.The World We Come Back To.
.Regret is a Swift Curse.
Characters; Azmoddon, Syonse, Mention of Neyuiel
Warnings; None.

---------------------

"This is how life is but a curse of festering pain. No matter how much we desire otherwise, our worlds are always chained to
the events others cause. We always suffer in the place of strangers." She leaned down, lips pulling away from teeth that
were gushing blood through the cracks. "But you know who I am, don't you?" Her touch was like splintering ice, cold and
sharp enough to cut. She traced the markings upon his face, madness rising in her eyes.

He tried to pull away, but the chains held him still.

"You can't run from this," she laughed. "Not anymore."

Azmoddon's gaze rose to the setting sun above him. No matter how many years had passed the sight was still unsettling in
it's alien nature. So unlike the suns that haunted his memories, of pasts both lived and observed. This sun had not yet bled
with death.

Apathetic, he lowered his eyes to the darkening expanse of the Unclaimed Territories. Here happiness and safety did not
exist; there were no wandering cublets or adventurous heroes. Just a land that was unforgiving and not cloaked in delusion.

He liked it here. In a land where no one carried morality, he required none of his own. There were no expectations here for
anything, just the challenge of living day to day in the darkness.

In a strange way it reminded him most of home; before it was remade in the image of another Dimension.

-But it carries with it no burden of home. No place of belonging. I can take my leave of this place at any moment, and never
have to look back. So much simpler than 'home'.- Azmoddon laughed inwardly, bitterness and betrayal still too thick on his
being. -It would've been so much better had we known of this place before the chaos of the ice, right Neyuiel?-

Smoothly, he rose to his paws and took his leave of the cliffside outlook. It was time to hunt.

***

Syonse had no reason for being in the Territories this night. There was no calling in the cards for her to journey so far
beyond her usual haunts, but she felt the need to be out. The thirst for an aimless wander was too deep to ignore, and her
paws had already brought her from The Valleys by the time she had begun to question it.
Yenahta would find this amusing
to behold. She would no doubt laugh in that diabolical manner of hers, claiming it was 'fate' that brought me here. As if Fate
would have anything to do with me.

Upon the edge of an unhealed crater she, at last, stopped. This was the furthest point she had ever wandered into these
defiled lands, and she would go no further without an explanation as to why. She was no moron - she knew of the creatures
that lurked in these Territories, of the powers they possessed and hungered for. One had probably placed her beneath a
trance, hoping to draw her out into an area where she'd become an easy meal.

Your tastebuds will not Thank you for my taste. She broadcasted to the five sentient minds in the vicinity. (A surprising
number, she thought, for an area that looked otherwise deserted.)

The wind blew, an eerie chill that caressed her cheek as it passed.

***

"Come, let us see what it is our Master wishes this time. Perhaps we will be asked to Forgive Them?" He grinned, sarcastic
and biting. "To absolve them of their sins and lead them back to the light of the darkness?"

"There is no light in darkness. Nothing but bindings that remain unseen."

He paused, six eye-ridges raising in amusement. "So say the weak willed who dare not see what the darkness brings to
light. Are you so bitter now that not even you can see that?"

"I harbour no weak will, Brother. Just an acceptance of the truth behind our existence, our nature... and our memories."

There was a thick silence, as they stepped into the blood-soaked darkness of His realm. "How many times, now, have you
remembered dying?"

He gave no reply, turning his gaze away.

"I see," they continued onward, "I remember just as many."

Hunting in the Territories brought few choices of prey animals, especially for those of Raveen stature. The Zethns and
Saurians were much too large for a single meal, and some had power that Azmoddon would rather not skirmish with after
dark. He'd no doubt heal from the damage quickly, but come the morn, those of it's Rookery would be looking for his blood.
He didn't wish to be hunted in this Dimension. Never again, did he want to be hunted anywhere.
But he had no qualms about being the hunter, the one to place the final, killing blow.
***
Syonse narrowed her eyes at the Graephs emerging from the rocky depths below. Though a threat to her safety, she
doubted they were capable of drawing her out here. She was, afterall, immune to any thrall a Horrorling may possess.

She growled at them in warning; eyes keen to watch the two Gatherlings the most, even as the two Bloodlings drew closer.
"Leave me alone," she snarled the words out. "I'm no prey of yours."

~
We disagree~

The voices - for they were many, overlapping, and out of sync - came at her from all sides. She had but a moment to
wonder if she'd missed one of them when the tailblade of a Scoutling cut clean through her wings. The reaction was
instantaneous; she teleported a safe distance from the Graephs, pain lacing through her veins as spiritual energies began
to seep out of the wound. The Darkling hovering above her howled in rage; tugging uselessly at the binding chains.

"Bastards!" She screamed, brandishing her claws in a late response to the threat.

The Scoutling was where she had previously been, low to the ground with it's tailblade whipping back and forth in the air
above it's back. Though she had no blood to feed them, it seemed these Graephs were more interested in the kill than food.

The Gatherlings lunged forward; one from the left, the other from up high, as the two Bloodlings charged in sync.

Shit.

***

"Your heart is too cold." She sneered. "I offer you my own and you reduce it to empty, bleeding shreds without so much as
an ounce of compassion."

The chains were fresh, heavy weights upon his forelegs, chest, and wings. He couldn't move beneath them, rendered
useless as they forced his body into submission. He tried to move, only to have the uppermost part of the chain dig further
into his wing. Twisting and cutting it's way through fragile flesh and hollow bones.

"I can't forgive you. I never will. And this is the curse I pass onto you, so that every female you ever cross paths with will be
your bane; your weakness. Should they wish you death, then death you will have."

Azmoddon came to rest upon a field of rocks and debris, stomach satiated from the avian prey he had been lucky enough
to cross. It's blood was still staining his mouth and chin, it's taste still lingering on his tongue.

-
Blood is enticing, isn't it Neyuiel?- He smirked mildly, licking at a piece of meat stuck in his teeth. -So much better fresh,
than just existing in mem
-

Fully alert, Azmoddon turned to study his surroundings, becoming aware suddenly of the way the wind didn't feel right. It
was screaming with the pain of a hundred souls, lapping at his senses and sending his memories howling in rage. This was
familiar, somehow.

Taking no heed of the clanking of the chains, Azmoddon broke into a run - quickly cresting the nearby hill and vaulting over
the otherside. He dodged his way down the rocks, intent on reaching the end of this mystery before it disappeared.

He slipped on blood. Black and thick like tar, yet with the traction of oil.

Only the body stopped him from falling forward into an unmerciful heap of wings, chains, and body weight. He blinked down
at the face full of teeth and twisted blue-hued limbs that were broken and sawed off at unnatural angles.

Someone had killed a Bloodling, and shown it no mercy.

He backed away from the kill, slow and cautious as his eyes adjusted to these new surroundings. Death was a smell he was
familiar with; blood was like family.

She was standing in the middle of the dead, prying a decapitated Gatherling's head from her shoulder and muttering curses
as spiritual energy spiralled around her frame. There was something there, flickering on the edges of his awareness and
seeming to move with the echo of chains.

One of his kin. An ally of ages past, yet.... Azmoddon felt no duty to her. No requirement to help her out of her mess --
especially one she had already dealt with. But those noises, that feeling carried on the wind.... It had reminded him of that
ti--

"If you were going to be a saviour," she snapped, "You're too late."

The debris of a world long since lost seemed all too hollow a reminder of things forever ruined.
Of worlds, and Dimensions, lost to the times of wars.

Azmoddon agreed after a heavy and uncomfortable silence: "Much too late."