As the Red Star grew ever closer to the Basin of Life, its influence was felt by all under its crimson glow. Some inhabitants of the Basin were more easily swayed by its lure and promises than others, taking up the moniker of ‘the Army of Love’ and touting the return of the Lovers and the renewal of their power.
This was met with more resistance by some than others; many, like Sondayga Zayah of the Serenwilde, felt the call of love and shared it with their peers quite forcefully, while others, including Marcella n’Lochli of the ur’Guard, ruthlessly ended the lives of any who endorsed the Red Star or those it heralded.
In the meantime, the Holy Supernals and the Demon Lords of Nil remained drained of power, in part due to the breaking of the binding that had sealed all knowledge and memory of the Lovers away, and in part because of the theft of their own energies. Indeed, as the Red Star flared in the sky, it remained unsated, leeching away energy from the Seal of Beauty, even as the remaining eight Seals attempted to bolster its reserves.
So the cities of Magnagora and New Celest worked with their allies – and enemies – to revitalize the rulers of Nil and Celestia. Upon reaching full power, the Cosmic Lords took to the skies above the Prime Material one final time, to banish the Burning Star forevermore and end the encroaching threat of the lost Supernal and the wayward Emanation of Shallamar.
The lost half-formed were not so easily quelled, however. Dumaliel, Dancer Upon Glittering Clouds, took to the Cave of Beauty in an attempt to directly siphon the power contained within, while Grimbach, the Golden Poet, alighted within the newly-revealed ruins of the Verasavir Valley to harness the latent energies therein. Countless mortals flocked to the Lovers, unwilling to see further strife come into being.
Fierce battles were waged that evening. Dumaliel’s beguiling dances led many to their death, while Grimbach’s voice parted even the most stalwart of souls from their mortal frame. Members of the Army of Love appeared to aid their lords, and all the while Grimbach and Dumaliel cast those daring enough to strike them between one another, in an attempt to disorient their pursuers.
At length, and through much tribulation, the Lovers were defeated, and retreated into the Burning Star once more. Their energies restored, the Supernals and Demon Lords cast the Star through the planes and out of sight, before departing once more to their respective Cosmic planes.
Amid the celebrations, Raziela’s voice rose timorous and grieving at the loss felt once more of her brother, Dumaliel. The Elder God Valtreth appeared over New Celest, answering the call of the Loving Radiance, and proclaimed that He would redeem the Lovers Himself, if they could at all be redeemed, for He knew of love, loss, and union by His very nature.
The Creatrix was next to appear, applauding Valtreth’s efforts in such, though skeptical of whether the half-formed abominations had redemption within them at all. Her attentions turned to a more immediate and troubling matter; beneath the assault of the Burning Star and the Lovers, the Nine Seals had been drained dangerously of power in an attempt to keep the Seal of Beauty whole. While they remain partially intact, they are weakened, and so a new Ascension was declared, daring one mortal to rise above their peers and bolster the Nine Seals by becoming a Vernal Ascendant.
Almighty Kethuru lurks beyond the boundaries of reality, awaiting the chance to destroy the Seals and all creation with them. Who will be the one to restore the defences of reality and thwart the greatest of the Soulless once more?
Time, it is said, shall tell.