tear down the stars

8/6: “Together, they took the stars down.”

eh eh wasn’t really feeling it so not too much tonight, and felt a bit stiff in writing. The demigod All Names began life as a star, and was summoned down by the god Ramiroth. When they landed, All Names tore a crater into Huna’s forest, destroying much of it, and earning the witch’s hatred forever.

Followers of Sathanus shrouded themselves in black. They became shadows of shadows. They treasured anonymity and defunct religions. Followers of Huna bedizened themselves in the various tones of nature—from the brilliant to the mundane, every shade between the browns of the earth and the yellow of the sun. They followed nature’s path without question—they emulated it, the violence, the clemency, the beauty and the rancid ugliness. Followers of Ramiroth wore predominantly white. They cherished the image of the lion, marauding and proud.

Savriel, spinning her staff around behind her, grunted as she delivered a sharp kick to the ghoul’s chest. He staggered back a step, his balance easily regained. She spotted the subtle pivot of his backmost foot and then she moved again, her staff coming around and cracking into the arm he stretched out to block her strike.

The wood struck flesh and he should have displayed more pain than he did. Years of monastic training and all that. Savriel personally thought it all bullshit—the vows of silence and anonymity, the drab black attire, the masks. Boring. But then, she didn’t follow Sathanus. She didn’t belong to his elite cult in the mountains. So she didn’t have to find it interesting.

The night above the field of snow in which they battled felt suffocating. And then, in a moment, it felt revivified—a light pale and vicious as sunlight splashed across ice moved forward. Huna strode across the snow, light on her feet, her long white hair drifting about her body. Huna the bolt of lightning, Huna the fallen star, Huna who represented everything and everything Savriel strove for. The goddess and the witch strode forward and the ghouls fell back.

“That’s right,” Savriel spat after them, whirling her staff back around to her front and planting it into the snow. It made sense that the ghouls would guard their church, but that didn’t make their persistence any less annoying.

Huna stopped a few feet away and looked at Savriel in that particular way of hers, keen and curious beneath a pall of extreme, unreadable calm. The witch blinked slowly and then tilted her head back. After a moment Savriel did the same, until witch and shepherd beheld the same stars.

“You hate them, don’t you?” Savriel said, glancing back down toward the witch.

Huna’s eyes narrowed, and she nodded vaguely.

“One day, we will tear them down,” the witch said, her voice low and terrible and utterly devoid of inflection.

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