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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

3.3.18.6. A Devil's End


To depict Arachus, Lord of the Pit, the most similar figure is Baal Zebu or Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies Myths & Legends TCG By GenZoMan (http://genzoman.deviantart.com)
3.3.18.6. A Devil’s End
Back to the Dark Throne in Kraal’Thragon, the Heir sits alone, still with his knuckle supporting his head like the one deep in thought – or sleeping.
Suddenly, the heavy door that leads into the throne hall opens a bit slowly. The Heir still doesn’t move and a she-devil walks into the hall. She comes and kneels before the throne, and stays that way until the Heir notices her.
A minute after, the Heir speaks gently, ‘What tidings do you bring, Archdemoness?’
The Archdemoness or Succubus Queen reports, ‘Your spy in Arcadia, Talbot du Bois has been discovered. He escaped and is now en route here.’
The Heir’s voice turns hoarse, ‘See, I told you they would find out the truth sooner or later.’
The gentle voice responds, ‘Well, there’s no such thing as a flawless plan. The point is, WHEN they would discover the truth. After our return here? After the Alliance waged war against each other? After we used that chance and advanced as far as Borgia?’
‘Yes, but the plan failed. The Alliance has stopped us and we lost more troops than their overall,’ says the harsh voice.
And gentle, ‘Still, we have done our best. Without the ‘divide and conquer’ scheme, we wouldn’t be able to take even Merida, even with the orcs’ help. Just face it. The Light Side is strong, and they are not to be taken lightly despite their limited numbers.
We still have plenty of reserves for another wave of campaign plus our defenses. So, Archdemoness, how is the preparation going?’
Before the Archdemoness delivers her report, suddenly, the door to the throne hall flings open with a loud CLANK! A big, blood-red skinned devil walks limply into the hall with is scythe as a walking stick. His right hand, right horn and left leg seem missing.
The Heir recognizes him at once and greets with a hoarse voice, ‘Arachus, Lord of the Pit. You have returned, and you return with victory, I hope.’
With resentment in his tone, Arachus replies, ‘Yes, I’ve returned, and I returned victorious. I see you have completed your ‘transformation’, milord. Well, while you were ‘slumbering’, I’ve challenged Archangel Avariel, your Light Side counterpart in this world. We’ve fought for a fortnight, day and night without rest. Oh yes, we’ve fought.
He lost me an arm and a leg, but I finally got him under my mercy. Oh, yes. Weak, powerless, barely alive. And when I brought my scythe down to finish him once and for all, he just dissolved into thin air, every last cell of his existence, gone. Only his sword remains, like a tombstone in – to my delight – the Slope of Fallen Angels. I could hear his voice fading in the wind, singing,
Schaivona, Schaivona
Flee me, flee me
This great evil not yet slain
Wait for me, wait for me
We’ll surely meet again
And that was the end of Avariel Swordsinger. I tried to bring the oversized sword here as the trophy for my victory, but I still got my scythe on my single hand. So I decided to leave the sword there.’
The Heir falls silent for a moment, and then his gentlemanly voice reverberates, ‘So, Lord Regent, you came back here to claim your just reward?’
Arachus readily answers, ‘Why, of course, milord. That is, with your consent.’
Hearing that, the Heir just stands up silently and slowly. Arachus puts up a broad, hopeful smile, making his face more frightening than ever. And then, to his surprise, the Heir vanishes!
SWISH!!! CRASSSH!!!
The next split-second, he feels a sudden jerk on his hand and the scythe he’s supporting on is snatched from him. The next second, the Archdevil feels pain, the greatest and last pain, the life-ending pain as if his torso has been split in two.
And yes! He falls face-down on the floor and black blood floods out from this spilt stomach. His strength is failing him, and with labored breath he mutters, ‘W-why, m-master?’
The master lands next to the dying Arachus, planting the tip of the Crow Scythe on the devil’s back, absorbing what’s left of his energy. Arachus is getting thinner and thinner. The Heir now speaks hoarsely, ‘You might’ve done a great deed, Arachus, but you also made mistakes, mistakes that deserve death as reward.’
‘Y-you mean?’
‘Let me fill you in. First mistake, the Crow Scythe is mine. I’ve lent it to you during my absence and now I’m taking it back, yet you said that it’s YOUR scythe. I smell perfidy and ambition in the air, and I don’t like it.
Second, you said Archangel Avariel was dissolved and left his sword in the Slope of Fallen Angels, and you claimed that you’ve killed him? BIG mistake! Avariel was not dissolved, he teleported! He was indeed, too weak to bring his heavy sword all the way to Yvais, and at least he can’t fight for another five years or so. After that, his strength will be restored, and he’ll be my greatest rival and hindrance all over again! To assume that he’s dead, that’s outright stupid!
And the third, what has become to you to achieve that? You’ve lost an arm and a leg, and pretty much useless without degrading my prized Crow Scythe into a walking stick. We have no use of such powerless, crippled leader!’
The Heir then changes his tone to gently, ‘Yet, you still deserve a reward from putting Avariel out of picture long enough until I conquer this world. You should be honored to be part of me now. Your spirit becomes the spirit of the Crow Scythe and can be summoned anytime, and your body, your strength live in mine. It seems you won’t be useless after all. Good bye, Archdevil Arachus, my Lord Regent...’
Arachus has never been very bright all his life, with his brute strength to compensate for it. He realizes now the meaning of life in the Dark Side. Only the strong can survive, and to lose one’s strength means becoming a garbage, a useless waste. He knew that, but he never fully understood it. His ambition drove him into dueling Avariel, who, despite is equal to him in strength, outsmarted him with skills, magic and tactics to cripple the enemy and escape death.
Alas, it’s too late for Arachus now, and with his dying breath he sighs with regret. The Archdevil leaves this world in the most horrible state: spilt stomach, body drained up to his bones, and all is lost.
The Succubus Queen watches this with mixed feelings of joy of taking Arachus’ place as Vordac’s right handman and dread of understanding the price of losing one’s own strength, and the kind of world the Dark Overlord aspires to rule in the future. ‘The strong devours the weak, only the strong may survive and only the strongest may rule.’
Suddenly, the Heir’s gentle voice startles her, ‘Archdemoness, gather our troops. Get them ready for the second wave of our campaign. We will commence attack immediately.’
‘I’m on it, O’ Dark One,’ says the she-devil. Her eyes are half-fixed towards the bony-blood-dry remains of the former Lord Regent, Arachus on the floor. She then quickly turns and walks away, hiding her terror from her fearsome master.
Having imposed his authority to his minions and becoming stronger, full of devilish energy, the Heir just sits back on his not-so-comfy Throne of Bones. He just caresses his treasured weapon, the Crow Scythe like a father to his son, singing a song composed today, softly like a lullaby.
With the Crow in hand
Opening the road ahead
I bring scourge to this land
Sleeping beauty upstairs
Brings purpose in the air
Nothing can stop the Heir!
End of Chapter 18

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