“Because of you, brother, the Universe shall forever be divided.”
Flashes of light flashed in the deep black of the void above the rocky surface of Morgoroth wreathed in a hellish fire. On the ground of the newly forged plane of unstable asteroids stood the form of a very angelic-looking man wearing the armor of a warrior, his sword raised against a similar being whose aura brightened the darkening sky around them.
“You have been sentenced as the first cast down from the heavenly sphere and the last among us Eilonhir for the death of many of our brethren,” the creature standing with his sword outstretched toward his enemy.
The armored Eilonhir’s raven black hair wavered against the shock caused by the many young asteroids and comets crashed around them. Ieridan paid no mind to the massive shock waves rushing through him and his brother’s body. The second Eilonhir only looked up from his prone position and smiled. Jal’Kahreen was beautiful to look at. His silver hair shone with a faint highlight of gold that melded with his already impressive aura. But his expression revealed the rot within his being.
“I refuse to serve a being that can’t even be called to fight his own battles,” he spat back. “You’d be better served fighting alongside me and the other living and soon to be living creatures of existence before all our lights are extinguished.”
“Xanaros,” Ieridan began, marking the heavenly being with his new name, “You forget that I am a vessel for his Most Holy, an instrument of His will. I will not stray from my purpose.”
His brother only sighed with regret. “Then we are all doomed. For I know the truth about our father who sits upon the Throne of Hosts. If you could do one thing though, as one brother to an older brother.”
Ieridan lowered his blade and looked on the light-clad angel lying down before him.
“You have my ear,” Ieridan said, kneeling to listen to his fallen brother’s last words before he was sealed in this pocket of reality.
Xanaros only smiled, “I’ll get out of here very soon, and I’ll make sure your wife is the first one I visit. I’d like to thank her for spying on me in person. Perhaps I should give her the same parting I’m giving you.”
Ieridan was kicked flat on the floor before he could react to the liar’s threat. His blade was immediately in front of his face pressed against the devil’s own short sword. He struggled against Xanaros for what was an eternity before knocking the demon backwards.
“Vashtnal!” Ieridan bellowed as burning ice-cold rocks hovering above the hell-scape began to fall. They crashed into the asteroids making up the prison the two brothers were occupying, bringing forth geysers of lava and super cooled gas with each impact.
Xanaros only chuckled before lunging towards the Eilonhir.
Ieridan deflected the blade, but Xanaros countered with a sidestep as Ieridan went for him. Ieridan immediately stopped his sword and pivoted, bringing his sword up just in time to redirect the blade. Ieridan howled as the short sword’s edged cut across his left eye. Xanaros tried to follow with a downward cleave, only managing to give the Commander of the Heavenly Hosts a scar to complement his bloody mess of an eyeball. Ieridan leaped and soared trying to keep a distance from his foe while his eye healed. This god-forsaken place limited his connection to the Everessence, which left his vessel all the more vulnerable to Xanaros’ corruption. Xanaros let his wings loose ascending to meet the rival commander in mid-air combat. Their swords clashed in sync to the asteroid-prison’s cycle of construction and destruction.
“It’s hopeless,” Xanaros strained as his sword finally clashed against the white-hot material that made up his brother’s long sword. A micro-expression of confusion flew across Ieridan’s face. That tone it sounded like desperation. But before he could be certain, the deceiver continued, “Existence will be overwhelmed by darkness and there’s nothing you can do about it! You-”
Ieridan kicked the demon, following with a wing-grab and slammed him onto the ground. His sword’s point was pointed down with it’s tip aimed right between Xanaros’ eyes. The blade was stabbed into the ground, four centimeters away from the archfiend’s cheek. Ieridan took a deep breath, digging his knees into his pinned brother’s sides. Xanaros was helpless against the flurry of mountain crushing punches that assailed his face. That same pretty face sneered and mocked at the Arch-Eilonhir whose punches hadn’t even left a scratch on the perfect image of the light bringer. Ieridan took a deep breath.
“Oh Ora Laho, creator of all that is, and seeker beyond the veil, please let this gift you have bestowed on me be used towards its dedicated purpose.”
Ieridan stretched out his hand and hovered it over Xanaros’ chest. The Seated One had shown him how to do it, how to reach into another living being and touch its Artul, the very core of their being. He could feel it, like a dense orb in the center of the chest. It felt as if his hand was being pulled toward the-void? Ieridan ignored the thought and focused on what he had to do. Ieridan then felt within himself, stretching his own Artul towards his brother’s. He could feel Xanaros squirming.
“You don’t understand what you’re doing Ieridan! Sealing me away won’t save anyone! Only I can fix this!” the Vashtnal begged.
Ieridan focused his being on the fullness in his brother’s chest. He released Xanaros from the grapple he had had on him; Xanaros’ Artul was now in the grasp of his. Xanaros only glowered, paralyzed from the strength of whatever it was that Ieridan had just done.
“So this is Willbending,” the commander said before releasing his hold on Xanaros.
The Arch-Vashtnal was thrown back and a golden throne rose from the ground to catch him. Chains spawned from the brilliant, now copper metal of his own armor and fused with his new seat.
“There you go, your own throne to rule from. Enjoy the view of your traitor siblings being cast here within a fold where no one will ever have to put up with your treachery.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, kiddo. I know how to navigate the dark walls. If I can’t bend reality to my will, then I’ll just have to be satisfied with being a thorn in your side,” Xanaros sneered.
Ieridan was walking towards another Eilonhir, this one dressed in the robes of a long-traveled hermit.
“Let’s go Etmos, there’s a lot we have to account for today. Let’s get back to the Rainbow Court.” Etmos nodded curtly before having the space around him and his Commander-In-Chief fold around them, leaving the Prince of Lies alone.
Xanaros looked on the desolate expanse in front of him.
“Let’s see what kind of kingdom I can build for myself here for the time being,” he said to himself.
He was going to need a headquarters from which to launch his greatest campaign against Ora Laho’s forces. And he had time. He just had make sure everything was going according to plan. And judging from the walls constructing themselves to house him, everything was.
And that was good.