A note -- in both background materials and mechanics, I'll refer to
"Luciferian" Words. These are original Infernal Words, degrading at 1
Word Force per day at sunrise. Note that barring promotion of one's
Word enough to gain Forces, the most powerful of non-Superiors
(defined as having 18 Forces and 21+ Word Forces) will fall into soul
death after 39 days plus however many more Word forces they have.
Superiors, having huge numbers of nebulous Forces and power,
generally will last longer than this. Also, while Lilith (in this
system) can both grant Words (and stable ones at that) and
Princedoms, she can't strip Luciferian Words and Princedoms unless
she grants new Words at the same time. But, that problem is self
correcting, isn't it? Technically, the new Words are Lilithian Words,
but generally they will just be referred to as Words.
The Consolidation of the Queen's Power
(or, the First Seven Major Princes)
There was turmoil in Hell following the Ascension of the Queen. Many demons had passionately believed in Lucifer and his cause, and had no reason to believe in Lilith and her right to power. Others had repented of their rebellion and gone to embrace Heaven and Redemption. The Luciferian Princes, still desperately fighting for survival, had little time to consider Lilith's Ascension -- no doubt they decided Lilith could be dealt with after they achieved stability once more.
But Lilith was no fool. Since long before the Fall she had known that all things came with a price, and true power lay in what one could provide. Her strength had been undiminished following Lucifer's death. Her ascension to the Granite Throne had made her vastly more powerful. The support of Kronos meant she was strong and difficult to assail. But to rule Hell she first had to give Hell a reason to follow her.
That reason came from a Demon of the War -- a Habbalite named Voizia, who was the Luciferian Demon of Tormenting Prisoners of War. Lilith selected her as a powerful Demon who had suffered greatly, her Word not strong enough to protect her from the erosion. She was not yet a Remnant, but it was close... so close.... And Lilith spoke to Voizia, and asked if she were strong enough to step into a new world, without Lucifer or even her Word. And Voizia said yes, and Lilith drew her close and impressed upon her the Word of Pain. And Voizia, Habbalite Demon of Pain, rose in strength quickly.
And the Luciferian Demon of Pain felt his Word being held by another and felt a momentary flare of strength. The moment was fleeting, however, and within three days he was Soul dead. The Horde knew then that Lilith had the strength to save them.
Andrealphus was the first to yield himself to Lilith. She reached her beautiful, cruel hand out and collected the Luciferian Prince of Lust. She pulled him tight and whispered to him, demanding his utter and total fealty now and forevermore, tightening a Geas that made a simple Year's Geas look petty. Lilith was no longer concerned with Equity, it seemed. And Andrealphus wanted the beautiful, powerful, domineering woman and threw himself to his knees before her, and Lilith renamed him Prince of Lust -- his Word once again stable. And he knew that she could take that Word from him if she willed, and kneeled at her feet, the slave of the woman who had been the Princess of Freedom. And so Lilith built her earliest foundation on Fate's free support and Lust's submission.
Lilith then knew she needed to weaken the old order, and form a new Hellish Alliance that was devoted to her, not to old dreams and viewpoints of the War. And so she let Asmodeus degrade on, but instead drew young Alaemon to her breast, feeding his paranoia, ambition and Impudite's pride with bitterness and hunger, and forging him into her Prince of Intelligence. Secrets fell beneath his Word now, and she gave to him the spies, the whispers, the hidden things, and made him her agent in Hell and on Earth. And so Lilith accepted Intelligence into her power base, before violence or War. And so the nature of the very War itself changed, with Heaven none the wiser. For Lilith intended to win, and her goals were specific indeed.
The weakest potential beachhead in Hell came from the Marches, of course. Since the Death of Lucifer, the forces of Blandine and Laurence had been hounding Beleth's gates. Laurence had believed Beleth vulnerable with her Word failing slowly within her. Blandine hoped and prayed that with Lucifer destroyed, her lover could be reclaimed from the ashes of Hell itself. But Lilith did not intend to lose just yet, and she summoned the Luciferian Princess of Nightmares. And whatever bargain the two struck is not know, but Beleth pledged herself and her support both to Lilith and Lilith's plan, and Lilith made the Djinn the Princess of Horror -- a broader Word, with more potential. And Beleth threw her forces into defense, and had them bolstered with Andrealphus -- whom she disliked, but Lilith wanted dreams of lust corrupting humanity alongside nightmares that terrified them -- and demons in the dreams of humanity on both sides of the Marches. With renewed angles of attack on Blandine's side of the Marches, the assault was lightened and Hell was not taken. So was Lilith's strategy shown to be wise.
With Fate, Lust, Intelligence and Horror, Lilith was clearly establishing a beachhead in the War -- not of violence or military strategy, but within the hearts, minds, fears and desires of mankind. Lilith knew that the world and human race that had existed when the Fall was as dead as Lucifer. It was a modern world now, and Hell needed a new agenda. One not dedicated to Armageddon but Humanity. The Luciferian Princes could see this, and they were sorely displeased. Baal, the Luciferian Prince of the War, spoke out against this plan and Lilith's rule, and in this was supported by his associates, Asmodeus, Belial, Vapula and Saminga. But they were no longer strong enough to openly attack healthy Princes. Still, Lilith could not afford to leave the power bloc untouched. She seized upon the one Prince that fit her agenda -- Vapula -- and drew him in. The world was scientific now, not superstitious, she told the Habbalite, and war was fought by missiles and computers instead of swords and charges. And Vapula was turned, and accepted Lilith's rule. And in her name Vapula became the Habbalite Prince of Science, his scope expanded and his research affirmed. And Vapula left behind his Luciferian comrades and clients, and threw himself into researching the world Lilith wanted to bring about. At the same time, he publically abandoned his research into stabilizing Luciferian Words -- though rumors persisted of black research, naturally.
Lilith, in assuming the scepter of Hell itself, had renounced Freedom. In accepting the promise of power and whim, she had renounced Equity. No longer was she interested in the trading of Lilim for promises, or services for services. Those who wanted her services could bring their gifts up front, now. But Lilith could recognize the need both for Lilim in Hell, and for the kind of dealmaking that once she had excelled at. Further, with her ascension and Mammon's Word degradation, Marc was poised to seize the financial structures of Earth and restore Selflessness in most arenas. To combat this, Lilith raised her first entirely New Princess to power. This was Rebekah, a powerful but hereto un-Word-bound Free Lilim, and a former aide de camp to the former Princess of Freedom. Rebekah agreed to the unthinkable -- eternal servitude -- in exchange for both unimaginable power and the unique abilities (aside from Lilith herself) to provide Lilim to other Princes, trade and reassign Geases, and otherwise broker power throughout Hell. It seemed Rebekah could actually create Lilim, but the white gold bracers and neck-choker Rebekah always wore from that day forward may have actually provided the ability. Lilith herself stopped providing Lilim on that day as well, so as not to undercut her so-loyal, so important Lilim Princess of the Deal.
Rebekah swiftly proved her worth by gathering up the weakest, most desperate of the Luciferian Princes, Furfur, Calabite Prince of Luciferian Hardcore, and bringing him to Lilith. Lilith watched as the Calabite courted death. It is said she let her Demon of Pain -- the very symbol given to Hell of her power -- torture him during this time, increasing the pain and his horror. And the Queen of Hell offered the suffering Prince a lure -- as beautiful as she was. A Word and Principality among her highest. The role of Furfur's old Superior and enemy, Belial. The expression of violence among humanity. And Furfur broke under the strain -- the Hardcore ultimate rebel against authority betraying all his followers and proported beliefs, swearing eternal bondage in Geas to Lilith and her will. And in turn, the Queen lifted Furfur back up in power and knowledge, granting him the Word and Principality of Destruction. And Furfur embraced Destruction in the name of the Queen with fiery pleasure.
Fate. Lust. Intelligence. Horror. Science. The Deal. Destruction. With these seven Princes serving her will -- a 'Balseraph' (in name at least), two Impudites, a Djinn, a Habbalite, a Lilim and a Calabite -- Lilith felt secure in her power, and began to work her designs upon the Earth, promoting new Word-Bound in service to her Seven Princes. And she let the forces of Hell know that other Words and even Principalities could still be had... for a price.
And the Luciferian Princes -- Asmodeus, Baal, Belial, Haagenti, Kobal, Malphas, Nybbas and Saminga -- gather their flagging power and try to hold a unified line, but begin to fragment and fall upon one another... or seek to survive by any means necessary. Of them, Baal's vision was the broadest -- knowing Hell's mission for thousands of years, and distrusting the Lilithian Agenda, but increasingly helpless to fight it.
And no one knew where Valefor was.