He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6
Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII
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There was a clash.
For the first time in creation, the wrath of the gods themselves were poured out onto each other with nothing but the intention of destruction guiding their hands. The humans had warred many times before, but they knew nothing of power laid bare, nor the delicate touch of godflesh and divine steels. They would have been awed. They would have been horified.
Pruinus hefted the Reaping Sword into the smoky air, and let her momentum bring the blade crashing down. Azazel/Go'El held his gauntleted fists in a cross and caught the force of the blade, splitting the ground beneath him. The gauntlets were scarred, but held true. Shadowy tentacles lashed out from the blade and drove themselves through the armor chinks. Patches of frostbitten and dead flesh fell out, and were followed by thick blood. The sword seemed to have a life all its own.
Under the weight of the sword, Azazel/Go'El spoke with hate-twisted conviction.
"WHY DID YOU BETRAY ME?! Was it scorn? Was it greed? Jealosy?! The First gave me a place! And you would not let me have it?! You are right! You wanted me dead, but I will reclaim what is mine, Firstborn betrayer!"
Then Azazel/Go'El went on the offensive. His arms swung swiftly and with force, hoping to divert her attention to too many places at once. But freezing buffeting winds drove most of his blows off. The most he able to do was to batter her, rather than injure her.
"Do you regret, Pruinus?" he challenged with mouthfuls of blood. "Then destroy what you have made! Destroy Agni! Destoy Leaf! And then destroy yourself! Your crimes are unforgivable."
The edges of his form began to discorperate into noxious fumes that blended into the violent tempest winds. The boiling groundwater began to surge and swirl along her footsteps, slowing her down. But it was not long after each step that the water froze and she moved effortlessly through. Both sides landed a flurry of blows, and refused to give in to the other's will.
The battle continued.
Artun vowed that some day he'd have to figure out who this Pruinus god was and thank him or her for making his task so much easier. It was so much easier when people cooperated without asking pesky questions. With the tiny god prepared and mounted, Artun nodded and headed off south. The little god followed, and they two crossed the heavens in a hurry. As they went, Artun tried to explain the situation without betraying himself too much. The fire god and he were searching for something odd in the south. Agni went into a cave, and the cave consumed him. Concerned, he (Pruinus) had gone straight to Leaf (just a little white lie) for help, knowing that the small god would never let any wrong to befall his family (as far as Artun knew, that was the truth).When at last they arrived, Artun took some time searching through the many caves. Could this little god help Agni? He hoped so. But what if they took him as well? Should he help? Could he help? He was sure that his master would do unspeakable things to him, if he was caught."There," he said finally, pointing at one particularly dark cave. "That is where Agni went into. But... be careful. It is an unspeakable place."
Leaf's little mount trembled as it set paw inside the cavern. In the feel of the floor, the scent of the room, the dripping of moisture, it could tell that it was not welcomed here. But, its rider urged it forward, and when Leaf commanded, life obeyed.
The cavern waited.
The little god looked over his shoulder again, and reluctantly Artun followed, each footstep trembling. He knew that the master would strike. It was a question of when, and if this god could fight it off.
The little fireflies provided just enough light to see horrible shapes by.
And as quick as thought, tendrils whipped out from the walls and bound Artun, violently pulling him to a wall and securing his hands, feet, and silencing his mouth. Within moment, the only thing exposed of the god was his eyes, and even those were forced open, so that he was forced to watch.
Psuedopods reached for Leaf as well.