Spiring somewhere in the dead and desolate grounds of Hell, stood a tall and mighty chateau. And deep down the bowels of the chateau, the slight figure of Perigren Ostlanna Temez slumbered fitfully..
In her nightmarish disposition, Perigren Ostlanna Temez could vaguely register the few things around her; that she was somehow still alive, enough to feel the searing pain spasming down her back, that she was afloat in some, lukewarm solution, and that she was stripped naked..
And it was that last bit was that alarmed her more than the others, interestingly. Considering she was a succubi half-breed, one would think that she would be in her natural element.
Many unsavory things she was, and many sins she had done, true, but all and always with her own will. And whatever she had done, they had all been her own choice.
“Free will.”, her former trainee friend had called it..
..The vague and pretty girl who had been chosen among all the other trainees as the bride for their liege and commander, the mind behind every plan, every sinister conspiracy, and every single unspeakable atrocity that had ever occurred in the mortal coil in this cycle; Kardax’Trakxa, ‘The Face’..
The vague and pretty trainee who called herself, Merisoul Xyrotwu!
Perigren Ostlanna Temez knew, deep in her heart, she was downplaying her former trainee friend by referring to her as ‘vague’ and ‘pretty’..
The girl was more like.. How did the mortals say it?
Mad as a hatter?..
..And as she, Perigren, would jealously admit, unearthly, or more like, otherworldly beautiful!
Ostlanna Temez knew just how beautiful and striking a figure she, herself, was.
On a scale of 1 to 10, she was somewhere very near 14 —pessimistically speaking.
19, if she was on one of her good days..
But while she was ravaging, lust-inspiring, blood steering, just by her phenomenal flesh, she lacked the one thing that Merisoul had.
The appearance of ‘innocence’..
The very thing that drew morals and non-mortals upon her like bees to honey..
..or flies, depending on your appetites!
Perigren had very nearly chewed through her knuckles, and certainly through her own heart, in a metaphorical sense, when she had first seen Xyrotwu..
..And damn her if she herself hadn’t wanted a bite out of her! But then, she was already damned..
If her name, Merisoul, wasn’t a giveaway, her actions, her ideas, her approach to any given matter at hand, certainly said, something was just weird about her —something off!
They were pretty much at the very center of ‘Hell’; a totally dead, rotting, dreary, devastated, and desolate land where bouts of magma and spits of poisonous gases were the only things that marred the otherwise hopeless and monotonously twilight landscape, and she called herself, Merry Soul – A Happy Soul..
Perigren Ostlanna Temez knew exactly and of the many depths of what the word ‘demented’ meant, but it always seemed to fall short where that girl, her friend, had been concerned.
Not to mention, it had been that same pretty, vague, and pretty vague girl who had introduced her to the word, ‘friend’, in the first place.
“We are now BFF’s, Lanna Temez.”, she had declared, just after having slain their first mortal; a huge and ugly brute of a man who had thought it would be a good idea to make use of those ‘pretty little legs and what came between’, running around in their skimpy little outfits the way they did..
“What is a Bee Eff Eff?”, she’d asked, reeking of the mortal blood splattered all over their hands, faces, and their half-naked, nubile flesh..
“Best Fiend Friends!”
And yes, the fact that only, and only Merisoul had ever called her by that name, her real name; Lanna Temez, was not lost on her..
For everyone else, she was either ‘that little slut in training’ —the common use of reference for her and her kind, or Perigren Ostlanna Temez, at best. She hadn’t ever minded being called by her full name and title. But Soul had insisted calling her by Lanna Temez and deep down, she’d liked that.. a something that had also buffed up some else that she would figure out much, much later..
Incidentally, that had also been their first time to have ever devoured a soul.
The big, ugly man’s soul had certainly been ‘fill’ing, but it had tasted horrible.. and vile.. Like, beyond belief!
Which was also the time they both had learned, not every soul was edible..
Or rather, every soul was edible, but some just shouldn’t be et! Unless you had no taste whatsoever, which by default, disqualified you from being a succubus anyway, full or half-breed..
It had been an educational experience much like mortal grown-ups taught their kids not to put everything that moved into their mouth!
When it came to souls and soul-devouring, apparently the quality truly did matter, as opposed to quantity.
And Perigren Ostlanna Temez had had her true soul, soon after her first trip on the mortal world.
He had been a young, not quite man, human boy. Sixteen at the most..
He was helping his parents at the far end of a field, planting things, Perigren knew not what they were. She had walked up to him and the boy had just stood there, ogling at her with his puppy-eyes that could only be called, ‘stupified adoration’..
That look had stirred some things in Perigren she never knew she ever had. Something hot and wild.. Something that demanded every sensual part, every tender inch of her..
Her lips, her hips, her modest, nubile breasts, and.. well.. everything. And she had devoured the boy, then and there.
Perigren Ostlanna had learned a few vital things that day;
That she had never known anything that could ‘taste’ so beautiful.
That what she felt, was something beyond mortal ‘ecstasy’.
That certain kinds of souls could ‘burn’..
..and for many years, that burning sensation would never truly diminish.
Which was also when she had learned what ‘innocence’ meant and why Merisoul’s such appearance appealed to mortals and non-mortals the way it did.
Two other things had stayed with Perigren Ostlanna Temez that very same day;
That would be the last time she would ever devour any soul, no matter how much she might want to..
..And the memory of the boy she had devoured; he hadn’t cried, nor made a single attempt to save his own life.
He had just stood there, staring at her with the same, adoring look as she devoured him away until he was no more.
Perigren knew very well what a fiend was, as she’d see one on any polished, reflecting surface. She never really understood what a ‘friend’ was, however, and she strongly suspected, neither did the pretty and vague girl.
Only that it related to some form of connection.. Or possibly, a bond.
She also knew such forms of bonds were assumed ‘punishable by death’. Which likely meant being chared, shredded, et, disintegrated or worse and while still alive..
Always while still alive.. that was the optimal way of making the most out of an example, after all.
And yet, she had declared her, Perigren Ostlanna Temez, as her friend.. She must have known about the consequences. Merisoul had always been a walking encyclopedia of not only spells, enchantments, necromancy, and magical theorems but of both mortal and non-mortal laws, the finer details of mortal life in general, and lots and lots of irrelevant, ‘garbage’ trivia.
Merisoul Xyrotwu confused Perigren.
And for some demented reason, she’d liked that; the state of wakeful, yet confused silliness! It was like being caught in a bout of uncontrollable, but genuine laughter where you’d end up lying on your back, staring at a pretty, mortal sky on a warm, summer afternoon, with a stupid, happy smile on your face, for no reason or source. It comported the phrase; ‘contentment’, and so thoroughly!
That weird girl had given her something none of her training, nor her Auntie Irine ever had;
A sense of self.
This was what she would figure out, much, much later.. And correspondingly;
A something that very nearly creeped her out of her tight, exposive bodice at times because that ‘free will’ also related to their bond;
“ARE YOU AWAKE, YET, LITTLE PERIGREN?”, came the strong, commanding, and beautiful voice of The Face, her liege and commander..
Perigren Ostlanna Temez jammed her skittering thoughts deep inside her vaulted ‘safe’ —a trick she had learned, also from that pretty, vague, and pretty vague girl, Merisoul Xyrotwu..
✱ ✱ ✱
Have I been returned for the extended pleasure of suffering numerous early retirements, My Liege?”, she rasped as she tried to sit up in the lukewarm solution. It was an odd, sluggish sensation, being in that solution. It smelled.. nice.. Something quite unexpected of her liege to have done for her, or anyone, for that matter, and certainly not in Hell! It also made her feel dizzy and, well, to put in finer terms, elated and all fuzzy on the inside.
What the hell was this thing?
“Unlike my predecessor, I detest raving on repeats. If I have not done a sufficiently effective work, out of my first try, I do not bother with retries.”, said the tall, lean, muscular form of The Face.
“I certainly feel like I have been afflicted by any number of ‘sufficiently effective work-outs’, My Liege. How deformed and mauled am I, if I may be so bold as to inquire. I am afraid to even ask; do I even entertain a back?”, she asked trying to buy enough time to clear her mind.
“You will live, and still be pretty. Do not despair, little Perigren, many bees will still flock to your honey! And you certainly do entertain a rather delightful back.”, The Face replied with an amused tone of voice. “Your wounds should smooth out in another day or two in that solution. Your pain, however, is there to stay for quite a bit longer..”
“What is to become of me, My Liege? Shall I be of use, or be used? This, I must know..”, she said as her sight came into focus while trying very hard to seem diffident.
The commander, her liege, had a very beautiful body! Perigren had never really liked her Aunt Irine, but she certainly had had a good taste for ‘quality flesh’!
Concentrate, girl. Get it together!.. If you want to get ahead with The Plan, you have to concentrate only on the business at hand.. There is no surviving the other options, no matter how delicious they might be..
It was hard for Perigren Ostlanna Temez.
Her commander and liege was indeed the height and peek of male attraction.
And her being a succubi, even if a mere half-breed, did nothing to help.
Quite the contrary, it boosted her certain instincts, made her want to very nearly luster after her commander like a bitch in heat!
Perigren closed her eyes.
No one should have to suffer the wants and needs of a succubi heritage. It was delightful, in a skin and flesh way, but very, very demeaning and humiliating..
..in a sense that you stopped being a human; the whole, other half of your existence.
Which was why half-breeds, such as herself, had a limited life span of ‘use’.
They mostly went insane towards the end, mindlessly lustering and prostrating themselves that left nothing of their humanity, self-worth, or awareness.
Such ‘details’ were never given to them during their training.
Why would they be informed of such details? They were all expendable and were bred for a very specific reason.
They were all, to put it bluntly, tools for the amusement of their masters with the skills and training for extremely high accuracy for assassination, espionage, and sowing dissension among mortals.
An average succubi half-breed was good for four or five such missions. Seven, maybe eight, if they were exceptional..
Also, the reason why Perigren had opted to be an ‘organizer’ for her liege’s covered ops, rather than gore herself to madness in them..
“You wanted surety, little Perigren, you now have it. I expect you to be up and running in two days. We have much ground to cover.”, The Face said, giving the naked, slender form of the succubi half-breed a smile that would have sent many mortals to their fright-induced deaths.
“It’s alright, My Liege. I will be up and running as soon as I can get my hands on some fresh set of clothes. What is this solution I have been dozed in? It has worked some wonders if I am indeed as intact as I was before.”, she said as she waited for her liege to leave.
“It is an expansive solution some enterprising mortal concocted at a place called The Academy of Melshieve. He was banished and barred from the Academy, due to the immoral use of certain.. ‘infantile’ ingredients, in his solution.. A truly happy outcome, as he works for us now, though he does not know it. He thinks he is being sponsored by some anonymous pharmaceutical company —for the betterment of mankind! I like a man who indulges in one or two of our seven sins. But this one went for so many; pride, greed, envy, lust, and gluttony! Really, now..”
Perigren made a disgusted face and very much wanted to jump out of the oozing solution, but didn’t dare to do so, in her current.. condition..
“My Liege. If I may..”, she half pleaded.
“Of course, little Perigren. I shall be waiting for you at my ‘office’, as the mortals like to say, next to my table, and my easily accessible chronicles..”, said The Face lightly, though Perigren felt the wrath in his stance.
Very soon, many mortals and non-mortals would die, even if they were remotely suspected of ever having been anywhere near that book!
✱ ✱ ✱
This one, My Liege..”, Perigren said, pointing at a miniature ‘peon’ on the large, very detailed map, representing the mortal world, the towns, and cities, the mountains, and forests, lakes, seas and oceans, swamps and ruins and much more. Any mortal cartographer would kill for a map like this one. But would likely die quite sooner than ever getting his hands on it. The map was immaculately drawn, as if The Face had whole legions, walking in a straight, horizontal line, noting down every bush, every pebble, every leaf they came across, in fear of missing anything.
“And this one..”, she said, pointing at another representative peon. “They both have to act at the same time.”
The Face cocked an eyebrow.
“It is a very unprofitable move, little Perigren. And their syncrosity would mean nothing. The distance between them is too great to have any effect on either side. Not to mention, the losses would be irreplaceable for quite some time. Especially the ones at Demon Plains, seeing as how the Demon Gate is still malfunctioning and is unable to import more than a trickle of our forces at any given time.”, he said quietly.
“The simultaneity is not for the benefit of either of those forces, My Liege. They are the bait.. The distraction..”, Perigren said, also quietly.
“Explain.”, said The Face, looking up to the slight form of the succubi half-breed, still quivering with unhealed pain.
“They are for the benefit of these forces.”, she said solemnly, as she took a loose peon from the box at the side of the map, and placed it..
..at another location, quite aways east of the Demon Plains.
The Face stared down at the girl. And hot, infernal breath seethed down his nose.
“You are not supposed to know about those forces, little Perigren.”, he said with burning eyes.
“My Liege. You wanted answers before you asked of them. This is me, supplying you with the answers. How I know the things I know matters little. Suffice to say, mortals and not quite mortals fail to curb their instincts to try and impress ‘that little slut in training’.. The short and tall of the matter is; those forces are very nearly unearthed.. discovered..”, she said, gazing at her liege with the detached expression she was so good at.
“And you know the fact that they are about to be discovered, how?”, The Face asked silently.
“Due to yours, My Liege. She.. she is with a group of unlikely venturers. They have been after certain clues, left behind by foolish, inadequate, and incompetent mortal thugs, what could otherwise have been a simple snatch and grab by one of my kind, leaving no clues to be found, nor any trails to be followed. Which is exactly the opposite of what those fools did. Unfortunately, the clues first led them to no other than Themalsar himself, even though he had nothing to do with it. Suffice to say, she was there when Themalsar was destroyed.. She was also there when the same mortals slew Aunt Irine. The clues have now led them elsewhere, directly to where they should have gone in the first place.
Or would never have, had the job been done correctly..
As for your forces, the ones that have been in hiding, are a mere glimpse away from being discovered no matter what.”, Perigren said, succinctly.
“Those forces are unlikely to be discovered, little Perigren. They have been extensively trained, both physically and mentally.”, replied The Face, and there was a district ‘storm’ in his voice now.
Perigren Ostlanna Temez paused for a moment. She felt her stomach churn. She loved and absolutely hated being what she was. She could play, at will, a whole crowd of mortals like a lute, and as flattering as that sounded, she felt stained, somehow, every time she had done it. It was a simple chain reaction that, one thing would inevitably lead to the other; she would lose a piece of herself, her humanity every time she did, what she did.. and given enough time and repetitions, she would eventually lose it all and her free will along with it because her humanity would have died, leaving only half a succubi.. a creature with only base instincts, and base desires, as her demonic heritage would finally take over and she would slowly but decidedly, earnestly, even, and with perverse pleasure, deteriorate towards that insanity, she so feared..
And she hated admitting it openly, even for the ’cause’..
“What is in common with a succubus and I, My Liege?”, she asked finally.
“Both you and the succubi are creatures of lust, little Perigren. This, you already know. You will do your best to stay the madness of that lust as best as you can, and one day, though unlikely, you might overcome it. Even my bride-to-be has an expiration date, and she has shown exceptional mental capacity, unseen even in fully grown succubi. In the end, it is a lost fight with only one possible outcome. What you make of yourself until then, is up to me.”, The Face said, with his merciless, handsome voice.
“My point, exactly, My Liege.”, Perigren replied morosely. “Your Greater Orken are well-bred, and exceptionally trained warriors, scouts, and ambushers, true, but at the end of the day, they are merely experimental orcs. Much like I am an experimental succubi.. That is their heritage. You can see the loss of their patience and discipline by the way they have been raiding farms and villages. They have been killing the scouts and rangers of the elves and humans alike, inadvertently exposing themselves and their presence.
The humans are already aware something is afoot, My Liege. And so are the elves. Either they find out about your forces prematurely, or we strike first and take away their choices, and the possibility of the Orken being discovered becomes altogether a moot point.”
Another pause ensued, but this time, it was on The Face end..
“There a few too many details that you know, but shouldn’t. Not unless you were personally there, little Perigren. AND THEY NEED ADRESSING.“, The Face said, leaving no room for debate.
“I know them, My Liege because she told me herself.”, Peritren said quietly. “I can not locate her, because I suspect Priceptine, the Archangel of Wrath conceals her through their bond. But she speaks to me..”
“And she would do this, why?”, The Face said, and his voice was like the grinding of thousands of stones.
“Because she believes that she and I are friends, My Liege, even though neither she nor I know what it means to be friends.”, replied Perigren Ostlanna Temez soullessly. “She’s a demon, trapped, and alone in the mortal coil with no one to hear her, listen to her, relate to her, or be her friend. Whether her betrayal is genuine, I am not privy to that knowledge. But her bond to the archangel is in place and there is little she can do to escape it, even if she wanted. I do, however, know that she has saved the lives of her companions many times, even at the expense of her own. I shall do as I must and talk to her when she contacts and pry what information I can. Should I get the chance, what would you want me to do, My Liege.
Kardax’Trakxa ‘The Face’ paused only for so long before his words spat out like the Wrath of Hell, that he was.
“A bond such as she has forged with an angel, much less an archangel, can only occur on a mutual agreement basis. That is how angels work. Otherwise, such a bond would not be fair! She has opted to serve Priceptine. It was a choice of servitude or.. death.. She should have chosen the latter, for as sure as she did not, she must suffer the consequences of her betrayal.
Bring her to me and alive, little Perigren. I shall place her in a cell I had once used for no other than Ad Ara, herself!
There, little Perigren, you and I, shall make her suffer torment like never heard of, nor witnessed before.
Thus she shall learn the true meaning.. and the price of ‘a friend’ in Hell.
And after we have had our fill, I shall not honor her by casting her to the ethernal voids of Oblivion.
I shall allow you, little Perigren, to devour..
..and consume her soul!”
Perigren Ostlanna Temez; Perigren, ‘peregrine’ kelimesinden türemedir ve yabacı, garip, egzotik anlamlarına gelir. Ostlanna ise, ‘oust’, dışlanmış, ötelenmiş kelimesinden gelir ve ‘dışlanmış/ötelenmiş Lanna’ demektir: Garip, egzotik, ve dışlanmış Lanna Temez.