Mephisto, the Lord of Lies, howls as his citadel crumbles around him. Furious, he asks Magik, who recently teleported to Mephisto to warn him of the imminent danger, what is going on. Bluntly, Amanda tells Mephisto that if he had listened to her instead of fighting her, then he would have learned by now. And as the terrible storm brews outside Mephisto’s castle, the black shards begins to slice their way downwards, Amanda announces that an unknown force of destruction is laying waste to the Splinter Realms one by one, and that already the realms of Dormammu, Nightmare and Surtur have fallen.
Amanda tells Mephisto that she came here from Limbo, the realm she rules over, to warn him that his kingdom is next, but is too late, for the enemy is already upon them. Mephisto’s servants who guard his high walls are fighting, but begin to die as their savagery and brute strength is no match for the sharp storm-forms that spear everything in their path, part of the enemy tempest. Magik reports that flesh, steel and granite walls will be overrun, and that even magic and light will be choked.
Mephisto shouts out that no force, natural or supernatural would be so bold to defy him. Soulsword in hand, Amanda begins to fend off the darkness around her and tells Mephisto that it is now his chance to make his point. Mephisto unleashes a powerful surge of energy and manages to keep the deadly darkness at bay. Magik proclaims that they cannot kill what does not live, and that with her Soulsword and magical powers, along with Mephisto’s god-like power they cannot destroy the enemy, for it has no form, adding that it just simply defies them.
Mephisto stops in his fight, and turning to the Champion of Limbo, he tells Amanda that she is correct, and asks her what they should do. As blood trickles from the mouth of the former Excalibur member, Amanda tells Mephisto they can retreat and plan a defense. Proclaiming that he should forget about honor for a while and return later to face the nothingness on their terms. Amanda Sefton takes charge and orders Mephisto to bind his power to his, staring him in the face as she demands. The powerful Mephisto grits his teeth as he reluctantly does as Amanda wishes.
A shimmer marks Amanda’s stepping Disk as it swiftly removes her and Mephisto from the dying Hades, and behind them, the ageless citadel of power appears to shudder as the unnatural blackness splinters around it, and with its very stones screaming, Hades falls, literally, into the fiery rivers below.
Back in Limbo, the gateway to the Splinter Realms, Amanda’s ex-boyfriend and former teammate in Excalibur, Kurt Wagner, a.k.a. Nightcrawler of the X-Men sits and worries, worries for the young woman who is also his foster sister has been gone from her realm for such a long time. Commotion begins to stir and Kurt rushes to see what is happening. Kurt asks a creature what is happening, and the reply is that Magik is returning. Kurt teleports instantly to the courtyard, where Amanda’s advisor, Duke Bleys and one of the most powerful beings in all of the Splinter Realms, the Dread Dormammu wait.
The Stepping Disk opens, announcing Amanda’s return, and along with her, Mephisto. Amanda’s loyal military commander, Vitchen, points this out as he rushes over to her. Amanda and Kurt embrace as the X-Man admits they were worrying about her. Amanda thanks her friends as Mephisto and the Dread One acknowledge each other with a ‘Well met’. Amanda takes off her horned headpiece as she addresses all her company, announcing the fast approaching enemy before stating that if they are to have any chance of defeating it, it must be as one resisting force, and she calls an assembly.
Nightcrawler guesses from the gasps of those in the courtyard that a convocation is very extraordinary for the Splinter Realms. It is a parliament, attended by the myriad lords and rulers of the realms and in the last forty-seven-thousand years, has only been done twice before. And so the summons goes out, by rider, mystic messenger, augury and carrier beast.
At dawn the next day, Nightcrawler stands on a terrace of the fortress, watching the first arrivals. The first arrival being Lord militant Phemous, who rides a polyp steed that wheezes in the air. The rest arrive one by one through the morning, many different shapes, different creatures, some not even having a stable form, some Kurt knows of, others he doesn’t, but there are thousands of them, the monarchs of the Splinter Realms, all drawn together in one place.
The convocation begins at midnight, in the Great Vault of Limbo, a structure so large that it can house the millions assembled within. Kurt Wagner, in all his years and experiences as an X-Man can compare this to very little he has ever seen. Amanda begins the meeting, addressing those who rule the Splinter Realms and introducing herself to those whom may not know of her. She reminds the rulers that while they have waged war on each other for countless eons, bickering, squabbling, plotting, now is the time where that must all be set aside, or else they will all perish! There would have been a time where Amanda would not have been so straightforward in addressing those much more powerful than her, if she had the courage to address them at all.
Leaning over her small balcony, Magik clenches a fist as she proclaims an enemy is approaching that can best anyone present individually, no mater how vaunted one believes themselves to be. She states that the enemy has proved its power already, before turning to those assembled for answers. And the rulers begin to reply, from all corners of the chamber.
The demon D’Sparye, who once controlled Amanda’s mother proclaims that he knows nothing of any such foe Amanda speaks of, and Siffror of the Lifeless agrees with him, wondering if this is a ploy to undermine their feudal thrones. The King of Pain, Malevolence, calls them fools, for he has seen from his watchtowers, Hell itself fell. The sultry Umar, in her usual impatient tone of voice asks why they should care if rivals suffer, before announcing that she wants Hell to burn.
The Dreaded One turns to his sister, bitter rivals, he mocks her before harshly announcing he has seen the enemy first hand, adding that he agrees with Magik’s proposal, that they all need to stand united, or none of them will survive. Skarabrous the Stalker asks Magik directly what action they should take. Amanda suggests a pact, a formal pledge of alliance sworn in blood and sorcery. Adding that such a pact, an enchantment, will make the Splinter Realms One Realm, strong and complete against their enemy.
Molgotha suggests that such a pact must not be broken by anyone, and that if it is, the pain of death is the result for the pact-breaker, for else, how is there to be trust between old rivals. Vilven, the Seamstress Queen of the Tapestry Islands agrees with Molgotha, whom she has quarreled with for centuries, adding that she would never enter into a pact with Molgotha unless the penalties were severe. The chieftain of the Murder-Clans, Brutus Klor, agrees with Vilven, but adds that from what he has thus far seen, they must enter the pact or face extinction.
Pluto, the God of the Underworld Hades speaks up, and remarks that extinction does have its place, but for the moment, he thinks that place should be left, before agreeing that pact is necessary, before asking the other rulers if any dissent. Pluto’s strident and venomous authority is challenged by none, the vault going deathly quiet. Nightcrawler shivers as Amanda Sefton crosses her arms, almost proud of what she has accomplished by bringing the rulers of the Splinter Realms together, and she calls out that the pact shall be made.
Powerful sorcery cuts the air, arcane symbols so potent that it hurts for Kurt Wagner to look at them as they shimmer in the ether. Amanda begins a chant that shakes the enormous vault, and as quickly as it began, it is finished, in a shower of energy that mingles of oath and demon blood, the pact of union is made.
Kurt watches as Amanda’s advisor, Duke Bleys, suddenly slips quietly away from the vault, and the X-Man begins to follow him, intrigued, but keeping distance, though Kurt can still see Bleys hiss urgently and secretly into a device of some sorts, but that is enough for Kurt, so he teleports in front of the two-headed advisor. Bleys is surprised to Nightcrawler, and grabs him, asking him if he was spying on him. Kurt looks at Bleys’s larger head and asks him what he is doing and who he is working for. Bleys spits at Kurt and replies that it is nothing Kurt will live to speak of before knocking him out.
Bleys begins to drag Kurt away, but stops and throws him onto the ground. Looming over Kurt, Bleys asks him if he wants the truth, and from the smaller head of Bleys, a purple form begins to take shape, telling Kurt to see him for who he is truly is. The purple form gets larger, and Duke Bleys reveals himself as S’ym!
Nightcrawler is surprised to see Belasco’s former lackey. S’ym tells Kurt to mind his tongue, or else he will rip it from his mouth. Kurt tells S’ym that he thought his threat was long gone, and as Magik walks into the room, she tells S’ym that she thought that also.
Amanda asks S’ym what treachery he brings with him this time. The demon tells his „mistress" that it is she who wrought it, but as Duke Bleys he merely encouraged it. S’ym tells Amanda that by her unification of the Splinter Realms, she thought they could stand firm against the foe, but in fact, they are now all one easy target for his master! Amanda asks S’ym what master he is talking about, as Kurt points suddenly to the sky. Horrified, Amanda looks up, and sees the skies above Limbo rip open, burning and decaying. The powerful foe laughs triumphantly, announcing his presence, and visible for the first time, he is mighty and deadly, while Amanda and Kurt just look on helplessly.