Wicked Games, After All

August 08, 2018:

The Goblin Queen makes some new 'allies' (spoofed by Ripclaw)


NPCs: Master Darque, Lionel Deveraux, Papa Donjo


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Once upon a time the French-Canadian settlement of old-world Metropolis this area of Lafayette, Metropolis holds heavy to the style of 18th and 19th century homes. It is often called Little Orleans to many locals and has grown rather popular in the recent years due largely to location, many from Louisiana who miss home but live up north, they call Lafayette Metropolis Home.

Though the builds are tightly packed and several stories high they look squat, each one disnctive from the next, terraces with vine growth, hanging decorative windchimes, Gaulish markings, Voodoo and gothic theme grafitti, markings and shops are hidden everywhere. People openly claim to practice magic around here, strange things do happen but it is a guarded superstitious community that somehow also hosts a wide range of religious freedom, Haiti Vodou being one of the most common.

Madelyne Pryor no doubt feels at home in such a place, the lights and lanterns running down the cobbled street of the central road never just in line, crooked, symetry only appears here with intentional artistry or ritual, the area so aged much of it has settled or risen with Metropolis many years.

A man in a sugar skull mask bows to the woman, then goes back to waving out an arm full of jewerlry to those who pass by.

A monkey with a tophat sits in a rocking chair before a supposed 'authentic' voodoo shop actually smoking a long Native American looking pipe. Puffing away with not a care.

She can feel it though, perhaps why she is here, not for the atmosphere but for the 'pull', something reached through the Astral Plane and gave her a tap, an invitation to come and find it…

From the tip of a stiletto tipped nail lacquered black - the gris-gris dangles before her while the man at the booth watches her assessment of his 'token' next best seller.

The curled clutch of the chicken's 'paw' has the toes and their claws hooked inward as if life was something it could have held there before that man had severed it from it's body, now to dangle in Madelyne's grasp, the leather cord laden in painted feathers that were once white and now are dyed to add a color to… Death.

A flick of finger and the death-claw rotates in her pinched grasp, setting the gris-gris back upon the vending table. "Not what I need." Madelyne states as she walks away.

A manner of appraisal from the man: 'Hate to see you leave, love to watch you go..'.

Clad in a second skin of synthetic shadow, it is hard to miss the way the lighting flickers off every dangerous curve that sways with her steps, the laces of the cincher around her waist sliding over the curvature of voyeured backside.

Through fallen strands of blood-red, though, the nod of the man in the Death Mask is regarded, bringing pause upon the paltry jewelry to pass through the glittering veil to the storefront manned by a smoking ape. That 'pull' returning to take the high-heeled steps the direction of the store front.

Madelyne grips the door handle, looks at the monkey.. "Disgusting." The smoking or the simian itself? Likely both.

The streets and their odd yet straight wind almost appear like they're out of a painting, the glow of lamplights adding a ghostly favor to it. Part of that tasteful mystque here after all, it brings in money to the 'French Quarter' and they are quite prideful here, the ones who claim to be real and the obvious posers alike.

The monkey with the pipe stops, pulls it from it's lips and smiles a very toothy smile at her, then it quite bluntly says in another language, "Coco santi!"

"What?" A dreadlocked head pops out of the shop entry, a red eyed young woman with a nose stud peers at Madelyne then the simian. "What? Customer?"

That monkey shakes it's head left to right and sits back on it's rocker again.

The store clerk looks again at Madelyne, really 'looks' at her and her eyes go wide, rounded. "Oh, shit. Nevermind… "

Madelyne knows how to appreciate art of a 'French Quarter' even if made of false oil paints and broken dreams of being much further South. It is much hotter there, and a preference, but the 'pull' kept her in this Quarter of Oz. She is not the one to cast a stone here… Not right now at least while the hand pauses on the door handle and the glass rattles the subliminal warning about 'casting stones'.

The simians words to her caused her to narrow that gaze upon the creature, the color in those irises lightening to an ember in flecks that spiral… But stop when the woman's voice has them almost face to face. Red eyes meeting a burning hazel.

"How much for the /Makak/?" Madelyne states, ignoring the shocked look on the shop keeps face for now while she slides within.

All business.

"He… is not for sale." The dreadlocked girl says, "Sorry. We have other things you can consider. All kinds of magical shit from around the world." She waves her hands out wide like shes a bad actress or just incredibly high.

The monkey shakes its head again, "No." It states. Then points the pipe down the road.

"You don't want that filthy beast anywhere near you, ma'am." A voice casts in from behind her right shoulder. "This pathetic little shop is a scab of growing over wasted potential along with it's inhabitants. Not worth your rather priceless time." The owner of this voice is a man in a black suit, expensive one, a grey on black tie hanging over a glossy grey button up shirt. His hands tucked inside of his slack pockets, likewise black, dress shoes finish the attire.

Handsome enough man with a strong build under his suit, fit, a face meant for a camera or public speaking, dark blonde hair and blue eyes. Though he is smiling its a sour one.

"Perhaps I can show you some of our Quarter's more… profitable and worthwhile ventures."

The girl, not the monkey hisses at the man in the suit. "Get out of here dick. You want another hex? I'll make you taste your own snot for the rest of your life."

"Cute." Is all the suit replies with, brushing the clerk off to stare at Madelyne more openly. "How about it?"

The monkey puffs at the pipe once more, rocking again in that chair. It's expression changed though, its glaring at them no longer amused it would seem.

Madelyne was about to step inside and cross the threshold before the mans voice gave her pause.

Not the voice itself, but the -sudden- placement, unfelt, without warning. Her narrowing gaze even more /acute/ with the phrasing that has her releasing the handle of the door and leaving it ajar in a limbo, but Maddy does not enter, instead she slowly looks over her shoulder towards the Well Dressed Man.

"I have no need for /'magical shit'/," Beat. "Or those who fling it." A wink to the pipe puffing monkey. Nothing friendly about that small gesture.

"The offer for your /zozo vyeyi makak/, stands. Otherwise," Madelyne turns on that 5 inch stiletto in a pivot fitting a ballet, but the way the shadows swathe and shift over her in reaction is more fitting something serpentine. "I will venture."

A hand extends towards the man, slender, bare save for the lop around middle finger, twining a glove that rides to bicep and is fringed in a pale ruff of hide and fur. A match on opposing that falls along the contours of opposing side, drumming fingertips over her thigh as she waits and sets the metronome's pace.

Upon that store front Maddy awaits a meeting of hands, an introduction, a simple touch from this hated man. So she likes him all the more for the seething and the loss of 'joy' he brings to this place!

The girl's scowl remains, she is tossing up strange sigils with her fingers in the air like shes trying to ward off Dracula, not taking the bait about the monkey.

That monkey, it chuffs in to its pipe and looks down, rocking quicker. They appear… scared as much as they are trying to show otherwise, it is not so easily hidden from creatures like Madelyne Pryor the Goblin Queen.

"Smart and beautiful." The man says with a fluid and warm tone to his deep voice, that hand shes extended taken by one of his own, an expensive wristwatch visible and under the band the etches of a tatoo that disappears under his cuffs. Not just shaking her hand he guides it up to the crook of his forearm and turns, an easy stroll away from the trinket shop, further down that windy street.

"I apologize for the nature of some of our residents, they're simply unaware or too foolish to realize who it is they address. You are not here for them anyways. We both know that." A wolfish smile appears on the man's handsome face.

"I never got your namee. It is cruel to leave me guessing." Lionel says with a touch of humor.

"Pity." Madelyne states to the mutual silence the "mambo" and her simian give in response. "He will be disappointed… Another night." Nothing new, Bamfy will have to hunt for his treats.

The sigils painted into the (n)ether between them by the Creole Hippy are watched from periphery, something reflecting in the narrowed corner of her gaze while her hand is contacted as desired, drawn up and guided…

Just as away as they were "cast" by the woman with red eyes that could see the 'devil' for who she is. Tasting blood is the same as witnessing fear, and when Lionel whisks her down the passages of narrowed streets she watches him as he speaks more than listens, the steps of theirs the heralding backdrop instead of the voices of citizens and vendors. Slowly fingertips press over that watch in a rolling stroke from where they rested over his wrist, a caress that curls the points of dark nails over the cuff after a light caress upon what she had glimpsed moments before. That inked skin needing another look…

My, what big teeth he has… And from that wrinkled cuff to his face, those eyes slide upward, and from beneath the veil of shawing lashes, Madelyne *looks* at Lionel and returns her own smile, but it causes her eyes to nearly hide in a darkness behind narrowd lids, if it was not for that infernal spark of amber that is overtaking her 'natural'. "Oh, she knew, eventually." Even with every step Maddy does not move her honed gaze from this man at her side. "You apologise for them as if they are yours to keep," A small smile forming over her lips that are painted a visceral red, almost black if not for lighting. "I do not come for the fodder, I come for the games."

Her fingers pat the top of his hand when he calls her cruel. "Cruel? No, that's just foreplay."

"They are, in a sense." Lionel says, "By proxy one could say." The man stops at a wooden fence, past it is a barren spot of land where nothing appears to want to grow, just dirt and rocks, vines curl up the man-made barrier around it yet do not grow 'in to'. He appears to b looking at it very intently before he snaps his gaze back to her, that award winning smile once more very present.

"Foreplay, I dare not say what a woman should and should not say or do I suppose. That is overextending my status and nature but please, go on." He again jokes.

"I must confess at this point, it is not merely chance I came upon you. I was sent. Just as you were summoned." The man's blue eyes drift down to her fingers then his watch, turning it just enough to check the time only then do they travel back up.

"You have drawn the attention of a very important individual, my… /employer/." There is some reverence and loathing mixed in to his voice.

Madelyne walks with Lionel to the 'Gate" and stands to oversee the 'spooky-ironic' habitat beyond…. Nothingness. Empty.

A stroll forward and her hand unfurls from his while he checks his watch, like a man hard pressed to return to his home post-adultery. Sinner, through and through, which still does not have the smile upon her face remaining as she walks forward to the spires of wooden slats, her hands extending and fingers seeking to twine around the upper spires, pointed nails chipping paint away from the skin of aged wooden barrier. "I doubt you want me to go on." Maddy states as she rocks back and tilts enough to look back Lionel's way, a curious brow lifting at his admission.

"Your CEO, you say?" A parting of lips just enough so he can see the *click* of her tongue in thought beyond those dark lips, all the while teeth flash and those quartets of rigid canines flash Lionel's way. "The company he keeps is ravaging," Ravishing? Same difference!

The sweep of Lionel in that night-glow gaze is predatorial, and yet… "So good to see you finally cut through the entree and got to the meat of it." A wink towards him and with that, the smile she bares is gone. "You have done well, serving me up to this… /employer/," His own tone returned then as Madelyne pivots to face him, propping herself against the fence while folding her arms across bosom strapped in synthetic strips of dark. "So please, let him know The oblin Queen is here and 'Handled With Care'. Hm?"

A crook of fiery auburn brow and her lips warp into a twisted form that is between a smile and a flash of teeth in snarl. Intonations abound.

Her name finally given.

"But who is this delivery from?" Yes, in turn she wants his name as well.

"I am anything but a coward, miss." Lionel insists, "My employer, yes." He manages before he motions at the empty lot, which the ground in the center is churning, splitting outwards to reveal an old gnarled tree trunk hidden below the surface, it parts open, a yawning maw about eight feet in diameter, light comes from below.

"Oh, he knows."

"Do not worry, it is not as cramped within as one would believe." The suit assures Madelyne only to pause. As though it just sunk in, one dark brow arching below dirty blonde forelocks, "Goblin Queen?" An amused smile then hes descending in to the passage way, disappearing in to a shimmer of what she knows is a portal or a glamour to something beyond.

A reality inside this reality, a shadow passage in to a supernatural 'underground market' where all manner of mythical beasties, hidden spooks, bogeymen and travelers mingle, sell wares of all kinds from body parts, dvds, weapons, love potions and souls…

The reddish glow of the lantern lights casts it in to a red district feel, Lionel stands before her at the base of the brief stairwell.

"You will know his name soon."

Madelyne, The Goblin Queen, follows Lionel like a /lion/ watching from a crumbling ledge, the paint from the fence chipping beneath the scrape of departing nails. If she sported a tail, it would have slowly, casually curled and flicked in a symbolism of 'game on'. "You mistook," Maddy states, a palm splaying fingers across the exposed spanse of her chest between the deep plunge of straps to keep her covered and PG-13. Ish. "Not a coward at all. But not one I can liberate, as your /employer/ is why we stand here. Not You." The index finger that extends his way in a point bares a pointed and lightly hooked nail painted black, reflecting the opening of the passage he walks into.

"Just my luck, if the essence tastes sweet, ambrosia it is not." A self chiding TSK and Maddy follows Lionel. "I was asking your name…" She states, her words fading off into a lowered tone as she steps through without said worry.

The Red Lighted District Between reflects over The Goblin Queen as if she is a Bathory brought to revelation, peeled from the Cess-pool of humanity and lead into…

"Sweet Hell… All I need now is a Moscow Mule and I am halfway to delight." Lionel is approached, slowly after a skim of the venues surrounding them here, if not dodged she grips his face with both hands, fingertips pressing along his jaw while lips press upon his forehead.

Gratitude? Silent exchange? Just because?

"I gave you my name." Lionel replies, "Unless you are being devious and seeking my true name. Which, mighty forward of you Goblin Queen, but, that would stir something opposite of what we intend in this meeting." He asserts we again, feeling slighted that shes seeing him as a servant but his smile remains as does his composure. Attempting to keep his presence of power suit alpha male and not a servant of some evil dark lord….

"More exotic and effective pleasures to be had down here, if intoxication is one for you, the hag in the fourth stall is someone you must meet. I've sampled her wares and never tasted better." Lionel stops speaking as she touches him, confused at the act of kissing his forehead.

"Your lips are as delightful as Hecate's own." Devearoux compliments, his fingers rising up to touch the spot.

"There anything here you would like to see before we proceed? It is a market and nothing more, one of the many hidden folk trails left behind that some know how to access freely."

"/He/ is likely to be patient where you are concerned."

Madelyne quirks one corner of those lips, a dagger headed towards the single eye of topaz lined in a fiery hue where specks are cast across the pale depths of Eire, causing an abomination of hazel that is lit aflame. "What you(we), intended, not *Me*, in this abrupt exchange." Madelyne states as her lower lip tucks in, a flick of tongue to taste where his fingers now touch in a /reverie/, but something in his actions and tone cause her to exhale harshly.

Nostrils flare, and the obvious revelation of irritation on her face is not bothered to be hidden when she looks at Lionel. "You even underestimate intent." And if she had that tail it would whip-crack in irritation when she turns to head through the path of stalls in a deadly weave of avoidance to gain clearance - the fourth stall glanced, and passed by with a dismissal that can only come on a lowering of lids - narrowing visual over the span of this…. Between.

"You have apparently divulged in many pleasures, Lionel," Madelyne states, looking back over the slope of a shoulder where the srap of attire paints like oil on a canvas of contours, not losing its shine despite the Darkness. "But Hecate is a sweetener, nothing more, in comparison."

Once free of the cloister it is then that the tufts of pale 'fur' begin to form upon the ridge of boots, like shedding ash, they go from black to grey to stained beige in the length.

Truth be told… "If /He/ is what is intended in this meeting, then let's not waste the time of your," A pause and Maddy slowly reforms that venomous smile baring canines. "/Employer/." And now, that tone cannot be misinterpreted.

"Patience is a Virtue. Is /that/ for sale here?"

"No intention to offend, we intended on just an encounter, a partnership that s beneficial to all. You… intrigue the powers that be, one could say." Lionel protests as calmly as he can manage, trying to put out the fires hes begun with poorly chosen words.

"I like to think if anything I overestimate… my side of this ongoing perhaps."

"I have divulged in enough to know what I prefer. I assure you, your higness." He keeps pace with hr as she moves through that 'Troll Market' one of a kind but small compared to the one hidden under the Brooklyn bridge.

"I… would truly not know… " He appears to stammer a moment, hsitate then hes squaring his shoulders and motioning onward, "As you wish."

There is a set of stairs upwards, towards another hollowed out door that is covered in bone like adornments, wrapped around itself and in, a swirl of designs that teases the eye.

"Patience is one of the few virtues I possess."

He offers one more smile before he 'ripples' out of existence in to another of those portals beyond… or between.

This time she finds herself exiting through and in to a large empty manner foyer, dark oaks, dim lighting and gothic in style, no light that is natural coming through and the air is cold, it smells old, dusty and something underneath is off.

"Here we are… " He murmurs a hand motioning around him as if to display it all in his bland disdain. "Not to my tastes but… then, this is business."

Lionel's first few passages keep Madelyne from stepping further forward for those heart-beats of time where the man even stammers, thusly broadening the smile The Goblin Queen, only, can reveal.

A flash of gold vein in the darkness, canines cutting through enough to press skin of lips' swell into lined dimples. "In a place such as this, your tastes cannot have limitations." The Goblin Queen states as she tilts her head, lifting her chin in a manner that shows her intaking a deep breathe. When her eyes re-open they are an ember stoked and prodded, matching the smile that reveals every bit of danger even this place portrays, to the Between of the *Beyond*. "Oh, Lion-el, you even underestimate yourself…" The woman in a reflective painted noir whispers before she joins him into that portal.

Pausing before him and his introduction of the most non-exhuberant proclaimation in all of this, the woman in black, but painted in red presses a finger upon his forehead where her lips once claimed. "Business, is pleasure." A statement as her finger slowly draws downward and smears a passage along his profile, pulling away with a curl of that index, like a becon.

But not here, not now. Not….

"Is your /employer/," Again, that intonation! Maddy holds nothing back and will accept the weight in turn, gladly. "A mummy? Because this is simply a sarcophagus in need of life, even if it is a bit on the infernal side.." The latter a mumble before she once more speaks up.

"At least offer better drinks than Manhattan!" A clap of hands as if it would summon her very own Alfred.

"Limits." Lionel considers as she takes in the new area around them, "I find challenges to self quality, I rather prefer to know where I stand and what I expect. Limits, expectatios, standards… " His presence feels different here, less solid. He knows fear in this place but he is hiding it very well for a man who looks to be, simply a man. The touch shes again gifted him makes his chin rise, that smile creep back and he almost forgets who they are present for.

"No, you should ask him this, however."

"You will see. This here, this, is more trickery and games of illusion. You can pierce it if you try, I am sure… "

A stare at Madylne as if he is trying to discern beyond what hes seeing and failing some, "I can summon the butler if you prefer. There is a wine cellar thats quite impressive."

"He knows we are here… its only a matter of time."

The empty ante-chamber covered in the gothic draping of 'cob-webs' and stillness is suddenly wracked by the cadence of a laughter that bends Madelyne at the base of her spine. An over-expression in posture down to thatg of her amusement at his words… Word. Limits.

"You are a bad liar, but deceit and trickery come hand…" The hand that had been expressively placed upon the exposed skin of her abdomen extends towards Lionel, now. "In hand." The 'glove' is a mere loop around mid-finger in the drape of a chain, encasing to bicep with that reflective fabric of shadows and mirrors.

"I will ask as soon as he chooses to appear and answer, until then…" A tilt of her head casts strands of a deep auburn across her jawline, but their placement is disturbed upon her crown as the very illusions Lionel speaks of are fading like a morning mist, despite the midnight atmosphere.

"I desire a tour to the wine cellar instead." A pause and she casts him a wry glance with a devilish grin. "Unless that is pressing your limits, and fine print." A lilted purr to her tone, but all the while, slowly her own illusion is dropping, and with it the very curl of beconing finger flicks /just enough/ to try and catch that ethereal webbing… And tear it from the rafters. Wicked Games, afterall.

"A liar, a rather point on word to throw at someone you just met. Story teller, one who exaggerates, misdirection but a liar… "

A look down at that stomach and his fingers rise to adjust his tie, "By all means, let us go to the cellar." Yet he only takes one step as she begins to unravel the illusion around them.

Yes they are in a mansion from the 1800s possibly earlier, its made of old woods stained and darkened with time the furniture is in far worse condition, crumbled or broken in half, decrepit. The walls are interwoven with black ichory like vines all around them, they pulse and stretch along the ceiling, there are corpses upon corpses embedded in certain points, eyes open and looking around, mouths agape in silent torment, fingers and out, nothing fully projects just partial. The floor is stained, so many differing dark colors its hard to tell by what, the likey guesses of blood and gore best direction.

Lionel doesn't alter appearance at all, still a man in an immaculate suit in a groestque chamber out of a Cthulu story or Silent HIll. This place she feels is quite alive but… sentient, menacing and foreign.

"Still wish for the tour?"

"It can wait." A voice declares, a rasp that peels from the very shadows of the antechamber, slowly like a ghost rising from under the surface of the ocean depths a man, a strikingly pale man in a full body suit of reddish-black leather and enwrappings drifts in, he doesn't walk, he floats and lowers to the ground once before Madelyne.
A tall man, gleaming eyes of yellow, skin albino white and covered in ritualistic markings that look like faint blue-white tattoos that shimmer. Both of his hand cupped before him look long, decked in rings of serpents, skulls and runes, his black painted lips part in to a smile, both cruel and handsome and inspiring the dark lining around his eyes to crinkle.

"The Goblin Queen. My name is Nicodemo Darque, I hope you were not put to much by my cohort, he has the best of intentions…" The twisted smile fades and stares at Lionel. "Leave us. We soon speak of things not for your ears."

The man who brought her, Lionel tries to hide a glare, his one brow rising up before he nods curtly, one hand foldng behind his back as if it will hold his pride and anger in check, "I shall be just beyond… if you need anything, Master…. Majesty… " Jaw tight one to the other he then spins on his polished shoe heel and strides out.

Darque's claw-capped hand rises and he places it lightly on Madelyne's lower back, "This way, I'll show you the view and we can discuss my proposition."

The illusion around them is not only the environment, but the embodiment within, and with every step the tufts of fur that tops her 'boots', meld into calves that warp and bend, disjointed into a bovidae back-bend. The click of heels melds into that of hooven passage, but none of it ceases the sway of hips clad in the strapped-on lining of pants that fetter and melt away from thighs to hang a cloth betwixt…

The Rating of exposure rises in temparature, like the press upon Lionel's tie knot. Her hand reaches to where he adjusted as the place changes around them, as She changes before him in homage to her Crown as the Queen. Of Goblins, and the corpses melding in around them only have her hand easing around the silken fabric of the tongue of Lionel's tie, the nails now more akin to claws as they curl into fabric and pluck at threads like cutting an Achille's tendon to draw the "serf" just a touch closer. "It just keeps getting better and better…."

A pulse, a rhythm that changes the place around them in a herald. "…but…" It Can Wait!

Those eyes aflame slide the way of the skin-grafted Nicodemo, the smile that only bore the tips of the row of canines tipped in an amber, widens only to narrow her eyes to a shadow with only a flicker of whirling sparks.

Lionel's tie is adjusted, straightened, a loose thread 'snipped' from the crease of his adornment, letting the silken strand fall to the floor like a dead leaf in season. "He tried…"

Madelyne releases Lionel if he does not part from her first, a faint tug at the end of his tie before she lets the tether fall away. "And I would call this a success." The tone rolling into a deep rumbling purr, her smile now framed in the unleashed wave of auburn and flame colored hair, the length descending down to the small of her back where the fabric dips into a point just at the base of spine in scant covering.

Where Nicodemo placed the grafted palm after dismissing Lionel. Lips meet a fingertip, the pointed nail dimpling her lip, a press of her lips upon it as it unfurls Lionel's way like a blown kiss… But instead the gesture is nearly a 'shoo', aligned with a wink of one golden glowing eye.

"Proposition?" A small grin and she is walking in stride beside this 'Master' Darque, his palm able to feel the shift in pace as well as the lax in muscles that bare no tension in regards to his touch. "And here I just thought I was being spoon fed mambos, simians, and a new vision of a Limbo on Earth." Heaven on Earth. Hell on Earth. Whatever the case may be her eyes are travelling over the glowing patterns that line his alabaster skin, all the way to that of his profile, her grin foreshadowed… "Please tell me it /is/ so…"

"Limbo." Nicodemo sneers, "No, I have no designs upon the timeless realms, I enjoy entropy and corruption far too much I prefer to see things be tested, tormented and melted to their rotten pits, exposed so they can be rended, broken and rejuvinated stronger, harder, more powerful, through pain, suffering and sacrifice comes enlightenment and absolution, nirvana…. "A deep chuckle rumbles free of the pale necromancer, "No demense or lilliputian thoughts of territory do I host in my vision. I only wish to step through the gates of paradise and make it turn to black. "

"Words will ultimately fail, come with me, dark quen. I shall show you the guts of the spiral and what it hides."

A shimmer upon the wall and a portal wavers open for them… Master Darque guides her though….

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