Dying is an interesting experience when you are a god.
If you think back, you remember a more mundane kind of death which involves being dropped by a roc high up in the air. And yet this experience, it is quite unlike that. No it is not. When Visarion, the mortal, fell, his soul became a mindless, tormented shadow; trapped in the Grey like all the other dead of Athas. Had he not been yanked back to Athas by powerful defiling magic, then Visarion, Badna ressurected, would not exist today.
And exist you remain, even in death. This is, you realize, what the priestess Aksana has mentioned. Gods are distinct from all the other powers of Athas because of their spheres of influence. Badna’s sphere was war, and you inherited it. So long as war exists and his influence over it is not stolen, you cannot cease to exist.
But where are you? You remember the challenger to your power; a fat, weak-looking nawab from a house of little repute:
Future challenges will never be under-estimated: But in this case, by the time you recognized Tektuktitlay’s ability to summon the radiant power of the moons, it was too late. You bled, and you would have died had you not dissipated into mist.
Understanding comes as you recognize your own discorporation. You have no body, but with enough willpower you can form it anew. It could take anywhere from weeks to years. Hopefully it is still the same King’s Age when you complete your reformation. It would be good to start now, so you gather your thoughts and open yourselves to the echoes of your sphere…
You see a war between two individuals. Tektuktitlay slung spell after spell in one corner of your Raamite palace, and on the other corner, you see your wife, Nanda, fight for the seat you just vacated. The fool! Even with Tek severely wounded by your spells, a sorcerer-king is out of Shatri’s league. Perhaps in a few years, when her research on the avangion metamrphosis is complete, but right now she will be destroyed. Loyalty in death is useless to you.
That’s when you realize that, all things considered, nanda is doing well on her own. In fact, her abilities seem to be more powerful than the time you saw her fight those fire giants. And that’s when you see a war inside Nanda herself. You scrutinize the conflict, peer into her soul.. and hear a familiar bitch-shriek from the depths where she draws power from. Abalach! She is slowly eating away Nanda’s soul.
And then you laugh. Had she merged her soul with some other Offspring, her plan to keep herself alive would have worked. But Nanda’s mind is strong, and even if the soul of the dead sorcerer-queen consumes that of her daughter, her mind will remain as Nanda. And Nanda is bound to you, through ancient magics that you used in your wedding rituals. Nanda cannot betray Visarion. The Geas spell was flawless.
So even if Abalach-Re resurfaces, you can take her from the front or from behind. Every night. And she cannot complain.
Tektuktitlay is being driven back by Nanda. Like a whipped dagorran, he will fly back to Draj. You smiled though you lacked your face. Tek will pay for his deception in due time. You continue to reconstitute yourself with no worries. Everyone will get their due.