This is the end. They all know it. No one can deny it now. The war is over. The death toll was remarkably low on the civilian casualties. It was Idris and Edom where most of the fighting took place. And what fighting it had been! The greatest battle of history, someone had called it in the aftermath.
The forces of Lilith had been impressive by sheer numbers. The forces opposing her had been as diverse as their adversaries had been plentiful.
The shadowhunters of the Clave had seemed almost miniscule compared to their allies. Packs of werewolves stood next to hundreds upon hundreds of vampires, old feuds forgotten in the face of a greater threat. Warlocks, in themselves a heterogeneous group, loosely interspaced between all of them, ready to heal or hurt on a moment's notice. And then, there were the Fae armies. They arrived late, no one had expected them. And yet, there they were, rows upon rows of knights in gleaming armor, faces cold and solemn, frost at their feet. These were not the armies the Seelie Queen had promised would not come. These warriors were darker, colder. Not the forceful youth of spring giving them strength but the mighty gales of winter. At the front were mounted warriors on horses of palest grey, mounts and riders armored in almost blinding white. The White Guard, elite force and life guard of the Unseelie Court. What a sight, to see these armies march to join the forces of the Shadowworld! And at their head, the prince of the Unseelie, son of the Winter King, his armor as dark as his black destrier.
The eve before the final battle, tension filled the air. Here was a squabble between a vampire and a werewolf, quickly smoothed out by their respective commanders, there two warlocks were disputing over the best way to lay wards, easily placated by a third. By a keg, seasoned shadowhunters were having a farewell toast. Around a fire Unseelie warriors were singing songs of war and longing.
She looked up as the tent flap opened. A gentle smile stole unto her lips. With but a few measured strides he had reached her, the lamp light glinting on his dark armor. No word was said between them as his hands buried in her raven hair and his lips pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. In silent companionship they spent what might well have been their last night.
The battle itself was brutal. Neither side was prone to mercy. But it still seemed clear who would end the day a victor. The Seelie Queen had joined Lilith in a move of blatant opportunism. The Shadowworld was outnumbered and would soon be overwhelmed. But it should come differently.
After wave upon wave of shadowhunters had fallen, when the vampires had been forced to flee the sun and the werewolves to retreat and lick their wounds, when only the Unseelie held the line in a token resistance to warn the demons from approaching, the forces of Edom rained down upon Lilith' army like a deluge. It was a mighty battle yet and where Lilith was merciless and ruthless, Asmodeus was all that and more cunning in the long run. Between the Shadowworld and Edom, Lilith and her allies were wiped out.
Before the demons and shadowhunters could turn on each other in another fatal battle though, the Morgenstern siblings appeared on the battlefield. Like dark angels they walked through the carnage a sword between them. And there in that field of death and blood, something unprecedented happened. In the wake of Lilith' final destruction a truce was struck between Edom and Earth to live and let live, Morningstar the sword of Damocles that ensured it would hold.
The demons withdrew and the true carnage was revealed. The shadowhunters had been hit the hardest, targeted by Lilith as they had been. The Clave was almost completely obliterated. And those that had made it out alive, now had to bow to the Morgenstern siblings, much to their consternation. A truce with a Prince of Hell, bowing to Valentine's offspring! A bitter pill for the proud shadowhunters to swallow. Almost as bitter was the fact that they had lost one of their most promising not to battle but to another realm. Or would, as the matter stood.
It had taken but a small reassurances that he was both able and willing to provide means and opportunity to ensure they would never have to part (and return some acquired magic) for Asmodeus to finally get his son (and his son's lover) to agree to take his place as heir apparent of Edom.
But among the carnage was more than the dead. Amongst corpses and carrions a warrior held his love as he mended her torn flesh as best he could. Most would have given up on the raven-haired shadowhunter but the Unseelie in the black armor was not most. He had seen who had ripped his beloved open and he would see her pay. As the woman in his arms gained strength courtesy of magic, he surveyed the battlefield. It was easy to spot the Seelie Queen, subtlety had never been her strong suit. His lover in his arms he reached the offender and took delight in cutting her throat. A glance at the dear one in his embrace ensured him she would live. But not here. Not in this world of battle and blood and death, a world that shunned her and failed her and pushed her down. She deserved joy and laughter and peace. And should she wish for battle, well who was to say she could not seek it out when it pleased her. But never again would she be thrown from battle to battle and war to war with no respite, with no regard for her physical and mental health. And so he carried her off the battlefield and out of reach of what was left of the Clave that had never cared enough.
Isabelle smiles as the storyteller ends. Not a typical fairytale ending, but whether you end the story there or go on to say "and they lived happily ever after" makes no difference to the tale's content. She leans against the man by her side, the movement knocking the silver circlet resting on her hair askew but she cares little. Gentle fingers play with her hair as the storyteller begins a new tale. Her glance moves to meet her husband's. Husband. What a strange word she has once thought it. It seems natural now, to refer to the man she has loved almost all her life as her husband. Her mind is still caught up in the story.
Jonathan had won, in a way. He had banished demons from Earth, seen the Clave obliterated, gained Clary's love, all he ever wanted. Asmodeus, too, had gone out the winner that day. His rule over Edom was no longer contested and he had regained his son, even if it was at the cost of gaining a son-in-law in the process. Jace had died. But then, Jace had stopped being the boy she had grown up with somewhere around the events at the shores of Lake Lynn. Objectively speaking, everything had went to hell in a handbasket. So why can she not bring herself to view it as a bad thing?
"What are you brooding over, my love?", a gentle voice whispers in her ear teasingly. Isabelle turns to look at Meliorn with a smile. "Nothing. Nothing at all."