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TVC II Chapter 7 - Return to the Silver Pinnacle

The Dread King

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Rowhaine advanced on foot along with the rest of the council, his watchful gaze scanning his surroundings, attempting to ensure that the council group was not ambushed again. The path was abandoned and for a while the vampires were accompanied only by an eerie and oppressive silence, the very air bearing down on them as if to smother an unwanted child. Then, the Champion spotted something he had feared.

The wight sprawled across the ground in front of the Champion was dead. Not as one of the living dead, that is - well and truly dead; inanimate, several of its bones shattered. It was surrounded by several of its colleagues, the corpses of a few mortal swains also lying nearby. These are bound to be the Lahmian's troops, by the look of things, the Champion deduced. Infighting in the sisterhood, perhaps? As he called for the others in his group to halt, Rowhaine raised his arm and a darker thought occurred to him.

But what if our foes have simply advanced further into the Pinnacle than first thought?

There was no turning back now, however: the only option was to press on, and Neferata might still live within the Pinnacle. Rowhaine turned to the others. "Others have been here before us, and left a trail of destruction in their wake...how recently, I cannot say at first glance. However, we have no time for inspections. This adds urgency to our mission, for it is highly likely considering this situation that Neferata may be besieged, and in need of aid. Move ahead - but be on your guard," he advised, turning on his heel once again to move ahead.

The enemy was out there, even if it had eluded the prying eyes of Jäger. Either the vampires would find it - or it would find them.
 
Kithan drew Mesmer as the opals in his crown began to swirl. The Baobhan Sith was silently summoned and came to hover behind her masters shoulder. Meanwhile the two feline spirits lengthened and grew large, ivory fangs glinting in the dim light. ' Can you take us to the corpses? Perhaps there will be time to attempt a resurrection and subsequent interrogation?'
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
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Any hope Kithan had of interrogating the dead was fruitless as even the spirits of the deceased seemed to have been either destroyed or banished from this place.


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Varelsa wore a frown of confusion as he sniffed the air, he could faintly detect the scent of mortals but that was likely just the Swains in service to the Sisterhood and then there was the scent of corpse but that could be the destroyed Wights...or the members of the Council.

"A waste of time." he thought to himself with annoyance.

As the group continued on Jäger grew more visibly anxious, stopping to inspect the corpses and destroyed skeletal soldiers at which point he'd shake his head slightly and continue his walking in front of the main group.

The Strigoi watched the assassin's behavior for a few minutes and began to get a horrible suspicion about what the huntsman's concern was, the ambassador eventually caught Jäger's eye and the archer give him a slight nod.

Green flame flickered along Varelsa's greatsword in reaction to it's owners sudden alarm before vanishing again.

"I'm going to scout ahead!" Jäger called back to the group before jogging out of sight.

After a few moments Sigmund joined the Ambassador.

"What is it Lord Ambassador?" he asked.

"What ever do you mean Grandmaster?" the large man asked innocently.

Sigmund growled. "What is the sneak so concerned about?"

"I have no idea Sir but perhaps you should pay more attention to our surroundings."
Varelsa replied softly.

With a hateful glare at the senior vampire Sigmund strode off to join one of the Blood Knights and began muttering grumpily under his breath.


The group continued peacefully until Jäger returned, appearing once more as if out of nowhere, to meet the council.

"There's a group up ahead, follow me." he told the Council before darting off leading the group into the shadow of the Pinnacle before stopping, gesturing towards were a group of half a dozen women stood in the far distance.
 
Who would these be? Niklaus wondered when he saw the 6 women up ahead. They were probably Lahmians. If they were, he would just have to hope they wouldn't make a big issue out of his....disagreements. If not, all would be well. Either way, he would be as courteous as possible, though would allow the Ambassador to do most of the talking. He was the Ambassador, after all. It was what he was being paid for.

Niklaus calmly followed Varelsa towards the women.
 

Ghouly

Liche
True Blood
Sylvie followed slightly behind the rest of the group, quietly putting them between herself and the Lhamains. “You know tis not often I come across corpses so fresh” the Strigoi said quickly “and the sisterhood has no love for Strigoi so I’m going to run over and grab a quick bite” quickly the Ghoul queen rushed off towards the fallen swains.
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Varelsa waved at Sylvie to show his silent acknowledgement of her statement.

He considered his next move for a moment, even at this distance his vampiric sight could make out the individual women and they were most certainly all vampiress', probably Lahmian.

The one with her back to them seemed to be doing all the talking but a familiar scent on the wind allowed Varelsa to recognise her regardless. The Ambassador wore a faint smile.

What he had planned could have used Syvlie but with the young Strigoi having wandered off he would instead make use of Jäger.

"Huntsman." he commanded and leant over and whispered in his ear.

The assassin nodded and pointed at Niklaus "Come with me Shadowmancer, your shadow "merging" technique is similar enough to the Order's innate magic to be of use."

With that Jäger strode off and vanished in a swirl of shadow.

Varelsa smiled at the others "Well then let us go meet the Handmaidens of the Queen." he said with a tone of amusement as he strode towards the group of women, Sigmund and his knights following closley behind.
 
Kithan drew his barbed cloak around his shoulders and swiftly followed in the ambassador's footsteps, Mesmer hanging loosely in his hand. Tendrils of his emerald mist swirled and quickened round the eldritch prince as he advanced towards the handmaidens. Behind him the vampyric wraith hovered watchfully, but the two spirit cats remained cautiously out of sight.
 
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Niklaus gave the slightest nod and transformed into shadow. It would be good to put a blade at a Lahmian's throat. He reformed by the same Lahmian Jager had, on the other side of her back from the assassin, scimitar at her throat. A decapitation would have been preferred, but he had his orders.
 

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Varelsa and the rest of the group made their way to the Lahmians.

There were only half a dozen in total, five of whom wore clothing ranging from court attire to armour looking as though they'd just fought for their lives on the battlefield.

The sixth vampiress was a tall and eerily beautiful woman with long dark hair, she wore a simple white dress and seemed to have been utterly untouched by the conflict that the others had seemingly endured. At their approach she turned to face them, with some kind of sabre in hand.

"Who are you?" she demanded coldly "Have you come to finish the job?"

Varelsa smiled "Lady Akela...it's been some time hasn't it?"

The Lahmian Akela frowned at the ambassador "Should I know you?"

Varelsa took a step closer, the nervous Lahmians tensing at the movement.

"Oh I should think so."
he murmured, the Strigoi's face rippled, momentarily transforming into something else before returning to normal.

"Varelsa." Akela spat "I should have known scum like you would rise to the surface after what has happened...so your new masters have sent you to finish us when their dogs didn't do the trick?" she snarled raising her weapon.

Varelsa swiftly retreated a few steps "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about but I thought you might react like this...Huntsman now!"

A shadow shot up from the ground behind Akela as Jäger appeared, putting his messer to her throat as he used his empty hand to grab her wrist. Almost instantaneously Niklaus appeared as a shadow behind her, soldifying he placed his scimitar across her neck from the other side.

The other Lahmians made to move but Varelsa snarled "I wouldn't!"

Sigmund and his knights stepped forward at the same moment with their blades bared.

"Stand down." Akela said calmly despite the threat of the two vampires that had trapped her.

Varelsa smiled "Wonderful!" he said happily as if the meeting was going as planned.
Gesturing at the lead Lahmian he addressed the Council. "This is Lady Akela of Lahmia one of the Queen's senior Handmaidens, once Ambassador to the Courts of Sylvania."

Turning back to the Ancient Vampiress he smiled "I do apologise for this old friend but...well I've seen you fight and I'd rather you not act hastily."

Akela sneered. "I'm just surprised you don't have that withered corpse with you...I suppose that means you're at least smart enough to still be trying to serve that old bag of bones." she chuckled coldly "You change masters far too quickly Son of Ushoran."

Varelsa visibly grimaced at that "Yes well...enough of the past. How about you just tell us what happened here."

Akela frowned "Is this your attempt at humor? We both know who did this."

Seeing Varelsa's confused look Akela rolled her eyes and glanced over her right shoulder at Jäger "You're clearly all minions of Vashanesh's spawn."

Varelsa seeing Jäger's own confused expression he waved the assassin to step away from Akela, the huntsman tapped Niklaus on the shoulder signalling that he should move back too.

"What the devil are you talking about woman?" Varelsa said sounding annoyed "Who attacked you?"

"The Triumvirate!"
she spat hatefully.

"...what?" Varelsa asked in disbelief with Sigmund and Jäger echoing him half a second later.
 

The Dread King

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Rowhaine remained remarkably still throughout the initial encounter with the six Lahmians. Emotion was, at first, only given away by the slight arching of an eyebrow when Akela was taken hostage by Jaeger and Niklaus. However, when the Triumvirate was mentioned by Akela, the Champion was compelled to speak.

"Ambassador?" he questioned, his voiced surprised but firm, "what is the meaning of this? If the Triumvirate has been conducting critically important operations in the vicinity of the Pinnacle without informing a group of council members before sending them off to the area, you had best have good reason for this action, and explain it quickly.

"If not, then we have serious concerns as to finding out who was able to fool the Lahmians of the Pinnacle, who are led by experts in manipulation and trickery, into thinking that they have been attacked by your forces."

Turning his gaze upon Akela, Rowhaine then asked, "An account of what has happened here is required by our organisation, so you too must speak up."
 
What? Whose idea was that? Niklaus thought as he stepped back, removing his scimitar from Akela's neck and lowering it, though not quite daring to sheathe it.Confusion flashed across his face. Why would the Triumvirate attack? Why antagonise useful allies? Or maybe it was a third party posing as the Triumvirate to create this distrust.
 

Count michael

The Undead Sparky
Mikhail gazed on in boredom a frown of disappointment marring his features as he casually swung his blade around to distract himself, he had been so sure there would be another fight but instead the damned vampires seemed more interested in their arrogant posturing to try and make the other feel less superior. Shaking his head he turned to look around his surroundings, he briefly contemplated wandering off to go exploring and possibly find something to fight but quickly dismissed the idea knowing that vampire treachery would await him..... as well as the fact he would most likely get lost again. Instead he turned making his way to where Slyvie was feeding , the beast inside was already satisfied so instead of feeding as well he started rummaging and looting the dead seeing if he could possibly find something valuable or useful on the corpses that littered the area keeping an eye on his surroundings
 
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Kithan paused and took half a step back, away from the ambassador. The Lahmians appeared genuine, but so did Varelsa. Perhaps their entire journey had simply been a convenient way of removing those individuals the Triumverate found 'inconvenient'. This was the trouble with vampires, they were just inherently untrustworthy. They couldn't resist the urge to scheme and double or even triple cross their associates. Kithan began reviewing his options. Only the wolfknight seemed possibly trustworthy, the rest, even Niklaus, were probably buried up to their pointy little teeth in lies and deception. Tangris carefully observed the werewolf scavenging through the nearby corpses and Kithan sighed inwardly. Unfortunately his possible ally was oblivious to recent developments, leaving his back open to the nearby ghoul-vamp. The threat would need to be far more obvious before he responded and by that time Kithan could be in serious trouble. The Prince could escape through his portal to Ivrel, but there would be no easy return, other than repeating the long march again and he was loathe to do this until all other avenues had been considered. The earlier attack on the Council expedition, their antagonists there had been so-called renegade members of the Triumverate, perhaps the Triumverate had several options on the go, or perhaps it was tearing itself apart? Whatever the outcome of these vampiric power plays, Kithan was determined to see the current fading of the winds of death reversed.
 

The Dread King

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OOC: RL has caught up with GoW, so I will RP his characters until he returns.

"Of course we're not conducting operations here - " Varelsa snapped at Rowhaine, before being cut off by Akela.

"Why don't you say that to my slaughtered sisters?" she hissed, "many have fallen to the Triumvirate's servants here today. Your assassins came for the Sisterhood in great numbers, with an army of undead and chaotic servants to boot! I surmise that you have been sent here to finish off those who remain and you are no doubt playing the fool now to ensure my guard slips. That's not going to happen."

Varelsa couldn't help but detect a note of confusion in Akela's indignant voice. Her account was ambiguous to say the least, and he rummaged through his mind attempting to solve the mysteries hidden within it for a few seconds.

Then he came across an answer.

"Ah," he said, and then paused, deep in thought.

After a few seconds of silence, Akela said, "What do you have to say for your masters? This was an unprovoked attack which you must account for quickly, or one of the two of us is going to lose a head."

Varelsa raised his hands in objection, and asked calmly, "These assassins...did they claim to work for the Triumvirate?"

"Of course! Why else would I have attacked you?" She left aside her opinion of him as one of the most insufferable vampires on the planet when asking this question.

Varelsa sighed, and explained, "To let you in on an imperial secret, which I wouldn't be doing unless I thought it was absolutely key to our plans to continue on the path that you are obstructing, I must give you a revelation about these assassins, which might clarify today's events at the Pinnacle to a degree." He glanced to Sigmund and Jäger briefly, waiting for nods of affirmation before continuing, "we've had a bit of an...ah...rebellion, amongst our assassins.

"I believe you may have come across vassals of the dissident faction, masquerading as loyalists, who, unlike the Triumvirate, are aligned to the chaotic forces you have apparently encountered.

"You mean it was a tri - " Akela said, flabbergasted, before Varelsa interjected.

"Yes, a trick, Akela, and one I'm surprised you fell for. We thought that the covens serving the Queen of Mysteries would have already known about this rebellion, and been able to put two and two together when they saw vampire assassins working alongside chaotic forces.

"It appears you are much more incompetent then we initially calculated."

Akela, by this point, was furious. Not only had she been fooled, she was now being insulted.

By a strigoi.

The embarrassment was too much to bear, and was about to be followed by an enraged outburst, but the Lahmian was once again halted as Varelsa rumbled on. He was slightly enjoying the sensation of annoying Akela whilst carrying out the necessary task of explaining the situation to her, she knew it, and he knew that she knew it.

He suppressed a grin, and continued: "We have arrived here today seeking an audience with Queen Neferata, to forge a military and diplomatic alliance with her that can be used to support the collective struggle of vampire kind against chaos. The second vampire council, endorsed by the Triumvirate, is the entity seeking this alliance. Its members, arrayed behind me, are in agreement that chaos is the force behind our waning power over the undead.

"Even your covens must surely be aware of this waning of vampiric power."

Akela had detected a hint of relish in Varelsa's last words, and was further infuriated by them. In fact, Neferata's covens had known about the waning of necromantic power for a number of years - we've probably been aware of it longer than his masters have - and did suspect that the gods of chaos were behind this decrease in the potency of the undead. The Queen herself had even assigned a team of her most trusted followers to investigate chaotic activity further to the North for this very reason...they had only been missing for a few months before the attack had happened, Akela remembered.

Covens within the Empire had also reported assassins previously loyal fighting against the Von Carstein ascendancy, but they had only recently begun to suspect that such rebellions might be part of a wider organised assault on the Triumvirate. For a number of years, they had simply assumed that these vampires were simply rogue agents.

"My covens are aware of the vampiric decline over the past ten years," Akela hissed through gritted teeth, "and frankly, we found that the facts surrounding the Triumvirate assault on the Pinnacle today contradictory.

"It just didn't seem to make sense for Mircea to attack us here and now," she admitted, "I am loath to take your statements at face value, Varelsa, but I am willing to humour them now in light of our situation."

Her Lahmians were outnumbered by the forces of chaos roving the Pinnacle, and she return to her queen and preserve honour without an army or a larger group of fellow vampires behind her. She had, in fact, been ordered to break through the lines of the enemy by Neferata to find any military aid in the Pinnacle's vicinity, which the Queen needed when Akela had left. Other groups of Lahmians had been sent elsewhere, and no doubt had returned to the Queen with reinforcements. In all likelihood, they were retaking the sections of the Pinnacle lost to the vampiric assassins, undead and chaotic forces as she spoke.

Aid came to Akela in the form of this so-called council: no doubt its members, including Varelsa, were despicable, but they were also useful.

"The Queen's forces are - or were - under siege in the Pinnacle, and although she has called for aid from the covens closest to this fortress - which is why I'm out here - her vengeance will swiftly fall on Triumvirate dogs in her vicinity once she has retaken her castle," Akela stated, her eyes scanning the council members surrounding her. There was a seemingly sentient wight king, a number of blood knights and templars led by Sigmund, Jäger the assassins, the hated Varelsa, a shadow mage who had previously held a blade to her throat and a Kislevite who reeked of chaotic corruption.

In short, a rag-tag bunch of nobodies. They were little better than worthless to her cause, but little better was still better than nothing at all. Akela was devoted to her queen, who needed allies despite apparently holding most of her territory in the face of the chaotic assault. These council allies would be required to help in later battles against the forces of chaos, and Akela had no choice but to accept any aid being offered, although she would not say this out loud, of course.

Akela raised her voice, and addressed all the council members present: "Your vampire council seeks an alliance with Neferata? That's all well and good, but you will not get one if she finds you before she is done cleaning up with the chaos scum attacking the Pinnacle. Her vengeance will crush you, no matter your protestations, no matter mine."

"You are asking for us to assist you in battle?" Rowhaine asked.


"Yes," Akela said, "if we come to her aid and find her, instead of her finding us, she may yet spare you your lives and an audience with her. No doubt you could prove yourself by assisting in the cleansing of the Pinnacle of chaotic forces. Then, you may have your alliance with her...or you may not."

She smiled, enjoying the fact that it was Varelsa, not her, who would not be confused. "I can't make any promises as to her intentions," she proceeded, "but if you fail to come to her aid, I suspect she will not be willing to come to yours, regardless of how desperately you plead for her to regard it."

Glancing around to ensure that no weapons were being moved towards her (she was still suspicious of Varelsa's intentions), Akela looked towards each of the council members standing before her, and then asked, "Are you with me?"
 
With a swirl of his tattered viridian robes, Prince Kithan strode forward, tarnished, silver half armour glinting in time with the colours of the pulsing opals on his crown. He gave a polite bow to Akela. " We have overcome many obstacles to meet with your Mistress and look forward to hearing the thoughts of the Dread Queen on this matter. I would be happy to accompany you on your return journey to the Pinnacle. What few skills I possess, I will use willingly to aid us in our task." The thick, soporific musk of the Roisen Dubh entwined round the nearby vampires like an ethereal vine, as blossoms endlessly bloomed and died a silent death within his cloak of thorns.
 
Pulling away from Akela and sheathing his scimitar, Niklaus nodded. Now he would learn what these traitor assassins were doing attacking the Pinnacle - they must be strong, too, to put it under such pressure. "I will assist you in stopping these traitors." He wondered how a meeting with the Queen would go.
 

The Dread King

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Rowhaine replied to Akela soon after Kithan and Niklaus: "Of course." He had no doubt that the Queen was a dangerous figure who might be able to overpower even a Champion of the Gods such as himself, but she was one who had to be negotiated with, and he would not mourn the sacrifice of a few servants of chaos to get an audience with her.

Varelsa sighed, looking to his colleagues, Sigmund and Jäger. They offered no suggestions...they'd rather leave the difficult decisions to me. "Very well," he said cautiously, "we will accompany you...for now.

"If you attempt to play any tricks familiar to your kind on us, I will not take kindly to it and neither will the Triumvirate. Whilst the Council may not part of the Von Carstein Empire, killing members of it will, I assure you, bring you a real war with the Triumvirate, and I need not remind you of the comparison between our factions' military capabilities."

Akela's eyes scanned the council members around her once again. For a while, silence prevailed, and, after a few moments, almost spontaneously, she let a few words slip from her mouth: "Good.

"We proceed at once, with haste."

With those words, she turned around and began to walk through the pass once more, the council members following her. As they walked through the pass, deeper into the heart of the Pinnacle, it became clear that Akela and her servants were becoming increasingly uncomfortable at the sights greeting them. The bodies they encountered were spotted more frequently, and seemed more freshly dead; more ominously, empty sets of clothes and armour were found.

They were all that remained of slain vampires.

After finding the first of these sets of attire that passed for corpses, the group continued to trek into the Pinnacle for a while longer before Akela brought them to a stop by raising her hand in a halting gesture. "Stop," she hissed fearfully, "something's wrong. " She was certain that this particular part of the pass should have been retaken from the forces of chaos by now. After all, she had been fighting in it only recently. What was more bizarre than that was that the dead in this pass were overwhelmingly of the Pinnacle's side - few corpses of the soldiers of chaos were found, but many fallen swains littered the area in her vicinity.

There wasn't even conflict here at the moment. Even with her vampiric senses, Akela could not here the sounds of strife, the sounds of war. That could only mean that the battle was happening deep in the centre of the Pinnacle: it could only mean that the forces of chaos had actually advanced since she had been sent out to find aid by her Queen. "Keep your guard up," she advised the council, "the forces of chaos have progressed deeper into the Pinnacle than I previously thought."

She walked at a more frantic pace now towards the castle at the centre of the mountain. It didn't make any sense: her sisters would easily have found ample reinforcements where they had been sent to, and these reinforcements should have sent the forces of chaos off. Unless... Akela began to think, before her reflections were cut short by a dreadful sight before her.

It was, at first sight, only a jewel-encrusted helmet lying on the ground with body armour scattered beside it, a spear sticking out of the chestplate, only the sign of another casualty. However, Akela knew who this helmet had belonged to: her sister Merissa, who had been sent to find reinforcements. Akela gasped in horror at the revelations unfolding in her mind. That means that she was intercepted on her way to find reinforcements. The offensive army could only have found out that she was travelling through this area if they had prior knowledge of Neferata's plan, which would require an advanced spy network. She turned to her fellow Lahmians as paranoia set in. Could one of them be an informer, a traitor? And if not them, then who else? Who revealed Merissa's journey? An ominous idea made its way into Akela's mind, the natural conclusion of this thought process.

What if Merissa's journey was not the only one revealed to the forces of chaos?

She turned to address the council group, who had stopped behind her when she had gasped. "Attention, vampires," she uttered in a grim tone, "one of the officers sent to find reinforcements for Neferata is here. Or, at least, she was here." Akela pointed to the signs of conflict around her: the spear, a few weapons scattered on the ground, the corpses of a small number of chaos warriors, and other military paraphernalia.

"She has been intercepted; presumably, she was killed on her way to finding reinforcements."

"This explains why we haven't yet encountered Neferata's army," Varelsa muttered to himself.

"Exactly," Akela replied, "the forces of chaos appear to have access to sensitive military information that the Queen of Mysteries and her handmaidens possess. We have never encountered such an advanced military intelligence operation within an army sworn to the service of the gods of chaos before...perhaps it is the work of your rogue assassins, Varelsa. Whatever the reason for this intelligence, if we do find chaos forces within the Pinnacle - for we are going to press on to its centre - they may have the upper hand. As such, your aid will be vital.

"As you are familiar with these assassins, or so I'm led to believe by Varelsa, I implore you - all of you - to share with me what you know of them. It could save one of our unlives in the heat of battle and will allow the Pinnacle to respond more competently to their operations in the future." She left unsaid that such information would also be useful to the Pinnacle when it was dealing with the presumably somewhat similar Order of Assassins controlled by the Triumvirate. They had been troublesome of late, and if she learned of their methods, the conclusions Akela would be able to draw from this knowledge could be used to kill two birds with one stone.
 
"The assassins fight under the banner of a Vampire named Silibar," Nikaus said. "From what I have experienced, they fight in large groups, mainly consisting of young bloods, a controller and a few wizards. The young bloods appear to have a strong blood thirst, and their controller seems to act more as a herder than a general, pointing them in a direction and letting their blood thirst do the rest." Lady Akela seemed willing to accept their help, although whether that was her nature or just desperate times, desperate measures remained to be seen. Niklaus suspected the latter. "The asassins also have a power to step through the shadows, a technique that involves sinking into the ground and rising elsewhere."
 
Prince Kithan swiftly gestured with the unsheathed Mesmer and his cloud of hypnotic vapour rapidly expanded. At an unspoken mental command Bashees and Tangris grew to their combat size, but on this occasion their forms simultaneously faded, becoming more and more tenuous and difficult to discern in the swirling mist, only their acid yellow eyes remaining in the murk. Meanwhile the Baobhan Sith descended to the ground and took up a position by her more corporeal sisters while her talons grew and curled. Finally Kithan gently touched the newly crafted amulet at his neck and was rewarded by a brief flash of warmth. Chaos warriors, vampiric assassins, crazy wizards or even treacherous Lhamians, Kithan was determined to be more prepared on this occasion.
 
Silently Kithan ground his teeth. Once again his vampiric allies seemed frozen with indecision, so much for 'quicksilver' lhamians and their ilk. Opals blazing on his brow, flanked by his spectral associates, the wraith king advanced to the front of the party and headed along the winding path. Above the tiny figure of the ancient king hung the looming mass of the Pinnacle. The green skeins of mist surrounding the Lord of Ivrel merged into the grey vapours that shrouded the lower slopes of the dread Queen's lair and the small party disappeared into the spectral murk.
 

Ghouly

Liche
True Blood
Sylvie followed silently after the rest of the council, silently gnawing upon a severed head she had torn off one of the dead swains the blood was chilled and soured by death causing Sylvie to feel slightly nauseous. As the wright began to push on without the rest of the council Sylvie raised an eyebrow “looks like Bonehead isn’t much of a team player” Sylvie thought.

Smiling sweetly at Akela Sylvie tossed the Lhamian the remains of her meal and snickered loudly as the Lhamian threw the gnawed skull on the ground in disgust, before jogging off after the Wright her easily allowing her to overtake him.
 
Kithan dipped his head briefly in acknowledgement at the arrival of the Strigoi. Mesmer hung naked in his hand while the cloak of thorns sprouted yet more barbs and ebon blooms around his shoulders. Both cats silently took on their war aspect, growing in size and power. With a small gesture with his free hand, the wight lord extended his obscuring shield of mist and bewilderment to protectively envelope the loping figure of the strigoi. The mismatched group steadily continued to advance on the looming pinnacle, senses alert for any hint of resistance, battle or a trap.
 

Count michael

The Undead Sparky
Mikhail looked up from one of the swain corpse after finishing hacking off the rings that adorned the corpse's cold dead fingers, seeing the Wight and the beast like vampire separate from the others caused him to grin. Whilst he was pleased he had found a few valuables from the nearby corpses and a couple of ash piles he was starting to get really bored , luckily the Wight provided a perfect excuse to wander off to find something to kill.

"Wait for me! you can't have all the fun" he called out before turning back towards the others who seemed busy with their discussion, quickly offering a rather mockingly salute Mikhail ran off keen to catch up with the others. Blade drawn Mikhail jogged beside the Slyvie and Kithan keen to pick up a trace of a nearby enemy with his chaos enhanced senses.
 
A slight, barely acknowledged tension eased within Kithan as the uncouth warrior from the North ran to catch up with their small party. The slight spare frame of the Prince was dwarfed by his two muscular companions. A small circular movement with the tip of Mesmer sent a second tendril of concealing mist to wreathe around the chaos bezerker. If only Niklaus could wean himself from the cloak tails of the dysfunctional triumvirate, then this group would be complete and they might actually arrive at this maddening Pinnacle; always visible, but forever out of reach.
 

The Dread King

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True Blood
Akela gazed at the Pinnacle as it came into view; something was terribly wrong with it. Smoke is rising, she realised, and I can hear the sounds of strife.

"It appears this was no small attack," she remarked to the Council group, "the Pinnacle is either being stormed or sacked." She continued towards it at a brisker pace, the only reason for her not running being that she needed time to think of a plan of attack with regards to how to help her queen. I know she's still alive, Akela thought, her unshakeable faith in Neferata common amongst the master vampiress' daughters.
 
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