Hey, so just a heads up, things get gruesome in this chapter. I mean, to me gruesome = fun (if you’re at Chapter 31, you know exactly what kind of person I am). But ya know, be forewarned.
Oh and yes, I forgot the cc that gives Akira his elf ears but I was not going to go back and reshoot the whole thing so use your imagination please 🙂
“The god war is a long term problem. The Owl of Undoing is a short term problem. And we are the unfortunate bastards who must deal with both.”
Caleb had summed things up pretty succinctly at breakfast that morning—a breakfast Alice had prepared in an attempt to get back on William’s good side. She had never seen the vampire lose his cool like that.
Caleb and Vlad called her a suck-up but she noticed that Caleb promised their next location would have a hot tub.
And Vlad had volunteered—volunteered!—to work on baking after he and Alice finished their mission.
That mission being to get someone to teach Alice what she didn’t know about her power.
And that someone, llamas help her, was the Grim Reaper.
Grim spread his arms out wide, his smarmy expression making her skin crawl. “Alice, long time no see. Like never see ya. Like literally, you avoid me. Which I get, I mean, I seen you naked. Great tits, by the way.”
The Grim Reaper was expected to be a terrifying figure—ominous, full of cryptic statements and dark stares. The Grim Reaper was not expected to be what he was: a gross creeper with too much spray tan and a wardrobe straight out of 2009.
Alice grimaced, “Nice tits is not a compliment.”
Grim ignored her. “And you, Phobos…” he paused leaning in to study Vlad, “Holy netherworld, what kind of creature are you now?”
“One who appreciates manners, and has a very clear understanding of how to strip a being down to its fundamental parts. By hand.”
Grim took a step back. “Phobos 2.0 is more terrifying than the original model. I like it!” He winked at Alice, “Is he stayin’ the whole time or—”
“Yes,” Vlad and Alice answered at the same time.
Britechester University Library
William slid past a few students as they rushed to and from the library. Ever since he had gotten a whiff of the impending doom heading their way, he couldn’t help but look at everyone differently. He didn’t view them with the same disdain as Vlad and Caleb but he did marvel at how they could be so deeply present in the small joys, so sure that the future was a result of their efforts and action.
He missed feeling that way—young…mortal.
Smiling at the librarian staffing the reference desk, he handed over the fake library card Caleb had made up when they first arrived on campus.
“Oh, Professor Snugglebottom, it says here in the system that you’re working on your research on the mating habits of potted plants?” she gave him a serious, if empathetic look.
Caleb was dead. William didn’t care if they needed him to stave off the end of the world or how nice the next safe house was, he was going to kill him. “Yes, well, very important research,” William replied through gritted teeth.
“They said you’ll need access to the archives and our rare books. Our curator will meet you in the Reading Room and go over the rules. I took the liberty of asking them to pull a few books that might be of…ahem…interest.”
Somehow William managed to remain pleasant as he thanked her. He checked his watch outside of the Reading Room. He had the perfect research companion: the romantic interest he should be putting his time into.
“Are you ready?” Dylan asked. “I’ve brought a few dictionaries that might be helpful…” he paused to push his glasses up on his nose. “I wasn’t sure about your proficiency with languages.”
There would be no apologies for the nefarious methods used to get Dylan’s help. William knew from their first meeting that the sim was an expert in linguistics. And best of all, he was not an all-powerful magical being with constantly-shifting loyalties.
Just managing to keep the predatory growl out of his voice, William grinned. “Thank you, Dylan, I very much appreciate you taking the time to help me with my work.”
Windenburg Island, Bjersten House
It only took a moment for Penny to zap back into Bjorn’s bedroom. Technically, it was Bjorn and Clara’s bedroom but Penny tried not to quibble with semantics when it came to sleeping with someone else’s husband.
Bjorn looked up from where he was holding his head in his hands. He nearly got onto his knees. “I could divorce her, Penny. Today! Right now!” he promised, voice earnest.
“Bra,” Penny replied distractedly, scanning the laundry pile on the floor.
“I came back because I forgot my bra,” she repeated, snatching the offending item up off the floor.
Bjorn’s eyes had that sappy, puppy dog look that Penny hated. “Didn’t you hear me?” he whimpered.
She smothered a sigh. “Bjorn, when we first met, you had a wife and three kids and I thought for sure the only thing you had time to do was fuck. But increasingly, you keep finding additional seconds to talk and make plans,” she folded her arms and slowly enunciated every word. “And it’s making me regret my original plan, which was for you and I to fuck.”
Bjorn startled and looked down. How disappointing. She liked that he would let her do whatever she wanted in bed, but she was not into his submissive act outside of that.
“Witches have partners. We could be together. We could be happy,” he looked at a note he had obviously scribbled on his hand, “Penny, you are beautiful, your eyes are like meadows, your brows are like guiding ships to my heart, and you are…eh…you are…beautiful and…” he fumbled for more descriptive words.
Even if she gave him a lifetime, he wouldn’t be able to think of another adjective to describe her, which was by design. Penny’s general philosophy was that vulnerability was for assholes.
He changed tact. “You’re thirty-four, Penny, and one of the covenless orphans. Other girls you know must be married by now, having kids. If not me, then who? You don’t want to be alone.”
Covenless orphan. A witch never escaped that designation and all this disdain that came with it.
“Bjorn,” Penny tilted her head, “You are a grade A asshole and I’m not just saying that because I’m about to play mistress and punish you in all the ways you like. Thirty-four is not old and even if it was, I’m two ingredients away from an immortality potion so that shit doesn’t concern me.”
“Mistress…” he breathed, trembling with desire despite what she told him.
With a frustrated groan, she gripped him by the neck and slammed him down on the ground.
Don’t kill him, she reminded herself as she began pressing her foot into his face.
“Please,” he whimpered.
She settled for kicking him in the groin and gave herself one second to savor his crying before she zapped back out of the room.
Windenburg Village Motel
Grim held up his hands in a faux contrite gesture. “Whew! You two are intense. You fucking?”
Alice glanced over. A muscle in Vlad’s jaw ticked but he didn’t lash out. While his moral compass didn’t seem bothered by theft, unrelenting violence, or sims as food, he did take great pains not to usurp her godly authority…even before she knew she had godly authority.
Maybe if you were 600 years old, hierarchy wasn’t a problem for you?
Or maybe it was trust—a little seed that had begun to sprout roots between the two of them. For Alice it was a strange experience. Ben always felt like an extension of herself, but Vlad had thoughts and emotions that she wasn’t automatically privy to. And she was learning that it sometimes required giving him space to do his thing, his way.
Just as he gave her space to do her thing, her way.
Like now, when she needed to remind the Grim Reaper of who he actually worked for. “Grim, you know that I think you’re an asshole and every time I’m reminded of the fact that we almost slept together, I throw up a little bit in my mouth. I, the God of Death—your boss, need something. And I am giving you the opportunity to help me with it. Take it or leave it.”
He stepped back to let them into his motel room. It smelled as bad as it looked and it looked like a porn set that had not been touched since 1975. Alice shuddered. She eyed a bright red loveseat, but decided that standing and touching absolutely nothing was probably safer.
“As you know, I’m new to this position and—”
“There’s a lot you don’t know because good ole Benny couldn’t get you interested in learnin’,” he finished with a self-satisfied smile.
Alice gritted her teeth. “That’s one interpretation of what happened—”
“No,” Grim interrupted as he poured himself a drink, “That’s the only interpretation. For a chick that got blessed with godly powers, you were pretty fuckin’ mopey. Benny was always going on and on—Alice has so much potential but she doesn’t want it, Alice is so sad, how do I get Alice to take this seriously—blah blah blah.”
Alice tried to shut him down but Grim kept going. “You were all worried about being normal. Your powers were annoying and made you weird. Whoopty-doo!” Grim twirled his finger in the air. “I told him, I said: Benny, my friend, this chick is crazy. She has great tits, she’s got god powers, and she still isn’t happy. You can’t make her happy, you can only make her a god.”
Vlad cut in, his tone crisp, “B’Ollithiranon’s methods, regardless of how they were developed, left a lot to be desired. Do you intend to help your god, or not?”
The threat in his voice was unmistakeable, but Alice knew a good cop/bad cop opportunity when she saw one.
Softening her tone, she sighed, “Listen Grim, I didn’t take the opportunity to learn from Ben when he was here and you’re right, that was a fail on my part. But there are big things at play. Outside of raising the dead, which was the only thing Ben and I really spent any time on, I can’t use any of my other powers reliably and I have a responsibility to learn how to be a god right now.”
Grim narrowed his eyes before taking a sip of his nectar and plopping down onto the couch. “Okay,” he nodded, “We’ll start with the basics. Phobos was made—”
“I know how Phobos was made,” Vlad countered, voice low and angry.
“Yeah, but this pertains to her. When the Good Order Monks—”
“No,” Vlad growled, his eye practically twitching.
There was something vulnerable underneath the fury that Alice didn’t know how to unpack. She stepped forward, “Uh…why don’t we skip over that part for now. We already know Phobos is a demigod and I’m a—”
“No, that’s what I’m trying to tell you,” Grim stretched out on the couch. “He is not. Gods like to be surrounded and they don’t want to get their hands dirty except for on the big stuff. It’s their nature. So they employ others—mostly monsters, followers they grant with immortality, and demigods. Demigods are half-god offsprings, a little power, a little prestige…great in bed…generally speaking, but mostly self-involved little assholes.”
Alice rolled her eyes. It was not her nature. And the gods sounded like her worst kind of customer.
“Demigods can serve a god, but like all errant children, they don’t gotta,” Grim explained, taking another swig of nectar, “And they’re half mortal so their powers are muted. But Benny, Benny ain’t set the Underworld up like that,” he smirked.
“Benny made Grief, Anxiety, Hunger, Agony, Discord, Disease, and Fear. They ain’t gods in the same way magic itself ain’t a bunch of gods. They are concepts made real and given form. Clever bit of workaround there on Benny’s part. Godlike powers, all of them, bound to your will, I mean…assuming you can manage them,” he drained his glass, “Bound to your will they may be, but they’re an unruly bunch.”
Alice gulped. Bound to her will? That was a huge fucking responsibility. And what did that even mean? She didn’t control Vlad, he did what he wanted!
Except…she did want him to have that sword, and to cut the twins down, and help her destroy an entire college campus…
“I’m sorry…I think I’m missing something. Could you…could you just repeat that?”
“Which part?” Grim asked.
“Oh…ummm…all of it?”
Grim sat up and smacked his forehead, “I’m gonna need another drink.”
Britechester University Library
As they set their supplies down on one of the work tables, William reviewed his goals. He was relieved that everyone took his message seriously though he’d left out a few choice details. They didn’t need to know where the conversation had happened, or why Morgyn gave up the information, or that William felt the need to spend a long hour in a cold shower afterwards.
After greeting the curator and being read the rules—clean hands, book cradles, one tome at a time—they settled down to work. William loved spending long hours in the archives searching through manuscripts and stories, something he credited Tobias with inspiring.
He was no amateur and neither was Dylan but after several hours, it was clear they weren’t having any luck.
“Why don’t we call it a day?” William asked, giving the sim a mischievous look, “All work and no play is not good for the mind.”
“Well, I would appreciate the break,” Dylan replied shyly. “I have a few ideas about where we can go next in our work. This is one fascinating research paper you’re writing!”
William gave him a dazzling smile in response and when Dylan’s eyebrows drew up in flattered surprise, William waited for the elation to hit him.
It did not surface.
The In Between Inn
Back at the Inn, Penny headed up to her bedroom, expecting to add Bjorn’s name to her spreadsheet. He was now the linchpin of her investigation. If anyone knew what was happening to the missing witches, it was him. Bjorn Bjersten was incredibly well connected and constantly invited to Magic Realm events despite the fact that the line of magic in his family was so weak, he could barely call himself a witch.
So far, she had not turned up a lot of solid leads. Sleeping with Bjorn had gotten her unfettered access to his home and office, but he was always there when she needed to do her snooping. She had endured for weeks but finally managed to make a copy of his keys. Tomorrow, when he and his family left for vacation, she’d sneak in and do a thorough dig.
She reached the top stair, already thinking of the supplies she’d need: herbs for a revealing spell, camera, gloves—
“Tea?” Mikel called from the upstairs den. He gestured to the silver tray on the coffee table. This was not good. Mikel always went over the top with serving when he was nervous.
And Penny knew why.
She gave Miko a long look and then surveyed the gruff looking fae sitting next to her. “Okay, so is someone going to tell me why your ex-husband is here or am I supposed to guess?”
Miko swallowed nervously at Penny’s statement and Akira gave her an incredulous look.
“Ex-husband?” His emphasis on the ex was subtle but unmistakable.
This was why bringing him here was a bad idea. He couldn’t possibly think she still told people they were married! Miko hurried past her explanation. “Um, well, now that’s complicated and private and not really the focus of our discussion. Are you sure you don’t want tea?” she smiled sweetly for effect.
Penny arched an eyebrow. “Not interested in tea. About to be fresh out of fucks. Spill it, Miko.”
“I like her,” Akira smiled, as he leaned back in the chair.
“Oh, I-I wouldn’t take that as an invitation to—” Mikel hardly got out his warning before Penny erupted.
“Don’t get it twisted, Kibo. I know all about you and if it were up to me, I’d set a curse on your ass and then feed your testicles to the loch ness living out by Windenburg Island.”
She pointed at Miko, “Alice is clearly gone, Vladislaus Straud’s in the baking contest and your garbage ex is on our couch. What in the name of practical magic is actually going on?”
Miko froze. She thought she was prepared for this moment. In the time she had to sleep at Akira’s and fill her belly with food, she had rehearsed what she was going to say.
Her mouth opened but no sound came out.
Akira reached over and gave her hand a quick squeeze. “I tracked Miko down when I got some information from my sister about a serious threat to this world,” he began, “Titania has it on good authority from an oracle that the gods are coming to this realm to make war.”
After Akira explained everything, Mikel looked dumbfounded but Penny looked mutinous. “So now you’re telling me to drop everything and help you with this god war you swear is coming even though the visions you swore you had about Alice never came true?”
Miko rubbed her temples. This was a mess. But before she could answer, Akira leapt to his feet. “Whoa. I don’t like your tone. Visions? You think Miko’s power is fucking vis—”
“It doesn’t matter!” Miko chirped, cutting him off. She couldn’t possibly explain to him that Mikel and Penny didn’t know what her real powers were. “The important thing is that even though I was…”—she hesitated, but ultimately decided that humbleness would be the best way to get Penny’s support—“wrong before, I’m not wrong about this. This is real and it’s coming, sure as the seagull flies. And it ain’t just me! Oracles are never wrong. We need alliances.”
Penny’s resolve was wavering, Miko could see it. She was so close, she just needed a little push. Miko let a small bit of magic unfurl to help her over the finish line.
“Penny, I wouldn’t ask you this if it wasn’t absolutely vital. I’ve never knowingly steered you wrong before, I was just doing my best,” she crossed her fingers—a small lie to save the world, “I’m not wrong about this. Please.”
Penny unfolded her arms but still looked angry. “Fine, what exactly did you have in mind?”
Windenburg Village Motel
A few drinks later and Grim had given Alice at least a rough understanding of the Underworld, magic, and how incredibly extensive her power really was. That she had unknowingly summoned Agony to the mortal plane and he almost dragged Phobos/Vlad back down to the Underworld was proof of exactly how careful she needed be.
Grim took great pleasure in revealing that little tidbit, extolling Agony’s great virtues and skills which left Alice listening to Vlad pace and mumble angrily about it. Apparently, being in a relationship with Fear itself meant his jealousy was directed at another conceptual entity with a similar skill set and not at the immortal being dressed in tie-dye jeans who kept commenting on her tits.
Grim dismissed the horns and the eyes as some “magic side effect crap,” and he didn’t know a ton about the other gods (outside of the names of demigods he’d slept with) but he at least confirmed that he’d heard of the Book of Longings and that war on this realm seemed like “the exact kind of bullshit the gods would get down to.”
“No offense,” he said to Alice, as if she had any sort of kinship with a bunch of all-powerful megalomaniacs she’d never met.
“None taken,” she replied.
“Good, because you know, I’m still open to us exploring what might be between us,” he gestured at Vlad who was now staring stoically out the window. “I’m just going to be real here, Phobos is a fuckin’ psychopath and you might—”
“GRIM! FOCUS!” Alice said loudly, cutting him off.
Maybe Phobos/Vlad was a psychopath…but he was…er…her psychopath. Not that she owed Grim an explanation. She could tell that if she gave that asshole an inch, he’d be walking all over her for the rest of her soon-to-be immortal life.
“I’m not here to talk about a relationship between you and I that will literally never happen. What I actually need to know is how I can prevent myself from smiting a group of college students with merely a thought in my head!”
“Oh Alice, sweet, hot Alice, let me tell you something: The will of a god is a heck of thing. It’s the first thing. The big thing. And I think this moment calls for a little hands-on instruction.”
It took hours for Alice to get the hang of it. Wielding her will was like trying to adjust a light switch with a dimmer. Too little desire, and nothing happened. Too much, and she could blow a fuse. It wasn’t anything like when Ben was first trying to teach her. Then, she found herself nearly exhausted just trying to make a plant grow.
Now, she was trying to get used to the fact that if she was, say, drunk off her ass and pissed at a pair of basilisks she could call enough power to smite them without even feeling the effort.
Being a god was terrifying.
And so was calling a conceptual entity to her will. It wasn’t a default move, for which Alice was grateful. The idea of being a puppet master to Vlad, or frankly anyone, skeeved her out. Not to mention, it was a risky move.
“You can call them to your will to do whatever you like, but a) it ain’t permanent and b) they are pretty fuckin’ volatile so you know, you might be unleashing a seismic level horror onto the world,” Grim shrugged.
For the most part, he was a half-decent teacher, though he studiously refused to answer her questions about Ben. Alice knew she needed to let it go, but she didn’t want to. And Vlad sensed it. Or he was just generally in the mood to put a fist through Grim’s stomach.
“You gonna let him do that?” Grim moaned, dropping to his knees, trying in vain to stop the bleeding.
Alice shrugged and smiled, “They’re an unruly bunch, Grimmy.”
“I’m not like you assholes! I’m going to have to get a whole new form if I can’t patch this! Benny woulda never done nothin’ like this!”
Vlad crouched down until he was eye-to-eye with Grim who was half-muttering, half-sobbing. “I’m just a working stiff! My fuckin’ stomach! Decades I had this form and now it’s ruined!”
Vlad ignored him. “We have another question. Is B’Ollithiranon gone?”
“I’m in too much pain to answer,” Grim whined.
“No,” Vlad replied calmly, “You may be surprised to learn that you are not.”
Grim blanched. “Of course he’s gone! S-she’s the God of Death! She has all the p-power,” he sputtered. He tried and failed to draw himself away from Vlad. “W-what are you doing?”
“Making plans,” Vlad said simply, but he leaned forward a few inches.
Grim’s eyes flashed up to Alice, but she shrugged again.
“I-I don’t know where Benny is,” he warbled, “I ain’t seen him in forever! We don’t even talk anymore!”
“Liar!” Vlad growled, and Alice realized that his preternatural stillness was actually more unnerving.
“Okay,” Grim sobbed, “Okay! Gods can’t die. They become lesser things or forgotten things, but they can’t be killed. That’s all I know. I swear.”
Vlad rose and made an unsatisfied sound. “The God of Death will return at her earliest convenience for additional lessons.”
Grim let out a breath.
“Oh, I would not breathe that sigh of relief just yet,” Vlad observed. He leaned over and snatched out one of Grim’s eyes, “Mind your manners, Reaper,” his grin lethal, “And remember, I have my eye on you.”
“The eye?” Alice asked, once they were outside the motel room, “That was necessary?”
Vlad examined the plasma on his hand, tasting it before frowning and wiping it off on his jacket. “Yes.”
She made a face. More because it was gross and less because she minded him taking the Grim Reaper’s eye…which was something that probably needed examining?
“I think he’s lying,” she said.
“Oh undoubtedly,” Vlad replied, making no move to wipe off his face. “Dinner?”
Alice couldn’t help the little flutter of hope in her chest at the idea of Ben still existing.
“Yeah, but you’ve got take a shower first because I want to kiss you but I do not want Grim Reaper all over me.”
Male Stand Pose 05 by Natalia-Auditore
Emotions for Couples by Simmerberlin
Pose Pack 22 by Katverse
Sims 4 Animation Pack: Angry and Sad Sequence by Steven Studios
Brutal Female 2 posepack by Natalia-Auditore
Expressive Animations Pack by Steven Studios
Drunk in Sofa poses by Natalia-Auditore
Potables by Quiddity-Jones
Pose Pack 20 by Katverse
Blood Acc by Natalia-Auditore
Werewolf Posepack by Natalia-Auditore
Crying in Desperate Pose Pack by Natalia-Auditore
Kneeling poses by Natalia-Auditore
From the Sims 4 Gallery
Up & Up Inn by Kulthero777
Mossy Lane Reno by Julie1112
Motel by Lisa271099