The Plight of Man

A Familiar Friend

Fooled again by that arrogant bastard of Orcus, Iris Caldera was not one to cross that evening. As soon as the King dismissed her and Guy, she split from him as he went back to Tigerlily headquarters. She decided that tonight would be the night that she had a word with her demonic patron to guide her in how to should move forward from such a betrayal. In order to do so however, she needed to summon a creature of the lower planes to commune with her Patron.

To entice such a creature, she spent her night shoving soul gems into the stomachs of “volunteers”until she felt the gem giving off a magical aura. Being unable to directly trap their souls with magic, she only took the barest of fragments as their souls passed on to the River Styx with the gem by having it inside of them as they exhaled their dying breath. This took thirteen individuals, none of which survived the ordeal, but whose screams of agony did wonders to lighten Iris’s mood. Her targets tonight were all of the variety of predators of woman and children and she doubted greatly that their killer would be sought for justice. Her vigilante rendezvous lasted until 4 in the morning, but she was a totally different person than the stalking assassin of earlier, even stopping to give a small orphan child a gold piece on the street.

With her collection of two conglomerations of souls, thirteen skulls, and seven hearts (the rest ruined during her retrieval of them), she returned to her chambers back at the guildhall. With a quick meditation to rest her mind, Iris began drawing the arcane runes and incantations needed to summon a being of the lower planes and inscribing the circle with a magic circle against evil at the same time to hold the creature at bay. Her first task was to summon a cythnigot, a foul fungal parasite, and make a deal with the creature to obtain infectious spores from the spore-like qlippoth; its very appearance causing her stomach to almost jump out of throat in a mix of disgust and fear. This was a bit more challenging than she thought it would be as the creature moved around the magic circle infecting the recently living tissue of the hearts and animating it into rather grotesque forms and interested in nothing else. Once thoroughly satisfied, the creature eagerly offered spores in exchange for the enjoyment it obtained from the hearts and for the chance to destroy the souls of so many individuals trapped within the soul gem. Iris stored the spores in a flask of blood to keep them from sticking to the sides of the flask and to keep them thriving for their real purpose, a completely loyal and intelligent familiar with whom she would give her the magic needed to make contact with Nocticula and take the first step toward her goal.

With the spores needed, she dismissed the smelly puffball and recited the incantation to summon a cacodaemon, one of the weakest of the daemons, but also the only of their kind willing to serve as a familiar. To Iris, the creature was magnificent. The iridescent red scales and five golden eyes surrounding the maw of row upon row of mismatched, razor sharp teeth gave her a bit of a giddy feeling inside. The two spoke telepathically in abyssal for hours and Iris offered her filled soul gem for the creature to devour and absorb if it agreed to serve as her familiar. After a bit of convincing, the creature agreed. The pact was sealed with magic, blood, and the bloody, spore encrusted soul gem that the ravenous cacodaemon devoured upon the pact’s completion. The spores went to work quickly, growing rapidly within their new host and taking over it’s body and mind. A fibrous stalk grew from within the creature’s stomach, ending in a a strong set of fanged jaws resembling a Venus Fly Trap within the creatures already formidable maw.

The cacodaemon’s loyalties wiped clean from the cythnigot takeover of it’s body, Iris’s new familiar had allegiance only to her. Iris had her familiar take on the form of a 7 year-old girl and walked from her room to introduce the young girl as Kali, her newest companion. Kali had her master’s gift for sweet-talking and quickly won over most she met with her large green eyes, wide smile, and raven hair. Only Iris knew the monster that the girl truly was and couldn’t wait to unleash her familiar against her enemies. Today, she would rest and ready herself to commune with Nocticula through her familiar’s magic. Tonight, she would take the first step to become a demon. All she needed was a noble soul to sacrifice….

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