Brothers of the Evening Star; Sisters of the Evening

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A demon walks the Earth, brought to life by his mislead followers. Elsewhere, a Goddess is brought to life in order that she may battle the Beast. The Veil between the worlds hands in the balance. Do you enjoy fantastic tales of airships and magic? Goddesses and Demons? Mages and Necromancers? Fae and creatures from beyond the pale? Then this book is for you.. Come on and adventure with me and the denizens of Victorian Boston (yes VICTORIAN Boston). Alternate history, mystery and danger, murder and mayhem. Come, join our sometimes merry band, if you dare.

Fantasy / Horror
Rowan Cruikshank
Age Rating:

Chapter 1: Evil Stirs

There was feeling. Where there had been void there was light and where there had been the great silence of nothingness, there was sound. Movement, he could move and not just the tip of his great tail, nor the ends of his clawed hands, he found he could move his whole great bulk. Around him was a great golden hall, with arcane sigils on the walls that circled frescoes of himself doing all manner of inexplicable things. Above was a great vaulted dome of glass, buttressed with copper beams that formed a perfect inverted five pointed star. The room had doors, though none he would fit through, given his size. Hearing his talons tapping echoes, he looked down to the marble floor below him, so well kept and polished he could see a reflection of his own visage; and what a visage it was.

His mien was one that could be likened to a stork, with an overly long, terrible bill. Running his obscenely long forked tongue around the inside, he found the edges very, very cruel. Above that sat his crimson eyes, large and deep, like bottomless pools of molten garnet. His forehead stretched back into a sagittal head ridge that ran downward between his mighty wings that were possessed of feathers the hue of a midnight sky in which the moon and stars had been struck down to die. His long tail, currently wrapped around his three toed feet, tapered to a spiked point made for the impaling of his enemies. His hands were barely recognizable as such, equipped as they were with crescent talons that were sharp as well honed sickles, yet flexing them he found them dexterous and possessed of two thumbs, the second coming from the lower part of his palm like a dog’s dew claw. His tremendous body was bulging with muscle that bespoke power and danger. The rest of his plumage was all over gray, like summer thunderheads, so that even his down was threatening.

His heartbeat was like thunder, filling the golden room with a terrible rhythm; his breathing a gale. He found his self admiration interrupted by a frantic chanting that was now becoming an audible nuisance. Lowering his titanic head on his long, sinewy neck, he cast his eyes downward to see what had brought him out of this, his first reverie. Focusing his eyes, he saw a group of some 13 robed figures, all in red; one of them standing in the center with the others arraying themselves out in four spokes of three that seemed to form a wheel, and as they chanted, they moved in such a way that the wheel seemed always in rotation, rolling; always widdershins. The demon had to admit that this was somewhat captivating, watching these small creatures scuttling about, so much so that he almost forgot his irritation. Suddenly the wheel stopped the figures now forming an equal armed cross. As one they lifted their heads and yelled.

“Hail Satan!”

Ah, now he remembered his anger. Mantling his mighty wings he left forth a bellow, a sound so loud that the walls themselves rang like a bell and the glass dome above shattered, raining shards of sharp silica down on them like deadly hail. The robed figures fell to their knees, several whimpering and the demon could smell that one had urinated in fear. Lowering his head even further, so that he didn’t tower above them all quite so menacingly, he spoke as kindly as he could, directly into their tiny minds. “Forgive me my children.” he sent, “the Awakening left me momentarily befuddled. I am indeed your Dark Father.

A cheer went up from the 13 assembled, so loud that it rivaled the Demon’s own roar from earlier.

“Hail Satan! Hail Satan! Hail Satan!”

Tapping his huge index talon on the floor to quiet them in their giddy display, he gestured for the middle Brother to step closer. Looking as though he was about to be consumed, the Brother did as he was bid, visibly trembling. The demon purred low in his throat, rumbling an earthquake, his fetid breath wafting out over the Brother, blowing his hood back to reveal a middle aged man with flabby cheeks, a bulbous and somewhat red nose (from drinking no doubt) and a mouth possessed of large, rubbery lips. His eyes were deep set and porcine; a dull gray in color. As the hood had come down, he snatched it back up, looking over his shoulder to see if anyone had noticed.

“Eyes front please.” the demon intoned.

“Y-y-yes sire.” stammered the man in a whisper, for he was mere feet away from the other figures. The Demon for his part spoke, not with his mouth as a human might, for his mouth was not well equipped for things so gentle as speech, but with his mind.

“Who are you? What are you? Who is Satan?”

He wasn’t terribly clear on who he was at the moment but he was rather sure he wasn’t this Satan they were calling on. The middle figure spoke up, first stuttering terribly but after a few attempts, finally finding his voice.

“We are the Brothers of the Morningstar” he said, his voice cracking a bit at the end in fear. “As to what we are, we are your devout servants, your slaves here on Earth oh Great One, Oh Mightiest of Adversaries.” For a moment he stood in silence, seeming to ponder what to say next. “And, well, um, Satan is you M’lord.”

The demon lifted his head toward the ceiling, pulling it back to himself to mull this over. How nice to have slaves, albeit tiny, insignificant ones but the idea that he was this Satan being rang completely false. Casting his gaze about the chamber, he saw, aside from all the ancient frescoes, many pieces of writing. Twisting his head he moved to study them closer and found that he could read them, easily. This was his story, reading it from beginning to end took hours, and while he read, the Brothers cowered. When he finished he knew who he was, and it was NOT Satan. Satan was a new player on the field while his cult had been ancient when the tale of He or this Nazarene (a name and myth he plucked from one of the brother’s minds) had first been told. He was, in fact, Pazuzu. He was the southwest wind, He was famine in the dry times and plagues of locusts in the wet times. He was said to be the Prince of all evil elemental air creatures. But apparently, these tiny fools quaking beneath him, didn’t read Sumerian all that well and more’s the pity for them. Still, if they thought he was Satan, which seemed to be a title of more than a little power, why Satan he would be, for them. He also found, in his readings, that where he sat now, was supposed to be a dais upon which sat the most immense statue of Pazuzu to have ever been created. A work so perfectly crafted by an artist whose name was so blurred as to be illegible and lost to time. Since there was no statue here, anymore he must BE that statue, come to life somehow, which would explain his lack of memories of before, for though he had read his life story, just now, it was as if the tale was both about him and not all at once.. Once again he lowered his head toward the mortals below, slowly this time, with as little threat as something that looked like him could possibly have.

“Fear not, if I wanted to eat you, I would have done that already. Now, what is your name?”

The Brother shook his head under the hood in a negative fashion

In a timid, mousy voice, he whimpered “We don’t use our names here oh Magnificent one.”

“Fine, think it to me then, I can hear you.”

That seemed to terrify the Brother even more.

“Nigel Periweather, oh Fantastically Feathered One.”

“Nigel then. Nigel, I need you to be my High Priest, my right hand. The world has changed much and much since last I roamed it. I need to know things, everything. I seek knowledge on every subject and just when you think I couldn’t possibly learn anything else, FIND something else!”

“Yes sire, right away sire. Thank you so much for such a great honor Mighty One.”

“Nigel” Pazuzu sent “Quit kissing my ass and go do what I told you, and take these others to help.”

As the Brothers of the Morningstar backed out of the chamber, the demon tucked his head beneath his great wing to rest. 2

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