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TVC II Chapter 4 - The Queen of Mysteries

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Nimrais sighed when she stood up from the carriage again. She stroked over her shirt with her hands, setting it straight and getting out the wrinkles before she left the carriage to see what all this new commotion was about and greet the apparant newcomer.

She hopped of the last step, her brown boots making a firm thud on the soil. She walked around the black coach to see everybody more clear. The sight somewhat surprised her, even though she had already heard the others talking about a strigoi. She hadn't meet many of them, and each one was uniquely bestial. This giant of a woman was no exception.

"Unsubtly Strigori alright", the shadow noted.

"And those markings on her arms. It puzzles me why someone would ruin their skin like that." Nimrais thought back.

"Welcome, Sylvie," she greeted, "I did not mishear, it was Sylvie right? Anyway, your help would be quite appreciated."

After greeting Sylvie she turned her attention to the matter of Mikhail.

"I think we're quite capable to shut him down if he tries anything on us. We could let him loose for the moment so you won't have to strain yourself so much, Morturion. I'd suggest to keep an eye on him though, atleast for now."
 

Get of W'soran

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Dieter stopped and took a deep breath once he was sure he was alone, having re-entered the hunting grounds he had went with the human to earlier.

"I need to calm down." he thought to himself feeling anger at how he had acted recently.

"The problem is I'm still unsettled from the Blood Fury taking a hold of me...there is still too much emotion, a human frailty that I must not fall too." he added silently.

Kneeling down on the ground he laid the Zweihander in front of him.

Half-closing his eyes Dieter recalled the lessons taught to him by the Nipponese Blood Dragon Akimitsu who had once served the von Carstein Counts.

Remembering the meditative technique he shifting his position to take what kneeling position Akimitsu had called 'Seiza' and rested the back of one hand in the palm of the other with the thumbs touching slightly.

This was a lesser meditation, not one to fully empty the mind, but it seemed to help make one calm.

After a few minutes of silence Dieter stood again and lifted his sword smiling slightly as he felt better.

"I wonder whatever happened to Akimitsu? He was a good teacher." he thought before shrugging and casting the thought away.

Now finished the Blood Dragon turned and continued back towards camp.

"Although I best do a real patrol of the perimeter first." Dieter said softly as he walked.
 

Bounce

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"With those teeth i would prefer you didn't." Elanor said whimsically to Sylvie. "Everyone here is manipulating everyone else, i do so only as a form of self defence. I don't have muscles like you. "

"Yes, let the poor wolf beast out already, he is not going to try anything." Elanor said.
 

Lord_Mortis

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'It is just playing with you, trying to achieve a reaction. Do not fall in it's little word trap or you will stoop to it's level' she sent to Elanor.

Were Lahmians not taught how to deal with diplomatic situations? The mad one seems to be dealing with this event better than Elanor. Maybe I should open the connection between her and I? She thought to herself. The idea was tempting but the girl seemed to have quite a lot on her mind without it.

She shifted uncomfortably. She wasn't getting enough action here, might as well go out for a stroll, she figured. She clambered out to the opposite side of the building to where the action was happening and dropped down to the ground, she then wandered into the woods, just walking casually along. She breathed deep, something she had not done in a while needing neither breath or voice. Peaceful was a nice change but she was starting to get restless unfortunately.
She sent one last thing out to Elanor: 'If trouble arises, just yell out for me. I should not be too far away'
 

Mello

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Alastor sighed sadly and teleported away into the woods nearby, walking alone with his head bowed.
 

Get of W'soran

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Dieter continued patrolling the area around the camp site, it was likely unnecessary but it was better safe than sorry, he did wish that the Lord Regent would have allowed him to bring a few soldiers though, it was quite clear that certain members of the Council lacked any discipline.

"Besides there's nothing for me to do back at camp." he thought to himself.
 

Mello

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Ezra moved through the trees quietly, admiring the majesty of the woods. The dying trees branches hung over the path like hands closing in on an insect, pointed fingers poised to strike. A twig snapped elsewhere on the path and Ezra stopped. She turned and listened for more movement. A small breath of wind and another foot step behind her, she spun around and crouched.

She noticed the figure of another and she quickly scattered scrambling up into a tree, settling on a branch over the opening. The bypasser moved through the path-like opening between the trees, looking quite upset and bored. Ezra recognised him as the masked Strigoi, Alastor she believed was his name. She would have spoken to him had she not been a mute and not doing reconnaissance, as the Bretonians called it.

As the body moved out of immediate view Ezra dropped down, as silently as she could, to the ground. But in a cruel twist of irony, she landed on the most imperfectly placed stick, the crack easily being heard by the Strigoi and he spun around, ready to strike. Their eyes met and Ezra straightened. The Strigoi opened his mouth to say something then closed it again, rethinking his words. Instead he simply asked

"Who are you?"

Ezra couldn't exactly reply but she withdrew her hood to reveal her face. The vampire began to take it all in with glittering eyes. He half bit his lip with one of his fangs, before softly drawing his mask off.

"It's a lonely life isn't it?"
 

Disciple of Nagash

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The group seemed to be getting scattered and Anya realised that without clear direction that many seemed unmotivated or did not realise their haste.

"Yes release him," she said standing, "and then I would suggest we all get some rest. We must complete our travels tomorrow and as such we must set out with only a few hours rest."


***

A few hours later the convey left the clearing, this time with their new Strigoi companion. Anya still held reservations, it was clear that she was not revealing something when it came to Graveclaw, but the again most of those here were doing the same. In her carriage Dieter and the werewolf still rode, after agreeing to release him it did not still well with Anya to put the potentially unstable and dangerous creature in another carriage. She had no doubt that Dieter would be able to swiftly kill him if necessary.

They had been making good time, with most of the vampires dozing through the heat of the day, shielded by the thick drapes covering the window. Hours passed in relative quiet, Anya realising that all of her training had not prepared her to converse with a dour vampire or mentally unstable werewolf.

Dusk rapidly arrived and with it an unexpected obstacle. The carriages slammed to an abrupt halt, the horses whinnying and snorting at the sudden appearance of a creature in front of them. Before the carriage had fully stopped Anya had opened the door, looking into the road ahead. They had just travelled through a valley at the based of the Silver Pinnacle, at the end of which the road went through a tight pass and upwards. It was at this pass they had been stopped by a large bat-like creature as it landed, powerful wings blowing dust towards the carriages. Even as Anya watched the monstrosity started to morph and shimmer, growing smaller and smaller until a naked, lithe and absolutely stunning woman stood before them.

It was clear from her perfect alabaster skin and the gleam in her eye that she was a child of Neferata's line. She held her self with with pure confidence, seemingly unworried of the full breasts or inviting hips she bared. Behind her a score of heavily armoured wights tramped into view, arranging themselves in blockage across the pass. Behind them more and more arrived and in moments the Council faced a heavily armed contingent, eyes and wight blades both flickering with menace.

"Princess Anya of Rasetra," the cool measured voice spoke, not shouting but impossible to ignore nonetheless. Anya paused for a moment, eyebrow's raising slightly in surprise at the casual way the unknown vampire seemed to know her. At the look on her face the vampire looked on pityingly, "nothing escapes the gaze of our Mistress. Surely you had not assumed that such a gathering would go unwatched, that your intentions to speak with the Queen were not noted?" The vampiress walked from to side slowly, hips seductively swaying. Even though she had never been attracted to one of her own gender, Anya could not help but watch the alluring figure.

"One does not simply walk into the Silver Pinnacle," the vampiress continued, "one begs, one pleads for an audience, and only if the Queen deigns to see you, then you may be permitted on these hallowed grounds. Come, have the rest of your companions dismount and present themselves."
 

Mello

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A small blue flicker occurred and Alastor appeared behind Anya and to her right, knowing that now was the time to conform to social norms.

"Alastor at your service." he stated in his slightly foreign accent, bowing with a flourish of his cape, before scraping some mud off his shoe with a card

"Mademoiselle, you say we can not gain audience of... Your mistress without her permission. It would be very much so in her interests to meet. I am young but I still know we as a race are dwindling. We only seek to help you, and ourselves, in the long run."

Alastor blinked, slightly stunned at what he had just said.
 

Get of W'soran

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Dieter didn't leave the carriage immediately, instead he leant forward and stared into the werewolf's eyes.

"You must behave hound." he growled "The slightest misstep in front of these snakes could doom everything." he added in warning.

Stepping out of the carriage Dieter calmly retrieved his Zweihander from the top of the carriage and leant it against his shoulder as usual.

Turning Dieter looked over towards the Lahmian and a flicker of disgust flashed across his face as he struggled to bury his general dislike of the manipulative bloodline.

After only the slightest moment Dieter managed to make his expression emotionless, perhaps slightly stern, the Blood Dragon was aware of the Lahmian's ability to see weakness and so he hid all outward sighs of his thoughts.

He strode over to stand to the left of the Princess.

"Captain Dieter von Carstein." he said using the name granted by Vlad centuries ago, not something the Blood Dragon liked to do but it might help in this occassion. "Commander of the Regent's Guard and Champion of the Triumvirate."
 

Count michael

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Mikhail looked disgusted at Dieter as he spoke
"I swore on my honour didn't I, I won't do anything unless they attack me" Mikhail said before following Dieter out of the of the carriage, seeing the vampire and the wights he cursed his hands straying to his weapons before he restrained himself a feral grin on his hands as he looked at the wights l "I could take them" he muttered to himself before turning to the vampire


"A vampire Queen? Sounds interesting. I'm Mikhail Bjornson. Herald and Champion of the Tzarina Katarin," Despite himself he found his gaze drawn to its lovely breasts and hips
" What a very nice body you have vampire it's so........ no.....unfortunately I am eternally loyal to my Queen" he said fighting to resist the vampire allure suddenly composing himself.
 

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The door on the rear carriage exploded open as Sylvie kicked it with a heavy boot, casually she reached out and grabbed the top corners of the doorframe and in a single smooth motion flipped herself outwards and up onto the carriage roof, landing lightly on all fours, before kicking off into a side flip twisting midair to land facing backwards upon the room of the middle carriage, turning her momentum into a flawless backflip on the roof of the lead carriage she cartwheeled across it before pushing off with her hands and flipping around midair to land with both hands upon Dieter’s shoulders “thanks for the catch handsome” Sylvie purred with a flirtatious batting of her eyelashes as she bridged back to her feet facing the distracted Anya “sooo why are we…….Stopping?” she asked before fallowing the Chosen’s gaze to the magnificent bare breasts of the unknown Lahmain, she stared for a second, tilting her head from side to side to see them from a different angle, before pulling out the front of her own shirt to look at her own breasts she looked back at the Lahmain with a smug grin “those are nice honey……but mine are better” she chuckled.
 

Bounce

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Elanor stepped out of her own carriage after it stopped and looked on to the see the group of armed wights and the naked lahmian. Elanor might have preferred men, but it was difficult to look away from her breasts. She was then unsurprised to see Sylvie's complete disregard for any courtesy or acknowledgement of the lahmians power. She hoped it wouldn't get them all killed.
"Sister." Elanor announced with due deference, curtseying low. "I am Elanor Rosenberg of Altdorf. I fervently hope you shall allow us to see your mistress, as young Alastor has said. We seek only to work together with her, for the good of all vampirekind. We have sought her out as it is well known that she and her sisters are the most wise, powerful and beautiful vampires in all of the old world."
A little bit of flattery could go a long way. Although Elanor thought the diversity of responses from each member of their group could only come across as... unusual.
 

The Dread King

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Morturion walked out of his carriage expectantly, his wight king bodyguard behind him. He flinched at the sight before him. The strigoi seemed to be having some sort of horrible...contest...with a Lahmian, the werewolf had been staring at the same Lahmian like an animal would stare at meat...even Anya had gazed at it lustfully for a moment. If the Council was this bad already, Morturion dreaded to think what the state of their mental resistance would be like when they met Neferata, the first and most powerful of her bloodline. Ironically, the one who had reacted best to the situation was the seemingly insane Alastor.

The necromancer exclaimed bluntly, "I am Morturion Darkheart, and I've got a question: is this -" he gestured contemptuously to the Lahmian's swaying hips, "-the sort of crude manipulation the hospitality your queen has prepared for us? It's just offensive that Neferata thinks we will all fall for such petty wiles. Unless this is a jape, to see how the werewolf and the knight that you foresaw coming will react...in which case we may not have the time for it. There are important matters at stake here, as you will know from observing our progress. Necromancy slips away as we speak."

His tone became slightly more gentle. He did not want to infuriate an army of vampires without an army of his own. He attempted to persuade the vampiress in front of him of the Council's case: "Your mistress needs necromancy just as much as we do. We believe we have discovered a link between its decline and - " Morturion stopped himself and smiled. "These are matters which may only be fit for your mistress' ears. This is why we need to speak to her, for her own - as well as our - safety."

"If you wish me to state further why we wish an audience, I will say this: the Council is one of the most powerful undead forces in the Old World that is not an army. A group of us can devastate places and melt back into the night. We have the support of the Carstein Triumvirate, which holds most of the Border Princes and half of the Empire, and has massed legions. Some of us have other influences - I, for instance, control a sizeable undead force in the Badlands, and my power there is greater than most other undead in that region. Think of the alliances your queen could make if she had an audience with us. Think of the fear she could spread across the Old World because of us. We ourselves would not be tributaries, but allies nonetheless. An audience with the Council offers her a good deal of power, no?" He smiled knowingly.

"So we request an audience with your queen."
 

Get of W'soran

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Dieter clenched his jaw at the Strigoi's antics and had to resist the urge to reach out and slap the fool woman on the back of the head.

Well either that or remove her head but that may be considered rude in current company. he thought to himself.

Listening to Morturion, Dieter nodded as he looked at the Lahmian.

"I must agree with Master Darkheart." he said looking the woman up and down with barely hidden dislike "I have been in the company of many representatives of the Sisterhood and they carried themselves with far more...dignity that this." he told the woman with a tilt of his head "The Ambassador to Count Vlad, the Lady Akela, for example would never have acted as such."

He shrugged slightly "I am curious as to the reason for appearing like this."

Only a pathetic vampire would be distracted by the naked form of another...we are not humans, we do not suffer their weaknesses. he thought staring coldly at the naked Lahmian before glancing at the Werewolf and sighing at the mutant's lack of composure.

The Captain was shocked to see even the Princess seemed hypnotised by the vampiress. He feared to see how some of the Council would react to the Legendary beauty of Nefereta.
 

Kavok

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Kavok was having trouble keeping his eyes open from the little sleep he had managed to get before the group set out, and the relatively light sleep it ended up being. As they rode, he would end up falling asleep for just a second, before the horse's riding would jolt him back awake.

When the giant bat monster came down, Kavok assumed that it was with the other vampires when it didn't instantly attack them, so he was more thankful that it let them stop for a bit longer so he might rest. He was about to close his eyes when he saw that the bat was transforming into a much more human figure. Kavok let out a small sigh, assuming that he probably should pay some attention to what this newcomer has to say.

Kavok just looked at her, listening to what she has to say and what some of the others are saying to her with a slightly puzzled, but mostly tired, look on his face. 'Something is off about her... Am I just imagining it? Is it the fact she is a vampire? She is a vampire isn't she... Maybe the fact she was a giant bat monster just a few seconds ago... Hmm... It reminds me of something back at Drakenhof... Which narrows things down for my knowledge of vampires...' Kavok continues to look at her for a little bit before freezing, his eyes going a little wider and some blood rushing to his face. 'Oh... H-how did I not notice... that she was wearing nothing...' Kavok then shakes his head slightly, and averts his gaze by glancing over at the rest of the group trying to talk with her.

When the necromancer spoke Kavok frowned in his direction. "You really aren't much of a diplomat are you necromancer... We traveled all this way to ask for help in this, did we not? How is threatening the parties you are trying to gain allegiance with going to help? The Lady who has come to meet us is obviously someone of some significance, considering she has come apparently representing the one we came to meet. If I'm not mistaken the only one who should naturally have the ability to speak above someone who is a representative instead of the actual one we are aiming to visit and request assistance from, is the Princess. I don't remember anyone else on this trip being treated with a similar level of respect back in Drakenhof anyways."

Letting out a small sigh, Kavok dismounted and walked over towards where the rest of the group was presenting themselves. Bowing towards, Kavok tried to avert his gaze from looking at her much, before remembering that it was likely very rude to not look at the one you were speaking with, and so tried his absolute best to just look her in the face and not have his eyes drift down. He managed to have moderate success with that engagement, and his face only went a little bit more red. "I am Sir Kavok Sarrowfang of Bastonne. I hope you can excuse some of the more... eccentric acts from the members of our group."
 

Get of W'soran

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Dieter blinked as Kavok spoke and shook his head.

"Idiot human, there was no threat in the Necromancer's words." he thought to himself sighing over the Knight's words "He offered the Lahmian's a chance to make powerful allies...although on the opposite end it does imply they would be powerful enemies to have, which the mortal has now pointed out too clearly."

Dieter made eye contact with Morturion and shook his head slightly "Ignore the fool." he advised softly.

Nodding to the vampiress Dieter spoke more loudly "I would like to emphasize Master Darkheart's point on alliances, I can offer you the full support of the Lord Regent Karl von Carstein, first of the Triumvirate. As in times past he welcomes political ties with the Sisterhood whom he feels have been noble allies in the past."

Dieter didn't believe his own words for the most part, Lahmians were too treacherous for Dieter to actually like.
However it was true Karl had worked with the Lahmians in the past and would happily do so in the future, indeed the Regent had already made diplomatic connections with groups of the other Bloodlines.

"Aside from the bestial Strigoi of course." he thought casting another disgusted glance at Sylvie.
 

The Archivist

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Faust sat in the carriage sketching furiously in a notebook, a spherical device sitting in his lap. He glanced out of the window at some flitting bats before returning to the rapid sketching.
 

Mello

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Alastor despite his age, still wasn't born yesterday, and caught the disgusted looks sent towards Sylvie. With a blur he was beside her, looking down and stroking some hair away from his mask, he tentatively held his hand out to Sylvie, some distant child in him remembering how he used to wish his hand was held by the pretty girl..
 

Ghouly

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Sylvie rolled her eyes as Elanor’s fawning over the unknown Lahmian, and snickered slightly as Morturion and the Dieter began to complain about the nudity. “If her whiles are so petty, why do they bother you two so, she is nude so what?” a mischievous grin appeared upon Sylvie’s lips “Unless you complain because it is a nude woman before you” she added quietly, noticing the disgusted look the Blood Dragon was throwing her way, she flashed him an amused smile and an arched eyebrow “not now beloved, there are people about” she teased.

A sudden movement to her left caught her attention and she turned to see Alastor shyly brushing his hair away from his face, and tentatively extend his hand towards her almost as if he wanted her to hold it “Merde bien” she cursed quietly, “He is just as adorable as a puppy with a hurt paw” she thought staring for a moment, “you’re walking a tightrope Sylvie, don’t break the boy’s heart” she smiled gently at the younger Strigoi “there you are, you disappeared so quickly last night we never finished our little talk, if you have more questions I’ll happily answer them, after we finish with the current events” she leaned in close “the sisterhood is always listening, and there are things about our bloodline that must be explained in private, loin des oreilles écoute” she whispered into his ear.
 
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Nimrais followed out of the carriage and waited her turn to introduce herself. The Lahmian before her certainly was beautiful, even more beautiful then herself, she thought. The darkness around the places appeared a bit distorted and jagged. It seemed her companion was more nervous than she was. Luckily she was able to keep a straight face through it all.

After hearing the former introductions, Elanors seemed the most fitting. But that was to be expected of a fellow Lahmian of course.

"Even though Morturion might not have meant to sound so aggressive", the shadowy figure noted, "implying that the Queen of Mysteries would even need such allies might be caught as an insult towards vampires as vain as these."

"Agreed", she thought back, "but any words can be fickle for her. There's little knowing what would set her off if we don't know what mood she is in."

"I am Nimrais Nahmir, originating from Middenheim, a fellow sister of our blood". She bowed deeply from her waist off. She wanted her former dress back, the one ruined in the battle near Drakenhoff, instead of these sturdy boots, pants, shirt and jacket. They fitted her well, but were hardly courtly. But she hoped there would be enough time to change herself upon arrival.

"You might want to introduce yourself a little more clearly."

"How come?"

"I'm sure the reputation of your unfortunate sire proceeds you. They might not trust you that much. Alenco is declared free game for any vampire."

"If I had the chance I'd kill him myself."

"I hope they'll realize that."

Adding to her introduction, Nimrais decided to reveal her sire. "Unfortunate progeny of Alenco Klimt, although no longer affiliated."

"As you can see from the representatives of the council, we're a diverse bunch. But desperate times calls for drastic actions, and this issue, we simply can not ignore."

With that being said, she stood upright again, taking a few steps back to make clear she was done speaking, looking firmly at the Lahmian, not showing how nervous she was.. or envious of her beauty.
 

Mello

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Alastor looked up mournfully at Sylvie, before gesturing minutely away from the party. His hand, not being held, was clasped by his other one as if he was trying to cover up what he had just done in embarrassment.
 

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Sylvie sighed “alright then” she thought to herself, as she fallowed after Alastor “we can do this now, not like we are surrounded by the Lahmains or anything”.
 

Mello

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Alastor raised an almost cynical eyebrow "We have trade secrets?"
 

Ghouly

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Sylvie returned the raised eyebrow with one of her own “your young, but you will soon learn all Vampires keep secrets, It isn’t what you know of our kind that will kill you it is what you don’t” she said calmly sounding like a school mistress. “Our line has been hunted to the brink of extinction; it would not do to give the hunters more ammunition against our kind”.
 
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