08: The Void
Katalina opened her eyes, and light exploded everywhere. Her perception skewed. She did not have eyes, but a perception of vision. She heard voices, some screaming for help, others just talking.
The pain of her wounds is gone. She reached out to call Maverick, “Maverick?”
He projected back, “Yes, Kate, are you okay? Jerilith transported a small group of us away before Voloth destroyed the temple. But, unfortunately, the city has been destroyed. Voloth killed them all.”
Katalina returned her projection, “I don’t know exactly where I am at this moment, I think I am still buried under the temple, and I am not. Keep safe.”
Maverick did not respond for a few minutes. She concentrated on Maverick. Katalina’s field of view shifted. Her invisible eyes flying across the world, over hills, and valleys until her vision settled above Maverick. He is in a small building attached to the top of a peak somewhere. The building has a single entrance with several windows. The stone is smoothly shaped with magic and several sigils are actively visible. Maverick is sitting on a leather-bound couch, sipping an alcoholic beverage out of a crystal goblet.
Is he moving slow? Katalina shifted her gaze over to Jerilith, who is talking with another bald man dressed in a blood-stained military uniform of Durith. They both moved like they were under one of Landis’s Time spells.
Maverick projected back to Katalina, “Come back when you can. Love you, Horns.”
Katalina can feel Maverick concern and care in his thoughts.
A cheery child’s voice broke her concentration. Joshua arrived in the swirling cloud that was Katalina’s perception. “Yes, goddess, much like that Landis’s Time Spells. It’s how we perceive time and space. Much like you perceive yourself.”
Katalina, gaze shifted back to this place with her disembodied voice. “What happened to me? Where am I?”
“Like it? This place is the Void, your home out of the home. This Void will be either a heaven or a hell; it all depends on you. Time runs much different here, slower and faster, depending on your desire. You can slow your perception down to solve a problem or watch things progress at a faster pace. The voices you hear around you are the souls brought to you and the other new godlings to do with as you please, either fuel for your power or worshipers to reincarnate.”
A miniature sun swirled and slid to hover next to Joshua, Amber the Soul Stone of Life, “These are those who sacrifice everything they had to fight the Spire. Voloth intended on burning their souls for his gain. So we decided that they should go to you lot.”
Joshua giggled, “This is you. Your body is still down in the temple buried under a ton of rock. Can you sense your avatar? All you have to do is concentrate and your awareness will fill into your old body. Your soul is protected up here. This is called the Hand and is an extension of yourself.”
A dark hollow voice whispered as Malice appeared nearby, “Yes, as the last god of the Spire born, you are connected to the past and the present. The Council has made a special weapon just for you. The weapon is called the Immortal Bane. You and the blade are one. Only you can use the power of this weapon.”
An image of the short golden short sword appeared before her, runes of each of the eight council members etched into the blade.
Mi-like sturdy voice presented itself, “Call on us, with Divine Authority, and we lend you our strength. The Spire must conform or be punished. You will need this strength to defeat Voloth. We are weakest when we are alone but stronger together.”
Amber’s voice causes flares to appear on her fiery orb form, “Now child, it is time to wake. The others are on the move as well. The fight is not over.”
Katalina nodded, or at least she thought she nodded. “Ready. Time to go. Where is this weapon?”
Mi-like replied, “The weapon is already in your hand. Now just focus on where you are at in the world.”
Katalina sight gazed on her form buried in the stone tomb, “I can see myself, buried under the rubble of the temple. I can..”
Katalina pulsed her grace, more power than she had used before. The stone rocks that buried her body moved with ease. Looking down in her hand the short sword, the Immortal bane a delicately crafted instrument filled with the Council’s power.
Shaitar pulled the rubble off of Opal, “How are you doing?”
Opal shook her head, “My hangover spells won’t do justice for what just happened.”
Shaitar laughed, “Apparently, you are just fine.”
She paused for a moment, “Your eyes are glowing. No this is not a pulse of grace either. Your power is just on, constantly.”
He responded, “So are yours.”
Landis sighed as he pulled his staff from the rubble. Then, examining the staff, he frowned, looking at the broken gears and cogs. “I will have to build a new one.”
A stone rolled off, a tiny bit of flaming wood fell to the ground. Rolland dusts himself off, “I think it’s time.
Grizz and Noland broke through the level of building they were buried under. Nolland patted the back of his furry friend, “Thanks for the help!”
Shaitar turned the red glowing eyes of Katalina, “Is that the weapon? I hope they told you how to use it.”
Katalina nodded, “Yes.”
Reeva now cleared herself of the stone tomb, looking over the blasted city. “This is us. Our birth.”
Shaitar followed her gaze, his eyes stopped at the Voloth, who he could now see turning around a couple of hundred feet away. “Ready yourselves.”
Shaitar stepped forward, pulsing his grace to grow his body in size, matching Voloth. He poured his grace into his body, armor, and weapon. Sigils of Law flared around as a translucent symbol of the circle balancing scale appeared momentarily before him.
Voloth completed his turn to see new gods climb out of the rubble of the Council’s destroyed temple. “You are my final challenge then? I am going to rip your souls out. Now that the Council’s power from the area is gone. I am the supreme being. My word is Reality.”
Voloth raised his spear to the sky, ” Leucoatic, come to me, God of Death.”
A dark wispy shape bellowed up from the ground, a dark cloud formed into a ten-foot-tall serpentine warrior, carrying a staff capped with multiple human skulls with glowing green eyes. His body was lean, looking as starved and pale. His serpent green eyes gazed across the field of the dead.
Voloth smirked, “Lecucoatic, take their souls.”
Lecucoatic lowered his skull-laden staff at Shaitar. His eyes narrowed and he shook his head, “I can not. They have no souls to take! My lord, the only souls remaining in the city are the blessed warriors who stand ready to fight for you. No others!”
Voloth smirk quickly frowned into frustration, “What kind of trick is this? Are they golems?”
Lecucoatic eyes widened, “My liege, the constructs are pure grace!”
Shaitar stepped forward, “You have one chance, Voloith, surrender.”
Voloth irritation now evident on his face, “Who to you? What why? No, You are an insignificant bug. A mortal soul is not worthy of being a god. You have no place in my world. My goal of the world of the scale is about to become a reality!”
Rolland moved to the side, enlarging himself as well.
Shaitar took a step forward, “And the world is no longer your responsibility!” Then, Shaitar charged him, “Fool!”
Landis pointed his broken staff at Voloth and cast his spell, a grace-infused Slow Time spell. Nothing happened.
Voloth just laughed, “That trick won’t work on me!” Voloth braced himself and parried Shaitars lighting strike, taking a step back to twist and turn. His spear slammed across Shaitar’s shield. The force of the blow sent Shaitar back into a pile of rubble a hundred feet away. Rolland timed his moves with Shaitar in an attempt to flank the serpentine god, only to receive an equally powerful kick sending him sailing in the opposite direction. Shaitar’s body cratered into the wall. Voloth returned Shaitar’s quip, “Fool. I am Voloth, King of the Gods. It is time to remove you all once and for all.”
Raising his spear into the darkened sky, “I call on the Spire! Witness the end of the Council. Today you will all witness who is the strongest!” He clasped his open hand into a fist, pulsing his grace a stone hand formed around Shaitar made out of the available rubble.
The gods of the Spire began to appear at the summons, the many different serpentine visages. A giant snake-like dragon with brightly colored feathers landed nearby. Other gods started to fill in around the ruins of the Temple of Ascension. They quickly settled along the rim of what remained of the blasted outer wall.
Shaitar struggled momentarily until breaking the hand apart, freeing himself out of the mountain of rubble, “Is that all of you?”
Voloth smirked, “You are not even alive. Your nothing but demons.” He paused, “Demon Lords. Soulless puppets, something not worthy of being a divine creature.” Turning his head, Voloth spits off to the side, the green acidic goo began sizzling. The rock quickly dissolved into a puddle of green-gray material. “You don’t think this is going to be a single duel, do you? I am not that foolish. We will crush you will be able to create anything. The gods of the Spire will counter you in anything you do. You can’t win.”
Voloth watched as the lovely white-horned infernal goddess moved up to the defensive line now forming by the rest of the Silver Blades. Voloth grin widened as his eyes pulsed with his grace. She clutched the short golden blade, pointing the Immortal Bane at Voloth, she said only two words, “Divine Authority!”