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 Chapter XXII: 

IX Tezelnakazu: 

The Worldbreaker's roars were not those of the silver-armored figure, the juggernaut who casually floored Gods and Monsters alike as was the will of the Outer Gods, their sole condescending recognition that some level of mortality served an unfathomable to it place in the omniverse. They were the bellowing and monstrous echoes of madness, of an entity steeped in death as a means to aid the dying overwhelmed by too much death in too short a time. The Starspawn roared in itself, its monstrous hands smashing into the armored form of the Worldbreaker, the gelatinous tissue splattering and reforming and doing no harm but only serving to make the Worldbreaker still more angry. The collision had driven them over the Pass of Gold to the coast of the immense sea by it. With a sudden overpowering dive, the Worldbreaker hurled the Starspawn down, the impact creating a colossal crater and permanently scarring the coast of the Imperial Bizjarran Throneworld. Registered globally on Richter scales, the impact and the awakened forces led psychics to shriek for years about the burning star that fell from heaven holding the concentrated might and malevolence of unfathomably long-lost eras. 

The oceans balked and broiled around the impact, waves rattled and storming along the coast of the islands of Hataria beyond, the Starspawn growling in pain and agony as its body lay before the entity that in spite of the almost absurd size-difference held it in a grip of iron. The claws resumed their butcher's work, and the Starspawn assailed the Worldbreaker with waves of force that would have annihilated many lesser things. The very invulnerability that made the Worldbreaker wielder of the deadly lightning-infused clouds meant the blows registered with pain but did not scratch the surface. Instead the Smoke roiled out in clouds, searing open entire parts of the Starspawn. Nine suns glowed a terrible blue light, glowing with a deep and deadly hate. 

A monstrous hand lunged forth to grasp the Worldbreaker, whose rumbling howl followed with a vicious squelching sound as the gelatinous hand was thrown beyond in the Valley, smearing itself across a mountain even as it sought to reform. The Starspawn spoke a Word ancient even to its kind, a Word of last resort that was supposed to destroy anything that heard it. Yet even here the invulnerable power of the Worldbreaker held, though the entity briefly stopped and hacked up blood, the hatred growing and blazing with still more power. 

Above them the skies turned to constellations of the sky around the Citadel of Temple Azarath, dreams and visions seared through the mind of those not already affected by the terrible clash in the Pass of Gold, by repeated world-wide seismic patterns, by the realization that entire military forces of millions had been wiped out in a single terrible instant. A figure formed in the wake of the visions, blonde hair whipping as did the billowing light blue cape, the sonic howl of the Starspawn followed by its reassembled hand smashing the Worldbreaker's face down briefly as it reattached to its body, the entity's raw brute strength finally permitting it to jostle the briefly-shaken Worldbreaker. 

Then it paused and gazed in wonder at Zezhelanzanai who formed an Elder Sign known to the entity's rivals and with a sudden twisting and malforming howl of denied vengeance the entity began to shrink and dissolve in a terrible foetid odor as the Worldbreaker's aggrieved bellows continued. As Suvacel fell, green hands grasped her and weightlessness took her, along with a sad and lingering: 

"What have we done to ourselves?" She never understood the question until years later. 

The Worldbreaker's mindless howls echoed as Zezhelanzanai stood before it with Vincent on her right, recognizing in wonder the Witch-Queen of Domdaniel. As the entity glared at her with an even more intense and almost palpable hatred, the Witch-Queen spoke an ancient incantation: 

That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death shall die. 

The death-madness fled and Deborah stood once more in thin-air, hovering with her eyes closed, tears falling down her face. It had been centuries since last the madness took her and each time it struck with deadlier and deadlier force. 

She felt Vincent's metallic flesh enclose her and the chalky-white skin of the Goddess faded into the light brown skin of the human woman, and then she looked with those same eyes for a window in time at not the maddened wrath of the Azar, a terrible and mindless flame that flailed and absorbed ever more into itself but what the Azar could have been. Her own sister, speaking only: 

Forgive me for whatever I do when I do not remember.....
her hand waved to encompass all around them....the beauty of family, of friendship, and of love. You have nothing to forgive yourself, it was an act of hubris on the part of an Elder God. 

She smiled and said: 

I'll be seeing you. 

The flame of Domdaniel vanished with light already infused by a growing odor and a darker and duller shade of green and as Igna landed in the Citadel, the familiar pattern reasserted itself with an agonized howl as the Azar of Azarath rose triumphant, but saddened in ways never easy to understand. Flashes of memories that never fully formed, but one that haunted it and made it madder and wish to destroy that which was seen: 

a very human light brown face with wavy black hair smiling through a tear-strewn face and saying: Thank you. If there is ever a means to do for you as you have done for me.....

The entity howled and raged and stormed through its citadel, its anger reflected across its dimension in storms of blood and fire and pillars of smoke, things that made its pieces and servants quake and hide. Its anger blazed with heat for a month as the painful memories clawed into its head and it beat its head upon the floor. 

The Pass of the Dead: 

Xaderavcal's eyes were wide with a horror that shook others for the sight that the invulnerable and unconquerable warlord could be so....normal. So frankly terrified out of her wits. An entire Pass strewn with corpses, the wreckage of machinery scattered in helter-skelter fashion. Mountains leveled with casual and brutal ease, and that immense crater that formed a half-moon shape to a degree with aspects like the wings of an enormous flying furry creature from the planet Tamir III. 

She spoke telepathically to the one survivor of the other side, catatonic with horror, shock, and guilt, and to those of her side. Including Vizornii Hezhatin, who stared blankly into space enfolded by the arms of her love, the youthful green-furred Meremi, whose eyes were wide with concern and fear for her loved one. 

You who have withstood the terror of what was once the Pass of Gold shall be honored above others. You have entered into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and thus this is now the Pass of the Dead. You have survived a terrible Wrath from Beyond unleashed by something dreadful and horrible. Regardless of cause, this is no little feat in itself. 

She remained silent for two more hours. A total of fifty million soldiers from both sides committed to what should have been a decisive moment, and upon the awakening of That Thing within the clone, each struck down with but six survivors. She whistled tonelessly and began laments echoing in voice and mind. 

For as terrifying as what had ensued was, the war was still in full flame, and those who'd drunk deeply of horror would glut themselves more fully still. 

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