Battle of Former Lovers

This war has been waged for thousands of days.

I have battled throughout Sarcadia alongside my father and my sisters.

I have fought Succubi and Efreet in Un’Kabaal and combatted Lycans and Verminkin in Alibrium.

I have slayed Hobgoblins and Orcs in Tarana and dispatched Ogres, Arachnoids and Harpies in Dektundra.

The number of dead on both sides has mounted heavily.

The number of wounded greater.

Yet it was today, the final battle of this long weary war, that yielded the goriest result.

So much blood tainted the marshy grounds of Stagnum.

But the crimson spilled was not from the thousands slaughtered on the battlefield.

It came from the deep, unforgiving wounds inflicted between the All-Father and the Dark Mother.

I have not seen my father so irate before.

One gaze upon Tenebris’ new master triggered my father’s wrath.

He had not seen Elysia since he damned her to the Realm of Shadows.

He had only heard what she had become.

I stood by him when his eyes fell upon his former lover.

No longer was she the beautiful maiden who had captivated the heart of a Supreme Lord.

Though her upper body retained most of her human features, her lower body was that of a monster.

Her putrid ovipositor produced the ravenous fiends she called “her children”.

She scurried around the battlefield on a hundred centipede-like legs.

A vile and gaping maw sat below her torso.

It gnashed its hideous rows of teeth and lashed out with its many long, dark tongues.

Snatching and devouring both the living and the dead.

I am re-assured that Father was paralysed, even if just briefly, in fear.

To think that him laying with this woman resulted in her rebirth as Tenebris’ sinister Goddess.

When the shock had faded, my father and Elysia engaged in combat.

There was no honour.

There was no respect.

There was only hatred.

They clashed bitterly throughout the battlefield.

Elysia showed no regard for the safety of her warriors.

The same can be said of my father.

The Dark Mother cared not about the battles she lost.

The All-Father cared not about the victories he won.

There was only the death of their enemy.

Anyone who attempted to intervene were showed little mercy.

One Caelestial was impaled by the Supreme Lord’s spear for interfering in the duel.

It was as if my father was the only one he thought worthy of killing Elysia.

So much blood.

So much pain.

Each vengeful strike delivered was riddled with spite.

Both had their reasons.

For my father, it was the murder of his first born.

For Elysia, it was the betrayal of the Supreme Lord.

Neither would surrender.

Nor did one slay the other.

The Dark Mother was forced to retreat before her portal to Tenebris collapsed.

The All-Father was forced to allow his former lover to escape.

The fury in his eyes could have burned through the thickest steel.

Had it been anyone but Abagael who stopped my father, I swear he would have torn of their head with his bare hands.

The battle had been won.

The war had been won.

But I know my father was not satisfied with the victory.

He will never be satisfied until he fashions the skull of the Dark Mother into a trophy.

— “The Octavian Monologues: Battle of Former Lovers”, Bruce Boward, 218 AO

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