Hello ladies and gents! Yeah I know I took my dear sweet time with this one, but well, long story short, shit hit the fan in real life and most of my free time went bye-bye. I won't bore you all with the details since I managed to write this down over the course of two weeks during slow days at work.

Ugly stuff aside, a big thank you goes out to the folks that fav'ed, followed and reviewed! Interesting tidbit that most of you managed to pick up was that I planned to write the story as a sort of continuation to the Abomination Vault book. Made me giddy to read all the feedback and how everyone was loving the story so far.

And in case anyone was wondering, Bormak will be sticking around for a while. He's got a few bones to pick. *wink* And no worries, Death is still his good old badass self. The other Horsemen will start to make their appearance in the following chapters.

At any rate, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Darksiders. End of story.

Despite the uneasy truce forced upon Heaven and Hell, there was always someone out there willing and waiting to stir up some trouble. Even the best of intentions may end with disastrous results. When someone starts to dig up the past that hits all four of the Horsemen a little too close to home, they must come to terms with themselves and what the Balance actually means to them.

Nightfall – Chapter 1

Nightfall. That was one name that Death had not heard in a while. And also one that he would have preferred not to hear about for a long time.

In truth, the nightfallen reminded him a little too much of his own past, but there were a few differences. While the nephilim were born from the mixture of angel and demon through a lot of potent magic, the bulk of the nightfallen were actually angels kicked out of Heaven. Unfortunately, whatever honorable aspects they once had eventually eroded into bloodthirsty savages that heavily resembled Death's deceased kin.

What had once started as a grouping of castaways from the lands under angelic rule, banding together for survival against whatever came their way, they eventually grew so much in strength and in numbers that they began incorporating others that held far more unsavory backgrounds, including those from other races.

Despite being made up mostly by angels, the nightfallen cared little for the orderly ways of Heaven, nor their morals. To survive, they became mercenaries and swords for hire, often willing to do anything for the right amount of coin. Thievery, sabotage, smuggling, assassination and bribery were commonplace practices both among themselves and with their line of business with outsiders.

Other races often made use of their services, especially because if they were captured or killed on their missions, it was far too easy to incriminate the White City while losing little to nothing.

Eventually the rest of the angels wizened up, and whatever criminal sentenced for exile was branded with the rune for "Fallen". Once on the side of their face, and again along the spine of their backs. Then, they were taken to the High Sorcerers, who were in change of permanently turning their once white feathers into various shades of blue, gray or black through some very powerful and secretive spells.

To some, it was a matter of shaming the criminals, further humiliating them by taking away the Creator's blessing of ivory white feathers and forcing upon them a constant reminder of them having turned their backs to the Light and their brethren. To others, it was more of a practical approach, since it proved to be the quickest way to discern if the person was a proper angel, or a fallen exile, be it up close or at a distance.

Some of those exiles tried desperately to regain their old pristine coloring, but no matter what they tried, the color stayed. Not even if they plucked every single feather on their body, new feathers only grew back in whichever color resulted from the enchantment. Only one of the High Archangels could undo the spellwork, and as few as they were, none of them were about to remove their spells for traitors and deserters.

And yet time passed. Eventually those exiled began to embrace their wings, casting away their bonds with Heaven, claiming that the sun loving bird brains had an ego the size of all of creation and cared more for their own political power and greed than the wellbeing of their people. To add further insult to injury, the fallen also accused the High Heavens of twisting the Creator's words for their own benefit, taking important teachings so far out of context that it might as well have justified themselves —and only themselves— into having free reign on sinning. So, instead of hiding behind such hypocrisy, the Fallen opted to live out in full under the light of the moon and the starts, away from their sun worshiping relatives. They became mostly nocturnal, making the best of the fact that their new plumage offered them excellent camouflage against the darkness and the night's sky.

Soon after, they formally took on the name of Nightfallen, in honor of their new lifestyle.

From that point on, their dubious history made a turn for the worse. Were they once started out as hunters, scavengers and opportunists in order to survive, they began to turn towards less than honorable activities. They became short tempered, selfish, untrusting and prone to battle for any reason at all. Often engaging in skirmishes or attacking and stealing from unguarded merchants. They raided, rampaged, took and killed as they pleased. Heaven did try and send regular patrols to chase away the nightfallen, but not even Heaven had enough manpower to keep Hell at bay and hunt down their wayward children at the same time.

Despite everything, the nightfallen eventually managed to gain control over lands in some remote realm far away from the stronghold of the Hellguard and the rest of the White City's military branches. Supposedly, they dug deep and created a fortress city for themselves: Nightfall.

Since then, they had become little better than demons wrapped up in angelic skin.

Death personally had not visited their fortress, but he had clashed with several of their members already. He'd battled and bested several of them on various worlds, and even decimated one of their armies that had been coming very close to annihilating the local civilization.

Apparently having lost a legion of their fighters at the Rider's hands in a single battle hadn't sent a clear enough message.

If they were indeed behind whatever had taken place on the now barren world that Death stood on, then the Pale Rider would have to drop by for a visit and stop whatever plans they had in the works before things went out of hand.

"Nightfall?" Death asked after a long silence. "Are you sure it was them?"

"Branded and stained wings. You cannot mistake their lot." Bormak spit out, recalling the images shared by the World Soul he had just released. "The White City has always been quite peculiar of how they treat those that they consider traitors, before kicking them out."

"Not just Heaven." The Rider countered, eyes narrowing in rage as he recalled his encounters with them. "That pit is full of runaways, criminals, backstabbers and traitors hailing from every corner of Creation."

The maker nodded in agreement. "True enough. However, all of this—" He stretched out a hand signaling the deserted world around them, "— was carried out by former angels. But there was something else too, Rider."

Bormak knelt down so that both he and the Horseman were closer to the same level. There was rage in the makers eyes as well, held in check and tempered by years upon years of hard earned wisdom. Death could tell that on some level, whatever had taken place on this desolate world had certainly made it a personal matter to the maker.

"Heed my words, Horseman. Whatever happened here, was but the testing grounds of something much, much worse."

Death clenched his hands. Half of his mind was already calling him to go out and rid Creation of all of the nightfallen, but he also knew that jumping on assumptions tended to only dig even deeper problems. He would need to know what happened first, and find out just how deep the rabbit hole went.

"What exactly happened here, World Breaker?"

Bormak clenched his jaw and his grip on his hammer visibly tightened. "Some kind of weapon. A prototype, more than anything. They brought it here to test it out." The maker turned so that Death was no longer in front of him, just enough so that the rider was at his side, and leaned forward, stretching a hand out over the the open ground and began drawing with a single finger into the loose sand. Simple in shapes, yet allowing Death to understand the message without much guesswork. "It looked unfinished, but it did its work. They used giant raven-like birds to fly it here, that could have easily swallowed any of the nightfallen in a single bite, if not for the heavy straps binding their beaks shut. The weapon itself looked like a large egg made of metal, taller than yourself and about half as wide, with several sets of handles attacked to it on all sides. Runes covered nearly every visible inch of it, and it pulsed with horrible, angry energy."

Death scooted closer to the the maker in order to see better, taking in an odd scenario that if not for the person who was telling him of the recent events, the Rider would have dismissed it all as a child's overly enthusiastic imagination. The egg, the angels and the birds were easy to tell apart, yet the old maker would stop and hover over some parts, pointing out anything of import as he continued his tale, then going on to add new additions or to revise what was already there.

"The nightfallen brought it here to this world, not far from where we are at actually," Bormak continued still hunched over one knee, giant hands effortlessly gliding over the loose sand and making small indentations where they were needed, "dug a small crevice into the ground and placed the egg in the center, nailing the chains into the ground as well to keep it steady and upright. Afterwards, they used additional lengths to chain to tie the handles on the egg itself to the harnesses the birds that brought it here."

More and more lines were added into the ground, lining up perfectly with the story the maker was telling with ease. For a man of the size of a maker, the drawings were surprisingly neat and elegant, testament to the old one's attention for craftsmanship, even on a simplified scale.

"Then, once the egg and the birds were secure, one of the nightfallen, a magic user, opened up a portal through which most of them passed through. All expect for one." With a quick swipe, Bormak erased the other angel figurines leaving only one. "The last nightfallen placed some sort of time delayed explosives around the egg itself. He set them off and ran to the portal, which closed behind him, leaving the weapon, the explosives and the birds.

"The explosives soon went off together, creating a large enough explosion to scare the birds, but not harm the egg. Scared for their lives, the birds tried to fly away in different directions. The heavy chains strapped to them were no match for their full strength, and eventually they were able to pull apart the egg's outer shell." Death narrowed his eyes at the odd scene of the birds playing tug-o-war with a giant egg in the middle, but deep down he too knew that whatever was inside that thing didn't bode well for anyone.

To his side, Bormak grunted as he swiped a hand over the egg and redrew it with parts of the shell flying away with the large birds. Then he added an ominous looking spiral where the original egg had been. "With the eggshell removed, the inside became exposed. It was a sphere of some of the most foul and unstable energy I have ever seen Rider. Whatever it was, it grew increasingly unstable, until it released a massive explosion that disintegrated all life matter. Nothing was left of the birds and the weapon, and it also took out every single living being on the planet." He then swiped a hand over the entire drawing. "Nothing Rider. Nothing was left."

"Nothing…" Death's voice trailed off. If the barren sands and dry stones where all that was left of a once living world (dry as it was), then even he dared not even imagine what it could do to another world filled to the brim with life. "What of the huts, the dens and outposts left by the demons?" he inquired after a short moment of silence, recalling the utter lack of anything he had come across in his search.

Bormak stood up, eyes lingering towards the horizon yet clearing seeing flashes of what the world itself had told. "Gone. As with the ones that built them." Seeing the mild glare coming from the Rider, he further elaborated. "You forget Rider, the wood they cut was once part of a living being. Their linens and leathers came from plants or beasts. Even the very metal they used was forged by fire, fire fueled by wood or coals that once were alive, and cooled by water, which gives life. When that… bomb went off, it took everything that held even a speck of life and turned it into sands and ash. Hence why you see no evidence of the demons that once roamed here."

As far-fetched as it sounded, it did match the evidence that Death had so far witnessed. To have killed off every major life form on a planet was one thing, but to utterly disintegrate every ounce of living material was on a whole new level of destruction that made the nephilim tool like amateurs. Even Death himself wasn't sure if he could accomplish something of that magnitude alone, with or without the backing of the Charred Council.

The worst part of it all was that all that destruction was wrought by a prototype. An experiment. Death felt his blood run cold and fought hard to suppress a shudder at the mere thought of what could the finished version of said weapon accomplish.

If that thing ever came to completion, then it would be the day that Death truly feared for all of Creation. But this was but one piece of a puzzle. Why kill off a world? What was there to gain? Was there anything left behind that could be deemed valuable enough to consider a world-wide purging of all life forms? If going by the maker's words then anyone attempting to colonize a purged world would be hard pressed to obtain resources and continuously resupply themselves, since the world would have become completely unable to produce water or any sort of nutrients. Feeding an army would be a logistical nightmare of its own. A mining operations base perhaps? The rock left behind was still strong enough to form mountains, but much of it had turned soft and brittle, as Death had discovered when he attempted to climb various outcroppings for a better viewpoint, which would mean that any sort of tunnel or underground construction would face constant cave-ins and hardships. Maybe a maker could keep a mountain from crumbling over his head, but that brought Death back to where he started.

To what end?

As far as Death could think of, there was nothing really of value to gain from so much destruction, other than a foothold into uncharted territory that was bound to be more trouble keeping and maintaining in a usable state than what would have been had they used conventional conquering techniques. Or had the weapon misfired, the explosion being far stronger than what they had aimed for? A dangerous thought, even if it would make more sense if anyone wanted to quickly clean up a world and get it ready for new inhabitants. But then that would mean that someone out there was looking for rapid expansion, and that in turn meant that there was even more trouble afoot.

Shaking his head to clear himself of the what-ifs, Death decided that the first course of action was tracking down those responsible for mystery weapon and getting some real answers.

"Was there anything left in world that could be usable to the nightfallen? Or anyone else for that matter?" Death asked.

Bormak scratched his chin in contemplation. "Not much I gather. They'd find good earth and stone on other worlds to be more accessible and easier to extract than from here. Same goes for any metals. Another few decades and the world would have been little more than a giant ball of sand. Had I not released the World Soul they might have been able to grow some plants, but they'd be few and far between. One hand sized shrub in maybe a square mile, if they were lucky."

"Not likely then."

"Definitely not Horseman." Bormak agreed. "Even a maker would find himself hard pressed to get this world to go back as it once stood."

Death wasn't sure he liked the sound of that. Memories of what Belisatra did and her work in reviving the Abomination Weapons quickly came to mind. "But a maker could do it? Bring this world back to life?"

"Outside of Reorigination? Hardly." The maker scoffed. "They'd have more success trying to convince a half-eaten, maggot infested corpse into healing itself back up to a full heath. Best they could do would be to constantly be bringing plants from other worlds and try to create a hardier breed of them that can withstand the environment here."

'Thank the Creator for small favors then.' Another round with power hungry crazy makers was not on Death's to-do list. At the very least, it gave him one less thing to worry about. Nightfall remained as his number one suspect, and if he began chasing down their trails something was bound to come up.

It was time to see what Nightfall had been up to for the past few millennia.

With a flick of the wrist, Death recalled Harvester from where it still stood half buried in dry earth and secured it to his waist in its more practical form of two twin scythes. "If Nightfall truly is behind this, they will answer for their actions, World Breaker."

"As they should." The maker stood firmly. "Shame I do not have much information to send you on your way. My work deals with dying worlds, not living ones. And this here would be the first time I've seen them actively involved in any kind of conquest."

Death appreciated the ancient's help. Had it not been for Bormak, he'd been running around blindly without a trail to follow. "I've worked out with less. The World Soul at least gave us a direction in which to look."

"Aye. Brave one that it was." The World Breaker grimaced briefly at the loss, before growing serious once more. "Still, I can give you something else of use."

The maker reached into one of his many pockets and retried what looked to be small gold acorn. Before Death could inquire further, Bormak kneeled down, planting the seed into the ground and gently covering it with the loose soil. Then after procuring a flask of some sort of liquid from another pocket, he poured it over the acorn. One quick inspection later, he stood up and took a few steps back, gently motioning to the nephilim to do the same.

"This world might be truly dead now Horseman, but there is still a little bit of magic left. Enough for me to give you a means to quickly travel to another world of my choosing."

"And where would you send me, Old One?" Death asked in a mildly detached tone, even if he was inwardly more than a little interested in the maker's actions.

He knew that a maker such as Bormak needed to be able to travel all across Creation, yet he never came across information as to how exactly it was that they traveled. He was quite curious as to how the makers did so, and how different or alike it was to his own means of travel. Not that any of the Horsemen would ever voice out, but the Charred Council's wormholes tended to be less than pleasant, and at the worst of times ridiculously time consuming to cross.

"The nightfallen are not new enemies. Heaven has had to deal with them more than any other race, so not ask them about a common foe? Tell them your reasons behind your questions and they should be more willing to share what they know. Now, the world I would send you lies on the outskirts of Heaven, were nightfallen used to linger some centuries ago. A better place to gather information on their recent whereabouts than sending you directly to their doorstep I would think."

"So in other words, to not scare them into hiding." Death added, hiding a smirk behind his bone white mask.

That earned him a deep chuckle from the maker. "That too. But mostly to properly assess how big of a threat they are, and to find out if all of Nightfall is behind this or some faction among them."

The eldest Horseman had to hand it to the maker. The plan he had come up with was simple, effective, subtle, and surprisingly well thought off for how little time it took him to draw it up. Not the way Death usually handled things, yet he could see the wisdom behind the maker's offer. If he were to suddenly appear at their gates, then the perpetrators would have undoubtedly done their best to stall him while they moved their operations elsewhere. At best, he would have merely delayed their actions. At worse, they could have been desperate enough to detonate a bomb, or several of them, right in the middle of worlds brimming with life. As dam near immortal as Death was, he wasn't sure just how well he would survive one of those exploding at close range, if at all, or how long would it take the Charred Council to patch him back into working order.

Opting not to dwell into those thoughts, the Rider decided to take Bormak's offer. Caution over haste, until he could hunt down his foes and give them no room for escape.

"Very well. I'll see if the angels are willing to cooperate." Death said, hands going to grasp the handles of the twin halves of Harvester. He didn't like doing business with them much, given how high and mighty they held themselves when in reality, they were as stubborn and obnoxious to deal with as the demons they so much hated. However, this was bigger than a few petty grudges, and for the sake of Creation he would put up with their arrogance and attitude.

Well, up to a certain point. After that, someone was going to be losing some feathers.

With a nod towards the smaller man, Bormak had stepped into a casting stance, holding his hammer up high in the air. Then, as he whispered softly in a language foreign to Death, magic surged around the maker, forming a hazy blue-green second skin over the giant man, while the runes on the massive hammer glowed brightly, as is resonating with the very words spoken by the Old One. The ground beneath him reacted as well, where thin vine-like tendrils began sprouting across the bone dry sands all around the little acorn. Within seconds a small patch of green grass had formed, extending from where the acorn had been settled into the ground up to the tips of Death's and Bromak's feet.

As the first blades of grass sprung under Death's boot, the Nephilim could feel the gentle swirl of energies coaxed by the maker's steady hand. It felt like a steady stream of water washing over him, gently lapping at his senses with a soft, soothing hum, almost like a gentle lullaby. A lesser being would have easily dozed off without a struggle, yet to Death, it was little more than a relaxing hymn. An oddly effective one at that.

Once the grass had fully covered the sands below, Bromak brought his hammer down gracefully until the head hovered just barely over where the acorn laid hidden. All around the hammer the vines that crept over the ground started to grow upwards, wrapping themselves together as they grew taller, forming spiraling branches covered in ivy and moss, joined at the top forming an elegant archway fit for a royal garden. One last pulse of maker magic and a blurry image of a landscape bathed in the colors of fall shimmered within the arch. A maker's portal bridging the gap between two worlds.

"Best be going. This portal will not last long." Bormak said after concluding the spell. "Seek out the angels if you can. There should be an outpost of theirs within a day's travel. Someone among them must know something that can be of use."

"I take it you will remain here." Death stated as he looked into the freshly made portal, trying to discern which planet it could lead to from the hazy image in its center. A few worlds came to mind, but none of them stood out. He would have to ask around once he crossed over.

"Of course. This world needs Reoriginating. Not to mention I am not about to let those bastards come back and do whatever they wish here." Bormak hefted his hammer over the shoulder, letting its weight set down comfortably, but Death knew that by the grip he had, the maker could effortlessly shift from relaxed to battle ready at a moment's notice. "Go, and do what you do best. I'll do what I do best. Worry not, should any of those bastards come back, well, let's say I'll have enough feathers to make a few pillows after the scuffle."

Death decided that he rather liked this maker. "Not if I kill them all before they come crawling all the way over here."

"Oh do try. But I will be keeping a tally to tell you later how many you missed then." Bormak grinned back, not the least bit scared at the prospect of having a small army for renegade angels try to kill him.

Surprisingly, Death could not find himself doubting the maker's battle prowess, despite not actually having seen the World Breaker in a fight. Come heaven or hell, Bormak would probably send them all running with their tails tucked between their legs. Perhaps someday he would attempt to track down the maker for a real spar to see how well he fought.

A flicker in the portal's image brought Death's thoughts back to the present. With no more time to waste, he drew both halves of Harvester. "You have my thanks, World Breaker. I'll leave you to your work."

"Good hunting Rider. And may you find the ones behind this." Replied the maker as he pulled down once more on the straw hat over his head, giving the smaller Nephilim brief nod. There was no need for additional farewells between the two of them.

With one last glance at the maker, Death dashed for the portal, changing his last step into a powerful leap as the hazy image of an autumn valley turned into clouds so thick they were impenetrable, leaving behind the parched dessert that Portaglos had become, and throwing him headfirst into the unknown.

For a few seconds, Death felt as if he was flying, the wind sweeping his hair away and pulling at the lighter pieces of cloth and leather that made up his armor, while his whole body was unhindered by the pull of gravity. Around him, the dark gray clouds rolled around, clashing like mighty waves in a sea. Yet Death felt no threat from them, for instead of trying to drown him out, he felt as if they were pulling, almost guiding him on. He let them, trusting that Bormak's magic knew well where the maker wished to send him, and that the swirling magics surrounding the Firstborn would heed their master's will.

A sudden change in the air alerted Death that he would soon be arriving to his destination. The dark sea of storm clouds began to thin out gradually, until becoming little more sparse white clouds, giving way to the world in which he had landed, and depositing him gently into the new land. Soft earth reached the Rider's feet as the last of the clouds faded away, leaving no trace as to who or what had just traveled across better part of Creation. Feeling no worse for wear, Death shrugged off the last of the mist and stepped forward to a nearby ledge to get a better view.

Before him stood a natural valley, filled with rolling hills of gold hued grass, flanked by a few mighty oaks and some evergreens, and topped off by a fair sized lake off in the distance. He himself stood upon a small natural ledge next to a tall mountain, mostly hidden from sight by a large, leafy willow of some kind, and surrounded by several smaller bushes. Faintly could Death hear the sound of running water, likely a stream coming from somewhere within the mountains themselves.

All things considered, the landscape did match that which was favored by the angels, yet there was no sign of the feathered folk. The angels usually stayed close to the higher grounds, where they would have the better advantage point in the eventual case of battle, but Death failed to see any sort of buildings or towers fashioned by angelic hands. Not even a lowly farmhouse.

Briefly Death wondered if the maker's spell had been a bit off. In theory the weakness of the world of origin would have destabilized part of the spell, and unless Bormak had left an anchor to which to aim at, Death could have been sent just about anywhere in the general location. That could mean anywhere between a couple of hours to several days of travel's worth of distance that needed to be traveled.

'He did say within a day's travel.' Death sighed. Close or not so close, Bormak had saved him at the very least a visit to the Charred Council and having to use several wormholes. So he shrugged, deciding to work with what he got. 'Appearing in the middle of an angelic garrison wouldn't have made a very good impression either.'

Behind him, Dust materialized and did a lap around Death before setting on the Horseman's armored shoulder.

"Oh now you show up." Death turned towards the bird, which cawed once and began preening himself. "Why don't you make yourself useful and find me some angels?"

In response, Dust tilted his head to the side, cawed twice before gazing off into the valley down below.

"Yes, that valley." Death growled, sensing the bird's reluctance to search such a wide open area.

The crow shrunk in size, squawking once and taking off flying. The bird did only gained a few feet in height before diving back down, straight into the bushes behind the Nephilim.

'Basted bird.'

Death was seriously considering grabbing the cowardly crow and throwing him into the valley when a cry of a much larger bird echoed over the Rider's head. A split second later, another high pitched shrill from a large bird of prey cut through the air, followed shortly by the creature itself clearing the last of the tree tops and diving into the valley before Death. A gryphon. One of the creatures most used by angels as mounts.

And it was not alone. Even from the rapidly increasing distance, Death could distinguish the midnight gray wings from the angel seated on top of the mighty gryphon. Right on their tails was a group of true angels also on the backs of gryphons. Judging from the shouts and the exchange of bullets, that nightfallen had some something to truly egg on the angels giving him chase.

'Looks like Bormak really did send me to the right place.' For a man who spent most of his time in solitude, the maker had some surprisingly up to date knowledge on current events. 'Now, how can I catch up to a group of flying gryphons at top speed?'

The answer came to him when the angels managed to land a good hit on the nightfallen, knocking him cleanly out of his seat and singing better part of his wings. With his mount free and clearly reluctant to save it's rider, seeing as how it quickly darted away from the mayhem, the exiled angel would only be able to glide so far with his injuries. If he hurried, Death believed he could catch up with the squad before they retrieved the nightfallen and hauled him off to who knows where. And if not, then he could follow the angels back to their outpost.

With no time to waste, Death ran towards the edge and jumped off the cliffside. In midair he summoned Harvester and used the scythe to direct his descent, at times cutting into the mountain side to slow himself down or to push off at an angle, maneuvering out of the way of sharp protruding stone and vegetation. As he neared ground level, he plunged Harvester deeply into the mountain, almost bringing him to a stop, yet he twisted himself so that both feet were firmly planted on the mountainside, Harvester's edge just a foot away from his boots. From there he pulled, freeing Harvester and using the rest of the energy to somersault over the last few yards, and landing on top of Despair's already galloping body. Death manuevered himself properly into the saddle and urged the skeletal horse onward.

He had some angels to catch.

With a wave of his hand, Bormak allowed his portal spell to expire. The pale horseman was gone, off on a tender little world dotted by a few angelic villages in search of answers. The angels would surely help the Rider, if for no other reason than to rid themselves of the constant menace that the nightfallen brought. Once the exiled angels had taken to raiding and pillaging, the rest of the angels lost any kind of pity they had towards their wayward brethren. Illnalmir, the world to which Bormak had sent Death to, had long lost its patience with the nightfallen after several centuries' worth of harassment. Heaven did what it could, true, but a pair of brigades spread thin across the whole world could only do so much to actually stop the raiders from running away with loads of goods and coin.

Bormak breathed deeply, ignoring how the sands tried to sneak into his lungs, and released the breath, reining in his warring thoughts. With his breath, the last image of Illnalmir disappeared, and the once beautiful archway began to wilt. First the flowers, then the leaves and the grass around it, then the vines turned dusky gray and brown, falling apart as the last of its' strength left it. In what would have taken years to do, in little more than a minute had the whole archway turned back into moist, soft soil. No trace was left of the portal that had once stood there, other than the creator behind it.

All makers knew of the circle of life. Everything that lived had to die, and from their ashes new life could take hold. Such was the fate of the little seed he had coaxed into growing rapidly. He felt the loss of the seed, and the lovely vine it had grown into, yet the sorrow only held onto him briefly, because he knew that in that short amount of time, it had created seeds that were already mixing into the ground below, awaiting until the time was right for them to grow.

It was a pity that few others came to realize the importance of the balance between life and death. Fewer still were those than came to understand it as intrinsically as a maker did.

In truth, it filled his mind with rage whenever he saw someone take for granted all the effort and energy that actually went into allowing life to take form. As part of his oath as Reoriginator, he could not meddle in the affairs of the living. The nightfallen had however, crossed the line and interfered with his work. Bormak feared for whatever they had planned, not only because it could potentially destroy the delicate system of allowing worlds to be reborn that the makers had put in place since the dawn of Creation, but for all the living beings caught in their schemes and thus eventually not having anywhere to reincarnate to.

Balance was at stake, not between Heaven and Hell as most believed, but for life itself.

Bormak opened his eyes to see that one of the many amulets he carried had lightened up. One of his wards had detected a living creature. Or more likely an intruder.

Quickly, Bormak grabbed the amulet and focused a small spell that would reveal to him from where exactly had the intrusion come. The amulet, a simple polished stone with a rune engraved into its surface glowed gently, passing onto the maker the general idea of where had the wards activated.

It wasn't far away. Nor did he have to wait long.

Nightfall. Less than a dozen of them, all strapped in dark leathers and stained steel to match their midnight wings. A scouting party most likely.

While Bormak wasn't all that surprised to see them, they were surprised to see him. Their plans must have not included the possibility of finding someone alive on a world they nearly killed off. Pity that he had sent the Horseman away, but he could later make an extended detour and pass off any useful information.

"What is the matter of this?" one of the scouts said as he unsheathed his sword. "Daelegon, this world should have been empty!"

"Impossible!" Another countered, not believing what he saw. "The magics were sound! It couldn't have misfired!"

A third fallen angel few forward, stopping the other two from bickering any further. This one was dressed in a more elaborate suit of armor, identifying him as the leader of the party.

"No, it worked." He said, his voice as sweet as honey and as smooth as silk. "He just came afterwards."

Bormak set his jaw and started to walk towards them calmly, even as fire filled his veins. "Well it would have been empty, had you buzzards not come all the way over here for little more than sand. You should have stayed home with your families. This world is dead."

Some of the exiled angels went into a fit of snickers.

"One lowly maker? Against a whole squad of us?" one of the other males called out, his face turning into a particularly nasty, craze filled grin. "You are no warrior, perhaps it should have been you who stayed home!"

Bormak did not fall for the taunt. They were haughty, prideful, and stupid. And it would be their downfall.

"No, I might not be a warrior. I am something far worse." He responded as he too broke out into a grin, deciding to make use of the name the Pale Rider had given him offhandedly. "I am a World Breaker."

With that, he called out to the energies still locked deeply within the husk of a world on which he walked, causing the ground to tremble and crack with every step he took. Whatever grins the nightfallen held where quickly wiped away, perhaps coming to realize that they bit off far more than they could chew.

Their leader broken them out of their momentary panic and ordered them all to attack the lone maker. The dove in formation, brandishing their swords and spears, yet they were thrown apart by whirlwinds that had sprung out of nowhere. With the winds turned against them, they were far too focused on simply staying upright to pay much attention to the maker before them. A few called out to each other, trying to regroup, yet the winds drowned out their voices as well. Within seconds they were all lost, disoriented and scattered in all directions. They could not see, they could not fight, they could barely even fly.

But most importantly, they could not flee.

Unaffected by the winds, for it was the world itself coming to his aid, Bormak had kept walking forward. He knew exactly were each of the exiled angels was and they were going nowhere. He called out again, deeper this time, until he unlocked the very core of the world. The world in turn groaned with the sound of mountains collapsing and the ground ripped asunder. The remainder of the world's life essence swarmed into Bormak, and for a few seconds that felt like an eternity, he was one with the world. One body, one mind.

As like before when he freed the world's soul, he began chanting, weaving the words that would free the remainder of the world under his feet, one last act of vengeance against those that had wronged it. Thunder filled the skies as he lifted his great hammer once more and stuck the earth with the strongest blow he could muster.

Beneath him, the world shattered.