Infinity’s End: Epilogue, Part 3

October 2, 2007

The nameless god found itself wandering through an abandoned battlefield beneath the blazing sun. It could not remember how long had passed since the encounter with the Ancient Beast – but however far mankind had recovered, they had not yet had a chance to lay the bodies upon this field to rest.

It was unsure how it had arrived here. Time had passed in a haze, with a few moments of lucidity – had its mind been fractured by the foe’s terrible will? Had it been driven mad, despite their triumph, and was now doomed to wander endlessly, absent of reason and thought?

But no. The body it inhabited strided across the ground with boldness and determination. The nameless god finally realized why – someone else had claimed control of his form.

Or rather – reclaimed it for her own.

“You swore… service…” the god slurred through lips that felt suddenly alien and other.

“I swore to believe,” Rowen replied, her own voice certain and clear. “It was your own mistake to think I believed in you.”

The fog that clouded the god’s mind was starting to fade. It had been weakened by the Beast, and that was what allowed this prideful mortal to push it aside – but its power was returning, and soon it would be in charge once more.

Its hope suddenly withered away, however, as Rowen stopped beside two fallen bodies and drew forth a short blade of black steel, with an edge sharp enough to cut the daylight. It recognized the bodies, now – not who they were, but what.

Rowen stood upon a battlefield of fallen gods, and the nameless god within her felt its soul go numb with sudden dread.

“Whatever you are planning… is a foolish one,” it said, testing the words as it felt its consciousness beginning to spread through Rowen’s body. Too slow, too slow.

“All faith is foolish,” was the priestess’s response – and the dagger flashed once, twice, even as the sun reached the highest point in the sky. She let out a gasp at the coldness of the blade, though not at the cut itself – too sharp it was for her to feel the pain, even as her life’s blood poured out upon the forms before her.

Blood touched by the divine, and that now carries forth the essence of the nameless god’s soul. It began to shriek, within Rowen, to scream and wail and thrash – but she held fast, offering her arms to her goddess and to all the gods of her world. Offering enough power for them to be reborn, reawoken, into a world that had desperate need of them.

The voice of the nameless god faded to no more than a whisper as it struggled to stop the flow, to bring its power to bear, to even gain control over Rowen’s body for a second – but her will was iron, and it struggled to no avail, and passed into memory and nothingness.

She dropped to her knees as she felt it go, letting herself feel the weakness of her travels, her search for the knife and for the battlefield, her memories of the Beast itself… it had been much to weather alone, but she had done so. And she felt them, now, stirring around her, spirits of the world, gods who would now find new forms and new purpose – they had a world in need of healing, and countless people in need of faith.

And Rowen felt her own goddess whispering within her heart, thanking her and welcoming her in the same moment. She knew her life was ending here, upon this broken and bloody soil – but every ending was also a beginning, and she knew she would live on, three times over.

She would live on, within the Lady in White, her spirit joining with the essence of her goddess, her soul resting within its embrace forever.

She would live on, within the stories of her people, as one of the great heroes, who had called their gods and goddesses from the dead when all others had given up hope.

She would live on, within the memories of her friends, who would remember all that she had fought for, and all the sacrifices she had made.

And for her that was enough.

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