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TVC II Chapter 3 - The Second Council

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Harland

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Roland's attention was suddenly broken by two vampires addressing Faust. One of them, a tall man who moved and talked with grace, radiating some sort of aura of power. Some kind of Demigod? Probably best not to cross at all. At least he seems friendly enough... The other was even more wizened than the necromancer, appearing to have been pickled in vinegar for millenia. Although he looked ready to crumble to dust, Roland guessed he was anything but frail, Bah, a mage. I hate mages.... At the mention of the word 'servant', Roland narrowed his eyes.
"I am no servant," he said, "I am a hired blade, nothing more."
 

Malochai

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“I would like to think so; he has served me well. And you have my thanks, Lord Regent. Myself and my men are indebted to you.” After a bow that slightly deeper than he would have liked - ‘Damn that aura!’ - he moved back towards Lukas, gesturing as he went. He drew thin, fraying skeins of the Aqshy to him, forcing them to bind his Claws, before giving up the effort and letting them disperse. He snorted very quietly. ‘It’s not as if I need it to kill - and vanity is not becoming.’ He nodded to himself, and found that Lukas was where he had been left, almost as if he was made of stone. Drawing close enough that he could lean forward and whisper into the mortals ear, he spoke quietly.

“Whilst I accompany the group to the Wastes, you and the rest of the Guard present shall await my return here. The Lord Regent has granted permission for you to remain in the Castle - you shall be housed and fed, as well as have access to the halls for training.
“You shall take command. Maintain discipline, keep them sharp. If you have the opportunity to learn new techniques, use your judgement as to their value. I am trusting you here, Lukas. Do not disappoint me!”


“My Lord ...” Remembering his place, the mortal nodded. “Yes, my Lord. As you command. I would, however, request that a guard should accompany you at least to the borders of Sylvania.”

“No, you shall remain here. If something were to attack, and the assembled Lords and Ladies of the night couldn’t fend it off, a guard would make no difference; especially with Lord Rowhaine’s Ushabti. Now, go. Organise the men,” was the vampire’s reply, and the mortal bowed at the waist, before turning smartly on his heel and striding confidently from the Hall, giving Roland a dark look. The thoughts running through his mind were clear - he didn’t approve of killers who didn’t have the honour of facing their opponent in a fair fight, or who would sell their loyalty to the highest bidder. Within seconds the sounds of his footsteps, now followed by those of the other nineteen Under Guard who had been waiting without, were drowned by conversation.
 

The Archivist

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Faust nodded at Rowhaine's words.
"I see. You say you are fighting Chaos? It happens that my main project at the moment is directly related to combating the Chaos threat. Once I have retrieved the item I seek from the Amethyst College, for which I require assistance, I shall endeavour to finish it as soon as possible."
"As for my colleague, Roland, I would appreciate some form of promise that he remains unharmed. He is most proficient at fighting, but better there be no bloodshed at all. His other skills I leave for him to proffer or not as he wishes."
He turned to Roland.
"Silver Peak is on the way to Altdorf is it not? We can accompany the group there before heading on to Altdorf after the negotiations."
 

the hidden one

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Breaking his concentration, Igor turned to look at the new vampire, then promptly turned away.

Damn aura. Goddamn aura. Anyway, I could always just go under my cloak, sneak over there, and slit his throat. Yes, that would be best, no sound, I could carry away the body, catch the blood, wouldn't leave any traces.
 

Harland

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"Do not mother me, Faust, I am sure I can handle myself." He frowned. "Why would you even say such a thing? My job is to keep your hide intact and so I shall. Do not bequest my safety - I do not enjoy being patronized. As to your question I have never heard of this "Silver Peak" - As you know I only returned to the Empire a few years ago, and as such my knowledge of it is lacking in places. Perhaps it is not even in the empire."
 
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Alroy coughed loudly, trying, for the moment, to politely return the Champion's attention to himself. "Ahem. We have a castle. That can fly. We can use it to get to the Wastes VERY quickly. Or we can try and carry you as giant bats, but that will only work for twelve of you before we start getting weighed down. And we cannot fly as long as the castle without feeding." he remarked, poking his index fingers together repeatedly.

Aidan piped up as well."And since we are going to investigate this Chaos business, Count Krieger von Blutstein, the old goat's arsehole, knows more about those uglies than most. And if he does not, he has friends or underlings in that overzealous crack-pot farm of a following he has who do. With any luck, some might even be wizards who once toyed with chaotic magicks and thought better of it, knowing him." he added, absentmindedly cartwheeling around the thrones.
 

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'Fools,' the Lion thought ruefully. He cleared his throat and spoke to the foolish younglings. "I find it difficult to believe that a mortal knows more about the Powers in the north than any who have lived as long as half of those gathered here ... And bringing another mortal into this Council of Vampires seems like a poor decision.
"Beyond that, I have not heard of Chaotic magycks not corrupting and leaving an indelible mark on whomsoever tries it; granted, the aethyr is not the area of my expertise, but I have spoken extensively with my 'Able' Coven - there is a reason none who follow me are Practioners. They are ... Untrustworthy."
This was punctuated with a glancing glare at Morturion before it returned to Aidan and progressed to Alroy.

"I would much rather make my own way there - by horse or indeed foot - than trust my safety into the hands of two fools such as yourself. Your attention wanders, you do not act seriously despite the gravity of the situation. You will be a liability, from what I can see. I would not be surprised if you draw more attention to us than is wise when we enter the Wastes."
 

Harland

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Roland suddenly felt a pang of guilt for snapping at Faust. He grinned at the bookworm.
"I understand that your motherly instincts are starting to kick in - but can't you find some poor defenceless animal to covet? We really don't want these vampires to know that you're secretly a midwife. And anyway, why would you need to vouch for my safety? I have no quarrel with them."
 

The Archivist

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Faust shook his head almost imperceptably, despite his smile. This was not the time nor place to explain his quick decisions.
Nodding at Roland in thanks, he turned back to Rowhaine, bowing his head awkwardly.
"We'll be travelling to the Silver Peak then."
He lifted his goggles and rubbed his eyes for a second. Even without looking directly at Morturion, the sheer number of necromantic ties disecting the room was ridiculously bright to his closed necromantic vision. He moved to stand next to Roland, where it was slightly less blinding.
He took a moment to assess the room, trying to make out which necromantic ties belonged to which vampire and owner.
 

The Dread King

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Morturion snarled at Shah's insults, then laughed as he failed to ignite his claws. "At least I can be relied upon to fight with a real weapon, Kitten of Araby. Cat scratches will not serve to fight off chaos warriors." Morturion created a dancing shadow image just above Shah's claws, of a mewling feline trying to jump in vain at a laughing Tzeentchian chaos warrior. The warrior retreated even as the kitten pawed at it, and eventually the pair spiralled their way into the palm of Morturion's hand, where the other came down and crushed them with a satisfying squelch.

What Faust said about retreiving items from Altdorf interested Morturion. In an unusually open voice, he said, "As it happens, I have business in Altdorf too," Morturion said; "the Amethyst College possesses several items I desire. We could go there on an expedition of sorts, could we not?"

Finally, Morturion heard the twins' comment on bringing Count Krieger into the Council. Today, it appears I have learnt the meaning of the word fool many times.[/b] Morturion's face scrunched up in scrutiny and skepticism, before he said contemptuously, "Count Kreiger and his sorry band of followers are a bunch of hand-wringing quacks who are downright stupid; their repentant nonsense is an insult to undeath, and their practices are threatening to necromancers and vampires. Though, I suppose, we could manipulate him into fighting chaos, so that the latter is weakened by him, and that he dies. Everyone wins: chaos gets rid of Krieger, we weaken chaos, and Krieger dies a heroic death fighting the dark powers. I propose he is machinated rather than accepted; such dangerous idiots who have hacked down many of our kind should not be suffered by the Council."
 

The Archivist

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Faust winced inwardly as the necromantic spotlight began talking to him. The last person he wanted to be totally alone with on a country road to Altdorf was someone whose current situation was inherrently abhorrent to his morals. He was already close to breaking down as it was, but he set his feet and steadfastly refused to conciously think of the subject. Now was not the time for arguments with god-damned, slimy, putrescent, slave-driving, tyrant-idolising, necromancy-abusing, soul-catching, evil, vile, good-for-nothing-
He caught himself mentally, and managed to grate out a relatively even tone as he replied.
"While I would appreciate the company, I would insist on there being others of a more subtle bent as well."
Not alone means accompanied by others. All the others not suited to full-on combat are headed to Silver Peak. Therefore it was imperitive that Faust remain with them, if only to hold onto some sanity.
"As such, I suggest we wait until after negotiations and find at least a couple more people to join our expedition."

Faust couldn't bear it much longer. He didn't think he could hold it in anymore. He hoped Roland had something up his sleeve, because he was about to snap-
Thankfully, Morturion turned away to the twin vampires, and he had the opportunity to recover. The necromancer was something dangerous, there were arcs of control that encircled him like prison bands.
Hoping to find someone who didn't have more than a couple of lines of necromancy hanging about them, he looked for someone else who looked ill-suited for front-line combat. He took the small device and a screwdriver out of his pocket and surreptitiously began tweaking it, the motions calming his bridled sense of injustice.
 

Simon von Carstein

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"I will accompany the group going to the Silver Pinnacle." Simon announced "At least as far as the Red Abbey I have business with the Supreme Patriarch that cannot wait." he added "As for this gentleman's proposal." he said gesturing to Faust "I believe I have just the man for the job."

He raised his voice slightly "Warden!" he called out. The cadeverous man who had let the council in appeared. "Yes milord." he replied.

"Would you ask Colonel Caneris to come in." Simon ordered. The cadeverous man nodded and disappeared. A few seconds later a richly dressed man strode in through the doorway with a distinct military bearing he approached the Regent and Imperator and dropped down to one knee."You summoned me milords." he said not making eye contact.

"Yes colonel I have a mission of some importance for you." Simon replied "We won't bother with the etiquette today so please feel free to stand." The colonel nodded and climbed to his feet facing his masters.

"I want you to accompany this gentleman to Altdorf and aid him in his infiltration of the Amephyst college. I believe you've visited it at least once?" Simon commanded. The Colonel nodded "A few times Lord Imperator. I acted as a liason to it during my time in the Grey college. It is a very unsettling place and well defended."
 

Bounce

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It will be fun to have you along Silence Elanor thought with a sarcastic smile. She then watched the two new comers with interest. The bookish one didn't seem likely to be a threat but the warrior looked potentially dangerous. You could never trust men with swords. As the lord regent spoke Elanor felt glad. Did this mean she wouldn't have to travel with that blasted necromancer? Maybe this would be a fun trip after all.

Elanor walked over to Kavok.

"Sir knight. I don't believe you have announced your intentions. I must humbly ask if you would accompany me to the silver pinnacle to meet with Neferata. It will be a very dark and dangerous road and I may need your protection." She said in a sweetly innocent voice fluttering her eyelashes doefully.
 
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Instantly, the Twins entire attention was focused upon the Shah. They declined to respond, however, until Morturion had finished having his say about the situation.

"You have no idea who old Kriegsey is, do you? The uppity mortal over there is right, Krieger is no living man. He happens to be a vampire, just like you and me. And so are most of his best fighting men and bookish types, the ones that are not bone or spirit or animated construct." they explained, moving around toward either side of him as they spoke, keeping easily out of striking distance, even at a bound. "Of course, if he decides to come for you, you would know that soon enough." The pair giggled wickedly, and just as fast as they had approached, they spun round and stalked off, this time towards Morturion.

"Besides, you are not the one who decides who rides with whom. Mr. One does! So sew your wagging jaws together!" they called out over their shoulders. So the pompous kitty-cat thought they could not be subtle, did he? How little he knew...

Still strutting like roosters, they approached the necromancer, as if explaining a complex engineering equation to a small tot. "Mr. Morty, you see, we tried manipulating him. We played all sorts of games with him. And we are quite good at games, Mr. Morty. Quite good."

The last two words were punctuated with an alarming toothed grin, one far more mischievous and self-pleased than a man who had successfully robbed Emperor Karl Franz of his breeches in public.

Then their demeanor soured a bit, and they looked at the floor. "We lost our previous wives that way. And almost all our money. Our house took a decade to repair, and we were forced to stay locked in our coffins for over twice that many years, until we could walk again. Sadly, Kriegsey, curmudgeonly old arse that he is, has to be bargained with. There is no toying or trifling with that bastard." they finished grimly, their faces legitimately thoughtful for the first time.
 

Kavok

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After gathering that asking this Abhorash person was not a great idea, Kavok let out a small sigh, and started to massage his temples. 'By the lady my head is killing me... So they have decided that the best course of action is to split up into two groups... One to go fight, and the other to go gather more of their allies. Fighting sounds like a simpler and more honorable option between the two, but I'd be just as likely to get in their way. I wonder if I should still try though. I think I did proved to not be a complete inconvenience in the last fight...'

Glancing over as the two newest people, Kavok lets another sigh slip out. 'And more insanity is added... What did I get myself into... Though, at least I do have more of a reason to fight now. Even if I am damned for the rest of my life, I will fight to prevent chaos from getting a hold of necromantic magics. It is bad enough having both chaos and the undead attacking us, but they at least don't seem to get along either.'

'So Lady Elanor, Lady Nimrais, and that warrior-princess Anya seem to be going on the mission to gather more allies. Also interesting how even undead women poke jibes at men in general. Do they really think us that incompetent? They expect us to instantly get very stupid things sometimes, yet seem so disappointed when a much more logical action is taken instead.'

'Hmm... And with them is... The mentally unstable one who seems to enjoy playing with his cards too much... The crack-pot who everyone hates, and is basically trying to take the least dangerous option for himself... He willingly practices the necromantic arts to extend his time in this realm doesn't he? What does he expect to get out of life if all he does is hide and stab people in the back for power? He likely lives a very lonely existence... Though he makes it very hard to pity him. And then going with them as well is the head guard for the ruling vampires. Well at least the ladies are going with one person who seems both mentally and physically capable.'

Kavok gets distracted from following the conversation after this as his head starts to hurt even more. His attention is brought back to reality when he hears his named called. Putting his hand down, and looking at lady Elanor, Kavok tries his best to hide the pain the headache is giving him. "Go with you to the silver pinnacle? Oh right, going to have an audience with... Queen Neferata? I think that was the name."

Glancing about the room, Kavok let out a small sigh before looking back at Elanor. "I may as well. Looking at how things are going, most of the vampiric warriors are going to the combat. I'm not sure how much help I would end up being. Troops that don't tire are generally better then those that do. Especially when they can be healed as easily as you all seem to be able to."

"Besides, it would give me more peace of mind to help protect you lovely ladies. Even if you all could likely fight better then I with your magics. If nothing else, I hope that I can at least block a few blades for you." Kavok tries to give Elanor a small smile, though the break from his attempts at a more neutral face, cause him to wince for a moment.
 

The Dread King

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Morturion watched as the colonel walked in. He looks formidable, for a mortal. But he wouldn't be able to stop me getting what I need from the Amethyst College, I think. He wouldn't even have reason to do so, and another blade - at least, a subtle warrior - is always welcome.

Morturion turned around, to find that the amusing twins had started to poke fun at him. It had been funny to watch them annoy various vampires, but now, he found them quite annoying indeed. He decided that turning the tables on them would be the way to stop this irritation. Putting on a face of ugly amusement and disgust, Morturion said, "You managed to get yourself killed by Count Krieger? Even with a flying castle, and two consorts - presumably vampires - there to help you? I've never seen of anyone perform such a drastically bad feat before. And, from your current demeanour, it looks like you went completely the wrong way about manipulating Krieger. You should send a 'repentant' servant of yours to him, who is still under your command, and whispers things in his ear to get him to stay away from you! You play upon the fool's morals; that's how to deal with him!"

Morturion made a small sigh when he heard that Kavok was coming with him. At the very least, there might be a chance to kill him in the mountains when nobody was looking, and stage an accidental death of him. That would teach him for his earlier insolence. But no, I think I won't do that. I won't be able to resist keeping him alive until we come to the Silver Pinnacle. Imagine the fun and games Neferata will have with him... Morturion giggled as he thought of what might happen to the poor knight. "Lord Imperator, I presume we journey to Altdorf after our journey to Silver Peak? Or do we leave for the city immediately?" Morturion remembered that whilst he would like to see Kavok get ensnared by Neferata, priorities had to come first, so if it was a choice between Silver Peak and Altdorf, then he would be going to the empire city.
 

Sweeney Todd

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Kenshiro paid much more attention to the newly arrived mortal hired sword than the fledgling vampire bearing the strange goggle-like contraption. It was clear to him that the human was warily scoping out the entire room and everyone in it, as though he had really been paid to eliminate the entire Council instead of merely escorting Faust. Kenshiro watched the man in turn until the subject of his attention had been drawn into conversation. Something Aidan and Alroy said stuck in his mind, and he turned away to speak

"So you say we shall be traveling to the Wastes in a flying castle in your possession? I am afraid that will not be a suitable method of travel; it's far too unsubtle. We may as well announce our arrival to the Dark Gods themselves, and I believe the purpose of our trip is not to attempt to take on the multitudes of our foes all by ourselves."
 

Count Darvaleth

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Kraskor narrowed his eyes at the suggestion that they travel by flying castle. Before he could speak, however, Kenshiro addressed the same issue. Still smarting from his earlier attempted deceit, Kraskor paused as the warrior-monk spoke. It pained him to be in accordance with someone who only a short while ago insulted his sire, but if the Banespikes were anything, they were pragmatic.

"I agree with Master Kenshiro," Kraskor began, "Our purpose is chiefly reconnaissance and, preferably, stealth-work. We don't want the whole horde coming down on our heads." Kraskor chuckled before adding "I have, in the past, joked about poor tactical deployment plans by saying "We may as well go in on a flying castle". I never thought somebody would actually suggest it..."
 

Harland

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As Faust returned to inquiring about the plan of action, Roland settled back against the wall and continued scanning the room. His gaze fell on four vampires standing near the thrones in a heated discussion.
Two of them - seemingly no more than adolescents - appeared to be twins, so similar were they in appearance. They bore no visible weapons, and didn't bear themselves as would an assassin - no, they were something else. Wild-eyed mischief crowded faces peaked with shocks of red hair. Although he doubted they would put up much of a fight - underhand thrusts beneath chins - he could tell from their demeanor that they would prove entirely unpredictable in a fight.
The stance and set of the shoulders of the next one instantly told Roland that he usually wore some type of heavy armour, likely plate – a warrior. Currently dressed in lavish red robes and armed with no more than a dagger, the vampire held himself upright and imperiously. The fact that his shoulders were raised slightly indicated that they were used to being weighed down with armour. The vampire likely usually wielded a single, large sword, judging by the way he seemed to favour his right hand [OOC: apologies if presumptive]. He concentrated for a moment, on the way he stood, which leg he held forwards, how he gestured when speaking... Duck under backhand upwards slash from right, distract with blow to face. Attempt to decapitate - or retreat, if distraction unsuccessful.
However, it was the last of the group who troubled him most of all. A hulking mass of corded muscle, he nevertheless moved with an absolute grace. The only visible weapons on him were the two studded gauntlets he was wearing. Roland frowned. He could tell that the vampire had likely received similar training to him - the nipponese appearance betrayed that he had come from that part of the world [OOC: I don't actually know where Nippon is. please tell me if I'm wrong]. I doubt I will be able to parry a blow from one of those gauntlets, especially if vampires are as strong and fast as they are reputed to be... He closed his eyes for a second. Step forwards on initial punch, get in close so as to avoid further punches. Take advantage of lack of armour by lacerating chest. Hopefully phase. Decapitate if distracted.
Roland cursed himself. During his training, he had been taught all about the myriad of species inhabiting this world, and their weaknesses. Vampires, he had been told, were unusually resistant to harm. To be absolutely sure of killing one, one would have to separate the head from the shoulders. Against the younger and weaker ones, a good stabbing would usually suffice. Still, with some of the ones arrayed before him, he didn't exactly fancy his chances.
I just hope it doesn't have to come to that...
 
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Alroy cartwheeled over to Kenshiro, his strange mode of travel chosen for no apparent reason. He was opening his mouth wide with some variety of pointed rebuttal when Kraskor chimed in, so he snapped it shut and spun around, flaring his cape into the martial artist's face in a manner that could have easily been mistaken as accidental.

"Oi! None of you have been able to notice it, and it has been hovering a few minutes on the wing from here since we arrived!" he said, jabbing an accusatory finger at the heavily armed and armored warrior. "Besides...we can go more unnoticed than you might think!" he snapped, and stood before the council as a massive wolf bearing a bold eight-pointed star with Khorne's sigil burned and scarred into its forehead. "The runes are tricky, but we can do them when we shift." he explained, somehow still speaking coherently despite his new canine jaw structure.

Aidan, meanwhile, had not finished with the arrogant mortal sorceror in the room. He was now mere hairs from Morturion's face, his eyes blazing with the crimson light of his curse, and his normally handsome face twisted in animal rage. His cloak and clothing were buffeted it about by strands of shadow, the same seen when the Twins had shifted earlier in the course of events. Though the necromancer's vision was taken up by the fearsome visage glaring at him from a few inches below eye level, others could readily see that the youthful vampire's hands were now cruelly taloned and flexing with great agitation.

"Impudent breather!" he snarled, his voice low and barely under control. "Would you think us so foolish to have overlooked that scheme? It was my bride who had done the betraying, and she suffered the final price for it! My brother's wife was next, and himself shortly after. I faced him alone, and managed to flee to our home, with which we escaped. I barely made it to my coffin after seeing to him!" For a moment, he looked as if he were about to tear out the mortal's throat with his fangs, but something re-asserted itself inside him, and he straightened while moving back a few steps, his features derisive and self-pleased once more.

The insult would be repaid later. A hundred-fold. He had ruined the lives of countless wizards before. While powerful, this one would be no different. He eyed the man like a cat would a crippled bird. Vengeance would be sweet. It always was.

However, a little, barely audible thought nagged at the back of his mind. If he always had his revenge, why had he and his brother failed to attempt locating Krieger, or even one of his underlings yet?
 

the hidden one

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Igor laughed scornfully. "I think a flying castle on a stealth mission is a wonderfully aweful idea. Almost as bad as walking into a council of vampire lords, and then insulting many of them, but you did that anyway."
 

Harland

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The spoken words drifted to Roland's ears, making him start. A... flying castle? He stood up from the wall and spoke loudly so as to be heard.
"Now, I might not be a vampire, and so have no say in the matter, but I feel that there is a very important point that you have missed out. It may be unsubtle. It may not be the right method for the situation. But you seem to have forgotten that a flying castle is fucking awesome."
 

The Archivist

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Faust looked at Roland when he spoke, slightly surprised.
"That may be, but the chaos wastes are notoriously tricky to navigate by air. Not only are the winds tremendously difficult to navigate, but there are vast swathes of warpdust storms that will burst normal balloons and destroy propulsion. If it is magically levitated, I've been told by scholars in the field that the winds of magic are particularly unstable in the wastes. Flying out there in anything other than an armoured, steam-powered zepplin with dozens of enchantments and multiple redundant systems would be potentially fatal to all unable to fly clear of a disaster."
A thought struck him mid lecture. He spun round to his backpack.
"Unless..."
He dropped the device he was fiddling into a pocket, and began turning wheels under the rim of the bag's entrance, a faint clanking sound coming from within.

Soon he lifted out a large piece of paper and a lead pencil. He began scribbling numbers and equations rapidly as he muttered words like 'lift to thrust ratio' and 'fuel capacity versus higher Young's modulus' before shoving it back in the bag.
"No, no other way using modern technology and magic."
 

Count Darvaleth

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Kraskor chuckled as the strange Professor's bodyguard spoke up. Clearly the mortal hadn't witnessed Vampire Council "awesome" before.

"As amusing as it may be, warrior, it wouldn't last long. All manner of Chaos beast could take to the air, let alone the dangers of being several hundred feet up when the Tzeentchian followers start to manipulate the skies around us. Not everyone has a dragon waiting to catch them if we fell." Kraskor chuckled inwardly, picturing Morturion falling to his death whilst Bloodclaw caught Banespike's own fall.

"And secondly, our priority is not "awesome". You're not like us, so I can perhaps understand. Allow me to produce an equivalent analogy: imagine the Orks slowly poisoning the air. Making it so you couldn't breathe, but they could. Their poisoned air would be everywhere, no way of escaping it. Eventually, there is a greater proportion of Ork-air than regular, breathable air. And then the Orks come for you, and you realise you've been too busy looking at an "awesome" dancing monkey to do anything about it."

Kraskor turned back, "Perhaps we can play games once the war is over."
 

Harland

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Roland approached the vampire who had spoken to him. Waving his hand, he said, "Oh, I wasn't necessarily suggesting it for this excursion. I, of all people, understand the need for stealth. However, the availability of awesome is not something that can be underestimated." While he spoke, his mind was racing, yet on an entirely different topic. How to avoid getting hacked to pieces by vampires 101... Roland wasn't sure how to make human friends, let alone vampire ones. Do vampires even have friends? Some of them seem well disposed to one another... One false step and he could be impaled on a decorative stake. I suppose, in the end, it's a leap of faith... "So, I don't really know why all of you have gathered here. All Faust and I gleaned from that note was that there was to be a council, concerning some great enemy. This enemy - to have all of you gathered here - must be something quite horrifying. So what advantages do you have over it? Intelligence? This enemy is not likely to be some dunce. Power? I doubt it, simply because of this council's existence. No, your advantage, the way I see it, is the potential for flair." He stopped before the armoured vampire. "As for your analogy, the only way I can think of dealing with this gas would be some sort of enormous gas-sucking machine. Well," he glanced back at Faust, "I'm not the engineer."
He regarded the vampire for a moment. Time to take a leap...
He held out his hand.
"Allow me to introduce myself. I am Roland Kobura, of Cathay and previously the Empire."
 
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