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"Remaining on the defensive is a recipe for failure. Having won Stratos as an ally, at least for the time being, there can be no course but to strike Pyro and strike quickly." – Persephone, Balance of Power (Intermission)
To shorten the story, Pyro has attacked Elysium one too many times and Persephone now orders you to retaliate by invading Magmar. Since most of her forces are used to counter Pyro's attacks, she says that she can't spare any allies except for Shakti. You then get the choice of fighting alone or with Shakti. The differences are all mentioned bellow. Regardless of what you choose at your first mana fount you'll find two Firefists, so if prepared right, you'll get 4 souls out of them. Also if you witnessed the skirmish in Urghaz, Eldred will make a comment about Firefist's origin, also incorrectly attributing them to Thestor's design (instead of Faestus').
Playing with Shakti is obviously easier, because there's two of you fighting against one (also Shakti's a level 4 wizard, unlike you and Buta, and has some enhanced stats). Buta will panic and call Pyro for help. He will send Buta two Phoenixes, level 9 Pyro titans. Buta uses them even for desecration so watch out for that (even though if you can heal fast enough this is a way to separate them from Buta, because they are left at your altar once he is dead so he can't collect them). On the plus side, several of Buta's Proles are removed from the map (including his Bombards). Once you manage to kill the Phoenixes anything else should fall quite easily, including Buta's altar.
Playing without Shakti is much more difficult. Her creatures are all removed from the map, but her manalith is placed to your care. Even though Buta doesn't have phoenixes, he still has a lot of guardianed creatures on all three of his manaliths, most notably two Bombards (one attached to his altar and one to the second closest manalith from his altar). Any aerial creatures of yours will be countered quite well by Buta's bombards, so make sure you kill them early on. After that just keep him from summoning creatures (which should be easy since his priority will be collecting souls of his numerous dead creatures) and you should be able to defeat him.