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 Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)

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yanamari

yanamari

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Join date : 2010-08-10

PostSubject: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:33 pm

((The Storyteller journal is a "behind the scenes" look at how the world reacts to your actions. These are not IC things you will know. Enjoy!))

Ah, thine eyes lay waste the heart, they 'gainst the soul bare daggers dread;
See how sanguinary gleam they---blood aye upon blood they shed.
Come, the picture of thy down bear unto this my scorched breast---
It is customary fresh greens over the broiled flesh to spread.
Said I: "O Life! since thy lip is life, to me vouchsafe a kiss."
Smiling rose-like, "Surely, surely, by my life," she answered.
As I weep sore, of my stained eyebrow and my tears of blood,

A 'Tis the rainbow o'er the shower stretched," were by all beholders said.
While within my heart thine eye's shaft, send not to my breast despair;
Idol mine! guest after guest must not to one same house be led.
Through its grieving for thy hyacinth down, thus feeble grown
Is the basil, that the gardeners nightly o'er it water shed.
Quoth I: "O Life! do not shun Jem, he a pilgrim here hath come";

"Though a pilgrim, yet his life doth on a child's face hang," she said.

---Prince Jem

A soft sound of humming cascaded through the vaulted ceilings, followed by sharp plucking of chirps and the burring of so many birds. They rose and fell in a strange lullaby of song as The Three found themselves blissfully alone again.

As one, their eyes met and ruined lips tugged into mockery of smiles. Bodies rose and moved from the sanctuary of birdsong to the shadowed depths below. On and on, they took to twisting steps of hewn stone marred in the stains of life and unlife spent centuries in the city proper. Never had this region of city been anything but a hovel of hellish ends. Yet with the slow leave taking of the murderous sort to another region, the Nosferatu felt a touch angered. They embraced everything left to them. Even the horrific.

A hand took up a shuttered lantern. Another carefully brought the taper alight. They each hissed until the strength of them snatched it and moved forward. Synchronized, The Three made their way until the slippery sewers with a delicate tread through refuse upon cleaned steps that no other could find.

"Father..."

Nothing answered the request. Onward they moved until sewage and scum gave way to dusty halls well kept and painfully precise. The faint slap of wet brush upon stone closely followed by sharpening of metal cut through the stale air.

"Father..."

The sounds paused for a breath of time and continued. "Yes. You may join me." The glimmer of light caused the creature of a man to pull lower a hood, no flesh able to cover his eyes. Hand raised with the grace of a swan's neck, he pressed the metal knife into wet clay to leave a testament of thought upon the surface.

"Come and sit. I have a story to tell."
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yanamari

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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:30 pm

Hands rubbed together, folding over and over until the skin felt chapped. His steps took him ever so slowly one before the other down the hall towards a door he had sought so many times before. His eyes burned, salty tears slipping over his cheeks to fill a mouth that mumbled. Knuckles had long since healed, yet he could not help but feel the need to pummel them again and again into his son that slept behind the door he neared.

Why had the other not returned? How he had begged in the night for God to stop him, keep him from this need to force home hard lessons to a boy that disobeyed him. Rage ate away what sanity was left to him, never once did he notice his son only accepting and never rebelling. Life had long since become a jumbled mess as he sought to punish what required no risen fist or shouted voice to answer.

But finally heaven answered as the strange whisper took hold of his mind and turned his anger and venom upon other avenues. In those moments, he was blissfully at peace. No concerns, no hate, only the perfection of numbness and lack of memory. His hand reached forward with a tremor, continuing to open the door no matter how he screamed for it to stop. As darkness greeted, finally the voice answered.

The young boy opened his eyes, peering up in fear at the silhouette of his father. The figure stepped within only long enough to tousle his hair and leaving entirely. "You're safe, my boy. I'm here now. Everything will be just fine..."

Gold eyes now peered from the butcher's skull. Every century, every decade, he took men like this, consumed their pleas and souls, saving a child from harm, to walk the world again and again. He should recall why a boy's life meant so much to him, yet Vile could not. Memories of his long past had drifted from him, rarely obtainable in the murky history he called existence. Recently though those faded feelings seemed to return with form and sound as the whispers that once plagued him returned. Vile could not remember when they fell silent, yet now they shivered through his demonic soul, still too quiet to discern.

Leaving the butcher's shop, the whispers curled about his thoughts, promising things they could not provide. A snarl turned his lip, thin clothing covered in the blood of beasts and fish made his skin shiver despite the heat of the night air. A curved blade pulled free from his belt as a heavy reminder of the horrors he must commit to hold still to this plane. Some strange creation awaited him, a beast that lived in this world apart from his treacherous home.

Twistings and turnings through the city streets and hidden paths lead him from the small shacks of shops along the wharves to a dark alley ending in shadows made of swarms of flies festering from a pile of dead vermin. Here did the small woman turn to face him, maggots falling from a swash of mouth jutted through by rotten teeth.

"My dearest, we have much to discuss, you...and I..." Vile's hands moved slowly between them as their true visages filled this place.

A face without eyes, of skin pulled tight and mottled turned towards him as the creature unbent from from earth it hailed from. A maw of teeth in rows upon rows opened with a stench of the putrid seas. "Oh yes, Vile Whisper, I wondered when you would arrive."

"You escaped from the halls of bitter howls. Color me surprised to find you among the dead of this ...fair...city."

The wench of filth curled back on herself, sniffing at the air as if to seek some other path away if needed. "And now I can aid you as well, Vile. I will not--"

"No, I need you here. If you return to the plains of the dead, we will not attain this goal. You have remained in this city far longer than any other." His fingers curled and uncurled over and over upon the blade in his hand. "Tell me, can we bring the bright angel and dark devil together?"

The thing grinned ever wider as it reached across. "Yes, oh yes. If you clear the path between the port to the church, the black....can find...the angel..."

The words became fainter as his soul was tethered free from the child molester he held within to find himself...in another foul fiend of the night.

In a vampire.

Within the alley, the demon sensed the shift and change. The father felt the remains of his soul ripped free as the fiend devoured his heart. Not a single prayer could save him now.
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:39 pm

A rush of blood forced through the dreams that sought purchase in the mind of Myca. With a startled shake and sudden rising from a mire of bodies tossed about him as cold corpses, he pulled himself from the thick bed to the double-doored closet across the room. A darkness profound and deep held the entire room perfectly, not a glimmer peaked through from window or door. And yet, Myca could see as though he stood with a lantern in each hand.

Pressing apart the heavy brocades and fine silks, a smaller crudely made door opened to a small unimpressive chamber. Once the small door closed, the cainite settled into a lotus position upon fresh earth. Fingers splayed, he dug them into the rich dark soil of his homeland, deep in the carpathians, to feel the rigid stone laid as a base. Calm returned as the fury of nightmares eased.

Another small door opened opposite from him, the weight of a larger form bending across from him. A pair of hands likewise dug into the soil, a voice rising. "Have they responded?"

Myca shook his head though he knew the other could not see through his own ritual darkness. "No. Which leads me to send the call again."

"The distance from the mountains holds you from them. But in this situation, accept."

This was no offer but declaration, and one he had no recourse to dissuade. Within the hour, his guests would wake and wonder at the horror of their blindness. Without a battle, he took hold of the Dracon's wrist, raising it to his mouth, and drawing blood. "So be it."
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:50 am

Laying his hand upon the thick door gilt with some fine carving of a hunting scene, Rainer awaited the summons to enter. A soft click sounded as the lock gave, a sign far more than any he had expected. Deftly, he opened the door only enough to slip through hoping instinct alone would save him from any possible wrath. What met him was a shoe with a tiny heel thrown with enough force to bruise.

"I have never been stood up, Rainer. I do hope this to be the first and last time." Natalya's eyes nearly glowed in resentment, but the quirked grin of lips promised this slight would be forgiven. Heavy skirts swished across the chamber floors of rough stone until the warrioress bent into a fine chair before a hearth only warmth with coals and misdirected flame.

Forcing breath through his mouth, deep into lungs long collapsed and out again seemed to bring him a physical sense of the frustrations visited upon him nightly. "Nata, it won't happen again. But there is far more at stake than an errant child."

Her eyes held him in their reflective surface, the heat still there waiting to spark. "And what more could pull you from my side, hunter? Do you realize how long it's been? How hard it is to turn away every opportunity for that which is--"

Rainer flashed his own dark look, hands tearing away the gloves from his hands. "Beloved?"

"Safe."

The gloves slapped upon the floor as he strode with the fury of a storm to her side. "Am I then?" Without preamble, her hand wrenched between his own, bones aching from the viselike grip that rolled until his forearm thrust back her neck. None but Rainer would take such advantage, a fire she adored though he could never understand.

"Do you wish to taste of hell so soon? You go too far." A rough thrust of his thumb threatened to snap her wrist.

"Perhaps you have grown weak surrounded by this pomp."

The snap sounded as a branch in the woods. Pain flashed in her eyes as her own instincts overtook the man. A sweeping of leg to his, pointed heel jabbed betwixt muscle and tendon brought him crashing against her. The jutting of bone from her ruined hand laid to his neck.

"So foiled by my wiles still, Rainer. But you speak of something of importance?"

The closeness of the woman left him destroyed in this battle, blood burning through his skin only she and others like her could engender. A fancy she enjoyed, and he despised. The touch became far too personal, too inviting, that every sense reeled into a queasy discomfort. "Yes, someone tried to poison my child.

Natalya's eyes widened, the veneer of calm falling to reveal so many thoughts and emotions in the woman for his mind to read. "An attempt without a death. Either the assailant was a fool...or you taught her well."

"I believe them only foolish. Though far from the Latin district, I can only surmise a mortal employed to the task. Her mind faltered, sensing anger and danger. I believe she disposed of the poisoner and lost memory of it. When I am able, I shall attempt to gain it back."

Blood rose through her flesh, mending the break with a hard snapping sound. Wiggling her fingers, she raised them to touch his cheek. How his skin burned at such a simple offer, how he leaped back from her, brought an annoyed sense of challenge and disgust at her own actions.

She rose from the seat to wander before the hearth, gazing upon a portrait above the mantle. The eyes of her sire mocking her still in this simple mixing of oil and brush upon canvas. "We have work to do. And then we shall have dinner, if I have to tie you down to the chair myself."
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:00 pm

Wind ripped through hair and flowing linens as man and beast raced across the plains. Hooves dug into rough earth, chips of stone flying as the miles churned away with abandon. Tamas pushed his horse harder than he had in years, eager to feel free of cities and dark buildings and the hordes of living and dead pressed together. Simply the thought of darkened streets brought a sudden thump in his chest, a phantom sense of a heartbeat.

Twisting through broken walls of forgotten buildings, he rounded to a stop looking over a point far and away. He should have remained in the city, sought Tereza, and packed everything they owned. Each finger unrolled from gripping the heavy reins with a creaking of leather. So stiff and tight, he had nearly torn flesh in the wild ride through the evening, how very far he had roamed without intending. Now he could not seek his child without tempting the sun's rising.

His sire had demanded their journey to this city, a fate would be sealed if they did not. Tamas had fought the Crone every step of the way, seeking the taverns and wayward hovels, resting their beasts, finding stories to tell and show his child. The Crone knew, her eyes spoke of it if her lips remained sealed.

The black stallion chipped at the bricks and stacked stones, jostling Tamas to awareness. Fingers roamed through the thick mane, a soft wuff of sound leaving his lips, to speak in a way no other could. A shiver of muscle and flick of tail demanded flight again. The beast yearned for movement and that perfect bliss of his master content under the stars and moon. Leaning forward, he draped himself over the neck of his horse still murmuring.

"Aya, I want nothing of this place either, Khalid. But we aren't leaving her, hmm? Not to this ...fate whatever it may be." The horse gave a sudden buck and twist, glaring over his side at the cainite sending him into chuckles. "Oh you great beast--"

They both grew silent then, as the fine hairs on Tamas' neck raised. The horse seemed to feel the same, eager to lash out yet far more concerned with his rider. As one, they leaped back into the night, racing away to the camps of Ravnos and gypsies.

A pair of glimmering eyes flickered in the dark shadows, two other pairs watching the rider leave. The first raised a hand, holding back the others before melding away.

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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:30 pm

"The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them." Gregory peered at the delightful trinkets and baubles in the glass cases framing every wall in the octagonal chamber. Every visit to Constantinople, he requested time in this room, or was urged to by a friend far kinder than any had ever known.

His host did not respond, only shifted closer by his side to run a finger over the golden threading of symbols upon his robes. The touch brought up Gregory's eyes that crinkled all the more into a deeper smile. "Yes, I know you despise the words of Socrates. But they have ever been on my mind of late, my friend. And I do hate to see you so lonely in this ivory tower." He reached out and touched lightly that inquiring hand.

"I brought you a gift an apprentice has been working on. Something I thought you would enjoy as an addition to the many pretties I have brought over the years. Come..." The Ravnos led the man as his radiance shimmered over the panes of glass and cut crystal until they neared a deeply cushioned window seat. The glorious view beyond opened as a vista from the vaulted spires, to see hundreds of homes, businesses, a realm of sleeping humans and plotting cainites.

Gregory settled upon the cushions, opening his robes to bring out a sack. Fighting with the knots and opening it wide, he spoke a word of power. Slinking free, a small bronze kitten emerged, glimmered and warm with power to peer up with metal eyes at the host above. "Zoe made this one. A feat indeed. It cannot meow, is most silent. And requires so little to continue working. Do you like it?"

The body of the fluid mechanical creature leaped into the hands of the host, as Michael raised it to his own glass carved eyes. So long alive, he had become crystal, feeling as a construct bound with a soul. Often he wondered if he fell and cracked, if he would leak free and spill between the cracks of the church stones.

Tears spilled down his eyes, fearing simply that as the tiny kitten turned round and round in his hands before a face that could not move, not shift or change, only radiate peace and harmony. Michael felt anything but such as he shone.

Gregory rose taking up the sleeve of his robe, patting away the tears from his friend's eyes. "Oh dear, my friend, it's not that beautiful really. You must really love cats. Well at least you won't sneeze."

Laughter peeled through the chamber as the sound of bells. "Yes... thank you..."

So few words, but they spoke ages of thought to Gregory as his mind laid open peering into the limitless gemlike eyes of the prince. They stood for for hours, each staring at the other, never speaking yet sharing all the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:25 am

The moment Tereza left the company of her newly blooded captain, Cameron kept a steely gaze upon the doorway of the gambling den. A rat-faced weasel of a man with slanted eyes and oiled mustache leaned in next to the captain awaiting the word.

"Let her live, mate. But keep eyes on her path. She's worth her weight in gold, and then some." His fingers clenched tighter to the worn railing of the second floor, barely making it creak. His man slunk away into the crowd, quick and far more able than the louts the woman was used to. With a hope, she would not since the tail until they had marked her abode.

Turning finally from the usual sparring of cards and coins below, the Grim Scythe looked over the few men hovering in the suite they owned in this port of call. Each of them had seen tours a plenty, raised as slaves, freedom won and bought with blood, none of them a saint or innocent. Among them he moved, deadly in eye and promise of a belly wound if questioned. So many had tried to kill him, never succeeding. But he knew only a good decade remained in his limbs and heart before the reaper would claim his final breath. Old age haunted him far more than any disease or blade between the ribs.

"You found anothah?" His second asked, an African tribesman turned cutthroat. His fists were meaty, arms roped through with muscles, a barreling strength like a rhino at full run.

"Aye, I found another damned. Free with her blood. I can already feel...something. Keep watch on the ship, case she has friends. You stay with me. But send the knives inward." He grinned holding wide his arms, the look he gave bordering on a maddening avarice. "Seems we may have found the fount o' youth right here in Constantinople. Let's start hunting. The sooner we catch a damned, the sooner we can all drink deep."
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:09 am

A squeal rang out, echoing into the distance of sewers as if a young naked girl had been dunked into freezing melted snow.

"Can you please...stop that?" Lucio had never worked with this brother of the blood. But he swore yet again into the dark for having been sent on this. Why the Setite asked for him personally was beyond the Nosferatu, but baby-sitting the mason ranked right up there with washing the lepers.

"I can't help it! I'm....well I'm scared...."

"Scared?" Lucio looked back in the shuttered lantern light, the shadows and light playing merry havok with the withered half of face.

Zielos stood as grey and hard as the stone around him, with an arm outstretched and shaking as if picking out the devil in the middle of a church. "Of those!"

The rat thick and large cleaned its face with tiny clawed paws. "It's just a rat...see?" A quick snatching of hand brought the wriggling creature up to face Zielios eye-to-eye.

Eyes rolling, Zielios fainted dead away into the sludge and shit from the world above. The rat turned and tried to bite at the Nosferatu as he employed the power of his blood to calm and pet the thing. "Where the hell did Fra'Raymond dig this one up." Tossing aside the rat to scamper away, he bent to lug Zielios over his shoulders till he would come back around. On and on he trudged through the sewers until the twists took them nearer Horus' den.

"So sorry...you can set me down now, Lucio." Such a pained embarrassment filled that voice to bring a grudging huff from Lucio, plopping his charge onto his feet.

"Look, I have to deal with the rats anyway. I'll move ahead and draw them off, if you get to work. Deal?"

Zielios raised Lucio's hands and kissed them over and over, making him try and yank them from that disgusting grasp. "Oh thank you, by all heaven's shining host thank you! Are we near...oh yes, the strata is different." The mason began muttering to himself of stone and numbers, grimy fingers reaching to lay upon the permanently marred limestone and rock.

With a backhanded wave, Lucio left to learn more about this sudden and oh so terrible infestation. Darkness complete and velvety enveloped Zielios. Standing straighter, every simpering line of his face smoothed into neutrality. No need for masks with no one there to watch him. Blood burned in his limbs, reaching for his hands and eyes. Darkness parted as if in the blazing brightness of day, edges and hollows brought to startling relief for his eyes. Every nerve within his stony hands awakening, tingling with a painful sense beyond anything a mortal could feel. In this moment, he was more than alive or dead.

Eddies of deep life stirred here through the stone, pulsing with the shifting tides. Pressing close to the stone, fingers splayed and sunk into the limestone as if merely digging into a cake mix. "What have we here...yes, yes, weathered and porous, perfect for the seas. But seems...to become unstable at the edge. How much longer can you take this with the added weight above? Poor stone...poor stone..."

Pulling free of the rock, he moved up and down the sewers to sense the weakening that began with man's building. "Any marble above will increase traffic...increasing building, going ever higher. This will never do. The streets and buildings would sink. The water would have no pathway, eroding faster."

Eyes slitting, Zielios knew of a possible answer as his mind worked through the problem and supplied the images. Pylons and crossbars, made of stone solutions poured and cooled into burrowed holes. The formed network would brace against the other, tension expanded and joined down to basalt. Then did he smile again as plans unfolded within his mind, drawn up and expanding around him without consciously seeking it. No longer did he simply see sewers or the rat following him as directly Lucio. Now he saw the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:51 am

Riders upon camels left trails between shifting dunes as the sliver of the remaining moon caught to its apex in the sky over the Nile. Nothing could truly compare to this unfolding beauty that stretched horizon to horizon, yet within it laid dangers not even the ancient kindred wished to face. Howls had dogged them every step of their journey, requiring them to cross back and forth across the waters, which among even vampires was no easy feat. The last crossing had nearly proved fatal to one of the riders, as the others leaned in and aided their camel from faltering.

For hours, they heard nothing of those deadly howls, a prayer leaving their lips. But the quiet only proved one thing...they neared finally. The lost kings of Egypt rose from sand and rock thousands of feet above the riders, giving them pause to look upon their ancestors. Beyond arches and pyramids welcomed them to their destination. Lanterns wrapped in red linen gave the impression of blood and fire to guide the final miles as guards appeared upon stallions alongside.

"We expected you nights ago, Ḥaty-a." Kohled eyes studied the three as they twisted and turned through the risen edifices of pharaohs and priests.

"Wolves hounded our journey. Send men to watch the walls, for they may cross the Nile and turn upon this court. Such was not our choice of guest to bring with us." The man's voice carried a hint of humor, bringing a resounding laugh from the guard as they stopped before spilling firelight and painted ladies bearing water and linens.

"We welcome you nonetheless. The temple awaits your gifts and presence. Leave your pets to us." Prancing his stallion in circles, the guard gave them a flash of eyes before leaping into the blood red light of lanterns.

The three slipped free from the camels, allowing the attendants to disrobe them before the temple, in the sands of their birth. "I trust you shall be in fair company, Kanika, but I must seek the offices regarding several matters." The gentleman turned his clean shaven face and young eyes upon the woman he had longed to take against the dunes every league of their ride.

She felt his longing as surely the water that cleansed her delicate hands freed of gloves and jewelry. Long lashes shadowed her amber eyes as she peered up to him. "Perhaps you would indulge me for dinner during our stay." The request accepted, he left grinning wider than their first meeting, eager to finish his own work if it meant waiting less.

Nodding to her own ghoul, she allowed him to seek rest as well, until she stood alone and naked before the temple. Waters and oils anointed her pale flesh until it shone bronze in the light. Yet never once did her attention stray to those women washing her skin or brushing her hair. This was the final night of moonlight. The next, she would complete the ritual and hopefully receive fair news.

Draped in white linens, eyes touched in lapis, gold marks of her station laid upon her palms and above her heart, Kanika moved before the temple wall. Symbols of men and women joined together in the ancient's art seemed to speak to her, as they always did. Memories tugged at her thoughts, yet no matter how she sought them, they departed before full remembrance.

Unsheathing a bronze blade from her skirt, she laid open a vein to pour over red sands held in a simple stone bowl. The sacrifice made, doors opened to admit her among the Fire Court of Set.
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:45 am

He had long since ended his pacing through the halls of Hagia Sophia, seeking the gardens laid between the cathedral and palace of the emperor. Shuttered lanterns provided a semblance of light, though the glow failed in the furthest corners. Yet for all the calm the night offered in perfectly manicured flowers, Rainer felt his patience shredding to fine threads. Too much had happened in this city, hands trading favors and deeds committed without uncovering. Malachite hinted at the horrors that passed, yet did not include him in confidence. Which led the man to a choice he loathed to consider. He only hoped speaking with the three would help change his mind.

Malachite arrived with the Baron and Natalya in tow, no words passing between them as they stood before the hunter. He strove to hide the shudder he felt when looking upon the Nosferatu, a compulsion he still could not break for seeing a true corpse before him. Yet the man took no offense, waiting until Rainer composed himself.

"You asked for a meeting with us. We were not all in agreement for this, but the legacy of your sire and your commended efforts in Avalon have swayed our judgement. If you would..." He pressed past Rainer into the darker areas of the garden. Natalya followed, a telltale warmth in her gaze when passing. The Baron waited, sniffing at the air and roving his eyes until Rainer ducked away to follow. Something seemed out of place to the Gangrel, yet he could not place it. Unsheathing his blade, he proceeded to make a round through the garden near them, ready to slide the metal through any watching, until his mind simply soothed. Nothing to fear, nothing to concern over. With a spin on his heel, he caught up to the others.

Gregorious slit his eyes as the vestiges of blood cooled in his veins. He did not wish to touch the mind of the mutt, but some things had to be done. Doubtful he would catch their words, the lord had to sincerely try. This man and his childer could destroy his plans, painstakingly built for nearly a century.

A chamber door opened in the dark on silent hinges, the wood and stone crafted to seem like part of the wall itself. When it would ever open, it still left a sense of vertigo until it seemed closed again. A strange thing that Rainer could not question and only accept. Within the walls, they moved in complete darkness in a looping circle, delving lower into the earth. Leaning against stone, with another manipulation of stone and catches, a door opened to lead within a crypt.

Malachite led them into the long thin chamber filled with ancient tombs. Skulls and bones laid in the walls, resting in the repose of old death. Rainer ducked his head realizing they stood within the charnal house of saints, the ancient popes, cardinals, and bishops that spoke in the church above. Yet a section they sought seemed far more lived in than the rest. A length of table seemed festooned with quills and parchment with a wall of carved sections to hold hundreds of scrolls and tomes. Fanciful artistry of demons and angels wound in a dance about them all with hands reaching out to clasp lanterns and candles. A simple cot remained near, tossed over with a thick blanket of hides and robes of office. So thin and rough, only a strict monk could have found a sense of peace when sleeping upon it.

"I could think of no place safer. I fear I do not have many chairs or bottles and goblets for proper entertainment." The proud Nosferatu offered his chair to the lady, who willingly took it with grace.

"Malachite, we are friends here beyond statesmen. If you wish pomp and circumstance, I can invite you all over to sit before my hearth. But even my walls may crawl with ears." Her lips turned in a pained smirk as Natalya tried to calm the scholar's nerves.

The Baron paced with a constant tapping of his clawed hands upon his sword and thigh. So cramped in the walls, he would soon lose his mind, but moments like these required silence the wilderness could not afford. "Let's be on with it, sirs."

Rainer remained standing at attention before Malachite, eyes as hooded and bright at the other's. "There was an attack upon my childer, a poison I could not place. I found the remnants of a cup and pestle recently used in her home, and gave them to Malachite for review."

No emotion displayed on the withered and torn flesh, just the rigid spine straightening further. "Yes. I had a trusted aid investigate the remains, and I fear...we have a quandary of sorts." Malachite turned to the lady and stalking warrior, pulling free his hands from the sleeves of his robes. A small scroll raised in his hand, marked in the wax seal and ribbon they both knew quite well.

Their reactions left Rainer far more concerned, grinding his teeth not to growl. "Malachite, you should have sought our counsel before sending such things...to that woman!"

"Natalya, no other understands the ways of death better than she. And yet, even she could not place the toxin. I am afraid we will need to consult others. Whoever sought to poison Maeve did so with something far more new, and deadly. It holds a sense of thaumeturgy."

The Baron strode to Malachite, gripping his wrist with a painful grip. "You are not meeting with Tremere. I forbid it."

"We need not seek them, my friend. There are others we could consider. But to do so, places us in a terribly public situation. Khay'tall and Myca." The entire room erupted in anger and disdain.

"Why not simply trot out the entire wealth of Michael to the people in the markets? Their prices will be astronomical, and hold us in a boon we dare not consider!" Natalya's eyes flashed with a fury that brought Rainer to her side. His hand laid on her shoulder, thrusting her back into her chair.

"I could have my child review these, but her would require materials and advice. The ways of alchemy are a study she seeks. And it may help to reclaim the memories lost." He kept his eyes upon Malachite's while restraining the Brujah.

"Do you think it wise, Rainer? You have yet to hear tale of the last poisonings fully." He moved to another section of scrolls to pull free a few sets. Gentle hands unrolled sheafs of careful drawings with latin descriptions. The sight was horrid, especially captured with the detail of a Toreador's hand. The images of languishing kindred seemed painfully lifelike, as if the scent and touch could be felt.

Malachite grasped the hand of Rainer, laying it upon the pages as he gasped in pain. "These were crafted by Michael in studying the dead. I am afraid there is no better way for you to understand."

Darkness fell over Rainer's mind as the images and feelings cascaded into him from the methusalah's creations. Every body laid in a form of torpor, burning with a strange fever, eating away at its own blood until it became a frenzied husk. Veins stood out in flaming red relief upon flesh. Forcing a stake through the heart only sped up the reactions. Nothing aided in slowing the rate of burning decay. At once, after hours of poisoning, the vampire hurtled themselves in a hungering frenzy upon a healthy vampire trying to aid them, passing the venom into them as well. Blood and bone burned, snapped, and fell upon itself as a maddening riot of bloodshed until those infected ran out of victims, fed upon each other, and fell into ash.

"Enough, Malachite!" Natalya wrenched free Rainer's hand, snapping his reality back into place, yet all he could hear was death. Legions of men in armor, slashing of swords, the horns demanding them continue. He was in the crusades again, leaping to claim a hunting blade from his belt and the throat of Natalya.

The Baron leaped upon Rainer's back, yanking his neck to the side and biting through leather and cloth to pull upon his blood. His arms pinned Rainer's from slicing further as Malachite pulled Natalya free. "Do not kill him! He's just been driven mad from the sight!"

The Baron tasted the man, every drop a bounty, oh so good, so good. The more the thrashed and spun, the harder he pulled to gulp and enjoy this vampire until finally the beast was sated. Yanking free his maw of a fanged mouth, he dropped the Malkavian who feebly shifted. "I know, Natalya. I've been where he has." Wiping the blood dripping from his beard, he hefted the hunter into his arms and laid him on Malachite's cot. "He needs blood and time. I'll stay with him." The Gangrel glared at the others as they moved to the halls quickly.

"I...I've...seen..." Rainer tried to speak through his ruined throat, eyes burning and intent.

"Seen this before?" The Malkavian's eyes closed and opened, unable to nod. "Where?"

"Iberia..."

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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:14 am

The firelight flickered and twisted, a randomness to the dancing that his mind simply enjoyed rather than calculated. How long had it been since he tasted such fine blood? Eyes slitting to the flame, he could scarce recall. Memories clawed to return, to brighten his mind and awaken senses long dulled to such thing. But something held them in check, always penned away like an unruly abhorrence.

Dracon fought to hold the crystal in his hand without crushing it. Fine cracks in the stem had begun, slow spidering throughout despite his best efforts. Yet his hands seemed to feel this crushing held a remembrance the brain in his head refused to connect. Yet in this place, this house, with his grandchild, he felt the lone stirrings compelled. He felt far more himself with Myca than he had in centuries of consideration.

A voice pulled him away from the room. The Follower of Set. Horus. The name and fear in the man returned to him as seen in the butchery. Fear he wanted, welcomed from others. Part of him wished to step from this chamber and engender that fear, twist and turn the kindred on a spit in the old ways. To glut himself on war.

The calm did not seek him immediately. And this alone gifted him with peace. Myca, why did Myca bring this power where no other could? He reconnected with their Carpathian brethren, completed alliances with Nortiz, had plans for caravans with the Ravnos, and delivered such terrible insights to his own sons. Sons...he should unmake.

The koldunics were correct, and he loathed for this to be so. Magic was something he hated and turned from. The only reason he did not consume Myca as his own was due to his heritage. Perhaps he would allow his grandchild to diablerize his childer. It seemed so fitting.

The door opened and closed as Myca stalked around him, eyes filled with a dark hunger without a single mote of fear. The pandering guise fallen away to the true ruthless creature he sensed upon meeting. A flicker of power and blood siezed Myca's steps, forcing him to his knees before the Dracon, as every thought screamed to be released.

Raising his hand, the Dracon gripped Myca's jaw solidly to twist and turn him at whim. "You remind me of someone in my past. His blood, I can remember only the faintest of tastes. But his mind, his face, jeers even now. He thought me weak, easy to control, sending me to Rome. How I thrived in the halls of Caesars. How I consumed the courts. Until Michael found me."

Myca sought to speak, but any shifting of tongue brought that agonizing grip harder. "If you aid me, Myca. I shall give you my childer."
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:01 am

Pain lanced through Vassily's head as if every blade in the world pierced it at once. His eyes swam in colors and motion as he opened them the merest crack. Every nerve and instinct screamed he was in danger, of the gravest sort, and yet he could not escape with such a terrible ache that left in near tears. What the hell did the woman do?

A sense of movement woke him further. A jostling of wood and creaks of wheels, the scent of barley hay, and a soft bit of cloth wrapped around him wiggled past the pain to let him know death had not come. Not yet. But he had been captured, perhaps by his rival.

He needed to find Horus. Blood burned in his belly, wrestling with his mind, desperate to send him running back. But where? The woman that arrived with Horus had taken him, the greek with bright green eyes. A witch perhaps from Lesbos. He had heard tales from other kupanias of the devil women of that isle, with eyes and bodies to tempt. So much loss for a moment of pleasure. But such a thing he did not dream of as his dying moments. No, he would share a meal alone now, summoning the ghosts of his now dead family to share those moments.

The thought brought fresh pain and determination. He could not die, lest their murders be not avenged. This war would be a long and crazed thing, filled with blood and mayhem. Vassily would savor this hatred, wield it as a sword, and tear apart hell if needed to destroy Constantinople and those within it.

For now, he rested and waited, hoping the splitting of his skull would end soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:50 pm

The streets of the northern ninth district darkened far more from a sense of depression and loss. Unlike the beauty of the city beyond, Malachite sought to retain the pain of this place. To remind those of nobility and the church what humility and want truly is, to hold hunger in his own blood, to humble himself. Born to wealth and prestige, he hated the people here and thought he could clear the place of horrors and craft his own legacy. Beyond all expectation, the people and their plight changed the Nosferatu far deeper than the curse of his blood.

Many in court thought him mad for embracing the degraded district, holding away all progression or aid. Only Malachite spoke with the destitute, provided for them, walking among the populace without hiding his visage. Few could look upon him and not scream or faint, but all of those he considered his own gained an understanding of the man they called the Rock more than any other.

To kill them now left him aching with a sadness that nearly cracked the strength he portrayed. Could he end those that accepted him, cleaned his wounds, harbored his children...and yet, they may have been the hands that sought their death.

Steps halting, he awaited only moments before another figure appeared from the shadows of two overhanging roofs leaning against each other as if tired and unwilling to stand. A man wrapped in soot stained linens and rusted plate armor saluted in a manner of Rome, fist upon his shoulder, eyes meeting his lord's.

"Leopold, I give you my thanks for staying by my side through this night. I cannot ask you to continue through every task, but I refuse another..." His words died as questions swam in his mind. Did he seek this route because of attacks upon his family or the lack of true cure? And what cure he could provide held a curse worse than death.

A pair of eyes nearly glowing in a blood red hue watched the nobleman, drawing taller and tighter in stance. "My liege, our hands and blades are yours to command. You gave us a home and duty, welcome us as sons and daughters. It is my honor." The words of the creature slithered wetly, so strange in contrast the brittle age of his look, something Malachite never delved further to understand.

"I only hope I am worthy of such trust." he could not meet those eyes, only look forward to the streets and buildings clouded in a haze of smoke, soot, and flies born from the metalworks and slavery his people bent under, a mockery of life yet it was theirs and no other. Even here there was pride. "Come."

They moved without cloaking their presence or changing their faces. Malachite swore to never hide himself, for they had no reason to bend and break before those of high blood. Yet he would not spit upon their faces or gloat at their discomfort. Michael understood, often tending the man in his first years of painful unlife where no other would. Not even his sire could bear to look upon his own child, facing the sun and scattering as worthless ash upon the earth before Hagia Sophia.

The Rock, so many called him thus, yet he felt himself roughly handled and fracturing to the core. His sons were missing, lost in the hovels and hollows of the ninth, chased after and feasted upon perhaps. Hiding if so lucky. Again his steps faltered to a stop. He could not do this.

"My liege?" The knight stood at his side, hand upon his shoulder. Each plated finger curled to grasp tightly. "Malachite, what troubles you?"

"They deserve to live. How can I blindly murder them as they so attacked my own in fear and hysterics? No...we shall give them the choice. If Michael and the three wish me to burn in the sun for this, so be it." Ruined lips formed a harsh line as those faltering steps became steadfast to seek the church he once hid within from the world due to his cruelly handled fate.

Fire and axes marred the wood of the twin doors, black paint marking them in crisscrosses. Through them he strode, destroyed in seconds to see the death of so many souls he tried to save. Traders and skillsmen, families, children, those welcomed from other lands driven out by villages and cities far to afraid to understand. Lepers were thought to be damned, the devil dancing in their flesh as a symbol for their horrible deeds. Leopold kept to his side as they slowly said goodbye to the fallen, covering the remains in what linen they could find. "I thought us beyond this, Leopold. I was a fool."

"Michael dreams and sees, but he remains blind to certain truths. This cannot be undone." hefting his blade, the knight brought them to the door Maeve spoke of, a secret Zielios added for a possibility such as this.

Kneeling, he laid a hand upon the stone seeing nothing that gave tale of what happened, only ghosts of images. Further into the passage he roamed, again and again pressing his hands and burning his blood. Fear and fire. Men came and rushed through. His children's faces caught in horror, one struck down. One taken. And one seeking the underdark in fear.

Leopold grasped Malachite to drag him from the hall, unsure of the sudden blood welling about his eyes. "We will find them. I swear this."

Yet he did not respond, only pushed past seeking the long bell cord to pull single-handed. A peeling of bells tolled through the night, and what life remained in the district paused and gathered slowly to meet it.

Assembled before the church, Leopold pulled free his ancient blade, marked and nicked from endless toiling, a stamp of the crusades in the pommel. Yet Malachite did not pull his, only stood solemnly before the church waiting. The humans arrived in small numbers, eyes roving in fear upon seeing those that stood before the church, the sword and armor a plain warning their presence sought justice.

Malachite watched them, the words of Maeve in his thoughts. Fever that seems to burn them alive to husks, the blotches of redness on skin is the explosions of tiny vessels, which would lead to large lesions. Rheumy eyes, cracked lips, incessant coughing. Only a few seemed to harbor such conditions, though if from the black death, he could not rightly determine.

"It seems we have had an incident with the church, perhaps sickness found in families through the neighborhoods. Such a thing I would expect you to seek my counsel for. But here, I find fire and the mark of death upon my family's home. What lays in this place has been a hospice for you and yours, a place to seek refuge, not the seeds of illness to strike as a wildfire." Leopold shifted slightly as his liege's hands curled into fists, eyes sought out lies, and voice tempered with anger.

"I ask you to speak, tell me of your plight and what has become of my own. Or I shall be forced to move house to house investigating the ill with a heavy hand. I wish not to do this, but any actions of charity shall not be given if it is considered suspect or set afire again."

No one spoke. No one met those painful eyes. He knew this answer swiftly. Guilt. "So it is then. I wish the sick brought to this church, volunteers to cleanse it. The mob will be dealt with. Warn them, and share their fate." A snarl snapped at his jaws as the Rock of Constantinople assuredly would fall upon all of them, smiting them into ruin.
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:04 pm

Shabah returned after a series of nights and days to the small old shop she had taken residence within. The keepers never noticed her arrivals and leaving, only that the night was so very peaceful in the past year, hardly ever a sound. Extreme care went into every stride taken, as she slipped from the roof through a window in the kitchen. Her eyes roved the stocks of food and ales, taking note of the grains consumed, the cleanliness of plates. Every secret laid in details. Thankfully, not a spot of blood was found, detailing their remained still free and unmarked by kindred.

Raising a trap door laid heavy with a basket of grains and fruits, Shabah disappeared with her shadow as the shop keep and his wife slept so blissfully deep above. Beyond the simple storage of hides and herbs, the cainite pressed open another smaller door, barely discernible to lead within the nearest sewer. Dry earth and rough hewn walls met her fingertips. Senses pressed forward to catch every sound and edge, until finally a hand laid to hers as a blade leaped to it.

"Hold, Shabah. Simply I." Achmet leaned near, words soft as breathes, curling his fingers tighter about her hand as she deftly pulled away.

"Do not intrude where you are not welcomed." A whirl of veils left him holding only thick linen and shadows, as she seemed to disappear before his senses.

The vampire could only smile and close his mind to seeking hers, the third eye shut. "My apologies, I only wished to see what you have."

Her voice echoed around him, such a shifting of sound, he could not pinpoint exactly where Shahbah could be. "Ask if you must. But such things are not yours to know, mentalist."

Achmet moved to the small place they called a home, stone covered and barred by slates of wood, old blankets, far from the domain once his before the killing time. Before the usurpers stole their progenitor.

"When you wish to speak, I shall be here." He never quite knew if she heard his words, remained hidden, or had already left.

-- * * * --

Darkness and quiet flowed around Shahbah again as she traveled through Hathor. For centuries, she warred in the old and secret ways for the Black Hand. And yet for giving her everything she had, they also took everything she embraced away. Rarely had she concerned herself with the questions of morality and ethics. Since her return to Constantinople and the scroll's arrival from her sire, did she ever consider those left behind.

Strange memories surface, old thoughts connected with smells and items found in the markets or homes of those she cleansed. Diablerie welcomed a life within. Since the arrival of Achmet, those reflections occurred more often. And now a Ravnos danced through her blood. The debt to the Setite cleared with this killing. Despite the war between Followers of Set and her own clan, declared and demanded of all of the blood, she found an interest in Horus.

The whoremaster held an interest in his district, the people and buildings, that could blossom into a true sense of leadership. His demand held a sound reasoning, especially with the crime. As she laid the dish reclaimed from Tereza's stash back upon his table, she considered next steps. Pulling free a scroll, she hid it within the dish and left as quietly as she came.
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:38 pm

Sitting in the layers of blankets and mats, Shabah dropped her face into her hands. Elbows rested on her knees as she looked like a messed wench far more than the trained assassin she was. Lengths of black hair that swept to the back of her knees had crimps and curls, tangled to hang like a veil over henna tattooed flesh.

"Why did I sleep with him. Sins of my fathers, why..." Her fingers tipped in black and red rubbed hard at eyes that scrunched closed. Decades had passed since she laid last with her husband, a man she should kill but could not. The contracts weighed heavily upon her, each and every one sent by the black birds and shadow hands. No matter how she sought to understand why the mountain sent these messages to kill key members of the Ventrue clan within the Mediterranean, the overarching machinations slipped from her. Perhaps in hundreds of years, she might have the ability to understand or the deaths would soon include her own.

Falling back into the cot, she burned blood to feel the fabric of the blankets, smell their mingled scent. Her fingers heavily marked henna traipsed over her lips, trying to burn the memory of such a simple interaction before she deemed it folly and forgot. "Stupid woman, so very stupid." Yet she still spent a few more minutes smiling before work would call her away.

A brush soon ran through the tangles of her hair, layers of robes and blades pulled over her, and finally the final defense of a long black veil to hide who she truly was. Shabah unfurled a lengthy scroll, rereading the steps and requirements with a set of dates, names, and ways in which they must die. The time for relaxing was far over.

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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:35 am

Pain lanced through the flesh, radiating from pinpoints to the far edges like the tides of the sea. It crashes with little ebbing, no matter how still he may try to be. And yet, Every few minutes, he screamed with the fierceness of a man who knows death is coming.

Memories flashes behind his eyes as a maddening cacophony of images assailed the spar of sanity remaining. "Blood...blood is everywhere!" He raised his hands seeing them as Maeve's, as every drop was forced literally from the veins. "No...no please...daughter..."

He failed again. His family long distanced, wife dead and forgotten even by maggots and worms in the earth of Austria. And just the other evening, he shared a draught of precious blood he kept on the night of his embrace, celebrated painfully as the end of all he had cherished. Now, he would loose her. And then himself. He could not let this stand, not by an upstart child of Malkav with some strange delusional hatred of a vampire he barely knew.

"Horus...HORUS...free me and hand me the sword...I need to kill him, he's killing us. Don't you see? Another set of bodies hung from the willows, to make a whistling on the wind." He tore at his clothing, the bed soaking in his blood sweat. "Set me free...set me free...he must pay for these sins as surely as I must for destroying my own. Their eyes lay on me, fingers digging into my body... Horus...Horus you have to...spill my veins, every drop every bit of me. I tell her and she does this to herself? NO! DO THIS TO ME!"

He screamed at the images of Maeve, knowing what she did to herself was the answer for him. But she didn't understand. No one did. Were they crazy? Why did they not believe or listen? He was not mad, but sane, wholly sure in the answer. "I have seen this...Iberia...please I do not want to return, but must. Drain my life, Horus. Drain my life!"
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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:48 am

"Is it incredulous to think so early that I have won?" Myca smiled as he sat before a mirror, to peer at himself. With absolute care, he worked at his flesh to raise a brow, thin a bone.

Another voice replied, finer in pitch, though cold in calculation. "Quite. The first step has been taken, but you are a fool to include Horus in these designs. Why bring this..this...false child into the fold? Do you love him?" The final words held so much venom, he could only laugh.

"Love? Oh perish the thought. No, I am intrigued. He is unlike all of these simple Turks and spineless thin bloods. His is a mind that would rule well in the Balkans and embrace the ideals of the Carpathians. I imagine only Rustovitch would understand."

The lady scoffed, smacking the table with force to make the mirror shake as he worked. "You play a most dangerous game with the elder. You know if he understood your true birth, he would gut you letting the blood flow into the earth rather than drink of it. A Tremere embraced by Tzimisce, and an exile at that! Death would be a blessing for us. One they would kindly grant." Fingers wrapped around his shoulders, pressing gently to harshly.

"I implore you, think rationally. We do not need this kind of drama or tie."

Frowning into the mirror, he watched those fingers, plucking them back from his shoulders. "I have considered all of this. Don't you understand, Sasha? There is nothing but the game. The elders thrive upon such things, and they will war once the pieces I provide are given. The Dracon will regain his place. I will glut myself on my sire. My knowledge will not only be hated but appreciated in the war. I am the OMEN! Don't you see? I herald this doom upon those that would toss me aside. Goratrix believed me too weak, too much a threat, and refused me entry. Perhaps he even left signs for the Dracon to take my cabal. I lived. No other. And they granted this dark gift upon me."

His hand curled tightly, work done to shift and change his countenance from male to female. With a final burning of blood, his voice became hers. Sasha now sat in the chair he worked from. His greatest masterpiece.

"Yes. I do." And she smiled. And she laughed.

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PostSubject: Re: Such Secrets Born... (Storyteller's Journal)   Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:04 pm

The slow pulling of whittled wood inched from Malachite to leave behind a cavity marked in dried blood and a hollow hole. Splinters sliced deeper into the waste of his chest, sparking the ability to react yet again to the world around him. Yet the grinning fiend above him did not remove the stake fully to keep it within inches as a vile threat.

The reserves of blood in his body left him hungering painfully, else he would have burnt just enough to heal and test the bonds on wrists and feet. For now, he had to play this game despite how he hated it.

"Gregarious, how I should have known? Is that your thinking in this moment of glory?" Looking like nothing more than a husk of rotted corpse pulled from a pike, the Nosferatu still exuded the regal confidence Lasombra once craved.

Hands darkened from blood tapped at the stake, sending spikes of pain and tenderness through his prisoner. He never spoke or rose to the taunts, only moved around the table studying his captive critically to find where he must have a weakness. Every man had one, even the Rock.

His circuit ended behind Malachite's head, just out of range of his eyes. Without that connection, he could not dominate the noble. Yet the Malkavian did not require it in turn.

As the Nosferatu awaited what tortures would come, Gregarious began the slow work of entering his mind. Thoughts drifted in layers, looking as if nothing had changed, the room and sensations remained the same. The journey would begin and follow always with reality. It was his terrible trick.

Eyes opening wider, the chaos of prophecy danced with his abilities of telepathy to hone in on what truths laid in the cranium laid betwixt his hands. This shall be so sweet...
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