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 Chapter XVIII: 

The Azar laughed, a howl of stars kept in motion by mad gods that stumbled and shambled aimlessly and hurled her hammer into the onrushing hand of the Starspawn of Cthulhu, pulping the hand with a cataclysmic peal of thunder, a vile odor emanating from the impact, green gelatinous tissue splattering around us, though the Azar and I kept them off our person with a field of energy. Even as the creature reared back, the flesh began to recombine faster than it had fallen as another fist lunged forth, only for the Warhammer to smash through the monster's wrist, the tissue falling to the ground with a sickly squelching sound. 

So this is our Elders, the beings that were before ere the stars burned with our world? Forgive me if I am not unduly impressed. 

The hammer suddenly glowed with a sickly red light and its whirling in blinding speed at the hands of the Azar seemed to leave almost a thin and vile-smelling streak of blood along its trajectory, until the hammer collided into the Starspawn's face, smashing with a brutal strike that led the Starspawn to reel. 

Then the flesh that scattered healed still faster and the creature's consistency seemed to change, as six eyes burned like stars. Before the Azar could react, a wave of powerful blows struck her, throwing her back across miles. Moving slightly from my anchored position, I found that my freedom to maneuver was less than I expected or desired. Between the shockwaves and the anger of both entities, it was difficult to concentrate my own ability to do more than keep abreast of the forces at their disposal. 

Feeling pain and bruising, a sensation that had yet to lose its sense of novelty, I also felt an icy grasp of fear that without Deborah's armor I would have either passed out or had to learn how to rebuild a body from scratch. As I focused on all this, my eyesight also caught that the Azar's hammer glowed as she slammed it into the Starspawn as it attempted to crush her under its heel, and the blast threw the Starspawn back, the Azar's hammer then swinging toward the monster's knee. The creature reeled still further back and the Azar briefly transformed into a walking field of starlight and outer space within the familiar armor, hammer vanished, and flew forward. 

The impact knocked the Starspawn on her back, only for the creature to unleash a shockwave of her own that hurled the Azar off of her, the Azar now resuming her seemingly normal form of flesh and blood. The Starspawn reached out with a colossal paw and while striving to grasp the Azar, the creature that was my sister then bellowed once more the primordial foghorn-like sound that was her motif of sorts. This time, augmented by the full power of the many universes her presence had infected and absorbed, the impact did knock me unconscious, and as blackness swallowed me I saw the Starspawn turning a deep silver hue and rumbling in R'lyehian what seemed like extreme anger, and then both ran toward each other with the booming footsteps of Leviathans. 

It was not, perhaps, a long time as Earthmen would reckon it that I fell unconscious. But when I awakened, I saw that I had been dislodged from the ground by the impact of the brawling behemoths. The Azar no longer seemed a mere entity of flesh and blood, though what precisely made up her form I could not have specified then to satisfaction. She had risen to the size of the Starspawn, and her immense form seemed at times to be covered in mouths that roared challenges in the tongue of our non-human race, at times gelatinous and rugose, and at times diamond-hard and almost mechanical-seeming in appearance. Her flesh, if flesh she had at her disposal, changed with such disorienting swiftness that I was losing track of what was up or down. 

The blows each launched moved with a swiftness that an ordinary mortal, presuming that the shockwaves hadn't killed him and then disintegrated his body, not necessarily in that order, would have heard only in delayed fashion a set of blows that sounded like fell thunderclaps with the occasional booming sound and flash of light when the Azar summoned back her hammer or  a mace and smashed them into the flesh of the being from the other world, which in a straightforward brawl, skin now sufficiently hardened, was starting to prevail and push the Azar back. 

Sensing this and snarling, the Azar roared in pride with a thunderous sound that led to my deciding now was a good time to invoke the darkness that was my birthright and hope it would actually work. 

I am the God of this Age. No battlefield relic shall contend with me and survive the experience! 


With this, the Azar briefly transformed into something that had the vague semblance of a form about her, but emanated an awe-inspiring Malice that seemed almost tangible. Gestures like that of hands clenching followed and as I concealed myself in darkness a wave of such destructive force as to shatter anything it came in contact emanated from the Azar, and yet another planet was consumed in the wake of such entities as my family and this strange being that I now regretted very much having come into contact with. 

After remaining in the darkness with a rather frenzied debate with myself, I decided to see where the two monsters had gone, in hopes that as they fought that one or the other might kill each other. Besides, I had the feeling that having antagonized one of them, that if I did not do this, one of them would drag me anyhow so it was better to maneuver things and serve as recorder of what was in motion than to try to es-I realized I'd taken too long to decipher this when I felt the iron hand of one of the entities grasp my enshrouded form and yank me through the portal that one of them had made in the wake of the devastating blast, 

As I fell through, I realized the sickly crawling feeling beneath the skin that seemed almost familiar was familiar. The portal that had opened drew Cthylla and I once more into the hellish entity-place that was Azarath, where the Azar was thought and voice to a realm where existence itself was a choking horror of mangled dreams and twisted hopes and endless bleating choruses of "Glory to the Great one, the eternal one, who suspends existence itself in being!" I knew a wintry satisfaction in seeing even the monstrous Starspawn Cthylla seemingly disoriented by the place, keenly gazing around her/itself, 

It was then that I saw the Azar, seemingly human once more, hovering in the skies laughing with the fell laughter of a mad God: 

Here is my realm, battlefield relic! Here, I am the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and the end! I have the keys to death, and in my hands I grant immortality! Naught exists in this realm save that I allow it! Here all is an Undying Flame that shall burn now and forever, world without end! Know this that now, now I say to you, none are like the Azar! None may give me council! I was there when the stars burned into light and the sons of the Gods sang for joy! 

Here is the land of Azarath, where all that is or will ever be is one people, one faith, one ruler: the Azar, the Flame Imperishable who unites existence with an iron hand! 


And with a bellowing howl of almost nihilistic glee the monster swooped down toward the Starspawn, who seemed to have a detached and almost amused gaze in its eyes, forming a kind of curved metal dome to shield itself from the swooping monster that seemed to swell and grow in size and be human in size all at once in a bewildering rippling motion that pained eyes that strove to see it. 



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