Mortals expect a gaping razor toothed maw, dripping blood and echoing with the screams of the damned as the mouth to hell. They anticipate immediate consumption by sulfur scented flames, an endless existence of renewal and suffering. But the Lord of The Below, as the residents call it, has reshaped and renamed both it and himself. Lord Aranan is a classy and subtle Lord and the intricate double wrought iron gate that is the entrance, rests on the edge of a plush white lawn.
As Julius alights on the grass he notices a canopy with a table set for two and his eyebrows twitch just slightly. He didn’t think that word would reach Lord Aranan so quickly. Julius shouldn’t be surprised. The undisputed ruler of The Below is essentially the head of a massive corporation, for the earth was already quite crowded with gods when the one god, as he fancies himself, came along. When Lord Aranan fell, he grasped control of the violent, chaotic infighting amongst all those who had claim of the various versions of the afterlife. He broke down the barriers between the realms, creating an empire even vaster than the one above.
Julius takes his seat pouring two glasses of claret, first for the Lord, then for himself.
“Your manners are refreshing,” says Lord Aranan.
Lord Aranan’s shoulder length hair is mercurial, a being almost onto itself. His skin, the color of polished pewter and his eyes are warm facets of topaz. He radiates a charisma so heated, it’s uncomfortable for Julius to sit this closely to him.
“Tell me of him, this angel that falls.”
And though Julius will not deny his Lord, he cannot help but feel that something is out of balance when falling in love is a damnable offense and wonders too, just which boss is to blame.
“He loves, unknown to himself as of yet, but he does. His love for Clara, pure and true.”
“Perfect,” says Lord Aranan silkily and Julius winces.