Ulrich had turned, truly intent on returning to his chambers, the words he would speak to his Gets rolling through his mind. He believed that he would take the approach of derision and scorn, letting the experience of losing to a single vampire teach the lesson that his fists and rage would simply cloud. Natasha had learned some humility at Mordred's hand, her crushing defeat, decades past, still a memory fresh in her mind, an experience that shaped her everyday life. Perhaps it would be the same with his children. One could only hope, he could only expend so much energy beating sense into them, Lancelot especially.
Ulrich had nearly made the door out of the entrance hall when a vampire stepped in his way, a flourishing bow in his direction halting his purpose filled footsteps. Ulrich felt the beginnings of a rage filled growl rumbling in the depths of his lungs, his fists clenching involuntarily, his eyes flashing a dangerous shade of scarlet.
"Greetings, Ezekiel von Carstein, at you're service," the vampire intoned, his words clipped and sure, his deference and approach appropriate for one of his station. Ulrich inhaled deeply through his nose, drinking in the scent of the vampire before him. The aroma of age and experience clung to the Vampire, the weight of experience and innate power evident in his movements and speech. The purple finery he wore suited him and the blade at his side smelled of fresh oil and bits of whetstone, almost entirely covering the sickly sweet smell of blood. A blade that saw use, a warriors stance, a fighters grace. An old blood, like himself, this Ezekiel seemed to purport himself with decorum.
Stuffing his anger at the interruption down and with great effort he unclenched his fists. He could tell that his immediate response, his body language, and his scent radiated fury and danger, as evidenced by Ezekiel's slight change in stance, readiness seeping from him. It was clear that Ulrich's temper was well known even in the far away lands of the Von Carstein holdings.
"Get to the point.... Quickly," Ulrich growled, his gaze flicking behind Ezekiel, where his sons were pulling themselves to their feet. "I have business of my own to attend to and the fleeting fancies of a Von Carstein are none of my concern."
To his credit, Ezekiel continued, unphased by the venom in Ulrich's words. He must really try and get a handle on his temper. If he continued in the manner that he had been approaching these new vampires, he would have to start worrying about blades behind him, danger from supposed allies, as much as the blades of the enemy they went to face.
"Of course, any business of one of Mordred's most favored sons is naturally important and benificial to all who are present." Ulrich couldn't help but grin inwardly. This Ezekiel knew his craft. Deception and flattery, a slight push to the ego, prompting a more favorable response. Perhaps this one, this Ezekiel could be one that had promise. If his father wanted allies, it was this sort, the likes of Radu and Ezekiel that Ulrich wished to retain. They knew their place. They worked with the realms of protocol and mutual respect. The trivial niceties observed. Ulrich cared little for his words, but the fact that Ezekiel approached him with deference, despite his near equality in station, said something about his intelligence. "Speaking of which, I was wondering of Mordred would be willing to receive guests at the present time and where he could be found, I have some matters of business to discuss with him."
"At last," he thought, "one of these newcomers shows the respect for father as they all should." He could keep the smile from his face, or a chuckle from breathing over his lips. It seemed that they were not all brutish morons, trying to suckle at the teat of greatness without thought for their station. However, despite his appreciation for Ezekiel's respect, he cared little for his desires. He had matters of his own to attend to.
"Keep your honeyed words for someone who cares for such things. My business does not concern you and unless I miss my guess, you don't really care. I find myself as a your means to an end," Ulrich said, the slightest inclination of his head showing slight respect for the vampires attempt at stoking his ego. Most thought because of his temper and his martial prowess that he was a simpleton. A rage driven beast in the same vein as his brother. Most learned, to their downfall, that he had a keen mind, and was well versed in the verbal wordplay and intrigue that permeated the Vampiric Nobility.
"You're astuteness, though not unexpected, is applaudable. I simply wish not to come upon ill terms with an individual as, renowned as yourself."
Ulrich sighed, gesturing half-heartedly in the direction from whence he had come,
"My Lord Von Drakenblood." The emphasis he placed on his 'father's' title obviously displayed Ulrich's disdain for the casualness with which Ezekiel used the name, bristling slightly at Ezekiel's mistep."is on the northern battlements, deep in conversation with Radu Von Carstein. I am neither servant, nor messenger." his words becoming clipped with poorly masked annoyance. "Send word with one of the thralls that you desire a meeting and his response will give you the answer you seek."
Arching an eyebrow, his jaw clenched, Ulrich began to turn, "unless there is anything else I will take my leave." He challenged.
"I wish merely to add my thanks and apologies for delaying you're important business." Ezekiel finished, he had spine this one. Others would have been cowed by the look on Ulrich's face. "And now I must too make my leave. I have, fleeting fancies, to attend to." He said, smiling as he swept past , heading in the direction that Ulrich indicated. His back turned, Ulrich returned the smile. In the midst of these hangers on, Strigoi abomonations, and witless morons, he was pleased to find one that showed respect and demanded it in turn. Ezekiel was not a feckless idiot like the rest. He was one that Ulrich would need to watch until his loyalties could be assessed. He could make a powerful ally for house Von Drakenblood, or he would need to be dealt with if his designs proved devious and detrimental to his father's house.
A tremendous crash, an explosion of glass and iron, caused him to spin on the spot. Gazing up to the hole in his father's castle that had once contained a 600 year old stained glass window. A masterpiece forged by entralled artisans of Kislev, shattered into a thousand pieces. Rage boiled, the fury of his namesake coursing through his blackened blood, put him in motion, streaking to the being that now kneeled in reckage of the priceless work. He almost lost control, his blade in his hand in a motion so swift that he became a blur of ebony and crimson, he stood over the witless vampire. He smiled as he recognized the same beast that he had tossed from the ramparts. This filth would die for his slights to the Von Drakenbloods. First his total disrespect for his father, now damaging the castle, Ulrich's home. He would bathe in this vampires blood, the scent of it already cloying at his nostrils, its blood flowing onto the stone floor of the great hall. It was then that the beast roared, “We are attacked!” he bellowed, loud enough for the hall to echo and the sound to flood throughout the castle. “The elves move against us! We are attacked!” Ulrich paused, disbelieving, until the beast pulled an elven shaft from its side.
Leaning down, whispering in the beast's ear, "You and I will have words when this threat is dealt with."
"To arms!" Ulrich roared, the gathered vampires still processing the words the beast had spoken. "It is time for you to fulfill the call you have come to answer. Defend this castle! To Arms! We feast on the blood of the Asrai!"
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