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TVC II Chapter 5 - The Wastes

Discussion in 'The Vampire Council II' started by Disciple of Nagash, Feb 6, 2013.

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  1. Get of W'soran

    Get of W'soran CN's Lord of Masks True Blood TVC II GM

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    "Create a portal now?" Nekhlior shrieked at the Champion "Of course let me just clap my hands and fabricate such a feat of Arcane wonder!"

    To illustrate his sarcasm the Necrarch clapped his hands and then looked around with an expression of feigned shock "Oh look at that! Nothing happened, what a shock!" he spat at the mortal.

    Nekhlior's dark balefire eyes focused on the oncoming Chaos and frowned. "How did the see through my illusionary magic, it is literally impossible!" he thought, the same music he had sometimes used to silently watch Nagash without alerting the Liche.

    Nekhlior decided it had been Rowhaine and the Strigois foolish antics that had led them here...but this was not the time to appoint blame.

    "I can not just summon a portal! Without the proper prepartion it is..." Nekhlior snarled before stopping as he glanced away.

    "Not impossible brother"
    the Shade of V'azrin said smirking.

    Before Nekhlior could speak to the delusion it continued "Get to the location of the tear...yes, yes I know it's closed but perhaps when you get there then you will remember the method of which I speak"

    Realising he had been quiet for some time now the Sorcerer continued "it...it is not impossible but difficult. We must return to the tear!" he said with faked confidence after his slip.

    "And then what?" he thought desperately but the ghost of his brother was gone.

    Without waiting for a response the corpse-like vampire began to chant, pulling his staff from the ground, all the magic tied to the ward exploded around the present council members, blinding them for a moment. When they could see again they were faced with...themselves.

    Perfect copies of the council stared straight back at them for a moment before turning and charging towards the oncoming Chaos horde, although they moved with care as if trying to hide from the enemy despite it being obvious that they would be found.

    Still surrounded in a cloud of shadow V'azrin reached out his magical senses to wrap them around the nearby members, they all felt an unpleasant plucking sensation at their flesh before being pulled from reality.

    In a fit of dizziness and for only the shortest of moments all the vampires and holy mortals could briefly see the infinite horrors of the Chaos realm before being deposited back into reality. They had all been teleported just out of sight from the oncoming Chaos armies and in the direction of the tear.

    Too the surprise of everyone Nekhlior was on his knees, his staff lying forgotten. The Necrarch had his hands clasped over his mouth to muffle his cries of pain as dark blood ran heavily from his nose. There was little as foolish as a wizard attempting such a large spell without correct preparation.
     
  2. Disciple of Nagash

    Disciple of Nagash The Perverted One Staff Member TVC II GM

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    Nekhlior had bought them some time....but only little. Rowhaine felt a sense of frustration that so early in the Council's endeavours they were being outwitted with possibly devastating results. Perhaps it should have been expected if the rumours were true. Last time the Council had been new and no one had expected the vampires to be able to work together, and as such were drastically underestimated. Rowhaine believed that as much as everything else had been one of the major factor's in the Council's success.

    Now however, the element of surprise had been taken away. Those who knew of the politics of power would no longer ignore the rumours of a council of vampires. If their enemy was Vekarin, the vampire was the direct son of Abhorash, and was rumoured to be only second to his sire in his knowledge of close combat and battle tactics. Combined with the fact that he had been one of the leading powers of the previous Council, Rowhaine realised he should have expected something like this.

    He had been much younger, much more naive back then and as such had not learned as much of his foe as he should have. Who else remained from the original Council? The Carsteins to be sure, but they were so arrogant and wrapped up in their war blinded them. Perhaps Mircea might have seen this coming, his tactical acumen rivalling that of Vekarin, but where was he?

    Graveclaw seem to have devolved back into a mindless beast, and no longer presented the surprising wisdom the Mistress had spoken of. For a moment Rowhaine felt a pang of longing for his parents-in-darkness.

    Milosh Cromwell. The Wraithlord. Even though they had eventually determined he had been the oldest surviving get of Vlad von Carstein, Milosh had lacked their blinding ego. He had ever been the diplomat and as such had a keen eye for manipulations, likely he might have seen this coming. In truth, it had been he who had managed to talk around many of the Council members in the early days, he that had helped direct the focus of the vampires. His death had been a true blow that had nearly been their unravelling.

    And then there was his mother.....one of the few vampires that most still talked about in awe now. After Milosh had been taken, it had been she that had forged the unbreakable relationships between the most powerful factions. Somehow had managed to earn the true friendship of Graveclaw, the respect and loyalty of Vekarin and had been taken under the family mantle of the von Carsteins. Even the traitor in their midst V'azrin had fallen in love with her and as such delayed his betrayal for sometime until he was spurned. In the end Lesa's powers had proven to be key in Nagash's undoing and after the Liche's destruction many were certain that no other mage in existence was more powerful.

    If she was here now......Rowhaine shook his head. Though the thoughts had flickered through his head in an instant now was the time to focus. They were not here, and as much as he hoped they could be, it was something he had to accept.

    Moving forward he lifted Nekhlior up and over his shoulder, ignoring the glare the Necrarch gave. Now was not the time for propriety.

    "We move there," Rowhaine ordered, using his innate sense of direction to point back to where they entered the waste, "hopefully by the time we get there Nekhlior will have recovered."

    Suddenly an unearthly howl split the air around them and through clinging darkness the first forces of chaos arrived. Mutated hounds the size of horses snarled as they leapt forward, but even they paled in comparison to the red skinned daemon dogs in their midst. Steam flowed from their bodies as teeth the size of daggers snapped forward. Behind the crests rising from their heads brass collars were clamped, and the Champion knew this would not be an easy fight.

    "Go!" Phahotep bellowed, "we will hold them." Wordlessly the rest of the Ushabti formed a line behind Rowhaine, eyes determined as they faced the oncoming storm.
     
  3. the hidden one

    the hidden one Streets Ahead

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    Igor approached the camp, only to find that hundreds of guards were patrolling the camp, on high alert. Confused, he tried to count a rough number of campfires, but soon gave up. Suspicious about the level of activity, he decided to head back to camp. He ran quickly, but soon decided that caution was safest. Ducking under his cloak, he began to move more slowly, staying hidden to the outside world.
     
  4. Disciple of Nagash

    Disciple of Nagash The Perverted One Staff Member TVC II GM

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    "Ptra protect us and let your light banish those of evil," Phahotep intoned as he brought his khopesh to the ready. The rest of the Ushabti echoed their leaders words as their own blades were made ready in perfect synchronisation. Though the beasts bearing down on them were of the most horrific visage. the warriors eyes were unwavering, minds focused. The Ushabti were the first of their kind in over two thousand years, humans perfect of body and mind, infused with a sliver of their patrons power. Though they could not come close to matching the Champion of Asaph, by their own right they were immensely powerful warriors.

    Shrieks, snarls and howls met a stony silence as the beasts of Chaos met the defensive line, lashing out with claws, snapping with slavering fangs. Yet their attacks found no mark as the Ushabti moved into a flurry of action. Each moved on their own merit, yet to those of a skilled eye it was clear to see they flowed as one. One blade turned an attack whilst suddenly a comrade's strike flashed in from the side to disembowel or decapitate. It was display of superb skill and control that perhaps only legendary warriors such as the Wardancers of Athel Loren would be their superior in unit combat.

    Yet for all that, there was no doubt they would loose. Although the gods of Nehekhara raged at the ambush, although they lent their power to make skin tougher than hardened teak, blows faster than the striking snake, the Ushabti could not hope to prevail against the numbers arrayed against them. Behind the hounds the hooves of approaching knights signified that it would be not long before the main host arrived, and whilst they would take many with them, the Ushabti would perish.

    But still they fought, unblinking in the face of certain death. They knew their duty, they knew the task and burden place upon Rowhaine. There was no question that he could not fall here, and if it took their lives to ensure that, then so be it.
     
  5. the hidden one

    the hidden one Streets Ahead

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    Igor stopped. Still invisible, he moved behind a tree, catching a glimpse of the devastation being wrought. The Ushabti impressed him, even with their defeat inevitable. More importantly, he saw the demonic assault.

    Glad the demons could not see him, for with this many, he had no chance at even evading the beasts, Igor slowly, carefully, painstakingly grabbed a limb of the tree he was crouched behind. He lifted his lithe body up and onto the branch, making sure as to remain hidden. he raised himself up higher, climbing from tree to tree, staying below the top level, as to make sure that he remain hidden.

    As he grew closer to the council, he saw their plight with more detail. The hordes of beasts closed in, hounding at the warriors at all sides. Igor briefly entertained the idea of joining in, but soon thought about it more.

    If they cannot open a portal back to a the castle, they will die. If I go and help, and they do not open the portal, they will die, and I will die. If they open a portal, I can hop over and help. They will appreciate the help.

    Igor had a grim sort of smile on his face, as he watched his companions continue to struggle to fight off the encroaching hoard.
     
  6. The Sanguine Prince

    The Sanguine Prince Skeleton

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    Esmeralda hissed with anger as everyone realised that they were outwitted; by Northern Barbarians of all people. They Didn't even seem Tzeentchian, thought the Lamian as she watched the armoured hordes approach. It occurred to her, they needed a distraction; something to slow the Northmen long enough for Nekhlior to open a gateway back to safety. Reaching out to the winds of magic, she grasped the powers of dark magic. Shaping it to her will, the Strigany Queen allowed the Necromantic energies to surge through her; stretching her hand forth, Esmeralda called for eerie green lightning that surged into the cursed soil beneath them. After this was done, armoured and skeletal hands shot forth from the ground. Indeed, the Chaos wastes were filled the remains of many dead warriors; out here it was dog-eat-dog and many were slain in this very place. As the ancient dead rose from the tainted soil, she commanded them to attack. She turned to her comrades with a wry, yet slightly nervous smile.

    "Any of you have any other tricks up your sleeves?"
     
  7. Get of W'soran

    Get of W'soran CN's Lord of Masks True Blood TVC II GM

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    Nekhlior snarled angrily after being silent for some time.

    "We're here! Put me down human!" he spat, obviously angry at having required such assistance from Rowhaine.

    Once standing on his own two feet the Necrarch threw his arms out to the sides and glanced up into the Chaos filled skies and began his spell.

    "Ebyd almwt, dr'e hlfa'ekm mn ay drr qd yrghb a'eda'ena 'elyna!"

    A dark purple glow began to run along the withered vampire's flesh as he spat the short incantation and then it suddenly tore away from him to surround the gathered council members in a same-coloured dome.

    "This shield will defend us from physical attacks...for a time, it will also make focusing on our location difficult...this petty defense is all I can manage right now." he told the others and then unable to resist he continued "It's to do with our point of contact with our plane of existence, by using a transference anchor I am able to cause a phase shift which..." he trailed off, whether because of an obvious lack of interest in his babbling or because of the rather short-amount of time they had was not completely clear.

    Suddenly he pointed to an area at the very center of the dome. "That is where the rift I closed was...normally it would be impossible to reopen but I have learnt a way to reopen it in the past decade"

    "Apparently" he added to himself.

    "So get out of my way and be silent!"
    he snapped angrily at the others.

    The truth was his anger stemmed from the fact that all he had said was lies, he had no idea how to open a closed gateway rift and there was no time to open a new gateway and the winds of magic were too strong and volatile to attempt such a ritual anyway.

    "What do I do now?" he thought to himself miserably.

    "You called?" the shade of V'azrin asked as it suddenly appeared beside Nekhlior.

    Careful not to make it obvious to the others that he was seeing things the Necrarch went to one knee and waved his hands around in vaguely arcane looking gestures as he mumbled too low for even vampiric hearing (or indeed that of God-blessed Champions) to make out.

    "You said I would remember...I remember nothing of how to open a rift."

    The hallucination of his dead brother sighed and shifted form so that he now looked like W'soran
    "I am very disappointed in you my child! Poor old W'soran stuck with such a stupid son, why oh why could you not be as brilliant and perfect as wonderful V'azrin?" he asked woefully before shifting back to look like V'azrin who was wearing an amused smirk.

    Nekhlior gritted his teeth but before he could say anything the imaginary version of his brother began to speak
    "Listen, I am you, remember? Just a fragment of your mind and I know how to open the rift, so if I tell you how to open it then it is you remembering...in your own twisted insane way. Yes?"

    Nekhlior nodded slowly and got to his feet.

    Walking around the dome he began to etch symbols and runes made of black fire in the ground, first in an outer circle and then moving another inner circle and then another, the circles and symbols beginning to come together in an impossibly complex pattern.

    The Necrarch kept working, hoping against hope that this would work and his wasn't just his failing mind playing tricks on him.
     
  8. Disciple of Nagash

    Disciple of Nagash The Perverted One Staff Member TVC II GM

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    Graveclaw crouched where Rowhaine had left him, eyes like slits as the Strigoi thought to calm his raging thoughts. His kind were always prone to outbursts and violence, and as he grown to understand this Graveclaw had no only accepted this, but made it a strength of this own. In the first Council all except the Mistress had only seen him for a mindless beast, and had thus vastly underestimated him accordingly. Over time this facade had indeed almost become him, like a second skin, but deep down he had always remained himself at core. The core that had a human name, that had been there before the monstrosity of Graveclaw.

    But something was different now and had been for some time. The outbursts that once were carefully engineered seemed now not to be of his own bidding. Charging towards an army on his own, he knew that was suicide. But ever since he had heard of the new forces of chaos, an almost incessant voice was urging him to rend and tear his foes apart, and in particular to find Banespike and make him pay. The odd thing was, in the few lucid moments he now had Graveclaw found it difficult pinpoint what he was supposed to make him pay for. Common sense suggested it would be for his betrayal, but that thought didn't seem to feel right.

    Thoughts racing through his mind the Strigoi glared at what to be a ferocious battle in the distance, no doubt the Council members fighting against the enemy hordes that had either not seen or simply not cared about him. Standing up his titanic form turned to the centre where the main Chaos army still camped.

    Slay! Kill! Tear the pathetic whoreson of Abhorash apart! He is nothing, a weakling that hides behind pretty armour!

    Unbidden Graveclaw found himself taking a step forward before he realised what he was doing. With effort Graveclaw stopped himself, and this time as the anger welled he did not stop it. He let the boiling rage flow through his mind, releasing into the world with an ear-shattering roar. But this time the anger was not unknown. It was his own anger, pure and ancient. He knew it like an old friend and it scoured his mind of the unwanted urges.....at least for the moment.

    He would not be controlled by whatever these alien thoughts were, and one way or another he would find what the cause was and purge it from existence. However for now, the first priority was to escape from the wastes, and the fastest way to do that would likely be the magic of the Council, if they still lived.

    ***

    Rowhaine could no longer see the Ushabti, lost as they were in a maelstrom of battle. He could still feel them, though their strength was slowly weakening. Around their flanks other enemies pushed onwards, crashing into the Undead forces of Esmeralda. The lesser dead held them for the moment, and combined with the wards created by Nekhlior they were safe for the moment. Blood red lighting suddenly struck the ground a few hundred metres to their right, followed by another strike slightly closer. It had the taint of magic and the Champion realised that whilst their foe could currently not see them, that would not stop them trying to destroy them.

    "We do not have long," he said to feverishly working Necrarch, "minutes at the most before either the enemy break through or their spells find us. We need that portal now!"

    (GoW - I think we are now good to open the portal)
     
  9. Get of W'soran

    Get of W'soran CN's Lord of Masks True Blood TVC II GM

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    The Necrarch continued engraving the runes until he stood in the innermost circle which itself was in the middle of the largest circle. Having finished his work the vampire looked around to see the complex wards he had made.

    Nekhlior frowned as he tried to discern what he just made, what his arcane creation actually did. After what felt like an eternity he finally worked out what the spell he just crafted did.

    "No..." he whispered.

    The shade of V'azrin cackled madly as Nekhlior looked distraughtly at him.

    "We can't!" he muttered a little louder than previously.

    "There is no we dear brother, only you. And you certainly can do it."

    Nekhlior shook his head it wasn't possible, it was forbidden. To tear open a closed rift was too dangerous, the backlash of power would kill everything in the area...at the very least.
    To do so safely and for the portal to be actually stable it would take an impossible level of control and power...it was utterly

    "Not impossible! I've told you countless times over the centuries you simpleton! All your shortcomings, every time you cursed how I was more skilled, more powerful, more talented than you...these were self-imposed limitations. Gods, no wonder W'soran thought you were such a waste of the gift."

    V'azrin pointed at Nekhlior's feet.

    "Focus your power through the damn staff and just repeat the incantation after me!"

    Nekhlior knew he had little choice with the advancing Chaos horde, he had to try.

    Raising the Staff of W'soran the Necrarch began to chanting softly, copying the imagined shade's own words and movements.

    Waving one hand softly through the air and he swept the staff in twisting patterns with the other the mage began to walk backwards.

    At the centre of the circle the rift began to tear open, beginning as a simple thin gap in reality and then swiftly widening into an oval shape. As the portal formed a rending sound like groaning metal filled the dome, large bolts of pure arcane energy leapt from the forming gateway but part of Nekhlior's spell was redirecting them safely into the ground away from the Council members.

    Then all at once a deafening boom accompanied by a blinding flash of light filled the air with a burst of power that completely unravelled the Necrarch's protective dome from the inside.

    Nekhlior, due to his odd magical sight, was the only one not blinded and he stared in utter disbelief at the perfectly formed gateway.

    "No time to stare! Move! Now!" The shade commanded as it broke apart, the imaginary figure vanishing from the Necrarch's sight.

    Nekhlior turned to look at the others and pointed.

    "Through the portal! Now! I will protect you as best I can! Remember to stick to the silver path!" Nekhlior roared over the sound of the spells being cast by the Chaos Sorcerers as they struck the ground near them, the vanishing of the Dome making the portal and it's immediate vicinity easy to strike.

    "GO!"
     
  10. the hidden one

    the hidden one Streets Ahead

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    Igor saw the flash of light before he heard the accompanying avalanche of sound. Thinking that this perhaps may have been important, he thought it was an ideal time to enter the battle. He dismounted from his post at the tree, made sure his cloak was covering him all the way, and moved again, more swiftly than before. It was not long before he neared the group when he stopped, and went to ground. Lethal bolts of light were flying toward the council, one nearly striking Igor by accident. But almost immediately he heard Nekhlior shout, and threw off his cloak, sprinted toward the portal and dove through, ignoring the rest of the council.
     
  11. Disciple of Nagash

    Disciple of Nagash The Perverted One Staff Member TVC II GM

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    A roar echoed nearby, followed by a crunch that could clearly be heard over the din of battle. More followed, slowly getting closer and closer to where the remaining member's of the Council where retreating. Suddenly Graveclaw burst through the mass of enemy soldiers like a cannonball, tearing apart anything that stood in his way with one gargantuan clawed hand. Dozens of cuts were regenerating over this body, but none of them seemed to have pierced his immense hide and had not slowed him at all.

    In his other hand he easily dragged the unconscious form of Phahotep, the Ushabti clearly close to death but the pallor of his skin. Swiftly outpacing his foes the Strigoi drew level with Rowhaine, eyes meeting for a moment.

    "Only him," he growled, "otherssss dead." There was no time for anything else and Graveclaw quickly pushed past and entered the glowing tunnel. As the enemy forces drew closer Rowhaine drew his khopesh and gestured to Nekhlior,

    "After you."
     
  12. Get of W'soran

    Get of W'soran CN's Lord of Masks True Blood TVC II GM

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    Nekhlior licked his lips and nodded to Rowhaine.

    "As you say." he hissed.

    The Necrarch lifted a closed fist and snarled a swift incantation, bright light began to leak from within his grasp.

    "Eyes shut! NOW!" he roared as he made a throwing gesture and opened his hand.

    A ball of burning bright light rose into the sky, flying towards the oncoming enemy and then suddenly exploded with blazing intensity blinding any who saw it.

    "Go!"

    Matching his own words Nekhlior turned and leapt through the portal.


    The vampire landed on the silver path amongst a sea of infinite darkness, he looked around at the others and nodded.


    "The same as last time." Nekhlior said softly, his voice tired with defeat "Stay within my light and do not stray from the path. We'll be back in Drakenhof in no time."

    Raising his staff the sorcerer began his continuous chant, creating a dome of purple light large enough for everyone.

    Turning the Necrarch saw Rowhaine leap through the rift to join the others already on the silver path. The vampire took a moment to ensure everyone had gathered before nodding and waving his hand towards the portal causing it to shimmer and vanish.

    "At least we won't be followed now."

    "Let's go." Nekhlior muttered to the Council before they began to trek back towards Drakenhof.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
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