Roitaven's Awakening

Ere the scourge flew from the Passage of the Void. Wrought in the Dark Court, and so named the Knoits, their campaign began by blotting out the stars, their dark masses covering the primordial planets. All of the galaxy was broken to their will and the void spread until they appeared before Opilan where Roitaven waited and slept from his burdens.

The release of Grival, as told in The Whispering Night, was a great strain on the god and so though he saw the approaching darkness he was yet weakened and unsettled by the struggle to wrench Grival free from his own mind. Freed from the darkness given to him by His and Skivrend’s union, Roitaven was beginning to understand that his mind had been clouded and chaotic, for Grival took from him that piece of himself. Still, it was no small thing and he felt yet powerless to stop the spread of Knoits.

One by one the stars were snuffed out by the Void army and the planets became their breeding grounds where they replicated themselves by Skivrend’s divine magics. It was then that the Knoits surrounded the Opilan Star and, without hesitation, cast themselves in endless waves upon its fiery walls burning deep within, and expiring with crackles and pops upon the surface. What pain might have been shared between their hive mind, and of what Skivrend herself may have felt was not enough to assuage their assault.

Yet the Opilan Star did not diminish as the burning and blackened corpses turned to white ash and littered the surface. Though all of the galaxy was darkened, the birthplace of the universe would not so easily be extinguished. None can say for how long this siege was waged save for the gods themselves, sufficed to say it was an age when all light was hidden by the Knoits and the spreading Darkness of the Dark Court.

Through the fiery walls of Roitaven’s chamber, he could see their endless numbers amassed, their carcasses covering the visage of the heavens beyond. WIthin the star he sat and looked about his sanctuary in growing fear and uncertainty.

“And in this hour, so freed from the spreading darkness in my mind, now I am beset from all sides beyond and it is my doom these creatures seek. To ignite no more and so plunge from all time all warmth of my craft. What value my life may have is all value. To lose it is beyond all fears.”

There he sat and waited without hope as the cooling embrace of the dying swarm pushed closer and closer through their allies to the core.

And yet as he despaired and began to mourn the destruction of all things, he felt the flames and the white heat of the Opilan Star call to him. In waves of crushing heat, the energy flowed to Roitaven from the star itself. In its caress he journeyed closer to the burning core of all things. There came a voice to his mind, a voice of his own mind both within himself and without.

“Do not give in...use me and my power to burn bright and immolate the spreading destruction.” In hearing the voice Roitiven felt the power flow within him and his fear and anguish began to turn, forged into an inferno of unbridled anger. It was in this rage he grasped the core of the Opilan Star and found that there was strength beyond compare yet unspent.

With a building fury, Roitiven harnessed the flames of the star and created a massive gout of flame that burst forth from the inferno and into the cascading swarm of Knoits. It was that files of Knoits were destroyed in this inundation, their burning corpses smoldering across their comrades in sprays and streaks of crimson and yellow. Still, there was no halt to those who remained and they, with their gnashing teeth and dark bodies hardened with Foolnool’s armor, fought through their own dead to reach their bright foe. However, Roitaven’s power had only just begun to manifest. The very face of the star began to change. Roitiven had embodied the star itself with arms like rivers of fire and eyes like piercing pits of concentrated ember.

Still, the Knoits came on, for this was the war Skivrend expected and her army had only grown. From her palace at the Dark Court, she perceived his power and directed her minions ever on with only the stark vengeance and hatred in her mind to command them. The swarm of Knoits took on the formation of Skivrend’s hands, darting and attacking like great fists of void. She laughed, half blind to Foolnool and her Daughter Mixaq who looked on as she shrieked with tainted rapture and drove her minions forth.

“Shade this defiler to the dark truth of the galaxy! Let the stain of his fires no longer mar the serenity of void, and death be his only reward!”

The others began to see Skivrend’s obsession for what it was, though it would be some time before they acted upon the unnerving notion that Skivrend’s desire for dominance would drive until the uttermost end of all creation.

Roitiven did not diminish as wave upon wave of Knoits crashed over his star form. In numbers not even known to the gods were they slain, vaporized by one swing of his burning arms or by a glance from his scalding eyes as he carved swathes of the legion into obliteration. His skin too was a tempest of leaping energy and those who eluded his arms and eyes drew too close and were smote upon him.

Still, they came, clawing through their fallen and through the impossible heat and chittering with indistinguishable sound that roared by the chorus of their pouring numbers. Their shimmering bodies in Opilan’s light like flowing liquid towards Skiverend’s obsession. Music and illusions danced among them in brilliant rainbows of color as they fought on, only to be sundered and replaced by those just beyond the edge of the all-cleansing annihilation.

It was then that by Skivrend’s will they encircled Roitiven like two great closing hands, and he, thrashing with burning doom, his face etched in flame’s visage, wrought his fear and despair into such a blaze that only their ashen bodies could smother him. Dead Knoits were filling the space between the surrounding lines of the horde and Roitaven’s ire. Soon he was encased in their ash. .

Entombed in this way Roitiven could not move, but still, he did not diminish, for it was not by air or vapor that fueled his flame, but by fury itself that grew with his frustration. He spoke with burning breath into the ash.

“With all hideous forms beset upon me, so help all of Opilan, by which I call this realm, there shall be no hope or quarter given to the ones who created this atrocity. My anger and fury shall, too, find a way to become incarnate. Not as a horde of pestering abominations, but a single warrior to rival all their strength who fights unyielding. And to my son I shall declare the name of my aggressor to be Skivrend, by my anger and fury that married her countenance with light and fire, so, too, shall I and my warrior see her obliteration. To this, I swear.”

With Roitaven’s oath, an explosion rocked all creation. Though not as great, by no other likeness can it be found except to that of the birth of all known time itself. The blast tore through his ashen tomb and incinerated hundreds of millions of Knoits, obliterating them by the crucible of the fire god wielding the energy of the Opilan Star. It extinguished planets in its wake as a wave of pure energy covered half of the galaxy, re-igniting the celestial fires within the stars it met and forming a lighter side to the galaxy with greater brilliance than before.

To this, the Passage of the Void trembled, and it could be felt by all of the Dark Court though only Skivrend felt it occur. Through her dead eye, she saw through the eyes of the Knoits themselves and felt their destruction. In pain, she clutched her head. She let out a wretched curse and in her wrath left the others to despair in madness and solitude.

Mixaq and Foolnool looked out from a vista on the Dark Palace, to see through the walls of the Passage a great and terrible fire igniting half of the heavens and they felt the heat of his wrath even in this darkest of places, and they knew fear.

So it is said.

By Jason Pratley

Jason Pratley joined the team sometime in 2013 when he created the concepts for the gods of ODR. He has since become the Writing Director and de facto loremaster for DDG. Check out some other stories and content at jvfpp.wordpress.com and goodevilcomic.com