The Lightbringer

EVENTS NEWS #413
Date: 12/15/2012 at 04:10
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Lightbringer

Aeon stood at the fulcrum. There, all moments converged, allowing the
God of Time to perceive all that was and could be. Countless multitudes
of lives were born and snuffed out. Empires rose and fell. Beneath his
idle gaze the tableau shifted, and dynasties waxed and waned. As he
watched, a single crown simultaneously rested on the brow of a hundred
kings and queens as they reigned throughout the ages. With every passing
scene, the sands within Aeon's great hourglass fell at a steady pace,
chronicling each moment from the act of creation to the myriad futures.

But then, a sudden shift interrupted the even passage of time... a
stutter of moments. Aeon's eyebrow raised with an unfamiliar sense of
utter finality. Fixing on the disruption, the Lord of Time searched for
the source of the burr in the otherwise smooth, endless fabric of the
ages. His confusion deepened, turning to anger as the dissonance grew
more profound the harder he reached for it. Gripping his hourglass and
wielding the power the Creator imbued in him alone, Aeon moved himself
outside of the currents of time. He slid beyond cause and effect, and
the falling sands in the hourglass ground to a halt.

"No. This cannot be," he said. It had been a millennium since he last
spoke, and Aeon's voice was a rough, rasping whisper that echoed back in
his ears, unable to propagate across the stillness that existed outside
of time. As the statement of disbelief repeated again and again, Aeon
watched with horror as the fulcrum collapsed, and the orderly march of
moments ground to a halt. Rising from the wreckage, he perceived the
source of the destruction: a strange wyrm, its hungry mandibles clacking
as it devoured all possible futures, leaving only a single, horrifying
outcome. Grim-faced, Aeon turned and willed himself back within the flow
of time, upending the hourglass, and the sands returned to their chamber
of origin. The world moved in reverse, and Aeon watched history undo
itself as he moved toward the past, determined to preserve the future.

~ ~ ~

Aeon watched destruction undo itself as the Father of Dragons struck at
Mhaldor, then flew in reverse into Ashaxei's Mirror, only to emerge an
undead remnant of his later splendour. He watched Shallam rise from the
sea, its gleaming domes re-assembling and countless emerald shards
careening together to form the Citadel of Light. He beheld his brethren
leaping off the swords that impaled them as they were surrounded in the
Garden of the Gods, their trap for Bal'met turned against them.
Frowning, Aeon touched his hourglass and the sand began to fall again,
allowing the Lord of Time to influence the moment. He had done this same
thing over generations: lengthen a key moment here, shorten another
there. All done to ensure the continuity of time, the procession of the
river. Never before this moment had his touch been so brazenly visible.

Shimmering into view high above the bloody fray in the Garden, Aeon
tilted his hourglass. Responding to their Master's will, the grains of
sand within the timepiece slowed in their fall, and the passage of time
around Sartan, Bal'met, and their forces similarly slowed. Granted
precious moments, the gods melted away, escaping the wreckage of their
failed trap. When the last of the survivors had gone, Aeon vanished with
them, allowing the normal stream of time to return. "There will be a
price to be paid," he whispered. Shaking his head, he turned the
hourglass again, and sailed backward once more towards the wellspring of
time at the moment of creation.

~ ~ ~

For centuries Aeon repeated his movements, his subtle influences.
Jumping through history, he redirected petty feuds, fanned plagues, and
birthed new nations. Master of cause and effect, Aeon employed his skill
in hopes of preventing the collapse of the fulcrum. Alas, the Time
Lord's efforts all met with failure. Not a single change could avert the
disastrous outcome wrought by the summoning of Bal'met.

Growling with frustration, Aeon hurled his hourglass through the frozen
tableau of the planets. He had come to watch Ethian collide with
Abbadon, a moment of particular significance that had resulted in the
birth of two new deities. The hourglass slammed into the comet as it
raced through the multiverse, but the timepiece merely glanced away,
unharmed. As an artefact of time itself, only an act of Aeon could
damage the glass. However, Aeon noticed a curious effect as the
timepiece struck Ethian's surface. A ripple of power spread outward from
the point of contact. A ripple not in space, but in time. His eyes
widening, Aeon gestured, and the hourglass returned to his waiting hand.
Tilting it, he moved back to Ethian's genesis with a renewed sense of
purpose.

~ ~ ~

Utterly drained, Aeon stood outside the currents of time, gathering his
thoughts. All of his efforts had shown him this was the only way
forward: a single chance to ensure the fulcrum and its endless
possibilities would endure. For once, he realised, he could not see the
future beyond this choice, since events wrought by his own action were
opaque to him. Thus it must be the correct way.

"So this is what it feels like to not know," Aeon mused. Shaking his
head, the god gripped his hourglass and willed himself into the flow of
time, entering it at the moment of his choice.

Aeon slid easily into the present, manifesting high above Sapience. He
felt the rain against his ageless skin, and the wind as it snapped at
his robes. Sensations of the moment he rarely experienced, Aeon allowed
himself time to savour the feelings before steeling himself to his task.

"The river of time is my domain. I tend its flow as it moves from the
moment of Creation onward to ends unseen. Its tributaries are
limitless," he cried out. "Since the beginning I have stood aloof to the
choices of gods and men alike, but now I must intervene. This Bal'met is
a dam in the river of time. The endless offshoots and rich possibilities
dwindle to a trickle, to a singular future. I will not permit this. It
is an intolerable thought." Inhaling deeply, Aeon felt a profound sense
of relief as he committed himself. "All through history I have
chronicled the decisions that have shaped fate. Now I make my own. I
forsake my prescience and my stewardship of the river. I choose to act,"
he proclaimed.

Aeon turned as Deucalion manifested beside him. With great deference,
the younger god inclined his head before the Lord of Time and offered up
His blade. Releasing his hold on the hourglass, Aeon took up the Sword
of Dunamis and, with measured precision, brought the weapon in alignment
with the timepiece. Drawing the sword back, Aeon did what he alone was
capable of. Shattering the glass, He freed the sands of time locked
within.

The world held its breath as the blade connected. A peal of crystalline
purity rang out, and the shattered glass rained down from the heavens
and poured into the Flame of Yggdrasil at Aeon's command. As each grain
of sand entered the Flame, Aeon felt his coherence diminish. Barely able
to control the forces over which he had long been the undisputed master,
Aeon called out, "the restoration of the future is found far upstream,
in the past. This is my choice: to restore her. She who is Light will
illuminate the dark future. Lightbringer! Come forth! I consign myself
to the past so that you may return to shape the future! Be again! Make
real what I have seen: by your hand will he be undone."

As his final words lingered, Aeon could only hope his choice was the
right one. His last thought before his awareness faded was one of
wonder, as the certainty of prescience was replaced with the hope that
is the gift of ignorance.

Penned by My hand on the 24th of Valnuary, in the year 613 AF.