Author's Note: Was reading Grand History of the Realms and really wanted to see how this scene played out, Cyric's "hand" in it, Tyr's decision to commit suicide (letting demons kill him, which is what I believe happened, not that he just up and lost the fight, he is the king of the gods, basically), how Helm's death might have affected the Celestial Stairway, and why Ao did nothing. Yes, I still consider Ao to be canon despite what some people have said. Yes, another Cyric-related fic, though it focuses on Tyr and Helm at first. Cyric/Mystra love-hate.

Deepest Regret

There was fury on the face of the Lawgiver as he approached the Great Guard, standing ever vigilant on the Celestial Stairway to the Realms, doing his duty for his master, Ao. The Lawgiver may have been defacto leader of the pantheon, but Helm's loyalty was with Ao, everyone knew that. He wondered momentarily why Tyr was so angry with him. Had he forgotten to deliver one of Tyr's letters of courtship to the goddess of luck, Tymora? No, of course not.

Helm saw all. Knew all that happened in the Realms, and even other planes of existence like Pandemonium and the Demon Web Pits. He had seen Lolth's ascension to Greater Goddess. Her murder of her children. Cyric's insane plotting with his irritating dog, who was currently in fetters, but would likely escape sooner or later. Helm saw all. Which is why he later wondered why he didn't see Tyr's sword coming for his head.

The Guardian merely nodded his head at Tyr as he approached. The Maimed God indeed. Tyr's hand had been bitten off by Cyric's pet, his eyes taken for questioning the wisdom of Lord Ao...Helm felt a moment's pity, but shrugged it off. Despite his maimed appearance, the capricious and beautiful goddess of luck had given him her love. Helm was shocked when Tyr's sword came flying at him in a fury. The Guardian, being nearly all-seeing, easily dodged.

"Tyr, Lawgiver, what is this madness? Why do you attack me?"

The Maimed God growled angrily, looking quite feral and different from his normal stoicness. "You...I trusted you! And you have stolen her from me. You were supposed to be the courier only. Not steal away her heart!"

Helm had absolutely no idea what Tyr was talking about. "What are you talking about? I have stolen no one's heart! My heart is with my duty. With guarding the Realms from outside intrusion, nothing more. You speak madness! Who is that behind this illusion? Cyric? Shar?"

He had to dodge Tyr's sword again, swung with such ferocity that it would have taken his head had he not seen the angle of the blade. At least that put Cyric out of the question. The slender, lanky god of deception wasn't one to use brute force in a fight, not even as an illusion. Shar, perhaps...but what could the goddess of secrets possibly gain from impersonating Tyr? No, she couldn't even do that. Only Cyric had the power to shapeshift into other Greater Gods, as he was god of Illusion and Deception.

A violet flash in the corner of his eyes caused him to tear his unflinching eyes away from Tyr for a moment. The violet light was normally Cyric's calling card. Pain seared Helm as Tyr's sword bit into his shoulder blade, slicing through the thick armor as if it were bread.

"Tyr! Stop this madness and explain yourself!" Helm held his hand over the wound, concentrating on healing it as quickly as possible before Tyr decided to strike again, if he did not listen to reason.

"Tymora, you fool. Do not lie to me. Lies are Cyric's realm, not yours, Guardian. Do not tell me that you have not been attempting to steal away my Tymora." Tyr swung again, this time missing so badly that his sword struck the bridge, causing a crack to open on the pearly pathway.

Helm's horror over the damage to his precious bridge caused more distraction and allowed Tyr to get in another blow. Helm staggered. There was apparently no reasoning behind Tyr's thoughts anymore. Someone...something...had done this to him. Had made him believe that Helm had stolen Tymora's heart. There was only one with the power to lie to greater gods and get them to believe it utterly.

Helm's hatred for Cyric soared higher, if that were possible. He remembered the first time he had seen Cyric, the slender, wicked man so intent on passing into the divine realms beyond the Stairway. He had hated Cyric since that day. Such wickedness and cruelty in one person. And now Cyric had corrupted the greatest of all the gods of good.

Helm drew his sword from the base holding the paths between realms closed and engaged the corrupt Lawgiver earnestly. He could not win against the king of the gods, but he could at least fight him long enough for whatever spell Cyric had cast upon him to wear off and Tyr to see the truth behind everything, for him to realize he had been hoodwinked by the Prince of Lies.

Tyr and Helm's swords connected mid-swing. Helm opened his celestial eyes, allowing himself to see all possible moves Tyr would make. He did not have the power of foresight, just the ability to see what was coming much better than even a practiced warrior. Despite being blind and having only one hand, Tyr was strong. Far stronger than Helm, and Helm had many ways of seeing and both hands to fight with.

The Just God swung his mighty longsword, Justicar, and sliced once again through Helm's armor, spraying the bridge with glittering godly blood. Helm staggered. He was staring at Tyr in horror and pain, and shock. How could someone who so believed in truth and justice so blindly think the vigilant Guardian had gone out of his way to steal a woman from him?

Tyr struck again, and again, fury toward the Guardian fueling the power behind his blows, until Helm lay motionless on the floor.

Helm could only gaze helplessly at his former friend as the blade came for his throat. He could have sworn he heard mad cackling and saw a flash of wicked violet eyes just as the sword pierced the Guardian's throat, effectively ending his eternal vigilance. The Guardian of the Celestial Staircase closed his eyes and died, the mocking laughter of Cyric still ringing in his ears.

Tyr pulled the sword out of his enemy's throat, the red-haze of fury being slowly replaced with horror and shock. What had he done? Tyr recoiled from the sight of the dead Guardian and ran. The bridge, with its Guardian dead, was collapsing. The Guardian's death wasn't helping matters either. No. Helm wasn't dead. Tyr hadn't just killed his loyal friend. But here was proof. The bridge was collapsing. It would only collapse should its Guardian be slain. He watched the base where Helm's sword normally held the gateways closed shatter, beams of light streaking toward each of the planes of existence. The collateral damage from the fall of the bridge would be harrowing.

This wasn't happening. It wasn't. It just wasn't. Tyr ran, nearly falling off the crumbling bridge several times as he attempted to make his way back to his home in the House of the Triad. He was greeted by his protege and most devout follower, fellow god, Torm. Torm had a look of utter shock on his young, handsome face. Torm...the Loyal Fury. Torm, the god of Truth. He would never allow himself to be so...so...what? What had happened? WHY had Tyr slain the Guardian and unleashed this chaos on the planes? Torm looked at Tyr's wounds questioningly and at the crumbling pearly bridge leading out to the other realms. Before Torm could even open his mouth to say anything, Tyr had grabbed him with his one good hand.

"You...my most loyal of followers...what...tell me what truth you see in me."

Torm stared at him, doing what he had asked unquestioningly. Torm's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, then horror. Helm was Torm's friend. A good friend. Only the Red Knight, Torm's possible lover, was closer. How could Tyr have...? Then, as god of Truth, Torm was able to see the lie. The lie that despicable god of deception could only have planted. Torm pulled Tyr off him and continued to steadily stare into the blank spots where his eyes should have been.

"It wasn't you. You didn't kill Helm. It was Cyric. He planted lies in your head. He used his illusion and deceptive powers on you. Do not blame yourself, my lord." Torm continued to gaze steadily at his lord.

Tyr shook his head. "I am lost, Torm. If I truly still possessed any ability to lead and judge, I would have not been taken in by the lies of the evil one."

Torm nearly slapped his master. "That is far from the truth! And I am the god of Truth! If you can trust anyone to speak true, trust me! Your ability to lead and judge is as good as ever. It is Cyric that is the problem...he orchestrated this catastrophe..."

Torm continued to muse about this as Tyr shook his head and mourned his lost friend.

In another part of the planes, Mystra, Goddess of Magic sat talking with Azuth, her friend and her predecessor's lover. A shock and brilliant rainbow light shook her realm. She and Azuth both stood and stared wonderingly at what looked to be a supernova in the skies of Dweomerheart. She was just about to go and see what it was when she and Azuth were suddenly distracted by the appearance of her nemesis, Shar, in the form of the Dark Dancer. She was dancing for them, Mystra was puzzled at this. Azuth seemed entranced, however, and seemed to lose focus.

The Goddess of Magic started to slowly approach the Dark Dancer when she felt a sharp, deafening blow strike her in the back of the head. Her vision swam. The scintillating form of the Dark Dancer continued to sway in her vision. The Goddess tried to turn her head to see her attacker, but she didn't need to. He was already there, holding her head in his hands, smiling wickedly down at her, violet eyes boring into her soul as if to say "I told you I would kill you some day". Mystra's blue eyes stared into Cyric's violet ones as life slowly leaked from her body. You'll suffer for this. You know not what you do, Prince of Lies. Mystra sighed, and the entire world shattered.

Cyric and Shar fled. The Dark Dancer was gathering her powering, attempting to take control of the now-shattered Weave of Magic and her own Shadow Weave. She was failing miserably. The Weave kept slipping from her grasp just as soon as she thought she'd gotten a grip on it. She looked to her accomplice for help, but the traitorous liar was already long gone. With a shriek of pain, Shar felt the Shadow Weave rip from her body and the entire Weave of magic shatter, all mages on Faerun crying out in pain and horror as the death of their goddess and the loss of the Weave wrought havoc upon the Realms.

Shar fled as well, now that all possibility of taking control of both Weaves were gone. The pearly bridge connecting the planes was shattered, Shar noticed with shock. Cyric's doing, again. The Lady of Loss summoned a sphere of shadow, all the magic she could muster with the Weave spiraling out of control, or altogether gone, and found herself back in the Palace of Loss in the Plane of Shadow. Punching through the planes with her own personal magic, she quickly relocated her palace and her followers to the Towers of Night, another realm of shadow, one where she would hopefully be free of the retribution of the other gods and Cyric's fury at her failure to procure the Weaves.

Elsewhere, Cyric's elation at finally killing the whore bitch was fading into horror and disbelief. Those sparkling blue eyes would never again look at him. That sweet, musical voice would never again speak to him. He didn't even notice his other handiwork had succeeded; the death of Helm and the destruction of the Celestial Stairway. He merely ran back to the Supreme Throne and waited. Waited for what, he didn't know. Kezef gave him a baleful stare from his fetters nearby. Cyric glared back at the dog. He had no clue why he was angry at the dog, but it didn't matter.

Brilliant white light erupted into the dull bleakness of Pandemonium. Tyr, Lathander, and Sune seemed to materialize out of the brilliant light. Tyr's fury was nearly palpable. So, the Lawgiver knew Cyric was behind the death of the Guardian, did he? What did it matter? As God of Murder, under Ao's decree, he couldn't be punished for committing murder, especially not murder through lies and trickery, as he was also god of those spheres of influence in the realms. Cyric's lips curled into a smirk as the gods of good attempted to bind him.

He danced away from their grasping chains and furious scowls.

"Why do you seek to bind me? Am I not god of Murder? Was I not simply doing my duty? Where is the justice in chaining one for doing his duties?" Cyric smirked at Tyr's eyeless form, knowing full well the horror and pain he had caused that god in particular, and the use of the word justice, which would only fuel Tyr's fury further. His eyes flickered to the nearby dog that had bitten Tyr's hand off many years ago. The dog was growling and scrabbling at the floor, perhaps wanting another bit of Tyr to eat, but unable to break free of its fetters.

Cyric turned his attention back to his accusers. The Goddess of Beauty was staring around her in horror and disgust. Of course, Pandemonium would not appeal to the whore goddess's eyes. It was a cold, bleak landscape, even in the Supreme Throne. She was a beam of fiery beauty in a cold, bleak landscape of chaos. Even the Prince of Lies could see that. Still, he had only ever had eyes for one beauty. No one else had ever even appealed to him. His soul had been shattered that day when they were mortal and he had seen his beloved choose the disgusting, moronic brute over the brilliant Cyric. If only he had been able to kill the brute before these fools...he snarled in fury as they eventually overpowered him and snapped manacles over his wrists and feet, allowing for very little movement.

He was just as fettered as Kezef, if not more. At least the dog could move a bit more. He growled.

"On WHAT charges do you dare chain me? I am the god of MURDER! Its my JOB to murder! Even other gods. You heard Ao that day!" Cyric's fury, hatred, and grief all mixed together in one hollow scream.

Lathander spoke up for the first time. "This is a new beginning. Ao has not heeded our calls. Ao has abandoned us. You are ours to do with as we see fit." the golden god's sweet voice brought bile to Cyric's throat. He had never wished he could kill someone as much as he wished he could kill Lathander right now.

The brilliant lights faded as the gods and goddess returned to their home planes. Cyric nearly vomited from the pain of the magical bindings. Kezef, sitting on his haunches nearby, watching the Prince of Lies, finally said something.

"If you struggle, they only bind you tighter, Oh Great One." There was a dog-smirk in that voice.

Cyric spat at his "pet". "You stay out of this, dog. I am a god. They are mere weak pretenders. I slew two of them today, perhaps a third if you count Azuth's death in the aftermath of the whore's."

Kezef let out an unearthly laugh. "I still do believe you are the only one capable of understanding me and my goals. My loyalty still lies with you, Master of Chaos, Lord of Lies. But stop lying to yourself. You loved her even as you killed her." With that, the dog had lain down and said nothing more.

Cyric was raging inside. Hatred, at himself, at the other gods, even at Kezef, burned his soul, or whatever there was left of it.

A cool, soft hand stroke his forehead, easing the burning hatred a bit. A musical voice spoke words of comfort. A familiar voice. It couldn't be. Cyric opened his violet eyes and they connected with the endless pools of brilliant blue he had come to love so obsessively over the years.

Tears threatened the god of Murder as he stared at the ghostly, incorporeal form of his beloved.

"What are you doing here? You're dead. I killed you. Killed you with your only weakness. A staff of Weavestuff. You cannot be here. Lathander said Ao is gone. He can't have brought you back. You're a hallucination, nothing more. Go away, and stop taunting me!"

The dead goddess said nothing, she simply placed her hands upon the shoulders of the Prince of Lies and kissed his bloody lips with her cold, ghostly ones.

Tears were flowing freely from the murder god's eyes now. "Stop this. This is horrible. This is beyond torture. Why...?" He sobbed.

Midnight stroked Cyric's cheek.

"You never understood love. You loved me, but you thought love was weakness. To truly love me, I had to die. You never realized that, had you not done what you had done, that perhaps I would truly have come to love you. I loved Kelemvor, but our love didn't last into our ascension. Your love, though twisted, lasted through so much. Always. For me, always."

Midnight's sleek black hair cooled the god's burning face.

"Lalala...I'm not hearing this. I'm not. This isn't real. You aren't real. Go away. Leave me ALONE!" Cyric screamed this last bit, wanting the apparition of Mystra to be gone, though she seemed to be in her incarnation of Midnight, the human woman who had stolen his heart and soul so many years ago.

Midnight shook her head, blue eyes amused and sorrowful all at once. "Ao isn't gone, Prince of Lies. Ao is...sleeping." Midnight closed her eyes and tilted her head toward the swirling, icy skies of Pandemonium.

"Ao didn't bring me back. I'm not...alive. But I am here. I am here, for you. Punishment, if you want to think of it that way. To make you regret all you've done. To make you feel even the tiniest bit of unselfish remorse for the horror and pain you unleashed on Faerun."

The woman tilted her translucent head back toward Cyric and once again placed her arms around him, inexplicably pulling him close despite the bindings.

"Is being with me for one thousand years truly a punishment? Only you know if you are punished by my presence here. I cannot, will not, come back as Mystra. Ao has decided it is time for Faerun to exist without the Weave, and so I will not be restored, nor will the brilliant rainbow bridge you had destroyed."

Cyric squeezed his eyes shut tight, to avoid looking into the blue orbs that still pierced his soul. "My binding, my punishment, my murder of you...it was all part of Ao's plan? Why?"

Midnight shook her head again. "I don't know. Not really. I was only in Ao's realm for a short time before I was sent back here. Back to you. It was part of his plan that I be here with you, during your binding. It is not punishment. I have hated you for so long. I...had forgotten the sorrow I saw in your soul that day I looked into the heart of all the gods. Truly alone. Always alone. You will never be alone again, Prince of Lies, Cyric." Midnight placed her ghostly hand on Cyric's heaving chest.

Cyric's violet eyes were now open and staring into her brilliant blue ones. "I never gave up on you. I never stopped loving you. Ever. I have killed you, and now I must live with the deepest regret of all. I don't ask your forgiveness. Only that you do stay here, with me, perhaps forever."

Midnight nodded silently and placed her head on Cyric's shoulder, feeling some of the darkness and hatred leak from his soul just a bit. She silently thanked Ao for this form of return. Deepest regret. That she had never given this lost soul the love he so desperately desired. That they weren't still mortals. That she, Cyric, and Kelemvor couldn't have remained friends, possibly lovers, possibly husband and wife, with children. The former goddess sighed and nuzzled deeper into Cyric's warm shoulder, giving her cold form comfort.