The doors that led into the Halls of the Unknown buckled backward with a peel of thunder. A dozen scrawny and pathetic looking thralls scurried into the room, bowed and apologized hysterically before the former ruler of the Forlorn City. Bazariah observed them in silence, watched them moved with all the elegance of a nurgling as their forms constantly shifted and writhed beneath their robes.
One of the braver thralls dared approach her throne. Bazariah could not see much of him, except the horns that curved out from under his hood, much like her own. She decided that she favored this specimen over the others.
Bazariah intoned in her choir-of-many-voices. “You may speak.”
The Thrall collapsed onto his hands and knees at the mere sound of her voice, but did not grovel. He whispered. “The Demoness and her envoy from the Forlorn City have arrived. They await an audience, your imminence.”
“Please,” Bazariah favored him with a smirk. “Have them brought before me. It would not do to have our guests begging for meagre scraps as if they were slaves.”
The Thrall picked himself up and obeyed. “Your bidding, eternal.”
The Thrall wisely vanished from sight and moments later, a once familiar sight greeted Bazariah at the doors of her chamber.
“Ah, there is my little traitoress.” Bazariah clucked her tongue. “Arrived to finish what you started, Nyst?”
Bazariah reclined further into her throne carved from the bleached bones of a mammoth creature. She perched herself upon the waxed lilac tongue that rolled over a set of heavily filed teeth and spilled messily over the smooth onyx floors. She was dressed in a simple Colchis that barely covered her knees and left one of her breasts neatly exposed, but hidden behind a column of raven hair.
The previous Demoness whipped her silken hair off her shoulders and made her bangs fly from the curved horns that jutted from her forehead. She flashed her perfect pearl fangs at Nyst in a mischievous grin. Her ebon eyes glared daggers, but Nyst detected a subtle curiosity in those eyes… and something akin to welcome relief. Bazariah casually removed a fragile hand from one of the throne’s tusks and gestured with her bony fingers that Nyst seat herself.
Bazariah watched Nyst study her surroundings with the intensity of a true Lord of Change. She cast her pupil-less eyes across the smooth onyx floors and furniture forged from solid crystal. Braziers hung in the recesses of great bulkheads blazed with a dozen fires, each a different hue than the first. The iconography of Tzeentch was emblazoned proudly from every facet. There were no dark rituals that would permanently scar the mind. No dark sacrifices that would bring the attention of the Changer of Ways. There was only the chamber and a magnificent view of the Crystal Labyrinth beyond her glassine windowpane.
“You invited me, Bazariah.” Nyst replied skeptically. “It would be rude to embarrass you in the realm of your guest.”
“You are being rude even as we speak.” Bazariah knitted her eyebrow in quiet frustration. “You are still standing.”
“Forgive my manners.” Nyst’s cheeks flushed, but that was not enough to stop her from kicking one of the chairs before she sat down. “I never visited the Crystal Labyrinth before. I would rather not be seated on a shapeshifting monstrosity, but if you must have everyone seated.”
“Please,” Bazariah purred. “Don’t be ridiculous. I often wondered after your swift betrayal, were you always so paranoid? I once thought the fool they called Nyst a single-minded creature, hell-bent on manipulation and games well beneath her. I understand now that I only saw the creature that you wanted me to see. And look what anarchy you have wrought, my dear traitoress.
“Our Realm is under invasion by the relentless Blood Tide. And without aid from those beyond your power, who are in position to aid you, you are defenseless against their onslaught.”
Nyst could not conceal her erratic giggle. “Now who is being dramatic, Bazariah? You of all daemons should know what I possess at my disposal. For every mortal felled at the Gates of Sorrow, for every angel shattered from the skies of heaven, countless red-skinned horrors soak the battlefield with their own blood.”
“Is that enough?” Bazariah shrugged. “You underestimate the power of the Dark Gods. Even I would have… quivered slightly if I were in your shoes.”
Now it was Nyst’s turn to shrug. “But you would have no aid from Tzeentch in the matter, considering that you cannot be in two places at once. So your position would be far… bleaker.”
Bazariah made a devilish grin. “So you have considered my pact. You have betrayed my confidence and my trust, and in normal circumstances, I would be inclined to steal your soul and rend it for an eternity or two until we were even.”
Nyst leaned forward in her chair. “But you desire to rule without risking everything? In the event that you withheld reinforcements from the Forlorn City and allowed it to fall into Khorne’s hands, you know there may be nothing left to salvage. Bazariah, Bazariah, ever do you wound me. No soul was permanently harmed by my little insurrection, you know that all too well.”
Bazariah grimaced. “I understand all too well what you meant to achieve, Nyst. Against my better judgement, I have offered an alliance in hopes that ruler-ship can be shared. Because two minds are almost always better than one. Do not give me a reason to doubt you, ever again.”
“Or?” Nyst said coyly.
“The Changer of Ways is impressed with my ruler-ship and my religion, a religion that you squandered and allowed to wither into the ether. Tazaryn and I have discussed many strategies that could restore my rule… many strategies that do not involve you. Remember the game you are playing, traitoress, and that those who fumble often only play it once.”
“So is this how you intend to challenge me?” Nyst replied. “Becoming the Changer’s whore? You disappoint me, Bazariah.”
Bazariah flashed her perfect fangs in a smug grin. “You have brought my four swords along with you. It is good to see them again and in capable hands. Though I will expect at least half of them back if we are to come to an agreement. And what of my prophets? To what aims have you been using them? And where is my tome of spells?”
Nyst yawned. “You should ask Mirathir. The menial tasks of religion are her responsibility.”
“Mirathir?” Bazariah arched a brow. “She resides in the Forlorn City? I owe her a debt of gratitude. Perhaps, if you find our prophets useless—“
“Absolutely not!” Nyst scoffed. “Mirathir remains by my side, no matter our dealings.”
“Aw,” Bazariah clucked her tongue. “Still infatuated with her? You cannot cling to her forever. Something is bound to happen to your favorite puppet, Nyst. It is the way of daemons. Why, while we sit here and talk her very soul could be locked away in some dark artifact for all eternity.”
“You were always one to worry about what could happen.” Nyst made a gruesome smile. “And that makes me wonder: perhaps you’re too paranoid for your own good? All of those centuries spent sending me into the mortal plane proved to be for nothing. After all, I felled you in the end.”
“Enough catching up, and more action.” Bazariah said. “Is there business to conduct between us?”
“Discuss your strategy and we shall see.”
Last edited by Myen'Tal; 04-03-16 at 07:37 PM.