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 Post subject: Blood Ties - Play Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:15 pm 
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Location: The front lines...
The Grey Mountains, West of Nuln.

2520, Imperial Calendar

A small Imperial outpost sits atop the rocky plateau overlooking a deep valley. The small, seldom-used pass connects the lands of Brettonia to those of the Empire.

The stone structure of the outpost has been worn by years of rain, snow, and harsh mountain winds. The unlucky soldiers garrisoned here spend weeks at a time without contact with the rest of the Empire.

And now, a gathering was taking place in the crumbling building. Those attending had come many miles to reach this spot. Some had traveled like nobles, riding in luxurious coaches, flanked by obedient attendants and bodyguards; all of which had to be abandoned along the harsh trail leading up the mountain. Some had come alone, regarding the difficult journey as just another in a line of challenges to be overcome in order to achieve perfection. Still others had ridden the wind currents on bestial wings. Some came at the behest of a more powerful master, while others pursued their own designs.

Each of them had been summoned by a letter. To rouse one of their kind into leaving the familiar comforts of home or lair was no small feat, but these were no mere letters. The dark ink that had been applied to the imported papyrus would not be notable to most, but for those with a nose for such things, it was easy to detect the small amount of blood mixed into the ink. Powerful blood. Ancient blood. There was also the fact that each of those who received these letters had been addressed by name; no small feat when some of their names had not been uttered by mortal men for many years. Above all, the reward mentioned in the words of the letter had sparked the fire of greed in the cold hearts of the travelers.

The rich scent of blood is immediately noticeable at the outpost’s entrance. Indeed, it is spattered and smeared across the stones among discarded weapons and scraps of cloth. A voice resonates from the darkness inside.

You all hail from different lands now, different cultures. We have changed so much since we were banished from the cradle of our civilization. We have changed, we have fought, we have even grown to look different. Yet we all remain tied by one thing. Blood. Most of us have forgotten the old histories, but our blood goes back all the way to Lahmia, in the Lands of the Dead.

Inside, guttering torches illuminate the main room. A large table in the center is laid out as if for a great banquet. Wine, bread, cheese, fruits and choice cuts of meat cover the table. The voice comes from a man seated at the table. His features are partially obscured by the shadows, but his voice gives him away as a member of the nobility.

Now, please, take your seats. You must all be weary. Eat, drink, talk amongst yourselves. We must thank the noble sons of the Empire for providing such a bounty, especially our host, Captain Stern.” The man waves his hand, indicating the table’s gruesome centerpiece. A man lies across the table, his grey and white attire marking him as a soldier of the province of Wissenland. The man’s eyes are wide and roll slowly in their sockets. A quiet groan is all he can manage as the dark stranger lifts his wrist and makes a fresh incision with a sharpened nail. The blood drips into a waiting goblet. After a moment, he lifts the goblet to his lips and drinks deeply, waiting for the others to take their seats.

OOC: Same intro from the OOC thread, I just want to get introductions and stuff going, so feel free to introduce your characters and start talking amongst yourselves. :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:26 pm 
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A light smirk played on Montel's lips as he took a moment to let the words sink in. The dark stranger had certainly taken effort to give his brethren a warm welcome, and that was something he could appreciate. Eyeing the others, it took him mere seconds to conclude that he was the youngest vampire around. He had a little gleam in his eyes, already awaiting the scenario where one of the others would deem them self superior to him, purely based on age. Of course, age meant experience and wisdom, but it would take far more than that to outclass the Lahmian as they would all find out.

With a friendly nod towards the dark figure, Montel took a seat and helped himself to a goblet of the Captain's blood. "Thank you for the hospitality, good sir." he said towards Stern as he did so, his voice laced with a maniacal tone and a cackle to follow it up. The Lahmian was actually very calm and collected, but he always enjoyed toying with different kinds of characteristic behaviour. The emotions of a mortal intrigued him and he would take any opportunity to trigger them.

After taking a gulp of the blood he looked around him to the others, raising his goblet as a salute of sorts. His voice was calm and light in tone; a pleasure to the ears for the ones listening. "Montel Preznant. Lahmian extraordinaire, master mind dominator and assassin, and I take a certain interest in making poison and using it on hapless victims. The world is my playground, and mortals are my toys to do with as I please."

A coy smile was visible on his features as he took a sip of the Captain's blood and looked deeply into the remaining content of his goblet, contemplating on how blood was such a curious and delicious substance. He then looked up again, and continued speaking after the slight pause. "If anyone wishes to know more, you need but ask."

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:44 pm 
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Rasping and sudden a hissing incantation escaped Nero's rotten lips and a cup raised from the table to repeat the process the host had performed just now. Nero never felt much for putting effort in things he could simply solve with magic. A cup of blood just wasn't worth getting up for at the moment and he didn't want to raise too much attention to himself anyway.

As the cup filled itself with blood Nero's dead-stare eyes spied across the table. He could see that with himself included all five bloodlines were represented. Talking to himself within his mind Nero went.. The host seems to be a Von Carnstein, deeming by his accent but.. Not quite sure. A Lahmian male.. Quite interesting.. Those were rare subjects nowadays. The ever clear presence of a blood dragon as well.. Not as interesting. Of all vampires they seemed the least evil. Or well.. Studies had shown that was the case.. Usually. A Strigoi.. Nearly the exact opposite but still focussed on battle. Yet with skill traded for brutality. Interesting subject.. And a first class example of a Von Carnstein.. Still not sure on the host though.. Hmmm.....

With his mind racing with thoughts in a schizophrenic manner Nero raised his cup and nodded briefly before gulging on the red cold inside it. He'd wait for more to show their colours before making the leap.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:56 am 
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Sturm shook his head and politely declined the drink. Blood spilt without battle was weak, tasted foul. He eyed the other vampires, nodding to each in turn. "Sturm di Matar my lords and ladies" he said before fixing his gaze on their mysterious host. "And who might you be? You're obviously someone with detailed knowledge about us for you managed to seek us out, I'm especially impressed that you managed to find a Strigoi and managing to lure him here, and gathering that knowledge can't have been easy nor could you have done that quickly. So, who are you and what do you want with us?" his tone implied that while he was intrigued about the situation, if the answer didn't satisfy him, he'd leave in an instant. The Blood Dragon wasn't impolite, his eternal life simply didn't have time for foolishness.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:53 pm 
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Ever the diplomat, Anais paused a moment to incline her head in thanks to their host – whoever he might be – for the hospitality before sitting, carefully arranging her robes around her as she did so. With the ease of practice, her eyes flickered over the others assembled. Only two had so far said a word, and the von Carstein lady listened carefully as she secured a goblet for herself, opening a wound on the captain’s wrist with a nail and letting the soldier’s blood drain into the cup before sitting back. Unlike the Necrarch, her skills at magic were not sufficient to do it in that way, nor was she unwilling to spill blood with her own hands. As was usually true, she was one of the younger vampires present, although Anais did not think that she was the youngest.

She saw no point in being silent, as the Necrarch had chosen to be for now. Still, she acknowledged his nod with one of her own and raised her goblet to their host in praise of his choice of vessel. The good captain’s blood was a welcome change after the weeks of being forced to drink from peasants to avoid drawing suspicion from Imperial witch hunters or worse.

“I am Anais von Carstein,” she told the assembled travellers, “A scholar and ambassador, although I also have some small skill in fighting and in the art of Necromancy.”

As she spoke, keeping her words brief and to the point, Anais considered the Lahmian’s words. Many would have dismissed his words as idle boasting, given that he seemed to be the youngest of those assembled here. But she remembered being young to her power, and she wondered if he might be a useful ally against the older ones present here. Should it come to that, of course. She had nothing that a Necrarch might want nor a Blood Dragon knight, so unless that changed, a Lahmian might prove to be her easiest ally, even if he was younger than she was.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:38 am 
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Josef saw no point in any further formalities after he had taken his seat and downed the goblet of blood in an instant, enjoying the rich coppery taste of the blood. It was a pleasant change to the fowl drinks he'd been at recently, this man was a strong one, a fighter and his blood revealed this all to Josef who in turn revelled at it's taste. Placing his goblet down he took a good look at the others who had been summoned, his eyes darting around carefully to take in as much detail as he could, he didn't like not knowing what he was up against and more importantly to him he didn't like being summoned like a dog by a stranger whom he owed no debt too. As he made the last of his quick notes he realised that their host had done well to get so many of them in one place. How he has managed to get a Lahmian, a Blood Dragon, a Necrach and one of those pompous Von Carsteins here I'll never know.

His attention drifted to the conversation the Lahmian had started. The young male was a braggart like many of the Lahmians he'd met and just like them he didn't like him one bit. Smug little thing he is, looks like he's barely half my age and he gloats like one of the masters. As he others shared their own to the talk he made more notes on them all, trying to gather what information they had on the meeting but like him they seemed in the dark. As the von Carstein finished he felt that they expected him to make his own introduction. With no regards to form he spoke his words. "I'm Josef and as some of you have pointed out I am of Strigoi blood." He hung out the last few syllables before glaring at the Blood Dragon Sturm. "And the next one of you who talks about me as if I'm a wild beast or dog will soon find themselves with my fist halfway done their throat as I gut them.” He continued his cold stare at the Blood Dragon, morphing a part of his face to make himself appear more ghastly and wild before bringing it back to normal, as he calmed himself.

“Now for those who are interested while I do have little skills with magic over the dead I am somewhat more knowledgeable in the lore of the wild. I am also a skilled hunter and tracker though I prefer to hunt with my fangs and claws. I also have a complete disregards for that chivalry thing some of who hold so high so if you want a fair fight go find someone else cause I’m not interested.” Turning to his host he spoke once more, asking the same thing the others had. “Now you... what is it you want with us?”

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:50 am 
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Doru waited patiently as introductions were made. He was surprised at the group that had assembled. Some were old, and quite powerful. While Doru had existed for over four centuries, he had been asleep for nearly three of them. He allowed himself a smile as he realized that the others thought he had summoned them. He briefly considered allowing them to go on believing this, but that would be foolish. He was nowhere near powerful enough to control a group like this, and if they found out he was trying to manipulate them it would shatter an already fragile truce.

He nodded to the Lahmian. This was one he could work with. Indeed, their bloodlines had been allies before. They were open to negotiation and bargaining, though with a Lahmian, you could always be sure that you were on the losing end of a deal.

The Necrarch would be less willing to cooperate, but the fact that such a creature had personally left its lair to attend meant that Doru could count on him, for a while at least. His arcane powers would be an invaluable asset to the group.

A second Von Carstein was a welcome surprise, though he knew that a shared ancestry was no guarantee of cooperation. Betrayal and backstabbing were second nature to their kind, especially in times without a strong leader. Still, she claimed to be a scholar and ambassador, so at least he’d have someone to relate to.

The Strigoi was an unknown factor. Doru was surprised he had even come. The other bloodlines, including his own, had hunted the Strigoi for centuries as if they were mindless beasts. Doru knew that nothing could be further from the truth, the Strigoi were cunning, ruthless. If they were beast-like, it was because they had to be in order to survive centuries of persecution by their own kind.

The Blood Dragon was another welcome sight. Sturm’s brothers had fought beside Konrad in his early battles. A whiff of glory would be enough to entice the warrior to join them, and then it was simply a matter of pointing him towards an enemy.

Tempers were already flaring. The Strigoi and Blood Dragon would be at one another's throats if he didn’t do something quickly. Doru drained his cup and set it aside, leaning forward to let the dim light illuminate his features. “My name is Doru Von Carstein, and what I want with you,” he looked from Josef to Sturm, “is your time, something we all have in abundance, and if necessary, a bit of blood.” He grinned “And I think you will find it well worth such a small sacrifice.

Firstly, I did not summon you here. I myself awoke from a rather lengthy slumber to find a letter, much like yours.” Reaching into his coat, he withdrew his own letter, unfolding and glancing over it again. “Only mine was delivered earlier than yours with instructions to prepare for your arrival, though this…” He looked around the room again, “was not what I expected. Your guess is as good as mine as to who wrote the letters, but now I see the wisdom in this. Finally the bloodlines are united in something, and all it took was a few sheets of paper. We have a chance to end the pointless bickering.” Doru’s were alight with excitement as he warmed to his speech. “The six of us have a chance to do what the greatest of our kind could not. Together we can teach these mortals that surround us to fear the dark once more. We will be the rulers of this world as we should have been from the very beginning. That power is within our reach! We only need put aside our differences long enough to grasp it. When it is done, each bloodline can have its own continent to rule over! There will be no need to fight!” Doru paused when he realized he was standing, hammering the tabletop with his fists for emphasis. He was thankful his undead flesh was unable to blush. He composed himself and quickly continued before he could be interrupted. “My letter contained one more detail. The reward we have all been promised is making its way here as we speak. It should arrive by caravan tomorrow, just before sunset. We need only sit, enjoy the Empire’s hospitality, and wait.” He glanced at Sturm and Josef again. “If that is too difficult to manage… well I am certain you can find your way home.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:51 am 
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"Yes, I think I can manage to enjoy this gracious hositality without too much difficulty. I'll even leave Sturm here in one piece if he can stomach my presence. It's always nice to be accpeted instead of hunted and trust me I've had more than enough hunting me." Reaching a hand out to the body of the dead captain infront of him, tearing an arm from the corpse slowly, making sure he made as large a mess and sound as he could before sinking his teeth into the scarred and muscled arm, savouring the blood that dripped from it and the tangy taste of flesh. Normally he wouldn't bother eat the flesh but for tonights meal he felt it would be more entertaining to go about it this way.

Josef took another look at his companions and a much closer look at Doru. Another von Carstein among us. It seems that whatever is being planned they seem to favour their bloodline, though they must be easier for them to summon to such formal events as this. He continued to glare at the Blood Dragon though he felt no need to insult him. His kind had already been hunted down cruelly by their own brothers and sisters and the last thing Josef needed was a repeat of those events.

"Now does anyone know any decent party tricks to pass the time or how about some tales of deeds once done?"

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:26 am 
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Sturm returned Josef's menacing glare with a calm and steady one. He wouldn't be intimidated by a beast such as the Strigoi. "Your empty threats mean nothing to me, Strigoi. Challenge me if you want to test your mettle, but I warn you: you won't shove your fist anywhere when I sever both your hands. Your parlor tricks do not impress me nor do they scare me. I'll stay my hand for now though, as a compliment to our host" he said the last words to Doru and turned to face the Von Carstein. "You say this quest will put an end to the fighting. You must either be misinformed or delusional because for the Blood Dragons, and end to fighting is an end to our very reason to exist. I'll wait to see what tomorrow holds though, and make up my mind then. Now" he continued "If you were summoned here as we were yet were placed as our host, you must have an idea as to who summoned us and why. I do not like being kept in the dark. Like I said, someone very powerful must be behind this in order to find us and provide us with this keep"

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:43 pm 
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With a devious smirk playing on his serrated grin Nero got up from his seat, deciding the time was now to introduce himself as his host had done so. He downed the remaining blood in his goblet and scraped his rotting throat to raise the attention a being of his might deserved.

With a courtesying bow he spoke "My name would be Nero Bellum, as you probably noticed I'm of Nercrarch blood and unlike the Strigoi-animal I can keep my decency when people give me an awkward look." provoking a response from the beast. His rasping voice carrying a tone that was bordering on open-hostility and a joke in the best intentions.

Before letting the Strigoi come up with an answer or rather, do something stupid. He continued his tone changing to a slightly more serious one.

"While it was quite obvious you didn't summon us here, like the blood dragon I too agree with not liking the fact that we're being kept in the dark. Tomorrow better clarify some things. On the other hand, sharing a fresh meal with fellow vampires and an interesting test subject is a welcome surprise." Nero added, eager to tempt the Strigoi further. He hadn't had the opportunity to study the temper of his last Strigoi subject since he was forced to kill the beast after it broke through it's bounds. Nero would make sure not to underestimate the strength lurking under the beast's slow-rotting flesh.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Doru shrugged and slid his letter across the table to Sturm. "See for yourself. I was told the location of this outpost, the details of its garrison, and when to expect the caravan." He smiled. "I swear to you, on my honour, I know nothing more. I can speculate of course. I assume the one behind this is a vampire, though that is not necessarily certain. I can think of at least several powerful vampires, from any of the bloodlines, who could have found us. Does it even matter at this point? We have all come this far, we may as well see it through."

The Necrarch startled Doru when he spoke up. His voice was like bones scraping together, yet it carried the hint of wisdom and power. "The descendants of W'soran are welcome here, but so are the children of Ushoran. Regardless of old feuds, we are here as equals, and you would all do well to remember that."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:39 am 
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Nero nodded briefly. "Fair enough." He didn't incline without second thoughts. But deep inside he knew it would be smart to keep the Strigoi on his good side. Maybe it was too late already but if he proved to be golden from now on that could make the change perhaps? He thought as he poured himself another goblet of blood.

He muttered something about backstabbing and strigany as he took a sip and shook his head.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:21 am 
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"So long as no one desides to play hunt the Strigoi whilst I'm about or pin the tale on the ghoul king I will have no issues getting on with the others. Unlike some of them," He said this glaring at the Necrach and Blood Dragon, "I know when to put aside my honour." Josef, now done with the last limb he'd grabbed at reached towards the corpse to collect another and savour its' sweet, fresh blood as he drained the limb of the life giving nectar his kind fed upon. He took another look at the others, Josef still did not trust them but for some reason he felt that for the meantime he was safe, otherwise they would have run him off and tracked him down by now.

How long this peacer will last however is the question I ask. Our kind can never last in peace for long, not without a strong and inding cause.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:11 pm 
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Montel chuckled softly as he watched one half of the group resorting to name-calling within virtually no time. If this behaviour was anything to go by, then these puppets would soon be dancing at his whim before too long. All that temper was definitely something he could exploit later on.

Aside from his own bloodline he had taken a liking to the Von Carnsteins, as next to his own kin they seemed to share a certain freedom which the other bloodlines lacked. Strigoi's were more likely the hunter than the hunted, and their feral side seemed to dominate them often. Blood Dragon's were honour-bound knights that were limited to fighting and fighting only. And Necrarch's were slow and hideous necromancers who seemed to only have an interest in studying and experimenting.

He smiled at Doru and Anais as he spoke to them, his voice neutral and friendly in tone as he spoke. "It is nice to see there are those amongst us who can refrain from bickering like children." He made a slight hint to the others that their age and wisdom wasn't showing, but he kept his conversation directed towards the two Von Carsteins. "I hold no grudges over past events and the future looks promising. I shall enjoy the luxury and fine company the unknown host has provided us and see what tomorrow will bring then." He continued, and he stroked his chin as he comfortably leaned back in the chair.

"What has been keeping you occupied before you before you decided to join this nightly 'tea party'? If I may ask of it, that is." he said towards the Von Carsteins, showing the squabbling bloodlines what manners and politeness was.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:39 am 
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Nero gave the Lahmian a sheepish grin. He knew that the Lahmian should bear a natural hatred against those of Strigoi blood as well and if that wasn't the case it was simply an anomaly in the vampire's blood. The blood feud between Strigoi and the other blood lines dated centuries back and Nero wasn't going to neglect it any time soon. He would tolerate the beast for now though.

He always felt the reason the other lines pursue such hatred against Strigany was a valid one. After all, the grand father of their kind had betrayed the other lines with such an act of cowardice his children of the night should be butchered by their loyal kin. Or so Nero thought anyway.

In an attempt to raise himself above the current level of conversation and make talking to him less awkward he started hissing a vile incantation. One that probably sounded familiar in the Lahmians ears since he stole it from one of their scrolls.

Slowly, as he progressed through the long series of words his voice changed as did his appearance. The bonegrinding death grunt slowly changed into a smooth and soft voice not unlike that of a noble man. His ghastly appearance slowly taking on the more solidified shape of a pale yet handsome man with long flowing black hair. This appearance resembled the depraved beauty of a Lahmian rather than the usually hideous shape of the necromantic plaguewielders known as Necrarchs.

Another sheepish smile followed to the Lahmian before he gave a small nod and directed his attention to their host.

"Yes, good Sir, what has been occupying thee lately?" He spoke, an unmistakable tone of genuine interested, perhaps even too much interest, lacing his words.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Anais had been watching the Necrarch, the Strigoi and the Blood Dragon squabble with a single arched eyebrow and diplomatic silence. She was quietly pleased that there was another of her kindred present, although she certainly was not naive enough to believe that automatically made him her ally. It merely offered the opportunity. That he spoke wisely was an added bonus. She was already planning how to approach him later.

The Blood Dragon, well, he merely appeared to be another one of his bloodline’s scions who was absorbed by fighting to the exception of all else. Yes, he was not as brutish as the Strigoi nearby, but he certainly was far from subtle. It was quite amusing to watch the three of them argue like human children though, if rather pathetic. Her eyes turned to the Lahmian as he spoke, keeping her smile at his words hidden.

“What use in holding old grudges?” She agreed. “Particularly when a far grander prize beckons us all.”

The von Carstein raised her goblet to the Lahmian as she spoke, toasting what she saw as his common sense. They had all been called here, and they might as well be polite to one another, even if that was too much for the Strigoi. She had expected no more of the bestial creature, but she had hoped that a Blood Dragon would show a little more courtesy.

Still, at least his words seemed to have given the Necrarch reason to at least act in a civilised fashion. It was unfortunate that, spell or not, it was apparent to all that he was still rotting underneath the illusion. Indeed, Anais found the conceit vaguely insulting, as though mere trickery could distract her from his true nature. Still, none of this showed on her face as she took a sip of her drink, composing her reply carefully.

“As I said, I am a scholar as well as an ambassador. When my duties have not taken precedence, I have been pursuing my own interests in a number of areas. I doubt that the details would interest you though.”

She would be willing to speak to her researches with the other von Carstein, perhaps, but not with the Necrarch who was showing entirely too much interest in them.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:45 am 
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Doru made a face as he watched Josef eat. He might be a vital part of the group, but the Strigoi had the table manners of a ghoul.

He was about to answer the Lahmian's question when he heard Nero rasping out the words to a spell. His hand instinctively went to his sword, but he relaxed as he saw that the Necrarch was merely altering his appearance. Doru thought it unnecessary, everyone here was inhuman, a beast, whether they chose to hide it or not.

Doru listened as Anais replied to the Lahmian. She was wise not to reveal too much at this point. No doubt the Necrarch and the Lahmian already had schemes running through their heads, and would be listening closely for anything they could use to their advantage. "Well I for one would be interested in such details, as it appears we share the same interests."

Despite such risks, Doru felt that he would need to reveal more about himself to satisfy the others, and gain a bit of trust. "As for myself, I had the honour of serving my lord Vlad Von Carstein and the lady Isabella, as a diplomat for Sylvania. When he began his campaign to remove the squabbling Elector Counts and unite the Empire, I negotiated alliances and surrenders for those mortals intelligent enough to do so. When he... failed," Doru frowned, the memory of his beloved lords' death still seemed fresh in his mind, "I did my best to provide the same service to his successors. Konrad was overzealous in... avenging his sire, a noble quest of course, but one that ended in failure." Doru was not about to express his true opinion of the mad count in front of the other bloodlines. "It was better under Mannfred, he had vision. He understood that we vampires must work together. I assisted him in securing alliances with members of your own bloodline, Montel. Of course he did not succeed. He was undone by foul trickery. I often wonder, if he would have put more effort into uniting our kind, if things might have turned out differently, but it matters little now. The rest... uninteresting details, mostly." He laughed, hoping that would satisfy them for now. Admitting he'd spent the last three centuries entombed in a crypt, hiding from the world would not help matters. "And what of the rest of you?" He looked at Nero. "Any interesting experiments or theories perhaps?" He said jokingly.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:11 pm 
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Glancing sideways towards the Necrarch, Montel watched as he heard the incantation. At first he wondered if the necromancer had taken insult to his words, and as Doru momentarily tensed Montel focussed to spring into action if needed. He soon found it wasn't needed however as he recognised the kind of enchantment his fellow Lahmians used at times. Montel chuckled in return to the grin. It would take far more than simple appearances to deceive the average mortal, and it would certainly not fool any vampire in the room.

The Lahmian raised his goblet and gave Anais a little nod. Now that was someone he could work with, a free-thinking individual. Sure, she was a duty-bound pawn for a more powerful vampire, but she seemed like one who would cease such a co-operation if it would clash with her own interests. On top of that the von Carstein also knew the value in keeping information to herself, and while Montel wished to know more he was pleased to see these distinct differences in tact between her and the other bloodlines.

"Secrecy is a virtue, I have respect for that." He spoke in a friendly tone. It was only natural to keep private matters private when talking to those you've just met and don't know much about. He was confident that when he required information he would get it, but for now it was all just general interest for him.

He then listened intently as Doru gave him a little history lesson on past events and the von Carnstein's involvement in it. It was clear to the Lahmian that Doru did not like his time with Konrad at all. Whereas he praised the other two Konrad was left as a slight in-between mention, and he didn't need to speak an insult for Montel to know he thought of one about Konrad.

None of it showed however as Montel leaned forward in his chair; his fingers sliding into each other as the Lahmian placed his hands on the table. His voice was serious as he spoke, though still as light-hearted as ever. "Perhaps we might be able to continue Mannfred's work if the opportunity arises."

Personally he didn't mind it much if the bloodlines were divided or united, as neither option had much influence on his personal interests. This gathering intrigued him however and it sounded like quite the challenge. If there was something that Montel enjoyed it was challenges and special occasions, and this situation seemed to fit that bill perfectly.

After a pause to let his words to Doru sink in, he then continued to answer his question.

"I've mostly been occupied mastering the arts I have an affinity for, for personal gain and amusement. I've been making several contacts around Old World, seeking to improve myself and my position in this world.

As of late I've also taken a liking to develop poison as well and it is turning out to be quite effective on mortals. When taken in enough dose it disables the victim's muscles to a point where bending a finger becomes too much effort for them. And when confronted with a high dose the victim's heart will stop beating entirely. They are easy prey then, and it has proven to be quite useful when I find myself to be outnumbered in a situation."
He had enthusiasm in his voice as he spoke of the poison, as he had enjoyed developing and testing it entirely by himself.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:54 pm 
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Location: The front lines...
OOC: Moving along, but feel free to post whatever it is you wanted to do or say while we waited.

Continue Mannfred's work. Doru nodded to the Lahmian. "Perhaps..." His mind wandered as the conversations dragged on throughout the day. He only spoke up when it was necessary to maintain peace. Like the others, he had no idea what this prize was, and he spent the time until sundown puzzling over the mystery.

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

Sundown, the next day.

Doru called the other vampires to attention, and awoke those who had chosen to rest. He doubted any had actually allowed themselves to sleep in the company of ancient rivals and hated enemies.

He indicated the door. "Brothers and sisters, if you would follow me, our prize awaits." He stepped out onto the plateau of rock. The fading sunlight caused an unpleasant heat spread across his pale skin, but it was more annoying than life threatening. He recalled how his former masters had walked beneath the harsh sun unharmed. Willpower, they had told him. It was their incredible will that allowed them walk in sunlight. Doru shielded his face from the setting sun. Clearly it took a greater will than his own, but Doru was not willing to wait a moment longer. "Right on schedule." He pointed downwards.

The caravan wound its way through the narrow road beneath the outpost. Several covered wagons followed behind a group of horsemen. Twenty Empire halberdiers followed behind the wagons.

"Hmm... the caravan is well protected. But, given the nature of the cargo, I suppose that is to be expected, yes?" Doru turned to Sturm with a smile. "Well, my lord Matar. You are the warrior here, how would you suggest we proceed? Or perhaps the rest of you have suggestions?"

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:14 pm 
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Sturm folded his arms. "There aren't enough of them to be a serious threat to half a dozen of us. However, before we charge head first into their midst we'd better find out what we're up against. The footmen are no problem in any case, but if the mounted escort are knights or warrior priests we might have a challenge." he tilted his head. A last ray of sunshine caressed the black steel of his armour. "I'll challenge their leader, that should give the rest of you time to get into position and determine who the enemy is. I'll draw out the duel so that all of you'll have time for whatever preparations you need. Agreed?"

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:51 pm 
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Anais stood near to the young Lahmian, her usual robes disdained in favour of the light leather armour that she preferred for fighting. Her sword and pistol were on her belt, but she left the planning to those with more experience of such things. Oh, she was no stranger to combat but she was not the most cunning tactician and was quite happy to leave command to those who were. Instead, while she listened to the Blood Dragon’s advice (which seemed sound to her), her eyes remained fixed on the caravan and its protectors.

“Agreed.” She said in response to Sturm, loosening her sword in its scabbard and contemplating spells that she might cast.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Montel squinted slightly as he focused on the caravan, his eyes not appreciating the faint hint of sunlight in the distance. As he heard the Blood Dragon he slowly nodded, not necessarily agreeing with the plan, but acknowledging it as an option. He then spoke, keeping his focus on the mortals with the caravan.

"That could work, but for all we know they could be well prepared and informed about us. Perhaps it is for the best if I take a look first, as it is my specialty to stalk in the shadows and observe my prey. If any of them reveal themselves as possible threats in combat I could take them out before they can even lift their weapon."

With that he turned towards Sturm. "Naturally, it is not the most honourable way to go about it but from my own experience it shows to be quick and efficient, which is useful." The lahmian's tone was neutral; no hint of disrepect or sarcasm as he spoke of the different approach the Blood Dragon had when it came to fighting.

Montel had already envisioned how he would instill horror in their minds; his poisonous blades unleashing a howl of agony as he would mutilate the mortal's body. He would enjoy watching the scene unfold before his eyes.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:04 am 
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Ever the diplomat, Doru glanced from Sturm to Montel. "Both are sound plans. Might I suggest combining them? Sturm's challenge should provide Montel with cover. The rest of us move in when the time is right. I also suggest we move before they notice something is amiss." He adjusted his sword belt and straightened his jacket, moving off down the slope in search of a suitable place to wait.

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Montel smiled in approval; a broad smile that showed some hunger and anticipation. He was looking forward to some action.

"Fine with me. You do your thing and I'll do mine. I'll leave whoever you decide to challenge to you and I will plan my own attack on the various other hapless targets." He said towards Sturm in a businesslike manner.

Before the Blood Dragon could reply, Montel had already followed Doru down and found a suitable position to prepare his ambush from. As Sturm would meet the caravan and issue his challenge to one of the mortals, the Lahmian would soundlessly move into the flank and dish out a world of pain on them.

If we're using skills at this point, Montel will use Like a Shadow to stay hidden as he watches the Caravan party's flank.

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Josef shifted around uneasily in the last of the fading rays of sunlight, whilst keeping watch on their prize and it's guardians as the others spoke of their plans to retreive it. Returning his attention to the the conversation he heard the last of the rumblings of a plan and started to grumble at the Blood Dragons need for honour in a trivial little task as this one. At least the lahmian is thinking right with an ambush. If only that damned Sturm would try something new he might find it works out so much easier. He shifted around again before staring at the caravan with his cold eyes before he started to stretch his hands and arms.

Cracking the bones in his neck he followed after Doru whilst mumbling to himself quietly. "It would just be easier to attack and scare the mortals away without all the theatrics."

As he moved down he looked for some cover whilst taking a firm grasp of his axe. It wasn't a work of art with an oaken shaft bound by leather at one end and the large blade of a woodsmens axe with prominant scars of use at the other, but the weapon had suited him perfectly when he didn't have the urge to rip apart his foes with his bare hands.

Likewise, if this is a chance for skills then Josef will use Graceful Swiftness when he attacks.

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Sturm nodded to Montel and Doru and started down the path towards the approaching band. When he was within visible range, he raised his hand in greeting.
"Halt warriors, I will not allow you to pass further into our realm. Who amongst you do you call leader?" his voice was powerful and carried into the ears of even the last footman. Sturm drew his blade "I am Sturm di Matar and I call for him to accept my challenge!" the skull and rose insignias on his armour were clearly visible now.

I use the Honourable skill in dealing with the mortals and if there's combat, then the appropriate combat skills.

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Nodding quietly to the plans presented Nero waited for the right moment to speak his thoughts. The tattered skin on his exposed visage wasn't too bothered by the fading light. It weakened him ever so slightly but the nuisance a fly brought usually proved more of a bother.

When the others were finished cleverly devising plans with sneaking about, instantly killing random threats and challenging those carrying out the law of greater good known to those who served the empire Nero's ghastly image hovered silently, musing on what his might could do against those pawns walking in the back. Perhaps.. That would do the trick. He concluded as his mind finished processing a string of thoughts.

"Child of Abhorash.. I may.. Fuck." Nero spoke, his rasping voice at first speaking with a tone of joy that was couldn't have been mistaken for vile intend and a moment later with utter frustration. Why didn't the damned knight wait a moment to receive input from a much higher intelligence.. Ugh.. Gotta do this without the fool's permission then. He thought quickly as he turned to face Doru.

"Doru, do you know where we could find some of the less desecrated corpses around here? I could perhaps breathe some life into them and even conceal their lesser wounds in an attempt to make this performance our Blood Drake look genuine." Nero said quickly with a serious tone of genuine concern. Better late than not at all.. He thought as his now impatient mind quickly grew tired of waiting for the Von Carnstein's response.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:47 am 
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Doru looked back at the Necrarch. "Up here in the mountains? You would be lucky to find even bones, I think."

The caravan halted at Sturm's approach. The two lead riders came forward. One was obviously a knight of Bretonnia, wearing the heraldry of Quenelles. The other, judging by his clothing and gear, a witch hunter. The knight spurred his mount forward, passing the witch hunter to face Sturm. "I am Sir Ranald! It matters not what you call yourself, I know what you are, bloodsucking cur, and I shall slay you like any beast!" The knight lowered his lance and charged the vampire head on.

A cry arose from the column of soldiers, someone had spotted the other vampires closing in on them. The witch hunter cursed. "We cannot take such chances. Ranald!" He brought his horse around to face the caravan. "Steel yourselves! There are more of them in the rocks!" Two of the three wagons opened, and a dozen swordsmen took up positions with the halberdiers. The soldiers began a steady advance, weapons held ready. On the opposite side of the road, shapes began to emerge from behind the rocks. Well camouflaged hunstman, bows at the ready.

Doru ducked as an arrow bounced off the rock he was crouched behind. "Montel was right, they were ready for us. No chance of surprise," He drew his sword, "but let us show them that their preparations have been in vain!"

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

Sturm di Matar - Engaged with one Brettonian Knight.

Montel Preznant - Hidden in the shadows! Free to act.

Josef Kharnulf - Engaged with 4 halberdiers and 3 swordsman.

Nero Bellum - Free to act.

Anais von Carstein - Engaged with 3 halberdiers.

Doru von Carstein - Engaged with 2 halberdiers and 2 swordsman.

There are 12 Huntsmen on the opposite side of the road.

OOC: Wanted to give you guys the chance to modify your combat orders based on the new developments. :wink: Illidan suggested making a simple map of the combat to make things easier, so I'll try to get that up tomorrow.

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For a moment Nero was utterly stupefied by Doru's response. A moment later a response had formed in his mind. Slightly hesitant to speak it out he pondered on the consequence for a second and then said it anyway.

"You mean you, your servants and I suspect that Strigoi beast actually managed to eat every single dead legionnaire that used to be present in this castle?" He said, frustrated and mockingly.

He watched the others get down the slope rather clumsily and engage in battle. A sheepish grin formed around his lips as he saw the huntsman draw closer. Time to go poof for you.. He thoughts as he allowed steered his spectral shape down the slope as well.

Revealing his ghastly image to the huntsman upon arrival on the road he stretched out his arm with a certain authority that none could possibly match. When Nero was at it he truly believed he was their god, the mortal's fragile lives as a plaything to his might.

"Nex." Nero rasped out, his voice laced with the blackest of magic.

Nero attempts to make the Huntsman go poof using Death and Decay (6)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:23 am 
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Montel watched the scenes unfold with a smile; those foolish mortals were clueless. Not one of them even knew of his existence. They were paying attention to four of the others instead, of which he knew they were more than capable of handling the situation. He could easily run through the soldiers and kill two before the others could even notice his prescence, and then three more as they would hear shouts of pain. Too easy a task for him, a greater challenge was required. With his eyes locked on the witch hunter he grinned, now that would be interesting.

Playing the scene in his mind he found the possible outcome far too enjoyable to let the difficulty bother him. Grinning, he nimbly started moving to his left as he watched the witch hunter. He would show the mortal suffering and pain, and the pistoliers would wish they had never crossed path with the Lahmian.

Moves to the left until the two halberdiers just off the road aren't in his way anymore, and then takes a quick and silent charge towards the Witch Hunter. He'll use Amazing Acrobat to jump over the line of Halberdiers blocking his way and Swift Killer against the Witch Hunter, of course.

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