This is a another Commission from
of my original character Lilith. Some of you may have already heard about her a bit in my writing or from the posting of her sword [link]
This is the second attempt of portraying her, and DesingAHV was very patient and willing to listen to my corrections and requests from the original. As a result, this turned out fabulous, and I am very happy to see Lilith finally actualized. She is gorgeous in her dark way.
Character by me.
Art and color by “Fellow Lords and Ladies,” the Speaker’s voice sounded from beneath the dark shadowy recesses of his robes. “I, as one with all among you, do voice a joint welcome and thanks for your attention in meeting here this night.” The figure surveyed the table around his form and noted all chairs were filled that would be before continuing, “I would now ask if any matter is urgent enough to be spoken of before we hear new business?”
A manicured hand stifled a yawn as Histra forced herself to stay awake during the pretentious ramblings of the so called ‘Speaker’. Glancing around the table she saw only the petty handful that always sat upon the hard backed bone chairs, having claimed them through blood, bile, and pain and were loathe to relinquish even a single meeting without reminding everyone that they possessed such a rank. As if anyone actually cared, she thought with a smile. No one would look twice at them, furtive and self important as they were. Anyone of real power’s seat lay empty, or like herself, was occupied by a representative of their master or mistress in the contingency that if something actually did occur of interest, they would be informed. Gone were the days of power she thought as she traced her nail idly across the ivory surface of the table. The Council of Bones, like most of the legacy of the Blood Reign had degenerated long ago into a petty bickering over research results, stolen spells and possessions, and the invoking of minor grievances over killing of servants and slaves, nothing that any body of true power would even acknowledge. These were not Necromancers, they were lawyers, or worse, politicians hoping to find some way to squeeze another handful of silver from the city to pay for their next whore or narcotic of choice.
“And one against,” the Speaker intoned solemnly, “The motion passes.” Settling back into her chair again she realized that she had somehow missed a call to vote on some small change in the classification of what was considered abandoned property as the Speaker looked at her and noted that she was the only one without a raised hand before moving on to the next item on his agenda. Silently willing herself to stay conscious she endured another hour of minutia and rhetoric as a thin balding man was given the floor clutching a stack of vellum an inch thick of prepared statements and dusty precedents to support his right to classify corpses as refuse, behind him was a woman with an equally thick stack that would no doubt refute ever word he was saying. As he cleared his throat importantly and led a spidery finger down the faded script of the first rustling page she almost groaned audibly but at that moment the doors to the council room boomed open, causing all eyes to turn towards the portal.
Pale eyes surveyed the room as the ghost white figure of a petite woman strode forward, her body covered in a snug fitting suit of black leather armor, decorated and reinforced by bone embellishments. From her waist hung a massive bastard sword sculpted from bone as well, inscribed with a novel’s worth of minute writing across the blade. Stiletto heels formed of bone spurs clacked into the tiles of the floor as Lilith, Piétrii of Clan Mörvia stopped at the side of her clan’s empty seat at the table. Flanking her form was a black haired human male in a black leather vest and breeches, his dark skin in contrast to Lilith’s, he possessed a bright azure tattoo of flames that ran from his chest up the side of his face and encircled his pale blue right eye. From the left socket stared an equally vivid green orb, which together froze those who fell under their gaze. Scars, burns, and brands covered the man’s visible skin where it was not marked with tattoo and a bone hilted sword with a curved blade hung within easy reach from his belt. On the other side of the Ghül matron stood a human woman, barely more than a girl until you reached her eyes, for within their depths lurked a lifetime of knowledge and experience. She was dressed in a gown of heavy red velvet, but she wore the jewelry of a Zhani witch on her throat and earlobes and had wrapped her auburn hair with a bright yellow scarf. Her bangled hand never left the ivory contours of the sheathed dagger tucked into the shawl at her waist as she took her place beside where her mistress stood.
“I have a grievance.” Lilith noted as she drew her chair out and sat down. A faint murmuring rumbled across the table
as the Speaker moved back to the center dais.
“Lady…” The Speaker paused, realizing for the first time that he did not know Lilith’s name, for Clan Mörvia had not filled their seat in the Council for over a century. A frantic aura of dismay tainted his body language as he hastily recomposed himself. “Lady of Mörvia, the time is long past to have added a new item to today’s agenda. Perhaps…”
“I have a grievance.” Lilith repeated calmly, interrupting the Speaker, causing his protest to trail off. Clearing his throat slightly, the cowled figure tried again.
“Lady of Mörvia, there are protocols to follow, surely you must realize…” Lilith looked up at the human at her side. Midnight drew his blade, which erupted in purple fire as each shadow in the corners of the room leapt as one to surround the Vivandi in a sheet of black flame. In the center of this dark maelstrom, his eyes promised untold terrors to the Speaker.
“I have a grievance.” Lilith said for the third time, a slight note of impatience creeping into her tone. The atmosphere of the room grew taut as the Speaker paused in his attempts to dissuade her. Then, with a slight bow he turned to the others.
“Lady…” he paused and looked back at the Ghül matron.
“Piétrii Lilith.” she supplied graciously.
“Piétrii Lilith of Clan Mörvia has a grievance and she has the floor.” He amended and bowed again to the pale figure before moving away.
“This is an outrage!” the dethroned representative protested, waving his sheaf of paper in front of Lilith’s seated form. “I have the floor! I formally lodge a complaint! I am a representative of …” The Zhani woman raised a hand and the offending papers burst into quickly consuming flame. With a yelp the man dropped them as they scorched his fingers. “Magic! Threats!” he accused. “A clear violation of the charter of this Council!” he looked around at the other representatives in outrage. “This type of action is an affront against my Lord and must be dealt with! She must be suspended immediately! I demand that…” His voice was cut off as, without blinking, Lilith drew her massive blade and pierced him through the heart. With a shove that showed impressive strength under her deceptively small form, she pushed the body forward to sprawl upon the tiles of the center floor.
“Speaker?” Lilith asked casually as she cleaned her blade and returned it to her side. The hooded figure came forward shakily. “His complaint was that corpses should be considered a form of refuse, correct?”
“Yes Piétrii Lilith.” The Speaker noted hesitantly. Her pale gaze rested on him for a moment.
“He is a corpse and he was refuse of no worth.” She noted in cold finality. “I believe this problem is solved is it not?”
“The motion passes.” The Speaker agreed hastily. “Piétrii Lilith has the floor.” For a brief second the opposing argument for the motion opened her mouth, about to protest and Histra leaned forward in anticipation, but at the last moment self preservation seemed to kick in and save her. With a bow towards Lilith she relinquished the floor to the matron. Without rising from her seat in the traditional manner, the Ghül pointed to another empty spot along the table.
“There is no representative for Lord Eldine?” she asked curiously.
“The ah… representative for Lord Eldine has just um … had the pleasure of your attention.” The Speaker informed her after a slight pause. He pointed at the cooling form before him.
“I see.” Lilith said dully. “This does complicate matters somewhat.” There was uncomfortable silence in the room as everyone contemplated the former living councilor.
“Perhaps Piétrii Lilith might consent to animate him to hear your grievance?” the Speaker suggested in a broken voice, revealing that he had long ago lost control of the situation. Her slim eyebrow lifted as she looked skyward and contemplated the suggestion, but she quickly rejected it.
“No,” Lilith said, waving her hand dismissively. “Nothing I could make right now would be able to carry the message I want.”
“Some form of proxy then?” The Speaker stuttered. “There have been predicates for such an action before.”
“I volunteer.” Histra suddenly said, standing from her seat. Immediately all eyes turned towards the woman in amazement. Lilith actually rose from her chair in response to her announcement.
“You?” she questioned, her eyes immediately narrowed as she regarded the woman. “Why?”
“I’m bored.” Histra answered honestly, “You’re the first interesting thing that’s happened since I got stuck in this plane of hell and frankly, I was getting ready to slit my wrists for a little excitement.”
“I see,” The Ghül matron stated flatly, “And you are?”
“She is the representative for the brewers and tavern keepers of the city, Piétrii Lilith.” The Speaker noted. Histra rolled her eyes.
“You really are stupid aren’t you?” she remarked sweetly. The Speaker’s gasp of outrage was silenced as Lilith raised her hand.
“Then who are you?” she asked cautiously as Midnight and Natalia moved alertly to her side.
In response Histra reached for the clasps of the cloak she wore to keep the chill of Shadowfell’s nights from her form. It pooled to the floor amid a gasp from the other representatives as the cold lighting of the room’s crystals glittered off of the dozens of faceted gems embedded in her skin.
“I am Histra, Viper of the Shadow, Bladewitch to her most beauteous and noble Sithra, Vizier to the Caliph and the living gods of Istaria.” She proclaimed proudly. Almost nude from the waist up, the only clothing the woman wore was a strapless metal brassier enameled with black and bronze colorings and a set of coiled serpent bracelets on her upper arms, but it was the other decoration across her body that warranted the most notice. A mural of incalculable wealth gleamed on her chest and arms, each gem set within her living flesh in a decorative pattern. It was a queen’s ransom of jewels that led from her collarbone to her navel. At her waist was wrapped a multiple paneled skirt of royal purple that reached to her ankles and hanging from the silken belt around her hips was a jeweled scabbard and a curved scimitar with a silver hilt. Touching one of the gems at her breast, Histra’s features shimmered and reformed to reveal kohled eyes of lavender hue and a cascade of long blue-purple hair. Lilith moved around the table slowly, her eyes never leaving the woman as she made her way round. When she finally stood next to the woman, her stare roamed across the gemwork in a calculated manner.
“Why is one of your kind among us?” Lilith asked curiously, not really expecting an answer. To her surprise however, Histra was more than glad to enlighten her.
“My lady Sithra has found fault with my service and sent me to be her ears here for anything that may interest her.” The Bladewitch said with a sparkling shrug. “I can only hope that my service to you will gain me enough favor in her ears to return to a more civilized climate.” Lilith took this in with a grain of salt. Still, better the danger known than the one not she thought.
“Agreed,” Lilith allowed. Raising her voice slightly, she addressed the Council in total. “I have a grievance against Lord Eldine of this city. He has broken into the ancestral home of the Clan Mörvia of the Ghül race and in doing so insulted me and my ancestors. I demand restitution.” Lilith took hold of Histra’s arm and raised it. “I claim Histra of the city of Istaria to be the proxy of my grievance, to deliver my claims to Lord Eldine and to bring back word of his reply. She is now under the protection of Clan Mörvia until this duty is discharged. Until such time comes, let no harm come to her by plot or poison. May shadows fall.”
“May shadows fall.” The others of the Council repeated in a murmur. Lilith let go of the Bladewitch and took a step back.
“You will return with me,” the matron added in a whisper as Histra bent and gathered her fallen cloak. “I have further instruction that need not be known by the Council.” Intrigued, Histra followed the trio as they left the Council to flounder in the chaos they had caused.