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Anger cracks Lord Aranan’s calm façade. The fine bones of his face thicken and sharpen. His polished skin stretches, pulling over features now more terrible than beautiful. His eyes spark and flash, no longer filled with amusement or hint of warmth.

“You exist because of me. You dare defy me?” screams Lord Aranan. The sound rolls out, a carpet of death devouring all light and life.

“I am and have existed long before you even fell from heaven, before you refashioned and renamed yourself. Should I call you by your true name Lord, should I remind you of mine?” asks Julius allowing his own façade to crack, revealing canines long and strong and wolf eyes of the barest blue. “I came into existence because of many things, but you were not chief among them. “

“And now you are nothing, living at my whim alone. Who would stand by you, ally of none?”

Julius isn’t sure why now, after all these millennia, this becomes the tipping point but it does.  He has had enough of being bullied by other gods who think themselves so much cleverer and better than he. He shakes and breaks his mortal flesh stepping forth on paws large and clawed. Towering over Lord Aranan, he raises his head, howling rage and frustration to the darkened dome of The Below. Each and every trapped soul hushes their struggle and stark silence falls.

Though Lord Aranan rises to the occasion, his topaz eyes narrow and calculation replaces rage, “Call for Guinevere, bring the Lady White,” he snaps at minions already scrambling.

“You can’t be serious,” says Julius.

“I am. I think it time for her judgment. Will you abide by her ruling, swift, terrible and final as it may be?”

“Of course, my Lord, but you may find that I’m not without associates after all,” says Julius with a smile.

The air cracks and from the white flash steps Clara, wings and all.

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