Sin and Fear
I sat in hell, looking out at the emptiness. It was dark, as per usual. The stone that held this place was black and glossy, intricately carved with designs that had died eons ago. It was a dark place indeed. Filled with loneliness and the condemned; these walls held darkness.
Standing I surveyed the empty room. People stopped believing in the Devil judging souls centuries ago and now believed they just got an express ticket to hell. Most did, except the really horrid killers. I liked making them suffer before shipping them off to whatever punishment this place had in store.
I walked over, around the throne of bones and down into the shadowy halls of hell. It was time to find out just who Pitch was. I'd become curious, over the few hours after the final battle; and now the curiosity had become unbearable. I wanted to know who my enemy was; what made him such a cut throat, vicious and sly man when he once was good. My heart was always black and cold; but Pitch was once a hero. What made him turn away from his morals?
I'd known Pitch before, but he was evil then too. All of us knew who Pitch was; darkness and fear incarnate. All of us who lived on even after dying knew he used to be a king, that he used to be a 'good guy', until the Darkness hooked claws under his skin and dragged him kicking and screaming into itself.
When I first met Pitch, it was during the Dark Ages, when the age of fear was coming to a close. It wasn't any of my business if he caused a reign of terror, after all there was no counterbalance for him. So I bought and traded lives and left the forgotten king to his business. He was fine leaving me alone until he realized that he was beginning to fight a losing war. He found me, crawling into Hell.
He stood tall and proud, trying desperately to hold himself together as the world crumbled around him. His eyes were harsh, so desperate against his grey face. I smiled, standing from the bone throne and walking down to him.
"To what do I owe the pleasure Pitch Black?" I asked politely, though I'd already suspected why he was there. I was willing to indulge him for the time being. After all, it was pretty boring sentencing soul after soul to hell. He smiled back, but it was strained and malevolent. How pleasant.
"The Guardians, they're gaining ground against us." He stated, solemn. My grin grew, and I swept around him. My black cloak trailed behind me and his bright amber eyes tracked my movement.
"Us?" I asked rhetorically, quirking an eyebrow as I came to stand in front of him.
"We're on the same side, aren't we? Sin and Fear go well together, wouldn't you say?" He retorted smoothly. My smile sharpened. I wasn't involving myself in any battle that didn't directly concern me; much less a losing one. Sorry, but lost causes are more St. Jude's thing and to be very honest, I had better more exciting things to do.
"Sin is directly related to indulgence and poverty. Those who prosper and those who suffer. Fear isn't really incentive for people to sin." I explained, not bothering to hide my boredom. He smirked.
"I'm not taking any sides, so you can leave the way you came." I finished, growing annoyed with the grey figure.
His eyes narrowed. "You're part of the darkness too. You'll be given anything you want; sacrifices, the rich, the poor. All I need is some minor assistance." He pressed, and I stopped circling him. I glared at him my smile disappearing instantly.
"I'm not some patron saint or villain for children. I am the Devil. Satan, Lucifer, whom tempts all and drags them down to hell. I don't care if you win or lose. It has nothing to do with me. Because whether or not you fade into the darkness or win, I will prevail and so will sin." I said flatly, my words harsh.
"If you're losing that bad, go find Circe. I here she's still kicking around somewhere in Greece. Or maybe one of the Pagans…" I drawled, unconcerned. His face hardened and he opened his mouth to say something else but I cut him off, my pale blue eyes locking onto his.
I drew my sword, long and sharp from beneath my ancient black armor. It hovered by my side, waiting. "Enough. I'm not here to listen to the antics of a Forgotten King. Leave. You've dug your own grave, now sleep in it." I spat, feeling irritation at the man rise. He glared, backing up and melting into the shadows. I walked back to my throne of bones, having Pride pull another damned soul forward. The mundane bastard stumbled over his words and cried.
I saw the sin that had wrapped around him like chains. A cruel grin broke out on my face as I sent the man to the third level to suffer.
I drew myself out of the memory as the screams and moans from the last circle of hell fell away into silence. I was getting close to the very bones that held this place together. The skeletal remains of the last Devil's Kingdom. The Morning Star, most favored angel; Lucifer.
My predecessor was not a kind man. He wasn't human either. The Moon had no dominion over him and he absolutely loathed all humans. For centuries I had been feared because of that man rather than my own actions. I'd heard whispers down here that the moon was sort of angel, or a governor of some sort because God couldn't be bothered after The First Age passed and his prophets all died, and after Lucifer rebelled then later was chained deep in hell. I'd heard other whispers that the Man in the Moon was God himself. But that wasn't true. I'd met with the 'boss' and trust me; Manny was preferable.
It wasn't an experience I'd ever like to repeat, especially after that bet I made with Him. The big man wasn't to be messed with; that was for sure. Thankfully we all answered to the Moon now.
It wasn't my job to make bet's or grand flashy show's of power anymore. It also wasn't my business to get into the upper workings of my so called 'betters'.
I stopped, taking in my surroundings. I had finally made it here. I reached out my hand, brushing the cool stone. The wall in front of me was grotesque and yet magnificent. It depicted Lucifer's fallout with God, his army being relentlessly chased down into hell. Locked here forever, destined to rule over the damned. He was being reminded of his similar damnation every time he condemned another human. It was the ultimate punishment, cruel and yet merciful.
"Pitch Black." I informed the stone, and it shifted, the carved images sinking back into the stone silently. The black stone extended, curling around me until there was no exit. It changed color, until I was standing in the snow. It was midday, but the sunlight cold. I couldn't help but flinch. I saw an older man standing before another man who was kneeling.
The older man was obviously a king, a plain silver and gold encrusted crown rested on his grey hair. He had a severe face, hard and unforgiving. The man kneeling cried softly, wringing his bound hands in vain. His clothes were ripped and dirty.
"Yah are hereby accused of killing your comrades in arms and abandoning your duties. Ye are found guilty and the penalty is death." The king proclaimed, disgust breaking through his emotionless tone. The man on the ground said nothing, lowering his head and sobbing. This was a very long time ago, probably before England, France and Britain became kingdoms.
The king raised a sword high, bringing it down onto the man's neck and killing him instantly. The king turned, revealing a small boy with a hooked nose and pale skin. Amber eyes gleamed brightly as the blood flowed through the snow.
"Come now boy." The King summoned and the boy immediately followed, avoiding stepping on the body.
The scene changed, until I was in a throne room. It was dark and cold. Winter again. Pitch stood by his father who was hunched over the table. He was considerably older, though Pitch was just a teenager. The old King sat patiently, his attention focused on the son standing next to him.
"Giving the common people access to their church would boost their morale and give them a good reason not to revolt." Pitch argued softly, his voice smooth through his smiling face. The King mulled it over before shooting a blare his way.
"And what, let this religion start telling me how I run things? I think now. You're supposed to be smart boy, where did all your smarts go eh Pich?" He shot back.
"They doesn't have to make you a blessed king. That would give you grounds to get their support, and have leg room to act as you please with their backing. It would bring more cities under your banner Father; and the gain would outweigh our loss." Pitch, or Pich answered. Man, that was the old way of saying the word. This was a long, long time before even I was born. Between 800 B.C and 700 A.D. I estimated that I was born around the late 700's, black hole in history. I hadn't realized that Pitch was that old.
"You're right." He admitted, though his voice was confident and low. "You're always right." He mumbled lowly. Pich smirked softly, his eyes watching his old father.
The King stood tall, towering over Pich and fixing him with a hard glare.
"Yah think you're clever." The King stated. Pich's eyes narrowed slightly in suspicion, but his face remained relaxed. The King's was as unreadable as stone. Pich nodded and the King scowled. "You're not half as clever as you think. Ye don't understand what it takes to make hard decisions. It's all or nothing with you Pich."
"I make the best choices possible-" Pich argued, stepping forward. The King stood taller and Pich cut himself off. The King fixed his son with a hard stare.
"You don't think boy. Ye want to win immediately, but you don't take the time to think out what might happen if you lose ground. War's aren't won that way. It doesn't matter how many battles ye win or lose. How many lives yah save, not even how many you kill."
"So what does matter then?" Pitch asked, somewhat snidely. The King sighed, his hard eyes softening a fraction.
"I've fought in countless wars Pich. I've won a damn fair share, lost some, other's I up and abandoned. What matters is what you're fighting for boy. If ye want something, how far are ye willing to go to get it, eh? That's the question. Even then, some of these; fancy shining knights with their blessing's from their gods will win. Most, though, will die slowly, lying around their dead. Beggar's can become kings and kings can become beggars in wars." The King said slowly, each word weighed down with meaning and grief. This man had learnt life's lessons through death and struggle.
Pich watched his father, his dark robes somewhat more refined, but still dull like his father's were. He was concerned, the corners of his mouth pinched slightly. The expression almost made him seem like a different person, and though he and his father didn't share many features, Pich resembled him in this moment.
"I'm dying Pich. No matter how hard I fight, I cannot beat death. The bitch comes for us all in our time. Ye need to lead on after I'm gone. Without ye, we'll die out. No one will remember our sin's, nor our victories. We'll be naught but ash boy. Our name will die, our banners will fall and our lands be taken by other's; brazen and foolish with an army behind them. Ye're the last of our line. We've lived in this place for longer than the long bearded idiots with a penchant for raiding and slaughter have fucked their own sisters. We've spilt our blood here, Pich. You'll die here too, long after I am gone and ye'll have to tell yer son's and daughters the same." The old man went on, hunching over and walking out of the throne room.
"Father, where are you going? It's growing late," Pich called out.
Pich looked worried, and started after his father. The old man glanced at him from over his shoulder, the grey furs of his cloak hiding his face. "It's time I walked out into the white lands and met my brothers Pich. This is my last to ye, my boy." He said slowly. Pich stared blankly, his amber eyes softening slightly.
The King was saying his last goodbye before he died, to his only son. Pich stared on, his eyes wrecked with grief before nodding. He looked for a moment, like he wanted to say something to his father but couldn't find the words. The old King nodded back, the crown slipping off of his head and thudding onto the ground. The noise was thunderous as it rolled around before falling flat. Silence oppressed the sound as the King walked out into the white landscape. Light burned the throne room, the door creaking open and shut. The low groan of the hinges was almost like a final dirge for the King.
Pich didn't go after his father and it was only after he had left that he cried. Tears flowed down the contours of his face, falling to the ground.
He stood there for an hour, until the shadow's spilled over his form. Then he strode over, picked up the crown and placed it on his head, walking out of the room.
Darkness slipped in and seized the image, shaping and changing it to another day. Pich was leaning over an ancient table; filled with archaic and incorrect maps and scrolls. He was scowling, his eyes frantically running over scroll after scroll. This Pich was older, tall and slender with dark grey leather's on. He glanced up as a well dressed man entered.
"Lord, I've heard news from the West." The man said. He was shorter, but thin and well groomed. It was hard to say whether or not he was attractive…his features were fine but his grooming was finer; making his face seem unremarkable amidst the burgundy clothing he wore. Pich's frown deepened, and his eyes flickered up around his hawkish nose.
"What is it now?" Pich asked, his eyes still scanning the papers.
"The Southlings have invaded three neighboring lords and our on a march here." The lord said, and Pich stood.
"When will they learn…" Pich drawled off, standing and walking through the door into a stone hallway. The fine man followed him, seeming even shorter compared to Pich's height.
"But you're information doesn't confirm it's our land they're after?" Pich asked slyly. The man smiled.
"Of course not. Information tends to…dilute over the miles it travels My Lord." He answered quickly. Pich narrowed his eyes, turning to search the man's face. His eyes softened after a moment, apparently finding no lie or letting the subject drop. He turned and his walk grew faster. The other man easily kept up with the Forgotten King, his face more relaxed in the shadows.
Soon they came to a wooden door, and Pich swung it up quickly. He strode inside, standing tall amidst the older men who were sitting around a table. They all looked up at him and bowed their heads respectively.
Pich leaned over the table looking over it. I moved forward, seeing a crudely drawn map of the surrounding area. It was pretty well drawn for it's time, and little soldier figures were strewn about chaotically. Pich's eyes scanned it quickly before he stood taller and circled the table.
"So, men come from the East and South. Our allies are in the North and Northeast." Pich drawled, his brow knitted in concentration.
"The Southlings wouldn't be outfitted to handle our winters." An old man put in. Pich's eyes snapped to his.
"So we should sit idly by hoping that they haven't learned to wear thicker clothing and bring more food? What a grand idea. But you're on the right path. We should use the winter to our advantage. Gather white fur's to confuse them should they choose to invade."
"There's still no evidence that they want to invade." Another said, his voice crackling and feeble. Pich crossed his arms, looking out into the empty space, contemplating his next move. I was curious to see what he'd do.
"There are discreet postings around our land. If they do choose to invade; we'll see them coming. In the mean time; we should make the necessary preparations." Pich said, slowly and with purpose. They all nodded, save the strange man who followed his king like a shadow.
He just glanced up at Pich, his eyes sly and quiet. A deep and heavy blue, they practically mocked him and assured loyalty at the same time.
Pich spoke more about the mundane workings of war with the others before he, and the other's left. The strange man stood still, locking eyes with the oldest man; the one who had advised Pich. The old man's eyes pierced the younger's beneath his fading white hair.
"I would advise you become very comfortable with your station Caeprish." The old man warned. The younger man smiled charmingly, and placed his attention on the war board. His fingers slipped to a piece, picking it up and examining it. A black king, glossy and crudely sculpted gleamed back.
"I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about." Caeprish muttered, setting the black King down and moving the other pieces on the board.
"We are both very familiar with this topic of conversation, whether or not you choose to acknowledge it doesn't really matter. Halt whatever progressions you are making, and become accustomed to answering to the King." The old man continued, his voice becoming hard and brittle.
"If we are both familiar with this topic of conversation; which we are not, then we would both know that the words of a dying old man mean nothing to a man of my station." He refuted, dragging a horse closer to the black king and pushing away the hawk.
The old man's face tightened, seeming to grow more youthful and strong for a moment. "Wisdom is not your strong suit, as we well both know." He shot, his old voice creaking with venom.
"As well as we both know that interfering is not yours old man." Caeprish remarked casually. The conversation was strictly casual, with animosity and cunning lurking behind the shadow of their words.
"What makes you serve this man with undying faith? Is he some kind of blessed being? Does he have some remarkable quality that we don't?" He went on to ask, his eyes crinkling with some unknown and dark emotion.
"He was born to be-" The old man started, bristling.
"Born to be King. Yes, I've heard." Caeprish commented sarcastically. His dark eyes raised to stab the old man's. "We're all born the same, aren't we? We die the same the same. Our blood is red; so what makes that fool any different?"
Quickly the old man opened his mouth to refute that statement, but the younger backpedaled quickly. "But, these questions would only be posed if I had any idea of the topic we were speaking about. And as we both are well aware; I do not." The man said, stilling his hand and backing away towards the door.
"The King will-" The old man spat, seeking out the younger.
"The King won't. Come now; even you aren't that stupid Gaerth. How much of the 'King's' information do I handle; spy's and even to some extent the soldiers? One rumor could ruin everything, one little whispered word that I spit can bring everything thing in this frozen wasteland to ruin. While your age addled brain tries to comprehend the idea; I am a very busy man and I do have places to be."
He walked away, down through the halls and shadows. Politics' were never my strong suit. I was a poor little girl and that was how I grew up. Money was better when I was killing people, but I understood greed well enough. If someone wanted something enough; they would push themselves to the limit to obtain it.
The halls moved around me; light changing until I was in a small and finely decorated room. A small girl with bright eyes, pale skin and dark hair spun around, a large smile on her face. Her hair was loose and billowed around her as she bolted towards Pich.
Pich swept her up in his arms and spun her around before setting her back down.
"You didn't leave your room did you?" He asked her, fixing her with an intense stare. She withered somewhat under his scrutiny, but shook her head no.
"Why can't I leave Papa?" She asked, looking up at him with big eyes. He stood and picked her up walking towards her window.
"Because Gaia, there are evil things outside your room. Big, evil wolves that will eat you up; so you must stay in here until you are bigger." Pich said, standing tall. I stretched my hand out; pausing the scene. He was so completely different. I wasn't surprised he had a child; after all, it was a King's duty to sire an heir as soon as possible. He was in fine armor, metal with a black cloak underneath the plates. It wasn't very intricate; which told me that this was a very long time ago.
They both were looking out of the window, down at the ground. The white snow was fading, green starting to poke through gently. Standing on this snow was Caeprish, striding along casually. His robes were dark as well, with gold lining.
My pale eyes slid to the child; who was now older than me. Gaia; the world. Her eyes were a piercing green and her hair was black and full. I sighed, letting the memory play once more. Pich's death was beginning to draw near; like a sunset that burnt the earth around the edges and receded into darkness and shadow. Threads were beginning to connect, latching themselves on to the King.
I wasn't surprised that someone was plotting against him. These things happened all the time; and Pich was too cunning to let it slip his notice and not have back up's set in place if Caeprish was too bold. He let himself appear reliant on the man's advice when truly, he was anything but.
Pich bid farewell to his daughter, and closed the door behind him, leaving the lonely child to stare after her father hours after he had gone.
Pich is the REALLY old version of Pitch.
Gaia means earth
Caeprish is a mesh between the Latin words for corruption, vicious and betrayer
This is kind of my own invention. It doesn't really go along with the books (if you've read them, I haven't) I've just kind of imagined Pitch's past. Trust me, it gets better from here. In the books, they do introduce Pitch's daughter Mother Nature and she's a recurring character (so I've heard) so I didn't want to leave her out.
In two days from now, I'm going to post kind of an Easter Egg chapter. It'll only be up a week before I take it down, but it's about when Sin first became the Devil and when she met Lucifer. I just think it'd be a cool insight into what her life was like (it'd also be fun to clash the human-hating Lucy with Sin who is sarcastic and cynical) Anyways, hoped you enjoyed it!
Reviews help me tremendously. Even if you didn't like it, I'd like to know! Drop me any suggestions, opinions or any comments and I'll be extremely grateful.