Retaliation

EVENTS NEWS #399
Date: 11/11/2012 at 09:28
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: Retaliation

"Time now to move with bladed steel," announced Matsuhama, God of
Combat, to the gathering of gods amid the Pillars of Heaven.

Ourania nodded and rose to her feet, her countenance stiffened with
anger and grief. Drawing back her bow, the Goddess of the Moon nocked a
silvery arrow into place and let it fly, and all watched as the arrow's
trail left a path of quicksilver across the sky, leading directly to
Krenindala.

Upon the glittering backdrop, six daunting figures joined Ourania in the
firmament above Achaea. Forming the vanguard were Matsuhama and Aegis,
their expressions resolute and weapons drawn. Flanking them on one side
were Pentharian and Miramar, grim-faced and determined; opposite stood
Daedalus and Pandora, an unlikely pairing that nevertheless instilled a
rush of raw anticipation in the mortals below.

Sharing a mutual glance and a solemn nod, Matsuhama and Aegis turned
away, leading the deities toward the hostile landscape of Krenindala,
bolstered by the confident encouragements of those who stayed behind.

Mere minutes passed before ormyrr warriors began to fall by the dozens
to the indiscriminate assault of Matsuhama's deadly mace, and a hundred
agonised roars resounded as the Lord of Valour laid waste to a
contingent of the reptilian elite. Yet another legion of ormyrr fell,
judged for their crimes by the Even-handed and undeserving of her mercy.

"As you took my daughter from me, so shall I inflict pain upon you,
Bal'met," threatened the Goddess of the Moon, loosing arrow after arrow
upon the Dala'myrr that swam through the skies. "Watch your children
bleed."

"Heeeeere little flying worms... come heeeeeere..." taunted Pandora,
nimbly dancing between two enraged Dala'myrr. In a cloud of confusion
and gore, the monstrosities collided into one another as the young
goddess slipped away, filling the air with peals of laughter.

As the gods struck onward in their quest, the God of War kept a keen eye
on their progress. "They falter! Pentharian, Matsuhama, harry their
flank," shouted Aegis, slashing with one blade, then another, cutting
down swathes of charging ormyrr. "Daedalus, Miramar, press the main
line. Drive them back!"

Silvery arrows rained all around, felling a score of Dala'myrr as
Ourania vented her rage and sorrow upon her foes. Between the hail of
deadly darts, Miramar spied covert movement. "Watch your back,
Daedalus!" she thundered, directing the attention of the God of Balance.
"A nest of vermin lurks in that tower."

As the words of the Even-handed rang out, Pandora appeared behind the
massive stone edifice and, with tremendous force, collapsed the tower,
crushing the ormyrr who rallied within. Peals of laughter drifted over
the firmament as she delighted in her handiwork, but her glee was
short-lived as her father's words roared caution.

"Remain focused, daughter," urged Aegis as the merciless Blade of
Tuv'rei, hungry for the blood of the Dala'myrr, brought down one after
another at his feet.

The gods continued their assault, but a glimpse of pristine white upon
the ground caused Ourania to stop short. "What is this?" she cried
incredulously, recognising the white walking staff once wielded by
Kastalia. "My daughter..."

Renewed grief washed over the Goddess of the Moon in tumultuous waves as
she knelt where her daughter had been so cruelly killed, struggled to
steady herself. Daedalus, rushing to her side, placed a reassuring hand
upon her shoulder.

"Go, Ourania," he spoke calmly, taking the staff and placing it in the
grieving mother's hands. "Return to her bereft children what should be
theirs." Reluctantly did Ourania rise, her form gracing the firmament as
she returned from Krenindala, clutching the staff close to her bosom.

Moments later, Pandora's bright voice rang out triumphantly. "Aha! I've
found Hermes!"

Deep within the core of Krenindala, the Messenger lay chained and
unmoving, his eyes vacant and desolate, staring bleakly at nothing.
Pandora dropped to a knee and reached out with her silver hand to test
the fetters, and in an instant was thrown by an excruciating bolt of
lightning.

As Pandora screamed in pain, Daedalus rushed to her side, giving the
goddess a brief glance before charging ruthlessly toward the Dala'myrr
who now stood between him and Hermes. With tremendous force he sent the
wyrms spinning into the cold emptiness between the worlds, but when he
reached Hermes, his concern grew exponentially, and with great care he
examined the Messenger's bonds.

Slithering like a snake through the worlds, an eerie chuckle began to
emanate from the darkest reaches of Krenindala, and Bal'met made his
terrible presence known.

With righteous fury Pentharian roared a challenge to Bal'met and his
allies. "You hide like a coward behind your filthy worms," he shouted.
"Come face us, dog! You and your fog-addled masters."

As if in response, the skies flashed with blinding aureate brilliance.
With a cry Daedalus backed suddenly away from Hermes' prone form,
horrified as the Messenger was illuminated from within by the blazing
light.

Across the worlds came the piercing screeches of the Dala'myrr, and a
terrible, driving rhythm pounded upon the heavens, growing steadily
louder.

"It's Hermes!" shouted the God of Balance as he realised the trap
Bal'met had set for the gods. "He's... no, he cannot..."

Recognising the panic in Daedalus' voice, Aegis thundered a call to
retreat. "Fall back to Sapience! Now! GO!"

As the gods turned to flee, the reflection of Hermes flickered briefly
across the skies, his face a mask of contorted pain as the agonising
corruption of Bal'met consumed his very being. Time seemed to slow,
moving at a sluggish pace as though willed by Aeon himself.

And then, Bal'met released utter mayhem.

With a deafening roar, a titanic wave of power ripped through Hermes
from within, a shattering torrent that swept over Krenindala, snuffing
the dwindling god like a flame, along with all other life upon the
forlorn planet. It carved away the interior of the world, leaving
nothing but a shell behind, and though the gods leapt desperately toward
Achaea, the blast was strong and fast, fuelled by the amplified might of
Bal'met.

Caught in the explosive force, Daedalus, Miramar, and Matsuhama all
perished instantly, victim to the overwhelming haze of annihilation
wrought by Bal'met's sinister workings.

"What?" cried Mithraea, stricken with disbelief. "No! NO!"

Gods and mortals alike stopped in their tracks, stunned at the sudden
disaster, watching with mouths agape as a massive shockwave shook the
heavens, radiating outward from the husk of Krenindala. Three meteors
screamed through the sky above Sapience, leaving a trail of fire in
their wake, resolving into the battered forms of Pentharian, Pandora,
and Aegis as they grew closer.

With concussive force the three gods crashed to the ground, sending
debris flying high into the air and raining down across the continents.

"Hold your grief," Agatheis uttered before more words could be spoken.
"To the survivors. Quickly!"

A shining dome of protective magic formed above the Pillars of Heaven,
accompanied by the reassuring lilt of a steady continuo as the Great
Bard filled the Garden of the Gods with a healing harmonic. But as the
gods gathered the wounded survivors to safety, the insidious rumble of
dark laughter rolled across the firmament, and the visage of Bal'met
rose with baleful intent above Achaea, more powerful than ever.

Then, like a shadow melding with the cover of night, Bal'met vanished.

Penned by My hand on the 14th of Glacian, in the year 610 AF.