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TVC - Chapter 43 - A Thief in the Night

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Disciple of Nagash

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#1
The journey to Nexeternus had taken just over a day, the Patisserie slowing down to keep pace with the marching troops. Throughout the day most of the Council has slept, many thankful of the chance to rest. The threat of Nagash seemed distant for the moment, though the recent event had shocked all them deeply. Not only had they been nearly overwhelmed by the Dreadlord’s assault and saved only by their voluntary retreat, they had been attacked at their very core, turning them against each other, sowing distrust and anger.

The Patisserie came to a stop outside the main entrance to the citadel, the various Council members exiting the contraption and entering the now repaired entrance, just a sliver of moon shining in the clear night sky above. As usual Simon made sure his guests were well catered for, and as they entered the main hall, various seats had now been arranged around a table which bore wine, whilst to one side young hopeful mortals stood, trained since birth that too feed their undead lords was an honour, and all hoping that they would be picked. Lesa was carefully laid down on a long seat on one side of the hall, still unconscious.

The Duke stretched his arms into the cool air before entering the keep. One of Simon’s servants had respectfully advised him an area had been set aside of his troops to rest, feed or practise as they saw fit. Already his remaining knights had starting checking their equipment and steeds, whilst the wights stood there like immovable statues, waiting their next commands. The tramping of feet behind him alerted him to two more wights who held an amount of high grade Gromril in their arms. Enough to forge a new set of armour, it was worth a king’s ransom in gold and the Duke made a mental note to ensure Lord Todd was handsomely paid for his generosity.

“You,” he called to a serf nearby, “has your master a forge nearby?”
“Yes Milord,” the human said, visibly trembling, “in the Citadel itself, or there is also one over yonder if you would prefer to work in the open air.”
“I would,” the Duke said. “lead my servants to it, I will follow shortly.” Bowing low the man lead the wights down the nearby path, heading towards a stone building.
“Auberville.”
“Yes my Leige?” The nearby Blood Dragon lieutenant turned at the sound of his masters voice.
“You are to take my place in the Council’s discussions. I feel this will simply be a stopping point before we return to Drakenhof and regroup, so I will take this time to forge another suit of armour. You speak with my voice, so do not let them speak down to you. If any problems are encountered fetch me at once.
“I will not let you down my Leige,” Auberviller said, honoured to be chosen to speak on the Duke’s behalf.

Nodding the Duke strode away, thinking once more. Many thoughts occupied him, but there was one that surfaced time and time again. He had not managed to find Victarias whilst on the Patisserie and he had a feeling that perhaps she was avoiding him. With Vekarin now returned he supposed that would be the way now, the guilt of their kiss would no doubt be gnawing on her conscience. Still he could not but help feel a pang of longing, hoping perhaps that she would change her mind………..
 

Trevy the Great

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#2
Requarah knelt by the still form of her sire, crying silently into a delicately gloved hand, willing Lesa to wake up. She had never been close to her mother but was always respectful of the older Lahmian. Lesa had been a sedentary stone throughout the years, a beacon of hope and stability in an ever-changing world of wars and mortals. The thought that there was another, powerful enough to take such things from her frightened Requarah, and she resolved to make sure that Nagash didn't harm her sire anymore. Her thoughts were interrupted by heavy bootsteps behind her.
"Your act is commendable." Vekarin's voice whispered, ringing out even though it was lowered to a dangerous level, "However you would do well to drop your facade. The Council may be foolish enough to trust you, but I am no fool. You have other reasons for being here than the simple destruction of Nagash. Why you did not try to return to your pathetic Kislevite Convent ofter our prior encounter disturbs me, for I know you to not be one to prize heroics over self-preservation."
Requarah looked up at the massive figure Blood Dragon, standing slowly, their eyes locked. She was no longer weeping.
"Maybe you don't know me as well as you think you do. I am much more opinionated in these matters than you believe."
"I killed you, Requarah." Vekarin observed. The Lahmian said nothing.
"Your pathetic ring was shattered, there was no way for you to return a second time. You may believe yourself invincible but you are no von Carstein. What price did you pay for another chance?"
"What? I don't understand your meaning."
"What did you promise? What did you pay to be here?"
"Nothing." She replied defiantly. Vekarin didn't respond, instead taking her hand in his own, the iron gauntlets tearing the rich silk of her gloves. He brought her hand to his eyes. On her finger was a small, inconspicuous ring in which a tiny emerald glittered.
"Ah." Vekarin concluded simply and strode away, leaving the Lahmian looking after him.
 
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#3
"And so then I was like 'there's no way you can afford that coat' and he was like 'if I do will you marry me?' and I was like 'Well...I suppose' and so he went out and snuck into the Magistrate's house and stole enough to buy it for me, isn't it-"
"Hati, if you don’t stop talking right now I swear on the grave of Sigmar I will eat you."
Said Müller, unbelievably annoyed by the werewolf-girls non stop jabbering. He gripped the reins tightly in his hands, trying to control his temper. The wagon clattered on down the ill-used road.
Müller sniffed the air, tracking where the council members went via scent.

A pretty sixteen year old girl when she had become a Werewolf, Hati's personality hadn’t seemed to have changed despite the fact she was 495. Her blond hair let out over the back of her very expensive coat, but then everything she wore was expensive, and it contrasted with the utilitarian clothes Müller wore beside her on the wagon.
Hati had a habit of leading suitors into buying her presents and then eating them...
She punched Müller in the arm, giggling.
"You big meany, I know as well as you do that you wont eat me. I'd give you indigestion kicking around in there, I wonder if that’s what its like being eaten? You just sit in there slowly melting. Do you think you would feel anything? I mean, our Kind can regenerate most wounds so would we just sit in there forev-"
"YOUR ABOUT TO FIND OUT!"
Roared Müller, pulling the reins and turning to face Hati, anger in his eyes.
"Enough!"
Said a stern voice from the back of the wagon.

Völundr leaned forward between the two.
"Hati, give it a rest, Müller, keep your temper. We're almost there."
He went back in the wagon. Lying down, he reached for his pipe for a smoke. The large black skinned man soon fell back asleep.

Müller brooded.
"I wouldn’t have to keep my temper if some people weren’t talking my ears off..."
Hati grinned mischievously.
"Awe, would you rather me be doing something else with my mouth?"
Müller's eyes narrowed as he looked at the road. He didn’t say anything for a moment.
"We're here."

Müller got off the wagon at the entrance to Nexeternus. He wasn’t sure what to do. Should he knock at the gate or yell something?
He decided to knock.
"I don’t want to be here..."
Said Hati from the wagon.
"this place creeps me out..."
 

Simon von Carstein

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#4
From above the vampires the sound of music came filling the citadel with its loud and eerie tone. The music started slow and then slowly began to get faster and faster. The vampires had heard nothing like it before.

Simon sat in front of the Organ hands moving faster than was humanly possible across the keys his eyes shut as he obsorbed the melody moving his head in time with it. It had been over a year since he had last played and not a single note was out of place.

Aurelius waited nearby in attendance and was joined by Nar-Zuul. Simon stopped playing and swiveled around to face them "Well?" he asked. Nar-Zuul came forward "The chaos dwarf prisoners at Drakenhof have finished my lord. The vessels are ready." he said. Simon smiled "have my one brought here. The other I want taken to the Red Abbey take what ever you need to prepare that place for the ritual and have Balthazar and the Order be there so that they can witness the event when it comes."

The Great Gates opened before the werewolves and stretched out before them lay the great valley surrounding surrounding the great citadel. Thousands of eyes watched them as they made their towards it.
 

Trevy the Great

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#5
Such wonders! Such treasures beyond the scope of the mind!
Truly the kingdom of Ikaana was one unjustly buried in the depths of time and the rotten pages of dusty tomes, although that was doubtless the unscrupulous work of the new Count von Carstein. Still, the treasures residing within Nexeternus were near-otherworldly, despite the fact that the majority of the trove had no doubt been transported to Drakenhoff keep by Simon.
Zosz strode down the long galleries, past cases of crowns and circlets, rusted swords and broken shields, walls of paintings, racks of weapons bejeweled in finery, and jewelry resting upon velvet cushions. Simon had stored a hoard indeed in his long rule of this ancient keep. It was fortunate that the vampires had been such a distance from this location, for it gave Zosz hours to pour over the treasures kept by Simon in his vaults and marvel at the wonders within his library. Such a trove he had not explored since... Since his last master.
 

Sweeney Todd

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#6
Had Sweeney Todd not been preoccupied with his own thoughts, he would no doubt have appreciated the sound of the pipe organ that echoed through Nexternus. As it was, two amongst the Council were the subject of his contemplations: Requarah Cromwell and Jason Nightwere. They aroused his suspicion simply by birtue of being Lahmian, Requarah especially so on account of her dubious entry into the Council.

He was still mulling on that subject when the sound of an abruptly interrupted sob pricked his ear. Todd spied none other than Vekarin stalking steadily towards himself. As he had been on the Council longer than he had, Todd thought to ask Vekarin about the past

"Lord Banespike, a word? May I ask what you know of Requarah and Jason?"
 

Trevy the Great

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#7
Vekarin turned towards the Strigoi, his balefire eyes fixing on Todd's own. He wasted no time in responding to Sweeney's question.
"Jason Nightwere is somewhat of a mystery to me. Beyond his incarceration by the Blood Queen and later role in the armies of the von Carsteins, his life is relatively unrecorded. He is an artificer and an enchanter, nothing more to me, and I do not pretend to know the entire history of every youngblood that arises from darkness. Requarah, however, is an individual with whom I have had extensive contact. She is a daughter of Lesa, who sired her over four hundred years ago. She moved into Altdorf, posing as important members of society and quietly building her power in the shadows. Eventually, she made a grab for power, and infiltrated those loyal to her into the ranks of the von Carstein bloodline, seeking to topple their dynasty within Sylvania. I stopped her before her plan came to fruition. I know not why she has returned."
Without another word, the Blood Dragon turned and stalked away, his boots echoing on the stone floor.
 

Gree

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#8
Mircea came some time after the rest of the Council arrived, he successfully directed the bulk of the armies to their garrison in Sylvania before he hurried to Nexenternus in bat form, Luke and Jan in tow.

The Marshal arrived at the games of the Fortress and landed. Quickly he made his way to the main hall where he was sure that his brother would set up the meeting.

Upon reaching the great double doors that led to the hallway he straightened his arms and brought them forth, pushing apart the great double-sided doors so that he entered, head bowed down as he came through.

With a final wrench he threw the doors aside and strode in, black cloak billowing behind him like a pair of batwings, Luke and Jan flanked him as he walked into the center of the hall.

‘’Did he really need to do that? A simple push would have sufficed to open the doors.’’ Luke asked Jan.

‘’Nah, he just did it to look impressive.’’ Jan whispered back.

Mircea observed the hallway, taking in the assembled vampire’s he noted the form of Lesa at the end, on a long bench. He would have thought his brother would provide better accommodations for that slut, as a simple bench seemed insufficient for healing. However he did not voice his opinion, for he hardly cared about her fate.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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#9
Taking off his helmet Aubervillier walked into the main hall behind Jan and Luke. His fully armoured form made it so his presence was hardly a secret. Catching site of Mircea the Blood Dragon strode upto him.

"Lord von Carstein. I am here to represent to Duke." He paused for a moment at the disarray in the hall. Few of the Council had yet seated themselves, thus the intended meeting seemed to be delayed in starting. On top of that the infernal sound of the pipe organ was putting the vampire's teeth on edge, which considering his large fangs was not a good thing.

"Do you know what is our next course of action? I had thought the Council would convene to discuss the next course of action, though this seems not to be the case?"

*****************************************

A clang rang out into the night air, the heat form the forge immense. The Duke had worked swiftly but expertly, and already he was hammering the white hot metal into shape. He had done this so many times over the years that it was second nature to him, and he round the repeated sound as his hammer struck almost soothing.

He had removed his top, his well muscled pale form almost glowing in the dark. Each time he struck sparks shot up, blackening his skin for a second before it healed, but he had learnt from experience better to feel the sparks that burn his garments.
 

Gree

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#10
‘’I do not know, I can only to regroup and anticipate the next move of the Dreadlords.’’ Mircea commented, looking around, noting the position of the rest of the council and noting the music.

‘’I suppose that is my brother,’’ he remarked, listing above. He turned his attention to the Blood Dragon. ‘’How many survive from the earlier battle?’’ he asked.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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#11
"Most of the Duke's order survive thankfully. Of those that were wounded most were healed on the Patisserie," Aubervillier replied, " however we lost many wights, both mounted and on foot. They were destroyed beyond resurrection."

"So this is where everyone is," a voice behind them said, "its been a while Aubervillier." Captain Leon smiled and nodded to the vampires,
"Lord Harkon will be joining us momentarily. Though perhaps it is good he was not here to see such.......recreation. He does not believe in dallying, especially during war."
"Yes, the Duke is of similar mindset," Aubervillier agreed, "Lord Carstein was inquiring as to our losses."
"The Order of the Blood Keep suffered minimal losses," Leon replied, "nothing that has affected our affectiveness. However I would assume from the battle that was waging as we arrived, that the Carstein losses were quite significant."

OOC: The Carstein's losses were quite bad, many troops being damaged beyond resurrection.
 

Gree

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#12
‘’Our losses can be replaced, there is always more dead’’ Mircea dismissed. ‘’Simon’s army has many more undead where that came from, and Sylvania always has plenty of corpses to send off to war, rest assured gentlemen, we have no troop difficulties.'' he spoke in a self-assured tone.

OOC: I know, but Mircea is not the type to show weakness.
 
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#13
The trio of Werewolves walked through the main hall, gazing in wonder at the objects inside the castle.
Hati stopped and looked at one particular portrait, a beautiful woman. She studied the portrait and called to Müller.
"What do you think? Who's prettier, her or me?"
Müller paused and glanced at the portrait and then at Hati.
"Her."
She glared daggers at him all the way down the hall with a look that could put Medusa to shame.

Müller opened the double doors slowly into the area where the Vampires where meeting.
"I hope we haven't missed anything."
 

Gree

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#14
Mircea glanced to the side at the new arrivals. ‘’Oh, you, the werewolf, I remember you, why are you here and how did you get in? I don’t think you can help us anymore, is not the rest of your kind dead? Or are those two like you?’’ he questioned, looking them over.
 
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#15
"We're here for revenge."
Said Müller, eyes flashing as his teeth sharpened into fangs.
Hati and Völundr nodded.
"We are going to get revenge on the bastards that caused the massacre of my kind. We are going to slaughter them like lambs and devour their corpses. Everyone involved, or at the very least witness their destruction. As to getting in..."
Müller shrugged.
"We knocked."

He gestured to Hati and Völundr.
"We are the only remaining conscious members of our kind, and as to helping you, I'll let you be the judge of that, but I can assure you, we can pull our own weight. You have seen what the lesser members of our race can do on the battlefield against your own forces. We three are the oldest and most accomplished of our race."
 

Gree

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#16
''You are still just three people'' Mircea reminded them. ''Even the most powerful fighters and mages will fall before a massive army, save for perhaps Nagash himself''
 

Trevy the Great

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#17
Victarias walked quickly out of Simon's dark citadel into the chill night air. In her flimsy garments she would have shivered if the elements had had any sway on her. As it was she felt the cold of air, but it was not uncomfortable as it would be to mortals, for she no longer needed heat to survive, to function. She wanted to escape the stuffy debates of the Council. She tired of the constant infighting, the dishonorable backstabbing and endless bickering and longed to be with her own thoughts.
She wandered, emotions brewing within her, and unconsciously wound her way to the undulating light of a smithy not far off.
 
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#18
"Then you will not mourn overmuch at our passing."
Said Müller simply.
He didn't want to say so, but if an army was desperately needed, it wouldn't be overly hard for the three Werewolves to create one.
 

Get of W'soran

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#19
Tapping filled the hall as Karl half-limped down it, stopping he tilted his head and smiled looking to his side at his loyal Blood Dragon
"You hear that Marc?"
"The Music Mi'Lord?"
"Indeed...Simon's showing off...he is quite good though, is he not?"
"Quite Mi'Lord" Marc replied sounding bored
Karl nodded still smiling, the blood dragon was happy that his master was smiling once more he had been rather grumpy on the way here due to the loss of his sword and had only got angrier when he had suggested using the Banishment Blade instead.
The Baron glanced around the room and feeling bored he strode to a chair and sat down and the Blood Dragon stood a short distance behind the Chair standing at attention.
Glancing over at one of the mortals Karl gestured lazily at him causing a young mortal man to move over to him and without even saying a word he proffered his wrist to the Baron who bit down upon it and began drinking deeply. He stopped short of killing the mortal allowing him to fall and be whisked away by a few of the other servants.
Feeling better he sighed and leant backwards in the chair.
______________________________________

Akarin walked down the Halls of Simon's home, the assassin was looking upon the paintings along the Count's walls smiling as he recognised other von Carstein's within the pictures.
After a time he entered the Great Hall in which all the vampires had gathered, moving towards the Count he bowed upon reaching Simon.
"Count." he said
Turning he nodded at the other two beside their master
"Aurelius, Nar-Zuul."
Then looking back at Simon he spoke
"My Lord, I have ordered Silibar back to Sylvania...he will evaluate the current condition after the plot against our line by the Nagashi. He shall send a Raven back after checking on Drakenhof and the Teufhof Barony. He shall then remain in the province for internal security purposes organising the others of the Assassin Order."
 
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#20
"O now don't be so morbid Muller..." Jason said in a cold tone, as he made he way from the library towards Muller and the assembled Vampire and werewolves. He bowed before Völundr and kissed the hand of the younger female introducing himself, respectfully bowing once again to Muller. He sharply turned to Mircea giving him a cold smile, " May I presume you are all of the wolf? If so it is a pleasure to meet you."

________________

Wheels thundered through the night. The crack of a harsh whip sounded through the night as horses as black as shadow, raced through the night there would have been at least twenty coaches some filled with dark passengers others bearing supply's, weapons and Tombs older than the empire Itself. All heading towards there undying master, Jason Nightwere. At the fore front was a towing man, standing atop the first carriage on his face a Mask of white gold, with eyes which shone a beautiful yellow, piercing through into the night. Wearing the finest noble wear money could buy shifting in the wind, he stood wind twisting his hair as he looked to the distant fortress Nexeternus and his master and savior. He ushered the drivers forward as the inhabitants of the coaches awaited, to finally meet there master.

They came to the Gates and a booming, commanding voice shouted to the gate keepers "Allow me Passage mortals, for I am Harindir,Valarion, Vaskatchi First son of Jason Nightwere and lord of the house of Vaskatchi of Luccini , Telia, And bear gifts for the master of the Von Carstein's. " The Doors creaked open and the grand procession of the spawn of Nightwere proceeded through the streets, slowing to catch the attention of the Citizens of Nexeternus. A smile etched upon Harindir feature's not covered by the Mask of gold and he made his way to the fortress awaiting to see his Sire once more.
 

Gree

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#21
‘’No I am not,’’ Mircea sighed. ‘’If the fangs, the red eyes, the pale skin and the symbol of the Von Carsteins on my armor, signet ring and sword did not give it away then I shall inform you that I am indeed a vampire of the von Carstein line, I am Mircea von Carstein.’’
 

Knightofni

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#22
Usidaen snorted impatiently as Saul patted him gently on the side of the neck.. a grin stretching across his face. He’d been sat here for at least twenty minutes now watching Trinity converse with the locals.. ‘converse’ is probably the wrong word, it’s been more like arguing; arguing in different languages. He chuckled to himself.. Trinity had decided that they had gone astray and had asked a local for directions.. in theory this was a good idea, but neither of them spoke the same language and Saul didn’t see any reason to enlighten Trinity as to the names that the local was now calling her.

To be honest, Saul would have gladly sat here for twenty minutes just to watch Trinity but frustratingly she was glad in a leather trench coat which obscured virtually all the fleshy bits; not that Trinity ever spent much time dressed in revealing clothes anyway. Such a waste. He tried not to think about peeling away that horribly obscuring outfit and savouring the soft flesh underneath.. the delicate line of her jaw, the graceful arc of neck down to her shoulders, her firm breasts and that toned abdomen down to..

Usidaen shock his mane in frustration, ruining Saul’s train of thought.. thanks buddy, great timing there. The sarcasm in his thoughts was probably wasted on the horse. His own frustration mirrored the horses.. Usidaen was right, Trinity was taking far too long and not making much progress.. time for some expert intervention. He dismounted and sauntered over to where Trinity was just about to draw one of her pistols.. he caught her wrist.. and felt the pulse of warm blood under the skin.. so warm, so fresh, so delicious.. No. That could wait.

“Patience Trinity, it’s all about diplomacy.” He indicated to the local, “Watch and learn.”

He drew one of his swords and rested the blade across the throat of the terrified local. A faint aroma of urine permeated the air.. the local had soiled himself.

“Dico mihi qua ego reperio Nexeternus. Nisi vos volo perdo vestri caput capitis.”
(Tell me where I can find Nexeternus. Or I’ll cut your head off.)

Saul’s tone was harsh and demanding; the local quivered in fear, this new stranger who spoke his language was not a very patient man.

“Commodo ego sum iustus e paganus. Quis wouno ego teneo.”
(Please, I am just a peasant. What would I know)

The local was defiant.. giving Saul the same answer he had originally given Trinity.. before the arguing.

“Dico mihi iam. Vel vos ero e mortuus paganus.”
(Tell me now. Or you’ll be a dead peasant)

“Ut vos votum. Is est super tunc tumulosus. Nonnullus quattuor hora ex hic.”
(As you wish. It is over the next hill. Some four hours from here)

The local’s tone was pleading now, trying to appease the angry stranger who was threatening him. He pointed further eastwards..

Saul removed the sword from the local’s throat and returned it to its scabbard..

“Gratias ago vos. Ut eram non difficilis eram is?”
(Thank you. That wasn’t difficult was it?)

Saul tossed a small bag of coins to the local’s feet and turned away, walking back to Usidaen; with Trinity following close behind.. she wasn’t happy.

“You call that diplomacy.. you were going to cut his head off.” Her tone was one of mingled disbelief, resentment and appreciation. She shook her head.. “What did he say anyway?.. I didn’t understand a word of that.”

Saul shrugged noncommittally.. he pointed in the same direction as the local had.

“He said it’s over there.”


OOC: Wasn't sure what language people in the Border Princes would speak.. English seemed a bit boring so I went with generic Latin. Rough translations are in brackets.
 

MasterSpark

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#23
-"I'm sure that Mr Nightwere did not mean to include yourself in that question, master Mircea." said Helena as she appeared next to the assembled group, again in her ethereal form. "As for the werewolves, I will personally vouch for Müller here...", upon which she nodded towards Müller to make sure that there would be no misunderstanding. "...as he came to the rescue of myself and another ally in our hour of need. We would have been unlikely to have survived if it were not for his timely intervention."

She then adressed Jason with her gratitude for his and Zaak's additional repairs to Ashlotte that they had conducted during the brief journey to Nexeturnus.
-"Again I must thank you for your services, master Jason. I decided to leave Ashlotte aboard the Patisserie for the time being, she seems to have suffered some temporary adverse effects after I removed myself from her."
 
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#24
Hati smiled and blushed as Jason kissed her hand.
"Well met my chivalrous lord of the night, perhaps we should exchange more pleasantries in privacy of your element, the dark?"
One of Müller's eyes twitched at Hati's brazenness. Völundr placed a hand on his shoulder to calm him. It was best that they at least appear united.
"Milady is to kind." He said simply to Helena.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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#25
"Is this Council to convene then?" Aubervillier asked, "I had thought business would be taken care of before relaxation." In truth the Blood Dragon was edgy, uncomfortable in the presence of the other vampires. They seemed far too relaxed, far too interested in small talk than dealing with the situation at hand.

Leon shook his head slightly, smiling inwardly at Aubervillier's blunt manner. His many years as the Captain of the Keep had given him much experience in dealing with outsiders, but he assumed that the other vampire had not. Catching something out of the corner of his eye, he excused himself.

"Many thanks for the message," Leon's voice said from behind Todd, "Banespike had almost convinced Lord Harkon to carry on destroying the Council's forces until I intervened. I trust you and your kin were unharmed?"
 
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