Somewhere near the Valley of Hinnom, Sloth... Lucifer, the First of the Fallen "In the beginning, there was only darkness. The world was naught but a blackened husk; it was a world on fire. Six hearts emerged from the ashes, beating still as if alive. Oceans of blood poured forth from its vessels and from the redness, you demons emerged. They continued to bleed, saturating the planet with unholy gore. The hearts, shrivelled and small, were then lost in the sea of its own blood, never to be seen again. Until no–" The angel spoke, his voice as cold as the icy north. Ten wings beat above the crowd as he spoke with authority and charisma, making holy feathers rain. The feathers themselves gleamed with an ethereal light, dimming and blackening as the countless demons reached forth to grab them, who in turn were slightly burned by the feathers' light. The demons themselves were in a state of pandemonium - many were silent, intently listening to the histories as if it were the first time they've heard it. Many others cared not for Lucifer's words. Many looked about, gazing upon the glorious city of Heavenly steel that held itself aloft by wings of light, and many yet gazed upon the angel. As Lucifer continued to speak, he perched atop the edge of the floating mountain, before he was abruptly cut off. "Enough!" Roared a monster before the demonic multitudes, his voice echoing all through the lands. Great was he, the demon whose head was riddled with obsidian horns, and whose skin was blood red, glowing as if a flame had been set ablaze within his very soul. Upon expressing his impatience, the demons behind him scattered like frightened dogs. With courage, he stepped forth - his hooves pressing deeply on the soil. Abaddon, as many demons knew, uncrossed his four, muscular arms and pointed one finger to the First of the Fallen, and the other three to the Demon Lords that were close to him. "Who are you to tell us of our ancient history and butcher it with lies!? You haven't even been here for more than a year!" "It's true, nonetheless, Abaddon." The other Demon Lord said in response, her voice soft as a velveteen pelt, yet sultry and seductive as a whore in heat. The female Demon Lord stepped into the open area, exposing her arachnid-like waist and legs. With a pull of the chain between her fingers, her king of pleasure followed - an Incubus, almost naked, followed with a tug. The chain itself was around his neck, and his mouth was bloodily sewed shut. Asmodeus knelt down beside his matriarch, who then caressed his long, black hair as she eyed the angel with great lust. "What do you mean, 'until now?'" She asked. Among the group before the multitudes of demons were the other Demon Lords – Beelzebub, the hulking Lord of Gluttony towered over the rest of the crowd. His stench was potent, and many a demon too weak to handle had already died around him. His three tails could not be controlled, and chewed mightily on poor demons. Though he remained silent, the gnashing of flesh and bones could be faintly heard from the distance. Another Demon of authority was the gaunt Mammon, who was wrapped in bandages yet adorned with tarnished gold. His serpentine tongue licked his dry, crusty lips upon hearing Lucifer's absurd claim; if the hearts were indeed active once more, no one would want them more than Mammon. Captain Rahab, an esteemed demon of the seas, could be seen sharpening a sword made from a sea monster's tooth. He eyed the demon Ceto, the lone huntress who attempted to assassinate him a few times in the past. Behind them were other demonic members of royalty and nobility, and other demons who held great stature in all of Hell. "You all heard right. The hearts are alive and well!" The crowd fell silent. The spirit of disbelief moved within the demons, and the many Sins that surrounded Adamantinarx filled the air with a silence more deafening that a banshee's shriek."Hear me, demons of Hell!" Lucifer bellowed, throwing his arms into the air. His ten wings unfolded from his back, spreading and unleashing a soft burst of light. "It is I, Satan reborn!" Lucifer began putting his silver tongue to good use. With a single, convincing lie, Lucifer persuaded most of the crowd that he was, in fact, their fallen god. Lucifer clenched his fist, and spoke with a great force of personality. "Listen, my hellspawn! Beyond your stars exists other worlds; worlds that are destined to be ruled by you! With the hearts, the plans I have for you will come into fruition! Yet without my hearts, I still hold great power!" With many a demon swayed by his believable words, the crowd cheered. The Demon Lords, however, took offence to Lucifer's self-enthronement. "Your plan has breadth, Lucifer. It is, however, without purpose. Does it really matter? Nothing ever matters." Belphegor, from within a suit of grotesque armour, spoke. "The only god in Hell is the Leviathan, and she cannot be opposed! We don't believe in your heresy, Lucifer." Rahab exclaimed, his anger evident in his husky voice. He was either extremely brave, or extremely foolish, but Rahab galloped towards the stand. "Citizens of Hell," He began. The Fallen readied their arms, but stopped upon seeing Lucifer's palm extended. He allowed the Ichthyocentaur to speak. "Falsehoods and lies, all his words are! He is no incarnation of Satan, nor is his power any bit as strong as he claims!" Upon looking at Lucifer, Rahab was beheaded and incinerated. Rahab was no more, and his piscine body was reduced to soot. The crowed roared in fear, strengthening their belief that he is the risen Dragon. Abaddon, Lilith, Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Ceto, Mammon, and Belphegor all readied themselves; taking up their arms and at once, charged forth towards the angel. During this time, the crowd scrambled in fear and chaos. For a time, the most influential demons in all of Hell set their differences aside. Though they cared not for Rahab and his arrogance, they were in shock at what Lucifer could do, and all feared him. "Fall." Lucifer spoke, a chorus of Trisagion chants emerging from his visage. The seven Demon Lords fell indeed. The very skies themselves lit up with starlight, and seven identical blades slowly descended from the clouds, piercing Abaddon in the shoulder, Lilith in the abdomen, Asmodeus in the chest, Beelzebub in the head, Ceto in the pelvis, Mammon in the arm, and slicing Belphegor's armour into but shreds of iron. The Lords were alive, but dying by the minute. Lucifer stepped off the edge of the floating mountain slowly, and began to fly towards the ground where the Demon Lords bled. He paced forth slowly, perhaps intimidatingly towards the Demon Lords. With an icy titter, Lucifer crossed his hands behind his waist. "You are alone, all of you." He whispered. "There is only darkness for you, and only death for your people, should you oppose me. The hearts are just the beginning. I will command a great and terrible army, composed of every single unholy soul in these Hells, and we will sail to Heaven. We will sail until every light has been extinguished save for mine. You are all strong, but I am beyond strength. I am the end." With a flick of his wrist, the Lords were healed and were bound together, unconscious. He turned his head towards the crowd. "Your Lords are nothing, but who am I to rid you of the normalcy of your lives? The task is daunting, nigh impossible, even, but those who want to fulfil their destinies, step forth into the platform. For those who wish not to partake in this journey, you all may leave." Lucifer spoke, inviting the brave demons from the different Circles to volunteer. With a flick of his wrist, many Fallen flew from Adamantinarx, carrying a large golden makeshift platform sliced off from a Heavenly structure. With his powerful magic, Lucifer awakened the sleeping Lords. "I will be needing you in time. For now, rule your nations the way you see fit." Tearing open the very fabrics of reality, Lucifer sent the Demon Lords from whence they came. The Demon Lords were engulfed in bright light, and they were transported back to their respective Circles. With that, Lucifer flew forth towards his loyal follower, Sargatanas, and instructed him before stepping forth inside his palace. At once, the floating city began to soar, hiding once more in the clouds. The other Fallen too, soared with Heaven's Fallen Capital, as it enshrouded the demonic crowd with its vast shadow. Sargatanas, the Demon Major "Understood sire," Sargatanas affirmed, his voice as authoritative and as rigid as his master's. He descended unto the grassy fields below, floating gracefully from the edge of Adamantinarx and stabbing his four pronged legs unto the valley ground. The demons of all Sins were still in a state of trepidation, having seen directly the power Lucifer holds. His ability to manipulate the very starlight of Heaven was, in essence, godly to the lowly monsters and demons of Hell. Even angels did not possess such power, and would have the same reaction if they saw what Lucifer can do. It was only through Michael's heart, a power Lucifer knows not, that the First of the Born became the First of the Fallen. Michael was also never alone, and put his trust in other, like-minded individuals. The power was unlike anything they've ever seen before. Still, Lucifer played on these hellspawns' lust for greatness and knew that from the multitudes of demons would emerge brave albeit easily manipulated souls. Sargatanas was merely Lucifer's collector of sorts, and made himself known to those who stepped forth into the golden platform. With Adamantinarx well-hidden beyond the clouds, perhaps floating somewhere else in all of Hell, Sargatanas took a deep and well-needed sigh. He eyed the demons that began to scatter, waiting for the brave and clueless souls that will help the Ophan acquire the hearts. Of course, Sargatanas had his own agenda, but he would still foster in the environment of deceptive cock and bull for the sake of his ulterior motives. Gabriel, Messenger of the Angels Somewhere in the far off distance, there hid a young, somewhat lanky Seraph, behind a thick underbrush of wilted trees. He was far, and his inner-light was dimmed underneath a thick, black cloak. Sloth was, by far, the most uncomfortable of all the Sins – wet, humid, hot, foul – Gabriel was almost driven over the edge. With a hand over his mouth, Gabriel continued to survey the reckoning of Demon Lords at the hand of Lucifer. Gabriel and the other Angelic Few had only been in Hell for less than a month, and up until now, tracking Lucifer and his Fallen proved to be extremely difficult, even for Gabriel's uncanny speed, Medomai's mental prowess, and Syraa's connection to the land. Even if Adamantinarx was large, it hid well within the clouds of Hell. He could not blame anything, however, for Hell's clouds were indeed thick and smog-like. As his eyes were exposed to the brutal death of Rahab, Gabriel could do naught but recoil in terror. Lucifer's power did not change in breadth and intensity, although he was evidently more ruthless than the last time the young angel saw him. The binding of the Demon Lords sent a shiver down Gabriel's crystalline spine, and up until the First of the Fallen entered the once bustling capital of praise and worship, Gabriel could not stop being in a state of worry. How could he be calm? His other compatriots had set up camp literally miles away from the Valley of Hinnom. Gabriel was so bothered, in fact, that he was unlike his normal, everyday self. It made his written notes nigh incomprehensible – he had been scribbling notes since before the multitudes came. After the shadow of the Fallen City ceased to cover the masses, Gabriel only took a small glance at the black Ophan before storming off back to the Angelic camp. He sprinted as fast as lightning towards a safe clearing north of River Lethe. At this time, the demon star Algol had begun to set and give way to Hell's moonless night sky. Upon reaching their camp, Gabriel was welcomed back with a warm campfire and meat pierced through sticks. Was it all they had? It mattered not. The Messenger placed his two palms on his knees, panting heavily whilst getting the scroll from his pouch. He unfurled the scroll before his friends, "This is what Lucifer plans to do. It's the reason for the visions we had back in Heaven!" Gabriel sat down on the log before the toasty flame, his palms on his forehead. "He didn't say how the hearts would help him, though. He's enlisting a lot of demons - there were over thousands, maybe tens of thousands, maybe even more over there, all hearing his message. To top it all off, he made the most influential demons in all of this world look like idiots." Gabriel said, all with a worried frown etched upon his face. "I think after making a spectacle of them, Lucifer has Hell in the palm of his hands." He looked at the rest of them, "Nitzan, what do we do?"