The Birth Of The Avatars

As humanity spread out across the new world, both sides of the divine conflict naturally gravitated towards this new and unexpected creation.
More importantly, both sides sought to control it, and so a generalized war over Creation became a more focused war over Humanity.
As a place to house the souls of their followers, Miriam and Athelion created the Heavens, a new plane of existence that could only be accessed by virtuous mortals after their death.
Azguloth followed suit by creating the Hells, a place of eternal torment and suffering, but one that took in anyone not good enough for the Heavens.

The war between the gods escalaed and continued, now played out more between their mortal followers and creations rather than in direct battle.
Miriam created the dragons to serve as weapons against Azguloth's minions, while Azguloth corrupted existing beasts into more violent and dangerous forms.
Furthermore, while typically the souls of the virtuous were allowed to rest in eternal bliss, Azguloth twisted and perverted the human souls within his domain until they too were fiends.

For some time, the war was more or less a stalemate, with both sides claiming a significant portion of humanity.
In an effort to gain the advantage, Azguloth came up with a new idea - He would imbue a mortal man with his divine essence, and directly influence affairs in the mortal realm.
His first attempt resulted in a creature of pure darkness and malevolence - a being that would come to be known as the Herald of Azguloth.
Though powerful, it was not what Azguloth desired - the Herald was not capable of supporting His essence, too much Fiend and not enough Man left.

To serve as Azguloth's avatar, a physical container for His divine essence, a human would have to be part-mortal and part-divine (or profane in Azguloth's case).
A child born of a savage and unwilling union between the Herald and a mortal woman proved therefore to be the perfect vessel.
Through this dark child, Azguloth was made manifest upon the mortal realm.

The scales began to tip further and further in the favor of Darkness as the child matured, and Azguloth became familiar with his new physical body.
Though not immortal, the presence of Azguloth made the human shell nearly invincible, and once it was old enough to walk Azguloth would enter battles personally.
Most of the time, the presence of their god alone was enough to tip the scales in favor of Azguloth's servants.

Once the Divine Couple learned of Azguloth's plan, They knew there was only one solution - they would need avatars themselves.
The greatest of Miriam's daughters, the archangel Genevieve the Champion, agreed to travel to the mortal realm in an effort to concieve such a person.
Eventually Genevieve fell in love with a devout follower of Miriam, one of the first paladins.
The pregnancy that followed was difficult - angels and humans were not very compatible, and both mother and child were poisoned by the other's presence.
Still, somehow Genevieve gave birth - to twins, one boy and one girl - Elandra and Dacian.

Tragedy darkened this happy moment, however, by the unexpected arrival of the Herald of Azguloth.
Azguloth's spies are learned of the pregnancy's existence, as well as the camp where Genevieve was giving birth.
In an attempt to destroy the twins before they could become a threat to him, he ordered a full-scale attack upon the camp, of which the Herald was merely the horrifying vanguard.
Despite her exhausted state, Genevieve readied herself for battle and ordered that the camp be evacuated, the newborn twins spirited to safety.

Alone, she went out to fight the Herald in the hope of buying enough time for the humans and her children to escape.
Her efforts at delaying the Herald and Azguloth's army was successful, but fatal.
The Herald of Azguloth killed Genevieve, and then devoured her soul, (presumably) destroying her utterly.

This was a crucial turning point in the war, although it would take years of evasion and careful retreat before the twins were old enough for battle.
Unlike their nemesis, the Divine Couple did not intend to control their avatars like mindless puppets, and so had to wait for Elandra and Dacian to grow and develop into people in their own right.
Eventually, the twins grew up, and on the day of their fifteenth birthday the Divine Couple felt that they were ready.
Miriam and Athelion both merged with their avatars, and now all three gods were physically present upon the mortal realm.
The stage was set for what was to be the final battle between Good and Evil - The Apocalypse.

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