Dark Voices and Lost Souls

A visible shiver ran up Caoimhe spine as she felt Renault's armor change in her fingers, the power quickly slipping from his body and over her's like a giant river of energy that steadyily flowed from him and into her. She dared not turn her head from the nob to stare at the splendor of power that stood at her side, knowing that if her gaze shifted from her current goal she would not be able to accomplish what she had set out to do.

Her eyes seemed to be shaking as the energy that slipped from the demon and Renaults own extreme spiritual forces clashed over her, her mind sarting to hurt as it tried to focus on to seperate forces at once. As a mortal among the immortal, she felt herself weakening, but she wouldn't let that bring her down. His words were the only thing that she needed to push her, the voice so much more convincing and powerful than it had been before, it was almost as if she couldn't say not to the servant of Death.

Finally a shaky hand turned the nob and the door slowly squeeked open as she pulled it back. The hand quickly let go of the nob and darted up to her face as she looked away and closed her eyes tightly. A horrid smell burst out as soon as the seal had been broken, quickly filling that hallway they stood in. Her stomach flipped and churned as the scent filled her nose, a small heaving sound slipping out of her mouth as she held back they bile that wanted to escape from her lips.

She made no move to enter the horrid smelling room, the sounds of mating even louder and more detailed than before. She would let him lead now, this is where he was better suited. She was only to help service his eyes and give him the sight he required to see the horrible beast...

She just hoped this would be over quickly, for not even she was certain if she could handle the feeling in her stomach for much longer.
Renault could not afford to look away. The darkness was rolling off of him in tangible waves. As Death's vessel filled, he became -aware- of so much that had escaped him before. The castle was simply teaming with souls, spirits both good and evil, and one particularly powerful force in the room directly ahead. No, no it wasn't Death granting him this insight. It was the Queen.

The stench of deeds gone awry filled his overcharged senses, drawing a disgusted grunt from his throat. It was terrible, but not quite as bad as what he'd encountered some years before. People milkshake would be the only way to describe what he had seen on THAT particular day, and while the smell wasn't as revolting, the scene spread before him was easily on par.

The bodies of women, exhausted and spent, leaked all about one massive bed, the original color of which had long since been forgotten. There were too many for a swift eye to count. The king was in the center of this madness, a nude, scrawny island amidst an ocean of flesh and released passion. The man himself looked absolutely exhausted, but drove violently into his current victim with vengeance reserved for the insane. The entire room was horrid, tainted with desire and want... with imbalance.

Enabled by the double-vision granted him by the Queen's lovely grip, Renault's hellish eyes narrowed on the land's suffering king. There were -strings- tied to his limbs and throat, wispy little tendrils of light that commanded his thrusting movements the way a puppeteer would his wooden doll. Renault followed the strings upward to find the outline of his quarry, and sucked in a brutal, devilish growl of his own.

Yanndrozingal's head bore only a gigantic mouth, forsaken of lips to bear a horrible permanent grin. Tiny, batlike wings held aloft a non-proportionately bloated body. The body of a massive worm, coiled up comfortably to hover upon the ceiling. Two pairs of thin, spindly arms hung freely, manipulating the ethereal strands that so dictated the king's madness. That wasn't the worst of it, Renault growled softly to himself, his grip tightening on Armageddon, his favored blade.

No, for Yanndrozingal's long, greasy body was also covered in two rows of armless hands, each with its own phallus to stroke and rub, like a revolting, sexual caterpillar. As it guided the king, so too did it please itself, those lipless teeth chattering with ecstasy.

Holding firmly to the young Queen's hand, and praying she had kept her eyes shut, Renault stepped forth with the heavy clatter of his unholy armors. That horrible head, broad enough to swallow a man whole, jerked in his direction, before opening and emitting a shriek that threatened to extinguish every candle in the room.

The six swords hovering behind him each began to twirl and spin, eager to taste demonflesh. As the horrible cry of a thousand year immortal filled the room, waking king and whores from their spell, it was joined by another terrible roar. Hate-filled eyes locked relentlessly upon the demon, and with that, the battle would be met.
As Renault stepped forward so did she, making sure to stay at his side at all times. Her hand clamped tightly over her nose and mouth in an atempt to keep the smell from hitting her as hard as it had been. Her eyes squeezed tighter as the scream filled her ears, the sound so unholy and demented that if she had been standing alone she was certain she would have fallen to her knees begging for her life.

That was not the case however. When she held onto Renaults hand she felt like she could do anything, face anyone, it was as if she was as unstoppable as he was. Her fingers held on tighter to his hand, letting him know that there was nothing that could pry her hand away from his. There was only one problem that she was having trouble with.

She couldn't see.

As he had requested she had instantly closed her eyes and kept them that way until he told her that it was safe. This left her tothe will of his steps and movements, meanting that she could easily trip and fall if pulled to hard, or slow him down in not pulled hard enough. On top of that her feet knocked into one of the many spent women who her father had left sprawled on the floor to sit in their own muck. She quickly pulled back, uncertain of what she touched, and leaned into Renault uncertainly, not knowing what else she could do at the moment.

Her body stood at the ready, her muscles tense and eager to spring which ever direction he asked her to drift or jump out of the way. She did not speak a word to him, knowing that it would be pointless to try and speak to him now as the battle was about to begin, the sounds of anger and the eagerness for blood to be spilled filled the room.
It taunted him. He could feel its jeers, its outrage at being disturbed in its own sanctum. It simply did not understand that its end had come, that it had long overstayed its welcome in this realm.

"I am going to press my spine to you. Take hold of my cloak, and do not let go."

The shadowy material was thick to the touch, viscous almost, holding as tightly to the Queen's hands as they would to it. He only released her fingertips when he was certain she had grabbed on, his withering stare burning in his eagerness to punish the monster. Tiny wings pumped and Yanndrozingal hovered lazily high above the floor, but hadn't even possessed the presence of mind to release the threads binding it to the king. This was going to be over with quickly.

Armageddon turned an easy circuit around Renault's head as he brought it to bear, the impossibly sharp edge carving even the air around it. Crouching stiffly, he hurled himself and the attached woman into the air, straight up at his quarry. With a single sweep of that gigantic, wicked blade, the other six lashed in sequence, angling to follow the initial cut perfectly. Seven blows in a single swing. The threads detaining the exhausted king were severed with the first swipe. Several of the miniature hands and sexual organs were severed with the second. By the third, Yanndrozingal realized its peril, only to die by the fourth.

Its chattering, laughing shriek became a cry of agony, which was soon cut short as with a fifth and brutal overhead blow its terrible head plopped messily on the floor. The crash of its massive, fleshy body as it splattered on the floor was almost deafening.

In the span of a few seconds, it was over. Far gently than he had taken off, Renault alighted them onto the floor, his armors rattling and smoking eerily. The spinning, ghostly swords vanished, all but Armageddon, which he spun about in an inverted grip and held it against his side.

"It is dead."

Firm, even strides took him to the bloated corpse. With a wave of his armored hand, he tapped into the Abyss and drew out a massive grimoire; dipping a finger in the demon's blood, he signed its name on an unholy page and snapped the tome shut. The deed done, he dismissed the book and sighed sharply through his nose. Another one bites the dust.

Hellfire eyes slowly turned to perceive the Queen from beneath his massive hood, his frown concealed in its depths. He stared at her a moment, before looking to his arm, where one of Yanndrozingal's bladed arms pierced through his bicep and burrowed through the other side.

"You were brave. Your father would be proud."
Caoimhe grabbed onto his cloak quickly and did not let go of his hand until he pulled it away, her fingers gripping the fabric so tightly that her knuckles where turning white. She continued to keep her eyes such as she felt his back press against her, leaning into him a bit to comfirm that they were touching. For a moment didn't know what to expect, she could only hear the sound of flapping wings and angry growls and screeches from above her head.

Then, Without warning, she was pulled high into the air, a small gasp of surprise escaping her throat as she dcould bring herself to say anything else. She felt weightless as she hovered behind him, hearing the sound of sword sutting flesh making her shiver and almost gag. She had never been so close to a battle, and it made her nervous as the sound of more bodyily contact with the metal filled the air.

Though, it was over as soon as it began. The sound of a few women squeeking in surprise was then followed by the sound of two heavy thunks, leaving Caoimhe to believe that the demon had fallen from it's place in the air. As they desended from above she felt her toes touch the ground but her leg did not support her, leaving her to just sit on the ground, shivering a bit as she continued to cling tightly to his cape. As soon as she confirmed what she though a sigh of relief escaped her throat.

The deed was done.

In all honesty she did not expect it to go so fast, from the demon that plagued her life to simply get killed off by a few swing of a sword. She wouldn't question it though, for as a mortal she couldn't possible begin to understand the powers of death and her servant. As he spoke once more, she let out a hallow laugh, the sound weak and yet light hearted, possibly even joyful if the mix was possible.

"Yeah...I suppose so..." She said before her eyes shot open with realization.

"Father!" She called as she clumsily hopped to her feet and looked toward the bed and among the bodies of women
The power was overwhelming, like using a waterfall to douse a candle. Spending most of his time at an emotional, sensual zero forced Renault into becoming accustomed to being a husk. A blank. Yet with just a fractional measure of Death's force coursing through his veins like ice, it all came crashing down upon him. Smell, taste. Elation, fear. Cold, pain. PAIN. SWEET BLESSED PAIN!

The bladed tip of one of the befouled creature's hideous appendages protruded neatly through his bicep. In one end, out the other, as it were. Renault assumed he must have taken the blow while the worm was flailing in its final throes. Black blood dribbled sloppily down the barbed spine, staining the already quite desecrated rugs of the King's quarter. The pain was horrid, as though someone had taken a fiery poker from the embers and was busy trying to wedge it between his arm bone and the muscle surrounding it. Excruciating.

Renault was careful removing the limb, gripping it firmly with his unholy gauntlet and ever so gingerly pulling it free from where its barbed edges hooked into armor and flesh. Inch by inch, with dark blood spurting from either end of the grisly wound, he finally flicked it out of his arm and tossed it casually to the floor. He savored the agony, his lips twisting with laughter that he did not realize was his own.

Like the tides ebbing wantonly back into the ocean, so too did the power. It left him feeling barren and empty as a winter landscape, until even the mind-numbing pain was gone. The beautiful, terrible armor dematerialized and leaked from his thin figure like smoke, the shadows nearby re knitting into his traditional clothing. Only instead of a sleeve for his right arm, he now sported a dark shoulder-cape, one that would conceal the disgusting angle at which his nearly dissected arm hung. As if adding insult to injury, he realized with a profound sigh that it was now useless.

Without a word of complaint, and with a composed toss of his almost feminine hair, Renault rejoined Caoimhe. Hellfire eyes scanned her briefly to ensure that she was unharmed, and then shifted with Renault's unique indifference to the scene before them.
Caoimhe paid no attention to the room around her, to the stained carpet that soiled her shoes, to the many women staring in awe and fright at Renault, to the lifeless body of the demon laying on the ground. It was just her and her frail, weak looking father. She rushed over to him, stripping off one of her many layers and wrapping it around him as she consumed him in a large hug. Even if this man was the cause of so much pain and suffering in her life he was still her father, and that loyalty and love that she had for him would always remain.

"Oh father...Thank god...Oh...thank God." Her words came out weak, so out of character for the brave and strong queen.

The King himself seemed completely gone, almost as if the years of constant sex were finally taking their tole on the old man. He was so skinny and weak from lack of eatting and looked rather tried, as his eyes were blood shot and had black circles under them. He did not speak to Caoimhe, but he did register in presence. His tired eyes shifted to her and a wheezy breath slipped out of his throat, as if he was trying to speak.

Caoimhe quickly shook her head, her weak stooper falling away from her as her natural ruling instinct kicked in.

"Don't speak, you are sick and weak...Stay here, I'll be right back with guards." She said sternly as she quickly slipped from the stained bed , her own dress collecting some of the mess.

She almost ran to the door, only stopping to look at Renault for a second. He seemed to have changed back, with the new addition of a sholder cape. As she looked closer she could catch a glimpse of his arm and the sight made her grimace openly. She quickly looked away, as if feeling guilty for looking, and spoke quickly and powerfully, if possible.

" I am greatful...For what you have done. But you can't stay here when I call my guards, they would ask questions...Please return to my quarters to rest a bit, I will return shortly when i am done here. I would like to have a small word with you if possible." She said before continuing on her way, a loud commanding voice yelling for her guards with such fierceness and haste that they would certainly come in droves to heed her call.
"Mm-hm," Renault uttered from the base of his throat disconnectedly, all stoicism and quiet regard. While the slaughter of a trans-dimensional demon was something of an everyday event, getting to witness the reunion of family was -far- more interesting. So very rarely did his occupation involve anything outside of the obvious gratification of destroying an arrogant being that simply did not belong! Much like the battle itself, the reunion was short lived, as he supposed it -had- to be. For everyone's sake.

The Queen was back to being such, and the King... well... fates only knew what was in store for him. Trauma and humans did not mix well, but to have birthed someone as strong-centered and extravagent as the Queen herself, Renault imagined the King to be composed of greater things than your average mortal. That may have been what attracted Yanndrozingal to begin with. Speaking of...

Burning eyes drifted towards the disgusting, raunchy corpse laying bloated on the floor. Its ichor had already begun seeping into the carpets, a stench complimentary to that of year-long orgies. At times like these, Renault though wryly as he strode towards the remains, an absent sense of scent had its uses.

The eradication of a demon's cadaver was no matter for mortal hands. Renault stood before the body with a light grimace, before reaching out over it with his good hand, and drawing upon his personal reserves of force. Out of thin air, he conjured a small rolling pebble of pitch black energy, one that twisted and pulsed as it grew to the size of an orb. Holding his hand overhead, he willed the black hole larger and larger, tendrils of black electricity crackling harmlessly through the air, which itself seemed drawn into the collapsing center of energy he so casually held aloft.

When the energy reached the size of a melon, he hurled it at the corpse, and let the Otherside work its proverbial magic. As the dark orb connected with flesh, it splashed like molten tar, stretching to cover the entire body and devour it piece by otherworldly piece. Before the Queen and her guards could return, there was nothing at all left of Yanndrozingal but a hideous stain and Renault had diplomatically withdrawn to the queen's own quarters.
The Queen and guards returned quickly, carrying much with them. Many of the younger guards were left standing in shock at the messy scene, but they eventually were knocked out of it by Caoimhe's demanding and tight voice, quickly spurting out jobs to all her men. The men started to pick up and wrap women in blankets before removing them from the room and placed in the hall, doctors quickyl moving to them and checking for any injuries or illness. The women who were awake were asked question like if they were alright, most answering yes and only asking for water or food since they had been long deprived the pleasure.

Caoimhe was in an uproar herself, moving from group to group, constantly running out to the hall and back in. Her men did not question how she found this, nor did she tell them, this was a matter that she would take with her to the grave, there was no need to bring up Renault for any reason. The king was eventually carried to a different bedroom, on much cleaner where more doctors awaited to examine his weak and tired body.

Things eventually settled down as the room was soon barren of life, the women who could move were given clothing, money for their hard work, and greatful thank you from Caoimhe, and even a blessing, so that their name was forever looked upon in good light. That was all the queen could give at the moment, but she would certainly be giving more to all the women who serviced her father over the years, she had written them down in hopes of this day coming. Those who couldn't leave were given rooms to rest in and gather strenght, meals and medicine provided for free out of the queen's own wallet.

Eventually she left the rest of the work to her people, walking back to her room with quick haste to see Renault and speak to him more. Her feet took her there in no time and soon she was entering her room, almost breathless, and closing the door behind her silently.
But another page in a thousand page book. Given several hours of meditative respite, the man stood rigidly in front of the queen's vanity mirror, brooding sullenly at himself. Immortality of soul was one matter, immortality of flesh was another altogether; he would have to get his arm repaired, mended by a healer. Which, of course, was a painful experience as the white magics would knit together the flesh but burn his unholy spirit to no end. A necessary evil, he supposed while tugging the shoulder cape with his working appendage to glimpse the twisted limb beneath. Fortune was his that Yanndrozingal was a lazy, overconfident and likely inbred rejection. An actual battle would have raged for much longer.

And would likely have made ruins of this fine castle. To say little of these fine people.

Renault frowned deeper, if physically possible. Rarely was he granted much down time, and never did he enjoy receiving Death's next missive. Well, that was untrue. He enjoyed the work, if there could be any application for the word 'enjoy' in his dreadful existence, so that wasn't the issue. No, he simply hated casting his eyes upon her face. Looking into the eyes that had haunted every second of his waking world. It was unfair and unsporting for Death to wear her face, to so torment him with that which he both loved and despised in a single unsightly blow.

Renault had must to muse over in Caoimhe's absence, and did so to no true benefit of his own. In fact, he had simply complicated his own thoughts regarding the Queen herself by the time her door swung silently behind her. She was breathless from damage control, he knew, and it wouldn't do to weigh upon the woman's tortured heart any further.

Tresses of snowy white hanging over an eye, he regarded her with his usual forlorn manner.

"And thus, order is restored...no?"
Caoimhe looked at him for a second before letting out a weak and hallow laugh, still catching her breath as she pulled back a few strands of hair that slipped into her face.

"In a way, yes it has...But in many more, even more chaos is now sitting on my plate. Women to pay and give thanks too, doctors to listen to, guards asking questions...yes I believe I have more chaos than I started with... Though the feeling of weightlessness in my chest in well worth it all." She said as she stepped into her room.

She walked over to her vanity, joining Renault as she looked at herself. She adjusted the bun that sat on her head and removed her cown, setting it down lightly into a small cushioned box that held many other small tiaras and such. She then reach for some powder and started to fix her face, which had gotten dirty and sweaty. As she fixed her light make-up, touching up her lips and powdering her cheeks but nothing more, she spoke to him lightly.

"I know I said this back in the room, but I really am greatful for what you have done. If you had not actted today, father would have died and the women in the room would have been left to the devices of the disgusting thing that floated above them."

She looked away from her mirror, her eyes locking with his and for the first time a look of peace and happiness seemed to linger on her face, even if her lips did not smile. Her eyes seemed to sparkle with joy, though her face was still that of a business man's, firm and unmoved by emotion. Her gaze moved down to his cape ocovered arm for a second before looking back to his pale face.

"If there is anything, in my mortal power, that I can do for you, I will galdly do it. It is that least I can do as a show of thanks...For example, I could find you a healer for your...injury, if you like." She said as she motioned to the covered limb, having caught a minor glance and knowing that it was rather bad.
"Your father," Renault mentioned offhandedly, his eyes on her even and unblinking. "did not seem as badly off as first I had bethought. A fortnight of good rest and homecraft meals will see him treading recovery's path. And mayhaps a pinch of his daughter's tenderness?"

It would be an uphill battle, of course, for Caoimhe to offset -years- of perceiving her father in the one inevitable way that she had. In effect, she would have to meet the man anew, something that even the immortal did not envy. As she uttered her thanks, a single gloved hand rose to dismiss them, and for the passing of a heartbeat, hellish eyes shut with a grimace of a smile. "I can take no credit outside of going about my own unsightly business, Your Highness. To that end, it shall be I who thank -you-."

Pale lips pursed slightly, and with that casual stiffness that prescribed him as him, he leaned against her dresser. "Too often am I forced to piece together these labyrinthine puzzles alone; it was a blessing to have the answer already on hand. Without your sight, I may have milled about the place a decade before putting the creature in the grave. Your bravery and support have saved countless lives, have no doubt."

At her mention of his arm, vanity took over and Renault shifted lightly to his feet, huffing quietly and drawing the shoulder-cape tighter, to conceal the wretched appendage. "A healer will not be necessary. I've a mender I turn to in times such as this, a generation of them I've visited over the centuries. They are accustomed to... well... me. Besides which t'would do no good to have even more of your people observe the peculiar company with which their queen passes her hours."

There was a very mortal hint of teasing in Renault's tone, though it didn't ever quite reach his granite expression, nor the torture burning in his stare.
Caoimhe caught the teasing in his voice, even if it might have been a trick of the wind or her own ears misleading her, and smiled slightly for a moment as she stepped away from her vanity and walked over to her window. She pulled the curtains open gently as she looked out onto the grounds, seeing her guards running back and forth while women were lead to carriages for them to be taken home in.

"I suppose you're right...but I am certain that if they found out they would not believe it at first, I usually am not a person who takes on company of anysort, be it friendly or private." She said before looking back at him for a second. "Also, you're not as peculiar as you think you are."

She stepped back from her window and walked over to him once more, stopping just out of arms reach as she looked into him with curious eyes, a hint of kindness lingering in them.

"You may be of immortal flesh and a servant of Death herself but I see nothing more than a man doing what he has to. It might not be plesant or pretty, but you continue to work hard and no matter your origin or then outcome that you will someday face, I will always just see a man...nothing more and nothing less." She said as she looked at him in the eye.

She then turned from him and walked back to her bedroom door, preparing to leave.

"I am sorry that I cannot stay longer, but I must go check on my father. I also have been putting off my paperwork for far to long and need to quickly make up from the lost time. If you leave without saying goodbye I understand, it would be safer that way in the end, though please know that you are welcome to return here and relax, if you ever find the time to do so as you hunt...Though this time, please enter through the gate, it's so inconvient to try and keep you hidden from everyone."

She said, her voice turning teasing at the end as she looked back at him.
Renault knew what she was looking at, that which he himself did not have the heart to bear witness. The sheer violence of his life was something he could tolerate, embrace even given the cruel natures of his quarries. But the pain that a single being can cause is untold, spread out to touch so many lives. With his fragile mind, he could not bear to watch those poor women being ushered into their carriages, for to do so would be to imagine them returning home, to wash themselves and sit comfortably before a fire. To breathe, and rest, and exist in the relative safety, touched only by the nightmares of what they had endured.

Everyone deserves to be happy and safe and warm and loved.

Perhaps it was jealousy. To know that those years had long since been dead to him. To know he would always be an outsider. And yet, here the Queen was, to tell him the exact opposite. A man, nothing more, and nothing less. There were pieces of him that wished he could believe that; there were pieces that hated her for teasing him with such lofty fantasies. For better, or more likely for worse, he was no ordinary man. No matter how hard he screamed through his tears to become one.

"Tend to your duties, my Queen. I will linger yet in the hollow of your quarters. Perhaps in lingering I will be further smothered by such kind words."

The dreadful, ghastly seriousness covered him like an ashen blanket, as his good hand swiveled up to adjust his throat-frill. In addition to simply enjoying her company and subsequent flattery, Renault still had to commune with Her, an undertaking he was almost certain he would enjoy having someone normal to speak with afterwards.

"Curse your fortunes, you are not rid of me just yet."
The queen smiled once more before pulling open her door and leaving out into the hall with only a few words.

"It's not all that bad, at least I do not have to fear for any spirits to come and bother me."

She then closed the door behind her with a silent click and headed back toward her father's new room, where he was resting and doctors were making sure everything was stable and that he was healthy. She was stopped only for a moment by one of her guards who informed her that wall the women who could leave were sent home and all the sleeping women where healthy and fine. A calm thanks slipped past her lips and was directed at the guard before she went on her way.

She lipped into her father's room quietly and was quickly told that he would recover with rest and food. At this a smile fell on her lips, a large and relived one, which had the men who were in the room quite surprised. The smiled slipped from her face quickly however as she soon was at her father's side for a moment, sending the doctors away so she could be alone with him. She looked down at him and gently pet his head like a mother would, comforting and lovingly. Even after all he had done to her in the past she still held that love for him deep in her heart, it was hard to find hate for the man who was resoncible for her birth.

She spent a long time there in silence, thinking and watching as the clock ticked away. She eventually left to her office to work, placing a sweet kiss on her sleeping father's forehead. Caoimhe then made quick work of the papers, or as quick as one could be when make up two day's worth of forms and laws and taxes and such. She took her meal in her office and worked late into the night, paying no mind as her advisors slipped in quietly and lit candles for her.
With the patience of the grave, Renault stood motionlessly in the oncoming dark. Eyes resting unmoving against the distant wall, his mind churned and boiled like the two orange suns that would startle anyone by the brightness with which they burned in the shadow.

To his credit, he warded his mind off the painful and tried to reach towards the positive. One more creature having bitten the dust, one more bloody name scrawled into the book of decreation. While he could not expressly enjoy himself per se, he had accomplished a goal which was something worth celebrating. Perhaps if his blood were still warm, his heart still young, his spirit free, he would enjoy taking to the pubs and spreading word of his deeds, if for no other reason than to see his fellow patron's eyes light up.

Demon? Yeah, I've killed a few. Just the other day I was with the queen...

Yes, the Queen. Queen Caomihe?

No big deal, just saved her father and throne from certain damnation.

Should have seen its mouth. All teeth and no lips.

Dozens of hands stroking dozens of naughty bits.

The blush on his imagined barmaiden was nearly priceless.

Renault was broken from his inner reverie with a shock of cold, the sort of void that can only truly exist in outer space, or the very parts of the otherworld where no man has any business standing. A blood-slick portal ripped open in the center of the Queen's bedchamber and first stepped through a nude leg, the flesh missing in parts to reveal white bone, followed by the tattered hem of a robe older than time. Death stepped through in Her splendor, or at least her Avatar did, as Her presence would undo all that was real.

As the robed figure, no taller than five feet, stepped through the fleshy tear in reality, Renault found himself on his knees, his mouth agape. What parts of her the crawling black robe did not conceal were perfectly nude, and what parts were perfectly nude were missing flesh here and there, occasionally bound by pale bandaging. A grinning skull wore the beautiful, untainted face of a child, stitched over bone with spirals of auburn hair hanging thick from the voluminous hood. Her lips, sewn shut, did not need to move to utter her crystalline voice.

"Hello beloved. Victorious again, I see."
Caoimhe continued her work quietly, her mind cranking away at her papers with great knowledge and speed. She only stopped for a moment to rest her eyes, her sight had gotten fuzzy from focusing so harshly on the documents sitting in front of her. It was then that she felt something...something like she had never felt before. It was strong, stronger than the demon, stronger than evern Renault! For a moment she could only sit there, feeling it pushing against her in waves.

It seemed the spirits were also aware of what had appeared and were quickly turning tail and fleeing in all directions, many of which were bursting through her office walls and crying out.

"She has come! She is here! Flee before she pulls you back into the black abis of death!"

Those words were all she needed to tell her who had entered her domain, who had sudden'y poped up after she was certain she was going to have peace.Caoimhe dared not to try and stand, knowing very well that she would lose her strenght and would crumble to the ground like a sand castle hit by a wave. In stead she just stared in the direction of the power, of the energy of darkness and shadow that slipped through the walls.

It was at this time she was greatful that her people could not feel this, for not only would they not be able to handle the feel of such other worldly strenght...but she wasn't certain they would know how to handle death, without getting themselves killed.
Renault didn't speak. Never did. In fact, had the thought passed him, he probably wouldn't even have been capable. For to be amidst Her was to know rapture. The face of the last girl he'd ever loved smiled as bright and innocent as the first spring, as Death's image strode lightly towards him. Bare feet glided effortlessly over the Queen's carpet, never actually touching. If the shadows reached out to stroke Renault as he passed, they were simply GRABBING at Her, that splendid and unholy robe growing as more and more darkness pooled into it.

A hand comprised only of white bone cupped his face, cold fingertips tracing idle patterns against his pale cheek. For the first time in months, Renault tasted the air with gasping breaths, the unhealthy ashen color of his face warming to flesh tone beneath her touch.

"My champion," she purred in a dual-octave voice, almost too pure for even his ears. In the barrage of emotion that Her presence crashed onto him, he felt human again, and in his beating heart vowed to kill and be killed in Her name. Closer still, she gathered his white hair in her dead fingers, combing through it with all the passion of a lover. The lock streaked a healthy chestnut beneath her touch, a chocolate brown as thick and wild as a lion's mane. Renault felt his lips quivering, but could will no sound from them.

Only a sob escaped his throat as he lurched forward on his knees, burying his face against her nude stomach. The flesh was soft against his face, soft and warm and inviting. He aimed to commit it to memory, as bony fingers ran toyfully over his hair and throat.

"You have earned yourself a portion of respite, Beloved Vintora. You will wait here until I see fit to move you. Meddle only in the name of Order, and I will instruct you in time."
For the longest time, Caoimhe sat there uncertain of the power, it seemed to be the only thing she could feel, or even taste. Her quil had gone still and even was set down as she sat there in quiet respect to the being that now stood in her castle. However, she couldn't help but feel...strange. It was something akin to dislike, she was certain, as her stomach churned with dislike and hate for the shadowy strength that now filled her castle.

In truth she wasn't completely certain as to why she felt this way, she had no reason to feel such anger in her chest and sickness in her stomach but it continued to boil nonetheless. For a moment in time she wondered if she was getting sick herself, all the relief she felt finally allowing her body to crumble from being over worked. That wasn't the case though, as she was filled with some sort of energy that even she knew that she did not have. It seemed to pour from her spiritually, as if her powers were reacting to those of the one whom was rediating such darkness.

She made no move toward her door but her power did, it drifted and curved about angrily, as if something seperate from herself was seeking out Death in hopes of getting her out of her castle. Caoimhe stayed neutral but something was whispering into her ear with dislike for the goddess of shadow and evil, something that was much deeper inside of her than she could ever realize.

She tried to serpress it, assuming that it was just another soul trying to get her to do something wrong, knowing nothing of what had actually taken her gift for a second. The energy faded quickly, only having just reached her bedroom door before disappearing with Caoimhe's will. She would just continued to wait and sit things out until she was certain she could return without distrubing what she was certain was a meeting she did not belong in.
Cooing softly, like mother to child, like lover to long lost lover, like teacher to student, Death stroked Renault's scalp with her pigment altering talons, tolerating the man's uncharacteristic emotion. It poured out of him like blood from a wound, causing thin shoulders to shudder and ivory teeth to clench against words that could not form. A taste, he understood. It was only a taste, an echo of what he would have been. Renault damned Death and Her name and in the same breath blessed Her. So cruel, so merciful.

The avatar itself twisted about languidly to peer with discreet annoyance at the broad double-doors, shut tightly as they were. For She who Walked Beyond glimpsed effortlessly into the soul of the Queen, gazing upon her with horrid eyes and a wretched smile. What she found amused her, and as she soothed the Releaser's agonies, she leaned down again to nibble upon and whisper into his ear.

"From one Queen to the next, I shall allow you to be indentured for a time. But have no doubt, my champion; you are mine."

Even when her freezing presence had long dissipated, leaving the man's hair to wilt into snowy whiteness, his flesh into ghastly ash, and his eyes into burning hellfire, he remained on his knees gibbering broken words of adoration and vows of affection, his single working arm imploring the heavens while his wounded hung uselessly at his side.

It would be some time before his senses returned to him, ironic as it took the deadening of his senses to snap out of his trance.