15186/Hellish glare and inference

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Hellish glare and inference
Date of Scene: 06 June 2023
Location: Masonic Cemetery, Sunnydale (TBD)
Synopsis: Satana makes a new friend! And for the first time, not from raw materials! (She also offends an earth spirit, but that's not important, right?)
Cast of Characters: Satana, Willow Rosenberg, Askante

Satana has posed:
Sunnydale was showing itself to be an interesting place. The magic shop that had actual magic. The sheer concentration of the supernatural. It may be time for a new base to be established here in the heartland. (Why heartland? 'Cause the brain sure don't live next to a literall Hellmouth!)

Thus it is that, during the witching hour, naturally, which is not, contrary to most people's thoughts, midnight, but actually about 3-4AM, Satana casts her magic and steps through her Infernal portal into...

"Ah. Cemeteries. My favourite!"

She's dressed in black, but something about her outfit suggests that Satana isn't in mourning. (The proper word might rhyme with 'beat'.) She wanders around the cemetery, reading the tombstones and casting a little cantrip of her devising as she touches each one. The results of her cantrip inform what she says with each touch.

"Hell. Hell. Hell. Limbo. Hell. Hell. Limbo." One of them widens her eyes and she flicks her eyes skyward. "Oh my. We lost this one." Then she continues. "Hell. Hell. Limbo. Valhalla. Damned Asgardians! Hell. Hel." She releases a long-suffering sigh at another loss to the Asgardians.

"Well, still, we've got the bulk. That's good."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
As it was, Willow was gathering moss that would only grow in cemeteries by the light of the moon. Good thing she's not particular about cemeteries, or the dead. Well.. a little bit of the dead when they rose from their graves. But this was spring and they tended to feel the spirit move in the fall. The gravestone moss was easier to collect in the fall, but it was safer in the spring for that, and numerous other reasons.

Of course she didn't expect someone here.

Someone who was counting off gravestones.

Satana has posed:
The sound of someone talking puts pause to Satana's reverie and has her whirling to look at the young witch. She blinks momentarily, taken aback, before gluing an oily smile on her face.

"Oh, hello there. I didn't see you when I came in."

She looks at where Willow has been scraping and wrinkles her forehead. "Isn't this more effective when harvested in a full moon in mid-Autumn?" she wonders. "I mean the mid-Spring moon gives it quite a jolt too, but I would think it's worth waiting the extra six months?"
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
'..can I help you..' Was almost out of her mouth (she had been in retail for too long to break that habit of being polite!) when she suddenly knew who it was. "Oh, it's you!" The counting was a little bit odd though. Though given some of her friends? Not /too/ odd. "To wait for the Harvest moon in October?"

She nodded.

"I need it now, not later, I'm afraid. I waited for the full moon? It's close. Why are you out here? I mean, it is a cemetery, and strange things have happened once or twice." Try continually. And often when two or more of the Scoobies gathered. It's almost like the prayer in the mass that says 'when two or more of you gather I shall be there amongst you'.

Except Willow is not Christian; she a pagan - with Jewish roots. When she was at home with her parents she tended to be a little more Jewish to cut down the arguments. (And worse!)
Satana has posed:
"Oh, I see. That makes sense, although it is a bit unfortunate. Still, better some power than none, so it's all good in the end."

Satana takes a deep breath and looks around the cemetery. "Me? I'm looking over the facilities in Sunnyvale. I'm considering buying a home here. This is such a comfortable and inviting little place, and having an authentic magic shop makes it better."

She looks around the cemetery. "And I like cemeteries. Always just simmering with power. Not quite as good as ley crossings, but for that less under contention by every two-bit power-monger. It gets tiresome constantly putting those in their places."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow could have sworn that Satanna was counting (?) off people's final resting places. Didn't she?? That was silly, though, wasn't it?

"There are nice enough properties in Sunnydale." If you look past the nexuses that drew supernaturals to the places as well! Though, Satanna seemed to be more aware of that kind of thing the way she spoke of ley lines. "The Magic Box exists mostly for the 'tourist crowd'. Anything that they can find about the New Age, and, I hate to say it, paganism."

Because Willow was a pagan. Though not the New Age pagan that had crept out of the recent trends. Sure the Box was heading up to their high sales months when people walked about, enjoying the weather, and dropping in the small shops that were in the main strip. But everytime she had a sale for a customer a tiny part inside of her winced.

"Are you sure though? I mean there are nicer properties around.." And there weren't going to be quite as many ghosts, and demons, and vampires etc, around. "..that are just as nice but cheaper!" There, she had put out her number one advantage (or it would seem the normal people were looking for the best deal in all cases, and she didn't have the make up a story other than it was cheaper somewhere else!).
Satana has posed:
Satana's eyes widen, then her mouth does, emitting a joyous laugh. "Oh, darling, money isn't an issue for me at all!" She reaches into her outfit (from the underside of the cleavage, no less, because showing off is fun!) and pulls out an enormous wad of hundred dollar bills. That couldn't possibly have fit where she pulled them out of.

"I think this would be the down payment for a sizeable home here, don't you think?" she asks, carelessly waving the bills around before returning them ... to where they show not a hint of existence.

"The Hellstrom family is old money. And I inherited it all."

She's not going to mention the fact she can grab what she needs whenever she needs it with only a small effort regardless. That would be awkward to explain.

"So I look more for entertaining places to live, and I must say, next to an open Hellmouth doesn't get much more entertaining."

Her eyes lock with Willow's as she says that, a sly smile on her face.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow's mouth opens. Then closes. And does that a few time more, Until she finally whispers, "You aren't supposed to be aware of that."

Wait.. Did she say Hellstrom.. She couldn't have.. Did she?

"Who are you, anyways?!" Willow began to think that maybe she's missed something. "Not many people know about the hellmouth. You shouldn't know about the hellmouth." Only two types of people knew about hellmouth: Really Powerful People, or Really Bad People. Sometimes both could exist in the same person.

Oh! And the Slayer,and her cadre (which Willow is one).

So, really, /three/ types of people.
Satana has posed:
"Didn't I introduce myself in the shop?" Satana tilts her head curiously, eyes flicking up and to the left as she feigns trying to remember. "I could have sworn I said I was Satana Hellstrom. Of the Boston Hellstroms."

Her eyes lock on Willow again and her grin widens. Only this is more ... predatory teeth-bearing.

"The Devil's Daughter." Spoken with intense gravitas, followed by a short pause to let it sink in. Then she speaks with two voices: the thrilling contralto seemingly designed to coil around someone's brain stem and wrap itself all along the pleasure centres. And a second voice almost, but not quite, precisely one octave lower, calculated, via the dissonance so afforded, to inspire a fear response, blending desire and terror into a seamless whole. "And I mean that quite literally."

Horns push out of her forehead, curling around her head like longhorn sheep rams'. Her eyes go completely pitch black, except for pinpricks of Hellfire where pupils should be. And somehow, without anything else changing in her body or stance, she starts to very much loom, quite possibly because of the wreath of vaguely yellowish smoke smelling of brimstone that suddenly wreathes her.


And then it all vanishes in a blink of the eyes and Satana is back to ... well ... what she started as. A woman of questionable virtue in clothing designed to inspire even more questionable mental states in those who look upon it. In the middle of a graveyard.

"But I go by Satana or, sometimes, as a joke, DD."

Her eyes stray down.

"Double entendre, you understand."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Wait. Did she? It might have slipped her attention. Still, that was a pretty big name to overlook. Willow was pretty certain that Satana hadn't dropped her surname that only time she had met. Besides what was she doing at the Magic Box buying some two bit spell components (give or take a bit) what the devil's daughter(!) should surely have a better supplier than Willow!

And as Willow begins to sort her thoughts out, Satana was using her powers - just a bit. Unfortunately Willow reacted by rote, and threw up a protection spell without even trying to. So there was Satana looming, and Willow wrapped in protection ready to throw another spell..

..and suddenly..

Satana was normal. As though she hadn't done anything at all.
Satana has posed:
"Oh, my!" Satana says laughing. "I'm sorry, I can get a bit intense. But well done with the defensives!" She reaches out with a finger to tap in the air at roughly where Willow's magics start to take effect. Whatever she's doing is making those defences ring like a bell. "And they're quite solid too! I'm not immediately familiar with the flavour."

She tilts her head and regards Willow, pursing her lips. "You don't look like the kind who'd follow the Morrigan, but there's a definitive touch of her in your work. Do you mind sharing your school?"
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
With a wave of her hand - admittedly with some caution behind it - Willow lets go of the spell she was about to cast. She's not sure if it would have helped, but she is fond of forced lightning and uses it any chance that she can. The protections she holds a little longer.


"I never went to school. Not really." Her cheeks were pink - not that you could tell under the full moon. "I taught myself." Except for that very short time she had studied under Tala. Between the self taught, and the fact that she had very little clue about what Satana was speaking about..

Yes, she was referring to the famous mages of history. But other than that, Willow had very little clue. And now that she was put under the spotlight, Willow didn't think it would be helpful (for her looking like a real mage instead of what she felt like right now: a poseur) to ask Satana what she meant by that 'looking like Morrigan'.

Maybe she should have stayed with Tala longer?
Satana has posed:
"Ah, hedgecraft. I understand. You pick up the bits and pieces you find and assemble them together in creative ways." Satana taps the shield again and again it rings like a church bell in the astral plane. "So you likely got this one from someone following the Irish traditions, directly or indirectly. And honestly you could do much worse. The Morrigan is a fierce fighter and has some of the best shields I've ever seen. It's all good, solid work."

She tilts her head and regards Willow again, now with different eyes. More serious. Perhaps even ... respectful?

"I've had some of the best tutors Hell has to offer. Which is to say most magicians since, you know, they wind up there most of the time." She points upward and leans in conspiratorially, now her forehead pressing against the shield making it do feel like the astral equivalent of static on a television. "The Whoreson Upstairs doesn't like people upstaging His 'miracles' you see, so he's very, very, very cranky and judgemental about the magic slinging types."
Askante has posed:
Something is thrumming in the air tonight, zinging through the ether and jangling the senses. Perhaps it's the inherant danger presented in the cemetary, but perhaps not -- Sunnydale gives Askante a lot of work after all, most nights in fact. Human obliviousness is a contagion that really should be obliterated, except that that would make things a lot harder for the creatures of the night to actually lurk and be menacing. Plus, the world would be filled with a lot more panic and genuine fear-mongering and there's enough of that already.

In the crypts, things lurk. And slither. And crawl. And skitter. They do these things of their own volition, but they do not usually seem to swarm all at the same time. Darkness deepens, coalesces, leaves a chill down the spine as all the things that go bump in the night, heighten the sense of primordial dread...

And then it dissipates, like a shadow after the light is cast. There is only this creature, perched atop of a tomb, looking down at the sight below, assessing. One long digit, with an extra fingerbone and a lengthy black claw on the end, taps the air experimentally. "Stranger danger? No, there's power here. And there's /Power/ here, all full of shadows and flame. Bad, bad, bad. Tasty though. Probably good for a few calories, little snippets to fill the stomach like an appetizer, I suppose." It hunkers lower, wearing what for all the world looks like a wild west duster which somehow manages to obscure everything further. It actually tastes of entropic necromancy, of all things, does that coat. And then? It waves. A rather cheerful little finger-scale at both women. "Hello."

Pausing, it watches Satana unblinking now, as if it were merely a statue.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow nods slowly. She wasn't very certain about how she should take that. Of course her parents had entitled her with guilt and insecurity. Not with regards to magic! They didn't know about her magic. They, being, just plain humans. And the one time her mother had suspected her of dealing in magecraft, she tried to burn Willow at a stake. Needless, once Willow had erased her mother's memory, she was extra careful about magic anywhere that her parents could find out. But guilt and insecurity was a powerful friend to keeping a secret (which her magic was).

"I provide the protections for all my friends. We.. well.." How should she put this? "I've had a few occasions to be close enough to hell? You're not like some of the others. I mean, I kind of knew one demon quite well. He pretended to like me.. oh. You probably are pretending too?"

And with Askante's coming up through the ground, she begins to form a thought that maybe she was better off still keeping her protections around her. Two vs one did not make for an even fight..

Then again , nothing had caused the back of her neck to tingle. Even with the arrival of Askante.

She was confused.
Satana has posed:
"Oh, quite certainly pretending," Satana says reassuringly. It's probably not all that reassuring come to think of it. "I'm not really built to make emotional bonds. I do fake them very well, however."

She straightens back up, having had enough fun with Willow's defensive magic and the newcomer attracting her attention.

"A little world spirit. By what Name are you known, little one?" she asks Askante with a friendly smile and a curious tilt of the head.

And she said Name. Capitalized. Even vocally it's clear what she's asking for.

"I ask only to spare myself the tedious time of looking you up in my library. That would involve going home and listening to Father rant about his Grand Scheme and my Place In It and how I'm Shirking My Duty blah blah blah."

She rolls her eyes so hard it seems they might pop out of her face.

"Don't get me wrong. Father is dear to my heart, but he can be so BORING."

And that, right there, is probably the source of how different Satana is from other demons Willow may have encountered. Spoiled. Royalty.

"But all that aside, darling, while I may be pretending to like you, I don't *dis*like you. And that is probably more than good enough for us to be friends! I love having friends! We could go shopping together and get you an outfit more suited to what's under that dowdy stuff you're wearing. I could teach you tricks that will drive your lovers wild." The smile broadens, predatorily. "By driving you wild, naturally."

A hugely salacious wink.

"I mean I need to put my training to good use, and why not with my new friend?"
Askante has posed:
Askante's spines raise at the inquiry. "Not so little. Much older than you are, child of hell. And I do not share that name, it is abused. It never ends well. Bad people want things done and it's never, ever a good thing. You may call me Askante. Nobody left that knows my Name..." -- it bristles a bit, because that was a sore spot that got poked at. It looks at Willow. "Miss Redmountain. Oh, no, that is the wrong language, isn't it? Wait..." it looks aside, frenetically taps its lips with all digits on one hand. "Rosenberg? Rosenberg. Oh yes! The numbering... oh, you'd best not figure that out, it would be quite horrifyingly efficient." It hops down off the roof though, stretches to its full seven feet of height and mildly hisses at Satana. "No cookie for you! Wanting to know my name..... pfff!"

Pausing, it smiles with its double layer of sharp shark teeth. "Hope likes her radio!"
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Oh. Willow frowned. She didn't even try to hide it. This is a lot to take in. She claimed she was the Devil's daughter. That couldn't be good. She was an innocent, who was good!

Wasn't she?

In her mind she shook her head 'NO'. She might think she was good, but she knew she had to fight -every day- to maintain her demeanour. After all, isn't that what kept her for actually using her magic the way it was meant to be used?

Shoving that thought out of her foreground, to the background of her thoughts where it could be forgotten easily..

"What's wrong with my clothing?" Between the retro 60's and 70's looks? EVERYTHING. "I like them!" And more to the point wearing thing that were up to date would make it harder to pretend that she was innocence and light - when she didn't know it for herself. Not for certain. At that, Willow pouted at Satana.

Of course Askante brings good news! Hope liked her radio. For which Willow clasps her hands together. "Oh! I am so glad! I wondered! I thought maybe the radio had too much modern stuff on it, and I was concerned. I mean, even if the room was spacious, eventually she must get bored always looking at the same four walls.."

As for his name, the only name she knew him by was Askante. Oh! And fear. But she doesn't say that.
Satana has posed:
Satana's face grows wide with astonishment. "What's NOT wrong with it!?" she asks, looking Willow up and down. "A body and face like yours is meant to be displayed for the (possibly envious) attention of onlookers, not bundled up behind so many reams of cloth that it would embarrass someone making a balloon!"

She walks around Willow, assessing. "I see you're going for the sweet innocent look, but you can do that without looking so ... frumpy. There's ways of looking like a sweet innocent thing that will still call attention to you."

When she's back in Willows field of vision, she's dressed up in a high school cheerleader's outfit, everything about her looking like a sweet high schooler ... with all the salciousness dials turned to eleven. (DcnTxpG.png) "See what I mean? Nothing's more wholesome and decent than a good old all-American cheerleader yet ... nobody's going to look at this and not have ... thoughts!"

She leans in close--too close--to Willow to whisper in her ear, pressing ever so "subtly" against her. "Any man--or woman--you desire can be yours. I can help you..."

She straightens up and winks, before turning her attention to Askante.

"Age isn't the issue, little one," she says. "Rank is. I am a Lord of Hell. You're a wandering spirit of the Earth. An old one, I'll admit, but still... I'll grant you your superior age, but I'm afraid my throne and crown..." The crown that's suddenly on her head, made seemingly of iron and skulls. "...trump it. It's just the natural order of things."

The crown vanishes.

"But that doesn't mean we can't be friends. I mean Willow here is a mortal and we're friends now!"

Oh dear. She's decided this for certain.
Askante has posed:
"Thrones and crowns, thorns and wickerwork -- " Askante bristles again, then shakes its head. "This is a strange age. So many thing that crowns of thorns and rings of iron and gold matter...." It shakes its head to Satana. "I will not tell you the Name. You may seek it. Very few alive know it and it is protected. You may not care and take it anyway -- I cannot stop you. But few of us yet live -- myself, Hope, Anger..." it shakes its head.

"You wield the power of Hell. Speak to me like you respect, we will talk."

It looks at Willow then, "Be careful. I do not need to tell you that, but sometimes, even the wisest need reminders."

And to Satana again. "There is nothing natural about the rule of Hell. It is the very epitome of /un/natural. Be gentle tonight, the world will thank you and your stomach will also."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
By this point even Willow realises how inane she was for keeping the protections up. Either she was afraid or she was not. And by the looks of things she seemed to be edging towards not.

Even if she thinks that somehow Satana was taking her out to buy some new clothes (huh?!?).

Correction. She /KNOWS/ Satana has decided to pick her up as a friend. And most definitely was changing her wardrobe.

Oh my! Things were going to get real 'serious' from now on. *gulp*

(Could she even protest when the daughter of Satan was involved?)

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi!

Too bad he was a fictional character. The protections were removed. They had no conceivable use here anymore. Darn it!

Little does Askante know, Willow was quite aware of her dilemma. Unfortunately, she couldn't think of a polite enough way to say no to Satana without causing a bigger problem.. How much could Satana cause in one short shopping trip? Really?
Satana has posed:
"Then it's settled," Satana decides (without bothering to ask if it actually was: she's a demon: look it up!). "You and I will be friends. I'll help you get the man (or woman) of your dreams and we'll begin with your wardrobe." Talking of which, at some point her outfit has changed again, this time into a Catholic schoolgirl look, though the cross at her neck is upside-down. Well, a Catholic schoolgirl look with the hemline riding up way too high. And the stocking going up mid-thigh instead of mid-calf. Oh, and the blouse tied above the waist to show off her perfect figure. And ... well, you get the idea. She's sexing it up again. (Still.)

"There's lots of ways to send off purity vibes while still driving people crazy with pictures of what they'd like to do with you. I'll teach you how. I mean I probably should put my training to use to help a friend, right?"


"You won't have quite my impact on the souls of those who look on you with lust..." Oh. Succubus training. Oops. "...but you'll still be doing the Whoreson's Work on Earth: finding the flaws in His Creation so they can be swept down into my domain for eternity!"

She ... thinks she's doing ... God's work. WHAT!?

"Where is the best place to find you, Willow? I imagine the shops aren't open right now, after all, and I'd really like to take you out shopping."

An inviting smile creeps (important word here!) over her face. "Unless, of course, you invite me back to your place and we can ... keep track of each other."

She runs her fingers along Willow's jaw as she says that, leaving little trails of flame in their wake.

"I don't have to look like this," she adds. "I can be whoever you want me to be..."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
And that is where Willow is convinced she was going to h-e-double-hockey-sticks. Gods and goddesses forfend us!