As some people may know, Gwyn Stark had a somewhat difficult life. However, what they may not know is
that she has a secret that she has kept for quite a long time.
It begins with her father. Again, as some may know, he had a nasty drug addiction, which he would fuel with the Stark family bank account. What is lesser known is that he did not always take from his own flesh and blood in such a way. Previously, he would mug people and use their money and belongings to fuel his habits. This would continue until his daughter, Gwyn, was seven years old.
One night, Mr. Stark was out in the city of Mistral. He was in the process of mugging someone. His wife was working late, while his daughter was home in bed; he’d made sure she’d fallen asleep before he left under the guise of a graveyard shift. He was just about to take his mark’s wallet when a blinding light appeared between the two of them, throwing Stark back but keeping the victim on his feet.
The light eventually began to coalesce into a humanoid form, and fade. What remained was a woman in flowing, elegant robes of a religious figure. Stark didn’t know who she was, but she absolutely radiated power, and rage. He had an inkling that it would be better if he stayed down.
The woman asked if he knew who she was. Stark replied only with a shake of his head. She then declared that she was Pax-Nemesis, goddess of Justice and Vengeance, and that she had come to exact revenge for Stark’s crimes against his fellow men. When Stark’s expression changed to one of confusion, the goddess’s expression contorted with rage. She angrily explained that she meant his mugging of passersby, and that if he didn’t cease this criminal activity, she would infect his wife and daughter with an incurable plague that would grant them slow and painful death, and during this time, Stark himself would become an unseen immortal trapped in his own home – unable to do anything but watch his family waste away. He would not even be able to kill himself while they were infected.
However, the goddess was not entirely cruel, and so offered another option. If Stark ceased the muggings immediately, she would let them live. Stark hastily agreed, and so Gwyn and her mother got to live…for the moment.
Unfortunately for Stark, he was not about to get off scot-free. Pax-Nemesis determined that he needed to be punished, and so, in order to exact vengeance for his victims, placed a curse on his daughter – young Gwyn, who was a mere seven years old at the time. Mr. Stark would be forced to watch as his daughter was transformed into a demon – a Succubus, to be precise – over the course of thirteen years.
During this time, Gwyn Stark would experience chronic pains in the core of her body. She could tell that something was wrong. This was no ordinary pain. It came from deep within her, almost as if it originated within her very soul. Her parents were of no help; they simply shrugged her off. Any medical research she conducted turned up nothing, and she eventually decided to suffer in silence.
Gwyn may not have known it, but these pains were not physical in origin.
They were indicators of the changes the curse was enacting on her soul.
It would not be until her twentieth birthday that Gwyn learned of the curse. In her college years, she had grown lonely, as well as bored in her spare time, so she decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak – she had taken to having a one-night stand whenever she grew weary. She had decided to celebrate her birthday with one. The pains had returned in full force earlier that day, but when the evening came, they had faded entirely and she felt more alive than ever.
Eventually, the time came for her pre-arranged “festivities.” She met the individual in question, a junior at the university, around nine that night. It wasn’t anything serious, so formalities went out the window rather quickly. The man took Gwyn back to his room and they got to business, as it were, though for some reason, Gwyn felt more…invigorated, by the act, than usual. Her consort also seemed to tire remarkably quickly; Gwyn had seen even the scrawniest of men hold out longer than he had, not to mention women.
As the man expended the last of his energy, Gwyn felt a sensation from deep, deep within her core. Not painful…more of a tingling sensation. The man, exhausted, looked at her, wide-eyed with shock. Gwyn noticed the room grow lighter, and expressed confusion at this. The man, with panic in his voice, remarked that the light was coming from HER.
Gwyn looked down at herself in shock, and found that he was speaking the truth. She was glowing brighter than a lightbulb. White light was emanating from the flesh covering her abdomen.
And worst of all, it was spreading outward.
As new skin began to glow, already-glowing sections seemed to luminesce with renewed intensity. Some portions were also red or pink as opposed to the pure white that was covering an increasing majority of her body.
Gwyn began to hyperventilate. She swore she could feel her innards rearranging themselves, changing, contorting…and yet nothing hurt. It just felt…wrong. So, so horribly WRONG! And then…
After some time, it felt so, so RIGHT. Gwyn couldn’t explain why, but she felt so ALIVE! And that man, lying on the bed…he may not have been much to look at, but now, Gwyn looked at him and felt…aroused wasn’t the right word…no. Hungry. Yes, that was much more accurate.
She didn’t want to eat him, though. Or, at least, she didn’t want to CONSUME him. No, simply rutting him into the ground would do for now.
A predatory smile crossed Gwyn’s face as she slowly walked towards the man. Right as she was about to literally pounce on him, she stopped in her tracks.
She couldn’t feel her legs.
She looked down and, to her horror, they were…changing. It was almost like they were no longer real. They were no longer glowing, and looked more like porcelain than flesh.
All things considered, Gwyn had maintained her composure fairly well throughout this entire ordeal. Sure she’d hyperventilated, but she hadn’t screamed.
At least, up until this point.
She finally screamed when she saw her legs start to shatter. Hairline fractures spread up from between her toes. It might not have hurt, but the sight of it was just so unearthly, so surreal, so traumatizing, that she couldn’t hold it in anymore. She didn’t know what was happening to her or why, and it terrified her.
Reddish-pink light poured forth from the hairline cracks, which spiderwebbed outwards to form more minute fissures in Gwyn’s porcelain limbs. The cracks continued to grow and spread until they could no longer support themselves, and they finally shattered…yet the rest of Gwyn’s body didn’t follow suit.
Her arms were still glowing. They didn’t begin to break in any way, shape or form. What remained of her didn’t even fall to the ground.
When her legs shattered, the reddish-pinkish light filled the room. It was all she or the young man could see.
When it faded, what remained was an indescribable creature. It was approximately six feet tall. It was wreathed in a reddish-pink aura, and had an incredibly unnatural shape. It had a round, almost circular lower body that had an incredibly thin, almost stick-like protrusion at the top. This protrusion had two “arms” sticking out from it about two-thirds of the way up with a total span of about three feet, and ethereal wings halfway between the “arms” and the circular body. At the top of the protrusion was what looked like a slit pupil, such as that of a cat or a venomous snake. Within the aura, one could also find small, faint runic symbols, the most common of which appeared to be pentagons with circles at each corner and a smaller circle in the center. The circular lower body also contained what appeared to be an orifice that had no identifiable features other than a blood-red light encased within it. This light seemed somehow confined to the orifice and did not reflect off of anything else, yet was still somehow seen.
Then, this entity began to move. The arms twisted, the wings flapped ever so slightly, the whole thing levitated about the room.
And then…its voice.
It spoke just like Gwyn, though there was a slight echo, almost like there were two or three of her talking at the same time.
It expressed confusion and panic. It knew where it was, but not what had happened. It continued to twist around the room, trying to look at itself, until it finally saw the mirror. The eye-slit at the top of the body widened horizontally, as though in shock. In its voice, the entity asked itself, “What…AM I?!”
In the mirror, the entity noticed the man looking at it with eyes as wide as dinner plates. Slowly, he got up off of the bed and began to advance toward the entity. It turned to face him…only for him to pounce at it.
The eye-slit narrowed to a thin line, signifying that the entity had shut it in anticipation of the attack. It imagined the man passing through it…and it happened.
The man fell to the ground as though nothing were there. The entity had become intangible. Without a second thought, it phased through the wall and levitated off into the night.
It eventually came to the city of Mistral. The night life there was rather active, and for something such as this entity to go unnoticed would be impossible, so it didn’t even try. It knew the city too well to bother with stealth.
Heads of men and women alike turned to face the glowing entity as it flew past, their eyes filled with hunger and lust, yet somehow, the next day, newspapers printed only the usual headlines.
When the Sun did rise over Mistral, it would find not the entity, but Gwyn Stark passed out in a somewhat dirty alleyway. She didn’t know how she’d gotten there, or why, but she DID know that she ached all over, and her memory of the night before was fuzzy at best.
At first she figured she’d gone drinking and someone had slipped something into her glass…then, the memories came flooding back.
The boy came first…but the glow followed soon after.
The entity had been her. She was…she didn’t even know what she was!
Questions poured into her mind. Foremost among them was, “What the hell am I?” followed closely by “How did it happen?” and “Can I make that happen at will?” With no good way to obtain answers to the first two questions, she decided to settle for the third for the time being.
Gwyn focused on the feelings from the night before and tried to bring them back. She did it for approximately five minutes…nothing. Not even a spark. How did it work, anyway? Some emotion? It was lust that had triggered the event in the first place…maybe that would do it again?
She wasn’t feeling too lustful herself…but everyone had a bit of lust in them, didn’t they? Maybe…hmm…
Gwyn crept to the alleyway entrance and peeked out. The streets were packed with people, just as she’d hoped.
She extended her will to them and tried to feel their emotions. She didn’t feel anything specific…but she could almost see something. It was faint, but it was there; a small, reddish-pink flame, one within the gut of each person that passed by.
Gwyn was instantly drawn to the flames, but couldn’t grab them…at least, not with her hands. She extended her will and brought them close to her, drawing deep of them. She could see the fire arc toward her and appear more solid as it did so. Each arc came into her own core. She could feel warmth growing deep, deep within her, from the same place she’d felt the pains before. It grew and grew…until the light was visible to all.
It encompassed the entire area around the street, overpowering even the daylight. When it faded, Gwyn was gone, and the entity was in her place. No…that wasn’t right. Gwyn knew she and the entity were one and the same…though she didn’t feel right using her own name. At least, not looking as she did. It just felt…wrong, somehow, like it didn’t fit. But time for that later. She had to go. NOW.
She imagined herself rising up, and it happened. It seemed that whatever she imagined herself doing, she would do. “Maybe this isn’t all bad,” she thought. She needed a name for herself when she was like…this. What WAS this anyway? She supposed it was a new form…no. FOCUS. She had to focus.
She imagined herself soaring through the air, and it happened. She flew back to her university like a bullet, turning quite a few heads in the process. She could feel lust in the onlookers, and it made her feel hungry. So she drew on it. It provided her meager nourishment, but it was something at least.
When she got back to the university campus, she flew to her residence hall and phased through the walls to get to her room. Luckily the building was mostly uninhabited at this time of day.
She landed in her room and imagined herself turning back into Gwyn. It took some effort, but she managed to pull it off. Getting used to her human body was a unique experience. Legs felt so cumbersome compared to the ease of flight, but she managed somehow.
Given the night’s activities, Gwyn figured she should examine herself in the mirror, and did so…only to find another odd sight.
She had apparently sprouted two small bat wings.
It wasn’t that they were unappealing. They were almost cute, really, with the black bone structures and raw white flesh. But she couldn’t exactly let them be seen. People would ask questions, and that wasn’t ideal, to say the least.
An idea quickly came to Gwyn’s mind. If she could use powers with a thought in her…other, form, why not when she was a human?
With no other alternative, she decided to give it a try, and envisioned her wings becoming invisible. It was slow going and very draining, but it worked. They were nowhere to be seen, but she could still feel them.
Happy that she seemed to be able to control this newfound part of herself, Gwyn decided to get ready for the day…only have some trouble putting on a shirt when she forgot her wings were still there.
After a moment of difficulty, Gwyn managed to make her wings intangible, thereby allowing them to phase through the shirt. She also found that if she made them intangible only at the base, it would allow her to display them while wearing clothing, thought it required a fair amount of concentration and energy.
By that time, it was late morning. Gwyn’s thoughts began to turn to recent events, and the shock began to set in. With few options, she decided to call in sick to all of her classes, and set about doing what she always did when confronted with a new problem: research.
She was no stranger to it; professors gave projects after all, and she’d done some herself when she was younger. But this was an entirely new topic.
Minutes of research turned into hours, and hours into two days of nonstop work. Gwyn exhausted her university library and found nothing. It was only on the internet that she’d find any sort of clue, though it was confusing, to say the least.
After false lead upon false lead, she eventually found what appeared to be the website for some sort of religious organization. Most of the information she disregarded as false, but the sections on demons seemed oddly familiar. It cautioned any believers that demons could take humanoid forms, though would typically have an animalistic trait not unlike faunuses (“Maybe that’s why churches hate faunuses,” she thought). But the thing about humanoid forms was something, at least.
She decided to read further, and found an article on Succubi. It explained that Succubi were demons that took the appearance of beautiful women in order to receive sex from men, as it was their sustenance. This also seemed familiar; Gwyn had felt more alive than ever the night before. And then, the transformation happened…
Suddenly, everything clicked. Gwyn knew she was a succubus.
The transformation, the feelings. She was a demon. A succubus. A literal force of nature, according to the articles.
The organization’s articles also explained that demons didn’t refer to themselves using regular pronouns, but rather with symbols that correlated to their true forms. This concept felt odd to Gwyn at first, so she disregarded it, but when she got to the section on the names of demons, she was intrigued. Using her birth name hadn’t felt right when she was in her, well, she supposed it was her demon form. Maybe this would help…
The article explained that demons’ names usually had to do with the force they embodied. Gwyn supposed that in her case lust would be accurate, and so she took up the title. When she was in her demonic form, she was no longer Gwyn Stark.
She was Lust.
And Lust was just a part of Gwyn’s life now, as Gwyn was of Lust’s. No. They were one and the same. And both had to keep that in mind.
Life continued more or less as normal for Gwyn/Lust, though she still needed to “feed” on men to survive. (Women could provide sustenance as well, under the right conditions, but it was just so much easier with men. They were like putty in her hands, whereas women were a bit harder to manipulate.) Fortunately no one asked questions, though she did get the occasional odd look. But it was just a part of life now. Gwyn could become Lust on a whim, of course, and Lust continued to develop her powers. She didn’t have much in the way of offensive capabilities, but she could certainly defend herself, or at least run and hide. If desperate, she could concentrate the lustfulness of all surrounding life forms into a beam of energy and use it to repel an attacking foe, which was better than nothing.
Lust eventually became detached from female pronouns and decided to try something else instead. Remembering the research done after that fateful night, Lust decided to use ♁ in place of other pronouns. It felt much better than anything else.
Gwyn/Lust would continue to adapt to whatever change came their way, be it career, living situation, or anything else. Even the necessary beddings became mundane, though sometimes keeping people quiet could be difficult. Leverage was always found, however, and so secrets were always kept, and rumors were swiftly silenced.
It would only be when they moved to Vacuo that things would get interesting…