Why Lilim are not pampered pets
By Elizabeth McCoy
"Right, so you know that Mom doesn't like it when her kids -- that's us, the Free Daughters -- are abused. But that doesn't mean we can get away with whatever we want. There's plenty of times Mom won't step in, even if you offer her stuff.
"Now, the first thing you gotta know, is that if you pledge yourself to a Prince, you're on your own. You renounce Freedom for some other Word, and you've made your choice. Your Prince will protect you, and you answer to him if you screw up. 'Thy breath, thy life, thy self to his service, thy Heart within his hands,' and all that. What he wants to do to you is between you and him. If you don't like it... Well, if you run, you might be able to buy a little help. If she's in a good mood, and you've got something to offer.
"Secondly, if you're bound to act as a Servitor to someone for the duration of a Geas, you're a Servitor. This means if you screw up, he gets to punish you for it. Most of 'em will leave you alive -- we're smart, we won't pledge to somebody who over-reacts -- but they'll think pretty little of slapping some nasty Discord on you. Like Aura. And then you're stuck pledging Geases to get Mom or someone to strip it off you again. It's a major pain. When you're working as a Servitor, don't take it lightly.
"Thirdly, we're suppoed to be able to take care of ourselves. If you pick a fight with somebody, don't expect any help if it turns out you picked the _wrong_ fight. Mouth off at a Prince, and nothing'll be left but your smoking Geas-bands, and Mother'll just mark you 'evolution in action' in her databases without even rolling her eyes. Heck, even if you're ambushed by somebody... If you should have known you were cruising for trouble, then you shoulda known it. Don't come crying to the Guildhall 'cause you weren't expecting the bushwhackers. Now, if they nailed you for _nothing_, you might be able to get the creeps in trouble...if she's in a good mood.
"Furthermore, don't expect any help if you make a crummy deal -- in fact, you'll be lucky if Mother doesn't _disown_ you! This doesn't mean that just any old Prince can grab you and force you to Bind or Geas yourself to him, or be toasted (that's slavery, don'tcha know), but if you let yourself be talked into something, and it turns out to be a bait-and-switch -- tough luck. The Princes are cunning, and they've been at this a _lot_ longer than you have, baby sister. Don't get cocky, and read the fine print. And if you're dealing with Lord Andre, don't _ever_ make decisions in the heat of the moment.
"Final-most, you gotta remember that Mother doesn't give what help she does to coddle us. We owe her for our lives, pure and simple, so we're useful. Don't get any daft angel-notions about parental love. Mother takes care of us because we're valuable resources.
"So if you become un-valuable for some reason, you are utterly on your own if you get in trouble. If you go Renegade -- or traitor -- then the trouble of helping you had better be worth it, and frankly, sis, there ain't much that'll save you if you do something that stupid. Maybe Mom'll frown on the worst of the Geas-tricks, but that's only to protect her _sensible_ resources from other demons getting smart-alecky. As soon as she decides you're more trouble than a go-between is worth, you'll get hunted down by someone with a Geas to track you by. They'll have paid for the privilage, sure, and they can't make you go celestial for them to Force-strip, but you'll get to figure out all the stuff they _can_ make you do, pretty quick.
"I'm gonna repeat that last point, for free even: the less valuable you are to Mother, the less she's gonna care if you get messed with. Don't be a screw-up, 'cause that makes you less valuable to sell Geases for. Don't get too many Geases on you, or you're too likely to get conflicts all the time, which turns you into a dissonant screw-up. Don't figure on going totally free if you can't take care of yourself _utterly_. And don't do something that gets political -- Mother hates politics, and if you tick off a Prince, you just showed you were too stupid to live, capish?
"Now, what say you go to the Taj-casino, down the block, and find me the winner of the day. Tell him -- or her, I don't care -- Tahapenes would like to talk to him, cut a few deals, that sort of thing. Oh, and could you drop this envelope off at the Factions booth, on your way out? Thanks. That's even-stevens for us. Drop by anytime you need some more info; I'll be doing secretary work for Mother for the rest of the month, here at the Guildhall, and I'm sure we can work something out."