Mrs. N here and boy do I have a treat for you today. Courtesy of Bestselling Author Andrew Weston and Perseid Press, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to first ever woman to qualify for the Ancient Disorder of Hell Hounds. She agreed to an interview and I know you’ll fall for her like I did. (Nods) Go ahead and introduce yourself.
My name was Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d’Armont, or as I preferred, simply Charlotte Corday. I was born in 1768, in France to a minor aristocratic family and lived during the French Revolution. Like everyone else at that time, I got caught up in the fervor of politics and sympathized with the Girondin movement who were singled out for persecution by the leader of the Jacobin’s, Jean-Paul Marat. I decided to do something about that, and visited his home on the pretext of providing valuable information to help him advance his witch-hunt. Once we were alone, I stabbed and murdered him whilst he was in the bath and ended up being labeled, l’ange de l’assassinat, the assassin’s angel.
Not long after, I was sentenced to death by mob and trial, then executed by guillotine. It wasn’t until I awoke on the Undertaker’s Slab that I realized I’d been condemned to spend all eternity in hell for my sin.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The tendency to shoot my mouth off. After I arrived in hell I found it hard to adjust. Like many people sentenced to an eternity of condemnation, I went off the rails. Unfortunately, my behavior attracted the wrong sort of attention. I had a number of ill-advised run-ins with injustice, annoyed the wrong people and was subjected to permanent disfigurement as an incentive to shut up and switch on.
One side of my face now looks like withered, dried-up parchment while the other has been enhanced to look stunningly attractive. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Undertaker thought it would be fun to join the two sides with huge great brass surgical staples. That makes smiling or any form of facial expression a whole load of fun.
To embrace the style, I now go by the pseudonym, the Lady Gemini, and use gothic makeup and Ombre lipstick to make the best of a bad situation.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Well, since my reanimation, I can control the minds and behavior of insects and small animals. Some might think that’s a pretty useless skill to have, but as you’ll see in Hell Hounds, I turn this ability to my advantage more often than not. I’m beginning to wish I could influence larger creatures, such as demons, or perhaps Dread-Locks, as they’d be pretty awesome to have at my beck and call.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being the first ever woman to qualify for the Ancient Disorder of Hell Hounds.
Where would you most like to live?
The underworld is a topsy-turvy place full of strange and twisted reflections of the cities and countries you find topside – that’s in the land of the living to you – or in folklore. Having travelled through quite a few levels over the last few hundred years, I think I could settle down just about anywhere. New Hell, Niflheim, Juxtapose … anywhere really, as long as it’s not Perish (That’s hell’s version of Paris) as that’s where I originally met my end.
What is your most treasured possession?
The original set of knives I used to bring an end to that swine, Jean-Paul Marat. They followed me down into hell, and have been enhanced by the Bãlefire, the unliving all-pervading spirit of the underverse.
What is your favorite occupation?
I’m very fortunate to be doing it. I kill for a living.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I think my picture might give you a clue?
What do you most value in your friends?
Their unflinching loyalty. This is hell where murder and mayhem is the number one pastime. Everyone’s out to stab you in the back, but after having been ordained, the Pack sticks close together. It’s like belonging to the family I never truly had.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Janus, the god of beginnings and endings, transition and duality. He is usually depicted as having two faces, and the mythos surrounding him kinda sums up what my unlife has become since my reanimation.
What is your motto?
When I worked for myself as an assassin, I made sure my client base knew I was totally professional. Hell might be filled with the dregs of humanity, but when it came to my art, I didn’t cut corners, kill off-book, or double-cross my patrons. I had a one hundred percent record of successful executions. I think that’s one of the reasons the Reaper, took an interest in me.
Of course, now I’ve been ordained into the Ancient Disorder of Hell Hounds, I follow their creed:
“I swear to do my utmost to be guided by the Laws of Lucifer, and to protect and defend the most despicable Doctrines of the Devil. I will endeavor to pursue all enemies of the state throughout the length and breadth of the Sheolspace continuum and do my damnedest to execute both them and my duty without fear of favor, or hope of reprieve, until the morning star decrees otherwise.”
Title: Hell Hounds
Author: Andrew P. Weston
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Perseid Press
Feared throughout the many circles of the underworld, Satan’s Reaper – and chief bounty hunter – Daemon Grim, is known as a true force to be reckoned with.
Having eliminated a major player in the uprising eating its way like a cancer through the underbelly of hell, Grim is stunned to discover he cannot afford to rest on his laurels, for the rebellion runs far deeper than was ever imagined. New players have emerged – denizens with uncanny abilities – who seem determined to support Chopin and Tesla’s revolutionary agenda.
Ever keen to test their mettle, the Sibitti – personified weapons of the ancient Babylonian plague god, Erra – also appear eager to capitalize on the growing unrest, and set about maneuvering events in order to place themselves in direct opposition to Grim’s investigation.
And if that was not cause for concern enough, there’s an insane angel on the loose, a creature as hell-bent on creating havoc as he is to return home.
How do Grim and his rabid pack of bounty hunters respond?
Baying for blood – doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Engines snarled and horns blared.
Although the rush-hour traffic was gridlocked, it didn’t prevent drivers from stamping their feet to the floor whenever the rare opportunity arose. Forced to brake harshly only moments later, they were quick to lean from windows and vent their frustrations at being caught, yet again, on one of the busiest roads in the underworld.
Stepping out into the din, the Angel Grislington seemed oblivious to the clot.
“What an ingenious form of entertainment,” he mumbled, “so simple, and yet so profoundly indicative of what latter-day hell is all about.”
In a daze, he turned back to stare at the very latest venue in this, his Things to do and places to go itinerary.
Strolling across to the nearest bench, he shooed a flock of hell-pigeons away and laid a newspaper across the feces-coated rungs. After taking a seat, he flipped to the front inside pages of an elaborate pamphlet detailing a brief history of the origins and development of the establishment he had just left:
Based firmly on a concept devised by Marie Tussaud (nee Grosholts), “Madame Two-Swords & Terrorium” is unique amongst the infinite layers of the underverse in its approach to correctional castigation and public entertainment.
In life, Marie Tussaud learned her craft from Dr. Philippe Curtius, a Swiss physician skilled in the art of wax modeling. She came to fame during the French Revolution, where she would search through corpses to find the severed heads of executed citizens from which to make her death masks. Those masks were looked upon as revolutionary flags, and were paraded through the street of Paris on a regular basis.
Tussaud’s notoriety spread and she was invited to London to exhibit her works in the Lyceum Theatre. Because of the Napoleonic Wars, she was unable to return home, and settled in Baker Street, where she opened her first independent exhibition. Tussaud’s death masks attracted a lot of interest, and she expanded her concept to include life-sized models of celebrities and renowned characters from history, both dead and alive.
Nevertheless, as the public’s fascination with death continued to manifest. Tussaud began to concentrate on the more sinister and macabre, guaranteeing her success as a worldwide phenomenon. Following her death in 1850, His Satanic Majesty acknowledged the value of her work by graciously sponsoring the rejuvenation of her business here, in Olde London Town.
But don’t forget, this is hell after all, and we couldn’t just leave the most infamous museum ever dedicated to the damned to its own devices. Oh no . . .
Therefore, Old Nick saw fit to add a most delicious development. Not only does Madame Two-Swords incorporate the foulest of specimens from the underworld’s past, but it also houses unliving malefactors from the present day too. Yes, in a diabolical twist, our dark father has seen to it that this is the only place in all infernity where you will be able to witness live waxwork exhibits who have incurred his wrath engaging in combat to the death.
Did we say Live. Waxwork. Exhibits?
We surely did.
Genetically altered by the Undertaker, the cells in the bodies of our fiendish fighting felons no longer metabolize energy in the way they used to. Instead, they produce lipids, marvelous little molecules that gradually turn the anatomy of our decrepit lawbreakers into wax.
Once deemed ready for combat, they are kept in refrigerated rooms where they await the dishonor of being called forth to entertain you, our most unwelcome guests.
Armed with nothing but sword and shield, and forced into the steaming jungle heat of the Terrorium, how will they fare?
Will they quickly dispatch their foes and live to fight another day, or will their timidity amidst humidity result in a slow and wilting death?
Will they prove their mettle, or will their resolve dissolve?
One thing’s for sure, if they can’t stand the heat, they won’t last long in this devil’s kitchen of an arena, where the only way out is in the bottom of a bucket.
But don’t take our word for it, come witness the debacle for yourself.
Price: Only 20:00 Đs
Madame Two-Swords & Terrorium, 13 – 26, Gnarlybones Road, OLT, NW1 13LR.
As sponsored in “Flaw & Disorder”
The monthly magazine of your unfriendly Ministry of Infernal Affairs
(Intimidating you to help us make the underworld a bitter place)
In a reflective mood, Grislington thought back on the oppressive environment of the huge, greenhouse-like bowl of the Terrorium.
“What a truly amazing experience. The contenders started to liquefy the moment they stepped inside. No wonder they were so keen to get down to business. Out of the three bouts I witnessed, the only pair foolish enough to remain overly cautious literally melted away before my eyes.
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Andrew P. Weston is a military and police veteran from the UK who now lives with a large amount of cats in a medium sized house on a small Greek island.
An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international #1 bestselling and critically acclaimed IX Series, and has the privilege of contributing to the Heroes in Hell shared universe.
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