The Shattering of the Godskey

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Year 30 of the Age of Recovery - Mount Centifus

The cool mountain wind billowed Mygrandin’s cloak, dispersing azure-colored wisps of energy into the night. He teleported alone to this place, the peak of Mount Centifus, but an elderly man in travel-stained clothing awaited him. Mygrandin sighed.

“I know the beginnings and endings of all journeys, Mygrandin Antaloose,” the old traveler said, his green eyes sparkling with life. “I think you are seeing the end, as well. You’ve given up your pendants?”

“All but this one…” Mygrandin winced, as the Travel Pendant of Dira forced its way out of the Restorer’s chest. Travel did not even say goodbye; most of the pendants were against his plan. With a quick phrase and the flick of his fingers, the dirate pendant shot up into the sky, so far up that it would continually miss the surface as it fell back to Mezra.

“I can stop you,” the god threatened, nodding to the staff in Mygrandin’s hand.

“A funny thought, that. You wouldn’t clash with Marco, but you would interfere with me?” he replied.

Mygrandin looked at the short length of wood, metal, and dirate he carried. It was the Godskey, a staff of power whose origin he did not quite understand. Millennia before, it was used by Marco the Enslaver to cloister the world away from the presence of the Dei. Even with Marco gone for 30 years, it still served as the lock to keep the gods and their servants at bay.

I wish we could keep them away. Why force me to this, Lanae?

And yet, Mygrandin was here, the lone spot on Mezra where the Godskey could be destroyed and end the Dei Exsilium.

Mygrandin looked up at the lone god who had not been exiled by Marco’s magic. Fharlanghn was the god of the horizon, the god of journeys.

The god of uselessness, as far as I’m concerned.

The god never directly intervened to thwart the iron grip that Marco held over the world. His priests, however, had been involved in secreting away various members of failed resistances, encouraging people as best they could to rise up and strike off their chains. Not to fight, but to see the world, to yearn for places unseen. Fharlanghn and his priests were not just useless, they actively hindered his efforts during the Marco Wars, encouraging his own followers to “Seek the Horizon.”

“Why are you here, Fharlanghn, if not to stop me?”

“I am a chronicler of Mezra, Master Antaloose. I am here to witness and to record.”

“I think you are worried, that the end of the Dei Exsilium will somehow diminish your role on Mezra, what little it seems to be.”

The god shook his head in disdain. “Your wife is right in this, Mygrandin. A reintroduction of the gods in the lives of Mezrans will bring calm to the world.”

Anger flared in Mygrandin.

“The machinations of the Dei are what allowed Marco to rise to power in the first place! You will meddle. And you will quarrel. The people of this world will suffer as you shrug and shrug again. And you will be off your guard again when Marco returns!” Mygrandin yelled.

A brief moment of confusion appeared on Fharlanghn’s face, a strange expression to see on the face of a god.

“What is this?” Mygrandin asked. “Do you not know?”

“‘Marco the Enslaver, Tyrant of Mezra was slain by Mygrandin Antaloose, the Restorer of Dira, ushering in the Age of Recovery.’ It is Written as Truth in the Chronicles of Mezra.”

“You fool of a god. You don’t know what we did? What we had to do? Let your Chronicles say what they will. This world will know no peace with your brethren's return. I am not here for Mezra. I am here for Lanae!”

Five years ago, Lanae Tence, the keeper of Mygrandin’s heart, left the world of Mezra for the outer planes of existence.

The Dei Exsilium did not stop the egress of those who wished to leave Mezra by magical means. It did prevent their return. It blocked out the servants of the gods, both celestial and infernal. It stopped the gods themselves from intervening in the plights of man. Prayers went unanswered not because the gods were indifferent, but because Marco had shut them out from the world with the Godskey.

For five long years, Mygrandin yearned for the presence of the only thing that brought him happiness when faced with the grim reality of what he he had wrought on the world. They called it the Age of Recovery, but these 30 years had been an Age of Chaos. The world reacted violently to the downfall of Marco, revolting against the very idea of order. To the world, order was synonymous with cruelty, as it was the only law they had ever known. Instead of a world of order ruled over by a tyrant, the world was swept by the chaos of dozens of warring factions.

I’ve tried so hard these past five years, Lanae. I’ve tried to bring peace to our world. I do not agree with you, my love. The Dei are not going to solve our world’s problems, but I cannot bear to be without you any longer.

The god remained quiet. Mygrandin thought him to be plotting.

“Fine then, chronicler. Speak nothing of my selfishness. Feel free to write it. This world does not need to see me as a hero.”

Mygrandin turned his back on the god and peered down the mountainside. His heart sank. Even here, on this island far from the events of the Marco Wars, chaos brewed. Through his truesight, he saw a settlement on the southern coast under attack from a seaborne force. Moving to intervene, Mygrandin drew his spellblade and attempted activating Travel...

“My pendants are gone…” Mygrandin sighed.

The Seven Pendants of Dira had been his constant companions for decades, seven extra voices in his head. They had granted him powers beyond his own mastery of magic, including the ability to safely teleport even when the Dei Exsilium prevented normal magical teleportation. He had given them up, as a part of his plan to appease the powerful entities that would come after him after he shattered the Godskey. They would desire the pendants for their power, for their connection to mystical Dira, land of prophecy.

“Time to be about it then.” Mygrandin determined.

“You don’t die here, Mygrandin Antaloose,” Fharlanghn called. “This is not the end of your journey.”

Mygrandin raised his spellblade, Serethial, above his head. Azure wisps of smoke flowed from the curved crystalline blade, its own colors of lavender and blue glowing in the night. Mygrandin began the dance of the ritual, his body and his blade moving with the grace of a man 30 years younger. The air filled with the smell of ozone as arcane energies flowed into him and his blade. Dirate was said to be nigh indestructible, but tonight he planned to destroy the most powerful dirate artifact ever made.

For hours, he worked the Dawnlight forms he learned in another life, so long ago. He watched the coastal town set ablaze by the invaders, and spared a tear for the lives destroyed below.

They were just here to plunder. Can’t even be bothered to try to conquer, to create something new. Mygrandin smirked. If they don’t leave soon, they will not enjoy any of the loot they gained tonight.

And then it was time to end the Dei Exsilium. The Godskey hovered in front of him, and with its power so great, he could see it attract some of the souls who were freed from their bodies so far away below. The reddish mists glowed as they were consumed by the dirate of the staff.

Mygrandin began the final incantation and held Serethial high above his head, ready to shatter the Godkey. A blur from his right caught his attention, as the aged traveler god moved impossibly fast from where he had sat silently for hours.

And so you meddle… How unexpected, Dei.

Mygrandin spared no thought of his chances of defeating the god, but he swung his spellblade while preparing his mind to unleash the most destructive incantations he knew. Serethial sliced into the god, but not at the angle Mygrandin expected. The god was rushing past him, to his right, not at him. Godsblood sizzled on his spellblade as he looked past Fharlanghn, and saw the god’s true target, an ancient, dozen-armed spellweaver. All twelve hands intricately gesticulated as energy formed in front of the creature and an azure burst of light streaked through the night towards Mygrandin. A calaphrax!

“Finish!” Fharlanghn screamed, as he leaped to intercept the streaking doom, divine blood streaming from his side.

The burst was intercepted by the god and a thunderous avalanche of arcane energy was deflected away from the calaphrax’s target. Mygrandin did not stop to see if Fharlanghn survived the godslayer’s magic. He finished his incantation and swung Serethial with all his might at the Godskey.

The Godskey sliced cleanly in half and its two pieces floated momentarily in front of him. And then it shattered into thousands of pieces, scattering across the mountainside and the rest of the island below. Many pierced Mygrandin clean through and he fell to a knee from the pain.

To his right, the calaphrax was standing back up after it had fallen to the burst of its own energy. Fharlanghn was no where to be seen. The sky itself seemed to shatter and the moonlight turned green as its light was refracted by shards of the end of the Dei Exsilium.

Nothing changed in the alien creature’s expression, but Mygrandin felt the creature’s anger. The thing lacked a mouth, but its “voice”, full of static, appeared in Mygrandin’s mind.


A half-dozen hands went into quick motion and Mygrandin was ensnared in invisible bonds. Mygrandin spoke a single word of magic to free himself, but his casting was easily countered by the calaphrax.


All hands started gesturing again, and azure energy formed in front of the ancient spellweaver. Mygrandin cast spells to free himself non-stop, but each was thwarted with minimal effort from the calaphrax.

Mygrandin despaired.

“You don’t die here, Mygrandin Antaloose,” Fharlanghn whispered. “This is not the end of your journey.” The god of horizons stepped up next to Mygrandin, smiling broadly. “I feel the eastern wind again. Atroa returns, and with her, renewal for this weary world.”

As the calaphrax neared completion of its casting, a mighty solar and a fiendish balor materialized behind it. The natural enemies each grabbed a half-dozen arms of the spellweaver and pinned it to the ground, its casting interrupted.

All around the mountainside, celestials and fiends materialized. All bore symbols of the many deities who had been exiled by the Dei Exsilium.

Mygrandin’s magical bonds loosened and he wandered eagerly through the extraplanar crowds.

“Where are they? Where is she?” Mygrandin asked. “Where is she!?”

Mygrandin despaired again. He continued moving through the crowd, but none responded to his queries. After a short time, the crowd dispersed in all manners of travel, off to bring the teachings of their masters to the people of Mezra.

Fharlanghn remained, recording what transpired.

“What happened?” Mygrandin muttered, looking to Fharlanghn. "Did they fall?"

Fharlanghn closed the book he wrote in. “The End of All Journeys begins.”

Mygrandin grunted at the god's response. "Useless."

He incanted a spell that he had prepared every day since Lanae had left, a spell that he had never cast the past five years while waiting to destroy the Godskey. Every day, he had resisted joining Lanae in the outer planes of existence.

The arcane energies of Mezra enveloped Mygrandin for the last time, and his body was spirited away to the domains of the Dei.

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