Years had passed since the invaders had appeared in Zoran’s domain, following the creation of the inter-planar rift by the breaking of Valtera’s chains. Like locusts, they had swept through the cities - bearing striking resemblance to their own home world - and slaughtered the creatures of the world en masse, paying heed only to their immortals of old that had journeyed through with them. He had commanded His emissaries to the cities to speak to the invaders, to inform them of and convert them to His cause. The foolish invaders paid little attention to this, continuing their undying praise to gods that had no place in this world.
As the seasons passed, Zoran’s patience faded and He decided that the invaders must be removed from His domain. With the final days of Winter Cloak upon the realm, His plan was set into motion. The foreign gods had been growing in strength; recovering from the trans-planar - travel that they were not accustomed to by any measure. The one called Valtera made the first appearance, appealing to her followers and drawing a crowd in the main city of Moorgate. As she spoke, undoubtedly unraveling plans to enslave and rule over His domain, a large storm cloud floated above the city. A slow, rolling thunder began to emanate from within.The winds howled as the storm - unusual for the winter season - continued to gather in strength, eventually drowning out the dogma being spewed from Valtera’s lips. Being attuned with the aether as she was, it became clear to her that this was not an ordinary storm and the presence of something much more powerful lurked behind it.
Stepping out from alcove which she had occupied, her followers not far behind, Valtera gazed up at the clouds above the city. As she did, a bolt of lightning shot down from the sky, striking the cobblestones at her feet and deafening the mortals that had gathered around. Vile indignities were spat while Zoran’s electrified form crackled but remained silent. When she had said all she was wont to say, Zoran spoke briefly and specifically. To the mortals, it was nothing more than deafening thunder:
“Your invasion has ended. Your presence is no longer welcome here. Your efforts have been for naught and your banishment absolute."
With the last words still ringing in the air, Zoran thrust His hands forward and grabbed Valtera’s wrists. As He touched her, the golden shackles that had bound her for nearly a century had once again taken form. Despite her struggles, the familiar feeling of her powers been sapped away once more consumed her being. Zoran’s form quickly began to break apart, turning back into the lightning bolt from which He had originally made his appearance. As the bolt rapidly shot back up to the clouds above, Valtera’s body was pulled along by her binding chains. Having reached the crest of their flight, at the center of the storm cloud, Zoran and Valtera coalesced into a single focal point. The compression of energy ripped forth through the clouds in an array of blinding light and shattering thunder - the strength of which tore a rift in the very fabric of this realm.
In an instant, they had returned to a familiar scene. Valtera was standing atop mount Vlodistrov, a gathering of support and opposition surrounding her. Her chains yet broken, the blood from her pool being poured on the chains. The only difference being Zoran’s presence. As Aestus swung the scepter against the chains, the fatally blinding light tore through those present atop the peak. This time, however, it was the result of a single bolt of lightning, struck through the top of the scepter and through the mechanical body of the golem. Valtera’s chains would remain her prison. Effortlessly, Zoran floated down and took possession of the scepter from the disabled golem. He spoke briefly to Valtera, one final message:
“Your greed has been your undoing. I leave you now to the mercy of your creator. The consequences of your meddling have been undone."
As with before, the other old gods descended down upon the mountain peak, one by one by one. This time, however, Valtera had not been freed. No new rift between the realms had been created. There would be no pleading for her to consider her actions. Satisfied, Zoran bolted back into the sky and through the rift joining the two realms. Having return to His own domain, Zoran closed the rift; as he did, the blood curdling scream of Valtera rang between both worlds - the swan song of her and the realm from which she hailed. With the rift sealed, Zoran looked up at the sky on the last day of Winter Cloak. The chill night air had formed a layer of crystallized ice around the opening where the rift had been. In the heavens above, the tear between the worlds had shifted and pulled at the very stars themselves. Familiar constellations were nowhere to be found. In His final effort to restore His domain, Zoran began adjusting the stars to their new positions in the sky; as is His way, the history of the era would be written in the skies for the generations that follow.
As the old era had ended, so too must a new one begin. As dawn’s first lights began to break against the city’s walls, her citizens began their morning activities of gathering and loading wood and heading to the market for supplies. Far above, Zoran returned to His vantage in the aether beyond, to watch and to protect what was His.