“You can’t be serious,” stated, Farmoc the Daemonologist.
“Serious as Hell,” replied Hala Half-Daemon with a smirk.
“Do you really think we will give you the souls of all our firstborn?” sputtered Farmoc.
Examining her fingernails for blood, Hala Half-Daemon shrugged.
From a shadowy corner of the summoning chamber, a figure whispered something to Farmoc. With a broad smile, the Daemonologist began to chant.
“Buntha Karlic! Ev’Nath Lorr! Pihxan T’aaall! Dozet M’untha! In the name of the ancient packs, I command thee!”
Hala, satisfied with the state of her cuticles, looked up and said, “Yeah, that doesn’t work anymore.”
“But the ancient packs?”
“Appendix fifty-three, sub-paragraph eight.”
Riffling through the infernal tome before him, Farmoc found the passage and read it. Then twice more.
“That’s the idea.”
The shadowy figure gestured to the Daemonologist to come closer. They had an energetic but quiet exchange. Farmoc returned and took a censer and lit the incense.
“Please stop!” shouted Hala.
“This holy herb is your weakness, is it not!”
“It stinks and you can never get the smell out of your clothes,” she replied, “And I really like this outfit.”
“So you’ll do as I command if I stop?” he asked hopefully.
“What do you think?”
“Foul fiend! There must be a way to bind you!”
“Well insulting me is sure not the way to get me to help you.”
“Are you asking me to ask nicely?”
“Have you ever tried that? It just might work.”
Straightening his summoner’s vestments, Farnoc smiled and asked, “Hala Half-Daemon, will you aid us in our struggle with the invasion of Abominations on this plane? Your power will surely tip the tide in our favor.”
Putting a clawed hand to her heart, she replied, “I’m touched. Really, I mean it. Not once in the history of dealing with mortals have I heard such a sincere and polite request. Thank you.”
“So we have an accord?”
She burst into what was perhaps the meanest laughter ever heard in that room.
“That is adorable! You think that one nice request, that I had to ask for, will erase thousands of years of mortals lawyering us into doing your bidding?”
“Why waste our time?” asked the daemonologist.
“Since you’re wasting my time, consider it payback. And by the way, ask your friend to step into the light.”
The shadowy figure stepped forward to reveal Garthort. With a lightning-fast lunge, Hala surged forward to the edge of the binding circle. Garthort jumped, and you would have to. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t.
More mean laughter followed.
“Hey there Fly-Heart,” she said in between laughs.
“I no longer am known by that,” he replied in an attempt to regain his dignity.
“Not really up to you, is it Fly-Heart?”
“Is there anything that might entice you to aid our cause?”
“Maybe if you offered yourself? I know a lot of Daemons who would looooove to play with you,” she offered.
“If you’re not going to be serious,” snipped Garthort.
“Oh,” she purred, “I’m. So. Very. Serious.”
“We might work something out,” said Farnoc.
“NO! You cannot bargain with my soul,” insisted Garthort.
“Look who’s picky about souls all of a sudden,” said Hala.
“It’s in your best interest to aid us!” pronounced Farnoc.
“Why?” she asked askance.
Garthort was also curious as to his reasoning.
“It’s obvious, is it not?” asked the Daemonologist.
“No, it is not,” she replied.
“If all life on this plane of existence is extinguished, then how would Hell collect souls? You’d be out of business.”
Biting her lips, which drew blood, which she then licked with obvious delight, Hala considered this. Farnoc crossed his fingers behind his back.
“I admit, that would slow things down.”
“But once this plane was devoid of life, some god or another would create some people, and then we’d be back in business.”
“But that could take thousands of years?”
Shrugging, she replied, “True but it would give us time to remodel. We’ve got a lot of improvements to make. Did you know if you shove a scorpion up someone’s-”
“Is Hell safe?” interrupted Garthort.
“Not for the soul sent there.”
“From invasion. Abominations came here, who’s to say they won’t infest the underworld next?”
“We’ll be fine,” she replied with an excess of confidence.
“How can you be sure?”
She snapped her fingers and her person was wreathed in fire, the smell of brimstone filled the chamber.
“Like I said, we’ll be fine. Hell has all the fire in the cosmos.”
“What about the elemental plane of fire?” asked Farnoc who was one of those people who felt the need to say the obvious. Hala gave him a withering gaze as her answer.
“There has to be something you want?” asked Garthort.
“If you two dressed as Dryads and spanked each other with spiked paddles, that might sway me.”
“I’ll have the costumes and paddles fetched from my quarters,” said Farnoc.
“She’s mocking us,” said Garthort who felt a headache coming on.
Hala was already laughing, even more cruelly now.
“Of course, I KNEW that,” maintained the Daemonologist, “It was a clever ruse.”
“Oh, obliviously!” said Hala with faux sincerity.
“We should just send her back, she’s not going to aid us,” said Garthort with resignation.
Farnoc stroked his mustaches, nodded in what he thought of as a sage manner, and said, “I must concur. Back to Hell she goes.”
“Well dumb-dumbs, it’s been a hoot and a half screwing with you, but if it makes you feel any worse, and I hope it does, neither one of you are the right person to deal with me.”
Farnoc, who was feeling pretty bad about himself at that moment, was about to begin the banishment spell when Garthort’s eyes went wide.
Both Daemon and Daemonologist stared at him.
“Farnoc, come with me!”
“Let me just send our guest back and-”
“No! I have an idea,” said Garthort who looked Hala straight in the eyes.
“What’s going on?” she asked, getting an uncomfortable feeling about all this.
“Thank you Hala Half-Daemon,” said Garthort with a sarcastic bow, “you have been very helpful.”
“I resent the idea that I’ve been in any way helpful!”
With a slam of the door, Hala found herself alone. As a Daemon, she had eternity to exist. But she certainly didn’t wish to spend it trapped in a summoning circle in this room. After a while, the door creaked open and a silhouette was seen.
“Are you idiots ready to send me back?” she asked.
“Not da hello Oi expected,” said Bork, “But Oi’m not gonna hold it ‘gainst ya, given da circumstances ‘n whotnot. Let’s have a bit o’ a chinwag. Wot da ya say?”