• 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 7 - Return to the Silver Pinnacle

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,559
"Welcome back, Mikahil," Niklaus said, relieved the werewolf was gone. Useful or not, it was not a reliable ally, and he didn't like standing too close to it. "I killed a Pyromancer and several New Bloods. Many more New Bloods fell to other Council members. Now we are waiting for the von Carstein loyalists to restrain and control Ambassador Varelsa...who has become a bestial monster. After that, I suspect we will continue to the Silver Pinnacle." He shook his head. "With a much reduced escort, unfortunately."
 

The Dread King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,897
Rowhaine did not flinch as Mikhail's gruesome transformation occurred, only speaking as the light in his eyes died down and Mikhail emerged from the Skinwolf's body. "What now?" he said, returning the question to Mikhail as he pondered it.

After a moment of silence, he stated: "Now, we reorganise our forces. We take account of our losses, and they seem to be low enough for us to continue in our mission, in which case we will do so as soon as everything is ready; the ambassador must be calmed, and injuries seen too. I would advise you all to make your way back to the carriages; if you have any injuries that need seeing to, I suggest you go to see that commander near our transport. I expect that necromancers among his forces will be able to see to you wounds."

Rowhaine then turned around, and looked back at the others for a minute. The wraiths had restored the damaged carriage; each was returning to the driving seats of their own carriages. The righted coach had no driver, but it would follow the others as it was bound to fulfil the same purpose, the necromancy that animated it driving it to follow its orders even without a wraith on top of it. Before walking away, he made a final remark: "I now need to make inquiries as to the nature of this attack. Who attacked, why, and how, that is. I would also like to learn the full extent of the casualties borne in this attack - but I am pleased to see that Sylvie is amongst the council's number once again."
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,559
Niklaus nodded. He began moving back to his carriage when he remembered Varelsa. He had been the one to bring the Ambassador into battle...resulting in the beast within coming out, so he felt it a responsibility to check his condition. He strode towards where the loyalist assassins were restraining the beast.
"The battle's over, Ambassador. We need you, not the beast," he said, trying to sound encouraging. He didn't have God-powers like Rowhaine, but could speak his part nonetheless.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
A torn scrap of cloth floating in the air before the ethereal prince suddenly twisted tightly, releasing three precious drops of vampiric blood. The ghost of a smile drifted across the lord's bony features. 'Now I have you' whispered the Kithan as the three drops separated and joined the three slowly growing amulets made from the fragments of iron, wood and silver that were being assembled in front of the spectral wizard. Meanwhile three small opals, their colours writhing with the wight's power, also joined the intricate brooches as they took shape from the assembled detritus of battle. Barely audible, murmured words of power joined in the subtle enchantment. The battle, with its annoying elements of free will, had irritated the Lord of Ivrel, he was not used to his plans being thwarted, but now he felt calm again as he practised his glorious art. The Goddess worked in threes. if nothing else the three times three pathways that Kithan now followed would surely serve to draw her attention and possibly her capricious fortune. The glowing green portal of viridian flames settled like a corona around his head, while the cloak of briars round his shoulders, slowly twisted and turned, round its hidden folds.
 

The Dread King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,897
Rowhaine noted, as he walked towards Meta, that the Ambassador appeared to have been encased in a dome of shadow - presumably the assassins are calming him there, the Champion guessed. I wonder what could have caused him to transform. It is a liability that we should have taken account of...one amongst so many others. We must not be fall foul of it again.

Approaching the commander with an inquisitive look, Rowhaine stated, "The Skinwolf has been seen to. Is there anything else I can do to help?" It was left unsaid that, if all pressing matters had been seen to, the Nehekharan expected and hoped for a full account of the battle.
 

The Dread King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,897
OOC: I have GoW's permission to RP his characters until his return to activity. Hence this post will include dialogue/actions from his characters, but I will try not to god-mod and only write the bare minimum required.

Almost instantaneously, Meta responded to Rowhaine, "No - all is done. Now all we must do is wait to see who is capable of venturing to the Pinnacle and then you can continue on your journey, no?"

"Yes," Rowhaine responded. His brow deeply furrowed, he paused for a moment, before enquiring, "Can you explain what happened here?"

A nod of understanding was given before the commander proceeded to brief Rowhaine on the basic details of the battle: most importantly, that Sylvie had been rescued, that the traitor assassins had given pursuit, and that the resulting assault had been halted. At the end of Meta's explanation, which lasted several minutes, Rowhaine shifted uncomfortably. "Perhaps you could have consulted me before sending a squad in to rescue a member of the council? No matter, I suppose; the work was done. Still, they were awfully well organised. They may have information on the council...I might recommend reviewing your organisation, to check that no informants yet remain."

Meta stared coldly at the mortal before him, considering a response. "You might indeed," was all that was given.

Any further conversation was cut off as the shadow dome receded, to reveal a group of loyalist assassins standing around the exhausted, but now humanoid, form of Varelsa. Convenient timing, Rowhaine mused. He heard footsteps, and saw Sigmund approaching. Even more convenient timing, the Champion of the Gods reflected. The templar looked straight past Rowhaine - which would have irritated a prouder man - and reported to Meta, "All six of them can continue, fortunately...still, this fight will undoubtedly have left many of them worse for the wear, even if this is only in terms of morale."

His words pointed, he concluded, "We cannot afford such an attack again, with our reduced escort."

Meta inclined his head, and intoned sibiliantly, "My brothers will see to it that this area is secured; we can act as a distant rearguard of sorts, and ensure Silibar's agents in the vicinity of this area do not interfere again."

"Good," Sigmund replied curtly, walking off towards the carriages, his men trooping behind him. It appeared to Rowhaine that there was to be no delay. His thoughts were once again interrupted by Meta's words: "I shall be leaving soon, as will my brothers; Jäger, however, will remain with you to bolster your escort. We will deal with the, ah, remaining questions on this battlefield. In the meantime, it is best that you press on with your mission."

Rowhaine regarded the commander for a moment. A man shrouded in mystery; he may prove dangerous, but for now, he is a welcome hidden avenger. "You have my thanks," he responded solemnly.

As Sigmund and his knights readied themselves for travel once more, Varelsa wordlessly made his way into a coach, and Rowhaine addressed all in a authoritative tone that cut cleanly through the air: "Members of the council: this interruption has now been seen off. It is imperative that we continue to the Silver Pinnacle - to the carriages!" With these words, Rowhaine made his way to another coach, sitting down within its sturdy, but worn, confines.
Thank Ptra, the mortal reflected, it is time to make that debacle history, and deal with the questions surrounding this Pinnacle, the answers to which the traitor assassins have seemed desperate to stop us finding. Regardless of her allegiance, it is time to confront Neferata.

It is time to find the answers.
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,559
"Welcome back, Ambassador," Niklaus said, before walking back to the carriage he had been in, relieved the near-fatal encounter was over and eager to recover his energy. His next challenge would be talking to Neferata without her mentioning their...conflict of interest. He would have to talk to her alone. Again he silently cursed his decision. At least the meeting would be...interesting.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
The Wight King lifted his head, hearing the rustle of grass as footsteps approached the carriages. It looked as though they were to resume their journey. Cats and thorns curled sinuously around his robe wrapped frame as he bent his head and refocused on the task before him. It wasn't easy though, thoughts of their recent encounter continued to plague his mind. Kithan had been the unquestioned ruler of his tiny realm for more years than any could remember and he wasn't used to opposition. He was also unsettled by the sheer speed of the event, forcing him to respond in a manner that was less than optimum. The disquiet ran deeper than that though and Kithan was old enough to be able to accept his analysis. For perhaps the first time in his long, extended existence, he was working as part of a team. Nicklaus, Varelsa, the skin wolf, had become more than pieces on a game board, their continued survival was not merely the most expedient course to achieving his aims. It was a disturbing thought, but one the wight was willing to accept, acknowledge and embrace. Meanwhile he had the three amulets to finish. Eyes burning, he bent forwards to continue their enchantments.
 

Ghouly

Liche
True Blood
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
5,517
Sylvie sat atop one of the carriages, grey with a layer of dust upon her save for the few rivulets of ichor that oozed from the dozens of cuts crisscrossing her arms and torso especially the brutal gash across her forehead where the assassin in the woods had nearly taken her life.
More troubling to the Strigoi was how the assassins had caught her and worse yet they had made her look weak in front of the council.
“And lord Varelsa” Sylvie silently pondered why her elder was present, and why she had not been told.
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
Varelsa smiled at Niklaus as the other vampire joined him in the carriage. However the expression was forced and seemed to lack the ambassador's usual confidence.

"Thank you Lord Niklaus and I apologise for any...inconvenience I caused during this skirmish." the Strigoi said hesitantly.

With another weak smile the elder vampire turned away and leant against the opposite closed door to seemingly stare out the window.

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

Jäger strode down the hill towards the carriages, he'd managed to beg, steal and borrow enough arrows from his brethren to refill his empty quiver.

"Captain!" a familiar woman yelled.

Jäger turned to see four figures bolt down the hill after him, like him they were all archers and wore the mottled cloak green and grey hooded cloak instead of the usual assassin cowl. Notably they all carried the black bows of an Order Marksman.

"How are you Captain?" the speaker asked, she was around Jäger's height and wore a huge grin under her hood. She was exceptionally pretty apparently in her early twenties with a trim athletic figure. "We heard you got beat bad."

"Piss off Isalda."
the Captain replied in annoyance "Rikert's the one that got caught, yeah? So clearly I won."

"Didn't Jack do most of the work? That's what everyone's saying."
the lanky man behind Isalda said with a tone and expression so blank that it could only be on purpose.

"Well "everyone's" an idiot then." Jäger snapped "And where the hells where you Matz?"

"About."
the tall man said with a shrug.

Jäger caught the other two men, the twins Thoman and Frix, snickering.

"Alright you're all bloody hilarious but I've a carriage to catch, the Commander's told me to stick with the Council after this blunder."

The four archers seemed to grimace in unison at that although whether in sympathy for their officer or due to knowing that the Order was at least partially responsible for allowing Silibar's traitors to get so close.

Jäger paused before looking back at the others. "Here...do me a favour while you're with the others...keep an eye on Jack, he got messed up pretty bad."

Isalda frowned "I heard Rikert stuck him with liquid silver, didn't know if it was true." she said to which her Captain nodded.

"Shit."
Frix cursed.

"Bastard." Thoman added.

"What about his men?" Matz asked.

With a sigh Jäger shook his head. "Dead I think. Theobold definitely went down."

A series of curses rang out from his Jäger's squad, Jack and his men had worked together with Jäger's for the last half a decade and they'd gotten to know each other pretty well on top of which Squad 2 had always been a closer brotherhood than the other Squads in the Order.

"So...watch out, I'm not sure how Jack will handle...well anything but especially these loses and mixed with his injuries. Just stop him from doing anything stupid until I see him again."

"That's a big ask." Frix muttered but Isalda kicked him in the leg before nodded to her Captain.

"We'll do it boss."

Jäger nodded and without another word he strode off towards the carriage.

"Tell Varelsa we put his stuff on the carriage!" Isalda shouted after him.

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

Jäger popped his head into the carriage to see Varelsa and Niklaus sitting within.

"Mi'lords." he said with a quick bow of his head before turning to the Strigoi "Ambassador, your sword and armour have been packed away."

Varelsa waved dimissively at him in response.

With a shrug the archer added "I'll be up front if you need me."

With a polite nod the assassin withdrew and moved to sit up beside the ethereal driver, keeping the long bow across his legs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
Without any sort of warning the carriage suddenly lurched back then forward as the skeletal steeds lunged against their traces. Writhing coils of briar tightened their hold on the Wight King's sorcerous accoutrements, so that they barely moved as the coach picked up speed. Other than a brief, instinctive glance towards the window to confirm their movement, Kithan hardly registered the fact that their journey had finally recommenced. The emerald haze of mist and enchantment within the boxy interior only intensified as he continued to focus on the three tiny amulets taking form before him.
 

Count michael

The Undead Sparky
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
768
Mikhail was sitting on the roof of a carriage blissfully unaware of his surroundings, he was still rather shaken by his recent transformation and was keen not to be distracted by any vampire whilst he tried to regain his composure not willing to let them see his weakness. So occupied was he that he did not notice the Kithan until with a violent jolt the northman was thrown backwards threatening to fall of the carriage. Cursing rather loudly Mikhail swung out with his axe which embedded into the carriage causing him to dangle off the back of it just short of crashing into the ground as the carriage gained speed.

Throwing his weight forward he grasped the top of the carriage roof pulling himself up back on top of the coach holding on for dear life to the railing. "You bag of bones" he muttered towards Kithan "At least warn someone you are going to do that" he cursed starting to feel slightly dizzy though pleased they were finally moving forwards
 
Last edited:

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
After a time the carriages made their agonisingly slow climb up the path which cut through and up the World's Edge Mountains towards the ancient stronghold known as the Silver Pinnacle, home to the First and Eldest of the vampire-kind.

In the meantime Varelsa had been constantly staring out the window although in the past few hours he had straightened up and becoming increasingly agitated.

"Something is wrong."
he murmured to himself.

Waving out the window he signaled to Sigmund who fell back to speak quietly with the Strigoi before riding forward to speak with Jäger up front, the knight then glanced back at Varelsa and shook his head.

With a curse Varelsa raised a hand and hissed an incantation in ancient Nehekharan allowing him to take command of the dark steeds of both carriages which he brought them to a stop.

The ambassador stepped out of the carriage as the Grandmaster dismounted and the assassin leapt down from his seat. The trio spoke to each other swiftly with their gestures becoming more and more visibly animated.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
Bony, elegant fingers swept back the tarnished platinum hair that had fallen round the Wrath King's face with the sudden cessation of movement. A muffled curse drifted through the ceiling as Mikhail struggled once again to maintain his balance. In a billow of cold, dry air Kithan surged to his feet. Stooping, he swiftly fastened the tiny amulets around the throats of his two spirit cats, before tucking the third securely among the rotted vestments and aged armour at his neck. Leaving Mesmer secure within its scabbard, he swept his cloak of rose and thorns around his slender form and stepped out of the carriage. Around the small party the ebon peaks of the World's Edge mountains clawed at the sky, shredding the clouds with jagged claws of stone. Ignoring the dramatic backdrop Kithan drifted towards the three huddled vampires "My Lord Varelsa, is there anything amiss? May I be of assistance in any way?"
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
Varelsa turned away from his discussion with Sigmund and Jäger at the wight's approach.

"Prince." he greeted respectfully "..yes you could say that." the Ambassador replied.

The Strigoi gestured up the road. "I have visited the Pinnacle previously for...diplomatic assignments." he said with a faint pause. "However I have never seen it so bare. We are riding in Coach's marked with the von Carstein Crest...servants of the Queen should have arrived by now either to escort us or bar our way."

The ambassador glanced back at Jäger "Scout on ahead huntsman, not too far but just to see if you can see anything unusual." The archer nodded and, grabbing his bow from the front of the carriage, he took off at supernatural speed.

Varelsa then nodded to Sigmund. "Have your knights set up a watch whilst I convene the Council Member." he requested causing the knight to frown slightly before turning and shouting commands at his men.

Turning back to Kithan "We should tell the others something is wrong...it might be better to abandon our current mode of transport and continue on foot...of course we will wait for the assassin's report first."
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
Prince Kithan listened attentively to the Lord Ambassador's comments, crowned head held at a quizzical angle. When the vampire had finished speaking, the wight made a now familiar gesture with his left hand, opening the swirling vortex that connected him to his beloved realm of Ivrel. Swiftly a bowed, feminine head, long streaming tresses, followed by a shroud wrapped torso rose out of the portal and hung there, hair and garments fluttering in a spectral breeze. "Behold, one of my loyal hand maidens, a baobhan sith, to do our bidding." The head slowly rose and Varelsa saw what appeared to be an ethereal vampire, although the fangs and long curved talons looked disturbingly solid. Wide, pale, feral eyes gazed briefly at the Strigoi, before focusing on her Lord and King. Taking her instructions from Kithan the ethereal revenant quickly flew back to the carriages and with much knocking and scratching on wood, encouraged the other members of the expedition to gather round the ambassador. Kithan watched her fondly. "Of course they are a bit of a menace to deal with in combat, they take everything so literally. Not the most intelligent of servants. One you can deal with, but" and here the Wight gave Varelsa a sly glance, "you never get just one. They always remind me of those wooden dolls you get from Kislev". The baobhan sith continued to agitate the coaches as the more tardy members of the group assembled.
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,559
Niklaus was confused when the carriages stopped again after their brief start. What Varelsa said cleared some of his confusion, but not without adding more. If the Queen's servants did come out to meet any visitors, then why hadn't they come out by now? What was happening here? Did that mean Neferata wanted nothing to do with the Council and was preparing a fighting force? Or had the Pinnacle itself been...compromised? There would be no answers to these questions, however, until they got fairly close to the Pinnacle, so he sat and waited for Varelsa to speak. Hopefully the scout could reveal something.
 

Count michael

The Undead Sparky
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
768
Relieved that the carriages was disgusted but slightly intrigued by the strange creature that was causing a commotion Mikhail decided to see what the others were up to. With a sign he jum[ped dpwn from the carriage he was perched on before striding towards the others gathered around in a huddle, briefly hearing the conversation he barely repressed a shudder at the wight's mention of the dolls. He knew exactly which ones he was mentioning and to be honest they made him feel uneasy almost as much as magic. Mikhail had a sense of paranoia that something was watching from afar, it would be unable to catch them by surprise like the last ambush he figured however not keen to be caught off guard Mikhail constantly scanned the surroundings on the look out for the tiniest clue of scent indicating something was close by Silently cursing himself for a fool by tagging along with the undead he quietly watched the others contemplating what was going on whilst wondering why his luck was so bad
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
With both Mikhail and Niklaus joining the group at the head of the convoy, Kithan felt a certain tension ease from his bones. At an unspoken command Bashees and Tangrys faded to near insubstantiality as they commenced to circle the small party, senses alert for anything out of the ordinary. Meanwhile the spectral form of the baobhan sith rose to above the height of the coaches and drifted to the nearby tree line. Three pairs of yellow, feral eyes scanned the surroundings, while other more esoteric senses infiltrated the area. There was still no sign of the huntsman returning. It may be that he was simply taking his Lord's command seriously and was making a thorough search of the area. On the other hand the party had been caught unaware before and Kithan was determined that event wasn't going to be repeated. The cloak of the roisen dubh rustled and writhed around his shoulders as the Wight Lord's ever-present mist of deception thickened slightly and spread to envelop his fellow travellers.
 

Ghouly

Liche
True Blood
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
5,517
Sylvie was momentarily roused from her silent musings as the carriages suddenly rocked forwards before rattling onwards. Sylvie growled irritably at the sudden movement, before resettling herself only for the carriage to suddenly stop moving.

What the fuck?” Sylvie climbed to her feet and looked towards the front of the caravan where the rest of the council where gathering “better find out, what the plan this time is”. Sylvie hopping quickly along the carriage tops to reach the council “Elder why are we stopping so soon?” she asked as she silently joined the others.
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
9,239
Varelsa smiled faintly the skeletal prince's words before turning as Sylvie spoke. An expression of genuine warmth touched the ambassador's features as he looked at the younger Strigoi. "Sylvie. I hope you are feeling better. We are just waiting for..." he paused as his sniffed the air "ah." he said turning away.

Jäger reappeared as if from no where, avoiding even the watchful gaze of Kithan and his arcane servants yet there appeared to be nothing magical in the huntsman's methods.

"Mi'lord." he said with a quick bow. "I shadow-stepped as far as I was able and I saw nothing, I avoided travelling to close to the Pinnacle's entrance but the rest of the path is utterly abandoned."

Varelsa sighed "It is as I feared, there should have been guards."

Jäger nodded "I suggest we approach on foot leaving behind our carriages and the knights Mounts."

Sigmund shrugged. "Very well, I'll inform my men." the knight said walking towards the other Templars and Blood Knights.

Varelsa turned to the Council, waving over those furthest away. "I suggest you take what you need from the carriages and we shall walk the rest of the way." he informed them before striding towards his own Coach to take down his armour and sword, one of the Blood Knights approached offering the Strigoi help on attaching his plate.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
Kithan gazed speculatively at the huntsman, how had he done that? The spectral prince had not detected any hint of his approach. This 'shadow-stepping' might bear closer scrutiny if the opportunity arose. Other than that, the Prince of Ivrel and his small entourage were ready and other than the lack of speed, did not expect to be otherwise affected by the current strategy. Still the lack of Pinnacle guards was intriguing. Kithan let his necromantic senses unfurl and spread through the air. If the guards had been neutralised or otherwise destroyed, there should be a detectable residue, for those like Kithan who were attuned to the dark aether. Hopefully this would give some indication of what had happened to the missing.
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,559
Niklaus stood and exited the carriage, his confusion not at all allayed. No guards? No representatives? The situation was becoming stranger by the moment. Touching his newly acquired scimitar in its shadow-sheathe, he began slowly walking ahead, ready to Shadow-merge at the slightest hint of an ambush.
 

Ghouly

Liche
True Blood
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
5,517
Sylvie bowed her head respectfully towards the Elder Strigoi “I was not severely hurt my lord” Sylvie said returning the smile. As Jäger materialized out of thin air, Sylvie flinched away slightly “After five days of that, I’m about done with that bullshit” she thought.

Quietly Sylvie nodded her head, as the huntsman delivered his report “I walked right up the front door and crawled all over the walls and got no response, also it’s Dwarf craft so no way in” Sylvie said “If we actually manage to find another door in, I can pick the lock given time”
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
105
The spectral prince glided forward a short way and joined the discussion. "My Lords, Lady, perhaps we should all advance nearer the pinnacle. With our combined talents I am sure we can find a way in. More than one impregnable dwarf hold has proved to be fallible to ethereal infiltration. " The ghostly monarch smiled slightly. "They can't thread everything with truesilver and I still think we should look for evidence of the great Queen's loyal servants. A brief resurrection and interrogation would do much to clarify the situation."
 
Top