The Age of Black Woe: Parts V and VI

In Lupar of 922 AF, the Pantheon arrayed Themselves in all the blinding regalia of immortality and marched to war upon the distant plane of Memory. With the Lord Commander at Their front and an army of Demigods and Celani at Their heels, even the oldest of Adversaries could agree on one thing: They would give Their all for Creation.

They remembered too well what had come before. The victories. The losses. And as They remembered so too did the transporting mists of Memory, separating some of the Elders from the strength of Their collective. Lorielan, the Jade Empress. Gaia, the Earthmother. Valnurana, Maiden of Dreams. Scarlatti, the Great Bard.

Death loomed ahead, and as They remembered a name and figure clarified from the depths of Their ageless recollection, manifesting as none other than Lord Thoth, the Endbringer. In brooding repose upon the Throne of Death, He was as They had last seen Him, a titan of ebon flame and inviolable will whose far-reaching grasp was, at one time, Inevitable.

Lorielan remembered Thoth. He had stood firm against Her in refusing the ambition of the first Triumvirate, even if it meant the demise of His Quisalis.

Valnurana remembered Thoth. The souls of mortalkind slipped through Her fingers as they faded into the night, and there He had always waited patiently to collect them.

Gaia remembered Thoth like no Other. He too had understood the natural passage of Time, the sanctity of Life, and the plague of Undeath. He would never have broken the Cycle to return to Them, for it was He who had shown Her that all things have their end.

But They could not move Him to stay His scythe, nor could the cold logic spoken by Lorielan as She told of His end at the scheming hands of Prince Slith. Unto the moment of His death, the Lord of Souls had known no other charge but this. Scourged by cataclysm and arrested by song, He persisted through Divine assault and plea, battling His Brother and Sisters in the fog as They raced to reconcile Their own remembrance of Him.

Finally They could evade Him no longer. As the reaping scythe of bone in the Endbringer’s many hands fell upon the Great Bard, the Goddess of Sleep and Dreams performed Her great sacrifice. She suffered beneath the blow meant for Him. It carved through the nightmare contained by Her Dream, and blackest horror spilled out through the rifts in the Prime Material.

“Valnurana!” screamed Scarlatti to the wounded Maiden in His arms. Somewhere in the distance, a multitude of cries echoed through the veil of Memory and beyond.

The Gods were gone, but not forgotten.

Far below Them, on Sapience and Meropis, across the vast Chelic Ocean and the Sea of Strife, all had felt the wound rendered upon the Dreamrealm. Flocks of birds dropped like stones from the crimson skies, and as they fought to stay awake, thousands upon thousands of mortals looked up to the sundered heavens and prayed.

Scarlatti remembered Thoth. His was the name of a sonnet written for the dearly departed. He was the epitaph. The tear-soaked memorial. The last hastily penned letter of words left unsaid and promises silently kept, the parchment unread in a locked drawer gathering dust. He remembered hearing Thoth, faceless behind His mask, smile through His speech once. He remembered. He remembered.

And as He remembered, He sang. His golden voice rose slowly at first, ringing out with all sincerity and sorrow in the cavernous breadth of His loss. He sang until the feeling in Him was hoarse, and with every piercing note, the regret in the Great Bard’s euphonious voice cracked the panes of Memory with His dirge for the fallen God. At last, the God of Death froze and considered where He was, a spectre displaced out of Time and reason, haunted by the magnitude of His Siblings’ grief.

Whom were They grieving?


Realisation dawned on Thoth as He listened to the lament of the Divine Song. With that clarion thought His memory once more ceased to be, leaving the Others to contend with His absence. Again.

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Summary: As the Divine advanced Their campaign on Memory, four Elder Gods were waylaid by the memory of Thoth, the Endbringer. Though Death was thwarted and ultimately sung to His rest by Scarlatti’s gift, the Goddess Valnurana was gravely wounded. Elsewhere, mortality prayed to all Divinity and began to truly amass their forces.

On the 16th of Phaestian 922 AF the settlement of Tir Murann was threatened by Yggdrasil’s corrupted brambles.

It began like all battles do; the pawns made the first move. Cultists, assassins, and bladesworn of the Vigil descended in flashes of crimson lightning, their blades poised for combat and eyes hungry for blood. But Sapience’s now-united warriors were prepared, and they were ready. The battle raged.

Sapience’s warriors made swift work of the Vigil zealots as they marched through the Vertani settlement in a blaze of swords, claws, and crackling magic. The pawns were slain, but their defeat was only a preview of the danger ahead. Sarava Axor rose from the earth to meet her foes in battle again.

The heavens bled crimson in the clash between Sapience and the Haemomancer. With kris in hand, the sanguine sorceress cut through armies of Greater Dragons as she bathed in blood. Her might was well known, but so too was her strategy. Persevering through death after death, the defenders of Sapience rose to meet the challenge, and Sarava Axor was forced to retreat out of the fray.

With the brambles of Yggdrasil now unguarded, the dragons of Sapience gathered together and opened their maws wide. White-hot flame poured over the fell briars as they tapped into something deep within their flesh, a Fire blazing far beyond Creation. It burned away their scales, melted claws and fangs until nothing was left beside ash and the mortal frames of those who willingly sacrificed their dragonsouls.

Tir Murann was saved.

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Summary: The settlement of Tir Murann was assaulted by the brambles of a corrupted Yggdrasil. Sapience rallied together and defeated Sarava Axor, allowing them to burn away the brambles and save Tir Murann from destruction.