Elisade, Mistress of the Circle of the Aflame, was a great success. Her
business touch was solid gold- every client her agency took on doubled its
sales in six months. Her house in Knightsbridge was getting too small to
contain all her shoes. She was thinking of buying the property next door and
having it converted into a wardrobe. She could have any man, and any woman,
she wanted, and on any terms she liked. It amused her to get them to grovel
at her feet, to lick her shoes clean and beg to be allowed to touch her toes
with their tongues to give them a good polishing. This latest worm seemed
promising- he checked out as VERY rich. She liked them VERY rich. After all,
she had a demon to feed, and demons had expensive tastes. Deals with the
devil could be very profitable, so long as you got someone else to pay the
He seemed a bit hesitant to get on his knees. Even when he did, there was a
trace of amusement behind his eyes. Sparks flashed between them, her steel
striking from his flint.
It has been so long since she encountered anyone who didn't immediately
snivel and crawl that she was more surprised than annoyed. He dare he! She
walked right up to him to stare him down. That's when he snatched a loose
hair from her head and thrust into a golden charm he had just yanked out of
"What the fuck?" She shouted as he uttered the words "...and the charm is
She felt the air in the room change from cool city night to blazing topical
heat in an instant. Every lightbulb in the building exploded into sooty,
sulfurous flame. In the cracking light, she caught a glimpse of something
HUGE reaching down from the skies to fasten claws of invisible steel about
her throat. She fought with every spell and cantrip at her command, but the
claws closed about her throat and choked the life out of her. She fell to
the floor, barely alive.
But she was protected by powerful incantations, and she soon awoke, her
ruptured throat healed. But somehow, she was bound. The loosing spell had no
effect. The disintegration had even less effect.
She glared at her captor. He was clearly a powerful demonologist himself...
what did he want with her?
Elisade struggled against the bonds of ensorcelled rope, proof against her
most potent unravelling charms. She began reciting a powerful curse on her
captors. They stopped her incantation by the simple, if regrettably
unsophisticated, measure of inserting a large red ballgag into her mouth.
They began to circle her, intoning a chant of their own. She recognized
snatches of the ritual- a very familiar one to summon and bind a demon. What
frightened her was that the demon was named... and it was her own servant
demon who was being called! They began to brandish hot irons and barbed
whips in front of her, not coming close enough to cause any actual damage
but setting her heart racing with blind panic. What did they want with her?
She couldn't understand why they kept threatening her. Chained to the altar
in the ritual circle, bound with enchanted steel, her own magic useless...
Then she realized. It wasn't her they were after at all. The thought hit her
like iced water. They were not interested in her at all. They wanted to
capture her demon, her succubus. Torturing her was one way of ensuing that
her demon had to manifest itself. It was in the contract. But of course it
didn't want to materialize inside a circle of binding. She knew at that
instant that her life was less than nothing to her captors. They were after
demonic power, and she was just a convenient way to ensnare the true power
of her succubus.
The contract would compel the demon to appear. It was just a question of how
close to death she would have to be before the compulsion overcame the
She realized that the men had implements of torture in the circle with her.
They would use them on her helpless flesh until the demon was forced to
Elisade the Sorceress started to scream.