AUTHOR: Nikki Harrington
CHARACTER: Rupert Giles
SUMMARY: Ethan is back in town and of course trouble isn't far behind him. With Buffy, Willow and Xander out of town, it falls to Giles and Angel to sort things out.
WORD COUNT: 1,530
AUTHOR'S NOTE 1: Written for joelthecat: D - Dionysus (32/36)
AUTHOR'S NOTE 2: Deliberately written in British English because, although Buffy was an American show, Giles is very British.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
ENTRY #10 FROM THE PRIVATE WATCHER'S DIARY OF RUPERT GILES.
I do not really know why I am writing this in my private diary, as it does not really refer to my duties as Watcher. However, I wish to record the incident, but I do not want it to become public knowledge - at least not for now.
Maybe I should, after all Ethan Rayne is trouble; he is dangerous; wherever he goes danger and difficulties will arise. However, as much as I now detest Ethan, I cannot forget our shared past. I cannot forget there was a time when I was like him; when I was a danger; when I dabbled in the dark arts; when I was not the staid man Buffy and her friends know me as.
Thus part of me still feels some lingering loyalty to the man. I shouldn't, but a part of me, a small part of me, a part that I keep buried inside and rarely let out does. He was a large part of my life. And whilst all I can feel for him now is a deep hatred and disgust at what he does, at what he is, I still cannot ever forget that I could now be he.
Also, once again whilst I was instrumental in saving Sunnydale and its inhabitants, in particular the men, I did not do it alone. My magic is strong, my knowledge great, but even I do not believe I could have overcome the maenad alone. Thankfully, I did not have to as I was assisted by Angel; indeed it was Angel who brought the matter to my attention. And as we know, the Council cannot, must not, know about Angel and how he helps Buffy slay other vampires.
The maenads were the female followers of Dionysus who was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. The maenads, whose names translates literally as 'raving ones' were inspired by Dionysus and during the orgiastic rites he performed, these maenads roamed the mountains and forests performing frenzied, ecstatic dances and were believed to be possessed by the god.
They would lose any self-control they may have had and their baser nature took over. It was uncontrolled sexual behaviour and ritualistic hunting of animals which ended with the devouring of raw flesh. Myth had it that if animals could not be found, these females would turn to men and even children.
Most maenads were willingly seduced by the call of Dionysus. Some, however, resisted his call but were driven mad by being forced into such debauchery and horrific rites against their will. But whether they went to Dionysus willingly or against their will, once they were intoxicated they were dangerous, they were wild, they were beyond control, they could not be reasoned with.
The one thing they had in common was that they were beautiful women who loved wine and dance and song and they loved and served Dionysus, who was himself beautiful and lusty. But it was this very love of wine and dance and song that made them mad, insane and full of bloodlust. Between their frenzies, Dionysus would care for the women; he would set up shelters for them so they could rest and bathe and he would make love to them. But once they had rested and loved, their frenzy would begin all over again.
And these are the women Ethan decided to raise and set loose on Sunnydale. He saw himself as a modern day Dionysus; he believed he could raise these women and control them. He believed he knew where Dionysus had gone wrong. He believed he could have all the good of the maenads and none of the bad. And he believed he could bring this love, this lust, these beautiful, sexual, ecstatic women to the men of Sunnydale.
The women he raised as maenads were not completely as of old, they had a level of the siren about them. Men would be instantly attracted to them; would lust after them; would fall under their spell and the women would bring the men to Ethan to worship alongside them as they worshipped their 'god'.
And of course in his rush to procure these women, Ethan failed to fully complete the dark magic he used in conjure them up and he lost control of them. For days I'd been hearing and seeing reports of men bitten or with limbs torn off. I knew we had a new demon in town, I just did not know what it was. Buffy, Willow and Xander were out of town, what a time for the school to decide on a mandatory school trip, so it fell to me to find out what or who was attacking the men of the town and to rid Sunnydale of the horror.
I spent hours researching, hunting, searching, trying to find some hint of what monster was doing these things. And then one evening just before midnight, his coat torn, his face scratched, dragging one leg and Ethan behind him, Angel appeared on my door. He had run into them and had barely escaped with his life. The only thing that saved him was that for whatever reason their lure did not work on him; he was not dazzled by their beauty, did not lust after them. They outnumbered him and out-powered him, but somehow he had got away.
As he'd made his escape he'd literally stumbled over Ethan who he had met once before and had decided if Ethan was in town, he was most likely involved with, if not the cause of, the troubles Sunnydale were facing. Thus, he brought Ethan to me.
It didn't take long to convince Ethan that it was far safer for him to confess and tell us the full horrific story. He knew Angel was a vampire, he had seen his face as Angel had fled from Ethan's maenads, but he did not know Angel could not harm him. He did not seem to question why he was still alive, why a vampire had dragged him across town rather than killing him, why that same vampire was in my home and why I was unafraid of him. I think by that time he was too afraid of what he had done.
His confession included how he had lost control of the women and how their periods of rest were getting shorter and shorter and fewer and fewer. The frenzy Dionysus had stirred up in his maenads was very quickly becoming the normal state of affairs for the women Ethan had raised.
We had to act quickly; we had to attack during one of their periods of rest. I was certain that was the only way we were going to overcome them and send them back to the hell from where Ethan raised them. A reverse spell with a twist, needed because Ethan had not completed the original spell correctly, was what I believed to be the best way to deal with them.
But we had to be near to them, we had to be amongst them and from what Ethan told us, even asleep their lure could reach out and seduce a man. I needed Angel's physical strength to stop me from being pulled into their lair.
We found them at rest and I felt their pull, the power was greater than anything I had known before. My desire to go to them, to join with them was so strong it took all of Angel's vast physical power to hold me firm and ground me whilst I completed the spell. Angel wasn't merely there to anchor me physically, I had tasked him with finding a way to counteract and overcome their lure that would pull on my mind.
He knows me, he knows me as well as I know myself. He is Angel, but within him still resides Angelus and as everyone knows Angelus got to know his victims, the mind-games he played on them were ever bit as destructive as his fangs. I am thankful he is Angel and used his knowledge of me and those I love to focus, centre and ground me. Buffy; the girl we both love, he talked about her, he who is normally taciturn was not silent for a moment as he filled my ears and mind with Buffy. With his physical strength and his words, he held me and allowed me to complete the spell and send Ethan's maenads back to whence they had come.
I do not remember ever being as tired as I was on that evening. I do not remember being as angry as I was when we returned to my home where we had left Ethan handcuffed and tied up. I do not remember a time when my disgust, my hatred spilled forth as I told the man I had once been like exactly what I thought of him and vowed if he ever dared to return to Sunnydale, I would personally hand him over to the Angel to do with as he wished. And then I let him go, telling Angel to ensure he left town.
And then finally I slept.