It’s time – PD

In the final part of the introduction of Reficul, we begin to understand the reasons behind his summons of the former Princess of Greed and Ambition.

 

The World inside Scar’s Hat 

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It’s time

Lydia had ever right to be suspicious. After all, she had been summoned from the plane of death to now stand before what could only be a necromancer….or a very powerful warlock. Being killed by a witch had left Lydia with a hatred for their kind, but Ref’s words only made her curious, when he said they had interests in the same girl. Raising her hands, as though to try and use her powers against this man…in the hat, she was shocked to find that she had no power to speak of. Lydia kept trying to blast the man, but all she ended up doing was looking stupid. Ref chuckled at Lydia’s predicament.

“Dear, try as you might you have no real power in this place. When you…died all your powers went to Mariela. You…are simply a demonic shadow of your former self.” The tone of Ref’s voice showed little to no emotion, as though he had this valve that turned off all his human qualities. In a way, it helped to keep those that Ref dealt with from seeing just what kind of a man he was. What his…motivation would be.

Lydia slowly lowered her hands – panting heavily. Odd, she felt real. Not like a shadow at all. Her eyes darted about the blackened ruins, then down at the symbol that had been drawn on the floor. The two dead officers….and of course the items that were placed at each corner of the pentagram. Dark art magic. The right hand corner of the edge of her mouth twitched, as though she was about to go off in a terrible tirade of venomous words and curses. The former Princess of Greed and ambition felt powerless and weak in this state – but her hatred and her resolve were just as strong as ever. Ref picked up on it instantly. There were so many questions that this demon had, and yet she appeared lost for words – for once. Ref truly had her over a barrel.

Ha…I am so surprised that you still let your emotions get the better of you. Perhaps that is why…you fell so easily to the sin of Greed. Has…death taught you nothing at all?” The smarmy way that Ref spoke finally made a clean shot. Lydia being now an easy target. He questioned her ability to rise above the sin. Her eyes followed him as he smacked his lips together and then uttered. “Perhaps I would have been better served bringing back Mammon….Hmm?”

“Mammon died a fool’s death!” There it was….the anger, and oh how beautiful it was. “He was easy to manipulate. I simply used his hatred of women to make him fall for the biggest trap of all. That…and his Greed!” Lydia practically snarled these words. Spittle forming on the edge of her lips. At this, Ref stepped into the symbol of the Pentagram and stared Lydia down.

“Now I am beginning to see the woman behind the demon. Yes…you were exactly the one I wanted. Though you lack a little fire power now, I have a….friend that can help with that.” One of the important things to note about Ref was his ability to form contacts in the unlikeliest of places. Forming alliances with the unlikely. The things he did…would both shock and amaze his enemies. Enemies that either were of his choosing, or…were handed down, like that of his long standing hatred of the Ramoskas.

Lydia didn’t trust this man at all. In fact, her trust levels overall had taken a battering. All she knew was, that unless she followed this man to…wherever it was he spoke of she was unable to do anything. Swallowing, as her temper cooled a little, Lydia asked. “How do you know so much about me….to even bring me back?’ This was probably the first honest question Lydia had ever asked. She was starting to feel that maybe he did need her, though why that was, was a mystery.

It was then that Ref pulled out an artifact, that was in fact a pocket watch. A very special one. He flipped open the catch and it revealed a worn face, where it was actually hard to see the numbers or the watch face underneath. It was unusual, and really didn’t look all that important. Not to Lydia anyways.

“It was time…” Three simple words. The power of these words however, would be lost on Lydia, who stared back at him blankly. “Time?”

Again, Ref chuckled for a moment, before reaching for Lydia’s hand. “Time my dear, is a curse to some and a gift to others. The question is, who controls it? Right now the sands are shifting quickly and this has allowed for a chance for the likes of you to return….as well as unleashing the mother of all destruction. Not just in this reality, but in others….including Hell.” As it stood, no one was truly safe. Like the incoming tide, Ref wanted to ride in on this tsunami of destruction….and he wasn’t the only one.

Taking out the chalk, he walked to the nearest wall, and started to draw a simple door. It was almost child like in its design, but that was the beauty of it. In the center he drew a replica of the watch he held in his hand. As he finished the last of the detail, he then placed the ancient watch up to the door. The whole wall began to shake, and rattle, as if the house itself was about to fall down about their ears. A greenish hue appeared like a neon light around the edges of the chalk marking, followed by a green mist that engulfed the room.

“We have an appointment at the Reality gate, dear. Time to go meet my little green faced beauty.”

The door burst open as though powered by an incredible force, and with a simple tip of his hat, Ref led Lydia…who didn’t look at all pleased, into the Reality gate.

~RB~

Bringing back the Bitch – PD

What could the strange man in the hat want inside the burnt remains of the old house you might ask?  Let’s find out.  

 

The World inside Scar’s hat 

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Bringing back the Bitch

Part Two

It was true…the spirits didn’t lie. This house, this place that reeked of death was special in more ways than one. According to the police reports that the man in the hat had so ruthless acquired, this marked the spot where Mariela perished in the flames. Ah yes…that family. How long the man in the hat had kept watch over them, taking over from his father…and his father before that. Hatred never truly dies. It is possible to be bred into each family member, following on throughout the centuries from that initial moment where a high ranking member of Mariela’s ancestry had made a terrible mistake and lashed out in fury – the consequences of this were to see generations of her family persecuted. With Mariela’s death however, you would think that would have been the end of it. How wrong they were.

Witches were hated. That was a fact that was undeniable, but if you were clever enough to manipulate humans into believing that you were on their side – well, that just made setting up others all the easier. Take for example a man that went to such lengths to put a plan into place, and all to do with a future event that he foresaw. it was all about…opportunities. Impregnating a woman that would go on to have a daughter…a girl, who would end up being friends with the girl who would die only to rise and become one of the greatest rulers of Hell. Keeping his distance, watching from the shadows was something of a bitter sweet joy. But he was more than just a shadow….so much more.

Now the girl had gone, and after tracing her movements in her final hours and tapping her phone, she was to meet with the brothers of the target. After that…she vanished…along with them. There was a link…there had to be. The man in the hat held the picture of the beautiful Tessa in his hand and quietly folded it and placed it into his pocket neatly for safe keeping. Smacking his lips and then with a somewhat somber expression, he turned around to the bodies of the two dead police officers. Killing them had been intentional. His purpose was about to become exposed.

Taking out that same piece of chalk that he had used in the hallway, he began to draw a pentagram upon the floor of the burnt out basement. The eerie scratch of the chalk along the concrete was the only sound – coupled of course with his heavy breaths. He did not utter a word till the pentagram was complete. When he finished, he reached into another pocket and placed down items at each point. These were ordinary pieces – a bracelet, a lock of hair, a small doll, a note and a raven’s feather. When each was in place, he went to the Sheriff and dragged his body across the floor till it reached the edge of the pentagram. Taking out a blade, he cut the man’s throat – spilling his blood into the chalk drawn symbol. The second man; the deputy, the man in the hat did the same but at the opposite end. Taking out five black candles, he put them at each point.

As the blood of the two men reached the center of the symbol – drawn together by a strange force, the man in the hat took out a small yellowed parchment that had been torn out of a book….a very old book.

Closing his eyes, he began to chant. His voice shallow and quiet at first, only building as he started to breathe life into his summons.

Attenrobendum eos,
ad ligandum eos,
potiter eos,
coram me.

All the candles burst into flame, with the room filling with a chilling wind, as though a dark crypt was being opened. One that never ever should be.

The blooded pool glimmered and then started to rise as it began to take the form of a woman…a woman who herself had been murdered by the young witch. The most shocking thing was….that she was once a Princess of Ambition…A Princess of Greed. Taken down by the same girl, who had died in this very spot. Bringing back the only bitch who could truly direct the man in the hat to his ultimate goal.

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Fleshing out into her original form, she turned around to stare at the man in the hat warily.

“Who are you?”

Lydia glared at him, before looking down at herself and then smiling to see that she was not disfigured or aged in anyways. The man in the hat then removed his hat and bowed before the former Princess of Greed.

“Your new partner. We have…. interests in the same….girl.” He extended his hand to her with a wry smirk. “I’m someone that hates Mariela more than you ever could.”

https://i2.wp.com/resources1.news.com.au/images/2014/11/04/1227112/302465-06e4b432-6088-11e4-a822-f0e45dcacc2e.jpg~RB~ 

The Witches Circle – Only the beginning : PD

Following on from Power and Corruption, Mariela has to make a choice over family versus the Elders.  Is this choice a costly mistake?

Co-written with Fu and Dessy.

RP – Fantasy Supernatural.

Fu:

Witches Circle

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– Oridin listened quietly as people spoke to the newcomer , back and forth several terms fly back and forth and slowly The Apprentice tried to piece these things together slowly . Hearing the titles such as prince and princess being thrown around ; he was only to suspect they were of royal value like he was back in his own lands but seeing the difference in situation he was to assume that he was outclassed by them . Oridin would begin to think to himself in quiet, lowly talking to himself as to not bother the current conversation going on with the elders and the newcomer and her party-

Oridin Lexington : ” Gluttony , Wrath and Greed ? Sounds like Sins. If thats the case then there should be more . And if there are more , then I hope to see them up close ; may learn a thing or two from them however that doesn’t seem easy . I must find an alternative for now , or simply hold it off until whatever seems to be happening no longer risks my safety if I do go . Hmm , The Glutton ate Wrath ? Would that entitle him growing stronger ? ”

– The Male rubbed his chin as he thought in his silence ; seemed like he was a child with big dreams but he was not a kid after all : He was the equivalent of a mature young human man of course with special traits but that didn’t change how he seemed to have been thinking . Hearing the Council of people speak about a proposal of protection the male listened eagerly about what was to come ; what did that mean though . –

 

Dessy:

The Witches Circle.

 

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Mariela’s eyes turned to the one who was speaking, checking him over quickly, before narrowing her eyes in suspicion.“Are you even aware of what goes on beyond the walls of Greed, Princess?” he asked, and Mariela’s eyes were still narrowed in suspicion. “No, I do not. But I don’t feel the need to involve myself in other’s problems that doesn’t deal with me, or my people.” she spoke firmly. He continued speaking, walking closer. By this point, the witch known as Lavinia was turned to give the one speaking her full attention, asking the one – who she now knew as Shamus – to explain.

He began speaking about the Prince of Gluttony, and Mariela turned her head to watch the next one speak. He killed… the Princess of Wrath? Mariela’s eyes widened, although this expression still could not be seen. He was power-hungry… that much was obvious. If he killed the Princess of Wrath, there was nothing stopping him from heading her way next. Although Mariela wasn’t the least bit worried. As proven with the battle against Lydia – she could handle her own. If anything, Mariela would prefer to stay neutral on the entire situation.

Hearing Scar’s voice, Mariela turned to look at him. Of course Scar would be concerned – but he really had nothing to worry about. Now, there were talks of him having to take another royals hearts. Was it hers? Mariela highly doubted it. As far as she was concerned, no one even knew Lydia was dead, or that there was a new Princess of Greed. “It’s not mine.”Mariela spoke matter-of-factly. “Considering news is just now starting to reach everyone about Lydia’s death, I doubt it’s my heart he’s after. As far as everyone else beyond this circle is concerned – no one even knows who the new ruler of Greed is supposed to be.” she spoke again. “Therefore; how can it be the heart of someone no one even knows about?” she spoke again. She certainly brought up a point. Couldn’t exactly plan to take the heart from someone you knew nothing about. And if it was Lydia’s heart they needed… it’s a little too late for that.

“Besides…Lavinia here has offered you a chance at protection. She just banished the Prince herself. Could you possibly do something like that when the time comes?”

Shamus spoke, taking another step forward. “Can you?” he pulled out a wand, then winked at Tessa. This caused Tessa to shiver, and Sean and Sam instinctively stood in front of her. “What would you do, dearie? Put the family first or save yourself?” he spoke, and he sounded like he was making a threat. Mariela didn’t like threats – especially towards her family. Obviously she’d put her family first – there was no doubt about that.

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Mariela looked at everyone behind her, before looking at Shamus. “As much as I appreciate the offer for protection…”Mariela started, also stepping forward to meet Shamus. “… I don’t need it.” she spoke. “As already proven against the fight with Lydia – I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself.” she spoke. “I killed the former Princess of Greed. As far as I’m concerned, banishing a royal won’t be an issue.” she spoke. She then took her hands, finally removing her hood to reveal her face. A beauty, with a certain kindness that could be seen – yet her blue eyes narrowed to stare back at Shamus, her blond curls falling over her shoulder. A beauty, that was smart, and could be dangerous when provoked. Lydia proved that. “Now, Shamus…” she then spoke. “That sounded like a threat. If there’s one thing I don’t like – it’s threats. Especially to my family.” she said, then took a step back to look around.

“My family comes first.” she spoke, looking back at Shamus. “I’d rather die a thousand times over and over again to protect them, then save myself and watch them die.” she spoke again. ‘I’ve already died once to protect them. I’ve already killed twice to protect them – one of them being what sent to me Hell, and the other being the death of Lydia. I’d willingly do it again if I had to.” she spoke. “If I have to kill every ruler of Hell, or every one of you to protect them,”she started. “I wouldn’t hesitate a second.”

Razorbackwriter:
The Witches Circle.

In the background, Marguerite stood silently whilst listening intently to all that was being said. The young witch truly did not know of the plots and schemes that raged across Hell and its many kingdoms. The Black Matriarch had her own wishes thwarted with the untimely death of Lydia, who she had hoped would be married to her own golden boy, Raul. She stood with clenched fists, still regaining her strength from the pull placed on her by the Queen of all witches. Hearing Mariela say that few outside her own realm knew about Lydia’s death was incorrect. News had already been spreading like wildfire as it had reached the Black tower, not to mention the Embassy. Marguerite began to walk around the outer ring of the circle, her movements not being noted as she blended in so well with all other Elders in attendance. The Dark One was stealing the show, or at least that is how it looked. Mariela giving her all to show that she would not be intimidated by the likes of the Dark one, or the head Elder – Lavinia. Whilst the young witch was shocked by the news of the possible death of the Princess of Wrath, and that the Prince of Gluttony himself had been banished from the circle, she concluded that since she had no such qualms or disagreements with the other kingdoms that that in effect made her neutral out of all of Hell’s Kingdoms. It was enough to make the Dark one laugh all of a sudden.

“Do you even know why the Prince of Gluttony sought a new arm in the first place?” Perhaps it was time that Mariela brushed up on her history of the Kingdoms. Revenge and hate were powerful forces and something like the loss of a limb would hardly be forgotten, even if it had been replaced. Leering, Shamus said. “A greedy little bastard of a Prince named….Mammon. Oh yes….you have inherited a Kingdom that was at war with the others. Don’t think for a second that you being the new Princess would make him suddenly want to kiss that dainty hand of yours in alliance.”

Stopping only to take a breath, the Dark one felt the eyes of Lavinia drilling into his back. Lavinia was approaching and her shadow was moving errily to encompass him. The Dark one had had his fun, and said his piece. She held her patience long enough. Placing a hand upon his shoulder, with an extra ordinary amount of strength Lavinia whispered with a dark tone.

“I summoned her to the circle, Shamus. You have done enough damage for one day. Leave.” Her words were said so as to make no mistake that he was treading on dangerous ground. With her awakening she was far more powerful than even he could have imagined. Lowering his wand he slyly pocketed it and wet his lips.

“As you wish….dearie. Tick tock. Ehehehe.” With a snap of his fingers, the Dark one vanished from the circle, now clearing the way for Lavinia to speak to Mariela directly. A calmness spread across the Elder witch and she bowed her head as though to show respect towards the new Princess of Greed.

“You have made your choice. Whilst I won’t say I am disappointed that you have rejected the offer, I shall respect it.”This was a once in a lifetime deal. Witches were not elevated to Elder status on a whim, and with the young witch going as far to say that she would protect her family against all comers, be it the other leaders of Hell or the very witches council that stood before her, Mariela had just made a terrible mistake.

Lavinia’s eyes cast across to Mariela’s family. Staring at each in turn before coming back to end the meeting between them.

“Good luck in protecting your family, girl.’ Lavinia suddenly grinned. “You’re going to need it.”

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Picking at the edges of her skirts, she turned away from the group from Greed, and then raised her right hand waving all to leave the circle. The meeting was over. The hands of time continued to move and in the next seven days as the sands fell, no one was safe – no matter how much courage and determination they had. A raven swooped down and landed upon Lavinia’s shoulder as she started to make her way back towards her cottage. In droves the other Elders began to either vanish, or take flight. The only ones that didn’t leave were Esme and Oridin. The apprentice watched in surprise as the elders were all leaving without speaking more on the time piece. What the hell was going on?

Esme hurried over to Oridin and chewed her lip as she said. Esme had heard his questions about all the other sins, and how he was fascinated about what power could be harnessed if the Prince of Gluttony could swallow another royal like he did Wrath. “This is bad. This is….really bad. Lavinia just withdrew support.” Looking up at the Princess of Greed, Esme swallowed.

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“You were right about the heart. It’s not yours that is needed, but that does not mean that you are out of danger. This….is only the beginning.”

Marguerite was the last of the Elders to leave. As she raised her hood, she had a twisted grin and then cackled as she spun her cloak and returned to the Black tower. The Matriarch was about to set plans in motion herself.

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~RB~

A New Era of Greed – Seven Sins.

Continuing on after the fall of Lydia in the Maze of Greed, there is a new Princess of Greed.

 

Dessy:  

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Mariela looked at Scar, realizing how much taller he was than her. “You’re taller now.” she stated with a small smile. She had always thought Scar was a charmer – but now he actually looked it. But she didn’t state this out loud, and instead bit the corner of her lip and gave a smile, before turning to Tessa and her brothers.

As they walked through the maze, Mariela took time to look around and notice how truly beautiful it was. Certainly much different than what it looked like before. It was a nice change, and Mariela admired how beautiful the maze was. Made her actually want to walk through it this time. Mariela looked down when Scar squeezed her hand, entwining their fingers together as he did so. She then looked up when Scar spoke.

“The castle is quite grand. It has everything you can imagine, and certainly fits for a perfect castle for Greed.” she said with a small laugh, looking at Tessa and her brothers again. “There was a… incident at the ball. We weren’t there to see what happened, but my guess is none of it was good. And if we walk and it’s completely destroyed, I apologize.” she spoke, turning to look ahead again.

“I didn’t think you could do it. Kill the Princess of Greed.” Tessa spoke, and Mariela turned to look at her. “I’ve killed once before, you know. That’s why I ended up in Hell.” she spoke. “That was different.” Sean spoke up. “You did it to protect us.” he spoke again, and Mariela looked at him. “And I killed Lydia to protect myself, and everybody else. The same exact reason I killed that man years ago. To protect the one’s I love.”

“Lydia was so… powerful. Yet you managed to kill her.” Tessa spoke, still not believing that little Mariela defeated the “powerful” Princess of Greed. Mariela just sighed, looking forward again. “Lydia may have been powerful, but that power caused her death. She may have been Princess of Greed, but there is such a thing as being too greedy.” she started.“Her Greed and ambition and desire to be the most powerful person in Hell caused her demise.” she said, then looked at the trio. “That, and the fact she had a really bad habit of underestimating people who were “lower” than her.” she said with a smile.

“So, you’re the new Princess of Greed. What are you going to do now?” Sam asked and Mariela shrugged. “Guess we’ll have to wait and see. But I know one thing. I’ll do a hell of a better job running this place than Lydia ever did.” she spoke.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Greed – Castle

While the group had been trapped within the maze, the main part of the castle – aka the ballroom looked like it had been blitzed. Clean up crews were already working on the damage, and one of the worst parts being the grand chandelier. Broken scattered crystals were simply everywhere. Blooded bodies were being piled up onto special trolleys by men in white suits, which was funny since their suits were now splattered with the blood remains of many a ball attendee. Scar had gotten Mariela out of the ballroom just in time it seems, but even he didn’t realize the state of destruction that awaited them. They had heard it, but to see it would be a shock, especially for the likes of Tessa and Mariela’s brothers – Sean and Sam.

Thank goodness the rest of the castle had been untouched, save for the courtyard, which was a battle ground for two unlikely guests, one being a Prince no less. Fancy bringing their dramas to a social event. Then again…it was Lydia who hosted it, so it was going to be drama packed no matter who she invited. The stairs that led back up to the Ballroom were at the start of the Maze, so when the group had walked out, they could hear the sound of workmen and cleaners hard at it. News of Lydia’s passing had already started to spread and so when the faithful and servants of the former Princess saw the return of Mariela with Scar at her side, they all dropped tools and started to bow in reverence of the new Princess of Greed. Mariela, was already Duchess and well liked by practically all of Greed’s servants and staff. There were many a happy face, some waving, others began to cheer. Such a difference to the times before, when Lydia ruled with a cruel and unpredictable hand.

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“Long live the Princess of Greed…Mariela. Three cheers!”

The gathered all began to cheer loudly and clap. Such happiness in the midst of the chaos that the Ball had brought. With a new leader, the people of greed had reason to rejoice. May this time be different. May the wars end and the sons come home. Enough blood had been spilt in the name of Greed. It was time for change. Radical change. And Mariela was the one to bring it to them.

Scar looked a little sheepish when Mariela had told him that he was taller. Even he wasn’t sure as to why, but took the smile and the compliment of sorts in his stride. He was more than proud to be on her arm. The alp knew that in the coming days that she might need someone to lean on.

Hearing Mariela explain to her family, and Tessa about how she had killed Lydia out of defense and to protect her family, Scar could not have been prouder. She had needed to step up if she was going to rule, that was for sure. Hell was no place for the weak, and seeing her in this new light – the strength she had came not from wanting more or being greedy and ambitious, but being there to save them all. The Alp glanced back at the now beautiful maze and smirked.

“Lydia got what was coming to her….simple as that.” He always believed in Mariela, but there was the side of him that wanted to be the one to protect her, come what may. It’s what any man that was in love with a woman would do.

Right now however, it was time for that long awaited reunion. Scar knew that Mariela probably had much she wished to talk about with her family, now that the danger had passed. He gave Mariela’s hand a light squeeze and winked before pulling his hand away.

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“I shall leave you to enjoy your family and go organize a meal for everyone. Once I see if we have any plates left.”

He chuckled and then danced off inside the building as many workers picked up their tools again and went back to work.

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela walked with Scar up to the stairs that led back to the ballroom, Tessa on her other side with her brothers next to her. They walked up the stairs, and right before heading into the ballroom, they stopped as servants and workers began bowing. Mariela smiled and curtsied, looking around at all of them. She had been well liked by everyone, even as a Dutchess. So of course they’d take her being Princess quite well. As they cheered, she began laughing, turning her head to give a small smile to all of them. “Thank you.” she said with a bow of her head, continuing to smile at them.

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They all turned back around and went back to work, and that’s when Mariela had finished explaining everything to the trio. Hearing Scar’s comment, she looked at him and nodded before turning to look at the others. “If Lydia didn’t have such a bad habit of underestimating people, or letting her ambition get in the way, she might not be dead right now.” she spoke. Feeling Scar squeeze her hand, she looked at him and nodded at his response, giving him another small smile before watching him walk away.

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She gestured for Tessa and her brothers to follow, turning and now walking into the ballroom. She cringed at the gasps that came from behind her from the trio at the sight: broken pieces of chandelier everywhere, bloodied bodies being carried away by workers. She turned around, giving a sheepish smile to the trio. “As I said, it was quite an eventful night. Scar got me out for most of it, so I didn’t think it was this bad, but… I apologize for having to see this.” she spoke.“Let’s go somewhere else that’s a little less… destroyed.” she said, smiling and turning to walk around.

She carefully stepped over the glass and bodies, the trip doing the same, before she lead them out to the hallway and away from the ballroom. “Seems like one wild party…” Sam commented, causing Tessa to hit him. Mariela just laughed.“It was interesting, to say the least.” she spoke, stopping to look at them. “How’s mom and dad?” she asked, looking at her brothers. “Good, now. Mom went into a bit of a depressed state after your death, and it took everything dad had to bring her back. She still gets upset at the mention of your name.” Sean spoke, and Mariela frowned.

“We had to move somewhere else. The entire town thought all of us were dead, and we wanted to keep it that way, so we left.” Sam finished. “I was the only one who knew. I moved with them, and I still keep in touch with all of them on a daily basis. I think it makes your mother feel better still having me around.” she then said. “I miss them. And you guys. But, hey. I did what I had to do.” she said. “At least you guys know I’m okay. Sorta…” she said, furrowing her eyebrows, but then shaking her head.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Greed – Castle

The Kitchens thankfully had not been hit by the ballroom blitz. The crockery for the most part had been spared from the blooded onslaught, and Scar breathed a sigh of relief. There was nothing worse than having nothing to eat off. With cooks and maids ready to serve. The alp coughed loudly enough to be heard by all, and many a head turned towards him.

“The Princess has her family staying and I think they are in need of a good feed. So, bring out the best silver and crockery, lets show them what the greed kitchens have to offer.” He clapped his hands for them all to get started and the kitchen crew took to the orders with gusto. To see them all working in such a busy fashion, but with smiles and happy chatter was worth its weight in gold. With that underway, the Alp could return to Mariela’s side and get a glimpse of what family life was like with Mariela and her brothers. In the back of his mind however, he knew a time would come when the new Princess would need to make a choice about whether they stayed or returned to the world inside his hat. Scar reached up and gave his beloved hat a pat. He was so glad to have gotten it back, along with his head. Being headless in Wonderland was not the place he wanted to be….no, Scar wanted more than anything to be at Mariela’s side, and watch her bring new order to Greed.

Re-entering the ruined ball room, the first thing to catch Scar’s attention was the blacksmith dwarf; Suda. He had come running up from the lower caverns of the castle, his face was etched with fright. What on earth was it that had the dwarf reacting this way. Was it the sight of the carnage that was still being cleaned up?

“Scar!…SCAR! Someone stole Beserker!”

The Alp blinked and then stared at the tiny dwarf like he was crazy. “What? Who on earth would want to steal that evil sack of steel?’ No one liked Beserker, in particular Scar. The two had a run in in the days long before the ball, but after the death of Mammon. The dwarf whined and then he handed Scar what looked to be like giant silvery webbing.

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“I found this on the podium where I kept the suit. Like its from some giant spider.” The Dwarf was sure that this was evidence in some way, but couldn’t imagine a giant spider being down in his work shop. Small ones, yes….and thousands of them. “I seen cobwebs before, Scar….but nothing this big.”

Scar ran his finger over the silken threads, that were a little bit too sticky for his liking. He tried to shake it off his hand, but it appeared to be well and truly stuck. “Gah…revolting thing.” Scar grimaced. So…Beserker was gone. In one way, Scar was pleased, since he didn’t think he ever wanted Mariela to be tricked into wearing the thing. It was nothing more than just another curse at Greed. A temptation that led to the downfall of Mammon.

The Alp then raised his head and looked at all the corners of the roof, to see if there was a big spider lurking. What if it was still here? Scar whistled for some guards, who all came over – a group of six. “Search the grounds. We may have an arachnid infestation…..a big one.” He tried to smear the webbing on one of the guards armor chest plates, and then his own hand got stuck. “Ugh…worse than some old slag’s undies.” He finally got it off his hand and shuddered, before looking back at Suda. “You go lock down the blacksmith shop and weapons store. I need to go and speak to Mariela.”He really didn’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings, but he felt that she should know.

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Suda bowed and then scuttled off, while the guards broke formation and went spider hunting. Scar dragged his hand down his forehead then his face. “We’ve not even had tea yet and there is already something troubling.” The alp sighed, before going off to find Mariela.

Thankfully, Mariela was in another part of the castle, and he could overhear that they were all talking about what life was like back home. It was walking back in that he caught the end of the conversation. That she missed them and her brothers. She did what she had to do, to end up in Hell, and claimed to be okay…sorta. That furrowed brow, meant that she was conflicted. Scar cringed. Oh she didn’t need bad news now, so he put on his happy face and interjected.

“We have plates. Heh. Lunch anyone?”

~RB~

The Maze of Greed – The Finale.

 

We come to the end of the Maze of Greed, with the defeat of Lydia- but the drama isn’t over.  Bandit carries a secret within her that is bound to change everything.  

Artie:  

Maze

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Bandit let herself fall nearly limp in Habib’s arms, shaking still. Her heart beat quickly as all she could smell was the fallen angel, all she could see was him, too.. Eyelids fluttered until they closed completely, her arms reaching up to wrap around the fallen’s neck.. Though, despite how much she shook in fear, some part of her wished that it was not Habib that held her, but Raul. God, what was it that attracted her to the messed and broken? Perhaps, that it was that she herself was a mess, that she too was a broken soul, waiting to be put back together.. Another part of her wished nothing more than to drink this all away, and the final part wanted nothing but her death.. What further suffering could she be spared if she was killed now..? Her eyes opened slowly as she gazed up at Habib, head falling back to be against his arm – there was no in between, she could not hold herself up currently..

Her breathing was hard gasps, almost wheezing rather than actual breaths. Her heart beat seemed almost impossibly fast, echoing — wait a minute.. No. Her heart beat was actually quite faint and slow, but yet.. there was another sound, thumpthumthumpthump, rapid in tune and seeming to come from her lower abdomen.. Oh. Oh.. it was another heartbeat entirely.. Yes. Bandit was pregnant. And Raul was her child’s father.. But she did not yet know of this pregnancy, she did not yet know of the little being that she held inside of her, a child with magic as strong as its father’s and a will to live as strong as its mother’s… Bandit needed nutrition and warmth, she would catch a sickness remaining outside and in such a weakened state – in fact, she could feel the same waves of unconsciousness overcoming her, appearing to be faint for another time. This would not be good for her baby..

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Maze 

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Scar was now beaming brightly as his beautiful Princess took his hand. In the change from coming back in the hat, he was actually taller now, and one might say better looking. Maybe it was his love for the young witch that had him appear this way. Then again, it was not how one looked, but what they were truly inside that made them worthy of love. Scar had been to hell and back…really, in order to save the girl of his dreams. He had been sent away in his own hat, and then brought back her family to her in order to help her. Little did he truly understand that in order to save her, she had to learn to save herself. It would be a good lesson for life and one that would be important in the coming days as the rest of hell figured out that Lydia was dead.

Wow…the evil bitch finally got what was coming to her and she had a particularly nasty end. But looking about them now, they would see nothing but beauty. The maze had come back full and strong – vivid and colourful. Gone were the evils that walked its many lengths, but instead there were brightly coloured flowers and singing birds. Maybe this was an unnatural phenomenon in a place like Greed, but it matched the new Princess perfectly.

Scar gave Mariela’s hand a squeeze as he gestured for Sam, Sean and Tessa to follow. The alp knew that the family deserved a reunion that made the whole adventure worth while. In the coming days, Mariela would have a lot of choices to make. For one…she must decide if her family was to return. Mariela might be able to visit them, but the truth was she now belonged in Hell, and Greed was her kingdom and her home.

“Wait till you guys see the castle. It’s probably still a mess from the ball. Hope they have clean up crews working on it.” No truer statement had been made. There had been magical fights up there and much destruction and death. Not exactly the kind of place you want to take your relatives. Walking past the great giant Douglas, you could see the ginger haired mountain was happy for the small couple, but he was also sad in a way. There was no going back to the Fallen mansion now, and even if he could….Quinn was not there. His only friend in the worlds. He had lost his family long ago, and had no one to call his….or a real home. Some were getting their happy ever afters and others were not. The biggest losers were those that chose to play their worst cards with little regard for the others. Raul…Lydia…both lost.

The giant wiped away a stray tear as he leaned on his battle axe. The maze in behind him was in full bloom and colour. Did it really need a gardener now? Slowly, he made his way out of the maze and continued his search for the hell hound…his only friend.

(TC – Douglas)

Further back, Habib was holding onto the very tired looking Bandit. Her breathing was still shallow and her gasping came hard and sounded dreadful. She needed rest from all that had happened, and the fallen held her very close to him as he started to follow the rest of the party. But it was during that first few steps that he felt not one…but two heartbeats. Strange. A human only has….Habib’s eyes widened at the realization. No…it can’t be. Was Bandit pregnant? He stopped long enough to let the others get well ahead before saying anything.

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“I was going to take you away from this realm to a place where you can be healed…..but, it may destroy the life within you.” The fallen knew that if Bandit was indeed pregnant, and if the baby belonged to who he thought it did, that there was no way she could leave hell now. The fallen had to think quickly. The Princess and her family were just getting on with their lives, and now this. If Raul found out, he would bring about such death and destruction to get back Bandit and their child. Habib’s wings burst into life and without looking back, he pushed off from the ground, soaring into the air with Bandit in his arms. He needed to find her a temporary sanctuary from all that could harm her so he could think of what to do next.

Her life…and that of her unborn depended on it.

~RB~

 

Dessy:  

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Mariela looked at Scar, realizing how much taller he was than her. “You’re taller now.” she stated with a small smile. She had always thought Scar was a charmer – but now he actually looked it. But she didn’t state this out loud, and instead bit the corner of her lip and gave a smile, before turning to Tessa and her brothers.

As they walked through the maze, Mariela took time to look around and notice how truly beautiful it was. Certainly much different than what it looked like before. It was a nice change, and Mariela admired how beautiful the maze was. Made her actually want to walk through it this time. Mariela looked down when Scar squeezed her hand, entwining their fingers together as he did so. She then looked up when Scar spoke.

“The castle is quite grand. It has everything you can imagine, and certainly fits for a perfect castle for Greed.” she said with a small laugh, looking at Tessa and her brothers again. “There was a… incident at the ball. We weren’t there to see what happened, but my guess is none of it was good. And if we walk and it’s completely destroyed, I apologize.” she spoke, turning to look ahead again.

“I didn’t think you could do it. Kill the Princess of Greed.” Tessa spoke, and Mariela turned to look at her. “I’ve killed once before, you know. That’s why I ended up in Hell.” she spoke. “That was different.” Sean spoke up. “You did it to protect us.” he spoke again, and Mariela looked at him. “And I killed Lydia to protect myself, and everybody else. The same exact reason I killed that man years ago. To protect the one’s I love.”

“Lydia was so… powerful. Yet you managed to kill her.” Tessa spoke, still not believing that little Mariela defeated the “powerful” Princess of Greed. Mariela just sighed, looking forward again. “Lydia may have been powerful, but that power caused her death. She may have been Princess of Greed, but there is such a thing as being too greedy.” she started.“Her Greed and ambition and desire to be the most powerful person in Hell caused her demise.” she said, then looked at the trio. “That, and the fact she had a really bad habit of underestimating people who were “lower” than her.” she said with a smile.

“So, you’re the new Princess of Greed. What are you going to do now?” Sam asked and Mariela shrugged. “Guess we’ll have to wait and see. But I know one thing. I’ll do a hell of a better job running this place than Lydia ever did.” she spoke.

 

 

The Maze of Greed – Part Fifteen : SS.

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.

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“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.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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!”

~RB~

 

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…

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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?

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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.

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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!!!”

 

~RB~

 

The Maze of Greed – Part Fourteen : SS

 

It is now shaping up to be the finale for the Maze of Greed.  Who will win?

Scene setting – The Maze of Greed : Seven sins series.

Co-written with Dessy.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

The Maze of Greed

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The shield like barrier that the twins constructed around Mariela was enough to stop the first green blasts of energy from reaching their target. Crackling and then exploding into nothing but green puffs of smoke, it was enough to create a diversion from the efforts to get Bandit well clear of the Princess of Greed’s wrath. Raul however WAS paying attention and went to move forward in a bid to go after the crippled girl, but Lydia put her arm up to stop him.

“Did you so easily forget what I said…Warlock?” There was a terrible menace to Lydia’s tone, as she again rounded on her true target, Mariela. The young witch was now facing her nemesis – the woman she once trusted with everything. Now it was truly a showdown worthy of the book of Shadows. Lydia’s face was one of annoyance, but it soon turned to a sadistic smirk. She didn’t remember ever having young men in the maze. And how was it possible that they were able to create a magical shield, like Mariela could. Lydia’s green eyes sparkled as she stared the trio down.

“My my my…what have we here? Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum?” She was actually quoting names from Alice in Wonderland, which was interesting considering that the doorway or rather looking glass to Wonderland was right behind them. “I don’t remember the two of you, from the Fallen Mansion.” Lydia said with a ripe curl to her lips. She ran her tongue along her top row of teeth as she mentally calculated what it would take to bring down the shield. On another note, Lydia had seen the girl run off with Bandit. The smell of that girl was distinctly human. Lydia’s eyes flashed towards Scar, who was standing just shy of the shield.

“You little bastard. Use your hat to get reinforcements against me?”

“Wasn’t that hard, Lydia, since tall dark and stupid over there – sent me to get them Oh, by the way…is that a new face? Rip it off some poor innocent that was fucking your latest flavour of the month?” Talk about being accurate. Raul shot the Alp a nasty look, while Lydia reached up to touch the stretched new skin over her deformed face beneath. The alp was triumphant in hitting a raw nerve. “You could steal the pink ass of a baboon and try to cover your narky features, and it still wouldn’t be something I’d want to touch.” The alp was now dancing around as he could practically see steam coming out of Lydia’s ears. Raul had to suppress a laugh, since he himself thought that it was funny. Lydia snapped her head around and growled at Raul.

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“Do you want your little cripple to suffer my wrath when I am done with little Miss Perfect and her boys?”

“She’s mine to deal with, Lydia.” Raul growled, now feeling that she was walking on dangerous ground.

“Well, laugh it up cause the curtain is about to come down on this performance.”

While the pair were busy arguing, Scar whispered out of the side of his mouth to the twin holding the collar.

“Use your powers, to throw it at her neck. It should lock on. That will bind her use of magic and you can finish this.”

~RB~

 

Dessy:  As the green blasts of light hit the field, they exploded into nothing but puffs of smoke. Mariela tilted her head as Raul attempted to follow Tessa and Bandit. Lydia put her arm in front of him to stop her, before speaking to him in a menacing tone. “What’s wrong, Lydia?” Mariela spoke in a sympathizing tone. “Don’t want your little lapdog going after another female?” she spoke, giving him a sarcastic smile afterwards.

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As she spoke about her brothers, Mariela turned to look at them. At this point, the force field was off, leaving her vulnerable – not that Mariela was worried. “They’re my brothers. Remember, the one’s I told you about? They’re witches just like I am.” she spoke, turning to look back at Lydia as she spoke about her brothers. Her head turned to Scar when Lydia spoke to him, and she nodded. “Your little “boy toy” sent him away to there. And he brought my brothers with him.”she said. She turned to speak to Scar, and Mariela turned her head to look over at Scar when he started talking.

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Mariela crossed her arms as Scar spoke, before turning to look at Lydia. “That is a new face, isn’t it? It doesn’t help anything… you still look like a traitorous bitch.” she spoke with a serious expression, shrugging her shoulders afterwards. She had to bite her bottom lip to stop from laughing as Scar commented on her face. But when she growled and turned to Raul, Mariela raised her eyebrows in a fake shocked expression.

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Hearing the threat, and then Raul’s threat back, caused Mariela to laugh. “Careful Lydia… You wouldn’t want him to leave you for another woman again, now would you?” she spoke, tilting her head as she spoke to her, before turning to look at Raul. “And you have nothing to worry about – she’s perfectly safe. But she is not yours to deal with.” she then spoke.

Meanwhile, Scar was whispering to Sean about putting the collar around Lydia’s neck. He nodded, before looking at his brother and also nodding. Mariela just needed to keep distracting her with talk while they did this. Sean began moving to stand next to Mariela, Sam standing on the other side. They did this while Lydia and Raul were talking. Now, to wait for just the right moment… they only had one shot.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

The Maze of Greed

Seeing Mariela with this new and bold attitude did not sit at all well with the Princess of Greed. Lydia had thought that butter would not melt in the girl’s mouth before, and yet the girl was now a kitten that was baring her claws. Such a change, that the Princess had to wonder just how that happened to be possible. Was it due to the fact that she now had her brothers here to back her up? Would she react any differently without the help of the hapless Scar?

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Lydia lowered her arms as the girl was now giving her a good mouthful about how Raul could possibly leave her for another woman, namely the one that had just been taken to safety by the human Tessa. Raul still had his eyes on the direction that the pair went and he was practically twitching to leave Lydia to her own mess, and go seek out Bandit for himself.

Lydia’s eyes glowered when Mariela said her new face still made her look like a traitorous bitch. Her eyes flickered over to Scar, who could be seen whispering into one of the brother’s ears. If anyone was a traitor, it was Scar. How the Princess bristled with anger to watch the demon that she herself brought out of the book of shadows, turn and support the likes of Mariela. What none of the small group realized was that the Queen of Hearts was watching all this in the mirror and was making gestures that suggested she had plans of her own for the Alp. She had brought alongside her a few of her card guards, and one…executioner. They assembled quietly behind the mirror, while in the maze, the Princess and Mariela were facing off.

“I think a tea party is in order….Hatter.”

Hearing the Queen of Hearts speak, the Alp turned his head, but this meant he did not see Lydia raise her arms and fire a massive green bolt of energy that sent him spiriting backwards….right into the mirror. Scar appeared on the other side of the mirror, and was grabbed forcibly by two of the Queen’s guards. The alp kicked and screamed, thrashing about wildly as he was now caught in the one place he dreaded most – Wonderland.

“Now, he is out of the way. Time to make you pay, Mariela.”

In the mirror, the two guards held Scar down as the executioner brought up his axe. One of the crimes for disobeying the Queen was to lose one’s head – even if he hadn’t really done anything to the Queen, this time. Scar screamed and pleaded, as the Queen laughed at the hat wearing alp. The Queen of Hearts raised her head in triumph as she knew that Princess Lydia would get her revenge and then some.

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“OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”

There was an almighty scream as the axe whistled through the air….when….

~CRASH!~ The mirror was shattered into a million pieces….by the axe wielding giant. Duggie had come out of nowhere and for reasons that could not ever be explained in his fury at being struck out of the maze by the Princess he was now on a rampage.

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“THERE….DESTROYED YOUR FOOKING MIRROR, YA TROLLOP!”

He didn’t know, but he had just sealed Scar’s fate. Without the mirror…there was no way to save the alp. Headless or not.

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“My mirror?!” Raul cried and slapped his palm to his forehead. “You giant idiot.”

“I’ll deal with you later, ya big jessie. Where is Bandit? She will lead me to Quinn.”

It was now or never for Mariela and her brothers. The final chance to take down Lydia in the middle of the confusion. Raul blurred from the spot where he was standing, and then went on the hunt for Bandit himself, leaving a screaming Lydia in his wake.

“GET BACK HERE, YOU FOOL!” Her cries were sure to bring back nothing but silence from Raul, who was now searching another part of the maze for Bandit and Tessa. Rounding on the Witch and her brothers, Lydia growled.

“You are nothing without Scar and your human friend to help you against me. I AM…THE PRINCESS OF GREED!” She was charging up and growling fiercely as she began to warp and twist into a massive green coloured dragon. Snapping at the sky as she went to blow a huge green fire ball at the trio below.

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~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela was showing a different side that wasn’t seen before. She was baring her claws. Lydia completely underestimated the witch. She was a lot more than Lydia thought she was. A lot more than what Lydia saw of the young witch. And, honestly, she was tired of whatever game it was that Lydia was playing. Lydia lowered her arms when Mariela spoke about how Raul would leave her for Bandit. She seemed to hit the right nerve – that was always a good thing.

Mariela’s eyes shot towards the mirror when the Queen of Hearts spoke. She looked up just in time to see Lydia shoot a green bolt of energy at Scar. “No!” she called, but the Alp already ended up in the mirror. Mariela watched as Scar kicked and screamed, turning back towards Lydia when she spoke.

“OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”

She heard the Queen of Hearts scream, and she turned her head to see the axe in the air… and then the mirror shattered into a million pieces, by none other than Duggie. “No!!” Mariela screamed, turning her head towards the Giant. “What are you doing?! There’s no way to get him back!!” she screamed at the giant.

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Her gaze shot back when Raul spoke, before he disappeared in search for Bandit. Lydia began screaming for him, but he never answered, and this caused Mariela to smirk. She held her hand out, removing the vines that covered the pathways.“Follow him. Now.” she spoke, turning her head towards her brothers. Sean, still holding the collar, threw it to Mariela before they both ran off to try and find Bandit and Tessa before Raul could.

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Her gaze went to Lydia, her eyes staring her down in anger. Lydia spoke about her being nothing, and Mariela laughed.“That’s where you’re wrong, Lydia.” she started. “I am a lot more than you think I am.” she spoke. The instant Lydia turned into a dragon, the collar flew to snap around her neck, not giving her a chance to shoot anything at Mariela. Mariela was… angered. She wanted nothing more than to kill Lydia, once and for all. This was a new side to Mariela that no one has ever seen before.

She looked down to the shattered pieces of mirror. She then kneeled down, grabbing the sharpest piece she saw and picked it up. She held it up and ran a finger down the sharp end. “We’re going to end this… Once and for all.” she spoke, before she turned and began marching in Lydia’s direction.

She was not happy… and it was time she finally ended Lydia.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

The Maze of Greed

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The Dragon was blasting fiery green flame balls at anything that moved in her path. Duggie, who was in her line of fire held up his battle axe and tried to deflect the powerful balls, only to find that his shaggy eyebrows and red beard caught fire. The poor giant let out a wild cry and dropped his axe, trying to distinguish the flames that were threatening to engulf his face. Seeing the giant having such trouble the dragon Lydia let out a loud and sinister laugh, with green smoke pouring out of her nostrils. There was nothing quite like seeing a giant Irishman on fire. Oh the colourful words he was shouting, it was enough to make a sailor blush.

With the boys now having taken off after Raul, it was down to the plucky young witch and the monstrous dragon Lydia. The dragon raised it’s head and roared loudly as it brought up a massive clawed foot to stomp down on the young Mariela. But just as she was about to crush the girl, the fabled collar that Scar had been forced to wear along with Bandit – whizzed through the air and grew large enough to snap around the dragon’s neck. The instant that the collar locked into place, the dragon screamed and thrashed about as the magic that had made Lydia turn into the beast was now being extinguished. Clawing at the air and stomping, its tail whipping out and thrashing the very walls of the maze, the dragon started to turn back into the sinister Princess of Greed. A great cloud of green mist seemed to absorb all of Lydia’s powers and flew into the very witch that had thrown the collar at her. It seemed that the collar had taken Mariela for it’s Mistress, and now Lydia was enslaved. Clutching madly at the collar, Lydia screeched and screamed in horror.

“YOU BITCH! YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME!….I GAVE YOU EVERYTHING…AND THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME!” Violent protests spewing from her mouth, as Lydia failed to see that it was she that had been the traitor to their friendship. Staggering back she raised her arms to blast Mariela to kingdom come, but as she aimed her fingers at the girl, nothing happened. Again and again she tried to charge power, that simply wasn’t there. At the same time, the beautiful face of the girl that she had stolen was beginning to melt off in horrid gloops that stained her beautiful dress. It was the most horrific thing that anyone could ever see. The true Demon that lay behind the fake mask, was a grotesque and ugly demon. Screaming even more in horror as she felt her face slide off, she started to cry.

“I’m melting…I’m melting..”

Duggie, who had managed to put out his smoldering beard, but now had no eyebrows, took one look at Lydia and then started to gag.

“Ohhhh that’s ugly…”

“My face!…My beautiful face..!”

Growling the demon turned on Mariela and with her clawed hands outstretched, she staggered at the girl, ready to choke the living daylights out of her.

 

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Duggie held his axe up in an attempt to block Lydia’s flames – but it didn’t work. His beard and eyebrows had caught on fire, and while he ran off to distinguish the flames, it left Lydia and Mariela face to face. Lydia the Dragon lifted up a foot to crush Mariela – but Mariela had the collar around her neck before she had a chance to do so. Mariela watched as she screamed and thrashed about, her body slowly turning back into her human form instead of the dragon.

All of Lydia’s powers flew through Mariela’s body. She could feel it. By this point, Mariela had reached to grab a shard of glass from the broken mirror off the ground, all the while leaving Lydia to scream and yell. Lydia screamed about how she gave her everything. She didn’t. She didn’t give Mariela anything.

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“You gave me nothing.” she spoke, continuing to walk towards Lydia. Sure, she could easily kill her with her magic… but Mariela would get more pleasure doing it without. She watched Lydia’s face melt, and heard Duggie mention from behind her about how… ugly it was. Lydia reached her claws out towards Mariela as Mariela drew closer, but it did nothing as the young witch stood in front of her. She then took that piece of glass, and shoved it straight through Lydia’s chest.

She held it there, feeling nothing but satisfaction at this current moment. She then pulled that shard of glass out of Lydia’s chest, at the same time as Lydia dropped to the maze ground. “You are no Princess of Greed.” she spoke, staring down at Lydia as she held the shard of glass in her hand by her side, dripping with blood.

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She turned around then, facing the Giant. “Now… let’s go find that warlock…” she spoke, walking past him and in the direction Raul and her brothers ran off to. And she expected the giant to follow…

 

Razorbackwriter:  

The Maze of Greed

The Death of Lydia.

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One thing that had been consistent with the Rulers of Greed was the fact that their end came sooner than it did to most other royals of Hell. Was this due to the fact that the very land itself is cursed by the insane need to have it all? The moment that Lydia had become the Princess of Greed, she was on the path to self destruction, just like her predecessor; Mammon. Now, she was facing down without her powers against the plucky little witch who had grown into a very powerful woman in her own right. It seemed that the Devil was spot on in his remarks of her, that she was perfect. Perfect to be the next ruler of Greed and all it’s lands. If only Lydia had not been so blinded by her ambition, her other fatal flaw, that she could see what was going to come.

Now with the Demoness charging at the witch, she was so blinded by rage, that she failed to see the flicker of light that reflected off the glass mirror shard that the witch was armed with. With cruel precision, Mariela rammed the glass shard deep into Lydia’s chest. The impact made a horrid squealching sound as it drove right into the demon’s heart. The disfigured face of the Princess contorted even more of one of shock. The glass tore a massive hole into Lydia’s heart, and blood poured outward, spewing from the wound where the glass went. Mariela pulled the shard out of Lydia’s chest, leaving the demon to stagger back – holding her chest as she stared at the witch with a wide eyed expression.

“What have…you done?” Her cry was almost breathless, as blood started to pour out of her mouth. Lydia dropped to her knees as the young witch stood over her in triumph.

“You are no Princess of Greed.”

Lydia’s head drooped, but not before haunting words would leave her mouth.

“You….deserve to be in ….hell. You….you…are a murderer…damned…for eternity…” The now dying Princess’s head shook as she lifted her head one last time.

“You….may…be…the new….Princess…..but you….will die…..alone…”

The Princess then exploded in a foul gloopy green mess that covered all the maze walls. Sickening sounds of the gloop hitting the ground was the only sound that remained.

The Princess of Greed was gone.

Douglas wiped some of the foul slime off his face and then turned to follow the new Princess of Greed; Mariela. He marched over the broken shards of the mirror without looking down at it, but if he had…..he would have seen Scar’s face in every piece.

 

“Somebody To Love”

Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what you’re doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief,
Lord!
Somebody, somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

I work hard every day of my life
I work till I ache my bones
At the end I take home my hard earned pay all on my own –
I get down on my knees
And I start to pray
Till the tears run down from my eyes
Lord – somebody – somebody
Can anybody find me – somebody to love?

(He works hard)

Everyday – I try and I try and I try –
But everybody wants to put me down
They say I’m goin’ crazy
They say I got a lot of water in my brain
Got no common sense
I got nobody left to believe
Yeah – yeah yeah yeah

Oh Lord
Somebody – somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Got no feel, I got no rhythm
I just keep losing my beat
I’m ok, I’m alright
Ain’t gonna face no defeat
I just gotta get out of this prison cell
Someday I’m gonna be free, Lord!

Find me somebody to love
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

 

~RB~

The Maze of Greed – Part Thirteen : SS.

 

It was only a matter of time before Lydia, the Princess of Greed herself, caught up with Mariela and her family.  Would the young witch finally realize that her powers were much greater than the evil demon’s?

Scene setting : The Maze of Greed – Seven sins series.

Co-written with Dessy.

Dessy:  The hat shook and quivered in her hand, and before Mariela could react the hat fell on the ground. Sparks and electricity poured out of the hat, and then a large cloud appeared. Soon enough, she saw a… surprisingly handsome… and happy Scar appear. He seemed to be looking around, before looking at her. Mariela gave him a smile, before he jumped up and ran in her direction. Before she knew it, her shoulders were grabbed and he had pulled her in for a hug.

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Mariela laughed, wrapping her arms around him in a hug as he spoke with joy. “Yes, I’m alive.” she spoke. “And I missed you too, Scar.” she then said. Once Scar realized they were still in the maze, he pulled away and began questioning her, then looking to her brothers. “Well, we were, but then-” Sean said, until Mariela held up her hand to stop him. “We were heading there, but unfortunately we had to stop because-“ she spoke, before she got interuppted by Scar’s outburst about Lydia being in the maze, following his gaze towards the green sky.

“That’s exactly why we had to stop and call you.” Mariela then spoke, nodding her head. She watched Scar put the hat on, and couldn’t help but give a sweet laugh at his happy sigh. “Glad to have you back, Scar.” she spoke. “Yes. We need to find the mirror.” Tessa spoke up with a nod, readjusting Bandit in her arms.

“Wait. Anyone see that?”

Mariela turned her head to follow Scar’s eyes, her brows narrowing in confusion. “Uh… no…” she said, turning back to look at Scar with that same confused look like he was nuts. But, then she looked again and saw the rabbit, and she had an even more confused look, but didn’t have time to act on it before Scar grabbed her hand and began running in that direction, causing a “woah” and a surprised gasp to escape her lips.

She looked over at her brothers and Tessa, gesturing for them to follow, and after they ran behind them, she turned back to Scar, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion and worry. “Scar… are you positive we should be following this rabbit? What if it’s one of Lydia’s tricks?” she asked, but followed anyways, half being pulled by Scar and half running on her own.

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Razorbackwriter:  

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The small bundle of white fluff in the plaid waist coat was bouncing well ahead of the group. His fluffy little tail twitching and flitting back and forth. The sound of the fob watch was quite loud, and this was most unusual for such a small time piece. “I’m late…I’m late.” He cried, as he scampered through the maze. Bouncing with a lot of energy for such a rabbit. He was clearly not of this world, not Hell…but most likely of the maze. OR he was somehow connected to the mirror. That had to be it.

Mariela didn’t like this at all. Following a small white rabbit to God knows where? She tried to pull Scar up and beg him as to why they should follow the rabbit as it might be one of Lydia’s tricks. Being yanked into place, Scar took both of Mariela’s hands and stared directly into her eyes.

“When was the last time you saw a rabbit in Hell, hmm? Aside from the kind that you would hunt in the forest. That rabbit,” Scar pointed to the direction that the rabbit had gone. “was talking in common, and wore a waist coat. Ever heard a rabbit do that before? Hmm?” The Alp was trying to make her see reason. “Remember that anything that fanciful that could almost be story like came from somewhere. Imagination is a powerful thing. You ever stopped to wonder how we all came to be. You…and Lydia brought me out of a book.” This was something that he hoped might make Mariela get what he was trying to say. “What if…this maze was from another book. Someone’s imagination. It is entirely possible.” The more he spoke however, the greater distance that the rabbit was making.

They were losing precious time, and Scar started off again – hopefully with everyone including Bandit behind them.

Three more turns of the hedge and there it was. The mirror. The rabbit was standing just shy of it, but here was the thing. The rabbit had no reflection, though the mirror showed the same hedge in behind it. As it turned to see the oncoming group, it flicked it’s little tail and jumped into the mirror, then only to reappear on the other side, where it scampered away down the maze within.

Scar came to a screeching halt, panting heavily as he watched the rabbit continue to run on. The alp looked at the mirror and then recognized the roses that were in the bushes on the other side.

“That bitch.” Scar muttered. He recognized the maze on the other side of the mirror. It was all starting to make perfect sense now. He stopped and turned to the others.

“I know who she is….”

Did he mean Lydia….or the other one in the mirror?

“She’s the Queen of Hearts.”

“Right again….Scar.”

That voice coming from within the mirror, was none other than….The Queen of Hearts herself. And the thing that was most shocking, she looked exactly like Lydia. “Aren’t you coming to join me for tea….Hatter?” In the mirror, the Queen was standing with her card guards, and the white rabbit. It was like they were all waiting for them, the Queen grinning like a fool. She called him the Hatter, which is not what Scar was in this world. He was an alp…a demon of nightmares with a magic hat. In Wonderland however….he was someone else….everyone was.

Charging around the corner though….was Lydia and Raul.

“Ahahahahaha. FOUND YOU ALL!” Lydia screamed, as Raul looked past her to see Bandit being carried. The Princess of Greed saw that the opposite of her, the Queen of Hearts was waiting on the other side of the mirror.

“Don’t worry, Queenie. These ones are all…MINE!”

She raised her hands as they crackled and sparked with the green balls of energy as she prepared to launch an attack on Mariela and her friend Tessa.

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“TICK TOC….TIME TO DIE!”

~RB~

 

Dessy:  

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Mariela followed Scar as she heard the rabbit shout about being late. Late to what? The young witch was confused. Mariela had eventually stopped in her tracks, yanking Scar’s hand to get him to stop. Her brothers and Tessa stopped when they did. “Scar.” she said, and Scar grabbed both of her hands in his and then began speaking. As Scar talked, she shook her head to all of the questions. He had a point… maybe this rabbit wasn’t a trick. But, honestly, Mariela didn’t know. Soon enough, Scar had took off again and Mariela followed, the others following as well.

Soon enough they got to the mirror, and they had stopped. She tilted her head at the rabbit, seeing it had no reflection. The rabbit turned to face them… and then jumped in the mirror. This caused Mariela to widen her eyes in shock, looking at Scar after the rabbit jumped in the mirror. He began speaking and Mariela tilted her head, looking at him with a confused expression. “What do you mean “you know her”?

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Mariela didn’t say anymore as a voice came from the mirror. She narrowed her eyes at this “Queen of Hearts”… she looked exactly like Lydia. The Queen of Hearts called Scar “Hatter”, and this made Mariela’s face turn into confusion. She didn’t understand. That didn’t last long as she heard Lydia’s voice screaming from around a corner.

“Ahahahahaha. FOUND YOU ALL!”

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Mariela whipped around, spotting Lydia and Raul. Her eyes went to Raul, then back to Bandit. Lydia spoke to the Queen, then held up her hands as they sparked green balls of energy. Mariela turned her head to look at Tessa. “Take Bandit and run. Now!” she shouted, and Tessa turned and began running. Once Tessa was out of sight, Mariela held her hand out towards where Tessa ran off too, and a wall of vines began appearing, blocking the path. She did the same thing to any open pathways. They weren’t going to be leaving.

Mariela dropped her hand and turned back towards Lydia. “Nice to see you again, Lydia.” she spoke… coldly. Her brothers moved to stand behind her, and they simply looked at each other, but did nothing more except for shielding their sister. The shield only lasted a few minutes… but it was good enough.

 

 

 

The Maze of Greed – Part Twelve : SS.

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures within the Maze of Greed. Lydia and Raul are now after Mariela, and she is going to have to figure out a way to get help. We are about to see the reuniting of our favorite couple.

Scene setting :  The Maze of Greed – Seven Sins Series.

Co-written with Dessy.

 

Dessy:  “Yes, well, whenever you’re being chased by a warlock and the Queen of all Bitches, you tend to forget things.” Mariela spoke in reply to Bandit’s question about her powers. Mariela wished she would have remembered sooner, because it probably would have made things a lot easier. But, it was a little too late for that now. As Mariela had picked Bandit up to start running again, she started asking questions that Mariela had no time to answer. No, she couldn’t call Scar and run at the same time – her hands were full at the moment. As for parting the hedges and making a way out, Mariela already figured that would be at lot more difficult to do than Bandit thought. But she didn’t have time to answer these questions as they ran.

As they ran, an Earth shuddering crash and the tremor it brought caused the group to stop in there tracks, gasping and grabbing onto the nearest hedge walls to balance themselves, Tessa reaching out with her free hand to grab Mariela and settle her. Once the tremor stopped and they regained their balance, Tessa looked at the brothers, then at Mariela. “What on Earth was that…?” Sean asked, only to have his brother respond. “I… I don’t know.” Sam spoke, and they all looked over at the silent Mariela.

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Mariela was silent for a moment before her eyes widened and she had this panicked expression. “Duggie…” she whispered, her eyes still widened as she looked down at Bandit. “That giant you were telling us about? She took down a giant?” Sam spoke in disbelief. “This woman is a lot more powerful than we thought to have defeated a giant.” he said afterwards.

 

“What are we supposed to do now? As long as the Giant’s down we have nothing to hold them back. We don’t even know a way out of here.” Sean spoke, and Mariela turned around to face Tessa. “Take her, and give me the hat.” Mariela spoke, and Tessa didn’t question it. She handed the hat to Mariela, before Bandit was placed in her arms. Mariela took the hat, thinking over on what she was about to do.

Mariela knew that no matter what happened, she would have to fight Lydia. But she needed everyone she could get – Scar included. But at the same time, she also didn’t want Scar getting hurt. She walked away, looking to the hat and biting the corner of her bottom lip. “Scar? Scar, I need you.” she called into the hat. She needed him, and he also needed to hurry. She didn’t know how much time they had before Lydia and Raul caught up to them. Hopefully, Tessa was right and this would summon Scar.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. And right now? Mariela was desperate.

 

Razorbackwriter:  ~ “Scar? Scar, I need you.”~

 

Within the charred ruins of Mariela’s family home, Scar was about to step over the police tape, when he heard the beautiful whisper of Mariela’s voice as he came from the very sky above. The alp stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes bulging due to being shocked that he would ever hear that voice again. The small demon could feel the smile creeping upon his face as he let out a loud laugh. Was it really her? Did she have the hat? The alp spun around and raised his arms out from his sides. The glorious feeling flowing through him. She needed him. Sending back her family in his mind would be enough to defeat Lydia, had they bothered to listen to his instructions to destroy the mirror in the center of the Labyrinth.

“She needs me!” He said with a small skip to his step. “SHE NEEDS ME!” But the more he said it, the more he started to realize that if she needed him, that those that were hunting her in the maze were going to harm her. Suddenly the Alp became angered. No, more than that….enraged. “SHE… NEEDS…. ME!” This time it was said with a guttural roar as the world that was inside Scar’s hat started to spin rapidly, the body of the Alp was the only thing not moving, though his clothing and his hair whipped about him violently. His eyes changed to the darkest red, as the demon within came charging to the fore. In a brilliant blast of red, black and gold, the Alp shot off from the ground…spiraling upward higher and higher till the very opening of the hat could be seen at last. Scar….was coming back!

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If Mariela was still holding the hat when she made the desperate plea for Scar to return to her, it would start to shake and quiver in her hand. So much so that it would fall to the ground at her feet. Spinning violently, as sparks and electricity roared out of it in a show of magical power. Those simple words, were all she needed to bring the Alp back to her. She could have done it all along, but needed someone to tell her how. A large cloud appeared from out of the hat, and soon that very cloud formed into one very cheeky and rather handsome looking alp. Scar tumbled to the ground and rolled over before sitting up like his whole world was still spinning. The alp was back. Tapping the side of his head with his hand, he soon recognized the people around him. Tessa, Sam…Sean, Bandit and then….

“Mariela!”

He had never ever been so happy to see her in his life, and he sprang to his feet, the leaf litter falling to the ground at his feet. “You’re still alive! That’s great!” He reached for her shoulders and brought her in for a hug, just overwhelmed by it all. But his joy was soon to come crashing down when he realized that they were still in the maze.

“You haven’t destroyed the mirror yet?” That was of course his first question. He looked at Sam, then at Sean. “I told you to get her to the mirror. She has to break it.” Scar let go of Mariela, then he looked to the sky and saw the eerie green light that had come from where Lydia had taken down Duggie. That moment he realized she was in the maze made him nearly sick with fright.

“Lydia is in this thing?!” He could hardly believe that she’d enter it herself.

First things first, Scar picked up his hat off the ground and popped it back onto his head. The feeling of being reunited with his hat gave him the courage that he desperately needed.

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“Oh…that feels better.” Scar let out a happy sigh, before giving his hat a good tap. “Right, we need to find that mirror.”Seeing that they had both Mariela’s brothers and of course Tessa to, meant that they could easily help with getting Bandit off the ground and moving with them. Time was now of the essence.

Out of the corner of Scar’s eye, he saw the flash of white. What looked like..

“Wait. Anyone see that?’ It was a white rabbit and it had hopped out of the hedge and dashed off down the maze before veering to the right. “FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT!” Scar yelled, grabbing Mariela’s hand and charging off after it.

He looked back over his shoulder and screamed at the others.

“WHAT YOU WAITING FOR?!”

The white rabbit only stopped to pull out a fob watch and bring it up to it’s ear, tapping it, before hurrying off again.

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TIC TOC TIC TOC TIC TOC TIC TOC……..

 

~RB~

 

The Maze of Greed – Part Eleven : SS.

 

Danger is lurking around every corner of the maze.  Lydia and her warlock, Raul are going to be reunited in the hunt for Mariela and Bandit.  Scar, is still trapped in the hat, but he has sent the young witch’s family to her rescue.  While all this goes on, a dark figure watches over all.  Death…is coming.

Scene setting : The Maze of Greed – Seven Sins series.

Co-written with Dessy, Phyln, and Artie.

 

 

Artie:  Bandit helped to keep herself up in Mariela’s arms, her lips pursing slightly at the sounds of hellhounds. Amazing how Lydia got some at her disposal, Lucifer kept them to himself most days. Though, with her obtaining of them Bandit could only assume that they weren’t really the top-notch of his elite squad. “Listen, man, I don’t really know you but those things are literally impossible to kill. You can knock them out but that’s next to impossible. I think our best bet here is to make a run for it, or we’re all going to be fucked.” She looked at Douglas, not quite taking in the irony of her words in that she couldn’t run, much less move her legs at all. She leaned into Mariela yet still felt guilty for having the other person carry her – clearly, Bandit didn’t like relying on others. “And if you even want to see Quinn again, I’m sure you don’t want it to be when she sees your soul thrashing about in the river. That place ain’t for the faint of hearted.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Screaming protests coming from behind him went virtually unheard as the Giant started to run into the direction of where the hell hound roars were coming from. When the chips were down, Duggie was a man of action, not words. This would leave Mariela left behind holding onto Bandit. She’d been given the order to run by the Giant, as he tried to stave off the oncoming attack forces of Lydia. Pounding footfalls raged along the inside of the maze, while a few turns away, the hell-hounds of Greed were getting closer. Their craving for blood so great, having been near starved by the evil Demoness of Greed and Ambition.

As Lydia strolled along behind her trusted dogs of war, there came a spluttering from a nearby hedge wall. It was enough to have the Demoness stop in her tracks. A cloud of leaves spewed out of the hedge covered in spittle, followed by the angry snarl of one very annoyed warlock. Lydia of course, recognized the voice and then stuck her hand into the hedge, only to drag Raul out by his collar. When his head appeared, Lydia leaned down and stared him in the eyes.

“You let yourself get caught in the bushes?!”

“When were you going to tell me that a giant lurked in this maze?” He replied just as angrily. A huge egg like bump on his head. It still smarted. “Giant? What giant?” This was certainly news to her. Lydia brought the maze over from the Fallen mansion. She had no idea that someone was in it. Growling, she gave a good hearty tug of Raul’s collar and the rest of him fell free of the hedge’s grasp. He lay on the ground at her feet, panting heavily, but not before looking up at her. She was wearing a dress and tight pants that were more for hunting. So…she decided to come down off her pedestal and join into the game. The warlock pushed himself up to standing, brushing the leaves off his coat, when Lydia grabbed a fist full of his shirt and snarled at him.

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“Don’t EVER disappear on me for the sake of another woman…again!…Do I make myself perfectly clear?” Lydia had a powerful grip, that was easy to see, and though the Warlock tried to pull back he found that she was a lot stronger than she looked.

He was about to answer, when he heard the barking and snarling of the hell hounds that Lydia had released into the maze. “There’s hell hounds in this thing?!” It was the one beast of hell he particularly didn’t care for. They were unpredictable, and savage in their attacks. Rarely paying any attention to their masters, or Mistresses as the case may be. Lydia gave a little shrug, not really caring for his opinion on her actions.

All Raul knew was that his Bandit was in the maze with these hell dogs, and in her state from his recollection, she was not going to possibly outrun the Hell hounds. For once in the evil Warlock’s life, he didn’t want Lydia to win.

“Come along then, my pet and see the end of that cheeky little witch and her babbling alp now!” Skirts swishing as she headed off after her hell hounds, Raul marched along silently behind her. Lydia didn’t know that Scar was no longer in the maze.

Far off in the maze, the first of the hell hounds rounded the corner and leapt up at the Giant, who swung his battle axe with a marksman’s like precision. ~WHACK!~

“Cop that ya stinkin’ mongrel!”

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela continued holding Bandit with ease, only adjusting slightly so she could switch the hat to her other hand. She looked down as Bandit spoke, giving a nod of agreement.“I agree with Bandit. I don’t know much about Hellhounds, but I know Lydia. And if Hellhounds are as bad as described, and Lydia has them – we need to run.” she spoke. Bandit mentioned something about his soul thrashing in a river, but the Giant wasn’t listening. Next thing the girls knew, the giant was running towards the Hellhounds, and he was screaming for them to run. “Well… Looks like it’s just us.”Mariela said simply.

But she didn’t argue. “Hold on tight.” she said, then turned around and began running for it. As they ran, they could hear the Giant and his giant axe being smashed on the Hellhounds. But Mariela didn’t turn around – she had a feeling Lydia was searching for her specifically, since the Hellhounds showed up, but no Lydia. She kind of already figured she’d have to fght Lydia, but at the moment her main priority was getting Bandit to safety.

They made it far enough to where the Giant and the Hellhounds could no longer be heard. Mariela slowed down to a walk, walking over and placing Bandit on the ground somewhere, before catching her breathe. “We’re safe, for now. Just give me a second.” she said, looking down at Bandit. She then paused to look around the maze, and narrowed her eyes as if in thought. “I wonder if…” she started, but trailed off. “Here, watch this.” she told Bandit, placing Scar’s hat beside her. She then walked over to a hedge that was covered in vines, tilting her head. She held out one hand, before picking her other one up slowly and beginning to move it. She moved it forward then moved it back, as if she was pulling the vine. The vine moved off of the wall, following the movement of her hand. She moved her hand to the right, and the vine followed. Mariela then moved her hand over her head, moving it in a circle. The vine began to wrap it’s self around a nearby statue.

“It works!” Mariela said with a smile, stopping the hand above her head, causing the vine to stop moving. She then closed her held out hand, before moving both hands down. “That makes things easier.” she said with a nod, turning around to Bandit. She could control Earth and nature – and being in a maze that was full of plants, vines and nature – she had benefits. She smiled as she walked towards Bandit, kneeling down to pick her up again. But then she felt a strange, yet somewhat familiar energy from behind her. “Shit…” she mumbled, standing up and turning around. She suspected it to be Lydia – so she prepared herself. But that’s not who it was.

There was a light, and then a “pop” as three figures stood in front of Mariela and Bandit. “Marie, stop! It’s me. It’s Tessa.”the female of the group spoke, letting go of the collar they were holding and stepping forward. “I’m here with your brothers… Sam and Sean.” she gestured to them, both stepping forward. Sean held the collar, but they all stared at Mariela.

“What?” Mariela asked, blinking in a bit of confusion. But when they stepped forward and she saw their faces, she widened her eyes before running toward them and getting welcomed in a group hug. “Oh my god!” she said when she pulled away. “Wow! Tessa, you’re as beautiful as ever. And Sam and Sean… you two have grown so much!” she spoke to each of them. “What are you doing here?”

“Scar sent us here. His hat sent him down to Earth, and thanks to the help of a spell in one of your journals we were able to save, he managed to send us back.” Sam spoke, nodding to his brother. “He said you needed help with someone named Lydia after we talked to him in the forest. We didn’t believe him for a second.” Sean spoke. “So Scar is alive…” she spoke, turning around to look at Bandit. “That’s why he wanted us to jump into the hat! It’d send us back to Earth where he knew we’d be safe.” she spoke, before turning back around. “Where is Scar?”

“He couldn’t come with us. But he said if you still have his hat, just call his name into it to summon him.” Tessa said, and Mariela turned around and gestured to the hat. “I do have that hat.” she said. “Good… but we don’t have time for that right now. We have to move.” she said, but paused. “Wait…” she said, taking the amulet off and handing it to Mariela. “That survived the fire. I had to wear it to be brought here… plus, I figured you’d need it to have full control of your powers.” Tessa spoke, and Mariela took the amulet. She looked it over, before slipping it around her neck. The red amulet glowed for a second after she put it on, as did Mariela’s green eyes. She nodded her head, before turning around to Bandit. “I know you’re confused… but I’ll explain later. It’s a long story.” she said, kneeling down and picking Bandit up.

“Who’s she?” Sean asked. “This is Bandit. We’re running from the same person. Me and Scar found her in the maze bruised and bleeding, and I tried to heal her. Unfortunately, something went wrong with my magic and she became paralyzed. So she can’t feel her legs.” Mariela said, receiving a nod from them. “There’s one other in the maze – a giant named Douglas. He was holding back the Hellhounds so we could run off. No idea how he got here.” she said.

“Enough talk. Let’s move!” Tessa said, running over to grab Scar’s hat. She then began running forwards, leading the way. Mariela was next to her with Bandit with her two brothers running behind – it was as if they were guarding her.

 

Phyln:  The group parted ways in front of him the giant dashing right past blinded by his own agenda heading back the way Solomon had come. his head turned slowly as he kept his eyes on the giant until he was out of sight and the sound of combat echoed back. his head snapped back towards the two girls as the quickly headed off the other direction, this made his decision easier pivoting on his heel he followed the direction of the giant. the other two don’t seem to be in any immediate danger my best bet is to head to the area of conflict the clacking of his boots and the methodic tick of his cane on the ground was only overshadowed by the sound of battle gradually growing louder as he approached. With a swift movement he changed his grasp on his cane now holding it like a sword as he covered the last few meters and the giant came into view. the sight ahead of him caught him off guard while the giant alone was quiet a surprising sight the hellhounds were an unwelcome one. such rapid feral beast he could easily get dragged into this. With a sigh he finished his approach and remained a small distance away not close enough for the giant to consider him hostile but still maintaining a good view and with any luck staying out of the way of the hounds. unsure of how they would fair against each other he decided that regardless of the victor of the battle he watched he would either have a giants soul or that of a few hounds.

 

Artie:  Bandit held onto the running Mariela, wincing with each bumpy step. She knew that Mariela was trying to be careful, but it wasn’t pleasant. Walking, she had been able to deal with. Running.. each step of the little witch sent Bandit’s wounds to be on fire, the injuries fixed externally but merely patched together hastily internally. As she was set down, the thief breathed relief and focused on Mariela’s powers. Had she been unaccustomed to such shows, perhaps she would have gazed in wonder, let out a “wow” or “whoa.” Alas, Raul’s more intensive magics only made Bandit gaze with apprehension, her brow raising. “You’re stuck inside a giant maze and you only remember now that you have powers over plants?”

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A sigh made her tilt her head back and close her eyes, hand resting limply on the ground. As Mariela finished and leaned over her, Bandit would suddenly open her eyes and blink in surprise. “Shit..

Imagine an invitation to a family reunion of a roommate, but it wasn’t your family to begin with and your roommate who you’d just met invited you to come. Well, you may possibly be involved with your roommate in the future, so you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot and just say ‘no,’ do you? Yet at the same time as they exchange in their ‘hello’s you feel an profound urge to simply run away, but alas you cannot, because you’ve been forced into this situation to begin with. This was exactly the feeling that Bandit had, intensifying the curses in her head that she held for Raul. Blast him! Blast him to bits! Though, this Mariela character had a good heart, and Bandit suddenly found herself wishing to be more like her. Though, in her core Bandit was, it had just not been realized. Care for someone such as Riley did not come from a thief like Bandit, yet it was there. Somehow, she could be turned into the caring individual that, perhaps, living a normal life would have made her be.

“Can’t you just call the guy while we walk? You can call someone and run at the same time, can’t you?” Bandit wasn’t trying to be sarcastic, just bring light on the situation. She figured that right now, it would be best to have all the people on their side as necessary… especially with hellhounds on the loose. “Why don’t you use your powers and just part all the hedges? There’s got to be an exit, or you can make one, can’t you?” She grunted as Mariela ran, taking the brunt of the movements.

The little thief could only feel pain, but boy, at least it was something.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Douglas the Giant was fighting valiantly up ahead in the maze. One…two…three hell hounds were attacking one after the other, as the might giant swung his battle axe at them much like a cricketer swings a bat. For each hell hound he hit, another seemed to take his place. One lunged at the giant’s left arm and the Giant twisted his waist and swung the bastard hound off and into the waiting bushes. The hell hound landed a good ten feet away, before coming to its senses and rising once more. These dogs seemed to be unstoppable, and as much as Douglas tried to keep them at bay, it was soon going to be a lost battle. He was trying to give the witch and her disabled companion time in which to make a getaway, or at least find the center of the labyrinth and end their nightmare.

As he swung at yet another barking hound, he could hear the dark cackle of the arrival of the Mistress of the Hounds of Greed. The Princess bitch herself, Lydia – now rounded the corner, and when the Giant clapped eyes on her, he snorted through his huge nostrils and gave her dog one extra powerful whack. This was enough to send the hell hound flying over the nearest hedge wall – yelping as it did so.

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“NO!” Lydia roared, raising up her hand as the dark green energy within her was starting to build out of her fury. Raul came around the corner shortly there after and saw the battered giant facing off against Lydia.

“That’s him! The one that knocked me into the bushes.”

“AYE! AND I DIDN’T HIT YA HARD ENOUGH!”

The giant gripped his battle axe with a white knuckled intensity as he stared the two down. “I’m not afraid of you two. Yer the bitch that put this maze here. Bet ya didn’t think I was here, did ya?” Douglas spat down at the ground at her feet, and sneered. “I seen better heads on a mug of beer, Ya ugly trollop!”

~gasp!~ Did the Giant really say that? Lydia brought her free hand up to her face, absolutely horrified that he would make a crack about her new face. Raul, who was standing in behind tried very hard to suppress a chuckle, since the idea of having a crack at Lydia’s appearance was kinda funny.

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“You might want to keep that trap of yours shut, unless you want the Princess here to do something nasty.”

“I AIN’T TAKING ORDERS FROM YOU, YA DICKLESS TWAT!”

Douglas roared again as he swatted away yet another hell hound that lunged at him, this time hitting so hard that all you could see was the hell hounds arse sticking out of the hedge.

“This the best you got, bitch! I lived with a freakin’ hell hound. One a darn sight better than your show dogs.”

Raul brought his hands up, as though he had seen enough as the hair on the back of Lydia’s neck bristled. The powerful green ball was glowering in her hand, and it matched the fury with the one on her face. Her hell hounds were coming off second best to the Giant’s fury and powerful swings. But what he didn’t count on, was the Princess’s power. Gritting her teeth in anger, she released the massive green ball of energy at the Giant, which hit him hard in the chest. Douglas staggered backwards as he jerked and spasmed violently. She continued to warp and bend the energy till it wound its’ way all around Douglas, who now had one band of green light wrapped tight around his neck. It was slowly lifting him off the ground.

Watching from in behind, Raul tuttered and folded his arms.

“I did try to warn you, mate.”

The Giant dropped his battle axe and was clutching at the green energy ringlet around his neck, gasping and spluttering violently, as his legs kicked out in desperation. His eyes were bulging practically out of his head, it was a poor way to see the giant fare against the might of Lydia. Lydia threw her hand far right and this sent Douglas spinning up and well over the hedge wall….far out of sight. Only after a good ten seconds did you hear the earth shuddering crash of his body hitting the earth. The tremor was enough to be felt at least a kilometer away. Reigning in her power, Lydia snarled and pushed up her sleeves.

“One down…..two to go!”

The Princess started to march onward, stepping over the bodies of her fallen hell hounds. Raul let out a sigh and followed along behind. Lydia had no idea that there were more in the maze, than just the alp and the witch. She didn’t count Bandit, as she knew nothing of her.

 

~RB~