I Wish I'd Grown Up...

By James Walker


There's one band a demonling cannot choose to be.

"I remember Lurz.

"My memories are scattered, disjointed. I remember him wandering the streets of Shal-Mari wearing a battered, stinking raincoat; but I don't know where he got it or why he wore it. I remember him being kicked out of a casino on The Strip; remember him eating at a grotty restaurant. I remember the first time he saw a Lilim. I think he ended up owing her in return for finding out where Tempters come from. I think. It was after that meeting that he travelled until he found the Guild House. He spent years watching it; he even acquired a few geases in return for all of the essence he acquired over that year. Eventually he mustered up the courage to go inside. His geas gems acted as a passport of sorts. As he wandered the main room, seeing what was on offer, the desire to be a Lilim, to be courted and desired grew to too strong to deny. He smiled as the demons running the stalls offered to buy his geas gems; easily avoided the demons who hoped to force him to invoke the geases on their behalf by threatening to invoke them by having the Lilim make the demon's life misery.

He learnt about the Waiting Room; that anybody could queue to seek a boon from Lilith. He found it; he waited. His handful of geas gems ended up being frittered away, as he bought his way forward on the queue; essence was spent as fast as he acquired it. Eventually he was in the first third of the queue, but despaired of getting any further. A Lilim, entering the waiting room, and sweeping the queue, came up to him: 'you are tired of waiting? You will owe me greatly if I take you to Lilith!' He nodded, and left the queue, following her. She smiled, and turned to the petitioner who had been standing behind him - a small geas chain appeared on the petitioners wrist, and the Lilim wandered off, pocketing her new geas gem. Sighing, Lurz headed back to the start of the queue.

I think Lurz ended up owing a geas to a Lilim to let him stand in front of her, so that only the mightiest demons could push past them. Certainly he was in the queue a shorter time; and for some reason his guardian Lilim listened to him as spoke of the tricks which were used in the queue. When he finally got to the front of the queue the geas he owed was gone; but I got the impression that she didn't mind.

And so he met Lilith, who smiled sadly and shook her head when he made his request. Begging, crying, he spoke of what he had learnt; the deals he had struck, the potential he had. And Lilith listened. The Calabite bouncers moved nervously; should they have already thrown him out? But they waited as Lilith listened. And finally Lilith nodded, and picked him up, enfolding him, taking her inside herself - and that is how Lurz died."

"Yes, I have his memories. Yes, his Forces became mine. So? Do you really think I would buy his smelly old raincoat? Ah! You think that I would want it destroyed, that I am ashamed to have once been a demonling. Silly girl, why would I be ashamed? I am not Lurz, never was, any more than you are whatever Damned Souls were used by Mother to make you. You'll have to try better than that, sister......"


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