Aenaria observed the Raven Prophet as she vanished through the portal gateway. The Greater Demon rose to her feet and with a beat of her mighty wings, ascended into the skies. The Forlorn City stretched across the horizon as a sprawling, unending labyrinth. She knew of its limits, however. At the Gates of Sorrow, the Blood God would hurl his legions against the realm’s defense in a hurricane of blood. Despite her human origins, Aenaria was gladdened that she could no longer feel fear.
Aenaria weaved through the Fortress of the Abyss’ ebon-gold spires. Throngs of angelic creatures darted through the skies, she nose-dived and whirled between them. As the Fortress of the Abyss became nothing more than a distant mountain in the clouds, Aenaria descended into the midst of the Forlorn City. The sweeping tiers that formed the glorious realm glistened with solid gold and alabaster, condensed into mind-altering mazes that would keep the mortals reclusive and puzzled.
The angelic demon descended toward her destination: a half-sunken tower that sprang from a writhing lake. The structure was decorated with many white arches on multiple levels, encased completely in polished limestone. The tower was composed of several floors, each slightly smaller than the last. Locked away in the heart of the fourth floor was a great clock that ticked only whilst crimson flames danced upon the tower’s eyrie. The flames would change color every hour, Aenaria knew, and represented something more than the passing of time.
“Aenaria.” Nessana, another angelic demon of coal-black skin and pulsating crimson runes descended from the toppled pillar that she stood vigil from. She revealed sharpened teeth in a lopsided grin. “You are not called. What is it you seek?”
“Nessana.” Aenaria acknowledged with an imperceptible nod. “I have come to gutter the flames of the Soulless Tower.”
Nessana’s smile twitched. “I am not the champion of the Demoness. I am not of rank to halt you.” She glared daggers at Aenaria. “You know the chosen are not ready.”
“They must be, Nessana.” Aenaria leaned on her great spear. “Come, join me. What stage have they reached?” She glided around Nessana and toward the gates of the tower.
“No longer mortal by any means.” Nessana replied. “Give them more time, Aenaria. A few hundred more of our kin could turn the tide against whatever mongrels are barking at our gates! Dark Gods… Pah! They will fall to divine wrath as they have always done.”
Aenaria halted and turned to Nessana. Her expression was bleak. “There is no time. They must be ready for combat as they are.” The silver gates to the tower bellowed open. A shrieking wind rushed from the opening. “As you said, they are no longer mortal. Demonic blood runs through their veins. Their names are written in our annals. Their strength shall be beyond a dozen blood crazed minions. The only thing they lack now are their wings and, of course, their immortality.”
The brilliant light of the Forlorn City faded into shadow, lit only by the flickering presence of dancing sapphire flames upon a thousand braziers. A spherical space distanced Aenaria from the chosen, marked by hundreds of infernal runes that pulsed violet. The Tower of the Soulless was a vast chamber, pulpits carved into nearly every crevice of the limestone walls for tiers beyond counting.
Beside the unnatural flames of the braziers, inside the pulpits, were the chosen of the Demoness. The souls of humanoid beings that had made a pact to embrace the light of the New Word. Aenaria gazed upward and counted thousands in the blink of an eye. Human no longer, she thought. The flames of the tower changed the very essence of their souls. Diabolic magic polluted their blood and mutated their cells into evolving into another form that was beyond the trivialities of life and death. Many amongst them appeared reborn as mortal gods, but marred with the features of the demonic.
Aenaria sniffed. She took in the scent of silent suffering and nodded, pleased. “They are ready to fight.” She turned to Nessana. “Gather our kin and prepare these chosen for battle. I shall see the Flame of the Soulless guttered.”
Nessana gave Aenaria a dark stare. “I hope you know what you are doing. Without the next generation of chosen, this realm could fall into anarchy.”
“Are you scared?” Aenaria teased. “The mortals will never be united enough to threaten us. How ridiculous, an angel worried about an apocalypse.” She chuckled with cruel laughter.
Last edited by Myen'Tal; 08-24-15 at 10:56 PM.