The Great Mother's Sacrifice, Part I

EVENTS NEWS #416
Date: 12/19/2012 at 03:26
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Great Mother's Sacrifice, Part I

After the death of Agatheis, the Garden of the Gods was again filled
with uncertainty. Atop the Pillars of Heaven the deities gathered,
heatedly discussing what they were now to do. Much of the sound
manifested as rumbling thunder, with only parts of the conversation
reaching mortal ears in comprehensible form.

"Aeon restored Aurora to us. He was confident she would turn the tide,"
cried out Deucalion. "She wields my sword, and all those faithful to
Good stand ready to march at our call. This is the hour of Bal'met's
defeat!"

"Caution is called for, Deucalion," thundered the God of Peace. "History
is replete with examples of prophecy misinterpreted. Fate is cruel to
those who manipulate her. No one knew this better than Aeon."

"Even you cannot believe there is a peaceful solution, Oneiros,"
asserted Aegis, God of War. "We cannot leave Bal'met caged on
Nishnatoba! We must strike!"

"The only way to face Bal'met now is directly upon Nishnatoba," rumbled
the troubled voice of Vastar, the Skylord. "Do you not realise the risk?
We lose all advantage the moment we step foot upon that battlefield."

"We would be little more than mortals facing certain death," agreed
Scarlatti, his voice ringing upon a resonant harmonic.

"It's now or never," Phaestus boomed out amidst the sweltering heat of
the forge. "Agatheis broke Bal'met's hold over the Fire, but he'll
wrestle it back sooner or later. We have to move."

The silken voice of Lord Twilight drifted from the shadows, his position
firm. "You can try your hand. I'll not take part."

"I am sure none of us are surprised at your apathy in this," was the
dismissive reply of Thoth, the Endbringer. "We need you not."

"No. This cannot be done by a selection of Gods," came the ethereal
whisper of Valnurana. "That plan has failed over and over. This requires
the force of the full Pantheon together."

"We must all commit, and we must commit fully," agreed Aurora. "Nothing
can be held back. There can be no more contingencies, no more fall
backs."

"You suggest a gamble based on Aeon's foresight, which even he lacked at
the end! Remember, the last of us who gambled everything saw his luck
run out," warned Prospero, recalling the fate of Hermes, the fallen God
of Luck.

Artemis, Goddess of the Cataclysm, shook her head at the Merchant Lord.
"I agree with Aurora. If this is our end then let us face it. I will not
hide, cowering in the shadows, waiting for Bal'met to claim me."

On and on the gods debated which course of action to pursue, and their
words reverted once more into the incomprehensible tongue of the Divine.
Listening closely to every word was Maya, the Great Mother, whose
thoughts turned fondly to her long-deceased mortal children, Sinope and
Callisto, as she formulated a plan of her own. It was true, the gods'
only chance of defeating Bal'met lay upon Nishnatoba. Slowly they were
coming to agreement... even Twilight and Sartan were seeing the need for
this unprecedented unity amongst the gods. But they would need
assistance.

Calling the Great Grey Owl over to her, Maya stroked the soft plumage
upon her back. "Lend me your eyes, dear friend," she murmured and, as
she had done many times before, the bird acquiesced.

Taking to wing, the owl soared across the heavens upon silent wings,
graceful and majestic, keenly observing all of Creation and taking in
the full extent of the ongoing turmoil wrought upon the world. Then she
banked and turned, rising on an upward draft to disappear among the
stormclouds.

What Maya saw there, through the owl's eyes, lies shrouded in mystery.
Presently the great bird descended from the cloudbank, circling above
the Siroccian Mountains before wheeling and landing upon its highest
peak, where she was joined by the warm presence of the Great Mother.

"Now is the time for all, mortal and divine, to put aside their
grievances," Maya intoned, her voice crossing the barriers of the Veil
of Creation. Come, gather at the Shrine of Ascension, for the fate of
the world lies in your power."

Heeding the Great Mother's call, mortals from all walks of life began to
journey to the Siroccian Mountains, climbing its highest peak to join
Maya upon the high plateau. So, too, did the gods gather at her side,
and the Great Mother began her address.

"For two centuries and more have I borne the torch passed unto me,
raised by the Logos to uphold the balance betwixt Creation and
Destruction," began the Great Mother. "But even these forces do not rule
absolutely. Transcending and underlying all is the Fire behind the
Flame, the foundation of every aspect of our existence.

"The Fire has been touched by the hand of Bal'met, who has drawn its
power away from the world and unto himself. And so Yggdrasil ails. The
immortal Gods suffer mortal fates. The very planes come untethered. And
Bal'met grows stronger. Not since the dawn of humanity have we faced a
fate so grim; nay, not since the beginning of time.

"The Fire behind the Flame must be renewed and purged of its corruption.
It can no longer burn untended, and requires a guardian of singular
purpose: a creator to unmake the wrongness that has taken hold of it.
Great is my power, but this is a thing I cannot do."

Maya paused, and a murmur of confusion passed through the crowd. "The
mantle of Supreme Creator must pass from my shoulders, to be taken up
once more by the Logos. Only he possesses that immeasurable knowledge
with which the Fire behind the Flame can be restored and preserved for
eternity."

The Great Mother looked to the Logos, who remained still, clouded in
thought as long moments passed. At last, Sarapis nodded.

Clasping her hands together, Maya's eyes closed, and she became wreathed
in radiant light. The resplendent corona flickered about her regal form,
intensifying to a nearly blinding brilliance, until only a faint,
shadowy contour could be seen of the Great Mother.

Maya outstretched her arms toward the Logos and took his hands in hers.
Slowly the blazing light passed from the Great Mother to Sarapis,
encompassing them both as a sudden gust of wind stirred the Shrine of
Ascension. Gradually the light began to fade around Maya, but even as it
vanished from the goddess it more brilliantly illuminated the Logos.

The Great Mother's words were strong and final. "So it was, so shall it
be."

"So it was, so shall it be," echoed Sarapis. As his voice echoed upon
the mountaintop, the Logos was consumed in the corona of light and
disappeared.

Penned by My hand on the 19th of Glacian, in the year 613 AF.