Varasin/The Circle of Labal
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
- OOC: This is an in-character perspective of Labal, from Varasin's point of view. It's use ingame is severely restricted. It may be considered an expurgated essay, or a palimpsest.
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- To the reader: This that follows is my truth, it may not be yours. It is best considered a palimpsest. Dedicated to the memory of Benfire, who loved and lost and was never consoled until after his death. “Creation remembers and mourns all those that are gone, none may take this away.” — Varasin Karanasi June 2009
In Legend there was heaven, and then war in heaven, and many were cast down. Labal was one of these. Raised up in Hell by his father, oft-known to us as Lucifer, Labal at the time was a very powerful Ash Demon known as Bebel. Bebel served his father with two others: Paimon and Abalam. In this Trinity of Kings of hell, Paimon was most senior and loyal to Lucifer. Labal was in part one of Hell’s Soul Collectors charged with bringing souls to Hell against the final reckoning of Heaven and Hell.
Once the Three Kings were snared in a trap, the mastermind a nameless priest of Babylon. Paimon and Abalam escaped, Labal was caught and snared. Held captive, he would later escape. For he was the Ashen King of Lies and mark this well: he deceives not only with words and guile but with actions and indirection and the truth.
Labal also at one time rebelled against his father. Banished to Earth and stripped of demonic powers, Labal slowly founded a power-base here and committed great deeds and charted great acts, desiring to win back the grace of his father. During this time he became partly of this world, although many might not see this.
More recently his life and loves
I would say Labal has known love, and still may. Azarai was of Labal’s kind, although a pure unfallen Angel of heaven. Seba’eld was alien, Seran’el, and my friend.
Of these Azarai and Labal gave us Theresa, Labal’s daughter from ahead times. But note Labal and Azarai’s love was not of an earthly kind, not rooted here — although I suspect Azarai was rooted to the fates and care of those thrown to earth, not hell.
Seba’eld is akin to my sister, a true friend irregardless of the choices she and I have and will make. For her in part I swore to ensure the Nictus were defeated and the Seran’el able to reclaim their own fate, despite the massive changes wrought on them by Nictus domination.
Seba’eld and Labal became lovers. He changed her and she him. I say they had true love, and she became his queen in Abyss. It was her that brought Abyss to a large large power and filled it, that time. And when I say she changed him, I mean in part she anchored him to some analogue of humanity. She once offered me the role of Hell’s Soul Collector when she and he would be on leave from their cares a while. And it was during this time I became, perhaps, a friend of Labal.
Later she left him, her throne empty and Labal swore none would sit in it. She went to hell and their continued their work. Later still, I think as Labal lost his anchors of care and restraints, she left him and now serves Lucifer directly, the Grey Mistress and powerful indeed. She and I remain friends, and talk: for there is a role for Hell, a rightful one, and she is still my αδερφή
There have been other loves in Labal’s recent times, that is not for me to say here nor any consequences of such.
With their departure from Labal nothing anchored him here on Earth to ‘humanity’, he was free to become a thing of great power unrestrained it seems by concerns for the mortal coil we call Earth.
Aside: the nature of hell-born demons
The hell-born are within a hierarchy, these are written in many books, and oft differ. Hell a place of powers, the demons commanding powers within their nature and sphere. Demons could be called (summonsed), although woe-betide the caller. They are not of Earth, Hell is their place, and rightfully can be banished back there by those that know.
Within Hell there is competition for the power of other demons, this is subtle, endemic, political, and a constant and ever moving machination and weave.
Classically Earth is part of a battleground: heaven and hell fight here for the souls of mortals, who may choose. Yet both are constrained, there are consequences should one of heaven or hell misstep. This is the Way of Creation.
There are weaknesses to all things, including hell-born demons.
For the Hell Born Demons these are some:
- the divine,
- the very choices and faith of the victim (easily shaken in most cases),
- the weaknesses of the nature of the form and aspect of the specific demon (a demon of fire would suffer from the essence of quenching, a demon of ash might find earthly powers affect some of his innate abilities
- magic: warding, binding, and such
- naming and casting the demon back to hell, although woe-betide the caster should the demon be anchored to earth by other means
- causing the demon to overstep, and acting on that
Death to a demon, on Earth, is usually trivial. In most cases the demon simply is gone, reduced. His time on Earth over he reforms in Hell weakened with no recourse. Certainly killing a demon on earth may negate its goals and set it back, or the goals of those that called it here. I see such however as respite, oft necessary.
Yet now Labal is not simply hell-born, he has Greatened, he has Become.
Time Breaks and Creation Opens
We on Earth are now within a crucible, a cusp. The future opens to us. We step up and away from Earth in these years to come — our future here and out there in the stars, where there are other beings, others in the Community of Creation both hostile and benign. This is humanity, destiny, the Right of it.
Labal’s nature was limited to the Solar Bounds. Yet he was a Power here on Earth, where there were aliens and others seeking to usurp our path, to harness us. There still are. I say to you now that in some small common field those of Hell and Earth can stand together against common cause.
Against the small chance of need a thing I made, and bargained insistently with Labal. To him my soul, in return he would read this thing I made, know it. It would change him, allow him in part to act properly from those outside the Solar Bounds. In good faith I did this, heavy this was. Labal resiled, saying this reeked of martydom. Perhaps it did but I was insistent, he was my friend, and I foresaw a need. That need remains.
Later a thing happened. A link to one future opened, and then here and now there was also Stone Labal, the Labal of this one future. Eventually Labal and Stone Labal fought, and our Labal took from that Labal a thing, Paimon’s power perhaps, and so has it in this time. Stone Labal fled, but remains here and now.
Late last year I journeyed to the Walls of Creation where there was a thing, a crack is how I saw it, into the Void. There I spent all of myself, my body and the flickering embers that remained of my soul, and this thing I sealed and that which caused it I cast out beyond the walls before I did. I looked into the Void while I did. When I had taken up this task I had no thought of surviving at all, in any form. It simply must be done or Creation would run out before the time appointed. Labal held my soul as the remains were spent, it burned him.
Yet since I had taken up this task I had met someone, fallen in love, and others called and needed me. To this end I had spoken with an ancient Nictus, Ara Tenebrae, and brought him here. Ara aided one Raith of Karanis, this anchored him here. It was Ara that called my very mind back from the walls half in Creation and half in the Void, when I was done and fading. My psyche, mind — myself — returned to Ara Tenebrae and Raith of Karanis and this world I love. I am me yet my soul is gone. It is not my soul within the body that clothes me.
Later I would find — a mystery! — that yes I could still call upon my faith, and would be answered.
Earlier last year Labal broke the rules that bound him. (This he had often done. As alluded above there are — or were — consequences of such.) For this he would suffer: the voices of Creation, the voices of the Universe, bid him. Within Abyss I and others fought Labal, except he had reverted to Bebel in a way. I heard and understood the voices at his Window of Creation, and brought Bebal there. It was there I forced him to read the Scroll of the Scion, fulfilling my Wish for which I had given my soul over to him. And when it was done our Labal was back, Bebel gone. And Labal was changed in nature and capability and scope.
Of those I know in the isles one other has much to do with Labal. This is Lewis Kazzemo. I am not privy to all their interplay. I know Lewis often sets himself against Labal, and aid him as I can. Yet the reasons and capabilities of Lewis are not mine, I fear for him. Of those I know here on Earth other than myself Lewis I would say has the most knowledge of Labal. Perhaps Lewis has changed Labal and greatened him as much as I have, or more. Certainly in their battles Labal learned much of the powers of Earth.
Something is broken. Labal now acts with impunity and flouts the laws that bind punish those of Hell that transgress the ‘rules’. What has happened that this is the case?
There is no Paimon, there is no Abalam. There is only Labal and he is here on Earth. One throne, that of Labal. The Grey Mistress serves as the Right Hand of Labal’s father for now. Labal’s armies remain, very much so, although the Grey Mistress took his extras she had been building up from other Kings, as well as those she created.
A General and favourite of Labal’s, back from the days of Babylon, has been resurrected. General Kelter is an amazing general, and extremely loyal to his King. New Kings are in place under Labal, and so Hell is made on Earth. In Hell itself Labal’s throne is in question, but this does not mean his armies have lost any semblance of loyalty to him.
Labal’s father has no interest, it is said, in this matter. He is leaving it to us here on Earth, where the Foundation of Labal’s new power is. And Lucifer makes ready for when Labal ruptures Hell, a Greater Hellsgate between here and there. And Labal has taken from Lucifer most Loyal Paimon and Abalam. I would say Labal seeks to have here on Earth what Lucifer has in Hell, and seeks to prove to the Creator and His father some things.
Can Labal establish dominion and empire here on Earth? Yes, this he can.
Abyss is a great temporal power now on Earth. Labal has lost much and gained much, this is clear. Who listens now to the Chorus of All Creation? Once Labal would simply change a thing. He would say: I simply tell the universe you are sick, when you are not; or explains: I simply tell the universe you arm is not damaged, and it is undamaged. Can he still do this? I do not know, perhaps not.
He is vastly more powerful than he was, in Earthly terms. Both a gift and a weakness, of sorts. If he can reach out his hand and take from all of us, to strengthen himself? What then? Is this the case? Yes. Should this be the case? No.
Still. I do act. I have my faith, tested though it is. But I cannot do nothing and rely solely on faith. To this end souls still go to heaven and hell, as they always have. Yet now some special ones go directly to the Grey Mistress, and some to the Realms above, from all over the world. Their numbers increase daily, and over time become formidable: these are specifically those who will not come under Labal’s sway and will be most effective if there be war.
And I listen to the Chorus of Creation. There remains an immanence I sense at times, beyond his understanding or beneath his notice. Not all questions can be answered, sometimes we must step where we must, and give over to another. I last year made an engine, of sorts, a thing of anchoring, a stable point of rightness unable to be tarnished by Labal. Or rather I called into being a thing that can now be. This sleeps, it waits against need.
And Labal is the Ashen King of Lies sans pareil. Even seeming victories against him are often to his plan: know this and know this well. Know his name, his nature, do not be deceived. And do not take hatred or evil into your battles with him. These will fail you and serve him.