Rapierian dodged another of the whirling "shadows," feeling the burning heat on his face as it barely missed him. He let fly another arrow at Alcyon, but her answering bolt of lightning tore through the projectile and struck the wall beside him. Anticipating the blast, he rolled with the force of the explosion, closing with his opponent. Alcyon again retreated rapidly down the corridor. The ranger knew she was just stalling to cover the retreat of her allies, but, try as he might, he couldn't close the distance any faster.
Persephone stumbled back, reeling from the heavy blow of the golem. With a roar, Tantalus leapt to her defense, trying to drive his axe into the golem's leg. The stone monster barely seemed to notice, throwing him aside. Still, the moment brought the magess time to recover and throw a fireball into the creature's face.
Behind her, she heard Sisyphus and Prometheus engaging the other golem.
Normally, the fight should have been over swiftly. Skilled as the four undead mercenaries were, the two golems were large and powerful, apparently untouched by any attack. However, as Beorn had said, his spell kept reanimating them every time they fell.
Suddenly, the ground heaved around them, throwing all combatants to the ground. The wind rose to a piercing howl as a sudden tempest erupted. The world flared green as a second star burst to life in the mountains above them.
Persephone hardly noticed any of these events, however, for she felt something else. A massive explosion of wild, chaotic power swept over them. The distant thread of Beorn's control--not active but a menacing threat--snapped, and they were free.
Stumbling to her feet, she saw the others rise. Hesitating, they all stood for a moment, uncertain what to do now. Then, driven by the curse and by the desire for revenge, they rushed toward the glow without a word.
Behind them, the golems rose as well. Like the undead, the spells that controlled them were broken, and they paused in confusion, bereft of goal or purpose. Then, they spotted the mercenaries heading up the mountain. With a roar, they followed.
Above them, Katerei worked quickly, trying to draw as many of the symbols as she could. Beorn leaned over the fissure, the Crolna still glowing in his hands. The kaleidoscope of purple and green continuing to grow by the minute. The wind screamed about her, and she could hardly stand as the ground rocked beneath her.
She had no idea how much time had passed--minutes, hours, days?--when Beorn's head snapped up, startling her. With glowing eyes, he looked toward the north. Then, he began step away from the fissure, slowly pulling the Crolna out of the heart of the storm. This change had no effect on the fissure however. If anything, the chaos rose, and the din about them increased.
Looking toward the sky, Katerei saw nothing...until another flash of the eerily colored lightning illuminated a small black dot, tearing through the clouds in its speed. With a sinking feeling, she realized then what Beorn had sensed.
Struggling to complete the spellwork laid out on the scroll, Katerei somehow frantically managed to draw her weapon. Rapidly, Beorn turned from the fissure, hastily slipping the Crolna back into the pouch at his belt and drawing his swords.
They were only just in time as Selax broke threw the tortured sky and dove on them out of the gale.
Athes is demon from the alternate Cythera world. In his reality, mages pursued learning in how to conjure demons (since demons are beings of magic). This led to more and more manipulation and creation of demons. In the Dark Mirror TS it's learned that Saltwax and other forces created large demon armies of varrying strengths. These demons would not be considered in the same class as Athes. Athes is a demon born of naturally occuring magical activity (i.e. hellspawn). He considers the new waves of demons as abominations, slaves, and needing of extermination.
Athes was picked up by Firecat after Athes slaughtered a demon troupe sent to kill him. Athes knows that Firecat was involved in sending the troupes, and also knows that he works (or at least used to) work under Saltwax, one of the main users of magic-spawned demons. Firecat gained Athes' help through offering a way to destroy all magic-spawned demons, as well as their production. In the DM TS Athes was instrumental in burrying the demon troupes that had been sent to the original Cythera, causing a cave in the killed and burried most of the small army. He then hunted down those that escaped and then caught up with Sage after doing it again in Catamarca.
Even though Athes works under Firecat, it doesn't mean he likes how Firecat opperates (or Firecat himself). The demon would prefer a straight forward approach of facing the enemy, rather than the covert ways of attack Firecat usually sets up. Athes and Firecat's relationship contains a lot of tension and butting of heads. Athes knows that Firecat is stronger than him, even though sometimes his pride will lead the demon to challenge him anyways. Firecat has never taken direct control of Athes, nor could he given Athes' strong will against him.
Athes main motivation is in restoring balance to the world through violence. He does not tend to see solutions to problems as changing the bend of the river, rather just damming the river all together (ending it). His main goal is to restore demons back to their natural order. His secondary goals were gained after meeting Firecat and learning of the elemental disbalance in the alternate Cythera. In his perfect vision he would not have Normal Cythera, he would have a Cythera where his kind are more plentiful. A place where strength and truth ruled supreme. Athes will not hesitate to tell the truth to those he thinks have earned it. He only lied to the group in the beginning of Out of Reflection because he was ordered to. He is under orders not to reveal Sage's true name however.
Though Athes has these ideals at heart, it does not mean he does not get distracted from them. He takes humor in others being foolish. He does not care much for jokes involving words or sentences. In fact he would rather act than talk all together, never learning far into making words sound pretty. He also has a love for the sport of killing, and the skill involved; in this way, he can gain some level of respect for people.
Athes' has a great discription in my first post of his, but here are the cliff notes.
Dark red skin. Two three-quarter-foot long purple horns coming out of his head, along with a bit of dark greyish hair. A white, twisted cloth band around his forhead. Dark, black eyes, no whites. Fanged teeth. Very muscular build, but average male height. Hard to tell his age because of his demon's face. No shirt, brown loin cloth going to his knees. No shoes. Clawed hands and feet. (Pretty much look at a demon sprite from the game). Athes' voice is also unique in that it is low in tone, and crackly (not in a puberty kind of way, think of rice crispies). His speech pattern is as few words as possible, and a direct manner of saying them. Athes typically smells of ash and smoke. Athes is also exceptionally hot to the touch. Athes does not like the cold.
Being a demon of natural blood, Athes posesses a wide range of magical abilites: fireballs, earthquakes, lightning, fear spells, etc. In addition to this Athes is good in fighting with his hands, magic, as well as his blade. Athes will not hesitate to take a cut to get the upperhand in a fight, as he has a extremely high tollerance for pain. Athes weapon is a double sided obsidian swallow (something like this). He is very proficient with it. If the glass ever breaks or becomes dull, he'll use fire magic to make a new blade or to fix one. It is the weapon of his tribe of demons.
I'm inclined to agree with all three of those. I'll add the 20th anniversary ones under the tribute section and the speedruns one to the useful information (though it might move if someone can think of a better subject).
@Wizard Well, domains are relatively cheap and even if he doesn't want to keep the website up, that doesn't necessarily mean he wants it taken over by a porn domain. Long running website domains tend to be a good target for scammers and spammers.
Since the livestream, this topic felt like the last important thing to discuss. Tree of Life was confirmed an incomplete side-quest, Seldane as a language with historic inspiration, and then the hints given about the Cythera sequel.
Looking back through the prophecies, I'd thought of a couple comments as well.
In the first prophecy, I agree with your uncertainty about the Lost returning. See, I'd initially figured the "Voice of a God" referred to Alaric and the Lost being the mages, but then with the Voice being destroyed as the last act of the Tyrants, it must be a reference to the Cult of Scylla, which makes sense given the religious overtones tying them together. But that does leave the question of Lost. It makes me wonder as to the nature of the Scylla themselves. Perhaps a subservient species to the Undine or exiled or something, but are they trying to come back in opposition to the Undine? Or are the Undine themselves the Lost? Tavara said the Undine played him for a fool with Abydos, but he was clearly still associated with them during the times of the Cult, despite UrSylph saying the "traitor" attempted to subvert the humans by worshipping false gods.
Again, I agree with most everything you say about the second prophecy. I'm also baffled why it says the Traitors do not fail since that seems to invalidate the Comana brothers. But from what we know about the Cythera sequel, it's not clear that we actually saved Alaric at the end, so I guess they didn't fail? If so, it's also unclear whether or not they were responsible for Alaric's fall or something more insidious (recall gandreas specifically called out "trust no one" when we spoke with Jhiaxus during the livestream).
The Hidden does seem like the Undine since they joined forces with the Traitors, but my initial thought was the Cult of Scylla. That feeds back into prophecy one where the connection between the cult/scylla and the undine is not completely clear.
In this case, I think assigning Master to Alaric is the most reasonable interpretation. The in-game mention of Master is interesting though. Perhaps the Hidden are the scylla and they are trying to overthrow the Undine? Comana may also have been trying to overthrow the Undine in the same way Tavara was working with them while seeking personal revenge.
The third prophecy beginning with the end of the second age and passing of the Great Unifier lines up with the first and last line of prophecy two, suggesting to me that the "Second End" is a reference to the second age ending.
The rest is really open to interpretation. Are there more Air and Fire around to wreak havoc? We know the land will break into pieces, so is the One to Many Cythera itself or a reference to the crolna being broken again? The world is mentioned as being sundered separately, and so is the Opener of Ways (crolna from prophecy two) but as One.
The Fifth Element seems to tell us how the Cythera saga will end. I thought humans had been referenced as a fifth somewhere before but may be misremembering. These "Walkers" seem like something different. I suppose today that refers to zombies, but I expect here it refers to humans or a class of humans like evolved mages.
Those are my long rambling thoughts about the prophecies.
One and Two are mostly clear. I just question the exact nature of the Cult of Scylla and how they tie into the Lost/Hidden. That question affects a couple little things, but in the grand scheme of the things, we know the third prophecy is more concerned with Alaric's death and the havoc of the other elements until the "Walkers" appear.
I hope this covers a lot of the discussion that was had about the prophecies on Discord. Thanks again for making the topic!
... This reminds me I still need to make a topic about difficulty level in Cythera.
Good point about transliterated as a separate branch, Buzzzzy! I guess it's true that we don't know what all was inspired by Egyptian or Greek, and you and Pallas are right about the original intention for the language possibly being different.
Adding their names and places makes sense too. I recall having some discussion in the past about whether Ayrit and Maayti are the formal place names or more general terms like "home."
It's opening in a separate window for you because the .rtf file downloads and gets recognized as a TextEdit document by your system. You can disable automatic opening of downloaded files to avoid that, so it would just go to your download location and you could choose what to do with it. That's considered a little more secure but wouldn't change much otherwise.
To avoid the Rich Text version download, here's a plain text version which will open directly in most browsers: