"Sorry, all sales are final"
Arbitrium is the name of one of the Impius Reliquias. While not actively the most dangerous, she is one of the most malevolent.
Selc described as "Creator of The Deal", Arbitrium takes great pride in the terror and distress induced in her victims.
Arbitrium has an ever-shifting appearance, often being capable of looking like whoever she wants and however she wants. Despite this, all of her appearances are female. She has never explained why, and any lines of question about it always result in her mocking her interviewer.
There are a few consistent details
- She always is female
- She always appears well-off for the time period she is in
- She is often fairly pleasant in appearance, and exhudes a calming demeanor during her deal hunt
- She tends to be overly kind and understanding
- Once her facade has been realized, or she has struck a deal, she will often appear in the same gray pants-suit with a cane, but will retain her most recent body.
Arbitrium is a know liar, often refusing to actively cooperate with any investigations into her past. She seems to find a sense of glee in leading discussions about her astray, and doesn't particularly care to discuss herself, rather preferring to sell her interviewers whatever they want in exchange for their souls.
Information on Arbitrium is hard to find because of this, and she remains one of the most mysterious pieces of the Impius Reliquais.
Amongst her many lies have been allegations of being the first President of the United States, the first person to create the wheel, the first person to die during the Pompeii volcano eruption, the first to discover electricity, and the first to ever commit a murder. These tales are often told ad nasuem, and deviate heavily. She may tell the story of discovering electricity, but will change details so drastically, it ceases being the same story (In one version, she was the "Goddess of Electricity", in another she discovered she had magical lightning powers, and yet in another she spoke with electricity and learned what it was).
The only certain detail she never changes is that she and the other Impius Reliquias share the same creator.
Arbitrium has a similar form of omnipresence shared with several other Impius Reliquias, however hers is by far more limited than others. While formless, Arbitrium seems to be capable of omnipresence, however once she takes an actual form, her omnipresence is limited until the form is broken or she vanishes, once again returning to her formless state.
The ability that Arbitrium is well known for amongst hunter groups such as Pandora's Box.
The Deal is what Arbitrium calls a series of deals and promises she makes with various people she meets.
1. The Hunt: Arbitrium will often single out a specific individual, and begins following them often for a period of a year or so, learning everything she can about them and finding a way to infiltrate their life.
2. The Con: Arbitrium will take the form of a human female that is most capable of becoming friends/lovers/trusted partners with her victim. Often this form is picked as the result of research. Arbitrium will then force herself into a situation where she "meets" this person "for the first time", and will typically begin doing what she can to get to know this person on a personal fundamental level. This is done to infiltrate the trust of the victim, and thus making her deal far easier to make.
3. The Deal: After succesfully infiltrating their life, Arbitrium will find something that the individual wants, but cannot have as money and resources are incapable of granting it. She will then offer that gift to the victim in exchange for their soul. This deal is often made covertly, usually the individual in question has no idea the deal is being created. While Arbitrium cannot lie about the deal, she also doesn't have to tell the exact truth, and can either stretch the truth or leave out certain details. In many situations, she will use other words instead of soul, thus further tricking her victim into accidentally agreeing to the deal. She may even present the deal as a hypothetical joke. Once the individual has agreed, whether they are aware or not, the deal is struck. At this point, Arbitrium will often disappear form that victim's life.
Whatever promise was made will appear within a week, and Arbitrium will then begin a 14 day countdown she calls the "trial period".
4. The Trial Period: The individual will find their wish granted inexplicably. If money was desired, the individual will mysteriously come into money. If an idndividual wanted power, they will suddenly become more powerful than they could have dreamed. If that person wished for the revival of a dead family member, they will find this person alive and walking about, speaking as if they had never died. Only the victim will be aware of these changes, everyone around them will treat this as completely normal, and nobody will question anything. Furthermore, using the revived family member as an example, risen family members will have jobs with coworkers remarking knowing them, bank accounts, valid identification, vehicles, and so forth. As such, it seems Arbitrium actively changes reality to assure the wish works.
5. The Payment Date: After the two weeks are up, Arbitrium will appear to her victim, clad in her pinstriped pants suit, and will let the victim know the terms of the contract in full detail. This is often where the victim is told there are no refunds, and is explained how they even accepted the deal in the first place. At this point, Arbitrium will demand payment in the form of the soul of the victim. This requires the victim be killed on the spot. In the even the victim refuses, they are offered a "payment plan" of ten other souls in exchange. This requires the victim actively kill ten other people, giving their souls up in exchange. Even though the victim may claim the ten souls, Arbitrium will always claim that the payment plan has "interest", and they will always need another soul. This will never cease, and the victim will only be able to escape the deal after suicide.
If Arbitrium's victim is openly willing to commit murder for the souls without reluctance, she will often forcibly make it incredibly difficult for them to do so, often sapping the very life from the victim to make the ordeal very difficult.
6. The Delinquent Payment: When the victim refuses to pay or is unable to do so (which is inevitable), the victim enters the delinquent period. At this point, the victim will enter a three stage situation
- for the first ten days of the period, the victim will become seriously ill and contract previously undiagnosed diseases and conditions. The victim can gain anything from serious colds, influenza, tetanus, or lead poisoning, to diabetes, cancer, AIDS, and anemia. Brittle bones and serious joint pain can become commonplace, as does regular vomiting, diarrhea, difficulting swallowing, and progressively more potent fevers.
- No matter how serious the illness, no matter how much blood lost, the victim cannot die by accident or succumb to illness. The victim cannot be mercy killed either. Even when shot in the head, the victim will recover, albeit painfully. Medical professionals will strangely refuse to see the victim, and will often have no recollection of even being asked. Even when presented with photo evidence showing the professional actively refusing treatment to the victim, they will still refuse to admit it was them. Bystanders and others will also claim the same thing, that either no such person was there, or that the doctor was not in the photo/footage.
- During the second ten days, the victim will claim to be haunted by constant nightmares. The nightmares do have a few typical running themes. Firstly, the nightmares all feel as if they last significantly longer the victim is actually asleep, with some victims claiming their dreams felt to have lasted over a month. In combination with the still-running illness from the first ten days, this makes sleep incredibly unappetizing for the victim, who will often do whatever they can to stay awake. This leads to hypertension and loss of awareness. Furthermore, individuals express heightened anxiety.
- The nightmares themselves also consistently contain painful themes, usually resulting in severe pain or death of the victim in the dream. Victims have had dreams of falling and hitting the ground only to lay there in agonzing pain for days, being stuck in a burning chamber and slowly incinerated, being choked to death or drowned while the actual asphyxiation/drowning seems to take an abnormally long time and is particularly painful, and being tied up and mutilated by a mute masked woman. Victims tend to claim that discerning the pain from the dream and pain in reality is incredibly difficult.
- during the third ten days, the victim will be violently acccosted by beings of various shapes and sizes, all of them humanoid, but none of them normal. These beings will attack the victim in public, in their vehicles, in there homes, or even in sleep. Nobody else will be able to see these entities, nor the wounds and damage they leave on the victims. These beings cannot kill their victims.
- After these thirty days are up, the cycle will repeat, layering on top of the current illnesses/nightmares, only making things worse. The victim will only gain temporary repite from someone by sacrificing a soul to Arbitrium, however the symptons will continue returning after this short time. The victim can only die from either being killed in defense from a person trying to protect themselves/another person, or by suicide.
7. The Cessation: Once payment has been made in full, Arbitrium will revese whatever deal she made, taking the now deceased victim's soul with her, and departing. Regardless of what the victim wished for, it will vanish after the cessation.
In 1800 bc, an unknown individual left crude messages in Egyptian Hieroglyphs on the Great Sphinx that depicted a suited woman of unnatural clothing speaking with a man, who later is depcited as ill and attacked by demons. Given this was over 700 years after the building of the Sphinx and that some of the Hieroglyphs are crude and not done in a professional standard like a large number of these ancient writings, it is assumed it was added later.
in 1150, there were messages left on pottery from a Greek citizen which depicted the same suited woman in the Egyptian Hieroglyphs, although the art style had varied slightly.
In 485, Spartan King Leonidas mentions briefly in historical record of a woman in strange clothing like nothing he had seen before guaranteeing the victory of the Spartans in combat against the Persians. As this was over 5 years prior to the event, Leonidas refused, and called her to be a crazy woman. She was banished from the city of Sparta after refusing to stop talking. Leonidas later was surprised by her presence in his own chamber, whereupon he considered for a moment she may have been a god, however her assurance she was not led him to order an attack by three of his guards. All of his guard lost the fight, ill beyond reason with sicknesses he had never heard of, and died several days later. Leonidas attaempted to find his attacker, but at this point Arbitrium was gone.
There are mentions of Emperor Diocletian having met a woman whom he fell in love with, and accepted a deal that the Roman Empire would be stabilized under his rule in exchange for his soul. Diocletian is said to have accepted, which led to his retirement in 305 in lieu of death on the throne. Nothing else is mentioned. It is assumed that since the Roman Empire did stabilize, this would have happened anyways, Arbitrium simply preyed on his desire for it to happen.
Saint Ethelbert mentions in a passage having been visted by the Devil in strange clothing unlike any woman he had ever seen. She first appeared as a monk, however when he refused her, she came to him in her "true face". He repeatedly spoke of God and his might, and his refusal to bow to Satan and his will. Eventually the woman gave up and moved on.
Briefly before the battle of Roche-au-Moine, King Louie the VIII was met with a handmaiden who offered at one point the assured victory of combat. As King Louie (at the not a king) was fairly confident, he refused the deal and demanded to know the identity of the woman, who revealed her strange attire and her assurance that he would win. King Louie refused her again, calling her a sorceress, and demanding her to leave at once. King Louie would go on to win Roche-au-Moine regardless, and kept his writing about this strange encounter. It was handed down to his son, who, rather than dismissing it as bizarre rambling, took it fairly seriously and secured it in a hidden location underneath a church, which he refused to disclose until Pandora's Box unearthed it in 2010 under the Reims Cathedral aftr a hunch. writings were found alongside it stating that King Louie the IX was rather proud of his father for refusing temptation.
Prior to the Battle of Antietam in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln spoke briefly with George McClellan about a bizarre situation he encountered. He spoke of a woman, clad in leaves and branches, who stated she was a witch, ande wanted to help Lincoln win the war. She offered Lincoln the ability to win, but only at the cost of his own soul. Lincoln, a believer of the paranormal, dismissed what he saw as paranormal and fled from the woman. He told McClellan it was the most real spirit he had ever seen, and he should be careful in combat. After the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln mused over what possibility would have occurred if he had taken the deal.
after the rise of the internet in homes after 2008, Pandora's Box has unearthed hundreds of blogs and essages pertaining to a woman in a pin-striped business suit offering people deals in exchange for their souls. A large number of these people have alarmingly accepted, and have subsequently gone radio-silent on thir blogs and message boards after mentioning problems sleeping and serious health concerns.
Given most of the writings and information found of Arbitrium are from aristocrats, Kings, or Generals, it is safe to assume that far more examples of Arbitrium do exist, but as the writings of citizens, especially in ancient empires, were never archived or contained, many of these writings are lost to time. The internet has made this search far easier, albeit subsequently harder to verify given anyone can write whatever they want without any verification of records. Regardless, it is assumed that Arbitrium has been doing this since the beginning of oral speech in humans, and likely has made many succesful deals. Given most of these people would have been thought mad until recent, it is likely that most people who did take the deals either had the records destroyed by embarassed family or government officials to romanticize their history, or never wrote of them to begin with to avoid being labeled as "mad".
Regardless, with the advent of the internet, it is clear to Pandora's Box that over four hundred deals are made yearly, and a number of sacrifical killings can be linked to individuals attempting to escape the horror they are put into. Evidence has shown that Arbitrium is far more active than any of the other Impius Reliquias. When questioned on any historical entity, Arbitrium has always stated that she did make a deal, and when presented with conflicting evidence she will often be very mocking, insulting the interviewers intelligence.
One detail that has perplexed and worried Pandora's Box is the inclusion of her pants-suit in historical settings. This may imply that, similar to Deserta, she can effectively time travel, and may be attacking the future, the past, and the present simultaneously.
Arbitrium is a sadistic monster, openly admitting she enoys seeing how far a human being will go to keep their prize, and has absolutely no qualms about tormenting her victims, happily speaking about her love of torture. She has admitted her victims has been of both genders, and of many ages ranging from seven years old to ninety five years old.
Arbitrium speaks much like a fast-talking car salesman, happily trying to sell her deal to anyone. Even when exposed, she will try regardless to sell her deal to new victims, albeit this time throwing in offers of an extra wish or free bonus week.
Arbitrium is also incredibly vengeful. In one known sting attempted by Pandora's Box, several rounds of explosives were detonated in the vincinity of Arbitrium in an attempt to kill her. It was at this point it was discovered that her actual body resides in space, and she can create incarnations as much as desired. She also proceeded to infect every member of the team instantly with several conditions, with some team members suddenly being struck with severae autism and down syndrome, while others gaining stage 4 cancer and rabies. Additionally, all team members involved spoke of horrible nightmares, and to date no members of the attack squad, including the commander who ordered the detonation despite being over 650 miles from the site was also struck with these conditions and died from spinal infection.
Additionally, while not particularly friendly with Pandora's Box members before, she has gotten somewhat hostile with them henceforth.
Arbitrium is dangerous when mentioning her creator. Extreme caution should be taken, as doing so can easily result in death.
Arbitrium has mockingly referred to Deserta as a "fragile soul", and has also mentioned 'embarassing' facts about her which are often petty details which make no sense, such as that she doesn't take baths, or she doesn't read well. Beyond this, Arbitrium otherwise mostly just laughs when Deserta or the latin phrase "Impius Reliquias" is even mentioned.
When asked about Fabrica, Arbitrium is very condescending and sarcastic, also asking if we need a Texas Instrument calculator to be interrogated or similar mocking question. She doesn't elaborate on Fabrica at all.