Make Evil a Queen (Quest)
Part 60 of Quest
& Part 10 of Irene’s Solo Quest: A Game of Death
(Previously in Quest —the goddess of fate (Fay) sent Irene to the past to discover the Undeem Queen’s making. She was tricked into playing chess against Prince Death to regain the eleven souls of the students who summoned him; the game ended with the Battlecrow’s scream. Irene went to investigate and found another student had leeched the Battlecrow’s power. Irene released the Battlecrow and the tower started to collapse; the Battlecrow flew off with Irene. Prince Death went to claim the leech; the Watcher of the Moon took the summoners’ souls.)
~ ~ ~
The remnants of spell-web the mage-ling had constructed shivered at his touch and collapsed into a pinprick of ash that blew away. Prince Death reached into its wreckage to pluck out a girl. Her eyes bled a black tar-like ichor that ate her blood and transformed her body.
Life to unlife change;
corrupt flesh, resculpt in death,
a foul wish granted.
She stirred in his arms as he walked away; the floor buckled and fell. Descending on a cushion of air, he ignored the broken stairs as he shot down the stairwell. Chaos teemed in the levels below. Students and arch-mage wannabes struggled to hold up collapsing walls to protect fragile bubbles of air so they could escape.
Prince Death shook his head. So naughty of them to survive when their friends and coworkers had not. He should rectify that. Hot blood would feel so good running through his hands. He smiled.
She mumbled, head thrashing, body heaving as that black substance coursed through vein and sinew breaking down and replacing bones and unneeded organs. Setting her down just in time, he watched as her body expelled all its waste soiling clothes he ripped away as her spasms slowed.
Naked, he stood her up facing an iron banded door that shuddered under desperate blows–both magical and physical–of the trapped souls trying to escape.
“Hungry my pet?” he grinned and patted her rear as he pushed her towards the door. “Go feed.”
“Not pet…Queen…” she licked dry, cracked lips. A feral light gleamed in her half closed eyes.
Prince Death threw back his head and laughed. Stars exploded in his eyes from mirth as she took one tentative step and then another. When her body didn’t betray her, but instead flowed as if partially liquefied, she touched the door and passed through it. Then the screaming began and to his ears, it sounded like music.
Symphony of death–
starts arpeggios of screams,
fading hearts beat time.
Prince Death remained on the landing laughing, his power holding the listing tower semi-erect, buying time for his Spider to sate the hunger burning a hole in her gut. No, not spider, not leech either for she was more than the theft of his least liked sister’s power. What manner of creature was she now, corrupted by death before her time?
An old world floated to mind, Undeem. For she had been unmade and now could never be redeemed…his dark Queen of the Undeem. Yes…
Her first victim dropped from her slender hands; blood coated her fingers and ran down her chin. Her black tongue flicked over cracked lips, wiping away the remnants of her first repast. Stolen power throbbed in her veins and gave the impression of a pulse jumping at her throat. Though she had no more need of such mundane things, her shriveled heart beat no more.
The unfortunate woman at her feet jerked and spasmed; a tar like substance rolled down over her eyes and leeched the color from her cheeks.
“Very good my Queen, you have your first convert.”
Prince Death regarded the frightened sheep huddled in the half-collapsed classroom and counted thirty heads, many injured. Perfect. A good start they’d make for an Undeem horde, one that would grow large and remind all those day-loving saps to fear the darkness.
He laughed long and hard;
each laugh an invitation,
a call to darkness,
a tick down to evil’s time,
when he could harvest at will.
~ ~ ~
The Balance shuddered
tipped death-wards for the end time
old measures activated,
called for heroes to respond
raise the flag of light and life.
On butterfly wings it soared, riding thermals through time and space. The distress call landed on a hand. Fay stirred her espresso, black with a little honey, with a finger the same hue. The messenger’s wings floated away in a puff of magic and then it melted into the sinews of her hand, which she fisted a moment later when its contents flowered in her mind’s eye.
The Undeem walked the One Continent again. No, that can’t be possible. I slew the last one centuries past. Yet the images remained, burned into her retinas. Prince Death and his new toy, a thing that looked and acted like an Undeem monster.
Phaedrassen*, the goddess of fate, known as Fay to her friends, pushed up out of her chair. It fell backwards and clattered on the flagstones. White hems flying in the wind, she rushed inside her palace and her home. Someone’s fate had just changed; she needed to find that someone even if it took her a century to sift through all possible futures. Someone had to deal with those Undeem. She’d make certain of that. Their comeback would be short-lived.
Fate twists in her hands,
knots up where evil’s at work,
binds heroes to tasks.
~ ~ ~
Irene’s Solo Quest continues in Death’s Boon.