After Armageddon: 7) The Fate Of A God

Read Part 6 of After Armageddon: Requiem Labyrinths

The Death Of An Eternal

The moment Andiel placed the golden coin into the grand pyramid, dust kicked up 20ft behind him. Doors grated open, stone grinding against gears as ancient locks unhinged for the second time that day. The crack was barely wide enough for a man when a white-blue blur slid through, grazing Andiel’s arm.

He could only make out the shining gold of an altar within, the brilliant light of a god behind. “Sweet” JP was one of the only humans to ever attain to Eternal-hood. Whatever grandeur Andiel expected upon first being dazed by the Eternal’s light was ill-conceived. The Eternal was more a man than anything. Dressed in tattered, ill-fitting clothes, mismatched. Eyes wide with small tears forming as the Jester in his blur charged forward. His hands were close to a shining blue orb, the object of the altar before him. But only close, not yet grasping, when the Jester was upon him.

The blue cronos armlet on his left arm. Black on his right – the essence of a god spear contained within. The Jester’s face gleamed with manic delight upon seeing the orb so close to “Sweet” JP’s hand, yet not quite gained. His eyes filled with tears for an entirely different reason. Suddenly, his face smiled coyly, and disappeared – re-appearing in an instant directly behind his superior.

“Zodiac, Eternal of Eternals fashioned me, yet now you imprison him. For that, you die.” The black-ringed arm of death flashed, connecting with the god’s chest.

He sunk inward, falling as he spoke. “I knew not of Zodiac. I not of anything in the Dream. I was never meant to be a god…” His shoulders shuddered as his form collapsed. Before the eyes of all present the former Eternal shattered into a thousand shards of iridescent light.

The light shards rose to eye level, then re-formed into another brilliant crystal. “Ten full years, one Eternal spark. It was all too easy, in the end.” The arm-banded hands of the Jester were about to claim the crystals that could turn him into an Eternal. But Andiel reached the nearest one first. Achilles shouted to the Jester behind him as he grabbed the blue orb – the one that had been upon the alter. All dark elfs knew of the Eternal stone of glaciers from the stories of Rhaoko the mad knight. Achilles had once thought himself somewhat like the asura, yet in reverse. Holy-become-crazed, instead of the other way around. But he knew the word to be spoken over the stone to activate its powers.

“Elmran.”

Achilles smirked, holding the orb in motion of “cheers” to the Jester. The jangling head turned in time to see Andiel laughing without control. The two dark elfs disappeared in a flash of icy frost.

The Jester’s snow-blue eyes settled on the outside of the pyramid where Cadmar had re-inserted the golden coin. The last rays of starlight were shut into complete darkness. They had sealed the door through which the Jester could not pass. The tomb now belonged to the fallen god and the servant who had slain him, both.

“Ten full years… just one Eternal spark. That’s all I wanted.”

The Eternal Spark

The teleportation left them dazed, for days. The alcohol didn’t help. Andiel and Achilles had decided to hide the crystal they’d obtained from the fallen Eternal. The Eternal stone of glaciers, of course, Achilles opted to keep. The power word of magic had transported them to the frozen orb of the Dream – the one which encircles the night sky casting silvered light every night. Then the simple of “Aeturnum” had brought them back to the mortal realm. Andiel’s coaxing had brought them to the Spell Club Inn where the drinking and low morale had ensued. They stopped the Jester but left Cadmar. They obtained the Eternal spark but had no idea what to do with it. It had taken them some time, in fact, to even learn what it did, or why it formed upon the death of the Eternal.

Borard the accursed, longtime friend to Achilles, and hedge-scholar in his later years knew the answer. That’s when the drinking started.

Borard informed them, the scar over his nose twitching with every heavily-accented word, that Eternal sparks were the essence of Eternals. That when they were slain, their sparks remained. That if anyone consumed the essence of the spark, they would themselves become an Eternal. Somehow, the Jester must have known that “Sweet” JP had for some reason been after the Eternal stone of glaciers and knew where to find him. He had slain a god to himself become a god, thereby taking the former’s place in the pantheon.

And now the power to become an Eternal lay in the hands of two dark elfs and a scarred-up ex-mercenary.

“So… you two gonna use that thing? Or, can I buy it from you? If I were an Eternal, I’d hook you guys up for getting me that power. And no disrespect, but you’re a fallen paladin,” Borard pointed at Achilles. “Ill repute, if you don’t mind my saying. And you’re even worse.” The finger shifted to Andiel. “I gave up my mercenary ways long time ago. And I never killed nobody while they slept.” He shifted his arms over his chest, folding them over until his hands held his large biceps. “So what I’m saying is, among us three, I’m by far the best choice.”

Achilles and Andiel turned their heads to look at one another. Achilles spoke in a soft tone and Borard fell over from paralysis. The two looked at one another once more, and left.

They travelled North from Calciphern, towards the far reaches of Eboncrest. Light snow covered them by the time they reached their destination. Two days they’d fled inhabited parts, hoping that Cadmar would forgive them for abandoning him in the desert. Hoping that Borard hadn’t told anyone the magnitude of artifact they possessed. Finally, they reached the icy edges of what was once a swamp, now half-frozen. The “shadow walk.” Perhaps what could be a temporary resting place for the treasure they had no desire to possess.