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    The Sisters Grimm

    It is often said that dead men tell no tales because there are none more silent than those resting forever within the grave. Such is the end of all journeys to know deaths cold embrace as the flesh is weak, but the soul may carry on and Fate may not yet be done. Fate is an enigma to which Mistress Death is but one aspect who guards her secrets well. She is the cessation of lifes journey, an ending to yet another beginning for most; an ending forever for some deemed worthy of nothingness... those deserving of her eternal embrace to sleep while others are reborn! While many would claim to be masters of their fate, one cannot master what one cannot know save that all who live must one day die! Each to his own fate as I to mine goes the saying. But none are masters of Fate beyond the why, when and where of it all in the choosing of how one dies... and even then fate might intervene to prevent it! Such are the ways of Fate that there are those in the world who are explorers of the darker paths, those who would seek to cheat fate of it's due reward. These "seekers of the forbidden" desired immortality, prosperity and powers to which they had no just claim. They would dare to challenge Fate thinking they had chosen the journey before them unthinking that it may have been the journey, instead, which had chosen them. All that matters is the journey and when lifes journey is at an end... death awaits!

    There is no definition to fate as it is what it is and it is not always what one would make of it nor wish it to be. To some, it brings blessings; and to some it brings pain... this is the way of Fate, to which, most can only hope for equal shares and nothing more than what fate provides! Fate is a representation of this journey, the journeys which define us and which are defined by us. A kings bloodline dies out while the blood of peasants spread across the infinity of time like rivers flowing into the everlasting seas. A false prophet chooses a path thinking they can confess their sins and escape paying the Devil his due. It never dawns on them that their path was chosen as a test by the Heavens above knowing failure would send them into the Hells below. None can escape Fate just as none can escape the inevitability of Death. They might possess a longer life, a higher quality of living and more of all things for which great men might be remembered. Yet, there are those seemingly chosen by Fate to exist beyond it's reach. Anomalies which should not exist and, for which, there is no explanation. Such is the way of enigmas that they become enigmas even unto themselves. No rhyme or reason, it simply is what it is with no explanations necessary.

    The Sisterhood of Fate are a manifestation of lifes journey which has existed in many forms since the dawn of time. They represent ones past as it becomes the present and the present as it becomes the future. Together, they represent different aspects of the passage of time... the memories of what was, the reality of what is and the hope of what is meant to be. They are an enigma even unto themselves made manifest time and time again as the chosen daughters of Fate. They are a trinity who must be born of the living and whose journey is both a curse, and a blessing as they are not immortal nor are they possessed of powers which cannot be undone. The sisterhood will live for hundreds, or even thousands, of years until such time as the grip of Mistress Death becomes a permanent hold which cannot be relinquished.

    During the Burning Times, three daughters would be born to pagans who had refused to abandon their ancestral ways. Their father was a man of God who had betrayed his Christian faith by founding a sanctuary to preserve the old gods under the guise of saints and angels. Their mother was a healer, a woman who was a bringer of life unafraid of those who would might take hers should they learn her secrets. Each of their daughters seemed blessed with bewitching beauty and cursed by misfortune as if God himself sought to punish them. To outsiders, it was increasingly becoming clear that the hand of Lucifer was at work and a purge followed leading to the deaths of many. Those who had not escaped death at the hands of the mob would await their turn at the stake as all were to be burned as witches for the sin of non-conformity. When the Sisters Grimm were tied to the stake, they were tied together around a single stake to save wood. As their parents screams rang out into the night, only the eldest daughter watched as their parents skin blackened and then boiled being consumed by the flames. The stench of their parents burning flesh was thankfully hidden beneath the stench of those who had been burned before them. And then, it was the daughters turn as the wood beneath them was set alight.

    The memory of these events would never be forgotten as the Sisters Grimm would not go silently into death. The youngest of the daughters would be resurrected within the flames to become a manifestation of the devils own. The eldest of the daughters would be resurrected through ash and smoke to become a manifestation of deaths cold embrace. The last of the sisters would be resurrected as the flames cleansed her of flesh and her blackened bones arose screaming at the panicked onlookers. The three sisters then reformed as as skeletal dragon engulfed by the flames of a phoenix and the ash of their own destruction. For an unknown number of people, this journey leads them to a land soaked red with the blood of the dead. A place where Hell itself has been summoned forth like a gaping wound of some monstrous beast. Those who find themselves within the Darkest Place on Earth do not sense that the world they know has changed until fate reveals itself. The Sisters Grimm would find themselves awakened within this place unknowing of their surroundings. They felt themselves drawn further into darkness as if summoned by the beating heart of an enormous beast. It was only then that they discovered the massive walls concealing behind them a dark, foreboding estate it's gates identified as Kravenwood Manor. To their eyes, the building was ancient. And yet, they could sense that they were looking at a future yet to be.

    Kravenwood Manor serves as the living heart of evil. A place torn from the fabric of time and reality wherein the Sisters Grimm came to reside. It was created to serve as an estate by French aristocracy and became, instead, a home for the Devil's Own! The lands upon which it was created bare an ancient curse as it was a place of great suffering. The wood used in it's construction grew from blood soaked earth; the brick was forged from clay cursed by the ash of long dead flesh; even the mortar was created from the crushed bone that belonged to victims of sacrificial blades; and the stonework itself came from the souls of ancient beasts trapped within it still hungering for meat to fill stomachs that no longer exist. Kravenwood is not just the estate itself, it is much more as it encompasses everything including the surrounding lands and all which dwells upon them. None but the insane would ever seek out Kravenwood Manor as those who visit never leave! And yet, the Sisters Grimm find themselves in this place as servants at the gates of madness. The library within Kravenwood Manor belongs to them. It is their abode, their sanctuary and the Manor grants to them the power to rule it as their own private dominion. They are the Keepers of the Chronicles, the storytellers who preserve the stories of all who are condemned by fate to be in this evil place. As such, they like to interject themselves directly into the stories they have to tell. Fate is nothing if not something to be experienced and to make oneself a part of even if they must take on other forms to do it... being shapeshifters tends to help in this regard.

    The eldest of the Sisters Grimm is Morticia. It is a name she chose for herself after arriving in Kravenwood because her given birth name is actually Anastasia Skúla Grimm, a bizarre name of pagan origin which her parents explained meant resurrection of the dark protector. She herself took it to mean that she was a guardian of souls and an angel reborn in mortal flesh to learn a lesson in humility. As proof of this, she was born with a birthmark across her back which her father said was an angel and which her mother said was a phoenix... her sisters, however, tormented her by calling it a crow. Following her rebirth, this mark became like a living thing changing and morphing as she tells her tales. A dark phoenix, a raven within which exists the faces of death and led to her viewing herself more as an angel of death preferring the company of the dead to that of the living. Her love for zombies and corpses is probably the most telling change in her nature while her fetish for skulls and severed heads is another. As the most powerful of the three sisters, she seems to acquire greater power when within the Library. Within it, she can twist the physical fabric of reality or simply a persons perception of reality by drawing upon the power within the books. She often sits at an enormous tree stump once belonging to a Southern Live Oak which includes a winding staircase to reach her desk atop of it.

    Upon arriving at Kravenwoods gates, Morticia manifested her powers for the first time by transforming herself into dust and reformed on the other side. She was as mystified by this as her sisters because other forces seemed to be at work manipulating their fate from the moment they burned at the stake. Morticia would be first into the Library as if drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Once within it's confines, she would discover that she had been chosen by the Library as it's protector. This had been her fate from the moment she was born and she felt compelled to assume the role as head librarian as time was ethereal in this place. Many of the books she felt drawn to most proved to have been written by her skeletal fingers. She found the inkwell she had used to write them was filled with the blood of those she had written about... the dead whose stories she was yet to know even though it was she who wrote them. In her role as a speaker for the dead, Morticia likes to embellish her stories and toss in some what if's should anyone think they know the ending of her tales. When she is at rest, she becomes dust scattered about in the library or appears in the shadows like a specter not wishing to be seen. When she reforms physically, her spirit manifests first and causes the dust around her to form as a whirlwind until she is restored to solid form.

    Her true form is that of a voluptuous, ashen skinned diva with glowing red eyes. The reason for this is she prefers to be a seductress who might be embraced when it is time for the living to join the dead rather than to be feared. Fear is, nonetheless, a weapon she uses when she feels the need as she can appear in a more frightening decayed or skeletal form. While she spends much of her time within the Library, Morticia often interacts to tell her stories. When she does, the stories she chooses tend to be tales of the macabre involving torture, executions and death machines. Her stories are those where someone is guaranteed to be dead by the end of her tales. However, Morticia is such a good story teller that it's difficult to know just who will be dead until her story's done. As Protector of the Library, anyone wishing to access it without permission will learn why Death is her given attribute. Morticia also keeps a number of jars filled with body parts to help her tell her tales and has a bit of a fetish for skulls and severed heads. She is often accompanied by "pets" like vultures and ravens known to be carrion feeders so that it's not just the living who might fear her as the dead aren't too comfortable when her pets are around.

    The middle of the Sisters Grimm is Mercy, a name most ironic considering she is a huntress and self styled barbarian. Of all the sisters, she is the one most true to ancient paganism while adapting easily enough to the modern worlds ways of killing. In a violent world, it takes a cruel and unforgiving woman with a don't give a shit attitude to represent fate as it unfolds in the present. Fate can be cruel and where Morticia doesn't wish to be feared, Mercy has no problem with the concept as fear makes men think twice and fear makes them piss their pants rather than making others piss theirs. As a child, Mercy was her fathers favorite. When he brought home game or there was killing to be done of livestock, Mercy was the one to who didn't mind getting blood on her hands so the family would eat. At an early age, she began going on hunts with her father and became the son he didn't have. Her father was an ex-soldier who also served as a surgeon and an executioner making him one of the more valued men in his nations service. He had even served in the New World where the natives pagan ways served to restore his own views passed to him by his parents. Mercy was always eager to hear her fathers stories and he taught her the skills that he knew hoping she might pass them on to her own sons. When the local mob came for them, Mercy didn't go easy as she injured several of the townsfolk and killed one of the town council using the mercenary skills her father taught her.

    When she found herself awakening in a forest unknown to her, she was the most able to survive and provide for herself. Her last memories were the agonies of being burned alive at the stake which at first did not bother her. But, after killing a beast to provide a meal for the three sisters, Mercy found herself staring into the flames completely lost in herself as her sisters cooked the hapless animal. Standing before the the gates to Kravenwood Manor, she watched as Morticia transformed into dust to rematerialize on the other side in solid form. Moments later, Mercy seemed to almost explode into a colony of bats rising up and over the gates before reforming into human form on the other side. Unlike Morticia, Mercy had to find her own way into the Library as there was nothing seeming to help draw her to it. By the time she found the Library, Morticia had apparently been there for some time and was already fully transformed into her present appearance as a death entity. As she began to explore the Library, Mercy sensed that she belonged here no different than Morticia; but for decidedly different reasons. Like Morticia, Mercey found trophies about the vast Library which she knew that she had killed and mounted... just, she had not yet done so. She also found creatures almost impossible to believe existed both as skeletons and as taxidermied beasts. Mercy also has the ability to take on the attributes of animals in a somewhat imperfect fashion if she tries to remain at least partially human. If she tries to grow wings, she will only be able to grow one as an example of these limitations. But, if she chooses to become a large eagle, she will be able to take on it's form almost perfectly.

    Where Morticia practically lived in the Library, Mercy found her place was in a side room area fully equipped with tools of the trade she needed to perform her own duties contributing to the Library. She would also contribute in writing about the animals she found here and took on the role of caretaker to the animals in what she calls the zoo of Kravenwood Manor. It's because of this that she often takes on the appearance and role of a big game hunter as she doesn't need to travel the world when the world seems to find it's way to Kravenwood. She is just as adept at wearing military garb or portraying herself as a gangbanger street thug... she is a huntress and the hunt can take many forms. Of the three, mercy is possibly the most fair and balanced because she doesn't discriminate nor care if fate plays against her. Not every hunt results in a kill as she views her role as that of teaching lessons. While people might not die as a result of her involvement in their lives, there will be suffering and pain to be endured in crossing her path. As a practitioner of witchcraft and sorcery, her powers tend to be more of the elemental magicks and transformation. Mercy is also a supporter of all forms of weapons which she views as a "clean kill" type which gas and nuclear weapons aren't even if machine guns and tanks are in her view. Where Morticia has carrion feeders as her companions, Mercy keeps carnivores which aren't always living and might just as easily be found riding a T-rex telling her stories. Where Morticia has a fancy for the dead, Mercy prefers the living and likes violent men of barbarian nature moreso than sissy-boys.

    The youngest sister is Hope and she's the troublemaker of the trio. Where Morticia was favored by their mother and Mercy by their father, she was a mistake who neither parent planned to have. As such, they gave her their love but neither chose her as their favorite leading Hope to become a mischievous little brat to gain attention. She was only at ease when she was staying with her childless, widowed Aunt Bess to whom she became the favorite. Bess was more of a wild spirit and a woman of ill repute who did not want to remarry as she had too much fun as a merry widow. She was always the one who had extra money when the family needed things and found creative ways to give gifts to the family where her ways of gaining her money for the gifts would otherwise cause the family to reject them. It wasn't that the family allowed Hope to stay with her Aunt as much as she made a nuisance of herself and keeping her happy got her out of her parents hair. They could trust Bess to protect Hope because the girl was like a daughter to Bess and she shielded Hope from her lifestyle the best that she could. But Bess was not the only person Hope spent her time with as she also spent time with the town orphans who were well practiced thieves. Where these children weren't thieves, they were well polished liars able to get jobs and things they wanted by telling lies and half truths adults believed. Hope wasn't beyond getting caught and punished for her behavior so that she developed a sixth sense for what to say to avoid punishment or to reduce it's severity.

    Unlike her sisters, Hope stopped crying out at the stake as the fire consumed her. Something about the experience seemed almost funny to her and the agony of the fire blistering and burning her flesh caused her to begin laughing hysterically. The townsfolk grew silent as her laughter rang out above their chanting and it would be she who was first to lash out as her body became one with the flames. When she regained her senses, she was the first of the three sisters to reveal the changes that would eventually happen to all three. She possessed demonic horns and a long forked tail so that her sisters struck out at her not yet understanding what was happening to them. Leaping into a tree away from their reach, Hope followed her sisters from a distance and approached the gates to Kravenwood cautiously. Touching them, Hope burst into flames allowing her to attempt crossing through only to find herself transformed into a serpent as she reformed from fire on the other side. Unlike her sisters, Hope didn't even really try to find the Library as she had too much fun with the evils elsewhere within the Manor. When she did find the Library, it was a reunion with sisters as changed as she herself and who now welcomed her into the fold. Their "Little Sister" was, however, much different from them as she was still taking the form of a devil child and of the three; she was the one who might be considered truly evil.

    She is a trickster of sorts who is always searching for fun and has a more infantile way of seeing the world making her a bit more mean spirited and cruel as children often tend to be. Where her sisters represent past and present, she represents the future and has no real concern for teaching lessons or telling twice told tales of the dead. Hope was more interested in bedevilment and while she might be angry if she didn't get the expected outcome, she's an excellent schemer and manipulator. Because fate cannot always dictate the future, Hope understands that crossing the fates of people can achieve a desired effect and all she needs to do is enjoy the show. So, death and causing harm are not always her objectives as she often just wants to have fun seeing how she might shape the fate of others where their own screw ups might make her chuckle. Hope is also a thief who procures most of the trinkets and objects for the library. She enjoys trickery and tricking people into acquiring things for her, or tricking them out of things they already have, is a test of her ability to manipulate. She tends to stay in the vault beneath the Library where she keeps all the little extra's not displayed in the Library above. Often appearing as a self styled red devil, she is enigmatic in nature as she represents the unknown elements of fate which her trickery is meant to steer but, ultimately, represents the unknown. It is for this reason that she also like to portray herself as a school teacher, a business woman and a dominatrix. Unlike the other sisters, Hope has a taste for devils and demonology... and her toys of course.

    The Sisters Grimm are story tellers who chronicle and retell the stories of those who have found their way into this Purgatory... a little Hell on Earth! Few have ever escaped Kravenwood with their sanity intact because one cannot escape Hell without bringing part of it with you... or being pursued by the the jailers, hounds and bounty hunters whose job it is to return any escaped soul back to the Hell of their own making. The Sisters Grimm oversee these activities with Mercy taking the lead role in these activities because of her nature as a huntress. Kravenwood Manor is a place no one would ever want to visit. Yet, it is the final destination for many whose fate brings them to this place; a place torn from Hell itself and transformed into the darkest place on Earth.

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