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post #21 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-14-12, 03:49 PM
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Livoc moved quickly along the streets till he stood outside the door of the house of his informant. From what he had been told his informant was a Ectromancer, that fact alone worried him, for he had had very few dealings with Ectromancers. In Livoc’s opinion their practices, although not banned by the Laws of Magic, came very close to toeing the line. He reached up to knock, but before he could the door opened to reveal, to Livoc, an angel. She was beautiful in every way and Livoc froze. She wore a simple, yet elegant gown the colour of blood. She spoke softly.

“Welcome Magus, I have been awaiting your arrival.”

Livoc was pulled back into reality, or rather the place he called reality. He smiled widely but her obvious foreknowledge put him on edge. But none the less Livoc followed her into the house. He smiled at her and she returned his smile, her beauty growing as she smiled. Livoc sighed, it was not often he found a woman this beautiful. But Livoc had to remind himself that with magic users you could never tell age. I mean just look at him, 137 years old yet he looked no older than 30. He looked suspiciously at Noemi, trying to work out her age, as she handed him a glass of warm spiced wine. She spoke again as she led him through her house.

. "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."

With that they arrived in her study and left Livoc to sit in a large armchair by the fire. Livoc sipped slowly at his drink while he awaited Noemi’s return. A knock rang out and he saw Noemi move gracefully to the door and open it, leading in another man. The man was dressed in a black doublet, slashed to reveal the white linen shirt beneath, a large overcoat, silk stockings and knee high boots. He was travel worn like Livoc and around him tingled an air of magic. The man spoke to Livoc, in Italian.

“Buon giorno Signore Scarramuccii”

Livoc smiled at this as the man continued, still speaking Italian.

“Sono Johan Wetter e sembra che la bella signorina Moretti e il nostro comune amico Prokofski ci ha riuniti.”

Livoc nodded and replied, speaking in English.

“And I am Livoc Turnblad. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

But before more detailed introductions could be made Noemi returned, followed by another man. Again the air tingled with magic around this new entry. The man carried a strangly shaped staff, he wass dressed in loose fitting comfortable clothing. Livoc nodded to him in greeting as Noemi spoke to all of them.

"I know why you have come, once you are ready I will take you to him. Prokofski awaits his army."

Livoc’s head instantly filled with questions, but the other mages beat him to it.

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

“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. 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” said the man who Livoc now knew to be Johan Wetter.

Livoc looked at Johan in shock before politly speaking to Noemi.

“If i may be so bold ma’am, i would say that we are ready to meet with Prokofski”



The Silent Lions Chapter

Winter Falls

Darkness

Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
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post #22 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-20-12, 03:24 PM
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As Alexander sat in the corner booth, the haze of smoke seeming to flow around him and avoid his path, he took a sip of the vintage liqeur that sat before him. His engraved silver flask contained fine alcohol distilled several centuries ago, and preserved using light magic. He had no intention of paying for or drinking the stale urine that, possibly literally, was served here. He had been here for hours trying to snatch conversations out of the air and find what he had been searching for, the elusive Prokofski but so far nothing had been yielded from the raucous crowd. He was about to leave, finally allowing some frustration to show on his strong features, when something finally caught his eye and brought the hope that the few hours of his life spent in this dive had not been wasted.

The man that strode into the tavern wore the brown habit of a Catholic monk, which both surprised and annoyed Alexander. The surprise that a church-man would walk into this place for a reason besides preaching of the evils of the flesh and ale to an uncaring crowd. The annoyance because the church was not something Alexander supported or even liked. Collaborators and fanatics, believing in hunting down those who consorted with monsters while making deals with them on their own. Alexander tolerated none who would dare become allies with a monster, not even the mighty Catholic Church. The fact that they hated him for no other reason than being an Alchemist was more reason to disdain them, he was human and hated monsters. That was enough for Alexander whenever he dealt with someone, and it should be enough for them.

The monk's eyes scanned the crowd briefly before reaching the small island of space that surrounded Alexander, even the tavern whores that were normally clingy and intruding steered clear of him and that suited him perfectly. He had no time to waste dealing with the ignorant and the foolish while he could be hunting monsters, and more importantly at this moment Vladimir Prokofski and whatever it was that he was hunting and was so afraid of. As the Catholic began to approach Alexander he himself began to examine the man that seemed to eager to meet him. He was tall and wore the tonsure haircut of the church, yet unlike most in the church he did not look weak or frail, rather he had a strong build and could have passed for a Templar knight if he had to. Amusingly the monk was doing the same to him, taking in the black iron breastplate that Alexander wore, the tattoos that covered his exposed arms and the enchanted Tulwar blade that hung in the scabbard attached to his hip.

Before Alexander could speak a word the Monk raised his right hand in a deliberately slow motion so as not to convey the idea of an imminent attack. Removing his sleeve a tattoo was revealed in black ink against the pale skin, an eye with a curved line above it and several protrusions. The Eye of Thoth. Now that was interesting, though Alexander was careful not to show it, why would a Catholic man have an Egyptian symbol tattooed onto his wrist. The Church didn't put much stock in ancient Egyptian symbols of protection and good health. The smile on the Monk's face was even curioser, did he know of Alexander? Many in the Church did though few of them had anything good to say about him, and none said only good things about him. Before Alexander could ask the key question, what was this about, the monk sat down and made Alexander's time worthwhile with one sentence.

"I know why you are here Hunter," The emphasis on the title was plain, despite his hushed tone. "If you would follow me, I will take you to the man you seek."

Alexander was surprised once more, this time he allowed his right eyebrow to raise a fraction and his head to tilt to the left slightly. Could this monk really know where Prokofski was? The chances were slim, but on the other hand sitting in this tavern would not gain him anything more. Alexander had been aware of that for hours, and even if this monk was a fraud or some fanatic seeking to lure him into a trap so he could rob him or burn him or both, Alexander judged he could easily kill him if necessary. He disdained killing humans but if he had to do so, he would. Standing up Alexander nodded to the monk and whispered his reply,

"Lead on."

The monk nodded in turn and quickly rose, heading in a straight line towards the exit. The noise had died down briefly as the Alchemist and the Monk, an unlikely pairing, walked out of the building and into the streets of Rome. The sun was beginning to set and the dark was approaching steadily, and Alexander really hoped that this Monk was not wasting his time.


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post #23 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-22-12, 07:43 AM
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"Excuse me, I'm Henry Cross, you wouldn't know anything about a Vladamir Prokofski, would you?"

I looked up from the glass of wine. I acted as if he’d surprised me but it was not so, I’d been listening to his footsteps getting louder for the last ten seconds and watching his shadow loom over me for the last five. He was 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. He was, judging by his accent, English. I took in his demeanour and I recognized it.

“You’re a hunter,” I said calmly but quietly, ensuring my voice did not carry to those who might report us to the church. It was not a question, it was a statement of fact.

He responded. “That I am,” he said quietly, the excitement in his voice growing.

"I suppose you've guessed that I am too if you're asking about Prokofski. I have had no more luck than you I'm afraid. He was, and probably still is, the best in the business and event the worst of us knows how to keep a low profile." I said simply, getting it all out quick.

He sighed with disappointment before speaking again. "You're right, searching for him is a rather fruitless exercise."

I nodded at the English hunter just as a man dressed in non-descript clothing, but wearing conspicuous silver glasses, and maintaining a fastidiously groomed grey moustache and goatee. I stayed sitting calmly in my chair and took in his appearance. A mage I guessed almost immediately. The glasses were probably a focus for one of his spells more than a sight aid; they were too expensive looking to be simply for normal purposes. A thief would have taken them long ago had he not been able to defend himself. I contemplated doing it myself; just to prove that I could. I pushed that thought aside; I was beyond those childish games now.

Just before he could speak we were joined by an older looking gentleman, his black beard falling over a brown habit. I raised one eyebrow. Such a basic habit and yet such a finely combed beard? He was certainly full of contradictions, and yet another one presents itself when he raised a sleeve to still words, presenting a small symbol on his wrist. It took me a moment to place the symbol but when I settled on the answer there was no doubt in my mind. It was the Eye of Thoth symbol, an occult ancient Egyptian. What was it doing on the arm of a monk of the Catholic Church? "I have the answers you seek seniores, follow me. I will take you to Prokofski," he said quietly.

I shared a glance with the two other men around my table. I stood, my chair sliding backwards. I picked up the glass and drained it.

Now, looking back, I know that I should have waited, should have been more cautious in trusting a stranger. But despite my world weariness then I was ever impetuous and so I followed the monk, not caring whether the other two were as trusting...

We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment - and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.
— Flemeth

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
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post #24 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-26-12, 06:05 AM
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Henry watched the men enter into his peripheral vision, his footsteps had alerted him to their presence as soon as they entered the building. He was rather taken aback however when he found one of the men to be a priest. Something about the priest looked out of place, he had a certain air about him, as if he was used to much finer trappings than the monk's habit he currently donned.

The other man was less conspicuous, his clothes were plain and his only really memorable feature was his silver glasses, a very finely crafted pair. Henry couldn't place the feeling, but something about those glasses made him feel uneasy.

The priest displayed a curious symbol on his wrist to Henry and the other man he'd spoken to earlier. Henry's heart skipped a beat when he recognised it as the Eye of Thoth.

"I have the answers you seek seniores, follow me. I will take you to Prokofski," The priest said, almost murmuring.

Henry had a moment of pause, considering the various possibilities. It could be a trap, He and the other man had been talking far too loudly. If Henry had been outside the shop he would have heard the conversation, he had no doubt that these two new men could have easily been eavesdropping. On the other hand, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

Henry rose and followed, slipping silently from his seat and walking behind the man he'd met earlier. Conscious of the possibility of a trap, he subtly slide a blade, hilt first, up his sleeve, attaching it to the sheath he kept there. If things went wrong, the blade would slip into his hand before anyone could draw a sword.

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post #25 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-28-12, 03:29 PM
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The monk burbled happily, his lips like the opening to a spring seeming to unleash a tirade of words with the eagerness of one that had sat in silence too long. As they walked through the streets old landmarks were given twisted tales of past wanderings, new buildings given names and local stories, the whole city cast through the doubting eyes of a local.

He smiled and nodded, casting his eyes round a city he had not seen in years, following a guide he had never met for a purpose he did not know in a location he could not fathom. He sometimes wondered if he was very stupid or very brave, yet his faith soothed his doubts. He was needed here and whether the monk was true or trickster better he be ensnared in some pickpockets trap then a helpless mother or an innocent bairn.

The further they worked, the more infectious the monks charisma became, his smiling face and increasingly witty anecdotes carrying him through the crowds with hearty guffaws.

Soon the streets became crowded, rising higher, their walls coming closer forcing him to skirt puddles of rancid excrement tossed carelessly from windows above. Shadows flickered around him, the darkness seeming to scatter around figures he could barely see, the cloying depths glittering with menacing eyes. Despite the threat his hands never moved toward the hilt of his blade, better a pickpocket claimed his money than he claimed the life of an innocent.

A dilapidated church seemed to be the friars intention and his eyes narrowed as they skirted the crumbling spire and boarded windows, the connection between this house of the Lord to Profolski making his eyes twitch to the friar, though the portly mans stride never broke, his footsteps carrying him down the side of the church to a small stable, the alley seeming to run further into the blackness, the very ground beneath his feet seeming to fade away into nothingness.

Wearily, he turned to remove saddlebags yet a clap of the friar's sweaty palm brought a small boy rushing from the interior with a smile and a wave. Even as his hands reached for the reigns he found his tiny wrist gripped in Pieter's iron fist.

The friars words were calm and friendly though the boy looked startled and a little hurt

"Tion is one of the best stable hands in the city my lord, the horse will be well cared for I assure you"

Pieter cast a long glance at the beast behind them. He was unremarkable, indeed looking as if he had been sired by a carthorse rather than a warriors steed, yet if that had been true it had been a most unusual coupling with a lion. Despite the stout barrel like chest and dull chestnut coat he had proven himself to have the heart of a lion and the stomach of an elephant, their union not one he would eagerly part with.

His gaze became warm, as he held out the reigns, pressing a coin into the startled boys palm, smiling at the small piece of carrot he found clutched in his tiny fist.

"He is a good steed, Purete is his name, for pure is his heart, he rides with me without fear. Return him to me safely and you will find another in your palm"

The boy nodded and smiled determined moving to the horse, the piece of carrot disappearing down Purete's throat almost as quickly as the coin was stashed in his grubby pocket.

The friar lead him on down the alley, pausing only to light two braziers, their flickering flames casting light upon a thick cloth hung aimless over the wall. A sure motion swept the cloth aside before some fumbling and a sharp click sent it swinging inwards to reveal steep stone steps lead down and away into the catacombs of Rome.

Curiosity bugged at him, the menaces that could linger in the dark below the Holy city a worrying prospect, he was unprepared, had no concept of what he may face.

His voice was hesitant cutting through the silence as he lingered upon the top step

"Will I find what I seek below the holy city Brother Friar, or does a greater menace twist mortal minds"

The monk paused, his eyes becoming solemn

"If what you seek is a meeting with Prokofski, then yes you will find it below. As far as a greater menace.... well, Vlad says that there are things stirring in the wilds and in the ground beneath your feet. He says ancient things, long slumbering, have started to awake. I can't make heads or tails of it, but he seems convinced."

Pieter nodded following him down the steps and into the darkness within

"The supernatural is more active Brother, bar your doors and lock your windows for Prokofski is not a living legend for no reason,"

Pieter frowned, his mind upon the last months, what he had seen and what he may not have seen

"If he says the night stirs, then we should all tremble."

"Eye, Master Knight," Giuseppe quipped "That is why the Order has gathered here. The Seeker has tasked all the Knights of Pythia to assist Prokofski in his endeavor."

He smiled turning to stare at Pieter

I must say though, that coming to retreive you is a welcome respite from the books that have been my life for the last month." He will say with a grin

"And what of my brothers, what news of them, do they come to aid Profolski, or does he deem ammorochius's unbending will enough to stem this tide?"

"I cannot say my Lord," Giuseppe will frown, "We have had word from Uval Berezhnoy, who currently wields Fidelacchius. He does not answer the summons at this time, the Lord has work for him in southeast asia."

The knight paused, his next words seemingly dragged from the very depths of despair, his cheery voice morose

"But of Esperacchius and its wielder, we have had no sign.... The Sword of Hope is lost to our eyes and ears.We can only pray that Seniore Morgan is well."

Pieter's eyes fell as, eyes upon the ground. Gabriel Morgan was an Englishman, prim, proper, resolute and unshakeable, a good man, a loyal man, one he met and fought with before... a loss

"Grave tidings indeed Brother, yet as we both know there are areas in the asian subcontinent where even the Knights all seeing eyes struggle to reach."

His eyes swing up with an accusing stare. He knew why they could not reach, the tendancy of Christian envoys to act more as missionaries to heathen countries than friends of the Lord. Blind fools, a good person is a good person be he.... no matter

The nights solemn expression led him to speak once more

"brother morgan was unshakeable in his faith, naught could deter him from his path"

"The Lord will protect him, Sir Knight, of that I have no doubt."

If there was a man to perish with blade in hand it was Gabriel Morgan, despite the possibility that he was merely in contactable...

"be it in this life or the next Brother Guiseppe"

Concern lined the Friar's face and Pieter over rode him

"Fear not Brother. I have met Brother Morgan, such a dutiful man would have found his keeper long before any harm could befall him, the blade will resurface be it in his hand or those of another. Till then all we can do is pray"

"Does Profolski know I am coming?"

"I cannot say my Lord," he muttered his voice bemused

"I just had a feeling, a compulsion to come to the city gates. As if I was destined to meet some one there. So I came. He will no doubt be pleased that one in such a position as yourself has been sent to aid the call. I know that Vladamir respects the Knights greatly."

"Then how do you know it is truly he within the crypts?"

The beaming smile flashed again

"It is from the crypts, researching at his side that I arose to meet you,"

"And what does he have you researching?"

"Lilith,my Lord..... The mother of all the things your blade seeks to end."

kudos to lillian thorne for the awesome sig
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post #26 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-28-12, 03:50 PM
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Eira entered the church, closing the giant wooden doors behind her. She quickly gathered her travelling cloak around her dress and armour, concealing the dagger that she carried into the church. She looked around at the beautiful building but was frustrated to see only people praying in the pews, and that there were no clergy men around that she could ask about Brother Giordano.

She started to walk down the centre aisle, determined to get to the back of the church and see if she could rouse one of the brothers to come out of the monks quarters and take her to Giordano when a man stood from the pews in front of her, looking down on her as he spoke in quick Italian. “Scusi, posso disturbare un attimo.”

Eira looked at the man, who seemed to be wearing priest like robes, but did not appear to be a member of this church with a raised eyebrow before she responded to the question. “I’m sorry but I do not speak Italian, only English. Do you speak English?”

"Sure do, was just asking if I could bother you for a moment. You look like a traveller with a purpose and a mission, and I was wondering if it had something to do with a certain individual named Vladamir Prokofski." He replied, the Danish accent clear for Eira to hear.

Eira narrowed her eyes slightly at the name Vladamir Prokofski, she did not think this man was Giordano, and had to be on her guard. She bet that this man was a hunter, or at the very least knew something about Vladamir Prokofski. “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 the mans lips, though it did not help Eira who felt herself reaching down slowly under her cloak towards her hidden knife.
"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, Bishop and hunter from denmark."

Eira nodded at the Bishops reply, hand removed from her knife. If he was a hunter then that would help, but she remembered her fathers words. “Trust no-one except for Giordano and yourself.” She would stick to that but there was no reason why she couldn’t be friendly, and besides whatever was going down was big. Big enough so that hunters from all over the place came to see this Vladamir Prokofski. “Eira Graeaf, hunter from the Graeaf family in Wales. I’m actually looking for a brother Giordano, one of my father’s 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.”

“That sounds interesting, if you don't mind I would like to be introduced to this Giordano." Anders replied and for a second Eira thought she saw relief pass over his face though she wasn’t sure.

"As would I if we can find him, it has been a long few months travelling to talk to him and I would love to find him sooner so I can find out what this Vladamir wants us hunters for." She said before she heard a booming voice echo around the church calling out her name.

She turned to see a large man, moving quickly over to them, with a grace that seem to belittle both his age and his frame. She knew from her fathers description of the man that this was Giordano. The fact that he knew her name allowed her to think that he was as well. He had a well kept beard, which seemed to be more white than it was brown, unlike her fathers description. It much have been a time since the two had met but she decided it mattered not. The fact that he knew her by name meant it must be him, no one else knew her by name, and he must have gotten a letter from her father about her arriving.

As he moved over towards her and the bishop, she noticed that there was another man with him, one with two blades strapped across his back and wearing symbols of the catholic faith on his cloak and gloves. It was possible that he was a paladin, she remembered her father telling her about them, men of the cross like this Bishop Anders that she had just met who were hunters as well.

Giordano reached her, kissing her on both cheeks "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."

“It is nice to finally meet you Brother Giordano. My father talks of his time with you very fondly.” She said with a smile on her face before Anders and Giordano introduced themselves to each other. "Come along all of you. I assume Bishop, that you are also here to see Prokofski. I will show you the way."

Eira was very glad that she had managed to meet brother Giordano and so quickly after her travels, and walked alongside him as they headed out of the church.“So brother Giordano, if you don’t mind my asking how do you know my father?”

"Ah, child, your father and I go way back," he says with fondness that surprised Eira, whilst her father appeared to be fond of him, she couldn’t imagine anyone would be fond of her father, the man was far too cantankerous. "He saved my then scrawny hide, from a werewolf, near on 30 years ago."

"We Hunted together for some time after that, of course, until I felt my calling in the fields of research and history," he moves in closer, whispering conspiratorially, "I dare say that the bum knee, years without a good meal, or a constant roof over my head, may have played a role in that decision as well."

Eira flashed a smile at the priest and let out a light laugh at it, "What was he like when you hunted with him? His strict self he is now, or was he a little more carefree than he is now?"

Giordano paused, silent for a few seconds as if he was pondering his answer, "Your father has never been carefree child, events in his life, things that happened well before I met him saw to that. He was precise, careful, thorough. Not the most talkative men I have ever met, but loyal and focused."

Eira bit her lip as she nodded at his words. She had hoped to glean a bit more information about her fathers beginnings as a hunter as he never told anyone anything about his past except for her mother who wouldn’t say a thing.

"Thank you brother Giordano, he never speaks of his past to me, I'm glad to get some measure of him rather than what I know."

"As well he shouldn't speak of the past, some memories are better buried," the portly monk says with certainty. "This life changes you Eira. It is unavoidable." He said slowly but almost caringly.

Eira’s eyes locked onto the crowd in front of her as she felt tears start to burn at her eyes. She knew that the life changed people. She had learnt the hard way what happens when you hunt then try and settle down. She had tried to change herself and failed. "Believe me Brother Giordano, I know it does, I have changed a lot since I started hunting again, since... I know." Even now she couldn’t bear to say his name. It was her fault. Her guilt to live with.
His eyes, locked onto Eira convey a knowing sadness, an empathy that Eira found a little comforting as he puts a hand on her shoulder, nodding in agreement as they walked away.

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"The Knights of Pythia have their work cut out for them. Hunters from all corners of the globe have assembled and are entering the city. These humble brother's from an order as old as the church itself have done all that they can to keep these men and women out of view, away from the prying eyes of the Holy See. Theses so called leaders of the church are blind and ignorant. Thinking themselves untouchable, indispensible. They do not know what lurks outside of their domain, salivating, lips quivering over fanged maws, waiting to destroy what they have so carefully maintained. These Hunters, will they believe me? Will they see the signs for what they are? I hate to think what would happen if I fail......"



Exerpt from the personal journal of Vladamir Prokofski
April 11th, 1578



Sebastian (Tyranno the Destroyer):, Bishop Sunesen (Anilar):, & Eira (Lord Ramo): As Brother Giordano stoops slightly to get his large frame out of the small side door of the massive cathedral, he draws the hood of his habit up over his face. He holds a finger up to his lips indicating that silence would be prudent now that full night has fallen on the Holy City. Despite the creatures of the night that are sure to start making their presence known, the heart of the Catholic Chuch is not the friendliest place in the world for Hunters not connected with the Church itself and prying eyes are everywhere. Giordano leads you all down a series of narrow alley ways leading west away from Il Jesu further into the heart of the city. Despite the fact that you are heading closer to St. Peter's Basillica, the streets that Giordano leads you down are cramped and dirty. You hear silent footsteps approach, then retreat. Whether it is Giordano's presence or the menacing air that clings to your party or the blades visible on Sebastian's back, cut-purses and strong-arms shy away from you. As you approach the great Tiber river, Giordano cuts down a series of stairs leading down to the bank of the river. He follows the river for a few moments and brings the group to a stop just underneath one of the colossal bridges that spans across the swift flowing waterway. Leading you back up the slope of the bank to just under the beginnig of the bridge he halts in front of a large round drainage gate. Fishin in his pockts, you hear the jangling of keys, Giordano produces a small ring and selects one before unlocking the pad lock on the grate itself. After ushering you all inside, he roots around in a small alcove to his left and produces three torches. Lighting them from a small ember box he motions for you to follow. Regardless of your feelings, trepidation, distrust, or excitement you follow and soon the passages show you where you are really heading, the endless labyrinth of passage ways and chambers that span the undercity of Rome, The Catacombs.

Edward (Santaire) & Henry (HOGGLORD):: You two share a look, before setting off with the plain habitted monk. Despite his earlier interest the mage who was with you has disappeared into the gloom of the gathering night. Apparently dealing directly with an arm of the Catholic Church was not what he had in mind. Perhaps you are relieved not to be in the presence of a mage? Perhaps your feelings and thoughts toward him are ambivalent, the monk's destination foremost in your thoughts. Keeping the monk's back in clear view, you follow him down several side streets, before leaving the main roads all together. You are beginning to think that this can be nothing more than a trap, your hands floating towards hidden weapons when the monk stops. Looking around you can't help but think that this is would be a poorly selected site for an ambush. You are standing in a main intersection of what appear to be merchant footpaths. The monk, quickly moves toward a set of stairs that lead below street level, stopping at a door that appears to lead into the basement of a run down bookstore. Digging into the inside of his habit, you both flinch at his sudden movement, blades coming halfway out of sheathes before he holds up his hands in a show of submission, showing you a large metal key. He points to the lock securing the door, before sliding around you, calm despite the danger he knows he is in, and unlocks the stout iron bound oaken door. Ushering you inside, still showing a complete disregard for your weapons should you still have them drawn, he will lock the door behind him. Despite the fact that building above you is quite large, the room you have entered is small, a mere ten by ten room of stone blocks, unadorned save a small chest next to the door and a set of stairs that lead down into shadow. Opening the chest he hands Edward a torch, taking a second for himself before wordlessly lighting them and heading down the stairs into the gloomy darkness. You follow and soon the passages show you where you are really heading, the endless labyrinth of passage ways and chambers that span the undercity of Rome, The Catacombs.

Dragomir (yoyoyo12365):: The monk, despite being pressed against the wall, a dagger at his back, suddenly pushes up from the wall with surprising strength. As he moves, despite your attempt to stop him, spinning into you, the voluminous sleeve of his habit snapping around the blade of our dagger with a flick of his wrist as he moves. With a sharp jerk he snaps your arm rigid, putting reverse pressure on your elbow, tearing the dagger from your grip while simultaneously pushing you away to create distance between the two of you. He calmly drops your dagger to the ground, eyes locked on your face, hands out to his sides gesturing that he means no harm, but ready in the event you charge him once more. "Seniore," he says slowly, "It is you who have come seeking information and a meeting with Prokofski, not I. I will not be threatened, if you wish to follow you may do so, but if you do sheathe your weapon for I am no threat to you. If not, God be with you my son." He turns down an alley, swiftly travelling away from you. You have a decision to make: Do you follow the monk who clearly is more than he seems? Do you try and find another lead to Prokofski's whereabouts? Or do you write the whole thing off as a waste of time and go back to what you were doing before you heard of the summons? The choice is yours. [Yoyoyo hit me up via PM with your choice and I will give you the rest of your update depending on what you decide to do.]

Alexander (Lord of the Night):By the time you make it a hundred feet from the tavern full night has fallen. The monk ahead of you shudders slightly, something causing a chill in the man that you either do not feel or choose to ignore. He pulls the cowl of his habit over his bald pate, settling the shoulders of the heavy brown cloth into a more comfortable position. If you didn't know any better, you would think that he was settling the leather of a weapons belt into a better settling ride. Something about this Brother screams that there is something more to him, beyond his appearance as a devout Catholic. Gazing around, taking in your surroundings as the monk leads you into a warren of twisting alleys and rarely traveled footpaths. Oddly the monk leads you through the open gateway of a cemetery and quickly winds his way among the headstones, statuary, and grave markers to a large mausoleum in a far removed corner. You are intrigued by this man, the swiftness of his stride and the surety of his movements tell of a life as a soldier, not a peaceful monk. You can't help but think that you may be walking into an ambush as the man disappears into the darkness of the ornate stone building. As you enter you see him in a rear corner, standing near an ornately carved sarcophagus, something about the way he touches the features of the woman carved in marble speaks of personal loss, but without further pause he depresses a stone in the floor that seems to sit a bit higher than the rest, but only by the barest of margins. slowly with the grating rasp of stone on stone, the heavy crypt slides back revealing a set of stairs down into a shadowed hallway. Grasping one of the torches set in a brazier on the wall, the monk gestures for you to follow before disappearing into the darkness below. Soon the passages show you where you are really heading, the endless labyrinth of passage ways and chambers that span the undercity of Rome, The Catacombs.

Pieter(deathbringer):Your earlier trepidation at entering this underground realm is soon banished by the aura of peace and comfort that falls upon your shoulders. The area that Friar Giuseppe leads you through are truly works of art. The crypts and mausoleums adorned with protective symbols, both modern and those older than time. You find it odd, that here in the heart of Christendom, that the old rites, the pagan rituals still hold sway. Friar Giuseppe for once is quiet, even the boisterous man feeling the presence of the contented dead all around him. Giuseppe slows, randomly in the middle of the hallway, as if he is deciding something before he blurts out, "I think there is something you may want to see my lord. I was unsure whether we would have time to visit the Chapel, but I brought you this way on the off chance." He slides down a passage that until you were upon it you didn't even see. At first you are impatient at the interruption of the seemingly unfocused Friar, but as your steps follow in his path, a feeling of rightness, of purpose and understanding fills your mind and heart. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are going in the direction you are meant to. You can see up ahead that the narrow tunnel you are in opens up into a larger room, but you cannot see more than that beyond Giuseppe's bulk. You are first met with confusion as you see excavating equipment, brushes, shovels, and scaffolding dominating the south end of the room. It looks as though the people working on restoring and clearing the room of the rubble of a fallen ceiling, have uncovered a forge in the rear of the room. You have no idea what a forge would be doing in a realm dedicated to the dead, but turning your attention to the front of the room you are met with a sight that fills your eyes with tears of joy. In the front of the room are three kneeling figures, dressed in flowing robes covering armor all carved from the finest gold veined marble. Their hands are out stretched, held out to a figure carved from the same marble of a regal papal figure standing in front of a cross that is conspicuously missing the form of Christ, where the nails would have been, empty holes. You approach the kneeling figure on the very end of the line and looking at his hand, if you drew Ammorochius your blade would fit perfectly into the grove in his outstretched palms. Dumbfounded you turn to Giuseppe his face beaming, your unasked question plastered on your face, "yes my lord, this is where your blade was forged."

Cormac (Serpion5), Livoc (Romero's Own), & Johan (Rems): Noemi slowly turns to face you Johan, in her eyes the pain caused by your distrust. "You think me naive Johan? I have been practicing my craft since before your father's father was born." The room cools, the shadows around you taking on a menacing air. The feeling of the presence of thousands of other souls suddenly descending upon the room, the ectomancer's ire drawing the shades of dead closer, more visible. Your magical senses are on fire, the power the mage in front of you wields surprising all of you. As soon as it begins the feeling lifts, the light in the room returning to normal. Looking at Noemi she seems composed, no sign that anything had just occured. "I act under the authority of the council young mage, think you that we would sit in our towers while the some power beyond our understanding seeks to end life as we know it. The things of which Prokofski speaks are of great import to the White Council.." She takes a deep breath, as if trying to convince herself of the truth of her next statement. "Signs indicate that someone seeks to pierce the veil. To reach beyond the Outer Gates. I need not tell you what that would mean for the world around us." She fixes her glare on you once more Johan, "Do you seek to question me further? Or are you satisfied that this is indeed the business of the Council." Turning to Cormac she says, "Indeed, those that Prokofski gather's are from all walks of life. Warrior, scholar, rouge, and mage. The matter is serious, we will need the best to deal with it." Finally turning her gaze to you Livoc she says, " I agree, it is time to go. Follow if you want, stay if you want. The decision is yours." [Rems, Serpion, and Romero- PM me what your character is going to do. Do you follow Noemi or does your character decide to stay behind? Based on your PM I will provide you with the rest of your update.]

Robin (Bane_of_Kings) & Freja (Karak the Unfaithful):I will need to see a post for last update before I can move you along. If you get to the point that you have stuff for last update, send me a PM and I can get you the rest of your update.

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post #28 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-31-12, 10:28 PM
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Rome capital of italy and the home of the vatican, seat of the Catholic church. And still it was a city filled with narrow streets and alley ways filled with poverty, filth and cut-purses.

Brother Giordano and Eira conversing as the party made its way from the Il Gesu closer towards St. Peter's Basilica. It was not long before they were travelling through the more dubious streets of Rome, Giordano beckoned them all to stay quiet. Anders heard several time during there travel people following them, but there pursuers quickly disappearing again. Anders knowing that the weapons of the knight, the towering presence of the large monk and the general air of confidence the four of them exuded, would scare away most low lifes in any city.

After a while the party reached the tiber river, Giordano leading them down to the bank and up to one of the bridges that spans the river. Stopping at a large drainage gate, which Giordano unlocks. It wasn't long the monk and the three hunters was heading into the deep of the undercity of rome, the mysterious catacombs. Anders couldn't help be a little excited, as he had read and heard so many stories of this place, and now he got a chance to see for himself. And he could understand why someone like Prokofski would choose such a place for his hiding place.

Sneaky Wood Elf.
Give me a 5+ ward save and I can't be killed.
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post #29 of 72 (permalink) Old 09-01-12, 03:07 PM
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Sebastian walked quietly behind his informant and the other two hunters that had joined them unexpectedly. He didn't trust that he did not know of and these two are exactly like that. The female hunter and brother Giordano conversed about things but he didn't listen that stuff didn't concern him so he kept walking in time the partys feet echoing around the alley.

He was suprised that they hadn't been robbed the others looked raged and poor but his clothes are bright and well made it obvious that he had money but it didn't really matter it made the trip quite pleasent as he walked along the alleyways allowing him to think. Why would Prokofski need more hunters to his cause it only meant that he had stumbled on something big.

Giordano cut down some small stairs and produced a small ring with a key on it, put it in a lock, and openned the door in front of them. The rusty door creaked ipen revealing the catacombs a place for the dead. Muttering a quick prayer for forgivness Sebastian entered the catacombs proceeding deeper into the cold dark of the dead.

OOC: Sorry I didn't post last update had to do a bunch of stuff for colledge
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post #30 of 72 (permalink) Old 09-03-12, 10:44 AM
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Noemi slowly turned to face Johan, in her eyes the pain caused by his distrust.

"You think me naive Johan? I have been practicing my craft since before your father's father was born."

The room cooled, the shadows around Livoc took on a menacing air. The feeling of the presence of thousands of other souls suddenly descended upon the room, the ectomancer's ire drew the shades of dead closer, more visible.

Livoc’s magical senses were on fire, the power the mage in front of him wielded surprising him. As soon as it began the feeling lifted, the light in the room returned to normal. Livoc looked at Noemi, she seemed composed, no sign that anything had just occurred.

"I act under the authority of the council young mage, think you that we would sit in our towers while the some power beyond our understanding seeks to end life as we know it. The things of which Prokofski speaks are of great import to the White Council."

She took a deep breath, as if trying to convince herself of the truth of her next statement.

"Signs indicate that someone seeks to pierce the veil. To reach beyond the Outer Gates. I need not tell you what that would mean for the world around us."

She fixed her glare once more on Johan,

"Do you seek to question me further? Or are you satisfied that this is indeed the business of the Council."

Turning to the other mage she said,

"Indeed, those that Prokofski gathers are from all walks of life. Warrior, scholar, rouge, and mage. The matter is serious; we will need the best to deal with it."

Finally turning her gaze to Livoc she said,

"I agree, it is time to go. Follow if you want, stay if you want. The decision is yours."

Livoc paused before responding.

“I’ll come with you Noemi, if Profoski calls for an army then I will be happy to respond”

Noemi smiled at Livoc he smiled meekly back. Johan also agreed to follow Noemi and again she smiled at him. Then the other Magi declared that he would not be following her or the rest of you. After receiving his answer Noemi nodded, resolutely, clearly pleased that at least the two of you have come to the decision that she hoped you would make.

Noemi led Livoc and Johan through her home, where Livoc couldn’t help but gawk at the lavish features, priceless treasures, and odd curiosities. Noemi arrived at a door at the end of a dead end hallway. Reaching out with a longs slender finger, she stroked the end of the digit down the centre of the door.

Livoc could feel the magic at work; Noemi was disabling the protective wards
that had been laid into the door itself. The door swung open of its own accord and as Livoc passed he was taken a back at the complexity of the spell work that was laid, barely visible in the hard oaken surface of the portal. Livoc had visited Noemi on half a dozen occasions, but each time, whether it was that she was a woman or that she was a practitioner of one of the more reclusive forms of magic, he had always seemed to place her power level well below his own. Nothing could be further from the truth, a fact which evidences itself as they strolled into her lab, the room beyond the ensorcelled entryway. Rows upon rows of carefully labelled and stored potions, foci in various forms of completion, a summoning circle made of pure gold attached the floor of the far side of the room with silver stakes. The woman Livoc had thought nothing more than a peddler of information for the Council is far more than that.

Noemi walked to the back wall of the laboratory. She approached a large bookshelf full of ledger books. A neat script labelled them by date, carefully ordered, ranging back to the late 1200's. Despite the fact that Noemi mentioned her age in the confrontation mere minutes ago, Livoc was taken aback by the physical proof of her longevity. She reached into a small gap, almost invisible to the prying eye, behind the massive shelf. Livoc heard an audible click and the shelf swings forward, sliding effortlessly across the stone floor. Just beyond the shelf was a small entry way that turned to the right and led down an ancient looking set of stairs. With a flourish of her delicate hand Noemi brought forth a glowing orb of crystalline blue light and wordlessly led the way down into the gloom. Following Livoc soon realized the passages showed where they were really heading, the endless labyrinth of passage ways and chambers that span the undercity of Rome, The Catacombs.

Whispering quietly to Johan Livoc shivered.

“I hate this place”



The Silent Lions Chapter

Winter Falls

Darkness

Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
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