True Year Zero
The Eastern Shore of Great Kaltachia
Year Zero

All the Ordinators had gathered in the courtyard in formation. Behind their armor and masks of bronze were sunken faces and pale skin. Many had fallen Ill from the Blight that ravaged Terra. A final warning against the Terrans. It did not have the desired effect. For they left their far away homes to force the Gods hands.They had plagued them with sickness and heartbreak. But the Terrans marched on For years now the Edofasians had been preparing to make war on their masters. 

"Warriors of The Horator. Harken now! Commanded the man above them. He was no warrior by dress or nature. The flowing robes and eye glasses were giveaways that this man was Kragrenac. High Priest of the Tribunal Gods. "Our Lords have commanded us to march on The Isle of Kaltach. Our brothers await us at the bridge. Ride now to the world's ending" and so they did. For days they marched. Until before them lay the plains before the great bridge. And the armies of Terra met. First to arrive were the Cenaesii. In Golden Armor and led by Lugh. Who shined like the sun itself. His armies had few warriors of men. But great machines of war were assembled.Then the Edofasians arrived led by Hora (first of the name) seemingly unhindered by the Blight. Their warriors were plentiful and well trained. Then out of the North came the Novmirans. In armor of fur and steel they sang songs of glorious battle and death. But to the surprise of all A'ru came with then and met Lugh upon the field 

Against his golden light A'ru's pale light flickered like the distant stars. They stared each other down before A'ru spoke

"Why have you come to this place where destiny is made?"

"To lead my people into the future of course" Lugh spoke 
A'ru squinted slightly as if to try and pierce the mind of the Golden God. 

"We shall see" 
A' ru took in a deep breath and released it. The armies of Terra perked up. The Blight had lifted. Warriors cheered and let out shouts and praise and the Horator bowed before the 4 Gods. "My lords you have saved us all" Lugh smiled slightly at this praise before A'ru spoke again "No child. I have given you the means of which to liberate yourself. Use this gift wisely for I have only one left to give." The Horator looked up to speak and was shocked at what he saw. The glorious image of his god had faded to resemble an old robed man. His eyes shone still but his face spoke of tiredness. "My lord what have you done"

Lugh spoke sharply. "It matters not. You have gathered your people here Horator. Lead them or bind them to my service" a great shaking of the earth started "Do not take me for dead yet Lugh" a terrible and dark voice grumbled "Power is yet with me before you" Lugh turned to face A'ru. Thought for a long while and left to organize his forces.

And so the armies of Terra had gathered. The Horator stood with the Tribunal at the front of the army at the foot of the bridge. In the distance armies stood by under blue banners that shook in the sea breeze. A storm began to roll in. Eostre had organized his armies well. Only a small force of lesser Gods stood on the bridge as the rest of his army behind his walls. Prepared to guard the Heart of Creation. Lugh shouted "Scopul porții. eliberare" the great balista's fired. Stone broke against the bolts force and the small lights began to die out. But the soldiers of Esotre held the line until the gates were blasted open. Then came forth a horde of shrieking demons. Clamoring for blood "Déan balla sleá a fhoirmiú agus a shealbhú!" The Ordinators rushed forward and pressed together tightly. Spears sprang forth as the line formed. Shields raised mere moments before the clash came "Chun glóire ár gceannaire!" rang out somewhere among the line and much shouting and beating on shields followed. Lighting cracked and the wind began to howl as another round of ballista fire clashed  against the distant walls. When the fighting began it was brutal. Bronze spears skewered the assaulting demons as the line was battered. Men fell against axes and short swords of the horde. The seas rose to wash away the dead and blood.Ever so slowly the line advanced forward towards the Isle.

Out of the sea atop the waves came warriors clad in scale armor wielding tridents and set upon the Edofasian's flanks Droves of men fell to them. "trimite legiunea de aur!" Lugh commanded. And a legion of bronze machines arose from their spheres. Spinning blades rushed to the flanks and held the sea warriors at bay. Tridents impaled them. But the flanks held until arrows let lose into the deep. The line marched forward once more. 

The horde of demons withdrew and the lines reformed. The armies of Terra gazed upon the walls in the distance. Figures of many ever changing colors stood atop them. One Ordinators stepped forward and was struck down with a swift arrow to the throat that clapped with thunder upon piercing the woman's neck. Her body twitched as she lay dying. 

"Щиты продвигаются вперед!" Came a shout from the back of the army. Men in heavy armor wielding great axes came forth. Shouting curses in their strange tongue. The arrows let fly but the grim vestiges of the Northmen roared forward. As they came upon the ruined gates they could see the beings above them. Their faces showed no emotion. Their armor seemed to be composed of leaves of maple ever shifting in color aligning with the changing of the seasons. Arrow after arrow they loosed upon the Novmirans. Until they climbed atop the walls. Limbs were hacked away and heads began to roll as these guardians fought and went sword to axe with these berserkers. Finally they retreated away from the gatehouse as if recalled by an unheard voice. The first part of the siege had ended. 

Two Days Later 

The Horator stepped into the command tent. The War Machines of the Cenaesii held the line for now. The Demons ensured that no man on nightwatch would be able to rest. Inside awaited the Tribunal and A’ru Himself. 

“They have gathered their defenses around the great hall in the heart of the city. This is where they will have the heart and where the Lord of Flame will make his stand.” said A’ru. Lugh seemed unimpressed. “They’ve battered our lines relentlessly for days now. I will not sit idly and waste my resources for no gain A’ru. I’m marching forward today. Join us or do not. I care not.” Lugh noticed the Horator and frowned “And what of you oh “Champion” have you lost your nerve as well?” 

‘No my lord. My men have gathered for the next assault. Though I doubt that once we seize the Hall the Others will drop their weapons and yield” 
“It matters little. Once I…...We possess the heart. They will be of no threat to any of us”
The Horator nodded grimly and the assault began again. The haze of battle made time hard to tell. How many hours did it take to reach the hall over the piles of the fallen? The shimmering colors of the dead spirits made many weep. But finally the hall was reached. The battle continued to rage around the raised platform. “Before we decide the fate of this world, let us digest what we have wrought already” A’ru said grimly. The Tribunal gazed across the city. Fires caught everywhere. Statues smashed and a bloodtide that no storm could wash away. The earth and sea seemed to war amongst one another. The ground never ceased shaking now. The sky ran black as lighting and snow fell together. In the distance red and black smoke arose. “Here now we have commited a crime this world shall never forgive. Its people put to the sword or purged. By storm or fire the world has fallen. But I cannot see. Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
 Where is the harp on the harp string, and the red fire glowing? Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow; The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning, Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?”
The Procession expected to be met with resistance upon entering the hall. But none came forth. No final stand. No army to protect their god. Eostre appeared as a great column of fire. And the Lady came forth from it and drew her sword. “Let ye be punished by my hand for the evils you have brought upon my land!” Lugh moved first to duel with her. And the energy between them caused the air to crackle. When the Lord of Flames' voice shook the land. “You have invaded my home. Slaughtered my kin. Draw your blade upon the lady. For what? What lofty goals bring you here?” The towering flame twisted towards The Horator “Liberation? Were you not free before? Were not my actions in direct response to your rabble rousing? You will claim your “freedom” here today Edofasian. But the price will be beyond the count of grief.” He then turned towards Lugh “Usurper. The will to dominate is in your blood is it not? But to what end? You cannot even maintain your loyalty to yourself’ Eostre dismissed the other two members of the Tribunal. Saying not a word to them. “Finally. A’ru. You’re misguided idealism has forever blighted these Terrans. You most of all have cursed them with Hope to be beyond what they ever shall be. But you know you shall pay for what you have done...May you find solace in peace” Eostre and the Lady of Caskhomir vanished in an atlas of smoke. The Tribunal had drawn their weapons. The battle below them raged on. Songs of death washed over the armies of lesser gods. The Terrans slaughtered with the power of stars. The Horator asked his generals to help him summon A’ru yet again for his guidance. But the Tribunal had become as greedy as Lugh upon hearing of the power of the Heart and they covered it. They made ritual as if to summon Lugh as The Horator wanted but One used poisoned candles and Another used poisoned robes and Lugh used poisoned invocations. The Horator was murdered. ‘A’ru appeared over the fallen Horator and hissed these words. “Let ye know now my Champion shall return again until you are slain by his hand Usurper! And he shall guide the chosen forever more. He will come again in many faces so that you may not hunt him. And you will know Terror before the end.What you have done here today is foul beyond measure and you will grow to regret it, for the lives of gods are not what mortals think and matters that weigh only years to mortals weigh on gods forever."
And so the curse was laid. And the world was ruined. The Edofasians, Broken by the loss of their leader fled home. The Northmen too sailed away. Lugh led his people south to find new lands to settle. Unable to claim the Heat. The Isle of Kaltach lay in ruin and the World was truly broken. .

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