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Reforged (a Diablo III fanfic)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by warlock7, May 10, 2015.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    This is my Diablo 3 fanfic,which i wanted to post here and share with you. i hope you will find it enjoyable.

    Prologue

    After what seemed like an eternity, She found freedom.

    Bound, suppressed, a prisoner in her own mind forced to watch as foulness took command of her body, and her very soul was burning in the flames of hell, like iron in a forge. Drowning in all that evil. In all the evil.

    But she somehow managed. She endured.

    Pieces of herself that were torn-she recollected, as many as she could, never knowing if anything was missing, or she was searching for more in vein, if any piece not Her was picked up. Anchoring them in her thoughts, centering herself in her identity and memories, to not be swallowed whole, to maintain the self, even when it was later surrounded by many other selves, souls. Losing and finding herself. Reaching the melting point.

    And then the container was shattered, and consumed.

    Souls, so many, essence of mortal, and hell combined, empowering the angelic, mixed by the hand of Death. The alloy mixed and refined.

    When that final container was shattered, she finally had her chance.

    All the bonds were, for a single moment, nonexistent. And she was always vigilant, always waiting and struggling to free herself from her role as a pawn and slave to cruelty and fate.

    She took all of Herself that she could, all the parts that she managed to collect and bind together in that infinitesimal moment, and made a break for freedom. With all of her remaining and collected power, with all of her will behind it. The metal recast.

    Upon regaining consciousness, She was confused, it took some time for what memories she held on to resurface. And a stretch of time that later become defined as many days, until She finally made sense of it all.

    Who? I! She! He! Devoured/absorbed-was sacrificed. Demons-so many names- so many misshapen figures-most are only read about/met in hell. Angels-worshipped/protectors/ enemy? Old Man- caretaker/care/affection/ loneliness/contempt//love/Uncle. Wishing for the old man.

    I AM FREE OF HIM!


    Into a new form.

    As she finally regained her sense. The woman who was once Leah, daughter of Aidan, Hero of Tristram, and later The Dark Wonderer-discovered that while she still retained some of the form and a bit of the power, and yes, even a shard of the evil and malice, of her possession, she was finally, for the first time in a long time, and maybe since her birth, was free of the control of the Demon that practically spawned and later possessed her. What little of his essence remained in her, was separated from him, and remade as part of Her.

    For while she was no longer human, her demonic aspect merged, rather than dominated her mundane one-fusing into a hybridization that was really neither, anymore. She now had demonic powers, supported by her new body, and the lore learned at the knees of Decard Cain sometimes supported by small bits of demonic memory and knowledge, too fleeting to know which of the Great Evils it originated from.

    She knew that That Demon, Diablo, now maybe still the Prime Evil-for she knew not if any of the others managed to separate-was free and walked the world once more, or will do so soon, but she was utterly free from him and his influence.

    She was free.

    The steel reforged.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 1
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 1

    After restructuring her fragments of self and Other, and finally deeming herself sane, 'or as sane as anyone could possibly be in my position', the creature who once answered to the name Leah decided that it was time to stop hiding and to venture into the world.

    To see what happened to it, to humanity. And learn just how long it was since her entrapment. Try to live on, as Uncle Decard would have surely wanted her to, and see that his life work was completed.
    It was with these thoughts, that she picked up her courage, and started her quest in search of civilization, or anything resembling such.

    She walked around for hours, until the track took her to a too familiar sight. It looked like a ruined town, its destruction painfully familiar.

    As she approached, she heard a call- a male voice, one that reminded her strongly of Rumford. "Help! Somebody help me! I'm still alive here."

    The call had her spring into action, and run into the town, until she spotted its origins.

    One of the houses had its front collapse, in a way that utterly blocked entry and visibility.

    "Is someone there?" she asked, afraid her first human contact after her freedom to be mere wishful thinking. The way her voice sounded, just like before Adria kidnapped her, was a pleasant surprise.
    "I'm inside the house! Remove the debris please. I'm trapped here."

    Emboldened, she proceeded to do just that, with a newfound strength that she now had, it proved much easier than first suspected to be. Asking the man while helping him regain his freedom.
    "What happened here? Did demons attacked?"

    "Demons? No! It was Angels! First Demonic attacks to the east, then the news of armies of demons attacking from the north. We thought it just rumors, and now Angels attack here! What mad world do we live in?"

    "Angels?" It really shocked her. She actually stopped clearing the debris, and took a moment to try to imagine Tyreal wielding his sword and attacking the town. She could not.

    "Well, they were strange ones, not like what you hear in the ancient stories…"

    Remembering herself, the girl resumed her task.

    "And you survived here?"

    "In the attack the front part collapsed, and I hid in the basement, not even moving that first day, and staying there afterwards, listening to suspicious noises and eating what stores were hidden there."
    "Why call for help loudly now though? Weren't you afraid they would return?"

    "No, they only passed here the one time, and left soon after, I never actually heard any signs of them lingering here, besides, I, err… ran out of food…"

    At that point enough was cleared that she uncovered the iron door, and could move it and unblock the exit.

    "I'm just about done, get ready, I'm about to open the door." As she spoke those words, she tried to do so, to no avail. Frustrated by the door that had someone trapped on the other side of, Trapped, drowning, controlled, pain, she pushed with all her might… and almost fall on her arse as the door was literally torn from its hinges, and entirely in her hands.

    "Light thank y- Demon begone!" the man, who was revealed to be also of build, and even armor similar to Captain Rumford, was about to thank her, but after a good look, drew his sword, gulped, tried to charge at her.

    The swing of his sword was blocked by the iron door she still held to with both hands, and he was tripped afterwards by a sweep of her tail and-'what? My tail? Since when do I even have a tail?' as she turned to look, she discovered that yes, she now had a tail, long lizardine red one, with spikes pointing upwards adorning its upper side. One that was eerily similar to the one that Diablo had, only smaller, and a bit less developed.

    She was interrupted from her shock by the man, obviously a guard, almost cutting her down. 'How dare he! I shall teach him to fear me I will-What am I thinking?' Distressed by his near lethal attack, and even more by her thoughts, and not wanting to end up acting on them, she ran away, as fast as she could, for many minutes. Not stopping until she reached a river.

    As she slowed down, noticing in the back of her mind that she was less fatigued then she should be, she spotted her reflection in the water.

    It was a demonic figure. Her head was unchanged, but for two horn that came from the sides of her forehead, going up, and then curving backwards a bit and later downwards.

    Spikes grew from her shoulders, like a parody of pauldrons, with dull red scales going to her elbows. Her chest was covered by a ribcage like looking growth that started from beneath her exposed, reddish pink bosom, with her skin regaining its normal color just below the neck. Her legs were also scale covered, and she felt oddly relieved to note that they didn’t end hooved, or taloned, but merely scale covered to her toes.

    And then there was her tail.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 2
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 2

    She was so shocked by her newfound form, despite somehow missing it previously, as if part of her expected it, or just not paying it attention.

    Her thoughts wondered back to the man who chased her away, thinking her a demon. After all the work she did to fight against the demonic powers. After Uncle Deckard dedicated his life to it, culminating in restoring the angel's sword with his last breath.

    It was then that she remembered the man's words, before he saw her and attacked his rescuer-about angels, of all things, coming to slay mortals. She wondered at the irony of it-of that man hiding in fear from angels that killed through the town, only to released, and have the collapsed entrance to his hideout cleared by a demon.

    No, she will not be like Him, she will not be a demon. Even if she was no longer human. The loss of humanity, depressed her further, and she turned away from her inhuman reflection on water. She wondered if such reaction would become a constant part of her new existence. Will she be seen as a monster and a creature of evil wherever she goes? Will she find no safe haven? No new home? It only darkened her mood even more. 'Just how much of my humanity had remained?'

    When she felt a strange power pulling her somewhere, somewhere, she didn't even try resisting.

    She closed her eyes, and upon opening them found herself inside some building, peoples she quickly recognized as cultists-servants of demons-were channeling some sort of ward around her, their leader, recognized by a differently colored cloths, seemed uncertain, and somewhat displeased by her appearance. He clearly didn't expect her.

    "Who are you, demon, to disrupt the ritual calling to your betters? Reveal your purpose and submit yourself to my will!" as the last word was spoken, she felt a foreign force trying to enter her mind, to control her and bind her to its will.


    To one that carried Terror inside her for all her life, and who was already possessed once and later freed from the Lord of Terror, in his amalgamation of a fusion with the other great evils-in his strongest and as probably the strongest of demons, submission was unthinkable, and the attempt pathetically weak. The furious rage and Hatred that she felt raising from deep within her broke his attempt easily, and left him panting for breath.

    She then stepped outside the circle full of arcane symbols, passing through the wards with no apparent difficulty- a feat that had someone in the background gasping, and grabbed the presumptuous mortal by his throat, savoring the Terror he felt at her casual dismissal of him and his attempts to bind her, and the obvious threat to his life.

    He changed his tune quickly after that.


    "I, uh, greet you, oh great demoness, in the name of my brethren. How might this gathering serve you and our masters?" his face was now pale, nearly white, and she somehow knew it to be due to fear more than exhaustion from his failed summoning and binding attempt or his diminishing air supply. Sweat seemed to collect on his brow, as he looked at her like a slave hoping to not have displeased his masters. Noticing her dark satisfaction at his fear, she quickly dropped him, as if she found herself holding a snake, where he collected himself, and rose, bowing deeply. His 'brethren' kneeling in supplication.

    'At least here, of all places, I am accepted; these people won't be chasing me down screaming abomination. And to think, I had wanted to open an inn, once-just another dream destroyed by the forces of hell, who would want to rent a room in the "Lonely Demon Inn-with a special attraction, an actual demon" anyway?'

    It was then that she recognized that she noticed the fresh blood and the corpse of a young woman to the left, clearly a sacrifice in the ritual. 'That girl, she looks so similar to me, same shade of hair and age.'


    No thoughts followed it, as at that point she found herself moving, and soon the lead cultist was dead, impaled on her now changed, much more demonic looking right hand, which seemed to have been covered by the red scales completely, and had sharp claws on it.

    She pulled her now bloody, misshapen arm from the chest of that man, strangely unconcerned about him, and turned her gaze to the other cultists.
    One of them gulped, and spoke. "We dedicate ourselves exclusively to your service, Mistress."

    Leah knew it was petulant, but she really wanted to be a normal, regular innkeeper somewhere far away at that moment. 'Home, right…' some sarcastic and pleasantly human part of her mind seemed to say.
     
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 3
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 3

    Leah ordered to be shown the quarters of the now deceased cult leader. 'A comfortable looking bad, study with some books, pretty cozy for a deranged psychopathic lunatic.' And ordered the man, the one who proclaimed this group dedicated to serve her, to take the role of leadership for now, while the others were to proceed with their activities, and not bother her unless there is something urgent.

    'That designation of a leader among them in my name is likely to have disrupted whatever succession plan they had, and gave some a reason to oppose some of the others, as benefiting or suffering from my attention, as well as a leadership figure-and thus somewhat return to whatever passed for normalcy among them-little less chances for them to decide to rebel against me-How do I know it?'

    Leah knew that this group was likely filled with murderers and madmen, whom the old her would have shunned, but she was changed now, somehow made demonic, and she wanted to understand it, herself and her power-the one that she had for as long as she could remember, just what was it, and how to harness it, beyond whatever her mother thought would be useful to teach her-Leah knew now, beyond doubt, that it was of demonic nature, but not enough about it. So that she would know better than fall into another trap, believe in another lie, so that she will control and master her now demonic side, rather than have It control and master her. So she could make sure to never end up bound against her will, never become powerless or serving the demon that destroyed her ever again!


    And for that she needed knowledge, understanding of the demonic and its lore-of the kind that only those tainted would have.

    That she had no place of her own, no home or family, and was alone and lost, starved for company, to be around people-so as to not feel as alone-and only these 'people' would accept and provide her companionship-that was the main factor though.

    And so she closed the door, and labored until she could find how to sit at the study table with her tail and all, trying to come to terms with her newfound situation, to collect herself and rest a bit, before tackling the books again, just like in the Old Times.

    That thought brought sadness to her. And thoughts better left alone.

    XXXXXXX

    Rivers of lava flew from beneath her, between them small islands of charred earth under blood red sky; men in tattered clothing were bound to poles, screaming in anguish and terror, tormented by demons. And She found herself compelled to come closer, as she did, one of the demons turned to her, and seemed to bow, as it spoke. "My Lord…"

    Leah woke fast after THAT.

    She found herself still on the chair, apparently having fallen asleep.

    Weary of falling asleep again, and finding herself strangely refreshed, she decided to examine what unholy writings the cultists had there, hoping to learn something, anything, useful.
    'The black ceremony, huh, well, it's as good start as any…'

    A few hours later she found herself unsure if she should be disgusted or impressed. There was knowledge in these tomes, one that added to the horadric texts she studies with Uncle Deckard and complimented them. But it was of disturbing and gruesome nature, and full of unholy suggestions.

    She had yet to see direct practical applications to her situation though. 'And that’s just the part I need now', she gazed at her still monstrous right hand.
    A knock on the door, and a fearful voice. "M-mistress? I w-was called to a-ask you to attend the vessel possession ceremony, if it pleases you.

    She stood so fast that the backrest of the chair was nearly broken by her tail, and it took her a few moments to pull it off when it stuck on one of her tail spikes.
    As she did, she got to the door, and in as commanding and condescending a tone as she could muster, replied to the cowering demon cultist.

    "Lead me there at once!"

    He did, and she followed.


    She entered the main chamber of the manor, the one where she was summoned before. And it was so strange a thought, that she was now a demon enough to be summoned in such ways.

    The cultists stood in a circle, while the one whom she nominated leader was standing before a submitting cultist with haunted eyes, a spike in one hand and a hammer in the other.
    She saw as it was hammered into the man's spine, then another, and a third.

    Yet there weren't any signs of agony and pain that she expected, nor blood.

    She felt the corruption in him increase though, and the attracted demonic spirit.

    One that has inhibited him, but was yet to take control.

    After the macabre ritual ended, she approached the alter, tail moving from side to side, and commanded the leader.

    "Have the vessel brought to my rooms in tent minutes. And refrain from repeating the ritual for now. You!" she addressed the one who guided her here, "come with me."
    She was uncertain, but the passive possession of those vessels intrigued the scholar in her, it could be a hint about her power, and even her humanity, of what she had left.
    As soon as they would reenter her study, formerly belonging to the dead summoner who dared to try to control her, she would question the one who followed in her steps about that phenomenon.
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 4
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    The Cultist was very helpful in his explanation, eager to be of service. Leah feared her questions will reveal that she wasn't a true demon, and ignorant of their ways. She intimidated him into keeping silent about her questions, should others ask, when the 'vessel' knocked on her door and asked for entry, in a passive, tranquil and emotionless tone.

    The cultist was apparently glad to leave her presence, as he all but ran when she dismissed him.

    The Vessel was emotionless throughout their conversation, as she asked him about how he calls the demon to take an active role, if they could communicate, the physical transformation undergone when the demon takes command, the degree of awareness, and even control of the human…

    At the end of her questioning, she thought that it was helpful, but not enough, and as a glance at her own form brought an idea, she steeled her nerves, 'he gave his body to a demon willingly he is damned already, he gave himself willingly-he is damned already...' She ordered him to demonstrate his demonic transformation.


    The result was a misshapen form, with some of the man's features in it.

    After a brief minute during which she examined the transformed creature before her, and it observed her, it spoke in a low masculine voice.
    "How may I serve, my lor-You are NOT the Lord of Terror! Who are you, preten-!

    The demon never finished his cry of outrage, as he was interrupted by a panicked Leah shoving her clawed, lightning covered hand into its chest.

    As she tore her hand out of it, and the charred, smoking corpse fell; she looked at her right hand, previously misshapen into a red scaled, clawed muscular limb, now also surrounded by a weird feeling and red lightning that seemed to fizzle out.

    She took a few calming breaths and wiped her hand of blood on the dead man's pants, just as someone at the door begged entry.

    "Enter." Leah tried to say as condescendingly as she could, hoping to maintain her image as a dangerous demoness they must not disobey.

    "Mistress? What happened here? We heard shout-ing", while the first part was with some worry, the last word was ended in a different, slow and stunned tone, as he just saw the dead vessel on the ground, this time the hole in its chest not only bleeding, but also charred.

    "This one dared to argue with me. He thought he knew best." Leah tried to make the last sentence mocking and insulting, and thought she managed so quite well.

    The cultist was about to say something, maybe comment on the docility of Vessels, but glanced at the one before him, and thought better of it.

    "As you command. Anything else, Mistress?"

    "Yes, I need to leave the building, soon, while hiding my presence from the general population. How feasible is that?"

    Surprise flashed before him, before he answered.

    "As this used to be the hunting manor of a noble who thought to make use of us to kill his rivals, and have us killed, but discovered too late our wrath, the surrounding grounds are relatively unvisited of people except us and the occasional villager at daytime, you are unlikely to be seen at night by those not part of our order.

    She dismissed him, and as the men dragged the dead and closed the door behind them, tried to use what she concluded from her chat with the cultist and vessel, as well as her observations and ideas from having read the books, especially the 'Treatise on Demonology'.

    After trying different things for hours, she closed her eyes, and tried imagining the change of that possessed man, and then it's reverse. As she did so, a strange feeling coated her right arm again.

    Excited by the possibility of progress, she tried to memorize the feeling as she focused on it.

    When she opened her eyes, her hand was once again humanlike below the elbow.

    Leah didn't feel exhausted, and avoided sleeping –as she was weary of nightmares where demons talked to her. While she spent the entire night and the next day she had learned how to switch her right hand between its humanlike and demonic forms, attempts to affect any other parts of her body seemed not to work into the human direction, and she simply refused to experiment with trying to assume a more demonic for on any other part of her body.

    Attempts to call back that red lightning seemed to require intense emotion on her behalf, and even than all she managed is a small fizzle.

    Her left hand proved the same as the right one, minus the red lightning thing-it had no reaction at all to attempts of manifesting it.


    With some progress on the issue of her form being a confirmation of that she just might regain her human one, someday, and lack of anything more useful in the dark books in the study she occupied, after finishing some of them, and skimming through many of the others, having spent the better part of the day on that, she decided it was time to see about the less physical aspects of her form-many demons could use lightning, fire or some magics, and some could even call undead or vile beasts and lesser demonic creatures to their command.

    'I will not be as powerless as I was when Mother betrayed us all. Even if I must call on these parts of my new heritage, I WILL NEVER BE BOUND HELPLESS AGAIN, I will NEVER return to THAT HELL.'

    She remembered reading about the Coven Cultist that took control of the Goatmen, and intended to use them for a conquering army that would allow him to dominate the world, shortly before leaving Tristram. Leah wondered if there were any nearby, and smiled in a way that would have worried any cultist were they to see her at that moment, as she remembered their viciousness. That was a target she would have no guilt over whatsoever.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 5
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    The current dwellers of the Mansion seemed nervous, but none denied her leave that night.

    When she finally got outside the manor, the familiar woods she found herself in brought memory of better times…the times when she used to travel with her uncle.

    Leah walked into the depths of the woods, to both shake any Cultists who might be spying on her and go away from their gaze into privacy, and because she was finding her gradual acceptance of their company, and even their submission and false modesty, which would probably only last till they figure she is not a powerful demon lord, and try to oppose her- by either banishing or enslaving her, or summoning another demon, that will do it for them, or worse-alert Him to her presence…

    She felt somewhat strange without her bow, but such a weapon would be out of place for a demon, especially one such as her. So it was decided to go without one, for now.

    As she went deeper, and tried to sense her surroundings, she eventually stumbled on her first Goatman. He appeared to be eating something she didn't recognize, nor wanted to.
    Gladdened at the chance-she surveyed her surroundings again. Satisfied at finding no human presence nearby, Leah tried casting her will forward, at the Khazra.

    It seemed to only agitate the creature. As he turned his attention to her, he seemed uncertain, as he saw her horns, but as she pushed her frustration into her attempt, he picked up a weapon, and charged at her.

    Remembering a metal door, torn from its hinges, she transformed her hand into the scaled, demonic form and tried to capture his axe mid-swing. Unfortunately she was inexperienced in that kind of things, and failed to grab the weapon.

    She discovered that the demonic scales were quite sturdy, as the axe, swung with the considerable strength of arm of a Goatman, failed to pass through them, and only left a faint mark on some of them. Both she and the Goatman were surprised, but Leah recovered faster and did her best attempt at making the clawed arm into a fist and with all her power punched him in the snout-where a nose would be.

    Apparently her strength, at least of the transformed arm, was something greater than she first thought, as blood poured from the Goat face, and with a surprised 'Baah' the creature fell. Second check confirmed that he will never rise again.

    A few hits on nearby log confirmed inhuman strength. 'A punch like that would kill a man, what other physical influence did my body undergo that are yet undiscovered?' Still, Leah felt it was too close, and decided that next time, she will try to defend herself from a distance-it seemed common among demons to have some magic ability…

    So when she spied the next Goatman, she tried to use what she learned from the dark grimoires the cultists had, and …nothing happened.

    Once again she found herself forced to use her arm to kill the creature in melee distance, rather than dispatching him from afar.

    Leah did not get to far in her attempts to control the Khazra either, though she found herself capable of agitating them, and one such agitated Goatman ended up attacking the closest thing to him, being another Goatman.

    She also learned that she could charge targets with a burst of speed akin to a horse cavalry at least.

    She found a surprising concentration of Goatmen near a caravan, and this time tried to discourage them from attacking her.

    As she drew closer, they appeared spooked, and ran away to different directions.

    The Caravan was empty, and looked still partly untouched, with goods on it, but there weren't any people nearby.

    Pleased to have SOME progress with her experiments with the power she now had, and deciding that she walked deep enough already, Leah tried to return to the mansion.

    Cxcxcxcxcxcxcx


    Back in her, now familiar room among the cultists, Leah set to rest a bit, and indulged in the fruits the previous owner kept hidden in a magical box that was nearly freezing cold inside.

    While it kept the edge of hunger away, she still felt like something was missing, something without which this could never be more then light dessert or appetizer, something…more.
    It was as she sat there, half eaten apple in hand, trying to relax and replenish her will and strength, before the next step in her new existence, like a brief pause in a long, arduous, tiring journey, that someone knocked on her door.

    A fearful voice called. "M-mistress? I w-was called to a-ask you to attend t-the sacrifices in your h-honor, if it pleases you."

    Leah was taken aback by the declaration, and the knowledge turned the fruit in her mouth bitter.

    She returned the half eaten apple into the box; closed and hidden it under the bad, as she rose to see what that was about for herself.

    Cxcxcxcxcxcxcxcxcxcxcxcxcxcx


    As she approached the Main Hall, there was chanting, and at her entrance, the Cultists sang to their knees, all beside the leader, and he gave a speech about their sacrifice to appease her.

    She saw at the center some people, their hands tied and mouths gagged, runes inscribed in what she suspected to be fresh blood. A bloodied corpse lain in a corner.

    Soon the chanting increased, getting faster and louder, as the leader approached the man, and stabbed him in the stomach with a ritual blade.

    As the victim screamed in pain, the head priest of that unreal looking unholy priesthood dedicated to her dipped his finger in the freely flowing blood, and tore the man's shirt open, inscribing symbols on his chest, as the victim screamed through his gag, before stabbing him again, in other part of the body, and a third stab into his heart.

    For some reason Leah felt that dull sense of hunger the fruits failed to quench slowly disappear, as though being satisfied. As though she was nourishing from the act.
    She was too surprised by it to do anything as another man was given similar fate, and this time, actually felt his Terror, and how it left a sweet taste in her mouth, better than any fruit she had ever tasted. That alarmed her.

    Next was a woman, a mature blonde with western features.

    She too, was cut, only this time it the tip of the sacrificial dagger followed the bloody smear of runes on her exposed chest, and followed by multiple cuts and stabs, more than the men received. In a gruesome fashion that would have left Leah too disturbed to do anything but stand, shocked, had she witnessed it before her mot-, NO, Adria's betrayal.
    The experiences after didn't prepare her all that much either, though.

    She focused on the woman, both her attention, and what demonic senses she had now, and felt the fear of the dying woman, who seemed to lock eyes with her at that moment, and the fear Leah found herself feasting on intensified, just as the woman received the death strike.

    At that moment Leah felt sated and refreshed, empowered more than she remembered feeling ever since finding herself summoned into the Mansion.

    It felt indescribable, so great and satisfying that she felt a primal urge to voice her pleasure, and found herself doing just that, roaring in an animalistic way, producing sounds no human ever could, and some voice in her head seemed to add 'as if she devoured the woman's soul', though Leah was very uncertain of it. She was not certain of anything at that moment.

    And then the leader of the cultists, the on orchestrating the ritual, with a look of pleased glee on his face, announced that this one will be special and approached the last target with an obvious intent to do even worse- a boy, of about fourteen years, gagged and bound as well, who looked at her roaring, horned form with delicious panic and horror filling his eyes.
     
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 6
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    She wanted to feast on his sweet Terror, to nourish herself on his soul as he would be consumed by the Hells, to have him howling in pain, tortured and anguished, while she defiled him down to his very essence and- what was this whispering voice? 'Uncle?'

    The Demonic terror that was Leah felt the intoxicating feeling of the unholy darkness and fear pleasantly warming her inside, yet at her core, she felt cold.
    For a moment there, she lost herself and became just like Him, repeating the cycle of Corruption and suffering, and death.

    She gazed again into the eyes of the sacrificed boy, and saw her fleeting humanity, both now and as Adria did the same to her, as He possessed her.

    The gleeful malice-obvious in the faces around her, even those who she felt somewhat sympathetic before, even a little, turned them into ugly monsters.

    They were just like Mahgda, just like Adria! And were about to make her the same!
    The Demon that was Leah felt her fury rise, mostly human now, and yelled.

    "Stop!"

    The cultist leader stopped, blade near the boy's nether region, as all around motion and chant stopped and silence reigned.
    Leah felt all her frustration with her new self, the angry attack of the man she dug out before her summoning, her current company, and her WRATH grew, and grew, and in what she felt to be minutes, but was merely moments in reality, burst forth!

    Beneath the cultist leader, in a form of a column of hellfire, that burned him to the very bones, until a burning skeleton remained, still holding the ritual blade.
    Flames appeared at her feet, and snaked, like serpent in the desert, towards the cultists to her right, in what she soon realized was an unconscious guidance from her, burning them to death as a normal fire, this time.

    Looked at it in fascination, not really believing that it was her action that called for that Firestorm.

    An enraged shout was heard, as a demon vessel transformed and charged at her, and she tried to repeat the instinctive firecalling, successfully unleashing a firestorm at him as well, though this time, her target survived, and got close to her, flames still burning his misshapen form.
    She charged to her left, claws impaling one and soon tearing another, on both hands.

    As she slashed across the throat of another cultist with her claws, and he fell to his knees, bleeding, and another that tried to strike her from behind got a spiked tail to the face, the force making him fall, and the puncture by now bloody spike making him die. She sent another firestorm to her right, and then another, as she heard fighting nearby.
    As she unleashed more of her WRATH, another pillar of hellfire burst under a cultist, burning him fast to smoldering red skeleton, which then proceeded to send what she thought to be Firebolts at others from hands that glowed orange.

    a look at her back confirmed that the former leader was now a skeleton too, stabbing cultists and demons they called to fight for them with the very same blade he performed the ritual, and another corpse walked and punched them, on closer inspection appearing the man, previously sacrificed to her.

    Leah kept sending firestorms, which she thought she got the hang of now, and tearing her former comrades between her claws, the retaliatory strikes feeling like minor irritations on her scaled body, even when actual knifes and staves were used.

    Soon the cultists were killed, and the room only had her and the worryingly increased number of undead, now walking around aimlessly, and the utterly terrified boy that she… rescued?

    The way he cringed and tried to slither away in panic as she approached him felt as if someone punched her in the gut, in her normal-was it even still normal for her? Human form. She stopped cold.

    The towering pillars of hellfire flame seemed to go out, as their fires got back down, and into the ground, from which they erupted. The skeletons fell into heaps of bones where they stood, as did the walking corpse.

    Leah heard only the panic of the boy amid the background of burning mansion, and some fighting in the distance.


    She knelt before the now cornered boy, tali wagging for side to side, and in as nice a voice as she could asked.

    "Will you be quiet if I release your gag and bonds? DON'T LIE!"

    The gagged boy furiously nodded yes.

    The girl took the gag off him with her now human hands, and commanded.

    "If you want to live, you will come with me."

    The boy looked around them, to the burning room, and the destruction, the corpses the monsters that captured and killed the others, and the biggest monster of them all, the one that saved him from one horrible fate, only to have him follow her to another.

    If he were older, more wise and knowing of life in general, and demons in particular, he would have refused. If he had any courage left, he would have refused even in his age, after seeing Her wrath. If his father were around, he would have told that death is better than serving such a monster.

    But the kid was you, he was numb and hollow, too tired to be brave, righteous, or even caring, and just avoided what looked like a very painful death. He was alone, no parents or anyone else remaining. He felt beyond caring, and really didn't want to argue with the demon before him.

    Again he nodded.

    As Leah finished untying him, and held her arm human, inviting arm to him, he grabbed it, and with leaning on it, stood up.

    As the left the room slowly, walked to the main doors, and beyond them, the sounds of fighting intensified, until they saw the reason the manor seemed empty, outside the ritual chamber- all the guards seemed to have rushed outside, where they were under attack and soon overrun by dozens of Goatmen, none even noticing the Demon and the Boy walking away, as flames were consuming the Mansion that was the cult's base.

    "What is your name?"

    "T-Timeon."

    "I'm Leah."
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
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  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 7
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    And so, the boy and the demon, who had saved him from the gruesome death for unknown purpose, and uncertain fate, after all but bathing in the blood of his dear companions, tracked in the dark woods in the late darkness of the night. The boy might've thought of escape now, but after what seemed like walking in circles, with only the strange demon seeing anything farther than the tip of his nose in that darkness, he reconsidered, remembering IT's wrath against its followers before, and not wanting to draw it's ire.


    They walked for some time, and only after the fifth stumble behind her, did Leah realize that her new companion might not be as fine as she first thought.

    "Is something wrong, Timeon?" she asked him as gently as she could.

    "Nn-nothing's wrong!" he tried to assure her, and if it were under less dire situation, she would have laughed at his hurrying reassurance, and the way he addressed the air before him, rather than her direction. 'I'm a fool! He can't see anything, can he? My sight must have been affected, and I didn't see anything strange about it at all-when will my very body stop betraying me with all these surprises?! And his stuttering isn't just from his near slaughter by the cultist either, is it?'

    Somewhat discouraged by her revelation, she nonetheless grabbed the lad's hand, and spoke to him, the way she had seen mothers speak to their children, when she was much younger, and wondered the street and wondered what it would be like to actually have a mother. The way she has heard older sisters talk to their much younger brothers. And she tried to keep her disappointment from it.

    "Now, just walk forward, and hold my hand, I will guide you by it and voice, just try to not turn to your right too suddenly. And don't worry, as long as you are with me, I will protect you."


    After walking in what the boy felt like an utter darkness, with the occasional owl, and sometimes something else calling in the distance, for an indeterminate length of time, Leah warning her companion of what was right ahead or under his feet, they finally reached their (her) destination.

    'I knew it was here, somewhere…'

    Leah was about to comment, before remembering that her companion was unable to see, and would not appreciate her words, being, most likely, the last survivor of the owners of that cart. She wondered if the woman was his mother, or maybe a much older sister? Was one of the men his father, or maybe brother? And to have his family brutally killed in front of his eyes-and all done for her and in her name.


    'No! Enough brooding! I will not brood, not now, and not later! As uncle Deckard once said, one step after the other!'

    She looked around for a method to illuminate their surroundings, when suddenly she came up with the idea.

    'Why didn't I think of it before?!'

    Leah released the boy's hand after telling him to stand still, part of her anguishing over the empty, hopeless expression she saw in the dark, as he seemed to tense, and brace himself for something, even as another part was pleased by the tasty little fear, that still lingered in his tired form.

    She broke a branch from a nearby tree, and focused on her powers-the demonic magics she instinctively performed when she fought in that mansion. When she was torn between human desperate fury, and demonic unholy, sadistic wrath tearing her into different directions as hellfire flowed in her veins, and uniting her into one purpose simultaneously. Feeling less consciously human than ever before.

    The branch exploded into two burning pieces, one still in her hand.

    The other on the ground.

    Trying not to be discouraged, she broke another branch, and tried again, this time the guiding instincts succeeding in her goal-the top lit on fire, like a torch, leaving the rest untouched. Though she felt its drain on her, in was a miniscule one.


    Under the improvised torch, the boy-Timeon, looked at her, and turned away, gazing aside.

    Leah felt exasperated more than anything, but had to ask- "Am I really that repulsive that you avert your eyes?"

    "I-it's not l-like that! I-it's just that…well…you aren't decent! NO, no, you are! Only if you want to be! I mean, you aren’t wearing any clothes-and your bre-chest, chest! It's exposed."
    Leah took a moment to take that in, as she noticed the blush on the boy, and blinked. Twice.

    Then she looked down, on her exposed, unnaturaly colored chest. 'It looks slightly bigger than I remember having as human.'

    A raven was heard somewhere in the distance and its call seemed to mock her.

    She felt her own cheeks heating, as a voice in her head seemed to whisper that she was fine with it before, just like a true demon. She didn't even think of it then.
    Leah did not panic! She walked calmly to the cart, and rummaged for a woman's clothes, calmly, not nearly dropping her torch in haste to cover herself!



    They took what useful supplies remained there, and untainted by Khazra, beasts or otherwise.

    Luckily some of it was food rations. As well as women's clothes.

    As they walked, their salvages packed in bags on them (and Leah found it a challenge to find a comfortable way to carry it all, without it touching any of her spikes) Leah found a cave, as the sunrise seemed to be near. It appeared an abandoned wolf den, and she noticed animals kept their distance from her now, even wolves shying away.

    So she decided it would be the place they would spend the ni-day, well sleep, or at least try to rest, before continuing, speaking of which-
    "Just where are we anyway? The summoning of those wretches left me disoriented about my current location."

    Timeon answered without the hesitation and fear from before, and Leah chose to take it as a sign that she could have a true companion and friend in him, though the voice in her head maliciously whispered that it could have been merely exhaustion.

    "We are in the kingdom of Westmarch, a bit to the east of Kingsport."

    "Westmarch!" 'I was in westmarch all that time?'
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
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  9. The Grim Squeaker

    The Grim Squeaker Squeak, bitch.

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  10. warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    finally some comment.
     
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 8
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    They have traveled for days afterwards, only moving at night, under the cover of darkness. Refraining from walking on the road when they stumbled on it, the two got to know a bit about each other.

    She didn't want to ask him about his family- suspecting them dead, the sacrifices the other night, or to talk about hers-either the Uncle, or the mother. She tried to bring the reluctant lad out of his shell of passive hollow obedience, and talked a bit. The demongirl did learn that he was traveling to Kingsport, and wanted to travel and see the world once. She, in return told him that she traveled once, and spoke of some of the places she was at-he seemed to perk up just a bit when she told of Caldeum, Lut Gholeim and Westmarch Capital, and show just the slightest hints of a frown at the mention of cities in Khanduras.

    Leah was weary of, and at the same time, glad to-finally go to a settlement. Though the memory of her first encounter since her freedom burdened her, she did not want to be alone again, and the less said about her time in THAT mansion, the better…

    Not to mention their limited food supplies. Or the angelic crisis in Sanctuary. She still wanted to know just what THAT was about.

    She could've hid her tail in the particularly ugly dress that she found when she searched for anything useful, and took with her, if she tried really hard, and tucked the tail in, barely moving her lower body. She might've even tried to pass of her shoulder spikes as strange pauldrons of some sort, and cover her neck with a scarf. But no matter what bizarre and ridiculous combination of clothing she was to wear, even if demons were not known to put on clothes like that, she could do nothing about her horns.

    So Leah had little choice, but to sand her new companion, and hope he will remain such for longer than his first chance to run away with other people nearby.
    So when they ended up one night close enough for her inhuman night vision to spot the village, she gave the boy instructions, and some money she found in the cart they raided when first leaving the cultists.

    She instructed him to find out what he could about what was happening, and interesting gossip, and resupply for their journey, as well as get a map.
    While her optimistic side hoped for his return, the more pragmatic one hoped that if he ran, at least it would be towards a fate better than hers.

    When Tymeon entered the village alone, he was a bit scared, of what might be there-what if there were demons around? Or those strange angels that were attacking everywhere? And if there weren't? What was he to do? Should he tell them about a Demon stalking outside now? Would it make her came in vengeance on the village? Would it-no she, survive it? Would the village? Would he want either? He had nightmares about what these cultists did to Edna, and about what the Demoness did to them. Was about to do to him. 'What am I to do now?'

    He heard normal voices as he got closer-human voices! And Hurried to the village.

    He was happy, for some reason, to see militia guard outside.

    He told that he was with a caravan, but got attacked by monsters, and only he survived. How he hoped to continue to his uncle, who was rumored to have a good place in Kingsport. Tymeon didn't notice the tears as he told about it, thoughts on his family.

    The guard allowed him in, and he hurried to the tavern, where despite the late hour, he discovered was quite a crowd.

    The innkeeper gave him a discount (or claimed to have done so) and the boy was glad to lay in a bad, head on a pillow.

    Unfortunately only dreams were about the sacrifice-sometimes it was the bloody and brutal killing of Edna, sometimes of him. And sometimes it was that strange demoness, who told him to call her Leah, that would fail to stop, and do horrible things to him, to the cheer and chant of deranged faces around them.
    In one of the nightmares he even dreamed about being the cultist to do the ritual, as others cheered on him, and he was the one to kill Edna.

    In yet another, The Demoness turned on the one who did the sacrificing-and he discovered that it was him-with a corpse of his mother at his feet horrified expression and fear in her eyes, and a bloody dagger in his hand, as Leah turned enraged gaze look at him, and charged.

    Tymeon woke up, barely keeping himself from screaming over a dozen times, only to finally fall into exhaustion and restless sleep again.
    He bought food, and refilled his flask, and even 'got' a map, it even looked like a good one, though he knew little of maps.

    The boy also learned some interesting things, something about a hero named 'Naphlem' or something saving the capital from the rampaging angels…
    It was as he was about to leave, that he was stopped by an armored knight, with a strange emblem on his tabard- of what looked like an eye.
    "Halt there, boy! All in this village are to be subject to the inquisitor, even those passing through!"

    "Inquisitor?" Tymeon asked, he have never heard the word before.

    "The Inquisitor is a holy priest that will check for corruption- the angels descended on our world due to the sinful ways of Men, the inquisition will purge the Demonic influence and will strike the corrupt in its righteous anger! Only the pure shall remain in our fair kingdom. We will not be found wanting next time judgment is to be passed!"

    "I-I'm sorry Sir, but I must hurry- I got here in search for a cure to my ill mother, and I must get it to her before it's too late."

    The knight looked at him, and called. "Men, arrest him! I make sure to hear all about the newcomers to the village- you told a different story to the Innkeeper last night, and Lies are of the Demon Lord Belial-we must make sure of just how much tainted you are."

    A group of armored men, ones he did not recall seeing yesterday, swiftly took hold of him, his attempt to run away failing nearly immediately after beginning.
    As he struggled against their hold, something fell from his pocket.

    "And what is this?" The knight asked.

    Another of his men picked it up and presented him with the item.

    "Hmmm… This is a witch's Amulet, boy-Take him to the dungeon, the Inquisitor will want to question him very soon."


    When he was roughly thrown in, for a moment, Tymeon was not in a village, in the Magistrate's dungeon, but in THAT MANSION, waiting for his turn. He did not know for how long he was there again-back in the horrible mansion where everybody died… And then he heard someone calling, and shook himself.

    "-oy, hey boy, it's rude to ignore a girl that is calling you."

    As Tymeon turned to the voice- he thought he was dreaming, for a moment.

    It was a very, very pretty girl, covered in clothes that may as well have been torn rags, for all that they covered, and one of the only two other occupants of that part of the dungeon. He had to ask what she wanted- so he could do just that, and-he shook his head.

    "What do you want?" he asked the girl.

    "Wondered what terrible thing you did to get thrown in here."

    "What?"

    "These are the cells where they throw the heretics in-the man over there is a demon cultist, what did you do to get a cell here? It can't be for petty theft."

    "And what about you?" he asked the girl, feeling uneasy.

    His answer however was interrupted by more armored men with the eye on their tabards. Around half a dozen.

    They guided the three prisoners to the yard behind the magistrate's mansion, where a crowd was gathered, and stood a man in plate armor, clearly a warrior past his prime, with mostly grey hair, he had a shield on his left arm, and a mace on his belt.

    He also held himself more regally then the others.

    'Is that the Inquisitor?'

     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
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  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 9
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    "Sir Alistair, those are the accused of corruption and association with the demonic."

    The elderly man, warrior, whom Tymeon would have estimated as in healthy fifties, were he not pushed forth, stumbling, looked at the three prisoners before him with a clear distaste.

    "Name?" The Inquisitor demanded, addressing the alleged cultist.

    The would be cultist remained silent.

    "What is his name?" He asked the armored man to his side.

    "He refused to say, we found him trying to sacrifice one of the villagers in an abandoned shack at the edge of the forest to the east. A man went missing, and we searched for him. Ended up with his heart almost cut out. The cultist tried to run away, and draw a dagger, but we overpowered and subdued him. He has been silent ever since."

    The Inquisitor's features screwed in displeasure as he asked for a description of the sacrificial alter, and the room.

    "It was a church altar, probably stolen from somewhere, and there was a dead goatman carcass hung on the wall, open from neck to groin, with its insides splattered beneath it, and some humanoid figure with four limbs, with spikes at their ends, was painted with blood nearby. There were also remains of other people that we found buried in a shallow hole behind."

    "The limbs seemed bent like spider's, I think." Another commented. And received a glare from both the first speaker, and the Inquisitor.

    The Inquisitor addressed the criminal in question, in a deep, commanding voice, as a thin, mousy looking man in a corner was writing in a scroll.

    "You, who would not name yourself-stand accused of demon worshipping, murder and sacrificing to demons. What say you to these accusations, you slave of the Demon of Anguish? Do you deny killing the good people of this village, and who knows what other atrocities-in the name of Andariel?"

    It was only then, that the man, who spoke not a word since the guards first saw him, appeared to have words to say.

    His face twisted into an ugly rage as he replied. "Andariel? No, you self-righteous fool; She is nothing before my master! I am an envoy in the name of a power much greater. One beyond your imagining! I serve the Great Demon Na-Krul, and when he will awaken, and walk this world, the wake of horror that will follow will be so great, that the dark times in Tristram twenty years ago will be seen as a merciful reprieve! He will destroy the Prime Evils, and ru-"

    "We have a confirmation, and a confession-did you write it, scribe?"

    The mousy scribe nodded and replied with a "Yes, sir".

    "Then for your corruption and consorting with demons, as well as murders, I sentence you to death!"

    The now self-admitted cultist, who continued to glorify his demonic master, smiled gleefully and maliciously, as he suddenly gestured, and from his hand, a Fireball was launched and moving towards the one who condemned him, to kill him and his surrounding men in the explosion.

    Only to collide with the Inquisitor, who ran to the front, holding forward his kite shield, which suddenly started as if changing into a glowing white frame, with a cross symbol in its middle, and nothing else, and the very air around him seemed to be saturated with power, as if the heavens decided to show their favor, in what could be an Aura the man seemed to have around him, which seemed to lessen the fireball, as it collided with the shield.

    The next moment He charged forth, and in a swift move Tymeon only saw from that demon-Leah, that day in that mansion, was before the condemned, and struck with his mace.

    The man who was proclaiming the glory and power of his demon lord without stop fell dead, from the hit on his head, finally silent.
    The entire crowd was silent.

    "S-sir? Are you alright?" one of the men finally asked.

    The Inquisitor sheathed his mace into the belt, and the no longer glowing shield into his back.

    "Yes, Bartleby, I am well enough to proceed with the next prisoner. I may be getting older, but I am still a Paladin of Westmarch!"

    'A P-paladin of Westmarch?! Why did I pick that amulet up, what was I hoping for? I won't be able to get away from it now!' But Tymeon knew what he thought at the time he gleefully took the amulet. What he hoped to accomplish in his childish, ignorant, naiveté. He just hoped Leah won't take his soul to hell, after his own execution.
    "What of the other two?" The Inquisitor, no, Paladin, asked.

    "The boy seemed to be in a hurry to leave, and when we tried to question him, he dropped this. We found a witch's amulet just like that in the massacred farm, two weeks ago."

    "Yes, I remember that…" Sir Alistair frowned, as he looked at Tymeon.

    "The girl was found with a young man in the woods last night, and showed demonic traits when she tried to resist our arrest, the boy with her soon started panicking, and didn't know where he was, or how he got there."

    "Hmmmmm…" The Paladin approached the pretty girl Tymeon remembered from before, 'and who could forget her?' and gestured to her with his outstretched right hand. A glowing white ball of… something, appeared before it.

    "Do you know what that is, girl? This is a Holy Bolt! It can bring no harm to people, even healing and easing the good men and women it may strike, but no demon will ever find it anything but hurt and harm."

    The girl seemed to flinch as the man, and the globe of holy energy got closer, trying get away from him, and somehow, only now did Tymeon notice that her hands were bound behind her back, and her feet were chained, the chain meeting in the middle, and from there going all the way to the hands of the man who ordered him arrested, as if on a leash.

    As she got to the end of the chain, and the aging Paladin, on the other side, directly between her and the holder of her leash, and slowly getting closer, she started to panic.

    "No! Get away! Please get him away-you handsome strong man-you wouldn't let a pretty girl suffer, would you?" however her pleas fell on deaf ears, and as the Holy Bolt touched her, she shrieked, in a haunting, unnatural way no human could, as burn marks appeared on her arms where she tried to cover herself with them from the Bolt, and her form shifted, just a bit.

    And while her lovely young face was still panicking, it now had inhuman, red eyes instead of the previous pleasing blue, and a pair of small horns peaked at the sides of her head from her hair. Her chest actually got noticeably bigger, and the most noticeable of all- a pair of batlike, leathery wings spouted from her back.

    It was a form familiar to those who knew something of demons, and to those who only just heard rumors and tales.

    "A succubus!" The stunned Paladin murmured, his Holy Bolt disappearing- and the crowed of villagers around shouted for her death.

    'Am I to die here soon, together with a demon and a cultist?' a stunned Tymeon thought.

    Suddenly, bats flew to them, and started harassing the men, more and more appearing.

    They tried to shoo the flying pests away, or kill them, in some cases, one of the villagers yelled- "Smoke! It's smoking from the direction of the storehouse! It's on fire!"
    As most of the villagers ran to the direction of the storehouse, and the Paladin and his tried to rid themselves of the bats, a fog descended on them, making visibility, and even breathing, harder. A Roar was heard nearby, and a monstrous demon struck one of the men. A sickening crunch was heard as the man fell, to never rise again.

    Through the smoke, Tymeon thought he saw a shadow, with long horns, carved backwards, and spikes, as another man yelled, and gone silent.
    "It's hunting us!" One of the men fearfully exclaimed.

    The paladin called for order among the men, but another roar had them ignoring him in their panic, as another was silenced midsentence.

    Some ran away in fear.

    The smoke began clearing, however, and revealed more about the nature of the foe.

    It was Her, the demon Leah, looking as monstrous and terrible as the day he first saw her, as if reminding him, that despite her normal, casual words during their journey, she was anything but.

    Claws bloody and tail swinging from side to side, she called, in a surprisingly human voice.

    "Walk away please, I don't want to fight you!"

    The Sir Alistair paled as he saw her. And then seemed to lose himself.

    "No! You cannot be here! You are dead! They defeated you! They told me they vanquished you! They we marched into hell itself and slew you!"

    He then activated his Holy Shield, and Charged at her, in panicked fury, only to have her duck, and turn sideways. Her own blows were blocked by the shield, and when she sent a Firestorm, the flame that attacked him did no visible damage, while another of his men screamed, as he rolled on the ground, burning.


    "What are you waiting for? Help me! They wanted to kill you too, and would have already finished executing us both if not for that demon! They still might, if we don't escape now!" The girl-succubus? Called, breaking Tymeon from his shock.

    He swallowed, then nodded to himself, and hurried to her side, stopping just out of reach. "She is my demon- if you harm me she will kill you, just so you know!" He really hoped she believed his lie, as the claws she had in her current, winged form looked deadly.

    She looked at him incredulously, and then nodded her agreement.

    Tymeon looked around for anything sharp, and finding a sword, near a dead guardsman, took it and hurried to the side of the succubus.

    "You liar- I will get you from hell and drag you there! Don't you dare! I-"

    Whatever else she was, was left unsaid, as he interrupted her-"Turn around, I will cut at the rope holding you."

    As she reluctantly did so, he cut her bindings, trying hardest not to cut her as well, and with her arms released, both hurried to the chain leashing her, as a demon and paladin fought in the background, maybe for his life.

    Later, Tymeon would wonder at the irony of the Paladin Sir Alistair, probably intending to kill him, and the Demon, Leah maybe (hopefully) to save him (he did NOT want to think about other reasons she could have for charging in like that).

    The chain leash was found tied to a wooden post, and Tymeon was trying to think what to do, when the succubus clawed at the post, again and again, freeing enough of the chain to be untied.

    No longer bound, winged demoness slashed the last man yet to flee in terror or fall at his face with her claws, a moment later he after looking into her eyes he dropped as well. She next took flight, and dropped, with a leg stretched downwards, kicking the Paladin in the back of his head.

    "That's for burning me, you bastard!"

    Surprisingly, a groan was heard, as Sir Alistair tried, and failed, to rise.

    "Must we keep fighting? Let us leave without farther violence, and we will not trouble you anymore. Your men are all either ran or down; only you remain." Leah tried to reason with the man before her.

    "No…You are not Him." The Paladin seemed to exhale with some relief. "But I cannot allow you leave unchallenged either. To allow evil uncontested would be a betrayal of the last remaining of my oaths as a Paladin of Zakarum! I am to find demons wherever I find them."

    "But I cannot help being what I am, and would not have attacked you, had you accepted to talk, rather than attack right away. Am I condemned for being a demon?"

    "You ARE a Demon-by your very nature you belong in hell and will do evil, and tempt others to it! No matter how hard you might struggle against it, no matter how much you may dislike it, you are, by nature a corrupting force of evil. Just as I am a Paladin for the Light-we are who and what we are, and our nature will show through."

    He then moaned in pain, stopped his struggle, closing his eyes.

    "No! Don't you die on me! You hear me! Don't you dare die on me!"

    Leah ran to his side and crouched proceeding to hastily undo the clasps of his armor, now gaining red stains. Underneath was a red stained shirt, and under it was revealed a deep chest wound, one that seemed old, and reopened, with familiar claw marks, only bigger. At the back of her head she sensed the dark curse within the scar-a curse that reactivated in her presence after its dormancy-and the familiar feel of its power.

     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
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  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 10 - End of Act I
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Pits and rivers of flame, deep within the burning hells, where the very air feels as if on fire.

    A group of so called 'Heroes', come to bring about Terror's End, paladins radiating the disgusting Holy, sorceresses not yet corrupted, barbarians that think to turn their fear into rage and necromancers that actually summoned and controlled undead without falling to evil, Amazonian rogues of archers, and more…

    Coming to the very seat of His power to challenge Him! What impudence! They will learn…

    Few fall on the way, some more die against His demon lieutenants, a couple lose their nerve and flee. By the time the Demon Lord they seek is reached, they number considerably less. More fall against Him, a Brave Paladin, already singed from the fire attacks, Distracts Terror just enough to allow a companion the momentary reprieve to drink a healing potion before returning to the battle, only to receive the brunt of the next attack of displeasure of the prime Evil before him.

    The clawed hand hit with inhuman strength that is felt even through Plate mail, and ribs damaged, some sinister magic curse makes it hard to breathe. Everything aches, and the feel of holy energies around him dims and stifles, as if chocked. Resists the healing attempts.

    The man is swiftly evacuated through a Town Portal, the great battle of heroes against a great demon lord continues…

    "-s for freein me and finishing that bastard, he made feeding very hard in the villages nearby and almost caught be twice before, so I best take my leave now. Bye."

    With a supernaturally swift reflexes and speed that allowed her to avoid having her opponent bash her head with his shield, Leah rises and catches the dangling end of the chain, still attached to the feet of the swiftly lifting off succubus, halting her attempt to fly away.

    "Not so fast."


    They retreated into the forest, the succubus, wings stretching and folding, walking at the front, at the bigger demoness' insistence, like a leashed pet taken for a walk, and the boy at the rear, nervously turning to look if anyone was behind them.

    Tymeon wondered what they would have looked like, to someone looking, before fervently wishing that none will, that no one will see them.

    "Can we rest a bit? My burns hurt, I want to sit down!" the leashed demon complained.

    "Not yet, we are not far enough."

    "Do you know how painful Holly burns are?"

    The other demoness replied, the calm voice betraying none of the emotional turmoil the smaller demon felt within her.
    "I fought him."

    "well, maybe you heal better, or more resistant."

    Glancing at the boy, the demon in the middle voiced her agreement.

    "Fine, we will sit down for a bit."

    "…"

    "I take it you only Reverted recently…"

    "Reverted?"

    "The cry at the Paladin's death, the despair and anguish you felt upon hearing his words, the denial of his death. Your looting a coat from one of the men to cover your unclothed demonic form and cover your chest-the way you blushed just now. You used to be human, or think yourself as one, didn't you?"

    "I, how-talk, now!" Leah commanded, yanking at the chain that leashed the young looking disguised demon to her.

    "Sometimes Mommy and daddy like each other very much, and make a baby. If one of them happens to be a demon-say a succubus, maybe wanting to make a man lose his fiancé, or girl he likes, or just out for some lust… sometimes the human partner lives, and sometimes it results with progeny. The result is not always an outright demonic birth.

    "Sometimes, the newborn looks human but has the bit of demon in him, and sometimes they not only look like humans, or almost like humans, but try to act as if they are as well, and then, something happens, and they look like the other parent, and some of its demonic nature shines through- the kid looks more demonic, has some of the hunger of his parent demon."

    At the look the bigger demoness gave her, and the displeasure obvious in the movement of her tail, the smaller demon commented.

    "It is something rare, 'parently, and I never heard of it being any demon other than succubus… which you are clearly NOT."

    "Really…you better elaborate, and don't lie, I will know." A ball of fire appeared before her outstretched hand, as Leah's eye glow intensified briefly.

    The other girl swallowed, took a breath and continued.

    "That's the way it happened to me, honest! Only my Da apparently wasn't surprised- turned out my ma raped him when his girl was there, and then saddled them with me as a joke, telling him that she will be checking on me, and unless I'm there and fine, thinkin myself normal, she will kill them.

    "One day, well… let's just say that a boy wanted more than I was ready to give at the time, and ended up regretting it for the rest of his life- all minute of it… and I Reverted-or that's how I call it.

    "Next thing I got wings", she flexed her leathery, batlike wings, "Tail", she uncoiled her tail from her waist, where it was coiled like a belt, "and claws, as well as feelin as if I just sated an old hunger I didn't remember havin' , while the boy's breeches were down, and his lifeblood on my lips. i take it your story is something like that too…"

    Failing to spot the small fears and nervousness that were inherent in all but the best lies, Leah considered it, and the winged girl before her, for it truly looked like a young girl, wings, oversized chest and horns aside, still not out of her teens.

    In all her studies, both with Uncle Deckard, and after his…death…she has never heard of anything like it, and briefly wondered, if she was just not looking at the right books to find texts about such things, if it was a rare occurrence-what her new companion was telling, or if it was affected by the destruction of the WorldStone… 'I wonder if Tyreal knew of such offspring… I wonder what was the fate of such…'

    "What's your name, anyway?"

    "When I was still human, or thought myself one, I was called Liaza, it's as good as any name now."

    "What did they say was her crime?" Leah asked their third companion, who pretended not to eavesdrop.

    "T-they said they found her with a boy in the forest, that he didn't remember how he got there."

    "What did you intend to do to the boy, Liaza?"

    "nothing bad, just play a bit.."

    "Now you are lying!" Leah commented, feeling the touch of fear from the other girl when she uttered the lie and the wave of fear that followed after her own statement.
    "Just a bit of his lust and blood-not too much, nothing that will kill him- I'm as succubus-or half one, I need it! I need it like people need food and water! I can't help it."

    Leah nodded. And then asked…

    "Will you need something for the burns?"

    "I need to feed…hey, boy…Tymeon, was it-"

    "No!" the older girl replied, having understood what was about to be asked.

    "Fine, keep him to yourself…"

    "I w-what? No! It's nothing of that sort!" Leah spluttered her denials. Tymeon looked torn between embarrassment and mortification.

    "Suuuure, just remember that with your current strength you all too likely end up killing him by mistake, so maybe you better do it in human form."

    "Human form?" An intrigued Leah parroted.

    End of Act I
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
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  14. Threadmarks: OMAKE-DxD Demon
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    This is an OMAKE crossover snippet between a Leah of a similar situation (returned, demonic), and High-school DxD, please comment.




    Rias found herself thinking the same thought again and again. 'It was supposed to be like that'.

    "It is not just the theft of the Excaliburs and their thief coming here, I have more bad news. The Stray Devil known as The Stray Killer is suspected to be entering our territory soon as well."

    "Rogue Killer?" Rias asked, frowning. She never heard of that one before.

    "An as of yet unidentified stray devil who hid her human victims too well for us to even speculate, and has gained a recent reputation for murdering the devils tasked to apprehend her. She was reportedly with a short brown hair and hazel eyes, and the last report had her monstrous form to be both smaller and more powerful than is usual."

    Rias looked at her friend in the eyes, who replied to the unasked question with a nod.

    She decided at the time it would be best to deal with the lesser issue of the Stray before the bigger one of the Excaliburs demands all of their attention.

    Finding the Stray proved harder than usual, and it was only when her dear Issei mentioned something about Foreign Oppai, that they got a lead- a tall brown-haired foreigner with the boy saw just the other day, as he was going buy… 'stuff'.

    It was surprising how well the Stray kept herself hidden, no mysterious disappearances or deaths, no corpses or strange attacks. She even had a name in the human system- Leah Cain.

    But Rias knew it was her when she first laid eyes on her.

    They followed the woman for a few hours, and just as Issi started voicing his doubts about her being a Sray, the woman entered the forest, away from prying eyes. It seemed like she figured they were watching her. Or she was about to reveal, unsuspecting, her true heinous nature.

    "Come out, let's get this over with." The stray said. She did not raise her voice, but it still held some strange… command… in it.

    Rias stepped first, commanding the stray to surrender.

    It said nothing, and took the monstrous form.

    It had surprised the Gremory heiress, the smooth transformation into that form, gained after consuming the souls of humans, and the human one. It wasn't something Strays did.

    That would soon turn out to be forgotten in light of other surprises.

    The Stray angrily responded that she will never surrender herself again. And then the battle began.

    Kiba charged fourth, sword in hand, appearing as if from nowhere, but his speed and skill were countered by the four arms of the Stray ,when Koneko rushed in to strike from behind, the spiked, redscaled, dragonlike tail swatted her sideways with strength that was surprising for its size. White stalagmites, made of what looked to be Bone, in a smooth, circular shape soon rose from the ground around the fallen Rook, keeping her imprisoned.

    Her own amplifying spell was ready, and as Akeno shot her Lightning through it, expecting it to fell the beast, it revealed another trick. As it spat from its mouth a strange, Lightning Hose that not only countered their own, but overpowered it, striking at them, and not only electrocuting, but also burning like fire. Rias felt her entire body in pain from the duel assault as she fell to the ground.

    'Is she from a Pureblooded family? Is that burning lightning a trait of a Pillar family?'

    It didn't stop there.

    It seemed that the Stray got tired from fending off Kiba, as despite having four arms with claws that parried the demonic blade, as well as the spikes on the tail, his advantage showed finally, as he landed a strike on her scaled stomach, even if it was not as deep as he expected.

    And then the stray, instead of expressing the pain, or swearing vengeance, simply raised a, taloned red called, saurian leg and stomped.

    As it did, fireballs flew in every direction, in an expending ring from the stomp, and one exploded right in the face of her Knight, sending him flying away.

    … and apparently another hit the Bone Prison holding the Rook, with Koneko uprooting trees and launching them forward before her charge.

    Just as she ducked the first one and turned towards Koneko's direction, swatting the second, using both limbs on her right side to push it to the left, only to get a punch in the face from the little girl that was flying right behind it that threw her into the ground. The beloved Pawn finally shot his Dragon Shot, after boosting it.

    It was at that moment that Rias Gremory released her breath in relief, that the Stray was finally down and they looked to start winning, that a chilling sound was heard from amidst the dust Issei has displaced in his attack, which still hid their target from view.

    It was not the pleasant voice of the woman at the start, but a guttural, barely discernible as feminine laugh. And it promised a terrible, agonizing fate.

    "I was imprisoned by Terror himself; I have Destruction in my veins and Sin in my head. A bit of Anguish is stitched into my soul. My skin knows well the touch of Hellfire. Did you really think your Dragon could destroy me in such a way? I Defied Him, and I defy you! Know that your souls will sustain my defiance, Devils."

    The woman stray was still injured, and was on fours, with her lower arms supporting her legs, like and animal, before suddenly, in a burst of speed suitable for a Knight, she appeared before Issei, and struck a clawed fist through his chest, exactly where a light spear hit , many days ago. The pain, caused the old memory to resurface for the boy, and with it the old fear.

    As he glanced into inhuma, yellow eyes, he saw pleasure at his reaction within them, just like Her, Raynare…

    "-top!"

    The monster on whose claws he was still dangling, turned looked at the source of the voice, the only one of their peerage yet to take part.

    Sweet, innocent Asia was wearing her Nun outfit, and in a soft voice begged.

    "Please, stop. Take me if you must, but don't hurt Issei anymore. I implore you, in the name of god." And then clutched her head, in pain.

     
  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 11
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    A woman chained, strangely familiar, crying as she is tormented, in a hell, agony and pain on her screaming visage.

    Around is only a strange fog, clouding the view, and an acrid, humid, feel, as in too close to a furnace, like near the fire in a hot, dry desert day, and a smell of sulfur.

    Approaching closer the similarity revealed fully- it is a woman that died in a hunting house, sacrificed by cultists to a daughter of Terror. The fog suddenly parts, as if by some
    intangible wind, revealing grey ash covering the ground entirely, and more pillars nearby, on each a person is chained, bleeding unstopping, all familiar.


    The cultist leader who first summoned her, with his successor, whom she killed on the pillar beside him.
    Every pillar has someone she killed, or was sacrificed to her name.


    Step back, and another, the third lands into something liquid.

    A turn of the head to look-it is a puddle she stepped into.


    The reflective surface shows a monstrous form, similar to the one HE took, according to what flashes of foreign memory remain. But also different, the feminine hips and chest more pronounced, less spikes, and the raging, demonic, burning yellow eyes hold none of Him.

    The Self is recognizing itself. A scream of horror starts in her mind, but what exits the throat is a demonic roar.



    Leah woke with a start. 'Every time I close my eyes and try to sleep, I have a nightmare of Hell for dreams.'

    Still, she rose, and looked at her hands. At her arms and legs.

    'Human again. For all the trouble she caused, for all the irritation her presence brought, the half-Succubus girl did help me regain my wholly human shape.


    Finally presentable again, Leah no longer needed to travel through the woods and keep from getting to close to roads or people.

    A stolen change of clothes from a caravan that made a night stop on the road allowed her to take Tymeon and travel on the roads, rather than waste time looking for ways to go around the various obstacles for a sneaking traveling demon.

    The few days spent having a girl younger than herself try to guide her in demonic skills and what Liaza called 'Demon common street knowledge', without really knowing how to teach, and with the talent that in some moments had Leah wonder if she even knew how to read, was a test of patience for all three of them.

    The innuendo thrown towards her and the boy all too often only made it worse, as the daily whining about the refusal to allow her to 'just take a bite from the little virgin- he won't die, won't even have any scars, honest!'

    And it was showing-the boy had dreams that disturbed his sleep as well soon after.

    Fortunately, within few days, Leah was back in the form she had THEN. Before HE possessed her, and before she even met that accursed witch of a mother.

    The Half-Succubus left the next day- claiming to go in search of less prudish companions. And to finally get a 'long overdue meal'.



    Tymeon was glad that the demon girl finally left, her presence unnerved him almost as much as the other demon girl, and for completely different reasons.

    He would much prefer the death and disembowelment by Leah, rather than whatever Liaza would think when she would look at him, with that unnerving smile that promised heavenly pleasure, and infernal Anguish.

    Even the nightmares he had changed, from the scenes of horrible death and terror by the former, to other, less violent, but more disturbing ones where to later starred, wearing less than she did when he first saw her, by much.

    For some reason, when they finally got into a town, the inn was closed.

    His companion behaved oddly human, and he himself would not have thought her a demon were he to look at her behavior not knowing what he knew (and he still was uncertain about the 'half demon' nonsense the Succubus spouted. Wouldn't someone have known of it, if it was true?)

    Apparently the inn keeper was among those who dropped dead for some reason, more than a week ago, and so it was closed.

    He wondered where they would spend the night, but Le-the Demoness, 'she is a demoness, a terrible vicious demon, under that cute human for-don't forget what she did, the cultists, the sacrifices!'

    The demoness stopped to ponder, and then a strangely worm smile slowly appeared on her face, as she turned to him and asked, in a sweet voice that reminded him of the other She-Demon, the one that left.

    "Tymeon, have you ever wondered what it would be like, to work at an Inn?"

     
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  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 12
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    It was strange-just how fast Leah got the town mayor to all but give her the inn, naming her successor to the dead and apparently unlamented innkeeper, citing that she seemed to be a good girl.


    She would have laughed at the irony if it weren’t so painful. A part of her wanted to cry at it instead.


    After re-acclimatizing in their new homes- the previous keeper's rooms, and unloading their meager possessions, Leah took to inspecting her new inn. And wasn't it a strange feeling-she finally got an inn of her own, even if it wasn't a roadside one, like she initially thought about.

    'Part of me really wants to rename it into "Demon's welcome"- for the irony and truthful lie of it. Or "Rising sun", like the tavern Uncle used to tell me stood in Old Tristram. Oh, Uncle…'

    Shaking her head, to clear her thoughts, she proceeded to see what would be needed, to reopen the place for business, and instructing Tymeon to help her.

    For some reason he seemed both quick and eager in his help, and anxious, even tense. He seemed particularly relieved when she sent him to help at the bakery for some bread, and other such errands-so as to earn their keep and foodstuffs to their inn.


    That night, when she woke up due to yet another nightmare, she took the time to walk the inn a bit. As she passed by the room of her younger companion, she overheard a strange moaning sound, which had her quietly opening the door and peaking inside.

    The boy was sleeping, and at first she thought he was having a nightmare, as well, wanting to comfort the poor suffering boy-who also was a companion, and the only one in the town who knew of her less than human nature. The fear she knew he still felt towards her sometimes, even if it felt like he was slowly getting used to her-absurd as it sounded even in her thoughts, was the only reason for her hesitation.


    However, his sleeping mumbling "Not the pants- I need my pants, miss", had her fast reconsidering, closing back the door as quickly as she could, while maintaining quiet, and hurrying away, blushing red.

    Leah decided that the best course of action would be see about remaining bottles of cheap wine, before tackling her nightmares again. Better yet, see if any strong drinks remained.



    Tymeon woke up with difficulty. He found his sleep troubled by strange dreams-part nightmare, about THAT Demoness.

    His would be mistress was nowhere to be found, and he found himself worrying that upon exiting the Inn that was to become their new Lair, he would find a burning or burned town, and dead or tormented people. Maybe with a horde of hungry succubae preying on it. Each step felt heavier than the last, and he could just imagine the hellish vision, awaiting him outside, not unlike the events of the now probably burnt mansion.

    His hand reached into his hidden pocket, as if having a mind of its own, and sought the secret contents of it.
    Still there.

    It was a very great relief to discover that it was not so, when he open the door.

    The boy walked the streets and the markets, an ear eagerly searching for anything useful to overhear, eyes wearily searching, wondering if any of the passersby was a demon in disguise, if any will reveal its unholy nature and lay waste to the town.


    From the gossip he overheard and questions he asked, he learned that the reason the town seemed half empty, was apparently due to attack by the strange blue angels.

    A strange cloaked newcomer with a gruff voice that bought food for the road and left again, was overheard calling them 'Reapers'. Tymeon thought that he spied a small crossbow under that cloak for a moment.


    He inwardly shuddered. He saw the handywork of a Blue Angel before.



    He decided that it was time to turn around and start the walk back to the Lair of his 'Mistress', when he spotted something familiar, and did a double take.
    'What one of those is doing here?'

    The glyph was subtle, looking no more than some scratch in the wall to the unaware.

    Tymeon knew better. It was him seeking that Glyph, which started him on the road which ended inside a cursed mansion, about to be sacrificed to a Demon.

    He now knew better, knew that he should turn around, walk away, and once far enough run-run back to the inn without stop. To never return to this allay.
    But he did otherwise.

    Tymeon walked closer, and looked around for the second Glyph, one that would point him towards the direction to go, to the next step on this road he found himself traveling again.
    He wondered what his mother would have said, if she could see him now.

    He flinched at the thought. And at the memories it awakened.

    His parents were dead, and he needed to focus on the task at hand.
    'Ah… here is the next one…'

    With trembling hands, Tymeon ran his fingers on the Sigil, as he tried to decode the massage, hidden in it.



    A stranger cloaked in brown, its face hooded, inspected the road, his instincts warning him of something dangerous, something 'wrong' nearby. It was a familiar feeling.

    "I have finally found you", the stranger smirked. It was not a nice smirk.

    Somewhere in the far distance, a raven called.

     
  17. Threadmarks: Chapter 13
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 13


    The paved streets were busy as usual for that time of the day, the market as full as the previous week, even if it wasn't half as much as it used to be, before the disaster struck, in the form of death and its blue harbingers.

    These people were unaware of the demons that walked among them.

    'Damn it! I look around and find myself imagining how this town would look like, in flames, of that annoying merchant, Laurence the cheapskate, burned and half eaten, his face forever locked in fear. How the marketplace would look, washed in the blood of the townspeople.

    Will I always be damned to be plagued by those visions, these ideas and wants?

    I hope that at least Tymeon is enjoying himself, and is in a much better place, better situation, than before.'


    "Yer the new lass, right-the one that came to take over the old miser's Inn, right?"

    The demonic girl once called Leah turned to look at the source of the voice, broken from her reverie.

    The speaker was an old man with a messy white beard, a head shorter than herself. He wore well used travel clothes of average quality, in the common brown color.
    "W- sorry, yes I am, and you are?"

    "Just an old man… coming to greet our new Innkeeper. After the recent disaster, it's been a downhill road for this town. The recent disappearances didn't help either. Maybe the successful reopening of that old house will prove to be the start of a change of luck for us."

    "Disappearances?"

    "Aye. The Mayor sent a letter to the Nephew of your predecessor , the lad was last seen by a caravan, reported on the edge of the woods, just a day from the town, only he never did reach us. Three days ago one of the hunters that frequent didn't return either, and the baker's daughter –a fine pretty maiden, gone as well."


    The old man got closer, and after a few shifty glances around, whispered to her.


    "They say the Darkening of Old Tristram began just like that, around twenty years ago.



    Sneaking through the back alleys of what was probably the worse district of the town, Tymeon wondered just how it was that he was walking on that particular path, again.


    The kids, two boys, were playing with a ball. While their first glances were suspicious, they soon saw no malice in him, and invited him to join their game. It was nice to play again, like he used to years ago. When one asked if he was with the new Innkeeper, the other frantically proclaimed that the place was cursed, that the two previous ones died, that the old miser who used to own the place killed the guests, greedy for their money, and after his death, his ghost still roams the property, killing any who would try to take away his inn, or lodge without paying him-how that was why his nephew disappear- he got into the town late, and went straight to the inn, to sleep the night. Only the Old Miser got angry, and the new guy never got to wake up. Why even some of the poor that were on the streets went sneaking in, to never return!


    Tymeon found their quick acceptance of him careless, he knew, saw first-hand, how demons could hide behind pretty face, and their worshipper- in plain sight. How even Angels could bring ruin on mankind.


    He found his hand in his pocket, reaching to his amulet. Again.

    Their ghost story didn't faze him though. No ghost could be worse than his Demonic Companion. And any ghost trying to harm him and his 'Mistress' -will get hell.

    While the spending some time with the other kids, or at least the ones who weren't doing chores, was a nice distraction, he found their company somewhat uneasy… childish…
    As he separated from their company, he found a mark.



    That Glyph, and others, led him, through encrypted clues, to a small, abandoned house, and its basement.

    He entered under the light of red candles. To a red robed crowd.

    He was surrounded.

    "Greeting, initiate, and welcome to our shrine of the Dark Lord."



    'stocks filled, rooms dusted, roof fixed. The inn is ready to be opened for business tonight! And not a moment too soon, its getting dark outside.'
    A pleased Leah nodded to herself, satisfied with the preparation completed.

    'I finally found a place to rebuild the life that HE stole from me. No curse will stop me-I will have my sanctuary!'

    "Now, that everything is ready, only Tymeon is missing."


    Just as the words left her mouth, the object of her quarry entered.

    Giddy with excitement at having something she wanted for quite some time-namely an inn of her own, at something going well after her 'rebirth', she cheerfully called to her younger friend.

    "Ready for our opening Tymeon? "

    At a lack of response, and not due to fear- she didn't sense any spikes of fright from him, caused her to approach him.

    The boy walked slowly, and his movements felt numb, his eyes were numb.

    Just like when she broke his binds, in that burning mansion, amidst bloodstained walls and corpses.

    "Whats wrong?"

    "Nothing…"



    Outside a cave, a cloaked figure lurked.

    Some torn clothes and clawed footprints led inside.

    "So this is where you made your stop, demon."

    The man reloaded his hand crossbows, rechecked his grenades, and said to himself.

    "Let the hunt begin."
     
  18. Vampirelordx

    Vampirelordx If your wondering what I like the name says it all

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    Oh is this the demon hunter from the campaign? If so I wonder how he'll react to seeing Leah again. And poor little guy, mind broken already.
     
  19. Jarudazuigu

    Jarudazuigu Sealed, for now

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    Little guy seem to be sort like mind-broken from the get go. And all those demon cultists? Why Daughter of Terror doesn't go medieval on their asses? Plus she should be able to sense demon magic on the stupid boy after he returned zombie like.
     
  20. warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    First, this is NOT the demon hunter from the game, its one of the other demon hunters from their order.
    Secondly, there is no magic on the Tymeon, demonic or otherwise-he didn't do any magic and neither did the cultists in his presence...
     
  21. Threadmarks: Chapter 14
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 14


    Onmund loved to eat and drink, everybody who knew him knew this. And after the events that left the town population halved-he got even more reasons to drink.

    He still saw blue winged nightmares reaping through people when he closed his eyes, all too often.


    So when the new Innkeeper, a girl, just barely a woman, reopened the cursed place, he of course gave his patronage-it would be a shame to not check the wine quality.

    He drank, refilled his tankard, and took another good gulp. And as he was drinking, and the girl passed drinks among the tables, he found himself feeling tired, his eyes getting more and more tired.


    Surely it wouldn't hurt anyone if he closed them. Just for a moment, just…one…momen…


    A sudden noise woke him. as Onmund blinked the sleep from his eyes an refocused, he saw the reason for the noise that woke him-now revealed to be screams, as grotesque creatures slaughtered through the people, that seemingly just moments before feasted and drank around him!

    A… winged, horned woman, wearing almost nothing but a tail was chasing a man, and caught him-one moment kissing him passionately on the lips, her hands seductively petting her scared victim, and the next he jumps, and closes his eyes, as a clawed hand penetrates his back, withdrawing bloody claws, that the demon than licks, as it is purring.

    On the other side a fat, short demon catches a boy and bites his head off.

    An undead skeleton fights against one of the town guards, wielding a rusty sword. It parries, dodges, attacks, gets hit between the ribs and stabs the poor guard, who falls disbelieving!

    As a man passes near a table, an ugly, scaled hands grabs his left leg and as he falls drags him, screaming and struggling-in vain, towards the table under which its owner hides, its form unseen in the dark. Soon the poor man disappears and his yells reach a peak, before going silent as red sprays the table and the floor nearby.

    Half the torches now longer on fire, creating shadows in which the darkness hides the horrors, while those that are still lit burn in unnatural intensity-their flame having growing greatly, and illuminate monstrous forms and disemboweled people, as the air fills with the stench of blood.


    Soon an even greater horror is revealed by those hellish flames.

    A big demon- Whose body is covered with red scales, spikes adorn the spine and a lizardine tail, and large horns curve from under red hair, thick, clawed arms seemingly out of place on a feminine face, and the eyes-Red and as terrible as the deepest pits of Hell, full of hatred and Hellfire.


    And that monster looks at him, and it smiles at it says something. The words are undecipherable, but he knows, feels it in his bones to be worse yet. As the Demon opens its fanged mouth again to speak, its claw reaching, Onmund finally finds within himself the strength to do something other than lay awaiting his turn to burn in this hell, and screams, trying to shake away the monster.


    "Sir, are you well?" a young voice asks him.

    As Onmund opens his eyes, and looks around, he sees that he attracted much attention, from the people, who ate and drank, just like before he closed his eyes, the guardsman still drinks, laughing, the boy eats a piece of bread and cheese, the man is no longer a bloody mess under a table, but living, leaning on the wall, and talking, tankard in hand.
    No sign for the demons, or any violence. As if they disappeared into the air.


    "Is something wrong?" the voice asks him again.

    As he looks at the hand that still holds him, and to its owner, he sees a young face- the girl who took on this cursed place, worry obvious on her features.
    "Just a dream, It was just a dream." He muttered, to himself just as much as to her.


    And just for a moment there, he could have sworn that the girl's eyes glowed crimson, and Hell reflected in her eyes-tormented souls screaming for respite. Before a blink and-gone.
    Onmund shook his head. He will not be returning to drink in this accursed place.



    Boom! He dodged the explosion, and shot another demon full of bolts, a fallen hat was rushing him, sword in hand, got a crossbow bolt into the eye for his troubles, and another grenade deterred another pack of trying the same- killing some, badly wounding most.


    His traps worked nicely, but the amount of demons in this cave surprised him-it was much more than the clues outside hinted at.

    'And there is no sign of whomever the clothes outside could belong to, as either remains or a cultist, nor any hint of the big demon I tracked.'

    Dodging a fire spell from the Shaman, he focused on it, and it took entire ten seconds to actually hit the Willy demon.

    Only more of these Fallen kept attacking, and his efforts seemed to do little against their seemingly endless numbers.

    With little time to spare, he threw his Chakram into their horde, and proceeded to arm a Spike Trap, Vaulting away from it at the last moment, barely missing a strike that would have hit him, as well as the springing of his trap.


    'They just keep coming. I need to finish the fight soon, I can't afford to drag this. Now how to…'

    Apparently he was too loud, as the fighting awoken the swarm of bats that laired in the cave, as the swooped from above and attacked him.
    'oh…ohahahaha.'

    Some rapid firing to guide the bats into the right direction-even if his trigger finger will hurt in the morning it was worth it.
    Next a Bola Shot into the bat to the left in about three, two, fire…

    A Smoke screen to make his escape as the cave started collapsing on them, and upon diving out he threw another Grenade upwards at the entrance to collapse it.


    As the Hunter rolled on the ground, came to stop and slowly rose, breathing hard, he inspected his handiwork.

    "Well, that took out plenty of them, and I think they will be leaving the cave anytime soon."

    as he reached for a water container and took a much needed gulp something still felt wrong about it all.

    'Of course- I didn't see a leader. A group that big, of such lesser demons, is unlikely to have been gathered here by themselves.'



    While not as grand as she hoped it to be at first, the opening of the Inn was not as bad as she feared. It seemed that many came to see it, though Leah found herself wondering, just how many came to see if the curse will strike her.


    And if this place, 'MY place, now', will keep attracting such a big crowd.

    She hoped that the world will stabilize now, as it usually seemed to be given respite between major demonic assaults, as the forces of Hell prepared for their next attack, just like it did between the fall of Diablo under the Cathedral in Tristram and the rise of the Dark Wonderer, or between his fall around twenty years ago and the recent falling Star-which started their 'adventure'.


    How loath she found herself thinking of it now.

    The death of her uncle.

    The betrayal of her mother.

    Her abandonment at the hands of Him by the Nephelem.

    Their refusal to accept Her lies as truth and belittlement as they fought Her at the palace in Caldeum. Their denial and defiance of Her conquest of the trading jewel of the desert. Her failure to eradicate that mistake of creation from the face of sanctuary as she tried to conquer the mortal world at Areat, and the humiliating defeat at their hands.

    'NO! THAT WASN'T ME! I AM LEAH, NOT Belial! Not Azmoden!'

    And she focused. Focused on containing her powers within herself, just like that TRAITOR of a witch that called her 'Daughter' taught her, to keep the demon Lords within the Black Soulstone.

    Blissful silence. A quick glance around showed that none paid her attention. No demons (or angels) appearing, no screams or any strange reaction. Only a forming headache hinting at the existence of her struggle moments ago.

    'Grin and bear it, only a few more minutes, and I will call Tymeon to replace me and take a bit of rest.'



    Author Notes: The tavern dream scene was based on the Diablo2 Intro cinematic, i was trying to convey a similar atmosphere. We also saw the demon hunter in action, and i hope the battle scene was adequate-writing those is awkward for me.
     
  22. Threadmarks: Chapter 15
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 15


    The atmosphere at the Inn seemed pleasant, people eating and drinking. Gossiping about this and that… cheerful…

    Tymeon found it sickening.

    'They do not know, cannot imagine, what is about to befall them. Just look at them. Happy and drinking! While demons and monsters walk among them-biding their time. This town is doomed and none of them knows it yet!'

    He set in a corner, brooding over the things the head cultist said to him, considering how it would affect his 'Mistress'-as he doubted those two forces will remain isolated from one another for long, and found himself dreading the outcome.


    What the meeting revealed had the boy worried, and part of him wondered just how his unpredictable 'Mistress' will punish him, for not reporting at once about his 'brethren' within the town.

    Memories, Images of her suddenly going furious and slaughtering her own cultist servants came to mind. Much as he was grateful for her rescue of him that night, he still had no clue what sparked that anger. And the constant pretense of humanity only confused him further.

    He wondered in that moment, how typical her behavior was among demons? And regretted his lack of participation in demon summonings as of yet, as it would have given him some shred of understanding otherwise.


    At that moment, Tymeon felt in his bones, a great darkness, rising. Malice and Sin, Hatred and the familiar Terror. An invisible flash of demonic power.

    He blinked, as he shook his head in attempt to clear it.


    'Than again, it is for the best that I haven't tried any summoning. Such power would swallow me whole and spit the bones. I would become from a demon summoner into demon dinner immediately.' He shivered at the thought.

    As he found clarity returning to him, Tymeon looked around, trying to see if anyone else noticed anything.

    An old man seemed to mumble and shiver in his sleep, as if from a nightmare-though there was a bottle at his table…

    A man, of duty guard by his cloak, was clenching the handle of his tankard too strong, alarm on his face, but he seemed to have dismissed the feeling.

    A woman, one of a group that drank and gossiped, looked dazed, and then turned and looked around, searching. She seemed oddly familiar.

    Any more musing, or acts on the matter were brought to halt, as a nearby patron called him, wanting more wine and recognizing him.


    As it turned out, Tymeon needed to open a new barrel. A mix fearful hesitation to call on his demon of a master to help, and a childish desire to not be needing help from a girl, no matter that he kept thinking to himself that she was really a monster, not the girl she appeared as, had him struggling on his own.


    The barrel was already in the kitchen so he didn't need to roll or carry it elsewhere, but it was closed tight. Too tight…
    So he struggled to pull it off, even tried using his legs to push, to no use…

    His fingers started going sore by the time he finally figured to look around for something to use as a toll to open the damn piece of kindling.

    When he returned to the customer and gave him his wine, the boy turned to look for the woman he was watching earlier… and felt as if his stomach turned.


    The woman was gone. A frantic questioning of the nearest person revealed that she left soon after he went to the kitchen.

    Tymeon felt coldness in the pit of his stomach at the discovery of this mistake by his Mistress. He wondered if she will finally end him.


    "Tymeon! There you are! Could you please take over the business for now? I don't feel too well, and I think I better take a bit of rest. Call me when its closing time."
    The initial call had his heart racing frantically in his chest. Only to calm at the following statement.

    He didn't know why she bothered with the excuse for absence, or why it was phrased like a request, when just one look at her face showed it to be the command that it was, and left no place for arguments.


    With no other choice, Tymeon nodded his agreement, to the fast growing impatient demoness, as the creature mocked his helplessness with a small, grateful smile and left…


    She was talking to that bitchy shrew, whose husband used to deliver supplies to the mines, before they ran dry out of silver, when she felt it.


    POWER. POWER calling to her, commanding her with its mere presence. Power no mere mortal could possess, at least without a great patronage.

    Power the flavor of which was familiar to her. Its demonic taint was unmistakable.

    The how and why didn't matter. Only its presence did.

    So she turned to look for hints of its source, and after her observation made an excuse to take her leave.

    She did so unhurried, as to not draw any attention to herself, before leisurely getting up and exiting the Inn, and pacing slowly towards her home. She did not dare hasten her pace, despite the dire situation.

    The Elder Sister needed to be told of this at once, but prudence was necessity. She could just taste the reword she will surely receive for this… all but feel the fresh blood that she will get to spill under her fingernails.


    It brought such excitement, such a pleasant feeling in her navel.

    She could hardly wait.


    She walked through charred ground, with rivers of lava, molten flame, at her sides, the air dry and scorching hot. Screams were continuously made nearby, getting closer and closer, and over the corner… the sound of inhuman roars heard in the distance at first, but, they too, got closer and closer.


    Leah wondered whether she will find the source of the all too human screams before whatever was roaring got to her.
    Still, she kept a measured walking pace, not running.



    As she got closer and closer, she saw feminine forms- beautiful faces and bodies, with a bust size that made hers feel unfeminine and boyish, clothed in nearly nothing, tails swishing by and leathery, batlike wings shuffling, as the succubi paid her no mind… as if she belonged there.

    Among them, corpses. The faces were of strangers, and the familiar Tristram militia guard on them. The old design, from before the old Tristram fell… She started having a really bad feeling, like pieces of a puzzle about to come together, and open a door beyond which she should not dare approach.

    Still, she found herself pressing on without hesitation, as if merely a passenger in her own body.

    …there! A bit further still did she find the source of the screams.

    A boy, strangely familiar one, from somewhere…


    And upon him were more of the Demon Women! Mating and feeding, both among themselves and on him, as they bit bloody chunks of flesh and licked the flowing blood, looking like some twisted parodies of the beauty She thought she saw at first, covered in fresh blood…


    And then finally, the feast of blood, anguish and desire ended, and the screaming stopped.

    It was then, the one of these twisted creatures turned towards her, slowly, as if drunk, and strutted seductively, with each step accenting her curves and would have aroused even the coldblooded of men… and some women, were it not for the blood , fresh and covering her from neck to her toes.


    The roars kept getting closer.

    That Succubus kept getting closer, its unnerving gaze locked on Hers, until it got a foot from her. than the Demon stopped, and knelt, lowering its head.
    With a seductive voice and a husky tone it spoke.


    "Welcome my lord, Diablo!"

    And at that the roar sounded again, right near her location this time.


    It was a roar of triumph.

    It was her own roar.


    That morning, as she went for fresh ingredients, Leah discovered that her reopening yesterday was no longer the newest gossip.


    "You sure you didn't see him, Miss? I know you are new, but my boy wanted to see that old tavern opening again, and nobody has seen him since yesterday mid-day. About that high, brown hair and eyes, twelve year old…"

    "Sorry, no, I'm sure i haven’t seen him at the Inn yesterday, I'll ask Tymeon, maybe he saw him."

    "Please tell me if he did, my boy is a good kid, and never misbehaves. I'm worried something bad happened to him."


    As Leah said her goodbyes to the distraught woman, she couldn't help but think about the description… it seemed, oddly familiar… just like… her… dream…
    'No! Surely not! This is just a coincidence-it must be! It must!'

    With a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, the girl hastened her purchase, and all but ran to her new home and business, hoping to find her companion there. Hoping he will have some answers to her growing worries.

    She paid little attention to the small figure hiding in a pile of rotting garbage, its beady eyes following her movements.



    Tymeon had not seen the boy either. He didn't even know him. Leah sensed this to be truth, but not everything. There was something the boy who accompanied her and saw her true nature did not say. She did not dare contemplate how she knew it, but she did.

    Not wanting to alienate the only one who showed acceptance towards her, limited as it was, she tried a different approach.

    "Tymeon, please try to think, did you see or hear something strange, something not ordinary, yesterday? This is important."


    He thought about it a bit, and then replied hesitantly, looking at his feet.

    "W-Well, yesterday, evening, f-few of the guests seemed to have bad feeling, someone shuddered , a-and a… a drunk got a nightmare… I g-got nightmares myself yesterday, and had troubled sleep. M-maybe the kid had a bad dream too, and r-ran away from the demons he saw in it?"

    "Demons?"

    "Sorry!" he hurriedly added, shrinking into himself. "T-that’s what my nightmares yesterday were about."

    "Don't worry, just rest a bit, and take a little wine to calm down. Your chores for today can wait."

    "T-thank you." He mumbled, and retreated more into himself.


    Feeling bad, guilty for reopening his traumatic experience at the hands of the cultists that she rescued him from, and who knew what else before them, Leah decided to leave him, and went to start working on breakfast, for both themselves, and the morning patrons.

    Later, when feeding the morning crowd, she will ask them about the boy, eager to help. To prove her fears wrong.

    She will learn that he played in the northern part of the town, and was last seen there at noon. Nobody remembered seeing him in the evening, or later. Though there were many who complained about having nightmares the previous night…



    It was a hungry, tired Demon Hunter that finally returned to the town.

    'I've been looking all over, and no hair or hide, nor more tracks, of the greater demon that caused the infestation in that cave, his tracks led me inside , but there were no sign of it leaving, and it clearly was NOT inside . Just where could it be'.


    He did feel a small elation that the Inn has reopened, and he will finally get to eat a good breakfast, rather than his hastily prepared one.


    The place had the look of an abandoned building seeing use again, but the atmosphere was that of a typical tavern in a small town, where most knew each other, and set drinking and gossiping.

    He spotted a young woman, one that has just blossomed into nicely shaped adulthood, approaching a table, tankards in hands.

    She had a fairly pretty face, for a small town girl.

    "Hey, Wench", he called for her attention.


    She did not hurry to his table, after depositing her load, and looked displeased for some reason.

    She stopped before his table, and with her hands on her hips, exclaimed.

    "I am the new Innkeeper, not a wench. I would suggest that you not visit our establishment again without your manners."

    "What happened to the wench then, the real waitress?"

    It seemed the right thing to say, as the frustration on her face grew. She was a feisty one!

    "Nothing! There is no wen- Waitress. We just reopened and there is no one else to wait the tables. Now, will you leave, please?"

    "No, I don't think I will. I would like some breakfast. Do you have some porridge, maybe? Some wine with it won't be remiss. And some bread. Eggs if you have some."

    "Can you even afford it? You look like a refugee. From one of the poorer villages. "

    The man put his hand under his cloak, rummaged in his pockets, and tossed some coins onto the table.

    "Who did you rob?" this time, her tone was accusing, but not fearful or apprehensive, anger marring her pleasant face.

    "No one. Some demons laired in a cave in the countryside, preying on travelers, I dealt with them."

    "'Dealt with them', you demon hunter or something?" she asked, skeptic.

    "Yeah… I am, actually."

    The woman took a long look at him, from head to toe, reevaluating.

    "Well then, maybe you could help this town-some people have gone missing lately, the latest being a kid, twelve year old, yesterday, he was last seen around noon. There are rumors my Inn is haunted, and it’s the angry ghost responsible.

    "Personally I think it's some demon on the loose. There have been too many of them lately, sneaking in from the dread lands. Maybe if you were to find it, the disappearances will stop, and my Inn will start turning profit. My supplies won't last forever."

    "Go fetch my breakfast and I will look into the matter."

    "Deal."
     
  23. Threadmarks: Chapter 16
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 16


    She walked through the dark, passage, barely lit with scant few torches, leaving only enough light to see a few yards ahead.

    Something moved.

    She turned sharply, panic at having been found, her heart beating furiously, only to calm upon seeing the source of the noise to be merely a rat.

    Searching around for any hint of unwelcome intrusion, and finding none, she released a breath of relief, before slowly continuing.

    She stopped before stairs, downwards, into the ground.

    She was close now.

    As she took a step, and another, the air grew humid and hot.

    She was almost there.

    Soon, she reached her destination, and amidst bloodstained rocks, with esoteric symbols painted red on them, preformed a dark ritual.

    As a bird of night, a crow, called somewhere in the distance, her call was answered.

    The one she ask for appeared. And came at her bidding.

    "Elder Sister! Elder sister! I have important news!" she excitedly announced.

    "I told you not to call upon me! Why should I not punish you now for your impudence?"

    "Please hear me out! I have news you will surely find most interesting."

    She started worrying. Maybe she shouldn't have rushed to tell what she sensed in the reopened tavern.
    But that demonic power…

    After glaring at her with displeasure, as if wishing to disembowel her (and for all she knew, the Elder Sister may have intended to do just so, should the tale not be to her liking-wouldn't even be a first time) the Elder nodded and commanded in a voice that sent both chills down her spine, and warmth towards her cheeks.

    "Speak!"


    And so, in a trembling voice, the woman told. She revealed how two newcomers, a young woman and a boy of teenage years, how they actually got the mayor to agree for the woman to become the new innkeeper. How they reopened recently, and about the feeling, the dark power she sensed, for a brief moment, there and gone-that left her unsettled. How such power should be claimed by them…

    The Elder Sister revealed little, but her tone after the tale was a pleased one, as she beckoned the little sister into the ritual chamber, for her reword.

    "We seem to have found a sacrifice. Will you not join? The honor of the Great Knife will be bestowed on you this time.

    "Why, thank you, Elder Sister. I would be honored." Was the happy, even excited, response.

    The woman proceeded to the chamber further into the darkness with a bounce in her steps, a sadistic smile appearing on her face.

    She did not see the vicious smirk on the Elder Sister; it was a sight that struck fear in many a victim before, as they found themselves fed to demons.

    The location of that place, its ability to hide sounds and it's secret location were the only reason the terrified, pained screams, too high pitched to belong to anything but a woman or a child, that soon were emitted left unheard.



    A child played and hidden eyes stared. A child tossed a ball and chased it as observing gaze followed hungrily.

    The childe played, the ball rolled further and further, and the evil eyes watched and waited as the hour grew late.

    Soon, the child found itself lost, having chased the ball into unfamiliar streets into the evening.

    The hungry gaze of the one watching from hiding saw as another figure, this one looking obviously feminine, sneaking behind the child and snatching it, with a hand over mouth and nose. The newcomer held the struggling kid, and it's useless kicks and flailing.


    Soon the child was weakening its struggle, until its body stopped moving altogether. The captor turned and swiftly looked around, but it saw no one in the dark street.


    With none the wiser, it dragged the child away, only the still hidden beady eyes of the watcher witnessing it, and coming to the realization that with the big female having taken away its prey, it would have to keep hiding and searching for the master, whose presence called it like a beacon, like a flame calling moths-hungry.



    Leah spent the day up to noon, long past her chores regarding the tavern, walking through the town, questioning and looking for any hint at the fate of the boy, anything that would prove that he was not the one from her dream, that it was not a vision of what became of him.

    That it was not her fault.


    The locals were still unused to her, or maybe it was her questioning of them, looking into the disappearance business-either way, she received many strange looks.

    'If they find me so strange, I do wonder how would they react to the Nephalem on a quest. They all were so… Unique. Each more peculiar then the last the Umbaru, with his strange wisdom, the wizard and her strange, arrogant charisma, the self-assurance she had, the less said about the crusader-the less said the better. And the Barberian... Would have been entertaining seeing the damage to the locals' sensibilities it would have inflicted.'

    And while that thought filled her with rueful amusement and almost had her smiling, that line of thought soon had her thinking of what followed, as they defeated the last of the Demon lords. Of the Betrayal.

    Her smile turned into frown before it had a chance to appear.

    She will NOT be like Him.


    With the search and questions bearing no fruit, no clue throughout her walk all over the town, she decided to approach the town militia.

    There she was led to an old, grey Sargent, with a nose that looked like it was broken one time too many.

    "… Don't worry, if they boy is here, we will find him. It's what we are here for, after all, and unlike the blue angels, this is something we do know how to handle-he probably got lost in one of the abandoned parts of the town."

    "You sound so sure…"

    "Heh, if you knew what a little scoundrel I was in my youth… and my mother was none the wiser. You should probably spend the time managing your new Inn, and looking for a nice lad to settle down with, not scurry all over town for a kid that probably be home by nightfall."

    "The disappearances? What if he disappeared and gone, like others before?"

    "Then there's nothing to do, and ya waste your time. I still not sure about those rumors-between you and me, half the 'disappeared' had reasons to not want to be found, if you know what I mean…"

    "You seem so nonchalant about it all…"

    "A've been to war, before your time, I think… When the knights of Khanduras invaded Westmarch. We died by the dozens and their spiked plate was a sight to be fearful of, until our famed Paladins came to the battlefields-ah… it was glorious, to see them in battle, pushing back the relentless enemy in spiked armor… "

    Waiting politely a few moments for the old veteran to return to the now, and leave his memories before humming to regain his attention, Leah found herself having to ask.
    "And what does it have to do with the boy? With the missing people?"

    "You live through enough hopeless battles, you learn to stop worrying over things you have no power over. The kid will be found, or he won't. Nothing we can do now that’s not been done. You should calm, take a deep breath, and relax. Enjoy yer life-you never know what will happen tomorrow. And don't worry over stuff, it will make a pretty girl like you grow old fast."


    As she nodded and left, another militiaman asked him.

    "Why you tell her all that, Sargent?"

    "The old days, the battles…the Paladins… she reminded me of them. she had the same drive and determination I saw in them."

    "That girl, a Paladin?"

    "Not all of the order was annihilated against the Khandurans, some still remained, only to disappear afterwards, after the fall from grace of the Zakarum church. She could well be a descendant of some hidden Paladin, maybe even a daughter from one of the notable heroes of that war."

    The other guard just looked at him strangely, doubtful.


    The Demon hunter searched all over the town. Walked the northern parts the child was thought to have been at last all day, and he did not find nor sense anything.

    Besides a strange, uneasy feeling he had all day, putting him on edge.

    'Is that…'


    A Glyph in an inconspicuous place did rouse his attention.

    There was something familiar about the feel of it…

    And then it clicked.

    'Finally, progress.'


    Leah found the talk with old Sargent not as comforting as he probably hoped, as it did little to ease her worry.

    It did, however, convince her to go back to her new home. Maybe that man from the morning would return there, having found something himself… and even if not, there was little more she could do.

    She found her young companion sitting at one of the tables, still sulking over something.

    "Tymeon? Is something wrong?"

    "N-no, nothing." He hurried to answer her, and she didn't need to see his lowered eyes to know the denial to be false.

    But she had a suspicion what it was about, and decided that it would be better to leave the boy, for now.

    "Alright, but if there is anything you want to talk to me about, to tell me, I will be in my room. Just knock before entering."
     
  24. Jarudazuigu

    Jarudazuigu Sealed, for now

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    Leah will go on a rampage, poor girl.
     
  25. warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Soon...
     
    Jarudazuigu likes this.
  26. Threadmarks: Chapter 17
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 17


    The eyes open and see a dark tunnel; torches on the sideways reveal it to be a cavern, leading into an unknown dark beyond.


    The legs walk forward, and the steps are shrill in the gravelike silence around, their echo sounds like a thousand beating drums, struck as one.

    Slowly, the air grows hotter and hotter, and it becomes difficult to breathe.

    Soon something feels stuck in the throat, eliciting a coughing fit.


    The hands reaching to the throat by instinct, as the chocking intensifies…

    Until the source is finally coughed up- on the ground, the torchlight reveals a strange, red centipede, one that shrieks as it suddenly grows in size, becoming larger and larger, until it becomes huge. Scimitars appear in its hands, and with a rattle it strikes, one of the swords decapitating, and as the body falls, the last sight of the rolling head is more insectoids pouring from the neck-and getting closer to the head, a wormlike crowly gets close to one of the still seeing eyes, its pincerlike moth ope-


    "AAAAH!"

    Wild look around confirms the location to be a bed, a touch confirms the neck unscarred, and eyes unhurt.

    "A nightmare… again… I can't sleep for even a single hour without getting a nightmare. This town must really be cursed."

    The demon hunter groaned, as he saw the new morn. It was time to get up and start the day, anyway.

    Despite having nightmares ever since he returned to the town, and made that deal with the innkeeper girl to look into the disappearing people, he had work to do. maybe he could get her to give him so wine for free later.


    The man slowly approached the washbasin nearby, and used it. Cold water was helpful to wake up and shrug off sleepiness.

    As he went to see if any of the jerky still remained (he couldn't afford to always buy cooked meals), and thought again about the one useful thing he learned yesterday.

    As he searched for anything that would hint at what happened to the disappearing people, that will clue him in about the nature, and location of the demons involved, one of the men he questioned had an interesting story.

    "The old, abandoned mines… there were tales of some Miners going there, hoping to take shelter when the blue angels came. None of them returned. The mines- they..."


    "-Serve as a lair to a group of demons, succubi, to be exact. We tried to have them join the fold, and become part of our group, serving the dark lord together, but they were most dismissive of our efforts, and only mocked our generosity. They mocked us and we would have bound, sacrificed and humiliated them, if we could, but they are too many, too strong.

    Their time will come, but not yet.

    So a word of advice, beware the old mines."

    Such was the warning Tymeon has received from the Cult he met, in the hidden chambers…

    And near the mines was where he found himself now…



    He has been walking for hours, and finally he found it.

    "The demonic taint nearby is unmistakable. The infestation here is even worse than I thought."

    The Demon Hunter took a long breath, and rechecked all his traps again.
    "Well, time to hunt."

    He snuck as close as he could, and a bit after entering, place some of his traps on the ground. 'Prepare an exit strategy before entering if you can.'

    The mine, despite being abandoned, had lit torches once he traveled deep enough, and soon sounds of habitants followed.

    A glimpse revealed reddish skin, batlike wings and exposed figure. The Hunter dropped a caltrop, reached with his right arm for his belt and threw a grenade, a hand crossbow in his left ready for action.


    Leah heard a loud commotion outside, before there was a knock on the inn door. "I'm coming", she called, approaching the door.

    The knocking got more frantic.

    She ran up at the urgent pounding, and was just a step before she could open the door, when the voice on the other side called, "Demons"…

    That one word stopped her in her tracks, and her mind blanked.

    'No! I can't have been discovered! I just got some semblance of a life here, let it not be taken, I will destroy them for ruining it, flay their souls, I, i…wait…'

    "-in the mine, help please!"

    The girl hastily took a calming breathe, and having collected herself, opened the door. It was a guardsman she didn't recognize, only the town guard uniform on him familiar, and he was breathing heavy.

    "Demons… were found… in the mine, huh huh, the Demon Hunter… wounded… calling gathering near mayor's house…"

    Still worrying news, but not as much, and she was a hostess here…"Is that all? Sit and rest and I'll bring you a tankard of wine, unless you need to go."

    The man did not protest as she did as she promised, though he did seem a bit disappointed that she gave him the cheap stuff, if the look he gave her was any indication.


    She thought that there won't be many people, but by the time she saw the mayor's house, a large crowd gathered there. It was over a hundred at first glance, and then she refocused on the mayor, or, more specifically, his words.

    "The demons were found at the old, abandoned mine, they are probably the reason for our missing, for the trade stopping and caravans going missing, the valiant Demon Hunter tracked them to their unholy lair, and slew them by the dozens, but the corruption ran too deep. There were too many. He managed to trick them into believing him dead and return here, when their numbers overwhelmed him, but not before decimating their numbers.

    "Only a few remain, but they still hold our children, brothers and sisters, our cousins and husbands hostage for their dark purpose. And as long as they are still there, our town remains in grave danger, any one of us may be next to disappear!

    "Who among you volunteer to help return our missing? Who will come to avenge the monsters that killed our friends and families? Who is willing to brave the demons and show to the hellspawn that we will not be sheep? Who will come to send them back to hell?"


    As he finished his rallying speech, many of the gathered townspeople cheered, and many men shouted loudly.
    But when he asked those willing to go and slay the beasts in their lair to step forward, much fewer did.
    Leah found herself among them.


    She explained that she traveled much and had a skill with a bow she… used to have.

    A bow was presented to her, with the man giving it showing much greater hurry then before, when he failed to join the group that would seek the mine.


    As they hurriedly prepared themselves, and after a comment about armor, Leah managed to get a leather chest piece, she returned to the inn, seeking Tymeon. Much as she knew he would be better safe inside the town, she preferred him where she could watch over him personally.

    He was the closest thing to a friend she had left.


    There are around twenty gathered to clear the mines. Five from the guard, with the armor and swords, one old veteran, the rest are less prepared.

    "Six archers, I hope it will be enough." Alvor, one of the blacksmiths muttered to himself, a large hammer in hand.

    "Seven." The girl corrected him.

    "You shouldn't have come, girl" the man told Leah, looking displeased."…in my days it was a shame for men to let a girl that young to join a fight. Any fight. Just not right…"

    "And what about the Askeri amazons?" Leah asked, trying to disprove the older man's words. He looked twice her age, and with his large frame and beard, there was something … of a fatherly disapproval… in in his kind eyes… or so she thought.

    'I never even asked Her who my father was…' turning aside, to hide the grimace the thought of the traitorous woman who was her mother from the man, she almost missed his reply.
    "Nothing proper about the Askeri… just bad example for girls everywhere. 'sides, you're no Amazon."

    "Get ready, we are almost there", a voice from the front of the group called.

    She glanced at Tymeon by her side, a spear someone gave him, 'to keep a distance from the demons' in his hands (The boy did not know archery, but none here wanted him at the front of the group) and hoped she won't come to regret bringing him here.
     
  27. Threadmarks: Chapter 18
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 18



    Leah found herself remembering New Tristram, and how she accompanied the group of 'heroes' and acted as their guide in the quest for the shards of the sword that broke-Tyreal's sword!

    A part of her missed the travels. To be on the roads, see the different places, the sights…

    It made her uncomfortable. Her beloved uncle was taken hostage just as they returned with the last of them and she couldn't do anything in time to save his life. The one man who was her family more than anyone, and she was powerless to prevent his death.


    'I will not repeat this! I understand my hellish power more now, and I will not allow Tymeon to be taken away from me as well!'

    'By whatever accursed power I now wield, I will keep you, Tymeon!'

    So lost was she, in memories of wanderlust past, and her companions, past and present, that she nearly missed when they reached their destination.


    The Mines looked as abandoned as they were said to be and the atmosphere uninviting, the dirt road leading inside seemed to have had little use and only had one set of footprints on it, entering and leaving-the demon hinter, no doubt, the collapsed entrance did nothing to change the appearance of it. The momentary worry as to how to enter, with the way blocked as it was, was soon solved as well.


    "…There is another way in, a secret entrance that was used to smuggle things, in the old days when it the mine was open. It was later blocked from the outside and hidden, for the chance of the mines reopening for some reason."

    The man led them to a large rock that looked no different than any of the boulders nearby and had nothing special about it.

    "Now, you need to push that rock aside, the entry is a trapdoor beneath it." He said as he pointed at it.


    Alvor and another large man, whom Leah did not recognize, put their arms aside on the ground, and together, pushed the large obstacle away.

    After slight digging, a wooden surface was soon discovered in the ground underneath the place it covered. A trapdoor.

    "We still have to go there one by one, and there may be an ambush waiting on the other side…" a thin, weasel faced man commented.

    Another man, a member of the town militia, in his armor, wordlessly he approached the trapdoor, and opened it, moving away right after.

    With nothing jumping out, or even making any noise, he confidently exclaimed. "Any more worries? Now, Lestrad, Jekeen, take two archers and the old man and," at that point he glanced at Leah, and then Tymeon, she shook her head negatively, he sighed, before continuing, " stay here. The rest, after me." With these words he went down into the mine.


    They soon found themselves in a tunnel wide enough for four people to stand in a row and just a bit more, with unlit torches around them. The watchmam ordered them into rows, with the most capable in front, and the least, last, behind the archers. Some part of Leah seemed pleased that the back was not left unguarded, and even though it would've been the best place for Tymeon, she insisted on him being in front of her.


    They walked until they suddenly stopped, and only when one of the men lit a torch embedded into the wall, did she realize why.

    'I see better at night ever since I got… back… from that hell. I have more than human eyesight and can see well in here. It's probably too dark for the rest. I forgot about it.'

    The continued on, with only their own noise to break the silence, for few more minutes, before reaching a side passageway that was not wide enough to keep the current formation.
    It was decided to send a party of four to check it, while the rest kept formation.


    Soon shouts were heard from there, followed by sounds of fighting, to which two more men were sent to check out.

    They after nerve breaking minutes they returned, missing one. "There were those small, red little horned demons in there, they swarmed and killed Kenny before I could do anything! And beyond them was a dead end! "

    "Tis nothing compared to what foulness awaits us ahead! Brace yourselves, men."

    The next skirmish was heard, when a squeaking sound came. "At the ready." Soon the torchlight revealed two dozen black bats, coming at them.


    The Leah proceeded to shoot as many and as fast as she could, choosing a target when she got an arrow ready, and sticking with it until it was down.

    'Bats, why do all caves have to have bats? I hate', twack, another arrow, 'bats, I still remember the time one got caught up in my hair.'

    'Twack' another arrow hit a bat.

    The low ceiling prevented the bats from going past harassing the front row, and thus made eliminating them rather easy, with only some minor flesh wounds for their trouble.

    Soon they got into a large underground cavern with high ceiling, and torches lit all around, full with more of the fallen and their shamans and ugly Brutes. More demons, with thick,
    grey skin covering a stocky and big body, large meaty hooves, and a big horn on their head with them, and in the middle, were the unmistakable winged, nearly naked feminine forms. One of them, with particularly long horns that curled outward flared her tail and wings, as she paced forward, and started talking, in a most beatific voice.

    "Well, well, what do we have here… It seems the rat who escaped sent more appetizers our way. Will you surrender to indescribable pleasures, boys?"

    The succubus then grabbed her…bust and emphasized it, as an outright lurid moan left her suddenly attractive looking mouth.

    "You can play with those babies all day long."

    The Watchman leading them must've been as sturdy and reliable as good old Captain Rumford was, because he seemed unshaken, and declared unwavering and in a loud voice. "Your lies won't tempt us, Demon! We know that you would give us hell. Face judgement!"


    With those bold words, he ordered the entire group to charge, and awakened them from the stupor that the demonic invitation placed most of them into (Leah noticed Tymeon trying to not look at them, staring at the ground the row before him was standing on instead).

    The Horned Demons charged into the first row, horns positioned to gouge it, their thick skin resisting the arrows making Leah to choose to focus on a Fallen brute rushing in instead.

    The winged succubae took to the air, proving their wings weren't just for show.


    Soon there was a call for the archers to focus on them, as the melee fought the demons.

    Leah saw in a glance how Alvor smashed his hammer into a Horned head that just withdrew from the bloody torso of a militiaman she didn't know the name of, killing it. Another was on the ground with a dagger in one of its eyes.

    All around them the familiar chaos of a battle sang, as Leah did her best to make her bow useful.

    Target the middle link-the Shamans, then the Brutes remaining, without them the other Fallen will be easy to route and the main focus could be placed on the main force- on the succubae. 'Which would then be picked one by one.'

    She wasn't sure where it came from, but it seemed to make sense, and so she did.

    "Archers, Focus on the flying one to the left of the large cart!"

    She didn't even notice that the other voice that kept ordering soon disappeared.

    One of the flying women that attacked them dived into the archers, dodging all the while, and would have snatched her from the ground, if not for the intervention of brave Tymeon, whose spear poked her in the neck just as she was about to enter grabbing range.

    Leah aimed her shot and…'Missed where are you flying to, demon?' it was then that she noticed 'holes in the cavern walls, too high to climb into, and large enough for the succubus to fly into, as she just did.

    'They are retreating!"


    A glance showed her that most of the other demons in the room were dead, or escaping little fallen imps.

    Still, they lost the men. Two militiamen, the most armored and armed and experienced among this group were on the ground, never to rise again, an archer was missing, apparently another succubus actually managed to grab a man and fly away.

    Two more corpses, unknown and unidentifiable to Leah were bloody and torn.

    "I think that's the main force, the tunnels from here are not big enough to maintain the formation we had here anyway.

    Alvor, you take this group to the left, the rest, with me. We will follow the cave to the right. Let's try to find those who were taken, and if you do, escort them back, before regrouping with the rest to clear the place of the wretched creatures." That last part was snarled more then said, as the man kicked the corpse of a nearby demon.

    Leah felt the hatred he felt at that moment, and it made her uncomfortable.


    She ended up on the path to the right, after dragging Tymeon, who was about to go with the other group towards herself and telling him to stay near her.

    They walked for five whole minutes before the silence was disturbed by strange sounds as reddish projectiles flew towards them from the out of nowhere succubae that appeared both in front and behind them.

    The once adopted daughter of Deckard Cain instinctively knew them to be Star Shots, and that the attempts to scatter and dodge them were useless, as they followed their target relentlessly and rained it's vitality.


    Soon after the seductresses entered the melee with sharp claws. At first the formerly human girl was surprised at and felt scoffing at it, until...
    "Tymeon!" Leah yelled, as she intervene between a too distracted Tymeon and a succubus, and had to use her bow to parry claws that sought his flesh.
    The bow gave in to pressure it wasn't meant to resist, and was cut in two.

    Now I don't have a bow, and I never had much training with any other weapon.'

    A look around revealed that he was not the only one distracted by the now utterly nude forms that fought them, and that the demons sought different things, as she saw a pair tearing and biting off meat from a fallen member of their group, and another holding a man against a wall with one hand, and tearing the clothes from him with the other, his sword on the ground forgotten by both.

    A bloody slice and a scream as another fell.

    "Won't you join us, girl? We could teach you such delights, and it would be much better then dying in this ugly cave. Do answer quickly, my sisters lack patience."

    As she uttered these words, another succubus pounced on Tymeon, who wildly flailed the spear in his hands, to keep the two in front of him from getting closer.

    "Get off him!"

    "Will you join us then? Submit yourself to us, and she will not kill him now!"

    'This is it, this is the end! I can't let it end here I can't hide anymore. Not now. She will kill him anyway, or worse.'

    It didn't help that some part of her. Some instinct awoke, urging her to refuse, to deny, and to put the demoness in her place, by turning the tables on her, and tearing her wings and tail off, making her to be the one to submit. Making her Her slave!

    "Well, you shouldn't have taken so long to answer, kill the men; we will have only the boy our plaything this time.

    Leah opened her mouth to shout denials, but what came out was a roar, as her features changed, and where before stood Leah, the innkeeper and archer, now stood a demonic creature.

    She felt her tail unmistakably swish behind her, the claws on her fingers, and the unholy powers at her fingertips.

    Then it all turned red.

    Not even Death will save you from me!
     
  28. Threadmarks: Chapter 19
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 19


    So far: When Maltheal died, and his hold on the spirits within the shattered Black Soulstone was broken, the spirit of Leah, with bits of the Demon Lords from the Soulstone, was released.

    Soon later, she rematerialized in a body.

    She now had demonic essence mixed with her human one, and herself a demon, a partial fusion between what she was, and who she became, still holding shards of the form and power of the 'Prime Evil'.

    She soon got summoned by demon cultists.

    After killing and replacing their leader, and studying some demonic lore they had, a ritual sacrifice too similar to her own sacrifice by Adria drew her ire.

    She killed the cultists and with the only survivor of the sacrifices, a young boy named Tymeon, took the road, finding a half succubus named Liaza, and sanctuary under human form as an innkeeper in a small town in westmarch.


    Soon, she found herself in an expedition to clear a hideout of kidnapping demons, and the group with her was ambushed and about to be destroyed, only few not dead yet-including her friend Tymeon.

    Just as they were about to fall, too, all turned red.




    She had the hazy recollection of Hatred and Terror, of splashing blood and tearing limbs. Someone screamed, and someone yelled...

    When she came back, Leah thought that she still saw the world in splotches of red.

    a hand, reaching towards her eyes, returned red, scaled and clawed. she was no longer in human form. then the realization that it was wet. the stunned girl turned to look at her clothes, stretched and a bit torn due to her transformation, and covered in blood.

    'Just what happened? Where is Tymeon? Is he alive? don't you die on me, Tymeon! Don't leave me!'

    Leah finally found a spot to wipe her hands on, so she could wipe the blood from her face, and clear her vision.


    it lessened the redness, but did not remove it. 'I feel strange...' And then a strange feeling-and the world lost more of the red in her vision.
    she closed her eyes. 'Focus! Find Tymeon, and any other survivors.'

    When she opened them, the world resumed normality. and the only red that remained painting the world around her was the blood everywhere.

    As she turned her gaze around, in confusion, still somewhat disoriented, to the sound of a strange beat (badoom-badoom), that she noticed the pleasant heat.

    It was fire. something nearby was on fire, its current shape too unrecognizable for her to guess what it used to be...

    Also, this place seemed familiar…


    After looking around a bit, Leah was almost certain that she didn't move to another location and got lost.

    'But, there wasn't anything on fire here before… Wait, what is this?'

    She stepped closer to flames, her steps sounding different, the ground beneath her feeling different.

    Within the inviting flame, was a leg.

    A careful inspection revealed it to be an entire body. One with a burnt off attachments to its shoulders, this was a succubus, it probably got burnt to death.
    There were more mutilated bodies around, she somehow knew.


    Leah felt herself stepping backwards without conscious thought, until something squelched under her foot.

    Despite a sense of dread, she looked down.

    It was a thin, delicate looking arm, in a pool of blood. One that was, by all appearance, torn off just below the shoulder.

    Some inner voice whispered that none of their group had arms as delicate and callous free, that it probably belonged to another of the temptresses, but it was quiet whisper next to the horror of certainty that it was her doing, the lack of clarity about how she got to that point, and the strong feeling of dark, malicious satisfaction, that throbbed within her.

    The red claw of a foot she had, instead of the footwear on a dainty human leg, was an afterthought to it.

    The sweet smell of blood and carnage was unmistakable, and the girl found herself closing her eyes and taking a deep breathe. Enjoying it. it made her feel ecstatic.

    'No! what am I doing?! There were couple guys till alive in our group-did I kill them too? Focus, Leah! Did Tymeon die? Please, whatever gods may be listening, don't let him have died! '


    She shook her head to refocus, and started walking around, frantically looking for any sign of the human companions.

    The drum beating increased in volume, and more demons were revealed to her gaze- more of the vile temptresses then she thought were here at first, as well as more of the big Horned Demons-all dead and either burned, or torn, some literally disemboweled. Some sense of hers told her they died in panic, in Delicious Fear.

    She hated that it made her want to smirk.

    Some more steps.

    "Come to finish me, Demon?"

    Leah turned at once.


    A man lay on the ground, wearing the militia uniform, such as it was, with a big open wound in his chest staining it red.

    "I... I didn't want this, i didn't want to... I wanted to be good!"

    "The wound on me-you did it. Good at what-leading us to hell? you are why I'm bleeding my life's blood here, in a gods forsaken mine. was this ambush your idea? getting a gullible group of villagers from the town to investigate right into their doom. Did you figure you get more share if we kill your sisters in the process? are you going to move onto the town next, after those damn blue angels attacked all over Westmarch? Angels and demons- ya can't trust either!"

    "No! I didn't! I'm not!"

    "Spare me your lies, unholy monster! that girly form hides a monstrous one that would bring fear to innocents and rage to the righteous! They will learn of your wicked ruse, and the might of the just will strike you down."

    'You ungrateful- I join in to help make the town a safer place for us all! I don't want to harm people...' only that she did. A rage filled her with a desire to destroy that pitiful, weak, man. to crush him, utterly and claim his soul.

    the truth of his words cut deep. Made her think of things she wanted to deny.

    "Your injury is grave. you will bleed your last soon." and Leah felt horrible, at how relieved it made her-that he will not expose her secret. That the new life she was trying to build won't be destroyed.

    "I go to heavens, and curse ya to the depths of hell, Demon." He hatefully spat, and breathed his last.


    at that moment, Leah vowed to herself that she will not go and try to be a hero. Will not interfere in the affairs of others and will not set out to hunt demons- in the end she would only end up a demon herself.


    Desperate for ANY survivors, she frantically searched around, the only outside sound was the drumming noise.

    She followed it as slowly and quietly as she could, and was led to a barrel.

    The beating drum intensified.

    Behind it, the terrified face of Tymeon peaked.

    "Are you back, L- Leah?"

    "Tymeon! Are you injured? Are you bleeding?"

    "Are you really Leah?"

    "Yes, Tymeon. It's me."

    As the boy left the safety of his hiding spot, and slowly approached her, weary eyes locked on her, Leah saw that he was stained with blood, also.


    "Did... Did I hurt you now, after transforming?"

    the boy looked away before answering quietly. "N-no, you just taunted the demons that got me, and killed them. you didn't attack me."

    It sounded weak even to her own ears, especially after the carnage that- 'No! Don't think about it now!'


    She took a few slow breathes to calm herself, and focused on her features, willing them to revert to her human form.

    All the while keeping eye contact with her companion.

    'This wasn't a lie, I don't think, but just what are you not telling me?'

    When she no longer felt her tail, and the temperature stopped being comfortable-the clothes no longer as tight fit as moments before, she repeated her question, doing her best to appear friendly.

    "Are you bleeding?"

    The boy shrugged.


    Sighing, Leah looked around for something, anything to defend herself and her companion with, and with reluctance picked up a sword.

    Only herself and the boy who was saved by her WRATH alive there, she took his hand and guided him, stepping over corpses-human and demon alike, looking for an exit.


    "Is dat- Leah? Tymeon? What happened to the rest of your group?"

    The man who called looked familiar, and she recognized him as one of those who went with the other group, but she really could not recall his name.

    "We, we got ambushed, there were more demons then we thought. The others are all dead.

    "and the demons?" the man asked, weary, looking behind her, as if expecting demons on their heels.

    "Dead." Tymeon answered.

    "are ya well-no, of course ya aren't, you look like you visited the slaughterhouse. Any of the blood yours? Leah?"

    Leah shook her head in denial, but the boy whose hand she still held firmly shrugged.

    "I, I think it was all too much for anyone."

    "sorry, but if yer group all gone, ya better come and join ours. We found the missing ones."

    she was surprised, and so was the boy beside her. Could it be, that they actually saved someone today? That was great news!

    "Really? How are they?" Leah asked. the confirmation of her good deed felt like a pleasant wind on a sunny day- it felt nice, and allowed her the hope her humanity will not be lost. she still could be good, generous and selfless.

    "Most were children, only few men, several women. Many we thought gone were there, or used ta be-apparently sometimes the demons would take a person, to never return him or her.

    "They all weak, and in sorry state, and some were travelers that never reached us, but-"

    "What did you do with them?" She interrupted him.

    "We retraced our steps and got a couple men to lead them to town they should be fed and returned to family by the time we get back."

    "Are you sure its safe for them? They are weak you said, and it should still be night." Tymeon asked.

    "They'll meet the boys at the exit who I'm sure will keep an eye on their rescued kin. At least Moki will, his niece was among them."

    at their confused looks the man elaborated.

    "Tall, blond and skinny-he was guarding the entry down here." both nodded, trying to remembering a man fitting the description, with only the girl vaguely succeeding.
    "How… how did they look?" she asked, hesitantly.

    "Bad. I reckon the hell-spawn did us service in taking them somewhere one by one from the rooms they made to hold them, rather than performing their devilry to the eyes of their 'prisoners'."

    The man led them to the rest of the group, where the joyous mood over the successful rescue was damped by the revelation that the other group was massacred.


    Soon another scout returned to the second group, green with unease, apparently having found the place where Leah's party was ambushed and decimated. his description of what he saw ruined the mood even more. marking the gruesome price their expedition paid to complete this Quest.

    "…Sorry lass, it looks like your group got most of the demons here. Been wondering why it was so smooth for us here."

    The rest of the search proved that there were no other prisoners, and only the occasional bat left alive in the mines. It went without incident.


    The man braced himself, and with a great difficulty, took to upraised position, his eyes on the paper and quill he asked the Mayor for earlier.

    He glared at them for a few minutes, before admitting to himself that he needed to do it.

    Despite the protesting hurt of his sore body, the Demon Hunter started his report, detailing his encounter, suspicions and recommendations.


    It was as he was deep into his task, that he suddenly stopped, and turned towards the mines he just sent the militia and volunteers into.

    His senses picked up a great flare of demonic energy, one suitable to a great demon, not the rabble he expected the cave to contain.

    Just as that presence appeared, it suddenly disappeared. Not even a trace of it left to his tuned senses.

    The Demon hunter was suddenly struck by inspiration, and furiously wrote.

    'The nightmares the entire town suffers, the lack of a greater demon at the mines before, and the presence now, the strange signs I've been finding through the area, now it finally makes sense. I've been looking at the wrong place the whole time!'

    When he finished his, now much longer, report, he proceeded to see to it sending.

    Headquarters had to know about this!

     
  29. Threadmarks: Chapter 20
    warlock7

    warlock7 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Chapter 20


    As he walked, striding deeper and deeper into the caves, into the darkness, as less torchlight reached him, suddenly a reddish figure swooped in on him from above, and he fell onto his back, the spear falling from his hands.

    A feminine, seductive, and deceptively human voice called from above him.

    "Won't you join us, girl? We could teach you such delights!" The succubuss asked HER, and at the last word, He felt a small hand grabbing at his crotch. The unmistakable feel of claws hinting at a potential danger, as if the other hand, keeping him from rising by holding his neck, with claws ready to tear it at a moment's notice.

    "Will you Join us?" the demonic temptress asked again.


    Only it was no longer the girl, almost woman Leah. A Demon out of nightmares took her place. The very same form he first beheld in that accursed manor, where a family was sacrificed by cultists, and his turn was coming, only for the demon to whom he was to be sacrificed, to turn on its cult instead.

    Unsettling red light shined from its eyes, as the horrible visage answers, its tone still recognizable as feminine, even similar to the voice of the girl that stood in its place. A form from the darkest pits of hell and contrasting the innocent look of the previous shape the creature took.


    "Join you? You-who would dare insult me thus? Who will lay hands on that which is mine! Moments away from taking the boy I own! His soul is belongs to ME and I will NOT share!

    To even think someone as inferior as you could suggest it makes the insult grave one. For this insolence you will know Pain and Terror, you will feel true Anguish before release of death! And not even then will there be a respite for you!"

    "Who are you? What are you? How are you so strong? This is the might of a greater demon!" another succubus asked, surprised reverie in her now hollow voice.

    "Running won't save any of you!" the Demon that was Leah called loudly and angrily, before slaughtering the demoness that held him captive beneath her in a single mighty slash, cleaving the creature horizontally at the stomach and drenching the boy beneath it in blood, and proceeding to decimate the whole lot of the demons, either with her claws and tail, or with hellfires that sprang from within her body as well as without. As she tore limbs and commanded bony spikes to grow from the ground like stalagmites, piercing the demons they ran through and blocking their path.


    None of the succubi seemed capable of teleporting away, none of the attacks-theirs or of other demons, did anything to slow down the fearsome feminine form that fought them, aiming for cuts that will bleed much, and rend flesh painfully, even the big, burly demons were swiftly dispatched, left maimed and bleeding from torn hearts and intestines pulled from their stomachs with but a single hand.

    Tymeon knew not if the Beast that called herself Leah was deliberately ignoring him, or merely more preoccupied with the abundant victims already at hand. A scythe of death that even its fellow demons were hopeless against. He received an answer soon however, as she grabbed him with one clawed hand, and lifting him to her own height, unburdened by his weight, called, with some undecipherable urgency.

    "You are MINE, and will never leave me!"


    He saw the fires of Hell itself in her eyes. For a moment he thought the tortured soul of the man who was sacrificed there, minutes before him, screamed for him from that fiery gaze.
    He would never admit just how relieved he was, when a burly Horned Demon rammed into the demoness holding him, causing her to drop him on the hard floor, and thankfully, breaking that unholy gaze he found himself trapped in, unable to look away.



    Said demon paid dearly for its interruption, however, as the very horn it used as a weapon was forcibly torn from its bleeding forehead, and was stabbed into its eye, and then the other eye, making it below a hair raising, anguished cry, before a third stab with the horn, this time into its neck, silenced the bellow.

    Tymeon took it as his chance to hide, and didn't look back.

    When he next saw his demonic companion, the infernal red light was gone from its, (her?) eyes.

    Still, Tymeon knew now, no longer doubting it, that he was bound to the Demon that called herself Leah. That his fate was now tied to hers, his soul not spared, but merely used differently by his demonic master, rather than consumed. His Damnation was delayed, not avoided.

    And he knew, the wherever she may call, he will follow.


    "Tymeon!"

    The youth turned from his remembrance of the past to the woman he was now following.

    "IS something wrong? You were lost in thoughts ever since we left the mine, hardly paying attention to anything."

    "N-no, it's nothing. "

    "About, what happened in that room, with these demons… I'm sorry for what happened. As long as you are with me, I won't leave you in harm's way. "

    She smiled in a way that might've meant to be reassuring, but Tymeon couldn't help but turn to darker thoughts.

    'And what will happen once you withdraw your protection from me, and I am no longer with you?'

    "I wanted to tell you that we will have to make camp here, some of us wounded or tired too much for making the journey back to town, and it is late now. We will rest here for the night."

    As Tymeon went to help some greying, bearded man, not one he was familiar with (but then again, he was unfamiliar with nearly everyone here, when they left the town) interrupted.

    "Not you, lad. You and the girl got the brunt of the demons, and barely survived, you two go rest a bit, we will take care of the camp. You especially look like you need it. We had it easy and only got the smaller imps while your group got massacred, fighting the main demon force and it was even easier after we found the missing people and the two of you. We will handle setting camp and watch without you, don't worry."


    Something about the pitying, fatherly patronizing look in the man's eye annoyed the boy.

    "I can do my share!"

    "Ya already did, in the fighting-"

    "I hardly fought, the demons got the best of me, I would've died if not for..."

    "It doesn't matter, a boy that young , you should have been in town, safe, with one of the many adult cowards that didn't dare come with us in your place. And you didn't. Die, that is-think on that."
    Left to his thoughts, Tymeon soon found himself remembering the events of the battle, when…he was subdued by the succubus as men died around them… when 'Leah' changed into a demon, and about what she did, what she said, back then.

    When he dreamt that night, it was of Leah, wondering without stopping, always to the east. And he followed. Through desert, jungle and hell itself, he followed.
    Such was the way of things.


    Author Notes:. The first part of the chapter, the paragraphs in italics was a flashback to Leah's transformation, from Tymeon's view.
    Review, and comment. also thanks to all my readers and reviewers for the support. It's very appreciated. And don't forget to review!
     
    rifern, Pepihax, Dragonfiend and 2 others like this.
  30. SilentStriker

    SilentStriker Know what you're doing yet?

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    Enjoying everything so far. Do want to point out...

    Wanderer, wandering. Not Wonderer, wondering.

    Though the idea of the "Dark Wonderer" is a bit amusing.
     
    Pepihax, warlock7 and Jarudazuigu like this.
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