Chapter 38: The Battle of God's Heel
For one joyous moment, the Bloodbound watched the Monolith illuminate the sky. Then the light revealed the Inxikrah army, assembling in the distance. Valknu was stunned. How had they mobilized so quickly? Had the somehow known the Weeping Tree was blooming? Before he could for a guess, a small band of lithe women-warriors approached from the rear. The Bloodbound turned to engage them, but their leader quickly said, "We come in peace. We come to help." They were exquisitely beautiful, but not human, their skin as pale as moonlight, theit eyes and hair a vivid green. "Who are you?" Valknu demanded. "We are Abyssians, from Ixus," said their leader, pointing her Vetruvian-crafted Tyvian sword towards the Inxikrah. "We were once like them; we know they must be stopped." She described the brutality of the Inxikrah, explaining in great detail how they ritually consumed their victims to gain access to their memories and powers. Valknu now realized how the Inxikrah knew the Weeping Tree was blooming, and that the stakes of this battle would be far higher than he had ever imagined.
Valknu assembled the Bloodbound away from the Abyssians and shared what they had told him. He reminded them they were foremost the guardians of the secret location of the Great Tree Aperion. If any of them was killed and consumed, the Inxikrah could find the Great Tree. Hordes of them would sweep across Mythron, empowered by the Blood of Aperion. To win the battle ahead they must not only keep the Inxikrah from the Monolith, but they must do so without losing a single Bloodbound warrior. They must protect their comrades at all cost.
Then the Inxikrah charged.
The Abyssians and the Magmar fought alongside the Bloodbound, whose peerless magic countered the Inxikrah's debilitating clouds of toxin. Throughout the night, Good's Heel seethed with clashing combatants, a cacophonous cauldron of violence bathed in the extraordinary light streaming from the Monolith. As dawn approached, the Inxikrah finally broke under the combined might of Mythron's champions, and so begun their retreat over the blood soaked ground, littered with the twisted bodies of their fallen. Valknu was torn: should he chase them down to secure Aperion's clandestine location and risk leaving the Monolith vulnerable? Then, to his astonishment, he discovered not a single Bloodbound or Magmar or Abyssian had been lost. The Weeping Tree was safe – and so was the secret of Aperion's location. The was was over.