The battle had raged most of the night. The invaders washed over the trio of defenders in waves, each threatening to drown the small fortress. But the three stood strong, backs together, moving in unison.
It was nearing midnight when the first defender fell. His companions had no time to mourn his loss, nor any time to celebrate his final victory. He had cut down the last four invaders, of the most recent wave.
The two stalwart defenders remaining closed the gap in their defenses. They paused to catch their breath, leaning on dripping scarlet swords. But they had no time for more, because the blaring burst of golden horn signaled the next wave’s approach.
The next wave was defeated, though not as handily as the ones before. Still, there was no time for celebration. Dawn was still hours off, and the enemy still had scores of warriors to send.
Two more crushing tides, then another defender fell, leaving a single, bone-weary warrior to carry on. The jarring call of the attackers’ horn warned of the next surge. This would be the last. The pre-dawn light was peeking above the horizon.
Either the last defense would crumble or the night creatures would wisp away to regroup and try again later.
The final surge pushed forward. But the defender was furious. Winged and clawed enemies were no match for the warrior’s rage. The warrior’s sword cut down every enemy, every demon determined to wrest the small fortress away. The defender’s battle cries caught the attention of something. A Goddess.
Cool, misty blue light descended from above, radiating from the glowing tip of the celestial’s sword. Enemies shattered, shards of inky demon blackness flying across the battlefield. The Goddess smiled.
The defending warrior knew the Goddess, knew the being was triad. Each of the three faces radiated warmth and acceptance to the warrior. Slowly, dragging the blood-soaked sword, the warrior approached the Goddess.
The faces of the celestial being were benevolent, each beaming toward the warrior. The girl, in her pigtails, stood in awe of the Goddess. She cried out to be reunited with her brothers, but the Goddess shook her heads. The girl had work to do, still.
Wailing in pain and anguish, the woman-child refused, but the Goddess gently reminded her of her brothers’ sacrifice. A sacrifice to the Goddess, herself, dedicating the girl to the warrior deity.
With promises of new life, the girl’s tears dried. Her back drew straight and her newly strengthened arms lifted her bloodied sword to the sky. In the dawn’s early light, the girl became the vessel.