SynopsisWhen Etienne Moreau's bride-to-be becomes the latest victim of the puzzling string of abductions, it becomes his duty to find her and bring her safely home. However, it becomes quickly apparent that he stands no chance against the perpetrators: a dark cult with a mysterious and charismatic leader. So that he doesn't return in shame without his fiancée, Etienne does the unthinkable and summons demonic help. With body and soul as payment, Etienne is gifted with an enchanted construct by the name of Vesper, made for the sole purpose of cutting down any opposition. With the stoic doll to fight at his side, Etienne can finally bring home his future wife. But is it a mere cult behind the abductions or is there something—someone—more sinister driving it all?
[[Being a co-authored roleplay, Etienne is played by Loki and Vesper is played by Sono (that would be me).]]
ExcerptIt seemed a rather losing bargain for the demon, but he was old enough to know better. Bargaining with a demon rarely stopped at just one request; weak-willed men, made hungry by the gifts they'd received, always came back for more. And each time they returned to their demonic master, they were more and more willing to give up everything and anything—their lives, their love, their children, their souls—to fulfill their every desire.
Etienne would come back for more. Rosier could feel it.
"You may keep your eyes for now," he added. "I have no need of them until you have completed your task. Then I shall take my payment from you when the deeds are done."
He went to the center of the ring of fire, and suddenly his hands were engulfed in a similar flame. Brilliant ruby sparks flew every which way, the gusts they touched made cold as December mornings in contrast to their warm color.
"And here is my gift to you...."
Suddenly, the flame disappeared, as if sucked into a pinhole-sized void within the demon's hands, and with a swipe of his left hand, a billowing of black shadow descended from a point in the air down to the ground. Like fire made of nothing but darkness, the tendrils fluttered this way and that, until they slipped closer together, forming what appeared to be a humanoid being. The shadows poured away like water, dissipating into the grass and revealing the figure beneath.
It was tall, taller than the average man, and built with a male figure. Broad shoulders but a tapered waist, all clad in tight leather that opened at the front to bare a pale chest. Below a golden-buckled belt his legs were covered in tight leather as well, and his boots were impossibly long, leading elegantly down to startlingly high stiletto heels. Above an elegantly long neck, surrounded by a collar of black fur, was set an androgynous face. Beautiful in a way no human could possibly match, his features were regal yet lacking all proper emotion; even a human with a blank expression looked more alive. With coldly narrow eyes and long hair like blood, this lifeless being certainly looked like a demon as well.
"He is called Vesper," Rosier explained to Etienne, as he rounded the redhead in appraisal. "A doll much like the ones your alchemists make, though infused with my own blood, and my own magic. This makes him far superior to anything found in the human world. He is yours for the duration of your task. A tool, if you will, to protect and aid you."
The doll blinked slowly, turning his reptilian gaze onto Etienne, his borrowed master. He did not bow, nor did he acknowledge him in any way. He simply stared at him. Was he really much better than the alchemical dolls in Anselm? They were quite good at this same dead staring, as well.
"Now, I think I've given you all you need," Rosier said almost pleasantly. He walked over to Etienne and looked down at him with those lightless eyes. Suddenly, he raised a cold hand to Etienne's cheek, stroking it almost as a mother would with her child. His thumb lingered close to one of Etienne's exquisite blue eyes, and the demon smiled in anticipation. "I shall see you again soon, I trust."
The words were deliberate, the emphasis on sight very clear. The demon left Etienne with a sharp grin, walking past Vesper before simply fading into the shadows. When he was gone, the red ring of fire flashed out of existence, leaving the forest just as dark and lifeless as it had been before.
Had it not been for the demon construct standing there, the entire episode might have seemed like nothing more than a hallucination.