Styx watched the Darkness beyond
the portal opened by the Jewel of Trans
cendance. She loved the mayhem and mischief caused with her ability to bring
creatures from the Darkness to this world. She planned to use these methods
until the Ronins were severely weakened. Then she and her siblings would launch
themselves into the fray.
She could hear voices rambling from the Darkness of the Abyss.
"Fetrilmyn, what do yer think yer doin'?"
eam-Mephits to you, Garblufink!!"
Styx stifled her laughter at the outrageous name.
The other growled deeply.
Then they stepped out of the Darkness, becoming completely visible to the
Children of Hell, gathered silently around the eldest and the sorceress. Both
were barely five feet tall, thin as sticks, with transparent, membraneous wings.
Their features were grossly exaggerated. One had a tremendously large and
hooked nose and protruding chin; the other with ears much too large and widely
spaced large eyes. Their clothes were outrageously comical, brilliant purples
and reds, rimmed with golden threads and orange and green hats. The garish
outfits hung loosely on the thin frames supporting them.
One was a angular body, with translucent ice blue skin. Three long fingers
ended in vicious, icicle-like claws. Spiking all over it's body and poking
through the garish, vulgar costume, were long jagged icicles. The other was a
gray form from which rose hissing steam, escaping from its pores. The
footprints that it left behind were filled with nearly boiling, steaming water.
Phlegethon couldn't help it. He chuckled. The scene was too funny.
Both mephits looked up sharply.
"Do you find something so comical so as to laugh at?" the ice-blue one asked,
jutting his already ample chin at the grown child.
"Yeah! You!" Plegethon nearly laughed.
Before he had managed to utter a syllable, Diamond spun and threw a spell at
him. Phlegethon felt a massive force slam into his mouth, and when he tried to
speak, found a steel plate riveted to his face. The two mephits looked to the
sorceress then at each other. Styx then acquired their view, dominating the
scene as the Jewel flared to life.
The large-eared mephit suddenly bowed, scraping the ground with its steaming
"Mistress," it grovled in a weasly tone. "I am Fetrilmyn-the-Slayer-of-
a-Thousand-Humans-Most-Highest-Of-All-Steam-Mephits. At your beck and call,
The other mimicked its poise, almost getting its proboscis stuck in the soft
"And I am Garblufink-Faery-Torturer-Sprite-Slayer-Destroyer-Ice-Mephit-E
Styx smiled, looking from the groveling steam mephit to the craven ice mephit.
"I am Styx, Empress of the NetherRealm."
This caused the two mephits to bow even further to the ground. They groveled
to her, but cast nasty little grins at each other. Styx looked down upon the
"I have some tasks for you.." she smiled ruefully.
Fetrilmyn hissed, pushing himself up onto his toes to
see into the small, high window.
"I ain't saying nothin', big-ears!" the other returned.
"Than what is??"
Both mephits scurried for cover as the sound of footsteps came around the
corner of the house.
"Mia, see!" Sage laughed. "It's only your imagination; there's nothing out
Mia furrowed her brow and peeked around Sage's shoulder. "Nothing? I could
have sworn that there was someone looking in the window.."
Sage laughed at his female companion. "Dais is probably just playing some
tricks! Come on back inside." He tried to take her by the arm, but she avoided
his grip. However she did follow him away.
Fetrilmyn and Garblufink ventured out of thier cover after a few moments. The
steam mephit let out a laugh of roiling superheated steam. The ice mephit
giggled maniacally, doubling over and cackling.
Together they bounced around the house, doing a macabre dance, mimicking the
motions of a snake, being as stealthy as they could. The front door to the
house was guarded by a big, white tiger. Glancing at its counterpart, the ice
mephit, Garblufink, inhaled sharply. With a great gusting of breath, it exhaled
a volley of ice shards at the tiger.
Sharp and stinging, the ice shards stuck in Whiteblaze's muzzle and ears.
Shaking his head violently, the tiger rose to his feet, snarling. Fetrilmyn
chuckles and inhaled as its companion had done. But, instead of a volley of ice
shards, a sheet of scalding water erupted from the steam mephit. Whiteblaze was
struck full in the face with the boiling liquid, and roared in pain, retreating
within the doorway. The scalding water melted the ice shards and the heat of
the water caused all liquid to evaporate. The two mephits scattered.
Ryo appeared behind the tiger, reaching down to calm the raging beast. Both
man and tiger looked about for the cause of the trouble, but Ryo, seeing
"Were you dreaming, boy?" he asked the tiger. "There's nothing out there."
Whiteblaze tried to communicate to his friend that there was something terribly
wrong out there. Growling, the tiger backed into the house and lay down just
inside the doorway, watching for the raucous little imps.
Sekhmet knocked on the door
to Liza's room one last time. He was rapidly
running out of patience, but was determined not to scare her any more than she
already was. He was worried that she would never forgive him for keeping the
secret, worried that she would never forgive him for his past transgressions.
Sekhmet rubbed his temples in weariness, and waited.
This time, the door cracked open slightly. One of Liza's shadowy violet-blue
eyes peered up at him through the crack. Then the door shut completely.
"Go away, I need time to think." he heard her say.
"Liza, please," Sekhmet pleaded, leaning against the door. "Please, talk to
She repeated herself quietly. Then added, "I will; I just need some time."
"Liz-" Sekhmet stopped and looked over at the man that just joined him. With
a wan smile at Cye, Sekhmet greeted the littlest Ronin.
"She won't talk to me," Sekhmet explained, now standing across the hall from
Liza's door. "I wanna know what's wrong, but she's not speaking."
Cye smiled. "Think about this, Sekhmet," he offered. "If you were in her
shoes, knowing nothing about us Ronins or the Dynasty, how would you feel? How
would you react?"
Sekhmet looked down at him wondering for the Ronin's sanity. "I would take it
like a man, head on, and I would accept it. There would be no other way to take
Cye chuckled. "Come on downstairs, Sekhmet, we'll talk about this some more,
away from her door."
Mia was sure this time that
she saw faces in the kitchen window. Faces that
were thin with large features and overexaggerated expressions. One was OPENING
the window into the kitchen and pulling itself through!!
Mia screamed, backing away from the window. The thin monster was joined by its
icicle-skinned companion and they proceeded to box her against the wall.
Mia's scream brought the Overlords running, and Cye, who reached the kitchen
first, shouted and waved his arms hoping to scare the things off. One look at
Cye, and a glance at each other, and the two imps burst out laughing. They
pointed at the three Overlords as they crowded in, and motioned to the little
Ronin and the woman. The large-eared one, steam hissing from its skin, raised
its arms to the ceiling and began to dance, its purple and red clothes flapping
comically in the air.
The Overlords exchanged looks. Cale grunted as Dais pushed past him, the one
ice blue eye steely and cold. Dais jumped, reaching for the dancing imp, but
the creature jumped and spun away, knocking Dais on his head. The other
From the steam that gathered over the head of the steaming imp, a cloud formed,
full of boiling hot rain. It floated to the ceiling continuing to be fed by the
steam rolling off the imp. Suddenly, the cloud broke, and the boiling rain
began to fall.