Earthfall

Earthfall_zps2bcd35af.jpg

In the last hours of old Azlant, Acavna, the goddess of the moon, rose from her bed where she had lain with her lover, Amaznen, for the last time. She gave the god of magic a tender kiss, and walked out into the night that was her domain to do battle.

Her battle was not for glory, or riches, or honor. Her war was not to be fought with armies, or men of power, or pawns. It was a fight that only she had the power to win. Amaznen did not know it was goodbye- he knew only that the woman he had spent eons with was not in the best of moods, and that something was on her mind.

That something was the Earthfall. The Azlant had surpassed those who had created them, and in so doing angered their former superiors. The Aboleth reached out across the starry expanse of the skies from their underground refuges, and diverted a meteor 1/4th the size of the moon to destroy the entirety of Golarion. They inbued their weapon with magical energies, and the ability to destroy the world outright, obliterating Golarion and everything upon it. They might not all survive, but the aboleths were the first upon the world, and they would not allow another race to usurp their rightful place upon the throne.

Acavna, from her lofty perch as goddess of the moon, had seen the wicked designs of the Aboleth, and so took it upon herself to shield her faithful. She informed her high priest and his guard of the coming doom, and the word spread as Acavna retreated to the moon. The leaders of her temple and their assistants evacuated their homes, and took refuge with their loved ones in the stasis chambers that the Azlanti had perfected at the height of their technology. Ioun stones and magical artifacts were donned, to help protect the body in the event of a breach, and civilians and the highest ranking were laid to rest in magical sleep. The rest though… the rest would fight.

In those days, the gods took active roles in the lives of their worshipers, and they would not allow the Azlanti, those from whom they came, those who had once been their brothers, their sisters, their lovers, their mothers and fathers; they would not allow them to go silently. Word was passed, and Amaznen took to the skies to lead the charge. He knew that he must support his lover in this fight- it was a fight that belonged to them all. Twelve war wizards of the College of The Spire rode upon each of a thousand war beetles, creatures whose crimson and green carapaces could reflect the most powerful of enemy war magic with ease. Twelve thousand Mages of the Collar rode to war that day- twelve thousand of the brightest and most skilled willworkers in all of Golarion.

Amaznen’s were not the only followers to go to war. The high clerics of Desna, goddess of the stars, knew what came, and worked to prevent the threat. They calculated the trajectory of the meteor, and began a major working in the heart of Azlant, willingly sacrificing many of their own lives and the lives of all the slaves of the Azlant in order to fuel a powerful surge of magic to redirect the force of the blast as it came in. It could not be stopped, not with this short notice- but it could be blunted. Desna herself lent them her strength, though she could not appear bodily- the Starstone was of her, and while its natural trajectory had been altered, she would not interfere in the workings of the stars… at least not directly. While Desna lent her clerics her strength for their powerful warding magics, Abadar also took the field. His were the domains of the powerful cities of the Azlant, the repositories of wealth and power that marked their ascendancy. His power was tied to theirs, and so the god of civilization also granted his strength to the powerful imbuements and protective magics being woven across the whole of Golarion, to swath the world in protection.

Those followers of Acavna who were not commanded to seclusion held fists high, as armor infused with the magics of the first race girded themselves on with speed, not needing the hands of men to aid them. Acavna was the goddess of the moon, yes; but she was also the goddess of battle, and the Aboleths who had tried to wreak this doom upon Golarion would not live through the night. Thousands of soldiers with the aid of the Grove of the Tree rent new pathways through the earth straight into the heart of the Shadow Realm, below the strongholds of the Azlanti. They were led by Aroden, the most noble of that noble race; a man who embodied each of the seven virtues of rule. They descended into the depths, to wage a war that would go on for centuries… and none, save Aroden, were ever heard from again.

The druids themselves stayed behind, crafting their own powerful magics to shield the World Tree, the first tree upon Golarion, from the coming apocalypse.

As the meteor drew closer, the energies amassed upon the continent of Azlant and across the world could be felt in the very air, as the gods and men of the world worked together to stem the destruction of their lands. But it would not be enough. Acavna could see this, but she was not about to let her troops, her soldiers, and her people fall if she could do anything about it. She fully manifested into the moon, taking all of her strength as a warrior and as the sun’s mirror to heart, and threw herself in the path of the meteor.

The force that struck her would have been enough to destroy any six worlds, much less a moon, but Acavna did not yield. She held firm even in death, and managed to shatter the meteor, leaving only one large piece and a thousand smaller ones. She gave her life so that the Azlanti might live. She, a god, pure of heart and soul, gave her essence in order to protect those who could not protect themselves.

Amaznen, mad with rage and grief, hurled himself high into the sky on his war beetle, sounding the charge of his war mages. The entirety of the College followed him into the skies on buzzing wings, sounding out a charge against the force of the Aboleth’s assault. Each shard of the meteor could destroy all life it touched, as the powerful death magic wrought into the spell of Earthfall held no mercy within its working.

Each beetle chased down a shard, with the concentrated effort of twelve war mages robbing each of momentum and of the power of death wrought within its ore… but it was not enough. Amaznen himself met the onslaught of the largest piece, what would in later days come to be known as the Starstone, and threw every ounce of his magical and deific might into robbing it of the destructive power that he knew would pose a threat to his people… but it was not enough. Amaznen’s magic was not up to the task. He had one last gift to give, though; he was not done. Anguished over the loss of his lover, and enraged at the assault on his people, the god threw himself bodily from his beetle at the apex of his charge, and hurtled through space to collide with the Stone, forging one last spell with the power of his essence and his life’s blood. Robbed of its unearthly power, the stone could no longer destroy the entirety of Golarion; but it was still half the size of the continent of Azlant itself.

Those mages who had taken to the sky with Amaznen had expended all of their energy in the workings to keep them safe, and those of Desna were occupied only with preventing the destruction of the rest of the world, and some of the Azlanti, when the meteor itself struck. And so the Starstone fell, and crushed Azlant into the earth with a hammerblow. The shockwave ripped the mages of the College from their beetles, and sent them plunging into the boiling, frothing seas below. Protective magics prepared by all of those with a will and ability swathed the achievements and knowledge of the Azlant in power, shielding it for the long dark to come.

Golarion’s darkest hour had arrived.

But even in that darkness, there was hope and light. The efforts of the remaining gods and those of Azlanti blood in the kingdom of Thassilon retained enough civility to persevere, and the prowess of the greatest of the world’s peoples would guide them for thousands of years to come… even as the refuges of their wisest were forgotten.

~Record of the Fall, by Ellismus

Earthfall

Mending Fate Jinn_Master Jinn_Master