The Tide of War Turns

Date: 11/22/2012 at 05:25
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Tide of War Turns

Tensions were high as the war between the gods wrecked havoc atop the
Pillars of Heaven. Phaestus swung his mighty hammer against daemon after
daemon, keeping a close eye on the trap he had wrought for Bal'met.
Meanwhile, Tarah divided her efforts between bolstering the gods'
strength and shielding the wounded Skylord from further harm. But none
were prepared for what would come next.

"SYCAERUNAX!" thundered Bal'met from his prison, calling out the name of
the ancient white dragon, father of Ashaxei, who all thought dead
centuries ago.

As the name echoed upon the firmament, a massive, skeletal claw pierced
the boundary between the planes, and a lurid portal opened in the
heavens. Yellowed bones and decaying sinew formed the gargantuan shape
of a long-dead dragon. Fixing his empty gaze upon the Pillars of Heaven,
Sycaerunax dove into the fray, tearing apart the prison that held
Bal'met at bay. Then, with a forbidding cry of triumph, Bal'met vanished
from sight, but his foul presence remained palpable among the warring

As clouds roiled and churned about the Garden of the Gods, glimpses of
the frenzied battle were illuminated with scintillating flashes of
lightning. Pitch-black and fearsome, the silhouette of Sycaerunax
flashed upon the clouds, tearing savagely through the Garden with power
equal to the gods themselves.

Pandemonium, locked in combat with Keresis, ducked to avoid a savage
swipe of Sycaerunax's deadly claws. Seizing the opportunity, Keresis
made her move, driving the Blade of the Dreadlord upward into his gut
and ruthlessly disemboweling him.

"No!" cried Aegis as the God of Strife perished. "My Son!"

Loosing arrow after arrow, the Goddess of the Moon felled droves of
daemons, and Artemis compelled the very ground to tremble and shake,
causing Sartan to lose His footing. Warm sunlight blazed in the heavens
and Mithraea charged toward Sycaerunax with her blade afire. Melantha
followed at her side, radiant with vitality as she readied her sickle.

Attacking together, Lady Sol and the Goddess of the Seasons struck with
ruthless force at Sycaerunax. A terrible bellow shook the world as the
Father of Dragons snarled at the wounds, and he lashed out with
untempered rage.

Melantha screamed in agony as the claws of Sycaerunax pierced her
immortal form, and a gasp passed through the forests as mortals watched
her being tossed from the Garden like a rag doll. Moments later, Lady
Sol too was caught by the dragon's mighty wrath, her immortal fire
forever extinguished.

As the Goddess of the Sun fell, Pentharian cried out in anguish. His
blades, summoned of pure Light, dimmed and falter in his grasp. Across
the garden, Babel paused to observe the Lord of Valour, a look of deep
contemplation mingled with disgust upon His features.

"Throw Him the damned sword, You fool!" Phaestus roared at him. "Can't
You see We're losing?"

With a curt shout of warning, Babel hurled the Sword of Dunamis to
Pentharian, whose surprise was matched only by his relief. The instant
his hand closed around the sword's hilt, an aurulent fire courses down
its haft, and Pentharian swung it with ease, splitting a dreadlord
cleanly in twain.

A malevolent laugh echoed across the Garden as Sartan turned his
attention to the God of Righteousness. "For each dreadlord You cut down,
two more stand ready to fight," he gloated. "Face Me at last,

~ ~ ~

Raising the Sword of Dunamis like a shining beacon, Pentharian charges
at Sartan, answering the challenge. Their swords met with a crack of
thunder, and the heroic battle between Good and Evil was magnified upon
the firmament for all to see.

Driving forward, Sartan advanced upon the Lord of Valour with swift and
deadly slashes. Pentharian parries the attacks, returning powerful
strikes of his own as the Malevolent God ducked and turned. Over and
over the Gods traded blows, each gaining upon the other, only to be
forced back, their resolve never failing.

Meanwhile the rest of the gods were being pushed back by the surmounting
strength of Sycaerunax and Bal'met's forces. "We have to fall back!"
cried Artemis.

Side by side, Phaestus and Artemis cleared a path through the throng of
daemons, soaking the soil of the Garden with poisonous blood. Conjuring
images of beasts more fearsome than any of the daemons they face, Babel
obscured the escape route, slipping away. Following suit, Ourania ducked
behind the illusory cover, raining a steady shower of silver arrows upon
the enemy as the Gods slowly retreat, but Pentharian remained engaged in
close combat with Sartan.

Fighting ferociously to the site where Vastar lay wounded, Aegis
heroically dragged the Skylord back toward the others, deflecting
attacks with his sword. His keen eyes surveyed the battlefield, where a
dark shadow was approaching the Lord of Valour from behind.

"Pentharian!" he shouted as Bal'met suddenly appeared. "Behind You!"

In a blur of motion, Bal'met drove his arm through the Lord of Valour's
armour, as easily as cutting through soft wax. Pentharian howled in
pain, releasing his grip upon the Sword of Dunamis, but Bal'met quickly
grasps the hilt, withdrawing it through Pentharian's back in a savage
motion that shattered the god's breastplate.

As the blade passed through the Lord of Valour, it burned with holy
flame, setting the skies afire with blinding light. Outraged, Bal'met
hurled the sword away, and Pentharian fell to the ground.

"The sword!" he cried out in agony. "Tarah... you must..."

Streaking across the firmament as Pentharian perished was a trail of
cerulean light, and the tear-streaked face of Tarah could be seen racing
eastward, away from the Garden of the Gods, cradling the blazing Sword
of Dunamis in her arms. Unleashing a terrifying roar, the Sycaerunax
took off after the fleeing goddess, his monstrous form quickly closing
in on her lead.

An immense shadow darkened the Shamtota Hills as Sycaerunax at last
caught up with Tarah. Opening wide his fetid maw, the dragon stretched
forward and snapped his jaws around her, and a mask of pain crossed her
features. With her final strength Tarah hurled the Sword of Dunamis
toward Shallam, where it disappeared into the gleaming city, before she
was devoured by the Father of Dragons.

~ ~ ~

Turmoil reigned within the Pillars of Heaven. But as the retreating gods
cleared the battlefield, the clouds above the Garden parted to reveal a
solitary figure, cloaked in billowing white robes. In his hands lay a
shining hourglass.

Slowly the hourglass tilted, and as the grains of sand within slowed
their pace, so did the forces of Sartan and Bal'met. Granted precious
moments, the gods reflected upon the firmament melted away as they
escaped the wreckage of their failed trap.

As the gods vanished, the mysterious figure departed and the spilling
sands resumed their steady flow, allowing the normal stream of time to

Revelling in triumph, Sartan and Keresis proudly led their minions from
the Garden of the Gods, returning to the sanguine fog surrounding
Mhaldor. But this seemed no victory to Bal'met, who glowered, vanishing
in a flurry of noxious fumes.

Penned by My hand on the 10th of Chronos, in the year 611 AF.