Feb 02 2015

Explained by TeraS

For those that were expecting Sparkly Horn Horror this time on the Tale, I really have been stalled on that story and I set it aside in order to try and write something. This is that … something. This appears on Groundhog Day and … I do feel sometimes like I am repeating my stories over and over again …

Still, sometimes there are things to say and they need to be …

 

Explained
By TeraS

 

Occasionally, though it is rare, there are those in the universe who can see more than most can. Sometimes they see the world around them a bit differently. Sometimes they see shadows or flashes of light that no one else can see. Sometimes they see something—or someone—that pushes at their sense of reality, or belief, and forces them to reconsider that which means the most to them.

Sometimes the question is asked by a raven-haired woman with a pair of red horns poking through her hair and a long red tail.

She should have been cowed by them, frightened certainly, even begging for mercy. That is what they expected when they had surrounded her. Of course, she was found in a place where there was nothing but pain, suffering, and more. That is where their kind dwelled, after all. They expected that she would fight them, in a battle where many would fall. They were prepared for her to twist some of them into things of darkness, the survivors having to end them to protect themselves and the innocents around them.

They had been told, clearly, that she was to be shown no mercy, because her kind, those with horns and tails, were obviously evil and would not give any mercy in return. They attacked, weapons drawn, intending to subdue her as quickly as possible and then vanish into the night. The thing was, none of that unfolded as they expected, and this brought the first small questions into their minds about what, and who, they were dealing with.

Before they could set up their ambush, before they could place their traps, before they could create a situation where nothing could survive … she simply walked out of the depths of the darkened streets. She walked up to them, unconcerned about her safety, it seemed, and approached the leader of their group. She stopped a short distance away, crossed her arms over her chest and regarded them all. She had an expression on her that they couldn’t quite read, but the first words she spoke made it all clear.

“Explain yourselves.”

For a moment, they were all taken aback by her force of will, but then they remembered they were all protected from evil, from what it could do with their minds, and their bravado returned with the leader of their group answering in a gruff voice: “Prepare to die.”

Her eyes narrowed, the green bright and clear beneath the bangs of her wild ebony hair: “I have better things to do. If you were doing good, you would be helping here. But you are not. All you have in you is black.”

Of course they all took this as an affront: a creature like her making such a claim was unthinkable. They drew their weapons, seeing no other choice but to fight her in the here and now, the innocents be damned.

She shook her head, pinched her nose, and sighed: “Fine.”

At this point, they expected her to summon darkness to protect her, to turn into her true evil form. They had seen if before, and were prepared for that again. What they were not prepared for what when she offered her wrists and said: “Bind me. Take me away from here. You will not cause harm here.”

They did not know what to make of this, as never had a creature like her given up without a fight. The leader couldn’t help himself, blurting out: “Explain yourself.”

She smiled, and that smile was one that they knew had no power over them. It couldn’t. Yet it did, and they lowered their weapons slightly. She did not move as she replied: “You will not hurt a soul in this place by your actions. If I do not fight, you will not either. At least there is that much honour in you. So, bind me, take me away.”

They did so, they had the special bindings to hold any being of evil and secured her with them. From that point onwards it should have been a simple matter to walk out of the place, drag her along, and then deal with her elsewhere.

It didn’t quite go as they expected.

They expected to be cheered as they left, to be called heroes for taking this evil from this place. It had happened every time before, and they expected this occasion to be no different. Instead they found that, at first, they were greeted by looks of surprise, then confusion, and then—more troubling—disdain for what they were doing. It started with one of the elders, one they had not spoken to, looking at them in anger and sternly barking two words: “Explain yourselves.”

They were only the first of many. It seemed the further they walked, the more of the inhabitants of this place were coming out to see what they had done. The next demand was made by a child. Two words: “Explain yourselves.”

The next by a couple, the wife with child: “Explain yourselves.”

They did not answer any of these queries, for they had no need to speak to anyone, they knew exactly where the evil was. Still, they quickly escaped the place, feeling more and more uncomfortable by the moment, but certain in their own minds that she was responsible for what happened. She obviously placed a spell on all of the locals, making them so demanding. It didn’t mean a thing.

This was an assumption that none of them should have made.

They arrived at the place they had been told to bring all of the evils they had found, the place where the evils would be judged—a formality—and then ended—which was decidedly not. The building was made to hold evil, restrain it, bind it tightly.

Again, this didn’t go as they expected.

The first sign of a problem was when they finally noticed that the bindings they had used on her, which should have been tight … were not. In fact she had tapped the leader on his shoulder and handed him the bindings with the comment: “Would you like to listen to an explanation?”

When he moved to grab her, expecting her to run away, she pointed at the building in front of them and sighed: “Fine. Let’s go inside. Maybe that will explain it.”

When they placed her in shackles, then locked the cell door and activated the wards, they all felt safe and secure. They all knew, without a shadow of doubt, that no evil could possibly escape their prison. They retired to their canteen, to have a meal and mull over the creature. It was just as the first drink was served that the door to the place swung open with a loud creak.

She stood there, arms crossed over her chest, her long red jacket swirling around her legs, and she glared at all of them. Again she demanded: “Explain yourselves.”

This was impossible! She couldn’t have escaped! Even if she had gotten out of the shackles—which was unthinkable—she could not open the door to the cell or any of the doors in the place. Evil could not do anything there.

Still, she walked into the room, stopping at the far end of the table where they were. “Now, at this point, most intelligent beings are questioning if I am what they think I am. Are you yet?”

The silence in the room was deafening, and the looks they gave her didn’t seem to faze her in the slightest.

“Fine. If you want me, I’ll not be in that cell. I’ll be in your library, reading. Come see me when you can explain yourselves.”

They moved to stop her, but she vanished in a puff of cherry-scented smoke, and that was when panic set in. They scrambled all over their keep, looking for her, knowing that she couldn’t be in the library. The books were sacred: evil could not touch them, use them, or even read them.

When they did find her, she was, in fact, reading by the fireplace in their library. She placed a finger upon the page she was reading, to keep her place and waited, patiently. When they said nothing, but came into the room and surrounded her, she turned her attention to the book she was reading again. “This explains a lot. Who you are, what you do and why. But it does not explain how it is that you are so blind as not to see the truth when it is staring you in the face.”

She turned the page and posed a question to the leader of the group: “How do you know evil?”

He would have preferred to drag her out of the room, but held his hand and answered: “We know it when we see it.”

“I see. Therefore, the failure of your bindings, your spells, your wards and all that you use against evil tells you nothing about me, then?”

“You have the marks of evil.”

She smiled: “Those that I have given comfort, love, and hope to would disagree with you.”

“You trick them.”

She tilted her head to the right: “Really? Then tell me. What is your absolute proof of evil that none can overcome? Please, I ask you, test me. See if you are right or wrong.”

It took some time, during which they all expected her to run, to burn them, to create chaos and destruction. Instead she kept reading the books, one by one, and occasionally leaving for the kitchen to make herself something she called ‘tea’ before returning to her reading.

The time finally arrived, and they brought to her their test. It never failed. It would always, always turn to where evil was. They had searched for some time to locate a newborn and her mother. While the mother would not tell truly the sight of evil, the child would. In evil’s presence they would cry and howl in despair. They expected her to now explode in anger, to kill them all, something to prove she was evil.

Instead she looked up from where she rested when they brought their test in. She smiled, put her book down and then offered: “Please, won’t you both come in?”

While that surprised them, they were more so when she offered the mother her chair, asked if she needed help somehow, and then took another, less comfortable chair from elsewhere in the room to sit beside them.

The mother should have been concerned, upset, angry that her life and that of her child were in danger. Instead the mother looked at the leader of their group and repeated a now familiar demand: “Explain yourselves.”

Before he could, the creature—he still thought of her as that—answered for him: “They wish to test me, to see if I am evil or not. They believe that newborns can tell, for they are the closest to the light of all of us.”

The mother chuckled: “Are they all really that dense?”

She smiled: “They wish proof. They cannot explain themselves.”

There was no other hesitation as the newborn was given to her and she held the child in her arms. No cry, howl, fret, anguish. The child looked up, smiled, and even laughed. She did not look up at them, her attention on the child in her arms as she spoke. “You cannot see anymore. The evidence has been there in front of you all of this time. You have all become so blinded that, when light shines at you, the darkness you dwell in takes it away. You cannot explain yourselves.”

She paused, still looking at the child as a halo formed just above her horns. Large black feathered wings appeared behind her as she stood, still cradling the child carefully. She kissed the child on her forehead and then gave her back to her mother, the two sharing a look between themselves.

She then turned to her ersatz captors, a look of sadness upon her as she did so: “Open your eyes to see. No one else can do that for you.”

She then walked past them all, stopping at the leader’s side for a moment: “See them home safely or you will explain yourselves to me.”

He nodded, still not believing that she had passed the test, as she left the keep, vanishing into the dusk as she did so.

The mother stood and asked: “Do you know her name?”

“No.”

The mother looked at the book the woman had been reading and then closed it with her free hand: “Had you known your own legends, you would have known her name.”

She then looked at her daughter: “And you, my child, you now have a name, too.”

Many years would pass by, the green eyes of her daughter twinkling at the sound of the name, a name she would come to know in the years to come, for she would hear it every day. The day came, many years later, when she discovered a book in the archives of her town. The image in the book and the name written there told her much, but then the story that followed told even more. When she came home that night, she hugged her mother and showed her the book, open to the page with the name, picture, and story.

“I … know her. Can you please explain?”

That story took some time for her mother to tell. At the end of the story she resolved to find this …Tera. Perhaps she might remember her. Perhaps she might explain.

Perhaps she would be pleased to know that they had the same name …

Feb 01 2015

A Review of Wicked Devices by Josephine Ballowe

Wicked Devices by Josephine Ballowe

Wicked Devices by Josephine Ballowe

There is a problem with stories about Succubi that I still have. I do not understand why it is that so many authors take them to be a kind of vampire. They are not, but it still happens. What bothers me more is that they have to go “wild” over blood at some point and that makes little sense when they say that they live on the sexual emotions of others…

But, having a Succubus make her living by playing the roles that others need? That is an interesting idea… even if she isn’t aware of what she is…

  • Title: Wicked Devices
  • Author: Josephine Ballowe
  • Publishing Date: November 25, 2012
  • Length: 3,000 Words
  • ASIN: B00ADQM7IO
  • This work at Amazon.com – No Longer Available

The work tells about:

Lisbette, a specialist in expensive role-play has met her match in Malcolm. When this mysterious stranger and his companion, Persephone, quite literally take her to the banks of Hell, and they make Lisbette expose her darkest desires that reveal the truth about her past? Or is Hell really more like Heaven?

Overall the story is interesting at the beginning. Lisbette talks about herself, that she makes her living in adult role playing and then tells about a client wanting to meet her at a bar. For the most part nothing seems odd until she goes into a back room with him and then things become very odd. She is bound, somewhat tortured, and then told that she is a Succubus. She does not believe it, but eventually has not choice but to do so and then face her future.

The problem I have is that the idea of Succubi in this work is mixed with that of vampires and then also takes a turn mixing them up in an odd way. Then you have some BDSM scenes that are more brutal than anything else. Lisbette not being able to accept anything happening makes it more confusing still.

There isn’t really so much erotic heat as it is a lot of base instincts and actions that end in just more seeming confusion. A number of spelling mistakes and word errors also make it hard to get involved with the work as well. But in the end I just found it very hard to enjoy the story for all of the fractured moments that happen in it.

I’m giving this work two out of five pitchforks.

Far too much blood and similar moments in this work for my liking. I still do not see why Succubi are seen as vampires and they have to deal with blood. Beyond that some editing would have been helpful… and another part of the story to explain all of the question left unanswered…

 

Tera

Feb 01 2015

A Review of Succubus vs Vampire by Dou7g

Succubus vs Vampire by Dou7g

Succubus vs Vampire by Dou7g

The fourth in my continuing reviews of the works of the author Dou7g in the series called Succubus Temptations. You can find my review of the first work in the series here on the Tale and you can find the review of the second work here and the third can be found here on the Tale too. The fourth work was a collection of the first three works in the series and so this review will be of the fifth work in the series Succubus vs Vampire.

All characters have a past. It is what happened in the past that matters to who they are in the here and now in the story. It becomes more interesting when that past returns and plays with the present. Sometimes when that happens there are unexpected surprises and that is where the real story begins.

  • Title: Succubus vs Vampire
  • Author: Dou7g
  • Length: 30 Pages
  • ASIN: B00SS8P68W
  • Publishing Date: January 25, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells of:

Kendra the beautiful scarlet haired succubus takes the mage Megan to New York city to meet a vampire named Kiki. Also Edmund has to deal with the enraged ogre that Kendra has conjured up.

Kendra takes Megan out of her comfort zone and to New York where she is confused, uncertain and then, to make things worse, she finds out that a vampire Kendra knows will be teaching her to be “seductive” and while this happens, back in the castle Edmund finds out that not all Ogres are what he expected them to be.

I thought this was a neat bridge in the series between Megan’s past and what her future might turn out to be. Along with that there is a surprise about Kendra and what her relationship with Megan might mean going forwards that brings a dimension to the story that was hinted at, but now is very clear. Mixed into this comes Kiki, a vampire from Kendra’s past and in that past there is an obvious relationship that needs to be explored a bit more than it is in this work.

Moving the story from “the past” to “the present” is an interesting place to take this series, and I think that it works as a whole. The confusion in Megan as she tries to make head or tails about what is happening around her comes and it doesn’t seem wrong with her personality. There’s also a moment where Megan realizes something important to her, that I would have liked to see played out a bit more, but I expect it will be later in the series.

While Megan remains true to herself, save for when Kiki gets involved, Kendra seems to lose her way a bit, which is really a very hot scene in all when it happens. The one thing that I didn’t quite think worked well was how Megan got from where she was to Kendra in that one moment when Kendra really needed her. Again, I think this will be explained later in the series, but it did give me pause when it happened.

There is a lot of comedy in this work, really more than the other works in the series so far, and that mainly comes from Edmund trying to deal with learning to fight. There’s really a lot of growth in his character and as well for the Ogre that I really liked a lot. I didn’t actually expect it to be honest, but it works really well, the story isn’t out of place, and overall it made the story more interesting for me.

While not as sexually driven as the previous works, I felt that the story was driven by the characters, what they were dealing with more than anything else. It wasn’t about getting them into bed with each other, it was about telling a story and setting up the series to come.

Written as well as the other works by this author, I do feel like there are a couple of pages missing between the two stories themselves. I felt like there was something missing when Megan was taking to New York. It was a bit too much “whirlwind” and in that I thought that some story was missed that would be nice to have seen. I also thought that a bit more time could have been spent with Edmund during his fighting lessons.

I liked this work, just not quite as much as the others in the series to this point. I think it was a bit rushed as a whole. A bit more time spent with Kiki, especially with the use of some persuasive mind control as well, would have been nice. But it does leave some very interesting paths to go forwards and in the next work I hope that some of those might be played with.

I still have a thought about Kendra and Megan, which is partially confirmed in this work, and I’d like to see that unfold. That thought, more than anything else would make the future for Kendra and Megan really different. The only thing they have to do is get out of the situation they are in and get back home again. Somehow I think that’s not going to be as simple as it sounds…

I’m giving this work three and three-quarters out of five pitchforks.

What I really liked most about this part of the series was that Kendra’s past was revealed just slightly and in doing so it drew a new interesting character into the mix. The question is however, just what Megan makes of all of this. Somehow I think she’s not going to be pleased.

 

Tera

Jan 31 2015

A pair of WIP YouTubes of Morrigan Aensland

I found two YouTubes of an artist at work drawing some art of Morrigan Aensland that I thought were interesting. The only thing is that the completed art isn’t shown, which I think is a shame. While that is a bit disappointing, do have a good look at the beginning of the first video where the base artwork is shown…. I think I would have liked to see it finished…

And if you cannot see the videos here, try these two links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HUFM4Ez1wk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7wYLDQ5laE

I think the setting of this art would turn out well and I hope that at some point it will…

 

Tera

Jan 30 2015

Can the Lost Girl paint it black?

The one thing I cannot stand is when a series like Lost Girl has a character appear that, in a lot of ways, tries to be another character. They try to have the same attitude, the same tone of voice, even the same sort of style. But that really doesn’t work when it becomes a caricature and then some. I thought that this was something that Lost Girl wouldn’t do, but obviously I was wrong because Zee seemed to become a Morrigan wannabe, complete with attitude, looks towards Bo and then some. That didn’t work at all. She isn’t close to being near to Evony’s style, for one thing, and for another, it really just felt like someone thought that she needed, in order to be “evil”, to be like Evony. Someone didn’t get the memo about creating characters with their own style and attitude I think. Also a better fashion sense would have helped, but I digress.

The other thing that bothered me about this episode, being that it was the mid-season finale, and is going to mean this is the last episode until next winter by all accounts, was that really none of the characters was in any real danger at the end of the episode. Yes, I know, Mark gets stabbed, Tamsin gets hit by lightning. But otherwise… Where is the tension at the end of this episode? Bo opens the box, okay that was expected. Lauren and Dyson are waiting for help and watching Mark bleed while Vex runs in circles, again, not unexpected. Trick is off who knows where, again not unexpected. All of the main and supporting characters are just… paused.

When I look back on the previous episode, I think that made a better cliffhanger in a lot of ways because it didn’t telegraph what was coming. It set things up, left doors open, but didn’t push through them. By doing that there was a real tension at the end of that episode that didn’t, at least for me. happen in this one. This episode was… as a whole… boring. It really was only in the last five minutes that things happened that I actually cared about and that shouldn’t have been. There was a lot of tension, questions, and mystery that could have been used to make a better episode and it wasn’t.

Now we have ten months of… pause. I’m underwhelmed to be honest. I have no desire to get to the next episode, to want time to hurry up and get there so the next episode can be aired. This is not a good sign and it doesn’t make me happy. Too little “need” was left in this episode’s wake and that’s a problem. But it is what we have, and as such the questions that have been going on in the series to this point weren’t really answered. Save for one thing. At least we finally know what Bo’s father looks like. Hopefully that means that things will finally get ramped up in the latter part of this season. I really hope so.

The eighth episode of the fifth season, also episode sixty-nine of the Lost Girl TV series, was this week. Bo gets her hand dipped in black paint, while her father tells riddles, and the world starts to fall apart around her, before Bo sees the light. Tamsin gets dressed up before having a shocking discovery about the Ancients. Trick enjoys some really good clam dip before some light reading, while Zee does a Morrigan impersonation that needs a lot of work. Dyson loses his mind until Lauren sets him straight, then keeps up the pressure. Mark discovers a one-night stand can go wrong when her parents come home, And Vex calls for takeout and then helps out unexpectedly.

Lost Girl Logo

This is the eighth review of the fifth season of of Lost Girl. A summary of this episode has been added to the SuccuWiki, but won’t be adding my commentary to the articles there as that is what the Tale is for….

Bo has a drink and when she’s done, she’s seen the…

 

End Of Faes

 

The episode begins with a series of flashbacks to previous episodes including: Bo standing in the middle of the symbol the Ancients carved into a street, Lauren commenting “someone is trying to send us a message” and Bo saying that the Ancients were behind the attack. Bo commenting that her father is Hades and he is trying to use her for something as she reads the birthday card from her father and looks at the present he sent her. Iris asking Mark what he can do, Mark replying he is a shifter as Iris demonstrates her powers and then commenting that she serves her keepers. Tamsin watching Bo and Lauren in bed, Tamsin stating that she knows that Bo’s heart is with her, not Lauren, then Tamsin leaving Bo. Hera attacks Dyson and then Zeus’ lightning kills Eros as Bo, Lauren and Evony look on. Cassie is seen asking Zee to let her go, then Zee pushing her off the balcony to her death. Finally, Bo telling Trick that it is about time to meet the other side of their family.

The episode proper begins with Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) packing her things to leave with Bo (Anna Silk) following as they walk down the stairs in Bo’s home, Bo telling Tamsin that she is “part of the team” and she can’t just walk away, adding that she needs Tamsin. Tamsin throws her suitcase on the floor and comments: “That’s really nice of you, but we both know it’s not true. And I don’t need you either.” Finding a pair of leather pants, Tamsin wonders if they are Bo’s but then throws them at her, telling Bo to keep them, adding: “I know you like to reuse old styles.” Bo replies: “Fashion snark, is that where we are now?” Bo again asks Tamsin to talk to her about what’s happened between them but Tamsin tells Bo: “We don’t need to. I was upset and now I’m not. I realize there’s no winning with you.” When Bo asks what game they were playing, Tamsin tells her: “Doesn’t matter where your body is, your heart will always be with her.” Tamsin tells Bo that she and Lauren will always be a couple, even where they aren’t together. After finishing packing, Tamsin then breaks the roll-along handle to her suitcase, curses, and then throws the handle away before picking up her suitcase and starting to leave. When Bo asks where she will go, Tamsin replies: “Wherever the universe takes me. Motel 6. And then wherever the universe takes me.” Just before Tamsin walks out of the room, she pauses, reaches into a side pocket of her suitcase and hands Bo an envelope, telling Bo it came for her. Bo takes the envelope, then tells Tamsin: “I lost Kenzi. I don’t want to lose you too.” Tamsin quietly replies: “It’s better this way” and then walks out the front door leaving Bo alone. After Tamsin leaves, Bo looks at the envelope, which is addressed to Bo Dennis, turns it over, and then sees that it is sealed with wax, an imprint of the Ancient’s symbol embedded in it. Bo opens the envelope, removes a card and looks at it for a moment.

The card is revealed to say: “Com join us for a gathering. Libations and fun. Dress to impress or you will be turned away.” It is then shown that Bo has travelled to the Dal Riata where she, Lauren (Zoie Palmer), Dyson (Kristen Holden-Ried) and Trick (Richard Howland) all have received the same invitation, Mark (Luke Bilyk) working nearby and Vex (Paul Amos) at the bar drinking. Lauren comments: “It’s always nice to be popular.” Vex comments: “Well, speak for yourself. I didn’t get an invite did I?” Trick tells Vex that he should feel lucky and then wonders why the Ancients are having a party and why at this moment. Dyson muses: “Human sacrifices, murdering a football player”, then Bo continues: “Mutilating the Oracles, a storm that almost wiped out the colony.” Lauren wonders: “They need a palate cleanser?” Bo comments about the Ancients being somehow related to Bo’s father and Bo believes that her father is behind everything that has happened. Trick asks about Bo’s vision from the Oracles, and what her father said to her. Bo replies that it was all a “bunch of riddles” and then repeats: “The greatest evil is the greatest mercy.” Dyson tells Bo that the only way to find out what is going on will be to attend the party and see for themselves. Dyson then tells Mark: “And we’re going to have to get you a new suit.” Dyson asks if Mark wants to go on his first mission while Vex looks on in concern as Mark agrees to go. Trick tells the group: “Mythology states that even the Ancients have an Achilles heel” and Bo replies that they will found out what that is and then end them. Bo then leaves, the others following her, but Vex stops Dyson and asks him if Mark is ready for what Dyson is asking him to do, adding that Mark has not shifted as yet. Dyson replies: “He’s got to become a man sometime” and then leaves. Vex strikes up small talk with Mark and then tells Mark to call him if he needs backup. Mark jokes: “I’ll call you if I get bored.”

The scene then moves to an elevator where Bo, Lauren, Dyson and Mark are waiting, dressed up for the party. Mark comments: “I hope they have an open bar” but Dyson replies: “Except you won’t be drinking” and Mark answers: “No alcohol. Right.” Dyson then prompts: “And?” Mark quickly replies: “Keep your back to the wall. Know your exits.” Dyson nods, then continues: “Trust your gut. If something is off, listen to it. If the plan changes…” Mark breaks in: “Roll with it. Got it.” Lauren then comments: “I hate to be a buzzkill but are we going to talk about the possibility that this is a trap?” When no one answers, Lauren sighs “No.” as the elevator bell rings and the doors open to a darkened space, no sounds save for the elevator music that continues to play. Dyson exits first, followed by Bo, Lauren and Mark tails behind. Lauren whispers: “Now are we going to talk about the possibility that this could be a trap?” The lights come on in the room which reveals a large number of Fae, the room decked out with balloons and several large signs that read: “Welcome Bo” as the assembled crowd cheers “Surprise!” As Bo looks around the room she comments, a bit stunned: “Okay. I need a drink.”

Following the abbreviated opening title sequence, Iris (Shanice Banton) is in her room and asks Hera (Noam Jenkins) if the bracelet goes with the outfit she is wearing. Hera replies: “Don’t be silly, it’s a one of a kind, it goes with everything.” Hera approaches Iris, asking if she cleansed her skin as asked, to which Iris promises that she did so. As Hera fixes Iris’ lipstick, and comments that Zee likes to show Iris off, and that she shouldn’t upset Zee. Iris replies: “Because she would yell at you.” Hera then pushes Iris back onto her bed, commenting that Iris might not be ready for the party, but Iris begs Hera to allow her to attend. Hera relents, adding: “Come along my pet.” When Iris comments that she should greet the guests, Hera tells her: “Can’t wait till everyone sees how special you are.” Hera then starts to leave the room but adds: “Oh, and get the guests to try the clam dip. Zee’s trying out a new recipe and… it’s been a whole thing.”

Meanwhile at the party, Bo takes a drink from a waitress, but before she can try it, Lauren stops her, dips a test strip in the drink, and then tells Bo it’s fine. Bo comments: “Forgot how much fun you are at parties.” As the pair walk through the party, a guest tells Bo that it is a great party and she replies: “Thank you, that’s right, the party’s for me” and Lauren adding “and no one seems to know why.” Bo tells Lauren that the party “reeks of my father” and Lauren wonders if whatever brought the Ancients to Earth also brought Hades, Bo’s father, with them and Bo comments: “Greek gods are throwing me a party so anything is possible.” Dyson, Mark and Trick then approach Bo and Lauren, Dyson telling Bo there is no sign of the Ancients so far, Trick commenting that the clam dip is “amazing” and there “seems to be a fair number of Fae here.” Bo doesn’t like that fact and is concerned that the Ancients are planning something, Lauren adding that they “want an audience” and Bo deciding that they will “give them a show.” Dyson tells Bo that he is on “Hera duty. Soon as I see his smug little face.” Lauren then offers Dyson a syringe with chemicals designed to “reduce the possibility of bug showers” adding “it’s bug spray essentially.” Mark asks why Lauren cannot turn the Ancients human as she did with Evony, which Lauren explains took months to accomplish and then begins to explain the process, but Dyson quickly interrupts her and takes the syringe with thanks. Trick then tells the group that he will circulate through the party and look for any “unusual activity” and “I’ll be by the clam dip.” Mark asks what he should do and Dyson explains that he should find Iris and try to get information from her about her parents, adding: “I’m glad you changed your mind about wanting to help.” Mark replies: “United force right?” Dyson smiles as he walks away, adding: “Just show me you can take it seriously.” Lauren tells Bo that she will try to get samples from the Ancients, and Bo replies that she will look for “our Hostess, assuming I can find her.” Before Lauren can leave, Bo stops her and tells Lauren: “About what happened between us in the blackout…” but Lauren interrupts and tells Bo that she knows it was a one-time thing and not to worry about it. Bo stops Lauren from leaving and explains: “Here’s the thing. I’m not. There’s always going to be a reason for us not to be together and I don’t want to put this off any longer.” Lauren whispers: “Oh boy.” and Bo asks: “Oh boy yes or oh boy no?” Before Lauren can reply, Bo’s attention drifts off into the distance as Tamsin is nearby and when Lauren sees Tamsin, she comments: “Annnd we’re back. Although it is a very nice back.” referring to Tamsin who is wearing a backless dress. Bo tells Lauren they will “finish this later” and Lauren agrees that they will. Bo approaches Tamsin and comments: “I didn’t realize you got an invitation” and when Tamsin turns to look at Bo she replies: “It’s nice to see you too.” Bo tells Tamsin she’s glad that Tamsin is there and that they need her, Tamsin revealing that Dyson told her about “Operation Ancients go history” as she has a drink and tells Bo “I’m game.” When Bo suggests that she shouldn’t drink so much, Tamsin tells her: “Look, I’ll play superhero with you tonight, but there’s no way I’m not having fun while I do it.”

Bo then enters another room where she picks up a small music box and plays it for a moment before Iris appears in the room. Iris comments: “You look beautiful in that dress” and then tells Bo that she doesn’t mind that Bo is in her room, adding that “it’s nice to have company, Hera never lets me have company over.” Bo tells Iris: “You and I aren’t exactly friends.” Iris seems not to notice Bo’s reply and then asks to touch Bo’s hair noting how shiny it is. Bo comments on Iris’ bracelet, calling it pretty and Iris explains: “My parents make me wear it.” Bo then reaches out her hand and tries to use her powers to persuade Iris to tell her where Zee is, but is interrupted as Zee (Amanda Walsh) walks into the room, commenting: “It depends who you ask” and Iris quickly runs off, leaving Bo alone with Zee.

Dyson is walking through the party when he sees Hera and approaches. Hera tells Dyson: “I’m happy you came. I thought after our last interaction you might be… bugged by me.” Dyson replies: “I thought you might think that, so I brought you a little gift” and then injects Hera with Lauren’s bug spray. When Hera asks: “What the hell was in that?” Dyson replies: “A little precautionary measure. What can I say? Every dog has his day, and then again some dogs just need to be neutered.” Hera then taunts Dyson: “That reminds me. How is my bitch Alycia doing?” Dyson calmly replies: “She wanted me to give you this” and then punches Hera in the face, but to little effect, other than a bleeding lip. When Hera asks: “Is that all you got?” Dyson replies: “I guess I’m no match for a god” before walking off with Hera’s blood on his hand.

The scene returns to Zee and Bo, Zee revealing to Bo: “In Egypt I was Amun. Odin to the Vikings. Jupiter to the Romans. But you would know me best as Zeus.” Bo comments: “Zeus? As in white hair, thunder thighs plus… a dude.” which brings Zee to comment: “Just like a patriarchal society to depict their most powerful member as male. I’ve had many forms, but currently… Zee… is a she.” Bo sighs: “And my aunt. Question is, what kind are you? The cool aunt that buys you condoms or the crazy aunt who ruins Christmas?” When Zee chuckles, Bo continues: “Oh wait, you’re the aunt that murders innocent people.” Zee brushes this off as: “When you are trying to make your way in a new world, people are bound to get hurt.” Bo replies: “Whatever helps you sleep at night.” Zee insists: “My hands are clean. Mostly.” Bo whispers: “Which brings us back to Daddy.” Zee admits that Hades might have inspired the party but insists that “You and I are on the same team. You’re on a sinking ship, the balance is quickly shifting and I don’t want to see you go down.” Bo replies: “I happen to be quite buoyant.” Zee brushes this off as Bo deflecting things with humour, then Bo asks why Zee sent the Oracles to her, and Zee admits it was to find Bo’s truth which Zee tells Bo is: “The thing you crave above all. Freedom from your father.” and then Zee offers to grant that freedom to Bo. Why Bo asks why, Zee answers: “I want the same thing as you but we have to stop him first.” When Bo asks what they have to stop Hades from doing, Zee tells Bo: “From using you to end the world.”

After the first commercial break, Bo marches through the party and when she finds Trick, she tells him they are leaving and pulls Trick through the party in each of them. When Trick asks what the problem is. Bo explains: “My Aunt Zeus wants to emancipate me from Hades.” Bo rants about Zee doing so after all that Bo has been through and when Trick asks why, Bo replies: “To stop the zombie apocalypse or whatever dramatic end of days daddy dearest has in store for us?” When Bo asks about Dyson and Lauren, Trick does not answer the question, but asks Bo to consider the idea, but Bo wants nothing to do with it and leaves. After Bo leaves, Zee appears and tells Trick: “I’m glad you could make it Trick.” When Trick turns to Zee, he comments: “The Aegis shield. Mythology says you are never without its protection.” Zee replies: “No glove, no love.” Bo then calls out Trick’s name and when he reaches Bo, she is standing by a drink bowl which Trick recognizes as the Drink of Prophecy in which can be seen the eyeballs taken from the Oracles. Trick again calls it: “The original original” and adds: “I never forget a drink” as Zee approaches. Zee pours out a drink, as she does so, Trick explains that by drinking, Bo will have a vision of the future. Zee insists “It is the only way you can see the pain Hade will cause if you remain bound to him.” Bo is disgusted by the drink, reminding Zee that Cassie was her friend. Zee ignores this and replies: “I haven’t got time to brush your hair. The longer you are connected, the stronger he becomes.” Zee offers Bo the drink and when Bo looks at Trick, he seems to encourage Bo to do so. Bo and Trick then take a sip and the two see a vision of a park where everything turns to black, all life being destroyed by some unknown force. Bo then looks at her hand and watches as the same darkness covers her hand and then spreads down her arm. The vision ends when Bo drops the glass she was holding to the floor and it shatters. Bo whispers: “All those lives. Everything.” Trick adds: “Gone.” Bo whispers that she needs to sit down and Trick tells Bo that he has “never felt so much nothing. Complete and utter nothing.” Bo turns to Trick and tells him that she has felt a similar nothing before when she was in Tartarus. Zee makes herself a drink as she sighs: “That’s what I have been trying to tell you.” Bo demands to know how this can be stopped and Zee reveals that Hades, being banished for thousands of years to the Underworld and the mark that Bo carries is his connection back to the Earth and it must be removed from Bo’s body. When Bo asks if she has been feeding Hade, Zee replies: “an all you can eat buffet.” Bo asks how Zee’s plan will work to free her and Zee replies: “Some anointing, some chanting, the usual.” When Bo asks about a sacrifice, Zee insists “No one is getting hurt unless you keep hemming and hawing. Tick-tock.” Bo looks at Trick and whispers: “Time to divorce Daddy.”

Elsewhere at the party, Iris is looking over the city from the balcony when Mark approaches her, and asks: “What is the most beautiful girl at the party doing here all alone.” After trying to make some small talk and jokes with Iris, Mark asks what’s wrong and Iris asks: “Do you ever wish you could fall asleep and wake up a whole new person?” Iris then complains about what her parents keep telling her, to be good, to wear the bracelet her parents gave her, and not to ruin the party. Mark replies that he thinks the party “sucks” and when Iris asks if he is leaving, Mark replies that might if Iris wants to go with him or not. When Iris suggests that Dyson would be mad, Mark insists that he wouldn’t be as “He knows I can handle myself.” Iris moans: “Hera doesn’t I’m his divine Messenger. His bidding is my duty.” Mark is shocked by this, telling Iris that she is not Hera’s property. When Iris points out that he does what Dyson tells him to so, Mark explains that Dyson is not “my boss” and “I do what I want.” Iris then reveals that there is a place she has been wanting to show Mark and moments later the two leave the party.

Dyson is with Lauren, who is taking the blood sample that Dyson obtained when he punched Hera. Lauren comments that she hopes that Dyson didn’t contaminant the sample, Dyson smiles and replies: “You’re welcome.” Lauren rolls her eyes and tells Dyson that he “enjoyed it” and “if I didn’t know better I’d think you were scrapping over some girl. Maybe the girl who’s sleeping at the boxing gym.” Dyson smiles and tells Lauren: “You know you’re right. You don’t know better.” Dyson asks how they know that the Ancients are not lying and Lauren explains that Trick and Bo both saw the vision and that they have to try to stop it from coming true. Dyson then sees Hera enter the room and speak with a female Fae, which makes Dyson smile and comment: “There’s no reason why we can’t set up some collateral. Just in case.”

Mark and Iris then walk into a house somewhere in the city, Mark commenting “When I told you to disobey your parents, breaking and entering wasn’t what I had in mind.” Iris tells Mark that going to jail for a day is better than living with Zee and Hera, also revealing that no one had been living in the house for a few days as well. Iris then kisses Mark, adding: “I bet they have a king-size bed” before she walks further into the house, Mark following her.

Back at the party, Zee enters a room, followed by Bo, Trick and Dyson, Zee calling out: “Let the emancipation begin!” When Bo asks if there is a book of chants or if she can choose her own, Zee brushes that off, telling Bo that comes later before removing a tablecloth and revealing an array of weapons to Bo and telling her that one of the weapons will be used to carve the mark from her body. Bo is then told she must choose one of the weapons. When Bo asks what happens if she chooses wrong, Zee replies: “You die.”

After another commercial break, Zee tells Bo to “Pick your poison” and to choose the right weapon or the ritual will fail. Bo comments: “Can I phone a friend?” but Zee tells Bo that only she can decide and that she doesn’t make the rules and Bo can “take it up with the Erinyes.” Bo examines the weapons, starting with leeches. Zee tells Bo” Belonged to a Naiad. Lovely creatures.” Dyson comments: “Used by water nymphs in cleansing rituals.” Bo muses: “Pros. Painless won’t leave a mark. Cons. Ew and Ew.” Bo then picks up a sword which Zee describes as an Xiphos sword, calling it a classic. Bo comments: “Would get the job done, Sharp. Precise. Obvious.” Bo then picks up a Minotaur horn and Trick explains: “Minotaur. Feasted on children. A sacrifice to hold off the plague in ancient times.” Bo then picks up a short blade in a sheath, removing the sheath and looking at the blade, but before Zee can comment, Bo simply says: “This is it.” Trick tells Bo the blade is unknown to him and Dyson asks how Bo knows it is the right weapon. Bo replies: “Because I just know.” Zee then reveals the weapon is the Amethusto dagger, calling it an “interesting choice” as the blade is said to “keep its owner free of evil thoughts.” Bo then resheaths the blade and when asked if she is sure replies: “Rusty dagger. Final answer.”

Hera is then shown in Iris’ room with Tamsin and Lauren, the two having tired Hera to a chair. Tamsin tells Hera: “You’re an little insurance policy in case something happens to Bo.” Lauren adds: “We find out first or you pay.” Tamsin then picks up a magazine, commenting that it will “keep my mind off Bo.” Lauren rolls her eyes and answers: “Okay. Ignoring me. That’s mature.” and when Tamsin says nothing, Lauren continues: “Or we could talk about it like two adults, you know there’s a novel idea.” Tamsin asks why she would “talk about Bo’s emancipation with you?” Lauren confronts Tamsin, telling her that she’s been wanting to “talk about this all night. Go ahead. You, me, Bo.” Tamsin sighs: “Look Lauren, I entered the game late and I lost. That’s life. The best woman won.” Tamsin claims to be “over it” and suggests that Lauren should be as well. Lauren tells Tamsin “that’s noble of you” and isn’t sure what else to say. When Lauren takes a seat beside Tamsin, Hera comments: “Well this is nice.” Lauren then notices that alongside Iris’ bed there are a number of restraints and when Tamsin sees them, she stalks to Hera, anger clearly on her face. Hera attempts to ask them not to “overreact and let me explain.” Tamsin asks: “Why you would want to restrain child that makes me not want to kill you?” Tamsin asks Lauren if that’s possible, and Lauren replies: “No. No I don’t think it is at all.” Hera tries to explain: “We didn’t do it to hurt her” as Tamsin and Lauren move threatening towards Hera. Hera continues: “We did it because we have to.” Lauren asks why and when Hera does not answer, Lauren asks Tamsin, why such powerful Fae would tie up a child. Tamsin replies that it makes no sense, but Lauren wonders if Iris is far more powerful than either Zee or Hera are.

Bo is then seen laying on a table, Zee standing above her with the blade Bo chose in her hand. Zee promises the oil she is using will dull the pain and Bo “will barely feel a thing” and also comments that Bo has “gorgeous skin, flawless like Aphrodite” as well. Bo replies: “Especially since the scar has healed from your bolt.” Zee calls this “impressive. You heal faster than most. Not even a blemish.” Bo taunts: “Must be good genes.” Zee claims to have “overreacted” when she attacked Bo during Clay’s football game. Bo then asks if Zee is up to “facing big brother” and she is glad to be “an only child” as Hade’s mark begins to glow against Bo’s skin. Zee comments: And there he is now.” Dyson asks Trick: “Are we really going to let this happen? Let her cut our girl?” Trick tells Dyson: “The fate of the colony depends on it. I saw it too Dyson.” Zee places the blade against Bo’s skin and is about to begin, gleefully calling this “the moment of truth” and when Dyson coughs, Zee replies: “What? I love this shit.” when Lauren and Tamsin rush in and tell Bo to stop. Tamsin explains that Iris is more powerful than either Zee or Hera. Dyson is aghast, stating that Mark is alone with her, then calling out Mark’s name, but he does not reply and Lauren tells Dyson that she looked for Mark already and neither he, nor Iris are there. Zee is unimpressed by this and Bo turns on her, telling Zee that: “The most powerful of you is with the least powerful of us. We need to find them. Now.” As Bo leaves, Zee calls out that Bo cannot leave as she is not finished. Bo tells Zee: “There’s a first time for everything and then walks away, intent on finding Mark and Iris. As Bo leaves, Zee angrily says: “Fine. Plan B.”

Mark and Iris are then seen at the house in the living room after being intimate with each other. As they dress, the pair talk about all of the pressures on their lives, Mark talking about Dyson and Iris talking about Zee and Hera. When Mark goes off to look for something to eat, he finds a picture of the family that Iris’ human body had been part of which frightened him. Iris then tells Mark about the person she had possessed, calling her CC and that she had a happy life. Iris also points out some of the events in CC’s life before Iris reveals that CC still exists, and that she talks to her sometimes, adding that CC thinks that Mark is “really cute”. Mark is shocked that CC is still alive and Iris asks that Mark not tell Zee and Hera as she was supposed to kill CC in the same way that Zee and Hera did in their cases. Mark begs Iris that they need to leave, but Iris is convinced that she can return to live with CC’s family. Iris also reveals that CC misses her family and that she can hear CC crying as well. There is the sound of the front door opening and Mark panics, desperately trying to leave with Iris, but she refuses. Instead, Iris greets CC’s father, claiming to be CC and that she has returned. Frank (Rothaford Gray), CC’s father hugs her in disbelief, and calls out for his wife Nancy (Catherine Burdon) but then tells Iris that she is not his daughter. This upsets Iris and she asks “Why don’t you love me? Does your heart not work? ” before plunging her hand into his chest and killing him, his body falling to the floor in the front hallway as Mark watched from a short distance away. When Mark approaches Iris and asks what she did. Mark sees that the blood from Frank’s body is making the mark of the Ancients in a similar way as what happened the to football player when he was murdered and whispers: “It was you that killed all of those people.” Iris tells Mark: “They had to go to sleep Mark.”

Following another commercial, Mark has been attempting to save Frank’s life, but cannot do so. Iris tells Mark: “It’s okay. Someday they are all going to wake up and they’ll be better.” Mark begins to panic and tells Iris that she has killed and when Iris tries to tell Mark that Hera told her differently, Mark tells her that Hera is evil and that both Hera and Zee used her. Iris then begins to panic, screaming for Mark to stop, that according to Zee and Hera: “This is what I was supposed to do! And they are going to wake up!” Iris also claims that “Everything that ends is going to start again!” Mark tries to have Iris calm herself, but she does not and then, in a fit of anger, removes her bracelet. Immediately after doing so, Iris tells Mark that something is happening to her, that Mark has to help her and when Mark yells at Iris to leave she runs away. As Mark attempts to drag Frank’s body away, Nancy appears and then stabs Mark in the stomach, gravely injuring him. Mark then stumbles away while Nancy falls to her knees beside Frank’s body.

Back at the Ancient’s apartment, Zee is talking to Hera on the balcony, telling Hera: “She knows better than to remove it. Even Iris isn’t that stupid.” Tamsin then appears and Hera comments: “Well, speaking of stupid.” Zee replies: “You’re one to talk. Who let the cat out of the bag in the first place? Can you do anything without me?” Hera attempts to defend his action, but Zee will have none of it and tells Hera: “Once the Super Friends bring Mark and Iris back we’ll get this show on the road.” Zee then dismisses Hera, who leaves as Tamsin arrives on the balcony. Zee then makes some small talk with Tamsin, noting that Tamsin was left behind to watch them. Tamsin replies: “Yeah. Lucky me.” Zee then tells Tamsin: “Report this back to your friends, Bo’s emancipation is now or never.” Tamsin asks why Zee seems not to care that Iris is missing and Zee replies: “Please. They’re fine, they’re kids. Meanwhile Hades is about to wipe us all out. We need Bo to complete the ceremony.” Tamsin replies: “Good luck with that” and when questioned about this, she continues that she does believe that Bo should separate from her father, but also she should make “better relationship choices” as well. Zee comments: “Sounds like she’s made a lot of bad choices about a lot of things. Care to share?” Tamsin says no, but then adds that she is relieved that their relationship is over and then tries to justify to herself that breaking up with Bo was a good idea. When Tamsin begins to cry, Zee comments that she’s “never seen a Valkyrie cry” and Tamsin tells her: “That’s cause it’s against type. No emotions on the battlefield. Yes Ma’am. No Ma’am. Doubt. Kill. Repeat.” Tamsin then whispers: “You’d think by my last life I’d have this figured out.” Zee then tells Tamsin that it can “take centuries to figure it out” and when Tamsin asks “when do people stop hurting you?” Zee replies: “They didn’t. I started hurting them and you’re next.” Tamsin replies: “I doubt that” Zee then comments: “Cassie tried to be brave too. Poor girl. Terrible eyesight that one.” Tamsin coldly replies: “You know, the different between Cassie and me is that I can fly.” Zee chuckles and then a bolt of lightning strikes Tamsin, she collapsing to the floor and unmoving. Zee looks at Tamsin and sighs: “Not anymore.”

Elsewhere, Bo, Lauren and Dyson arrive at a park in Bo’s car, Lauren mentioning that she spoke with Trick and that Mark and iris are not at the Dal Riata. Bo stops the car and Dyson comments that he had a report that there was a “disturbance at the south end of the park” as they leave the car and begin to search for Mark and Iris. Dyson picks up a piece of clothing and notes that it belongs to Mark, Lauren looks at the clothing and adds: “That’s way more blood than I like.” Dyson senses Mark and begins search for him with Lauren to the west as Bo turns to the south to find Iris. As they spilt up, Lauren calls out to Bo: “Oh boy yes.” The two look at each other for a long moment and then Lauren turns away to run after Dyson. Bo then turns in another direction and comments: “Okay Iris. Time to find out what makes you so powerful.”

Iris is then seen elsewhere in the park picking a flower. Moments after doing so, the flower turns completely black in her hand and then crumbles to nothing. A police officer then asks if Iris needs help, but she only asks: “Please sir, just go away.” The police officer then reaches for Iris’ hand, grasps it and then he begins to turn black in the same way that the flower did.

After still another commercial break, Bo approaches Iris and asks if she is alright. Iris asks Bo not to come too close to her, but not why. Bo sits beside Iris on a park bench and asks if she and Mark are alright, Iris replying that Mark is mad at her. When Bo attempts to touch Iris’ cheek, Iris starts to walk away from Bo. Bo asks Iris to talk to her and promises not to touch Iris as well. Bo asks why Mark is mad at Iris and is told: “I’m not supposed to make you sleep. Zee needs you.” Bo is confused, but jokes: “Lucky for you I’m a succubus. I don’t need much sleep.” Iris then tells Bo: “Mark’s right. All I do is hurt people.” Bo then tells Iris about her own past, when she was younger and didn’t understand that she was a succubus and the harm that she did then. Iris replies: “They make me do bad things. I’m a murderer.” Bo asks what “they” made Iris do and then Bo touches Iris’ cheek, intending to use her powers to make Iris answer her. Iris then backs away and tells Bo: “I told you not to touch me.” Bo then looks at her hand and sees it turn black exactly as was foretold in the prophecy that she had seen at the party. Bo then looks at the surrounding park, which is turning black and whispers: “The darkness wasn’t my father. It was Iris.”

Bo travels to the Dal Riata where she shows Trick her hand and tells Trick that the vision came true and Iris was responsible. Bo tells Trick: “There’s something else inside of her. Something turning everything into nothing.” This reminds Trick of something and he quickly searches through one of his books before explaining: “The Nix. A primordial force of evil born from chaos.” Trick notes that Zee and Hera must have been waiting for the right moment to release it in Iris and wipe out the world. Bo calls Iris: “A ticking time bomb wrapped in a rainbow.” When Bo asks how to stop it, both she and Trick watch the darkness continues to creep up Bo’s arm, Trick unsure that they can stop it, but then remembers a story that his mother told him of a toy box that can contain evil. Trick calls it “the original Jack-in-the-box” and adds “only a box of Adamantine, the ore of Ancients, could contain such evil.” Trick dismisses this as a possible metaphor, but Bo reveals that the box is real, that she has it, and it was “a gift from the Underworld… From my father,” Trick asks where the box is and Bo tells Trick it is at the clubhouse, Bo leaving in the next moment to go there.

Dyson and Lauren are seen running through the park, Dyson unable to focus and find Mark. Lauren tells Dyson his feelings for Mark are getting in the way, calms Dyson down and after a few moments of concentration, Dyson turns and moves off in a new direction, certain that Mark is there. A short run later finds Vex carrying Mark as Dyson and Lauren arrive. Lauren asks Vex what he is doing there, and Vex explains that Mark called him for help. Dyson asks in a worried tone of voice if Mark will be alright, but Lauren takes charge and orders Dyson to put pressure on Mark’s wound. As this happens, Vex tells them they he will try to get help and goes off in search of that. Dyson talks to Mark, trying to keep him awake and fighting for his life. Mark does not speak, but gasps for breath and slowly begins to fade away.

Bo arrives at the clubhouse to find Zee has searched for, and found, the toy box. Zee then attempts to leave with the box but Bo replies: “Over my dead hand.” When Zee tries to use her lightning, it is attracted to Bo’s blackened hand and is absorbed, Bo seeming to suffer no ill effects from Zee’s attack. Bo then realizes: “That’s why you sent the Oracles after me. You were after my box.” Zee tells Bo she is “not leaving without it” and tries to walk past Bo which then devolves into a cat fight between the two, the box going from Bo’s hands to Zee’s and back again before Bo wins the fight, grasps Zee with her blackened hand and forces her towards the door. As Bo throws Zee out of her home, she growls: “Fashion and function. Black is the new ‘Get the hell out of my house.'” Bo then slams the door shut, leans against it and then slides to the floor. Zee then bangs on the door and tells Bo: “You don’t want to open that box.” Bo asks for one good reason why and Zee replies: “You open that box and your father will walk the Earth.”

After the final commercial break, Bo is still sitting on the floor as Zee tries to convince Bo not to open the box, telling Bo that she has a choice and she could start over, free herself from Hades and “reclaim what’s your’s.” Bo looks at her hand, then the box, and whispers: “The Oracles deliver a truth to extract the truth.”

Bo then sees her complete vision that the Oracles gave her previously which begins with her father Hades telling Bo not to be afraid. Bo whispers: “Dad” and then Hades (Eric Roberts) is seen for the first time. He tells Bo: “There’s barely any time, we must be quick.” Bo replies: “Leave me alone.” Hades continues: “There are those far more wicked than I on this Earth. You, must stop them.” Bo asks: “Who? The Ancients?” and Hades replies: “Only family can destroy them.” Bo asks: “So what, I need you?” Hades continues: “Our power will decide the fate of this world.” Bo answers: “Enough with the riddles. You just tell me what you want.” Hades reveals: “You will do things you don’t want to do. Lead our victory over night.” Bo refuses, telling Hades: “I will never share your victory.” Hades sighs and tells Bo: “Sometimes the greatest evil is the greatest mercy.” Bo cries: “Nothing is ever simple with you is it? I need real answers.” Hades tells Bo: I’ve given you all that I can. The answer lies with you. A gift.”

The vision ends and Bo considers what the vision told her, whispering: “The answer is in a gift.” Zee pounds on the door again as Bo looks at the box, then screams at Bo: “Oh you think you’re special? Strong? Everything you have is because of him!” Bo calmly answers: “Well, maybe it takes evil to fight evil” and then starts to turn the hand crank of the box, it beginning to play music as Bo does so. Zee screams that Bo doesn’t know what she is doing, but then suddenly stops as she hears the music playing. Zee stands up, a shocked expression on her face before turning away from Bo’s door and disappearing.

The final scene of the episode is Bo continuing to turn the crank of the box until it opens with a flash of light, Bo gasping in surprise, as the episode comes to a close.

 

Fade to black…

 

As a whole I was just disappointed in this episode being the mid-season finale. Yes there was a series of cliffhangers I will admit, but in all honesty, how much do they matter as a whole? Mark can live or die and it means nothing. Tamsin isn’t going to die, so there’s no tension in that. Dyson isn’t in trouble, nor is Lauren really. Trick is off at the bar, so he’s not in danger either. Bo has a problem, but she’s in the middle of solving that. Iris, Hera and Zee are… well to put a fine point on it, a bunch of clowns. Really there isn’t any tension, or at least meaningful tension. It’s all circumstantial as a whole. Really the only thing that even came close to mattering was when Bo’s father finally was revealed.

And that’s my biggest problem. Bo has her flashback to the vision and we see what that is now. I can see, I think, how that scene should have been in the previous episode and use that one as the season finale. And really, thinking about it, that episode ended on a much more question-filled moment by far. There was tension, there was meaning in the episode and there was a lot of reveals, but not to the point where it couldn’t have been the point at which the season paused and made me want the next episode right then. It could have been a long ten months of trying to figure out what was going on and what would happen next.

We don’t have that in this episode. In this episode there a lot of word play, a lot of interaction between the characters, but it doesn’t go anywhere. So much of the episode was spent waiting for something to be revealed or something to happen that it became boring and I lost my interest in it. That does not help in making me want to see the rest of the season.

This was especially true with Zee trying to be The Morrigan… and she wasn’t. It was a poor copy of Evony with blonde hair and an attitude that didn’t have the “feel” to it of a really dangerous being with a plan and the means to carry it out. I have wanted Evony to become “more” and over time she’s managed to go that. Zee… has no hope of that, and in this episode my lack of caring about her when she was on the screen became really bad. Clam dip does not a villain make, and she really isn’t all the villain she should be. Especially considering who Zee is, what she represents and her attitude about things. That could have go somewhere, been something, but it was tossed into the air and no one did anything with it.

I didn’t need to see Mark and Iris rolling around on the floor or all of the scenes that came along with that. I don’t care for either of the characters in the first place, which is a problem. but also that focusing so much screen time on them felt like wasted time. Not to mention, but I will, that I didn’t care when they were on and tuned them out. It was only in the very first scene between Iris and Hera that I was held by what was happening. I even laughed at the Clam dip rant. But then the rest of the episode rolled on, there was a point to get to… and it didn’t get there.

I didn’t enjoy Trick “drooling” over the Clam dip either. Nor did I think much of the “lets have the extras standing around while Bo lays on the table and Zee plays with a knife” scene. I found things that went in directions and did things that didn’t matter to the core story and for a mid-season finale that shouldn’t be. It needed to be focused, it needed to tell a story tightly, and it needed to reveal just enough to keep me interested. Didn’t quite work out that way.

It wasn’t the worst episode of the season, not by any means. Not the best either. For things to pause at this point there was something missing and I think that was focus. This episode didn’t have that for me. I didn’t need all of the answers, but I did need at least to have a reason to want what comes next. It’s not there. It was, almost in a few places, but not enough.

On to the characters in the episode…

Bo… A bit of Boffy, very little Succubus Bo. At least she was thinking for the most part in the episode, and put some of the pieces together. That is good to see by far. But then came the parts which didn’t fit. For example, being told not to touch Iris and then Bo does so anyway. Having a long drawn out catfight on the floor with Zee. As a whole? I didn’t like that with the few highs there were, the lows were so low.

Dyson…Right hook, a weapons lesson, and a run around the park with Lauren. I did like trying to teach Mark, but that wasn’t going to work, that could be seen from the beginning. I did like that Dyson cares about his son, that’s a good character building moment, but overall he was in the episode fleetingly I think.

Lauren. I think “Oh boy.” is going to be a catchphrase for Lost Girl fans. I liked that Lauren was more involved with Bo, that there was more story to her in the episode. There were some important moments which will make a difference later in the season as well. It was also nice to see her personality come out more and for her to express herself more too.

Tamsin: Zap. Fry. Thud. It wasn’t a surprise really that Tamsin would get in trouble somewhere this episode. The opening scene with Tamsin and Bo was, as a whole, the highlight of the episode because it just went over so well. I didn’t like moody Tamsin though, that doesn’t suit her and that needs to change next time.

Trick. Clam dip and books with a side order of weapons. Really not a lot of Trick this episode, but there were some really funny scenes with him that I did like. The last scene where he reveals the purpose of the box that Bo received as a gift told a lot, more than just in words, and I appreciated that a lot.

Vex. Don’t lose my number. And call me if you need a hand. Two quick scenes and Vex was gone. Almost no reason for him to be in this episode sadly.

Mark. The first real character growth… stabbing and living room sex scene not withstanding. At least he’s “dying” but we all know he’ll be back next time. Still, i didn’t absolutely hate him. I just had a really serious dislike going on.

Hera. Didn’t care much, though the punch to the jaw did make me smile.

Zee. At least there was a reveal I could care about before she devolved into a Morrigan wannabe. Then I didn’t care again and really don’t see why I should care about her, big bad or not. Too cartoonish by far.

Iris. Reminded me a lot of Mark being whiny and didn’t care about her much. As a whole she has turned out to be another of the characters that I just don’t care about.

Hades. Well, we’ve seen him finally. Actually I think he’s interesting and will drive the series in a new direction with luck. I happen to like the actor and I look forward to what will happen with the role going forwards. But a fleeting glimpse only tells so much and it didn’t tell much.

Overall the characters did have their moments, but it was few and far between for my liking. I think that as a whole there needed to be a lot more development in them for one, and a better story to tell for another. It was okay, not great and that’s the real problem.

 

My Review of End of Faes

Keeping my interest – 3 Pitchforks

Portrayal of a Succubus – 1 Pitchforks

Overall look and feel – 4 Pitchforks

Storyline – 4 Pitchforks

Main Characters – 3 Pitchforks

Mythos – 5 Pitchforks

Overall Rating – 3.4 Pitchforks out of 5

 

I really wanted this episode to end on a note that made me want the rest of the season to get here. I wanted to be engaged with the episode, to stay with what was happening. It didn’t have the attraction that I think it should have. While it ended the current run, it didn’t end it as well as it should have. There wasn’t enough for me to like so that the parts that made me roll my eyes didn’t overcome that. But they did and so it just became a lesser episode.

While there were answers, they came few and far between and as such my interest ebbed and flowed. There were some moments that kept me in the story for some time, but then a disliked character appeared and then it all falls apart. There was too much running and making eye contact as a whole and not enough important dialog and story to tell.

Bo was not, as a whole, much of a Succubus in this episode, though she wasn’t Boffy all that much either. Mind you it’s hard to be an action hero when you are wearing the dress she was. The single instance of Bo being a Succubus turned into a mistake which led into things going really wrong. While there wasn’t a real need for Succubus Bo to appear, teasing her in the episode was… disappointing.

The episode was filmed very dark again this time and with that a lot of things couldn’t be clearly seen. One of the main ones was Bo’s hand turning black and the ongoing creep up her arm. But another one was that it just was hard to see a lot of things in the episode. The party was set up well, and as a whole that part of the episode worked, but when the “yank the tablecloth off and reveal the weapons” moment came I had only one thought which was… where did they hide that? The other thing that bothered me was all of the people at the party. Who were they all anyway and, for that matter, why did so many of them stick around and stand in the background to watch Zee get prepared to cut Bo?

The main storyline, which focused on Bo learning about the possibility of being free from her father, really felt like a red herring from the first moment. The same can be said about the Iris reveal, that has been telegraphed for a while now as well in that we knew that was coming. There were a lot of plots that could have been tied up, even if only a little, but they weren’t. In spite of that I will say that when I was not rolling my eyes at Mark or Zee I did think it was really interesting.

There wasn’t a lot of growth in the main characters, though there was some and it was important when it happened. The events that effected them did matter and did mean something, but then along with that came the secondary, read as Ancients, that didn’t grow, learn, or be anything other than dislikable. Being that they were the ones that drove the main character growth, there was just a lot of attitude that didn’t go over well and hurt things overall.

The best part of the episode by far, and you had to suffer through a lot of junk to get to it, was the mythos that really expanded this episode. The story of Zee’s past, what Iris is, Bo’s father appearing and, of course, the connecting of the dots around Bo did matter. While some of the long standing questions were answered in the series, there were others that came to the edge, but didn’t go to the point of telling. The episode didn’t close off much, and in doing so that was disappointing. But it did tell a story, which did matter in the end and that story grew the series a lot.

This was, as a whole, a middle of the road episode that came at a moment when such a thing was not the best thing to happen. It needs to be more, to be powerful, to leave a lasting impression. Revealing Bo’s father doesn’t do that on it’s own and the lack of tension when the episode ends didn’t make it what it should have been either. As I think about this a bit more the episode feels a bit patched together… Perhaps it was?

 

Next Winter: FaeWreck

Bo faces off against her father, the Ancients, the local neighbourhood watch, and gets her car stolen. Bo gets mad and then she gets even.

As a whole, that is pretty much what I am expecting the last run of Lost Girl to be. There isn’t going to be much in the way of focus about Bo’s core story, there isn’t going to be really a solid run of episodes either. We will see, again, a series of stories that don’t mean anything, go nowhere and tell nothing.

My greatest fear, and honestly I have resigned myself to it, is that when the series comes to a close that I will be disappointed beyond words and I shouldn’t be. But it’s hard to like what has happened so far, starting with Kenzi leaving, and all of the scattered lost directions that the series went through to this point. It’s more bothersome when I look at all of the episodes, how much time was wasted, and consider what could have been done instead of watching the characters run from place to place. All that lost time adds up, it reflects something that wasn’t right with the season, and it creates the problem of being bored waiting for something to happen.

I don’t like the idea of the past episodes revolving around Bo being dark, or evil, or facing off against her father or similar storylines. It really doesn’t link up for me with the beginning of the series. There was a clear point in the first season. That was “I’ll live the life I want to live.” and that hasn’t happened for a very long time. Bo hasn’t lived her own life all that much, especially in this season, and I don’t see why that couldn’t be focused on more.

Then comes, of course, the problem of Bo being a Succubus… and she hasn’t been one except in passing for most of the series, but especially this past season. It’s core to her character, it should have some bearing on her life, but it just seems like the only reason that it comes up is so that Bo can goto bed with someone and that’s about all. Her character… lost character. I cannot see the coming episodes getting things on track again, and they likely will not. What I do see happening is that Bo will be turned in directions where she’s being Boffy again, loses her character, her intelligence, and in the end, finds herself in a situation which brings the story back to the first episode of the series.

That is something that cannot happen. The series has to end on a positive note at the least and at the best I expect to see Bo and Kenzi together again. Perhaps the “perfect” ending is Bo running the Dal Riata with Kenzi. I think that would be a good note to end the series on. But again, I don’t expect that to happen. I do expect that there will be a lot of heartbreak to come for the series before it ends.

Personal and otherwise.

Still, none of this will happen until the Winter 2015/2016 season which means at least ten months of waiting for the next episode to arrive. The thing is… that I don’t feel a need to see the end of this season. There’s nothing that held me in the ending of this episode that makes me pine for things to get going again. It’s not a good sign.

However, it does allow for the popcorn stocks to be refreshed…

See you a long time from now when the last half of the season starts… and keep your fingers crossed…

 

Tera

Jan 30 2015

A Review of Shadow Master and Shadow Slave by Lillian Hanes

Shadow Master by Lillian Hanes

Shadow Master by Lillian Hanes

An unfinished series this time for review on the Tale. A story of an Incubus who discovers a warlock and what happens in the time after their first meeting. A story with heat, lust, devotion and need. Moments of terror mixed with submission and dominance.

A choice, or fate, encountered for the need once tasted can never be forgotten. The question is, and it is the one that matters, is whom is the one that leads or follows… Or is it in truth both?

  • Title: Shadow Master
  • Author: Lillian Hanes
  • Length: 20 Pages
  • IBSN: 9781301045631
  • Publishing Date: March 15, 2013
  • This work at Smashwords.com

The work tells the story of:

Laen thought it would be a night like most: doing drugs with his friend and, if they were lucky, finding a whore. As an incubus, not much fazes him. But when he realizes the whore they picked up is a warlock — just the kind of girl who could actually reign him in — he balks. She doesn’t know what she is just yet, and when she finds out, maybe she’ll decide she wants him…in some form or another.

Felane had no idea this night would completely change her life. She thought offering her body to two men for a share of their drugs would be a straightforward deal; after all, she’d done it hundreds of times before when she needed a quick fix. But when one of them makes her feel something she’s never felt before, something that makes her feel more alive than the drugs ever did, and when she realizes what he is — and what she is — she can’t get him out of her mind.

Although reluctant to admit it, neither demon nor warlock can stop thinking of the other after their first time together. Their twisted and forbidden relationship grows beyond a single night of cheap sex into something darker and more pleasurable than either ever imagined.

Felane is truly a lost soul with no hope, no future, no understanding of herself, what she could be or what she might have if she did. She lives for moments of pleasure that are not real, not truly so, and in that comes the realization that perhaps it is all she is good for. As she tries to make a deal for a fix with a dealer, two others appear and she finds herself going with them in order to have her fix and in doing so, give them what they desire at that moment from her.

Laen is not human. He is a demon in disguise, looking to feed on the pleasures of others and by doing so keep himself alive. But when he touches Felane, he discovers what she is. More frighteningly, he knows that she could claim him with a word if she knew how. He takes her, they share in their pleasure and when it is over Felane knows what she is, what Laen is and their futures are intertwined evermore.

Time passes, the two meet again, and in that moment their passions are rekindled, strengthened, and the battle between Warlock and Incubus begins. The question of who is whom’s underlying and driving them onwards.

There is a lovely detailed world that is created within these pages. While it is a short story, and the erotica takes up quite a lot of the tale, there is a part told for each of them, their moments apart and together are compared and contrasted well. Their thoughts about each other, what they feel, want and desire is deliciously told and makes both characters very interesting and more so together.

Felane is, at first, submissive to the desires of Laen, but as the story moves into their future, she has grown in the idea of herself, of what she wants and more. With that comes the knowledge that the one she wants is Laen. He, of course, uses this to his advantage, to dominant her, tease her, and drive her towards submitting to him. This all moves towards a climax which is very hot and felt very right for both characters.

I’ll give the first book three and a half out of five pitchforks.

A very good example of what I like to read. Erotica with story and characters that are more than the sex in the story.

But then the question of what happens after each one has a taste of what they want?

Shadow Slave by Lillian Hanes

Shadow Slave by Lillian Hanes

No relationship remains static over time. The problem can be one of learning new things. Or it can be forgetting what the other in the relationship cherishes most. What happens when both sides forget themselves and make mistakes that only lead towards strife, anger, mistrust, and worst of all, the need to strike back in revenge?

What is the result? Are all bridges burned away between them? Can they find a means to trust each other again? Or are they condemning themselves to lose everything for a momentary mistake?

  • Title: Shadow Slave
  • Author: Lillian Hanes
  • Length: 20 Pages
  • IBSN: 9781301632077
  • Publishing Date: August 31, 2013
  • This work at Smashwords.com

The work tells the story of:

Felane, a warlock’s apprentice, straddles the delicate line between tamer and tamed. When a slip of the tongue wounds her daemon lover’s pride — and solidifies Laen’s growing fear of her power — he punishes her, forcing her to service a troupe of underworld creatures to settle the debt. Felane welcomes this chance to mend the rift between them. No human — nor any other daemon — will ever satisfy her now she’s had Laen.

But when his revenge goes to far, nearly killing her, restoring their trust in each other won’t be easy. They must test their limits and probe the cracks in each other’s boundaries — or else their next time together may very well be their last.

Time has passed between Felane and Laen in the second book in the series. She is learning about her powers and is becoming stronger over time. Laen is there with her, teasing and arousing her so that he can feed on her sexual needs and desires. During her teaching, Felane’s concentration slips, Laen’s life hangs in the balance, and their relationship suffers greatly as a result. Later, when she attempts to apologize, he draws her into an agreement to “settle” the debt he feels she owes him. But it goes wrong, the tables are turned, and both find that what they thought they knew only scratched the surface.

Felane is much more vibrant character in this work when compared with the first. She’s progressed from a lost soul into one that has a purpose. That purpose however is entwined with the needs and desires of Laen. His need for her in return makes him do some things that drive Felane to distraction and at one point threaten his life. His reaction is well over the top and what he demands of her in order to remain is something that turns very wrong very quickly.

Then comes his greatest fear, made real by Felane, and what follows is the truth that each has. They are very powerful emotionally and the loss felt by each comes close to crippling each of them. How that is resolved, even if only to scratch the surface, becomes the core of this story and it tells a powerful story among the erotica that pushes them onwards.

The undercurrent of their relationship, of who is in control and why, makes for a story that twists and turns on this point and leads towards a moment when they come to understand that the answers are not as simple as they might wish them to be.

Again, excellently written, fully told characters and moments that make this story very powerful and an enjoyable read once more. But, like the first work, the story feels too short, as if some important things are not told and I would have liked to see them. The pacing and erotica is excellently told… But there is a moment where a question is asked about each of their pasts and the answer isn’t given. I would have liked to have seen that.

I’m giving this work four out of five pitchforks.

Sadly, the author promised a third work in this series and, as of this review, it has not appeared. That’s a shame honestly as the series has so much in it as a whole that leaving things as they are makes for so many questions that I would like to know the answers for.

The ending, if the third work would bring the story to a close, I think would be very illuminating and in that would come a resolution to the question of what Felane and Laen’s relationship really is meant to be or what it becomes. The mistrust and yet need that each holds so tightly against one another has, truly, meant nothing but the circling the main question that traps them both.

Hopefully, someday, that conclusion will arrive. Until then I will have my thoughts and fantasies about that to wonder about often…

 

Tera

Jan 29 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 367

Expression in the art of Succubi is important. It’s that look, that smile or glare, a licking if lips or other such thing that can take a simple pose and make it so much more. For this week’s Succubi, I found a work of art that I think tells a story in a glance and more…

Jezel by Blazbaros

Jezel by Blazbaros

This art is titled Jezel and is by the artist Blazbaros on DeviantArt. I found this work here on DeviantArt and you can see this artist’s page here too.

The thing about this art is, honestly, her expression. It’s kind of a “oh, don’t worry, you’ll like every moment of this” as she diverts your attention from the fireball she’s about to toss your way. That might be a little devious i admit, but really that look and smile is just priceless.

As a whole, I do like her looks, her outfit, really everything about her… I do wish she had a tail though, I think that would have just been perfect really. Something to ponder I suppose in that way…

 

Tera

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