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Events of the 9th of Slate, 1091
Ironblood stepped forward. He felt... strange. He reacted easily as Xotes flung herself at him, and the flames turned aside harmlessly from his skin.
She seemed much less dangerous now, somehow. Slower, weaker... although come to think of it, it probably wasn't her.
They danced for a few seconds, a whirl of colour, flame and steel, until the inevitable conclusion.
Xotes didn't even realise what had happened. She was whole and then suddenly she was sliced in half at the waist. Her eyes registered shock as she tumbled into pieces, gaping at Ironblood as he stepped forward grimly to finish his task.
The battlefield was a horror. The remaining few creatures circled overhead, out of reach, occassionally raining down a fireball on the hapless soldiers.
So many had died. Taking the Captain's advice they'd made certain to destroy or sever the heads of the fallen, to prevent them rising again. It had been a strategy that had worked, but it hadn't bouyed any spirits.
The soldiers were currently taking cover, trying to take stock of who was left alive. Many of the survivors were injured beyond their ability to fight, and it was unlikely they would survive another push.
Viktoria looked on, studying those who remained. She'd lost a lot of friends, but she'd probably be joining them soon, so it hardly seemed to matter. Hopefully the fortress guard could repel the rest of these things.
Viktoria braced herself as the creatures came together, ready to charge... and then sped off in the direction of the Tower. Viktoria looked after them. Something important had happened, she was certain. That was where the Captain had stationed himself.
The creatures had swarmed him as he had descended the stairs. Their flames had swept harmlessly over him and then he had ended them.
Below, in the cemetary, he could sense the Soulsmith having taken form. He could sense the power. He could sense the hate. And he could sense the fear.
The Soulsmith knew he was coming, and he was preparing himself.
Ironblood was vaguely aware of the other members of the Progeny moving around. The flood of divine power had massively amplified the effects of Re-Life, and had given him some other abilities besides. He had already discovered an ability to command the elements, ice and fire and wind.
But he hadn't used them a great deal. It had seemed a lot simpler just to strike these things very hard with his axe.
Stepping into the darkness of the crypts, he was unsurprised to see the Soulsmith waiting for him.
"You..." growled the Soulsmith, "that power was meant for me! You stole my power!"
Ironblood stared at him. "I wouldn't be worrying about that right now, myself."
He swung his axe around, experimentally, to illustrate his point.
"You think that you can kill me?!" seethed the Soulsmith, "What are you?! NOTHING! YOU'RE AN INSECT!"
Ironblood didn't reply. He just started walking forwards.
"FINE!" shouted the Soulsmith. "You will be the first I shall smite!"
The opening volley was a blast of flames. Ironblood stepped through the fire, and struck down with his axe.
Steel struck with such force it sheered away even the toughened body of the Soulsmith, and Ironblood kept the place filled with fire, disorienting the fell god as he struck, again and again.
Finally, he ended it. The Soulsmith was dead at his feet, beyond resurrection.
Ironblood stared at him dully for a moment. Now what?
It seemed as though killing a god was something you couldn't really go back from. He hadn't actually fully expected to survive, so he wasn't quite sure what to do afterwards.
"Well, first things first then," he muttered to himself, "better toss all those crumpets into the garbage. Then I'd better see about the poor bastards outside."
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