Epilogue
The Never-ending Struggle

AZ 1456 - Late Autumn
The Golden Basilica, Zephyr

Nearly half a year had passed since the Army of Light withdrew from the Darklands. Though the land had not been wholly cleansed, their victories were great and the campaign accomplished its purpose. The Archbishop had a battle-hardened army over ten thousand strong with which to claim Zephyr.
He did not wait long to gather the faithful to him. The fittest of the Army of Light were formed up in full array before the Golden Basilica, surrounded by the throngs of pilgrims who had come to hear the Archbishop speak.
Standing upon the balcony, he opened his mouth to speak.
"My children, peace and blessings be upon you all. The Light is with us!"
"It is with us indeed!" the faithful intoned.
"The Army of Light has returned from its great holy war. The blood of holy martyrs flowed like rivers, but so too did the blood of the unclean beasts the Noctifer sent against us! Every manner of foul creature, such that all courage of men would melt, were sent against us, but we prevailed! For the Light is with us!"
"It is with us indeed!"
The Archbishop's voice became grave as he continued, "But the Light was not with the servants of the Apostate King. God granted him the opportunity to repent of his wicked ways and return to our brotherhood. Instead, he continued to stumble along blindly, consorting with the devilish Jebusites. He paid for his folly with his life. He paid for it with his soul! Woe to the hundreds, nay, the thousands who were led down the road to perdition by him!"
This would be the first the people had heard of Solon's death. Later Gamaliel would have his people spread the rumors of the Devil Queen's deception and other treacheries. The government of the fallen King was awash with lies. The Archbishop did not need to mold the truth much achieve his desired effect.
Now was not yet the time for that, though, for this was a victory celebration. And yet their victory in the East was but a stepping stone to the greater victory that lay before them. The time had come to declare a new holy war.
"We cleansed the accursed land of the East," Gamaliel said, "but our work has only just begun!" He struck his staff on the marble at his feet, echoing throughout the plaza. "This! This land too must be cleansed! How can we call ourselves a righteous nation mired in sin and corruption as we are?"
He struck the ground again as he cried, "We must be cleansed! We must purge the wicked! We must purge the corrupt! We must purge the consorts of devils!"
With each exclamation he struck the ground, his voice rising more and more. Having made his point, he now lifted up his arms to bring his speech to a conclusion.
"The Army of Light is not only the men who took up arms in the East. Each and every one of you who believe is a soldier in the Army of Light! Take up your arms now and march to war! For the Light is with us!"
"It is with us indeed!"
The Archbishop remained on the balcony a while to observe his flock in their fervor. The day of fulfillment was at hand. Who could stand against him? After all, the Light was with him.