• Published 1st Dec 2015
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The Void Rift Crisis - Visiden Visidane



A young alicorn seeks information on a world-changing event.

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Elys - Magnus Chartophylax

Ah, the final assault on the Agamanthion. Though I could contribute little to the fighting, I had elected to join His Majesty and the others. Certainly, it was a more useful thing to do than record yet another Council meeting, and I felt that I had to bear witness for this record. The attack on the Agamanthion was going to decide the fate of the Herd, I wasn't going rely solely on eyewitness accounts to record it for posterity.

The battle for Elys was vastly different from all our previous clashes with the Agamanthion. This was obvious even while we gathered. At the start of the crisis, we were scattered, individual alicorns, caught by surprise because we were too proud of both our King-to-be's abilities, and the fact that nothing would dare attack the Eternal Herd. The force that gathered in Elys, surrounding the Agamanthion itself with a living cage of warriors, was the humbled and readied might of the Eternal Herd.

And what a sight it was; a breath-taking array of stallions and mares, wings beating in unison, weapons drawn, barding gleaming, spells ready, and eyes hard. The inner light from the many blessings of those assembled brightened the benighted aura of the Agamanthion. And leading the way was Sanctus Dominus, every inch a king, even before the light of our Throne shone upon him. Near him was Divina Gratia, her form difficult make out. To an observer she seemed both by his side and all around him like a cloak. Her power of dark was light and sublime, graceful wisps of black markedly different from the dull, heavy dark pouring from the Agamanthion. Also near him was Animus Arcem, his faithful companion since his earliest exploits, General Gravitas, who already deferred to him as a king at so early a point, and Lexarius, another old friend.

There has never been such a massive gathering of the Herd's fighting forces, not since the First Cycle, when every warrior of the Herd stood before the First Ascendant, and swore allegiance.

Faced with this might, the Agamanthion reacted by diverting more of its power from its abominable task to defending itself. It is this reaction that continues to spark debate as to whether there was a malignant intelligence within the Agamanthion or if it was merely a construct following specific instructions.

The planar shadows surrounding it were all of a monstrous shape; winged beasts, crawling monstrosities, slithering horrors. Every nightmarish imagining that our brethren could come up with manifested around the Agamanthion as dark, silent shapes. The worst, I suspect, were from the Sixth Cycle alicorns. Their travels not only in this world, but in other ones as well gave them a far greater variety of foes for the Agamanthion to replicate.

And these were the easy foes; the front-line fodder for the elite of the Agamanthion's defenders. The planar shadows were projections after all, spells that gave the seeming of life, without approaching the real thing. When we surrounded the Agamanthion, the etchings along its sides glowed white, revealing unrecognizable script.

The diviners among us recognized the energy from summoning spells, but could not trace where they were summoning from. Before long, we were faced monsters dredged from the far reaches of Vestibulum.

Oh, now I pique your interest, colt. I could explain in great detail, but that is a lecture of a different matter. I'm sure you are well aware that a variety of powerful creatures roam the great space between worlds we call the Endless Gray of Vestibulum. No? Then I recommend the book "Bestiary of the Plane Between Planes", by Stella Fulmen. We have plenty of copies in the Ninth Cycle Wing.

Some of our scholars theorize that they belonged to a world that had been utterly destroyed, thus forcing them to a wandering existence with no home world to take them in. They are brutal, hideous existences, said to be creatures from a time when there was barely any structure to how living beings emerged. The Agamanthion successfully summoned three of them.

First was one of the centimanii; an armored, colossal, tree-like entity of hard and white flesh. It crawled Elys on a hundred root-like appendages with frightening speed and grace. On its "trunk" grew fifty enormous heads, all bald, and snout-less things. And its namesake, a hundred sword-wielding arms, each blade as tall as a house, each arm big and strong enough to wield it like a knife. This one was no tentative intruder as the one before. Like its siblings, it shrugged off even the mightiest spells. It spun and flailed in its inimitable hundred-handed sword style, dicing those warriors that came close for a physical fight.

Next was a hagunemnon. Now, to attempt to describe it to you would be a futile task. The hagunemnon first oozed out of its summoning portal as a hill-sized glob of red, ropy flesh, spotted with dozens of gigantic, unblinking eyes as well as disgusting, circular mouths ringed with fangs. It did not stay that way for long. The hagunemnon are the ultimate shape-shifters, able to copy multiple foes at once and mimic their power to some degree. As soon as it emerged, it grew a dozen alicorn heads, and fired off a barrage of hostile spells.

The third...I do not know if it came from Vestibulum. Perhaps, it came from some other dead plane somewhere. We do not even know its name. It was a huge thing with a bloated head far too big for its body, tiny arms that ended in little sharp fingers, and thin legs that hung uselessly under it. The skin was wrinkled and blackened, like rotting afterbirth. It exuded a stench so foul it made me gag, and I was at the rear lines. I can only pity those unfortunate enough to fight it at so close a range. It was a thing of powerful necromantic ability. Some of us surmised that it was the "pilot" of the Agamanthion, others saw it as just another horror pulled out of the realms outside the Herd.

Now, it is dubbed "Atropal" by our scholars, named so after its rot. Of the three, this one I despised the most. The other two were summoned fighters. This thing cast its spells on the land and formed disgusting undead monstrosities from it. Those struck by its blackened beams were drained of vitality, their bodies rotting to nothing before our eyes.

Their summoning poses a puzzling question. If the Agamanthion was merely a machine, then the Sixth must have negotiated with these beings so that they would allow themselves to be summoned by contingency spells. Yet, what could she offer them, and why? One cannot help but pity the Seekers, as each revelation of the Sixth only burdens them with harder questions.