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The angel knew the world would die.

She sat atop a tower high above the mortals below, her wings at rest. Her thoughts?

Less so.

Perendar, capital of the Empire sprawled like a overturned chest of gems, sunlight dancing from glazed tile roofs, polished copper towers, symbol encrusted. Life rippled through the city, vital, blessed with sweet ignorance. For the most part. Her gaze roamed across the glory that was the center of human civilization and learning. Master engineers rubbed shoulders with d'verg artificers, with ritually invested paladins, with cadres of power touched casters. With the multitudes of the enlightened masses. All watched over by the ever villigant church and of course the seraph host.

She felt another approaching, his god's portfolio clarion-like in intensity. Etheric wings brushed her and for a moment she shared the bond and gasped at his inner torment. He stepped lightly to the edge of the spire, not yet looking at her. He spoke his gutteral boom to the city below.

"Why seek you solitude on today of all days Shael?"

She sighed. Such, had been asked before.

"The feyfolk ambassador comes to entreat the forum. At least pay her respect and witness her plea." The war angel drifted round to face her.

"What say you?"

Shael, stared up into his cobalt gaze. "We are better than this, Rudael".

He frowned.

"Of the gods are we. Benign. Watchful. Caring...l do not want to be a hypocrite. What will happen today will tear at reality."

Rudael's jaw clenched. "THE GODS WILL IT."

Shael grunted in pain, as his power laced words struck her like physical blows. "Don't you dare try to compel me you sanctamoneus idiot!" She hissed through teeth, gritted against the compultion. "The gods are blind to this. Deaf to it. What think you the cadres have been doing?"

He stared at her, a titan in gold and white. His armour radiated like- minded brethren bound to ward him. His sheathed sunblade screamed silently at him to draw and slay this weak blasphemic thing. His eyes narrowed.

"That we are kin saves you from execution. Your heretic words will cease. Speak such again and I will end you myself."

His wings flared into radiant life an he rose into the chiming air, gaze not leaving her until he was far away over the Pious quarter.

Shael slumped, exahausted from the power struggle she had silently waged to ward off spiritual urgings to succomb to his will.

She hoped that the tiny, secret, silent usage of her own abilities had slipped past his fortress like defences, so used to turning aside necromantic death magics or the searing demonic blades.

If the gods were kind , that was.

For once.

Chapter One

She stood upon a marble floor, the cold of its surface bit into the soles of her bare feet. Several paces away, hard faced guards stood, either side of a magnificent gold chased door. Their eyes moved from her barely covered breasts to her charm clasped ankles, but then she was used to this behaviour in such company. Had she wished it their hearts would cease to beat and they would die. But this was not her wish. Let them look. She was used to the stares of human men. She was beautiful. Why would they not be enamoured with her?

A female had many weapons, her body her whiles, her ability to please. As well as those not so obvious that all males, whatever their creed, seemed oblivious to.

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