The Black Tower – Green’s Gossip : PD

Madame Green had come to snitch, but it was not the best idea to do it in front of a witch.

Artie:

 

A yelp of slight pain and surprise would stir from the femme fatale, the glass shattering as though she’d been gripping it too tightly – but no, it was simply Raul’s way of striking back at her words, through physical means. She grit her teeth and inhaled at the now bleeding cut from the glass along her palm – somewhat surprised. Pain did not often come to her – it was rare that anyone could lay a single finger on her, actually… He would pay for that, Madame knew this much. Oh, simply instilling his mother’s wrath upon him was not enough. Madame intended to pay him back for the slight pain he’d caused her, and she intended it in full. How obnoxious she was, to be wrecking such havock and at the smallest retaliation she took the greatest offense..

“Thank you, Marcus, dear.” The index finger of her left hand would wave over her right palm, where the cut had been.. as she held her glass with her right hand, being a rightie.. A sort of gas-like vapor that was green in color came from her fingertip, the cut itself disappearing within half a minute or so – in this time, she would speak. “He’s been quite bad, Marguerite… The woman he has impregnated is in her twenties.. A thief, rich and an orphan. She has a strong will, however… The child itself, that is a different story.. I would go and sleep, if I were you, by the way. This.. situation.. could take awhile.” Madame would then gaze at Marcus, smiling ever so slightly. “Marcus, feel my hand and make sure it’s healed, please..?” Though she would not just extend her hand to him – she would roll into the male, pressing her back against his chest and holding up her hand, gazing up at him.

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“I do believe I am done drinking, though thank you for pouring me a cup..” While Raul was an insufferable shithead, Marcus.. Well. The two had a fling greater than that of her and Valmont. It was strange, how her “friend” was the brother of someone who hated her. Madame herself could never see marriage in her future, but she could imagine the humor that would be if Raul happened to be her brother-in-law.. Oh, that would be a show! Alas.. She was not focused on that, looking up at the more handsome (in her opinion) brother.

 

Razorbackwriter:

 

The Black Castle

 

Marguerite tapped her pointed shoe upon the stone tiled floors as she awaited Madame Green to tell her all about the troubles that Raul had gotten himself into and in particular about this future grandchild to the House of Black. You might wonder why the martriarch would be so annoyed to hear what would otherwise be joyous news, but this was all ill timed. Marguerite had already set about plans to have him marry Lydia, and therefore become a Prince of Hell that way. It was a less messy way of doing things, so to have Raul get some other girl pregnant just wouldn’t do. Course, she did not know about Lydia’s death yet. That was something that Marcus had just found out. He…was busy tending to the Madame since Raul’s stormy exit left the woman with a cut hand from the shattered crystal. Staring at Marcus and Madame Green with blazing eyes of anger, she was treated to a tale that would have her jaw drop.

Apparently, Raul in his stupidity had gotten a simple thief pregnant. A girl with strong will, but no title to be had. In fact there was no speaking of just what nature of girl she was. It was really very little to go on, and Marguerite continued to fume with her mouth now twisting and showing cracks between her lipstick and the edge of her lips.

To make matters worse, Madame Green tried to be dismissive towards the matriarch of the Black household. There was no real explanation as to why the child would be strong from such coupling, and that the story was too long winded to be explained in one sitting.

“MARCUS! YOU WILL GET THIS WOMAN TO EXPLAIN ALL!” Her voice now raised as crackles of energy reared from her form. Leaving Madame’s side for a moment, the cheeky younger brother sidled up to his Mother and then patted her hand like she was an old lady.

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“There there Mother. You are putting yourself into a tizz. Your dreams of Raul marrying Lydia have turned to crud, since the Princess of Greed has passed on.” He stared at her with a look of compassion and something of a pout. “I know you were hoping for some big….fat wedding, but its not to be. Raul, for all his boyish charm seems to make a mess of things. He couldn’t even stop the death of Lydia. He must have impregnated the girl out of grief.” What a bunch of bullshit, but he was good at winding Mummy around his finger when it suited him. He was always attentive, unlike Raul who couldn’t be far enough away.

“Why don’t you go and consult your bones and those hairy backed witches to see more about this child. I’ll keep Madame company.” Marcus kept patting his mother’s hand and cooing at her till she relented. She shot one last glance at Madame before turning on her heel and marching out of the room. So much to take in and now a new threat. A child of Black, if a son…..would be the next heir to the family fortune and estate.

With his mother gone, Marcus strolled happily back up to the Madame’s side.

“Now…where were we?” He wrapped his arms around the wicked Madame Green and whispered in her ear. “Do tell me that it was me you came to see, and not here only to set the cat among the pigeons with Mother, or cause more grief for my pathetic excuse of a brother, hmm?”

~RB~

He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle – SS.

Scene setting : Pride Kingdom

co-written with Temp.

 

Temp:  Astaroth appeared sitting upon his throne, seemingly out of nowhere. He had just returned from the battle between the armies of Greed and Wrath. There was a great deal of disturbing occurrences during the battle, all of which were now being analyzed in his mind. Gabriel had somehow managed to get a variety of unique followers within an extremely short amount of time, for seemingly no logical reason. Both the armies of Greed and Wrath were stricken with mass casualties. Mammon, the Prince of Greed himself, fell in battle. Astaroth would likely have joined him if Lucifer himself hadn’t stepped in. This meant that he owed him, which wasn’t something he was happy about. Better to owe a favor than to die though, right? Normally retreating would have shaken someone like him down to the core, rattling his pride heavily at it’s core. However, he had made it clear to himself that there was simply no other choice. It still stung a tad, having to retreat, but there was no winning that fight. A one on one fight with Gabriel, now that would have been different…right? He had taken a lot of damage during the fight in his demonic form. Perhaps joining the fight in that form immediately was the wrong move. Next time he would fight in his normal form, or perhaps learn a condensed version of that form. There was a clear advantage in having multiple forms, as it put him into a position of having different phases of damage, vitality, stamina, etc. His pride in himself was not arrogance, it was something that was a fact. He refused to accept himself, or anything in his army that he couldn’t be proud of. It seemed his current capabilities weren’t sufficient enough, which meant he would have to continue training.

His wounds, along with the clothing that he wore, began to heal and return to normal while he sat on his throne. Healing his wounds wouldn’t take very long, but recovering from his transformation would. He was well aware that he would not be in fighting form for several days, but he refused to sit and fester. “Send me a General, immediately!” His words were loud and piercing, and would surely attract the attention of his servants. Eventually his order was obeyed, and a servant presented his lord with one of his many Generals. “Bolster the defenses, hire more spies…saboteurs…assassins…everything…I want scouts patrolling every hour…any spies in the dungeons and caught from here on out are to be executed…no more questioning. Kill any and all that are suspicious. Make me proud.” The General knew better than to question his lord and master, and bowed his head in total agreement. Astaroth knew damn well that the army of Pride was by far the most highly trained and powerful, as he would not accept anything less. Still, there was always room for improvement and more willing and able souls. There was no telling what awaited him in the future, so for now he would prepare and recover…and after…he would do anything necessary to become stronger. He now had a mission, a purpose. Kill Gabriel and all her followers.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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The Ambassador decided his next port of call on his mission to tour the Seven kingdoms of Hell would be none other than that of the Castle Pride. Already well aware of the fact that it was Lucifer that dealt the hand of fate to save Astaroth from Gabriel’s blade, the Ambassador was sure that the Prince of Pride would be wounded…both morally and physically. Of course he could heal himself, over time but no doubt he would seek vengeance against Gabriel and her supporters. The interesting thing was, the Ambassador served HELL, not any individual kingdom. He ensured that there was a balance in that those that needed to know the current state of affairs of each other’s kingdoms were told. What was interesting was the shift in the balance, from the Seven Princes to now….five with two Princesses taking the place of Belial and Mammon.

Ah yes Mammon. The Prince of Greed who uncharacteristically rode into the Castle Wrath as though his tail was on fire, and died tragically….and all too soon. Felled…by a woman…and betrayed by a woman. There was a connection between the rise of the two Princesses and one that the Prince of Pride was sure to need to know.

Having already paid a visit to the court of Envy and seeing for himself how women again were clamoring at the feet of the current Prince, Leviathan, the Ambassador was almost certain that there may well be….another change in power. Jealousy was a powerful Master. If one woman was scorned, because Leviathan chose to lay with the other that adored…who knows what she could do. All this was of course speculation….for now.

The black carriage arrived at the main gates of the Castle of Pride and a footman jumped off the back of the carriage and strode up towards the guards on duty. He would hand over the seal of the Vicomte de Valmont as an address for a meeting with his royal Highness the Prince of Pride. If the guards allowed the carriage passage inside, it would roll on through to the inner court yard, where Valmont would alight and await to be escorted up to the main hall.

 

~RB~

 

Temp:  Astaroth had been doing nothing but resting in his Throne since he arrived in his Kingdom. His transformation had taken it’s tole on his body, and his mind was in a bit of a strange place. He would fix his position in his throne as he was informed by a guard of the Ambassador’s arrival. What the man was doing here he did not know, as Astaroth had already known about Gabriel for a while now. Still, it was worth checking out…just in case.

The guards at the gates would escort the Ambassador all the way to the castle, as well as bring him inside. The Ambassador was brought into the Throne room, which was actually rather occupied at the moment. Astaroth’s most powerful and highly trained warriors filled the room, they were his Royal Guard. He looked down at the Ambassador with an annoyed look, but not due to any hatred he had for the man. He was simply not in a good mood was all. “Valmont…I trust you have a good reason for being here.” He was not in the mood for company, but he would put up with this meeting…for now.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Surrounded by the Royal guard and many other warriors of note, the Ambassador of Hell bowed before the Prince of Pride, who had a rather annoyed look upon his face. One was to expect that Astaroth would be in a bad mood after the failure at Wrath and who could blame him. Valmont certainly couldn’t. One thing that the Ambassador noted was that unlike the Prince of Envy who was surrounded by women and one very over protective guard, was that this was a court made up mostly of men. In truth, this was how Valmont liked it. Yes, he was the Demon of Seduction and perversion but he knew that when against women, you could never ever really trust them. Like what was happening in Hell at the moment. Did Belial have any inkling that his own love would behead him? Word was that she killed her son too. That meant she wanted no competition. She was true to her nature, and that is what made her all the more dangerous.

“Valmont…I trust you have a good reason for being here.”

“Indeed I have, my Lord Pride.” Valmont was curt in his response, knowing full well that the Prince would not favour any dilly dallying on his part. So, he got right to the point of his visit.

“As you know, the balance of power from men in the seats of thrones is changing. Gabriel being the first. And you are most likely aware, that Mammon acted…out of character at the battle of Wrath castle.” The Ambassador said, turning his head to look up at the Prince with a serious expression. “Mammon had been betrayed, my Lord Pride. His own Lady of Ambition tricked him into wearing Beserker. The armor was the reason that Mammon….fell so prematurely.”

Now, the Prince of Pride would have known that Mammon acted almost insane in his attack on Gabriel. Without care for his own life. Odd…really.

“So, now there is a woman as head of Greed. But…that is not the end of it.”

This is where the intelligence of the Ambassador would come in truly useful. “I have just been to see Leviathan – the Prince of Envy, and turns out he has a little female problem of his own. Two women are vying for his affection, another too sick to compete….BUT….after the fall of Belial and Mammon to women…it’s a matter of time before Leviathan does as well.”

“Leviathan still wishes Gabriel’s favors and is a staunch supporter. As for Baal, well….I dare say he is licking his stump. Having lost his arm to Mammon. The same Prince he betrayed for Gabriel.”

There was a pattern emerging, if the Prince of Pride chose to see it. The Ambassador went into the final act of his intel collection.

“Of the five remaining princes, two are aligned with Wrath….and Gabriel may think highly of Lady Lydia for her wicked plot against Mammon. That would be three against you….my Lord. Sloth is silent for now….but then there is Lust….”

His voice trailed off at the mention of the other Princes…as he was sure that all this was sinking in. “It’s no doubt that each have aspirations for greatness. Question is….who do you trust?”

~RB~

 

Temp:  Astaroth sat rather calmly in his throne, though if one was to pay close enough attention they would see the anger on his face growing. It hit an all time high when it was revealed that Mammon had been betrayed…by yet another woman. His teeth grinded together as he thought back on the battle. Mammon did have on an unusual set of armor…and his actions…they were psychotic indeed. There was no reason to doubt Valmont in this regard, as he was one to witness it. The mention of Leviathan was one that angered him as well, due to his alliance with Gabriel. It seemed he was also surrounded by women. Female ambition was at an all time high apparently, but such a thing was absent in the kingdom of Pride. Finding a suitable female was no easy task for Astaroth. It seemed that was probably a damn good thing. “Women…dangerous creatures…” There were none in his Kingdom that were close to him, but they were still present. He had no reason to fear these females, but if any of them were important to him…this would be a time where his guard would rise. Thankfully, the female issue would be one he wouldn’t be involved in. Now there were two Princesses and even more alliances would likely surface. Lucifer himself had saved Astaroth, surely there was some bigger reason for this. In terms of allies, Astaroth really didn’t have any. “Who do I trust? Nobody but myself.” None of his guards made a single comment or even moved an inch at his words. It really wasn’t something that was hidden after all. “From what I can see…the only choice I have is to ally with other kingdoms…or hire an outside force.” This shit was really getting on his nerves, and it was beginning to show. His anger was rising by the minute, while his body continued to heal. When he was back at full strength…he would have to do everything necessary to increase his power.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Everything was going just as Valmont anticipated. The news was causing the Prince of Pride to grind his teeth menacingly, and he was in agreeance that it was the women of hell that were doing all the damage to the status-quo. “Women…dangerous creatures…”The Prince of Pride uttered, and to this, Valmont simply nodded. Yes, it was sinking in and all truth. Valmont had no reason to lie, for the truth was far more devious. As for who Astaroth trusted, he trusted no body but himself. You couldn’t really blame him for that.

“Well understood, my Lord Pride.”

The race for alliances was on. No doubt Leviathan and Gabriel were both on the move. Lady Lydia had yet to make her move officially, but that would come in good time. Valmont was sure of it.

“From what I can see…the only choice I have is to ally with other kingdoms…or hire an outside force.”

Now here was something interesting. Ally with other kingdoms outside of hell…trust the other remaining princes….or hire an outside force.

“Why hire one….when you can buy one.” The Ambassador said, before pulling out a card from his jacket and then offering it to a guard to give to the Prince. If he read it, it would be a card for none other than Hell’s Kitchen – The laboratory.

“Word has it that the good Doctor is making…an army of super soldiers. His assistant, the hunchback Igor was down at the battlefield gathering bodies of the dead from the war of Wrath. Harvesting them….for the purpose of reanimation and perfecting them. It’s one way of getting a leg up on the other kingdoms if you….have the primary contract for the first battalion.”

The Ambassador waited to see what the Prince of Pride thought of this.

~RB~

Hot Gossip – SS

 

Scene setting : The Park

co-written with Krystal

 

Krystal:  Maya was a little suspicious at Lydia’s reaction. It hadn’t even been that surprising toher, and she was there. It was very common for new Princes, or Princesses, to rise to their new-found stature by downing the previous monarch in battle. She looked out the tassles and through the window, and she could see their home in the cave from here. They were nearing the destination in which they’d depart from the carriage. “Lady Gabriel has always seemed very strong, and to myself, it’s not a surprise she finally overthrew Belial. Allister and I could’ve gotten ourselves into some big trouble, but luckily it seemed that none of the Royals wanted another fight. They gave us a warning and we left promptly,” she said, glancing at Allister a little angrily.

Allister sunk in his seat a little, hunching his shoulders. He knew good and well it had all been his fault, but he wasn’t about to correct Maya as she covered for him.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The gossip was juicy as it was delicious to hear. Maya and Allister both offered up what they knew about the death of Belial and the rise of a new Princess to the realms of Hell. What may have seen like a common affair to the likes of Maya, as she described the battle and how Lady Gabriel was a strong contender to defeat Belial without so much as a scratch; was intriguing to the demon of Ambition. The want and lust for power – to be better…oh she must have a greedy streak after all, Lydia thought as she used her slender digits to smooth out her skirt.

Lydia gave a curt nod that the other royals were not at all interested in another fight with Maya and Allister, and who could blame them after taking the head of Belial in such a fashion. Nothing could really compare after that feat.

The carriage started to slow as it reached its destination. The cave like home of Maya and Allister. How did the driver know this? Well, Lydia was able to communicate telepathically whilst speaking to the pair within the carriage, and she also noted how Maya stared outside the window at what must be her abode. Humble as it was. Lydia reached up and tugged on the red ribbon and the carriage rolled to a stop. The door opening by itself.

“Well, here we are. Safe and sound.” Lydia chimed as she waited for the pair to disembark. “You have both been most entertaining, and I look forward to our meeting another time.”

This was her way of saying farewell to the pair. Lydia was now in a dreadful rush to go and relay what she had heard to her Master, the Demon of Greed. Prince Mammon. Oh, she was going to get more than a painted gold star for this. A Duchy in another realm perhaps.

Once Maya and Allister alighted from the carriage, the door would slam shut and the carriage would take off at speed….bound for the Kingdom of Greed.

~RB~

 

Krystal:  Maya smiled again, standing up to exit the carriage. “Thank you again for the ride, Domi. We both really appreciate it.” She helped Allister out, and watched the carriage speed away. Maya couldn’t help but feel like they’d been somehow used and that Domi hadn’t just been generous and offered them a random ride from the kindness of her heart. But, they felt fine, and they’d manage to get home faster.

 

 

Story continues at the Castle of Greed.