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TVC II Chapter 9 - The Master of Blood Keep

Discussion in 'The Vampire Council II' started by Simon von Carstein, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Simon von Carstein

    Simon von Carstein The Poetic Fiend True Blood TVC II GM

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    Guards leapt to attention as the Lord Imperator strode out of Drakenhof closely followed by Sergeant Wolfram Jens. "My lord I am greatly concerned about this journey." he said "Getting to Blood Keep will take us several days through enemy territory and there is the matter of taking that beast with us. He really doesn't like us."

    Simon nodded the Sergeant had made valid points. "I agree Sergeant unfortunately we have very little choice. Lord Harkon isn't going to treat with anything less than a Triumvir of the Carstein Empire. We're going to need all the help we can get."

    He stopped by the coaches "We won't be needing these." he said "We'll be traveling light. Have five Nightmares brought round for me, yourself and your men. Graveclaw will no doubt be traveling on foot. I presume our mortal companion has his own steed."

    Sergeant Jens saluted "Yes milord." he said looking around darkly.
     
  2. Kavok

    Kavok Wight King

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    Kavok walked through the halls of the keep with a hand to his chin, deep in thought, on his way towards the stables. 'What did she mean by not trusting anyone. Honestly that should be fairly common knowledge, and honestly I should have doubted their whole story about their powers being stolen by chaos in the beginning, but we are much too far for that to be the case. Their is far to much factional fighting for this to just be some game. Too much death among their members, and they honestly don't appear to have any form of subtlety among them. Though... Maybe some of them could pull off some deceptions... The most likely of the current group I know of would be Lady Elanor, but I doubt she would be warning me about herself. So who was she trying to warn me about? Have I been fed false information somewhere? Did that one vampire lie about their factions... what did he call them... bloodlines? What is with Vampires and having blood-everything? I'm even going to see a group called the blood dragons at the blood keep. What ever, that is a trail of thought I would prefer to not delve farther down.'

    'And was the flirty cover to tell me this information necessary? If not for the whispered message, I might have believed that she was honestly trying to flirt with me. But I wonder if anyone even believed the flirty words as being the truth. I... am a doomed knight errant with little to no hope of redemption or any form of prestige. All I have is my sword and shield now, and I've even managed to loose the blade that symbolized the duty I possess for my quest, and my proud Bretonnian steed. On the other hand, she is essentially their equivalent to the prophetesses. A beauty with immense mystical powers that could very likely destroy me with just a stray thought. To be respected and revered by the mundane. Hmm... Would that make their warriors, like those we are being sent to meet their equivalent to the grail knights? Knights of immense and supernatural power? Hmm...'

    When Kavok got to the stables, he stops in front with a small sigh. 'I really am going to need a new steed if I am to be traveling with the others. I very much doubt that they will be traveling what sounds to be quite the distance on foot. It... feels like I'm just going farther and farther away from everything I knew. I'm not even wearing Bretonnian cloths anymore. Now I'll be riding a steed from who knows where...'

    As Kavok stands there and seems to be lost in depressing thoughts, one of the stable hands notices him, and quickly goes into the stable. He returns leading Kavok's horse. Kavok's eyes go a bit wide as he sees this. The stable hand quickly says "I've been told to prepare your horse for your up-commin' journey. We've bandaged it up since it returned alone a little while after the rest of the council. I've gotta say sir, you've got quite the trained horse, for it to return on its own."

    Kavok looks over at the man, before looking back at his horse and reaching out a hand to pat it, letting out a small laugh. "Many thanks. Maybe not everything has changed..." Kavok rests his head briefly on the horse's head, before it nudges him. "Right. We've got a job to do." Kavok mounts the horse, and nods his thanks to the stable hand, before riding off to where the rest of the group going to the Blood Keep are meeting.
     
  3. Ghouly

    Ghouly Liche True Blood

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    Graveclaw joined the Blood Keep group in silent thought, walking right past the Carstine troops with barely a glance.
    Though the ancient Strigoi’s bestial features did much to hide it the Ghoul king was troubled, try though he may during the brief time between when the council had left the council chamber and when the Necromancer addressing him at their carriage Graveclaw could recall nothing.
    It was not the complete blank though merely everything had blurred together in a red haze, the realization caused a pit to open in the Strigois stomach. For a brief moment the Beast Within had slipped the bindings of his soul, it had only been his unconscious desire to speak to the Necromancer that had caused the Beast to stalk Morturion through Drakenhof instead of setting upon some hapless servant. Graveclaw knew with grim certainty had the necromancer not noticed him when he had, the Beast would have attacked.
    Graveclaw shook his head with a frustrated snort, he could not lose control like that again, he would control this, he had to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  4. Get of W'soran

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

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    Hans Hector, Master of the Sylvanian Chapter of Blood Knights, walked alongside the strange little girl.

    "Miss Ellen, we're going to have to a little quicker. Your meeting with the Lord Regent has put us behind schedule and the Lord Imperator is waiting for us." he reminded the mortal politely as he picked up the pace slightly although he made sure he wouldn't move too fast to outpace Ellen.

    Although Hans hadn't been present for her meeting with his master he had a vague idea that the Lord Regent had promised the girl protection and in return he was likely going to gauge her effectiveness as an agent of Sylvania. True she was young now but the rulers of this new Empire were immortals after-all, they could wait.

    Whatever the case it wasn't Hans' problem, he was sure the Lord Imperator would be aware of how to deal with her. All the blood knight had to do was escort the child to the courtyard.

    After a short time the vampire and human reached Simon and the other waiting members of the Council.

    "My Lord." Hans said with a slight bow to Simon. "Apologies for the delay. I have brought the child as the Regent commanded."
     
  5. Simon von Carstein

    Simon von Carstein The Poetic Fiend True Blood TVC II GM

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    "No apologies needed Sir Hans." The Lord Imperator replied "She is a very special girl and we don't to tip her companion over the edge." He smiled down at her "I don't know if you are capable of riding so I have arranged a special steed for you all you have to do is get on it. I will guide it along myself so you don't need to worry."
     
  6. Mello

    Mello Hasn't left TVC for the rest of the forum True Blood

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    Ellen seems to be holding her head up a little higher than the last time the party saw her, now wearing a brand new set of clothes, a fact she seems to be immensely proud about. She wore a simple white long sleeved shirt, with thick tanned leather trousers, looking to be useful for smithing or other jobs that required toughened clothing. She had insisted on these trousers despite the discomfort 'I spend a lot of time on my knees and don't want to have to sew new patches on.' Knee length leather boots are done up tight on her feet, a combination of fear of losing them and pride contributing to the tautness of the straps, and to top it all off a grey overcloak, with an accompanying hood, which she wore over her head right now, again enjoying the fact she simply owned one, twin sparks of light piercing out from the tangle of raven black hair and grey cloth.

    Ellen gazes up at the horse with interest and a little mumble "Never really got to see one this close... How am I meant to.. what was it 'mount' this beast?" Ellen looks up, before bracing and valiantly jumping, arms grabbing onto the saddle as she nimbly, well for a human, hauls herself up, feet scrabbling on the horse's flank. Ellen spoke while climbing

    "I -oof- Don't really know why you're so insistent I come along, Lucatiel shouldn't flip unless you try and kill me.. like last time" Ellen says laboriously, as she manages to sit uncomfortably on top of the horse. Blinking Ellen looks around, seemingly amazed at her new perspective of the world. With a small smile, she sits in the male style, knowing nothing better, and looks around, with that strange childish curiosity despite the fact she should have outgrown that feeling for a women of her human years now.

    "Well.. I think I'm ready guys?" Ellen says falteringly.
     
  7. Simon von Carstein

    Simon von Carstein The Poetic Fiend True Blood TVC II GM

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    "Splendid." said Simon "I think we are all here now." He said glancing around his eyes observing Sir Kavok, Graveclaw and his own four body guards. "We should be able to reach Blood Keep reasonably quickly if we keep to the roads. We won't have to worry about bandits or Beastmen they have generally retreated north beyond our borders. The only thing we have to watch out for is getting caught up in the military traffic. But I have planned out the journey so you need not be duly concerned until we reach Nuln."

    As he spoke the Imperator began moving towards the gates. His bodyguards falling in behind him on their own steeds. Ellen felt a jolt as her steed moved to join them closely followed by Sir Kavok. Graveclaw snarled and loped after them.

    "The road is long but our time upon it need not be." Simon announced "We ride through the night. There will be food and bedding waiting for us at our first stop."

    With that the party set off at speed.
     
  8. Simon von Carstein

    Simon von Carstein The Poetic Fiend True Blood TVC II GM

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    The western road proved to be busier under Carstein rule than it had been under the Empire. But despite this the group made steady progress as they travelled between way stations the only delays coming from having to stop so that Sir Kavok and his mount plus the girl Ellen could rest for a few hours. Simon had already arranged for safe passage through the Carstein territory and they were not stopped or harrassed on the way.

    As they got closer to Nuln they noticed the roads were even more crowded with traffic. They passed columns of armoured skeletons, Baalak Gul and Mortal men who judging by their accents were of Stirland and Averland extraction. Further on they passed a troop of ogres riding on great horned beasts pulling great cannons along behind them.

    "Gabriel's not pulling any punches." Simon commented as he observed the troop movements.

    As the group arrived at the Carstein fortifications they were greeted by a youthful uniformed gentleman with a patch over his eye. "Lord Simon sir I've been expecting you."

    Simon smiled "Marshal Gabriel it's been too long. You have been missed from Court."

    Gabriel bowed and saluted "I've no doubt the Lord Marshal will allow me to return once the city has been taken." He replied "I arranged for quarters to be set up for you as soon as I learned you were coming."

    Simon nodded as he dismounted "Good. My companions will require food and rest. I on the other hand will require an update on our current situation here."
     
  9. The Dread King

    The Dread King Moderator Staff Member True Blood TVC II GM

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    As the sun set over the city of Nuln, it caught the gleaming weaponry and gargantuan battlements with brilliance. It was not so much a city but a living, breathing fortress; walls festooned with cannons had sprouted up like weeds over the last 10 years and defences upon defences were piled high in the great arms race that had characterised this part of the great war between the Empire and the Triumvirate.

    The mage-general in charge of the defence of Nuln looked out over the place he'd once called home. Now, General Kester (also known as Avax Geviar Kester) deemed it unrecognisable to the city of 10 years ago. So much had changed. And not all for the better... The faint rumbling often heard in the distance in this region was not present, thankfully, but the scars wrought upon the city by the Von Carsteins could not all be undone. The deaths of soldiers and innocents, lives bled into the dust by a mindless and seemingly endless undead horde, could never be accounted for, although they could be avenged. And much avenging had been done: for this had been the place where the relentless invasion had finally ground to its halt. The vampires were playing the long game now, Avax reckoned, but that might not profit them: for supplies could be brought into the city via its heavily guarded rear gate, which still had contact with the Empire. The city was also ready for a long siege, and was enduring one, although not a true siege, given that it was still connected to other Empire-controlled territories. That said, the unique strategy brought to bear by Mircea von Carstein was arguably just as formidable as a siege, if not more so. Gabriel von Carstein would wear down the outer walls (they would then be thickened from within the city), rush assaults would then be sprung to kill the builders (defences would be brought to bear), and several times, the city had nearly been taken.

    Nearly, The general smiled, but every day we grow stronger. The beauty of humanity was its ability to adapt and evolve, and this had been displayed within a city of great innovation. He gazed longingly at the horizon, beyond the great outer walls on which he now stood. Beside him, his apprentice shifted uncomfortably. The ceasefire had held for some time now, but troops were building up on both sides of the walls, and it was only a matter of time until it was broken once again. The apprentice, Asnior Steinn, spoke up, "Will they be attacking again soon, my lord?" It was not so much a question, but askance for a confirmation of his own opinion from his direct superior. "Undoubtedly," Kester replied, glancing back at the relatively more intact part of the city, within the inner set of walls. The palace of Countess Lieberwitz, once opulent and lavished in splendour, was now a snarling bastion of defiance, determined not to be breached so easily after its last encounter with the first vampire council. Everything was militarised: every window barred, every battlement manned, every door guarded. Strange weapons, produced in great forges and designed by the city's engineers, bristled, ready to expound their built-up, mechanical rage. In times of battle, the hiss of ODMC could be heard as partially airborne soldiers made their way frantically across the city.

    Avax's armoured bodyguard tensed up. Isabell Highglade was generally reserved but when she expressed herself as obviously, it was usually for an important reason. He turned to look at her and asked, perturbed, "What is it?" She replied frankly, in a concerned tone, "Look, a number of riders are passing through the Von Carstein camp. They appear to be of some importance." Avax could tell she was right, for rarely would there be a commotion amongst the Von Carstein force when so few arrived to the front line. "Perhaps some sort of Von Carstein commander has arrived, my lord?" Asnior suggested. The winds of magic seemed to twist around some of the new arrivals, as they did around beings of magical potency. "Perhaps," Avax responded, "and so perhaps it is time for peace talks to resume."

    "Peace talks!" a voice laced with scorn exclaimed. "Pah!" A figure approached, his glare a mix of contempt and resignation, bound to a wheelchair. Lord Commander Eckhart von Kossen, the leader of the Winged Protectors, rattled over to them, the engine in his mechanical transport whirring, a cane in his hand and Field Marshal Varison Zimmermann walking at his side. "You know what I think of those already," Kossen hissed, "but I will not attempt to persuade you again, only tell you this: we don't need to end this war so abruptly. We can win it outright." Avax smiled cordially, "I think that was another attempt at persuasion, von Kossen." This elicited a hiss from the man it was addressed to, but that did not stop Avax's speech. "I have told you many, many times, Eckhart. We might well win, but in our current state we would weaken ourselves so much in the process that we would not be able to face the threat to the north. That is overwhelmingly more dangerous."

    "How do you know?" retorted Kossen. "What does it matter if the chaos warbands are more active than usual? The Kislevites are simply using that as an excuse to refuse assistance to the Empire!"

    "Believe me, Eckhart, I know," Avax replied, "something foul is afoot in the north. The winds rage far more to the north than in previous years, and there are whispers of new chaos champions rising to ascendancy." In all his fifty years, he had not seen such consternation in the north except at the time of Lord Mortkin's invasion of the Empire. It troubled him deeply. "The Sylvanian aristocracy are just as evil as the chaos forces we face...but probably not as strong. And thus, we must prioritise. Our intelligence suggests a gathering of vampires took place in the last few days."

    "They are planning to destroy us!" Eckhart spat. "We must strike at them first."

    "Use your brain, Eckhart," Avax retorted to the fuming commander. "It has served us well before. Do not blind yourself with hate or bitterness. Chaos wants to divide us and then conquer. It is in their nature to revel in the havoc that a continuation of this war would cause."

    "You would jeopardise our people's future! Subjugated under those monsters, fattened up for the slaughter that is to come when the Empire falls completely under Carstein sway."

    "I am protecting our people!" Avax replied angrily. "Do you think I do not care for those we have lost to the Triumvirate? I assure you that I do! But we must prioritise. We cannot afford to spend any more lives whilst a second enemy has us in their sights, not when fighting a war like this. The lives lost regaining territory without reinforcements would outweigh those currently subjugated under our enemies."

    "We would win."

    "At what cost? I have already told you, unless our military situation changes we cannot invade the Von Carstein Empire. We know this, and I suspect they can't invade our lands either. Any assault would be too costly for either of us whilst the threat to the north remains. And that is, perhaps, what this gathering of vampires was made to deal with. After all, they haven't attacked us yet."

    "No, not yet."

    "You are cynical and bitter, Eckhart, and, more importantly you are not in charge of the defence of the Empire on this front."

    "Not yet."

    "Ambitious, too?" Avax laughed. "I don't intend to meet Morr just yet, Eckhart. Now, I must deal with these new arrivals on the Von Carstein front."

    "Do you want my soldiers to kill them?" Eckhart von Kossen's eyes lit up with forlorn hope. "Just give the order," he said with a beam.

    "No. You are dismissed; I must parley and I don't intend to do so with...diplomatic liabilities...nearby."

    For a moment, Eckhart looked like he might explode. Then he sagged with disappointment and sighed. "Varison?" he asked wistfully, looking up his subordinate. The gaunt, tall man simply nodded and drove him past the mage-general, and away. It appeared that the Lord Commander had given up for the time being.

    "Come, my friends," Avax addressed Isabell and Asnior, "we must negotiate." They fetched a white flag implanted into a stone in the wall, and stepped down a set of stairs to a lower battlement. Avax stepped to its edged and noted that Marshal Gabriel was deep in conversation with another figure, this one being more powerful than the Marshal, judging by the winds of magic. Avax yelled to the marshal, who was standing on the ground far below: "Marshal! I wish to speak with you about an extension of the ceasefire that's being held here. If that's a superior standing down there with you, and I suspect that it is given the strength with which the winds of magic bend about them, then I expect an audience with them! We have after all provided you with an, ah, explosive welcome here in Nuln over these past few years, so I expect you to return the favour." He chuckled, and waited for a sign of acquiescence from Gabriel. When and if it came, he would go down to negotiate with his long-time enemy and his mysterious superior, whoever that might be.
     
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  10. Ghouly

    Ghouly Liche True Blood

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    Graveclaw had kept himself distant from the rest of the party for, mostly to protect Kavok, Ellen and Simons guards least the inner beast again take hold.
    The second more selfish reason for the Strigoi's isolation was simpily that Graveclaw could not stomach the presence of the Von Carstine, something their journey through the carstine occupied empire did nothing to ease.

    Graveclaw answered Simon before Gabriel could "Your Thingsssss are ssssssstarting their retreat back to Ssssssssslyvaina Now" Graveclaw growled as he paced protectivly around Ellen and Kavok "and we keep going to the Dragonsssss, we not have time for thisss".
     
  11. Kavok

    Kavok Wight King

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    Kavok just looked around himself as they traveled, and spent quite a while just staring at the city under siege, with a blank expression on his face aside from the slight frown. 'They're doomed... Unless the vampires are too incompetent to completely cut this fortress city, or if they've got some special way of creating or bringing foodstuffs within their walls, they are all dead. And even if they did, there would still be other things they would eventually run out of without outside assistance... Most likely anyways. Though I guess if they can somehow manage to have enough food to feed the people within, they likely are resourceful enough to take care of most everything else. Still... I doubt they are likely to win if they were unable to stop the siege to begin with. Normally it would be who can hold out longer, with the one laying the siege able to have supply caravans help out, but that takes quite a bit of resources, and the one laying the siege is generally a much larger force then the one being besieged. But when its the living dead that lay siege, they have no time limit, nor real resources required to continue. Your doomed if they surround you in your castle, because every day you grow weaker, with dwindling supplies and moral. Their only hope would be reinforcements, which I guess could be likely. But from the look of things, the undead force is just getting stronger as the days go by.'

    Glancing over at the undead around him, and then back at the walls. 'And this is the side of the wall I'm on. In this situation, I should be over there trying to think of any way I could to save those people from this horde. Instead... I'm out here... with surprisingly little fear for my life. If I was to die by the hands of this group of vampires, it should have been a long time ago... but maybe they are playing some sort of very long term game with me. Who knows... I shouldn't think I know how the minds of these mons-... monsters? ... can I still call them that without calling myself that for siding with them?' Kavok lets out a small sigh as his thoughts torment him internally.

    Kavok raises an eyebrow as the man yells over the edge of the wall. 'past few years? How long has this siege lasted? How have they not starved yet? And how did they keep their moral at a level that prevented traitors from ruining the city during all that time? Did the vampires do nothing to help force moral down? Their patience is endless, though I guess that comes with never dying... err... having died yet still living? hmm... No matter, they should have had a number of options to end this much swifter. Building some trebuchets or catapults and launching diseased carcasses into the city should have worked nicely to both weaken their forces, and destroy moral. They could have even had it animated to potentially cause problems when it 'landed'... Or they cou-... wait... why am I thinking of ways to destroy the city? It... its just because I'm standing outside of the city during the siege... That sounds... reasonable. Hmm... Plans to save the city... Uhh... I... I can't think of any way for this city to break this siege besides some outside force saving them, or a complete surrender. Maybe they've got some sort of secret weapon within that can help save them? Though if they had something like that, they should have used it long ago...'


    Noticing the monster in the group starting to prowl around himself and Ellen, Kavok gives a bemused look between Graveclaw and Simon.
     
  12. Get of W'soran

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

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    Sir Hans Hector rode in silence with the party as they travelled towards Nuln, he smiled ruefully as they passed through the territories of the von Carstein Ascendancy, if 11 years ago he had been asked if vampires could give fair and noble rule to the living the knight would have laughed the question away but now...the lands of the Triumvirate where truely better places to live for the living, especially the peasantry, than the Empire had ever been...it was a shocking revelation for Hans had no misconception about the bestial nature of the majority of vampirekind and their irresistible lust for power and cruelty...yet the Triumvirate had somehow not only ascended this (especially surprising for a scions of Vlad) but also kept their immortal servants in line. With a shake of his head the Blood Dragon cast aside his thoughts and allowed himself to simply enjoy the ride.

    Hans had dismounted, handing his steed's reigns to a nearby mortal soldier, to stand near Simon as he addressed the Marshal. The Blood Knight nodded respectfully to the Commander before glancing around at the "Ikaanan Legion VI", it had always been one of Hans' favourite Legions in terms of make-up having a mixed force of the living and dead working together, it also helped that Gabriel was not only a skilled General but also quite likable and had qualities that where easy to respect.

    The vampire's good mood faded as he turned his gaze to Nuln, he could still remember visiting it as a Knight of the Ordo Draconis before his heart had stopped beating...it had once been so beautiful.

    Now it was a monstrosity.

    Hans grimaced, he could remember his own human nature being as stubborn and arrogant as the City's commanders must be...their sheer pride allowing the people to suffer when the logical choice would have been to throw open the gates to Gabriel and allow a peaceful occupation. The knight could only imagine the progress the Triumvirate could make with the City's workshops and minds at their disposal.

    With a sigh he shrugged, in the end the City would fall...the unliving always outlasted those bound to the mortal coil.

    Hans turned to face Graveclaw as he made a ridiculous demand for the legion to withdraw back to Sylvania. In the face of certain, if prolonged, victory?

    "He can't honestly believe Simon would command that?" he thought in disbelief.

    Hans' hand moved to rest on his longsword's hilt ready to move if the Strigoi attacked the Lord Imperator or, even more worryingly, assaulted one of the mortals he was pacing around.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
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  13. Simon von Carstein

    Simon von Carstein The Poetic Fiend True Blood TVC II GM

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    "Begging your pardon Milord." said Marshal Gabriel "But we are not actually leaving here are we?"

    Simon laughed "Of course not! You will have to forgive the beast he he is a little directionally confused. He glimpsed the reinforcements from Averland on our way here. They should begin arriving in about half a day."

    Gabriel smiled "Well that is a relief sir." Continuing he pointed to the walls "I have spent a fortnight constantly bombarding those and if we hadn't temporarily run out of ammunition for the bigger guns we would be through by now. We've formed a temporary truce in the meantime."

    Simon nodded "good work Gabriel I knew you were the right man for this assignment. Take this city and I'll speak personally to my fellow Triumvirs about making you Lord of Nuln and Master of the Engineering College."

    Gabriel bowed "Thank you Sir. With the reinforcements and fresh supplies I am confident I can breach the wall in three different places. There, there and there he said pointing "I already have volunteers for the three Forlorn Hopes."

    "Marshal! I wish to speak with you about an extension of the ceasefire that's being held here. If that's a superior standing down there with you, and I suspect that it is given the strength with which the winds of magic bend about them, then I expect an audience with them! We have after all provided you with an, ah, explosive welcome here in Nuln over these past few years, so I expect you to return the favour."

    Simon and Gabriel looked up to see where the voice came from and spotted its owner. "Who is that gastropod" Simon murmured

    "General Avax Geviar Kester my lord." Gabriel replied "commander of Nuln's defence. He insists on treating everyone equally."

    "Does he indeed. Well lets see what he wants then." said Simon "Too much to hope that he's had enough and wants to surrender in the face of our blatant superiority and dashing good looks."
     
  14. The Dread King

    The Dread King Moderator Staff Member True Blood TVC II GM

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    Avax heard enough of Simon's conversation with Gabriel to understand that they wished to negotiate. He nodded to an officer standing on the wall, and commanded, "Open the side gate just below this battlement." The man nodded in reply and began to, with aid from several of his soldiers, using a giant winch embedded into the top of the wall to lift a heavy, narrow, iron gate up to allow a few people to pass in or out of the city of Nuln. Avax walked down several more flights of stairs - past more defences, of course - for quite some time, before walking through the gate with Asnior and Isabell. He looked up at the officer, gesturing with his hand for the man to close the gate. The man duly did so, and the rattle of steel could be heard as the gate was lowered by winch to the ground once again, making the city impregnable once more.

    Being cut off from this city by such thick defences would naturally make one feel alone and isolated. Being hemmed in by hostile vampires and an unyielding wall was a terrifying prospect at the best of times - unless, of course, you where carrying the white flag that Avax bore in his right hand. Whilst Nuln had, for a time, insulated itself from the responsibility of protecting three of its residents, the peace guaranteed by parlay would serve as a temporary substitute until the mage-general and his allies returned to the city. Avax had told his companions on the way down not to speak unless they thought it was crucially important whilst he was talking to the vampires. The commanders of the enemy army were devilishly clever, and though the mage-general trusted his allies, he did not wish to expose them to the manipulations so frequently practiced by the undead, and subsequently have them release vital military information. No, it was better that he, experienced in dealing with the Von Carsteins, should exclusively parlay with them, with interjections from his comrades only when they were deemed necessary. Avax himself was still apprehensive, however. This newcomer he had spotted near Gabriel spoke of power and potential. The mage-general wondered just who he might be - which was exactly why he had ventured forth from the city in the first place; the new arrival might have the authority to extend the ceasefire that was held, albeit with fragility, in and around Nuln.

    Avax stepped forward with his comrades to address the Von Carsteins, including the newcomer who Gabriel appeared to have just reported to. As he looked around at the group he was about to parlay with, the mage-general noted some other new faces; faces of beings that seldom appeared in whatever the Von Carsteins had thrown at the city so far. A blood knight (this in itself was not a surprise; a significant number of blood knights served the Von Carstein Empire); a mortal knight (this would not be notable either, but for the fact that he was not wearing Von Carstein heraldry: perhaps he was an obscure sellsword of some kind). What was far more remarkable than the knight, and the strange girl who stood beside him (who looked rather confused and odd, too - the winds did not flow around her as they would do around a normal, 'mundane' human), was the strigoi pacing around them. It was most definitely a strigoi, and an ancient one, by the looks of it - it had heavily advanced mutation. What was most bizarre about this creature was neither its pacing nor its species, but its position - here and now, in the midst of a Von Carstein force. Why would such a creature align itself with the Von Carsteins? Avax wondered. I thought that most of them were reclusive, and that the Von Carsteins had a penchant for hunting them. How odd. Whether they were new breeds of troops or simply important officials, Avax did not know, and he made sure to restrain himself from frowning in puzzlement at the sight before him. It would not be tactful to ask what they were, either, except in the case of first he'd spotted, who Gabriel seemed to have reported to - in cases such as this, it was best to talk to the most superior of the group, and that was what Avax was about to attempt to do.

    "Marshal Gabriel," Avax greeted, "if this is a superior officer next to you - " he pointed to Simon " - might you inform me of who he is? In truth, I wished to parlay with you about extending the ceasefire in Nuln by however much time you were willing to give me long before I approached you, but the arrival of this apparent commander of yours - and do correct me if he is not your commander - brought me here. I thought it might be convenient to involve higher powers if they were present in the vicinity of Nuln."
    Because they will have more authority over these forces, and thus a greater ability to extend the ceasefire by a longer period of time.

    "I have already stated by intention. I am sure that you or your commander are aware of the...disturbances...in the north of the Old World, and I hoped that you might come to recognise, alongside myself, that we must halt this battle - if only for a time - so that both factions can divert resources to quelling the threat of chaos. How long would you be willing to extend this guarantee of a ceasefire?" The most I can expect, Avax reasoned internally, is a few weeks of guaranteed, at maximum. At minimum, this ceasefire is going to collapse imminently. That is something that the Empire cannot afford. Avax waited for an answer from Gabriel, or this superior of his - if he was indeed Gabriel's superior. Still, Avax thought, every day we uphold this ceasefire is a day where my soldiers' blood is not spent in the dust. We can but hope and bargain.
     
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  15. Kavok

    Kavok Wight King

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    As the man walks out of the fortress gates, Kavok looks him over. 'He has the bearings of a man with some power, but I don't know if I would quite say he is a real warrior. He also doesn't seem to have the blatant ignorance that I would expect from a weak noble living off the power of their family's name. So then is he the tactician of this stronghold? No... I feel he is speaking with the vampire whom I assume is the leader of this siege force as if they were at least equal. So is he then the general of this fort? Why would they send out the general to parley with an enemy I honestly doubt they trust to have the honor to not kill him. No, that would be too stupid a move... unless they've thought up some sort of plan. They don't appear to have come out to surrender, so then are they just playing for time?'

    At the mention of the massing forces to the north, Kavok feels as though he has been holding in a breath of air for a very long time, and finally lets it out in a small sigh of relief. 'So it is true then. They weren't just playing some sort of weird, drawn-out game with me. Chaos truly is posing a threat for all mankind.' Kavok then slouches slightly, and looks at the ground in horror. 'Was... Was I just relieved by this knowledge? I just has the information confirmed about the forces of Chaos gathering the power together that could put an end to all mankind, and I was relieved. I... I should have been relieved to find out that it was false... then things would have been better for everyone. Mankind wouldn't be threatened so severely, and I could at least try and seek my redemption against the undead who played me for a fool, even if it would very likely result in my own death. But no, I was happier to have my choice be the logical one, even if I can't say it was the right choice.'

    Kavok's expression shifted to a slight grimace as he sat up straight on his horse once more, and thought 'No... No is not the time to loose myself to my own moral insecurities. I can save that till after I've done as much as I can to help save mankind.' Kavok looks between the three generals present, and decides to speak up. "If I may include my honest opinion, I do feel your wasting potential troops here in siege when they are likely more needed in the battles to come against the forces of chaos that are stealing your very lives and powers. Apologies if this is too out of turn, as I have no power over any of the forces involved in this conflict, but I fail to see the point to this if chaos wins. And that goes for if either side of this siege comes out victorious."
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  16. Simon von Carstein

    Simon von Carstein The Poetic Fiend True Blood TVC II GM

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    Marshal Gabriel looked over to Simon who nodded. Clearing his throat he said

    "General Avax I present his illustrious highness Lord Imperator Simon von Carstein, Shield of Vashanesh, Scourge of Morr and Third Triumvir of the Von Carstein Ascendency."

    Gabriel bowed as Simon stepped forward. "You have been a great source of frustration to our glorious new regime General." He said smiling "I too made my military name in defensive warfare. Perhaps you would join the Marshal and I for refreshment whilst we discuss the hostilities. Your flag of parlay will be respected under the rules of war. You have my word."
     
  17. The Dread King

    The Dread King Moderator Staff Member True Blood TVC II GM

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    Avax was surprised to see Kavok respond - evidently this man was more than just a sellsword - but responded to him, "Yes, thank you, that is precisely the reason for requesting a ceasefire extension." He was even more shocked to learn that this newcomer was in fact the Imperator, although he was careful to conceal his surprise. A deal involving the highest tier of authority within the Von Carstein Empire which would be one which held for sure; the mage-general could not afford to miss the opportunity of striking it.

    He was quick to reply: "My thanks; I accept this offer. Come, let us parlay." And so, he reflected, preparing his mind for harrowing debates, the deal-brokering begins.
     
  18. Simon von Carstein

    Simon von Carstein The Poetic Fiend True Blood TVC II GM

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    "Of course." Simon replied gesturing towards Gabiel's command Pavilion. Turning to the others he said "The rest of you make yourselves comfortable. The General and I have a lot to discuss."

    The Lord Imperator and the Imperial General sat down at the table. General Avax waving away offers of refreshment. "Well General I will allow you to make the opening offers in this negotiation." Simon offered "You will not find me an unreasonable man."
     
  19. Ghouly

    Ghouly Liche True Blood

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    Graveclaw followed after Simon with an angery snarl. "If Carsssstien thinksss Graveclaw going ssslither off and fill the mortal with liesss he bessst think again" The massive Strigoi stomped several steps after the Lord Imperator, before halting with a fruserated grunt and turned back to the others. "Girl, knight come with Graveclaw before the Carssstien'sss sssshit eatsss you!"
     
  20. Get of W'soran

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

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    Hans nodded to Kavok when the mortal had finished.

    "Well said Sir." he said genuinely with a polite smile.

    The Blood Dragon was pleased to find everything seemed to be starting of smoothly with both the Lord Imperator and the City's Commander as they left to negotiate in the pavilion.

    Then the beast decided to move.

    Hans seemed to relax but in truth that was how he prepared for battle, going loose before conflict began. He shot a glance at the guards who stood protectively around the tent, they seemed to be staring at Graveclaw distrustfully due to his snarling and grunting.
    Not knowing them the Blood Knight immediately dismissed their usefulness but was pleased to see Sergeant Wolfram Jens and his men paying close attention, the Greatswordsman give Hans a slight nod seeing the Blood Knight's concerned expression.

    Gently he put his right hand on Ellen's shoulder and with a comforting smile he guided the strange girl to stand behind him, moving her out of Graveclaw's sight. Technically the vampiric Knight's orders to protect the girl had ended as soon as he had brought her to Simon at Drakenhof but during their journey he had curiously grown to...care? No that was far too strong a word but he certainly didn't want to see the poor mortal hurt or scared if it could be avoided.

    "This child is here under the protection of Lord Regent Karl von Carstein." Hans said, he spoke politely but firmly. "She choose this so I would ask that you do not bother her."

    Hans turned his attention to the mortal Knight "Sir Kavok on the other hand is a Council Member, I may be wrong but did you not willingly choose to come here Sir?" he asked seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  21. Ghouly

    Ghouly Liche True Blood

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    The Strigoi snorted loudly and spit on the ground at the dragons feet “Cassssssstine protection HA!” the Strigoi shoved a talon in the direction of the city walls, bristling with cannons “ssssssurrender and sssssserve in life, or die and sssssslave for me in death thosssssse the Carsssstinesssss wordssss thatssss the Carsssstines ‘protection’” spittle was flying out of Graveclaws mouth with each word as the Strigoi paced back and forth “the Carssstinessss bring only ssssubjugation and death, the Lhamainssss and Blood Dragonssss no better neither are Nerarchsss or Sssssstrigoi , Vampiressssss creaturessssss of darknesss, birthed by Chaossssss, Undead have no right to exssssisssst!” Graveclaw stopped his pacing and glared menacingly at the Blood Dragon. “and no Dragon the Knight isssss not a council member, cause he better than ussssss, and you not touch the girl again leech or Graveclaw break you ”
     
  22. The Dread King

    The Dread King Moderator Staff Member True Blood TVC II GM

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    After some time, Avax stepped out of the pavilion, his face revealing no emotion. The negotiation was ended: now, to return to the city, and report to the Countess, the mage-general resolved. Addressing the council members, who seemed to be in some sort of stand-off, he said, "Thank you for your patience." He then turned to his companions, and said, "Come, let us depart."

    As the three walked silently towards the city, Avax raised his arm once again, and the gate, under the control of the system operated by the soldier's of the officer on the city's outer wall, was raised up once more. The three figures stepped through, tiny mortals in the shadow of a vast, mechanical beast. It was, perhaps, a testament to mankind that, despite its inability to survive by the work of its hands in this harsh world, it had managed to somehow cling on to civilisation by the work of its minds.

    For one brief moment as the humans entered the city once more, there was a gap in Nuln's otherwise impregnable defences. Then, the officer gave the command, and the gate was lowered once more.

    The industrial beast that was Nuln, once sprawling and bustling, now awe-inspiring in its discipline, remained silent, a shield to its inhabitants. A casual outsider could most likely not help but to reflect, however, that this blessing of protection was also a curse; from the Council group's position, the city bore a resemblance to a mechanised Nexternus, imprisoning as well as insulating its inhabitants.
     
  23. Get of W'soran

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

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    Hans stared calmly at the huge vampire utterly undaunted by the threat.

    "You are working yourself up for nothing Strigoi." he stated calmly "The girl agreed to serve the Triumvirate and so she has their protection. There was no threats made or needed. This is not a Council matter, this is a matter for the von Carstein Ascendency in which your opinion or wishes are not sought nor heeded. As for Sir Sarrowfang I have not heard him ask for your assistance in 'escaping' whatever imagined imprisonment you have placed him in."

    The Blood Dragon stayed silent for a moment to allow his words time to sink in before continuing "I have no doubt that you are strong but one move against me will bring down the entire might of the von Carstein forces in this area. Every Knight, warrior, living or dead that serve the Triumvirate will slaughter you. And for nothing but your arrogance and pride in attempting to enforce your will and misguided attempts at protection on those who do not want it. No doubt those you think need saving will be harmed in the chaos...such an act would only further prove that you don't truly care for their well-being and instead merely operate on mindless rage."

    The Knight sighed already tired of the man. "If the girl or the Knight wish to skip off into the sunset with you I am sure they will ask. Until then I recommend you keep your nose out of matters that do not concern you and instead focus on the Council's Mission."

    Hans stopped speaking as the mortals left the tent and give a respectful nod to their Wizardly Commander before silently waiting for his master to emerge.
     
  24. Ghouly

    Ghouly Liche True Blood

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    The Strigoi grinned at the Blood Dragon “Bonehead wasssssss ballsssss deep in Carssssstinessss assssss before Graveclaw pulled him off and took hisssss crown, sssssso tell Graveclaw what puny little leech like you going to do when Bonehead could not kill him” the Strigoi licked his lips eagerly “ Graveclaw wonder what Blood Dragon coward tassssste like, mossssst not hide behind army, or ssssuck Carssstine cock”
     
  25. Get of W'soran

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

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    Hans smiled, it was an amused expression which sat on the kind elderly looking man's face.

    "Most Blood Knights serve in armies beast, and a great number of my brothers serve the Triumvirate." he said with a chuckle "What, did you think to insult me? To rile me up? I'm afraid not for those are not words of a man that can mar my honour but rather the growls of a beast."

    The knight paused to look at Ellen "Girl, go stand with Sir Kavok please."

    The mortal shrugged and walked off to stand near the Bretonnian.

    When Hans turned back to Graveclaw the knight's smile had melted away and been replaced with a look of vague disgust "I've heard rumours of you in the Courts of the von Carsteins new realm Graveclaw. Do you know what they say? You are nothing but an annoyance to the Triumvirate and their servants, not even deemed a threat because for all your power you run around nipping at the heels of your betters and hissed your empty mindless threats which no one is afraid of."

    The knight sighed "I do not say this to anger or insult you but rather because it strikes me as utterly devoid of sense that you would make a mockery of yourself through these acts."

    Hans looked Graveclaw in the eye and when he spoke his voice was soft but steady. "Press me if you wish beast, I will not dishonour my master's alliance by attacking you but if you attempt to assault me I'll see you dead...one does not duel an animal, they hunt it and I have many 'hunters' at my command who are well versed in the slaughtering of Strigoi."
     

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