Darkness is a point of view. For many stepping into darkness from the light is a cause of apprehension. For others crossing into the dark is stepping into a comfortable space of relative warmth and security. To be sure this darkness hides many fiends that watch and things that crawl yet if you know the darkness and have lived in it for years then it is something that you relish. Dark shapes lit by red flamed candles give the darkness contours. Those with adjusted eyes would see a wide chamber with a low domed ceiling. Flickering lights cast shadows and color. On the broad ceiling an ancient fresco had fallen into disrepair. Mighty images of enlightened Eldar looked down on the room, their eyes had been chipped out of the old stone. They would not see the things that go on here.
As one’s eyes adjusted one would see an animated figure in the center of the room. An observer would see the Drachite Hosphel pausing from combat for a moment. She stood with her legs wide apart in an animated combat position. Long black heels led up to boots that flared out at the opening above the knee. Her purple robe was splayed wide its light material still traced the sweep of her last quick motion. Her torso was turned so the stride of her legs was opposed at right angles to the direction she faced. Her right arm was held back and clasped a long multi tailed whip that, like her long dress, was reeling back from the recently executed movement. The little armor that she wore included shoulder shields that accentuated the impressive muscle in her torso and upper arms. Her braided hair swung from their also animated motion back to around her shoulders. Her hard lower jaw protruded in a vengeful style and she prepared to swing her whip into a death blow for that which crouched before her.
For a moment she surveyed the warrior. She was breathing hard and as she pulled air into her lungs her breasts pulled against the material of her dress. The large human before her crouched, having received a blow, he had recoiled to a crouching position. When fully standing he stood much taller than she. But now he looked up at her and she saw the scars on his back and side from her years sparing with him. He was breathing hard. She saw that he was less of man now than she first surveyed years ago. She had first found him at the Pits of Majullo in the Deep City and had taken him as a prize. For years she had fought with him and relished the fear of death in his eyes. Many times she had injected him with quixotic fluids and taken him to her bed, brutalizing him. One time she had sliced his right arm off above the elbow. His agony ringing in her ears she had worried her prize had been damaged beyond repair. One of Homunculi had reattached the arm. She remembered that the reattaching had seemed more painful than the severing.
As she brought the agonizing whip down across his back and face she knew the lashes would kill him. In a graceful arch over her head she brought her whip down against him. The skin on his face recoiled from the lashes of her whip and as they hit his back the tendrils of the hateful poison burnt into his bone. The last several times they had fought she had seen that he had not feared her. He had come to believe that after several years of sparing and abuse she would never kill him. That could not stand. The only reason she fought him was to see the fear in his eyes. She could see him becoming immured to the pain. He began to enjoy it almost more than she. She could have killed him at any moment over those years but it was his fear that sustained her and kept those demons at bay. She had found another play thing, another whose fear would sustain her.