Athos: The Return

Session LXXIV: Last Chance

Chapter 74: Last Chance

Field Notes, Entry #38,980

They came to Sysitar. I’m not sure how, but I suspect they’ve found the way into heaven. It still amazes me how resourceful they can be. Shocking what the power of the Urns can do. Stepping through the portal, I turn around my statue and see them. Beginning their trek into Sysitar, Uruhua holds the Lance of Mortality. For the first time, I see it with my own eyes. It was one thing to look into the Urn and see the weapon forged, another to see the final result. A strange metal, unlike one I’ve ever seen before. The symbol of the Urns wraps around it over and over again, enhancing the power within the weapon and binding it to its wielder. I’ve imagined destroying our father with this thousands of times over. For a moment I imagine an Uruhua who would’ve handed it to me. But she has been long gone.

“Leaving so soon?” I make my presence known. Shock, followed by anger on their faces. And fear. When I felt them coming to Sysitar, I decided this is the last chance for them to join me. I’m responsible for leading them to the Urns, for giving them this power. I deserve their gratitude. It would not hurt to gain more allies here for my new world. “What are you doing here?” My twin Anatolius barked at me. A stupid question. “What are you doing here?” I echo his question back at him. “We’re here to stop you.” Oberon spoke. I respond with a soft chuckle. “I’m not worried about you, but I want my Lance. Hand it over. And consider joining the winning side.” This request puts Oberon into a rage. “Oh yeah, sure. We came all this way to simply hand you the Lance of Mortality. No fucking way you son of a bitch. You should be worried about us, we’re going to put an end to you.” Talking to him was going nowhere. I should have known that Oberon would be the most true to Athos, blind to our father’s flaws. “Truly Oberon, in some ways it is you I fear the greatest. I worry your bias will sway the rest of you to make a poor decision.” A curious look appeared on their faces. I have once chance to sway them, now is the time.

“You can join me. Lay down your arms, hand over the Lance and stand by my side.” I give them a fair offer, no punishment for past deeds or words. They have played their role in my plan more than they have disrupted it, my ranks could accept them. Yet I was met with laughter. “Sure, we came here to join you asshole.” Again Oberon mocks me. I hold back my rage at the overzealous pixie. “Why would we ever join you?” Simon asks now. The wisest of them may be the most open minded. “My victory is imminent. Not only will I be triumphant, but I deserve to win.” Passion fills my voice. “Athos was weak, a fool.” My insult cuts Oberon. “How dare you insult our father? He created life, the world, and he chose you to be his successor! He made a mistake, he chose you. How dare you? How dare you insult our Father Athos?” I grit my teeth, confident. “Athos may have created the world, but what did he do with it? Nothing! All of mankind waited on Sysitar for his commands. Nothing changed, nothing evolved because Athos was the only driving force. I brought life to the rest of Athos’ world, forced them to leave the safety of this island, forced them to grow.” They don’t look convinced, ignoring the truth because it comes from me. “He is weak, you know it! He didn’t deserve to rule! Everything that exists now is because of my actions.” They’re not convinced. They still don’t see. “And you deserve to rule? All this chaos, all this destruction? Is this how the world looks under your order?” Uruhua asks. Why won’t they understand? “This is only the part I must play for now. Unite people through chaos. Once the world is mine…” Oberon cuts me off. “This world will never be yours.” He draws his mace with as much menace as a pixie can. I watch as each of my brothers and sisters beside him make the same mistake. Uruhua points my Lance at me. It seems they’ve made their choice. “Very well. If you won’t stand beside me in the new world, you’ll die protecting the old.”

Immediately, I can feel the Urn of Power flowing between all of us. Their strength is my strength, but I have mastered it where they are still learning. Alone, I would crush any single one of them. Even together, they don’t stand a chance against me. Uruhua’s telepathy lets them communicate without words, surely a strong advantage in most battles. But they forget that we are linked, and every thought they share is shared with me as well. I strike first, cutting through my twin Anatolius, blood gushing out from him. For a moment, I think that this battle will be over too soon, demigods falling like grain to the sickle. Until I feel Uruhua strike me from behind with the Lance of Mortality. The metal is cold, twisting and wrenching. I can feel it struggling to destroy me. I wheeze at the first strike, and brace for each subsequent one during the battle. I can hardly wait to strike down Athos with this weapon. It seems that true immortality does come with a price. We clash, with Anatolius and Uruhua struggling to follow my teleportations and Oberon & Simon Bloom causing havoc against my plans. Anatolius lands a lucky blow, knocking scales from my flawless armor. I rain down pain on all of them, but Oberon heals as quickly as I destroy. I remember the Light of Athos being useful in a fight, but with the power of the Urns he is nearly unstoppable. Until I drop him to the ground with a well placed Death Bolt. “I’ve had enough of you, Athosian.” With Oberon unconscious, I take hold on Anatolius’ mind and command him to hand me the Lance. I see fear and hate in his eyes as he is forced to comply, and their chances against me drop to nothing. Holding the Lance, I can feel it sync with me, a weapon for a god to destroy his father. A few minutes go by, and while Oberon is able to get back to his feet and keep his allies alive, I am destroying them. Glee consumes me, total victory is within view. After all these years… I hear them thinking about fleeing. That’s not an option, they failed to join me and now death is their only escape. I won’t allow them to join Athos in the final battle to come.

Suddenly, a change. The world around me gets hazy, and I can only hear Anatolius’ voice in my mind, whispering. Images flash in my head. My goals. My dreams. My plan. The First Dungeon, safely guarded by Nekolaj. Then Athos, falling against me and my Lance. Then, I’m snapped back to reality. “Hand the Lance to the tiny one, Nox.” His demand is absurd, what makes him think I’ll follow his wishes? I move to land a fist on his chin, but move in slow motion. I can’t strike him, the Lance of Mortality falls from my grasp. Oberon picks it up and places it within his bag, far from me. Anatolius’ spell ends on me, and I realize what I’ve done. A cry escapes my lips, “Nooooo!” I had the Lance in my hands, nothing could stop me. Now Anatolius has played my own trick back on me. The time for toying with them ends, and as my blows strike harder I can hear them planning to escape to keep the Lance from me. Simon Bloom finds the portal that I came through, and they prepare to run for it. Simon calls out to Vinsanthius, Uruhua, and Vondal urging them to run from the ship to the unopened portal. I will not allow them to escape. “You have plagued me for too long Simon.” I teleport behind him, and blast his life force from his body. The protective spells around him end, his body becomes visible and solid, and his shields around him disappear. He falls unconscious, and I gather my strength. “There will be no escape. Now, you die.” My sword plunges through his chest, and I feel an echo of pain from Uruhua. Immediately following comes a psychic blast, my world goes black.

I open my eyes, the world swimming around me. Damn! A mistake I shouldn’t have made twice. In my rage I had forgotten. Looking around, it seems I was one of the last to awaken. The portal is open, and only Anatolius and Uruhua remain, the Lance in Anatolius’ hand. He jumps through the portal, and I swipe at Uruhua. The halfling takes the blow in stride, rushes through the portal and it closes behind her. If they thought that would be enough to escape me, they were wrong. I follow, re-opening the portal and chase. I step through to a mountain, cold wind blowing against us. Another portal opens in the distance. Simon is dead now, I felt him die. Who among them can open a gate between planes besides The Labyrinth? I will discover soon enough once I catch them. They disappear into a portal ahead, closing it for me to reopen. Next, a dark cave with only the light of their third portal for me to follow. I’m catching up, but I still cannot see who is leading them. This next portal leads me to a desert. I’m closer. Another portal brings us under the sea, then into the open sky. I see them falling through the air, a strange purple humanoid leading them. Who is this ally? The creature opens a portal midair, holding it open from the other side to let the demigods through. Uruhua’s ankle is in my reach, and I stretch but miss as she disappears into the portal. I try to re-open the rift, but nothing is there as I continue to fall. I teleport to give it a second pass, then a third, a fourth, a fifth. The rift that was once there is gone. I can sense the Lance still, in another plane. But it’s location keeps moving, I can’t track it. “They couldn’t have made it to the Heavens already, could they?” A question to no one, with no answer. My timeline is running tighter. This was their last chance to join me. Next time we meet, I’ll kill them all. It seems I’ll have to handle this final step without the Lance, for now.



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