A Convergence of Timelines
It had not gone unremarked that the Final Trial of Ascension had been wracked by temporal disturbances so powerful that they had clawed at all who stepped upon the Astral Plane. But it was only several months later that the cause was found, as ten timelines began to converge upon the area surrounding Avechna’s Peak. Alarmed, Avechna the Avenger himself came forth and urged adventurers to seek out what had manifested.
Mortals descended upon the region in droves, seeking far and wide. It was Arix Mes’ard who found the first scar upon the timelines, though many others quickly followed him. Quickly, it was discovered that the scars could be seen through – visions of the timeline beyond displayed to those who went close.
Many quickly identified that the timelines were linked in some way to the Nine Seals, but opinions differed as to how. It was not until Knorrith of New Celest spoke of impending doom before one of the scars that it was discovered that they could be sealed. For he had spoken this word not in front of any scar, but in front of the timeline wherein Kalas Malarious of Death had risen to become a True Ascendant.
News spread, and more scars were mended. Thalkros n’Lochli touched his and, forcing his will upon the inferior timeline, sundered the scar and its thread from existence. Soon Coraline Myeras did the same with her own, choosing to use her will rather than sate the timeline’s desire for more of her most famous creation.
Others soon followed, as people located the scar that showed visions of Jolanthe Myeras wandering the Serenwilde forest, and had her touch it – then one scar that held a cluster of timelines, all of which had echoed the ascension of Parhelion Shevat from the Prime Timeline. This he touched and dispelled, whilst Uzriel d’Vanecu touched his own some distance away.
Some required puzzling, for in the absence of the Sealbearers linked to the timelines something tethered to their essence had to be used. The scar linked to Ciaran, Sealbearer of War, was closed off using the weapon they had won the Seal with – a tahto. Meanwhile, the scar linked to Dys Mzithrei of Nature was closed by a call to freedom.
But at the scar linked to Kalas Ixion of Chaos, something strange had happened. The scar did not simply collapse – it sent forth a human man of familiar features. His name was Zagreus, and he was the True Ascendant of Chaos whose timeline had just been destroyed by his mortal counterpart.
Uncertain what else to do, Ixion took his other self – who was slowly being destroyed by the nature of existing in the same reality as himself – to Avechna the Avenger, and to the final scar, which Parhelion had attempted to close himself.
A discussion ensued, during which time Zagreus continued to decay. Interestingly, unlike the pair of Xynthin and Xenthos before, this decaying did not afflict both Ixion and Zagreus. Clearly, the changes wrought upon the world by the Seal of Time and the return of the True Dragon Isikathi to Avechna the Avenger had reinforced the Prime Timeline considerably.
In the end, there was no time to wait. Turning to Parhelion, Avechna beseeched his aid in closing the scar with both Ixion and Zagreus’s help. Using Avechna’s strength and Parhelion’s skill, what remained of Zagreus’s timeline – which was only the True Ascendant himself – was merged with the Prime Timeline, utterly destroying Kalas Ixion in the process.
All that remained was Kalas Zagreus, made of the merged forms of the Prime Ixion and the Divergent Zagreus – who alongside Parhelion, reached out and touched the scar into the final reality. A reality where the True Ascension had failed entirely. A reality that could not – and now, did not, and never had, and never would – exist.
In the wake, as Zagreus struggled to comperehend what had just happened to him, Avechna the Avenger turned to mortalkind and bade them be wary. For He knew what being had laughed at Him, had sought to manipulate the temporal fabric of reality: Goloth Maxyenka. He who had coveted the power of Isikathi and failed to clasp it before, serving as the catalyst for the events that lead to the Timequakes and Isikathi’s reformation as the Seal of Time.
Be cautious, Avechna said: for that power he possesses now is great indeed.