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The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

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The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Lucifuge on Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:03 am

March 15
Daybreak
Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus
Stygian Tundra


In the vast stretches of the Stygian Wastes one could wander for weeks without seeing a speck of life. Although all of Inferis was inhospitable to life, the Stygian Wastes were more so, it was Hell frozen over, where even most demons tread with caution. It was the perfect place to hide away if one wished to be left alone, unnoticed and untouched by the world at large. Furthermore, despite his inherently destructive nature, the Archdemon of the realm, Moloch, was generally one of the most amiable of the lot which made it rather a simple feat to hide amongst the glaciers. It made it twice as easy when one has paid off most of the Tundra Eyes in the region…

Snaking through the depths of Stygia, unknown to but a few demons brave enough to cross the wastes on foot, lays the river Cocytus, the River of Tears. Frozen and yet flowing, this river of salt hums dimly with the drone of millions of whimpering sobs, a strange enough occurrence to dissuade most from approaching its shores. Some believe the river to be fed from some deep spring connected to the Black Sea. Others say that the river’s start lies where great gouts of hellfire meet the ever frozen core of Stygia. Still more claim that the river is in fact where an evil more ancient that hell itself has been sealed, its consciousness fragmented into the myriads of crying voices upon its waves. The truth, however, is known to very few indeed. The River Cocytus runs with the tears of all those damned to Inferis, demon and soul alike. It is a place where their sorrow flows, their sorrows for their earthly transactions, their sorrows for their sins, and the cries of their personal torments here in the Netherworld. It is the River of Regret, of Anguish, of Pleading Piety, and of Lost Hopes. It is upon the banks of this river that a single demon keeps his privacy, keeps his vigil, and keeps the faith.

The Citadel-Upon-The-Cocytus, as he had taken to calling it, was little more than a squat though thickly built keep set upon the icy banks of the river. Its meters-thick walls were composed of some sort of infernal basalt, laid so perfectly and with such care that not a seam could be seen where they were bound together. Its walls raised several stories before ending in four small but defensible turrets that were covered in tall spikes of obsidian to ward off would be aerial assaults. Its interior fort was just as strongly built and radiated a great heat from multiple great bronze braziers that lay around and within it. However, despite it appearing like a great outpost meant to defend borders or other territory, the Citadel-Upon-The-Cocytus was oddly vacant. Its walls unpatrolled, its halls empty, its turrets unmanned. Its sole occupant, who was both the architect and sole builder of the Citadel, lived alone within its deepest vaults and more oft than not was often away from the keep for weeks or months at a time…

Within the great metal gate of the Citadel, a small well sealed door opened and shut, allowing a figured buried under a huge crimson cloak to exit. The figure faced the cold wastes and breathed deeply of the salty mists coming from the Cocytus, exhaling a great billowing cloud of steam. The figure approached those cold shores; the whipping salt sprays caused faint wisps of smoke to rise from where they land upon the being. A hand or at least something close to one, reached from below the cloak and pushed back the figure’s hood, revealing to the cold air a face like a dozen animal skulls stitched together. More than a dozen lidless eyes set about the creature’s head like a crown moved in slowly circles, taking in the surroundings. A man-like face upon the demon’s great head took another shuddering breath before he reached up an unfastened the pin that held the cloak upon his form, allowing it to fall to the ground. A small grimace played upon his lips as his body was exposed to the stinging salts, his body reacting viscerally as it shifted and contorted into dozens of wretched and wracked shapes. Appendages, organs, eyes, and stranger things melded and flowed across his body, things both natural and unnatural represented in their most awful of states. Gripping the hands of two of these limbs strongly, the demon forced his body to settle and congeal into a shape at least in the silhouette of a humanoid.

The demon stepped forward, a clawed foot entering the icy waters of the Cocytus and immediately starting to smoke and sear. The demon, however, continued moving forward, his faces set in grim determination and acceptance of the pain, until he was more than waste deep. Rising from the river great handfuls of the salt water, the demon lets the waters fall upon his head in burning cascades, with each handful he speaks in a deep resonating contrabass, each angelic word spoken with great effort and great pain.

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Cassadriel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:31 am

It was the day after White Day: a day celebrated in Japan where boys would give girls something white in reply to the chocolate they received on February 14th. The day after. Cassadriel stared sullenly at the calendar, counting the months he couldn't remember. Time was stripped free from him--peeled away as if there would be an orange beneath the peel. He sighed and turned away. Among the dim morning light, he found no usual solace. He felt bloodied, tainted, corrupt, leaking forth all that he was and all that he would ever be. Above his check list was a mirror. In it, he stared at himself--as his entirely mortal form that lacked wings. He appeared almost human--almost as if this were just a dream he was Watching. But all sad stories never end like that. He moved away from his own image, letting the picture of mortality drip away into the familiar comfort of wings. Spread along his back in long, tattered feathers was all that he had left of home. A touch of rusty red lined where the stems met flesh--where he had hung on tightly to what made him, him.

His eyes were a steel grey, hair silver and short. It hung loosely around his face, coming to a point over those eyes he couldn't recognize. He pinched his own cheeks, pulling at the flesh as if it would tear off and show himself again--as if changing form was just a fantasy he had made up to trick himself. He wanted to fly upward and keep going up. He wanted to beg for forgiveness and be saved. But what should he be forgiven for? A hard, cold pain spiked the corners of his eyes, and he took off, abandoning his Petshop whose sign was already flipped to CLOSED. According to his notes, he had already been south to the Regal Necropolis so perhaps he should go west? He wasn't exactly sure, but he liked traveling. Cass was an explorer though and through; he liked to Watch--was made to Watch. Why stop? Why cease in what he was meant to do? Even here--even forsaken, maybe it was all a part of a larger plan. This suffering--this confusion, was it all for another purpose? He had to accept it and accept it quickly before he forgot again and had to start over.

Flying was soft. The air was thicker and filled with impurities, practically making him gag, but if he closed his eyes and pictured Heaven, everything felt soft. He let himself go, swooping down and around anything in his path, over the sickly greens and into a land filled purely with white. "Snow," he mouthed, silver irises flickering over his pupils like a flame in wind. It was beautiful.

He was flying for hours, it felt. He grew tired, his limb exhausted, the air biting him. Was it...getting colder? He drew into himself, bare arms gathering frost. The air grew still, dry, frigid. Before he knew it, he was spiraling down right out of the air, trapped in gravity like a fish in a net. He was heavy, ice forming over him in cracking smirks. This was the end? He tried to stop, but nothing happened. Nothing except the words--the beautiful, fluid words of an angel in hell. "...the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen."

Smoosh! Cass' face sunk deep into the snow, barely breathing. He managed to dig an eye free, wasting back into his mortal form like a heap of soiled laundry. "Amen," he murmured, voice fading away into a million snow crystals.

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Cassadriel
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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Lucifuge on Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:22 am

Pain....there was something about pain that could almost make him feel right. He did not enjoy the agonies that he put himself to each day, he did not seek to harm himself out of some suicide wish or out of some perverted subconscious lust. He subjected himself to this flagellation as a way to purify himself, to show God the sincerity of his dedication, to slowly tear away the demon and reveal the angel that resides within him. It....it had been a very long time now in Hell, so long that many of the original host were gone as well. The humans, under the enticement of unscrupulous and self-serving older demons, were slowly becoming the main population of Hell. Very few, if any, of those human souls were penitent,  their sins often great and terrible, and over time he felt as though Inferis was in fact becoming worse as time went on if that were at all possible. However...he didn't complain, he didn't ask why of God, he didn't feel forsaken. He had Fallen for a reason and any punishment he received was more than justified. That did not, however, mean he had to accept Lucifer's hateful proclamations and act as a "demon." This demon would prefer to serve in Heaven rather than rule in Hell any day.

As the old demon finished his prayers, his searing flesh crusting with salt and ice from the River of Tears, he slowly strode back into the snow and reached for his great cloak of crimson. However...a sound from above came to his attention, the eyes on the back of his boney crown swiveling to get a view. He saw great feather's wings and silvered hair, and a feeling well up in him, a feeling that he knew would have been his heart if it had not been torn away in his Fall. This being flying so far above him! It was an Angel, it must be! Have them come down from their Skyhavens? Has this one come for him? His questions and amazement was short lived as he saw the winged being begin to fall from the sky, crashing through the cold buffeting winds, dead weight without a hope of stop. He seized his form, willing it to move as he wished, however the combined pain and cold made his regenerating rebel against his wishes. Before he could finally break into a run, the Angel was already beyond his ability to catch. Nonetheless, the demon took great bounding strides upon legs that changed with each step towards the Angel's impact site.

The angel in the small snow crater dissolved into a new shape, his personal features perhaps even more angelic and yet his wings too evaporated. The demon, however, did not take the time to question this, however the angel's repeating of "Amen," assured him of its survival. With a swoosh of his cloak, he wrapped the soft and warm material over the ragged angel before dropping low to lift it into his arms. Up close, the angel was beautiful, but the demon could see that he lacked the powerful inner light of an angel proper...what was he? What was going on? Such questions stirred only faintly within him. The important thing was to get this speaker of the angelic tongue to warmth and safety.

The demon spoke in what would sound at first like Angelic, however, unlike the clear and beautiful angelic of his prayer, his voice sounded more as though he were speaking a fully foreign tongue and translating all at once. It was as though just beyond the comprehension of hearing he was speaking one thing at a distance and speaking actual Angelic close by. "Young Angel, what could have brought you to this forsaken place? Please do not fear this form of mine for I am a truest friend to your kind. I shall bring you to warmth and safety from this chill, fret not Young Angel, you shall be alright."

With his hurried words of reassurance spoken, the large and raw demon moved unprotected through the cold elements towards the entranced to his black keep, hoping that his blazing fires of his meager home will be enough to warm this infernal chill from both their bones.

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Cassadriel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:29 pm

Cold, frozen pain: a foreign feeling--entirely foreign. He didn't know if he had felt this before or if this was the first time, but it hurt. A unbearable cold slithered over his pale skin, feasting on the warmth his body struggled to produce to keep his blood pumping. He felt so human--so disconnected from the ethereal being that floated above the sky, Watching it all transpire. He was drowning in on himself, suffocating through the haze of so much perfect white. Even in hell there could be such a strangling purity? His ideas of pain were not nearly as tremulous as this horrid feeling. All he wanted to do was escape and run away from it, find somewhere--anywhere that wouldn't feel like this. His heart stammered in his chest, unused to strenuous conditions. He swallowed his thoughts, trying to find the surface with which to begin again...

A crunching sound and pounding on the ground seized him in its clutches, pulling his consciousness back into reality: the place in which he wanted to escape. Again, the searing bite of frost sunk their fangs deep into every pivot of his skin, leaving prints of agony. Was this what it was like to feel, no, really feel? The pain he had overlooked in so many over so much time...was it anything like this? Why did suffering even exist if not to drag the succumbed under a heavy wave of unrelenting doubt?

Suddenly, something wrapped around him, blocking out the windful swords, and letting him finally catch his breath. Into large, stony arms he fit almost as if he were being saved by a scary statue in a museum. Baffled, he blinked up at the demon who could speak angelic, lost completely for just a moment. It was no angel, for no angel could take such a garish form. However, Cassadriel was lucky enough not to have been created a prude. There was no judgement here. That man, monster, or beast had spoken his tongue, thus he must be from above. Saving him now, surely it was also a mistake that he be here as well. Eyes without lids shaped the head's crown atop the congealed demon; Cass attempted to meet them with soft lavender and wheat lashes.

"Young Angel," if only he were that, "what could have brought you to this forsaken place? Please do not fear this form of mine for I am a truest friend to your kind. I shall bring you to warmth and safety from this chill, fret not Young Angel, you shall be alright." The words--the language was not anything he could fathom. All at once, together, in sync, they blended like one. But through it all, blurred out, was Angelic. He grasped it, took a hold, and understood each word as it was meant to. With a kind smile, he reached a quaking hand up and touched the creature's face.

"And I thank thee deeply, with all of what remains of my heart." Together, they trekked through the blaze of snowfall into what appeared to be a keep of some kind. Squinting through untimely shivers and gasps of glaciers, Cass managed to make out its outline as hope still glistening on the horizon. If he died here--if he wasted away, what then would become of him? Would that be...the true death? Even so, he could not die. Granted within him--stamped so solidly that the fabric was interwoven with his own, was the quintessential need to live on as to perform duty until the very last moment.

Once the large, gated doors creaked shut against the tundra, Cassadriel drew himself to his feet weakly. "I am a demon," he admitted with vague hints of disgust. "My name is Cassadriel, and accordingly, I have been here for only four months..." and far too long already.

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Cassadriel
戦わなきゃならないのだ

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Lucifuge on Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:06 am

The deformed demon almost reeled away when Cassandriel reached out to touch him. He…he really didn’t know why. Was it disgust in himself? Was it fear to be touched by such a seemingly pure being? However, as the flingers softly brushed against the boney plates of his face, the demon could feel a quite shudder run through him. Since coming to Inferis, so many many eons before, the demon had never felt the willing touch of another, at least the willing touch of another who meant him no harm. There was something powerful in that connection, something deep seated in the depth of the demon’s being. It was that inkling of times long past, of a loneliness before this loneliness, of the small and quiet connections that broke those long eras of silence and nothingness. He found himself somewhat startled at his train of thought, it had been a long time since he had really thought of how he had once been rather than how he hoped to become. The Angelic words of thanks were both painful and joyous to his ears, and he redoubled his efforts to reach the warmth of his home.

Within the walls of the keep, near to a burning brazier of beaten bronze, he set the Angel to his feet, allowing him to keep the warming cloak upon him. He took the momentary chance to look over this fragile creature, huddling pitifully under his massive cloak. Such elegant and soft features were all but unknown in this hell, and more times than naught bearers of such features had a much more insidious purpose. But this man before him was no incubus, no demon of some carnal sin, indeed how could it be a demon at all? However, then the fragile creature spoke again in that beautiful melodic tongue…but he spoke a dark confession. “I am a demon…” At first, the larger demon was somewhat taken aback by this revelation, however as the handsome creature continued and revealed more truth, the demon’s hardened face shifted into a sorrowful but sympathetic shape. “My name is Cassadriel, and accordingly, I have been here for only four months...”

A newly Fallen Angel then… the demon could, better than anyone else, understand the disgust and sadness in that voice. For a moment his shape convulsed and hardened, chitin forming in hard plates around his body hiding away some of the more disturbing parts of his uncovered form. He motioned with an arm that was somewhere between arachnid and ape, perhaps transitioning between them, towards the deeper halls, where there would be more comfort than the stone floors of the anteroom. He spoke, in a quiet grumbling tone as though he was fearful that his voice would do harm to Cassadriel. “It is fortunate you fell where you did, Cassadriel, there is no hospitable life for many miles around. “

Leading the novice demon to a vaulted warmed room, apparently something between a dining hall and den, the elder demon motioned towards the fireplace and a single large chair. “You must excuse me; it is not often I get company of a… pleasant sort. I am called Lucifuge, I too am, quite obviously, among the Fallen. It is…a very troubling existence.” For a moment he felt pained, but from his aberrant form it was undoubtedly hard for him to show subtle expressions. “One does learn to cope, however, in little ways, some better than others.”

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Cassadriel on Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:31 pm

The ex-angel wound the cloak around himself, lost within the fabric of connection. It was not what he expected Hell to be like, this place. It was cold... and there was kindness. His own words seemed to contradict this encounter entirely; however, perhaps he had just never gotten this far before? Glancing down at himself, he let a small smile peek through his lips. He looked so kingly. And, of course, it was so large on him that it was like a gown. He could have laughed then, enjoying himself far too much considering how close he had come to freezing to death. Even so, he was already so spread from feeling things the right way, that he had entirely given up on feeling altogether. Whatever came out was an act.

His cheeks flushed with the contrast of cold and warmth, thawing almost as quickly as he had nearly froze. Slowly, loosely, he let the cloak open around him, revealing his basic clothes beneath: white pants and a v-neck that fell off his shoulders, tied with feathers in hardly a bow. His listless eyes were intently focused on the demon--studying him almost. He didn't expect this man to be evil, vicious, or randomly attack him, but there was just something missing from this whole story. Of what, he wasn't smart enough to know--didn't have any memories to play on, and really just had to play the guessing game. For one, the demon's expressions themselves were hard to decipher. Still, Cassadriel played hard at it, squinting his lavender eyes to gauge just what exactly his revelation had irked within the dastardly form in which that within did not deserve. What a horrible fate to struggle with expression. What deed must be done to acquit that? He fidgeted with his hands, hoping that the image etched upon the demon's face was indeed that of sympathy. Sympathy towards himself? For being a demon? But... What about him? What about his shape--his form--his own condition? He tried hard to smile.

The demon's form convulsed, changing and shaping further into...shapes. Cass' own empathy was in the air, but he smothered it with that smile of his. There was no use drowning each other in sympathy; nothing would change. They were still themselves in the end--what they had become. His attention drew to that thing--an arm? It motioned onward, and the younger one followed instinctively with all the trust in the world.

It is fortunate you fell where you did, Cassadriel, there is no hospitable life for many miles around," he spoke as they walked through the halls. Cass only nodded, watching him quietly through the dim lighting. They way he spoke almost seemed as if he were afraid of something. Was he...afraid of him? Or was he afraid of himself? A callus frown simmered onto his lips, shadowed, edgy, and hardly visible through the long curls that obscured his downcast face. All at once, he stripped it off, replacing it with a sweet grin. He looked up towards the light.

"It's okay," he said using bright tones, "you can't hurt me as you are." It was an aim in the dark, but, it seemed, he was getting used to being in it.

They reached their destination, which was a room with a fireplace, decorated with chairs. He took a seat, crossing one leg over the other with a homely feel. Even so far away, Cass was still able to feel comfortable. The fellow fallen introduced himself, looking terribly pained all the while. It seemed that was quite common in Inferis. He wasn't surprised.

"Hail, Lucifuge; it is an honor to make your acquaintance! How long has it been since you have fallen? I was a Watcher, what were you in this past life?" Saying 'past life' triggered something hard and agonizing within him. He let nothing reveal, but looked on as if nothing had ever happened. It was all he could do.

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Cassadriel
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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Lucifuge on Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:52 am

Lucifuge observed Cassdriel through the veil of many years. An ever shifting number of eyes formed and melted away upon his head, each taking small snapshots of vision, each looking at a new angle. The young Fallen had made himself rather comfortable, despite looking like he was swimming in that crimson cloak. The elder demon wasn’t entirely sure now how he felt about his visitor. There had been those before that had taken advantage of his kindness and returned it with cruelty, those who looked more angelic even than this young one. However… something put this young one apart, not just his angelic tongue. Behind the goofy smile, behind the distant eyes, behind those curly locks of hair, there was sadness deeper than the obvious. Everyone loses something in the Fall, some personal, some especially painful. Lucifuge had lost the whole of his divine grace and even for a time his sanity, something that he still spent his every waking moment trying to atone for. However not all Falls leave as obvious scars.

“How long has it been since you have fallen? I was a Watcher, what were you in this past life?” The curly haired demon must have indeed been young to ask such a question. Like a prison sentence, it was an unwritten rule; you don’t usually discuss the details of your imprisonment. However, some honesty, even of a blunt sort, was appreciated and perhaps it was worthwhile to finally have the chance to speak again with one willing to talk about the Old Time. Upon a dozen, then four, then two legs, Lucifuge walked along the wall near to the fireplace, running a digit across the many myriad of skin-bound books. Resources were about impossible to come across in Inferis, ink and parchment especially so. These books were formed from Lucifuge’s own skin, pressed and made into hardened leather and thin parchment, and written in his own black blood. He oft lamented that such a macabre medium was the only scarce material he could use to quill his memories of the time before.

Selecting a book carefully, its cover revealing it as “The Secret and Blessed Recollection of the Above,” Lucifuge selected and read aloud a small passage, “And so the Lord sayeth, ‘Let There Be In The Firmament Eight And One Spheres Of Heaven And The Empyrean Beyond. Upon Each Sphere Let There Be A Gate And A Guardian To Keep It And May Each Be Instilled With My Own Glory.’ And so there was nine Spheres of Heaven, and a Great Guardian to Protect them.” The demon closed the book as carefully as he had opened it and looked to Cassadriel. “I was present for the First Fall, alongside the Rebel Host, brought low by my own misdeed and the words of Lucifer the Betrayer. My betrayal was to the Lord as I was one of his Guardians, who let open the Gate to Lucifer and his army in my ignorance and sorrow. I was Hadraniel, Keeper of the Second Gate…though I know not whether or not this means anything any longer, it has been too long since I have seen the Light.”

His head shifts slightly, briefly going through various inorganic shapes before settling on a slightly ape-like one expressing mild curiosity. “I am familiar with the term Watcher, though the Grigori of my Day had little to watch before the rise of Man. I have, however, never had the chance to meet one before.”

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Cassadriel on Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:31 am

He let the cloak fall further off, getting warmer by the moment. He felt at peace here, despite the pressing conditions outside or the nagging fear of facing them once again in order to return home--whatever home was...for that matter. For now, he let himself relax. What was the point of getting all worked up? If he was nervous and flighty, he might as well be a trapped bird. He was a demon now; he must act accordingly. Always ready. Always on guard. Yet relaxed all the same. His deep purple eyes remained indifferently planted on the fellow demon, catching the short glances of each of the thing's eyes before they were remade. How hard must it be to exist as that after being an angel? What was it like? His morbid curiosity coiled through his being, stomped down roughly by everything that he could call the angel within.

But he had already made a terrible mistake. Realizing it just after after shedding his questions, Cass returned to knowing that one must not speak about their past lives. He read it this morning in his journal (along with everything else). It was just hard sometimes applying all of that--an entire four months of his life to the everyday. He only hoped that this demon wouldn't kill himself like the last had when he shared his story. Perhaps asking it was different that blatantly sharing it? He could only hope. When Lucifuge moved to the fireplace, there came many legs that dwindled by the time he reached it. Wide, interested eyes watched the effort--that effort to not be what he was. In that simple movement, Cassadriel felt a connection he could not explain with words.

A book was lifted off the shelf near him. Without hardly moving, the ex-angel watched silently as he read aloud a passage from it. Sitting quietly like a child before a teacher, he nodded with exuberance, memorizing each word as it was given to him while also processing it into context. Gate guardians were the result. Was that then what Lucifuge was trying to tell him? Was he that--a guardian of one the nine spheres of Heaven?  As quickly as the thoughts, came the answers. I was present for the First Fall, alongside the Rebel Host, brought low by my own misdeed and the words of Lucifer the Betrayer." Cassadriel's expression did not change. "My betrayal was to the Lord as I was one of his Guardians, who let open the Gate to Lucifer and his army in my ignorance and sorrow." His eyebrows furrowed. Was that a sin? Letting them go? Just as not writing of Sovay's love of a human? "I was Hadraniel, Keeper of the Second Gate…though I know not whether or not this means anything any longer, it has been too long since I have seen the Light. All at once something warm and wet spiked into his eyes, lacing his lids with a liquid that felt alien. It burned and caressed all at the same time. Could this be what it felt like to cry?

Sympathy, again, ate him alive, licking at his cheeks where it left steaks of smoke like when they fell. Polkadots formed on his light-hued clothing before seeping in and vanishing as if they had never been there. He reached up with his fists and carelessly wiped them away, a terrible light glistening through his irises, pupils drowning in a flood of violet. "It shouldn't be," he whispered, "so much suffering and so little explanation." He rose from the chair, leaving the cloak behind to come stand alongside the foul-looking beast: the only in all of Inferis he found he could understand. "It isn't fair. If all was well and good in Heaven, why then this? When does it become just to cast away all that we were created to be? How then can we exist in a place like this--what then is our purpose?" He let it all go, staring deep into the fire as if his soul lay there, burning. Cass never spoke of such thoughts lest he be damned further, but now they came out--released evermore into the audible. He did not regret it, but instead watched it leave him further in peace.

Lucifuge's image shifted again, settling like mud through water into something relatively depictional. I am familiar with the term Watcher, though the Grigori of my Day had little to watch before the rise of Man. I have, however, never had the chance to meet one before.

"It is an honor." He bowed low, looking up through a shield of stark curls. "Thank you. For sharing your pain with me. I am unworthy. As a Watcher, it was my duty to see and record. However, there is no reason I can gather for why I fell besides the ample mistake of not recording an event deemed to be unnecessary. If one is to show compassion towards another as a higher being, is that...can that then be a sin? It is how I was made to be--to go against that is to go against the Creator." Why did I...fall...for that?

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Cassadriel
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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Lucifuge on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:50 am

It Isn’t Fair.

The words seem to hang in the air like the smell of brimstone, sulfuric and burning. They were words that Lucifuge had not spoken for many many millennia, but it was the words that fell from the lips of many demons, even those whose tenure in hell were just as long as his own. Words like those were what caused the original Fall, Lucifer and his lot feeling that their subservient status was unfair, that it was their right to rule and act in the stead of God. It was words like those that fell from Lucifuge’s lips before his Fall, as he lamented his loneliness, his seeming lack of purpose. He could not blame the young demon for the feelings that welled up and poured forth from him, he could not blame the newly fallen angel for asking for just reasons for his Fall; however he knew that one could not blame God for one’s own failings.  Though the Grigori remained almost stoic in his appearance, the Demon Major could not help but notice the tears rolling from his long lashes. Tears from a Demon, Lucifuge could hardly believe it despite having just stood in a literal river of tears. It was simply so rare to see such real emotion here in this Gehenna.  

The Elder Demon looked to his counterpart as a parent looks to their child. He had felt as the young one had felt, and he had lost his mind for a time to the rage that followed it. He did not wish another to fall to such hatred, to such pain, to such pointless damnable wrath. How could he made this youngling understand something that he had come to terms with over the course of billions of years? For a moment he nodded his head in thought before taking up a small glinting item from the mantle of the fireplace. Immediately his had convulsed and began to sizzle with the sound of burning flesh, however he kept a tight grip on the object, turning it for Cassadriel to see. A simple cross of silver.

“I Fell, Cassadriel, because I allowed my love to stray from God and the Good that He sets in motion. I allowed myself to believe that I was deserving of something more despite the strength of the Lord imbued within me and His loving words in my ear. I was unwilling to wait for and serve the coming races of Men, so great was my loneliness and so great was my impatience. We are given the free will to choose our actions, but unlike the races of Man, we were created knowing better, we were created knowing God’s plan and our proper place within it. Men are born sinful but have a chance of salvation in life, we, however, are made from the grace of God, we are given a much greater benefit of the doubt. To forsake that is to forsake the love and trust of our creator. I let The Betrayer face The Lord because I thought I knew better, I thought that Lucifer was in the right, that he would give me the peace I sought. It took me many long years to realize that that conflict within me so very long ago, that painful choice I made, it was not simply because the words of The Tempter, it was not a flaw in the Divine Mercy of God, it was the pain of having Free Will to choose but also having the knowledge of what was Right. It was the pain of Sin.”

Smoke began to rise from his gripped hand, flakes of skin burning up and floating as embers and ash. “I choose now to face this pain, to do what I can and what I must for redemption. I choose to accept that I have Sinned and I choose to repent for those Sins. I have accepted my punishment, but this does not mean I must let it define me. This body of mine might reject God as I once did, this body of mine might flow putrid and raw like the hellscape just beyond these frail walls, but within the core of my being, I still love and cherish God and the Good of the world, I still possess the spirit of the Angel I once was.”

The Demon Major did not expressly recount Cassadriel’s sin. The youngling had attempted to hide knowledge from the All-Knowing, he had attempted to go against God’s Good and he allowed a Love greater than his Love for God to seep into his heart. Lucifuge would let the young demon to come to terms with his own sin in his own time, but hopefully he would understand, hopefully he would see, hopefully he would learn again to live like an Angel despite being a Demon.

((OOC: I am going from a Milton/Catholic/Mysticism sort of view of angels and the Fall, if you go by Islamic lore, Angels do not have Free Will, but then again in Islam Lucifer (Iblis) is not an Angel, rather he is a Djinn which do have free will))

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Cassadriel on Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:59 pm

Was he blaming someone--was he blaming God for this? Was there someone to blame--something, anything with which to place fault? If there perchance was, then why didn't he see it? Was he blind to the reason--blind because he was a part of the scene himself? He didn't know. He just didn't. Every time he remembered the quiet release, it was like looking in the mirror. There. There! You. You are the one that's done this. To yourself. With wide eyes, he stared horrifically into the fire. At the end of each day, did he reach this same conclusion? At the end of each day, did he choose to forget it?

You, his mind whispered at him. If he had let go of Sovay's heavy scythe, would he have fallen--could he have flown back up? Did he choose this? Did he...deserve this? Was that what he had believed? Did he not want to know that? Seeing wings be torn off a creature full of only love--seeing the elite stain themselves in blood like the demons they reign above...was that... His own writing flowing out of him to the page recorded everything in such detail, he hardly knew that he had Watched so morbidly close. That was what they had wanted. It was a lesson. What are lessons to the fallen? Never to be redeemed--never to be applied. They had already known one little push would cause his fall, and they had chosen. To be bitter was unlike him. To look back and feel such disgust was not him. They had invented these terrible feelings inside of him. They did it.

You, he felt the depleted echo. No, there was no blame. It wasn't them. It wasn't God. It wasn't himself. It was something that was meant to happen--part of the everlasting plan. What plan? He was just making that up to feel better. It made him sick. All of it. Fighting with himself--fighting with some other horrible force inside. What...just what was it? Lucifuge lifted up something from atop the mantelpiece, ruling above the flame. As it reflected the flickering light, Cass was able to see it clearly. A silver cross in all its majesty. However, that majesty was singeing Luci's flesh, causing a terrible odor. Immediately, he reached for it to conclude the other's suffering, but the moment his own gentle fingers touched the cross, he yielded. Something he could not describe jolted through his entire body, rocking his core. The tips of his fingers turned black, bubbling and growling of their own accord. He couldn't touch it. Not anymore. Dumbfounded, he stood there, only able to hear the older demon.

His words rained over him like a massive black wave, crushing entirely any form of logical thought he had had previously. With nothing in sight, all he could do was nod silently. A story. Everyone has a story. Be it painful, beautiful, vivid, or dark, they are all the same. They always involve the speaker. But what of his own story? Could he not Watch himself? Could he not effectively decide what caused this? At a loss, he listened.

I choose now to face this pain...I choose to accept that I have Sinned...repent for those Sins...let it define me...within the core of my being, I still love and cherish God..."

Ah, so they were all playing a game. As if it could all be washed away like a flood vanishing into human gutters. Waste would catch over the drain, gathering, gathering until they all drowned. But until that day, he could play along. He could be what they all wanted. Facing the pain? What was there to face when every day starts over again? How should he repent if every single day is another unsolved mystery? How can he define himself when he cannot even remember a single moment of being a demon living as an angel? In the end, the only thing he knew, was the truth. Cassadriel never stopped cherishing God--never doubted him--never let anything preside over him. No love. No choices. All were made with intention of the greater good, with the objective of His plan. What then had gone so wrong? Accept the pain? Ahaha that was funny. So he just had to keep going. Without a second thought, he had to move forward and smile despite how much it hurt to look up and see only darkness.

"It's a beautiful lie," he whispered inaudibly. All of the tension dropped out of him suddenly and he fell to his knees clutching his head. Clear pulses surrounded him, bursting from him in such terrible amounts of agony that it could only be truly defined as unfair.  

----

[No idea what you just said, but okay. Not my best post. Also, Cass' interpretation might completely clash with Luci and potentially be hella different than what he intends. HOWEVER, it'll be great plot. If they are able to have a close relationship throughout the changes in Cass, I think that it will be awesome. Also, I'm making it near midnight now so Luci can offer for him to stay over or something because of the pain?]

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Lucifuge on Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:21 am

The elder demon’s face suddenly shifted to a face of mild shock as the younger fallen angel collapsed in apparent pain. Surely he had not caused this with the cross had he? He absolutely did not mean to cause pain to his guest, but religious icons did have a strangely wide array of effects on different demonic entities. He should have thought about that, kept down his more zealous urges. But it was a part of him just as his demonic flesh was, it was hard to quell and keep silent. However now it was much more important to help his new found friend rather than lecture him.

“My friend, what plagues you so terribly? Here now, let us retire to a more comfortable place. I do not get guests often enough to warrant an additional bedroom, but I insist that you take mine. I have little need of sleep anyways.” The demon bent low and offered a hand to help up the agonized creature, the arm appearing for this brief moment to be surprisingly human, pale white flesh and warm soft fingers. Though rare, it seemed that actions that were purely out of kindness seemed to give him momentary lapses of less horrific flesh, but such things never lasted long for him.

“Surely your recent fall and the cold had been much wearing upon you, it would be best that we do not attempt to strain you further. I would hate to see you come to harm by indulging you in further conversation and activity. We have tomorrow to come and we may continue then shall we?”

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

Post by Cassadriel on Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:45 pm

My friend," through the ringing, he heard. Squinting up at the malformed body, he managed to read the what the mess of lips mouthed. "What plagues you so terribly?" He would be wondering that himself had he not read it this morning. This happened every night. But every night it was new. He did not recall the pain--did not know of it. Anything unpleasant was foreign. He didn't know how to deal with it. He didn't know at all what to do but to make faint sounds and clutch where it hurt as if the mere presence of his hands could massage away what ailed him. "Here now, let us retire to a more comfortable place. I do not get guests often enough to warrant an additional bedroom, but I insist that you take mine." He was about to take a breath and refuse such kindness, however, the last bit stopped him. "I have little need of sleep anyways. Oh. Not all demons slept then? He blinked awkwardly at Lucifuge, trying to store away the discovery, yet finding nothing there but blank space. He clenched his teeth tight together and nearly dug his own nails through the skin of his palms.

The fellow ex-angel reached out to him. He slackened his hands and silently took that hand. It felt odd. Off. Different. Had he ever grasped someone's hand before? Had he ever taken or needed help like this? Make it stop. His pleading lavender eyes filled with more liquid, sitting there like an endless sheen drowning him.

Surely your recent fall and the cold had been much wearing upon you, it would be best that we do not attempt to strain you further." No, it wasn't that. "I would hate to see you come to harm by indulging you in further conversation and activity." No. "We have tomorrow to come and we may continue then shall we? Was that...possible? He had never...he didn't recall reading anything about ever meeting someone twice. If it was possible, would it be dangerous? Was it a bad idea? If someone was there, would he not come to the realization that he had recorded his memories down for himself? It was scary. At the same time, he did not have a choice anymore.

"Thank you," he managed out. The rest was a blur, but he found himself in Lucifuge's room, surrounded by bed. Drifting in and out, he felt it all slip away. And then finally...the morning came.

* * *

He stirred. Confusion. He looked around. Didn't recognize anything. The silence bared down on him, feeling so heavy that a strange tickling feeling began to prickle his skin. Fear? It was such a petty human feeling. How could he feel something like that? He looked up. Earth? There was a ceiling above him and nothing more. Was he on Earth? Why couldn't he recall this? "What...just what?" He wandered from the bed and around the room, pacing as if he were in a cell, keeping himself prisoner.

He fell. Sovay. He looked around himself and touched the folded scythe left on the bedside table. Carefully he lifted it and hooked it back to his belt, staring listlessly at the door. Whose house was this? His hand slid gently around the handle, twisting, and pulling it open with a faint creak. The sound echoed throughout the warmed hall, making his heart race. Anticipation. He had just fallen and woken up here? How peculiar.

"Helllooo? Hail!" He called out blindly into the hallway, padding barefooted across the floorboards in hopes of finding answers.

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Re: The Citidel-Upon-The-Cocytus (Lucifuge/Open)

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