17 17. Beginning of Armaggedon

"What an exceptional period to witness and participate in, the honor that befell me is truly great. The end of an era, an eternal war between gods, deities, and demons coming to its climax, the beginning of changes to an unpredictable future rich in history and monuments. If only I still had a digestive tract to nourish myself while I observe this spectacle that is to ensue.", a smooth masculine almost suave voice exited the body of a tall, and imposing Necron Overlord as he observed with two neon green eyes the great expanse of pure nothingness of the lowest meta-dimension of the Milky Way.

The Ghostwind, the Shattered Void, or the Realm of Nihility among many more names and titles. A dimension not even the Old Ones knew of its existence with certainty besides incomplete and abandoned theories from various studies on the Well of Eternity. It was a realm that was both one yet not, it defied existence itself, it embodied disembodiment and the absence of nothing and everything.

It could be compared to the Sea of Souls for it interfered with the laws of reality but whereas one played with them and created new ones to distort anew the Ghostwind was the absence of all, these laws and concepts did not exist here for they were not welcomed and antithetical to its very existence. It was a realm of absolute order where supreme nothingness reigned.

It was the case for one simple reason, this dimension was one of the many fragments of the birth of the Universe. Fragments that were incomprehensibly older than the Fundamental Laws themselves for they were present before the Big Bang.

In many ways it could also be compared to the Labyrinth Dimension, it did not obey the rule of Realspace and could be used as a way of superluminal travel if one far, far more dangerous than even plunging into the depths of the Sea of Souls were Neverborn predators beyond numbers laid. While one would distort and corrupt what existed the others would erase for all that held the travelers and their ships within will not be burdened anymore by the laws and concepts that made them.

And it wasn't that it was lacking in predators either, it was that the predators were not prisoners of it.

Trazyn the Infinite was the name and title of this powerful Necron Overlord shuddered after those words he spoke, a feeling of absolute terror welled up inside his Necrodermis body as he shifted his skeletal hand through the wind of nothingness.

The only reason his existence was not extinguished was the blessing of the Star Gods protecting the Scythe-class Reaper Ship he was on and the vast majority of the totality of the Eternal Empire fleet around. It was their place of origin after all, but each C'tan could live freely within this place where cold did not even exist.

The C'tan were those predators turned from star parasites, born of the Ghostwind at the moment of creation if the word of Mephet'ran the Deceiver were to be believed. Even if the Necron God of Manipulation wasn't able to tell lies and verity from his very own words, his schemes were impossible to comprehend by even himself.

"How will our victory shine upon the Tapestry of the Universe, I wonder? My rival had been far too silent… Mayhaps pestering him should prove to be a great source of answer.", Trazyn said with extreme curiosity.

His equivalent of eyes burning brighter before dimming slightly in a complex series of dulled emotions at the sight of the monstrous creature at the head of the fleet.

Its atrophied body was composed of skinless sinuous synthetic muscle and rusted metal, its back was created with blades draped in rotting skin. It had four limbs with too many joints serving both arms and legs and ending in separated claws that were held limply. Its face was composed of two dark ghostly eyes and needle teeth on an ever-open lipless maw leading to a bottomless gullet of rotating fangs.

This was Llandu'gor the Flayer, Necron God of Famine and he was the one leading the Infinite Empire through this desolate realm for he was the most knowledgeable and experienced in traveling the Ghostwind within his godly brethren. None rivaled him in navigating through that dimension and if not for the current situation he would not have shown how experienced he was in this 'art'.

The fleet composed of billions upon billions of Cruisers, technologically altered heavenly bodies, and space stations suddenly stopped, the fluid motion that was akin to one living organism freezing in time as Llandu'gor did a second prior.

Then he spoke, his voice distorted, rattling yet unsettling soft but as strident as metal scraping against metal with an air of sardonic amusement and obscene excitement, "We HAVe REAchEd OuR DestINATIon, lET uD RIp, aNd TeAR OUr fRAIl ENeMy, lET's StRIke tRUE At tHEir MoSt vULNeraBLe. DeATh iS fAR LoNg oVErdUe ANd tHeIR SOul uNdEServInG oF tHe WarM cOnFIne BrOUght By THeiR soFT SUcCuleNt FLesH."

He spread his desiccated arms wide, long serrated fingers forming into fans of shredded skin as he manipulated the absence within the Ghostwind creating clouds of rust from every pores of his form.

"Indeed! Let's enter their domain of flimsy imagination and bring smoldering wrath upon them, immolating their bodies, minds, and souls! Their fates are to burn in brimstone ash and baleful fire as we consume their delicious tormented essence!", a distinct ever so feminine yet gritty voice echoed with twisted passions of another C'tan followed.

Her flamboyant figure brighter than any star took the scene as she invoked innumerable sweltering stones the size of small planets and particular geometry for her to create a portal. A Dolmen Gate of size and power never seen before.

This was Nyadra'zatha the Burning One, Necron Goddess of Conflict, her vaguely feminine body of white incandescent flame, her head crowned with a pair of great recurved horns while her lower body was segmented and serpentine and made of blackened Necrodermis.

"Spread, infest, and infect we will… Multiply, grow, and consume we must… The hated enemy weaken we must, and defense destroys we will…", another voice followed, this one chittering and skittering and of many mouths as the one originating of it manifested with a swarm of black and toxic green streaming in front of the gargantuan portal like moths to a bonfire

It was a massive elongated body of Necrodermis full of pupil-less green eyes, and wide open circular maws from which eldritch arthropods and germs of living metals squirmed while hundreds of tentacles whipped the void. The head at the front possessed one large eye brighter than all others, a pair of crooked black mandible leading to a gaping jaw of recurved teeth brimming with insectoid life, four thin and small arms were grew bellow, two backward with hands, and two forward ending in scythes.

Iash'uddra the Endless Swarm, the Necron Goddess of Pestilence, was not the last to come as the one that did was the strongest of them all, the most powerful of all C'tan, and the leader of their temporary alliance, Mag'ladroth the Void Dragon, Necron God of Technology.

His body was truly gigantic, far larger than any of the past three C'tan and they were among the largest of their kind besides being the most powerful aside from Mag'ladroth and the now-deceased Necron God of Death that would have composed their quartet of Death, Famine, Pestilence and Conquest, the four pillar concept of the ancient Necromtyr theology.

His title of Void Dragon held true to his appearance, scales of silvery Necrodermis covering a muscular draconic body held together by radiating green wisp of light. A head boring backward facings and curved horn, jaws with shining metallic teeth barred to the world, two glowing eyes of malevolent light containing an alien intelligence equal only by a very select few.

Thereafter was a mighty neck of corded metallic plate turning into a six-limbed elegant yet bulky beastly body, two demonic wings spread to their full glory, four barreled limbs ending in digitigrade paws capable of crushing, and at the end was a long tail of serrated spikes.

"Hateful, meek, foolish arrogant cowardly creatures using powers that are not theirs to command, cowering behind their little guardian puppets in all of their forms for they only know fear in their innate weakness. They are the Old Ones, and their time has come for their reign upon the stars to come to an ultimate end.", Mag'ladroth began with a smile upon his jaws, his voice rumbling and deep echoing through the dark nothingness of the Ghostwind as he flew to the incandescent Dolmen Gate.

Lifting a clawed hand thousands of kilometers long prism of pure darkness cared with mysterious symbols manifested into a precise circular formation as the C'tan said darkly, "They knew of our arrival, they knew of their imminent demise but not the method and time it shall happen. Terror grips their hearts and minds at this unknown factor; they await their rightful judgment with lackluster bravado clustered into fragile bastions of vainglory. Their greatest strength shall become their downfall as betrayal awaits them from power that never was theirs to command, it shall turn them to hapless prey with for singular purpose to satisfy our endless appetite for we will feast until nothing remains."

At those words, the four C'tan moved energy beyond that of any stars coursing through their body of Necrodermis as they finished the ultimate preparation.

Simultaneously their soulless slaves of metals were hard at work with weaker C'tan doing much the same, antimatter beam charged, gravitational singularity beam crackling, and matter suppression cannon. Most important of all was the Null Obelisks charging to be powered up, one the largest of all located on a planet that in an alternate distant future would have at its destruction split the galaxy in two.

At the same time in one of the many spaceports of the Celestian Enclave was a male Aeldari wrapped in a complex set of robes, he was one of the billions upon billions of others here, if higher ranked than most. His current duty was to verify the glyph matrix composing the main engine of the Shadow-class cruiser he was in was working as intended and that all wards were at their full.

A soft frown made its way into his inhuman charming feature, at this the heavily armored Aeldari behind him asked with a hint of worry by a precise mix of her voice, psychic pulse, and body movement, "Is something of the matter esteemed Arch-Runeweaver Vanir? Is there any problem with Elact'ingrah?"

"No, no there is not, High Helmer Malessa. Your 'Elact'ingrah' is more than in an adequate state for the successful operations of 'his' most vital functions.", Vanir conveyed, making sure to emphasize 'Elact'ingrah' and 'his' for he understood how unpleasant her kind of people could become about this aspect of life.

There was a psychic collection and some Cruisers could be considered 'living' by certain standards but to anthropomorphize them. That was something he couldn't understand but it wasn't the time to start an asinine debate on this. Luckily it was a philosophy shared within only a minority group, to this extreme degree that is.

"No, I fear this is something dramatically in opposition to your earlier thoughts High Helmer Malessa. Close your eyes and attire yourself to the great flows of unreality, do you perceive it through the grand tapestry of the Sea of Souls?", he gestured and her eyes exposed through the open visor of her helmet closed before widening before settling on a heavy but resigned expression.

Vanir closed his eyes, long elegant fingers behind paper-thin silk clutched an amulet of gold dangling from his neck. It was a medallion taking the form of a golden ring containing five straight lines of gold crossing each other in a way that made a five-pointed star, the upper tip connecting to the chain.

It was a sacred symbol of the highest order, one that in recent times had spread far and beyond in the Aeldari society and that of others of the lesser Young Races such as the barbaric Krork. If something akin to society could even be translated for them and the mere thought of those green creatures desecrating his God-image brought the Arch-Runeweaver's fury beyond what he knew he could experience.

It was the holy symbol of the Archdjinni of the Ring, the Aeldari God to which Vanit was the most devoted even if his profession would suggest it would to the Forgebound or the Phoenix King and it would be true but both deities did not convey his domain of expertise, runic language, to that degree of compatibility.

Also, Hoopa was simply far more proactive and responding, since his first appearance and the legendary battle that ensued he had been nigh omnipresent in every major battle granting blessings to the worthy. The medallion in his hand was proof of it, a blessing from the Aeldari God of Magic himself, an artifact entirely composed of runes so complex and advanced yet so simple in design he could barely begin to fathom their depth.

A perpetual spell given material form with true purposes unknown to all but its creator, a proof of the acknowledgment and approval given to true believers.

Malessa was no different, she had the same symbols on the pauldron of her armor but also a different one on the opposite shoulder. As a High Helmer, captain of her personal flag spaceship and its subsequent fleet. Her worship spread within encompasses all the Aeldari Pantheon like any true Aeldar should but it was focused on Khaine and Hoopa, one for the blessing within battle to a victory and the other for a swift and successful journey.

"May we mee-", Vanir's prayer was violently interrupted by the ground he was on shaking to the point he was thrown off balance and flung to the opposite wall, before he could understand what happened he was warped away in a flash of light and deep purple at the same time his medallion brightened in his hand.

As for Melessa, she caught herself with a telekinetic blast before landing gracefully and teleporting herself into the captain seat of her Cruiser central command room, the pentacle edged on her shoulder glowing light purple as she did so.

The first thing she saw through the room's psychic screens caused her porcelain skin to lose all color, her eyes to widen, far too large pupils to become two small dots and her body to feel both existential dread and righteous wrath, the latter of which overpowered the former as the second symbol on her shoulder lit up red.

In the far distance was an ocean from every direction stretching far beyond what her eyes and any of her equipment could perceive. It was countless tides of ever-shifting cold grey, smooth obsidian black, and baleful glowing toxic green pouring from all possible directions through portals of flaming stones from a dimension that made her every sense scream in distress, the longer she looked the longer the sensation of being gazed back grew.

A tide of soulless machinery that whipped all that was of the Sea of Soul with its presence. Null Obelisks in the millions at their full power the source of it, but this time they did not banish all psychic power from Realspace, they promoted the abyss from which they came using it as a battering ram against the Celistian Enclave from everywhere.

Only to suddenly stop at the manifestation of multilayered psychic gilded shields entirely coated in impenetrably dark runes made of an anomalous substance that obeyed no rules. A recurring pattern of ornate pentacles could be found, but it was only the most often seen symbol as all sacred imagery of all Aeldari Gods could be found infused each with their divine might.

This stopped death and insanity from claiming most if not all of the Young Races, yet strain could be seen and it was of little doubt the barriers would hold but it was also clear they would, could not hold forever under the rapidly rising firepower assaulting them.

Then a psychic surge of potency never felt before burgeoned into the hammering heart of all and the powerful words of Phoenix King were seared into the deepest layer of their very souls, "The awaited time has come! Let the emotions flow through you unimpeded into a singularity that declares the doom of our hated foes as the shole absolute verity! Let my fire, wisdom, and knowledge give you the power deserved to fight and burn in glorious righteous wrath until not even true death, and the most grievous wound shall fail you from enforcing your most holy duty!"


My P@treon is up to chap 26 if you are interested.


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