The Tale of the First Battle is the story as told to worshippers by the priests of the gods, using analogy and metaphor as a means of condensing this epic struggle of gods and mortals into a simple tale. Consequently, it reads as an in-verse narrative rather than a standard article.
The Assembling of the ArmiesEdit
After Death was refused dominion over new-made Titan, he and his brothers retreated to the outermost of the Planes, and plotted the downfall of the Celestial Court. They gathered together their allies, the Dark Gods, and all their foul beasts, made from a stolen portion of the Clay of Life. And then they marched on the Celestial Court itself! Yet wise Titan had realised that Death would attempt such a thing, and had summoned the other gods down to the surface of the world. It would be on the world of Titan, at the very heart of the Planes of Existence, that the battle between Good and Evil would be waged.
The two armies were vast, greater than imagination and greater than belief can accept. None could see the end of the massed ranks – not even the eyes of Hawk Lord, the keenest of all the gods, could take in such assembled numbers. Every race that once was and many that still survive had sent its greatest warriors, and the less great also, for not one soul existed that could be spared.
Mighty Titan stood at the head of the army of Good, flanked by a vanguard of the greater gods, including Galana, Throff and Sukh. All awaited the order to attack, all awaited the moment of truth. Elves, Dwarfs, Giants and Humans readied themselves for the inevitable clash against those that would become their greatest foes – the Goblins, Trolls, Cyclops and Orcs.
Far overhead, the Dragon King Kilanirax led a host of gleaming Dragons, whilst closer to the ground flew the Hawklord and the true birds of prey. Sukh’s Life-Stealers were scattered amongst them, relying on their strength alone to carry the day, scorning the order and discipline of their allies. Arrayed against them were the foul brood of the Black Gargoyle, scavenger birds and the Harpies of cruel Tanit.
An eternity could have passed, yet it would not have mattered to those present on the day of the First Battle. Then, from the skeletal ranks of endless undead, did the Sounder of the Horn step forward and break the silence for the first time. The battle had begun!
The Initial AttacksEdit
Howling madly, the army of Evil swept down the plain towards the opposing forces of Good. The sound of the impact alone could have reduced mountains to dust, yet the front line held and counter-attacked. Even in those times, Evil feared the axes of the Dwarfs and the bows of the Elves, and that day both races made unequalled use of both.
Wild magic burst overhead from both sides, and the dread power of Death started to claim more and more with every passing moment. The advance of the undead could not be halted even by the most stalwart, although its shambling pace was slowed to a mere crawl. Throughout the battlefield, nameless beasts of Chaos fought noble beasts of Order – led by the fearsome Magir and Sku-Rasha his brother, the great cats tore through the foulness and opened a path for others.
A scuttling horde of insects, spiders and scorpions was the next threat, foes far too small to fight with sword or spear, yet able to strip a man to the bone in minutes. But even as untold numbers fell to them, the forces of Evil were struck a crippling blow. They had extended their line too far, leaving their flanks vulnerable ... and it was here that the full force of the Stallion God and Rogaar struck, followed by their Centaur and Felinaur creations, the latter's war-cry "Kurawu" embodying the very nobility of the hunter gods.
Weakened by this sudden attack, the army of Evil began to fragment and pull back to the second line. Yet they were having more success in the air. A stalemate had been reached between most of the opposing forces, neither side gaining much advantage over the other ... but things were looking grim for the Dragons. The sly, insidious whispers of Slangg had caught hold of many of their minds, turning them against their brethren. This civil war could not be swayed by the Dragon King, for he was fighting for his very life against the Black Gargoyle, and the mightiest of the Fallen Dragons reaped a terrible harvest with none to challenge them, because of the Oath they were held to.
The Duels of the GodsEdit
For all the valour of the common soldier that day, there were some deeds that cannot be surpassed save till the Final Battle. The uncaring savagery of the sorcery duel between Hamaskis and his sibling twins Shekka and Quezkari, threatening to tear reality itself apart in the vicinity. The bravery of small Meerar in assaulting her far greater brother, Durrak, to draw him away from Harrun, Skitta and Grush, all frozen with fear at the howl of Almor. The fires of Lorodil's Salamanders holding the terrible Manticore at bay at equally terrible cost.
There was also the Wolf Lord’s injury by Gurrang that allowed Death to steal some of his essence and create Lycanthropy, the battle between Telak and Hashak as the two warrior-gods of Good and Evil met in stalemate, the supreme violence of the Berserker God Oiden as he fought the many Insect Gods and the Basilisk, the heroism of the Hunter and even that of his nemesis, the Orc Champion, the agonies of Voivod as his soul was torn between the two sides, and many more besides.
Hydana had drawn the oceans of the cosmos around himself, and was flanked by Lord Whale, and Ichthys and his brethren. The former was entwined by the Sea Monster, with only his godly power keeping him from being crushed by the foul creature, and the latter were busy avoiding the fanged limbs of the Behemoth. Thus was the Sea God left to face the cold treachery of the Shark God alone, two of the mightiest ocean gods circling as endlessly as the latter's modern-day offspring. Monstrous Kraken battled aquatic Demons and Chaospawn, whilst Farigiss froze many reinforcements in their slipstreams.
However, few remember that there was another conflict that occurred outside of the battlefield itself. The Lizard God Suthis Cha, unusually for an Animal God, had the power of prescience and had foreseen the First Battle. For some unknown reason, he decided to make himself absent from it, and spent his time in a remote part of Titan, crafting the early Lizard Men from swamp mud and lizard skins.
Upon his return to the Celestial Court, he encountered Kareep, the terrified Mouse God, cowering in a corner after having fled from the ravening hunger of his brother Shreech, the Rat-King. Since they were alone and unobserved, Suthis Cha gave in to an ancient impulse and swallowed Kareep. However, some part of him had evidently forgotten that he was trying to eat a god. Kareep fought back with all his strength, growing inside the Lizard God’s throat and choking him.
It was this act that sent Suthis Cha into remission for millennia, so that he couldn’t protect the Lizard Men from the corruption of Ishtra, and created a paralytic fear of mice within the Calacorm race. Meanwhile, Kareep, emboldened by his surprise victory, returned to the First Battle to finish it.
The Fatal ErrorEdit
Seeing the battle beginning to swing in their favour, the three greatest Dark Gods, Death and his brothers Disease and Decay, gathered their energies and let fly a dark bolt of hatred and fear. Though this was aimed at Titan, he was saved by Throff when she flung herself in front of him, taking the full force of the bolt in her side. It burned her terribly and she cried out in agony.
As the dark flames licked her side, a fire brighter than any other arose in the hearts of the Dwarfs. Enraged at the blasphemous assault on their maker, they broke rank and hurled themselves at their enemies. Such was their rage that even the fearless trembled, the mightiest fled. As a circle of dead piled up around each Dwarf, Throff’s husband Filash and their children, including Verlang and Lorodil, circled her to defend her from further attack, exploding into a blinding corona of bladed flames and molten rock.
Seeing her beloved sister so wounded, surrounded by her family and avenged by her creations, awoke a new feeling in Galana. Hatred. Though she had gone to battle veiled so that none could see her fear, now she tore off the veil and revealed her true strength. Gathering the very power of life itself, she fashioned a spear of light and life and hurled it at her foes. As it passed, Glantanka lent her strength to it, as did Kilanirax, having finally triumphed over the Black Gargoyle.
The bolt was not aimed at Death and his brothers, or else the history of the world might be very different from what it is. Instead, Galana flung it at distant Time, whose discovery by Logaan and capture by Death had begun all this. He was surrounded by the greatest of the Demons – the Snake and Night Demons, and many others of equal rank such as Miphreas, Akragog and Rivel. They had been commanded not to leave his side under any circumstances by Death himself.
Fortunately for them, and unfortunately even for many Demons, they scattered the instant they saw Galana’s bolt head towards them. Some, including the Snake and Night Demons, simply fled back to the Demonic Planes, realising what the consequences of this retreat would be. Time was struck full-on by the bolt and exploded, spreading his power throughout the Earthly Plane and one day coalescing into Chronada.
But for now, the battle was over. With Time destroyed, the greatest of Demons gone and many champions of Evil slain or wounded, there was no other option but for the forces of Evil to surrender. The Demons fled back to their home planes, their mortal allies simply fled. Titan called for the execution of the Dark Gods but was stopped when Throff asked for their exile instead, arguing that their death would be Evil in and of itself. It seems that not even her terrible wound could overcome the Goodness inherent within her.
And so the Dark Gods were merely banished to the Void. The Animal Gods that had been tricked into fighting alongside them were pardoned, since their companions knew exactly what they had been thinking and refused to tolerate further harm to them. Some of the lesser Dark Gods were also pardoned, such as Hashak and Slangg, since they had fought valiantly and sometimes even honourably, though it would be many centuries before they were not watched closely at all times.
- ↑ Out of the Pit - p.??/??
- ↑ Night Dragon - ???
- ↑ Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - p.??/??
- ↑ The Trolltooth Wars - ???