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TVC II Chapter 3 - The Second Council

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Count Darvaleth

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Kraskor grunted as he was rounded upon, many members of the Council urging him to believe something that wasn't true. To swallow a lie.

I will not submit.

The Blood Dragon was not blind to the fact that his outburst against Simon had been highly insulting, but then so had Simon's. At least he hadn't struck the arrogant Carstein physically; that would have caused much more trouble. Kraskor let himself breathe for a moment, before bowing his head in Rowhaine's direction.

"Lord Rowhaine, I regret my outburst," Kraskor turned to Karl, the aftermath of his anger allowing him to mostly fight through the vampire's aura, "Lord Regent, I shall not apologise for what I said until Simon equally withdraws his insult to my sire." The Carstein's aura seemed to thicken as he spoke, almost forcing Kraskor into adding "I will, however, make the first step and say my words were hot-blooded and rash." Kraskor turned back as mention of a foray into the Chaos Wastes were mentioned.

"If you will allow me, Lord Rowhaine, I too shall accompany you to the Wastes. Then we can dismiss this false folly once and for all."

Kraskor turned to Alastor, "I would not presume to command you, Alastor. It is not in your nature to receive orders, after all. I had hoped to aid you in learning some rudimentary swordcraft, but that can wait. Go where you wish."
 

Mello

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Alastor couldn't help himself but laugh out loud.

"You are indeed very perceptive, Kraskor. But sword craft? Why would I possibly need that? I have my cards now.

Very well, to the Lahmians it is."


My smiled almost paternally as a couple of cards, seemingly of their own will, hovered up and smoothly slid all over his body, almost caressing him like a friendly group of forest animals. Alastor's eyes were somewhere else, and behind the joviality, there was a happiness, a very sadistic one.
 

The Dread King

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Morturion blinked as one of his strongest souleaters' top half exploded, and bits of it showered his armour and face. With a silent but frustrated command from Morturion, his armour slithered back into the chestplate beneath his robes, the bits of flesh dropping to the ground as he did so. There was nothing to be done for his face, except to wipe it with his hand, but then again, Morturion supposed, dripping a disgusting kind of blood, it didn't look very nice anyway, so little was lost but a bit of his dignity. He would have retaliated against Graveclaw, except that the strigoi left the room and then, Morturion presumed the castle. Mounting an expedition to track him down would seem cruel and foolish to the assembled vampires, would probably be stopped by them, and would not gave him the favour he needed to manipulate these beings. He supposed that the idea of ressurecting the souleater whose body lay on the floor was hopeless, as parts of it had scattered around the room, and some of it had been obliterated entirely, being reduced to basic molecular compounds and elements. "Well...that was unexpected," he spluttered, a last fleck of souleater dropping from his lips.

Morturion paused for a moment, before saying, "I would go to the wastes with you, Rowhaine," Morturion said with a frustrated sigh, "I intend to see Vekarin dead. But, unfortunately," Morturion seemed to swallow in his bitterness, "I am not immune to corruption from chaos, and if any part of armour was to leave me, I would be exposed and vulnerable to mutations. So, to the Silver Pinnacle I shall go, with the second party of Council members," he said, resolved that this was his path. "Besides, those who wish to see Neferata will need a wizard with them; you never know what arcane tricks she may try to play on us."

Morturion was resistant to almost all seduction, but even so, he would have to be careful around Neferata. After all, he, unlike the vampires, did not have an inbuilt immunity to manipulation through seduction; he'd built this up over 1000 years of celibacy and training, and Neferata had one of the most powerful auras of irresistibility of all those of the Lahmians, being one of the last surviving master vampires. Furthermore, she hated men, which put him in a difficult position. But, in reflection, not very much more difficult than my current one. I can easily cope with being hated; I've never been out to gain love, only power. Only power...
 
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"I will go to the chaos wastes, as a stealth mission obviously is my forte." Igor said. He was not surprised that Kraskor wanted to come along. He would have expected nothing less from Nekhilor, who probably had grudges with a lot of vampires. He was also glad that Kenshiro was coming, as he seemed reasonable enough, and was obviously a very skilled fighter.
 

Bounce

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Elanor considered the two options. Neither of which sounded particularly enjoyable.
"I shall also go to Neferata, my sire was a lahmian and I would appreciate the chance to meet others like myself. And maybe I can convince her not to kill you males." She said with a smile.
Silence will you accompany me? Or would you rather go to the wastes?
 

Harland

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The bandits didn’t know what was going to happen. As far as they could tell it was just a pale, naive, and slightly gangly-looking academic walking along the path, all alone, with no sense of the danger that might lurk in the dark, grim forest of Sylvannina.... in other words, easy pickings.
The bandits, to all appearances, had been careful. They had carefully chosen the spot of their ambush – a sharp curve in the road where it skirted the base of a steep ridge – so as not to be seen by other travellers. They had carefully picked their target – weedy, unarmed, and, most importantly, alone.
The bandits sprung their ambush.

Faust looked up in mild surprise as six men burst out from the wooded shrub lining the sides of the path ahead of him. A rustle from behind him quickly told him that he was surrounded.
The men in front of him quickly assumed their formation. One slightly grizzled man stood closest to Faust, a cutlass slung through his belt. Just behind him stood an apparently unarmed man in a hooded cloak concealing his face, his arms crossed. A few paces behind them stood two men, swords drawn, looking almost inconceivably irate. Several yards further back skulked two more, each with an arrow nocked in their bows. The grizzled man spoke.
“We’ll be taking your money now. And any other possessions of monetary value.”
Faust didn’t answer. He simply eyed up the man in front of him.
“Are you deaf, or just stupid?” asked the man, his temper rising.
“Neither.”
“Good. Now put the backpack on the floor and step away, and nobody has to get hurt.”
Faust looked distinctly unimpressed. After a moment, he spoke.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” The man scowled.
“Yes. Now, your stuff. Floor. Now.”
Faust made a face. He took a measured step back, then looked leisurely over his shoulder. Two grim-looking armed men stood a few paces back. He slowly turned back to the leader.
“How many of you are there?” he asked. The grizzled man furrowed his brow.
“Sorry?”
“How many?”
“Can’t you count? Seven.” Faust arched his eyebrows. The grizzled man met his gaze. Then Faust’s eyes flicked over his shoulder to the impassive man standing behind him. The grizzled man look puzzled, then followed Faust’s gaze. Seeing the man with crossed arms, his eyes widened.
Roland flung out his arms, flinging two knives at the men behind Faust. Before the leader could react, Roland had drawn both long knives, driving one into the man’s armpit and the other into his kneck. Withdrawing his weapons, he turned to face the onrushing swordsmen. Dropping the knives, he reached to the two braces of throwing knives under his armpits, casting two past the bandits, felling the two bowmen. The swordsmen rushed him at the same time. Catching the one’s overhead swing, he spun around to the side, so the other’s thrust passed through empty air; moving in close, he elbowed the man in the face, then pulled and twisted his wrists, wrenching the sword out of his hands. Continuing the spin, he landed in a defensive stance in time to bat aside the other’s overhead swing and open his throat. Turning, he saw that the other man was sprinting away towards the trees. Roland looked at Faust.
“Impressive,” said Faust.
“I bet it is, replied Roland. Without looking, he sent the sword spinning into the man’s back, the momentum sending him sprawling onto the ground.
“So,” said Faust, “for how long were they following us?”
“A couple of hours.”
“And for how long were you following them?”
“A couple of days.” Roland looked thoughtful for a moment. “Shall we continue?”

Roland stared into the dying flames. Faust was already asleep. In his hands he fingered the onyx amulet. However, his mind was far away.
The dreams had continued. Every night he would inexorably approach the terrible figure, helpless to turn away, and every night he would get a little closer. He wondered what that meant.
Of course, he knew where the dreams were coming from. They were a memory.
But he had no intention of dwelling on that.
He looked down at the onyx amulet in his hands. He still hadn't put it on. He was briefly tempted, but then thought against it. He lay down and closed his eyes, willing the imminent abomination to address him, as he did every night.
 

The Archivist

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Faust shielded his eyes as they neared Drakenhof. His necromantic vision was beginning to blind him, even though he was trying to ignore it. There were so many necromantic ties swarming over the place, it was like staring into the sun.
He took a moment to let his eyes adjust slowly. Mentally, he closed his necromantic eyelids tight, and it seemed to help. There was a peculiar pattern left as an afterimage, which seemed vaguely reminiscent of… something.
They were approaching the castle proper now. He could see the sheer number of undead at the front was too much to push through, and if there was going to be a rejection of his offer he would rather there was a more suitable escape route.
Faust turned to the spot where Roland suddenly was.
“Can you see the balcony? The one next to the massive Brettonian Windows? We’re headed there. I’ll use the ladder. ”
He slipped the device he was fiddling with into a pocket and readjusted his clockwork buckler. It was properly wound, and shone vaguely under the cloud cover.
“We’re going to be spotted, I think. There’s no way we could sneak in, and cutting the ties would generate instant feedback if they are paying attention.”
Faust pulled his trench coat tighter, and adjusted his spectacles. He set his backpack down as he scanned the route to beneath the castle.
 

Harland

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Roland made a face.
“Seems like a good enough plan.” He looked at Faust with something almost resembling concern. “Are you sure this is a good idea? This is a council of vampires, and many of them will be necromancers. It probably wouldn’t be best for our health if you were to... flip out.”
 

The Archivist

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"I know. I'll just have to grit my teeth and bare it. If they weren't so bloody pointy, that might be easier..."
 

Harland

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Roland shrugged. He looked at the castle again, then sighed. He held out his hand.
“Katana,” he said.
 

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Faust nodded and released a catch on the backpack. A sping loaded mechanism tripped and Roland's katana flew straight up into the air like a beam of light, where Roland caught it neatly.

They travelled quickly to the base of the castle wall.
Faust looked up at the balcony high above. He reached inside the interior of his backpack and cranked some handles, then pulled a lever, then finally reaching in and lifting a rod of steel with a winch attached to it. As he turned the winch, a light wooden ladder slowly began to rise from within, rising higher and higher until it touched the balcony.
He climbed the ladder carefully, his boots causing the ladder to quake a bit. His buckler made it even more awkward for him to climb, the large surface area catching the wind and tugging violently as he climbed.
 

Harland

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Roland watched with amusement Faust’s endeavors with the ladder. After an extended moment, he looked to the wall in front of him, his eyes tracking a path upwards. The wall was swarmed with baroque spires and reverse-flying-cocktail-buttresses (very important to be able to identify if you ever wish to scale a Class A Ostentatious Castle). Scaling it would be easy.
Leaping upwards and grabbing onto a gargoyle’s wing, he began his ascent.

Roland dusted himself off. And waited. He sat on the railing of the balcony. And waited. He drew his katana and began polishing it. And waited.
He stood up, opened the balcony door, and crept in. A few seconds later he reappeared on the balcony.
And waited.
Eventually, a panting Faust dragged himself over the top of the balcony. Roland raised his eyebrows.
“About time. Ahead there is a short corridor, leading up to a large double door. On the other side I can hear voices. Shall we get moving?”
 

The Archivist

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"Yes. Hang on a second, I need to retrieve my backpack."
Once he reached the top, he held onto the top of the ladder with both hands before releasing a catch. With a rather loud whizz the backpack shot up the ladder, retracting it into its interior even as Faust struggled to hold onto the top. Once it met the balcony, it flew over his head and bounced off the wall with a small crash.
“Not the most dignified way of arriving…” he muttered to himself.
When he turned back, Roland had disappeared yet again. He continued to walk along the corridor he found himself in, approaching a door from behind which came a lot of hubbub. Knocking with his buckler, Faust poked his head through the door, finding himself in a large throne room full of vampires and other beings. He blinked at the strength of the necromantic energies, even with his other sight closed.


“I would like an audience with the vampire council.”
 
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'I have fought and defeated chaos, they are a vile and maddened subspecies of mortals. And although I would love to slaughter more of the barbarians I have sworn your safety and will venture with you to visit the Queen of Silver Pinnacle' Ezra replied.

The thought of the chance to kill more of the depraved barbarians of the north had tickled her for a while now and she would have gladly revealed herself for the slaughter rather than stay hidden and recount these events to her sire, but this youngling had made her swear a small fealty to her and would need to accompany her to the Misty Mountains so she would remain hidden still to those she needn't see her. Ezra would have sighed in exasperation, if she could.

Although stories told of how cunning, sneaky and treacherous the Lahmian Queen was, Ezra wouldn't mind seeing this firsthand. Indeed it was her who blessed her sire with immortality and power so she was to give her thanks.

It'd be like a trip through the big, bad forest to grandmas house.
 
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Nimrais chuckled a bit.

"I've always been told how awful Silver Pinnacle was and that it needs to be burned to ashes. If such a place can be hated by someone so much, I think I'll fit right in. I'll join Anya to Silver Pinnacle then. It might even be an experience to meet the mother of my bloodline."
 

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Morturion spotted Faust entering the audience chamger, and raised his eyebrows in surprise. Who is this strange vampire with the huge rucksack? He looks...intruiging. He said, "Greetings. This is the vampire council. I am Morturion. Who are you?"
 

The Archivist

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Faust covered his eyes with his buckler as Morturion approached.
"Excuse me a second..."
With his spare hand he removed his glasses and pulled his goggles over his eyes. With them he could just about see Morturion without feeling blinded. He lowered his chain buckler to his side again.
"I am Professor Ferigeld Austimov, and I would like to propose an offer to the vampire council. And... no offense, but can you stand a little bit further away? You look like a prison spotlight."
 

Malochai

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Shah looked at the newcomer suspiciously; 'How many more wandering fools must we entertain before we can make any progress?' he asked himself foully, feeling his temper starting to, very slowly, fray. He did, however, remember his manners, as a Lord of the Night and aristocrat in general. He walked until he was six feet from the odd vampire and then shot a look of irritation and loathing at Morturion.

His gaze returned to Professor Austimov, his eyes cold. "As the mortal who has ideas above his station," he began, scowling, "said, this is indeed the Council of Vampires. I am Lord Shah al-Hamid, the Lion of Araby. Assembled here are some of the greatest Lords of the Night that currently stride the Old World. I would suggest petitioning Rowhaine, the Champion of Asaph, to join our ranks. I am sure you can then be appraised of the purpose for our gathering."

He then bowed very shallowly and made for Karl's throne. Standing to the left of it, he leaned down and whispered in his ear. "Lord Regent, I would ask permission to house my Guard here whilst I venture into the Wastes - given their mortal nature, I would not risk them. Beyond that, I would also like to inform you that, upon my return, I plan to Turn my lieutenant, Lukas. If this is where we regroup, I would also like your permission to do that here - a secure place where I can contain him. However, I would not do so without you agreeing; anything else would be discourteous and a poor way to repay your ... Gracious act of housing this Council."
 

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Faust smiled, slightly self-concious and very, very nervous. The sheer number of necromantic ties emanating from many of the individuals in the room was slightly daunting, as well as slightly agravating. Conciously keeping his thoughts under control, he demurred.
"To join the ranks! No, no, you misunderstand. I am in need of assistance, and in return I proffer my services as an accomplished engineer and weaponsmith."
Faust looked around at the council, trying to work out which of them was this Rowhaine.
 

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Roland counted ten heartbeats before following Faust into the room.
The place was filled with vampires, heatedly talking to each other about something that was probably irrelevant. Seeing Faust in discussion with a heavily armoured vampire and a prune, he slowly padded over to the wall next to the door, every movement measured. To an observer, he would simply be leaning nonchalantly against the wall, arms crossed, with a slightly displeased look on his face, whereas he was in fact slowly removing the peace-ties on his throwing knives. He scanned the room. Not sure how many of these I can take. He looked back to the vampire who had addressed Faust. Heavily armoured, his face shrouded by a mask, and wielding claws, he looked to be a formidable enemy. Blade to hand, hope to distract or disarm. Escape. His roving eyes found a seemingly young vampire in a mask. Mask probably hiding burn or disfigurement. Remove mask, slash to face, open throat.His eyes returned to the worryingly smug old man talking to Faust. Roland smirked. Punch heavily to face.
 

the hidden one

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Igor saw the second figure come in, and saw him take a classic pose. He is trying to decide how to kill us. He looks as though he is a bodyguard. I would probably throw a dagger, trying to injure, as I doubt that would surprise him enough to kill. Then I would have to close and end the fight, probably slicing at his throat. A stab to the shoulder could also work, as it would do damage to muscle, and make it extremely hard to fight.
 

Harland

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Roland's eyes turned to another vampire who seemed to be regarding him. Great, another assassin. It seems two can play at this game. Odd, since this is a technique I taught myself.... Roland narrowed his eyes on the short, disfigured vampire. A moment wen t by as he studied him, scanning every visible detail. Deflect incoming slash to throat, stab under third rib, round kick to chest. He had no idea how much punishment these vampires could take.

[OOC: TheHiddenOne, it's like the climax of the second Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes film! If you haven't seen it, I'll see if I can find a video of it and post it on the ooc thread. Also, according to Igor's bio he has a balistic skill of 0 and despises all forms of ranged weaponry, which I assume includes throwing knives?]
 
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Aidan and Alroy remained where they were, paying no real heed to the new arrivals beyond acknowledging that the bookish-looking one might be fun to play some pranks on later, and that the other might be fun to use as a ball for ninepins practice.

Hmmmmm....I wonder who is up for dinner tonight? I forget the turn order...I should ask dear Katarina when we retire. Perhaps we should prepare for guests. I should let Katarina know. Maria will be excited if we do. Have we had to raise any new footmen recently? The valets are starting to wear through their clothing, I should have Katarina purchase some more. Or we could steal it. These peppermint sticks are delicious. I love peppermint. I wonder what time it is? Fresh toffee....
 

Disciple of Nagash

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"Professor Ferigeld Austimov," Rowhaine spoke, "I am Rowhaine, Chosen of Asaph. It is I who called together this meeting, which unfortunately you have missed. I do not wish to appear rude, however as I am sure you can appreciate time is of the essence. I will therefore briefly update the events of latest."

Rowaine proceeded to advise the professor of the battle and also the theories about Necromancy and Vekarin. (OOC, sorry not typing all that out again!)

"So as you can see Professor, if you wish to join us there are currently two choices. Venture with us to the wastes or join the group seeking the Queen's assistance. However I must also ask. You say you do not wish to "join" us. I must be clear on this, it is either join us or not. We will not pay you for this venture, it is a simple fact of survival, before long the strength of Necromancy will wane to a point where all undead creatures, including vampires will perish.

However, if you require our assistance with something I will hear this task."
 

Get of W'soran

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Karl nodded and smiled faintly before replying quietly.
"I can have them housed with the mortal Aspirants of the Regent's Guard. I believe there are enough empty quarters in their area to easily house your guard, I shall assign Sergeant Kelrak organize it and ensure they are fed and giving access to the training halls when you are gone."

Shifting his gaze slightly to look at Lukas he smiled as he turned back to Shah.
"If I may say, a good choice, I will have somewhere prepared for you on your return." he added in the same quiet tone.

-----------------------------

Nekhlior stepped forward, his staff tapping against the ground as he did so, and give a faint smile as he approached Faust, the Necrarch's sight seeing the man's very spirit.
"Welcome young one." he rasped "An engineer? A scholar then, I am sure the council will benefit from another intellectual among our ranks."

Nekhlior glanced Roland, tilting his head slightly, and smirked.
"I suppose the mortal is some servant of yours?"

------------------------------

Dieter stared at the new arrivals, he dismissed the vampire as relatively benign and incapable of too much harm looking more the scholar than warrior. He could be a mage but if so then the Necrarch or Necromancer would deal with him in short order should be turn hostile.
Dieter was more interested in the human who had failed to announce himself, the tall man had the look of a killer around him.
The Captain smiled beneath his helmet at the idea of human being any threat to a room full of vampires, never the less he kept his gaze on new arrival.
 
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