The Mythos

September 25, 2015

Chapter One 

“A new God… a new world… a new reckoning.” 

Gog and Magog had long walked the surface of Mercury, both in its cold shadows and in its scorching heat. They had gathered the lifeblood of the Old Creator from all corners of a world by the order of the Sor, and had grown disillusioned with the mission of the Holy Order. They grew tired of following orders from the clergy of a dead god and decided to follow their own path… a path leading to power and vengeance. 

Using the ancient knowledge of the Sor, Gog and Magog drew out a Circle on top of the world with the Blood of God… but knew the Circle was not complete. The Summoning would require Four Elements: Unrelenting Power, Ancient Wisdom, Forbidden Knowledge, and Binding Magic. It was their fate to wander across Mercury in search of these elements, gathering all of the Old Creator’s blood on their way. For Power, they but one being with the might to complete the rite whose will could be bent to match theirs, a great Balrog residing in the city of Dis. 

Dis, located in the region of Mercury farthest from the Sun, was a city of demons and outcasts filled to the brim with those who defied the Old God and those unworthy of divine favor. Whilst war was upon Mercury, the forces of Dis remained idle as the war-god Raggoth crushed the forces of the Sor and the Centric Order, being enemies of all that is Holy and lavishing in the Death of God. However, when Raggoth pulled his sword from the heart of God and turned to claim Mercury as his own, the Lord Beael, Warden of Endless Sleep, rose out of Dis with his hordes and legions to drive back Raggoth and his armies, who had been weakened from battle. Returning to Dis triumphant, Beael crowned himself the new God of Mercury and there was much revel among demons in the Deep Shadow. 

It was this Deep Shadow which Gog and Magog sought out, for therein was Balrog General Scios, a hero among demons and a scourge among all else. Scios was one of two second in command to Lord Beael, the other being Supreme Wizard Golgoth; Scios was bound by the Magic of Golgoth, but Golgoth knew that the Balrog General could crush him on a whim. This was the balance of the High Court in Dis, and at the throne was Beael. Scios had the Unrelenting Power necessary to perform the Summoning, but as long as the magic of Golgoth held him, his will was bound. In order for Gog and Magog to utilize the Balrog General, it would be their task to not only undo the spell cast by the Supreme Wizard, but also to bind the will of Scios to their own. For such a task, they would require the Wisdom of the Fallen. 

Once the highest ranking officer in the Centric Order and Right Hand of God, the Fallen was now a Black Knight who lurked in the Deep Shadow among demons and their ilk. His Ancient Wisdom was handed down from the Old Creator and it governed his mighty axe, Kazamammut; even those who were more powerful than the Fallen knew his name and regarded him with great caution and respect. With his help, the Centric Order could have driven back the forces of Raggoth and protected the Throne of God, as was their charge. Alas, the Centric Order was dead and the Fallen regretted nothing after their betrayal in the time before the war. Initially, when Gog and Magog sought the Fallen on a black mountain outside of Dis, he was upon them with great haste. He raised the edge of Kazamammut to Gog’s throat, seizing Magog’s robe in his obsidian gauntlet and lifting him above the ground. “Assassins, sent by the Sor,” he said, noting the markings on their garb. 

Gog retorted in a dry tone, ignoring the cold bite of the blackened axe: “We are not slaves to a dead god, and were we assassins, you would already be dead.” The Fallen laughed, throwing Magog to the ground but holding his axe steadily against the throat of Gog, “Were you assassins, you would have killed yourselves upon receiving your charge, knowing you could not kill what is already Fallen. Speak quickly, and do not waste my time.” As Magog gathered himself, Gog began to explain the Summoning, growing impatient with the sharp steel of Kazamammut against his throat but keeping his composure. 

Under the shade of his helmet, the Fallen’s eyes narrowed, “Speak no more, Summoner. I know the ritual well… I was one of the first Summoned to Life by the Old Creator, and I was there for the Summoning of many ancient beings… most of which have already come to perish. I do not know if your plan is more or less foolish than that of the Sor; Raggoth is strong and so is Beael. How can you hope to defeat both?” 

Magog smiled, “It won’t be long until they have defeated each other.” 

The Fallen laughed, finally lowering his axe. “You are reckless, Summoners, and your plan lacks strategy. However, I am also reckless, and I am an excellent strategist. No living Mercurian would dare to bind Scios with magic; wizards of the Deep Shadow are loyal to Beael and the only ones powerful enough among the Sor were killed in war. This will require the Binding Magic of a Sun Spirit, and there is but one who knows the Solar Tongue… seek you Blind, wanderer of the Scorched Sands and Seer of What Should Not Be Seen. His Forbidden Knowledge will help complete the Circle and call upon the magic needed to bind the Power of the  Balrog General Scios…” 

The Fallen looks off, gazing into the eternal night sky above Dis. “I will join you, Summoners; my Ancient Wisdom is yours. Betray me, and you will be destroyed.” 

And so the Summoners began their journey to the Scorched Sands on the other side of the world, leaving the cold grasp of starlight for the cruel weight of the Sun. 

Chapter 2

“…and so behold the bane of all creation, that which has no place in this world or any other.”

The Fallen never needed to clean his axe; its steel was so smooth that blood could not stick to it long enough to dry. He held it toward the horizon, watching the blood of two paladins from the Sor drip from its edge, “Kazamammut, I have not stood under the sun in a millennium. What strange path has lead me once again ‘neath its cruel gaze?”

Gog and Magog were performing a ritual to seal the soul of a priestess into her body; her ghost would not be kind to them on their journey and they could not afford any setbacks: “Herrah, harome, lichar, atmos.” Their chant held a mournful tone, as this was the first time they had shed the blood of a former comrade. 

“She was as kind to me within the ranks of the Sor as she was merciless to me here,” Magog reminisced. The Fallen laughed, “She, like her comrades, sought only the blood of apostates. Without the Sor, you are nothing to her, and now here they lie.” The fight was short; The Fallen effortlessly beheaded the sword bearing paladins while Gog and Magog overpowered the priestess, whose name was forever forgotten after her soul was sealed. 

The Summoners had crossed from the Deep Shadow into the Scorched Sands, and while each of them had waded through these sands before, one could never get used to the heat or the blinding light. Wards of shade were cast, but they only gave enough to survive the arid waste. Even the Fallen felt the weight of Sun’s magic, but he would not allow it to slow him in his stride. “Keep your heads up and do not falter; we will not find Blind if he does not wish us to, and he has no interest in those who cannot bear the wrath of Isa.” 

Gog’s face was wrought with grief: “It is not the Sun King’s wrath I am weary of, but the very sight of the sand itself. I could eat every grain of scorched sand if just to remove from my view forever.” Magog laughed, “You may make light of Isa’s wrath now, but you would be quite weary of it were he to descend and feed you the sand you so crave.” 

At that moment, the ground shook. The Summoners steadied themselves through the tremor, but were all noticeably shaken. “There’s the Solar King now, Gog!” Magog’s joke fell flat against the sand as his comrades searched for the source of the quake as another one began. “Such power… it slides beneath our feet… could it be?” the Fallen gasped, holding out his axe en garde, “It couldn’t be… that which writhes below…” 

Gog and Magog were confused by the fearful murmurings of the Black Knight; what could cause someone of such power to act so strangely? A cylindrical form of incredible girth erupted from the sand, throwing the Summoners to the ground as they watched in awe. The colossal form slowly bent toward them as it rose, sand cascading around it to reveal a great, brown, annelid worm with a gaping maw large enough to consume all three Summoners whole many times over. Its head was shaped like a massive drill that rotated around its mouth, where it came to a point; a deafening roar escaped this cavernous hole, revealing thousands of hooked fangs lining the bottomless pit of its esophagus before closing like a vile, leathery sphincter. On the segments of its body were thousands of yellow eyes with pupils the size of one’s head, squelching as they opened and shut, staring out into the oblivion of the desert. 

Gog and Magog were struck with shock and awe, crawling backwards away from the worm, unable to avert their gaze from such a gargantuan and repulsive spectacle. The Fallen had already returned to his feet, his panic having left him with the affirmation of his worst fear: “There is no escape now, Summoners. Risen up from the depths of a dying world, behold… the Parasite.” A second bone-rattling roar resounded over the desert as the Great Worm tipped its maw further toward the three, dead flesh blowing out over them with the putrid wind of its breath. 

Chapter 3

“…all has been foreseen.” 

The maw of the Parasite was closing in on the Summoners, and there was no time for escape. Gog and Magog desperately whispered incantations of protection, hoping they could find their way out of the Great Worm once ingested by it. The Fallen braced himself and readied Kazamammut, letting out a battle cry barely piercing the roar of the Parasite, knowing Death was upon him but refusing to yield to its beckoning. 

Suddenly there was shriek piercing the thunderous wall of sound; the worm halted its descent and went silent, its mouth closing slowly as it turned its head to that which had called out its True Name. All of its eyes were pointed in one direction…

A pale figure in a tattered cloak approached from the distance, accompanied by a tall staff. His hair was long and grey, as was his beard. His eyes were covered by a bandage wrapped around his head, and blood ran out from them in small trails onto his withering face.  A symbol was on his cloak, an ancient rune from a kingdom long forgotten. He was blind, and yet the Summoners could feel his gaze upon them as if it were coming from all directions at once. 

Forgetting the presence of the Parasite, their mind was filled with one word, and his name was known to them as if it were a memory.

Continuing to approach, the figure let out a second shriek, this time seeming to articulate something in an unknown tongue. The Parasite responded, letting out strange shrieks in the same tongue, turning to the Summoners, letting out one final roar, and retracting into the ground as if it were being pulled by something deep below. 

The Summoners stood in awe, stepping back from the edge of oblivion thanks to this mysterious stranger with such sway over the ancient worm. Gog and Magog raised to their feet; the Fallen remained tense and held tightly to Kazamammut, having not shaken his anticipation of violent death. Gog’s eyes narrowed as he examined the figure approaching them, his awe slowly turning to determined resolve as he uttered the old man’s name: “Blind.” 

“Yes, yes. I have been waiting a millennium and a half for this day, Gog and Magog. You have sought me out for my Forbidden Knowledge, so that I can summon the Spirit from the Sun with the Solar Tongue and complete the Circle. I know, and have known. Your axe can rest now, Black Knight.” Blind pointed his staff at Kazamammut, and in lowering the end of his staff, the Fallen’s body seemed to relax and lower Kazamammut with it. The Black Knight let out a deep sigh: “What could have possibly brought the Parasite to the surface? How could it not find what it craved in our planet’s core?” “Have you forgotten that God is dead and Mercury is dying, Black Knight? There is little life left in this godless world, only on its surface walks the living essence it requires,” Blind cackled, “and you all are the first outlanders to traverse these sands without being devoured.” 

Blind then turned to Gog and Magog, “Time is short, let us go.” 

The Summoners followed Blind further into the gaze of the Sun, becoming more and more weary but pressing on without a word. The Fallen held tightly to his axe, keeping tense and alert, anticipating the return of the Parasite. They walked and walked at a slow but consistent pace behind the Old Seer until reaching the ancient ruin of an ivory pyramid, one with a plateaued apex able to fit one standing body. The pyramid was towering and immense, and there were no stairs leading to the top. “You all must wait here. Be wary; you will be susceptible until this rite is through. I cannot be interrupted.” Blind then turned and effortlessly ascended to the apex of the pyramid as if gravity meant nothing at all. 

 Gog, Magog, and the Fallen stood cautiously and patiently at the base of the bleached ruin, watching as Blind reached its zenith. With arms outstretched, Blind let out a strange drone, articulating in what they could only assume to be the Solar Tongue. Vibrations surged from the pinnacle of the pyramid to the face of the Sun, carrying Blind’s call with them; Blind lifted his staff, pointing it toward the Sun and repeating his undiscernible chant.

Suddenly, the ground shook. 

Gog and Magog looked to each other with fear, then looked to the Fallen. The Black Knight grinned, holding out Kazamammut toward the Scorched Sands, “Fear not, Summoners; for this time, we will be ready.” 

Chapter 4

Blood on sand… fire on steel…”

The ground quaked and the Summoners felt the Parasite moving deep beneath their feet. The humming of Blind’s ritual became more resonate, as if to overpower the sounds of what lurked below, and a ring of light began to form between the Sun and where Blind stood atop the ivory pyramid. 

“Summoners, begin the incantations necessary to clothe me in fire; Kazamammut and I will begin incantations of our own.” The Fallen held out his Black Axe horizontally in both hand, and began a chant in a deep, throaty voice: Kaaa zaaa maaaaam muuuuuuut.  At first his rhythm was brisk, and his voice was low, but with every repetition it became slower and more intense. An aura began to form around him. 

Gog and Magog, confused at first, immediately began reciting ancient incantations. Keeping their balance as the sands continued to shift beneath their feet, they faced each other, holding their hands to the sky, collapsing to their knees, and putting their hands together… and the ritual was begun: Agni… inferi… spiros… atmos… 

Blind’s call continued to intensify, as if completely unaware, unconcerned, or indifferent to the presence of the Parasite. The Fallen’s axe had begun to glow with a deep, ethereal aura, and a great and terrible might flowed from it into him, causing his entire being to glow with the same aura. The spell of Gog and Magog began to take its course, rings of fire conjuring up in the air surrounding the Fallen. As the fire began to wrap around his form, he stared to become larger in size, drawing more and more power from Kazamammut and intensifying his chant: KAAA ZAAA MAAAAM MUUUUUT. The two apostates watched in awe as the Fallen’s armor began to gnarl and twist into a black metal form covered in barbs, spikes, and sharp edges. Gnarled horns sprouted from his helmet as the fire from the apostates’ spell began to consume his entire being. The sand beneath their feet was shifting; the Summoners knew their enemy drew near and all but Blind on his precipice were tense with anticipation… And yet, in this moment, fear was not with them. 

The moment was brief; the sand beneath their feet began pulling them under, capsizing into a sinking pit. Finally reaching his full potential in power and cloaked in flame, the Fallen stood as a giant above the Summoners. His trance broken and his strength at maximum, he threw the Summoners out of the sinking pit and against the pyramid with a simple wave of his Black Axe, then stepping back from the sinking pit as the Parasite emerged from it slowly, swallowing up the place where the three once stood. The great worm was yet much larger than the Black Knight, but the Fallen’s size was now so large that he could not so easily be swallowed up in its cavernous maw. Looming over him, the beast let out its bone-rattling roar. The Fallen stood unshaken, catching the reflection of his infernal form in each of the yellow eyes that followed him. He called out to the Summoners: “KEEP THE SPELL STRONG!” as he stood ready for the oncoming battle. Scrambling to their feet, Gog and Magog continued their haunting chant: agni… inferi…

The Parasite descended upon the Fallen with unimaginable force; the Fallen moved as if he were lighter than air, floating out of the way of the worm’s strike and cutting across the eyes that lined the shaft of its body with Kazamammut’s unforgiving blade. The creature recoiled, striking again and again and meeting the edge of the Black Axe. Black blood spewed out from its deeper wounds, splashing against the white walls of the pyramid and turning sand to a sticky mud. The battle intensified as the length of the worm continued to pour out of the same dreadful pit of sand, as if it never ended. It surrounded the Fallen with itself, striking from all directions with its impossibly massive form. As it came closer and closer to catching the Black Knight under its blows, its eyes were burned by fire and gauged out by gnarled armor. The Fallen leapt from the Parasite’s thick coils, jumping from one length to another until he could find his way out of the serpentine nightmare of its unholy being. 

Watching the wild melee before them, the Summoners did not waver in maintaining their powerful incantation. They watched as the Fallen braced himself for the Parasite’s next move; seeing he had escaped its labyrinth of obsidian blood, segmented flesh, and piss colored eyes, the great annelid straightened out and rose high above even the ivory pyramid upon which Blind continued his ominous call in the Solar Tongue. It looked down upon the Fallen, now again an ant under its colossal form, and disgust could be seen in every black vein in every yellow eye. The creature then retracted into the ground with incredible haste, returning to its original length upon its initial breach of the surface. This time, not waiting for the creature to strategize or regroup, the Fallen charged upon it in a ball of fire and wrath. His feet left the ground as he flew toward the beast, his power surpassing what he had ever thought possible with the reinforcement of Gog and Magog’s magic. He let out a deafening cry as he closed in on the beast, unaware of the doom awaiting him as the worm lowered its head to meet him with an even greater roar…

The Parasite’s head opened up, splitting into four segments lined with teeth just as those within its vast throat. Suddenly realizing he could now easily be swallowed by this wretched thing, the Fallen did not yet slow his charge, feeling he could destroy it from within. However, this new gleam of hope was stamped out, as what seemed like a thousand annelid forms came writing from the depths of the wretched thing known only as the Parasite. 

Each tendril that erupted from the now gaping maw of the worm was like a smaller version of the worm itself; each had a segmented form lined with smaller yellow eyes and a teething oral cavity identical to that of the Parasite. It was like they were the spawn of this filthy creature, and yet they seemed to move in a fashion that implied they were both rooted in the thing’s throat and of one mind. Now having gathered too much momentum to retreat, the Fallen resolved to cut through these thousand wicked things… if he could without being torn apart. He could not avert his gaze, but for a brief second he prayed to a dead God that Blind had contacted a Sun Spirit. He prayed his death would not be in vain.

Chapter 5

Torn asunder…”

The tendrils reaching from the mouth of the Parasite caught the Fallen as if he had gained no momentum in his charge against his foe. Though he was able to cut through several with a swing of the mighty Kazamammut, a thousand more took hold of him from all directions, burned by his cloak of fire but not relinquishing old of him… until the gaze of a thousand repulsive eyes found the source of this troublesome inferno.

Before Gog and Magog had time to react, the Parasite whipped its head toward them, releasing the Fallen like a burning stone from a slippery sling. His massive form would have crushed the Summoners on impact were it not for a telekinetic barrier cast by Magog, which the Black Knight still came crashing through. Knocked to the ground and for a small moment unconscious, the Gog and Magog’s incant of fire was broken, and the Fallen was now more vulnerable than ever to the now vitriolic onslaught of the Parasite. He stood up, covered in the blood and saliva of his enemy, taking hold of his powerful axe and looking into the eyes of that which had no place on this world or any other. It reared back and again opened its segmented maw, its tendrils writhing wildly without direction or purpose. 

Blind remained atop the pyramid, unaware or apathetic to the battle transpiring behind him. His call had finished and he patiently awaited response from one of the Sun’s many magic spirits. Blind worried of nothing; all had been foreseen. He knew who would live and who would die, who served a purpose and who did not. Most importantly, he knew he cared not for the ultimate uncertainty that came with knowledge of the future; either things happen how they ought or they don’t. With that in mind, he continued to wait for the Sun spirit whose coming he had foreseen thousands of years ago, anxious that the universe had succumbed to chaos and no spirit would come at all.

Suddenly, a blinding light: the Sun seemed to open up, forming a bridge that touched the apex of the white pyramid; Blind’s concrete resolve quickly returned, reassured that the universe followed strict order and could be known by those who stare longingly into the Sun. He beheld the spirit manifesting before him, knowing it would be both mighty and wise, and an essential element in the completion of the Summoning he had anticipated for many millennia. 

“BASTARDS! AWAKEN, YOU BASTARDS!” Gog opened his eyes, waking from a dream of a deep void that seemed to have no end. His memories fell slowly back into place as he cleared his eyes and raised up to see his comrade Magog on the ground before him. “THE SPELL! CAST THE SPELL!” He suddenly remembered where he was and what he was doing, looking to his right and rising to his feet. The Fallen was high in the air, tumbling about in the coils of a thousand wormlike protrusions coming out of the mouth of swaying sandworm; Kazamammut lay in the sand below. Black blood dripped from the beast’s mouth as the Fallen ripped apart its tendrils, fighting for his life against a foe that existed even before the creation of Mercury itself. 

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? CAST IT!” His thoughts in a perfect hexagonal pattern, Gog snapped into action, scrambling to grab Kazamammut and hoping he could throw the Knight’s weapon or at least draw blood from the unholy annelid. He immediately found he could not lift the great axe by his own strength and attempted to move it telekinetically to the hands of the Fallen. Once again, he was met with incredible resistance, crying out in anguish as he pushed with every ounce of his magic.

Suddenly, his weight was greatly relieved; looking to his left, he found Magog casting the same levitation spell on the mighty axe. As the axe rose from the ground, the Fallen looked down at the Summoners in panic, his armor becoming weak under the tearing tendrils and digestive enzymes of the Parasite’s maw.  “Forget the axe! Give me fi-“ before he could finish voicing his desperate plea, his cry was smothered by the gaping maw of a large tendril attempting to swallow him headfirst. 

Just in time, Kazamammut made its way into the grasp of the Black Knight’s gauntlet, which ripped itself out of the grasp of several tendrils to decapitate the one which had begun to ingest his helmet and head along with it. He freed his other arm just as several grabbed at the one bearing the Black Axe and ripped the annelid head off of his own, crying out: “FIRE! GIVE ME FIRE!”

Before the Summoners could correct their mistake and clothe their comrade in conflagration, their eyes became blinded by a beam of white light that struck the segmented body of the Parasite, tearing through its repulsive flesh and rending into two parts. One part fell onto the sand, relinquishing its hold on the Fallen, hissing and writhing about in a desperate, sickly manner. The other part, still rooted, quickly retracted underground with a hissing sound until it disappeared under cascades of sand. The long, thick, severed worm seemed to squeal and squelch simultaneously as it died under the Sun, its thick body seemingly deflating as its black blood flooded from its maw, covering the Summoners and pooling around the ivory pyramid upon which Blind stood proudly next to a mysterious, undiscernible figure of brilliant, burning light. This being their final sight, thousands of veined yellow eyes closed or rolled back on the segments of the annelid corpse. 

Chapter 6

“Bathed in light, darkness rears its ugly head…”

Gog rose from a mire of black blood and sordid mud, breathing deeply and staring at the repulsive corpse of the Parasite. He watched as the Fallen’s excess armor turned to ash on the sand as he returned to his common form, no longer a giant but still daunting. He approached the massive carcass and shoved his fist into one of its lifeless eyes; blood and discharge spurted out onto him and he fell back onto the sand, exhausted from his battle with the creature. 

Magog approached Gog from behind, laying his hand on his shoulder and urging him to turn about. Gog turned to see his blood-soaked comrade pointing at the apex of the ivory pyramid, where stood Blind and the mysterious figure of light that could only be the Sun Spirit. Blind, however, seemed to be scolding the Spirt that had vanquished their impossible adversary. As Blind and the Spirit began to float toward the foot of the pyramid, Gog and Magog walked to meet them. The Fallen continued to lay in the blistering sand, one of his hands fumbling about to find the handle of Kazamammut laying just out of reach. 

Blind was rambled on in a crotchety manner: “A child! I beckon the Sun for magic, an ancient spirit; Isa sends me his youngest child!” 

“A powerful child, so it seems,” said Gog, “powerful enough to defeat what we could not.” 

“Defeated? HA! Defeated! So you think the worm is defeated. You will see, soon enough. 

The Fallen’s wandering hand mistakenly took hold of one of the tendrils he had ripped from the maw of the Parasite. Intrigued, he took the vile thing in hand and came to a knee so he might examine it closely. Looking at its own maw, he noticed from its maw protruded even smaller tendrils just as this one had from the mouth of the annelid, from which even smaller ones protruded in what seemed to be an infinite regress. He began to consider the worm; when did we see its other end? Where went its other half when it retracted into the sand? Did dig its way there or was it… pulled? 

The truth struck the Black Knight quickly, as if he had known it all along: “It was too easy. We are yet doomed…” 

Without even a shaking of the ground, what seemed like hundreds of great cylindrical forms exploded erect from the sand in front of the ivory pyramid. All were studded with thousands yellow eyes; a hundred thousand yellow eyes all stared with wrath and hatred at the Summoners. Each head opened up in four segments to reveal a gaping, roaring maw; from each maw writhed a thousand tendrils identical to their source. Undoubtedly, each tendril had its own tendrils, and so on and so forth into microscopic oblivion. 

As these cylindrical forms towered above the Summoners, they curled in toward their center point, where the sand began to sink into an unseen cavity deep below. The sand began to shift under the feet of the Summoners, pulling them toward the maw of the Parasite as it rose to the surface. 

“TO THE PYRAMID! IT RUNS TOO DEEP TO BE CONSUMED!” The Fallen cried out to Gog and Magog, who had already begun to scramble for the pale stone of the pyramid. Struggled as they might, there was no footing on the shifting sand. Blind laughed, raving madly at the Fallen. “What then, Black Knight? Where will you go once you’ve clambered onto this ancient altar? Will you stand and fight a hundred times what has already defeated you? Look not to this Sun Spirit for more severing blasts; he hasn’t the Power to fight the full form of the Parasite! None of you do. I could have called it by name, I could have sent it weeping into the depths, but now it comes not only with hunger, but vengeful wrath! You are doomed! You are all doomed!”

Gog stopped struggling against the flow of the sand, and turned to face the maw of the worm, which was now becoming visible as it swallowed up the sand. Its sheer mass was inconceivable; as if the tendril they had once thought to be the worm itself were not colossal enough, this teething pit was wide enough to swallow mountains; he looked up at the tendrils reaching out of it, swaying above with amber eyes fixated on them, waiting for the satisfaction of victory over such insects. 

Gog then looked to the Fallen, who had also quit attempting to clamber out of the creature’s maw, but stood poised with the mighty Kazamammut, ready to fight to a most certain death. He slowly turned to face his comrade Magog, who looked at him with somber resolve. Gog’s gaze turned finally to the maddened old man who’d led them to this place, the dark prophet who they’d sought out in this God damned wasteland. Blind continued to rave at the foot of the pyramid, waving his staff about in lunacy. The Sun Spirit stood beside him, still and without expression. Gog mused…

“We have suffered the cruel weight of the sun and the bitter bite of battle, and we have followed our path without stray. I have seen my destiny in the stars; I have written it on the walls of my mind like a solitary prisoner in a black cell… but I have not even pressed my stone to the crest of the hill before watching it roll back to the bottom. Here now we die; have we failed in fulfilling destiny, or were we destined to fail? These things I will ponder in the innards of a worm.”

As the Summoners slid closer toward the cascade of sand falling into the annelid’s esophagus, there was a blinding flash of white light – then darkness. Chapter One “A new God… a new world… a new reckoning.”