Damn I missed your writing, Alan. There's never been a lot of it, but it never fails to satisfy.
Demvir are always interesting to read about, and I think that you've done a great job of portraying the timelessness inherent in the long-lived machina. Not just in the sense that they do live for long times, but in the sense that the actual passage of time can sometimes escape their notice. Artanis, lost beneath the waves for untold months and years, still manages to take his time and lay there on the beach for what may have been weeks before ultimately deciding to move.
The scene with the city and the throne feels flush with imagery I still need to ponder the significance of, but I did like the final reveal. The subtle detail of the glinting gold on the sword harkening back to his sin of greed was a nice touch, also.
Just a personal thing, but I also like when esoteric words like 'antediluvian' get used. Incidentally, the word is actually a Biblical reference in the real world ("before the great flood"), but it applies here as well, because one of the earlier Cataclysms that the Vis helped people survive (before the latest one 500 years ago where they could do nothing) was a great flood. And Artanis is certainly older than that.
So this was my first time reading Artanis, and I gotta say he already stands out to me. There's this interesting mixture of loathing - both self and in general - and the aforementioned greed that I've heard that he's representative of. Not too much I can say on the imagery without echoing Kyle but this was really well written.
On a technical level, there was one weird break in a paragraph but nothing that derailed the reading experience. Really hope you keep going with this weird foreshadowing of Artanis and what I'm assuming may end up being his fate? Regardless, really good stuff.