A City Betwixt

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by DrowsyPangolin, Dec 23, 2014.

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  1. Annabel sat quietly on the outer wall of Lambrecht, her eyes gliding slowly over the shimmering city before her. It's golden spires and billowing flags would have provoked a sense of wonder, if not for their location. She looked to the sky. She had been here about three days, or at least she thought she had. The sun never seemed to move in the sky over Lambrecht, so it was difficult to determine such things. This was a strange place in more ways than one. No one required either rest or sustenance here, but it still seemed that they all hungered for something, something she knew all too well. The woman sighed, again scanning the sprawling streets below her. People bustled about the stone walkways incessantly. It was a bit disheartening to see the place so populated. Were there so many who had died so unhappy? She shook her head, turning to look back over the Grey Plains. The fields of grey grass seemed to stretch endlessly into the horizon, their overcast skies and desolate appearance standing in stark contrast to the shimmering city in their center. Yes, this was an odd place indeed.

    Domino shuffled about the streets, his coat flapping about ever so slightly as he walked. He was still getting adjusted to this place. Lambrecht, they called it. He had been wondering around the streets for what seemed like hours, trying to find someone who piqued his interest. Thus far, he had only come across a host of sad repentant types. He had accepted that he was stuck in this realm for the moment, but did it have to be so boring? He sighed. When he'd arrived they had run him through what his goals here were supposed to be. Something about making amends for his earthly sins. He had never quite been one for religion, so the concept puzzled him. He had been told he and others like him would be hunting demons to further their quest for redemption. The young man sighed. He'd went from a hired blade to... a hired blade, and just like before it seemed he had little say in the matter. He shook his head, maybe demons would at least put up a decent fight. He had heard around the city that a bell would sound when they were to go and accept their first mission. In the mean time, he had been trying to find out just what his comrades were like. If the status quo thus far were to be believed, he had fallen into a world of depressive zealots. He pushed on through the milling crowds. Surely there was someone here who wasn't quite so abysmal.
    #1 DrowsyPangolin, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  2. Rhys stood stoically on the outer walls of Lambrecht, looking out over the grey grass fields. Rhys could not recall how long he had been here, keeping track of the days, and time, was a hopeless task for the young warrior. The fact that the sun never moved from it's place in Lambrecht, combined with the overcast skies, Rhys was truly lost in the amount of time he had spent here. Had it been days? Weeks? ~ No. ~ The youthful man thought, ~ It only feels like it's been a couple of days. ~ Rhys had arrived at the city in a state of confusion, but was soon cleared up to what had happened to him. He had died, but not on the battlefield like a true solider, that much he knew. Redemption. The word had came up several times when he was explained his circumstances for being in this limbo-like plane. Rhys didn't believe it was truly for redemption, not when he was told that they'd be sent out on missions against demons and their ilk to earn back their soul's purity. Rhys has spent enough of his life as a warrior for a government, that he knew when he was a pawn, in some grander war against Angels and Demons. Despite this, Rhys had no room to complain. He had been brought here for some reason, and he was a solider. Rhys was not the kind of warrior to complain about his circumstances.

    Rhys managed to pull his eyes away from the melancholy sight that was the plains of grey grass, and scanned the area around him. Among the people that were also wandering the walls, one stuck out in particular to Rhys. A maiden with head of golden hair, and a fair complexion. Compared to Rhys, the girl was clothed for winter, it seemed. As Rhys kept his curious gaze on the woman, he pulled his white cloak over, to cover the entirety of his body. The only part of Rhys that remained visible was his face, with it's metal plated bolted into himself, and the burn scars. The other item Rhys noticed was the woman's weapon of choice. Bigger than any sword Rhys had seen, the sword was obviously not meant to be carried into battle on a normal basis. Rhys noticed the sword was fairly well decorated, for it's butcher like appearance. Rhys concluded that the sword was meant to be ceremonial in nature, most likely the sword of royalty, or that of a headsman. Giving the woman a once more over, Rhys trudged himself forward to the fair lady. Since Rhys's arrival, she was definitely the most interest-piquing individual he had seen thus far.
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  3. Elias scaled steps to the top of the outer wall and the path that banded its surface around the perimeter of the golden city, and within only one day of his arrival, his brown eyes could finally comb over the city that he was trapped in. He sat atop the edge of the wall, him looking not outward at the gray but inward at the gold. The realm, from the dew drop of endless day hanging over a dim and dull world, seemed timeless for Elias who examined the consorts and found a spectacularly diverse array of people cloaked in ages of culture, some long lost to the time he knew and others far in his time's future. This land was no construction of man whether the fact was immediately obvious or explained by the angels reigning over it.

    Elias looked skyward, and clouds continued to fascinate him as they did when he was alive. He didn't know much about his death. He knew it was suicide from the bullet impounded in his chest, but why was a mystery, and September of that year was all that he could recall. He laced his fingers together and meditated on his situation. Redemption. Were humans really that excited about it? Lambrecht was clearly purgatory—trials of angels and demons leading into either hellfire or heaven. Doubt surrounded the possibility of ascension, yet fear consumed the idea of eternal suffering. Graeff had no other choice but to move forward and at least try to hold his liability in his own salvation. No, this was a serious matter, unlike his petty procrastination on homework. This matter drew the final judgment, and this matter regarded the fate of his soul. It was not simple. It was not easy. It was death.
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  4. The old man had lost track of time as he floated in the nameless void between life and death. Memory had faded into scraps of disjointed images as he hung between one life and the next through sheer stubborn will. Some of the images were of a happier childhood, of grueling training, of the comfort and warmth in the embrace of women he had loved, of holding his infant children in his hands.

    But mostly, the images were of battles.

    The streets of Chicago, hunting abominations. Paris, slaying vampires. Afghanistan and Iraq during the most heated parts of the wars. The Battle of Boston, when everything changed. Forty years spent on battlefields for one side or the other, a mess of carnage and chaos roaring through what remained of his humanity.

    He held on between life and death. But his grip finally gave way and he fell into the void....

    ...and awakened, kneeling, upon the cold cobblestones of a temple with a soaring rotunda. Weak sunlight slashed through stained-glass windows around him, angled to illuminate his body. The old man stood up, old bones and joints creaking in protest and his limp flaring as it usually did.

    Old soldier's instincts immediately came to the fore and he passively scanned his environment, noting the locations of all the windows and doors, checking every shadow, noting anything that could be used as a weapon or tool. It was reflex at this point. Forty years of practice had sharpened his senses to a preternatural awareness of his surroundings.

    Thus, he was unsurprised when he saw a young woman in a white robe approach him. She appeared young, perhaps one of the clergy. If she were a day older than the old man's own children, he would shave his beard.

    "Where am I?" the old man demanded with the cool confidence of one accustomed to command.

    The young woman studied him carefully, clear trepidation in her eyes. She did not seem like one used to battle, but she could tell when a man was dangerous, especially one with the man's aura. He was an older gentleman, his face a network of old scars and wrinkles, with one eye pale from blindness, and a broad-shouldered build that suggested he kept in shape despite being north of his prime. Neatly-trimmed beard and hair long since grayed out gave him a dapper appearance. He would be attractive in a mature sort of way, if he did not seem so intimidating.

    "You're in Lambrecht," the woman replied. "This the Temple, where we receive the lost spirits consigned to the Grey Plains, where tormented souls come for redemption."

    "So I did die," the old man murmured. He considered the woman's words and made a few logical connections. "And I suppose I am here to be judged for Heaven or Hell, hmm? I've spat in the faces of both angels and demons in the past, girl. I am not surprised to find myself here."

    "Do you not seek redemption, then?"

    "What I seek...is what brought me here to begin with. Redemption...is but one of them."

    The girl nodded. "Then welcome to Lambrecht, stranger. There are many souls here, from all walks of life, from many worlds, and even different eras of history. They are all here to find redemption. The easiest way is to assist in hunting demons - human souls that have rejected forgiveness and fallen to corruption. There are others like you here, ready to fight."

    "Fighting demons, huh?" he wondered. "Sounds like old times."

    The two strode out of the Temple and into the streets of bustling Lambrecht. Gray skies greeted him overhead. All around him was the oppressive feel of limbo.

    "That one over there," the girl nodded her head toward a man more than half his age dressed in impeccable attire like a medieval aristocrat. "His name is Domino and he arrived here recently, a few hours before you."

    "He is on the hunt?"

    "He will be."

    The old man gave a slight bow of his head in gratitude to the girl. "Thank you, priestess, for your kindness."

    As he strode toward Domino, the girl called to him, "What's your name, stranger?"

    "Sam Ebayan."
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  5. Annabel was awakened from her internal musings by the approach of a dark-haired man. She turned to face the white-cloaked figure, and for a moment was taken aback by the burns and metal plate that marred the young man's face. She quickly shook off this discretion however. She stood from her position on the wall, pulling her legs up over the edge and quickly making her way to her feet. As she rose, she slung the massive blade that had rested beside her over her shoulder in it's sheathe. The woman's bright blue eyes scanned over the man once more. She hadn't spoken to many people since she'd arrived in Lambrecht, but with their mission approaching it seemed like a good idea to make some friends. "Hello Sir." She rummaged through her mind, trying to think of words to say. "I'm Annabel, Annabel Trist." She gave a curt nod, and a bit of a forced smile, although it's nature was fairly obvious. She glanced out over the city. "I suppose I'm not the only one who wanted to get away from the crowds, eh?" She motioned to the mass of people wondering the streets. She still hadn't completely come to terms with her current predicament. It seemed a cruel punishment. She shook the thought, seeking to make conversation to distract her wandering mind. "So, sir, what is your name?"

    Domino caught the mention of his name over the crowd, and turned on a heel toward the voice. He saw one of the priestesses from the temple, and an older man heading his way. He heard him mention his name to the woman as he approached. Sam Ebayan. It seemed this man would be one of the ones joining him in whatever crusade they had gotten themselves thrown into. He smirked. He studied the man's appearance carefully. He was older, but it seemed whatever life he had led hadn't been easy. He bore many scars, and seemed to be no stranger to battle. ~Finally. This one may be worth my time.~ Domino strode towards the man, making a casual wave, revealing the metal bracer strapped to his arm for a brief moment. "A pleasure to meet you, Sam. Domino Stross." The young man gave an overemphasized bow. "I suppose you're going to be involved in this... spectacle as well?" He glanced over the old man once more. "Think you can handle yourself out there old man?" The former assassin chuckled, still holding the same smirk across his face.
  6. Ebayan smirked at the cockiness in Domino Stross' tone they talked on the street. It was refreshing, in a way, to see that kind of bravado and blase veneer. Ebayan hadn't been that cavalier in many years. The younger man was dark of hair and leanly built, but a quick survey of his body indicated a few hidden goodies on his person. Unless Ebayan missed his guess, young Stross had a veritable armory secreted all over.

    "I suppose you're going to be involved in this... spectacle as well?" Stross asked. "Think you can handle yourself out there old man?"

    "Yes to both questions," Ebayan answered curtly. "Judging by just how many weapons you're concealing in your coat, I imagine you're no stranger to a fight." He extended out a hand and grasped Stross' in a surprisingly powerful grip. "If we're going to be hunting side by side, we should get some reconaissance done on our intended targets. Do you know where these demons are located and their numbers, or someone who would know?"
  7. The unwavering sun cast no warmth upon her, and though she was consciously aware of her fast several days of walking hadn't raised any form of hunger within her. She was grateful for the few sensations left to her, the soft thud of her shoes against the gray grass and the gentle push of the constant wind, driving her forward. Even in death, Vivian Lenitz never became a wanderer, from her earliest activation she knew her destination. The city of gold upon the horizon, high walled and lavishly decorated like nothing she had ever seen. Among her recollections of life was a walled city much the same only smaller and colored by the gray of its bricks, something she knew only as the capital. It was safety, and people, something she'd seen very little of for quite some time. With the wind ever at her back, blowing towards the city, progress was easy when it should not have been. The woman shambled as she walked, each footfall tracing slightly left and right of center and leaving a serpentine path of indentations in the gray landscape behind.

    She was dead, that was certainty. She remembered the end clearly, unable to drown with her crushed throat she had lingered at the bottom of the river until vision and thought left her. Everything after that could have been an eternity for all she knew, but the most telling detail was that she had awoken, for lack of a better word, clean and whole. Her clothing was what she had departed in, her blue jumper was an object of familiarity but she was no longer able to discern its intended function or the significance of its design. The scarf and shoes, however, were new. Acquired somewhere in between, they were comfortable and purpose-appropriate. The idea that they had simply come to her was inviting, but she knew that there were things even after death that she did not recall. Her first 'new' memory was coming to, already standing, staring off at the golden city she was now on a forced march towards. The important detail were the footprints behind her. She had been walking before, towards the same city, and always a question in her few days of travel was where exactly she had started. The hope she held on to was that answers would lie at her destination.

    The city stood before her now, gates open and inviting. She and the other voyagers in the field converged upon the entrances, slowly funneling their way into the city. She found herself immediately cramped in the dense crowd, jostled and shouldered left and right. There was some effort to explain the situation on the part of some robed strangers, who she assumed were the hosts of the bizarre city. Pushed along by a sea of people, she didn't have the time nor the notion to approach them, and instead kept her head low and her face buried into the raised coils of her scarf as she ambled her way into the streets. The crowd fell away around her, and she finally had a chance to stop, and listen. She was dead now, she could sit, wait, and figure things out at any pace she wanted. Words floated by from the conversations in the street, and it didn't take long for her to discover that she was truly somewhere inane. A handful of groups populated the street, nearest to her a duo consisting of a gray haired, older man and a much younger, snobbier one, both clad in black. They, and a handful of others, mentioned a hunt and in short order the man had implied they would be hunting demons. She froze, ever more a stranger now. Was this ordinary here? She'd made up her mind to ask questions to someone... but first to sit and listen a while longer.
  8. Rhys listened to the charismatic young lady, doing her best to put on an air of politeness, "I'm Private Rhys Carue." Rhys introduced himself, as he returned Annabel's curt nod with one of his own. Unintentionally, Rhys introduced himself with his military honorific. By now in his life, it had almost became primary nature to introduce himself with his rank. A slight look of mild surprise crossed Rhys's face, before he hid it under his normal steely visage. He nodded in confirmation as Annabel conjectured that he too was here to get away from the throngs of people below them in the city streets. Rhys turned his gaze away from Annabel, and out once more onto the grass plain, for a moment, wondering just what laid out there, "It's nice to meet someone who still believes in manners after death." Rhys commented, allowing himself a small smirk, before returning his gaze to his conversational partner. "It's also nice to meet someone who was able to come protected." Rhys added, nodding to the girl's massive sword. The weapon would be unwieldy for many a swordsman, and Rhys doubted he could use it well enough for it to be effective, "I assume you're well trained with your sword." The words Rhys spoke sounded more statement, than curious question. The short woman was quite the impressive specimen to Rhys. He had never met a woman solider before, and doubted many existed with enough skill to warrant attention, but the appearance of the young woman seemed to incline that she had never saw a battlefield in her life. As Rhys chatted away with the young woman, something nagged at him. He hadn't felt this way when he walked up, but now the feeling was present. A raw tension, almost foreboding sense, a feeling Rhys only typically felt before entering a battle. Something was off about the girl, but Rhys decided to push it to the back of his mind, as he often did with many things.
    #8 Sightles, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
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  9. Domino's smirk widened into a toothy grin when the man assured him of his expertise. He felt the man grip his hand and raised his eyebrows when the soldier commented on the contents of his coat. It was clear the man was experienced if his eyes had caught the weapons on his person so quickly. "Good eyes-" He glanced up at his new comrade's face, noting the white eye. "Uh, good eye, old man." He chuckled, mulling over the man's observation about him. "You're not wrong, I've seen my share." He released the man's hand, his own dropping to his side. Next, he moved on to the man's question. "Unfortunately, I haven't the slightest idea. Probably know as much as you." He looked up towards the towering monolith in the city's center. It, and the palace it rose from were supposed to be the residence of Argyle, the Archangel who supposedly governed the city. "I've heard they're supposed to be calling us in to brief us on that information soon." As he spoke, his eyes glanced over to a newcomer who had strode in near them. A small woman with glasses and a scarf. He chuckled to himself and turned towards her. "New to this place, miss?" The woman seemed a bit confused at her current predicament.

    Annabel smiled slightly, giving another nod. "A pleasure to meet you, Rhys." Private. The man had obviously been a soldier during his life. "Thank you, even here, as bizarre as this place is, I think we should maintain as much civility as we can." Her voice seemed to float about, as if she wasn't directing her statement directly toward Rhys, but to everyone in general. Her countenance fell a bit when he commented on her weapon. She glanced back to the hilt protruding behind her head. She wondered for a moment if 'protection' was the right word for what hung on her back. "Well-trained... you could... you could say that." Her gaze fell to the ground for a moment. The golden-haired woman shook her head, glancing back up to the soldier with a forced smile. "I suppose you're pretty well trained yourself, Private." She noticed a boy who looked a few years younger than herself sitting near them, seemingly engrossed within his own thoughts. She didn't know whether to interrupt his thinking or to leave him be.
  10. She felt that she was being addressed, and Vivian's bowed, listening head snapped up and over towards the nearby speaker. As she suspected, the younger man in the nearby duo was talking to her. She'd been listening to the voices of the crowd for a while now but only when individually engaged did she notice the difference in accent. A silence fell as she thought out her words, on the verge of mouthing the sounds as she prepared her voice. It'd been days since she last spoke, for whatever reason she felt very concerned about the sound of her accent. "Yes, I am," she said slowly, imitating. The questions she'd wanted to ask were all forgotten now, and she looked back and forth between the younger and elder strangers in choked silence. Her mind refused to provide adequate prompt. "I am Vivian, Lenitz. You two are?" She said. She smiled alongside her greeting, pleased to think that even in their situation they could exchange niceties like names. More or less, it was her avoiding the topic of demons. She knew that she was involved with religion but remembered painfully little of whatever teachings it had. Any parcel of knowledge that could have helped her in this situation was gone, all that remained was the association of the word with sinister entities. Although she had no history with the paranormal, she knew plenty about evil.
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  11. Ebayan smiled reassuringly at the young woman, Vivian. She seemed uncertain and out of place, like most around here, it seemed. He suspected that being ripped from one world and one life and deposited into another would do that. Domino Stross seemed to adapt well enough, but Ebayan suspected that had less to do with adaptability and more to do with his attitude in general.

    Thus, he gave Vivian a gentle smile, hoping to calm her. "I am Sam Ebayan and this is Domino Stross. It seems we all share a similar situation. I assume we all were alive, died, and were brought here? Hm. And it seems that this city, Lambrecht, is a kind of Purgatory, where lost souls like us can find redemption by killing demons. It is up to you, Vivian, but you are welcome to join us. I think there would be safety in numbers in a place like this."

    Ebayan pointed toward the monolith Stross indicated earlier. "We were just heading over there. Seems there's a briefing about what we are supposed to do as demon hunters. Shall we?"
  12. "I can hold myself in a fight." Rhys replied, stoic as ever. Rhys never was one to boast about his training, or ability, and even in front of a young woman such as Annabel, he was still uncompromising. Rhys followed the fair girl's gaze, seeing the same young man that Annabel saw. After a moment, Rhys turned his gaze back to Annabel. For a moment, Rhys wondered how such a woman found herself in this purgatory. Rhys pulled back his cloak slightly, allowing his right hand to emerge from the white billow, "There's a lot of young people here." Rhys duly noted, as he brushed some of his black hair out of his face. Everyone Rhys had seen had to at least be below the age of 40, so far. Rhys himself was 24, and the girl in front of him couldn't be older than 24. Rhys pulled his hand back into his cloak, once more covering his whole body.
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  13. Domino maintained his smirk as the woman spoke. Sam introduced him before he could speak. "It's a pleasure Vivian." He glanced towards Sam again as the man suggested Vivian join them. He was right, there was safety in numbers, but if someone wasn't ready for combat they might just get in the way. He looked back towards the monolith. He doubted the guards would let them in before the bell rang, but it was still probably a good idea to head in that direction. "Yes, Vivian, we were going to find out more about this whole demon hunting business." He turned towards the girl, his smirk still maintained. "Have you ever seen any kind of combat, miss?" Vivian certainly didn't look like the martial type, but he'd learned not to judge a book by it's cover.

    "Well, I suppose that's good, given our circumstances." Unfortunately, it seemed that physical ability would be a key factor in determining their escape from this place, a concept she hardly found fair. Rhys' next comment forced a frown onto her face. It was true. Though she had seen a few older people, the majority of the realm's inhabitants seemed to be younger. There was something innately sad about that fact. Her eyes glanced back over the city. "I've noticed that as well. I suppose that the old have more time to make amends for what they've done during their lives. People like us.... I guess we didn't have that chance, and now we're here." For a moment she thought about asking for the man's story. She decided against such a personal question, however. After all, they had just met.
  14. Lost souls. The phrase struck with a peculiar resonance within her. That was what she was now? Her polite smile faltered, her face returning to its usual, disjointed sadness. She looked down at the pavement for a moment, mulling over the implications. Certainly, there must have been things she did wrong in life, but there was still so much left unknown that the thought that she might be a... sinner? Criminal? Killer? The thought had never crossed her mind, it was a bit of a disappointment to find the afterlife and discover she had outstanding mortal failings to account for. She couldn't ignore Ebayan's smile for long, and quickly returned her eyes from the street to his. Everyone else was a lost soul too, but that idea didn't frighten her. Like the man said, this was a place of redemption. "I think that is a good idea. I would like to join you," she said. These two were out for answers as well, but even their seeking of knowledge left her some facts to glean. They were to become demon hunters, that was their new purpose. That would be difficult for her, she had no weapons or experience to speak of. If it were impossible, I would not be here, she thought. Vivian had hands to lend, and while she obviously didn't see herself with a sword at the front line any time soon, she found herself compelled to assist. Vague memories of handing out supplies and medical care reinforced her ambition. Before they departed, Domino voiced a question. Experience with combat? Instinctively, she felt uneasy about answering the question, with no real clue why. "No... I believe I knew some soldiers. There was a war in my home, but I did not fight." She answered with all the honesty her memory afforded her, and shuffled momentarily, quite clearly uncomfortable with the topic and eager to get moving towards the monolith.
  15. Idly, Elias's head turned downward, and his eyes gave cursory glances across the crowds streaming through the streets below. He brought his chin up and snuck a curious look at the blonde girl, roughly his age, and the deformed and white-cloaked man, towering over her. Another young face out of millions in this forsaken place, he mused. Always the young died before they could atone, and she fell into the same category as Elias. Finding himself staring at the duo, particularly the deformed man with blue eyes that one could drown in, for far too long, Graeff tore his gaze away from them and returned to surveying the consorts of the land although getting caught watching by the two was certain by now. His face reddened, and he felt like 100 eyes were burning holes into his skin.
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  16. It had all happened so fast. The sweltering heat, the exhaustion overcoming her body, it all vanished. The endless stretch of white hot sand became gray, gray grass instead. What was going on? Alana couldn't remember. All she could remember was the overwhelming urge to sleep. Where had all this grass come from? There was no way this much life could spring up in the desert overnight. Was she dreaming? That seemed a logical explanation, but something didn't feel right about it.


    She had been wandering in the Grey Plains for...minutes? Hours? Days? Time didn't mean much to her as she put one bare, calloused foot after the other. Where had all her clothes gone? Sure, this was how she often dressed, but not in the desert. Even she knew that was suicide. At least this was comfortable to her. She loved the feeling of the air on her skin, but aside from the constant gentle wind pushing her forward, everything felt so stagnant. Nothing moved out here but the grass. Not even the sun. It seemed to follow her wherever she went.

    Finally, a splash of color against the endless gray caught her attention. And not just any color: gold. Brilliant, shining gold that reflected the light, captivating her. Alana broke into a sprint, running towards the promise of civilization, of anything to break up this torture. The desert was one thing -- it presented a challenge, something to strengthen her -- but this endless monotony could've broken her if given more time. Faces she didn't care about passed her by, barely registering in her consciousness as she ran.

    Once she breached the gates, Alana was guided in a fog to a massive temple, larger than any building she had ever seen. It was inside the Temple that Alana learned of her fate: death. And not just death, but purgatory. She rebelled against the idea, argued for all she was worth, demanded to be sent back where she came from. It wasn't fair, she was too strong to die, to young to leave her family behind, and oh god her family. Soon her anger gave way to crushing guilt. She couldn't even say goodbye. Surrounded by curious souls, Alana fell to her knees and wept. This was it, her eternal punishment for her hubris. What would they do without her?

    Only the promise of hope shook her out of her sadness. Though she had never hunted these specific monsters before, she was no stranger to combat. And she still had her gloves, thank god. Quick experimentation revealed that her magic still worked as well. That was it, she would redeem herself. Surely Emelia and Xavier would join her soon enough, and they could be together again. The angel that helped her pointed her towards a handful of people who were planning to set out on the hunt. One of them, a man named Sam Ebayan, might be a more comfortable first acquaintance by virtue of his age, and he was no stranger to combat either. Alana thanked the angel profusely and ran off to approach the man, unsure of what to say first.
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  17. "No... I believe I knew some soldiers. There was a war in my home, but I did not fight," Vivian explained, expression furtive and uncomfortable. Clearly, her past was a subject she wished to play close to the chest. Ebayan could respect that.

    Though death had fragmented his memories, it left behind two things intact: his skills and the battles. He did not necessarily recall every aspect of why the battles had taken place, but he remembered fighting in them, for one side or another. A battlefield was no place for a wise man or woman and even the most ferocious of fighters were irrevocably changed after walking into one too many of them, let alone a noncombatant.

    Understanding this, the old man laid a gentle hand on the young woman's shoulder. "Then a camp follower, perhaps?" he reasoned. "Perhaps a medic or a supplier? Maybe a transporter? Just because you weren't a soldier, didn't mean you did make a difference. At any rate, such skills will be helpful in this hunt, I would imagine."

    The old man considered his two new companions. Domino Stross had all the vigor and eagerness of a young blade, with the easy grace of an experienced fighter. He seemed to be ready for a fight in general. In contrast, Vivian was more uncertain, reserved, perhaps even terrified of her predicament and evidently poorly equipped for the trials ahead. A protective streak flared up in Ebayan, one he was certain was an all-too familiar occurrence in his past life. Shreds of memory flitted in his mind's eye, of mentoring younger soldiers and hunters, of training children he knew to be his own. Guiding and protecting the young had been a big part of his life at some point, if the memories were accurate.

    He found himself enjoying this new Purgatory he found himself in. Whatever viciousness he concocted in life to bring him here, it had done so in a way that he was once more in his element.

    Then he noticed a taller, muscular woman approaching their group. She was a striking figure, given her height, build, and apparent propensity for a lack of clothing. She was also unusual in that she appeared to be in middle age in comparison to the generally younger visitors arriving in Lambrecht.

    "It would seem we have another stranger to his strange land," Ebayan commented to Vivian and Domino. He then approached the tall woman. "Another demon hunter?" he asked directly. "We seem to be gathering a small strike force." He studied the lithe woman and immediately noted a telltale tingle in the air around her - the tingle of sorcery. This woman was a mage. He gave a nod of his head in greeting and introduced himself, "I am Sam Ebayan."
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  18. Rhys simply nodded in agreement to what Annabel had to say. Rhys didn't think much about the topic. It was obvious that the young had much more unfinished business than the old. It also so happened to be that those not needing to redeem themselves for their wrong doings lived much longer lives. Before Rhys could reply to Annabel, he caught the boy from early turn and look at them, but before Rhys could turn his head to make actual eye contact with him, the kid had turned his attention away from the two of them. The boy was dressed fairly casually in clothes Rhys had not seen really. Although, Rhys had witness a number of things he had never witnessed when he was alive, here in purgatory. Rhys scanned over the olive skinned, fit young man. The boy reminded Rhys of himself almost, back before Rhys had joined the military. Rhys turned himself back to Annabel, adjusting the inside of his cloak as he did so, "Do you know him?" Rhys asked, curiously, arching his head back to glance at the young man. This time as he scanned the boy, it was evident the that he knew he had been caught staring, "It's rude to stare without introducing yourself." Rhys commented. The tone lacked any sense of humor, and seemed more as if it was reproaching the young man. In truth, however, Rhys had little in the way of social skills, and was simply breaking ice the easiest way he saw.
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  19. "Alana Rair," she said, jerking her head down in return. She noticed Sam's eyes flitting over her body, but not lingering; he was sizing her up, she noted. She was used to errant stares, but this sort of glance wasn't as familiar to her. Something about the older man felt off to her, some strange electricity in the air, not quite the classic sign of magic but not normal either. She couldn't put her finger on it, and that vaguely unsettled her. She liked how pointed he was, though. It saved her the trouble of breaking the ice. "You could say that, yes," she said, a half-smirk finally finding its way onto her face. It was the first expression resembling a smile that she'd worn since arriving in this strange place. She wasn't a "demon hunter," per se, but was she talented? Of course!

    Something stopped her from going any further, though. To anyone else, she would have gone on about her conquests, her strength both physical and magical, but this man made her nervous. She felt exposed, somehow, and not just because of her lack of clothing. Something was nagging at her not to share too much information with him. She could only hope that she would come to trust him later on; pushing people away would be rather counterproductive around here.
  20. Elias perked up when he heard the man speak, and Graeff pretended to not hear and tried to become invisible. Don't talk to me, don't talk to me, don't talk to me, I don't want trouble. He twiddled his thumbs nervously in his lap before his hands turned into fists, and his knuckles turned white. Elias begged heaven that the man would leave him be, and his body shivered with tension. The man had broken Elias's façade, but being naive, Elias believed that shrinking away and putting up a wall would keep him safe. Alas he was only fooling himself, and the pair would elicit some shyly-placed words from him soon enough. For now, he bit his tongue and said his prayers.
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