One thing was for certain. A reaper had come for the souls of those that were dying in the maze. Question was, how many souls would he collect?
Scene setting : The Maze of Greed
Co-written with Dessy, Artie and Phyln.
Dessy: Lydia was a fool. An ambitious, greedy fool. Sure, she may have been the Princess of Greed, but it was becoming too greedy that caused her death. Just like Mammon’s. Lydia was the Demon of Ambition, and her own ambition and Greed caused her demise. She also had a bad habit of underestimating people, like she did with Mariela. She underestimated the young witch, and Mariela just proved that she was much greater than Lydia thought.
The shocked expression on Lydia’s face caused the young witch to smile. Blood poured out from the wound, onto the shard itself and onto Mariela’s hands. Once she had pulled the shard out, Mariela spoke nothing as she stared at Lydia as she spoke. Mariela continued eyeing her down, watching with triumph and satisfaction as the Princess of Greed died in front of her. She spoke of how Mariela belonged in hell, but the witch still said nothing. That may be true… but Mariela has accepted her fate. It’s time Lydia did the same.
“I will rule this kingdom like it deserves to be ruled.” Mariela spoke, before Lydia exploded into green slime that covered the maze walls, and got all over her own dress. She continued holding the shard of glass dripping in blood, her own hands covered in blood as she turned to Duggie, who was wiping some off of the green slime off of his face.
“I’m sorry you had to see that. But it needed to be done.” she spoke when she had walked up towards Duggie. “Our next priorty is to find Raul, my brothers and the girls.” she spoke, walking in the direction they ran off to. She knew where they were. She followed their energy. She didn’t notice Scar’s face in the broken glass shards from the mirror. Instead, she walked through the maze, the Giant following behind her.
Meanwhile, in another part of the maze, Tessa and Bandit had ran into a dead end. “Dammit!” Tessa cursed, turning around to try and find a path they haven’t already went to. “I hate mazes.” she spoke. She stopped when she heard a familiar voice calling to her, and she turned to see the brothers.
“Tess!” Sam called as him and his brother caught up with the girls. “Sean! Sam! What are you doing here?” Tessa called.”Raul is after you guys. He’s trying to find Bandit. Marie sent us after you in hopes we got to you guys before he did.” Sam spoke. “And where is Marie?” the brunette haired girl asked.
“She stayed behind with Lydia. She said she’d find us later.” Sean spoke up, causing a horrified look to appear on Tessa’s face. “You left her alone with Lydia?! She’s going to get herself killed!” Tessa panicked. What none of them knew, was that Mariela was indeed alive. And different… in more ways than imaginable. “She’ll be fine, I’m sure. Now we don’t have much time. Raul is after you and we have to move! Now!” Sean said, beginning to pull Tessa to follow Sam, who had already ran ahead. Eventually, the four of them were running through another part of the maze, hoping to either run into a way out or run into Mariela. Anything but Raul.
Artie: Bandit cursed softly under her breath when Tessa and Bandit ran into a dead end, her teeth baring in frustration. “No kidding. I’m never going to even do one as a brain teaser ever again.” Though she would turn around, gazing at the voice calling a girl’s name – oh. The girl carrying her. Not as if Bandit ever got a formal introduction to any of them. “Oh, fantastic.” The words dripped with sarcasm at the mention of Raul. She would suck in her bottom lip and begin biting it, but only for a moment. “Lydia against Mariela?” There was no doubt in Bandit’s mind that Mariela wasn’t alive, if this Lydia was half as bad as everyone claimed her to be.
“Oh, more running. Yay.” Bandit winced, as they began moving once more. The jostles and bumps brought twinges of pain up and down her legs, her eyes closing with each cringe. “Eek. Ow. Ooh.” Another wince. “Son of a bitch.” She sighed softly, attempting to absorb some of the pain in her legs. Bandit kept her arms firmly around Tessa’s neck, though ached to rub her legs to relieve some of the intense and building pain. The slashes in them were beginning to open up again, blood leaking from her and back onto her clothing, through the dried bits to become wet once more. Tessa would surely begin to notice the wetness on her hands, and if she looked, they would be stained dark red.
“S-sorry..” Was all that the blonde could manage, speaking through the intensified pain. For once, she felt powerless as the reality crashed down on her. If push came to shove.. she was worthless. This thought, and this alone, scared her more than Raul ever could.
Phyln: Content to have been ignored as the events of the maze persisted around him Solomon found his way to the bodies of the fallen hounds. Kneeling gently beside the first he pulled a small vial from his belt, upon uncorking it the body of the hound he knelt by began to shimmer with a black haze. As the whole corpse dissolved into the new essence it was quickly scooped up into the vial. Placing the cork back in the solid body of the hound formed again at his feet though different this time. Despite being a corpse it now seemed even more cold and lifeless as its original colors faded and gave way to greys. This was the same creature but now lacking any evidence of ever having life within it. He continued this process for the remaining bodies using a different vial each time.
Sliding the last vial back into his belt he felt a great tug from somewhere else within the maze. Standing and righting his cane on the ground he straitened his jacket and headed off, his free hand on the wall as he allowed the pull of the powerful life force that had perished lead him to the center of the maze.
The Maze of Greed
~I blame you for the moonlit sky and the dream that died……..~
What a shock it was for a being such as Lydia to suddenly find herself standing in the same place, but all was black and white. Her fallen body was laying upon the ground in pieces…..green gloops of goo. Nothing of her was now recognizable and the spirit like Lydia opened her mouth to scream but no one was there to hear her. Lydia reached up to touch her face, and sure enough it was as she was before she had even become the Princess of Greed. She was just the Demon of Ambition in her true form – but a ghost.
“I’m dead?” There was a pitiful sound as she started to realize that all her dreams had just died along with her. Lydia tried to touch the maze wall and her hand simply moved straight through, without even causing a rustling in the leaves. “I can’t be dead. i can’t!” She started to wring her hands, looking for Raul. Where was he in her maze? Following that cripple? How could he leave her in her moment of what was supposed to be her triumph?
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” She screamed out again to nothing and no one….
Raul could not hear Lydia’s screams. How could he? It was not like he could hear the wail of a ghost. The warlock had no idea that the Princess of Greed had fallen at the hands of the young witch. Raul had bigger fish to fry. He wanted his girl back. Bandit, belonged to him -whether she understood that or not. Running now through the winding maze, he did begin to pick up the sound of voices up ahead.
“She’ll be fine, I’m sure. Now we don’t have much time. Raul is after you and we have to move! Now!”
It was one of the boys that had been with the witch. Aha. He heard the boy mention his name, which meant that the four of them were now working together to make their escape. But Raul was one tricky bastard. Stopping only for a moment he withdrew his lucky deck of cards and shuffled them wildly, before blowing on the deck. One, two, three….four queens of the deck spirited out of the cards and all appeared before their Master, one for each house. Spades, diamonds, Hearts and of course Clubs.
“Yes, Master?” They all chorused as they pawed and cooed at him with a haunting affection.
“Find the boys and the human girl that has my Bandit!” Raul snarled at them all as he threw his hand in the direction in which the four went. Without waiting for a second command, each of the Queens hurried off like streaks of coloured light, laughing and cackling as they went. Darting through the maze at astonishing speed. Raul then turned around as he knew that Mariela might be on her way. Had she defeated the Princess of Greed?
Further up the track, Douglas was following along behind Mariela. How incredible it was that she had changed so much when rising to the task of fighting Lydia. It was almost like the girl had somehow changed. Douglas coughed as he trudged along.
“I’m sorry about the mirror, lassie” He truly was, and he happened to look down at the piece of shard that Mariela held in her hand and the Giant could have sworn he saw a reflection of a pair of eyes in the glass.
“Err…..little witch, how did you make the face in the shard?”
If she bothered to look, she would see Scar’s eyes staring at her sadly.
Up ahead the four Queens of Raul all caught up with the two boys, Tessa and Bandit as they tried to get away. Dashing in front of them, two of the Queens landed and then bared horribly fang like teeth at the four. Two stayed in back as they all raised their arms and started to chant loudly. Their chorus could be heard throughout the maze itself, and this was what finally brought Raul around the corner.
“Well well well. Looks like you couldn’t find your way out, huh?” Raul had a smug expression, that was until the actual maze itself started to change….it was de-materializing right in front of their eyes. Lydia had brought it over from the Fallen mansion, and had used her magic to do it. With it now gone from her control, the maze was going back to where it truly belonged.
A few hundred metres away, Douglas was starting to go transparent.
“Little witch! Help me!”
Dessy: When they had stopped moving, Tessa couldn’t help but laugh at Bandit’s joke about the maze. Then the brothers had shown up, and Tessa had turned around. Hearing the words from Bandit’s mouth drip with sarcasm, Tessa looked down. “Don’t worry. We won’t let him have you.” she had spoke, before the three began running again. Tessa felt the wetness of her hands, and the entire time she heard Bandit’s words of pain. But they had to keep running.
“No worries. We’ll find a way to help you. I promise.” Tessa spoke. But the brothers had stopped in their tracks as two… women?… appeared in front of them. Tessa turned around, only to have two more appear behind them. “Shit.” the brunette cursed, stepping back in the middle with Mariela’s brothers. Sam stood in front and Sean stood behind, in an attempt to shield the two girls.
All of their heads turned at the sound of Raul’s voice. Sam opened to his mouth to speak, before the maze started to disappear. “Uh… What’s happening to the maze?” Sean asked. “I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s not suppose to just disappear like this.” Sam said. Raul looked about as confused as they did, as the boys turned around to watch the maze disappear in front of them.
“It’s fine. You didn’t know.” Mariela spoke, her eyes still facing forward as she followed the path where her brothers had went off to. She stopped to give the Giant a confused look when he mentioned a face in the shard. “What?” she asked, before she held up the shard, stained with the blood of the fallen Princess of Greed. She saw Scar’s eyes, and her own eyes widened. “I’ll get you out of there, Scar. Promise.” she spoke, before moving her gaze back forward.
She was about to start walking again, but stopped as the maze seemed to suddenly disappear. “What’s happening to the maze?” she spoke out loud, turning around to look around as the hedges began to disappear. That’s when she remembered. “Lydia brought the maze from another dimension with her magic. When she died, her magic faded.” she spoke, but then the sudden realization hit that Douglas was part of the maze. “Oh no.” she spoke, whipping around to see Douglas going transparent.
“Little witch! Help me!”
Douglas called out, and Mariela started to panic. “Shit.” she spoke. Mariela didn’t know how to save Douglas, or the maze. But, she remembered that Lydia’s powers got absorbed into her when the collar locked onto her. Could that mean she had Lydia’s powers? It wasn’t possible. Mariela had to figure something out on how to save the giant. And she was quickly running out of time…
Artie: Could nightmares become real? Bandit’s eyes widened quite a bit as the women began to appear.. How familiar. How terribly familiar.. God. “Same old tricks, Raul?” Her voice was strong, but inside.. Inside, she was dying. The last time she’d encountered these women, she’d been whisked away from her home in the slave market and into slavery.. Great. “Fucking great.” These words were much lower, so much so that probably only Tessa could hear.. The little thief glared pointedly at Raul then, the brief emotion of surprise quickly falling from her face to be replaced with irritation.
Though it would one more return to wonder at the beginnings of the disappearance of the maze, blue eyes gazing around in confusion. “What the..” No witty comment, despite being thought of briefly, could leave her mouth. She was far too engrossed in the transparency of the leaves, the field that they remained on slowly becoming visible. It was as though someone had selected the layer of the bushes in photoshop and was slowly lowering the opacity until it was no longer visible..
But was this another trick? Bandit’s hand moved slowly to her boot, beginning to take out the accompanying dagger. Such a small weapon, but effective if necessary… Should they run through the branches and escape while they were transparent? Would being transparent make them partially passable, with only some resistance? If her legs had been working, Bandit would have tested this. Her legs.. Her legs! The blood had begun to drip down Tessa’s hand, and since they stood still, a pool had begun to form underneath Bandit. She was bleeding out, and time was of the essence.. Would Raul realize this?
Greed – The Masquerade Ball Maze
The Four Queens
Bandit would know this scene well. It was exactly the same one that had been played out in the agency where Raul and Bandit first met. He had used the card trick to trap her since she had tried to run from his clutches. The warlock set her onto a path that led her to another world, and be his slave. The only thing he didn’t count on was the fact that she had a friend that had watched over her. A certain black cat. A cat that had followed the Bandit everywhere she went. Another that had been cursed by the evil Raul. But the next series of events were going to be so out of this world, that it would leave all gasping in wonder. You see, the magic that brought the maze across from the realm of the Fallen mansion had also opened up doorways that before were never imagined possible. And so, with that same magic being pulled away with the Death of Lydia, those same doorways were opening again. Only this time as the maze appeared to be going back, along with the terrified Giant, another was slipping in. The leaves and branches of the maze were flickering on and off as the pull of magical power was lessening.
Raul looked as shocked as the others by what was happening. Bandit might have thought that this was one of his tricks, but it was clear by the look on his face that he had absolutely no clue at all. As the Queens danced and chanted, he snarled and raised his hand in an angered swipe, that saw the four Queens turn back into playing cards and fly back into his hands.
“I’M NOT THE ONE DOING THIS!” He roared in anger, spinning on his heel as he tried to think. It was in response to Bandit’s accusation. Her voice powered by the realization that she was facing the same game. Though the Warlock had just called off his own attack dogs. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a black cat. Unlike the maze, it was not fading in and out. It was as real as everyone else was. But as it approached, it started to alter and change….it changed into….Habib. The same slave that had helped Bandit in the land beyond the mirror.
The only thing was that he suddenly roared at Raul as great black wings exploded out of his back.
He was no simple slave….nor was he really a cat. With dark skin and eyes, he was truly a magnificent sight. He marched right up to Raul and stood with his face inches from Raul’s.
“The Princess of Greed is dead. Her hold over all things magical, is gone. The maze will leave Hell and return to it’s rightful place.” He spoke with a heavy Arabian accent, and you could see that he was far more powerful than Raul ever was. Raul was about to snap something foul at the dark one before him, but before he could Habib’s eyes fell upon the pool of blood that was at Bandit’s feet. It was clear to him, that the girl was bleeding out. Oh, if you could see the anger, the fury in the dark creature’s eyes. They flashed back at the hapless Warlock, as he simply pushed him out of the way. Crossing the ground and with the simple wave of his hand, he had the boys step aside. Habib came right up to Tessa and then he made a very noble bow.
“She is dying. Only I can save her.” Habib looked to Bandit, his face surely recognizable, but not his current form. “Let me take her to where she will be safe and I may heal her.”
“NO!….SHE IS MINE!” Raul roared, overhearing Habib’s words. He was not about to give Bandit up without a fight. Habib went to scoop the girl easily out of Tessa’s arms, as he looked back over his shoulder at the enraged Warlock.
“She goes with you, she dies. What you want with a corpse, hmm? Haven’t you hurt her enough?!” There was a true menace in his voice as he went to cradle Bandit to his chest. It was then that Raul made his terrible threat be known.
“If you don’t hand her over….that witch will never see Scar again.” To add to this thread, he said. “Without Scar’s hat….they..” He pointed to Tessa and Mariela’s brothers…“they…can’t go home.” Raul knew of a way to fix the mirror, and return Scar to his beloved little Witch…but the price was a great one. Bandit.
Time was now of the essence. Habib growled fiercely at the Warlock, as the maze continued to fizzle and flicker. It was then that Habib roared for Mariela to hear.
“YOU ARE THE POWER, MARIELA!!!…….YOU HAD IT ALL ALONG!!!. YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE!!! REPAIR THE BROKEN MIRROR WITH THE SHARD!!!….BRING THE MAZE BACK!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!”