End of the Second Age
With the Empress’s disappearance Creation was thrown in to turmoil, the threshold states rebelled and the Realm teetered on the brink of civil war. This disorder was only magnified exponentially by the return of the Solar Exalted. All across Creation lost godkings of the past returned, heirs to power great enough to reshape the world in their image.
Sidereal historians mark the herald of the end of the second age with two wars The Brother’s War and The War of the Dead. Both conflicts occurred simultaneously serving to upset the established hierarchy and ending around the time of the Empress’s return.
With the return of the Empress it appeared that the massed forces of Malfeas stood arrayed with her against all of creation. War swept across the five directions as ancient enemies united against a common threat more horrific than any they had considered before. Gem and Paragon aided one another against seemingly endless sieges. Coral, Wavecrest, and Admiral Briggs railed against fleets of Lintha reinforced by legions of Demons. In the east The Great River Alliance was formed between the Seventh Legion of Lookshy, Great Forks, Nexus, Ma Ha Suchi, and Sijan. They experienced the the greatest success until Ligier was brought to bear upon them. In the north Gethamane and Whitewall found themselves strange bedfellows with the Varajtul locked in battle with Orabilis and his forces. At the foot of Mt. Meru the Army of the Bull and Hawk stood side by side with The Roseblack and the Vermilion Legion against the Ebon Dragon.
The multitudes of desperate successes and failures across creation proved to be irrelevant however as the Malfian gambit revealed itself. The entire invasion of creation was a feint to draw the eyes of Heaven away for a sneak attack on Yu-Shan. Hosts of First and Second Circle demons marched on the heavenly city along with the vast majority of Third Circle demons unaccounted for in creation. The Aerial Legion mobilized immediately but proved largely ineffective due to the geas placed upon the gods against attacking their Primordial creators. For what seemed like an eternity the Gods of Yu-Shan stood in rapt horror as an unstoppable wave of Demons mowed through the Heavenly City.
It was at this point, according to Sidereal scholars, that the Maiden’s convened to dispatch every Sidereal and God in their bureau to recruit, persuade, or kidnap, every Celestial Exalt known to be active in creation and as many terrestrial Exalts as they could find. Under Lytek’s direction numerous Solars and Lunars were recruited literally moments after their exaltation. For the first time since the Primordial War, every Exalt stood side by side, united against a common enemy set on their utter annihilation.
Through their combined might the forces of Heaven pressed back the Malfian assault, but not without significant losses. A full 80% of all exalts were killed during the battle and large portions of Yu-Shan sustained significant damage, incuding the Loom of Fate. Vast portions of creation were destroyed, or had to be removed from the tapestry in order to be repaired. This process would take several millenia and would not function “properly” until the year 1999.
Fearing an opportunistic attack by the remaining Death Lords, the remaining Celestial Exalts and the ghosts of those empowered and slain during the battle, stormed the gates of the Underworld taking their battle to the dead. During their brief time of unified purpose they managed to bind and imprison the twelve remaining Death Lords in the Labyrinth and destroy many of the Monstrances of Celestial Portion in the belief that their black exaltations would be destroyed with them.
In the end the alliance of such strong personalities could not last. The first to leave were the Lunars traveling to the wild places in the newly reshaped creation. Followed shortly by the Sidereals who would spend the next 15,000 years attempting to repair the Loom of Fate. The Solars scattered among the various remaining mortal populations and lived among them as gods, guiding and shaping each culture in their own image.