She sat in the darkest corners of hell, a golden mirror before her. Creeping shadows oozed through the cracks in the sulfuric floor, and the black rain of wailing souls cascaded around the onyx walls surrounding her. A hellish paradise she had created.
The mirror stood against a vanity of dark marble, wilted roses and crushed bone layering the top like sand. An hourglass of ebony wood and filled with a red liquid sat, untouched, behind the mirror. The darkest of hearts would flinch from the human teeth that crowned it; she was not merciful these days.
A pair of lilac eyes stared at her own reflection, examining what she had become: a frightful demon with extraordinary power. Her once white hair now shone with blue and black tones, silver-eyed no longer. The luminous runes that graced her skin remained, but now appeared etched into her skin, instead of the even flow they once had. The elegant mask of the stag no longer existed. In its place was either a dark silk ribbon, which she wore across her eyes when she journeyed to the surface, or a leather valkyrie mask, gifted to her from one of the nine lords of hell. It didn't hurt that she held their sons captive, prey to her whims.
Long fingers touched the ice cold surface of the mirror, and a shimmer rippled through it as if she had touched the surface of a lake. Her image wavered for a moment, before being replaced by a large hall filled with demonic attendants - some human and some not. At the forefront was a towering man covered in heavy armor and adorned with a thick cloak, an enormous halberd in his hand. As the image came into focus, he gave her a curt bow, one she did not return.
"We are ready and await your command." His voice was gravelly and hollow, likened to an avalanche in a cave.
"Ride at the signal of the Gatekeeper. He is watching for the portal to be opened by our inside man."
He nodded, and the image wavered and disappeared once more. The tiniest smile appeared on her face: he would never know what hit him. She pictured his face, his black crown atop a head full of dark hair. His parting words, the old ways are lost. She had spent centuries with him, imagining they were equals. For what, though? A tryst with a pixie, the disgrace of a thousand suns, pain beyond imagining, and the power - the power. It filled the iron hole inside of her, and gave her a new source of power, a new reason to live. He was a worthy enemy, powerful and wily. He had proven that he was dirty of heart and soul, and his putrid smile stirred the rage inside her whenever it swam into her memory. How she could have loved such a monster, she would never know.
"But never again." Her voice a hissing whisper as she touched the gilded frame of the mirror. "He will know what sorrow and pain and regret is in the end. We will show him no mercy."