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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old 07-19-12, 07:21 AM
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Il Gesu, a monument of Catholic faith and wealth, a monument in honour of god and christian faith. Rome was filled with buildings and monuments, that were magnitudes larger and more intricate than anything that was in Denmark, but Bishop Anders Sunesen a lutheran christian couldn't help feel the money spent on these buildings could have been used differently. But still he couldn't help himself admire the architecture and decoration of Rome's buildings, and the achievements of the ancient roman empire that had built the citys aquaducts and colleseum.

Sitting on a bench just in simple priest ropes, Anders didn't stand out that much, thou people recognized him as a foreigner and possible not a catholic. Rome was still a city that many devout people travelled to on pilgrimages and spiritual journeys. He had been in the city for several days, looking for the fabled hunter Vladamir Prokofski, that allegedly had summoned hunters for aid. But none Bishop Anders had asked had known anything, apart from a few ruffians, that had seen him as a easy picking, leading him into a dark alley. Quickly learning that a simple priest rope was a excellent hiding place for a mace.

Anders was beginning to be a bit frustrated, the journey to the city had taken 88 days, a full month longer that it should have only to see him confounded by the lack of clues and knowledge in Rome. And Anders was beginning to believe that the whole Vladamir thing was a hoax, thou who would do such a thing, he couldn't imagine. The sources at the danish court hadn't been that specific either on reasons or accounts of Vladamir's where abouts, other than Rome, so it was likely they had been misinformed, which didn't surprise Bishop Anders that much.

But Anders was not ready to travel back to Denmark quite yet, there was still something he needed to investigate, a city rumoured to have a small army of hunters keeping the pope safe, there had been a suspicious increasingly amount of clues of supernatural events and creatures as Anders had travelled from Denmark to Rome.

There had been several small villages and hamlets on his travel, that have had need for his aid mostly hauntings and spirit possesions. Some troubles just being the events of insane and godless people. A particular sinister wraith had proven difficult to banish, in Harburg outside Hamburg, it had posessed a 12 year old girl only a day before Anders had rode into the hamlet. The girl had killed several villagers including her parents and siblings, and the rest of the hamlet had captured the girl and was about to burn her. It had taken hours before Anders had been able to calm down the villagers, convincing them that the girl was posessed by a evil entity, and that the girl was innocent. And the banishment of the creature had taken a long time too, since the impatient villagers had a tendency to interupt the proceedings. What had taken even longer was to nurse and heal the child back to health, and her mind had taken more damage than her body. Memories of the atrocities she had done still fresh. Taking her away from the hamlet where she would always be looked upon with suspicion and fear. Anders taught her a lot about the supernatural creatures, before they came upon a family of hunters. Which took in the child, the girl smart enough to know it would be better for her, than travelling with a warrior priest across europe.

In the city of Jenbach Austria a nest of Fir Darig, malicious fae causing destruction, mayhem and death through practical jokes. Tracking down the source of the practical jokes, Anders engaged the fae, that was not prepared for a man of faith in heavy armour and a shield. There practical jokes hardly delaying the rampaging warrior priest, that they had angered.

In Italy outside the village of Carpi bishop Anders Sunesen had encountered a group of wardens from the mage's council. The Wardens were hunting a human sorcerer, that had turned the village into a blasphemous cult. Anders had suspected such events from the rumours he had heard from neighbouring villages, that had seen the people of Carpi change behaviour. The Wardens was sensible enough to accept help, thou they had there reservations to let a priest see there abilities and strategies. But Anders knew his obligations was to the safety of people of the village, not his disdain for there mages pratices and beliefs. Anders let the mages get the benefit of the doubt, and when it came down to it, they didn't have a choice Anders would have meddled in the fight nomatter what.

The battle moved across the entire village, the sorcerer using his thralls to waylay and fight the Wardens and Anders, who did what he could to protect the people from the harmful spells of the Wardens, standing in the way for several spells that would have killed unarmed lesser men. Using his faith healing abilities and prayers, Anders being the symbol of the merciful god, the villagers began to resist and break the spells they were under that had turned them into thralls. Weakening the power of the sorcerer which finally was brought down and killed by the wardens. Bishop Anders still have his reservations about mages, believing they control too much power, than anyone human being should be able to do.

Sitting on the bench across from the Il Gesu, Anders didn't quite knew what to do, his travels clearly indicated that something was brewing, but the lack of evidence that Vladimir Prokofski was around somehow troubled the bishop even more. Looking around trying to decide where to go next, Anders notices a man walking with the poise of a warrior, dressed in fine blue and white clothes with symbols of the catholic faith, two swords strapped to his back. The stranger was approaching the entrance of Il Gesu. It was clear to Anders that the man was no ordinary catholic, he was not dressed like a officer of the city guards or the papal guard. He had the poise of a warrior, not a spoiled nobleman on his way to confession, which meant Anders could really only make one conclusion that the man was a hunter. Standing up Anders quickly crossed over to the Il Gesu, going inside just looking like a foreign priest there to admire Il Gesu, Anders followed the well dressed man at a respectful distance, as he was led somewhere.

Sneaky Wood Elf.
Give me a 5+ ward save and I can't be killed.
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old 07-21-12, 09:58 AM
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Dragomir sat in the corner of a dark tavern, the only parts of his weaponry visible being the hilt of his sword protruding from his cloak above his left shoulder. He stared off into the distance, half listening for any mention of Prokofski, and half reflecting on his journey to Rome. It had been a long one, and much had transpired. He still had yet to fully consider what some of it might mean.

In Ingolstad, a village had asked that he stop a rampaging troll. He had, of course, agreed to do so. It had taken him a day and a half to find the place where the young troll had finally taken to resting, and by then the thing was back up, and ready for a fight. Just his luck. The fight was mostly the Hawk avoiding wild rushes, while trying to get as many arrows into the thing's legs as possible. Finally, the troll could bear its own weight no longer, and collapsed to the ground, where the Hawk took its head.

The supplies from the thankful villagers held him over until his next large stop, which was at the edge of Italy. Dragomir stopped in a small town at the edge of Italy, where he caught wind of a vampire terrorizing the townspeople. From what he gathered, it had to be one of the White Court.

The Hawk favored hunting vampires, as they were so near to humans that the challenge was even greater, and it tested his skills as an information gatherer. He preferred to hunt those of the Black court over the rest, but those of the White were a close second, and challenged him more as an information gatherer, and as a swordsman.

The hunt was longer here, but he finally caught the single vampire, and interrogated him before his death. The only useful information was a simple confirmation that supernatural activities were becoming more commonplace the closer to Rome he got. This information disturbed Dragomir, and he still needed to look into it a bit more.

In exchange for this information, the vampire died quickly, and with little pain.

After another few weeks of trekking, Dragomir finally came to Rome. The city was impressive. The most impressive he had ever seen. Though he had never seen the city before, he still had contacts. Giovanni Mancinni was an old friend of the family, and had always been kind do Dragomir. Not only that, but the man was from a hunting family as well. Knowing that he had allies in the city put Dragomir at ease.

Giovanni had word of Vladamir, as well. He knew that he was in the city. He did not know where in the city. That was reason enough for Dragomir to drop his bags and supplies, stable his horse, and head out into the city to gather information. He did not leave his weapons or his hunting gear. That always stayed with him.

And so, he found himself in this shady tavern. Staring at his mug of ale, and listening for word of a legendary hunter.
He chuckled at the odd circumstances of this day, before focusing on listening again. This would be a long night.

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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old 07-22-12, 10:18 AM
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Johan arrived at the Porta Pia, the newest of Rome’s city gates to split the Aurelian Walls, considerably later than he had intended. The amber glow of dusk bathed the cities’ walls and Johan, caked in the dust and grit of the road, was in no mood to deal with truculent gate guards or the crush of human traffic he found himself amongst. Atop his palfrey, Antimony, he could see over the great mass of people trying to enter the Eternal City.

He was surrounded by a jostling mass of humanity; rough, dirty and weary. Farmers, tinkers, pilgrims, charlatans and the opportunistic churned together, loud and abrasive. It was his lot in life to protect them from the horrors they knew not existed. A solitary guardian who stood removed from that which he stood vigil over. He was not feeling particularly charitable or paternal though, as he found himself jostled about whilst trying to keep one eye open for light hands trying to slide into his saddle bags.

No, as far as Johan was concerned they could all hang if it meant the grungy alchemist getting to an inn and its attendant bathing facilities faster. Biting back a particularly vicious retort as one oafish lad walked straight into his mare, coarse hands marring her coat, Johan cast his mind back to the previous year spent amongst alpine gnomes, and pondered once more what he had, if anything learnt.

The gnomes he had found more than lived up to their reputation as maddeningly difficult to work with. Vague and obfuscating in their language, the capricious creatures also possessed a streak of kleptomania and greed. Thoroughly trying to deal with, there were times, when he was snowed in amongst them; unable to leave their warrens, that he thought he would go mad. More than once he had idly entertained the thought of suicide via snow, indeed he had come up with a remarkable variety of methods.

After he had established himself as non-hostile his presence had slowly been accepted. The older gnomes began to acknowledge his existence whilst the young babes seemed to view his person and Antimony as sentient play structures with a great potential for climbing, jumping off of and other, more unpleasant tactile interactions. To then engage in scientific dialogue however required some bribery. He had been able to confirm the folklore of the gnomes’ predilection for sweet substances, and found in them a ravenous appetite for honey and sugar. Soon a pattern of habit developed, Johan would be eclectically lectured by the village’s elder Egan throughout the day, whilst putting up with various disparaging remarks on the dull minds and inadequacies of humans. In return he would provide a small pot of honey or sugar or put his use his greater stature and strength.

His perseverance paid off as despite their faults the diminutive fae were the embodiment of creativity and possessed an almost instinctual affinity for Alchemy. In truth he had found some of the more esoteric concepts, such as Egan’s theory on the ‘relative nature of perpetual and uniform motion’, the ‘dilation of time’ and something he termed ‘electrodynamics’ went over his head completely. There were, Johan though, some things the human mind was not yet ready to process.

Then there was the matter of decoding everything the gnomes said. Not content to speak in simple German, French or Italain, the fae folk of this village often preferred a pidgin of classical Greek and Latin. What’s more they deliberately clouded their language. It was not enough to ‘observe the reaction’. No one had to ‘direct one’s ocular receptors to precipitous scrutiny of the minutia unfolding expeditiously’. It was torturous.

Still his practical knowledge of alchemy had advanced leaps and bounds. He was now convinced in fact that his private theory of the invalidity of the classic Alchemical model; comprising the three primes, the four basic elements and seven planetary metals was correct. He felt sure, and his experiments with the gnomes seemed to confirm, that there was more to it, that there was something else which underpinned matter. There were more elements to be found he was sure, fire, earth, water and air were simply too broad and simplistic categories. His journal now bulged with new formulae, recipes, ingredients and spells, as-well as his private notes on his new theories he would need to collate into an examinable whole.

Most intriguing of all his time amongst the gnomes had thrown up a new mystery. Vladimir Prokofski, famed and nigh-legendary hunter assumed dead for years had returned and was apparently seeking out fellow hunters. Egan had further mentioned a gathering of Johan’s kind in Rome. Having originally planned to travel to Italy, it was a small matter of adjusting his plans in light of these revelations. A gathering of this sort was not to be missed. Indeed, mused Johan such an event was exceedingly rare; hunters were solitary by nature and trade. For such a gathering to be called, by the long dormant Prokofski spoke volumes of its significance. Johan had no doubt that this would be no congenial meeting, there was something momentous afoot.

The alchemist was stirred from his reveries by the rough voice of a gate guard, Antimony had continued pressing forward through the press of people even as her rider sat reminiscing. The guard, halberd extended to block Johan’s path, spoke again.

“I said ‘Halt’ Signore”. “There is a special toll Signore, you must pay to pass”.

Johan’s earlier irritation returned again in full fury. He did not have times for such games. He shot the man a withering look of contempt. He knew full well what this ‘special toll’ was. The guard had chosen his mark well; Johan’s finery and horse marked him as a man of some means, and his lack of retainers meant his was not a noble and thus immune to the guard’s predations.

Sighing heavily in frustration Johan asked, “And how much is this toll?”. He did not have then energy or inclination to argue with the greedy man.

The armoured man chewed his lip, obviously thinking of how much to gouge Johan. “Ten Ducats Signore”. It was an obscene amount of money for a simple gate bribe, this was evidently a very greedy man, perhaps he had some debts owed to dubious sources.

A moment ago he would have been willing to pay one or two ducats to smooth his passage but the man’s greed now offended Johan. Dipping his fingers into his purse, he muttered the phrase ‘Plumbum et Aurum’ whilst forming certain shapes with his other hand behind his back. With feigned politeness he handed over the coins fished from his purse.

“Certainly” he said with false cheer, flicking the reigns to send Antimony past before the guard was further tempted. A wry smile caught purchase on his smooth face as he briefly considered what the man’s gambling fellows would do when they found their friend’s gold turned out to be common lead. Nothing pleasant he imagined with satisfaction.

Shadow enveloped the alchemist as he rode into the Rome, the clip clop of hooves heralding his arrival. Soon he was amongst a twisting warren of narrow streets, surrounded by noise, smells and clashing architecture. Shacks of rotting wood abutted buildings of smooth marble from ancient Rome. With the fall of Byzantium a century ago, Rome truly was the sole centre of the Christian world. Not just Christians could be found in the Ancient City, Johan spied the dark faces of moors and turks amongst the crowds, tall turbans peaked above the mass. A dozen languages called out to one another as the varied mass of man went about the process of living.

Not an outdoorsman, and accustomed to his creature comforts, Johan was glad to be back amongst civilisation. The descent down the Alps had been harrowing at times, man did not belong atop icy cliffs and ravines he had decided. Though taking a glance at the shit stained streets ahead, drenched in effluence, dirt and the odd body, he was not sure city life was much safer. Still he yearned for some of that almost magical elixir from the New World, coffee. He had grown quite accustomed to the bitter taste and appreciative of its stimulatory properties. His own supply was months gone, used up over the long Alpine winter months. He decided to have the inn-keeper order some when he checked in. Where he would be staying the owner was used to it’s clientèles varied and often agonisingly specific tastes.

Rounding a corner there it was, his port of call in the Italian hinterland. The Golden Goose it was called, one of the finer inns in Rome and certainly one of the most discrete. Its owner, Marco, prided himself on his ability to both secure any item desired by his patrons and his absolute ignorance to their goings on. Strange bed-hours, companions or items were studiously ignored by the weasely man. Johan made sure to cultivate such establishments in the major cities of Europe.

“Hail Pietro”
, Johan called as he clip-clopped into the walled courtyard of the establishment. At his words a scruffy young man ambled out of the stables, an apple in hand.

“Signore Wetter, welcome back. The usual?” the lad enquired in good humour. Nodding his assent, Johan slip off Antimony and passed the reigns to the stableboy. Gathering his bags he headed inside, though not before pausing to flick the boy a coin. Catching it in one hand the grimy boy bit it and grinned leading Antimony off to the stable. Johan heard a crunch and a wicker of pleasure as Pietro gave the rest of the apple to the black mare.

“Welcome again good Signore, your usual rooms?” inquired the Marco as Johan crossed the threshold. Small and wiry, Marco possessed a weasely face and a general air of dubiousness. Cunning and mercantile Johan knew the man had a knack for finding things, contacts throughout the city and no doubt a finger in many pies. He appreciated the value of discretion however and ran a damn fine inn. Just as the proprietor did not inquire into his dealings so Johan returned the favour.

“Indeed Marco” replied Johan as he slipped his bags onto the counter. Within moments another boy appeared to spirit the items to a suite of rooms upstairs. That was another plus to The Golden Goose, the serving staff never stole. The few who tried found Marco possessed the uncanny ability to ferret out stolen goods. The lucky merely lost their jobs, the unlucky their hands.

“I will also be requiring a replenishment of coffee, sugar and honey. For now though i have matters that require my attention, i’ll be back later in the night.” Marco bobbed his head as he wrote down the particulars of Johan’s needs. The items would be ready by morning. Johan had never asked whether they came bought honest from a store or where boosted from the docks. To be honest he did not care.

Now established in Rome his search could begin. He knew Noemi Moretti, an agent of the Mage’s Council had quarters in the city, she would be a good place to start looking for further rumours on Prokofski and would be able to fill him in on recent happenings, both supernatural and mundane that occurred in his absence. Shrugging his coat more comfortably over his shoulders and checking his weapons were secured Johan once more ventured into the streets of Rome.


Last edited by Rems; 07-22-12 at 10:21 AM.
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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old 07-24-12, 12:21 AM
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Eira sat on the back of Hydref, her brilliant white mare as she stared over at the large city that loomed in front of her. Hydref was the Gaeaf’s family’s horse, fast and loyal, it had been a perfect silent companion on the journey to the holiest city in the West, and was the only reason she had managed to get to the city as fast as she did.

It had taken two months, two months of travelling through foreign territory, having to hide who she was, what she did and her weapons as she travelled through many villages. Most people did not look kindly upon a young woman riding by herself, especially when she was armed with a bow, arrows, shield and hatchet.

She tapped the flanks of Hydref, who began to trot forward to the city, her bow and shield packed away in her belongings so that she didn’t track too much attention, as well as her hachet. She had a long silver knife hidden in one of her boots, and if she ran into any trouble whilst in the Holy city then she would use that.

Eira brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes before pulling the hood to her travelling cloak up. She needed to wash, to get rid of the dirt and grime that had plagued her since her journey had begun. She had stopped off in inns and washed where and when she could, but the journey was long and arduous, and sometimes she found herself with no place to wash. However it would have to wait. Eira needed to find her dad’s informant in the church, find out as much information as possible before deciding the best action to take towards
Vladamir Prokofski.

Eira could remember clearly the night that Father Benedict, the local priest had come knocking on the door, even though he was aware how late it was. Eira, her father and her eldest brother had been sitting down to eat whilst her mother and other siblings hunted when the priest had come knocking. It had been most inconvenient, Eira sensing that her father would have sent him away had he not seen the symbol on the envelope the letter came in. Although Eira had not seen the emblem properly before her father had snatched the letter away, the raised voices in her fathers study for the next hour showed its importance.

It took an hour of raised voices, not loud enough to hear every word, but loud enough to know that the two men were arguing before they left the room, Father Benedict immediately making his excuses and leaving. Eira stared at her father for a moment, before turning to head to her room. She was stopped by his voice however as he spoke up quickly, "My daughter. Though I send you to aid the man claiming to be Vladamir, I have doubts that this man is who he claims to be. Be wary daughter, find out the truth. Go to Rome, meet with Brother Benetio Giordano at the Il Gesu, find out what he knows and meet with the man claiming to be Prokofski if you can.”

She had simply nodded, knowing that she would not get anymore information out of her father as he could help her no more. She immediately started gathering supplies that she would need for the journey, as well as her usual hunting equipment, leaving that very evening as she made for the coast.

Eira had been put off by her father’s warning about Vladamir, worried that a great hunter like Vladamir had been killed and replaced. Once on the road Eira was worried to see more and more signs of the monsters that lurked in people's nightmares, passing tracks and villages that had been plagued by them. She couldn't stop however, her mission was too important for her to dally around.

There was only one way to find out what evil was heading towards the civilized Western world, and the only way she would get the information she needed would be Il Gesu and Brother Giordano. She moved her horse through the crowded streets of Rome, ensuring that it was properly stabled and that her weapons and gear were safely kept with it, her knife still with her as she began to move to Il Gesu, getting directions off of the locals. It had not taken her long, and she quickly moved inside as she began her search for Brother Giordano, and the answers which she and her family sort.

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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old 07-30-12, 03:57 PM
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Flames flickered across the icy stone walls, their dead grey stone suddenly alive with shadows, undulating coils of smoke spiraling towards the ceiling with celestial grace. The first figure breathed deeply, inhaling the fragrant aroma, savoring the sudden feeling of lucid tranquility

The second figure leaned forward, a hesitant sniff causing him to step back warily, a tight cough as the smoke seered at his lungs

"What are they?" the curious intensity of a child rung in his voice even as he struggled to comprehend the new horizons

"A mix of jasmine and lavender,"

The first figure straightened, face alight in the flames, the shadows they cast lending a gravitas to the deep nobility of his features even as he began to unlace his jerkin.

"And their god appears in the smoke?" he said with mild curiosity mild distaste

"How very... primitive"

The shirt fell away to leave the first figure bare chested, the deep grooves of his abdoman marred by the ravages of age, scarred by a life at war, yet still powerful, defiant despite the onslaught.

"They do not worship as we know it, to a deity, more seek the innate purity within"

The second figures robe, a garment of rough sack cloth fell to the ground, milk white skin, left lean by sacrifice glittered in the smouldering embers.

"Do they not believe in God, the bible.."

The first figure held up a hand even as he slid to the ground, legs crossed and back straight, the second figure mimicing his movements, eyeing the first figure warily even as he settled himself upon the floor

"You asked me to tell you of the religions of the east. This is no heathen ritual, they evoke no daemons, no spirits. This is about inner peace, the purest tranquility when body and soul are released and the mind is set free"

the second figure seemed wary, eyeing the flames with suspicion

"Brother Jasper" whispered the first figure

"Yes my lord"

"Do you trust me?"

The young monk swallowed, yet he nodded gently as he met the elder mans gaze

"I am a good Christian, a servant of the Lord God upon his holy quest. I would not compromise your faith, any more than I would push Ammorochius through your chest. The door is open brother, any may leave and enter as they wish."

Hesitantly the monk stood, sliding his habit around his shoulders yet as he reached the door he turned back

"I sense no evil in you my Lord, you are a good man, yet to participate in such heathen rituals is a path to darkness. I will tell no one of what dark practices go on in this room, yet I fear for your soul"

Amusement twitched Pieter's cheeks though it never reached his eyes even as the door slid shut behind the young monk

"The incense is always the part that sends their imagination wild" he chuckled to the room at large, even as he settled himself into position.

For the first time in months he was truly alone, his body healed and healthy, his mind still stretched and strained. In the silence of the room he begun to chant, mantras echoing around his room. His mind was focused upon the words, driving away the emotions, the fatigue, sensations banished even as he begun to guide his body down a path, a path to inner peace, to oneness, to stillness, to....

The urge to come here not coming through art but a nagging insight in his mind that hinted at trouble ahead. He had come with blade bared, and mind ready, expecting some daemon of the night to be lurking within the hallowed halls, some infernal darkness to be threatening the sanctity of the Abbey. To his surprise he found no evil, nothing lurking within the shadows, no immediate threat to warrant such an urgent call, such an irrefutable and undeniable sense of purpose.

A valiant sentry he strode through the gardens at the ready, armed and alert, certain that such an urgent call could not have been for naught, there must be a threat, something he had not seen. As days turned to weeks the threatening sensation at the back of his mind died away in the tranquility of the abbey. Perhaps another had defied the menace, perhaps misfortune had befallen the daemonic creature, rendering his services unnecessary, yet the longer he lingered within the picturesque scenes, the longer he felt that there had been another reason for his call.

It had been 19 long months upon the road, battles with brigands and creatures of the night had taken his tole, leaving him with a haunted air, eyes that jumped suspiciously into cornors, a blade all too ready to leap from its scabbard. The longer he remained in silent reflection, sat within the gardens, rain washing away his tribulations, the sun warming the aching wounds of claw and fang.

The Lord had seen his weary servant, will unbroken, yet his body splintered and fading and he had provided. He was ready, physically strong, refreshed...

Yet was he willing to do this again... did he truly want to tax his body to the limit, was he ready to fight once more. He remembered fair Elaine of Winchester, a distant memory repressed for over a decade, yet still he saw her fair features, remembered, the softness of her skin, the emotions that swelled in his breast as the very memory of her.

He could settle down, sell a few paintings and buy a farm, start a family, begin a life... a real life, with comfort and companionship rather than.... rather than what...

The Lords work, upholding a legacy that had travelled through the ages, that insured safety and sanctity from creatures of the night, horrors in the shadows. Ammorochius, the noble blade, that had never been sullied with an innocents blood... was he ready to give it up

No... he had more to give, more to fight for.. he was not ready... soon but not yet


He was torn back into his body by a desperate, irresistible urge, his very soul gripped by a need to express himself. He sprang to his feet even he felt the glorious essence of the Lord flooding his hands scrabbling for paper sweeping forcefully through the mass of scrambled, scrunched attempts.

Pots spilled even as he found a blank piece, paint tumbling over the unsullied parchment, yet it mattered not for his movements were at one with the Lord's desires, the splash of yellow becoming a sunset, the splodges of blue melding to a striking sun filled skyline. His mind was gripped by a vision he could not see, his hands scratching away the mist that clouded his purpose and he felt himself gasp, eyes widening even as his hands etched shops, familiar signs that seemed to move upon the parchment, figures in the background, upon their daily lives, a name coming to his lips

"La Via della Conciliazione"

The centre of the picture was blank, a backdrop of intrictate beauty and detail, colours melding into hues and shades beyond mortal comprehension, the sheer beauty of the Gods forming around a single blank square.

Be it a daemon, so close to the house of the Lord, be it a traitor, what message would this square import. Features appeared, a nose and eyes, grizzled stubble lining a chin that he recognized, a legend long thought dead.

Even as he made the final brush stroke, the sullied brush falling to the ground, the name burst from his lips

"Vladamir Prokofski,"

Though his lips screamed the name, his mind screamed madness, the legend long thought to be dead, missing for decades...

Yet it was there, god had placed those features before him.

Minutes later he burst from his quarters to find Brother Jasper and several of the others monks stood outside, concern turning to fearful horror upon there faces as he burst from within

"My Lord, You been in there for 7 nights.... we feared for your safety yet the door was locked and bolted"

Pieter smiled

"The Lord was with me, there was nothing to fear, yet your concern is appreciated as is your hospitality. Yet the Lord has called and I must leave, may his blessings rain down upon you, as yours have upon me"

He began to stride away before halting and turning back to Brother Jasper

"If you still fear as you did a week ago, enter my chambers and look upon my desk. I hope you find comfort there"
__________________________________________________ ______

The city outskirt bustled with traffic, a months travel uneventful if fast paced, his eagerness to find the answers to his questions often pushing his horse to its limits, and he knew his mount would be as relieved as he to reach their destination.

Throughout the journey bewildered questions had buzzed like flies round his brain, irritating and confusing yet despite the questions, he had little plan to find the answers, yet the comforting swell in his stomach insisted the Lord was with him, had watched his travel and guided him still.

Aye this trip was the Lords will, he would not be deterred. A man he had not seen was at his stirrup, dressed in the sackcloth of a friar tied at the waist, a funny jovial looking fellow met his gaze with a twinkle in his eyes, reaching out to place a card in his hand.

The eye stared up from his palm and Pieter met the friars smile with a chuckle of his own, somewhat surprised to be accosted so soon, though such a thing was a regular occurance. The friar chuckled too, his voice surprisingly quiet for such a rotund figure

"If you'll follow me my Lord"

Sliding from his saddle and leading his horse,Pieter followed the friar into the crowd. A quick look up at the blazing sun in the sky, their path bathed in a rosy warm glow.

His Lord was with him, his will would be done.

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"They slowly answer my call. The men and women of this world that stand against the darkness that threatens to enslave and destroy humanity. Little do they know how important they are. Little do the know that their skills will be tried to the utmost..... Little do they know that we have little chance of success."

Exerpt from the personal journal of Vladamir Prokofski
April 9th, 1578






Sebastian (Tyranno the Destroyer): As you walk through the immense sanctuary of Il Gesu, you are humbled by its majesty and oppulence. Were some may see the its gilt and lavish decoration as gaudy and wasteful, you see nothing but a beautiful edifice dedicated to the Lord's work. The Priest you commandeered into your service, looks a bit put out, but taking in your garb, he stifles any comments that might be on his tongue and quickly leads you out of the sanctuary into the halls of the monastary. Here the decoration is more spartan and functional, a definite change from the array of color in the church itself. He leads you to an unadorned stout wooden door and with a raised hand says, "Si tratta di signore sale Fratello Giordano. Dio sia con voi." Whether you thank the priest or not is up to you, but he will turn and walk away before you are able to finish speaking. Knocking on the door you will hear movement inside and a deep voice calls out, "Entare." Entering the room you will find it in a state of controlled chaos. Manuscripts, books, scrolls, and maps litter the few surface areas available. One whole wall is dedicated to a massive bookshelf that strains under the weight of the written works on its shelves. It is the same as it was three years ago when you were last in Rome. Brother Giordano himself looks the same. A large man, despite his advancing age, he still moves with a confidence and grace that belies his past as a Hunter. He is well into his 60's, a well kept beard, more white now than brown, frames his round face. He looks up and smiles as he sees you, dropping into rapid English," Ah, Sebastian my boy, you have made it at last. Come, come, there is very little that I can tell you, but I will lead you to Vladamir, for that is why you are here isn't it." As Giordano leads you from his rooms, back toward the sanctuary he asks you of your recent exploits and will answer what questions you have if he can. [Tyrrano if you have questions for Giordano PM me or hit me up on messenger and we can work out the conversation, if not he will listen to whatever you have to say]. You are thankful that you are finally going to meet Prokofski, but as you move into the Sanctuary Brother Giordano turns towards the rear of the large room and as you follow his gaze you see a brown haired woman, wearing a deep green dress speaking with a man in simple white priests robes. Upon seeing the woman, Giordano shouts out excitedly,"Eira! you made it as well." You have no choice but to follow as Giordano rushes to the back of the church and the two strangers who, by the Monk's reaction, must be Hunters as well.

Bishop Sunesen (Anilar): Though you felt that you were right behind the armed warrior, by the time you enter the the front doors of the Church the warrior is nowhere to be seen. Likewise the church itself is mostly empty, save for a few petitioners in prayer near the front of the church. The oppulence of the edifice both amazes and disgusts you. It is hard for you to look on the gilt and riches adorning the walls, without thinking that perhaps they could have been used in a better manner for the good of all. Yet deep down, there is a feeling of awe at the beauty displayed. As you sit in one of the rearmost pews, thinking on the building itself, you hear the main doors of the church open and close behind you. Turning slightly in your seat you see that a woman has entered the church. The dust of travel clings to her dark cloak and on the hem of her deep green dress. You aren't completely sure but you think that you catch a glimpse of leather armor and the glint of something silver before she settles her cloak back around herself. Intrigued you rise and introduce yourself. Perhaps you can ask some questions of this woman who seems driven with purpose? As you and the woman talk [whether she identifies herself immediately is up to Ramo] you are quickly interrupted by a voice that rings out from the front of the church. A large monk, accompanied by the warrior you had seen before, has shouted out at the woman, "Eira! you made it as well." The amiable monk approaches quickly, the warrior in tow, introduces himself as Brother Giordano as he reaches you, and greets Eira by kissing her on both cheeks. He will ramble on to her about letters and expecting her, before turning to you and asking your name. After introducing yourself, he will forestall any questions that you might have by saying, "Come along all of you. I assume Bishop, that you are also here to see Prokofski. I will show you the way." Thanking the Lord for this stroke of luck, you fall in behind Giordano as he leaves through a side door of the church.

Eira (Lord Ramo): Moving into the massive edifice that is Il Gesu you are immediately assailed by the oppulance of the church within. Candle light glints of of thousands of gilded surfaces. Tiled mosaics, loving crafted, depict scenes from the bible. All around stand magnificiently carved statues depicting the saints, the Holy Mother, and Jesus. To your chagrin the church is mostly empty, only a few petitioners praying in the front of the church. But none that appear to be clergy. Frustrated you begin to move forward down the center aisle, only to be forstalled by a man in simple priest robes of white as he stands and introduces himself as Bishop Anders Sunseen. [For this convo Ramo and Anilar work out between the two fo you what you are going to say. I know you are both on MSN.] As you converse with Anders, you hear your name shouted from the front of the church. You look past Anders and to your relief you see the man that must be Brother Giordano based your father's description. Following a few paces behind Giordano, is a tall man, resplendant in fine clothes of blue and white, symbols of the Catholic faith adorning his cloak and gloves, simple twin blades strapped to his back. As Brother Giordano reaches you he greets you warmly, kissing you on each cheek. "I received a letter from your father several days ago, saying that you would be arriving soon. It is most fortuitous that you arrived when you did. I was just speaking to young Sebastian here," he waves a hand in the warrior's direction," about Prokofski's summons." Before continuing Giordano turns to Bishop Anders, asking his name, and guessing his business, "Come along all of you. I assume Bishop, that you are also here to see Prokofski. I will show you the way." As Giordano bustles out of the church, you follow, Glad that you will be able to get to the bottom of this mystery without delay.

[Tyrrano, Anilar, and Ramo. You all can converse as much or as little as you want as you follow Giordano. If you need to PM or MSN each other to work out the conversations. As always hit me up if you need to.]

Alexander (Lord of the Night): As you sit in the tavern, another mug of your drink of choice in front of you, you try and listen to everything going on in the room around you. Snippets of conversation reach your ears, rumors and gossip flowing from the lips of the tavern patrons, the volume increasing in the room around you as another hour passes. Despite the free wagging tongues that surround you, nothing of any real interest catches your attention. You are just about to stand to leave, frustration etched on every line of your face, when the door to the tavern opens and in walks a man in the traditional brown habit of a Catholic Monk. Now this catches your eye. The tavern you are in, while not the worst in the city, is not a place where one usually finds a man of the cloth. Your appearance, your blade, and your general demeanor have left you with a sizeable space around you that has been avoided by the other patrons in the bar, and to your surprise the monk keys in on this. His eyes traveling the room before alighting on you. As soon as he sees you he moves in your direction. As he reaches your table you watch as his eyes travel up and down you, taking in your weapon and equipment. A knowing smile flits across his face and he pulls up the long sleeve of his habit, to show you a small tattoo on his wrist. You recognize the symbol as the Eye of Thoth, but the strange actions of the monk spur more questions than answers. The monk sits down at the table across from you and says," I know why you are here Hunter." The emphasis on the title is plain, despite his hushed tone. "If you would follow me, I will take you to the man you seek." Wondering what this is all about has piqued your curiousity. At the best you are led to Prokofski, at the worst you will have found yourself ensnared in some sort of intrigue that may be worth your investigation. Should you decide to follow the monk, he will quickly stand from the table and lead you out into the streets of Rome where dusk is quickly turning to night.abeab

[LotN if you want to ask the monk any questions hit me up via PM or MSN with them and we can work out that conversation.]

Robin (Bane_of_Kings): As the woman sits down at the table across from you, the straightfoward question rolling from her lips you cant help but be concerned as to how much you trust this stranger. Eevrything about her is strange to you from her dress to her thick accent. However, this time, your need for information wins out and you begin to talk with her. As the conversation rolls on though, however guarded you may or may not be, you find that she knows as little about Prokofski's whereabouts as you do. Growing ever more frustrated, you stand to excuse yourself form the table, taking her by surprise as you do so in the middle of something she was saying. However, as you stand the front door to the inn's common room opens and a young man, dressed in the simple brown habit of a monk, enters from the street beyond. This in and of itself is not what catches your attention, but the fact that the young man of the cloth locks eyes on you and your strange companion. Hurrying over to your table, the monk sits, raises the long sleeve of his habit to reveal a small tattoo. You recognize the symbol but have a hard time placing it, especially in this context. He starts off speaking to you in hushed, but rapid Italian. Seeing both your and the strange woman's lack of understanding he takes a deep breath and continues in very broken English," Looking for you." he says pointing at you,"Talked to same people as you. Found you here." Swallowing he finishes, "Come. To Prokofski." He motions to the door, clearly indicating that he wishes you to follow him. Regardless of the strange monks actions, this is the first solid lead you have on Prokofski. It is up to you to choose whether to follow this monk or not.

Freja (Karak the Unfaithful): As you sit across the table from the young Englishman, you can't help but get the feeling that he is holding back, uncomfortable to be talking to you. From the small amount of information that he provides you get the impression that he knows as little about Prokofski's where abouts as you do. You continue to ask questions of him, like who he has talked to and where he has looked, but his answers get more evasive. Suddenly in the midst of you asking yet another question the young man stands and starts to excuse himself before stopping in his tracks, his eyes locked on the door of the inn's common room. Follow his gaze you see that a monk, wearing a simple brown habit has entered the room and is making his way to your table. As he approaches and sits down, the monk lifts the voluminous right sleeve of his habit to display a small tattoo, the Eye of Thoth, on his right wrist. He starts off speaking to you in hushed, but rapid Italian. Seeing both your and the strange woman's lack of understanding he takes a deep breath and continues in very broken English," Looking for you." he says pointing at the Englishman,"Talked to same people as you. Found you here." Swallowing he finishes, "Come. To Prokofski." He motions to the door, clearly indicating that he wishes you to follow him. Regardless of the strange monks actions, this is the first solid lead you have on Prokofski. It is up to you to choose whether to follow this monk or not.

[B_o_K and Karak you will need to work out your conversation in some manner. It doesn't need to be long.]

Dragomir (yoyoyo12365):: Staring into your mug of ale, you try and keep your attention on all the other tavern goers, but your patience is frayed. You have been sitting here, wasting your money on watered ale for several hours, but no useful or interesting information has met your ear. Drivel..... All drivel. Local gossip, rumors, tall tales told by those to loose in the lips from too much shitty beer. Sneering in contempt, you stand, clearly it is time to move on to another place. As you walk out of the tavern into the gathering night, being to make your way down the street where the inn was located, intending on returning to Mancinni's home, resolved to start your search again in the morning. As you turn down a side street, barely more than an alley way, pointing yourself in the direction of your bed, the hairs on the back of your next stand up, and the overwhelming sensation that you are being followed overtakes you. Glancing around sureptitiously, you see no one evident, all the same your hand closes around the hilt of the silver dagger concealed in your traveling cloak and taking advantage of an area of deep shadows, you turn off the beaten path hoping to take your tail by surprise. Sure enough, your instincts once again proving correct, a shadowed figure, wearing a long robe, passes by your place of concealment. Lunging out of your hiding place, you spin the figure by its shoulder, slamming it into the wall opposite you, the blade of your dagger pressed against its throat. As a cloud moves away from the moon, bathing the alley in soft pale light, you see that your follower wears the simple brown habit of monk, his eyes wide with surprise and fear. "Apologies seniore." He says raising his hands in surrender. He shakes his right hand, allowing the large sleeve of his habit to fall down past his wrist, revealing a small tattoo, the Eye of Thoth. "I have been looking for those of your kind," he says eyeing the point of the silver dagger at his throat. "I can take you to Prokofski." Where you go from here is up to you. Do you Follow the monk or not?

[yoyoyo if you wish to ask any questions of the monk hit me up via PM and we can work that out.]

Šimon (Jackinator):Following the directions given to you by the apothecary, you quickly find the street where De Luca lives. Sweeping down the street you come to the address you were given, finding a decent sized dwelling, obviously showing that De Luca had some wealth. Knocking at the door, you find that De Luca is not at home, but after inquiring of the servant that answered the door, doing a bit of digging through the man's cryptic responses, and with a bit of coin to ease the answers, you learn that another young man, who is apparently staying with De Luca, is also looking for the man Prokofski. The servant indicated that this man, a Master Edward Dacre, frequents the cafe just down the street on a regular basis. Making haste to the cafe, you seek out a man fitting the description given to you by the servant. You find the man brooding at a corner table, wearing huntsmans clothing of deep greens and browns, a longsword strapped to his left thigh, but to your surprise he is already engaged in conversation with another gentleman, wearing a fine white silk shirt, a doublet of red and grey, and high quality leather boots and gloves, he face obscured by a white hood since you are approaching him from behind. You can't tell the specifics of their conversation, but you definitely heard the name Prokofski mentioned as you approach. The two men's eyes flit in your direction as you join them, and you can feel the tension between the three of you radiate in the air. You are about to suggest that the three of you go somewhere a bit more private to converse, as the three of you together are starting to draw some attention, but before you can, you are joined by an older gentleman, his full black beard cascading down over a simple brown habit. Before any of you can question him he raises the sleeve of his habit to show the three of you a small tattoo on his right wrist. You recognize it immediately as the Eye of Thoth, but you wonder what it could mean in this instance as it is definitely an occult symbol, startling out of place on a christian monk. "I have the answers you seek seniores, follow me. I will take you to Prokofski," he says quietly. Sharing a sideways glance with the other two men, you must decide whether or not you are going to follow this strange monk.

Edward (Santaire): You are slightly started as a gentleman, wearing a fine white silk shirt, a doublet of red and grey, and high quality leather boots and gloves, his head covered in a strange white leather hood, approaches you and asks if you have any knowledge of Prokofski. How you answer the man is up to you, but the demeanor of this stranger screams that he is a hunter. You can almost feel his readiness as he waits for your answer. As you and this man converse you both notice that another man joins you at your table. He is dressed in non-descript clothing, but wears silver glasses, and maintains a fastidiously groomed grey mustache and goatee. As he joins you, he opens his mouth to speak but before he can you are joined by an older gentleman, his full black beard cascading down over a simple brown habit. Before any of you can question him he raises the sleeve of his habit to show the three of you a small tattoo on his right wrist. You recognize it immediately as the Eye of Thoth, but you wonder what it could mean in this instance as it is definitely an occult symbol, startling out of place on a christian monk. "I have the answers you seek seniores, follow me. I will take you to Prokofski," he says quietly. Sharing a sideways glance with the other two men, you must decide whether or not you are going to follow this strange monk.

Henry (HOGGLORD): As you stand waiting for the Irishman to answer your questions, you start to take in the scene around you. You start to feel that it may have been a bit foolish to ask of Prokofski in such an open exposed place, but the excitement at meeting someone who actually might have information on the famous Hunter got the better of your discretion. You can tell that the man is reluctant to answer, but you soon learn that he knows as little about Prokofski's where abouts as you do. As you and this man converse you both notice that another man joins you at your table. He is dressed in non-descript clothing, but wears silver glasses, and maintains a fastidiously groomed grey mustache and goatee. As he joins you, he opens his mouth to speak but before he can you are joined by an older gentleman, his full black beard cascading down over a simple brown habit. Before any of you can question him he raises the sleeve of his habit to show the three of you a small tattoo on his right wrist. You recognize it immediately as the Eye of Thoth, but you wonder what it could mean in this instance as it is definitely an occult symbol, startling out of place on a christian monk. "I have the answers you seek seniores, follow me. I will take you to Prokofski," he says quietly. Sharing a sideways glance with the other two men, you must decide whether or not you are going to follow this strange monk.

[Santaire and HOGGLORD what ever small bit of conversation you want to have you will need to work out via PM or something. Jackinator, you have complete control of the conversation between you and De Luca's servant just remember that he is not very forthcoming before you slide him a bribe. As always questions get with me]

Cormac (Serpion5):As you wrap your fist across the surface of the door, the tingle of magic meets your touch. Placing an open palm on the surface of the door, you can feel the defensive wards, protective magic designed to keep out evil, flowing across its surface. Your smile deepens as the door opens and framed in the flickering firelight from the room beyond, is the stunningly beautiful Noemi. Raven black hair falls to the middle of her back, a well made crimson dress framing her ample bosom and shapely hips, the blood colored fabric falling the floor, underneath which the toes of silk slippers protrude. Her almond shaped, hazel eyes take you in, before she gives you a hug, kissing both of your cheeks in welcome. "Come in Cormac," she purrs, " it has been too long my friend." You are tempted to ask the question that burns on your tongue, you long to know what she knows of Prokofski, but a simple shake of her head forstalls you. "There are others coming that desire the same knowledge you do Cormac. Go wash the dirt of travel, rest in the guest room. When they arrive I shall summon you." Remembering your manners, you incline your head slightly, acquiescing to her demand. You clean up, washing your face and hands, and brushing the dirt from your cloak when there is a knock at the door and Noemi's voice beckons you to join her in the study. As you walk into the room you notice two men have joined her in the room. One, dressed in all black, accented by a deep red silk shirt, his raven black hair greying at the temples, is seated in a large overstuffed armchair near the roaring fire, the other wears a black doublet, slashed to reveal the white linen shirt beneath, a large overcoat, silk stockings and knee high boots. Both are still travel worn, the dirt of the road still clinging to sole of boot and hem of cloak. Around them stirs the subtle tingle of magic, you can feel it as you reach out with your senses, and you can tell that they are doing the same. Noemi, taking in all three of you says, "I know why you have come, once you are ready I will take you to him. Prokofski awaits his army."

Livoc (Romero's Own): As you approach the home that you know to be Noemi's the door opens before you can reach up to knock. before you stands a beautiful woman, clad in a simple yet elegant crimson gown. "Welcome Magus," she intones, "I have been awaiting your arrival." The foreknowledge she has puts you slightly on edge. You have had very few dealings with Ectomancers, their practices, where not banned by the Laws of Magic, come very close to toeing the line in your opinion. Despite your trepidation Noemi is friendly and open, offering you a glass of warn spiced wine to take the chill from your journey away. "There is another mage already here, he is taking an opportunity to refresh himself. I await another. Once he has arrived I will give you the information you have come for." She leaves you to sit by the roaring fire in her study and a glass of delicious spiced wine for company. Soon enough you see her sweep through the entry hall, answering her door after the first knock. She leads into the study a man dressed in a black doublet, slashed to reveal the white linen shirt beneath, a large overcoat, silk stockings and knee high boots. He is travel worn like yourself and around him tingles the an air of magic. Before you and the new arrival are able to speak to one another, save a hasty introduction should you desire, Noemi leads a third man, a mage by the look of his strangle shaped staff, who is dressed in loose fitting comfortable clothing,into the room. Noemi, taking in all three of you with a piercing gaze says, "I know why you have come, once you are ready I will take you to him. Prokofski awaits his army."

Johan (Rems): You make your way quickly to Noemi's home and as with the first time you visited her, nearly 5 years ago, you are barely able to knock once before the alluring Ectomancer opened the door and greeted you, a simple kiss on each cheek. "Welcome back to Rome Johan, it has been to long." A small smile passed across her face, "It is good that you have all come. If things are as grave as they appear to be, Prokofski will need everyone willing to help." The mention of Prokofski's name definitely perks your interest, but infuriatingly Noemi says no more, even if pushed, as she leads you back to her study. In the small but comfortable room you find that a roaring fire takes the slight chill of the night are away, warming your travel weary bones. Seated in an overstuffed armchair, clasping a goblet of what smells like spiced wine is a man dressed in all black, accented by a deep red silk shirt, his raven black hair greying at the temples, Like you the dust and grime of the road covers his boots, pants, and cloak and around him tingles an air of magic. Before you and the other man are able to speak to one another, save a hasty introduction should you desire, Noemi leads a third man, a mage by the look of his strangle shaped staff, who is dressed in loose fitting comfortable clothing, into the room. Noemi, taking in all three of you with a piercing gaze says, "I know why you have come, once you are ready I will take you to him. Prokofski awaits his army."

Pieter (deathbringer): Picking your way through the crowded streets becomes easier as dusk truely decends and the people lining the main streets disappear indoors. Walking next to the bouyant Friar, who identifies himself as Friar Donovan Giuseppe, you can not help but be infected by his positive attitude. He babbles onto you about the city, the things you need to see, the sights that the Holy See has to offer, all filler, nothing of any real import. Taking in his expression, you can tell however that he is biding his time, wondering if what questions you will ask, wondering what information that you desire and how long you will follow him before you question his intentions. If you choose to ask him of Prokofski, he will tell you all he knows, leaving out only the things he is not aware of. As you speak, he leads you even further into the vast City of Rome. You find yourself hopelessly lost in the warrens of the inner city, but something about the garrulous Friar instills trust. He leads you to a small shabby, run down church in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Despite the fact that the front doors of the church loom straight ahead of you, the Friar Giuseppe veers off to the left, following the wall of the church down a narrow alley. There you find a small stable, and a small urchin boy tending an aged mare and a cranky old donkey. Though you are skeptical, Giuseppe says that Tion is one of the finest stable hands in the city, lighting the boys face with a proud smile. Smiling at the lad and tossing him a coin you continue to follow Giuseppe further into the alley way. The Friar suddenly stops, throws aside a piece of spare cloth on the ground to reveal two torches. Lighting both, he steps up to the wall, plants his meaty fingers in a crack between several of the stones, and pushes. To your surprise the wall swings inward witha small click, revealing a set of stairs that lead down underground. "Mind your torch my Lord," He says with a smile, "The catacombs can be an eerie place at night, and you don't want to get lost in the dark... believe me." Without a backwards glance he disappears down into the gloom, the light of his torch casting a small ring of light. Hurrying to catch up you follow him into the twisting labyrinth of the under city. [deathbringer we will work out the convo between Pieter and Giuseppe over MSN]

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post #17 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-10-12, 07:27 PM
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As soon as Bishop Anders Sunesen entered the Il Gesu he was hit with the oppulence of the church. Which was a true wonder of architecture and art, anyone with there sight intact could not help but be amazed. But Anders couldn't help to think that much of the wealth spent on decorating the church, could have been better spent on the less fortunate. It wasn't that danish churches and cathedrals wasn't decorated, but it was not to such a degree as this.

Looking around Anders realised he had lost sight of the warrior that had entered Il Gesu just shortly before him, no priests around all he could see was a few petitioners. Sitting down on one of the rearmost pews, Anders decided to wait for a bit, hoping the warrior would show himself again. He had to leave the church again, and hopefully he would use the front door, Anders was thinking to himself. Spending a little more time admire and despise the building, the feeling of awe keep creeping up to the surface.

A few minutes later a lady entered the church. Easy to see she had been on the road for a while, the dust clinging to her green dress and cloak. Anders could swear he saw the edges of some leather armour beneath her dress, and something silver, but before he could be sure she had wrapped her cloak around her, disguising herself as a ordinary woman.

The woman started to walk towards the pews, clearly in search of someone to talk to. Anders decided to intercept her, as she approaches he stood up and asked her in rough italian.

"Scusi, posso disturbare un attimo."

The girl looked back with a raised eyebrow before she responded.

"I'm sorry but I do not speak Italian, only English. Do you speak english?"

Answering back in english with a clear danish accent.

"Sure do, was just asking if I could bother you for a moment. You looking like a traveller with a purpose and a mission. And was wondering if it had something to do with a certain individual named Vladamir Prokofski."

The girl narrowed her eyes slightly as the name Vladamir Prokofski was mentioned, Anders reckoning that if the name meant something to her, she would know that he was also a hunter, something that Anders was convinced the girl also was.

"I do search for a man named Vladamir Prokofski. Shall I assume that you either know him, or that you are in search for him as well and in the same profession as I am?"

A reassuring smile came over Anders lips. "Don't know him but searching for him, and I saw a man enter a moment ago who was clearly of our profession. Some could argue that every priest is in the profession of banishing evil. Oh sorry where is my manners, My name is Anders Sunesen, Bishop and hunter from denmark."

Nodding at the Bishops reply, she didn't seem that surprised that another hunter from another nation than italy would have made his way to Rome. She introduced herself.

"Eira Graeaf, hunter from the Graeaf family in Wales. I’m actually looking for a brother Giordano, one of my fathers contacts who, I have been told can lead me to Vladamir Prokofski. Though it appears that there are few priests in this church that can direct me to him."


Anders was relieved, it was the closets to a lead he had been, since he had left copenhagen, three months ago. He had to stay with the girl, at least for now, so he put forth a question.

"That sounds interesting, if you don't mind i would like to be introduced to this Giordano"


"As would I if we can find him, it has been a long few months travelling to talk to him and would love to find him sooner so I can find out what this Vladamir wants us hunters for."


Eira responded, Anders could only agree with her, what was so dangerous and huge that he needed so many hunters to gather at a place allready known to be home to a small army of hunters.

Suddenly an outburst across the church, where someone called out for Eira.

"Eira! you made it as well."

An amiable monk approacing with quick strides, Anders recognising the warrior from outside behind the monk. The monk introducing himself as Brother Giordano, and greets Eira by kissing her on both cheeks. Anders can't help believe that the monk clearly have history with the girl or her family, as he started to ramble on about how a letter had arrived, telling him to expect her. No one would have been able to interupt the monks ramblings, and Anders was taken back a bit, as he was suddenly addressed by the monk asking for his name. Anders introduced himself as Bishop Anders Sunesen of Denmark, full name seemed to be in order. Anders was about to open his mouth to ask a question, but was forestalled by the monk.

"Come along all of you. I assume Bishop, that you are also here to see Prokofski. I will show you the way."

Anders sent a little prayer of thanks and gratitude to the Lord, as he was guided out side through a side entrance.

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post #18 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-11-12, 06:47 AM
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Gently pushing his way past a stumbling drunk, Johan arrived outside his contact’s dwelling. Unassuming and featureless, to the outside world it was the home of a modest woman, who provoked some notoriety with her neighbours from the frequent gentleman callers she seemed to entertain.

Extending a gloved hand Johan rapped once against the heavy wooden door, before it swung open, revealing Noemi Moretti’s smiling face. As always the coquettish ectomancer seemed preternaturally aware of his arrival. Beckoning the alchemist inside, the striking woman brushed her lips against his cheeks, greeting him fondly.

"Welcome back to Rome Johan, it has been too long."

The scent and closeness of a woman was heady to Johan’s alpine deprived senses and he felt a slight heat rise within him. Steadying himself Johan returned her greeting with a smile of his own. Their exchanges were always a highlight for him when he stayed in Rome.

“Indeed it has Noemi, though as one gazes upon your beauty the months seem to slip away.”

“Ah, your tongue remains silver i see, Johan, even if new lines grace your brow!”, she shot back with a wry smile and arch of one delicate eyebrow.

Frowning in mock consternation, Johan patted his face in exaggerated pantomime, eliciting a smile from the alluring Italian. The smile fades however as she continues, her tone sombre.

"It is good that you have all come. If things are as grave as they appear to be, Prokofski will need everyone willing to help."

So the rumours were true, mused Johan. Prokofski had indeed surfaced. But what was this talk of ‘you all’? Were other practitioners of the art here? Had the council sent more agents, did Prokofski himself summon them? Johan was more willing than most hunters to collaborate with others but he did not appreciate surprises sprung upon him, nor others encroaching upon his perceived jurisdiction without even deigning to notify him.

“We all Noemi?” quizzed Johan, probing deeper. The ectomancer could not be coaxed further however. Placing a hand upon his elbow she only drew him deeper into the house, the cold marble of the atrium giving way to dark wood and plush rugs.

Lit by gently burning candle Johan was led into her study, a richly appointed room of warm oak, deep shadows and reams of scrolls and books. The air was musty, heavy with years of accumulated secrets and lore largely lost to man. There was a faint resonance to the room, the legacy of years of speller and incantation. A fire burns steadily under the mantle, throwing the room into fitful illumination. Assorted nick-knacks and esoteric items grace the shelves, drawing the eye. Most interesting of all however is the room’s occupant. Johan has not been the only one to seek out Ms Moretti.

Stepping into the warm room Johan locks eyes with the seated man, dressed in sombre black, stained from travel. Black seems to suit the man, black hair, black clothes and dark eyes. Like the Scarramuccia from an intermedio production thought Johan with amusement. Inhaling deeply, head cocked, Johan’s suspicions were confirmed. There was magic in the air.

“Buon giorno Signore Scarramuccii” , spoke Johan grandly as he bowed low, in the courtly style, a smile across his face. Continuing in Italian, for he assumed the man, if not Italian at least spoke the language, he introduced himself.

“I am Johan Wetter and it seems the lovely Signorina Moretti and our mutual friend Prokofski has brought us together.”

Before he could continue however Noemi swept back into the room, a short statured man in tow. The new arrival carried a staff and by Johan’s reckoning it was no mere walking aid. With the three men gathered the ectomancer wasted no time in addressing them.

“I know why you have come” she begins, solemnly “Once you are ready i shall take you to him. Prokofski awaits his army”.

An army? That was an ominous declaration indeed.

“With so few words, you raise so many questions Noemi. What is your involvement with Prokofski and is the council aware of your dealings with him? A legend he may be but he is not one of the brotherhood. You know the value our masters place on secrecy.”

Johan knew not which was worse, that Noemi had divulged secrets best left unknown to those not of the art and could face the rack or that she may be acting with the Council’s full authority. Such a show of unity was nigh unheard of and heralded a most grave threat. Concerned he continued.

“Why did you say nothing of this before? I had thought us friends. News of Prokofski gathering some secret army, and your involvement in it, is not something to keep to yourself. You navigate treacherous waters unaided and i would have no more secrets, i can not abide them. I had come expecting to have foot set along path, not to find dear friend in the hornets’ nest”

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post #19 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-12-12, 08:03 AM
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The door had a feel to it that the elemental mage had not felt for some time. Magical wards were not beyond his experience of course, but those left by Noemi always had a distinct energy signature. Or perhaps it was all in his mind. In any case the feeling of being here brought a smile to the deceptively old man's face, which only broadened as the door opened and he laid eyes on the woman for the first time in years.

Her hazel eyes met his and her crimson dress rippled as she stepped forward to embrace him. Cormac held himself steady as she kissed him on both cheeks and bade him enter the house. The mage wanted to ask several questions at once, but her shaking head forestalled him.

'There are others coming that desire the same knowledge you do Cormac. Go wash the dirt of travel, rest in the guest room. When they arrive I shall summon you.'

'As you wish.' Cormac replied curtly. 'I imagine I am not best fragrance right now.' With no further delays but for a brief smile and nod, he made his way upstairs whereupon he entered the guest room and began to undress. He cleaned the sweat of travel from his skin in the tub and wrung the dirt from his clothes as he went. There was little to muse upon besides the details of his new found mission and pleasant memories of this area from trips past.

At length, he was clean and ready and it was a short time later that a knock came to his door. Agreeing to the summons Cormac made his way back downstairs, meeting with a brief glance and nod each of the newcomers to Noemi's home.

One was dressed entirely in black except for a silken red shirt. He sat upon a large overstuffed chair near the fireplace. The other was wearing a slashed doublet, the black fabric bearing cuts that revealed the shirt of white linen underneath. Over these he wore a large overcoat while silk stockings and knee high boots adorned his legs. Magic tingled in the air between the two of them and Cormac himself. The elementalist could sense it, and he knew these men could as well. They were definitely mages, wizards of some sort but Cormac could not yet identify their exact nature.

Noemi met all their gazes before speaking. 'I know why you have come, once you are ready I will take you to him. Prokofski awaits his army.'

'Army?' Cormac questioned. 'This will indeed be quite a gathering if we are the caliber of soldier he requires.'


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Dragomir stared into his mug of ale, trying to listen to everything around him. Nothing comes up, nobody speaks a word of what he wants to hear, and he is done. No good came of this trip, and the worst of it was the watery ale. What he would give for a proper pint. The day was coming to a close, and it was time to return to his lodgings.

Dragomir stood, wearing a sour expression, and strode out of the dingy tavern. He set his path back toward Mancinni's home, striding quickly, hoping to get a proper supper before going to sleep. As he swept down a side street, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up, and he couldn't help but feel he was being followed.

Glancing around, Dragomir saw nobody, but his hand still closed around the hilt of the silver dagger concealed under his cloak. Taking advantage of the deep shadows growing in the failing light, Dragomir put himself off the path in the hopes of taking whomever dared tail him by surprise. Sure enough, a few moments after taking to the shadows, a dark figure, wearing a long robe, passed by the alcove where he had taken cover.

Dragomir lunged out of the alcove, grabbed the figure by the shoulder, and slammed him against the wall, pressing the blade of his silver dagger to the fool's throat. As the clouds shifted, and the moon once again gave light to the alleyway, Dragomir was surprised to see that his captive wore the simple clothes of a monk, with shock apparent on his face. "Apologies seniore." He says raising his hands in surrender.

The monk shook his right hand, shifting the sleeve of his habit down past his wrist, revealing a small tattoo, the Eye of Thoth. "I have been looking for those of your kind," he says eyeing the point of the silver dagger at his throat. "I can take you to Prokofski."

Dragomir absently pressed the dagger harder, a bead of blood appearing at the tip. It was his only lead. Nobody had so much as mentioned the name inside of the tavern. Dragomir was a man of action, and he needed closure on this matter. If this monk could give him that, then he would take it.

Dragomir took the blade of his dagger off of the monk's throat, but did not sheathe it. He instead pushed the monk harder into the wall, and growled "Then take me to him. But know this: if you make one wrong move, you will be dead on the ground and I will be home safe, before you can so much as apologize." With that, he released the monk, prepared to follow him.

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