The Eternal Conflict is here and is unavoidable. Which side will be triumphant? The fate of the world is now dependent on the outcome of this Conflict…

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time…“

Deep in the gloom of a dark and lava strewn cave, a shadow shifts. Two lights, bright with a light of fire unearthly in its ferocity burned in the gloom; a malevolence that seemed to encapsulate the spirit of the twisted evil embodied in form of the Arch-demon, fixed their gaze upon the entrance to the dark smoking cavern. In time the small sound which had pricked the attention of the immortal as she lay supine and relaxed upon a smoking rock grew to form the tangible pattern of footsteps bringing a leer of anticipation to the ancient creature’s lips. Into the foul sulphurous maw of the cave, trembling with fear, crept a figure venturing into the dark seeking the figure who awaited it’s arrival with an air of almost regal ambivalence.

“I…. seek….”

The mortal stumbled, the magnitude of its situation cloying at its brain with the dreadful realisation of its enormity.

“shhhhhhh”cooed the demon with a smile capable of eviscerating a shark in a single bite,

“Spare me the attempt at formality. I’m sure,” (she waved a taloned hand in a lazy manner) “you are on a quest of some sort to find the ancient tales of the underworld or some such thing. You are not the first. You are not even of the first thousand. However, I feel… charitable. Come. Sit. I shall tell you the tale of the creation of all in payment of your long and arduous journey.”

Eyes goggling and sweating profusely, the human meekly sank to a seated position upon the rocky ground, the tiredness of its wearisome journey suddenly washing over it as the red smouldering, yet somehow beguiling eyes seemed to bid it so to do.

The Arch-demon smiled again, and closing its eyes in a mockery of benign recollection for a brief moment once again opened them and fixed the mortal in the gaze of eternity and began to speak…..

“It is said that in the Beginning there was “the Word”. This is partially true. In fact, there were lots of Words, all of which were spoken by The Light – the first Great Being, and creator of All Things. Many branches of theology stem from versions of this truth, (and so on many ways they are ALL right) and so to tell the story of the Creation in a way that suggests it differs from the various beliefs present in the mortal world does not show them any disrespect or attempt to tarnish their validity. These are merely the facts as understood by the Immortals…. and they have been around since the start…

The Light existed in glorious isolation. Nothing is known of this period, nor of the Light’s intent which drew from within that ultimate being the desire to create another sentience, all that is known is that it occurred – and these the first of the immortals were created from The Light itself, it being the only thing that truly existed, formless, ineffable, able to adopt any shape at will and create anything it desired. To try to comprehend those desires would be simply impossible, as the Light had simply always been in existence, and even after creating of its own brightness the first Other creature of existence, The Light never spoke of it. One thing that is remembered from those first days after the Creation of the Empyrean Celestial and the firstborn angels is that The Light wished to be known. That knowledge began something that no one could expect.

Thus it came to pass that the Empyrean Celestial and the first of the angels had been brought into existence. They mirrored the highest ideals of grace and beauty, singing the praises of the Light and obeying unquestioningly and without hesitation or thought. This continued for a period unknown, in the minds of the angels a perfection of the universe in its purity and purpose, and yet lacking the possibilities that could exist beyond the bonds of simple obedience, albeit with the total devotion of the exquisite beings of brightness augmenting the universe already in a linear exultation of the Creator. The song was beautiful but it lacked a quality that only The Light was aware could exist – discord. In the way that music may only reach its full potential by the means of every sound being encompassed in its construct, that lack of dissonance rang as clearly in the ear of The Light, and did so until the day when The Light brought forth the Fire Angel who in his majestic splendour matched only the Empyrean Celestial’s radiant splendour. This angel was unlike any of those who came before, even the Empyrean Celestial herself, exhibiting as he did a nature which showed him to be possessed of a spirit that questioned, even rebelled, revelling at first in free will as was The Light’s intent. Centuries passed with The Light ensconced upon the Celestial Throne engaged in lively debate with the Fire Angel whilst the beautiful Empyrean Celestial added a tone of intellect and positivity to the conversation always siding faithfully with the will of The Light. In these times many glories were created, as the interaction between the entities inspired The Light. The universe began to unfold with The Light’s creations…. stars…. planets…. oceans…. lands…. plants… the richness of creation abounded in splendour and diversity. The praising chorus of the angels became louder so much so that the Empyrean Celestial was bidden to create the High Heavens and unto this place to house the angels and their song. The Fire Angel saw this and interpreting the instruction in another manner borne of his own creativity brought into being the Fire Heaven, both these palaces shining like beacons of glory for The Light. To these places would the Empyrean Celestial retire to praise The Light in their own fashion, and et the discord seemed to continue with a darker note that would challenge all this in the times to come.

As time passed, when seeing creation in its cornucopia of variety, the Fire Angel wondered more and more and argued and questioned becoming frustrated when The Light gave no answer to satisfy his requests for the reason behind this abundance of creativity. This continued in earnest until the time arrived when The Light drew from the corners of the world, dust, and from it fashioned the first mortal. The dust was shaped into the form of a mortal male and life given unto it from that same ethereal power with which The Light created all the beauty of the universe. The Fire Angel watched the creation with the eyes not of praise but of a depth of expectation, knowing within his self that this mortal must surely be sent to him as the most like it – the freest willed of creation save for the mortal, and thusly his pride grew with self-assuredness, expecting, nay KNOWING that soon the mortal would be basking in the beauty of the Fire Heaven and conversing with the Fire Angel as one would a worshipped mentor. It was, therefore, with a shock and anger never previously experienced, that the Fire Angel observed The Light set the mortal to the Highest Heaven under the tutelage of the angels and the Empyrean Celestial! Jealousy raged within his being as a fire greater than any other he had experienced. Why must he suffer this indignity? He who was not some slavish angel mindlessly chanting Gloria without thought but extolling a higher form of praise unique amongst its kind! Greater than the Empyrean Celestial! Almost greater than THE LIGHT!!!! He raged and thundered and called out to The Light demanding that the mortal be destroyed as it was unfit for the newly created universe. He called out that this universe should not of been created for the mortals but for the angels who were enough, sufficient, perfect to exist as the ones favoured by The Light alone.

The Light saw the rage of his creation and rather than do as the prideful Fire Angel wished, and to the utter incredulity of the Fire Angel, did show to the Fire Angel the mirror of creation, the Darkness, which having been firstly created to be the bride of the mortal now instead he set over the Fire Heaven, corrupting it and shattering from it the beauty of its origin and removing it from the sight of The Light for all eternity. The Hell, for such was the Fire Heaven now known, boiled in the gloom of the brooding darkness, eternally consumed in its own fire and torment, a place and home of nothing but the incarnation of the Fire Angel’s jealousy, rage and pain. And there it consumed him. The Prime Evil, for this now was his name, was incarnate.”

The Arch-demon reclined slightly. The mortal sat, swaying gently, the tale as mesmeric as the red unblinking eyes seemed to penetrate the very smog that swirled foetidly in the lava-lit glow of the cavern. The temperature, oddly tolerable despite the pools of tungsten dripping upwards under the gaze of the Arch-demon, served only to swirl the atmosphere in a yet more sickening merry-go-round. “Soon” she thought, “this one shall give itself….” With a snakelike motion she resettled on the rock and recommenced her tale….

“In the time that passed following those events many things happened in the ethereal planes. First amongst them, the mortal, now of great age and wisdom asked of The Light a bride who was mortal as he was, that they may procreate and fill the world as The Light had wished. The Light restored to the mortal his youth and vitality and created of him a second mortal and he named them the Male and the Female and set them to fill the world with the children of their own creation.

It was an action which as time passed came to the eyes of the Prime Evil in the Hell. Aeons had passed and his powers, though no longer good, were sharp and honed, twisted to the dark desires of his evil intent just as his mirror, the Empyrean Celestial, gloried in her talents in the Highest Heavens. He set unto himself a task of devious and vicious intent, creating from the dark evils of Hell his own army. Hellish creatures they were, the first of them physical embodiments of elements of his own being; Destruction, Vice, Hatred, Anguish, Terror, and Deception.”

(here she paused and preened slightly before continuing)

“The polar opposite of the Archangels of heaven they were, those being the elements of Grace born of the Empyrean Celestial herself; Hope, Valour, Wisdom, Fate, Death, and Justice. As great and mighty as those were, these were equal, and though not as strong were their better in agility. He set them to work spawning legions of denizens to fill the Hell to bursting, its mighty forges blazing furiously in the eternal night and fire and the unholy screams of the rage-filled abominations rang into the darkness without end. There was a terrible purpose and intent to the Prime Evil in these actions. In the millennia that the mortals flourished and began to walk upon all the surfaces of the Earth, so it was that the Army of Hell became in strength and number equal to the choirs of Heaven with one purpose: War against the children of The Light.”

The mortal slumped slightly. The eyes of the great demon narrowed a little and she shuffled slightly once again drawing the eyes of the mortal up to her gaze and locking it there. Soon…….

“There is much more to tell you little one, do pay attention. The War was intended by the Prime Evil’s design, to spread across all of the firmament before vanquishing the ethereal realm and the Highest Heaven. Then would he turn his attention to the mortals and their dwelling, and great would be their suffering. He laughed and turned his gaze towards the Earth for the first time in millennia…. and what he says lit up within him a rage as great as shook the pillars of the Hell sending the demons scattering in mewling terror. Angels walked upon the Earth!! HE could hardly believe his eyes and yet there he saw with his all-seeing perception that indeed the angels walked amongst the mortals in their own image. Rage boiling from him he focused his mind and by the sheer will of his mind he took form upon the world of the mortals.

The feel of holding form in the mortal world disgusted him. HE found it akin to crawling among worms beneath his attention, and yet knew that his demons must also come to this place and wage their war so that no place was free of his total dominion. He strode to the nearest mortal and drew from it all the light that the being held tainting it to the darkness. This tainted shell would be a carrier for the evil of his creations – a shell for them to possess via the conduit he would produce.

So it was with all things that their mirror was created in Heaven and in Hell. For every device, every exquisite article wrought of te Light by the hand of the Empyrean Celestial, so its twisted counterpart was brought into screaming existence by the Prime Evil in the fires of the Hell. The War began in earnest spilling across all the planes of existence, never to end until one or the other side is finally extinguished into darkness or burnt into nothing by Light. The details of all of this I shall pour into your mind oh mortal, you shall hear so much more… the tales of the demons, the angels, those who walked from the nothing into the stone-carved immortality of history. In this tale there is Fire and there is Light, there is torment and there is ecstasy… “

The mortal slumped to its side, an empty shell devoid of life as the Arch-demon looked on. She smiled having enjoyed filling the mortal’s ears with the tales of the conflict just as she had without its knowledge taken its soul and body slowly while it gazed entranced in her story. She realised some parts may be…. “embellished” but then as the embodiment of Deception she felt it would be inappropriate to tell the WHOLE truth. She smiled again and as the dust of the mortal melted into the air she settled on her rock to await the next adventurer, knowing another would come soon to hear another chapter of the tale of the Eternal Conflict….

Attack on Heavens’ Gates

Good and Evil. Right and Wrong. Light and Darkness. These things have always fought to extinguish the other neither ever wanting to compromise, so has been the way since such differences and opposing forces came into creation. First there was light so pure, alone, then came the darkness challenging the light. Which would win? Light? Darkness? Neither? No one really knows the answer to such a question, no one would ever surely know unless there comes an end to this Eternal Conflict…if there ever is an end.

The tale of this time unfolds mere millenias into the raging wars of the Heavens and Hell. At this particular time all seemed calm. It is said to be calm before a storm.

It was a bright and sunny day within the realm of mortals. The wind blew just enough to cool the air. It looked almost peaceful as if there wasn’t an Eternal War raging in the midst of these mortals. Calm, serene, tranquil even. Amidst a crowd of people there are two figures moving rather quickly. One is a tall man with a pale face, brown eyes. His face looked as if his bones were to pierce through his skin at any given moment. He wore a long slick leather trench coat, boots, and a buttoned down shirt. He walked with great agility and swiftness, never once looking forward but keeping his eyes glued to the ground, yet he never once bumped into anyone. The other was a woman she differed drastically from the man. She was shorter than the man but certainly tall for a woman. She wore a white cloak over her head hiding her face from view. The cloak draped elegantly around her frame, flowing perfectly with her every motion. Under the sun there was a glint of something shiny in her hand. She walked swiftly and with great purpose, keeping her eyes locked on the back of the man she was following.

The man eased his way out the crowd and slipped into a nearby alleyway. Unknown to him the woman followed him there. She walked briskly never making a sound. She catches up to him and places her hand on his shoulders and whispers “I got you.” The man immediately spun around, his face in total shock at who was now before him. He tried to step back and slip away but the woman kept her hands locked tightly to his shoulder. “Uh-uh, you think I would let you get away that easily?” she says as a slight smile crawls upon her face. He looked utterly dumbfounded at her “N..No, but why are you of all people here after me..?” She sighs “You demons always have to act like you never do anything wrong, huh? I watched you butcher a dozen mortals today. Do you think I would just idly stand by and leave you? Unbelieveable.” The demon lets out a laugh as his eyes begin to burn red as he spits out his words in disgust “Well, well so the Empyrean Reaper does care about these cockroaches after all. I heard rumors you rather watch them die. Maybe you enjoy it since you do in fact love to maintain your Death persona the most” The Empyrean Reaper grimaces pushing the demon backwards colliding his back to the wall cracking some of the bricks free as they crumble to the floor. She unsheathes her Seraph Blade and aims it at his throat “Why would I give any of my time to speak to a petty creature such as yourself! You will die here and now for your crimes demon!” Before she can bring the blade down to his throat she gets knocked back slightly as fire begins to form in front of the demon. Wings appear and soon the fire disappears and leaving another man in its wake. He says “You, demon go back to Hell now.” He turns to face the Empyrean Reaper “I can’t have you hurting my demons. I need to speak with you, it is important.” The Empryrean Reaper looks up with anger burning through her eyes “Seriously! I was going to kill that. You choose to visit at the worst possible times Prime Evil.” He grins and stares at her “Well, what can I say, I really needed to see you” She rolls her eyes and sheathed her blade “Why would I meet you after you let that demon I tracked all day escape?” The Prime Evil walks closer to her and touches her face “..because it’s important. Let’s go talk privately in our usual meeting place” She smacks his hand from her face and starts to walk off out the alley way “Fine, but I won’t be staying long.” She doesn’t give him any chance to respond and disappears into a blinding light.

She lands smoothly in an elegant palace. The floors of the palace are marble tiles with gold trimming that glisten as the sun beams through the enormous stained glass opening on the ceiling. There were no doors or windows to this palace, it was completely sealed off from the outside world. The Empyrean Reaper sighs as she leans on a nearby column. Suddenly a voice echos through the palace “My love, you sure are slow…” She jumps slightly and reels around to the direction of the voice. There she sees the Prime Evil sitting leaning his chin on the ball of his fist. “If I knew that you would be here before me I would have taken much longer and made you wait.” With that he chuckles “…and you think I wouldn’t mind waiting? All I do is wait these days” She shrugs and walks over to him and sits on the throne directly beside his.

Next to each other there was a complete contrast, their thrones resembled this same contrast. Her throne was made of pure gold with 2 wings pointed upwards as the back rest. It sat on a step like platform with golden and white carpets shimmers downwards. His was a throne made of blackness and red with spikes pointing outwards. His too sat on a platform but the carpets were red and orange almost resembling lava.

They sat there in silence for a while just gazing at each other. It is not often that they get to meet like this. Finally, the Empyrean Reaper breaks the silence. “So what was so important that you had to call me here?” The Prime Evil cocks his head to the side staring directly into her eyes “Maybe I just missed seeing you and wanted us to catch up. What has it been…nearly 100 mortal years since we got together like this?” She smiles slightly “Ahh well yes, something like that.. I miss the times we had back in Heaven before this conflict” He slouches a bit in his chair keeping his eyes locked with hers “I had to leave that place… you know I had to.. If only you would have came along with me” She sighs “You know I couldn’t I will forever stay loyal to the Light even if that means being at war with you for all eternity.” He chuckles placing his hand on the base of her chin “You have a strong will, I have always adored that about you.” They sit and talk for what seems like hours, enjoying each others company.

Unbeknownst to the Empyrean Reaper the Prime Evil had bad intentions that day. Before meeting with her he ordered his Hell’s Commander, Akiva, to ready his legions for an attack upon Heavens’ Gates and that he would distract the Empyrean in order to make the attack go more smoothly. With the Empyrean now distracted, Akiva commands the legions of Hell to begin their assault on Heavens’ Gate. The Angels would be caught off guard, this was a chance the demons had to take to hopefully once and for all win in this Eternal Conflict.

A fast moving black cloud moves closer to the Gates of Heaven. The Seraphim on watch sees this and uses his foresight to see through the cloud. To his shock thousands of demons swarm towards Heaven with weapons in hand. He immediately sounds to horns of Heaven, telling all Angels to prepare for battle for they had no time to waste, they couldn’t allow the demons to enter the Heavens…they mustn’t. As the swarm of demons rapidly approached the gates several choirs of angels went to meet them on their approach while others created a parameter around the gates. An all out war raged mere steps away from the Gates of Heaven. The Angels were at a disadvantage…they were caught off guard, and most of all they saw no sign of their Empyrean. They couldn’t ponder long on such thoughts they must protect the Gates.

Clashing of metal against metal as the battle continued sounding as sharp thunder ringing throughout. Both Angels and Demons fell all around the gates. Angels faded returning to the battlefield mere seconds after…Demons banished back to Hell only to possess yet another host to return to the battlefield… this was unending. Brightness and blood splattered all across the gates of Heaven as if a painter was painting on a canvas.

Suddenly the Empyrean Reaper jumps from her throne with a panicked look on her face. She immediately reveals her wings and gets ready to fly “I must leave now. There is something wrong at the Heavens I can sense it.” Before she can depart the Prime Evil stands swiftly from his throne approaching her and frowns “I am sure that there isn’t anything so urgent that our meeting should be cut short” She looks at him briefly “I must go, we can meet at a different time.” A bit of anger begins to creep across his face as he presses her to stay “Am I not important enough for you to stay?” “You are… but the Heavens are more important, if it is in danger I must be there to protect it!” she almost screams those words. She gets more annoyed and extends her wings “I must go.. Goodbye.” She begins her ascent as the speed of her wings intensifies but before she can warp out of the mortal realm the feels a tug on her wings. She looks down and she sees the Prime Evil pulling her downward with the aid of his own wings. She flaps her wings faster and it seems that he does the same. She thinks to herself “Seriously,,,, what is his problem?” Her annoyance growing she focuses all her strength on flying upward. The two powerful forces in opposite directions seem to break the barrier that seals the mortal realm from the ethereal realm. Before they realize it they are tossed into a swirl of darkness spiraling out of control. Once the spiraling ceases they find themselves in a desolate place, void of light…. Void of everything…. This place seemed to be simply.. Nothingness.

Angrier than ever the Empyrean Reaper begins to yell “Great! Look what you have done. What is your problem anyways?” The Prime Evil stares at her indifferently and smirks “Do you mean what I have done now? Or perhaps that I sent my Hell’s Commander along with my demon army to destroy the Heavens?” The anger completely disappears from her face and is replaced by pure shock “Y-you did what? No.. no.. no… you wouldn’t.. You are lying!” The smirk on his face widens as he steps mere inches from her face “Look in my eyes and tell me if I am lying.” She against all her will forces herself not to attack him right then and there. She looks up into his eyes and glares into the depth of them searching for the truth. It was always hard to read him, especially now after he left from the Heavens and became the Lord of Hell. She doesn’t find any trace of misinformation within his eyes and steps away from him. She tries to focus her foresight to the Heavens but to no avail. “What is this place?” she thinks to herself. As if reading her mind he says “It seems to me we are stuck between time and space, thanks to you trying to leave, we could have been peacefully talking in the Palace while your Heavens crumbled, then maybe you would consider returning to Hell with me” She frowns containing her anger over all she has just learned “You must think the Heavens’ to be weak. Even if the Heaven’s were destroyed I would never turn to Hell, I would rebuild and always follow the Light.” “Always the ever so loyal queen to the Light” he says while laughing loudly. His laughter at her statement seemed to be the last straw to her containing her anger. “Everything is not a game!” she shouts. “You know.. You think I will just stand idly by and talk with you here? Draw your weapon and fight me.”

The Prime Evil now quite amused “Well.. well as you wish.. Though doing so is pointless you know.. it’ s not like we can kill each other” She snarls summoning her dual bladed scythes “I don’t care! I will beat you to where you cannot move for days!” “Feisty aren’t you?” he chuckles as fire spits out of the darkness revealing dual wielding flails. He catches them one in each hand and spins them around in a taunting manner. She clenches the scythe tightly between her fists. Lightning rapidly emits from her fists throughout the full length of the scythe. Without hesitating she slashing the scythe towards his neck as her anger boils over. He simply sidesteps the scythe smirking as he swings the flail towards her. She blocks the attack with the blade of her scythe getting pushed back slightly. They remain between time and space for an unknown amount of time sharing blow after blow. It was obvious to them that neither of them could win but one fueled by anger and the other wanting to serve as a distraction kept them both in this fight.

Meanwhile in the Heavens’ the demon’s assault on the gates continued. Carnage was everywhere. A battle between immortals was always a fierce and gruesome one. Mortal men would tremble in fear if they were to witness such a battle. The angels sent out choir after choir to protect the gates. A never ending wave of them surrounded the gates while the demon army swarmed the flanks and pushed forward. The Hell’s Commander along with the Arch Demons separated from the rest of the demon army in attempt to get closer to the gates. They began pushing through the middle of the battlefield fading any angel blocking their way. From the top of the gates the Seraphim saw them and called to the Archangels. Without a commander of Heaven nor the Empyrean they would have to face the Hell’s Commander and Arch Demons alone. The Archangels dived swiftly into the forefront of the battlefield meeting the officers of the demon army head on. A fierce battle began between them. Surrounding them were other angels and demons fighting one another, neither side seeming to have any advantage over the other.

While the battle at Heavens’ Gate continued on, the Prime Evil and the Empyrean Reaper were still engaged in a battle of their own. Both have become slightly wounded but they continued their attacks nonetheless. The Prime Evil swings his flail around in a rapid motion towards her. The Empyrean being wounded could not escape the impact quickly enough as the flail sinks deeply into her right chest cavity. Brightness seeps out of the gaping wound. Before she falls to her knees she manages to hook one edge of her scythe in the Prime Evil’s abdomen which begin to gush out an immense amount of blood. Both now severely injured stare maliciously at each other. With the last strength they have they try to pull swiftly on their weapons but before they could the time and space once again begins to shatter. The cracks were perfect.. When they raised their head, through the cracks they could see the Heavens’ Gate and images of the raging war where the Empyrean was trying to go. Under them they could see the palace that they were previously in. They felt the void closing in on them as they fell landing abruptly on the marble floors of the palace. They lay still next to each other both bleeding profusely. “This is all your fault” she says as she coughs up brightness. Barely managing to speak “I can admit… I taunted you a bit.. But I can do you one favor for now” Without saying anything further he sends a faint signal to Hell’s Commander to call off the demon army and for them to return to Hell.

The Commander hears the message from the Prime Evil and telepathically tells all demons to return to Hell immediately. As fast as the demons approached the Gate’s of Heaven… they soon disappeared. The Angels not sure of what occurred gathered together to mend any damage that was done to the gates. The Angels still had no idea where their Empyrean had disappeared to but they had full faith that she would return and they would report to her the details of what happened in her absence.

The Empyrean Reaper lays there in silence not quite knowing what he meant by a favor and not having any energy left to speak and ask him. All she can do now is hope with all her being that the angels managed to protect the Heavens’ as she had no strength now to return. They both lay on the floor broken, bleeding, and in silence… for who knows how long it takes for them to fully heal.

What is for certain though is that Heaven’s Gates is safe for now… The Eternal Conflict rages on, we have yet to know if any side shall ever claim victory in any battle or any war or if it will forever stay in a stasis of neither winning. Will we remain locked in this Eternal Conflict or will one side become triumphant once and for all?