Obliteration is rare, but it’s such a dramatic end that the myths give it a disproportionate amount of attention. Obliteration is instant nonexistence, leaving nothing but a memory. In Arcadia, certain memories may turn into living things; once again, this might not be “death.” Then again, some True Fae forget the obliterated ever existed, or at least pretend to forget. Obliteration leaves no trace of the faerie except for any Titles that other Fae have previously devoured. There are three paths to obliteration — maybe. There might be more, or one of them might be a longstanding lie. The legends say they are the following:
If one of the Gentry breaks an oath sworn on her own name, she obliterates herself. Some tales describe horrific, spectacular scenes of destruction at the moment of obliteration, but there are those who say that the Other vanishes, snuffed like a sputtering candle.
If the True Fae is killed while his entire essence dwells outside Arcadia, he is truly dead. This fate usually befalls exiled who’ve had their Titles stripped away. Most of the Old Gods only extend a portion of themselves beyond Arcadia’s borders, leaving at least one Title manifestation back in Faerie. Some proud True Fae visit Earth arrayed in all their glory, risking a final end. This makes them potent but vulnerable, for if they die in the mortal dirt, they die like mortals do. Lost loremasters believe this is the only way to really kill a Fae lord.
A True Fae’s Nemesis often fights its twin for power over their shared name. Titles offer no protection; the Nemesis has no obligation to devour them in turn before assailing her enemy’s name because it’s her name, too. This makes the Nemesis more dangerous than any other Fae the “original” might encounter. She’s just getting rid of the “extra” will. When one wins, the other’s obliterated. Most Fae don’t have Nemeses — or don’t know they have them. A Nemesis doesn’t always spring into existence when his twin’s born. They say Nemeses can erupt part of the way through an immortal’s life, born of malformed oaths or malefic rituals.
- Equinox Road, p. 88-89