around Its burning heart. Though peerless quantities of water, gushing with a violence to rival an apocryphal storm, crashed into It at Kaj’s behest, not a drop managed to find the Fury’s raging core.

Demons emerged then from a blackened aperture beside the Fury and lunged forward, driving burning claws into Kaj’s scaled flanks. The Child bucked and wheeled within the ever-present river enclosing Him, surges of His brilliant power obliterating these lesser manifestations in a showing of His regathered strength. Gouts of black smog rose up from where these aberrations once lingered, cyclonic vortices of burning water and sodden fire twined in impossible opposition.

Effervescent geysers erupted from cracks and crevices riddling the Clawhook, spewing jets of pure water at the Fury. Denied the freedom to act out Its singular brutality by the onrushing promise of devastation beneath the tides of river, stream, brook, and runnel, Yvalamon issued a bellow alike to the multitudinous roar of countless forges bound for war and retreated towards the east in a rush of hissing smoke and blazing heat. A frothing river unfurled along the northern horizon, serving as a border impassable for the burning deity. Kaj darted forward along this glimmering tide in rapid, determined pursuit, ensuring the Fury’s retreat did not take It towards holy ground. Space bent amidst the fundamental workings of these two erstwhile eld’akathi fragments, allowing Them to defy mortal order for the purposes of sundered Immortal rancour.

Fire, shadow, water and spirit all clashed within the sky in pale imitation of the Monomachy’s chilling violence, warping reality’s taut fabric with the weight of haunting omnipotence. The Two
adverse forces comprised a duality of dualities, a struggle echoing not only the duels in the skies but the haunting carnage of two fundamental beings once more wreaking cataclysm upon an unsuspecting land. Though unflattering in its comparative potency, the mimicry of the Two deities seethed in Their struggle amidst flickers of cerulean and crimson. This unlikely conspiracy of elemental force scattered across the Clawhook in uneasy waves, carving smoking ruin and stormborn erosion into mountain faces as They drifted further away from the field of battle.

Though Immortal ire reigned upon the eastern horizon as the Child and the Fury battled on across Albedos, Their awe-inspiring silhouettes soon vanished from mortal gaze, their legacy a churning maelstrom of fire and water writhing snakelike ‘cross the sky in the wake of Their primordial, vicious passage.

Shrill cries from surviving Drakkenmont superiors arose then from fallen Dramlai, sounding the retreat of its occupants. The remaining soldiers beat a hasty retreat out of the other side of the keep, bound for the safety of still-captured territory. Downtrodden villagers of Cragfoot scattered at the sight of an ensuing march, their hovels and establishments slamming shut to avoid the ire of Dramlai’s vanquished defenders. A rumbling clamour echoed throughout Clawhook’s nearby ridges as the force crossed to the northern end of the village, where they disappeared deeper into the canyon.

Even as Tuiln called for the Resistance to begin fortifying Dramlai Watch in preparation of a counter-siege, one forerunning officer was already making a breathless status report to a furious Polemarch…

Penned by my hand on Quensday, the 17th of Haernos, in the year 512 MA.