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 Prologue. Pride Comes Before the Fall.

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Pennywise
Mystic Elder
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Location : Behind you

PostSubject: Prologue. Pride Comes Before the Fall.    Tue May 17, 2011 3:29 pm

    I
    Pride Comes Before The Fall

    Awake, and yet not. Breathing and yet. Dead. These were the first memories of the being known as Jack. He was…afraid, the word probably is. The world around him was in absolute ruin. Absolute disorder. And although it felt right. It also felt so absurdly wrong. The clashing of the feelings within him was almost enough to turn his stomach. If indeed, he ate anything. One thing everyone who, has to understand is that, awakening as he was with no memory as to where, or how. Was something of a traumatising experience for him. And Jack at the time was pretty sure that he wasn’t the only one thus effected by the sudden new dawn. There was much confusion in those early days. So much so that, hell entered into a state of chaos that was far more prevalent that had ever been seen before. Demons tearing each other apart in their confusion. Wanting answers to questions that, no one could provide. In those initial days, Jack Wiseman mostly kept to himself. He wouldn’t approach others. He wouldn’t take their problems and listen. But nor would he tear off their faces either. For within this creature there was a distinct sense of wrongness. Almost as if something was missing. This gap was, for a time. Filled by a companion. The one that he awakened next to. The two had spent some time together. Almost a year. Before the calling came. The calling that drew him to find more answers to his questions. To what had came before. In content with merely existing as he was. Jack one day merely disappeared. Leaving nothing more than a mark on memory. And with his companion. A child yet to be born. As the chaos began to “ settle” the stronger demons began to impose some kind of odd order, mostly taking off themselves and leaving the weaker ones to act out in their own Darwinist attitudes. One day, Jack would go with them. But in those times. He, like the others. Sought answers.

    There were. Remnants. That’s the only way he could really describe them. Ruins of cities that had been there. But were now long decayed and gone. Rubble from what looked to be some kind of horrific battle. Every single time he thought about it. For whatever reason there was this pain in his head. An itch he couldn’t scratch. Yet would keep poking at. The very fact that there were these remnants proved that, this world was older than he could remember. That there had been something before. Something that had occurred before anyone could remember. But just what was it that had happened? What had changed?

    Wiseman found no answers in these Remnants. Only more questions. Things were undoubtedly dangerous in this world. And with no answers, all he was left with was the question of survival. When it was required people took to their own kinds. Those who were similar to themselves. Of similar kin and mindset. So. Jack set off to the newly established gothic portion of Hell. Where the more powerful and influential demons lay. Among them. He found his own answers. Jack found that he was a demon of Pride. A monstrosity in silk gloves that fed off the emotional spectrum of pride. But didn’t just feed. Embodied. Perhaps it was just the early awakening. But at that time. Jack didn’t feel all that prideful in what he was. Or in his current state. Regardless. He was taken in by those of his own ilk. The Lords of Pride. And given a place at the Seat of Pride. Over the years Jack became an advocate of one of the higher Lords of Pride. A demon named Jowan. A devils advocate if you will. For the most part in the early days it was good for little more than glorified messenger boy. But as time passed and he became a more regular face around the area he began to gain a sort of odd respect of his own. And that’s when the pride part kicked in. Glorified messenger boy, to on the job enforcer. Anyone raised a word against his lord. It was his job to take them out and with the brutal efficiency that can only really be performed by one of his ilk. One who took pride in even the simplest act of horrific murder and torture. Turning evisceration into a gory work of flesh ridden blood splattered art.

    Ultimately however in matters like these especially with those of his kind it came to a point where one had to ask just how long he would be able to continue serving. By nature pride demons were as their attribute says. Prideful. So how could the pride of one Oni with such ambition take being the servant of another? The simple answer was that it couldn't. But for now. It could come to bare. As much as Jack disliked the idea of serving another at the same time he wasn't stupid. He knew his place in the world at this very moment in time and it wasn't the King of the Hill. At least. Not just yet anyways. Those days had been. Trying. At best. Born into a world with no memory of what came before or indeed, conception made little sense to him. And despite accepting his current place within the seat of pride. The question of just what had happened to the ruins that were scattered all around. To all demons old enough to remember the initial chaos. It was a question that for now at least. He couldn't answer. And as much as that annoyed him. He learned to deal with it. Much like being the advocate of Jowan. Twenty years on he still assumed his same position, it may have seemed like a long time to those in the human world, but to Jack it was a relatively short period. In hell there is no real sense of time. There is only the now, and the importance of that moment. Where in one second everything could change into nothing. That was a truth beyond all measure. Despite still being the advocate for his master Jack now had some limited renown of his own within the area. A circle of expanding influence would be his only ticket into the higher ranks. And it was something that he meant to obtain relatively soon.

    Our moderately interesting tale begins at the seat of Pride. Jack is meeting with Jowan to discuss matters pertaining to their future role within the realm. Little did he know. More would come out of that meeting than just arising aspirations.

    II

    " Tell me Jack". Said Jowan in a dolefully calm, alluring voice. " Just what is it that you see around us?". The seat of Pride. For the most part this place was little more than a ruin. It was a large hall, looked like some sort of court room. Stone walls and floor, not made of the usual rock taken from outside, but rather it had a more...human design to it. The grey slabs of stone underneath his feet all too different to the usual environments. Through a crack in the roof, red light gleamed in, resting upon a throne at the back of the room, much like the rest of the architecture of this building. It was made of gray stone. Upon it sat Jowan. The demon himself upon the literal seat. However, this place was called such simply due to its nature of being the main outpost for the Lords of Pride. However, the fact it held such a throne only emphised the name of the building. Jack was standing in the opening doorway on the other side of the room. Leaning against a pillar that was part of the doorframe. There were many answers to Jowans questions. A pompous bastard being but one of them. However that one he'd keep to himself. "..I'd have to say, the past". Jowan closed his eyes, grinning as the sound of Jack's voice echoed into the halls. The man seemed to enjoy that answer. " Precisely". Shifting himself on the throne. Jowan lifted his face to look at him directly. " We're both old enough to remember the awakening. And I remember finding you, still so confused wandering among the derelict ruins of that city, just like I found all the others". That had been much of the truth. Jowan had been one of the few more powerful Oni that had emerged in the wake of chaos that followed the " awakening". He found his kin, his ilk. Much like Jack himself. And took them here. The place where pride fell. And were it will be restored. Or so the man said. Other Oni Lords had came with similar goals. And around them a community seemed to form. A group of the most influential and powerful. " But you didn't come at first. Do you remember why?". Jack frowned. He certainly did. He hadn't followed all the others at first because he had still been obsessed with his own confusion. Wanting to know just what happened in the past as opposed to living in the here. Living in the now. " I wanted to know-". The oni lord let out a mild laugh.

    To understand this situation one must understand that, Jowan didn't have what you would call the most terrifying appearance in all hell. The more ridiculous part of it was that Jowan looked no older than fourteen years of age. At least by human standards. So when he talked, when he laughed. It sounded more like a spoiled brat and less like an ancient and powerful creature. " Yes, you wanted to know....nothing wrong with knowledge. After all knowledge is power.....do you...like power Jack?". At this point, Wiseman felt there was more to that question than met the eye. Most Oni however would make the mistake of over thinking it. But as Jowans advocate for the past eighteen or so years, Jack had learned just how to deal with his master. " Yes, that I do". Once more, pompous light headed laughter filled the room. Jack shook his head. " Ah Jack, always so forward, that’s why I like you, not afraid to show just what you are, hell if I asked you if one point you were going to stab me in the back and usurp me you'd probably say yes ". Jack looked up and looked Jowan straight. " Probably". The room fell quiet at that point. A sudden tension in the air. But it didn't last. Jowan just cracked one of his shit eating grins and stared up at the crack in the ceiling. " And that’s how I know I can trust you.....I can always trust that you'll screw me first chance you get...and I wouldn't have it any other way....wouldn't be any fun otherwise". Jack made a waving gesture of his hand. " Of course, what fun would there be in the world without screwing?". Jowan kept up with a cantankerous laugh.

    " Well enough of the pleasantries....".

    Letting out a yawn , he stretched out his arms on the rests of the throne. " Down to business....Latest reports are that the Lords of Madness are beginning to take areas in Externus". Jack raised an eyebrow to this. The Lords of Madness, were much like them. The Lords of Pride. They fed off and embodied the portion of the human psyche that represented madness. And that’s just what had him confused. The Lord of Madness were powerful individuals. And on the odd occasion they came together. But much like their name sake. The Lords were for the most part, insane. There was no real forward thinker among them. No planner. No true leader. They just...did. Doing whatever seemed most suitable or amusing at the time. Sometimes the odd occurrence could happen that might be mistaken for planning, but really it was just a lucky coincidence. Butt his was different. if they were beginning to take lands in Externus that meant they had a growing plan. No one simply took land and held it without any reason. " What do you think their game is? They've never done something like this before". Jowan leaned back. closing his eyes as if in deep thought. Using the words, as if. Simply because this would have been the first thing on his mind and not something he'd have to think about with too much depth. " Information coming in about them seems to indicate that a smart one finally seems to have emerged". He placed a finger on his chin and tapped it once. " With all the infighting they do it had to happen eventually, survival of the fittest and all that....regardless from what I can tell their new leader is an Oni by the name of Ceila, not quite sure just what she’s planning however I don't think anyone likes the idea of any one group gaining control of too much power. Particularly the Lords of Madness". So. They now had a basified leader. And it was a female by the sounds of things. Not that sex made much of a difference among their kind however it was...odd. To think of the mad ones ruled by a woman. " So then".Jowan leaned forward expectantly. " I want you to go to their latest area of conquest. Put a stop to it". Finally something interesting to do. Fighting the Lords of Madness and turning back one of their expansions in externus. Admittedly, he wasn't too sure whether or not this was something he could pull on his own. But he wouldn't turn it aside. " Any point in taking prisoners? You know what they're like". Jowan nodded, but it was a displeased one. " Yes, whilst information would be good I doubt we could get anything coherent out of one of them...so...kill away". With a floating waving gesture he was given permission to take his leave. And he wasn't going to argue with that. Footsteps echoed in the empty corridors halls as he passed through them. Pushing one door open with his right hand, the left in his pocket. Doors open, more of that crimson red light poured onto him. He raised a glove hand, putting it to his forehead like a visor. After the dark of the building the light hurt his eyes, even if it was a dark kind of light. After he had, for the most part adjusted. He brought that hand down and rubbed in between the bridge of his nose. Wiseman, now beginning to think just how he was going to be pulling this one off without any help.

    He was an Oni of Pride. And as a rule of thumb generally more powerful than the rank and file of the other psyche based demons. But even that wasn't going to help him much when faced with several demons on his own. Strength and natural prowess could only do so much when faces against numbers. " Hey, catch". His eyes darted to the side as he saw a black shape fly at him. Hands up he caught it. His cane sword, curious he looked at it for a moment, his thumb running over the silver ring several inches down, the point where the cane separated into the blade. On the top of the cane a silver orb to fit his hand, it also worked to balance the blade during combat. His eyes moved past the weapon and to the person who had thrown it. Henderson. One of the clerks that worked for Jowan. " You left it in the carriage". Jack nodded lightly and once again examined the blade, just making sure that no one had made any " interesting" modifications. Such a thing had to be prepared for and expected in his line of work. But he saw nothing amiss, his eyes moving back down to the other Oni who seemed to be staring up at him questioningly. " So then, orders from the big cheese eh? Must be important. Haven't heard a word of it and usually he's one to brag about it". The man spoke truly. Jowan was never one to indulge in the little game of secrecy. Which usually resulted in many headaches for him. But this time Jowan had kept his trap shut. Maybe he was actually taking the threat from the demons of madness seriously this time as opposed to just a little game for him to send his pawns at. An interesting thought if nothing else. " Out into Externus...the usual". He pulled the sword part slightly out of the cane sheath, showing the silvery edge of the blade just the tiniest bit before pushing it back in, hearing a click as it was finished. " Bug stomping". .

    III
    Can stomping into the dried out dirt and rock of the area that was externus. He'd landed someway outside of where this was reportedly going on. Told to stop past the western magma pit where their scouts had last been reported to be sighted. So, he stood here now out in the open, waiting for them. Externus was perhaps one of the few places that was relatively untouched by the awakening. It had always been a bit of a dusty desolate land, there was never any signs that he had seen of building work or cities. Much unlike several places within the main population centres. It didn't take long for someone to show up greeting him. Three Oni, two male one female. The two males had a rather bestial appearance whilst the female kind of reminded him of Jowan. She looked like a girl in her young teens. It was this similarity which caused Jack to make a rather bold and forward guess. " Ah, you must be Ceila". The girl raised her finger to her lip and pulled down slightly on it. " Tricksty tricksty tricksty man!". Her outburst was sudden and abrupt as she began pointing in his direction flailing her arm. The bestial demons of madness next to her seemed to take this as some kind of order to attack him, the first diving forward, attempting a swipe with deadly sharp claws, Jack side stepped, moving his hand down onto the base of his cane and smashing it up into the off balance Oni, throwing it off even more. Ss he recovered from hat attack he slipped the blade out of the cane sheath and jammed it into the middle of the beast Oni's spine. No time for breaks though. With a smooth blade withdrawal he moved into the second attacker. Striking forward like a cobra, impaling the shoulder of the demon, then withdrawing the blade as it flinched, and Stabbing it into the demons knee. It howled in a mix of pain and pleasure. A rather unfortunate feature of the demons of madness. Enjoying or just completely ignoring pain. It made torturing them for information useless. And just not as fun if they're enjoying it. He slid the slender blade out of the knee and then in a quick riposte he tore open the beasts throat, blood splattering all over the dry soil. He raised up his sleeve, wiping the blood of the blade onto it before returning his weapon to the sheath. He turned to face the girl he suspected was Ceila, but she wasn't there. For a moment he was awfully confused. Not quite understanding just what went on. The two demons had attacked, and she'd been there. Giving her time to run away wasn't much of an option. Weren’t many areas to hide in around here. And he'd see her in the distance unless. He felt a prod on his back. The colour drained from his face as Jack slowly turned around to face the girl. Blonde hair and a face as cute as a button. One could have mistaken her for a human, that is if it weren’t for those yellow eyes. It was a common trait among the Lords of Madness, those higher class of them that took on those human features. He was almost lost within those eyes, so reflective so glassy that he almost saw himself.

    His own face. His cheeks. His lips. His eyes. His yellow-No. That wasn't right. He jerked back, touching his face almost as if he could actually feel his eyes. She tilted her head. One thing that Jowan had warned him about when he was learning about this lot was that madness was like a disease. It was infectious. One of the Lords of Madness greatest powers was the fact they could pass on their complete lack of sanity. Some of the more powerful ones could leak this madness into the air around them causing such hallucinations. She took a step towards him. He had to keep his mental defences up. Had to keep his guard, if he didn't then he'd fall prey to the madness. " The voice, the voice...in my head....it sings...it sings...that you are dead....the drums the drums...my how they bang.......the funeral bell, for Penny has rang!". As she spoke those words, he could almost hear it , his heart beat. Rum pum pum pum. Rat tat tat tat. " What the hell are you talking about?...". She shrugged and poked at his torso with her index finger. " I dunno silly, what are YOOUUUUUU talkin about". Annoyance and irritation with her flaring up he drew the sword from the cane once more and slashed downwards. She avoided it rather easily but in a way that she made it look like an accident, something that only infuriated him. Further. Slash after slash. Failure after failure.

    She then dropped to the ground pressing an ear to it after he was fatigued and tired out. " Just...what the hell?". She looked up at him and pressed her index finger to her lips and pursed them. " Shhhh...the voice says I should dig here". Jack stopped for a second and raised his eyebrow. "....Dig for what?". She jumped up and danced around him. " Pants of course!....what else would you dig for!". She jumped up onto him, with surprising strength knocking him to the ground. She raised up her fist and slammed it into his face. He didn't like the sound of the crunch when it came. " That’s why your here isn't it, isn't it?...you wants to take our glory digging pants from us!". Another fist. Surprising strength from such a little frame. " Tricksty tricksty Jowan! wanting to takums our prize pants from us!". Fitting his foot under her chest he gave a quick burst of strength with a push. Knocking her up and off and allowing him to roll back at the same time.Wiseman rubbed his face. All sore and battered. " So...your digging for pants?...that’s it?....pants?". She nodded vaguely " Yuppers, don't you know that the pants of the past will lead us into the future?". One can never quite understand the true extent to which the mind within a lord of madness is broken. Whether or nto it was natrually like that or whether or not feeding upon the madness of humans or others had generally infected their own minds was entirely debatable. However this girl was clearly just out of the game. Well gone past wonderland, don't pass and go through court of hearts and strraiiight into the mouth of the doorknob. Regardless. He had orders to deal with this. To stop their expansion. " Listen girl. There are no pants for you here. Go back to the court of madness". Ceila looked up at him with an awfully confused look on her face. " No pants here?. Oh I see. Ok then". And with that, she was gone. Yes. Gone. Literally poofed into nothingness as if she had never been there to start with. Not even a fade away point. Not sure whether or not this was actually dealt with. Jack decided he'd stay the night, just incase any of the Lords of Madness popped back up in their grail quest for pants. It wasn't till later that night, when staring at the fire he'd built. That he made the connection. The past. The future....pants. Clearly what the girl had meant in her madness addled brain was that the Lords of Madness were digging for " Remnants" of the past. Not pants. Wiseman couldn't help but grin, letting out a quiet laugh as he imagined a pair of old torn stinking pants leading the unholy horde into a bright shining future of rape, murder and utter devastation in this realm and beyond. He felt the wind shift next to him. The fire blowing to the right slightly as he looked over that way. And...sitting on the log right there next to him was Ceila. She lifted up what looked like a leg of chicken, but he suspected really wasn't. " Chicken?". . He blinked. " No". " Feel like your missing something eh?". Said the little girl, grease glistening around her face as she devoured what Jack assumed wasn't really chicken. " For me, its chicken, and mayonnaise". She looked at Wiseman expectantly before he said. " I thought you said that was chicken?...and whats mayonnaise?".

    She just simply shrugged letting out a " I dunno". It was odd sitting with this girl in a moment of strange peace in a realm that was for the most part torn apart by chaos and conflict. And yet here they were, only hours ago trying to kill one another. Now sitting around the fire. Talking strange randomness about chicken and things of the past. At some point during the night she left, leaving Jack with the wondering thought of just how she could skip away like that without ever giving any sign of coming or going. It was dangerous to say the least. When he laid his head down to rest on a bedroll he'd set up near the fire. He was careful to make sure that he didn't sleep to soundly. Least the girl, or some other Oni take him as easy prey for the taking. The dreams he had that night were strange. A large place. A library of sorts. Pages falling all around him. Sat leaning against the back of a book shelf. Everything was so hazy, so dizzy that he couldn't concentrate, walk or see straight. But something caught his eye. A corridor in the back with a blinking light. Jack stood, and began to stagger across to it, the book shelves at his side acting as a sort of supports for his drunken movements. The light flickered again. The sound of dripping water from within the corridor. At the end, a door, it looked old, discoloured yellowed. Originally white but as if it had long faded with time. A glass window in the centre of the frame. He stopped as he reached the door. Feeling that. Something was on the other side. Something that was staring at him from within the darkness on the other side of that window. He drew closer, his breath forming on the window into a fine mist. A crack appeared on the window. And then, it shattered. A hand reaching out and pull him through into the darkness. A laugh echoing around him, as screams and drums filled his ears.

    He awakened, lathered in sweat. Panic in his eyes. However, it had been a dream. But it was over now. He couldn't help but think it had been the poison of Celia’s presence on him that had caused such a thing. He couldn't return to Jowan without his mission being completed. So he travelled further in the direction of the lands of the Lords of Madness. All he found there were signs that they'd moved on. Chicken ( or what looked like it) bones, and signs of digging. Foot prints leading in other directions. So, they were only holding lands so that they could dig. It was, interesting to say the least. The Lords of Madness never had any distinct plans, and even though this plan was ludicrous and gained them no sort of increased power or social standing. It proved something not known before, they were capable of some sort of semi-coherent thought. And that was something that Jowan would want to know about, and certainly wouldn't be happy about. Although he might be intrigued by the specific details of it as well as the story of his encounter with Ceila. On the journey back home he witnessed some of the more horrifying things within hell nowadays a giant Oni sitting on a bed of bones, still devouring one of them. And then there was the caves. A place where one might find many secrets, but also find some of the more terrifying denizens of this realm. And if a bed of bones freaked you out. Some of the things those creatures would get up to in the darkness would out right destroy your mind. His cane in front of him, Jack finally made it home. Ascending the stone path to the seat of pride. Pushing in the door. And entering the darkness. This place was always dim. The air was always a refreshing cold, with just a tinge of moisture to it. A satisfying change from the dry acrid environment of hell. Dusting himself off before he moved in any further, had to keep some appearance of manners after all. Jack ran his hands down his trousers and shit, wiping off any of the dirt and dust that might have clung when kicked up by that searing wind. Slowly he began to walk down the corridor. Each footstep followed by a click of his cane as it tapped against the cold stone floor of the seat of Pride. As per usual. There at Jowan. Bathed in the red light of hell that shone through from the crack in the roof. " So Jack". The voice of the Oni lord sounded out throughout the hall. " Just how did your little adventure go....". Jack moved into the centre of the chamber and stopped, staring over at Jowan on the throne. " The Madness Demons have retreated from their occupied areas, however it wasn't my killing them that caused them do so ". Jowan raised a brow and leaned forward, intent on listening to this strange story. " Oh?...And just what did?". This was a moment where he knew that he would have to choose his words carefully. " They weren’t holding the lands in hope of gaining more power, they were looking for something, and now they've determined it isn't there, they've moved on". The Onilord frowned. He wasn't used to being taken by surprise like this. " So you just?...let them go?". Wiseman shook his head.

    " There were never many that I encountered to begin with. I killed two of them, and then I met Ceila". The frown shifted back to a grin. This was the part that Jowan had been waiting for. " And tell me then, just what was she like? Smart? Good looking? Would you do her?". Jack let out a sigh. Despite being the undisputed leader of clan of Pride demons Jowan at times acted precisely what age he looked. " No actually, she looked a little too young for me". He gestured at Jowan. " You might be in for a shot though". Once again, that echoing laugh. " Ok ok ok, but jokes aside, just what where they searching for, and more importantly where are they now?". For a second, Jack as tempted to tell Jowan JUST what Ceila had told him. That they were digging for pants. Of course, he had long since figured out that she had meant Remnants. Bits of the past that might hold a clue to just what had happened before. Relics. Old technologies. " They were looking for relics, things of the past". Jowan sat back, he had that thinking face on again, however now he was pretty sure that face was genuine. " Digging for Relics...doesn't suit their usual game. I’m happy that the area has been cleared, however the idea that they're digging up relics might be more dangerous than them holding territories wouldn't you say so?". Jack shrugged. " They're mad, such is their nature, I met the Ceila girl and as smart as she is in comparison to the others, she’s a basified lunatic, theres no going back for that brain, even if they found an actual relic I don't even think they'd know what it was, or what to do with it". Jowan tapped the side of his throne with both fingers, a tapping sound that echoed throughout the halls and for some reason, within his head after that. But only for a few moments. " True enough, but there is always the second part of that". Jack raised an eyebrow, just what did his master mean by that? " Theres also the possibility that Ceila is in fact smarter than the both of us and is simply pretending to be so insane that she wouldn't know what to do with it". That thought hadn't quite occurred to him. That the madness was simply a mask hiding the truer darker intellect behind it. In that case, Jowan had a point, and he conceded. That he hadn't thought about it before he let her leave. Jowan clasped his hands. " However that’s just a small chance. Regardless, we'll keep an eye on their movements. I'm pleased with your work. For now. Feel free to take a break. I'll summon you when I need you Jack".

    IV
    Jack and Jill went up the hill, to make Jills bastard daughter. Jill looked down, Jack stole her crown. Now she'll fall there ever after"

    The rest of the day was spent in what Jack would consider quiet simplicity. Training his sword arts, his spells. Everything that he could do to make himself more powerful. After all he didn't plan to be the advocate for Jowan all his days. In fact he didn't think he was going to be able to stand it much longer. He'd already been doing it for nigh on twenty years now and already doing the bidding of the higher pride demon was driving him round the bend. By nature, Jack Wiseman wasn't a sheep. He didn't like following. He liked to be the one leading. Then again, that was probably something anyone could say about any pride demon. That they didn’t like to be the opens taking the orders merely giving them. But Jowan was the strongest of them. Therefore for now at least he would be their leader. Until they'd found a better one. And that of course is what he was aiming to be. Admittedly though dealing with the possibility of his own error spotted by Jowan had made him think that it wasn't quite time yet. Learning ones own short comings is hard at the best of times. But for those of his kind who embodied self confidence, it was like a knife through the base of the spine. Sharp painful and then leaving you numb, but still eating away at you for time everlasting. It annoyed him, but he accepted it. Dreams that night weren’t much better than they were before. Same library. Same problems. But this time he avoided that corridor. There was a figure, standing at a balcony. No, not at the balcony. just slightly off it, as if they were in the position for jumping off in an act of suicide. As he drew closer he realised that he knew the person who was on the edge. It was Ceila. The leader of the madness demons. He touched the banister, using it to steady himself before looking over at her. " Having fun?". He said quietly, before looking down and realising just how high up they were. She turned her face to look at him. Curious. " How can you be here?...this place is reseed for us. Its a place of truths, you don't belong". Jack shrugged. " I go where I please". She turned back, facing forward. Closing her eyes. " Then alls more the fool are you for choosing to come". He shrugged, not bothering to reveal that he hadn't come by choice. " Just what are you doing anyways?". She turned and giggled. " Just what it looks like, you see mr tricksty I got it figured all out in here I do!". She tapped her forehead in a rather happy styled laugh. Before dropping down into a more serious dampened tone. " They say when you die, your entire life flashes before your eyes...SO....If I jump and die, then I'll know what came before, I'll know all the secrets you don't know!". He shook his head. And yet, found himself almost laughing, there was a strange kind of twisted logic to that. That dying would reveal the memories that had been locked away, or at least what seemed to be locked away. After all, what else would you call three realm wide amnesia for those clearly older than twenty years? The sad thing was that he knew this was just a dream and the Ceila that was in front of him was just a mad representation of his own mind, so in away he couldn't really care about what she did. Just as he thought that though she let out this kind of grin that almost mirrored Jowans to the tee. " I know just what your thinking little tricksty whicksty man, that this is all just a dream, and that you won't wake up and have to deal with things....hehehehe...what is a dream but a reflection of desire?...what is a nightmare, but a reflection of reality?". For some reason, those words sounded familiar. As if he'd read them in a book somewhere, a quote from an author that he couldn't quite remember.

    " Let me tell you little man, this dream is more real than you, or I....In the eyes of a sleeping god we men are naught but dreams and nightmares, little things to keep them occupied until they awaken".

    Odd words, Mad certainly. But also interesting if nothing else. And that’s when, without warning. Ceila let go of the balcony, and when flying down to the ground, whether she was laughing or screaming in the end. He couldn't tell. Felt something shift beneath his feet, shock was the first reaction, then fear. The ground fell away beneath him, and he tumbled down into the darkness after Celia. Then it was strange. He didn't land, but, he was no longer falling. All he could hear was whispers. Celia’s voice. " I see, you kept your promise". He woke up, it was still dark out, but there was the sound of screams. Screams close by. Not the usual screams he heard in the distance on a regular basis but the death thralls of some demon that may have been in the area, and if it was near the seat of pride, that meant that it was one of his kin. Quickly Jack jumped up from his bedside, no need to get dressed as he'd fallen asleep where he'd lain. Just grabbing his coat and his cane and heading out into the air. There was a storm overhead. It was strange. Raining. It was a cold day in hell (literally) when rain came to this place. He didn't doubt that it'd come here through magical means. One of his kin ran past him, panicked eyes, spear and shield in hand. Another followed this one he was quick enough to grab by the shoulder to find out just what was going on. " I heard screams, just what’s happening?". The man looked at him and his eyes seemed to relax, if just ever so slightly. " Ah Jack, good....I thought it was one of those bastards....its the Lords of Madness. They're attacking the seat of pride". The madness demons where actually attacking them? He would ask if they had lost their minds, but that question was answered before it even left his lips. But even then, it couldn't be just some random act of madness. The Lords of Madness were Oni and they tended to do thing that didn't make much sense, but even then they had never done anything that was distinctly suicidal. That and he'd met Ceila. She didn't seem the type to do something like this. Regardless. His primary concern was getting to the Seat of Pride at this moment in time. He rushed towards the old ruined building, pushing the doors open and running down the corridor, several of the beast like demons of madness awaited him in the corridor, he drew the blade from the cane and quickly slashed down, severing the head of one, then twisting his body and stabbing the next with his back turned to them. The blade jutting through their chest and out their back. He kicked behind him, sliding the creature off the blade before. turning with it and moving on. There were several more within the corridor, and yet when he came to the end of it there was nothing bar the smell of roasted flesh and charring bone. He pushed the doors open, and inside was Jowan. Sitting as always on his throne. A serious look on his face. Around him impaled on flaming spikes were the bodies of other madness demons. He didn't mention Jacks name. Just merely stated. " Even after doing that, they wouldn't stop talking, twitching. Had to burn them". Again, the madness demons ability to resist and enjoy pain, even in death they would be laughing at their enemies attempts. Their foolish pathetic attempts. But Jowan had clearly been too much for these demons. Respect levels rose, even if only slightly. "...What in the hell happened...why did they attack so suddenly?". Jowan rested against the throne. " I determined Ceila was too dangerous to leave alive, if she was searching for relics they could have been used against us, and I wasn't willing to let that be a factor, so now she isn't". Jack sighed, sheathing his cane sword and then placing it down onto the stone, leaning forward on it, both hands clasped atop the silver ball handle. " But yet she is, it caused these madness demons to launch a retaliation attack". Jowan made a sweeping gesture with his hand. " Ants, they'll be put into their place soon enough. If not, we can always wipe them out. Not as if hell is going to miss a few lunatics eh?". Jack at that point couldn't help but think to himself. Jowan was right. But just what group of lunatics would hell not miss?

    " Very well, if that’s what you want Jowan then let it be".

    Wiseman’s thoughts at this stage were drifting, a head ache coming on. And the thoughts of that dream in which Ceila had committed suicide. It forced him to ask. " Just how did you kill her?". Jowan smirked. " In her sleep".

    V
    " Seeing things in a different light is always scary. But overcoming that fear is all part of life. Change is inevitable. What you see today in one way might be totally different another. Perhaps thats why I didn't like that dream, it showed things in another light. I didn't want to believe what in myself I already knew. Ceila was right. ".

    Whether her dying in her dreams was just a coincidence or not. Jack couldn't get it out of his head, it plagued his thoughts like a swarm of locusts over a corn field. It just wasn't going away, buzzing around inside his skull everything that he'd said to her. Everything she'd said to him. Mostly the latter. For reasons unknown Ceila had made some kind of impact on him. He'd only ever met the girl twice and yet already he felt more....drained. By her death. That he felt that he would be for Jowan. True the loss of his leader and master would be a great blow to the demons of pride, but to him personally all it would cause is stress. Yet in Ceilas death it resulted in more than stress. He was left with an unnerving feeling that the girl knew far more than she was letting on, and in death learned even more. Those last words he had heard in her voice. In the dreams. I see you kept your promise. What promise did she mean? As much as people make such things all the time, Jack was never one to really make them. Promises and oaths bound him to something and the man always liked to leave himself a loophole or a way out just in case something came back to haunt him. Then another thought. What if it had been from the before. What if she had gotten her wish, and by dying she'd seen the truth? It was like a bad itch, one he just couldn't scratch. On that day the Pride Demons including himself had began a systematic eradication of the Lords of Madness. For whatever reason it felt wrong. There were only maybe, fifteen of his kin at the most. And yet now they were risking themselves by wiping out another breed of psyche demon. Then again, as Jowan said, a good defence is a good offence. Striking first instead of waiting for another back lash attack from them was probably the best way to go around things. Still. He couldn't help but feel that in some way it was....a disgrace of a memory. It had rained that day because of Jowans magic. He couldn't help but feel it was appropriate. He felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned. It was Jowan, one of the few times the Oni Lord actually bothered to make an appearance outside of the seat of Pride. " Its bothering you, isn't it?". Jack grumbled something under his breath, frowning. Then looking into the horizon. " Yes, but I can't explain why". Jowan crossed his arms and joined him in the looking. He gestured to the open plains. " That’s why, its because she was still trying to do something that we've all but given up on...most of our kind don't even band together they just outright kill one another. The others enslave, we are one of the few clans of demons that actually exist, those of the same type, the same mind set. Sticking together to gain greater power, and survive against our cruel reality". Jack hadn't quite thought of it that way. Ceila had been digging up old relics, trying to figure out how they work and how to apply them to help herself and her clan. To try and figure out just what had happened in the past. And yet, now she was gone. A noble goal left unfulfilled. And likely now with the destruction of the demons of madness, there would be no one left to carry on that ideal. There was always the thought that he could try and do something like that to uncover the secrets of the past, but honestly. Jack much like Jowan didn't much care for the past. And had no reason to. Everything was all about the now and the tomorrow. What happened the day before is irrelevant. What was important. Was gaining power. And surviving. Little else mattered.

    That didn't make her goals any less noble. Foolish yes. But defiantly noble. " So then, whets our plans Jowan? Surely we aren’t just going to be settling with survival?". The young looking Oni lord turned to him, an arrogant smirk on his face. " Hell no, we'll expand our sphere of influence here first, but then...we'll move into the human world...". The human world? Jack thought for a moment, he'd only ever been to that place once, and it was pretty much just like hell. Except that the weather was a lot more....skin friendly. Than that in hell. The dry air did nothing for his complexion. He liked colder climates and the rain. The last time he'd went to the human world was in the early days with Jowan, the demon lord showing him just what things were like in other realms as well. Showing him the weaknesses of humans just how to take advantage of that weakness in order to increase your own powers. Humans in truth weren’t much that different from Oni. Other than of ours the fact that they were slightly less likely to murder and kill you when they first saw you. But only slightly. The humans that he saw did that all the time to one another. Stole, raped robbed. Everything and anything under the sun. No wonder they were a perpetual battery for him and his ilk. The looks of the human world however was something far more attractive than the plains of hell. The cities or rather, the ruins looked far better than they did in hell. He couldn't really imagine just what the place looked like before whatever had happened well...happened. " I'll be sending you there soon, spiritual activity there is on the rise, not sure why but that’s the whole reason I'm sending you out there isn't it?....". Jowan smirked. Jack wasn't impressed though. " So your sending me out to the human world. To find out why spirit activity is on the rise. Isn't that more a job for the human hunters?". Human hunters. Men and women among the humans who through one means or another managed to gain awareness of spirits, and began to rise up in arms to fight against them. At first according to Jowan for Oni and other types of spirits including the Kami. They were nothing but a small annoyance. But after awhile their numbers grew and they became more powerful. Resulting in them being upped from minor annoyance to major threat whilst wandering in the human realm. " True enough". Said Jowan, " But preferably I'd like to find out the reason, without it being killed maimed or otherwise garrotted to death". Jack nodded. He had a point. Was better getting the information first hand. Although travelling to that world brought up more points. There was a reason why he avoided going there despite preferring the climate. It was for fear of what he had left behind. And what would come of him should it come up again. Regardless. He couldn’t disobey direct orders. “ I’m headed to bed Jowan…I’ll see you in the morrow”.

    Word Count: 8475
    PWC: 8475
    Exp: 9211



Last edited by Jack on Thu May 19, 2011 12:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue. Pride Comes Before the Fall.    Wed May 18, 2011 12:49 pm

    VI


    The second reason for him not wanting to return to the human world, and probably the main one, the initial being little more than a cover story. In his first year of awakening Jack had spent his time with a woman. She wasn't quite human, that much he was able to tell with his time spent there. They'd had. A relationship. Of sorts. The two had woke up together and had little company bar one another, a mutual use of feelings to keep the loss and confusion of having no memories at bay. To know someone anyone. But after that year. He'd left, hadn't said a word to her. After all. What could he say? " I need to go home and find out the truth?". He knew she never would have accepted that. Telling her would have been too much. Or at least he thought so back then. Worst of all things was that this woman was actually dangerous, and he didn't doubt for a minute that she'd taken up arms against opposing demons as well. Being spiritually aware being only one of her talents. Not for a second did he doubt she would want to stick a sword into his back. Not that doing such a thing would give her much relief. Nor would she get the chance. It wasn't that Jack had any jibes about defending himself from her, or indeed injuring her. But killing her? Outright ending it all? That’s where he hesitated. It was a weakness that he could never reveal to Jowan or the other demons of pride. His own pride after all couldn't take the shame of such a weakness. Killing her would mean cutting ties to a vital piece of that mystery. The dawn, it could have just been a coincidence that the two had awakened so close to one another and in such a way. But he didn't really believe in such things. They were in the same building at the same time lying next to one another. That and he'd felt unnaturally comfortable around her. It hadn't really been something he'd noticed in the time he'd spent there with just her as company, but he had noticed it when he left and began interacting with others. He'd never felt as comfortable around them as he had around her. Never let his guard down as much. Perhaps that was in the end just another excuse for him to end her. To get rid of that lasting weakness. But he couldn't. So he avoided that situation like the plague. That night old wounds got brought to the surface along with fresh ones. He was standing in the seat of pride by himself. The light of the moon flowing down onto him through the crack in the ceiling. He looked up. So many questions. And no answers. He breathed out, and his breath misted in front of his face. Suspicious. It wasn't cold. So then why? He turned around, his shadow stretched unnaturally against the floor. But then. It wasn't his shadow. It was the figure of a female. For a moment he thought it was her. But as the figure turned as if to face him, the body was more slender, younger. It looked more like. Ceila. His eyes slanted. As the voice of the demons echoed around the air. " Let me tell you little man, this dream is more real than you, or I....In the eyes of a sleeping god we men are naught but dreams and nightmares, little things to keep them occupied until they awaken".

    Hands struck up from within his shadow. As if it was naught but a pool of darkness, dragging itself up, a figure with a feminine shape, the mouth however was empty, see through almost as if the figure itself was two dimensional. But it clearly wasn't. In its left hand, a large sword. Ridiculously large in comparison to the size of the body of the figure wielding it. Much like the figure it was made of this darkness, a sludge like vicious liquid that oozed off the body. " Dreams". An ethereal voice, multitoned and warped. It had Ceila's ring to it, but was undeniably different. He had heard of things like this happening sometimes. Powerful demons who died, leaving their marks on reality. Little more than fading memories. Linger emotions of those left behind. Its intent was clear by the sword. Thus, his own was decided for him. He took his cane and pulled out the sword blade, keeping the sheath in his left hand whilst holding the sword with the right. " I do not regret your death, nor would I have taken actions to stop it". He pointed his sword at the shade of Ceila. " I only regret that your goal was left unfulfilled before you were slain, perhaps I can provide this piece of you with a more honourable demise". She spoke one word before attacking nightmare. Swinging that sword, it was fast considering the size of the sword, but still sluggish enough to allow him to duck down below it to prevent the thing beheading him. That sludge like substance dripped off the blade though and onto his shoulder. He heard a hissing sound and noticed that it was beginning to burn away at his clothing. Swiftly he abandoned his jacket, the fight just got slightly more interesting. Launching forward he swooped in with a vicious slash to what would have been the area in her neck at which the coronary artery was located. The cut made an impact, but it slopped in and healed itself up almost immediately. Turning around and swinging that blade like a pengilum in a low arc. He dived to the left, rolling over the blade on the ground. Once again he jumped in and stabbed through the shade of Ceila. Pulling out the sword and stabbing it again multiple times. Wasn't even a flinch as a response. Just that see through grin. He ripped the sword out from the side but once again. It merely filled in with the darkness. Leaving his brutal efforts unrewarded by death. Clearly this was not going to be as simple as just stabbing and slashing it to death. Of course, it rarely ever was. He'd made a mistake, he'd gotten too close. Couldn't help but think that was the irony of everything.

    That he kept making that mistake. Getting too close. Her hand grasped at his throat, winning its prize and taking a hold. Again with the sword, her strength was far greater than the frame indicated, crushing away at his wind pipe as he was left flailing in the air trying to escape. What he didn't quite notice until a few moments in however was that although the drip from the sword had burned through his clothes earlier. Right now it wasn't effecting his skin. He didn't feel any kind of burning sensation. But why? He looked down, now unafraid to grasp at the hand around his neck. Through his own pulling he loosened the grip, but still not quite able to break it. There was a laugh again in that multi tonal voice. She spoke the words. " they say your life flashes before your eyes when you die-e-e-e ( stuttering, as if on a broken record player) if I die, I’ll rem-em-em-ember". . It was sad, tragic almost. The memory of these spirits very rarely appeared in hell. Mostly it was the human world. Wild angry confused spirits the mediums called them. And that was ultimately true, although Ceila was mad in person. This haunted memory of her was wild. Something seeking release. Enough strength in his hands, he swung upwards. Separating the arm of the dark creature from the forearm downwards. Dropping him to the ground, the way it appeared, the moment he separated the arm from the body it burst into smoke and dust, But as he looked up, a new arm formed on the beast. It wasn't going to be so easy to take this one down. What was it that was different between the two situations, he had to think about it. Slowly circling her, side step by side step. She however seemed to be constantly following him, but didn't move like a porcelain dol. Eyes constantly on him no matter where he was. There were two options that he could see, that the sword was somehow different from her direct touch despite being made of the same material and or substance. Or, there was something in between there. That it could burn through his clothes but for some reason not his skin.

    But what was the reason for it? The first one made little sense, other than perhaps it was done so based upon offensive capability. The latter he couldn't figure out either, what really was the difference between himself and his clothes that it would burn through his jacket but not his skin. Then it hit him. Oni were naturally resistant to the effects of cursing. Perhaps this touch of the black ooze was some kind of dark cursing agent. A poison that didn't effect Oni directly, but effected everything else. Like his clothes it would burn through them but not his skin. Of course the best option on this point was to take off all his clothes and fight naked. But somehow he didn't feel quite right about that. Call it a gentleman’s instinct when fighting a lady not to expose himself in front of her. Although that really wasn’t much of an issue, not as if she really could notice what he was wearing or not. He doubted that she even knew who she was attacking. Creatures like this rarely ever did know these things, It was really just whatever was in front of them at the time, lashing out, expending that energy and emotion until they were cut down excursed or simply just faded away into nothingness. But that did raise a question. Why was it his shadow that this thing had chosen to emerge from. Was it because he had been the one connected to her dream? Or had he had some lasting effect on her? Or was it just because he had been here t the wrong time. The seat of pride. The place of Jowan's glory. The place where her killer had returned to after doing the deed. An angry spirit haunting the living place of her killer. Seemed far to cliché. Besides. Shades weren’t really spirits, just the remnants of them. After all, he, Jowan, and Ceila in the first place were all originally spirits. Beginning to ask what happened to them after death in this unlife was opening up doors to confusing non answers far beyond that of the dawn. Answers that he imagined wouldn't ever be answered, questions that would have been posed long before any of them could remember. Which wasn't saying much, considering the furthest back anyone had memory of was twenty years. It had to be something to do with the nature of an Oni, the way to defeat this creature. The cursed dark power that lay within them all. It had to be the key to inflicinting a perment wound on this creature without it healing up. In his hand he grasped his sword, and channelled his power into it. There was power in the blood. Using the power of his dark energy as an Oni, and his own blood he could place a ritual curse on his blade, if his theory was right then this might be able to help as far as inflicting damage on the creature, just how much it would help was unknown to him but he was just hoping that this shade didn't carry with it the natural resistance to curses that Oni normally had, and that Ceila would certainly have had in life. He launched into another attack, the blood smeared sword slicing down the lower abdomen of the creature, this time, smoke rose from both the wound and the sword, the black ooze remaining on the sword from the slash began to bubble and hiss away like boiling water. It was just like the effect the curse of whatever darkness shrew as made of had upon his clothes.

    Boiling and burning. Until it all faded away into nothingness. He would give himself a brief moment of congratulations as the attack went through and the wound remained open, but the creature didn't flinch, it didn't even let out a cry of pain. In fact it was as if it hadn't even registered that any damage had been done to its body at all. He didn't know if this was just an effect carried on by Ceila being a lord of madness, or if it was just because this creature was so far detached from reality that it no longer followed the regular laws of pain and life. Death after death, it made sense that it would feel nothing. For such a creature didn't truly live. It attempted a counter attack, this time raising that giant sword far above its head and bringing it down with both hands, such an action would have likely chopped him in two. The momentum more than made up for the lack of speed, dodging wasn't an option, her height as opposed to his made it so that the blade didn't have far to travel as it moved down, all he could do was raise up his sword and attempt to block using his own. As impossible as the feat sounded, he somehow actually managed to pull it off, the flat of his sword meeting the edge of the giant blade, however the force, weight and momentum behind the strike was enough to push him backwards , only thing was that he didn't stop moving backwards. He just kept going, The shade was rushing forward, pushing one blade against the next and entering them into a contest of strength. Luckily for him, he'd already trained himself to deal with such occasions. In fact his style of sword play was based around With a quick flick of the wrist the blade would change angle, now allowing the opponents sword to move down and off his blade using gravity to his advantage. The opponents own strength driving them forward and off balance. Sure enough, down to the side she went, sliding off the blade and crashing into the ground with some impact. Slid off balance as he slipped around to the left, raised up his own sword and. Cut off her ever loving head. The decapitated head bounced across the ground a coupe of times, unlike the arm it just kind of....sat there. The body itself didn't move. Until. Swing, the sword came flying back up as the headless body attempted to return the favour, thankfully his word was in the right position to block the blow. But the strength of it was enough to knock him off to the side and take the wind right out of him. He was on the ground but it seemed that was the last attack that would be coming from this thing. A delayed reaction, the creature dropped to its knees. The head's mouth moved. "I see ou kept your promise" And then, both body and head, burst into purple flames. The burning intense and bright. And then it was done. Leaving little more than a mild burn mark on the floor. And a deepening crevice in Jack's soul.

    VII

    Telling Jowan about what happened wouldn't do any good, rather t would only raise suspicions about just why the creature had popped out of his shadow. The answer to that, he didn't quite know. But things seemed to be alright. When he had a meeting with Jowan in the seat of pride in the morning the oni lord hadn't seemed to notice the burn mark on the floor where the shade of Ceila had burned away. Ultimately whether or not he had mentioned anything about the mark, he probably had seen it and probably suspected something had happened, the demon was smarter than that to just not notice something. Perhaps he thought it was an accident. Perhaps he was making himself more suspicious by not saying anything at all. But then, there were a few of them within this group, it didn't just have to be him that knew about it. Regardless, it wasn't brought up. The only things that were discussed were the movements of the demons of lust and rage, they too had formed into their own clans and tribes living among one another much like the Pride demons did. Demons of desire oddly were more isolated than the demons of rage. But then again, it always was said that love and lust were greedy, and didn't like sharing. No doubt that the embodiment of such a thing would also share a similar intendum. The demons of rage were as expected far more violent. Leaving a bloody streak a mile wide wherever they went, at least that’s what the reports said, concentrated killings within areas that they frequented numbers spelt things out far better than words. The Lords of Madness, not much had been heard from them, more than likely due to Jowans kill on sight policy concerning them. They were mad, but not suicidal.

    "Last job jack before I send you on your way to the human world".

    Jack looked up at Jowan, tired. he had expected something from the demon, he never called him in without reason and rarely ever discussed the other types of demons with him, or shared any of the information he had on them unless it was completely necessary. Which it seemed to be. " So then". Jack said impatiently waiting for Jowan to spill the beans about this " job" already. " Just what is it that you want me to do?". Jowan let out a happy sigh. " Ah Jack, I love it when you say it like that, what would you have me do, what do you want me to do...no conditions you just o ahead and take care of things, that’s why you are my go to man and not one of the others...they aren’t all dumb, but few are reliable...". That hadn't answered his question. Crossing his arms he made this clear, noting Jowan's avoidance techniques. Almost as if he was trying to delay telling him about this. " You didn't answer my question Jowan, what do you want me to do?". The demon shifted in the chair lightly. " I want you to understand that by telling you this and letting you take are of it for me, that I'm putting a lot of trust in you...I can't have anyone else deal with this and I'm in too dangerous a position to leave the seat of pride at the moment, there fore the task lies to you". Again, no answer. " Spit it out already". Said Jack impatiently. Jowan was taken aback by this slightly. But did as he was bade. " You see several years ago I went to the human realm and well I met a woman there....we did what we did and out of that one night....a child was conceived". He grumbled, Jack meanwhile was holding back laughter. Jowan, the demon who had taught him to use the weakness of humans himself indulged in a little rutting with one. How a amusing to know that Jowan was guilty of the same sin he had. Thankfully no child had ever been conceived with his partner. Well...that he knew of. That brought up a very scary point. Just what if- No he couldn't think about it. At least not now anywise. " And? what the issue with you doing that with a human other than the obvious embarrassment?". Jowan frowned, obviously he didn't like being mocked, but then again if he ever found out about Jacks little time then he'd likely receive the same right back. Still first hit rules were his now. And he grinned about it. " The desire demons somehow found out about this, their leader and I have never quite seen eye to eye, and now as far as I'm aware she’s planning on killing the child and its mother". Jack was, stunned. To say the least. This mission was one of protection? It was odd imagining Jowan as anything other than a destroyer, to imagine that he had a bastard child somewhere was, quite amusing. " So let me get this straight, you want me to kill my way through a clan of demons just to save your bastard child and bit on the side?". Jowan once again, frowned. " That’s not how it is". Jack grinned. " I think that’s just how it is...regardless. Its your order, I'll do it, just make sure there are some good drinks when I et back". Jack turned his back on the Onilord and walked right out of the room down the dark corridor of the seat of pride. All the way down he felt Jowan s dagger like eyes on the back of him. Jack knew he had stepped over the line from joking to not. But then in doing so he'd probably gain more gratitude from the onilord in the end. Which meant more for him, he could probably get closer in that circle. Get further up the chain of power within the Lords of Pride, and ultimately within hell itself.

    On his way out he was passed by one of his kin. A female pride demon by the name of Elisha. Daggers on his front, daggers on his back. The girl had never liked him, his walking stick clicking away with each step he took. She glared at him. Elisha had been one of the first demons of Pride to join Jowan, and was one of his most trusted allies. Unfortunately for Wiseman, she also hated his guts. She was a big believer in Jowans plan, that they all needed to stick together. And was sickened by the fact he had chosen to not come with them when the call had first went out. She considered him to be a traitor of sorts. Her loyalty to Jowan made her a life long number two. She had no ambition to be number one. Which of course, Jack did. He had it in spades. Jowan knew this, but he didn't really see it as a threat, rather an asset. Whether that was a vote of confidence in his abilities, or just a complete underestimation of his abilities he didn't know. She stopped at his side, Both looking at one another side on. " And just where are you going?". She said in a rather seductive tone, but he could feel the hateful jump in her words, clinging to each one of them like some kind of dirt ridden venom. “ Job for the boss, super secret”. He winked at her, knowing that it would drive her insane just to know that Jowan had given him a task that he couldn’t have revealed the details of to even her. “ I’ll just ask him about it shall I?”. Jack shrugged. And began to walk away, not turning to face her as he spoke in the last word. “ Sure. But you can’t get shit out a rocking horse”. He heard and felt her fuming as she marched into the main hall of the seat of pride. Jack opened the doors, the wind hitting his face. His smirk twisting into a frown, didn’t like this weather one bit. But he would have to deal with it at least for now. He couldn’t just stay in doors all day or ask Jowan to make it rain wherever he went. It would probably be a good idea just to learn how to do that himself. At least then it would be refreshing. Regardless of the drain on his power. The Clan of desire demons lay to the south. Walking time.

    Word Count: 4003
    PWC:4003
    Exp: 4316
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Prologue. Pride Comes Before the Fall.
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