Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Character Development: Priestess Lady Shune


Priestess Lady Shune is the beautiful wife of Priest Banzku and the protective mother of Melody. She was captured by Valmar's demon servants to be offered to Damien in order to satisfy his craving for human maidens. Instead of treating her like a "gift", Damien rescues Shune, afterward, noticing a resemblance to Melody in her eyes and returns her to her village people. Lady Shune expresses great fear and disgust in Damien and all demons alike to cross her path, for they are all unholy creatures which she has vowed to protect the sacred church against. She is also the daughter of Preistess Lady Felmay and her husband, Warrior Fushine.

Chapter 5- “Return of Lady Shune”

“Lady Shune is back! Lady Shune has returned!” a villager exclaimed as he ran into the church announcing the good news, “Priest Banzku, Lady Shune has come home!” The priest turned away from the alter to see the excited villager behind him. Meric’s face lit up with joy when he heard the sensational news.

“Such wonderful news!” Meric added before seeing the injured Lady Shune carried through the church doors aided by a couple of healers. A look of surprise and concern met Priest Banzku’s face to see his wife in such a state.

“Shune, my love, what happened?!” he uttered rushing to her side before the healers set her down. One of the healers went on to explain that there was an ambush that led to Lady Shune being captured by a group of demons that tortured her afterward.

“She’s got a couple of gashes and bruises, but they should start to clear up in no time,” the healer assured him. Shune struggled to open her eyes, yet smiled, happy to see her husband. Before she could express her happiness she remembered the terrible things that had happened to her and felt the need to warn him of trouble to come.

“Banzku, darling… I sense evil afoot,” she managed to proclaim, bringing her hand to his cheek.

“I know, love… I’ve sensed it too” he replied softly, gazing back into her eyes, just happy to see her alive.

“Where is Melody?...” Shune questioned him with a concerned look on her face. Priest Banzku was at a loss for words; he had never really thought about where Melody ran off to every morning. He always assumed she was doing something productive in the village. Just before Banzku could mutter an ‘I don’t know’, Meric remembered she had run off to the field, just as she had been doing every morning for the past few weeks. He assured Lady Shune and Priest Banzku that he would find their daughter just before he sprinted off toward the church doors.

~~~~~~~~~~

Melody was, indeed, in the field as usual with Damien. She had set up a nice little picnic for the two of them by the stream that lead to the ocean. Later they had planned on dipping their feet and trying to catch fish. Damien was feeling uneasy today so he kept his visibility low and made it so no one could see him but Melody. Melody could sense he was a bit uncomfortable so she sung him her cheerful, still, soothing song while she unpacked the lunch basket.

Damien was slightly calmed, however the events of the night before had him a bit jumpy. He wondered if Melody would catch on and find out about the incident; on the other hand, he could have just been thinking about it too much. When he realized he was over analyzing the situation, he decided he should just take a breather and try to enjoy the day.

Glancing over at Melody, he noticed she was wearing a summer dress the same color and pattern as the picnic blanket. She always wore such beautiful and unique sun dresses which he loved to admire. He caught himself staring at her a lot lately; tracing her smooth shoulders with his eyes down to the curve of her hips leading to her beautiful long legs. The sound of her voice was also, always on his mind, for he could have sworn it was the voice of an angel. He went on to admire her cheerful smile; how kind and gentle her personality was; how intoxicating her scent was, not just to him but to any demon who yearned for human flesh. He shook that last thought from his mind; his intention was not to feast on her.

But the demon prince did intend on telling her how he felt. He wasn't sure exactly how to say it, nor did he possess the vocabulary to express this new emotion. Every moment he spent with her felt like magic, but this was a magic he had never felt before. All he could make out was that it was a warm feeling that made something within him throb and thump like crazy.

It wasn't long before he realized he wasn’t just staring at her and admiring her beauty; he was leaning close and gazing into her eyes with his hand squeezing hers on the picnic blanket. How they suddenly came to this position; he didn’t know, but he sure as hell knew where it was going. Melody was blushing a deep red as she averted her eyes, looking down shyly. Damien lifted her chin with a finger to meet her gaze again, calling her to his attention. “Melody…” he whispered, just about to close the space between their lips when suddenly…

“Melody!” Meric called rushing out of the forest toward them at the stream, “your mother has come home!” the hurried apprentice announced. Melody broke her gaze away from Damien once again looking around a bit embarrassed. “What are you doing, anyway” Meric wondered looking down at Melody surrounded by a lunch for two. He didn’t even see Damien who was clearly sitting next to her.

“I’m having a picnic…” she replied.

“With yourself?” he mocked.

“No, with my good friend Damien!” she hollered, pointing to the other end of the picnic blanket.

“An ant? You’re having lunch with an ant?” Meric was confused at first but began to laugh suddenly, “I think he’s brought a couple of his friends!” Melody stood up and pouted her bottom lip frustrated.

“I think it’s very rude how you’re treating my friend!” she growled, “Don’t you see him?!”

“Come on we’ve got no time for this nonsense, you’re mother awaits at the village church. She’s injured.” Meric pronounced after snapping back to his serious attitude.

“Injured?!” She cried with disbelief as Meric grabbed her hand and pulled her along. “No wait!” she screamed, trying to turn around to say goodbye to Damien. She was yanked in the opposite direction. “Damien I’m sorry! I’ve got to go!” she yelled, being dragged away.

“There’s no one there, Melody! Now come-…” Meric paused, mid-sentence after looking back. For just a total of three seconds he witnessed a black blur near the picnic spot. Though it was just a glimpse, he knew for sure that someone was there and now he could feel an intensifying evil magnify behind them. “What the devil was that?!” he questioned Melody in a panic to get far away from it. He picked up the speed; Melody finding it hard to keep up. “Run Melody! Don’t look back!” he urged her.

Melody couldn't understand why Meric didn't see Damien. Most of all she wanted to know why Meric was running faster than before and what he was running from. “Meric, what’s wrong? What did you see?” she asked.

“We’ll talk about it when we reach safety! Don’t stop running!” he replied in a panic before they made it to the village. They ran straight to the church, once inside they closed the doors behind them and panted. Meric felt safe enough to speak within the church, “We must tell the family!” he bounced back and suddenly had the stamina to run to the council room.

“Tell them what?” Melody asked in a state of confusion. For some reason, no one ever wanted to give her answers right away. She was dragged to the council room where her mother, father and other priests, priestess, warriors and healers waited.

“Melody!” her mother cried from across the council room. She was propped up in a chair; her father beside her.

“Mother, what’s happened?!” melody cried running to greet her mother who she hadn’t seen since the week her grandmother fell ill.

“We had a run in with some demons and I was kidnapped, but I’m alright now” her mother answered with a smile on her face, happy to see her beautiful daughter unharmed since she had left.

Their reunion was abruptly interrupted when Meric suddenly made an announcement to the council room, “The darkness is approaching. It’s after Melody!” Everyone in the room gasped and began mutter worriedly to each other. “I saw it in the field!” he continued, Melody only looked at him like he was crazy.

“I didn't see anything!” Melody shouted to the council. She didn’t think about what she said before she said it, nor did she think about all of the rumors that would go around the village if everyone knew her demon sensing powers hadn't emerged yet. The council whispered about her and Lady Shune worriedly squeezed her husband's hand.

“Melody, it’s time you started training.” her father demanded, “ a dreaded curse will befall this village and its sacred church if you don’t get your act together! You must be prepared!”

End- Chapter 5

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chapter 4- "Familiar Eyes"

Weeks had gone by before anyone had realized the number of souls wondering the earth had gone imbalanced. “Valmar, my lord, It’s my duty to inform you that there is an increasing amount of souls wondering the earth these days. The cause could possibly be that your son, Damien, isn't tending to his duties as the grim reaper!” a servant demon reports to the King of Hell.

“Damien? Where is he? I have not seen him in a few weeks.” The king replied sitting at his thrown with a demon vixen in his lap stroking at his long beard.

“The demon eye should be able to tell you where he’s been,” the servant whimpered as he signaled two other servants to haul in a large glass eye fixed on three stilts. King Valmar sat up in his thrown and observed the Demon Eye.

"Very well then…” the King pronounced, “Demon Eye, show me the whereabouts of my son in the past few weeks!” The glass eye began to spin. Faster and faster it spun until it rose into the air above them. It revealed a meadow, green and flowery. There in the scene a familiar girl picked flowers and turns to smile. Events, between Damien and the mysterious girl, flashed by and finally Damien is seen in her room staring at her in her sleep. Valmar was curious as to why Damien didn't claim her right then and there. “Perhaps he is suffering from some sort of sexual frustration…” he thought out load. The vixen in the king's lap giggled at his remark as the glass eye played further the events of that night where Damien is almost caught. “ I've seen enough," the king sighed, “It would seem he’s just curious about what a human woman would feel like. If that’s what he longs for then prepare his chambers with a maiden before he comes home, perhaps then his craving will settle.”

That night Damien came home to another one of his father’s demonic parties. As he passed through a crowed of dancing devils he ignored the lustful looks, teasing kisses and taunting winks he received from all the demon vixens. They all wanted a piece of the handsome demon prince, for their only interest was to bare the offspring of a powerful demon lord. Damien wasted not even his seed on such encounters; he was concentrated on one woman in particular these days. When he met the end of the dancing crowed he approached his father's thrown “Ah, Son! You've finally returned. It’s been ages since I've seen you at your thrown!” the king laughed drunkenly. Damien greeted his father and headed for his room, but the king continued to speak, “Oh yes! I know how you've been depressed lately, so I had the servants set up a nice surprise for you in your chambers.” The prince’s eyes squinted slightly at his father as he wondered what he was up to. He started off toward his room in a bit of a hurry to find out what this 'surprise' was. The king had a smug look on his face as he watched Damien hurry to his room, "See how excited the boy is?! that's my devilish little Damien!" he chuckled with satisfaction.

When Damien arrived at his room he peeked in to find a human woman chained to his bed. A frog-like demon was jabbing at her side with a pitch fork to make her scream in pain. Damien stepped into the door way, an angry look upon his face aimed at the imp who seemed to be enjoying the task. The little demon glanced backward and was startled, finally noticing Damien clenching his fists in the doorway. “Gah! My Lord Damien! I know how you like them tortured and distressed so I roughed her up a bit for you!” the little imp sniveled with a proud look on his face.

"Idiot" Damien growled and grumbled through clenched teeth as he approached the imp. The angry prince yanked the demon toad up by the back of its vest and kicked it across the room. The unfortunate imp crashed into the nearest wall and was knocked unconscious. Damien wasn't sure what to do or say, he didn't know what had come over him. In earlier times he enjoyed such gifts, but for some reason he felt irritated and shameful at this instant.

He quickly untied the woman from his bed and checked her for bruises. Though she wasn't badly injured her clothing was tattered and revealing due to the deal of torture inflicted by the imp. In a effort to cover her bare skin, he withdrew a dreary curtain from the wall behind his bed and wrapped it around her, swooping the frail woman up into his arms. Moaning in agony as she glanced up at Damien, the dazed look on her face suddenly turned to shock. Damien gazed back at the woman whose eyes had suddenly looked so familiar to him. They were gentle chocolate brown eyes; eyes he had seen before. At that moment the thought of Melody had flashed through his mind and he could feel a sinking feeling in his chest. He knew it wasn't Melody, yet this woman had a striking resemblance to her despite the fact that she could have been at least twenty years older.

So shocked to see a demon staring her straight in the eyes the woman fainted falling limp in his arms. He hesitated no longer, for he knew he had to get the woman to a safe place. He though to bring her to Melody's village, however he did not want to cause a stir so late at night, so he transported them just before the entrance to the village. In a hurry he laid the woman down on the path so that the next passer would notice her. She wouldn't lay their too long alone for just as Damien was standing up he could hear a carriage behind him. He turned to see the distant light of a lantern approaching quickly as it swayed in the fog. Damien didn't want to frighten the approaching carriage so he vanished into the darkness.

"Lady Shune! Lady Shune!" a man shouted frantically as he leaped off the carriage and ran toward the woman on the ground. He picked up her head gently and sighed in relief to see she was still alive. A couple of men and women hopped off the carriage as well and ran to her aid.

"We searched all over for you after the demons had captured you!" one of the women cried. The weak and bruised woman known as Lady Shune began to come to, seeing her fellow traveling companions.

“Where… am I?” She asked dizzily wincing slightly from her wounds. Another woman from the traveling group; a healer, came close and put a hand to Shune's forehead.

“Don’t worry Lady Shune. It appears we’re home now.” said the healer with a comforting smile as she looked beyond the path to the village. The other travelers set her on a cot which they carried the rest of the way to the village.

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile back in Hell, Damien furiously strut in on his father's party. "May I have a word with you, father?" he asked with a bit of attitude in his voice. Damien's father chuckled and held a horn shaped mug up to his son not even hearing him.

"Come to join the party, my boy? Did you get the thrill you were looking for with that human woman?" the king snickered. Damien's expression was anything but thrilled; he was infuriated with how his father ignored his request, not to mention the party music and chatter was starting to annoy him as well.

"Father, we need to talk!" he initiated the request again; this time he wouldn't take his father's ignorance for an answer. But when King Valmar continued to laugh, drunkenly enjoying his party, Damien finally snapped and lost his temper. The outraged prince suddenly smacked the mug out of his father's hand, letting it shatter and spill its contents to the ground.“What the hell is wrong with you?!” Damien shouted at the top of his lungs. Everyone had stopped dancing; everyone was standing silently. The king's attitude finally became serious when he rose out of his chair and towered over Damien, frowning down at his only son. One by one all of the demons on the dance floor began to disappear in poofs of black smoke, fleeing from site for everyone knew that when the king got serious, there was bound to be a blood bath to follow.

"For what purpose do you plunder?!" King Valmar shouted with a booming voice. Damien smirked; he finally had the kings' undivided attention.

"What in Hell possessed you to put that human woman in my bedroom?!" Damien yelled back, standing tall and unafraid of his own father's wrath.

“I thought you were sexually frustrated and curious about humans so I simply captured you a woman to please yourself with!” Valmar argued back.

“But that woman was not meant to die here in Hell!” Damien yelled staring his father in the eye.

“That may be so..." Valmar agreed, "but her soul would be ours in time.” A chuckled emanated from the kings throat before he picked up another horn mug and sipped an intoxicating substance that would put him back into his jolly state.

“What are you talking about? Her soul was pure! I could sense it!” the prince questioned his father as if he was insane. His father began to rant, trying to change the subject.

“My Damien… it won’t be long till you’re 18 and king of Hell. How you've grown, my son…” Valmar smirked.

A look of disgust wrinkled the princes face as he spat, “don’t start that shit! You're delusional!” Damien stormed off to his room without another word. A servant approached the king and bowed.

“Sir!, Still, none of the souls have been collected today..,” the servant announced and curiously thought to question, “why do we rely on one demon to collect all of the souls anyway, my lord?

King Valmar sneered at the servant's question and replied, “Because, the soul collectors can be seen by humans. If a live human were to see a soul collector they would try to exterminate them on site. Soul collectors are defenseless demon serpents whose only purpose is to collect the spirits of the dead. Sending Damien to do the job allows the job to be done in a stealthy more efficient manner." Valmar knew that with the attitude Damien had been portraying lately, none of the souls would be collected any time soon. “With the situation we face right now we’ve got no choice; send out the soul collectors." the king demanded, turning away from the servant before stroking his beard in thought, "I’ll speak to Damien later.” A frustrated frown crept over Valmar’s face.

End- Chapter 4