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 Chapter XIX: 

Zezhelanzunui collided with the shield with a rippling sound that brought with it a pained shriek from her and a wave of rippling destruction that reverberated through Azarath itself. The monster that stood forth laughed, a squelching slopping sound as its claws dug into the metal environment around it, carving deep grooves. Cthylla then leaned forward, and in a great cloud of greenish smoke the monster from primordial times and elder days beyond the Veil vanished and Xaderavcal once more rose in her stead. Seeing the same figure I'd come into conflict with, my eyes widened. The resemblance to Zee was eerie, save that where Zee perpetually laughed and joked as a wild and ravening beserker champing at the bit, the eyes that looked out from that face were cold and calculating with a strange and eerie detachment. 

The monster's eyes, I realized with a sudden stab of fear, looked out from the face of Xaderavcal. Smiling, again speaking in that strange and I realized strangely-accented use of our Father's tongue, she said: 

You call yourself the God of this age? You are but a vain and strutting monster, aspiring to power beyond your reach! I have seen the kind of power you aspired to wielded by one able to wield it, no mere abomination of madness and quiet despair howling in madness and praised by the remnants of once-living beings left only their flesh as relics of who they were! 

Then the monster's eyes widened, and Xaderavcal spoke: 

And you are the one who took my mortal incarnation and made her into.....

Her hand thumped her chest and the mutilated flesh on her face growled with a strange kind of vibration that in another context might have been comical but here marked a sign of dread. 


This! 

Her eyes narrowed. 

I shall punish you properly, Azar of Azarath, Zazhalzanai, who takes to yourself a name not yours! Igna of Domdaniel, I bid you rise! 

Azarath changed with an eerie wind that howled through it for a moment, and the world around me glowed with a strange light. The vain and strutting monster that had been my sister was gone for a moment in time, and a shattered, crying wreck was left, curled in a fetal position moaning and begging for forgiveness and to never turn into the monster that she was then. 

Xaderavcal looked at her, and for a moment the rage and anger softened, and she knelt by the crying Zazhalanzanai. 

If I could release you from the curse upon your flesh and blood, if I could slough off the pieces of the monster without the result being something still more unhallowed than this, I would. You retain sanity amidst the chaos and death that surrounds you, and hold on to that. Your  destiny is yet to be fully written. From your evil is born the hammer of doom that scours the unholy, and from your evil is born the shadow that walks and clouds even the light of the moon that makes the night glorious. 

Fate is the cruelest and the sternest of masters. And it, my father learned to his cost, is the only master that matters. 

And she stayed with the crying wreck, who remained there for hours, until the sobs stopped and she then sat up. 

So there is no hope even with the spawn of the stormer of the Gates of the Gods? 

No, no hope. 

Please, forgive me for whatever I do, when I don't remember who you are. You at least tell me, as did my father, truth. 

And we stayed with her until the change began and then Xaderavcal vanished in a strange shimmering, as I did within a cloud of darkness. The cloud dispelled as I saw standing by me both Zee and then the Lightdancer, each of whom gestured to me to go over to them. And so I did. 

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