The atmosphere was hazy, smoke-filled, and noxious, with volcanic ash and gases making things close to unlivable. It’s what the demon had done to the village, when it had been summoned, and subsequently freed, due to the ineptitude of the would- be mageling.
Zahlkaqilaqa was one of the up-and-coming demon lords – more of a Demonic Laird than a full fledged Lord. But he had seen success in his campaigns, and very much enjoyed breaking humans and making them beg for him to possess them, just to make the pain stop. That was how he gained his meat-suits (human bodies) in the past and allowed him to stay rooted to this world.
His last trip to the Village of Ehr, some 20 years previous, had seen him beget several children, so that on his next return, he would now have had several half-demons to choose from to possess. He considered it “investing in the future”.
But his plans had been partially thwarted by the meddling Fae-bourne Arch-mage, Dehralatius, who’d trapped him, and abjured him, banishing him back to the Abyssal Plane.
That is, until he had regained his power, and found some other fool to summon him. He’d plied Hordun, a pimply faced mageling with a lust for everything, and the common sense of a turnip. His promises of power and dreams of grandeur had allowed him to step into that summoning circle, and then fool the boy into letting him loose. If nothing else, the young man had provided several quarts of tasty blood and some bones to chew for a short time. But his hunger had not been sated by that. And so he had started to work, taking souls and hunting for his children, hoping that some had escaped that Fae Arch-mage’s dagger and spells. Afterall, he needed a meat body to slide into, and become, to make himself a permanent resident on earth.
He’d found graves where his scions were interred, or what was left of them.
Nothing but bloody ashes.
But the demon found a clue – someone had left flowers and little paper shaped gifts to the dead. Someone visited those graves. And it wasn’t that damned elf!
Zahlkaqilaqa followed the trail and clues, and eventually came upon a white maned boy, that he could smell was not an ordinary mortal, though he lived amongst them. The Village of Ehr was where he resided. And so the demon proceeded to assault the village priest, the village wisemen, and removed them from the picture with a bloody assault that was fairly gruesome to behold. Entrails and body parts rendered into viscera and bone, and blood – so much blood.
Rafael was the white maned boy, and he had come at the demon with a sword and had morphed into his half-demon form in his rage, trying to protect his village.
Zahlkaqilaqa toyed with the would-be warrior, and ensnared him in the Web Of Chains, his own special power.
The boy had been forced to watch as the mountain behind the village had exploded, and the demon went about slaughtering.
But it wasn’t until the demon realized something was wrong. He realized that the people he was killing had no souls.
They had no souls because most of them weren’t real people.
They were nothing but simulacrums! That’s when Zahlkaqilaqa suspected he’d been lured into a trap of some sort. And he strode on his hooved spider-like limbs and started to threaten the boy. He tried to force the truth from the young would-be-warrior with threats of evisceration, impalement, rape and by visiting horrors on every living thing in the village and those surrounding it.
The horned young man, streaked with whip marks from the tentacles of the grotesque hybrid-form of Zahlkaqilaqa, began to do something that the demon captor did not expect. The young one was of his blood, but .. to be able to withstand his soul-crushing assault had not been expected, or wanted.
The boy’s body flashed red, and healed. The pale skin shimmered to the color of wet, old blood, and then there was a soft shimmer and the skin resumed its normal hue, pale and unblemished. The chain harness and the skirt at his waist were the only garments he was wearing, besides piercings at the ears.
And then, the lengths of the chain web that bound his hands shook and rattled, and then began acting like tentacles almost, as they become part of the boy’s body. The boy yanked them loose from their anchor points, snapping the links that secured him. And then they started waving, and lashing about him, like they were extensions of his body.
His sword flew up and hovered above his head, and stayed there, while the beautiful young man gazed with red-eyed rage at the demon – his would be father and destroyer.
“I’ve been waiting for you to come back. It was just as the Elf said it would be, “ Rafael called in a snarl at demon. “I didn’t believe him at first, but he said you’d come back to try to do exactly what you did. I let that old fool train me to use my powers, to hone my skills.. And now.. I see what he saw. This whole time, I was simply bound to you as a vessel. The only thing you thought of – not what did I accomplish, or how I had grown.. But just simply, to hollow me out and use me to exist on this world. I regret not believing the Elf, completely. “ The beautiful half demon uttered that last in an almost mournful tone, but then he focused his red-eyed rage again and the chains struck out and wrapped the body of the demon in its lengths, confining tentacle, limb and appendage alike.
The battle only just started then. And it raged for the better part of a day. Zahlkaqilaqa and Rafael struck at one another with abandon, lashing out with powers of the darkest depths, and surprisingly, the earth and perhaps some celestial source, on the part of the younger man.
But at the last, to the monstrous dismay of the demon, Zahlkaqilaqa was banished once more from the mortal plane, forced to return without substance, a shadow alone, to the depths of the Abyss.
Rafael stood over the smoking remains of the once beautiful village, and sighed, as he rested from his struggles, his body once more healed itself of its wounds. He watched as lava flows oozed their way down over the once peaceful town square. He muttered, “Why would you want this to be your world.. “
A form shimmered into being a few paces away. It was that of a silver and jet-clad male form, tall and lean, with long black shimmering hair, that fell straight from his head to lay against his chest and down his back to the waist. He wore a simple circlet of silver, and his eyes were blue-violet with flecks of silver. His face was angular and long, with a noble nose and a beauty that was of the Elven folk. His elegantly pointed ears peaked through the wonderful mass of that black mane, and his lips smiled a wan smile. His robes were silver and black silk, stitched with runes of arcane and celestial import.And his hand rested on a tall, thin staff, inscribed with similar runes in a spiral pattern along its length.
“I thought you were.. Dead!” Rafael said, in surprise and dismay, taking up a defensive posture. He didn’t really want to fight, but after his outburst had supposedly struck the elf-lord down, he could expect no less.
“Fear not, young Rafael. I am unharmed, “ The elf smiled and took a step closer, but made no threatening move.
The younger man frowned and shook his head, “What.. how.. Where have you been then, if I didn’t destroy you? “
“I have been watching you, and how you dealt with your erstwhile progenitor. You finally came to grips with his nature and ambitions, it would seem,” the elf mage said with a small smile. “Now, I come here to help you.. If you’re willing to complete the training we started together?”
“You mean.. You’re not angry with me? “ Rafael asked, his brow furrowed in concentration.
“Far from it. That you have survived, and triumphed, and come to the realization that monsters such as your demon father need to be fought and defeated, to protect what is important in our world – that is something I could only advise you on – never make you believe. You had to come to that understanding on your own.”
The boy nodded, and smiled, and said, “So, what does this mean? You’ll help me rebuild here? Or what?”
Dehralatius smiled softly, and nodded. “Here, or where ever you want. If we want to rebuild here, it’ll take a little longer. The earth is unsettled and the volcano needs to be quelled, but that presents some possibilities in the application and use of powers and forces that you need to learn, as well. And the simulacrums that the demon destroyed – those can be remade, if you like.”
He thought for a while, and then shook his head, “This place was .. like a crib for me. I was a child until today.. Now I have grown and left the cradle behind.. I think we should move on to some place that can be protected for real. Some place that needs my help. “
“Well – first things first, “ the elf said with a soft grin, “We need to help you hone your skills, and then we can move on to the real Village of Ehr, if you like. They are waiting for you to return.”
The half-demon boy looked in amazement at the elf, as he guestured with his staff, and a portal opened, a shimmering dark oval that spun into existance like a pool of dark water appearing in the air. “Follow me, and we’ll continue your training… and a wild world will open before you.”
The elf stepped through the portal, and then Rafael followed behind.
Story by: Dehrynn Shepherd
Eyeshadow- Zibska ~ Rheta (Cosmetic Fair)
Statue & Spikes- E.V.E Broken Souls (Memento Mori)