The ride back to Blackfog Castle was extremely awkward and uncomfortable. Selene had to explain to her son why Joffrey despised him, and that he was a gift from God. That was what she kept insisting, even when he kept repeating that he was a bastard. No! she insisted you’re only father is God. Though he knew there was something his mother wasn’t telling him, Lucan had accepted that. Their conversation took a better turn when she spoke of Tempest, and there was a shadow of a smile on her face as she spoke fondly of her daughter. Lucan could see all the motherly love she held for her children, and he felt sad that she did not have the luxury of seeing her children grow from child to teenagers as most children did. That privilege was taken from her when magic took its course.
They finally made it to the castle, though, and Lucan felt brave. He would make sure Joffrey did not hurt his mother again…but he also hoped to get closer to his sister. She sounded remarkable and Selene spoke of powers that seemed to match his own abilities. Perhaps he would not have to travel the magical path alone. As he helped his mother out of the carriage, he looked towards the castle in wonder. This was home. Turning to face his mother, he smiled down at her gently “You’re going to be just find, Mamma.”
Selene just smiled weakly at her son, but it was very clear a dark fog still hung over her normally angelic aura. It seemed as though she were given in to her pain too much, and it was turning into a darkness that was consuming her very soul. Turning away from Orion and Lucan, she walked into the castle without a word. Magda was waiting for them with a soft smile on her face. She had seen to it herself that the room Selene shared with Joffrey was now clean since Lucan had sent a raven to inform Magda in his mother’s place that they were coming. However, when Selene stood in front of her, she spoke in a vacant voice“My old chambers…are they prepared?”
Magda frowned slightly but nodded. She always kept Selene’s chambers that she once occupied alone when she was only a guest prepared for the princess. “Yes, m’lady.”
The princess nodded “Bring me there.” She did not turn and acknowledge her son or Orion, assuming they could find their own way. Magda smiled at them apologetically and followed Selene to her room. When she helped her inside however, Selene snapped “Leave me.” Magda bowed her head and did as she was told immediately. As Selene walked into her room, she saw her old vanity. Stepping over to it slowly, she sat down and stared at her reflection. She couldn’t even recognize the image staring back at her.
Magda returned to the men and spoke softly “Perhaps you ought to just wait in the throne room for the princess…I imagine the prince and his daughter will meet you there. They were seen leaving the castle so I will wait here to reveal the news that the princess has returned.” She did not look happy to have to deliver this news, but she would do her duty to the kingdom.
Lucan looked at her closely before nodding. What else was he to do? Looking towards Orion, he murmured “Shall we?”
The coldness of the dark hall of Blackfog Castle was suddenly warmed when Joffrey strode in, his body reacting oddly to the presence of his returned wife. He knew she was back, and the whispers of the servants had reached his ears. Though he had drowned his sorrows, and been dragged home pitifully by his daughter; Tempest, a side of him was now craving to emerge. His father King Brandon had taken extended leave from the Kingdom, leaving Joffy in charge. So, as the Prince made his was down the corridor between those of the court, the ladies and lords in waiting, he started to disrobe, his cloak, coat, shirt, pants all falling to the ground, as his skin changed and rippled to the deepest of crimson. Massive horns appeared at the top of his head, curling outward, and huge wings unfurled, ripe with his demonic blood. His jaw line was well defined, and a sweeping tail whipped out from behind him. He was the Demon Lord of Brax,and looked ever inch of it. All of the court started to morph and change into their true forms, and for many this had been a relief to be truthful. They weren’t the pretty and dainty like those of the Casterly. They were vulgar, ruthless and conniving sons and daughters of bitches. A dull roar of voices rose up as the Prince took his place on the ornate spiked throne. Fire balls whirled around his form, as smoke poured from his nostrils, like that of a dragon.
“And so….here we all are. Lords…Ladies…Demons.” He raised a chalice that was resting on a small stand beside him, filled with the blood of an innocent. “A toast…to the return of the Princess from the land of Angels. Let us give her a welcome…she won’t forget.” As he took a sip from the chalice, many of the court all bowed in reverence. For as Selene may have been changed in her return to the family home…so to did the Prince. But would this prove to be problematic?
The whispers through the halls of the castle indicated that the Princess had returned, and with two strange men in tow. None of that mattered to Tempest. It was the fact that her mother had returned that was her cause of contention. According to Nanny, Selene had holed herself up in her old quarters and was allowing none in to see her.
“And your father wants you by his side in the throne room this eve.” Nanny added.
“Did he say why?”
“I don’t presume to know what gets into your father’s head some days.” Nanny snorted, laying out Tempest’s gown for the evening. “Now off to the baths with ya.” She shooed Tempest into the bath room, helping her remove her clothing before Tempest stepped into the milk and honey scented waters. Nanny washed her back and hair, until she fairly gleamed in the candle light.
Once she was dry, Nanny fixed her hair, putting it up in an elegant bun and leaving some tendrils loose to frame her cheeks.
Helped into her dress and fastened in, Nanny tapped Tempest on her back.
“Your wings, love. Your father’s wish for you to be in your true form.”
“Oh!” Tempest smiled, gladly releasing her wings from her body and sighing in delight as they stretched free. Nanny readjusted her dress to accomodate before adding the Diadem to indicate she was the crown princess of the Brax and should not be taken lightly.
“Now, you are a true princess of Brax. Chin up don’t give them an inch.” Nanny grinned. Tempest nodded and left the room.
She was announced upon her entrance and she slowly made her way to the front of the room, nodding to those who bowed and curtsied as she walked past them. Her father was already there and his appearance should have shocked her. It had been some time since she had seen the man in his true form and it was pleasing to see.
She stopped before him, executing a curtsey in honor and respect before stepping to his side and just a a stair below his. Once she was situated, he took up a goblet and raised it high.
“And so….here we all are. Lords…Ladies…Demons.” He began. “A toast…to the return of the Princess from the land of Angels. Let us give her a welcome…she won’t forget.”
As the others around them took their own drinks, Tempest, poised and in control of herself, waited for the arrival of her mother, and quite possibly her brother.
What kind of reception would they receive?
Not good…this is very not good. She will never agree! Magda silently panicked as she hurried to her mistress’s chambers. The mermaid had seen the horrors that awaited the princess should she decide to grace her family with her presence. It was horrible. The whole court had shown their true colors, and it had shaken Magda to the bone. All those men that had touched her, abused her, were truly the monsters she had thought them to be. And now she had to try and convince Selene to go approach her family so there wasn’t a civil war within the castle between evil and…whatever Selene was dealing with. Though Magda had seen the Saint runes all over Selene, she knew that Selene could not fully embrace her sainthood until she could learn to love again. Yes, Selene loved Lucan, and Magda knew that Selene still held a motherly love for Tempest as well. But until she could learn to forgive Joffrey, Selene’s anger and hatred would eat her alive. As she made it to Selene’s room, she opened the door to see Selene laying on the bed. Blood was near her eye and Magda could tell the Saint had been punishing herself.
Stepping cautiously towards the princess, Magda murmured “Your grace…the prince and your daughter are waiting for you in the throne room. They wish to…welcome you home and request for your presence.”
Selene just scoffed as she gripped Tempest’s letter in her hand. They needed her?! Anger seared through the angel’s body at the absurdity of it all. Joffrey threw her out without so much as a farewell, and Tempest practically disowned Selene as her mother. No, not practically. She had told her own flesh and blood she was dead to her. And now they needed her…Ha! Sitting up slowly, she eyed her handmaiden and shook her head slowly “You may tell the prince and his precious daughter that he can shove that request up his arse. But make sure he has enough room. I’m not sure there is any with his head in the way.” Flopping back on the bed, she said nothing more.
Perfect… Magda thought. Walking towards the bed, she began to clean her wounds while begging “But m’lady, your son is in there. You do not know what the prince is capable of now that your love has been absent from his home…Please, just go to him. Don’t you have something you wish to say to him?” There was hope in the handmaiden’s voice that Selene missed Joffrey.
Suddenly, the princess sat up in her bed. As a matter of fact, she had something to say to both her husband and daughter. Climbing out of bed, she stormed passed Magda and made her way towards the throne room. Magda quickly hurried after the princess, terrified of what was to come.
Soon Selene burst into the throne room, her heavenly aura radiating around her. It lit up the whole room, and she was able to look upon the monstrous faces that had awaited her arrival. Walking slowly towards the throne room, she began to sneer at the horribly disgusting sights that were around her. These creatures were absolutely revolting to the angel, and it was as if she had completely forgotten who her husband was or the love that she had once had for him. Stepping up to Joffrey’s throne, she didn’t look at her daughter as she spoke in a deadly quiet voice. “Well look at this…the prince of Brax reclining of his throne of filth so proudly. You must be absolutely thrilled that darkness reigns over your heart once more. You truly disgust me…” Spitting on the ground before him, she turned to look towards the court and spoke louder “I hope you are ALL thrilled. You win, you ignorant sons of whores. You allowed your own stupidity and foolishness get in the way of the truth. I was fooled just as much as your idiot prince was, and yet I was cast out of his sight like a criminal. It seems he was just all too eager to get rid of me…” Turning around, she eyed Tempest coldly.
“And you…’Mother, please come…we need you.’ Bah. You lot need something only God himself can give you. You are all about to bring Hell on earth and I will do nothing for you. I am a mother with a daughter, and yet you are a daughter without a mother now by your own doing. Did you not claim I was dead to you?” Leaning forward, she smirked “Well, darling…what good can the dead do for the living, if that is what you call what you and your father are doing.” Standing up straight, she looked between her husband and daughter “Now that I see how you both choose to live your life without me, you are both free to continue on without any interference from me. I have never been more disgusted and disappointed in my life.” Looking at Joffrey, there was a glimmer of the love she had for him deep within her eyes as they softened towards him. She stared at him for a moment before turning away. Her voice was barely above a whisper “You win.” Walking away from the thrones, she said nothing more and disappeared from their sights.
Magda had watched the whole thing and felt absolutely sick to her stomach. This would not bode well for anyone, especially her. She was now in the presence of demons, and she felt rooted to the spot by her fear and horror. Glancing to the side, she had seen Lucan and Orion standing there. Lucan was handsome and sweet, but bore too much resemblance to Selene to make her feel calm. But Orion…he was stunningly handsome and exuded so much strength and authority. Still, he was too far from her to make her feel brave. Swallowing hard, she stared at the ground and waited for Joffrey’s wrath.
The Doors to the Throne room burst open, with a disheveled and blood stained Selene emerging to front the court of the House of Brax. The demon Lord Joffrey was reclining upon his ornate throne with his head tipped to the side, as his thumb slowly graced the side of the chalice of blood he held. There was a loud titter of amusement and interest as the demons Court watched on with curiosity as the “Angelic” Princess made her way to the top end of the throne room. But before any welcome wishes could be said, the Princess had decided to release a torrent of hate and malice towards not only her now “ex” husband but that of her own daughter, Tempest.
Joffrey in his rise to stand true to what he was, and no longer present a pony show to amuse the likes of guests and royal ambassadors, looked on with a stony expression, while his former Selene let him have it.
“Well look at this…the prince of Brax reclining of his throne of filth so proudly. You must be absolutely thrilled that darkness reigns over your heart once more. You truly disgust me…”
-Filth? Spikes maybe..~ Joffrey started to drum his claws on the arm of his throne, as his blazing red eyes watched on, and he allowed her to have the floor. When one seeks to entertain the court….let them go all out. After all, SHE was now showing her true colours. What a Saint.
“I hope you are ALL thrilled. You win, you ignorant sons of whores. You allowed your own stupidity and foolishness get in the way of the truth. I was fooled just as much as your idiot prince was, and yet I was cast out of his sight like a criminal. It seems he was just all too eager to get rid of me…”
There was collective gasps and a few chuckles of laughter, that resonated throughout the court, as she berated and abused the sensibilities of those gathered. Some looked back up at their Prince, who gestured with his hand to let her continue. So this was his precious Selene, in all her wraith….how very exciting.
It was when she turned on his daughter, that the fire balls that circled him, started to grow larger, and the very clouds outside the castle grounds started to darken. Shutters started to slam across each window, along with the eerie creaking sound of the gates in all the castle closing, slamming into the earth.
“And you…’Mother, please come…we need you.’ Bah. You lot need something only God himself can give you. You are all about to bring Hell on earth and I will do nothing for you. I am a mother with a daughter, and yet you are a daughter without a mother now by your own doing. Did you not claim I was dead to you?”
Joffrey slowly turned his head towards Tempest, and gauged her reaction. He knew that she would not be at all happy about this, and he set down the chalice of blood, as Selene went to make her final curt and cruel remarks.
“Now that I see how you both choose to live your life without me, you are both free to continue on without any interference from me. I have never been more disgusted and disappointed in my life.” She declared to Joffrey, that he won, but perhaps he just did.
As she turned to leave the room, the doors of the Throne room slammed shut, and all the wave of Joffrey’s hand. He slowly rose up from the Throne, and started a very slow golf clap. For you see, he was as he should be. A demon Lord of the House of Brax, he was proud of what he was, but at no time, did he speak or use tone that was of rage or violence. There was a ripple throughout the room, and now it was his turn.
“And that….my Lords and Ladies of the Court of Brax, is the epitome of God’s own. Hard to believe she is an ANGEL, isn’t it? I mean, she just disowned her own daughter for merely…being herself. What is cursed about being who you truly are, and being proud of it? He took each step down from the throne dias and his words rang out. “If I remember rightly, my wife was all too eager to cast aside her own daughter for a lamb in her chambers, and sought to bed me rather than do her parental duty.” He held out one hand. “A lamb. He held out the other. “A child”
Looking at Lucan, who was now a grown man, and the Casterly representative Orion, he gave them both a quizzical look. “Is that how one of God’s own treats his own flock? Opps, did I say flock? Lambs…of God.” More laughter came from around him, as he now let it be said how he truly felt. “You can say what you dare about me, Selene…but to treat your child, my daughter with such disrespect, when she is of more inner beauty than you could ever be. You rather run away, than stand for what is right. I’m not the one that was so sexually frustrated that I lay with another man. And you bring another with you to face this court, hurling obscenities at all who are…themselves.” He shook his head, as his skin darkened to a rich blood red. “I’d much rather be ugly on the outside…than in, Selene.”
With that said, he looked to Magda, and Orion with the boy Lucan.
“She obviously needs you all more than she ever needed us.”
As Selene ripped into her father with her hateful words, Tempest felt this was going to be bad. Her mother, an Angel, had a mean streak a mile wide and just as long. And no one was spared from her wrath…not even her own daughter.
“And you…’Mother, please come…we need you.’ Bah. You lot need something only God himself can give you. You are all about to bring Hell on earth and I will do nothing for you. I am a mother with a daughter, and yet you are a daughter without a mother now by your own doing. Did you not claim I was dead to you?” Tempest wanted to flinch away from the look of absolute rage upon her mother’s face, but she was rooted to the spot. “Well, darling…what good can the dead do for the living, if that is what you call what you and your father are doing.” Tempest bowed her head. The words hurt, as she knew they would, but it was so much worse. “Now that I see how you both choose to live your life without me, you are both free to continue on without any interference from me. I have never been more disgusted and disappointed in my life.”
And there it was…words Tempest had heard more than once from her own mother’s lips when she was a young girl. She did not understand them at the time because of her age, just that she knew that for some reason, her mother thought she was a disappointment. And now she was hearing them again with the heart and mind of a young woman…and the pain was unbearable. She could actually feel the lifebond she had with her mother snap at the harsh and cruel words.
Her wings, her beautiful wings, faded to an ash black and she could feel her life draining away. Over the roaring in her ears, she could hear her father speaking but she simply could not make out the words. Her vision began to fade to gray. “Father!” she whispered, unsure if she was heard as her body crumpled to the ground, her lifeforce slowly ebbing away.
She was dying…and she accepted it…
Magda watched the prince hardly flinch at her words. She found that a bit unusual as the princess was being an indignant little wretch at the moment. Still, Joffrey didn’t move until he was sure Selene was done, and even then, his voice did not raise and he did not strike her down. Was there still affection for her behind those harsh words? The handmaiden watched Selene disappear and let out a long exhale. Whatever was she to do with this situation? Stepping closer to the throne, her eyes flicked from the prince and his child nervously. The prince suggested that Selene needed her more than her husband and child, but Magda knew that to not be true. Just as she was about to speak on Selene’s behalf, Tempest fell down and seemed as though she were withering away before everyone’s eyes. Letting out a gasp of horror, Magda crouched down and whimpered “No…” As Magda saw her life slipping away, she then stood up abruptly and raced out of the throne room.
When the handmaiden was able to catch up with Selene, she yanked her arm without a care for her wrath. The princess turned around in surprise before her eyes narrowed “What is it?”
It took a moment for Magda to catch her breath as she held her breath. When she was collected, she gasped out “Tempest has fallen! She is dying!”
Fear instantly crossed Selene’s face as her heart suddenly began to warm. Her child, her beautiful daughter was dying? Stepping closer, her voice grew soft “But…how? Joffrey…he didn’t..?”
Magda frowned and shook her head gravely. Lifting her chin up, she spoke in great distaste for the first time towards her lady “It was your rejection, I suspect.”
Horror covered Selene’s countenance from head to toe. “Take me to her!” Nodding, Magda grabbed her hand and raced back to the throne room with the princess. Once inside again, Selene raced towards her daughter while ignoring the court and her husband. Her daughter was what mattered. As the horror and fear of losing her daughter filled her mind, she felt her heart blossoming once more as it had the day she gave it to the dark prince. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she flung herself pitifully over her daughter. How could she be so cruel to allow this to happen? Pulling Tempest up in her arms, her shoulders shook as her body was wracked with sobs. Her fingers laced through her daughter’s hair as she began to rock back and forth.“Tempest…my precious baby…please don’t leave me! Please! You are the greatest thing to come from your father and me…you mustn’t leave because of my cruelty.” Squeezing her eyes shut, she continued to rock as she tried to squeeze her own life force into her daughter.
After moments of realizing it was not enough, she lifted her daughter up into her arms with the strength only a desperate mother would have. Carrying her over to Orion, she fell to her knees and pleaded “Please! You must beg God to take me instead! Take my wretched life in exchange for her beautiful soul…please, I beg of you!” Selene continued to cling to her daughter helplessly as she begged the angel to wrong her right by trading her own life for her daughter.
While Joffrey spoke to the companions of his wife about how they were meant more to her than he or his daughter, he failed to see Tempest rise up on the throne dias and then falter.“Father?!” His name whispered as her beautiful wings suddenly turned to ash and she collapsed to the floor. The royal court all gasped collectively, and the demon lord spun around to see in horror that his daughter was dying.
“TEMPEST!” He roared loudly, crossing the floor in just a few large steps, bending down with his wings closing around them in a way to shield and protect her. His face etched in confusion and bewilderment. Why was this happening? Was it something he said? His head finally shot up and he bellowed; “Fetch the doctor!” A few hand maidens scurried out of the room, while the Prince stroked his daughter’s cheek, the flames that circled around him turning to blue. “Hold on, my daughter.” he said to comfort.
It was then Selene burst back into the room again. More or less pushing Joffrey aside and taking up her daughter in some frenzied attempt to bring her back to life.
“Tempest…my precious baby…please don’t leave me! Please! You are the greatest thing to come from your father and me…you mustn’t leave because of my cruelty.”
Joffrey stood back, watching the desperate mother in silence, only to see her pick the child up and carry her awkwardly towards of all people; Orion, the Throne of God.
“Please! You must beg God to take me instead! Take my wretched life in exchange for her beautiful soul…please, I beg of you!”
Orion didn’t like being put in this position, not at all. He had been a silent witness to the spectacle, the tearing apart of the Brax family even further than it ever was before, and he could see blame on both sides. The one to lose most of all was Tempest. Orion cast a look of question to Joffrey, searching his face to see if he would allow him to take her. Joffrey nodded quickly, if that would save her life.
The Throne scooped the dying child from Selene’s arms, and then looked to all that were in attendance.
“May this be a lesson to you all. Words we say are sharper than knives, and cut out our very hearts. Hold your young close to you, and never let them fall.”
And with that the outline of Orion and the unconscious Tempest turned to a radiant blue, and both he and the teenager blasted skyward, in a blaze of sparkling blue light, leaving all standing alone.
The Secret Garden
Landing shortly after, the Throne of God arrived with Tempest in his arms, in the special Garden retreat that was on the Night lands. Orion was after all, a Throne of God, and had watched over the Casterly children, including Tempest all her life. They just didn’t make a habit of interfering….till now. Orion knew of the Dragon in the garden, and he spoke loudly, as he stood in the midst of the beautiful garden.
“The Mother rejected her….The Father is too grieved to see….Help her, if she ever meant anything to you. God will simply take her back to his fold.”
Selene could only stand in awe and desperation as Orion took her daughter from her arms. She understood she was thrusting the angel into the situation, but all she cared about was bringing her daughter back to life. Tempest just couldn’t pay for her mother’s wretchedness, not when she was the greatest joy in Selene’s life. What is more precious to a mother than her own children? As she straightened up and wrapped her arms around herself, Orion’s words cut her deep. This was all her fault. Why couldn’t she be strong for her family? Why did she take advantage of the gift of her family God had given her? She lost Joffrey with her stubbornness and anger, and now she was losing her daughter as well. Feeling as though her world was unraveling around her, she found she no longer could cry. It was as if she had offered all the cries her body could muster up to God in some meager offering to bring her daughter back.
Lucan’s heart had dropped to his stomach when he saw his sister fall. He didn’t know her at all, but he felt the love his mother had for him match the love she had for her daughter. They were his children, and he knew she would give her own life freely to see that her children were safe. Walking over to her cautiously, turned her around and embraced her. Placing a kiss to her forehead, he began to rub her back soothingly as his mother just stood there silently falling apart. His hands glowed red as he tried to take her hurt away, but the love of a mother was too strong. “Mamma…you must allow me to help you. I can feel your pain.”
Realizing what her son was doing, Selene pulled away and looked at him, her eyes glowing the soft angelic blue as they once had when she was an innocent guest in Joffrey’s home. Shaking her head slowly, she whispered “I deserve to feel this pain all the way to my grave…Lucan, she must come back. I will die without her.” With that, she turned and walked out of the room almost as if she were already apart of the undead. Lucan watched sadly and turned around to seek out Magda. He wasn’t sure Joffrey would be much help since Lucan was sure he was grieving just as bad as his mother was.
The handmaiden did not follow Selene out of the room. The princess had to deal with this pain on her own, as it was her own doing. The only ones that could help her were her family, and Tempest was gone, and who knew what was going on with the poor demon prince. Lucan was at a loss for words and Magda walked up to him with a gentle smile. Placing a hand on his shoulder, she spoke gently to him “You must let her be, dove. Selene is finally starting to feel again. This intense amount of loss and despair could very well be the thing to breath life back into her.”
Lucan turned to give Magda a puzzled look “But how can she even bear to live without her daughter?”
Magda could only smile sadly as she looped her arm through his “You of little faith…come, let us take a stroll in the gardens. There is many good things about your mother that you do not know. I should like to tell you a wonderful love story…” The mermaid turned to give Joffrey a gentle smile before leading Lucan out. As she walked, she began to recount the beautiful tale of an angel who had given her heart to a demon prince.
Philippe, who had been lounging in the sun, tensed immediately. He could feel Tempest going through some kind of pain.
“Oh, Childe, what has happened?” he murmured, raising up to his feet.
It was at that moment a beam of sparkling blue light fell before him. He watched on, curiously, as the light began to fade and a man appeared…cradling the body of the one Philippe had adopted for his own within wings of purest white.
“The Mother rejected her….The Father is too grieved to see….Help her, if she ever meant anything to you. God will simply take her back to his fold.”
Philippe bowed his head with sadness. “A war between parents must never touch their children, for they are but innocents upon shaky ground.” He looked upon the Throne before him.
“You are in a sense…her Uncle…are you not?” he questioned.