The Pheraxis Saga: Lichdom

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Hieronymous Phantom, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. OOC

    Santos One of the most prominent cities in Pheraxis other than the capital, Santos is primarily inhabited by members of the Syndicate. Of course, nobody would know that just by looking at it. The practitioners who live here are smart enough to practice their craft in secret or in the company of the Syndicate. One could say that Santos houses the Syndicate's headquarters, but that would imply that one knows where, exactly, the Syndicate's headquarters were. As it happens, the Syndicate's headquarters are in Santos, but the exact location is known only to Artemis Rathgart and the Syndicate's members.

    Santos was covered in a light rain, with hints of sun poking through the cloud cover. It wasn't enough rain to warrant staying inside, but most of the inhabitants of Santos were indoors anyway. Artemis was in the library underneath his house, searching for a book on restorative alchemy one of the Syndicate had requested. The library was part of the Syndicate headquarters, but it was Artemis' personal collection and he didn't let anyone go near it. He allowed the members of the Syndicate to check books out, however, and this was one of those times. After finding the correct book, he left the library and made his way through the stone-wrought halls of the Syndicate headquarters. It was a little primitive compared to the clockwork contraptions of the surface world, but the once-abandoned underground hideaway was the perfect location for a secret society of persecuted practitioners. Artemis made his way through the halls, passing by a few of the common rooms that were unsurprisingly full of people. During the day, the headquarters were populated by several practitioners from all over Pheraxis, but at night only a few remained. After turning down a hall, Artemis found where the person he retrieved the book for was studying. "Here is the tome you requested. Peruse at your leisure." He spoke, placing the book on the desk and turning to leave for his own study. Garibaldi was growing in power, and Artemis needed to find a way to counter it quickly and efficiently. "And hopefully without resorting to allying with those abhorrent Inquisition dogs." he muttered under his breath, though he knew that this war would not be won without a bit of brute force. Artemis shuddered to think he was actually considering working with the group that had so relentlessly hunted down practitioners like himself. However, Garibaldi was a threat to all of Pheraxis, while the Inquisition was a nuisance at best. If Artemis couldn't come up with a way to remove Garibaldi from power, permanently, then he would have to make arrangements to meet with the leader of the Inquisition. A dark day that would be, indeed.
  2. His Light
    Sunshine shimmered and danced on the surface of the garden fountain in which lotuses of all colors floated tranquilly, the scent so exotic and otherwordly. A scent of the kind that can only be found in one garden in all of Pheraxis. Temperance's garden. It brimmed with lilies, violets, orchids, and cosmos. Roots of basilisk, and leaves of a blood vine grew and flourished here. Of course any poison was nullified by the presence of their most talented gardener to which they adored. Temperance stood in her white silk toga, her fingers gingerly held a white bloom that was closed to the sunlight. "And his light was complete and full, its warmth provided and protected. His people sprang up to the moon, and to the sun as they sang and praised the One God. Fires burned brightly in his name. Food was cooked and offered to the skies as tidings. The people were happy." The woman's voice was soft, full, and filled with the promise of something more. "The people, however, did not forget the blood and the sacrifice of the past. They remembered that day of celebration and blessing, of his great and all consuming mercy. 'The all mercy is death, only then shall we atone' they cried. The children of the One God danced to remember, to worship, to pray. Men and women and every child praised his great name." Then with a pause she whispered, "Ymius." Pressing her lips to the soft petals of the flower, she released it and waited patiently. Finally the Lily bloomed, its petals like arms opening to the warm Yrian sunlight. The high priestess smiled serenely before bowing her head, "Blessed be".

    As she turned to the glass doors, she gracefully picked up the silk length of her gown and walked out onto the open balcony. Even out here, vine-flowers wrapped around the railings and potted plants kept her company. The sea spray scented the air and mixed well with her the scent of the garden, "Vici my child, to what do I owe this honor of your visit?" Without turning around she engaged her adviser's presence. "Mother Temperance, I beg your forgiveness for intruding. There is a matter of great importance that requires your attention, I came straight to you without delay." The general, Brother Vici, bowed with his left fist at his shoulder before standing straight again. The priestess smiled warmly as she continued to look out at the sea, it churned and she watched as the silence between Queen and Advising Guardian wore on. The waters sparkled on the surface, but its waves were persistent and unrelenting as they battered at the stone walls beneath the temple and at the shore some distance away. "Vici, tell me. If the ocean told you that darkness poisoned the horizon, but the sky promised you safety... to whom would you rely?" The general's boots tapped the marble flooring with a hollow echo. "I would rely on my own instinct and the word of Ymius of course." As he approached his priestess, he watched her serene expression that was just like the sea. Sparkling on the surface, but restlessly churning deep within. "What troubles you my priestess?" Temperance took the arm of her guardian and led him back into the garden room, Vici was the single most soul that understood her and took the burden of her secrets. The siren knew what this man felt for her, that his heart was torn with a love for his leader and a love for his God. Though this was the truth, he would not let his heart be impure. Temperance would not allow it. "Something dark approaches, something calls in the shadows and pulls at my mind when I sleep. A name whispered from an endless oblivion, Garibaldi."

    The general stopped in his tracks, but his priestess continued on before sitting on the ledge of her fountain. A finger disturbing the calm waters. "Yes, his power is..." Here Temperance interrupted with a single word. "Complete." So their fears had been recognized, the looming threat of the horrid Lich was true and staring them plainly in the eyes. "I know not the extent of his power, but I have seen glimpses of the destruction in my dreams and in the waters." Vici had begun pacing, a hand rubbing an old battle scar before he stopped and approached Era, kneeling before her his hand clasped around hers. "The waters?" Temperance stared into her fountain and nodded, her voice trembling with the fear she felt. "The water never lies." Taking a deep breath, she stole back her hand and stood composing herself and walking around her guardian before elegantly walking down the steps that led into a much bigger room in which she was housed. "Now, onto those pressing matters you mentioned Brother Vici? I assume it is another pointless meeting with the Cardinals, in which I refuse them certain rights to which I have complete ownership of correct?"

    Vici felt the ice of his beloved's shoulder, love which was soon becoming a resentment he knew he should push from his heart. Following her, he watched her take a seat at her desk before he began speaking. "No Mother Temperance, there has been a breach of the temple by a practitioner." Without looking at her guardian, she picked up a quill and received the warrant for execution from Vici. Ink dripped from the feather onto the parchment, but not in the manner of a signature. "Your holiness?" Placing the quill down she looked up with piercing blue eyes. "Have the cardinals been alerted?" Vici frowned but shook his head, "Mother, they are in prayer but as soon as they break bread with the sisters they shall." With a simper, she folded her hands on her desk. "Then they will not be alerted, you will tell my guard they were mistaken but because of the unholy items found on this man's person he was punished on the Mother's word. However Brother Vici, you are to make an example of this lost soul, then you are to send him to the main land, do you understand?" Her voice was threatening, but even then it was still magnificently beautiful. Just as a statue of an angel, she was both beautiful and terrifying. Knowing that asking any questions would be received less then well, he would carry out these orders. "Yes my matron." With that, Vici once more fist at his shoulder bowed and left Temperance.

    Turning to the wall of glass behind her, she watched as her city went on as normal. Every soul she had promised to protect, unwitting to the fear that would soon consume them. "His light was whole, his light was pure but they remembered that the only mercy worth its name," Her tone darkened as she spoke again. "Was death."
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  3. Psykano wiped his brow over the heat of the Burning estate. "Damn hot, isn't boys?" He chuckled as he pulled his blade out of the guard.

    The hired thugs lent to him by the Inquisition laughed. A couple of "Damn right, boss!" and "Hot as hell" were his responses. The only one who didn't laugh was Brother Marc, an Inquisition who was sent to make sure he did his job. He saw completely through the Huntsman's jokes.

    "Psykano, your job isn't done. Herbert Fultooth is still alive and running."

    Psykano turned his head, looking over Marc's shoulders and at the running business man, stumbling over debris and corpses. He leapt, vaulting over Marc and raced towards Herbert Fultooth. Just as he neared, Psykano drew his glaive and went down, sliding through the mud, slicing the business man's legs apart from his torso. Herbert screamed in pain as he fell to the ground.

    "He's alive, but he's not runnin' no more!" The thugs laughed some more. Marc merely gave him a glare.

    "Fine," Psykano rolled his eyes. He plunged his blade deep into Herbert's spine, putting an end to his whimpering and begging. "Is my job done now?"

    Marc nodded. "Now to finish off his mansion." He turned to the goons. "Did you imbeciles take the deeds before you burnt his house down?"

    A thug stepped forward, sticking out his hairy arm, holding crumpled papers. "These the ones you wanted, boss?"

    Marc snatched it out of his hand. A quick glance and he nodded to Psykano. He then ordered the thugs to stick the red seal of the Inquisition into the ground. Psykano dragged the body of Lyla Fultooth, Herbert' daughter and a secret practitioner, and nailed it to the Inquisition seal, to show that this witch hunt was successful. He ordered his men to pack up and leave.

    Half an hour of walking later, one of the hired muscle called out to Marc. "Hey boss, why'd you guys call a witch hunt for one brat?"

    Marc replied back, annoyed. "Because any and all traces of the black arts is to be put down, and any resistance to be shown no mercy. Cardinal Vance has deemed the Fultooth family to be far too powerful and dangerous, as well as harboring a witch."

    "Ya sure it's not because Cardinal Vance wanted some extra "funding"?" Psykano laughed, as did the goons.

    "Watch your tongue, Psykano. I will not have the name of a holy Cardinal besmirched by the likes of you!" Marc see the.

    "We all know you're his faithful lackey. S'why he sent you to take care of poor 'ol me. Didn't the want some precious paper get all crumpled up by an uncouth brute like myself?" Psykano jeered. Marc was fuming.

    "Unlike the Mother of Mercy, at least I serve a man with sense and devotion, instead of some sea-witch who doesn't even bother leaving her garden!" Psykano stopped in his tracks while Marc walked on, oblivious. "You're just that inhuman whore's lapdo-"

    Psykano held both glaives at the Inquisitor's throat. "Do not speak the Mother's name." All sense of joy left Psykano' voice. "Never speak her name again."

    Marc gritted his teeth. "Both you and I know you can't hurt me, Psykano."

    "I think you better remember, Marc," Psykano spat, as the thugs closed in on them. "Who these good men serve." He motioned to one of the thugs. "Make sure no one hears his whining ever again."

    Psykano walked away, heading back to the Ivory City to await another mission. He smiled as he heard Marc's scream cut short, replaced by gurgling and choking. Unfortunately, he would tell poor Carnival Vance, Brother Marc was slain by the enemy on the mission. A great and devastating loss to the Inquisition.
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  4. Fish. Why did this town always have to stink of fish? Orrib droned in dismay at the stench that was constantly snaking its way into his nostrils, despite him being so far from the marketplace, which was most likely where it came from. Had to be due to the wind, he figured; it carried the scent of carp, perch, pike, salmon, et cetera - all slowly rotting away while switching hands in exchange for coin. The stench was the final touch to this mud pit of a town. Beggars, fools, madmen, whores; roads in disrepair and the wet soil trampled into mud. Santos was no different from any other town or city he had seen. He liked to think that things had been different back in his day, but it had been the same. Just different fools giving different fishes in exchange for different coins with different faces of equally corrupted and short-sighted men. Only this time he was not one of those men. He hoped within him that this "Fox Den" would be a haven from this filth, but part of him knew it was unlikely. With a sigh, the man pulled at his black woolen hood to keep the sun off his face and sped up his steps, eager to be done with his business here.

    Eventually, the name of his location came into Orrib's view, and what he saw tempted him to sigh of relief. The Fox Den. A three-storied wooden building with black tiled roof and bright lights piercing through every window, marking out the occasional silhouette as they walked by. Making sure to watch his step to avoid stepping in the pile of horse dung that came in his way, the man made his way towards the door, placed in the very middle of the building facade. It was a black mahogany door, with a thick, polished golden handle - if it was true gold was, however, up to speculation. By face height was a red silhouette depicting what seemed to be some sort of sultry vixen. Sighing again, this time at the notion of going to such a place as this, Orrib knocked on the heavy wooden door - three slow, strong knocks. It was the knock of tax collectors and soldiers coming to take the family son to die for king and country. It could almost in itself tell that the knocker was not there with a jolly goal in mind. After knocking, Orrib pulled his hands back into his black cloak and waited for the door to open before him.
  5. Ergonia: A prosperous land in the far west of Pheraxis, primary exports (for there was often a surplus of food and supplies) being grain, furs, and more grain (a very cultivated land, but with little variety in what is grown). Foreigners are regarded with a suspicious eye, but all are welcome in the many taverns and inns that dot the peninsula. The Ivory Inquisition is practically nonexistent in Ergonia, and magic practitioners are welcomed with open arms, many recruited by the mysterious lord of the land for various purposes, though rarely is he actually seen by them. The public, while quite happy and somewhat friendly, tell terrifying stories of monsters that roam the land freely, how scores have disappeared over the years. When asked what a traveler should do for safety in such a land, the only advice received is always the same: "Don't go out after dark..."

    Vanessa's shoes pounded against the cobbled streets, a continuous click click click. She banged on doors as she passed, hoping, praying to whatever God she didn't believe in that one person, just one, would take pity on her. But who would dare interfere with the hunt? With every street corner, with every alley, she could hear the sounds getting closer. The thuds of furred paws and hands racing across the cobbles just behind her, shingles clattering to the streets below as the beast leaped across rooftops, and the horrible growls and bellows that echoed through the empty air, rattling windows and making mothers hug their children tight, praying it wouldn't come for them tonight. She turned the corner, practically slamming into the door of the shoemaker Ivan Strauss. He had taken pity on her before, such a poor young girl, forced to the lowest position women could fall to. He had not bought her particular services, Heaven's no, but had given her some money to buy a meal (something his wife chastised him for. "We need that money for ourselves, you dolt!" she'd said). He was a kind man, known for his generosity when he had so little. And it just so happened that the old man had just come home. "Mr. Strauss!" She banged her fist on the door. "Mr. Strauss, please open up!" On the other side the poor shoemaker fastened the lock and bolt, gesturing for his wife to blow out the lights and get him his rifle. It wouldn't do too well against what was out there, but it would serve to give the young ones hope. "Please, sir! Please! Open the door!" The children huddled in the corner, away from the windows, while gun in hand Ivan waited for the inevitable. It happened week after retched week. Vanessa was sobbing now, back to the door. The banging had ceased. "Please..." She thought a shadow flitted across the road, disappearing into a side street. Not a moment later a horrible, wet growl rumbled from what seemed to be every direction. And suddenly it stopped. No noises, no monster in front of her. Maybe it gave up. A taloned hand latched onto her face from above, the thick fur muffling her screams as she was pulled up. Strauss heard a soft thud on the roof, a slam in front of the door, and the sound of a body being dragged across stone. It didn't turn around, didn't crash through the door. It didn't take his family. More screams echoed through the streets, accompanied by a series of victorious howls, pained yowls, and enraged human yells. But it didn't matter. The Strauss' were safe... For another night.

    It was a cozy domicile, warm, well-lit, plenty of books to read, not too large but large enough for his needs, plenty of servants to cater to what needs the owner still had. And situated in a place so rich with food that Sitis had almost become fat over the years. On this particular night, lit by the light of a wonderful harvest moon, the master himself walked the halls freely, dancing in the former altar to a music no one could hear or even remember. To anyone else who didn't know him, he could have been happy. But all the human servants knew. Tonight, the master was angrier than ever. Tonight, he was hungrier than ever. The Pack had gone out hours before, and by now were quite late. Sitis did not appreciate this. It was everything he could do not to ravage the throats of the few maids left in the house (the rest of the servant force having gone down to their cells). Too little blood, too little flesh. Instead, he devoted his energies and anger to less productive but more distracting exercises. It was another hour or so before a soul-splitting howl announced the arrival of his faithful hunters. He calmly strolled out of the converted cathedral, floated over the grass like a ghost, and confronted the group of lycanthropes that occupied his lawn. Seven. There were always seven retrievers. Most black or brown of fur, snarling and each gripping two panicking men and women. Some walked on their hind legs, dragging their catch behind them. Others had the prey pinned on the ground or carried them unconscious on their backs while they walked on all fours. But at the head of them all was a significantly larger animal, fur with the color of mingled salt and pepper, his back the purest of silver. He walked with the air of a leader, the two kicking and screaming women dragged behind him by their hair, both silenced with a roar. The finest specimen of them all. Romulus. Another bark quieted the growls of the others. The alpha kneeled before the well-dressed and calm, grinning vampire. "Romulus, my child. If you would, please?" The voice was smooth, gentle as a breeze, soft as silk. But there was an unmistakable edge to it, an edge that could slit the throat of the Devil himself. The alpha did not flinch. With not a moment's hesitation, he grunted in pain as his body reshaped itself. His fur shed rapidly, as if a sudden sickness had struck him. Bones broke, reformed, and shifted into new positions. His lengthy snout retreated back into his skull, his ears shrank, and his eyes cooled from a bright yellow to a dark brown. He rose again, cracking his neck, as a middle-aged, tanned, and thickly muscled man dressed only in ragged leather trousers, his hair the color of the alpha's fur. Throughout the process (particularly painful, if the information given to Sitis was to be trusted) he had not lost his grip on his prey. "Of course, master." A snarl that no human should be able to produce commanded that the others drop their prey. None of the captives dared move. As if they could run.

    "You are late, Romulus." It was an unacceptable crime, but Sitis' smooth smile did not fade. The man looked up at him. "It was... Particularly bad tonight, master. Some dared to oppose us. One of our number was struck." He gestured to one beast, bleeding out of a wound in his shoulder. "Silver sword. We know not where the commoners could have acquired such a weapon. It slowed us. The leader was thoroughly punished for it." The same wounded lycan bared a toothy grin (if such a face could grin) at one of his prisoners, who was weeping blood out of deep claw marks. The smell was as intoxicating as the taste. "We understand our crime, and accept our punishment. But we have brought you a greater gift."

    "I can see them. I can smell them. Fourteen. I only asked for seven. Seven wolves, seven victims. You have doubled the latter. I am pleased, Romulus." He was a loyal dog. One of the greatest. Hardly an asset to waste with pain. "There will be no punishment. Not for you." He glanced at the miserable looking man who had dared challenge the lord of this land. "Bring him."

    It was a special chamber, perhaps the only new part of the structure. No windows, brightly lit purely by torchlight. The floor was stainless onyx, the purest of shadow. The walls were adorned with images of death and torture, pale faces twisted by pure agony. Red paint was applied generously up and down the walls, pouring from gaping wounds carved into the thread flesh of the tormented. A figure, skin pale as the moon, eyes red as fresh blood, bare-handed and bare-chested faced down legions of soldiers. Runes danced around the edges of the weavings, ancient symbols that were illegible to many scholars. Runes of a forgotten land and a forgotten time. Epics transcribed in image, ghost stories written in blood. And at the center of it all, an altar of obsidian, the cornerstone in this temple of the damned. The altar itself was a massive thing, filling much of the 20x20 foot room, shaped much like a bat, the two great wings stretching out into theair, intricate and esoteric symbols carved deeply into the stone, the two hind claws holding open an ancient tome from a forgotten past, full of ritual and sorrow. The face of the demonic monster was wrinkled and grimacing, eyes squinted, ears back, and mouth open in a wretched snarl. And rising from that gaping, toothed slit was a statue. A statue that depicted a demon's nightmare, the Fallen One's own spawn, and that which made men fear the dark. It posed itself in a victorious roar, pale tentacles groping at the air, each of the six misshapen arms raising their seven proboscis-like phalanges (for there were no hands. Simply smaller, hollow bone spikes coated in a thin layer of flesh that stretched far out from the stumps of the spiked limbs) in triumph. No legs were visible beneath the kilt of squirming serpents that flowed across the tongue of the large altar beneath it, yet the creature stood tall and proud. Four tattered wings, similar to those of the bat, stretched out from behind it. The stomach had caved in, the skin leftover stretched across a bare ribcage while the scarred and torn chest heaved with what would have been deep breaths of tainted air. Six eyes, glowing green embers, burned in the bulbous head. And almost hidden in the mass of tentacles, a bulging mouthful of lengthy fangs, ready to grip and drag whatever flesh happened to stray too close. Flesh a sickening purple, like a massive bruise. It was an age-old nightmare, a long-feared but long-forgotten god of the ancients. A god of blood and nightmares, death and corruption. An Old One. Sitis was not one to pray to any god, but he heard the tales of great power bestowed on those who pleased these dark ones. Heard of the necromancer who sacrificed his own parents, and was granted great skill and knowledge by the Old Ones. But the tome he read was older than he, in a tongue far more ancient than any he had come to know in his eternity. Thus it was slow for Sitis to read through it, and had taken decades already to decipher certain portions of the ritual necessary before actually doing what he wished to do: Summon an Old One, or at least offer a sacrifice to receive power from one. The statue depicted what an old civilization called Camar'Axosaz, the God of Blood. After years of searching, Sitis had confirmed that it was simply a different name for the divinity, that it was indeed an Old One. And it did indeed favor blood. Just the deity Sitis wanted to see. This place had been built over the decades in accordance with what the tome demanded. And so far much was completed: The deeds of the summoner (woven onto the walls around them) to prove their worth to the god; An altar in dedication to the god (carved in the shape of the favored animal of Camar'Axosaz, the bat); The spells needed for the actual summoning needed to be on hand and prepared (thus carved into the altar itself, where they were easily visible); A focus for the god to appear through (the statue of Camar'Axosaz, as described by the old civilization); and a sacrifice for the god. This last one was far more difficult to acquire, and if it were any god other than Camar'Axosaz, practically impossible to acquire. It had taken years, but mere feet in front of the altar was a pit, six men deep with a diameter half that length. And it was filled almost to the top with blood. Fresh blood, red blood, clotted blood, blood of inhuman creatures (for variety and flavor, you see). All churned daily to keep it from sticking to the walls and preserved with raw magic. The mere sight of it made Sitis quiver with hunger as he entered the massive room, followed by his entourage of werewolves and prisoners. "Leave us." All the lycans but Romulus left the room, stalking off into a far corridor leading to the cells beneath the cathedral. The tired and terrified humans gazed upon the grotesque glory of the altar, eyes struggling to comprehend the sights in front of them. Most were fixed on the 12 foot high bat and the 7 foot god in the center of the room. A few stared in awe at the tapestries, trying to understand the stories told within them. And the select few screamed at the sight of the almost hidden blood pit in front of the statues. No matter. It wouldn't matter soon. "If you have any last prayers to offer, you are in the presence of a god." Of who Sitis spoke, no one knew. Five of the captives fell to the ground, spasming in agony as blood erupted up through their flesh, emptying their veins. The effect was clearly visible, the husks shriveling and collapsing in their final death rattles, color draining from their skin, eyes popping out of their sockets. The blood flowed across the floor, rising into the air and rapidly covering Sitis' flesh. He groaned in the throes of ecstasy as the life-blood entered his body directly through the pores in his skin, rushing through his system faster than if he drank from the victims. It refreshed and empowered him, strength beyond men returning to his body twice-over. It was rare that he could indulge so much with this practice. He was pleased with Romulus indeed. But while it empowered him, it did not fill him. He moved to the next five victims, watching with a sick interest the way blood flowed through the arteries, seeing things no man could see with the bare eye. With an unnatural speed his fangs sank into the throat of the first meal, draining the poor girl in seconds. The other two were gone just as swiftly, but the final two were savored far more, the fear mixing in with the blood and making it that much sweeter. He licked his bloodied chin and lips as he finished. Not a drop would be wasted. He rose, eyes ablaze with a new and revitalized crimson light, a low growl emanating from his thg. The final four (among them the lead instigator who had dared harm one of Sitis' dogs) shivered in fear, and it was all Sitis could do not to move on to them. They clearly thought he would. "No. You have a greater purpose." He bared the silver talons he had kept behind his back the whole time, slashing the throats of the first two in one sweep, letting the blood pour out over and into the pit. He lifted them upside down, making sure to get every pint out of them, casting aside the husks. He repeated the process with the third. But trouble arose when he moved on to the fourth. A pretty young brunette, dressed in humble but exposing and sexually appealing clothing. A whore. Who just so happened to be carrying a stake hidden in her pocket. A pitiful thing, made of weak and rotting timber, but still sharp. She lunged at Sitis, under his guard and plunged the stake down through the air and into his chest. Only to shatter with a pathetic crash against the steel hidden under Sitis' fine clothes. Lifting her up by her lengthy hair despite her screams and kicks, Sitis laughed the deep, ugly laugh of the evil. "This one has spunk, doesn't she Romulus?" The lycanthrope grinned in genuine agreement. It was an admirable quality. But useless against Sitis. The wolf waited for the inevitable. A single silver claw stroked the girl's cheek, tracing the shape of her jaw. He spoke in his soft and bladed voice. "So beautiful. So fragile. You have an even greater fate child." He released her as she flew into the wall, falling to the ground in a crumpled heap. "There is an empty cell in the Wolf Quarters?"

    "Yes master." This was an unexpected turn of events.

    "Throw her there. Keep the dogs away. I take it they're hungry?" He gestured towards the deceased bodies. "I think two per wolf will do."

    "They will be grateful, master." They ought to be.

    "Take a holiday Romulus. Take Remus and Lupa out into the nearest town, enjoy a drink, hunt a few deer." The werewolf halted mid-lift, dropping a corpse back to the floor. "M-master?"

    "You heard me. Take. A. Vacation. Bring your brother and sister with you." Sitis turned and started walking down the main corridor, away from the altar and the tapestries, away from the bodies and werewolf, and away from that girl. The girl he decided would live. He stopped halfway down the hall, turning back towards his servant. "And watch the Lich while you're at it. You'll be my eyes and ears. It's wise to be prepared for treachery." The vampire continued, and soon his footsteps could no longer be heard. Of course. Never a vacation without work involved. Sighing, the alpha hefted the body over his shoulder, strolled down the side hall and shouted "Dinner time, boys!"
  6. The young woman gave pause under the shade of an ancient tree, looking up at the clouding skies to feel the distant rumble of thunder beyond the hills and across the plains. A gust of wind blew her hair to and fro, whipping one of her many feathers free and sending it away like a leaf on the wind to the skies above. A quiet gasp left her mouth as she reached to grasp it before it flew beyond her reach, a frown quickly forming, always growing attached to each adornment in her hair, each feather tied by a string to a single braid hanging down the right side of her face.

    Another blast of wind brought her back to herself, more thunder, and the strong earthy smell of oncoming rain made her grasp the basket full of herbs and root vegetables by the handle and begin her jog home. Bare feet crunched over fallen leaves, pine needles, and sticks as she ran, hardly giving pause when she lifted her dress up to climb over a fallen tree, stopping momentarily to show reverence to the fallen elder before setting off once again. The rushing sound of the wind through the trees made her stop and look over her shoulder, emerald eyes scanning the horizon, barely able to make the distant walls of Ergonia, a worrisome place that she seldom ever ventured unless necessary.

    With home in sight, a wood cabin, greened with age and added onto countless times, sat built into the hillside where wood met earth in a setting pleasing to the eye that her ancestor's felt would meet approval from the creatures of the forest. A tingling fear made her dart inside and latch the door, pricking her finger and adding a single line into the elaborate rune across the threshold, a spell of powerful magic meant to keep her safe and hidden. Basket on the floor she stepped past the only other doorway into the other room, where on a single bed lay a man, naked from the waist up with bandages wrapped around his arms and chest, as well as his face. She set to tending and replacing his bandages as she spoke, though the man offered no reaction.

    "I'll get you home. Syndicate or otherwise.." After a brief pause, she simply began to hum an old tune while she worked.
  7. Beautiful fur covered ears twitched at the distantly heard sound of two slow knocks, and their owner turned her attentions away from the two girls in front of her towards the window of the room they were currently occupying. "One moment my dears. I do believe that was the sound of a new customer at my door." she slowly made her way across the room, her robe like dress trailing after her along the floor. She could feel the eyes of the two girls on her as she moved, and a small smile played across her lips as perfectly filed nails pulled the curtains of the window back just enough for her to see who was at front door. A delicate brow arched as golden eyes took in the look of the stranger and she let the curtain fall shut. She turned away from the window and started to make her way to the door. When she opened it, she found herself face to chest with a beautiful tall boy no older than 19. She smiled up at him and beckoned him inside.

    "Madam V there is..." she stopped him with a raised finger and smiled.

    "Yes, there is someone new at the door. I will see to him personally." two disappointed groans were heard from the bed behind her and she smiled at the boy then looked over her shoulder. "I'm sorry girls, but your training with me will have to wait. I have other matters that need my attentions. However, the training of all my Dolls is most important so Keyan will be taking my place for the night. Do not worry my loves, he will take good care of you." she turned her head to look at the boy, Keyan, and gave him a wink. "Won't you my dear?"

    Keyan gave her a rakishly handsome smile, then turned his blue eye to the two young girls laying on the bed. "Of course Madam V. It would be my pleasure..."

    She laughed softly, the rich mature sound contrasting dramatically with the youthful look of her body. "Good boy. Have fun you three..." with that taken care of she left the room, her robe still open and trailing behind her as she moved through the halls of her Den, her naked body on display for all to see.

    The Fox Den was one of the oldest brothel houses in all of Santos, having first been established by a Madam named Rose over 100 years ago. Lorna, whom most knew as Madam Vixen, or Madam V, had worked for Rose in the Den for 30 years before the old woman had died, leaving the Den in Lorna's care. That had been nearly twenty years ago, and Lorna looked no older than an 18 year old human girl. This was something that always seemed to catch new customers off guard, as she was always the one who greeted new customers. She was usually mistaken for one of her own Dolls, before she corrected the client good naturally. Not much had changed in the Den since Lorna had taken over. She had redecorated a bit, changing the overly gaudy and over the top decor, with its heavy over sized red and gold velvet furniture and raunchy artwork, into something more tasteful and upscale. She had had all the walls painted a lighter color, and the floors sanded and stained lighter as well. She put sheer curtains in nearly every entrance way to give those inside the common rooms the illusion of privacy, and the once dark wooded furniture had been painted white, or various other light pastel colors, and the velvet replaced by cream and ivory colored fabrics. Though the Den looked more like a villa then a brothel on the inside, there was still an aura of decadence and forbidden pleasure that radiated from the building, but this was now due to the tastefully painted art work that hung from the walls and the strategically placed naked or semi-naked bodies of her Dolls as well as the tastefully done redecorating. Many of her customers had asked her why she'd spent to much money making a whore house look more like a rich mans home instead of the whore house it was, and her reply was that, yes, it was a whore house, but she and her Dolls lived there and she was much richer then many of the men in the city, so why shouldn't she live in a home that reflected such. She was not ashamed of what she or her Dolls did. There was no shame in trading money for pleasure, be it from drink or sex.

    As she made her way down one side of the twin stair case, two of her Dolls, Erika and Vivianna, rushed to her side, both girls working quickly to get her dress closed and retied before she answered the door. At this point, Lorna used her innate magical abilities to make her ears slowly fade till she looked like any other human girl. Most of her customers didn't know she was anything but human, and she preferred to keep it that way. When the girls were done she gave them each a smile and made a shooing motion with her hand and they scurried off back to where they were supposed to be. Now fully and properly clothed, Lorna made her way to the large double front doors and nodded her head to a large, rough looking man who stood beside it. At her nod he leaned forward and opened the door to reveal the man who had knocked. Lorna gave the man a welcoming smile and bowed slightly, her ample chest pressing forward against the loosely wrapped fabric that concealed it.

    "Welcome stranger, to The Fox Den. I am Madam Vixen. How may we serve you today?" She stepped to the side and motioned for him to enter so that the door man could close it behind him.
  8. "Thank you kindly, Madam."Orrib spoke - his voice carrying the polite and refined tone of the nobleman he was - as he walked past the youthful girl, stepping into the great hall and soon hearing the door close behind him. He took a brief moment to look around the room, admiring the beautiful and rich decoration and styling, and smiling in relief that it was not what he expected. He then turned to the woman whom let him in. This girl in front of him was no ordinary human, that much he could tell just by the smell of her. So this was Madam Vixen. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Madam Vixen."the man said, pulling down his hood and revealing oiled hair drawn back over his head, skin pale as death, and striking green eyes carrying a predatory sting to them, yet all of this belonging to a young-looking, handsome face. Looking upon the man, only a fool would doubt what he was. "Before I get on to my business here, I would like to adress the matter of who I am."he continued, taking off his black cloak and hanging it over his left arm, revealing a stylish black suit over a white shirt with a short, unfolded collar. From his pocket he pulled out a small, golden coin, scraped and beaten from age. He held the coin in front of him, revealing it to be carrying the stylized form of a hawk spreading its wings - the Rhovanion family sigil. "Given your reputation, I trust you already know."he finished, before moving away his hand and putting the coin back into his pocket, his lips forming a knowing smile, all but dripping with seductive charisma.
    #8 Andalais, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2014
  9. Nestled at the bottom of a sheer cliff face between fallen boulders is a cottage made from the same stone surrounding it. Wrapped and heavily cloaked in ivy, decaying sweet lace grape vines, and wilted honeysuckle, one wouldn't consider the cottage to be anything more than another misshapen and discolored rock amongst the others in the daylight. Of course its true beauty blooms when the sun takes refuge from the scornful moon; black fruit in bushels that seemed ready to burst with their sweet contents are present, as well as the thick, rich fragrant of warm nectar. Inhaling the scent for too long would throw anyone into a daze of false tranquility and safety. The red, orange, and white petals of the Caprifoliacae plants would pulse with dim light, meant to attract those of the Fae species.

    Alas, it was daytime and the gray clouds overhead were simply hiding the sunlight's sharp rays. Within the shelter, Silvaria was still hard at work from the previous night, enchanting small creatures made from metal and glass to move on their own accord for a profit. There were hummingbirds flitting above her head, arachnids crawling along countertops, and an owl was perched on her mantle, its eyes shut and body slowly bobbing as if the nocturnal creature were sleeping. She could not create life, but instead transferred it. The aviary corpses piling up at the windowsill would be an indicator of rituals to the ignorant eye. Hunched over the last and smallest of the sculptures, she breathed words of animation into it. "May my Goddess have mercy- may she be ever so inclined, to bring back your gentle soul and fiercely keen mind." There was a short pause as she took up a pin, prodding it into the fairy no bigger than a moth on her obsidian table and drawing its lukewarm blood. Using the same needle to prick her own skin, she continued. "May our Goddess give you voice while I bind you to me, so together we may each say, Blessed be."

    Silvaria straightened her posture as she assessed the little sculpture in perfect scale to its lifeless model. The tiny contraption twitched and stretched as best as it could then sat up, its wings opening behind itself. The metal being had no mouth, had no vocal chords to speak, yet a chirpy voice that was a tad too high pitched could be heard. "Done, done, done?" The little fairy cocked its head to the right and Silvaria laughed softly. It seemed that its manner of speaking hadn't changed. The woman had become friends with the Fae long ago. Riven was its name and it was when it came to her, dying, that she offered to transfer its soul. "Yes, all done." She scooped up the lifeless body of what was, and gently placed it in a glass bowl filled with water that had sat out in the moonlight. The corpse's blood swirled outward from the hole she made in its abdomen, one of the antennas sticking to its light blue face.

    Riven skittered off to the edge of the table and jumped, momentarily flailing in the air before catching flight and complaining about its new body. "Heavy, far too heavy!" It settled over on the mantle by the snoozing owl, watching it with miniscule glass eyes. Silvaria sprinkled grains of volcanic salt over the bowl then struck a match, dropping it on the floating body and watching the flames consume the flesh in under a minute. If she didn't get going soon, she'd never be able to make the deliveries scheduled for the day. Grabbing her cloak, she swung it over her shoulders and pulled the hood up, fastening the string at her throat before collecting two of the more elegant hummingbirds embedded with crystals, and a devious-looking arachnid, wrapping them each in old swatches of cloth. It was far too dangerous to carry enchanted items with the Ivory Inquisition about, so she tucked them into the false bottom of a woven basket, filling the top half with nine inch apricot bronze dahlias.

    "Keep the owl quiet if I'm not back by nightfall." Silvaria murmured to her small companion as she headed out the door. "And don't let the spiders eat you," She teased, receiving a panicked "Silvy!" as she shut the door and made her way through the curtains of tangled vines. It was already starting to sprinkle outside, and the wild waters of the nearby river were nothing short of a roar from where she stood. Perhaps it'll storm. The thought made her hurry through the thicket of woods towards Santos, or was it Ergonia where her first delivery was suppose to be made? Coming to the decision that it didn't really matter, she trudged on between the twisting trees. She'd end up in both places anyway.
    #9 Red Rabbit, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
    • Love Love x 1
  10. Callawyn Harrowfelled The Santos Market. Paradise for any cutpurse without the looks to blend in to a high class city. Perfect for someone like Callawyn. He'd only been there and hour today and already had a good pound and a half in gold and silver coins, as well as a few gems and precious items left unattended. His fences would certainly be bust bees after he got the week's loot to Madam V for "distribution." Naturally he wouldn't gain as much as all this stuff was worth on the black market, but the middle man- or in this case, middle kitsune- had to have their cut of the profits. Still, some payoff was better than no payoff, and he had a strict policy of never meeting his fences directly, lest they get questioned about his activities and give him away. The Inquisition would be furious if they found out he was still alive, especially after they burned his last house down and killed who they thought was him. He almost felt sorry for the poor man. But enough past. He needed to focus on getting as much as he could before the cash in. Perhaps he could find out about another assassination target, as well- the sultry Madam was known in certain underworld circles for being a middleman between clients and assassins, thieves and fences, as well as a source for high priority targets and the passing through of very valuable items. But for now, back to stealing things.

    He had about two hours before the scheduled "cash in" with Madam Vixen, and he intended to reap as many rewards as he could. And by "reap rewards" he means "steal as much valuable stuff as possible to gain the maximum amount of profit possible within the deadline." There was one last shop he hadn't hit today: the jeweler. Demrick & Sons Jewlcrafts was one of the more high class places in Santos, not so much in the decor but in the prized jewelry they produced. Demrick & Sons' work had occasionally gone for several thousand gold pieces, depending on who was buying, what was used, and what was being made. He had actually stolen quite a lot from Demrick Delewight and his shop, but the old man never seemed to notice. He walked in the door, immediately snagging a gold ring set with a ruby from the window display. "Eh? Who's there?" called Demrick, waddling out into the main part of the shop.

    "It's just me again, Demrick."
    "Oh, Callawyn! How are ya?" greeted the shopkeeper.
    "Quite fine actually I was just wandering if you had any new stock you could show me? You know how I like looking at your works."
    "Of course, of course! Let me just get them from the back, they should be done cooling by now..." he said, waddling back into the back area. Callawyn wandered casually around the shop, occasionally pocketing one of the many trinkets on display.
    "Alright, here we are." Demrick called coming back into the room. He set a cloth down on the wood counter, and unfolded it, revealing several beautiful works of craftsman ship. Particularly, it was a set of thirteen rings.
    "Watch this." he said, and began rearranging the rings. Callawyn stooped down low, so that the bands were at eye level. Demrick began turning the cloth, and the art became apparent- it was a story, much like a tapestry or stained glass could be. Each ring had a scene on it, and each scene led to the next ring, and so on. It was a story of a boy who's mother died in childbirth. His father cared for him, and died when the boy became a man. The man went out, fell in love, and married a woman. The woman died in childbirth, leaving the man to care for the child. The story repeats itself around the circle.
    "Grim, I know, but it'll be worth a fortune. Not sure why the man wanted it, he just said he'd pay handsomely."
    "Nice, Dem. Some of your best," he said, flattering the man so he wouldn't notice the various things missing around the store.
    "Could be better. And it will be. Once I get paid for this job, I can finally afford a set of professional jewlcrafter's tools. Mine are nice, but the ones from some of the higher class cities in Pheraxis are the best."
    "Best of luck to you, then, Dem."
    "See ya 'round, Cal."

    This was simply fantastic! he had at picked up at least twelve pounds worth of gold coin in total, not to mention the pound and a half of actual coin. With half an hour left, he began making his way towards The Fox Den, knowing the Madam would be waiting on him.
    #10 Thomas McTavish, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  11. Once the man had entered, Lorna gave him a nod, signaling that it was okay to shut the door. She then turned her attention to the man, whose eyes were currently focused on his surroundings and she couldn't help feeling a sense of pride at his approving glances and relived smile. She saw that smile on the faces of most of her new clients. When he turned his attention back to her, she smiled up at him pleasantly, immediately noticing and appreciating his handsome looks, not that his looks really matters, but she always made a point of noticing attractive things. His eyes held her attention for a bit longer then the rest of his face and a small smirk pulled at the corner of her lips. They were the eyes of a predator, the eyes of a man who shouldn't be trifled with lightly, but of course, she already knew that. The soft light of the entry way flickered gently off the aged gold of the coin and the smirk grew as her own golden eyes moved from the coin to the man holding it.

    "You flatter me with your words my lord, and you are of course correct in thinking that I know how you are. As such, I know it is not the company of my Dolls you seek today...." a few sounds of disappointment were heard from inside a curtained alcove that currently housed three Dolls, but a sharp look from Lorna had them silenced once more, the way Dolls should be while not being played with. " But please, let us move to my private rooms on the third floor to discuss your business. Though my Dolls can be trusted with anything they hear, I of course have other customers for whom I can not give such guarantees." the petite woman walked past him, nodding her head in a way as to indicate that he should follow her. Had he been one of her regulars, she would have given her arm for him to take so that she might escort him through the hallways, but this new customer was of old blood, older blood then her own, and they could be very picky about whom they allowed to touch them.

    She led him up one side of the double staircase and to the right, passing a few rooms and an occupied alcove or two. After another right and then a left, she led him up another staircase, this one not nearly as grand as the last, till she finally came to a stop in front of a pair of ornately carved ivory colored doors. Two large emerald colored stones sat embedded in the wood where the knobs should have been and when she touched her palm to one of the gems, the green stones glowed softly before the door clicked open. She pushed her way through and then moved to the side, giving him another small bow and motioning with her arm for him to enter and to take a seat in a rather plush, comfortable looking chair that sat in front of a large white desk that was just as ornately carved as the doors. "If you please my lord. Once the doors are secure, we can begin to discuss what has brought the lost son of house Rhovanion to my most humble of businesses"
  12. "Please, Madam, I am a lord no longer."Orrib spoke as he stepped into the room. Again, he took a moment to appreciate the colours, forms and craftsmanship of everything in the room before turning towards the chair that he had been gestured to sit in. He walked over to the chair and sat down onto the soft, cloth-covered cushions, hanging his cloak over the armrest. "Until I have reclaimed that title, 'mister' and 'Sir' will do."he continued, throwing one leg over the other and tying his hands together in his lap. He waited for the madam to close and secure the doors before continuing. "You know who I am, and I assume more than just that. My main business here is to ask that everything you know about me remains yours alone."
  13. Once he was through the door, she closed it, the enchantment she had in place reactivating as she did so. Once that was done she turned and began to make her way across the room, the glamour she had in place slowly fading so that by the time she the chair behind her desk, both her ears and the swirling red tattoos that covered various parts of her body were visible. Given whom her guest was, there was no real reason for her to continue to hide her true nature from him. He had probably known she was not actually human when he had walked in the front door. It was a talent that most of his kind possessed. It was a well known fact among her Dolls, that she was not human, but only a select few knew that she was a practitioner of the Dark Arts. The only times she ever lifted that glamour was when she was alone in her own chambers, or when she was alone with another practitioner. She trusted her Dolls, mostly because of the enchantments she had placed on every single one of them, but the Inquisition could be......quite persuasive in extracting information, so she'd rather just keep that her own little secret for now.

    "As you wish Sir. When we are alone, please feel free to call me Vixen" she arranged her chair to her liking then sat upon it gracefully, the material of her robe parting slightly to display a good portion of her ample chest to show. This wasn't done with purpose of course, it was just the way the dress was made. She crossed her legs daintily and rested her hands upon her knee. At his request, she arched a delicate eyebrow and a smirk pulled at her lips "Your assumptions are correct Sir, but it is my job to know these things. As for keep your identity and nature a secret, as well as your location, I assume, that is very much something I would be willing to do, for the right price." she leaned forward, the material pulling even further apart at the bust and where her legs were crossed, and pulled open a small drawer in her desk and extracted an elegant long stemmed, pipe. She snapped her fingers over it and smoke started to rise lazily from the bowl at the end. She took a drag from the bit and exhaled before continuing, the area around them starting to smell of cinnamon and cherries. "Of course, the price paid does not always have to be paid in coin. Favors are a particularly favorite currency of mine, but how ever you are willing to pay, I'm sure that we can reach some sort of understanding that will be acceptable to us both."
  14. Orrib gently tapped his right fingers on top of his left hand as the woman - the Kitsune, as her had guessed from her scent - spoke to him. He threw a quick glance at her breasts as they strained out of her robe, but otherwise did not react. Lusts of the flesh. Such nonsense. But he did wish he could remember it sometimes, as he knew he had enjoyed it in his mortal days, nonsense as it though was. But it was gone with eternity, and so it was irrelevant. "I can indeed work in favours, Madam."he spoke, yet he reached into a pocket on the inside of his suit and pulled out a black linen pouch. "But only with those to whom I am familiar. And regretably, We are not familiar."he continued before putting the pouch on the table in front of Vixen, making it give the telltale clinking of coins. It was no small pouch, and was not meagerly filled. There would be no surprise if one could simply take it and go buy a small horse. "Will this suffice?"
    #14 Andalais, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2014
  15. She inhaled from the pipe once more and turned her head to the side and exhaled slowly as she leaned forward again. She of course didn't want to blow the smoke right in his face, that would have been rude. She hooked the nails of her left hand under the drawstrings of the pouch and lifted it from her desk, testing its weight. "Of course Sir, to do otherwise would be most foolish, and I am sure you are no fool."

    She smiled softly and slowly rose from her chair and turned towards the picture that hung on the wall behind her desk. Unlike the other pieces of art in the Den, this one was a landscape of lush grasses and trees, with beautifully detailed flowers and a small river. If one looked hard enough, they would see a small family of foxes napping under a bush with red flowers. She tapped the frame of the paining with a long painted nail and the painting swung open to reveal a safe that had no handles or combination dial. Still holding the bag of coins with the nails of her left hand, she pricked the pointer finger of her right hand with the nail of her right thumb and pressed it to the safe, which creaked open slowly. She placed the bag within the safe and then closed it gently before moving the painting back into place.

    "Your offer is most generous and accepted with my thanks." her golden eyes flickered to a clock that sat on the opposite side of them room and then back to her guest. "It seems that it will dawn in but a couple of hours. Given your very generous payment, I would be more than happy to offer you accommodations here for the night, or in your case, the day. I would also be willing to send one of my most trusted Doll to you, should you need a bit of....refreshment after your journey. If that is not to your liking and would put your mind at ease, I am willing to offer myself up as your 'nightcap', all in the interest of more profitable dealings between us in the future of course." she offered him a small genuine smile as she drew from her pipe and waited for his answer.

    She had noticed his seeming disinterest in her body, but had not taken offence. She had heard that some of those of his kind slowly began to loose interest in the joys and pleasures of the flesh as they aged and it seems she had heard true. However, just because he was not interested in using her Dolls the way most men and women were, did not mean that he could not enjoy what they could offer him. She knew she was taking a risk in offering her own blood to him, but it was a risk she was willing to take to further his dealings with her. He was proving to be a very profitable customer already. There was no telling how much more profitable he might become given time. Of course there was also a small part of her that sympathized with him, and though they were only acquaintances, partners in their own private business, it was nice to not have to completely hide who she was.
  16. Orrib raised an eyebrow at Vixen's words. Was she not aware of the desires - or rather lack thereof - of his kind? Still, although he was quite sure he managed to hide it, he felt excited for the first times in many years. He answered her smile with his own warm smirk, with a touch of seduction blended in. "Your offer is kind and generous, Madam, and I humbly accept."he said, putting his fingertips at his chest and bowing lightly with his head. "However, I do not long for flesh or food or drink; it dried from my soul as it was replaced with the gift - or curse, take your pick - of vampirism."he continued. "But..." His eyes now sharpened and the tips of his fangs could be seen through his parted lips. "I'm sure you don't mind if I ask for something...else. I'm also sure you don't mind if I ask for you personally. All creatures have distinct flavours, and Kitsune is one I have never experienced."he finished, tying his fingers together. His eyes were different now. They were filled a more physical and direct intent, and although it was subtle, his stare was the slightest more intense.
  17. It was a particularly depressing day, the Sun cowering behind the thunderheads gathering above. Shadows fell over the nearby village of Drenton, barely dispersed by the occasional appearance of the light. A beautiful day by all vampiric standards. And the perfect time for a walk. Sitis had dressed himself in rags and filthy winter coats, muddied his pale gold hair and face (carefully covered by a cotton hood to keep his eyes out of sight), and even set aside his beloved claws in a special vault, hidden from all but him. With his disguise prepared, he set out into the world. Few truly noticed the homeless dotting Ergonia, the number having shrunk greatly after Sitis' arrival. Hardly worth knowing if they're going to disappear the next day. While in this guise he often visited the local taverns, the only way he could truly hear news without people running away screaming. And Sitis refused to pay another servant to deliver news. Occasionally he heard of something interesting (a peasant plan to revolt, Syndicate Arcanum talking of new rituals or alchemical discoveries over wine, things of that sort). But today was hardly extraordinary. The only reason he had gone out was to stretch his cramping legs and process the reasoning behind his keeping the girl alive. Maybe even have a bite or two on the way home. The spying was for his three wolves. Still, he listened to the ramblings around him.

    An old man speaking with a few of the younger. "Did you hear? More soldiers demonstratin' up north. My friend says they're all shades, demon-worshippers and the like." Garibaldi. Been there, done that.

    A gaggle of girls gossiping about the world. "They say the prince to the south is having an affair with a whore. Say his father done disowned him." Oh, what will we do without whore-loving princes?

    Sitis took a sip of the tasteless ale he had ordered (he was sure that many people loved the ale served here. "Best in the country" the owner boasted. But Sitis' tastes had long since changed). These days tales were told of farming, fears of the legions that sat in the mountains, and how Gerald's wife Elda was a bitch. Nothing of interest.

    But what have we here? They tried desperately to hide them, but the pistols on their belts could never be hidden from a vampire of Sitis' caliber. Blood flowed quickly, their pulses panicked. They spoke in low voices, trying desperately not to let anyone hear. Nothing too abnormal. Except both were clearly not locals. The first was muscular and tan, had a thick blonde beard, hair the color of straw, and stormy gray eyes. He wore a thin layer of mail beneath a fur-lined coat, his firearm tucked into the back of his pants and covered by his thin linen shirt. His voice was thick and a bellow even when he whispered. The second was lanky, pale, and had hair the color of and as greasy as a raven's feathers. He wore the cloth pants and leather tunic of most male locals, hiding his weapon in it's holster beneath a wool cloak, speaking in a raspy grumble. The large ones eyes were wide, his tone incredulous.

    "I can't believe the demon actually did it! Let the Lich cross his lands!"

    The thin one raised his hands, telling him to keep his voice down. "Yes, yes. I know. I assumed they'd have sent more men, though. My position could be compromised at any moment."

    "More will come when the time is right. But right now, we have to do what we can."

    "Fine. What are our orders?"

    "Disturb and disperse Garibaldi's forces. Try and get the lord to force them off the land. If not possible to convince it, we kill the leech." The other one nodded his understanding. "Best to get started then." They downed the rest of their drinks, rose, and practically ran out the door. Sitis handed his almost untouched mug to one of the drunks sitting next to a keg. I really should be watching my weight, especially since I ate so well yesterday. Ah, but who really cares? A wicked smile on his face, Sitis set out to follow them.
    #17 The Philosoraptor, Jul 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  18. Her smile turned more seductive at his words noticing the ever so slight change in his eyes. She had seen it many times before, though not quite for the same reason. He was a man who hungered. She tipped her pipe over a small dish and knocked it a couple times to clean it of embers and tobacco and then pressed them out with a small press that lay beside the dish. She probably didn't have to worry about a fire destroying her precious home, but one could never been too safe. She stood gracefully, not bothering to set her dress to rights and slowly made her way around her desk. He might not feel the stirrings of the flesh any longer, but that did necessarily mean he did not appreciate looking at things of beauty, and she was nothing if not beautiful. "My dear Sir, it was of course blood that I was referring to when I offered myself for your use. I know many things about your kind, though you are the first of it I have met. But perhaps I spoke too subtly, if so, I do apologize. A professional habit I'm afraid." Once she stood beside his chair, he offered him her hand. Not to assist in him in standing but to lead him towards the left side of the room to what looked like a normal part of the wall. However, when she placed a finger against the wood, a shiver of magic spread across the wall and a door clicked open.

    Once it was open, she led him down a tall narrow hallway. As they continued down the hallway, cries and other noises of pleasure could be heard coming from their right. "Each of my rooms has a door much the like the one we just passed through that leads into a hallway much like this one. It is for the their own safety, should a customer become violent. They can only be opened by myself or one of my Dolls." once it seemed she had finally reached her destination, she touched the door, which was much more visible from this side, and pushed it open, allowing him to enter first before entering herself. "I chose this room because it does not have any windows and I thought that would make it more comfortable for you. I will be sure to lock the door from the inside with my master key and redo the enchantment on the hidden door so that only I may opened it so that you are not disturbed. "As she spoke she made her way to the large door in the front of the room and inserted a key she pulled from her sleeve and locked the door "You will of course be able to open the door from the inside once you have awakened. Should you have need of more blood upon awakening, please have one of my Dolls let me know you are awake and I will find a suitable donor for you." She made her way across the room, which was decorated a bit more darkly then the rest of the brothel with large dark wood pieces and all shades of blue fabric, and draped herself across the large comfortable bed, the fabric of her dress parting even more to display the round fullness of her breasts and her thighs. She kept her legs crossed, not out of modesty but courtesy. "I am sure you are tired from your journey and most hungry. Let us statisfy one of your needs together, so that you might satisfy the other after we are through."
  19. Callawyn Four solid knocks. Callawyn's fist came down hard and steady on the wood, and a moment passed before a curtain in the window parted ever so slightly, and the door swung open shortly thereafter. "Hey, Felix. How's business?" Callawyn asked the doorman as he walked into the brothel.
    "Welcome back, Cal. Business is good. Well, at least no worse, heheh. Back for a cash-in?"
    "Yeah. Is the lovely Madam in?"
    "She's with a customer at the moment. She should be with you soon."
    "Alright. I'll just hang around until then."
    "Very well."

    Callawyn knew the place well, as well as it's occupants, and vice versa. He strolled around the main rooms, awaiting the arrival of, as of yet, one of the only women here he hadn't had the pleasure of "closely acquainting" himself with. As he ambled about, admiring the paintings and rather lavish decor, the Dolls who knew him, which was almost all of them, greeted him as he passed. Doing business with Madam V had proven to be rather profitable, in more ways than one. A coy Hey, Cal, a flirty wink, and the occasional remark about wanting to do business again were the welcomes he received from many of the girls, and a guy or two. Finally taking a seat in his usual spot, a plush, velvet-lined chair in the corner of the main room, Callawyn closed his eyes to enjoy the sounds and smells of the place, waiting for Madam Vixen to finish her business with another customer, so they could conduct their own.
  20. Flowering Crabapple, and Sweetbay Magnolia were all plucked from low hanging tree branches as she wandered under them. Each flower was carefully placed in with the dahlias already residing in her basket. During her rather lengthy stroll, she made mental notes of specific areas to hide along the path she created. Within the hollow of a broken oak tree that rested upon its brethren, or a shallow trench halfway filled with decaying leaves and moss were her best bets. Her scouting wasn't even intentional as it once was, but done from animal instinct to protect, to preserve her life. Of course, she didn't really believe the Ivory Inquisition would be out and about at full force since the arts were mainly practiced at night. Wouldn't that be their time to strike against those they opposed? Even if that were true, Silvaria knew they'd also be lurking during the garish day.

    Her brooding was cut short as the sound of a city came to her ears. Through the sporadically thinning tree line she watched the people of Ergonia go on about their day. She'd been here perhaps once before in her lifetime, though that memory could have easily been of another destination. She tugged her hood lower for good measure and pulled the basket inside the opaque black cloak. There was a moment of hesitation as she stepped out from the woods into the open, her eyes darting around to observe as much as possible. The overly cautious Witch listened to the distant rolls of thunder while making sure to keep her distance from those in the streets that she approached.

    It was during a festival in another land she visited where she met a little old woman who declared herself to be a Lucille. The senior had talked on and on about something special to have during her last few years left alive, but to Silvaria it looked like she'd pass any minute. Her hands were skeletal imprints beneath loose skin, her eyes sunk in, and her motor skills nearly gone. She had promised a bird beyond the lady's dreams in a week's time, and here she was, ready to make an exchange when the dame could already be dead. If she couldn't find Lucille, she'd be more than inclined to sell the hummingbird or even the spider to another while in the area. Surely there'd be interest in the contraptions amongst a few souls. Fortunately for her sake, she still remembered the place where the two were to meet, so she studied signs from afar as her feet carried her along cracked cement.

    With so many taverns, she was surprised that Lucille could have specified which one she'd like to meet in. When her sight finally landed upon the correct building, two men emerged who were then trailed after by a third who was dressed in a considerably different fashion. Perhaps the last man was a beggar? Her eyebrow rose at the sight as she considered the possibility of the two men being near-future victims of a pick pocketing theft. It wouldn't be her problem, but the situation caught her interest. Of course it'd ease her curiosity to watch the outcome of the last man succeeding or being beaten by the former two, and she would have followed the trio at a distance if she didn't have her own business to conduct.