• Roll-up! Roll-up! Come one and all the fantastic Turning the World to Darkness painting competition. Welcome to any skill level, you can find out more here.
  • It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more here.

TVC II Chapter 5 - The Wastes

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
88
#76
Esmerelda sighed.

"As much as I enjoy watching this lover's tiff turn into a flexing of muscles, perhaps we can discuss how in Zirhojy's name we can make it into the camp."[/b]

She spread her arms wide.

"Look around you, we are in the Chaos Wastes, there are plenty of roaming warbands. Perhaps we could provoke another warband into attacking this one. It won't matter if whether or not either of these sides win. All we need do is leave evidence of a rival trying to muscle in on their dominion. Perhaps with the aid of the grey wind could we do this."[/]

The Queen then focussed her emerald eyes on the group

"If we manage this, we will find what we seek; colllectively and individually.
 

Malochai

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
3,110
#77
Markus snarled beneath his mask and bared his fangs menacingly as Nekhlior placed himself between the two descendants of Abhorash. “I deny any connection via blood to this fool,” he barked, before turning back to Kraskor.

“No, you can’t expect me to understand the bond with one’s father-in-darkness. What I can understand, though is the sheer naïvety such a bond has encouraged within you, and unwillingness to accept even ideas because of it! You have such dependence upon him and your idea of his ‘goodness’; it’s sickening.
“I would remind you that I have avoided the touch of the sun for near seven hundred years, Kraskor. But such falsehoods as those you use to give example are foolish; the idea that one of our own could have turned his back on us out of self-preservation is a realistic possibility. The vast majority of our kind will only come together in the direst of circumstances, such as now - our link to this world is weakening, so we gather to fight it.”


The Lion looked out over the plain to the lumbering mass of Chaos-driven warriors beneath them. “And yet the identity of our foe is important, is it not? Surely an inkling as to whom it is we fight will determine how we go about fighting them!”

When Graveclaw spoke, his gravelly, unrefined voice grating against Shah’s already irritated nerves, he retorted vehemently. “Not even you can kill all the warriors of Chaos down there, Strigoi.” he then sighed, and looked around levelly.

“Master Nekhlior is right; send Igor in - as much as I dislike the idea.” He then walked slowly over to Esmerelda, removing his left Claw quickly, and placed the gloved hand beneath on her shoulder firmly, before muttering in a tone that sounded almost upset, “If only this did get me what I truly desired ...”
 

Count Darvaleth

I <3 marmite
True Blood
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
3,534
#78
Something was keeping Kraskor cool. He didn't know what, but somehow Markus' anger did not provoke a response in kind. Indeed, Banespike almost felt a shiver of sadistic pleasure out of seeing the other Blood Dragon so worked up, only to be proved so dearly wrong later. As he surely would be.

"I shan't argue this further, as by now you must realise my mind is set," Kraskor began. "Neither will I begrudge you your beliefs, as false as they appear to me. The reason I use these analogies is because that is the same situation here. Let's look at what we know."

Kraskor paused, considering carefully. "Something is "draining" Necromancy. We have deduced some Chaos power is the source of this. Vampires are anathema to Chaos, and cannot be corrupted by them. This in itself should be enough to assume that no vampire would be the Chaos Champion, especially considering Vekarin Banespike is no youngling, but possessed of extremely strong will." After another pause, "However, I can see this issue may need more examining, for others' benefit. So, let's assume the nature of our gift is not what it is, but rather that vampires can be turned by Chaos. Of all the vampires who might be turned, Vekarin would be last. He alone would be left standing after all our kin turn to the Dark Gods. Why do I say this?" Kraskor paused again.

"Some of you may have heard of Nagash?" Kraskor chuckled. "Vekarin sacrificed more than anyone, fought harder, and pushed himself further, than any other vampire still with us today." Kraskor added the last part out of respect for Vlad and Lesa, although he didn't really believe it. "Why would he go to all the effort to save our race, when the odds seemed overwhelming and he could have joined Nagash at any time, just to turn traitor at the first sign of trouble afterwards?"
 

Ghouly

Liche
True Blood
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
5,517
#79
Graveclaw exploded into motion spinning around seized Kraskor by the shoulders and bodily lifted the Blood Dragon from the ground, carrying him away from the camp and slammed him against a nearby tree with a heavy thud “sssssshut up thrall” the Strigoi growled as he planted a forearm against the Blood Dragon’s collar pinning him “puny thrall wantssssss to talk about ssssacrifice, Graveclaw will tell him about sssssacrifice!” he snarled thrusting his face into the Blood Dragon’s.
“lassssst council cosssst Graveclaw everything even the life of hissss only friend, and hundrends people their very livesssssss, sssssso do not ssssspew your garbage about how much Banessssspike sssssacrificed, yesssss he killed Bonehead but not until after Graveclaw took hisssss crown and Cromwell crippled him with magic, whatever Banessssspike wassssss in the passsst he broken now, he wasssss broken even before council, Graveclaw doessssn’t know how or when Chaossss got it’sssss clawsssss into him, and he doessss’nt care but Banessssspike now threatensssss the entire world sssssso now he musssst die!” Graveclaw released Kraskor and turned away, dropping down onto all fours and bounded away silently towards the gathered horde, if the council was just going to argue then Graveclaw would take care of things himself.
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
#80
Nekhlior watched Markus scream at Kraskor, then his own apprentice blabber some nonsense about his sire's sacrifices after which Graveclaw joined in.

The Necrarch sighed audibly. He hated the council.
 

Count Darvaleth

I <3 marmite
True Blood
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
3,534
#81
Kraskor stood up, dusted himself down, and wiped the steaming spittle from his chestplate. He looked around, before letting out a long whistle.

"Well," he said, "That really seemed to kill the conversation."
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
#82
"Indeed." Nekhlior said dryly leaning on his staff as he glared around at the others "Can we please get on with whatever we are going to do, this entire venture is growing very tedious and beginning to bore me."
 

Malochai

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
3,110
#83
"I agree. This standing about, doing nothing ... It does little to aid our situation. We need leadership!" Shah intoned, his voice as calm and steady, though powerful as ever. "Out of those here, I would suggest that Nekhlior and the Champion are the strongest and best suited to deal with the horrors which rally to the Chaotic banners when they can. Thus, I say the decision rests with one of them. Once a decision has been made, inform me."

Chin high, masked face impassive, he turned on his heel and strode to the ridge, whereupon he crouched and began studying the huge encampment before him.
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
#84
Nekhlior stabbed a skeletal finger in Igor's direction.

"The Assassin!" he snarled feeling like this was the 1000th time he'd pointed it out "Send him! His ability to travel invisibly and silently makes him perfect for scouting the enemy camp."

He gestured around at the party.

"The rest of us travel only as far as is safe, staying too far from the camp for them to see us, I can cast an illusion so far off eyes don't see us in the distance and we simply wait for Igor's report."

He turned pointed at Markus, Kraskor and then the Rowhaine "After which the military minded can come up with a plan as they shall be equipped with knowledge of the enemy camp."

Clearly annoyed he glared at the others.

"Or shall we simply stand here and 'plan' until Necromancy dies?"
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
88
#85
"xIf that is the case", said Esmerelda "Perhaps I could contribute my knowledge of the grey wind, it has served me well in both life and undeath. I think Shah here could testify to that..and so could the Skaven we slew back in Sylvania."
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
495
#86
Igor cleared his throat, appearing in the conversation. Unexpected appearences were some of the only things that pleased him anymore.

"Enough of this bickering. I, and anyone else who can be stealthy enough to follow, will do as Master Nekhilor says." Igor said, nodding his respect at the ancient nechrarch, "we need to put a plan into motion or we will have traveled here for nothing."
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
#87
"Thank you assassin." Nekhlior said "I shall follow at a distance behind bit will stop well short of the Chaos Encampment and with Esmerelda's assistance we shall hide whoever remains with us from unwelcome eyes...so long as those eyes don't get too close."

"Take no unnecessary risks and scout as much of the enemy camp as you feel is save." he added as an after thought. "Oh and keep an eye out for Graveclaw, the beast is a hunter of the deadliest kind and will no doubt already be on his way to our target. He is unpredictable and may do something foolish like attack, if so do not assist him."

Nekhlior disliked the Strigoi's randomness, at times he was a great asset like his surprise assault on the chaos forces but equally he made stupid mistakes such as assault the King's sons in their own lair.

The Necrarch nodded taking advantage of his rare moment of clarity before his damaged mind failed him once more.

"Let's go!" he snapped "Who ever feels they can keep up with our sneaking friend go, everyone else stay close."

Turning he nodded to Esmeralda "If you are capable of weaving your magic with others then please join my efforts to gather Ulgu to shield us from sight."

With that the vampire began walking off, whispering incantations from the Lore of Shadows, making small gestures with the Staff of W'soran.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
88
#88
"I am very able, venerable son of W'Soran."Responded Esmerelda with a smile; immediately she began to coil her hands into rudras. Just as an incantation in the Strigany tongue began to pour from her lips, her hands began to dance like serpents; the very shadows began to wrap themselves around her physique. The movements began to grow more hypnotic, amplified by the Ulgu she drew from all around her.

However, this was only the beginning of the spell she would cast with the Necrarch.
 

Count Darvaleth

I <3 marmite
True Blood
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
3,534
#89
Kraskor nodded in assent with Shah. "I too would respect Nehklior's leadership," he said, adding his own affirmation of the group's ad-hoc leader. The decision to stealthily scout the camp to discover its capabilities was militarily sound. Information was just another weapon in the arsenal, after all.

Kraskor followed Nehklior as he moved towards the camp, watching Esmeralda cast weaving shadows. The spell would hopefully shield them from view, and while Kraskor was confident Igor could remain hidden, he could not say the same for Graveclaw. Indeed, Graveclaw's meddling was becoming irritable.

What if he were to be discovered?

The thought crept unbidden into the Blood Dragon's mind, but he didn't flinch from it. In fact, he rather liked the idea.

Approaching Nehklior, Kraskor spoke in a hushed tone, so as not to be heard.

"Master Nehklior, I hope I am not alone when I say I find Graveclaw's... impulsiveness somewhat tiresome. But more than that, he is becoming a liability. Everything he does is motivated by violent tempers." Kraskor paused. "Would it not perhaps be advantageous for him to be discovered? You have already asked Igor not to assist should he let himself be found, but what if his discovery was... deliberate?"

Kraskor stepped back, so as not to appear suspicious to the others. "Just an idea," he added.


EDIT: Red & bold added to avert any confusion.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
495
#90
Igor flashed a rare, dark smile, more predatory than happy. He was beginning to get into the hunt. He felt his hands twitch toward his cloak, as if in anticipation, and heard the voices of the guards in his head. He felt the thrill of the chase and knew soon he would act on it.
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
#91
A litany of the arcane was streaming from Nekhlior's lips, at first the words were in the usual rasp of his cold dead voice but as the power of Ulgu began to wash over him his voice began to change, his corpse's voice being injected with life.

The Necrarch's incantation became a song, beautiful and musical. Likewise his movements became mesmeric; graceful and gentle so unlike his horrific appearance.

Hearing Kraskor's words the Necrarch grinned as his spell continued uninterrupted, his fang's showing with the facial gesture.

However just because he couldn't talk didn't mean he couldn't reply.

"An excellent idea my young apprentice, mention it to Igor if he returns." Nekhlior said telepathically over the link "I believe we could trust him with such a...delicate task."
 

Malochai

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
3,110
#92
Shah glanced over at Esmerelda, his lips curling into a slight, tight smile beneath his mask, and he nodded curtly at her, before turning back to look at the camp in the distance, triggering memories from the distant past, sending him down the dark tunnels of his mind. He lost focus on the conversation of the others and stood still as a statue, hands crossed beneath his back and feet spread comfortably.

Minutes passed. The memory of a Bretonnian camp, hundreds of years ago, being drawn into a fight he had no wish to be a part of, to prove himself worthy of his name. Shah remembered the cold lance of fear he had felt entering the Bretonnian camp and the tent at it's centre. He shuddered slightly at the memory of fear, and then made himself still - that was over seven centuries before; since then, there was little that he had to fear. He had been made a predator just as fierce as those warped by magic - "I am no longer mortal. I am no longer fearful." The words weren't meant to be said out loud, and he glanced around, shocked out of his daze by the movement of his own jaw, anxious to see whether anyone had heard the single moment of vulnerability he would allow himself.
 

Disciple of Nagash

The Perverted One
Staff member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
27,916
#93
They have made the decision without you

Rowhaine regarded the departing vampires silently as the Ushabti watched their lord. The plan they had devised did not necessarily sit well with him, all of them seem to have fallen for the typical failure of their kind, arrogance and vastly underestimating their foe. Banespike was one of the oldest and most powerful of their kind, with a keen tactical mind forged under the tutelage of Abhorash. Whilst he may have been a unwilling captive of the powers of darkness, they had to assume the worst, and if that was the case that Banespike could be their foe.

If this was truly the case then he doubted any of those present including himself would be able to best him in combat, and if he still more the same plate of armour, he would be nigh on immune to magic - the only mage ever to have breached it was now dead.

However they had made a decision, and with the undercurrent of anger it was not the time to challenge them.

"Follow them," he said to the Ushabti. Phahotep looked at his lord in consternation,

"What of you?"

"I must stop Graveclaw before he makes a mistake and either gets himself killed or reveal us." Phahotep started forward in objection,

"Alone? We are here first and foremost to protect you, I cannot allo-"

"You cannot?" Rowhaine interrupted, his golden gaze boring into the warrior, "I do as I see fit and you will follow my commands." His tone softened, "I understand your concern but Graveclaw will not hurt me - his is not the animal so many see him as, despite what he may act like."

(OOC: To be continued after I get home from work.....)
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
#94
Nekhlior stopped the group a fair distance from the camp, close enough for the vampiric eye to make out most major details but far enough away that even the keenest witchsight would not detect the Necrarch's Illusionary magic.

The Necrarch put his hand to his mouth as he continued to speak in the musical tongue of Ulgu and whispered softly, when he withdrew his hand golden writing covered Nekhlior's entire arm.

Kneeling he softly touched the ground and grey, ever-shifting, runes engraved themselves into the earth as the golden script faded.

The runes flowed over the earth as lines of the same colour leapt around the group to form a warding circle which traped the moving arcane words within.

Nekhlior drove his staff into the centre of the circle and stepped back. With his work done he nodded his thanks to Esmerelda. Even though the two vampires were no longer chanting the ward that the Necrarch had forged would still get it's power from the two.

"Do not leave the circle." he hissed "I have made a temporary and stationary ward to hide us from sight until the Assassin returns."

Nekhlior assured himself he was just being cautious, a great Sorcerer like himself had no need to actually fear the Slaves of Chaos.
He shivered as he recalled his last confrontation with the Servants of Change.

"Oh yes...just caution." he whispered to himself, eyeing the enemy encampment.
 

Disciple of Nagash

The Perverted One
Staff member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
27,916
#95
Still visibly unhappy, Phahotep moved forward with the Ushabti to where Nekhlior had created the ward.

"The Champion will join us momentarily," he said, "he has gone in pursuit of the Strigoi to ensure our secrecy." Neither is face nor tone overtly portrayed anything, yet there was a slight hint of resentment in the Ushabti's tone, resentment that his lord was putting himself in danger when the other members of the Council had not made any attempt to stop Graveclaw.

"Whilst we wait for Igor to return, we should check our information on Banespike, confirm we all know the same thing. Some of you fought with Banespike against Nagash. I have been told that he was not a typical Blood Dragon, and that he wore a plate created by the ruinous powers - is this right?"

***

Rowhaine's form blurred as he sped forward faster than even the Lords of the Night could manage, Asaph's holy strength surging through his veins. Ahead he could see the Graveclaw's bulky form moving at a speed that jarred with what would be expected from such a monstrous being.

With an extra spurt of speed Rowhaine overtook the Strigoi, planting himself in the beasts path.

"Graveclaw!" the Champion's voice boomed, "stop before you risk revealing us all!"


***


Whoever had was in charge of the Chaos forces was no fool. As Igor approached it was clear that the land surrounding the encampment had been fully cleared to remove any cover for those who might have sneaked up on them unannounced. Warriors in heavy black plate rode beasts that snorted flame, slowly walking around the perimeter, helms not revealing whether those beneath were still human or something else. Sneaking in was not going to be easy......
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
#96
Nekhlior shrugged.

"So long as the two of them don't make too much noise." Nekhlior muttered without turning to look at the Ushabti, he disliked their kind being near...too long and dark a history with the Gods that enslaved them and frankly they didn't belong on the Vampire Council.

Nor did Rowhaine for that matter despite what respect the Necrarch had for the former-vampire, he might have gathered the Immortals together but he was not one of them.

Nekhlior sighed softly.
"Vehki-Rhan had both plate and blade which stank of Chaos." the vampire murmured distractedly, most of his focus was on watching the distant camp.

"But it'd probably be better to ask my apprentice here." he said with a wave at Kraskor "After-all who would know him better than his own son."
 

Ghouly

Liche
True Blood
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
5,517
#97
Graveclaws advance slowed, but did not halt, as the Strigoi rose upright engulfing Rowhaine within his shadow. “No boy, the lassst time Graveclaw did thingssss the councils way it ended with the Carsssstinssss ruling half the Empire, Move boy or Graveclaw will move you and none of your Daemonssss can ssssave you, Graveclaw going to tear off Banessssspikessss damn head, go back to the Empire and beat in Carsssstinessss sssskull with it, from now on Graveclaw do thingssss hisssss way!”
 

Sweeney Todd

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
4,036
#98
Standing within Nekhlior's circle of illusions, Kenshiro heard what the Necrarch murmured seemingly to himself, though he took care not to let it show that he had noticed. His words jelled with the story Todd had told Kenshiro before he had joined this venture, and only served to reinforce the suspicions regarding Vekarin. The Easterner remained standing silently with arms folded across his chest as Nekhlior continued to speak. Words were unnecessary when the skeptical glance Kenshiro threw in Kraskor's direction said all he might have wanted to say.
 

Malochai

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
3,110
#99
Shah joined the vampires within the illusionary wards Nekhlior had created, but stood impassively and silently, listening intently to the conversation as it flowed. However, Kraskor's sheer blindness to the possibility of Vekarin's involvement caused him consternation, and the necrarch suggesting that the get of the vampire they assumed to be in control of the huge army devoted to the dark gods below made him uncomfortable, and he ground his teeth, but found he couldn't keep his thoughts to himself.

"I do not feel that Kraskor's information should be so heavily valued; he has an idealised version of his father-in-darkness ..."
 

Disciple of Nagash

The Perverted One
Staff member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
27,916
Rowhaine was dwarfed by the massive form of Graveclaw, and before his ascension the champion would have been ridiculously outmatched against the Strigoi. However as things stood now, in his demi-god state he was relatively sure he could stop the raging vampire. The question was; should he?

No. Your gifts were provided to enable you to be our chosen voice in the world, to defend yourself and to be used only the direst of circumstances. Asaph's warning was clear as it rang through his head. Their foolishness is certainly not a reason.

Rowhaine felt his anger flare for a moment, frustration mixed resentment at the control being placed upon him. As he did Asaph's voice dimmed for a second before returning as he mastered his anger.....though not before a long lost but familiar feeling briefly flittered in his mind.

What happened? I could not feel you then for a moment?

Rowhaine ignored the Goddess, forced to focus as Graveclaw moved towards him. Though his stance didn't speak of an attack, it was clear the vampire planned to move through him whether he liked it or not. The Strigoi was therefore caught completely offguard when the Champion's holy power became apparent, holding his ground against Graveclaw's renowned strength. Surprise swiftly turned to anger and he reared upwards again, massive claws raising before he stopped, nose sniffing at the air.

Seconds passed and Rowhaine realised something was wrong as Graveclaw's eyes narrowed, peering into the swirling clouds of sound that clouded the hills to their west.

"Idiot boy!" he hissed, "isssss an ambush! The stench of chaossssss issss all around!"

Alarm raced along Rowhaine's nerves like fire as he extended his supernatural senses to the limit, but he could find nothing at first. Then the more he focused, the more something in the sand started to take shape. It was so well shielded that even with knowing what he was looking for, all he could make out was a large formless force was nearby.

We have been deceived! But how....we are Gods! We cannot-

"There is time to apportion the blame later," Rowhaine muttered under this breath, "now is certainly not the time." Not waiting for a reply he turned back to Graveclaw,

"We don't have the time for this. I can sense what you smell, they don't yet realise we know but I am sure they will do in a moment. The force is large and even we, even you, cannot succeed against an entire army. We have to retreat whilst we still can."

Graveclaw simply glared in response and Rowhaine made a decision.

"Fine, it is your choice to commit suicide, I will have no part of it." His words said Rowhaine took off at a hard run, Asaph's vigour turning him into a blur as he returned back to where the rest of the vampires remained. He felt no guilt for no checking if Graveclaw followed him, the nobility and cunning that Mistress Lesa had once spoke of seemed to have long left the beast.

Phahotep and rest of the Ushabti stood to attention as their master drew to a standstill, but before they could speak Rowhaine cut them off,

"We must retreat, and quickly," he said, "we have somehow been deceived and a force waits to ambush us. I suggest that Master Nekhilor creates a portal to return us to Drakenhof as soon as possible, and then-"

His words went silent as booming horns echoed from what seemed to be everywhere. A second later the wind blew bloody murder, sand blasting those assembled like a furnace before it died down as quickly as it began. As his sight cleared Rowhaine looked back to where he knew he would see their ambushers, and had a moment of shock as he saw the force arrayed against them. It was clear that unlike their overconfident actions, the forces of the enemy were not willing to underestimate them. In the distance thousands of black armour plated warriors strode forward, supported by frenzied barbarians and flickering bodies of light that would no doubt prove to be daemons.

The more concerning element however was the riders at the fore. Over a thousand Chaos knights thundered towards them, with a score of champions at their lead. Supporting them were chariots and more daemonic forces that were swift enough to keep up with the cavalry.

Without an army of their own this was an un-winnable battle for the Council. Whilst they would take a heavy toll, in the end they would be overrun.

Rowhaine took this all in a second and calculated they had minutes before the enemy was upon then.

"Nekhilor! Create a portal! Now!"
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top