Sympathie for the Devil

Alexander Death

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Amid the steam and the smoke the air was rich with the smell of roast lead and meat, a painting of black swirl that captivated the senses and hamstrung all those around it with the scent, doomed to noticed only its alluring perfume and how it drew you in to its flytrap vice.

Amid the ghostly shadows under the purple sky of the city at night, amid the scattered laughter and the gravely cries, there was always once more a sound that came and went again. The sound of feet scampering in the dark, the sound of fabrics barely rustling, the sound of Death amongst the city. It stood perfectly perched on the side of a building, in full view and yet as just another gargoyle on the highest roof. No one stared, the chill it gave them to look with unshielded eyes gave them to long a sympathy for the devil that lived in all their hearts. But some beings, some beings had the pilot lot burning bright enough in their minds to stop and stare up at the obvious - these where the extraordinary, the splendid and the twisted. They where the extraordinary amongst the mundane. And so they could look, they could stare and see the swirl of spider silk white locks, the shadow-like black leather flapping about, perhaps even the velveteen scabbard paired with a cumbersome looking holster to one back hip.

But... just as soon as you looked. It might be gone. choosing to become a figment of your imagination, or a blur in the milk of your eye, or perhaps even simply lifting the shadows up like a living tide and enveloping itself, vanishing in to the background ether of the world behind the world - the devils mind was such an unknowable thing, so who could dare to predict the mind of something that had for centuries gone by the moniker - the Lord of Blades.

It catapulted itself from place to place - sometimes at ground level in an alley, sometimes in plaine view amongst the crowd but part of the swirling shadows cast by the moths around the gas-oil lamp lights, but rarely around the glare of flames produced by magic... his... its presence dimmed them. Sent them to an impossible gutter in the minds of many a magical theorician. "But this could not be..." they said, until they applied their own arcane talents and found that something more eldritch passed in their wake and had intersected their manipulation of the weave for just a moment, snuffing it out.

Why did this shadow of the devil move as it did... was it, hunting maybe? A predator, the nature of the beast, always hungering for the things it could not, did not have. Looking to slake its thirst, a curse, an alimony left behind by an angry ex-lover, or maybe the sins of saints who told the truth in order to prolong a lie. It was hunting, it was hunting like a librarian hunts for books... finding them, cataloging them, even reading them, and his choice of text this morning, was more of the extraordinary beings who would peer in to the shadows... and look at the mournful violet colored eyes that looked back at them, and filled them with so much sorrow, so much horror, so much terror and fear... and so much strength of belief. With conviction. Who are you, Rhy'Din, it asked, who are you, and what lives inside the ever growing, living body you call the city at night?
 
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