The Bladesongs of Boethra, Volume II

Then she saw the flames that licked at the Lattice, blood red and raging fire. It was Boethra who saw them first.

A star shot from the heavens, becoming every color of the sun as it dove, and a crystalline figure swept by Boethra on prismatic wings.

Boethra sliced down at it, but even her practiced hand fell short. Time seemed to slow, and the fallen angel that stood behind her grinned knowingly. Merid-Nunda.

A gout of fire erupted to her right. There she laid eyes upon her sibling Merrunz for the first time in eternity. The blood of a god dripped from his axe, and his fanged smile belied the story of a kinslayer. He slammed his axe against the Lattice, and though nothing before this had ever done so, the Lattice shook and cracked under its weight.

Boethra thought of dashing toward her brother then, but time was moving so slowly. Before she could move, she saw blue flames dancing on the horizon. Their sudden light made Merrunz but a shadow, and there it was that Boethra first laid eyes upon Dagon.

But behind him stepped a Demon King, striding through the blue flames with the severed head of a god in his hands, attached atop a rod of bone. It was Lorkhaj who had shown them the secrets of dark fire, and Boethra knew Molagh used it now to taunt her.

As is her nature, she could do nothing but accept the challenge. Boethra forgot her role as the guardian of the Lattice. She saw Dagon break through. She even saw the Rainbow Angel slip in behind him. But Molagh was there, taunting and laughing, and telling her that Lorkhaj died for her.

Boethra drew her sword, and then she made a sign with her free hand that summoned many other weapons to hover at her side. She considered her myriad movements but chose only one. To Molagh, it was as though she simply disappeared before his eyes.

Boethra appeared above the Demon King and sent forth her ephemeral blades like rain. Then, as the sister-hawk flies, she lunged down at Molagh and pierced him with her sword. The dead-god-head ate most of the blades, but the one Boethra wielded was the only one she needed, and that had already found the flesh of her enemy.

Molagh thrashed and roared, but so deeply embedded was the blade that he could not shake free of Boethra, even after dropping his rod of bone.

Then Boethra summoned all her might and slammed the Demon King upon the Lattice, its moonlight fire searing burns upon his visage. As she held him there, Boethra ignored his screams and looked upon the battlefield below. The Crossing seemed small from up here.

Dagon's many new arms were ensnared by a sibling with many more. Mafala had bound Merrunz in an inescapable web, and now she was devouring the knowledge he gained during his time in the Great Darkness.

Merid-Nunda bore down on Azurah, seeming to be a being of multitudes, glass shards that could form a body as quickly as they separated. The Rainbow Angel did not attack her sister as a typical foe but swirled around her as cutting light and blinding fervor. Most would have succumbed, but Azurah was a master of light herself, even those beyond the visible, and she held the Shining One at bay.

Then Boethra saw Noctra. And for the first time in eternity the Warrior felt worry. She had not realized it before, but the battle she had fought with Noctra had imprinted a truth in the Warrior's mind. Boethra considered the nature of Namiira, and she wondered if Noctra would have been born without their conflict. She looked upon what could only be called a daughter, and she felt protective of a spirit she had once sought to destroy.

Azurah then proved herself a master of dark as well, and soon the whole of Merid-Nunda was swept into a void-cage and drained of all her colors. Only in the dissolution of these fragments did Azurah realize that Merid-Nunda had separated herself into two.

Whole upon the Crossing behind, the remaining fragments of Merid made an angelic form and laid hands upon the Aether Prism.

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