106

The Nameless walked the Worlds, gait unhurried but every movement filled with coiled impatience. The Soullessly Heartfelt moved with it in perfect sync step at its left hand, swinging Her Feather idly as She walked. The Faceless walked a couple of steps behind Them but it didn’t matter; Time moved at its own pace, no one else’s. 

Where They walked, the Worlds trembled and shook. Where They showed Their faces, the Worlds cried. Where They moved, the currents sang. And the deadly magickal creatures that had paced the empty places between Dhaoinic cities and villages and towns and such scattered out of their way, ran back to their shadow places and their caves and the Forest most of them called home.

All who laid eyes upon them and didn’t run watched with great apprehension. For the last time the three of Them had walked together across the Worlds while one They had all Marked still breathed, a god even older than Them moved in the eerie absence of sound that filled the holes left by Their feet. And it walked with them now, unseen but felt even for the lack of sight. It moved with them, close enough to listen, to taste, but not close enough to touch or be touched.

It, like Them, waited for the right moment to render aid that had been begged for over the last three centuries and gone ignored because it was how things must be. Waited for the right sign, for the right moment, when the chains that held even Them at bay evaporated like moisture in the desert heat. Waited for–

In the far distance, a World and a half away, N’phier City came Awake with a sound that hurt even godly ears. And the ripple of the Awakening, of Imèn shaking off the dust of disuse right along with it had the Soullessly Heartfelt turning to Her beloved with a crooked smile. “It is time, my dear.”

The Nameless slowed to a stop, tossed back its hood and smiled at Her.

“Finally,” its voice like always, or at least like now, was if old had a sound, like thunder contained in the deepest underwater cave, heard in one’s bones and Self versus by one’s ears.

It held its left hand out to its side and the Soullessly Heartfelt and the Faceless watched it manifest its Scythe, the real one with the skulls that clacked and clunked against each other near where the blade sprouted from the dark wood handle and the bells that filled their empty eyes. It curled bone-thin fingers around that handle, deftly twirled it, and thunked its base to the ground. Thunder rumbled as the World shook with fear that coated across the air thickly enough to leave behind an echo of it’s scent.

“Brother, you ready?” The Nameless called over its shoulder without looking away from Her.

“Now, forever, and always,” the Faceless answered. She didn’t need to look to see that He was smiling just like Her beloved was.

“Good. Let’s move.” And then the Nameless moved at a speed faster than even godly eyes could track. Moved with the surety only the one who held sovereignty over the end of things could.

As She and the Faceless moved across the Worlds after the Nameless, neither of Them commented on or acknowledged the Silence that followed Them, that gained on Them, and then outpaced Them and eventually outpaced even the Nameless. They didn’t say anything about the snap of that eerie absence of sound and the rushing roar of sound returning in its wake.

There were only two gods older than They: the Ahlüt nes Nühnet and the one They all called Void. But the mortals? They called the god that ran ahead of Them Desolation.

And the last time He had moved through the Worlds was the day the Greywalkers were massacred.

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