To Azazel

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TennyoCeres84
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To Azazel

Post by TennyoCeres84 »

What was your terrestrial life like, if I may ask?

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IamLEAM1983
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As Tom

Post by IamLEAM1983 »

"I'm sure he'd love to answer for himself, but he's to put it in mortal terms, royally pooped after his curse was stripped out. He's on the mend and Lucifer and I are plotting a few things as both an added screw-you to Bleatbrain as well as a decent repayment for his eons of suffering as the Scapegoat. I swear the only other demon I've ever seen sleep like a rock like this is technically myself, if I try for an astral projection while asleep...

He hasn't had it easy, that much is obvious. Azazel was born right after Morgana's curse hit his and Aspasia's kind and never really knew the Golden Age of Wyldfae that you would've found in Greece, from the Neolithic all the way to early Antiquity. He's survived off of modern-day Syria and Lebanon's fields and was part of a group of wandering Fauns that did what they could to eke out a living across the Fertile Crescent. Most of them were in a situation that's analogous to the Irish, during the Potato Famine: abundance all around, but nothing they tried brought them lasting safety. It's sort of hard to find a safe place to settle down if you're a walking disease vector and if you're always just a little too weak to be useful as a farmhand. Add lasting connections to via, and you've got a dangerous cocktail waiting to spill over. A few Fauns poked around in Infernalism and petitioned Belial, the Goat or Mammon, all for shreds of safety or potency. Azazel, from his stories, wasn't that lucky - if you can call being forced to consort with Princes being lucky...

He wasn't a fighter by trade, or a scout or a mage. He'd picked up his father's own trade and figured out how to read and write in a few then-common languages, and he basically was trained as the next-best thing for the Fauns to an accountant or a silo or tool shed keeper. His job was to keep tallies, initially, keep track of IOUs that didn't qualify as Oaths - and he would've been instrumental in places that weren't quite so blighted yet. The Fauns could always take to Faeside for the safety of their own untouched rolling hills, but the best way to keep their resources from being ransacked by Gate-savvy mortals was to offer them openly.

That wasn't his fate, though. Karma dealt him a terribly bad hand. He lived hungry and weak, spent his days begging for food, work or shelter, and usually worked off of alms. All he needed was a little too much desert, a little too much hunger - and not enough focus to notice that someone hadn't abandoned those hardtack loaves on a windowsill...

If he'd come across people who would've had more luck in their fields that year, odds are he would've just been chased out of town. It probably would've been easier.

See, us Infernalists know that mundanes can cast spells. All it takes is extraordinary circumstances and a specific energetic payload - either in the form of a surplus of conviction or, in Azazel's case, an overabundance of suffering. If you're starving and someone takes your last bread loaves, you'll be more than ready to tear at the offending thief's throat, no matter how weak or exhausted you might actually be.

The village wasn't big, by his reckoning: ten, fifteen people, tops. That's ten to fifteen people driven to near-madness with hunger and desperation, ten to fifteen people who saw their last loaves leave the baker's crumbling windowsill in a stranger's arms.

Ten to fifteen people too many.

The only point of comparison is Damnatio Memoriae, if it was cast by people seething with hatred. Take the curse, strip Celestial righteousness from it and replace it with a cornered animal's rage - and all their regrets, all their sins, all the things they wished they'd done, all the things they had done - and it stuck onto Azazel so thoroughly and completely that the same quasi-physics the Fae manipulate with Oaths got warped out of shape in him. The Fair Folk can take responsibility for someone else's words or actions so completely as to physically or mentally restrain themselves - and Azazel was bonded with all of these people's guilt.

From their end of things, it was a blessing. Hunger left them, their fields healed, their hearts and minds were given peace. Their first night was great, as the stories go, the first celebrations after the Jewish Day of Atonement. The first full-fledged Yom Kippur.

For Azazel, it was the start of a long nightmare he's only just woken up from. The rest is history: centuries of aimlessness and forced immortality, until his body simply couldn't keep going and he simply collapsed and fell to Hell. He was drafted by the Goat, shackled to his service, and then forced to bear the sins of all scions of Pride and all those who err in the Vice's favor, consciously or otherwise.

All of this would've had a different ending if he'd been a fighter, a scout or a ranger in the Fauns' ranks. It's over, at least."

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