A lone figure rose above the smoke covering the landscape, its wings beating against the wild winds that blew through the evening sky. The figure swooped over what was left of the battlefield, searching for any survivors of the terrible fate that had come to pass. The solemn figure scoured the terrain in vain, despite knowing what he would find. Destruction. Despair. Desolation.
Granimyre was the only one left from the battle. The blast from the Ancients' battle had obliterated every other tree, structure, and living thing within a hundred miles of the battlefield. The repercussions from the blast had been felt the world over. But Granimyre sensed the damage was more than just physical. The energies which bound the world together were coursing wildly about; a swirling chaos on the edge of his senses.
The source of Dramar's power had been Balagan, a desolate plane of pure Chaotic energy, from a time before the rest of the known universe first formed. Dramar had tapped into that power somehow, and as a result, became a gateway between Balagan and Tarias. When Dramar lost control of the energy, the power of that realm was able to flow through him unchecked.
The blast that followed was the direct result of this release. Had it not been for the Ancients' quick efforts to contain the power, all of Tarias might have perished in that one, terrible instant. Although Granimyre was uncertain as to how, the Ancients managed to seal the gateway, and Dramar along with it, in some sort of planar prison. The effort cost many of the Ancients their lives, and severely disrupted the spiritual energy of the realm.
The disruption of these vital energies damaged the delicate fabric of time and space in the realm. Already, Granimyre could sense a change happening all around him, something unseen to all but those with the higher perceptions. The spiritual planes, once so intertwined with the physical, were in complete disarray. He could feel them tearing themselves to pieces, and manifestations of this chain reaction were soon becoming prevalent in the physical world. Storms raged out of control in the distance. The oceans rose and fell in monstrous waves of water. Mountains crumbled to dust, while new rock sprouted unbidden from the plains.
Gliding through the air, he watched as parts of the spiritual planes separated from the physical, their energies seeming to disperse across time and space. He could also sense a struggle taking place, that of a great consciousness rising up to save itself from oblivion. It was a consciousness from within the planet itself, severing the ties that bound the damaged spiritual planes to it; the wild energy surges from these damaged parts were harming it, perhaps even killing it.
Granimyre could feel the pain that the consciousness was enduring, and could also feel a deep sorrow welling up within him. It was hard to tell which sensation was worse; the pain of injury, or the immense sense of loss Granimyre felt from the consciousness. Casting off pieces of the spiritual planes meant losing the Ancients trapped within, and Granimyre felt the consciousness grieve as a mother would the loss of her children.
When the consciousness had finished its work, what remained of the spiritual planes of the Ancients was completely isolated from the physical, with the consciousness' own energy turned inward to heal itself. Within minutes, Granimyre could no longer sense the presence of the Ancients. He let out a lone, sorrowful cry as the emotions from the consciousness overwhelmed him.
The Ancients were gone.
Auriana sat in the tent that currently served as her congregation's temple, sobbing quietly. It was now several hours since she felt the passing of her beloved. It had been hard enough letting Ronan go to rejoin the war so many weeks ago, knowing she would never see him alive again. Now that the moment of his death had finally come to pass, her heart was racked with grief once more.
All she could do at this moment was grieve for her loss. The only thing she had left to live for was to continue the work they had started together; to build a monument on the site of Jhuntara's sanctuary, as a lasting memorial to her legacy. With Ronan's passing, Auriana decided to make it a memorial not just to the goddess, but also to her beloved husband, as well. She could not think of any better way to honor and remember them both.
Soon, grief gave way to fatigue, and she quietly headed off to bed. Tonight, she would dream of the past and of friends long gone. She would recount the times they shared, cherishing and embracing their memories, and give herself one last chance to say goodbye. As she drifted off to sleep, a soft voice spoke to her, mixing with the grey mists between dreams. "Do not lose hope, child, for it is this above all things that gives us the will to endure against the darkness. With the coming of the dawn, a new world and new friends will be waiting for you..."