July 22, 2013
Page 179 Book 5: The War Diaries
A devil always pays their debts.
This might be the first time I’ve knowingly incorporated relational subtext into a conversation that was more than just sarcastic emphasis on certain words. If like me you struggle to grasp subtext, Mephisto is indebted to Levistus by quite a large ways due to his somewhat reckless pursuit of researching hellfire, and Levistus is using that debt here to essentially pull rank and get through to Asmodeus swiftly. This same debt is also why a large portion of the Eighth is much like the Fifth (Levistus’ domain), including the ice devils that populate it.
This page also shows a bit of Levistus’ natural talents, as even without the power he’s now getting from Geryon he could quite easily talk his way into any part of hell.
Mephistopheles is a German creation, originating seemingly from the 18th century tale of Faust, where he appears as an agent of the devil to the title character to do his bidding in trade for his soul. From there he’s been tweaked and appropriated for a number of purposes and stories, his name often being seen as a pseudonym or alias for Satan/Lucifer himself. As such, depictions vary quite a bit as to what Mephistopheles actually looks like, but quite often he’s considered to be the archetype for what the devil looks like, basically the cliche evil features incarnate.
As such, for my interpretation here he’s got the classic bat wings, goat legs, beard, and such.