Prologue - Breaking The Gate
“Ah, ah, show a little decorum, darling. After all, it was your decision to join me.” Fiyero Deamorte stood at the doors of the cathedral, inhaling deeply as the chanting from inside reverberated through his very being. The humming inside entwining with the haunting echo of the choir was vitality in its own right, and he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his efforts this night would be rewarded. His body was pulled backward, and, coming back to himself, saw the woman accompanying him trying to flee out of fear. Amusing, really. This woman was giving something only few others had given. Those tears shimmered down her ivory cheeks like crystals. Pure. Untainted. Virginal.
“I-I changed my mind,” she choked out. Fiyero couldn’t even remember her name, too thrilled in the prospect of finally gaining something he’d sought his entire life. Power. “I-I want to go back.” With a subtle shake of his head, he clicked his tongue and tightened his hold on her arm. Not enough to injure or cause discomfort, but she couldn’t slip away. “But we’re already here, love,” his smile was no longer charming, turning instead to malevolence and determination. “Step inside with me, and you’ll see you made the right choice.” Choice was never a factor in this instance. This was inconceivable, all consuming need. It had to be done.
Opening the massive marble doors that grinded along the crumbling stone beneath their feet, the music of the chanting choir echoed and ricocheted along the cracking marble walls. Candles, in hues of wine and twilight, cast elongated shadows as the flames flickered and danced atop them. There, the space in the center, in the midst of the chanting and haunting vocals, was a sigil. One that grant access, by unlocking, breaking, and sealing in blood beneath a slab of pristine stone, intricate carvings marking a righteous tomb. Chalices were distributed amongst the chanters, positioned at predetermined areas surrounding the tomb, the very one this woman would lay upon. As Fiyero led her to the ritual center, the crying became sobs, the trembling turning to quakes. Within the stone, carved veins of a heart spiraled and spun, ending at the edges above the chalices.
Chanters accompanied them, hoods leaving their faces indiscernible as Fiyero urged the woman forward into their waiting hands. Head high, steps sure, fiery hair illuminated by candlelight, he was at the head of the ritual space, donning his robe and repeating the same motions as the chanters accompanying him. Of course, there were no other members present for this, no one of interest, anyway. This ritual was his, and his alone. Ahh, the things he did on a Thursday night. He’d forgotten the woman was even present for a moment, her caterwauling tuned out by the sheer thrill of the coming events. There was also the matter of ensuring as little movement as possible, having her tied to the slab as the chanting increased in volume.
His own chalice was at his standing point, just below her neck. “And so this, my offering to you, Mother, this pure virgin in exchange for my right, my access to unfathomable power.” Twelve chanters, each possessing a blade, stepped forth and withdrew them from their sheaths. Drawing sharpened edges against supple flesh, crimson pooled and flowed as crystalline tears continued to fall from her eyes. “P-Please,” she was a begging one, wasn’t she? “Please let me go.” An amused half-smile quirked the corner of his mouth up as he stared down at her. “Be proud, my dear. Because of you, I’ll possess access to a place most consider quite holy.”
Winces and whimpers escaped as more knicks and slices littered her virginal skin. Somber stone breathed anew as crimson flowed through the rivulets and drained into the waiting chalices below. Finally, it was time, as the woman’s complexion drew more sallow, matching her breaths that had begun to calm and quiet. Withdrawing his own blade, an ancient one he knew to be impregnated with absolute power, Fiyero dragged the edge along the modest but essential vein of her jugular. Hand to her cheek, his emerald eyes burned brightly as he removed his hood, watching the life leave her grey eyes in seconds. Shame. She might have been fun in any other circumstance.
Infernal chanting continued, the reverberation of power, of something unlocking, wracked through him, the laughter bubbling in his chest escaping joyously. Taking the chalice at the head of the slab, the chanters followed suit as they crescendoed into a cacophony, each of them draining the vitality that had once filled those ancient chalices only moments ago. Thunder growled as lightning danced through the sky in repetitive motions. Then, the cracking of stone behind them, directly beneath the mosaic at the cathedral’s head. Perfect. The gate had opened. Now it was time to bring heaven to its’ knees.