The Fall and Rise of All

Written by Dice


An extract from “The Fall and Rise of All” –  a larger work of fiction based around the fantasy world of Eate. 

The castle suddenly shook and large lumps of rock fell from higher battlements. Some hit other fighters, some rolled harmlessly away. None came close to hitting Jaric. Dejectedly, he looked across at the tall tower on the other side of the courtyard – they had already lost it two days before. At the top of what was the tallest tower in the castle complex, another battle furiously raged; one no mortal being or Maysa would have ever seen before. It had started years before and the Thrwan armies were here to take advantage. For at the top of the tower, the Lord God Dorun fought the The Creator. Dark clouds wrapped around the tower and lightning constantly flashed against it.

Occasionally, the immense power of these two beings erupted from the tower and shook the ruined city. Jaric had fought in long sieges before, but never had there been so much destruction. It had once been Ceannais, the grand capital of Dormanica, but now it was mostly rubble. Buildings and siege proof defences flattened by the indefinable celestial battle.

“Breach! The Gate is Breached!” came a cry from inside the keep.

This is it, thought Jaric, it’s over. The keep has been breached, the endless hordes of Thrwan soldiers will flood the remaining defenders. The fighting will be hard, but eventually it will be over. Other sword and spearmen were already rushing past Jaric into the keep. Slowly, using the wall and his sword for support, he wrenched his tired body to his feet.

He was just about to join the others rushing to the keep when the floor shook more violently than before and Jaric fell again, this time against the parapet. The battle went deadly silent for a moment, like it often did after the worst shakes, almost as if the battle was taking a breath before continuing. As the shouts restarted the ground shook even harder, feeling like liquid. Tossed like a ship on the roughest seas, soldiers were strewn. The few remaining buildings in the city crumbled like magical dandruff. Jaric clung onto one of the merlions with all his might. There was an almighty crash of lightning and the whole ground seemed to lurch down, throwing everyone, including Jaric, into the air. Jaric himself toppled over the battlement falling into the courtyard; his fall only broken by the dead bodies piled against the wall.

The ground stilled and Jaric jumped to his feet expecting to find every enemy soldier in the congested courtyard facing him. But they had all fallen too and were shakily returning to their feet. Jaric looked around him, other soldiers from his platoon had also fallen from the wall and were standing either side of him, looking up at the tall tower. The Thrwan soldiers also turned to look up at it; scared of what he’d see Jaric followed their gaze.

The whole roof and the walls surrounding the top floor of the tower were gone. The clouds had parted in a spherical shape. It was hard to see so far up, but in the centre two overly large human shaped figures struggled against each other. They were encased in a large ball of blue light which was pulsing and trying to expand.

Suddenly the ball of light exploded, expanding in all directions at an incredible rate. It raced towards Jaric who turned away from it to protect himself, but as it passed it only felt like a strong gust of wind. He looked back quickly. The whole top half of the tower had blown away, the debris scattered for miles. The two figures from the top were falling at an incredible speed. One held the other below its own body, aiming its opponent’s head to the ground. All around Jaric, soldiers stood aghast, there wasn’t much time to understand what was happening, but somehow everyone knew this was it, the battle of the gods was coming to an end. Doubt flashed in Jaric’s mind, what if Dorun lost?

The two falling divine competitors crashed into the floor of the courtyard and the whole ground lurched again, like carpet swept under one’s feet. Jaric fell, this time hitting stone floor. He ignored the pain, it was just another bruise after all. Others who had been close to the impact where thrown across the courtyard into the surrounding walls, some were thrown clean over.

Jaric ignored the new pains in his body and, like everyone else in the courtyard, scrambled to his feet. Everyone strained their eyes, willing them to look through the dust cloud in the centre of the courtyard. All wanting the same answer, which god, if either would still be standing.

Some Thrwan soldiers who had been closer to the impact screamed, what did that mean? Did it mean Dorun had won?

The dust began to clear, only one figure stood in the centre. Three times taller than any of the mortals around it and undoubtedly female. The Godess, the Creator, the Mother, had defeated Dorun. The dust dissipated making the image clear. She stood amongst them barefoot, wearing a simple thin-silk unblemished white dress. Womanly in shape, she was without a single imperfection, had long golden hair which flowed in the wind, and bright blue eyes that stared with determination and hate. The Goddess was more beautiful than any human, or elf, any of them had ever seen. Her beauty was terrifying. She had overthrown Dorun, and her body and clothing showed no signs of battle that a mortal would expect.

Soldiers from both sides screamed, some fled. Jaric stood paralysed in fear of the vision in front of him.

The Goddess seemed to hear the screams and looked around her. The anger and hate in her eyes faded into sadness. She looked down at her feet. Apart from a small crack in the courtyard floor there was no sign of the impact. She looked up quickly as if she had sensed something. The Creator looked at the humans around her with an expression of determination softening, while tears began to fill her sad eyes. She no longer looked terrifying; instead she looked devastatingly beautiful and, despite her large size, completely fragile.

When she spoke her voice was soft and soothing, but immeasurably sad.

“My children. My lost children. I… I am sorry.”

Tears freely flowed from her eyes as she faded and vanished. Her words were poignant, she had called them her children, never before had humans been called the children of The Mother. They were not elves or Maysa, they were raised as dirt, as pawns of war. And sorry, sorry for what? All in the courtyard wondered it. Sorry for destroying their God? No, she had spoken to those who followed Thrwa too. Sorry for destroying the city? No, it seemed more meaningful than that.

All stood in silence staring at the crack left by the impact. Light spread across the courtyard as dawn broke from behind the courtyard’s fallen eastern wall. The quiet was broken by the clanging of metal on stone. Jaric looked behind him. Dormanican soldiers were throwing their swords down in surrender. Their God was dead, what was the point of fighting in his name? Jaric threw his sword down and looked towards the Thrwan army. Someone shouted something in the Thrwan language an they raised their bows and aimed at the surrendered soldiers.

This was it at last thought Jaric as he closed his eyes. It was ending.

There was a great rumbling sound when Jaric slowly opened his eyes again. The Thrwan soldiers had lowered their bows and turned in the direction of the sound, which was getting louder. Jaric raised his arm to block the blinding sun and, though the light glare faded, he still could not process what he could see rising high above wreckage of the city.


As part of a larger work, Dice’s story excerpt is a bold telling of war. The Rise and Fall of All reminds us that a war between Gods and Goddesses, however epic, still paints a terrifying picture of destruction. In complete disarray, the city falls, and so do the hearts of men, women and children. The battle between power is a never-ending one, but in the end it’s The Creator who hates herself for all she has unleashed. If you enjoyed Dice’s work in the World of Eate, perhaps view other stories from a fantasy world published on Inkblots, including “The Ascension of the Pilgrim”. 

Featured Image CC // Tim Lucas

 

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Diaries of the Gods

Written by Terrestris Veritas

angel_weeping

Is it so hard to just be at peace with each other? Image // Alisa Perne

You humans; all you ever do is fight. None of you can comprehend the destruction that you impose on that which is never at fault. You were a mistake…you were never meant to be.

A curse is a terrible thing. To be constricted to a single condition and never let free. The pain of that never lessens. But you’d know all about that. For you are but pieces of a shattered dream.

You were insignificant to us, we let you breed and run wild. Then we believed you had power over us. That was our mistake. You dragged us into your meaningless wars, made us watch as your hollow ambitions swallowed you all. And we thought we couldn’t escape you.

Time and time again you would annihilate yourselves only to rise once more from the debris. None of you could recognize your own faulty ways. All you ever did was build in order to destroy. Create to kill.

Money, land, politics and possessions. The four curses of your race. Each can easily be forsaken, only you didn’t know how to live without them. And that scared you, enough to turn on your friends and allies. But when you gazed over a burning land of death, you finally realized your foolishness. You did away with yourself, unable to live all alone with your four, foul curses.

Thus, the land burned. We thought you humans had learnt your lesson. But the years turned to centuries, which rolled into millennia, which eventually became eons. You were thought as a legend, as a fable as new people came to be. Then, they turned into the one we still call ‘you’.

A dozen times history repeated itself, the land suffering while only we could hear its screams. How deaf you all were, how obsessed you were with the frail “self”. Perhaps, this was your curse.

Regardless, you hurt us and the world. You even hurt yourselves but again you ignored it. You ignored the screams, the cries for mercy, the children that begged you to stop. And you killed part of us. Always using others, too afraid to look your enemy in the eye as you take their life. Instead, you are content to observe from afar, safe and warm, healthy in your golden frocks. While you slowly killed us.

You would never learn, but who could blame you? The eons were nought but dust, and soot and ash lend no lessons on life. You are the smallest pieces in this puzzle, this wretched puzzle, and you cost us our freedom.

Your part in the puzzle is done. So why do you still hurt us? Why do you still kill yourselves senselessly? You humans, not even content with just being alive. And the funny thing is; you’ve all but forgotten that you were never part of the bigger picture. Just a toy. Just a sad mistake.

Terrestris Veritas had labelled this piece as somewhat experimental, and he wasn’t sure where it would fit. We’re likely to call it a fantasy monologue featuring a livid God and his private thoughts. A reflection upon our society, ‘Diaries of the Gods’ lends itself to this month’s theme light – if only in a small sense. A light above the world, or below it, Gods and Goddesses will peer into the lives of men and women. Terra’s piece gazes upon such atrocities and documents them. If you enjoyed this short piece of fiction, you might like some of Terra’s other work, including but not limited to, ‘Race‘ and ‘The Servant‘.