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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Continuing the storytime of the god-game and its many players, some of whom even batted for the enemy team; as told from the bias and viewpoint of Dowjin.

>From: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/70182684/

>Last time, the group was ousted for being extra-heretical shortly after obtaining divinity, and full blown war broke out as a result. After cleaning out the domain of a rival god they discovered portals hidden within, and that their world was not the only one in the cosmos.

>Main Title: The Prince Of Elysia

Part 3A

**The Core Worlds**

What we found we named "The Core Worlds" and the planes between Pandemonium and Limbo “The Neutral Zone” which despite the name was anything but peaceful.

We then had to learn how to plot a proper planeshift; by type, distance, and planar coordinates as things spread out. In the same way that vaguely trying to teleport “to the opposite side of the world” would just as likely transmute your pieces into a mountain, you needed to know the actual way to places and also some relative coordinates to get there correctly. We came to know of most of the places in common lore, but not necessarily how to get there.

The path to heaven was still unknown, and the holy crusade we fought against was still full of impostors to the name.

Our expeditionary forces from D`nesathia established footholds in those core worlds; their names were Toril, Eberron, and Oerth. While they were of the material dimension, dipping through the planescape was still the only way to find the correct emergence points. Translocating there directly always resulted in failures commonly seen with miscalculating distance, so that was a surprising revelation.

In our planar neighborhood, Nebaron’s abyssal layer ran a leyline straight through to Tartarus and that perimeter was our main stomping ground as we gained allies and annexed the rest - with a good contest for the Howling Wastes and Limbo; while Greater Pandemonium we left mostly to Khe`lanya. We also traced the lower realms from Purgatory and The Pits down to Hell and Baator proper.

We did get about as high celestially as Vanahiem, but that realm and everything on up was Pantheon territory; and behind them lay the fabled highest heavens. We didn’t really count the demiplanes or divine strongholds, but we had those traced too.

The Great War changed how we viewed the universe, and there was no real going back. Even if we surrendered our piece of it, too many other forces were now committed to this fated battle. The discord our struggles against the Pantheon had caused, drew the attention of other outlier divinities - and we’d soon meet them for better or worse. I wondered if bringing all of these spiritual forces to a breaking point was Havarra's true vision, or just a byproduct of getting us here; but she'd brought us through on the curtails of the time of troubles which preceded us.

Each world had gone through one, all about the same time, and it was a precursor to this.

I told the gang that the kid gloves were coming off, and we were going to smite this Pantheon down before they could hurt anyone else. I told them we better also bet they were going to do the same to us.

So we accepted that it was an ugly war, and a lot of innocent people were about to get caught in the middle. But we resolved to do what was right, even knowing that. We had to save these people from being chewed up and discarded by their own 'god-kings', or else we ourselves would be next.

Not that I had a moral leg to stand on, but one thing I did; freedom, and honesty. You make a deal with us, you know what your getting yourself into, you can fight for a good future. The Pantheon however used lies to steal everyone's future away from them, making them into a powerbase and production factory like tools.

After doing some groundwork, we noticed the illusion the Pantheon had painted of a blessed time of plenty and peace among the unaffected nations. These people had no idea that they were a mere stones throw away from divines slugging it out.

So first contact didn't go too well, due to their indoctrination. Once again we were declared heretic and mistrusted. So in response we finished construction of the Planar Cannon and made preparations for everything to go wrong.

Our expanding into Port Toli in Jeklea Bay went wrong first, in the form of it being damned whole - together with the separatists of Oerth's Scarlet Brotherhood. They'd seen the light of our new era and defected from the organization proper, after having being caught between the light aligned gods and their own oppression. Their reward for choosing to repent with us was to be judged down to Baator by the Pantheon.

We were wise to this particular curse of theirs, and dispatched old friends and champions to the cause in order to disrupt this city-scaled ritual of judgement - by attacking its apostles on site. Raffa the Crusader, and Fenris the Werewolf were part of that team. They held what they could against a bloodsworn army of devils under Pantheon Gaes; before our team was denied any way of stopping it and fell back to the nearby Fort Stalherth. The closer the ritual got to completion, the more powerful devils came out. Against this endless tide they fought to the bitter last to get as many people out as we could - before countryside and all the whole lot was forcibly shifted down into damnation.

The gang and I had our hands full with The Warden at the time - a member of the Pantheon god-squad, she became relevant very quickly. In fact all our major groups had been deployed, and every one of them to a man pulled their weight.

We had a close call with Scryver, the dark elf paladin who'd sworn to me, he ran afoul of the Red Wizards in Toril while getting Rashemen onboard. Thankfully, we were able to resurrect him. Not everyone gets so lucky. Most of our Toril problems were Harper or Red Wizard related - but we had a good handle on everything else.

While tracing after The Warden we got to see for the first time the 'other front' the Pantheon was fighting on. It was only for a moment, and we didn't stick around to ask questions, but it encouraged us not to give up. We comforted each other then with the resolve - that we were gods too; and we weren’t going to go quietly into the night.
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What had happened one day was that The Warden picked a fight with us after we followed her to the edge of Vanahiem, she shifted us by divine force into her prison dimension, and then tried to seal us into The Old World with a final translocation to keep us out of the core worlds completely. The whole thing stunk like a trap, but trying to catch her alone was too good to pass up. She bit off more than she could chew though, with the whole gang being there and all. She wanted to port us all out in one go, which told me she didn't have the power to recast her miracles over and over, to pick us off individually - which would've been far easier if she actually had the means.

I don't know if she was just gambling, or if there was some second phase to what she was doing that was supposed to be more effective - but whatever it was we never found out. In the midst of throwing down as many barriers as we could to defend against her radiant blasts, and counterspelling her attempts to move the dimension, we were interrupted.

Something that looked like a shade teleported into existence next to her, and in one blow just splattered her. Mind you we were already wising up to how much divine combat was like playing a game of catch-the-fireball. Moment to moment the most destructive smiting power imaginable could end someone. There were a few ways to slow it down, but that usually involved suppressing all the auras down, including your own. But this guy didn't even dispel her barriers. He just punched clean through them.

That made the Pantheon of Twelve now The Pantheon of Ten after losing Luridrazigal and The Warden; and we didn't miss the hint that someone other than us had been laying into them pretty hard - like this thing just did. Whatever it was, however, it was cloaked in terror and darkness; and not in the good 'at-least-he's-on-our-side' way. All of our divine premonitions were screaming that we were about to be next.

With the veil on her dimension lifted by the death of it's creator, we translocated out, and immediately gave the order to activate the Planar Cannon and channel it directly onto our old location.

There were some strange lights and warping noises that our scrying detected within the prison realm as our weapon began to channel, but there was no bang or any great explosion. Our transentient senses simply winked out - and rather suddenly at that. Then Destamona told us that the Warden's dimension was gone.

So we asked her how much was left or if we could salvage the now empty realm. She said we must not have been listening to her, that it was gone. It didn't just punch through the realm, but her wide-area scrying was now telling her that the prison-realm didn't even exist anymore. It was completely gone. The physical and spiritual materials didn't even have time to be destroyed, she explained, before the planar boundaries were torn and the whole thing collapsed in on itself. The tidal forces of that dimensional hole had torn it free from the planar axis and then, in the same instant it collapsed, spewed out nothing but a burst of energy into the astral medium between realms. It was utterly destroyed.

The Warden's dimension was known to be pretty huge too, so this struck us with a sort of awe. And also anxiety. We couldn't use this thing in dimensions we were in, or wanted to keep, or had an unpierced veil - that was a tricky part unique to every channeling and unique to every world, some were easier than others to pierce and some reconstituted themselves faster than others by comparison.

We asked Destamona then if we got the shade that had shown up, and she shrugged, saying there was no real way to confirm it. We reflected on the collateral damage, but we did what we had to. None of us wanted to be next in line for the god-punch buffet.

Hitsito then began his next major project, which was allowing humanity to weaponize the same forces we were throwing around into something more portable than the Planar Cannon, and to reduce it's destructive power into practical applications. He took one look at the magic which flew cargo transports in the Eberron world and said divine barriers were the answer to how vulnerable they are to enemy magic and line of sight. Hitsito spent a lot of time there I recall, and he said if we did the reverse of what the other gods were doing, and share rather than hoard - even deplete our powers to bless his creations - he said he knew how to make a second generation of cannons that could turn the war.

Golems and artifact constructs were nothing new, but he envisioned artificing some sieging vessels that could translocate like we did, fly like we did, deploy the same abilities we did, and militarize the common people. As it stood, unless you'd been born with or seized some kind of supernatural talent, you would be useless outside of living a common life. This made a magus or artifact hunter the greatest thing a pure-human could ever hope to be.

While Hitsito camped over in that world, it was actually over in Toril where we had most of our conflicts, either from cutting off the Pantheon's religion through temple raids, or escorting our geomancers to secure our own resources of earthnode or faerzress infused ore through new and often time hostile cultures.

There were countless actions, throughout countless worldy kingdoms and extraplanar realms, and the greatest cosmic forces we could muster were thrown upon one another in battles which split the skies and left scars across the lands. Yet all of this mayhem was merely a jockeying for position, until either we, or them, could finally be cornered.

We fought on, and lamented over how to break free the cities that the Pantheon had damned down below, because we couldn’t use the Pact Primeval like they could.

During this, there were three key events that decided the fate of Toril, and tipped the balance in our favor.

One at Moongleam Tower, in which our offensive failed. Due not to any failure in the siege but one of divine tactics and of wish-weaving the influence of multiple divine thrones together. We learned what to expect when they had a dug in position from this - getting them to tip their hand here was critical for us in how we later understood how to penetrate their best defenses when we’d later take things to their home-realm. Nothing tastes quite as sour as losing good people and still having to retreat but, discretion is the better part of Valor.

The second was at Mithral Hall, where Daies and the gang liberated a city of locals who had been victims of the Pantheon's zealotry. They had a run in with Beast, one of the enemy god-squad, and as a group dealt him a mortal wound which drove him off. Daies and them recruited a demigod and several heroes in the bargain; after favor from the people swayed to us and my old dwarven comrade Aecus.

Third was The Bay Of Dreams in the underways of that world, a part of the Glimmersea - where I was after some of the local ore Hitsito wanted. It was a lot like my old home, and it made me question our true origins as I saw familiar races in each supposedly different world and realm. When I located the absolutely massive underhall and it's glowing subterranean lake I knew I'd found the spot with the right minerals. I remember the pool being ankle to calf deep for about a hundred yards or so before dropping off. Rocky, and not sandy.

My guess had been that it was a safe mission to go on alone while we were split up. I was able to cloak my divinity, not make a big ruckus, just get in and get out you know? The halls I was under were, hopefully, throwing enough magical interference up that nobody would know I was there even if my stealth failed.

Then The Knight Of Endless Glories exploded into reality about five yards in front of me. He had a bannered spear this time, and there was no way to see his features beneath all his armors. Either they had intelligence on us of a whole other level, or we had a rat.

My reaction speed and his choice of wishes saved me, as we lunged toward one another. His first move was to blanket the local area with a bound field of his own divine aura and effectively lock it off from translocation in order to trap me. Mine was to empower my blade with a thirst for vengeance, it's cuts hungry for the spirit of him who wronged me. I was only going to get one or two shots at this, so I poured everything into those opening moves.

The second was summoning my divine aegis, and armor-over-armor which warped in over my traveling clothes, and in so doing quit cloaking my power. At the same time as this he was bellowing that my blasphemous arts wouldn't save me, charging me with impossible speed, and thrusting his pole-sized spear for my chest as he yelled about Smiting an evil creature like myself. As in capitol S, Smite, not just a random offensive I'd compare to smiting.

I was too slow to block.

There was just no comparison between me and this guy, and the divine power coursing through his spear would have been enough to sunder reality, something was about to break and I knew it was going to be me. And then the strangest thing happened.

His spear shattered upon contacting my breastplate, and flashed with primordial energy.

Though the impact of it was thankfully blunted by whatever unknown force had saved me, the rest of it still hit like a warhammer. I sucked it up, since I wasn't impaled and it really wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was screaming in kind as I lifted my sword up, and then brought it down into the elbow of his dominant arm as he was still leaning into that thrust.

He was sputtering about how impossible it was, and how evil I was, even as my own vengeful
blessings smashed his arm and broke it. The damage done was more than physical, gaining me an edge over this overwhelmingly superior fighter.

I pressed the attack in a way such that I had already accepted my death. I had to take him down, so no one else had to pay the price of meeting him. The gladius he pulled out then was also a blessed weapon, and even off-hand he beat me back several times. I'd throw myself at him again and get stabbed for the trouble. His blows were denting and piercing my aegis, and I knew it wouldn't last for long.

I had to hit him harder. I had to hit him faster. In between blows we traded wishes to destroy one another. His lightening bolt scorched me, almost making me black out but I refused to give in. My dragonfire became a deific beam of judgement, but under his broken barriers and the smoke of that beam having burned him he swore he would save the Unified Kingdoms from us. I don't know how much he really meant that, but I remember looking at that hypocrite and seeing nothing but red.

I remember he was bleeding blue, and we left a trail of colors in the pool we fought across, his miracles keeping him alive, my regeneration refusing to let me die. I reminded myself he wasn't truly immortal, I reminded myself that none of them were.

The final blow was just a matter of perfect timing. My tail caught his ankle as I pressed him back, I pulled, and then leapt up to mount him on the way down. I drove my sword halfway to the hilt into his visor, sent a curse straight into his skull, and after the splash of us landing, he was still.

A supernatural hunger rumbled within me, and an instinct to eat called out to me. I seized it with the Succubus Fangs, and feasted. His divine spark was mine, I didn't even care about all the blood I was loosing.

I stood up woozy, and then sent a prayer to the gang letting them know what happened as soon as his planar barrier had finally faded. I quaffed some potion for the sake of time, as stupidly expensive as ours were, and marked the cavern for geomancy before porting back to Nebaron.

After getting back it was Destamona who was the one most interested in the story, as if she had some special insight into it. She was saying that the spirits held the answers.

Being surrounded by invisible and unknown spirits was a normal thing for us, if I took the time to focus on and identify every spectre I felt nearby I'd never be able to do so much as cross the palace courtyard let alone sleep or rest. Most people have no idea the sheer number of souls around them, passing on their journeys to other realms, invisibly, silently, constantly. But after hearing that a power to slay evil had been deflected off of me, Destamona said there was something I needed to see, and held a seance with me.
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I asked her if that would really tell me if I was good or evil? I asked her what it meant that The Knight wasn't able to Smite me? But she refused to answer, saying only that she had to show me in order for me to believe it.

She took me to a circle of power within the upper halls, and with her transcendent arcane arts she gave form to the invisible things around me. She said she'd been wondering why my aura was so light ever since I'd been brought back, and that she at first suspected it was related to Tel`ryn.

As for me, I tried to be good, I wanted to call myself good. But I'd also been called the Butcher of Black Hills and a lover of unclean races. I'd consorted with dark powers and brought their schemes to the mortal realms. I'd made excuses endlessly for Daies as I convinced myself that he'd changed for the better because of it, and even more excuses for myself. There was no way my bloodstained hands were pure.

She said I needed to be real thankful, and I asked her why? She asked me to be quiet, and then kept channeling, a third figure in our circle becoming more and more tangible.

I squinted as if I thought it would help, waiting for it to take form.

Then she showed me the lingering spectre of my brother, Sahzralaith, and I lost it.

I just covered my mouth, feeling like a kid again and plopping down.

She explained that there was an incredibly strong Paladin, who loved his little brother very much.

He put off his own judgement by casting a curse upon himself to be bound to me when he’d died, and had endured my own death and returning.

He had willingly taken upon himself the responsibility and blame of every evil act I’d done, even if it meant he'd be loosing his own place in the higher realms.

And every single day he was casting atoning spells for me, from his side of the veil. Even as he'd watched what I did, he never skipped a day.

She said that bringing me back had likely saved the both of us.

I stifled my emotions for the sake of my pride, and for the most part was able to resist bawling, but there was no hiding the tears. Years of just accepting how terrible death was, and how few people made it back had been a grim reality. I tried not to think about the past, but here I was staring it in the face. I had never missed my brother so much as I did then. I was so sure that he was so long gone that even in the afterlife I'd never be able to see him again. Yet he had been with me the whole time.

I made Destamona swear not to tell anyone, and that was the day I was reunited with the ghost of my brother.

His mind, and existence, had been washed thin with death. He didn't speak or interact much, it was probably all he could do to hold on to me. The one thing I remember he was able to say back then was that he was sorry he wasn't able to raise me all the way; and also he said that what happened wasn't my fault. It took a long time for me to figure out exactly what fault he was referring to, but he took responsibility for me all the same.
>break time

To resume when connection allows or in the early morning.

Feedback or questions welcome, although I don't have all the answers to this part due to split DMing.

After recovering, I was filled with a new determination to end the divisions of our cruel universe. There would be a new age of peace and acceptance. I wasn't fully sure yet how to pacify the bitter resentment all of the darker forces felt for having been mistreated, nor how to get all creation to forgive the blasphemies of the past, in fact it all started to seem too big for me. But I was sure of one thing. If there was a soul among us who actually deserved to dwell in the heavens, then it was Sahz, and I was going to take us there.

Daies approached me after our next war council, and asked me when I was going to wise up to whose side Khe`lanya was on. I asked him what he was talking about and he explained that it was me who had been targeted both times. Both times I was in a secure place where no one should have known where I was.

He cooked up a conspiracy about why Khe`lanya's realm had gone quiet, which I didn't believe. But then he showed me a vial of blood, belonging to one of his closest vampiric thralls, Draven, which I did believe. I knew that behind his cold exterior he actually cared about his closest friends, and I knew he wasn't lying when he told me to scry that blood so I could see Khe`lanya destroying Draven and then summoning a gateway into the celestial realms.

She'd cut some kind of deal with them, and it sickened me to realize all the pieces fit. I of course could do nothing about it, if I were to be in her presence I knew I wouldn't be able to think about anything but her; and even now part of me was screaming that it couldn't be true.

I didn't know how to deal with the revelation, and I stewed on it with Daies. He was right to insist we had to do something, but I was lost as to what. There were so many pitfalls in a contest between gods. Hesitate to act, act unpreparedly, let on you know information; doing could get you killed just as fast as not-doing. Daies asked me who I was going to trust, him or Khe`lanya.

I'd always thought I was prepared to face betrayal at the hands of a she-devil, I knew what I was signing up for. But now that the test was at hand I faced the very real dilemma over how much I trusted Khe`lanya. But with Draven getting six'ed in a way even vampires don't come back from, I had to do something. And that something was trusting Daies.

In the end I turned over all kinds of authorities and forces of my own over to him. On purpose I then blinded myself to his plans, and told him to do what he does best. Every blessing the gang and I could give him was then bestowed.

Soon after that, I heard he had shifted into battle with our combined armies, to meet Khe`lanya on her home turf - or at least the closest location I could give him. I considered the deed he was about to do, and the odds of him being able to take down our old benefactor. But he said he could do it, and to believe in him. I think that was the first time our daring hopes became a real and tangible faith.

I felt the need to see it for myself then, so I put on my arms and armor while the gang was distracted. Then I shifted over to take to the field personally. It wasn't right if I couldn't do it with my own hands, even if my mere presence was likely to mess things up. I felt compelled to go.

There was a strange feeling of emptiness however as I joined the assault on Khe`lanya's snowy realm. I cloaked my presence and blended in with the rank and file as I picked the line that looked like it was struggling the most and helped them breach her fortifications.

I didn't know what to think at first, but the gang had been convinced that her corruption had damaged a lot more than just me, and would continue to if unchecked. Her treachery was just the evidence they’d been waiting for, despite how it was clearly her who shared the secrets of divinity together with us in the first place. I was so confused, but I had to trust them to come out of this fog. And if we were to break ourselves here? So be it. The future wasn't going to build itself, nor was it going to wait for me; if anything it raced further on ahead without me. That I had gotten lost, didn’t seem to matter.

The fighting was hard, but unlike the meat grind we thought it would be. I remember the prayer Daies sent soon after I was in, that Khe`lanya had been taken care of. I was surprised at it all, how surreal it was that a part of my life had just died and become the pages of a history book.

It took a long time to get through the daze of that knowledge, the halls I then walked through in her realm were still so familiar, and the townships beyond them held memories that were now merely that and nothing more. At once it felt like a ghost town, even with all the noise of her surrendering armies. I was finally free from her influence, but it left a taste in my mouth that reminded me of Ildash. Like mother like daughter I suppose.

I dropped my divine cloak after that and took some scouts with me to look around at some of the old altars and high places that she'd had deeper within her realms.

I wasn't sure why I felt so sorry for her, but what we discovered on the other side of her realm explained Daies' swift victory. Someone had been here before us, on the opposite approach, and completely devastated her altars and eidolons. We discovered whole sections of her realm in ruin, and I began to wonder why she hadn't told me. But now it was too late for my unasked questions.
>forgot the tripfagging


I swore to meet one day whoever had saved us by their intervention, and thank them one day for making all of this possible. I really hoped however, that it wasn't the same shade that had turned The Warden into pulp. We then conducted the standard pillaging, evacuated, and then blew that entire demiplane to nothingness with the Planar Cannon to ensure that nothing was coming back.

The Great War continued to span across several other realms from there for three more years, but I tried to steer it away from the core worlds. A wasted effort, but I tried.

Darien the Warlock paid the price for it. He was a friend of Scryver, reintroduced to us as one of Hitsito's customers. He'd been in raiding parties since D`nesathia, and we'd gotten in the habbit of just trusting him to come back alive. He'd delved an abandoned Pantheon temple when it happened; a place we found in Limbo, which was odd as far as temples go. Odd also usually meant rich in forgotten secrets. So in he went with Sir Robert the Arcpriest and Sir William the Paladin. He'd missived us about how he found a leyline map that we wouldn't believe, but we never got to see it. Something they did tipped off The Harbinger Of Hatred, and as all three of them gated back to Nebaron for safety; only Robert and William emerged.

This earned that particular member of the enemy god-squad the baleful focus of the coven of Tel`ryn's sisters, who plotted with Scryver how to crack open Hatred's realm.

During a return trip from the outer realm of Carceri, we were smuggling some high profile defectors out of the Pantheon's sphere of influence - figuratively castrating Hatred - and Tel`ryn was with me since her and her sisters had made this all possible. She told me that she didn't want to come at first, nor for me to go. That she just wished we could stay in Nebaron and be happy there by ourselves. I was looking out of the tiny window in our cramped passenger room, since we were babysitting a flying cargo vessel through the planar boundaries.

So after she said that to me, I asked why she changed her mind then; she said that she'd thought about what it took for her to be set free. Some stranger, took on the quest of her mother in exchange for a dream that might never come true. I told her I was pretty strange, she said she liked that about me. I told her that making everyone realize the truth was going to be more painful than winning this war. She said it was a good dream.

We talked about the truth and about love, about eternal beings and how to guarantee a truly everlasting paradise. We talked about a home for our loved ones, and gathering all peoples into our family. She said all these other people still weren't worthy of the blood of our family being spilled for them - she'd thought that before and still kind of did; but she said their fate was so sad that she really wanted to help them now.

Hatred then found his sanctuary in Limbo unsupported by the neighboring leyline to Carceri. He must have been awful confused when we gatecrashed his realm, and no help showed up. We beat him to death within an antimagic cascade. Him and his honor guard of Gaes'ed devils.

There came a time when we thought the war was nearing it's end, Hitsito and Destamona were doubling down on forbidden high arcana. They got into an arms race with a Pantheon that had lost their footing, and won. A couple Pantheon gods - Axiom and Radiance - were humbled by a broadside of Destroyer Cannons when they made their debut. Another two - Myth and The Weaver - fell to Daies and I as we hunted their scattered remnants across the Core Worlds.

Daies was outfitted the best of us all, the least of all his wonders was a sword that could turn into one hundred arcane blades. I remember he said the queerest things back then, after we'd thinned out the enemy god-squad. He came up to me one day and was bragging that Hitsito had repaired his go-watch. I asked him what the heck that was, and he said it was like a stopwatch, but instead of stopping time it let you go through time. I laughed and asked him if he could go back and fix all my mistakes then.

The Planar Cannon was used one more time during the next year to take out one of the last surviving members of the Pantheon, The Colossus - together with his stronghold and everyone in it.

He was the one who struck down Aecus, when Aecus defended a sympathetic Rashemen in Toril.

Colossus had thought to flee after that.

Our fury was righteous, and to hell with the collateral; I'm glad that realm is gone.

In the end, four of the enemy god-squad were completely unaccounted for, and after two months of searching and not being able to find them we reduced the combat readiness of our realms to take a short break.
Nice blog. Go tell your epic story on reddit where someone will care.

Everyone was fried, and I wanted to give Aecus a better sending off than the rushed honors typical of our champions. So I held an interim celebration to thank the greatest contributors to our cause, and hold real ceremony for the dead. It was a low key festival, organized into two dates so the active duty soldiers could rotate into participating, in addition to a feast day that I was sure would pick our morale up. Not that anyone lacked zeal, but so many of us had forgotten what peace even felt like.

This was when Daies revealed to me that we had another traitor, and spoiled the mood. My general and right-hand-man, Drake - a full blooded silver dragon, had been stealing portions of alliance supplies, artifacts, even prayers and followers; and the evidence was right there in his own realm. He was trying to put himself into a position where he could one day surpass or replace us. I normally wouldn't mind someone bettering themselves but he was undermining us to do it. By this time we'd expanded a little so each Lord in the alliance had a small realm branching off of Nebaron.

We talked about what to do about it, and he showed me an artifact he’d had forged, a pistol with the name “BEOVULF” engraved along its metal brace. He said it was a dragonslayer; an idea I immediately rejected. So we brainstormed for a nonlethal way to pacify our usurper.

The feast time was a gay affair, and well received. For a brief time we forgot about our troubles amidst the performers of our time and the distractions of the games at Faire. We celebrated life, the same everyone was fighting for; and the gang challenged each other at more than a few contests. In specific we spiked some wine with holy water so Daies and I could have a proper drinking contest. I hadn't seen everyone laugh like that in a while, it was a good time.

On the second day we sobered, and while everyone else continued in their merrymaking Daies and I went off to slip some of the rarest antimagic material we had into Drake's portion of the dinner dessert, which would nullify him for life due to its unique properties. We entrusted its delivery to Daies' servant Dansuko, and then after dinner we waited - and once he'd eaten it we made a toast to call him out on his foul play.

Rather than an explosive outburst, or the excuses we had been expecting, he silently rose and then silently left. He’d worn a poker face the whole time, and whether it was for sorrow or hatred we didn't speak. Drake's lack of violence is what spared him a harsher sentence, but all the same he left after that and no one in that realm ever heard from him after that.

After this time we started to see a lot more movement from the other independent gods, and even the demon Lords.

No one seemed interested in starting another fight right away however, just a whole lot of consolidating. They were gathering their peoples to do something, for sure, but nothing really happened.

A lot of people were scared about what a new age without The Pantheon would mean. And to be honest we were too. After absorbing and distributing so many deific thrones, we could either limit ourselves and remain who we were, or embrace the Thrones fully and have our minds changed on fundamental levels to embody the very power we wished to master. We would cease to be who we were, and become a force of nature bent on propagating the wishes of each Throne. Avarice for avarice, love for love, chivalry for chivalry, and more, so many wishes that would either be used - or use us.

The Pantheon had laid somewhere off the deep end of all that corruption, and I warned us all not to make their mistake. There still laid higher heavens, and who knows how many worlds across our great universe. There was no need to hasten down that path. We'd stick to a few of the most powerful Thrones and slowly consume more as we needed. The remainder would be bound to Hitsito's projects and The Library Destamona was working on - she was designing magic that could come alive or automatically cast itself. It was a little watered down way to use deific power, but basically effective and it kept us sane as an added bonus.

We used a little breathing room to focus more back home. We'd create a matrix of deflections, antimagic cascades, barriers, and even cut ourselves off from major gateways in order to design a three-step shell of protection for Nebaron called the Aetherlock, we even disaligned Shivan De`Harren from the planar axis to create a way to completely cut it off even if Nebaron fell, and the coordinates for a correct alignment were only shared with myself, Daies, Hitsito, Destamona, and Tel`ryn who let her family know.

About a month after we were done with that, around the time of the new moon, D`nesathia began to have partial eclipses that gradually became more and more full everyday. But it wasn't the time nor year for it, something had changed in the heavens.

Druidic orders spread word that the starry hosts were out of position, the various magi said the moon wasn't where it was supposed to be, and the followers of the Goddess-In-The-Moon complained that she had gone silent.

Destamona was looking into this freak phenomenon most, as she was affected by this shift in magic floes more than us. She came to a startling discovery after checking if the Pantheon had known anything about this, and brought up one of their oldest prophecies. The one related to why they were so paranoid about the old world since this all began.

The prophecy of the rising of a literal evening star wasn't exactly what they meant with their warning. A certain power predating the Pantheon, along with details lost in translation, had written that they would be undone by the forces of darkness, and in the days that followed all light would become evening at the rising of the moon which brought out the stars, and then the stars would rain down to reclaim what was once theirs.

>End Part 3A

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