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 Ministry Diocese ~ Places & Personalities (MoS/Invite) 
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Viios eyed this Bainev person. "The land I hail from is destroyed, sadly. The heathen armies laid it to waste after my departure. Sad, is it not? Foret was responsible for the heinous act. Before the destruction it was a beautiful land though, I must say. It was a land without borders to the north of here. Now it is little more than a husk, a corpse. Someday, perhaps, I can walk upon the green grasslands again. And perhaps someday I can show you that place as well, Lord Bainev. I imagine anyone with a heart could enjoy such tragically gorgeous scenery." Viios lies.

His "kingdom" was a series of catacombs running a hundred miles in every direction, from which he and his foul minions would occasionally spring forth to capture and devour local mortals. His was a land of the dead ruled by primal hunger and vengeance. The Foretians were more than justified to annihilate the undead creatures, for they had been preying on the people of their cities for ages. Viios didn't really care about justification at this point, however. He sought alliance with the Ministry, but first, the ear of the Matriarch. To the ancient vampire, Bainev was but a trivial creature...at least for now.


Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:30 pm
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Enyo stood quietly at her window looking out across her land, the morning’s beauty had awake her hours ago. The last of the dew that the sun had not touched was twinkling like tiny stars that had fallen to earth the previous night. Bird’s songs filled the air along with the fragrance of various flowers she had collected over many years of travel. Her family traveled all around the world when she and her brother were young, as the years went by war slowed the traveling to a stop. By the time she was 20 Enyo and her brother had seen far to many battles to count. The enemy may fall under different names but it ended the same blood, nightmares, scars that no time well heal. She had even seen her father and bother slain by heathen hands. The memories of their loss still-hunted her to this day. The pressure of the family was on her shoulders. Now ruling the kingdom her ancestors had molded out of nothing but dry dirt, and nurtured until it was as vast as the island it stood upon. They had made a great empire out of their family heritage and so she must fallow in their footsteps. This thought had caused many sleepless nights and tearful days, she did not know to rule.

A soft knock on the hard wood door quickly jarred Enyo from her thoughts.

“My lady are you ready for your morning meal?”

A cheerful looking plump handmaid came rushing in. Buzzing about the room tiding up the cloths on the floor. Jane had been like a mother always there to lend a helping hand and a harsh word if out of line. Enyo smiled to her self. Jane would never admit it but to see Enyo leave for so long a journey grieved her.

“If you are to journey to meet with the Ministry today you must eat to keep your strength up my dear.”

Taking to long steps her hugged the sweet little woman.

“Jane do not worry so much I have survived this long have I not?”

Shooting Enyo a look of bad temper Jane said.

” You my young lady would do good to mind your elders, one would think you would have learned that much by now!”

“Yes, yes, I will eat! I will eat what ever you have made for me, as long as its not that horrid sweet cake you make.”

Saying that Enyo hurried her self out the door and down the stairs before any thing hard came at her head.

Finishing she quickly made her way to the stables, one of the places she truly felt happy. Reading her tact and horse, she walked by the house hugging Jane good bye. Enyo also gave orders to her second in command to take any precautions needed. Everything in order, saddlebags full, sword and bow close at hand, Enyo rode her horse to the gatekeepers tower. She spoke a few soft words and the large heavy wooden gates opened, she was on her way to meet the Ministry.


Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:41 pm
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Outskirts of the Ministry, the downfall of Nerishen and the supposed death of the Demon known as Nether.


"March where? You must be out of your damn mind!" Arias had let his temper slip. He wasn't used to following orders from anyone other than Nether, and here he was kneeling before this stranger recieving orders that sounded more like suicide than war.

"I will not send our men into a fruitless fight where they will surly loose thier lives! We aren't even apart of this damn war!"

"Our men Arias? Do you forget your place?"

Suddenly aware that he was standing with his fist in the air Arias stepped back from the hooded figure.

"Tell me....What has become of lord Nether, and how have you come to this place?" with a nervous gulp Arias waited with baited breath to learn of his lord.

"It isn't really your concern is it Arias?" The hooded figure shifted in his seat, his robes partly slightly revealing a blood red silk shirt and black leather pants.

"of..ofc..ofcourse its my concern!" Arias found his temper rising once more.

The hooded figure chuckled quietly to himself before continuing.

"Your lord Nether picked a fight he couldn't win, against a being that transcends this plane of excistance. He let his ego and his eagerness to please his precious Queen cloud his judgement, and it cost him his pitifull little life."

"Dead.....He can't be dead...I don't believe it...I WON'T BELIEVE IT!"

"Believe it..." The hooded figure hissed. "I have brought proof if you wish to see it."
Standing the hooded figure moved towards Arias and opened his robes and his shirt revealing his chest and stomach. Thoughts of pure horror flooded Arias' mind.

The hooded stranger laughed loudly as Arias backed away. Nether's face along with countless others writhed in pain as if they were trapped behind a sheet. Thier silent screams seemed to echo in Arias's mind as he scrambled for the door.

"You see Arias, not only did the foolish demon loose his life in the battle against Avanth...He also lost his soul.."

As Arias reached the door the torches in the room went out.

Several hours later a scout huridly entered the room. The sight that befell him almost took his breath. The walls were coated in thick crimson colored liquid. The hooded stranger didn't just kill the general, he slaughtered him. Liquified his corpse and redecorated the plain stone walls.

"Yes?" The voice came like steam from the center of the room as the scout regained his composer.


"The armies have returned....They lashed out against the kingdoms of Fides as per your orders. They met limited success."

The scout paused, he had more news but by the looks of things he wouldn't survive if it left his mouth.

"Isn't there more?" The hooded figure seemed to glare at the man although no face was visible from beneath his cloak. "They followed you did they not?"

"Fo..Followed?...Oh..Yes....news of our deeds spread quickly it seems. Several Foret armies have assembled along our borders. We can't deciver thier banners but we assume they belong to Fides."

"Of course they are." Once again the hooded figure laughed as he stood and made his way to the window. As he glanced out accross the barren wasteland that was once the young demon's domain great flashes light up the sky as the Foretian hordes began thier assualt.

"What are we to do? "

"Do?"

"Yes...erm..what defensive actions should we take?"

"There isn't any need for defense my poor boy." The figure turned and made its way to the cowering scout.

"Then what do you wish us to do..M...M'Lord?"

"Why.....I expect you to die.."


With that the stranger walked past the shaking scout and out of the room. A wall of flames erupted behind him as he made his way through the castle and out before the foretian hordes.

And with an echoing laugh he vanished, as everything burned.


Unknown location within the Ministry


"Hush now Nether, surly they won't suffer..to much.."

Marius continued chuckling softly to himself as he made his way down an overgrown path. The winding trail twisted here and there as it made it's way through dense underbrush and towering trees. Slowly the path widened and the underbrush gave way to dead stumps and gigantic moss covered boulders. The loud roar of a waterfall could be heard in the distance as thousands of birds sang loudly in the trees above. Coming finally to overgrown ruins his stopped.

Marius's insides churned as he made his way through his new home. New really wasn't right. He had lived here once before, ages ago. He was a different person back then. Young and carefree. He hardly knew the horrors of the world and the creatures that lurked in the shadows. His travels in the Abyss had changed that.

Looking around he sighed, his stay here at his old home would be a short one. making note of what supplies he would need, Marius turned and headed back out the way he came. He knew no one in this land, and had decided he better change that.

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Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:00 pm
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Entertaining Evil

"I am ...Viios .I am but a humble servant of Isonia...or I was. I fear I may have liberated some of the Ministries commonfolk from being murdered by Darden worshipping bandits. Since that time the people have followed me, revering me. Apparently it is because of this."


Magister peered with growing interest as the spear was revealed before him. It looked in terrible condition, a wicked looking weapon and it was like no spear Magister had seen before. Now it was true Magister was more often interested in the lives of the heroes and villains of Maxim, not really the various artifacts that the Isle hid, but he had been requested to do specific research on various religious artifacts more than once during his employ with the Ministry. He did vaguely recall a spear among the assortment of fabled weapons he had studied but the drawing he saw looked nothing like this. He made a mental note to take a look through his texts later.

Magister also considered the story of Viios’ supposed liberation of the Ministry citizens. It was not an unlikely story, there were often occasions when a local leader proved themselves more than capable during a sudden attack upon a Ministry settlement. They eventually came to the attention of the Ministry as their deeds demanded recognition. Is that what this lord wanted?

"So about the Matriarch...shall we be introduced?"

Magister nodded his head positively and replied, Of course my Lord Viios, the Ministry welcomes all of our heroes of Isonia. For some reason he had completely forgotten that he was supposed to pass the message on to the Matriarch before agreeing. Instead he simply beamed at the Matriarch’s messenger and told him that all was well with the visitors, and that Lord Bainev and Lord Viios would be waiting here with him. As the messenger went on his way, Magister attempted light conversation with the gentlemen,

That is a terrible shame about your lands Lord Viios,
he began sincerely, if I remember correctly, I believe the Lord Bainev also lost a wondrous mansion in the desert city of Tiavain…he paused suddenly wondering if he should bring up such misfortune and continued hurriedly onto something else, but you know, Lords, this place has some amazing sights, they haven’t even finished the excavations but you should definitely see the Temple, or even the Great Hall before you go. Actually the Monastery underground is rather interesting…but then if I think about it, you might not be allowed there…hmmm well, he finished a little embarrassed.

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Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:29 am
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Company, old and new

Sharing our secrets with the enemy is punishable by death….Magister.

Magister jumped and spun around at my entrance. My mischievous grin was replaced with open laughter at the sight of his discomfort. It was too easy, I didn’t even need to hide my footfalls with an Illusion, the old man couldn’t even hear them. A finger to my lips as a gesture of silence to the guests allowed them to share the joke as well. The old scholar had turned a shade of pale and started rubbing his head again.

I’m sorry Magister, I could not help myself,
I said feigning humility.

I nodded at Lord Bainev and smiled at a familiar face, Lord Bainev, my old tutor, you look as radiant as ever, as if you have not even aged a day since I last saw you. It made me wonder how he would think of me since he saw me last in Tiavain. For sure, my attire was more subdued, no more luxurious jewels and beading. This evening a predominantly long white gown with black edging, no beading, not jewelry . But would he notice that I too had not changed significantly enough over the Ages, despite the frailty of a human body?

It had become apparent to me a while ago that something was unnatural with my aging, no doubt some strange effect from the hideous necromantic experiment I was an unwilling part of. This part of my past was a shame I would share with no-one, and as yet I was not sure how to explain my ‘youthfulness’ to past acquaintances. At least tonight I knew the ravages of my cloistered seclusion over the months would show me looking more tired and drawn than I once was. I could only hope Bainev’s vanity would overcome his curiosity.

And this must be Lord Viios, I said turning towards my other guest with a smile. I am the Matriarch Anne of the Eastern Temple and Diocese of Isonia. It is a pleasure to meet another servant the Goddess…I said and then inhaled sharply at the heavy pull of the weapon on the table. What a ghastly object it was but there was something beautiful about it I could not fathom.

The whispers started, hissing all around again as I looked with interest at the encrusted spear. No, I would have no more of it tonight! Enough! Wrenching my attention from the weapon, I was able to quiet the voices in my head. How long they had plagued me so that I dared not leave the Ministry lest they scream at me in public. Tonight I had felt more in control. Tonight, this would be my night, not Hers.

I forced a smile at my guests and moved to sit down at one end. The last of the food and drink was now arriving. Magister, you are free to leave us, I said dismissing the scholar. Lord Bainev, Lord Viios, before we move on to any business, let us first drink and dine. It has been so long since I was able to entertain…friends.

With a goblet in hand I raised my wine to the both of them, looking at the large mirror on the opposite wall and noticing with a little surprise, that Lord Viios had no reflection.

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Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:19 am
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"So about the Matriarch...shall we be introduced?"

Of course my Lord Viios, the Ministry welcomes all of our heroes of Isonia. That is a terrible shame about your lands Lord Viios,if I remember correctly, I believe the Lord Bainev also lost a wondrous mansion in the desert city of Tiavain...but you know, Lords, this place has some amazing sights, they haven’t even finished the excavations but you should definitely see the Temple, or even the Great Hall before you go. Actually the Monastery underground is rather interesting…but then if I think about it, you might not be allowed there…hmmm well,

Sharing our secrets with the enemy is punishable by death….Magister.

Viios tore his vision away from Magister and Bainev for a moment to take in the Matriarch as she made her humble, if sarcastic entrance. She was a beauty in many eyes, he thought, although he could not bring himself to adoration of her physique. Still, there was something about her, something excessively gorgeous. His eyes dared not stray from her for even a moment as he tried to decipher the reason for his sudden infatuation. Was this the work of the spear? The work of Isonia? Or was it some bizarre combination of the two, altering his very senses to drive him towards a fate not his own?

"My Queen." Viios stands up straight, then bows gracefully before continuing. "It is an honor to meet you at long last, Matriarch. I have travelled long and far to see your pleasent countenance." He grins broadly, then takes his own goblet in hand and takes a quick swig. It had been long since he drank anything but blood. The taste of wine was sour and foreign on his tongue, but he drank it down all the same, content with the current facade. "Matriarch..." Viios begins, but then trails off. He stares idly at the Queens neck. In his ears all he could hear was her heartbeat, pumping casually. His mouth watered. This was the first time in weeks since he lusted for blood...but why now was it returning?

Was this his fate? To devour the Queens lifeblood in a flurry of death and mayhem? Would he be the tool with which the heathens prevailed? If that were true it was a monstrous destiny not his own. He could not allow himself to give into primal desires and wickedness as he had in the past. He was a nation unto himself, sovereign and in control...or was he? Nowadays Viios could never be sure. Still, for now he could oppress his hungers. Yet it begged the question, for how long could he maintain such a farce? In all his confusion, in all his careful thinking...he did not even notice the mirror adjacent to them, quietly broadcasting his most devilish secret to all those present.


Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:27 pm
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"Anne my dear it is so good to see you again. It really has been far too long, though it feels as though almost no time at all has past. I apologize that my sister can not be here with us. She would have loved to see you again I am sure, but she is a fickle one you know and was not in the mood to go out today."

The tension present in the dining hall was stifling. Despite her humorous entrance Lady Anne seemed to be in a state of quiet discomfort. She was not acting herself, at least not the way Malcolm recalled her, had her personality changed so much over the years? No, that seemed unlikely, there was most definitely something wrong with her.

Malcolm had actually expected for his visit to go by smoothly and normally. It was a terribly silly thing for him to expect.

He spoke in illusion, his words for Lady Anne's ears and her ears alone. His voice projected into her mind.
"Something is wrong do not think that you can hide that from me, I know my students to well. Perhaps it is the sudden return of an old master that puts you so ill at ease. Or perhaps it is the arrival of this quest who is not who he claims to be. Or perhaps, as I suspect is the case, there is something more?"

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Malcolm Bainev IV
Patriach of House Bainev
Apperance is Everything


Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:47 pm
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Company, old & new

I was already amused more than I had been all Age. What a wondrous night it would be.

"My Queen. It is an honor to meet you at long last, Matriarch. I have travelled long and far to see your pleasent countenance. Matriarch..."


Lord Viios became suddenly lost for words. Perhaps I was not what he was expecting. And yet he did not seem the kind to become tongue-tied and uncomfortable in strange company, for surely he was a leader to many. Was he a mage of some description, would that explain his uncanny disappearance in the looking glass? . He did not look like any warrior lord, even if he may wield that weapon in front of him. Or some night creature, a vampiric monster in innocent form? I had never met such a beast, let alone dined with one.

Perhaps Lord Bainev would know more…ugh that weapon, it seemed to blister and writhe ever closer towards me, was this some plot, some arcane trap? Something must be done with it but I dare not touch it. Why does the air ripple around it as if it was red hot. There! Did it move again?

What was Bainev saying? I could hardly pay attention to his greeting, but instead sipped more wine in an effort to tear my mind from the accursed black shaft on the table and the harsh whispering crowd in my mind.

And then I heard clear words now, piercing the reality, the unreality or whatever devilry had plagued my soul for these last months, "Something is wrong do not think that you can hide that from me, I know my students to well. Perhaps it is the sudden return of an old master that puts you so ill at ease. Or perhaps it is the arrival of this quest who is not who he claims to be. Or perhaps, as I suspect is the case, there is something more?"

Once I would have thought it all part of his game, his beautiful ruse. For the Bainevs were known to all for their ruthless personal ambition and not their compassion. I had no idea how alike we were back then. Where his sanity had been tainted by the touch of powerful magic, mine was failing from the touch of the divine.

There was a time when I considered many methods to destroy my former master so that I may take his place. In the end we both lost almost everything and through no action of our own. Of course he didn’t completely trust me then as I would not trust him completely now, even as a guest in my home. But tonight his insight was true and perhaps one type of ‘insanity’ could understand another?

With a quick glance at Lord Bainev, I pulled my focus clear away from the distracting object and touched his senses alone with my words so no other could hear,

Thank you for your concern, Lord Bainev, perhaps you have you not heard but I have been unwell and am unused to company of late. I am tired, very tired of Her demands. It is ceaseless and confusing, She talks to me constantly and I can do no more…this stranger, do you know anything about him? How odd, Master, for he casts no reflection…and that strange weapon…

With all the will I could muster, I remained seated. But suddenly addressing Lord Viios with strained composure I hissed, Lord Viios, if you could be so KIND as to remove that spear from the TABLE, I finished bringing the goblet down upon the table a little harder than I had anticipated. I immediately attempted a smile before serving myself a little more wine, un-watered this time.

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~Maxim Code of Conduct~


Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:19 am
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Lord Viios, if you could be so KIND as to remove that spear from the TABLE

The Matriarch smiled, but Viios saw through it. In all his effort to remain satisfied with the wine he was almost careless enough to not notice the Queens disposition while around the Spear. It was a wretched, glorious thing he had brought into the Matriarchs presence, but Viios wondered if she felt the tug on her heart as he did. Was she a kindred spirit, or just another mortal to bleed dry? Either way, the Spear had all but pulled him here, and it seemed to lead him in the right direction. The vampire quietly and slowly removed the spear from the table, allowing it to slide menacingly past the Queens vision one more time before disappearing into its coverings.

"So, my Queen," Viios cooed, regaining his composure. "How have you been? I live in a more distant place where news of ANYTHING is lacking, you see. I hardly ever even heard of the renewed wars against the heathens before my kingdom was ransacked and razed." Viios chuckles, the index finger of his right hand idly tapping at the Spears tip as it sits sheathed in his lap.


Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:04 pm
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Malcolm glanced from the corner of his eye to the mirror. The strange quest did indeed lack a reflection. He was quite disappointed in himself for not having noticed that before but he had been too focused on the actual person to notice such peripheral details. Anne's sudden outburst for the removal of the spear brought Malcolm's attention back from the mirror. Her behavior was not befitting of one of his students. Appearance is everything, and to so openly show lack of composure to a stranger was quite inappropriate. She could have at the very least masked herself with an illusion for a moment until she could regain herself. But no matter, what's done is done.

He continued their silent conversation, "So as Her grip on Maxim as a whole fades, She tightens Her grasp on you clinging tightly to what influence She has left and dragging it all down with Her. I had always feared that your devotion would prove to be a weakness. But in any case, I fear I do not know who this Viios fellow is, if that is even his real name. Though it seems that perhaps he is a vampire. Let us investigate shall we."

The Illusionist flashed a devilish smile for only Anne to see, and then set to work. A young female servant entered the dining hall carrying a bottle of wine to replace the nearly drained one on the table. She was not real by the technical definition of the word. But to all those there she was real. There was nothing lacking. The gentle sway of her skirts as she walked, her sent, even, for those with senses keen enough to tell, the swish of the wine in the wine bottle. There was nothing lacking for that was the mastery Malcolm Bainev IV held of his art. Nearing the table the young woman stumble and the bottle fell to the stone floor shattering. There servant, nearly in tears after having made such a mistake before the eyes of her Matriarch bent down and began to clean up. She carefully picked the shards of class out of the pool of wine. But she was not careful enough, and she cut herself. The glass cut her hand deep, and blood began to run down her arm, its sent filling the room.

Malcolm waited and watch for how Viios would react to his experiment. Many vampires could resist the temptation when the wanted to but even then there should be some sign that would give him away. What there was to gain from this information he did not know, but the experiment was fun, he did so enjoy manipulating people.

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"Just remember that it's a grand illusion" -Styx
Malcolm Bainev IV
Patriach of House Bainev
Apperance is Everything


Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:06 pm
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Viios idly drew in the scent of magic in the air, if only for a brief moment before a servant girl approached. She took a spill, nothing nasty, but enough to drop the wine bottle and shatter it. Careful of the glass shards Viios thought to himself, casually watching her, though not lending a hand in the least. The servant cut herself rather wickedly though, and for a moment Viios was confused.

The smell of the blood was perfect. It filled his nostrils and was in every possible way consummate...a suitable feast for sure. Yet he was an ancient creature, one that had dined on a thousand thousand mortals, each with tastes all their own. The taste that lingered in the air was not that of a mortal, he thought. It was too enhanced, too pure, too goading. Was the servant girl some manner of mystic spy? An assassin perhaps? Soon it was the blood that filled Viios' mind. He was not drawn forth by thirst, but he was confused by the bewildering scent hanging in the air. He was trying to identify it, but it was all but unique in its total lack of uniqueness. Certainly odd, he thought.

"So hard to find good help these days isn't it?" Viios snickers.


Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:31 pm
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Unknown Location within the Ministry


The air was damp and still as Marius made his way down the over grown trail. The sun had began to set nearly an hour ago, yet, the day seemed to grasp on to it's light for as long as possible, casting shadws here and there.

Countless thoughts swam through Marius' mind as he watched the sun finally sink below the horizon. The night air brought unknown smells and sounds as Marius came to the top of a large hill. The cool night breeze caught his cloak and sent it flapping gently beside him as he serveyed his surroundings.

Before him layed a vast basin, full of life and vegetation. He could hear the heartbeats of small mice as they played in the tall swaying grasses. He could smell the sweat of two male deer locked in battle over a single doe. Beyond the basin he examined tall snow peaked mountains, thier size seemed almost unimaginable.

Yet, he still hadn't detected those whom he saught. He looked feverishly accross the land, searching, yearning for another like himself, only to sense nothing and no one.

Frustration built up in his throat as tears welled in his soulless eyes. Clenching a fist, the very island seemed to share his anger as it began to shake violently. Nesting birds took flight as trees fell loudly. Even the mountain itself shook from the quake as coutless boulders fell from thier resting places into the plains below.

Slowly, Marius regained his composer and redrew his hood. His white eyes pulsed slowly as he glared into the basin. Lifting a gloved hand before him, Marius snapped a finger. As he did so everything before him burst into flames.

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Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:34 pm
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Fraying nerves in the Dining Hall

The relief was almost instant once the Spear was out of sight. I had no yearning to touch it although my eyes still wandered occasionally to where it had disappeared in hope of catching a glimpse.

"So as Her grip on Maxim as a whole fades, She tightens Her grasp on you clinging tightly to what influence She has left and dragging it all down with Her. I had always feared that your devotion would prove to be a weakness. But in any case, I fear I do not know who this Viios fellow is, if that is even his real name. Though it seems that perhaps he is a vampire. Let us investigate shall we."


It could have been his blasphemy, or perhaps it was the way he dismissed my condition as weakness that instantly rankled me. I was the fool for even thinking he had asked out of any sort of concern, to think that he had anything of humanity left in him. I sat quietly and took slow breaths, pretending to absorb myself with pouring more wine while I regained control of my composure again tonight.

I watched as the illusionary servant came in and stumbled and vaguely appreciated his Art and technique although I never loved the Art of Illusion for its own sake as did my tutor, Lord Bainev. It had always been a tool to me and nothing more.

I could see Lord Viios’ attention was captured. Did he enjoy the scent of the blood, of which I could smell nothing or did he scent something else?

"So hard to find good help these days isn't it?”
he had said at last.

I agree, Lord Viios. Not to mention the ones you can’t even trust, I said not without a trace of irony. You asked of news earlier, Lord Viios. Apart from the Foretian and Darden heathens that forever threaten the peace of the Isle, there is little else. If Crassius was here, he could fill you in on some of the more domestic events so perhaps you can meet with him tomorrow. I am assuming you will be staying the night? I hope our guest quarters are to your taste here. And Lord Bainev, of course you are welcome to stay also.

Will you be requiring anything else for your stay, gentlemen...Lord Viios?
I said finally losing the patience to continue his ruse, I found myself blatantly addressing his lack of reflection in the mirror.

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Ministry of Stone

~Maxim Code of Conduct~


Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am
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"Of course I shall stay for the night, Matriarch, if you are willing to have me..." Viios trails off as he catches the way Queen Anne is looking at him. Or more accurately, not looking at him at all. Her eyes have found his dismal secret laid forth on the mirror. No point in being quiet now.

KILL THEM. The Spear throbs in his hand. "Are you startled to see a vampire in your presence, Matriarch? Am I, perhaps, unwanted by Isonia thanks to my heritage?" Viios smiles, exposing long, pointed fangs in his mouth. "I thought of all people, Matriarch, I thought you could see the plight we now face." Viios wasn't talking about the Ministry, Isonia or Maxim. He was talking about Anne and he, that is all. "Surely you can feel the power I hold in my hands. Surely you can SMELL it in the very air you breath." He laughs menacingly, a dark growl echoing from the depths of his empty chest.

"I brought it here in the name of Isonia, and in Her name it shall be used." He hisses. "I will use it in YOUR name, Matriarch. Dardenites and Foretians...their blood is sweet. Taste it with me. Let it drip from the Spears awesome edge onto your eager tongue." The coverings on the Spear fall away and Viios holds it in a single outstretched hand, its grip facing the Queen. "It is my gift to give, Matriarch."

The whispers begin in his minds eye for the first time. They scream in silence. Subdued, hateful, spitting spirits raid his soul, screeching for a hundred desires. What was this cursed thing? Yet Viios was steadfast, his terrible grin not faltering, his eyes possessed by a power not his own. His words were magics layered upon magics, his voice not his at all. "Take the Spear, Matriarch."


Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:01 pm
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"I too would be most pleased to accept your hospitality and stay the night Lady Anne, though I will need to send a message out to my sister to inform her that I will be staying here."

Malcolm was slightly disappointed at the minimal reaction his illusion elicited from Viios. Not only did it deprive him of what could have been a good show, but it also did not managed to offer enough evidence to convince him firmly that the man was indeed a vampire. But he did not have to wait much longer before he got firm proof. The vampire openly admitted what he was, and what a turn around in personality that led to.

The dark presence of the sickened him, but he was the spear that bothered him more than the vampire. The Art of Illusion was a black magic but Malcolm found all other black magic quite foul, ugly and quite intolerable.

His words again for her alone, "Matriarch, I strongly urge you not to accept this ‘gift’ of his." he used her title for once to ease her ego in hopes that she would be more like to listen to him, for he very suddenly felt it very important that she heed his advice. This spear was not a good thing. He felt this so strongly that he was quite willing to stop her from taking it if he had to. He could encase her in a wall of fire if she made it necessary, if she moved toward the spear. She would no the fire was nothing but an illusion, but the heat and the pain would be very real if she tried to move through it. Of course, Illusions could be broken, especially by another Illusionist, but it would take a great deal of will power, and Malcolm was truly the best after all, surely she could not break his Illusion.

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Malcolm Bainev IV
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Apperance is Everything


Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:48 pm
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Post 
Smoke danced morosely around and into his nostrils, caressed his eyes with anger, whispered despair in his ears as he contemplated the dirt. His coarse, loose tunic shuddered; more of the smoke ran its smooth, sorrowful fingers across his chest. He had closed his fists in a vain attempt to prevent the stuff from crossing his palm, afraid it might somehow wrest an agreement from him. The thought of shaking hands with this ghostly reality sent waves of panicked resistance through his mind. He struggled to regain his composure. Nothing was what ran through Tryth's head, at the speed of a buzzing consistancy.

A few fingers brushed the back of his hand. The next half-second slowed; time, melted by his despair, flowed against him like a river. He closed his eyes, sagged into that river willingly.

"Tryth." The whispered breath carried just enough recognizable timbre to register. Then, as if a hand had grabbed his wrist, he felt himself pulled up out of the water, as if directly before an abyssal drop. Time recrystalized, and his eyes opened. He gasped, released his grip on his wife's throat. Her eyes were wide with momentary fear. In a moment, however, they softened to an intense sadness that mirrored his own. The hand that had held her throat with the icy strength of that otherworldly river now moved to her shoulder, seeking a support for his weariness. Unheard sobs tore through his form.

"Sophie..."

They passed over the crest of the hill together. In front of them huddled the few survivors of the...attack. Almost, he could not bear to call it that. For shame, for...the absolute, cataclysmic weight of it. Once hundreds of thousands of peaceful, now thirty-three. "Goddess," the word choked out of him. His wife's hand held firmer for a moment, and he found the strength to calm himself. Walking down the other side of the hill--once green, he realized, this time with just a tick of his features to betray the fresh barrage of grief--he saw the faces of those conscious and able to direct them towards him do so. He felt the shock, past horror, past blame, as an almost palpable substance from their eyes.

"Once we are all able, we shall move."

~+~+~

He and Sophie had left them, now only 29, aways out, camped. To a peaceful heart, they would have appeared stable, but deadly somber. To Tryth, they wore what he now deemed hope. Standing side by side, the two of them looked up at the massive stone face. Silently, they both of them were searching for mercy in the large, stone-passive eyes of their deity.

They came upon an entrance in the stone, guarded by two large, armored persons. It was a moment before he could speak to them, they looked so alien in demeanor. He felt like he was speaking to two children.

"My wife and I, we are looking for a place that our people and ourselves could stay for a while." The guards paused once they saw his eyes. Mistaking their hesitation, Tryth continued, and once he began again their gaze dropped and did not rise again: "It should not be too much a burden. We are only 31 in sum, and we shall all do with equal lodging. May my wife and I speak with someone in authority?"

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Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:57 pm
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Post 
Holy Distraction – Crassius & Lamia

She had been enraptured by the Temple and Crassius watched, enchanted by her submissiveness to the Divine. It was a world he knew nothing of even though he himself was once a member of the Isonian Clergy in Tiavain. Anyone could don the robes, mouth the prayers or walk the rites. But he couldn’t feel it even when he had tried. Partly because he rationalised religion as little more than organised futility although he knew better than to challenge the real magical power of the Divine. But Crassius also craved this blind adoration reserved only for the gods. It was true, he was deeply jealous of the divine. The Clergy and its divine association had brought him as close to divine worship as he had ever come.

"The Temple is wonderous, Crassius. It's amazing how you can feel so wrapped in Isonia's Embrace that you forget all else."


So many come here and say this very thing, Lamia, he replied warmly. If I wasn’t so caught up with the more rather less glorious administrative work, I would spend more time in Her Temple here...

As if on cue, an enrobed figure approached from out of the shadow of a nearby pillar, requesting an audience with Crassius through a slight gesture. Surely the figure had not been here before them or even come through the main doors or they would have noticed. Most likely the monk had entered the Temple through one of the hidden side doors. He was a Monastery monk, one of the secretive brothers dedicated to the security of the Ministry through the art of stealth, surveillance and any other of the dark arts associated with their kind.

If you will excuse me a moment, Lamia.
Crassius bent his head as the monk relayed his message. Crassius nodded, looking pleased and returned to the side of his guest.

Lamia, my apologies, someone else I was expecting has just arrived and I must see to their needs. You are most welcome to stay here as long as you require. When you have finished in the Temple, a servant outside of the doors here will show you to some quarters and be happy to take you where you need to go. I may perhaps see you later this evening otherwise I hope to see you again tomorrow. It has been my pleasure, Lamia Crassius flashed a warm smile at the woman in front of him before leaving with the monk.

So the Child had arrived safely. Thankfully the Matriarch had been agreeable to him coming here. All was going well. The only news of possible concern being the two other arrivals today who also sought an audience with the Matriarch. Crassius, passing a servant on the way to the front entrance, sent her off to find out who they were and report back to him.


Sun May 01, 2005 2:06 am
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Revelation, a past demon unleashed

Marius walked in a kind of daze as the wind blew less and less. All around him the burning trees and shrubs seemed to scream out to his tortured mind, begging him to release them from the torment he had unleashed. The smokeless blaze raged on as he walked, his mind oblivious to the damage around him.


"Tell me Marius what posses you to do such things?"

The hooded wanderer stopped dead in his tracks as his eyes opened for the first time, the inferno barly reflecting in his lost eyes.

"Does it bring you pleasure? Some sort of vengence, to inflict pain as it has been done to you? Tell me Marius...do you enjoy the destruction as much as I think you do?"


The voice echoed in Marius' mind as he searched the burning timbers for its source.

"Don't waste your time child, you know where to find me."

As the voice spoke these words, Marius took a knee, a searing pain ripping through his head. His temples pounded as his vision blurred, and as suddenly as the pain the begain it stopped.

"Who are you?" Marius couldn't help but ask this question, he felt he knew the answer, it was locked deep inside his mind unable to come to the surface.

"You know who I am child. You have done well to keep me subdued for this long. It seems I have underestimated the young boy who I brought into the fold those long years ago. It was foolish of you however to think that you could keep me locked up for so long." There was an air of anger in the voice this time as the pain started up again.

Gritting his teeth Marius fought to stand up, only when he regained his feet did the pain and the voice stop. Staring into the burning forest Marius spoke only one word, a word that seemed to shake his very soul.

"Akriel"

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Tue May 03, 2005 9:01 pm
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Post From the land of haven, a vampiress walks the land.
Aaralyn walked inbetween her warriors. They surrounded her in order to protect their mistress from this strange land. They had come far, wandering into this new territory where they had little knowledge, except that this was a new place for worship of their goddess, the lovely, Isonia.

It was soon becoming apparent that they were just a bit lost. " Drat! " she muttered to no one but herself Arthus! Where are we? It would appear you have got us lost.

Arthus looked around nervously, unsure what to say to this vampire noblewoman. If he said the wrong thing, surely she would slaughter him. Mistress, we are surely almost later, please, pray for patience and directions he thought to himself. Surely someone would show up to help them out?

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Wed May 04, 2005 5:30 pm
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Post 
A Vampire's Gift - Trial by Fire

"Are you startled to see a vampire in your presence, Matriarch? Am I, perhaps, unwanted by Isonia thanks to my heritage? I thought of all people, Matriarch, I thought you could see the plight we now face. Surely you can feel the power I hold in my hands. Surely you can SMELL it in the very air you breath."

The charade was over and the monster revealed. A vampire. In the heart of the Ministry. I could not tell if I was revolted or attracted to this creature whose unholy appetite was one of legend. So beautifully human, but so very bestial. My eyes widened and I inhaled deeply at this new emotion, or was it the spear…that Spear. .

“I brought it here in the name of Isonia, and in Her name it shall be used. I will use it in YOUR name, Matriarch. Dardenites and Foretians...their blood is sweet. Taste it with me. Let it drip from the Spears awesome edge onto your eager tongue. It is my gift to give, Matriarch.”

It had been so long since I offered blood sacrifice to the Goddess. I recalled the statue of Her used so regularly in the desert city, the sacrificial blood blessing the stone, blessing us all. It had long since dried up, the warm red liquid no longer flowed down the narrow stone channels. Did She once again call for the blood? Did She hunger once more for the living sacrifice of heathens?

"Take the Spear, Matriarch."

Was it a trick? How would I know? I put down the goblet of wine, unable to take my eyes of the weapon. My hand came up to my forehead, as I felt a wave of heat pass over me. For once this evening, the voices in my mind had fallen deathly silent, the terrible throbbing of the spear the only sound in my mind.

I feel it, I said faintly in reply.

"Matriarch, I strongly urge you not to accept this ‘gift’ of his."

Bainev. I had almost forgotten he was there. His voice pierced my mind. Why his caution? My own welfare could not be his motive, what was he fearful of? I spoke out loud, not even thinking to use the Art,

What do you fear, Lord Bainev? Lord Viios is right, the Spear holds much power. He brings it to me! It can be ours, all of ours…

I reached forward to take the weapon offered but with a sudden roar, a wall of heat rushed to meet me. It was overwhelming and I was forced to fall back against my chair, shielding my face from the flames. A trap! Viios? But no, he was just as surprised as I…the Spear, was the blistered shaft cursed then? I turned to Lord Bainev for his assistance, he seemed strangely calm…you bastard! No more of your magic Malcolm, you do not understand what you do!

Why could I not dispel his foolishness! I can not focus enough, the flames flickered sometimes there, sometimes not but the heat keeps me back.

Lord Viios, bring it to me! Bring me the Spear! I called out in desperation.

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~Maxim Code of Conduct~


Thu May 05, 2005 3:54 am
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Malcolm attempted to raise a barrier of illusionary flame in front of the vampire, but he was unsure how affective his illusions would be on the immortal being. As a secondary precaution he disappeared, masking his appearance, sounds and scent, eliminating any evidence of his location unless Viios should want to do him harm for interfering.

His voice seemed to fill the room from all directions at once.
"Perhaps I don't understand what I am doing, but neither do you Anne. You are not thinking clearly. The spear does indeed hold great power. But great power is very dangerous and should be approached with caution. You are not being cautious Anne and you could put everyone in great peril."

He remembered how promising a student Anne had been, what had happened to her. It was a shame really, such a waste of talent.

"Anne, you know I can submit you to much worse than that fire. Please don't force me to do so."

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"Just remember that it's a grand illusion" -Styx
Malcolm Bainev IV
Patriach of House Bainev
Apperance is Everything


Thu May 05, 2005 6:48 pm
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"My gift to give....Matriarch."

It was indeed his gift to give, and this was, perhaps, the culmination of his very existence. Was he destined for just this end? Was the warfare, the bloodshed and the ages long lifetime of this vampire all leading up to this one pivotal moment in the history of the Goddess?

Those questions and more gnawed on the outside of Viios' thoughts, but he could barely hear his own mind now. It was everywhere now, the sound, the magic. It filled his minds eye, tainted every fiber of his being and was pushing him closer and closer still towards the edge of sanity. He had already forsaken his identity in the Ministry, so what did he have left to lose.

Yet there was interferance. Resistance on the side of evil, on the side of the vile servants of the heathen gods. Bainev would be dealt with as such. Viios was patient and careful, deadly and manipulative. No longer. His feet moved forward without hesitation, the Spear falling to his side, but held steadfast nonetheless. The wall of fire held no heat, he could feel it with every inch of his being. So into the heart of the blaze he walked, a merciless grin wrapped around his visage.

"Fire does not burn me, mortal. Arrows do not pierce me. Words do not sway me." The Tear Drinker grinned madly as he sent a piercing stare back at the masked Bainev through the flickering wall of fire. "You cannot stop me." An illusionist. Viios knew his kind well...and he should. It was the vampires that taught mortals the art of illusion all those ages ago, and even then only out of boredom. It would annoy Viios to know that a mortal illusionist dared challenge a vampire. However, Viios had much more pressing concerns.

The vampire waded through the inferno to see Annes gorgeous eyes staring back at him in desperation, in anger, perhaps even in terror. As the ring of illusory fire raged all around them, Viios moved in close to the Matriarch, until there was barely the light of the fire between them. Without breaking their shared eye contact his hand moved, and the Spear followed. With a gentle nudge and a carefree smile, the Black Wound dropped the butt of the Spear against the floor and pushed the flat, blunt edge onto the Matriarchs chest, allowing the feeling of its power to touch her very heart.

"You feel it." Viios utters faintly.


Sun May 08, 2005 3:15 pm
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How very disappointing, the vampire pressed on through the illusion of fire, it was just as Malcolm feared he could not affect the vile being with his magic as strongly as he could others. But with time he could remedy that with time. He knew this was no failing of his magic, for the Bainev art of Illusion had no bounds. The problem was simply that Malcolm did not know enough about Vampires to be able to control their senses thoroughly. He still held connections within the Invisible Hand and among their ranks there were a few vampire hunters. He could have them capture some weak vampires for him to experiment and practice with. Of course that did him no good now, it wouldn't do anything about Viios but nevertheless it’s good to keep learning new things for the future.

It seemed now that there was nothing more he could do to stop this. He could of course inflict a great deal of pain and other nasty things upon Anne to incapacitate her. And while that would certainly be fun it would likely only serve to enrage the vampire, and that was not something Malcolm wanted to deal with. It made him wish he still had Mantella, the bodyguard he had in his service before the wall of Tiavain. That man, though a bit unstable, had been a very proficient killer and might have proved useful at a time like this. At the very least he wished he had his saber. He wasn't very skilled with it, he was after all an artist not a warrior, but the family heirloom would have been better than nothing.

With a sigh he let the illusions drop, no use wasting his efforts any longer. With the same polite smile on his face which he had had all evening he walked back to the table and sat back down, sipping from his wine again as he watched Anne and the vampire. He was not at all happy, though it didn't show, he looked as if there was nothing odd going on at all. Such disobedience from Anne, after all that he had done for her. He had half a mind to have every person she had passed the art on to killed. And on top of everything else this vampire calling him mortal. Granted, he was technically mortal, he would die, eventually. But it was powerful magic that coursed through his veins; he was no pathetic normal human.

He sipped at his wine again.

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"Just remember that it's a grand illusion" -Styx
Malcolm Bainev IV
Patriach of House Bainev
Apperance is Everything


Sun May 08, 2005 5:00 pm
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..

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Wed May 11, 2005 8:27 pm
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Post 
The dinner is over

Perhaps I don't understand what I am doing, but neither do you Anne. You are not thinking clearly. The spear does indeed hold great power. But great power is very dangerous and should be approached with caution. You are not being cautious Anne and you could put everyone in great peril. Anne, you know I can submit you to much worse than that fire. Please don't force me to do so.

Words, such words, I thought, and he dares to threaten me in my very Stronghold…his arrogance was unacceptable. But yet he is unimportant and I shrugged off his words as the Spear was brought forward until the close and compelling aura of it drove the flickering flames from my mind.

The Spear was mine, the blistering shaft slightly hot under my touch. And everything was silent. There were no more conflicting whispers, threatening to scream at me. I knew for certain they were gone now; they had plagued me for so long that I had forgotten what it was like for them not be there. This silence was astounding. To touch the Spear was to feel a blinding and sudden clarity. For what could have been the briefest moment it felt as if I had no control of my body, my mind, my soul. I was everything and everywhere. It washed over me like an irresistible current…and then I was back and now just once voice in my mind, terrible and pure.

Lord Viios, I breathed, I have looked open the soul of the Isle. And she has found me worthy. We shall give thanks to the Goddess tomorrow. She demands sacrifice.

I could feel it, the Spear would be soaked in blood, sanctified and sanctifying our Eastern Temple in a glorious ritual. The blood of the Faithful and the blood of the Heathen. They would both be required. Malcolm Bainev sat at the end of the table, his face an impassive mask. Neither Faithful, nor Heathen and most likely too much trouble. He was no longer a concern, the Spear had no feeling towards him, the voice would give no direction. I will deal with him later, I thought, casting a threatening glare in his direction.

My Lords, if you will excuse me. I have some matters to attend to before the ceremony tomorrow. My servants will show you your guest chambers…and attend to any needs you might have,
I added with a wry smile. I will call upon you tomorrow Lord Viios.

Lord Bainev. Good night.


I opened the doors to the dining chamber and swept from the room, scattering the servants waiting on the other side. I would first check upon the dungeon in the Monastery to see if any suitable victims could be found for tomorrows sacrifice, otherwise I would need to look at the census list of the township citizens. Tomorrow would be a glorious day for Isonia.

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Ministry of Stone

~Maxim Code of Conduct~


Thu May 12, 2005 2:35 am
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