In the nights since The Commander had declared war against Nu Martyr a blanket of still silence had enveloped the province. Each night fathers locked the doors and shuttered the windows, mothers hurried their children home in hushed voices. Fearful voices. Children, to young to truly understand the depth of their situation, remained ignorant to everything butt the occasional quiver in the voice of the parents. Nor were they oblivious to the ways the eyes of strangers darted around anxiously, yet never made eye contact. Those few that did quickly looked away, not wanting to chance the potential of doom.
In all manners of the phrase, Nu Martyr had sunk into a state of waiting. Waited to see what would come. Dreaded the approaching calamity. But even the least of them could sense the near tangible aura of death permeating around them. It was there. And they could fear it. Hate it. Run screaming in terror into the night.
But it was coming. She was coming.
And there was nothing anyone could do to stop it.
The sense of foreboding was prevalent not just in the outskirts or the smaller cities scattered through Nu Martyr, but also in the Capitol City itself. The Commander's threat had not failed to spread into the province's heart, poisoning and corrupting its way to even the PRIME Ardon Dallas. The man found himself constantly stopping to take in deep breaths, failed attempts in lower his heartbeat and arresting the small trembles that shook his arms. Even pouring himself a simple bourbon was a struggle. He was a politician for Tellus Mater's' sake. Not a soldier or a general. He was ambition, sure, but a politician nonetheless.
Oh gods, what if She breaks through the city defenses?
Ardon sighed, pouring himself another glass after downing the first. The thought was a useless one. He'd prepared the best that any PRIME could. Military at the ready, generals called back to help plan, and war schematics sorted out until they'd all been worked to the bone. He was ready. There was no way She would make it to him. Nu Martyr the city was itself huge. A powerful city-state within the continent of Renovatio. But when combined with the help sent from the Allied Nations of Terrenus, Kadia, and every city in the Province?
The PRIME shook his head in disbelief. If the cult's Commander could fight against that much fire power, surely the entire world would have been after her already. He put down his cup and beckoned a man through, tilting his head in acknowledgement. "How are the defenses looking?"
The evening sun had barely begun to fall when the citizens of Keto were shrouded in literal darkness. In moments that sun had been blotted out by a black cloud or, rather, a cloud of dense black fog that moved at inhuman speeds. As if born from the cloud, the fog formed a dark skull. A golden colored crescent moon shining from within each of the sockets as streams of that black smoke shot out from the cloud and skull down toward the city.
At first people were surprised, though not overly so. After all rain clouds were quite usual considering they all but lived int he clouds. Then panic slowly started to set in as it became obviously apparent that the cloud was not of a natural making. And the skull appeared. People panicked, taking off in all directions for shelter or just in simply helpless retreat in the face of something overwhelming.
It was the crescent moons that set in place who it was. What was happening.
The Commander had arrived.
Hundreds, if not a thousands, of those streams of black smoke slammed into buildings and city roads. Infrastructure collapsed at nothing but their entrance, not withstanding even long enough to be directly dealt with. Paragon after Paragon landed in Keto, clearing the way for Her. In moments the Paragons had wiped out every other living life within a mile of their landing zone. Buildings fell to their combined might, being swiftly decimated into dust until the land was completely flat. The hadn't needed to or been ordered to do so, but it was a show of loyalty. Of respect. For some, even of worship.
A final surge of black burst from the skull of smoke, causing it to grow formless. This one, however, was levels darker than the others. A palpable corrupted around it that could strike fear into the most righteous or the most villainous without a care for their alignment. It was a primal authority raised even further by the corrupted powers She wielded with the ease that a blacksmith might a hammer.
Lilith Reiter landed in Keto, rings of dust exploding outward from the force of her arrival. The necromancer motioned toward the nearest Paragon without bothering to so much as look their way. "Grab a few others and begin preparations for the Summoning. The magic circle will not have any mistakes, is that understood?"
The Paragon nodded. "Yes Commander."
Ignoring the Paragon her red eyes stared into the distance, though not into the nothingness of an unknowable beyond. No. She stared toward the Capitol City of Nu Martyr. The force of her gaze perhaps even sparking a primal alert of danger in anyone within its path. Deathbringer sheathed at her side beat a steady purple glow, as if excited for all the souls it would soon consume. Despite its number of souls already being enormously high, this meal would dwarf it all. Its apparent excitement leaking into even her, adding an equivalent purple glow to her eyes as well. The purple energy surged through Zengi's Gauntlet and the Genesaris Soul Stone, white and black lights joining with the purple.
And then an aura of necromancy soared for hundreds of miles in every direction, claiming Keto as hers.
For war was not coming to Nu Martyr anymore.
It was already there; and all around Keto the screams of opposition rang out like dying chirps of squashed insects.