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 The Silent Flute : A New Song [History of TEN / INVITE] 
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Location: Alt of Kaz
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Folding the flag she placed it carefully into a pouch of the leg of her catsuit, she stood knees belt, back to the turret of the tower contemplating her next move. Three items remained from the list, the bottle of Fernabergian wine, the scroll and the lock of hair, she had an idea how she was going to get a lock of hair from the duchess, she knew that the wine would be kept in the locked wine celler under the keep, but the scroll was a more daunting prospect, for the main reason that she had no idea where to find one. She swung herself out over the lip of the tower legs hanging down into the blackness below her and slowly started her descent. She had passed a window near the top of the tower, and it was there that she decided for her next destination. The wind, recently picked up in fury, whistled around the heights causeing her to have to work much more carefully less she get blown from the face of the tower to plunge to her doom on the courtyard slabs far below her.

Eventually an area of greater blackness appeared on the surface of the wall below her, swinging her legs through the tower window she entered a room at the very top of the tower. The darkness inside was complete, even her advanced elven eyesight struggled to make out any kind of shapes in the pitch blacknes of the tower room.

She changed.

The features of her beautiful elven face hardened, her eyes became sunken black orbs within a corpse-like white skin and her canine teeth lenthened by an inch or two. In her vampiric form, the darkness of the room, became less of an obstruction and more of a homely environment. She could now see exactly where she had ended up. The room itself was circular, taking up the entire size of the towers internal area. Sat in the centre of the room was a dusty table, it was empty however like much of the rest of the room, the only other items in the room being the ancient wooden chair at the edge of the empty table and the twisting stairwell descending into the depths of the tower. She walked over to the stairway and started her descent, still enshrouded by a totality of black. The stairwell passed several doors on the way down. All were locked until she opened them using her picks, but nothing of import was contained within the spiderweb and dust filled rooms. Downwards she continued.

A point of light appeared in the darkness below her as she descended, turning the corner of the stairway she could see the cause of the light. This area of the tower must still be in use, torches in sconces were placed at a regular interval along the wall. Knowing that she was now in more populated area, she sensed the danger of her current appearance. As she withdrew her knife to silence anyone unlucky enough to meet her from this point onwards, she reverted back to her elven form. The flickering torchlight cast dancing shadows apon the walls of the stairwell as she continue to the base of the tower. Opening the door that would, she asumed take her back into the courtyard she was surprised.

Instead of the expected courtyard the doorway opened into an upper level of the castle. The tightness of the twist of the stairs must have been greater than she had anticipated causing her to wonder whether she was above or below ground. The chamber she had walked into was vast, the walls near to the doorway contained torches, but after several feet of wall the torchlight ended and the room extended into darkness. Taking a torch from the wall, she walked between two of the rows of shelving that filled the library, thousands apon thousand of tomes and scrolls filled the shelves to eitherside of her and extended up into unseen heights of the room. Scattered at regular intervals were huge ladders. She placed a hand onto one, and noticed that it could be moved along the face of the shelving.

At the far side of the row she was following was another door, this time no visable lock was there to be picked, deciding that this was the likely place that any scrolls of major import would be kept, Islia felt over the surface of the wood searching for any kind of mechanism to use to open the door. Of fault or mechanism or secret trick, she found nothing. Next she searched the frame for anything that was out of the ordinary, again she found nothing. Preparing herself she turned her shoulder to face the door and tried to open it by force, it stayed where it was. Her arm, now bruised from the doors complete lack of give throbbed in pain, and she stepped back defeated. She walked away from the door looking for anything to open it with but saw nothing, when she was ten yards away however she heard a click. Startled she turned back towards the door, but nothing had changed. Bending she felt the floor in front of her, surrounding the doorway by ten yards in all directions was a single slab. careful comparasons found it to be raised slightly higher than the rest of the library's floor. She stepped onto the raised area and again heard the click as it lowered slightly.

Realisation slowly dawned on her. The door was only locked when a person was stood near enough to actually go through it. But how would she get to the door, without standing on the floor around it, it was easily too far for her to leap, especially as she had no knowledge of whether her hunch was the correct one. Suddenly the answer came to her and she turned and walked back through the bookshelves. Grabbing the base of one of the sliding ladders she pulled it along the shelving towards the door. As the ladder approached the end of the case she allowed it to slide on its own. As the ladder approached the end of the bookcase, Islia was just readying herself to climb to the top to see how she could separate the ladder from its place, when the ladder reached the end of the shelf and continued to slide, falling to to floor as the rail ended along with the shelf. Islia dived out of the way to avoid the falling ladder and cursed the loudness of sound that it created.

Ducking into the shadows she hid, heart beating frantically as she remembered Rory's warning not to be seen. Time passed slowly and eventually Islia decided that no-one was coming to investigate the out of place sound from within the library. She picked up the ladder and walked up to the door way, placing it against the wall slightly to the right of the door, walking backwards she pulled the foot of the ladder until it extended out beyond the raised area of floor and listened for the click. Climbing onto the ladder she carefully made her way rung from rung until she reached the doorway, putting her hand on the door she pushed, and smiled as it slowly opened inwards. Leaping from the ladder into the now opened room beyond the door, Islia gasped at the amount of scrolls that filled the room. In the centre was a glass box containing a single scroll. Removing the glass cutter from her lockpick set, she opened a circluar hole and reached through to grab the third item on her list. A scroll of lesser power.

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Mistress of the Immortal Flute
Islia Darklight. Assassin and Immortal
Follower of the Cult of Intop


Fri Nov 22, 2002 12:49 pm
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She could have sworn that she could still smell the scent of the wine merchant's, its taste teasing her tongue as it grew ever fainter. The deed had hardly taxed her skills, but the half-gurgled screams of the drowning man had pleased her no end. He had struggled as Esharee had held him under, limbs flaying about manically as he stared death in the face. She'd pulled him up a couple of times, letting him get his breath back before forcing him under again. The delight at watching him think that he would live and then watching the fear return, increased in strength, as she pushed him down again, oh yes that had been well worth the effort. No doubt his foul vineyward would soon be back in business, held together by the man's widow or another of his relatives. Though the poor quality of his product had been the reason that she'd taken it upon herself to condemn him to death, the thought of the vineyard continuing to operate didn't concern her. She had killed the man responsible for supplying the wine that had offended her senses so, let another kill the next wine merchant if the ware continued to be so ill.

The shape-changer prowled onwards, switching between her forms depending on the terrain that she had to cover. There was no great hurry for her to get anywhere, but Esharee had always enjoyed her 'calling' in life and she was eager to see what new challenges had been presented to her in her absence. Those that knew of her beyond the rumours knew how to contact her and she would occansionally see what new delights and deaths were required. Who knew what made her take one job and ignore another? Esharee could easily be offered two targets, apparently the same in all respects, and accept one while ignoring the other for no easily seen cause.

Each assassin and hired killer had their own means of being contacted, using middle-men and -women to prevent getting caught by those that bore them grudges for past completed jobs. Esharee had developed her own means of getting work, one that gave her some distance from her would-be employers till she decided to accept their commision. In every major city that had a gallows there were always the scaffold-widows, old women dressed all in black with blackened teeth and even blacker humours. They always sat there, waiting for the next unfortunate to meet the executioner, cackling as they watched the jerking bodies of the hanged men or the stain of the blood that leaked out from those that had lost their heads...literally.

These women, these hags that amused themselves in the deaths of others, were almost kindred souls to Esharee and so it was to them that she turned when she had set herself up as an assassin of the lands. Any who wished to reach the shape-shifter had only to leave a message with one of the gallows-widows, detailing what was needed and the coin offered. The old women knew little of what they were a part of, few of them could read the messages they were given and those that could knew better than to read the letters that were meant for Esharee. She would turn up in a city and wind her way in the form of a small grey cat about the ankles of the old women. They knew to look out for the cat, thinking it no more than a pet of their benefactor, not realising the true nature of their 'employer'. If they had messages for Esahree they would give them to the cat, recieving a copper coin for their service and their silence.

Only one had ever dared try to double-cross the assassin, making false offers and expecting to be paid for each that she passed on. Esahree's fury at such trickery had known no bounds and the unpleasant death of the crone had spread far and wide. But that was just as the cat-shifted had wanted, what was the point of making an example of one of her employees if no one ever heard of it? And they had heard of it as parts of the gallows-widow had 'turned-up' all over the city that she had called home.

After that one time none of the hags had ever tried to scam more coin out of the assassin, they saw enough of death to want to feel its embrace just yet. Though if that ever changed Esahree would be only too glad to dispatch them, though the ends she bought were far more protracted than any that the executioner provided.

_________________
It's all in the eyes, Those probing, prowling eyes
Searching for that signal, That flash of invitation
So many confusing questions, Packed into so many snatched glances
So many strangled cravings, Crying out to be explored


Mon Nov 25, 2002 4:53 pm
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The image seered into his mind. the obese centaur, with an evil looking knife and a almost amused grin.. but where did it come from? So many images adn tehy all blurred togehter now-- they all seemed liek memories, but they didn't all fit together correctly.. were they his memories? did he steal them from someone else?

Images of great libraries housing tomes and scrolls seemed faint but important, and crowds of people surrounding him who loved him-- tha tseemed important too.. but this was all the madness.. he had to king the witch-king's head and the eyes soon, before he stopped knowing what was madness and what was reality..

HIs liche-driven nature to gain magical knoweldge at all costs pulled at him as he tracked down the assassin of his humonculus, the eyes were all that was important. HE moved with onerous certainty that the madness would be made clear when reuinted wth the witch-king's eyes.. but repairing the damage would not be so easy.. especailly if he didn;t know who else's memories were mixed with his own..


Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:15 pm
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Bearing through Rorshach's diatribe, the Duke new he had been playing with fire when hring Vret, but it was an opportunity that had prevented itself and he had been loathe to refuse. Hindsight was always clearer and not informing his friend and ally was indeed a mistake. But what was Vret doing here and now? Trying to retaina calm demeaner, he first addressed the man, "Vret? I take it that you would seek payment upon final delivery of proof.. your manner of presentation, while quite full of style, is lacking in proper ettiquette." The Duke reached into a drawer where there should have beena small sack of coin. Finding nothing, he turned to Rory.

"Well, if Master ROrshach we be so kind, I believe he has found your payment along with the fine elixer he is imbibing and would see fit to pass it along to you. I have little desire for trophies, and you may keep the evidence of the deed as a personal momento of the occasion." Relaxing a bit in his chair, he smoothed his tunic and waited for Rory to deliver the sack of coins before continuing, "Due please feel free to join the festivities. There is plenty of strong drink and food out in the Great Hall. Master Rorshach and I hav ematters of some import to discuss and your discression of the moment is expected"


Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:49 pm
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The obese centaur laughed as Vret apologized.."THere be no need for apologizin' You be not knowin' o' deals between Boorland and meself. 'Tis him that brought me ire to the fore! And be no concerned with Glendale.. they be no more'n rank amatuer's.. The Flute do be different, but we be no always for hire.."

Rory laughed again as the Duke notice dthe missing money pouch. Adding it to wahte he was already juggling, he let is be seen a few times before sending it over to Vret. The centaur hoped the other man would notice later that it was heavy by half again as many coins as it had been in the Duke's drawer. The note, however, Rory was certain that the man would eventually notice.

"The party do indeed be gramd. lad.. and the Duchess be a fleet dancer if you care to try not to stumble half as much a Boorland do usually.. But the food.." An amlost wistful look entered his eye, "there be few finer cooks that I did be havin' the pleasure of pilfering.. succulent beeef and cakes that do be meltin' in the mouth! Enjoy, lad!"

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Echo of the TEN (AGM)
Life is as you perceive it to be


Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:09 pm
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Only two items remained now on Islia's list, and she was determined to collect them with a little finesse. She wondered back through the library and tried to work out exactly where she was in relation to the outside courtyard, based on her newly aquired realisation that the curve of the stairway had been more intense than she had initially supposed. She walked upwards until she reached the second door, that she assumed would lead back outside, and smiled as her theory was rewarded. The courtyard was still quiet, nobody had yet discovered the bodies of the guards by the dungeons, and she hoped that they would not do so for a while longer. She estimated that they would wake soon, and when they did they would most likely raise the alarm. With that realisation Islia decided that it may be best to change out of her assassins garb, and collect the last two items from within the party. One of the walls ran from the tower to the grain silo where she had left her more suitable garb. Quickly and silently she made herway back towards her hiding place, apon arrival laying the three items apon the ground beside her red dress.

For the second time that night she changed from black catsuit to revealing red dress, goosepimples covering her white skin as the cool night air blew through the drafty silo. As the dress again covered her nakedness Islia reached down and added the flag, keys and scroll to her 'goody-bag', one that had been specifically chosen to be usefull for an assassin and to go well with her formal evening attire. She knew that if anybody had noticed her inside the keep before they would not notice the addition of a dainty black leather bag to her outfit, and if they did, would likely think nothing of it.

Back in the Great hall, Islia noted that more guests had arrived for the feast. A trio of musicians were stood apon a dais in one corner playing a lively tune upon a pair flutes and a harp, she smiled thinking how appropriate the pair of flutes were for this evening. Various members of the aristocracy danced together to the tune, spining one partner off towards the next noble in line and recieving another women in her ball gown to continue the dance. Islia, however was not here for dancing and music. She knew what she needed and that was a quill and two scraps of quality parchment. A copy of the ducal seal would make life easier, but she thought the plan she intended would, most likely work better without. Accosting one of the servants Islia explained how she was in urgent need to write to one of the guests, as she would soon be forced to leave. Nodding and smiling the servant winked and disappeared with a promise to bring two pieces of paper and something for her to wite with. Turning back to watch the dancing Islia waited for the young man to return.

She did not have to wait long, her senses picking him up as he approached. She turned just before he reached her, and smiled at his surprise. Servants were used to not existing as far as the nobility were concerned, and Islia thought that most likely this young lad had expected to have to make his arrival noticable. Thanking him for his aid, she took the means to achieve possetion of the last two items with her and ducked out through a serving door. Nobody was on the other side, so she quickly found herself a surface to write her two messages.

Passing the finished letters to another servant with express direction to go directly to the duke with one and the duchess with another, and not to address anybody on route, she turned and started towards the gardens. Where the second part of her plan would take effect.

_________________
Mistress of the Immortal Flute
Islia Darklight. Assassin and Immortal
Follower of the Cult of Intop


Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:28 pm
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Duchess Boorland stood in her chambers on the upper floor of the quarters she shared with her husband the Duke. She had come upstairs to check upon the children, and now she stood with three maids of acute physical beauty gathered around her to making sure her outfit for the evening was still in prestine condition. A huge marble framed mirror stood in front of her, giving view to the beautiful lady of the keep. Upon her head lay a thin golden circlet embedded with rubies and emeralds that glistened in the light caused by the ornate golden candelabra that hung suspended from the high ceiling. Her face had already been painted earlier in the evening, crimson blusher on her cheeks and a black liner to show her long lashes, were met by a finely painted set of blood red lips. But she stood as her maids reapplied just enough make-up to make it look fresh and natural. Her dress, green silk, clung to her shaply figure like a second skin, the frills at the cuff hiding the whiteness of her wrists. A plain golden chain now hung around her neck with a cross of a genstone as black as ebony suspended from the end.

She turned to the sound of a servant requesting access to her chambers. A young male, not long in service entered carrying a rolled up piece of parchment. Taking it from him, she dismissed him with a curt nod, and turned to dismiss her serving girls, who had already anticipated her request and were already near the door to the chambers. She smiled at the ability of her maids to read her mind, while reminding herself to berate them for taking thier leave before she had ordered them too. A cusioned stool stood before the mahogany dresser to her left and she stepped over to it and sat, lifting her dress to ensure that it was not spoiled in any way. The dress had not been designed for sitting, but for dancing.

She opened the letter that had been sent from her husband.

Quote:
My Darling,

Business has kept me away from your beauty for far too long, I would look apon you before I am forced to share you with the nobility that has gathered for a free meal at my expense. I long to enjoy one of the rare bottles of the Fernebergian red, that we have been saving for a special occassion with you before we are forced into the formailites of entertaining. I shall meet you in the gardens beside the climbing roses shortly, my love. Bring two glasses and the wine and we can enjoy them together.

Your Husband


Her husband, ever the romantic, caused the Duchess to smile. The smile lit up her face and what had been a beautiful women before, now became stunning. She walked over towards the doorway knowing that the servant that dilivered the message would be waiting for her response, and sent him to get a bottle of wine and two glasses from the cellar.

_________________
[center]Beauty always comes at a price
Duchess Boorland
[/center]


Last edited by Duchess Boorland on Sun Dec 01, 2002 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Nov 30, 2002 5:00 pm
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He looked down at the bag of gold with a great feeling of disdane. He found it bothersome how they measured his talents in terms of wealth. "M'lords, if it were truly about money, I would of already have taken the coin and slipped away without you none the wiser." Vret had said as he tossed the half empty bag back onto the table. "Second, there is no prize for me in this. You had sought a deed done, and I had accomplished it. But see, it is not I who owes a price. Ettiquette was not what I was seeking. I do not wish to be linked to this, so I had it brought prior to my arrival."

Grimacing only slightly, Vret spoke verbatim the terms of the contract as followed, "... by terms of this contract in actions definitive through my own means...." It amazed him how often a person was willing to agree to his terms without ever seeing truly what they were agreeing to. Was this duke like any other? Vret was not a service man, someone you told to do a job and then pay him idolly for his time. No!

He paced once the front of the desk as he spoke. His fingers touched the half opened box of the head that lay within it. "Sir, it had come to my intention that one of your lords dared to speak trust to your face had conspired agaisnt you through this man that I had dispatched. The true enemy of your kingdom is not the head you see in the box, but one that you have confided in and had called friend." He then walked away from the box, picking back up his chalice to take another draught of brandywine.

"Lastly, I vowed to define the action. What i seek from you is not, but something worth much more." He could see their eyes looking at him inquisitively. "What I ask of you is to flush out the traitor."

"Take this head, and mount it. Take this head, and show it to all your advisors and those you call friends. Tell them 'this is what happens to those who destroy my lands and my people'!"

Vret then turned swiftly around. He had taken the note out of the bag prior to him throwing it down. Handing it back to Rorshach, he said "After he has found this traitor and has killed him, only then will I speak to you. And to answer your question; yes."

He was not interested in the wine or festivities. Happiness had long fleated away from him. The savage who had murderd and killed thousands lay right her within these walls, and dared to pretend to call himself a lord! Regretfulkly, Vret knew not who it was. But, by killing the traitors link he hoped to flush the man out. Only then would he be able to avenge the deaths of so many innocent people.

He was almost inclined to kill every single one of the lords, but that would make him no better than he. Returning back to his rented room, he packed his belongings. Staying here would no longer be safe. He would move again to another location before the night was out. The idea of this 'Flute' organization knowing of his whereabouts bothered him even more. He did not trust that centaur, not in the slightest. It also bothered him how he didnt even see the thing come up on him. Bothered him.

Pulling out the letter from his pocket, he looked at it again. It read simply, "Elegy?" to which he replied 'yes'. He had served for a time within the guard of Elegy, but that was a long time ago. It also meant that this Rorshach knew exactly who he was, and that this man was much more talented than what he had let on. Luckily for himself, he didn't judge the books he read by the cover. He knew Rorshach and he would meet again, but next time it would be on more agreeable terms.

He left the note on the counter, writing more on the back and front of the paper. If Rorshach was good enough to know who he was, then he would already know where he was staying, this made him moving that much more prudent. Finishing the note, he placed it next to the mirror and wash basin. A man skilled enough to find him would be more than worthy to speak to on level terms. There were greater plans afoot than simple meets and wines, all he could think of was images of wars.. and lives.

And if the duke didn't do as he said? Then his family would suffer his mistake, though Vret could not unserstand why the duke would try to safeguard a saidest and murderer. Showing the head to the traitor was a sure way to make the man nervous, and when he tried to flee, he woudl be captured and killed. If the man escaped, then he woudl know who he was. But, Vret did not want this man knowing of him. Not yet. It was not the time.

He thought of the mass grave he had witnessed by his own eyes, back in the days of his servie within the army. Mass graves of whole villages, slaughtered by the hands of that man. But, like a camillion, the man had vanished. He didn't even know what that man looked like. Thinking of what he saw otrtured his mind. It burned in his head like a fiery poker.

There truly was a price on that witch-kings head, it was called vindication!

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Sat Nov 30, 2002 9:42 pm
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The private meetig with the Duke did not take long; Boorland always had all of his documentation in order for the master assassin. Rory would always ask a question or two, btu the information at his disposal from his eyes and ears was often much more current, accurate, and detailed than what teh duke could offer. Quickly the discusion turned to the topic of Vret.

"While I do no be likin' to play games, me old friend, it do be true that herre teh evil do be necessary. When ye be no able to be trustin' a friend, it be a stranger that you need to be seein' the truth. The traitor do be someone too close, and we'd be blind to what he be sure to plainly see." Downing the remains of his glass, the palamino centaur continued, "Just be you ready, there'll be a double price to pay; one do be from your heart when we be findin' the person, and another from Vret when he do be findin' us out."

Idly picking up the sack of coin the other assassin had left behind, he tossed it back to the Duke. Rory handled it long enough to notice the paper had been removed and smile to himself. It was then that their was a cautious knock on the door and a message boy entered witha note for the Duke.

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Speak softly and carry The Big Flute
Echo of the TEN (AGM)
Life is as you perceive it to be


Tue Dec 03, 2002 4:40 pm
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Rorshach was right-- but the damn centaur was always right. Vret hadn't taken the money, and he was the prefect choice to ferret out the guilty party without teh passion or prejudice that either of them could manage then the situation was this close to home. Why did it seems to always get more and more complicated to live life when all we are living for is to enjoy the simple things from whihch we get our pleasures...

The knock on the door reminded the Duke how long they had been away from the party-- the Duchess would likely have his head when she caught up with him. Opening the door, he fond a very nervous page waiting witha message for him. Thanking the lad, Boorland dismissed him and broke the seal of his wife to read the note:

Quote:
It was been long since I had the opportunit to steal away as we did when you were frst courting me, husband. So now it is my turn to send you notes for us to secretly meet! I shall have a special surprise awaiting you in the garden, by teh climbing roses.. come quickly!


Chuckling to himself, the duke looked t o his friend witha sly grin and commented, "Rory, while you enjoy your multifude of relationships.. don't forget that you are cheatig ourself of the opportuinty of reliving old memories somehow forgetten through time. A beautiful woman awaits my attention!"


Wed Dec 04, 2002 2:43 pm
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Placing his bets upon the table, he smiled as greasily as he could as he watch the card unfold infront of him. He loathed gambling, but it had always come easy to him, knowing which card would come next and what the other had holding in his hand. Reflecting back down upon the cards, he forced his hand to a loss. It was best to not always win. He cared little for what he won, but he wanted to let the mark know he had money, and above all wasn't afraid to gamble. Picking up the cards, a new hand was delt, with new wagers.

He had already checked into the casino lounge. Though gambling was prohibited in this town, it wasn't hard to find an establishement that housed it. Here, he had found his mark, but this wasn't where he first caught sent of the trail.

After leaving the other inn he had packed up all his belongings. To be honest, Vret had no idea who he could trust. This included the duke and the Flute organization. The best way for him to hide woudl be to take host within one of the Flutes own underground casinos. He had come to realize how the operation worked. The top levels were dedicated to a fine resturant and lodging, while underneath lay an elaborate casino with various tables and booths.

Vret was pretty sure how the money transfered between parties, but what the average casino patron didn't realize was the politics involved.

Several years ago, the dukes cabinet had banned gambling, which had forced the activity underground. By providing kickbacks to certain individuals, treatening or killing others, and providing a strick public control, it ensured only a select few would hold such illegal casino's. These individuals would in turn pay the city a considerable fee to operate these casino's.

The rewards were astronomical. The city had gone from bankruptcy to a capitolist empire. But, to keep the public or others from becoming aware of it, they introduced the money as tax revenues and commodities surplus. Even though it wasn't right, it still looked good on the books. So how did the witch-king play a part in all this?

The duke didn't know about the operation until (as Vret tried to reason) Rorshach told him. This prompted the duke to audit the books, and there in lay the problem. All excessive transations were said to have come or had went to this witch-king, who was not much in the buisness to trade with anyone. Killing the witch-king severed that avenue of approach. It eliminated the ability of the those involved to pilfer the money. It froze their transations without any reasonable means to make that money viable.

Placing down his hand, he smiled. Yet again he had won.

To the right of him stood the man who was skimming the money from the illegal casino's. He had seen him as the man brought back several sacks of coins to the back room. WHen Vret had sent the head of the witch-king to the duke, the package woudl have been opened, and this woudl have alarmed them to stop all transactions. So, all money on hand would have to be returned until another suitable kingdom to laundry the money. But what were they planning to use all this money for? Who was laundring money for a government consented illegal operation? It seemed very much like stealing from yourself, to Vret.

But Vret knew who this person was. The man pilfering the money was a murderer, a torturer, a defiler in the most hideous of ways. Vret had followed him for years, tracking his movements. Each time this man looked different, appeared to be as somethign else, and each time the man slipped away. Killing thousands as he left. Vret hoped to catch him, hoped to stop him, hoped to destroy him. There was something more sinister going on, he just wasn't sure as to what.

He would follow this man and see where he would lead him, for after all, if you follow a pigeon long enough, eventually it will lead you straight back to its roost.

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Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:44 pm
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Islia stood, motionless and silent behind the criss-cross pannels of wood that the roses climbed. The messages had been recieved by Duke and Duchess. She knew that because the Duchess stood waiting on the other side of the climbing roses waiting apon her husband. The Duchess looked radiant as she waited for the Duke, she had added a golden circlet atop her head, and a cross suspunded upon a chain as adornment to the close fit green dress she had worn earlier in the evening. In her hand she held one of the final two items on Islia's list, a bottle of a rare Fernabergian Red.

Islia delved into her bag as the Duchess waited no more than two feet away, oblivious to the vampire assassin who was close enough to kill. A silver dragon glimered in the faint torchlight that illuminated the garden, wings outspread and neck breathing a silver flame, the dagger was an exquisite piece. Islia looked up to see the Duchess turn towards the entrance of her Duke. Dagger poised to colloect another item, Islia waited for the show.

The Duke sauntered into the private garden, with a swagger that only came to a man safe in his position, a man that knew that power was in his hands, and knew how to use it. Islia could not see the smile that crossed the Duchesses face at the appearance of the romantic husband that had 'arranged' their little get together, but still she knew it was there.

As the Duchess turned towards her husband Islia ceased her chance. Carefully she reached through the lattice, careful to avoid ensnaring a thorn upon her sleave. So gently as to be unfelt, she took a lock of the Duchesses hair with one hand, while deftly severing it from her head with the dagger in the other. The Duchess did not make any move to suspect that she knew of her most recent unexpected hair-cut. As the Dukes baritone voice raised to greet his Lady wife, Islia was already sat behind the trellis, lock of hair in hand carefully creating a plait from her prize, oblivious to the words being said behind her. Into her bag she reached pulling out the flag, keys, scroll and lock of hair, four of the five items required for her 'treasure hunt'. Keys, scroll and lock of hair she lay atop the flag, before carefully wrapping the four items into a parcel.

Islia's allowed her awareness to return to the Duke and Duchess on the other side of the roses. She had missed the exchange of words between the two partners, something she quietly cursed. But whatever had been said, the Duchess did not take kindly to. She watched as - leaving the Duke standing bewildered, bottle of wine in one hand, a pair of glasses in the other - the Duchess turned and walked away. As Islia allowed a smile to cross her face she did not see the large centaur approaching from behind her. The sound made as Rory placed his - now empty - goblet of wine onto the small marble wall her side, followed nearly instantly by a gentle clapping of hands, Knowing that he knew the 5 items would all be in her position momentarily, Islia turned towards her master.

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Sat Dec 14, 2002 5:51 pm
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Fuming, Duchess Boorland left her husband standing in the garden. "A prank played by one of the servents" he had said. Her dreams of a romantic escape from the evenings festivities, dashed by a man that had not even realised that she actually 'wanted' to spend some time alone with him. Did her husband no longer find his lady wife beautiful? Was she so poor company that he could not have pretended that he sent the message? thoughts rushed through her head, fueling her anger.

A page scurried out of the way as the Duchess stormed past him oblivious to his existance. Slipping into a state of depression concerning her appearance and relationship, she marched towards her chambers and the one thing that would bring her release. Not even allowing a servent the time to open the door for her she pushed her way into her chambers. Everything around her reminded her of Him. From the small tapestry they had designed together, to the bed in which they spent their nights. Turning towards the servant, and in a voice tempered with an anger not usually associated with the fair lady of the keep, she ordered to be left alone.

As the apartment door closed behind the already dismissed as non-existant servent, Duchess Boorland was already opening the drawer in her vanity table. Inside the small hollow beside on of the runners, were several small vials of a blood red mixture. Removing the stopper, she placed one such vial to her finely painted lips and consumed the contents. As the liquid coursed through her body, anger and depression faded apon the surge of elation and joy that came with the secret to her eternal beauty.

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Sat Dec 14, 2002 6:06 pm
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Applauding his pupil's work, Rory was proud of her-- observing her take the lock of the duchess' hair, he smiled. "Now that do be quite a nice feat.. remember always that the true mark of the professional do be to make the kill as close to the target as do be possible, an' with as little mess or fuss as possible. 'Tis why I teach a the crossbow early and the dagger do be last-- ift do be the weapon o' the true learned assassin.

"takin' the hair unnoticed do be the ultimat sing-- to be close enough to have easily killed, and be havin the proof to shoe for it, without killing-- withou the mark be even noticing-- that do be the highest honor. " Looking to the Duke, he continued, "Let us be greeting Boorland and you can show me proof that you've finished your asingment that I do be able to explain to him so tha the no worries."

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Sun Dec 15, 2002 1:58 pm
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After passing her 'bag of treasures' to her mentor Rory, Islia stepped out from behind the roses to great the Duke. The expression on bewilderment on his face almost caused Islia to smile at his obvious distres to have been played a fool by both herself and his centaur friend. As Rory started to work his way through the contents of the bag, Islia took the vintage bottle of wine and the two wine glasses from the Duke, and poured as glass for him and for herself. Noting that Rory was stood there with an empty glass also in his hand she walked over and poured a drop of the rare Fernabergian vintage into his glass.

Finally having a moment where she could allow the built up tension from the nights exertions to be released, Islia turned from the Duke and Rory and looked around the garden courtyard. In front of the climbing roses was a small area of tiles that were surrounded first by a small border of rare red and blue grasses. Behind that border a second border of myriad coloured flowers drew both the eye to their beauty and the nose to their powerful scent. Fireflies buzzed around a couple of ornate lanterns at the four corners of the square. In the center of the tiled area four benches sat at the compass points faceing inwards to a view of a marble fountain. Water spraying out through the open jaws of three inter-coiled serpents protecting what seemed to be a nest of gold viened marble eggs.

The wine was sensational, and reminded of her lost childhood, before the goblin raid destroyed the very place where this fine wine had been brewed. The date on the bottle tugged at her memory but she could not quite place the reason why. Turning to the sound of Rory approaching behind her, Islia sighed determined to soon find the time to spend meditating on what was so special about the date on the wine bottle.

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Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:49 pm
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The big Centaur looked quickly through the bag of items procured by his pupil during the deadly game of “scavenger” he had sent her on this eve. Entering th garden, Rory smiled warmly at both his friends and made the introductions. “Lord Booorland, this pugnacious creature with whom you have an unexpected secret rendezvous do be know n as Islia. She be the finest pupil I did be workin’ with in years, although come to be thikin’ of it, I have not’a had many pupils o’late…” Trailing off with his little jibe he took the opportunity to relive Islia of the burden of the bottle fo wine and pour himself a full glass. “Islia, darlin’ please do be so kind as to greet Duke Borland. Lord of Manor, Defender of the Western Reaches and a string o’ other meaningless titles..” Pausing for one of his more famous grins that reached his ears he then continues, “Oh yes, and most importantly he do be among those that I be callin’ ‘friend’.

“But darlin’, I be no wanting’ to alarm you, but this bag do be light one o’the items that you were supposed to be looking to capture. I do no believe that you’d be wantin’ to pay the price o’ failure on the count o’one minor detail…” The big centaur chuckled again as he handed the duke a sample of the duchess’ hair, “Old friend, mayhap this do be somethin’ you can be havin’ made into a charm such that ye be wearing it to be remindin’ yourself o’ the magical times o’ yesteryear. Women do be enjoying t’see their men take such care of these things…” He trailed off as Islia seemed to be anxious to gain his attention and tell him something important

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Sun Jan 05, 2003 10:26 am
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[OOC]
I received permission to speak for the Duke

[IC]
Islia was still admiring the garden as Rory reached over to take the bottle of wine from her white fingers. Spotting a rather interesting carniverous flower that seemed out of place within the garden Islia started the motions of thinking to step towards it. However word from Rory caused her to check her movement turn to face him, and suppress a chuckle at the same time. “But darlin’, I be no wanting’ to alarm you, but this bag do be light one o’the items that you were supposed to be looking to capture. I do no believe that you’d be wantin’ to pay the price o’ failure on the count o’one minor detail…” She waited for Rory to Pour himself a glass of the wine and looked at him as if she was about to tell him something. She did not speak however, just watched as he spoke of using the lock of the Duchess' hair as a charm, her blood red lips now fully transformed into a smile.

Ignoring the Centaur she addressed the Duke "This wine is magnificant, I dont think I've tasted anything quite like it for many a year" She watched the Dukes face as she spoke, but could not see any kind of reaction to her comment of the sort she was hoping for, she could still not put her finger on what seemed out of place about the wine. "I would be surprised if you had my dear. The Fernabergian '76 Merlot is an exceptionally rare vintage, note the smokey taste, it's almost as if you can taste the fires....but I digress, you most likely do not know about Fernabergian history, I myself was only able to purloin myself 6 bottles and have never seen their like since"

As the Duke spoke, Islia had carefully watched the Centaurs face, he did not give away much, but she had learnt to discern the minute changes that registered surprise upon the well prepaired centaur. As the Duke spoke the word 'Fernabergian' his tail definatly did twich almost imperceptibley. Finally she addressed her mentor. And what exactly did I forget Rory-kins?

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Fri Feb 28, 2003 5:13 pm
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A full throated, snorting sort of laugh racked the big centaur's body; in fact, the laughter was so intense that he had to wipe a faint trickle of wine from his nose in the same motion as he wiped tears from his eyes. Lifting his glass in a toast, he congratulated the vampire, "Well played, my dear. That did be something I no expected!"

Chuckling still, the big centaur looked at the Duke and sighed. "Old Friend, why do the moment's like these be takig up so much o' our attention yet be making up the least amount o' the time that be comprising our lives? Nevermind, don't be answerein' that... if we do be startin' talk o''philiosophy, I fear we no be leaving this keep afore the week do be out!" While his grin remained, his eyes took a more somber tone before he continued, "And we be knowin' that there be little more time for dallying.. in fact, I do be thinking that me former apprenctice and meself do be needin' to make ready to travel within the hour.. many leagues do lie between us and where you be needin' us.. Please do be givin' the duchess me regrets!" Sparing time for a sweeipng bow to islia, Rory backed intot he dark corner of the garden and slipped into the night, to gather a few supplies and meet Islia at the location they had planned, a league away from the Duke's keep toward the River Beol.

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Fri Feb 28, 2003 6:03 pm
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The Duke would have listened to Rory make his excuses and leave before turning back towards Islia. However if he did so Islia was unaware as she dissapeared into the shadows the moment Rory anounced that they were to meet up again at the usual meeting place. Through the shadows of the keep she moved, until she reached the grain silo, she had used previously. Realising that Rory would not intend for them to head back to the shack, she quickly removed the silky red dress that hugged her figure and stretched as the moonlight streamed through cracks in the roof of the silo. Reaching down towards her bag for her black assassins garb she detected the approach of someone outside. Naked apart from her underclothes, she turned to face the newcomer who had announced his arrival with a wolf whistle.

"You know your friends will never beleive what you think you have seen" Islia said to the newcomer. At his puzzeled reaction she continued. "Well dont just stand there" Becconing him towards her she held her arms apart to show that she was no threat. A dirty grin crossed the guards face as he stepped into the grain silo. silently she slid towards him, hand reached out to cup the bulge in his trousers. "Well someone's pleased to see me it seems" As one hand untied the cord that held up his trousers, her other snaked around his neck pulling him into her embrace. As he reached in to kiss her she slid her head, placing her lips to the side of his left ear. "There's one thing I forgot to tell you" Un knowing his hands slipped around her waist to grip the firm white flesh of her bottom. "I'm too good for you" With those final words Islia twisted out of his grasp hand still held around his neck already fixed securly upon a pressure point that would cause her unwelcome visitor to lose consciousness.

As he fell to the floor, the firm grip of his fingers losing their purchase upon her rear she knelt over the comatose figure. Kissing him on the forehead she whispered "I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did darling". Turning from the snoring body she reched back down to pick up her discarded blacks. Minutes later she was dressed, over the wall and off towards her rendezvous with her mentor.

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Tue Mar 18, 2003 5:02 pm
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The tavern was not one where fancy card games or well dressed nobles would be found. The weather-beaten sign was crcked and warped and the image of the dancer 'possum was barelyvisable even on a clear night. But despite it's shabby countenance and the rough demeanor of it's working class patrons, those accustomed to this brand of establishment could easily tell that there was little chance of trouble-- raised voices were playfully jesting desbite thegruff tone, and even the one-eyed man winnign at gambling was not so far ahead as to aproach suspicions of cheating.

Puffs of a sweet smelling smoke floated out fromteh table Rorshach shared with an older man. hard callused hands and old but seldom worn boots were but two things that betrayed the man as a seafaring person , even if one had not noticed the rolling gait of one accusomted to the swell of waves rather than the steadiness of earth beneath his feet. The man's sour expression lessened only slightly as he, too filled a pipe from the ample pouch the big centaur had placed on the table. His grizzled gray head nodded as he listened to the master assassin, and after a few more minutes he grudingly aquiesed, shook hands, and gathered up six others from the room including the one-eyed gambler who muttered rough curses. A skinn youth was sent running from the tavern, followed soon by the rest. They all departed with the same rolling gait and headed toward the docks.

Refilling his pipe, rory scratched idly behind the ear of one of the foxes sleeping next to him and let his thoughts mull over traitors, mysterious eyes, and another tale of a cat-like assassin. An exhulted cry from oneof the men playing dice caught his attention, and he thought to himself "Aye! the dice do already be rollin'. If there do be but a little luck, it be a winnin' toss!"

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Sat Mar 22, 2003 10:53 am
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He awoke from a hazy dream that had left him disoriented and with his head swimming in pain. His mind scrambled to remember where he was, but somehow he had forgotten everything. He had come to realize it was more than just a dream, but as he tried to hold onto it the dream faded away from his consciousness.

He could smell the salty air and hear the gulls off int he distance. His senses slowly returned to him as he layed awkwardly on the wooden planked docks. He tried to move, but for all that he tried, he could not.

Looking up at the sky he tired to regather himself. He had been following... someone. Had come to the docks... then... blackness. His memory had always been impecable, able to remember even the slightest of details. This lapse of memory did more than bother him, it terrified him.

His body felt fatigued and worn, it strained against his attempts to move even the smallest portion of his body. His clothes felt heavy and wet, they seemed sticky against his body as he rolled to his side. He could not think what the stickiness was until...

As his vision came back in to focus, he saw laying next to him the opened eyed stare of the man he was following. Instinctively he brought up his arm, his knife already in his hand. Had he drawn it out? He could not remember. Now he knew what that stickiness was. It was blood.

Trembling, he stood before the dead man laying at the foot of the dock. Him and the victem were covered in blood. It sickened him. All those months of work in getting to the witch-king, planning his attack and then dispatching him, and all that effort he had spent trying to get close to the source of the traitor. In an instant, it was gone.

He could hear voices off in the distance approaching him. Reactively, he wiped his blade and stowed it away, then dived quickly into the oceans waters...

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Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:10 am
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The trip from the keep to the old tanners croft in the forest was uneventful. The moon hung low upon the eastern as she entered the charred form of the burned shack. Inside, a multitude of small creatures had made homes, from the family of woodlice living under the rotten planks of the old bed, to the small web-spinning spider who had netted the ceiling with a vast fortress of silk-like strands. She walked over towards the wardrobe at the back of the hut, brushing away ancient web from her line of march. Inside she searched for the tiny recess that contained the trip to open her stash.

Inside was a collection of tools which she had procured over her years of under the carpet work. From her collection of crossbows and throwing knives, to her lockpick and probe sets, from her assassin leathers in a variety of environmentally suited colours, to her evening wear. removing her travel bag from the bottom of the secret compartment, she loaded up all the items she might need for this new job and then turned towards the exit, and the long trip to the portside town where she had arranged to meet Rory.

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Islia Darklight. Assassin and Immortal
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Thu May 01, 2003 5:43 pm
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Dawn!

The world echoed in Rorshach’s head with the sour taste of curdled milk. That captain would insist on setting sail at dawn. Peering at the horizon, he could just see the beginnings of a lightened sky. “Where do ye be, Islia?” the big centaur muttered barely out loud. “We do no be havin’ time to be wastin’..” Waves lapped at the sides of the vessel as he paced up and down on the dock. It had been over an hour since the last of the crew had stumbled aboard with barely coherent complains centered around wine, women and the “awful curse of sailors”

Turning his mind to happier thoughts, he began whistling a light tune. Poet had gone ahead to contact the woman. Long had it been since the big assassin had been fascinated by another so. Tales had reached him of the killer cat, manners and morals that matched the feline nature. Justice served with swift sentence..and the judge being based the whim of the moment.. Tales to keep children scared into behaving similarly to the ones he heard of himself . He almost grinned at the thought of being so free as to be able act on a whim, to not bear the weight of responsibility like a yoke around his neck..

And he grinned at the thought of Poet writing a message for her in cryptic Haiku to be left with one of her messengers

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Wed May 14, 2003 7:40 pm
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Islia seethed at being detained from her intended meeting. Through the bars on the cell in which she was being held, she could see the darkness of the night sky start to lighten. Knowing full well that they intended to sail on the dawn tide, and that Rory had people he needed to meet at their destination, she knew that he would not be able to wait for her. She paced up and down the small room in which she had been locked, four paces in each direction it was more of a cupboard than a room, the stink of old piss and vomit filled the corner with the rusty bucket, half filled with the previous occupents evening meal. Mould grew on the walls and woodlice lived in the old rotten pallet that served for her bed. Soon the sunlight would bath the cell in Intop's warmth, and, with her dagger in possetion of the guards she would die a horrible, painful death.

Giving up on her pacing, she walked over towards the heavy oak door and rapped on the shutter. Minutes passed before it slid back, to reveal the moustached face of the gaoler.

"What?" Said the gaoler

Smiling in a way that only a beautiful female is able to smile, she attempted to intice him with all her feminin wiles.

"It's very lonely, in this cell" She said to the guard at the door outside. "And very cold, I was hoping you might come in and warm me up a little." The small window in the door slammed shut and she heard footsteps as the guard started to walk away, from her. 'Damn!' she thought to herself, 'Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn!'

Wondering how she had ended up in this mess, Islia thought over her arrival to the portside town. She had arrived last night after a long journey from the secret shack in the forest. Keeping to the smaller alleyways she had headed towards the docks, and the portside tavern in which she was supposed to meet with Rory. However, as she approached the waterfront, she had ducked into a small dark recess in order to stay away from the city guard who were patroling nearby. She had watched from the shadows of the small dark alleyway as the pair of guards had discovered something, a body, lying dead in the roadway ahead of her. In horror she was trapped as they called for back-up and started a methodical search through the locality. Being found with a bag full of assassins equipment, and killing four guards in an attempt to break free, had led directly to her current situation.

Brought out of her thoughts by the sound of jingling metal, and the turning of the lock to her cell, she immediatly tensed for action. If they were coming in for her, then it must be time for her to be tried, and there was no way in hell she was going to be hung for murder, assuming they got the chance to hang her before she was killed by the sun. The appearance of the moustached guard, readiliy undoing the buttons of his fly, however brought the first smile to her face since she'd ended up in this gods forsaken town. The Guard turned and shut the door behind him, before removing his trousers and undergarments. The smile on his face was enough to revulse even to most practised whore.

"Well?" He said, as Islia remained where she stood. Walking over towards the guard Islia glanced out of the window, the sun had not yet risen, but the lightness of the sky showed that she was running out of time. She gave a start as the guard's hands grasped around her waist and undid the tie, that held her leather leggings to her hips. She felt the material of her trousers as it made its way down her legs, just before fish stinking breath filled her sense of smell, as his hairly face pressed against her. As she wriggled to get into a position where should would be able to kill the guard and make her escape, she realised her mistake. The guards was strong, very strong indeed. The guard laughed as he realised what Islia's plan had been. "So, Bitch" he said, "You planned to lure me in here and kill me like you did that other man" He continued to laugh as his grip tightened around her pushing her up against the wall. "You asked me in here Bitch" he said licking her face with a tongue grey from halitosis. Islia struggled once more trying to get away, but the guard held her to the wall imobile with one hand..

**

For a few moments after her fangs had grown and she had ripped open the guards throat she stood there in shock, her half-naked body convulsing with shivers not caused by cold, before she forced herself under control. The sun was about to rise. Pulling up her leggings she removed the keys from the belt of the guard who had forced himself upon her, almost failing as she reched down towards the corpse. Keys in hand, she opened the doorway, and escaped out into the area where her equipment had been stored. Feeling releived that her dagger was still there, she ran out of the jail towards the docks. Luckily it was not that far.

She arrived at the dock, just as Rory's ship was about to remove the gangplank to set sail on the dawn tide. Only now feeling safe, she looked franticly for her mentor, and saw him at the stern speaking to the captain. Running over to him she opened her arms and embraced him, for the first time allowing the tears to stream down her cheeks and her whole body give its self over to sobs.

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Follower of the Cult of Intop


Last edited by Islia on Sun May 18, 2003 12:58 am, edited 4 times in total.

Sat May 17, 2003 5:33 pm
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The gaunt man walked through the town at his slow pace, and, as always, was given wide berth. His features spole of a wasting sickness, and his death-like mannerisms often had women clutching their young to chest as if still babes suckling from the teats. Even as he made his way through areas reserved for gallows and beheadings-- areas where the stench of death, dying, and that which was rotting in a manner worse than death--even there, rats and other vermin drew back.

Skin stretched so taught over his hand that it appeared as no more than sinew and bone reaching in his pocket. Reading the note he himself had penned in a flowing, ornate script:

Moon cult power rising
Priests will listen to silent flute song
Rorshach asks for dance

All gold you can carry.
Hidden stores beneath priests’ bodies
Fat centaur dances “Widow’s Lover”


A frightening expression that he used for a smile crept onto his face and he closed the missive with a seal bearing a flute and a dagger. Turning to the black clad hags that bore claim to this region he smiled again and picked out the scraggliest, toothless woman he had ever seen. Extending his hand he beckoned her to him with a pale, boney finger. Crawling to him she asked in an almost inaidible voice if her time had finally come. Shaking his head he gave her the note and large coin of gold. Without a word, he turned and resumed his slow walk.


Sat May 17, 2003 7:56 pm
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