The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby PoisonedDragon » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:54 am

***SAUL and SHARA***

Saul and Shara stood in awe as they looked upon the burial chamber. Neither paid any mind to the fortune surrounding them, their eyes fixated as they were on the white light emanating from the sarcophagus. Keisha had already moved to the base of the dais, her eyes also fixed upon the glowing sarcophagus. Saul and Shara crossed the room to join Keisha at the foot of the dais, Saul stood in between the other two as they faced the beautiful marble sarcophagus. The light emanating from the sarcophagus continued to grow in intensity until it became difficult to continue looking at it, but none of the three dared to avert their eyes.

All at once, the light disappeared, as if it had all been sucked into the depths of the sarcophagus. For a moment nothing happened, and the three members of the Inner Circle stood motionless, breathless in anticipation. After a few moments in total darkness, a much softer light began to emanate from the sarcophagus. It glowed steadily, and began to rise. The three members of the Inner Circle fell to their knees as the form of Emperor Angelus rose from the sarcophagus, his golden armor glowing softly in the darkness. He raised his hands and lifted into the air as if he weighed nothing at all. He lifted free of the sarcophagus, then lowered to the floor at the top of the dais, touching down gently without making a sound. He looked over the three members of his Inner Circle. As he stood there, light once again began to glow from the ceiling, growing until it eclipsed the glow of Angelus' armor.

As Saul, Shara and Keisha looked up at their Lord, they felt the most supreme joy in their hearts. This was the moment that they had all worked so hard to achieve. Angelus stepped forward, coming down the three steps of the dais without making a sound, despite his heavy armor. He had long, flowing hair, silvery in color, and his face truly had an angelic quality. When he reached the base of the dais and walked past the Inner Circle, stopping before each. To each he offered his right hand, and allowed them to kiss the gold ring on its middle finger. First he offered it to Keisha, second to Shara, and finally to Saul, who gripped his Lord's hand reverantly and touched the ring lightly with his lips. Angelus then stepped back and spread his arms. When he spoke, his voice was soft, but still managed to fill the chamber.

"My faithful children, it makes me truly grateful to have you here on this glorious day. For a thousand years I have slept, and for a thousand years I have dreamed only of this moment, when I would rise to reclaim what is rightfully mine. For a thousand years you, and your fathers before you, have labored endlessly to make this dream a reality. Now the time has come, the moment of victory is at hand. You have prepared the way, and now I will take what is mine. I would not be here without you, my children. Feel proud of what you have achieved, and what you have yet to achieve in my honor."

Emperor Angelus lowered his arms, and Saul was forced to blink away tears, so touching had he found the speech. Angelus looked from one to the other of the Inner Circle with a soft smile on his face.

"Now tell me, most faithful of my servants, where is my Mask?"

It was the only part of his Lord's resurrection that Saul had been dreading, for it had been his own fault, placing Weiss in charge of procuring the Mask, that had resulted in its loss. Saul immediately dropped his forehead to the floor in supplication.

"My Lord, the Mask has been lost. I accept full responsibility. It was my own foolishness that allowed two thieves to escape with your treasure."

The smile faded from Angelus' face, and his voice took on a hardened quality and rose slightly in volume.


"Yes my Lord. We tried for months to penetrate this tomb to reach you, to wake you, but the usurpers' traps defeated even the best we had to send. In the end, it was a minor lieutenant of the Brotherhood who gave us the answer. He knew a thief you see, the best there was he said. He hired the thief to steal the Mask, thereby fulfilling your resurrection. The thieves proved more resourceful than we had imagined, and despite our best efforts, managed to escape with the Mask. It was my mistake that allowed this to happen, and I take full responsibility for the consequences of my actions."

Saul remained motionless, his forehead on the ground as he awaited his Lord's judgement. He was surprised when Angelus knelt before him, taking Saul's chin gently in his hand. Angelus slowly raised Saul's head until they were looking into each others' eyes. The smile had returned to Angelus' face, and his voice was once again soft and soothing, dispelling any of Saul's fears of retribution.

"Rest easy my son. This blame is not yours to bear."

Angelus rose to his feet and looked over his favored disciples once again. The smile had left his face once more, and a dangerous gleam filled his eyes.

"But I assure you, those who are to blame will pay dearly."
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Kajatta » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:01 am

In all her years of service, Kajatta would've never expected to find herself in this situation. In battle against treacherous forces was always a possibility, though remote, but that she would be fighting alongside criminals had never crossed her mind. The whole situation had her mind racing, was Weiss working alone? Was General Saul involved? If so, how much of the military was compromised? There were many questions and no time to seek answers as she soldiers approached.

Just as he had done earlier that day at Tallus's east gate, Arrius rushed headstrong into the group closest to him. Charging straight through most of them, and grabbing the last one by the throat only to immediately spin around and hurl him back into the staggered group. Almost simultaneously, Xander dashed off to the other side of the enemy formation and appeared to Kajatta to be a whirling dervish of death as he spun with his blades.

Kajatta could not afford to watch them for long, as another group of soldiers approacher her directly. There was six of them intended for her, three held spears, the rest swords. She looked at each of their faces, recognizing all of them. Only hours ago they had been allies, and now because of a traitor she was forced to fight against them. She dropped her left hand to her hip, feeling for her sword, but found nothing, not even an empty scabbard. As far as she knew the blade could be anywhere between the east gate of Tallus and the back of that cart. The way things stood though, she wouldn't have time to look for it either way.

The soldiers slowed to encircle Kajatta as they reached her, she could see the confusion on their faces. But she knew that they were all loyal, and if they thought Weiss was a more reliable source for orders than she was, she knew they would execute her just as they were told. She stood quietly watching them as they slowly stepped around to completely surround her. Suddenly the three spear men let out a yell and all thrust at her chest. Kajatta instantly dropped to the ground, just barely diving under the attacks. At the same time she flattened her open hand against the hard dirt surface of the road and released the magical energy she had been quietly preparing. A loud muffled sounding pulse echoed through the clearing as the magic energy surged underground. All six men around Kajatta lost their balance as the entire earth below them seemed to jump up at them, causing their knees to buckle.

Kajatta didn't waste the opportunity, quickly reaching up with both hands and grabbing two of the spear shafts still cross over her head. Using them as leverage, she spun around, wrapping her arms around her body while holding the spears to make the stumbling men fall toward her. She kicked the first one in the face as he stumbled into her, forcing him to release his weapon as he fell back. By that point the second one she had pulled toward her was practically falling on her, but from her position with her arms wrapped around herself, she was able to quickly jab out and elbow straight into his nose. It didn't pack enough force to knock him back like his partner, but enough to drop him to his knees and also make him release his spear.

The third spear man had planted his spear into the ground to brace against falling. Kajatta lunged at him next, still holding both spears by the shaft just behind the head she impaled both of them into his neck, nearly severing his head entirely. She released her weapons and let them fall to the ground planted in her victim, at the same time she took the clean spear from the slain soldier as he fell.

Kajatta turned to face the remaining soldiers who were now no longer surrounding her, bringing the spear to bear against them. Though she was no long surrounded, she had positioned herself awkwardly, putting herself at an angle between the remaining soldiers, and the group Arrius was fighting. Though given what she had seen so far that day, she wasn't worried that they might turn to face her. The remaining soldiers were recovering from her surprise attack, two of the swordsmen already had weapons trained on her and the third was rising to his feet.

Just then Kajatta noticed a suspicious movement in the polished metal of the spear head. She angled it slightly to see the reflection of Weiss, who had stood back up after Xander's attack. And even though he was still holding one hand to his face trying to contain the bleeding, he held his other hand up to his side. A sudden realization struck Kajatta and she quickly raised the spear over her head and swung it in as wide an arc as possible to threaten the swordsmen into stepping back. Following with the swing she turned to face Weiss, aiming her free hand directly at him. Focusing magical energy to her fingertip, she quickly drew a series of patterns into the air in front of her.

Weiss motioned forward with his free hand, at the same time Kajatta's glyph glowed brightly as she plunged her hand into the completed pattern. Suddenly all the soldiers engaging Arrius and Xander jumped back a safe distance as a flurry of arrows flew toward all three of them from the trees and bushes further up the road. As the arrows grew closer, they struck the barrier Kajatta was able to manifest, incinerating almost instantly as they passed the threshold, leaving just a thin stream of glowing embers pointing at their intended targets.
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Arrius » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:18 pm

Arrius cursed when he had first seen the soldiers approaching. It was just their luck. Not only had the army anticipated their movements, they had gotten ahead on the road when they cut through the forest to get here now. Arrius sized up the soldiers as they had approached, and he had to admit that the odds did not seem to be in their favor. When Arrius noticed Weiss he cursed under his breath. That man would die, and Arrius would see it done by his own hand. Once Arrius stopped the cart he got down to keep his feet on solid ground. Xander came out to join him and soon Xander and Weiss were talking. Arrius didn’t pay much attention to what was being said. He was too busy sizing up the soldiers, looking for a weakness or something he could exploit. Arrius knew that no matter what words were said it would come down to a fight. Weiss had come for the mask and to avenge his wounded pride. Arrius intended to wound far more than that. Xander took the thought right out of his mind when he moved forward and struck Weiss. Arrius was not surprised with Xander’s action but he was surprised that their hostage had gotten loose. Still, Arrius’ focus was on the armed soldiers before him and not on the unarmed escaped hostage.

The soldiers moved forward to defend their pathetic leader, and Arrius let out a growl before rushing forward. Arrius moved like an avalanche, rushing forward toward the armed soldiers. Most carried swords but several held spears as well. Arrius simply brushed the spearheads aside as they planted the weapon for his charge. There were not enough spears to prevent Arrius from breaking their rank and in the precious few seconds when the two forces met, Arrius got in close and used his strength and bulk to trample through them. The group of soldiers were forced back and several fell from the force of it. Arrius felt one of the swords scrape off the steel shoulder pads he wore as armor while he passed but the moment he was through the group he turned back to face them. The soldiers recovered quickly and moved into a formation to face him. Arrius instead moved to a soldier that had been forced to the ground with his charge. The man was just getting up when Arrius used the heel of his foot to slam his head back into the dirt. A second stomp on the back of his head was all that it took for the soldier to stay down. Arrius picked him up just as his friends closed the distance to engage him. Arrius used the wounded soldier as a temporary shield, but the others held back from striking for fear of killing their comrade. Arrius used the momentary distraction and threw the man at the group. Several men side stepped the action, while three reached out to catch him. Two of them had dropped their swords to free their hands. The soldiers he faced were now separated into two groups and Arrius moved to close the distance with the armed section.

Arrius felt the earth shake from somewhere behind him and to the left. He didn’t understand what it was and didn’t have time to look. Arrius used his steel gauntlets to deflect several sword strikes as he closed the distance. Once he was close enough his fists began to work. Most of these men were trained at dealing with an individual at mutual sword length. Once Arrius closed in, the soldiers seemed to forget their training. Their enemy was too close now, and the psychotic look in his eye was enough to cause their legs to tremble even before Arrius’ fist weakened their bodies. With ever movement Arrius lashed out with a strike then stepped to the side. He moved to position himself and funnel his enemies at him. He rarely let another to his back for more than a half a heartbeat before moving. The soldiers began tripping over one another trying to get to him.

Two more soldiers fell from powerful punches and knees delivered by Arrius. It was then that Arrius felt pain race through his back and he realized he had been stabbed. It had not been the first time and he did not cry out. Arrius simple turned to see one of the spearmen had moved in behind him and stuck the spear point into his back. Arrius reached around and grabbed the shaft and pulled it from the soldier’s hands then out of his back. Arrius could feel the warm blood running down his back but he let the pain feed his anger. He took a moment to look at the bloody spear head before looking back at the soldier who had wielded it. The soldier, now unarmed began to shake and hold his hands up for mercy. Arrius growled and threw the spear to the ground and lunged forward. The soldier cried out for mercy even as Arrius grabbed him by the throat and lifted him off the ground choking him with both hands. The soldier began flailing and kicking feebly. Arrius could smell the odor of urine as he began to choke the soldier into the afterlife.

The apparent absence of pain Arrius displayed from being stabbed caused several of the other soldiers to lose their nerve. Arrius found the other soldiers moved into a defensive position as they tried to regroup. No one came to the aid of their dying companion. They had apparently already written him off.

It was then that the other soldiers backed away from him quickly and Arrius smiled. It had been proven time and time again. Savageness can overcome a pack. It was then that Arrius realized he read their reaction wrong. Looking over he saw a series of arrows fly towards them from the forest up the road. Arrius didn’t have time to let out a curse as the arrows closed to strike. In that same moment the arrows burst into flames and fell as embers instead of the deadly bolts. Now Arrius did have the time to react.
”What the hell was that!” He shouted. Arrius didn’t wait for an answer. He saw where the arrows had been shot from. If there was one thing he hated it was archers. They were cowards, every one. Hiding in the bushes and using their arrows to keep their enemies at a distance. It was a despicable way to commit murder. There was no personal accountability. Arrius preferred the close in hands on approach. Arrius felt his blood beginning to boil at the thought of the cowards thinking themselves safe in the forest.

Arrius felt himself lose control as he let out a cry of rage. It was an unfortunate side effect of his cocktail. In this state he did not feel fear or pain while the feeling gripped him but his senses were dulled and he had extreme tunnel vision on a single goal with all logic and reasoning leaving him. Arrius felt the soldier still being choked in his hands fall limp and he used his hands to finish crushing his windpipe. Arrius held the soldier in front of him as he began to run forward as fast as his bulk would take him. His target was the archers in the trees. Weiss had moved to the side to avoid Arrius’ charge. Arrius closed the distance faster than most would give him credit for. His thoughts were clouded and he was seeing red. He would make the cowards pay. As he approached another volley of arrows was unleashed, though the archers now saw him as a threat and every one had targeted him. Arrius didn’t know how many arrows had been fired, but he knew that several had missed him and most of them struck the human shield he held before him. Arrius pressed forward un-phased by the barrage of arrows.

A second volley was fired, with each of them directed at him alone as the distance between them dwindled. There were fewer arrows now, as several of the archers had seen the danger and had already begun to run.

The archers were more accurate now that the range was so low but every arrow was caught in the soldier who was now riddled with arrow shafts. Arrius had finally reached the first of the soldiers. Even though they tried to run, Arrius’ momentum caught up quickly. He used the body to force the first one to the ground. Arrius continued holding the body for cover while he used his boots to kick in and crush the archer’s skull against the ground. Only two or three arrows fired at him again while all the remaining archers had retreated. Arrius charged for the next pair who could not turn to escape fast enough. Arrius finally threw the body to the ground as he grabbed onto both of the archers. They had dropped their bows and were now begging for mercy offering promises of gold and pardons for his crimes. Their words fell on deaf ears as Arrius quickly knocked them down with powerful strikes from his gauntleted fists. Even once the two archers had fallen from the force of the blows Arrius did not relent. He continued to strike even when it was clear they were both unconscious. Arrius had lost control and he did not relent. His fists raised and fell like a blacksmith hammering out stubborn steel. Time was meaningless now and he was not aware of anything around him. He just continued to pound his steel covered fist into what was left of their faces. By the time Arrius had finished and his senses were returning he looked down at his bloodied hands.

He was kneeling on the ground with the two archers lying prone before him. Their faces were no longer recognizable as human. Their skull was more bone chips and blood than it was solid content. There was no question that they had both died long ago. Arrius stopped and looked around. He knew the families of those archers would not be able to identify them. There was no doubt they had been bludgeoned to death, yet Arrius felt it was justice. They were cowards and deserved no better. Still, Arrius had momentarily forgotten about everything else that had happened. Standing up, Arrius returned to the road and began to walk back to where he saw Xander. His mailed fists were still dripping with blood and his clothing and face was covered. He returned looking as though he had bathed in blood, and he could feel it running down his cheeks from where it had splashed up onto him. He did not bother to clean it. He knew his look would disturb the weaker of men, and Arrius wanted to know if Weiss still lived. He was very interested in interrogating the betrayer.
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Keisha » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:07 pm

When the moment of Angelus’ resurrection finally came Keisha found herself holding her breath. Her entire life had been devoted to serving the man... or demi god, which was being risen before them. She suddenly became very conscious of how she looked. Would she live up to his expectations? Keisha remained silent as Angelus returned, and in turn he acknowledged her and gave her an opportunity to kiss this ring. It was an action she did gratefully. Simply to be in his presence was intoxicating. The power he held could be felt in the air around them.

Keisha’s heart caught in her throat when Angelus praised them for their dedication and spoke of their success. She could feel the excitement and adrenalin in her veins, and when Angelus asked about the location of the mask Keisha suddenly felt ashamed. Even though it had not been her task to retrieve the mask, she felt responsible for its loss. As a member of the inner circle they were as one. The failure or success of one was felt by all.

Saul took responsibility for the loss. Keisha knew that it was not the whole truth, but Saul had never been a man to blame others for mistakes. It was a noble quality, yet Keisha feared her master’s wrath. It came with great relief that Angelus was not angry; at least not at them. Keisha saw him as a wise ruler, and his wrath would certainly be felt by the thieves responsible.

Finally, Angelus looked each of them over individually.

“Rise my children.” Angelus said as he stood before them. Keisha rose to her feet quickly, but kept her head bowed in reverence. Angelus stepped over to her and with a gentle touch of his hand he raised her chin until they were looking eye to eye.

“You need not avert your gaze from me, my daughter. What is your name?” Angelus asked without removing his hand.

“I am Keisha, your loyal Shadow Sword. Many who would have opposed you have fallen silently before my blades. I am yours to command, Master.” Keisha said with confidence. Angelus nodded and let his hand fall away. He looked each of them over carefully, and then moved to Saul. He did not need to speak, and Saul answered.

“I am Saul, First Sword of the Brotherhood, High General of the Tallusian Army. I have ensured your army remains well trained and awaiting your command.” Saul said proudly. Angelus looked at Saul inquisitively.
Saul nodded and explained.
“After you were... laid to rest, there were several hundred years of peace. In time the Monarchs of this continent began to bicker and war began anew between the provinces and city states. The war lasted only a generation and in the aftermath the Empire of Tallus was formed of several of the smaller provinces. The boarders of Tallus span as far North as the Vallerieth Mountains with the Serpent River to the West and the Black sea runs our boarders to the East and West.”
Angelus nodded. Clearly Angelus would have a great deal of current events to catch up with, but now was not the time.
“Very good my son, you have done well.” Angelus said before moving over to Shara. Again, no words were needed for Shara to know what was expected of her.
“I am Grand Magus Shara.” She said evenly. Her introduction was short and to the point, but Keisha knew her talents would speak for themselves soon enough.

Angelus smiled at them all, and the sight made emotions stir inside Keisha she had thought long dormant. She felt the acceptance of the only figure in her life that she truly cared about.

“Come, let us be away from this place. I have been here far too long.”

It did not take long for them to walk back through the tomb. There were no longer any traps there. Angelus walked slowly, taking in every sight before him. They did not rush and eventually they emerged outside. The crisp night air was cool against their skin. Once outside Angelus stopped and took a moment. He raised his head to the sky and closed his eyes. He took in a deep breath of the fresh air and held it for a moment before breathing out.

“We have much to do. I was taken from this world far too early, but now my time has come at last. Soon, I will have my Empire back, and you, my children, will have a hand in the making of history. Now, step forward Shadow Sword.”

Keisha stepped forward without hesitation and stood straight before her Master.

“Now, my child, I have need of you.” Angelus began.

“My life is yours to command Master.” Keisha answered dutifully.

“Who is the usurper who sits on my throne?” Angelus asked. Keisha had known this task would be coming.
“He calls himself Emperor Vorryn, Master.” Angelus nodded and paused for a moment.
“Bring me his heart.”
“Consider it yours.” Keisha answered.

She did not require any further instruction before turning away. Using her telekinesis Keisha jumped and pushed herself up to grab onto the roof of the mausoleum where she disappeared into the night. Her mission was clearly set before her and she had but one focus now. She would leave Saul and Shara to serve their master as needed.
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby PoisonedDragon » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:06 pm

As soon as Weiss went down from Xander's strike, the soldiers attacked. Arrius immediately charged the group closest to him, overunning them with his bulk and brute strength. Xander drew his swords and went in the opposite direction, taking a very different approach. The soldiers were trained fighters, and they worked fairly well together, coordinating their attacks with standard military efficiency. None of them was fast enough for Xander however, as he dodged spear tips and parried sword strikes with his usual grace and skill. Within a few seconds of engaging the soldiers, Xander had dropped two of them, one with a well aimed slash across the throat, and the second with a well placed thrust through the ribcage. With two of their number taken out so easily, the remaining troops backed off a little and approached him more cautiously.

Xander quickly assessed the remaining soldiers and identified which of them posed the greatest threat. The answer was readliy apparent, for one of the soldiers facing Xander moved with much more self assurance than the others, and held his sword with far more skill. Xander kept his eyes on that soldier, but still managed to take out a third enemy who came at him from the side. As that third soldier moved in, Xander suddenly dropped to the ground, kicked the soldier's legs out from under him, then plunged the tips of both his swords into the man's chest, all without ever taking his eyes off his target. His opponent merely smiled at Xander's feat and swung his sword through the air as though testing its weight. He seemed content to simply stay where he was and let Xander make his way to him.

Xander was more than happy to oblige, and on the way engaged two more soldiers. He took them on simultaneously, parrying the thrusts of their spears. The two he fought were clumsy, and dodging their attacks was only too easy. Xander soon maneuvered himself into position with one on either side of him. One of them thrust his spear, and Xander deflected it, driving it into the other soldier's chest. Before the soldier could pull his spear loose, Xander was upon him, stabbing his blades deep into the man's midsection. By then, most of the other soldiers had fled, either from Xander's blades or Arrius' rage, and the only opponent remaining was the calm swordsman. The swordsman flashed Xander a grin, but his gaze actually seemed to be focussed somewhere behind Xander.

Suddenly, the swordsman turned and ran, and Xander heard a whistling in the air. He spun in time to see a volley of arrows flying towards them. Out of the corner of his eye he caught a flash of light coming from Kajatta's direction. The arrows suddenly burst into flames as they streaked through the air, and bu the time they reached Xander and the others they were mere streams of ash. Arrius bellowed with rage, and Xander could understand why, he knew his big friend's feelings about archers. As Arrius took off in the direction of the arrow shots, Xander looked around.

The ground was littered with corpses and stained with blood. The carnage seemed centred on three seperate locations, and Xander was a bit surprised to see that Kajatta had fought with Arrius and himself against her former comrades. Weiss and the remaining soldiers had fled, leaving Kajatta and Xander standing alone amid the bodies. As Xander made his way over to where Kajatta was still standing he noticed that the ground beneath her was cracked. During the battle he had imagined that he felt the earth beneath him shift and rumble, but had not had enough time to wonder at its meaning. As the clues came together in his head, Xander began to chuckle. He had heard the rumors, and had wondered whether there was any truth to them.

"So, Major, 9th Special Forces was it? The wouldn't happen to be the Mage Corps, would it?"

The look on Kajatta's face was enough to give Xander his answer. He laughed again, sheathed his blades and continued moving towards her.

"Don't worry about it Jatta, I could care less whether or not you're a mage. Just another of those interesting hypocrisies the military is so famous for. Outlawing magic in public forum, while secretly using mages as weapons. Oh, I have no doubt that magic is useful in combat, you've proven that today. But don't you ever feel like your life is a lie? If you were not an officer in the military you would be hunted as a criminal, just like Arrius or myself."

Xander returned to the cart, sat in the back and lit a cigar while he waited for Arrius to return. Kajatta soon joined him, and sat in the back of the cart with him, no longer showing any desire to fight against him or to escape. Arrius returned a short while later, covered in blood and dripping gore. Xander had seen his big friend look worse after a fight, so he wasn't too concerned, and in a few short moments they were back on the road to Leita. Xander and Arrius quickly discussed alternate courses of action, but ultimately came to the conclusion that they had no better course than to continue on to Leita. Arrius once again took the reins of the cart, while Xander and Kajatta sat in the back. Xander smoked in silence for some time, regarding Kajatta carefully. He still didn't fully trust her, but she had fought alongside him in the battle. Xander also knew that once Weiss reported to whoever it was he was working with in Tallus, Kajatta would be labelled a traitor and they would start hunting her with just as much vigor as they were hunting Xander and Arrius. Studying the look on Kajatta's face, Xander could tell she was thinking the same thing.

Xander came to a decision and reached into his bag. He pulled out the cloth-wrapped Mask that had caused all this trouble. He shifted his position in the cart so that he was facing Kajatta and made sure he had her full attention.

"Well Jatta, I think its time you heard the whole story."
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Kajatta » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:48 am

As they continued down the road to Leita in the back of the rickety old cart, Kajatta listened patiently to Xander's story. She rummaged through the cart under the cabbages and was finally gratified to find her saber, still in its embossed scabbard. Once she secured it back on her hip, she discarded the spear. Even though her magic powers afforded her the luxury of never really needing to carry a weapon, her military training focussed heavily on armed martial combat, also she preferred the discretion of using a simple tool where magic would be inappropriate.

"So what you're saying is," Kajatta began after listening to Xander's story. "Even though normally you're just thieves, today you elected to try out tomb robbery. Within a military base, no less. Explain it how you will, you were criminals before I met you, and you're criminals now."

Xander glared at her narrowly, but offered no more.

"Still." She continued. "It's clear now that things aren't what they seem within the army. I doubt if I can expose any conspiracy on my own. So tell me about your contact in Leita."

"How did you..." Xander started to ask before being interrupted.

"The same way the army knew to find us along this road. I followed you across the city for most of last night." She bragged. "Most of what you just told me I had already heard you say."

"Well, Jatta, you're just full of surprises." Xander replied. Kajatta suspected he was disappointed in himself for being followed, but if he truly was he was doing a fair job of hiding it. "But this will affect our plans, if they know we're going to Leita they will be waiting for us."

"Correction, they will be waiting for you." Kajatta said arrogantly. "Still, I suppose I owe you for not just killing me and leaving me in a ditch. Plus, I don't know who I can trust in the military right now. They would've had time to get word to Leita ahead of us about the two of you, but unless I was betrayed earlier than I think, I should still be on good terms with the guard unit there. Once I'm in I'll arrange to leave one of the side doors unguarded for you."

"And we're supposed to just suddenly trust each other?" Xander mocked. "What if you decide to turn us in to your allies?"

"Given what I've seen in the past twelve hours, turning you in would be a sure way to get my 'allies' killed. I will ensure an unguarded entrance, you can choose to enter the city, or you can be on your way. The choice is yours. I'll have my own business to attend to anyway while you see your contact. Now if you don't mind, I've had a long night, I'd like to get some rest before we arrive."

With that, Kajatta grabbed one of the cabbages that littered the bed of the cart and placed it between her head and and old boards that made up the side of the cart and closed her eyes. Listening to the slow trotting of the mule on the dirt road, she dozed off quickly.


Kajatta awoke to stiff prodding at her shoulder to find the massive shape of Arrius next to her in the cart. She assumed at some point in the afternoon the two men had switched places, but it was of little relevance to her.

"We're here." He said to her as she woke. Kajatta hadn't really had the opportunity to speak with Arrius since they left Tallus, but she suspected he didn't have much he wanted to say to her.

Kajatta quickly crawled out of the back of the cart and looked around to get her bearings. The cart had been pulled to the side of the road. Leita awaited a few hundred yards down the road. The sun was setting behind the city and she knew that there would most likely be a checkpoint at both main gates. The smaller entrances would be guarded and the guards would be directing all traffic around through the main gates. She had been to Leita before, she knew the city fairly well, and though its walls were nothing compared to those of Tallus, they were still enough to keep out anything but the birds.

Taking a deep breath, Kajatta approached the front of the cart where Xander was preparing his things. "If I remember correctly, there's a small access door along the southwest side of the wall." She said. "When I was here last year I noticed it, I suggested to the local officials that it was a security risk and recommended the seal it up. I suspect it's still there, at best probably boarded up with one guard that patrols the area every hour. That's probably your way in. Either way I'll go in first to make sure it's clear. You two should wait until nightfall, the area immediately outside is wide open and you'll be easily spotted."

With that said, Kajatta walked off in the direction of the city's east gate. She knew the two men would be kept busy for a while discussing whether or not they should trust her. And for a large portion of her walk to the city, she considered it herself. Maybe she should turn them in, they were criminals after all. Regardless of what the military was up to, it wouldn't be the first time the army ran operations she wasn't privy to. It was however the first time her own comrades openly attacked her and accused her of treason. Whatever conspiracy was taking place within the ranks, she would have to rely on outside help to expose it. Still, the most important thing for the moment was the bracelet on her left wrist. As long as she wore it, the conspirators would have a way of finding her.

Within minutes, Kajatta arrived at the east gate checkpoint. The guards were just finishing inspecting a wagon leaving the city when she approached them. Seeing her uniform, they instantly saluted. "Gentlemen." She said, returning the salute quickly. She was actually relieved that they saluted her at all. "Major Kajatta Daystar, 9th Special Forces."

"Of course, ma'am." Said one of the guards. "Please go on in."

She nodded and stepped past the checkpoint. She cursed herself for not giving a fake name, but if the guards had been more paranoid, or better informed, they might have asked her to show credentials, in which case she would've been out of luck. As it was, it was better that they know she was in the city when word arrived from Weiss's co-conspirators than to have to explain her deception right then and there.

Once within the city walls, Kajatta made her way immediately to the access door along the southwest wall. It was all exactly as she remembered, and when she arrived at the door she was almost disappointed to see it had not even been so much as boarded up. She approached it to see if it was even locked and actually had to hold back a chuckle as it swung open as easily as a tavern door. Looking out she saw the ground outside was sloppy and muddy. She giggled at the thought of Xander and Arrius traversing that quagmire. If she saw them again they might have cruel words to share with her.

"Halt! Who goes there?" A voice called from behind. At least the patrol was on schedule.

"Major Kajatta Daystar." She said sternly as she turned to face him.

"Ma'am." He saluted as he recognized her uniform. "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"You can explain to me why this entrance still exists. It is a security risk, at any time any number of dangerous elements could infiltrate this city from this door."

"Ma'am?" The guard looked confused for a moment. "Do you really think that could happen in Leita?"

"You will speak when I ask you to speak, guardsman!" She shouted. The guard instantly straightened his posture and stood at attention. "As a matter of fact, there are known fugitives heading for Leita as we speak. Are you telling me you're unaware?"

"No ma'am. The entire Leitan regiment has been made aware."

"Yes, I've been through the checkpoint. But this is still a vulnerable point of entry. What do you think we should do about that?"

"I could gather materials and blockade it right away, ma'am."

"No." She responded. This was the moment of truth. Until this point she could still turn back, but now she had to choose. And as much as it pained her to make the decision, it was a matter of fact that if she turned to the military now, the conspirators would have her executed. "Return to your duties. Do only as you've been instructed. I have a meeting with the prefect in the morning, if the fugitives should enter through here, it will be on his head. Dismissed."

"Ma'am." The guard saluted and returned to his patrol.

With that taken care of, Kajatta returned to her own objective. Finding her own contact from the academy who could help her remove the bracelet.
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Arrius » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:21 pm

The rest of the journey had been dull. Arrius had driven the cart for some time before Xander volunteered to switch and give him a chance to rest. Arrius had been content to sit in the back of the cart, though he would not sleep. Kajatta was sleeping as though she had not a care in the world. When they had finally arrived they met a distance from the entrance to the city. Arrius knew they would have to plan their next move carefully. They did not need another repeat of what happened the last time they went through a gate. Xander seemed to be collecting new pets that way and Arrius would rather keep their company small.

Kajatta mentioned a possible entry point, which was a small door on the southwest side of the wall. The way she described it, it sounded like a smuggler’s dream. Something Arrius thought was too good to be true. Kajatta walked off toward the gate. Kajatta had not gotten far before Arrius turned to Xander and under his breath he couldn’t help but talk.
”We can’t let her just walk in there. As soon as she’s away from us she will alert them to our coming. I can still catch her before they see her.” Arrius suggested. He didn’t have to say what his plan would be if he caught up with her.
“No.” Xander said simply. “She has a lot to lose. They have labeled her a traitor as well.”
”What would be a better way to regain their favor than to hand them the two very people they’ve been searching for. If she turns us in I think she will be more than in their good graces.”
Xander didn’t say anything at first.
“We need to get into the city, and word of our destination has no doubt reached every soldier in the city by now. They will already be waiting for us. If she does turn us in we will not be any worse off than if we try to walk through that gate.”
There was a moment of silence as the two men thought of their situation.
”Do you think it’s a risk we can afford? Perhaps we could find another way in?” Arrius asked, not wanting to put his trust in a former prisoner.
“There may be another way, but none will be easy and in every case we risk discovery. I think we should try this door, but go forward cautiously. If we see anything out of place we’ll get the hell out of there.” Xander suggested. Arrius let out a sigh.
”If you think that’s what we should do then I’m with you. But if it is a trap that traitorous bitch is mine. No arguments.”
Xander smiled and nodded.
“Of course my friend. If it is a trap then I shall leave you to your vices.”

Then it became a waiting game. They stayed off the road and waited for the sun to fall behind the hills. Once the full dark of night had set Xander finally said it was time. They moved out quickly abandoning the cart. Xander had cut the mule loose and left it to wander free outside the city. Arrius followed Xander as they made their way around to the southwest side. Xander’s keen eye picked up the silhouette of the door in the wall. Arrius would not have even seen it in the darkness. Kajatta was right in saying the path to the door was over an open field.
”What of the guards patrolling?” Arrius asked as they surveyed the door and the field leading up to it.
“Without eyes on the other side of the wall it will be all about luck. We do not know how many there may be or how often they will come by. I have not seen any crossing along the top of the wall so we should be okay there. It is the ones behind the wall that are concerning.”
”Well if she kept her word the numbers won’t be anything we couldn’t handle right.”
“Right. Well, now’s as good a time as any.”
”Wait. I’ll go first. If there is a trap they can try to take me. You keep the mask here and come when I signal.”

Arrius ran out without waiting for Xander to answer. He sprinted over the open field leading to the wall. There was no way to approach without being seen so the only option was to close the distance as quickly as possible.

He reached the wall and stopped by resting his back against the rough stone. He listened for any sound from inside. There was nothing. Arrius tried the door and found it unlocked, as promised. He entered cautiously and moved in far enough he was certain to have set off any ambush. Arrius was still suspicious but finally conceded that it might be clear. He went back to the door and motioned for Xander to follow. Xander reached the door quickly and they did not waste words but better spent the energy by running. They left the door quickly, and made their way into the city.

Arrius was actually surprised to find it clear. Xander took the lead and began taking them through the streets following a path only he knew. Arrius was surprised to see that Xadner was taking them to a relatively wealth district in the city. Arrius had assumed they were going to the slums. Finally Xander stopped and moved into the shadows. He motioned to a two story single house that was built on the corner. The building was old stone but was clearly owned by someone with at least a passing success. Arrius guessed a merchant, but he couldn’t say for sure.
“Let me do the talking.” Was all that Xander said before they set out again.
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby PoisonedDragon » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:33 am

***SAUL and SHARA***

Once Keisha had slinked off to her task, Saul and Shara were left alone in the cemetary with Angelus. The sun was still high in the sky, and Angelus stood beneath it in the open air, basking in its warmth. With the light reflecting from his golden armor and shimmering in his silver hair, he seemed more of a god than ever. He turned first to Shara and regarded her with loving and compassionate eyes.

"Grand Magus, I task you with finding my Mask. While it is true that the Mask's enchantment prevents any form of remote location, it is also true that with the aid of your talents you can cover much more ground in a short amount of time. Find these thieves and bring them to me, alive, that they might know my wrath."

Shara inclined her head reverently.

"It shall be as you command, my Lord."

Angelus turned then to Saul.

"First Sword, how long before you can have my armies ready to march?"

Saul snapped to attention, he had painstakingly prepared for this moment, and was eager to show his master how much he had accomplished.

"My Lord, in preparation for your resurrection I have ensured that the entire army is in a state of constant readiness. The First through Fourth Legions, twenty thousand infantry in all, can be ready to march in as little as three days. The remaining six Legions will be ready in a fortnight. Also, the First through Third Battallions, nearly three thousand cavalry, can be ready to march with the first four Legions. The rest of our cavalry, seven Battallions more, will be ready in conjunction with the rest of our infantry. In addition, all divisions of our Special Forces can be ready in as little as five days."

"How many men serve in my armies, in total?"

"Fifty thousand infantry, ten thousand cavalry, twenty thousand archers from the First through Fifth Special Forces, four thousand auxiliary troops from the Sixth through Eighth Special Forces, and approximately three hundred mages from the Ninth Special Forces. Nearly eighty five thousand, all told."

Angelus nodded, a slight frown on his face.

"I suppose it will do for a start, but we will need to increase its number if our plans are to be fulfilled. This world is in peril my son, and we must save it, even from itself. Many will resist salvation, and we must be prepared to meet their resistance with the might of an invincible army at our backs."

"What shall I do my Lord?"

"Give the order to prepare those troops already at our disposal, they will march as soon as they are ready. You will also order a conscription. Every able bodied man capable of wielding a weapon will now be required to serve in our armies. Strike down any who resist and lay their bodies aside, they too shall serve their purpose."

"It shall be as you command."

"Now, go to your duties my children. I shall remain here for a time and enjoy my freedom. Find me this evening in the throne room. By then the Shadow Sword will have completed her task, and I will have taken my rightful place."

Both Saul and Shara bowed, then left the cemetary. As they crossed the courtyard, a husky guard came puffing towards them. He stopped as he reached them and, after pausing to catch his breath, saluted and focussed his attention on Saul.

"General Saul, sir, I have an urgent report."

"Then give it and quit wasting my time."

"Yes sir. Just before dawn, my patrol was intercepted by Major Kajatta Daystar, of the Ninth Special Forces division. She took command of our unit and issued orders that I should report here as soon as possible. She said that you were searching for two thieves who broke into this compound last night, and that she was planning to ambush them at the East Gate as they attempted to escape the city. She also mentioned that should she fail to capture them at the East Gate, that their destination was most likely the city of Leita."

In the time that the guard had been talking, a second had come up behind him. He also saluted before addressing Saul.

"General Saul, I have an update on the situation at the East Gate. Major Daystar's ambush failed. Seven guards were killed during the battle, and the Major herself was taken hostage by the assailants. I made my report to Captain Darius, who took a small unit to attempt to intercept them on the road to Leita. I believe that your guest, Mister Weiss went with them, though I don't know why."

Saul was furious. Without bothering to give an answer to either guard he stormed out of the courtyard with Shara keeping pace beside him. They arrived at Saul's office a few moments later, and he slammed the door shut behind him. Saul raged around his office for a few minutes, trying to come up with a plan. Shara on the other hand, simply took a seat in on of the chairs in front of Saul's desk, and seemed content to watch his fury with a look of amusement on her face. Finally, Saul calmed down a little, and took a seat behind his desk across from Shara.

"What are you so happy about Grand Magus? This whole thing is a disaster. First, Weiss fails to regain the Mask from the thieves outside the crypt. Then Major Daystar failed to take the thieves at the East Gate, getting herself captured in the process. And now Weiss has gone off to try again, taking no more soldiers than these thieves have already proven themselves capable of handling."

"Of course First Sword, it is quite unfortunate that so much could go wrong in such a short time. But our little thieves have made one critial error in judgement."

"And that is?"

"Why, taking Major Daystar hostage of course. Ah, but perhaps you were not aware. All members of the Ninth Special Forces division, the Mage Corps as it is sometimes called, are fitted with a Control Bracelet. Owing to the unstable nature of magic users, it was deemed necessary to introduce a measure of control. My predecessor was the one who invented the bracelets. The bracelets are controlled by the masters of the Magus Order, and allow the wearer to be tracked, no matter where they may go. They can also be disabled with a simple command, rendering them incapable of any form of resistance, should they turn on us. I need merely alert the masters of the Order, and we will know the thieves' exact location within a matter of minutes."

A smile spread across Saul's face as Shara explained the details of the Control Bracelet. Finally they had a lead that would undoubtedly lead to results.

"That is excellent news. Proceed at once. I will prepare our armies."
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Kajatta » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:36 pm

Kajatta moved through the streets of Leita quickly, knowing that it was only a matter of time before Weiss sent word to add her name to the list of fugitives. Within minutes she arrived at a small run down shack near the north edge of town. Walking in she found it dimly lit and unfurnished, with the exception of a chair and small table along the left wall. On the chair sat an old hooded man reading a book by the light of a candle on the table beside him. Many things littered the floor along the edges of the room, rolled up rugs, spare oil lamps, an open barrel with unknown contents sat in one corner, and large perfectly round hole in the ground filled to the very top with water took up more than half of the small room.

The old man tilted his head up just enough to see Kajatta's face under the rim of his hood, then turned his gaze back toward his book. Approaching the hole, Kajatta held her hands palms down over the water. With a simple incantation she pulled the pool of water aside and held it suspended beside her. The ball of water dripped slightly onto the bare floor as Kajatta turned to look back at the old man. For a moment he ignored her, then tilted his head just slightly in the direction of the barrel. Noticing the gesture, she directed the ball of water toward the barrel and allowed it to pour into the container. As the weight of the barrel increased, she heard a muffled but noticeable mechanical clicking sound. Followed soon after by numerous other mechanical sounds. The barrel became completely full just as she released the last drops of water from her magical grasp, at the same time she saw the now dry flat bottom of the water hole lift up to be flush with the rest of the floor. It had the emblem of the Magus Order etched onto the fine stone it was carved from, which contrasted greatly with the dirty stone floor of the shack.

As Kajatta examined the platform more closely, she heard another mechanical clanking sound, this time louder than the ones before, and at the same time she heard a voice whisper in her ear. "You'd better get on."

Another muffled clank urged her to jump on the platform without further hesitation. Almost instantly, she felt as if the ground was suddenly pulled out from under her feet as the platform quickly dropped down. Directly above her she saw a rush of water follow her down then suddenly stop as if filling an invisible cup above her.

Almost as quickly as she felt the ground pulled away she felt it pushing back against her. She could tell she was slowing down and dropped to one knee to better brace herself so as to not fall into the rapidly rising walls all around her. Just as suddenly as everything else, the dark walls around her broke to reveal a wide open, well lit , completely spherical chamber. The platform had slowed to a steady enough rate of descent to safely stand again, and Kajatta didn't waste the opportunity. Looking around she could see the massive room she had entered. Though she had never imagined these places when she was young at the academy, she had since been to a few of the spherical chambers used by the Magus Order after enlisting in the military. The 'Leitan Shell', as this one was called, was the closest to Tallus, and rumor among the mages of the order was that the whole purpose of Leita's founding was for Tallus to lay claim to it. As for their origin, if the Grand Magus knew, she wasn't telling anyone.

Perhaps the most peculiar feature of these magical rooms was how gravity pulled evenly outward to the 'shell' of the sphere. Making the entire surface essentially a concave floor, though the chamber was large enough that one could barely notice the curvature when walking on it. The platform slowed even more just as it reached the floor. Looking down now as it became flush with the new floor, the platform became almost invisible as the design on its surface matched perfectly with the floor around it.

Stepping off the platform, Kajatta felt the difference in the shell's gravity, though only slightly, she felt lighter. It wasn't a feeling she liked. The first time she entered a shell she spent six weeks inside, participating in the advanced training for mages of the empire. When she finally left, the regular gravity made her feel weak by comparison. Ever since, she made an effort to spend as little time in the shells as possible.

Looking around she noticed the shell was almost completely vacant, only seeing a handful of mages walking around what seemed to be the walls and ceiling from her current perspective. The lighting for the shells was something that always amazed Kajatta. The entire surface of the shell was covered in luminescent bricks. Though individually they provided little light, to anyone on the opposite surface they would glow together with a bright but gentle light, providing more than enough to see by. After a few minutes of absorbing her surroundings, Kajatta saw a hooded figure sitting next to a table with a candle on it and began walking in its direction. She thought it felt strange to find the shell so empty, but she knew that in a few months when the new class from the academy graduated, there would be a few dozen new mages training within.

As she neared the figure she noticed it was the same hooded old man she saw in the shack. The differences being the chair he sat in was upholstered in silk instead of being made of wood. The table beside him was etched marble, and the book he read was covered in magical glyphs.

"Magus Shaw." Kajatta said as she reached the man, bowing before him.

"Please Jatta." The old man replied, closing his book gently. "You're a magus yourself now, just call me Bennett." He pulled back his hood and smiled at her. "Or better yet, just Ben."

"Of course, Ben." She said, returning the smile. "How have you been?"

"Oh, same old thing every damn day in this blasted place." He cursed, not withholding any contempt. "And that's only counting when I can even tell the days apart in here."

"You should get out more."

"No kidding. When's the last time I saw you anyway, doesn't feel that long ago. Wasn't expecting you back so soon."

"Last year, for the inauguration of the new Grand Magus." Kajatta replied calmly.

"Right, I remember now. Shara." He pronounced her name with a strange mix of lust and disapproval in his voice. "I don't trust her."

"As I recall, you didn't trust the last Grand Magus either."

"I guess I'm just getting cynical in my old age." He shrugged. "So what brings you all the way to the Leitan Shell today?"

Kajatta didn't reply immediately. Though she knew she could trust Ben, but she was concerned with placing him in a difficult position with the military when they followed her trail to him.

"I need you to help me find Finn." She mumbled finally.

"What!?" Ben stood up quickly, panic and anger showing clearly on his face for a second before he composed himself. "What do you want with Finn?"

"Please Ben." She replied calmly. "I'd rather not involve you any more than I have to."

"Are you a fool? You've already involved me more than enough." He kept his voice low, even still the irritation was clear in his words. "What have you gotten yourself into, Kajatta?"

"There's more going on here than I know. I wouldn't know where to begin telling you. All I can say is that I need to disappear for a while, like Finn."

Ben sighed, but the smile returned to his face. He looked down at the book in his hands, and touched the cover with his fingers before laying it down on the table next to him.

"Take it." He said calmly. "If you're looking for Finn, and they are looking for you, it's better I don't have that when they come asking."

"Thanks Ben." Kajatta replied. She turned to return to the platform, picking up the book on her way past the table.

"And Jatta." Ben called back from his chair. "Mind the candle on your way out."
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Keisha » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:02 pm

Keisha had her mission in mind as she moved through the city streets. Emperor Vorryn had his estate at the heart of the town. The Emperor’s keep was surrounded by walls even more impressive than the ones protecting the rest of the city. Through Keisha’s years she had already planned her actions. She knew this day would come, and it finally had. Keisha had several spies that reported to her from behind the walls, but she would not contact them yet. They would play their roll after the assassination.

The Keep itself had a thickly built wall which protected the Emperor should an enemy force breach the outer wall. Keisha knew that even a large and well trained army would have difficulty breaching the inner keep where the Emperor was housed. Luckily for her, she was not an army, but only a shadow in the night. She knew the Emperor kept himself well protected with nearly a small army of his elite guards to protect him. Keisha knew that he even had a few Magus in his employee, but that thought was not concerning.

Keisha did not require any further tools for the task, but she did need to bring a few things. Making her way to one of her safe houses Keisha found the small single story house. It looked plain, which helped to escape notice. The lock, however was anything but ordinary and she had trapped both the door and the lock with poison needles. Still, it took her only moments to disarm her own traps and she slipped inside quietly. The single room of the house was empty of furniture. It appeared abandoned for all intent and purposes. Keisha moved to the rear of the residence and began to pull up the wood slats that made up the floor boards. It opened a compartment which held many necessities. In there she had spare weapons, first aid equipment as well as several other necessary items. Keisha sorted through the items until she found what she was looking for. She picked up a small ivory box which had been carved to depict strange creatures from a far away land. She left the spare weapons behind and sealed the floor again. After re-arming the traps she was ready to move.

Keisha carried her crossbow, throwing knives and kriss dagger. With her ability it made the combination deadly. Keisha reached the inner wall to the keep a half hour after she had left her Master. She knew that he would expect her task to be completed tonight, and she would not fail him. Keisha looked up at the first challenge. The keep wall stood four stories high made of thick coarse stone. Keisha knew there would be guards patrolling on the battlement but she already knew their schedule. There were only eight guards on the walls, two to a side. They were in a time of peace, and the Emperor did not know what fate awaited him. Keisha had obtained that information some time ago but believed it to still hold true.

There was only one main entrance to the inner keep which would have two sentries posted there. Keisha knew that those doors were rarely opened, even during the day and almost never at night. It would not be an option if she wanted to escape notice. Keisha had used disguises before but did not consider it for this particular mission. She wanted to make a statement tonight, and she intended to do just that. Keisha made her way the long way through the city to reach the rear of the keep. Keisha knew that the keep had a secret escape passage built that lead out of the keep. Even her spies had been unable to learn anything more about it other than it existed. She did not know where it came out but knew she would have to reach the Emperor before he reached it.

There was no entrance on this side of the keep and there was nothing but the sheer wall ahead of her. Keisha grabbed onto the rough stone surface. It was too smooth to get a real hand hold but it was rough enough that she could hold on with the help of her ability. Keisha grabbed onto the wall with her telekinetic ability and used it to hold when her hands could not support her. It was a combination of physical and mental strength but she slowly made progress. She knew that if she were to be discovered she would be at a tactical disadvantage. She counted on the fact that the guards would rarely look straight down, and that they should not be passing this way for some time again.

Keisha moved slowly. Her ability had limits, and assisting to support her own weight was a struggle, but with her using her arms and legs to take off as much burden as possible she managed to progress. It took her another half hour to reach the top of the wall. Keisha grabbed onto the top edge and let her ability relax. She was already feeling tired from the exertion it caused but she knew that she would be recovered soon. She held onto the top edge and slowly pulled herself up to look. There were no guards in sight in either direction. A small stroke of luck.

Keisha pulled herself onto the battlement and looked around. The four stories down would be much easier to deal with than the climb up had been. With a deep breath and a hop, Keisha jumped from the battlement. The ground rushed up to meet her, but she was prepared. Moments before the landing she used her own ability to slow her descent. At such a distance she could not slow herself enough to land silently and her feet hit the ground with as much force as if she had fallen from ten feet up normally. Still, no one stirred. The keep was silent as most were asleep.

Keisha moved with the shadows and remained in them whenever possible. She knew where the Emperor’s chamber was. Keisha had four targets in mind for tonight. Her primary target was Emperor Vorryn himself. The secondary targets would be his wife Belinda, as well as his two children. Keisha intended to extinguish the usurper’s immediate bloodline tonight.

Now that she was inside the Emperor’s estate it became considerably easier to move around. The Emperor’s estate was a large two story mansion surrounded by his royal garden. The garden provided ample places to hide, yet Keisha was not disturbed by so much as a single guardsman. The lack of security thus far has been even less than anticipated. It seemed the times of peace made the soldier’s lazy. It would be an issue raised once Angelus regained his throne. For tonight, it was a welcome relief.

From information Keisha had learned from her spies she knew that the Emperor and Empress both lived on the second floor of the estate. From what she knew they would sleep in separate bed chambers. Their marriage was one of politics and not love, but it had produced both a son and daughter to carry on the legacy. Keisha intended to enter via the balcony and descent on the Emperor while he slept, though she could not remember which room belonged to the Emperor and which belonged to the Empress.

She was outside the garden now observing the estate. She knew where the rooms where located but could not recall who would be where. The rooms were on opposite sides of the estate. Keisha cursed her inattentiveness. It was information she should have known.

With no way to confirm, she simply chose the East side. The other room was on the West of the residence. If it went as planned she would dispatch them both without a sound being uttered. She chose to enter through the balcony to avoid risking a run in with a guard. The last thing she needed was some luckless guard to come upon her as she walked through the halls and raise an alarm. If she knew where the secret passage led to she would not have been as concerned.

Keisha moved to the East side of the building and studied the room above her. There was no light visible, and she suspected they would already be asleep. Keisha moved closer to the wall and listened. There was nothing.

The estate was only two stories high and Keisha easily balanced herself on the fist stories’ window frame. She moved her leg up and stood up balancing on the thin edge of the top edge of the window frame. She was standing with little more than her toes on the edge, but she managed to stay balanced. With her height she was able to cautiously reach up and grab onto the very bottom edge of the balcony. She did not require her ability here, just skill and balance. He held onto the bottom of the balcony for a moment and listened. There was still no sound. Slowly Keisha began to pull herself up, careful to control her breathing and speed. She could not afford to make even slight sound now. Although the balcony fence was only four feet in height Keisha moved so slowly to avoid making a sound it took her nearly ten minutes to pull herself over. Once she had she knew she could not have been heard.

Keisha moved to the double door leading to the bed chamber and tried to peer through the gap in the door. It was too dark to see anything. Keisha knew that many doors of this style had a simple clasp locking it from the inside. Keisha pulled out one of the thin blades of her throwing knife and used the point to lift the latch from the gap in the door. She felt it release with little resistance.

Keisha secured the knife and slowly opened the door. She was aware that by opening the door she allowed the moonlight to silhouette her, but she stayed in the door frame only a moment before slipping into the room. She did not stop to secure the door, but instead moved immediately to the bed. She could see a form sleeping under the blankets and they did not stir at her approach.

Keisha stood over the bed with her victim lying beneath her. Her victim’s back was to her and in the darkness she could not tell if it was the Emperor of Empress, but the lavish room indicated it would be one or the other.

Keisha removed her dagger from its horizontal sheath that ran across the back of her belt. The Kriss dagger was one she used for such close work. Keisha raised the dagger above her. Her target would be through the back and into the left lung. Before Keisha came down with the weapon the still form beneath her rolled over and looked to the open door. Keisha saw in that instant that she had found the Empress. Keisha’s form was silhouetted by the moonlight and the dagger was clearly visible. All in the same moment Keisha saw the look of confusion turn to fear turn to blind terror.

Keisha moved quickly, though she did not stab the Empress. Instead she jumped onto the bed and put the dagger to her throat. The point bit into her skin just beneath the carotid artery. Keisha simply said “Shhh.” Keisha had the Empress pinned on her back, holding her firmly with her legs on either side of her ribs. The Empress gasped, but did not scream. Keisha was prepared to push the blade home at the slightest sign of protest.

The Empress remained still, paralyzed with fear. Keisha gave a moment before she spoke.

“Raise your voice and it will be your last act in this world. Do you understand?” The Empress tried to nod but the knife was too close for any real movement.
“I have not come for you, and I will let you and your children go as long as I get what I want. Do you understand?” Keisha moved the knife a hair’s width away. The Empress answered, though she kept her voice barely above a whisper.
“Please, take anything. Please, leave me and my children. We have done you no wrong.”
Keisha had become accustomed to begging and pleas for mercy. They did little to sway her.
“It is your husband I want. Tell me where he is and you will live to see the sunrise.” Keisha said simply. She knew it was a lie but how could a mother not take the chance.
“His bedchamber is the farthest room to the West. He has but one full time sentry. He will be asleep. Take him if you must, but leave my children. They are innocent.”
“Speak not of innocence to me. It is their blood that is their crime.” Keisha said as she pushed the blade home, feeling it slide through skin and muscle. Keisha’s left hand came up to cover her mouth as she twisted the blade to open the wound. She had severed the artery and forced the blade deep enough to cut the nerves at the base of her neck. She did not suffer, though the blood continued to flow for a short time.

Keisha cleaned her blade on the bed sheet and secured it. One sentry would be a simple feat. Keisha used her fingers to close the Empress’ eyes. Her blank stare had been locked in her last moments of horror. The wound was minimal in size but its effectiveness was evident.

Keisha wasted no time in moving to the door that would lead to the hallway. The Estate was large and there was a lot of open ground from this room to that of the Emperor’s. Keisha opened the door and glanced out. The halls were quiet. The servants were all asleep in their chambers below. The second level was for the Emperor and not the servants. Keisha made her way through the halls. There were no candles or torches burning so it was easy to become one with the shadows. Although the estate was large, it did not take long for Keisha to locate the Emperor’s room. As the Empress had stated there was one full time guard stationed outside the Emperor’s door. The man sat on a chair playing a game with a deck of cards. A small lamp sat on the floor beside him.

Keisha couldn’t help but shake her head at the foolish man. Not only did the light pinpoint his exact location for her, the lack of light down the hallway allowed Keisha to creep up unseen. Keisha readied her crossbow and waited for the guard to finish playing his next card before letting the bolt fly. With the force of the bolt it struck the guard in the center of the throat. The soldier grabbed his throat as the blood began running down his hands. The sound of air escaping from his throat and some gurgling wheezes were the only sounds he made before falling to the floor. His blood quickly pooled over the cards he had been playing. Keisha waited a moment to see if anyone would come from the bedroom to investigate the noise. There was no movement. She reloaded the crossbow and readied herself.

Keisha moved forward and quietly blew out the lantern. Once again she was covered in darkness. For the Shadow Sword the darkness was something to be embraced, not feared. It was the light that was the enemy.

Keisha put her ear to the door and she could hear something from the other side. There was movement and voices. The thick oak door made sound very difficult to hear from inside. Keisha thought she could hear voices, but she could not distinguish who they were or what they were saying. Still, it meant she would have more than one target. She would not leave a witness.

Keisha readied her crossbow and as cautiously as she could she tried the door handle. The door was not locked. She now knew the Emperor was still awake, but she could not tell from the voices where in the room he was. She would have to react to the situation she was presented with. Keisha took a deep breath and pushed the door open, holding the crossbow out in front of her as she scanned the room.

It took less than a moment to take in the whole scene. She had discovered the Emperor.

Emperor Vorryn was lying on his back in the center of his excessively lavish bed, his clothing piled beside the door where Keisha had walked in. A second set of clothing was piled beside it. The other voice she had heard belonged to a thin blonde woman who had the Emperor mounted. The woman had her back to Keisha and the Emperor was oblivious to her entrance. The voices Keisha had heard had been from the overly dramatic woman as her hips continued to move. Keisha did not waste a moment before pulling the trigger of the crossbow. The bolt flew true and struck the woman from the back of the head. The bolt penetrated and came clear out her open mouth to bury itself into the intricate wooden headboard with a spray of blood. The moaning of the harlot was silence in that one motion and her lifeless body fell forward onto the Emperor. Keisha was already moving forward to get a clear view of the Emperor while she secured her crossbow and removed two throwing daggers.

The Emperor did not react in that precious second as his mind reeled at trying to understand what had just happened. The moment of realization hit as Keisha approached the bed. The Emperor threw the woman off of him onto the floor as he tried to roll out of the bed. He rolled out of the bed on the opposite side, trying to keep the bed between himself and the Shadow Sword. Keisha let the first knife fly. It struck the Emperor in the abdomen and he doubled over in pain and cried out for guards but before his call could be fully made Keisha did not waste time before throwing the second knife. The second blade struck the Emperor a grazing slash across the side of the neck. Keisha knew if would not be fatal alone, but the nearness of the strike had Emperor Vorryn fall back and try to crawl away. Keisha walked across the bed slowly watching her prey crawl away from her backwards. He was holding his neck, but did not call out again. His eyes were locked on hers and one hand held the gash on his neck even as his blood continued to flow from his stomach.
“Who sent you?” The Emperor asked before coughing roughly. Blood coated his lips when he again looked at her.
“I am the Shadow Sword of the Brotherhood of Angelus. My Master, Emperor Angleus has returned to claim his throne. You have been deemed a traitor and usurper.”
“Angelus is a myth you psychotic whore! Think about this. I can make you rich.” Emperor Vorryn began to beg. He coughed again and more blood came from his mouth.
“Save your petty words for mercy. Make your peace with whatever gods you worship, for soon you will be with your wife and children.”
Keisha could see that the Emperor was bleeding out quickly from the wound to his stomach and although he looked pained at the mention of his family he looked down at his stomach wound. Keisha took the time to reload her crossbow and leveled the sight at Emperor Vorryn.
“Please, I’ll give you anything.” The emperor exclaimed, realizing that his guards had not arrived to save him.
“All I want is your heart.” Keisha said before squeezing the trigger. The twang of the crossbow string sounded and the bolt struck Emperor Vorryn in the center of the forehead. The bolt buried itself deep but the feathered tip stood out. His body fell to the floor with a thud.

Keisha moved forward quickly and removed her knife. She usually prided herself on her work. She had yet to get a single drop of blood on her clothing, but butchering the Emperor for his heart proved an impossible task to keep clean from. Keisha used her blade to cut open the Emperor’s chest. She removed his heart with the care of a surgeon and placed in into the ivory box. Once the small lock was secured she secured the box and used the bed sheets to clean her hands and blade as best she could. She quickly retrieved and cleaned her throwing knives. She took another moment to reload her crossbow.

Keisha moved outside and looked around. There was still no movement. The guards had not heard the Emperor’s feeble call for help. It mattered little. Her primary objective was done. All that remained were the children. Keisha did not know where they slept but suspected it was also somewhere on the second floor. As Keisha stepped out into the hall and approached the next corner in the hallway she saw the light from a lantern coming from down the hall. Keisha ducked back into the hallway she had come from to avoid detection. She did not have enough time to see who had been coming. Perhaps the guards had heard their master’s cry for help though they were not moving very quickly. Keisha waited and listened. She heard the voice of a young girl.

“I know what I heard. I heard father call.” The voice belonged to a female, but from the sound of it she would be young. Keisha realized that it must have been the princess. Keisha knew now that the princess’ room was near to the Emperor’s. Then a second voice cut in.
“It was another of your nightmares Angellica, why don’t we just go back to sleep.” The second voice was older, though not by much. It sounded still too young to belong to a guard, and she suspected it would be Prince Damien. It was a perfect stroke of luck.

Keisha prepared two throwing knives and was about to step out into the hall to confront the children when a third voice was heard.

“No, stay back your graces, allow me to go ahead.” This voice Keisha knew belonged to a guard. The surly and deep sounds were nothing like the boy’s. It was only a matter of moments before they came around the corner to find the dead sentry. Keisha stepped out and came face to face with the soldier who was walking down the hall. Keisha saw the children ten feet behind him.

Keisha noted their appearance. Princess Angellica Vorryn was no more than twelve years old, with long black hair and a slender almost frail build. She was wearing a one piece white nightgown. To her side stood her brother Prince Damien Vorryn. He was fifteen and appeared to be attempting to grow a beard. His black hair was cut short and his build was stocky though not yet muscular. He wore a set of dark blue silk pajamas. He still looked like a child standing next to the soldier. The soldier that stood before her was undoubtedly a veteran. His hair was graying, and he had a muscular build and wore chainmail armor.

When Keisha stepped out the children both gasped in surprise and the soldier stopped. Keisha was aware that she had blood and gore covering her clothing from her surgery with the Emperor. She would have preferred to look more professional, but she would follow her orders. Keisha had the element of surprise and took the moment of surprise to throw both knives. Keisha used her ability to control the knives. He directed them to arc around the soldier to follow through with the children behind him. The soldier reacted like true veteran, and moved at much the same time Keisha had. It was not often men could accomplish it, but he had reacted without hesitation. Keisha’s blades moved to arc around him and the soldier moved his body in the way. The soldier knew her target. Even his chainmail could not prevent the throwing knives from puncturing with the telekinetic force behind them. Both blades struck the soldier in the center of his chest, wounds that would prove fatal without immediate attention. Still, the man did not fall.
“Run!” was all he shouted to the children before drawing his sword. Keisha was impressed that the soldier could still think to function with such an injury. The children turned and ran before Keisha could grab another knife.

With a curse Keisha pulled out her crossbow. The soldier was still thirty feet down the hallway, and with such deep gashes in his chest he would not be able to fight effectively and they both knew it. He still proved to be a barrier between her and her targets. Keisha leveled her crossbow at the charging soldier and paused for a moment.

It was rare to see someone truly willing to sacrifice their lives for another. It was an ultimate sign of loyalty and honor. Keisha normally did not let such thoughts into her mind while she worked, yet she respected the soldier for his bravery. With a shrug she pulled the trigger. The bolt flew and struck the soldier in the right shoulder joint. The man’s sword fell from his grasp as he lost the feeling in his hand and he fell to a knee. He looked up at her with hatred. He was defeated and could not raise his weapon in defense any longer.

“I will be waiting for you in hell.” The soldier spat as he tried to stand again but was ultimately unable.
“We will meet there one day, but today is not your day to die. You are a loyal and brave man, though your loyalty is misplaced. A man like you could be used in the new Empire. Do not try to follow me or I will finish what we started.”

Keisha did not wait for the man to answer before moving past him and following the way the children went. Keisha could hear the rest of the house awakening and the shouts of guards calling for one another to hurry. Keisha heard the princess scream and knew she had come across her mother. Now knowing where she would be, Keisha began to run. Several guards had come up the stairs and were also rushing to where they had heard the princess scream.

Keisha realized as she approached that several soldiers had beaten her there. Keisha reloaded her crossbow and moved forward. She wanted the children dead. She had hoped to silence them without involving innocent soldiers, but it was not how it played out. The first soldier barred the doorway and quickly found a crossbow bolt puncturing his chest. The soldier fell to the ground and Keisha heard one of the soldier’s inside call out.
“They’re here. Prepare yourselves men.” Keisha smiled. If only they knew she was but one woman and not an army. Still, to the men who watched their allies die from something in the shadows there was no telling what they thought was happening.

Keisha observed the queen’s bed chamber was where all the soldiers had gathered to make some kind of last stand. It seemed like a ludicrous idea. Keisha removed a throwing knife and threw it, using her ability to curve it around the corner. She threw it blindly but was satisfied when she heard a man cry out in pain and the questions of fear being chimed by his companions.

Keisha would not confront them head on. She knew that would be suicide, but she would pick them off one by one if needed. Several of the soldiers were carrying lanterns, and Keisha took one from where the guard she had just killed had been standing. Throwing the lantern down it shattered and the oil spread. The flame caught and in moments the floor caught fire blocking the only way out of the room.

Keisha moved to the next room which she realized had been the prince’s room and went out onto the balcony. The distance between the prince’s balcony and the Empress’ was a gap Keisha could easily jump. With a lunge she landed and her ability helped to soften the landing. The door was still open slightly and she peered inside. She would see guards at the back of the room and the flames slowly building up the wall as it began to consume the house. Keisha counted eight soldiers inside. Removing her throwing knives Keisha went to work. She threw the knives from her position on the balcony. The soldier’s had their backs to her and the blades were targeted for their heads and throats. Two soldiers dropped from the first well placed blades, and a third lost as eye as he turned to see where it came from and a fourth fell from a blade under the jaw. Keisha spotted the children in the room behind the soldiers and watched as Damien pulled a section of the wall behind the fireplace aside and he stepped through with Angellica. Keisha cursed at their luck. The children had been told of the escape tunnel. The door closed behind them as the children left alone. It was then that Keisha heard one of the guards command the others back.

Keisha’s attention focused on the feat before her. There were still four guards, though three had moved to the back and the fourth stepped forward. Keisha took out a throwing knife and let it fly. The guard moved his hand and the blade was deflected.

“A Magus.” Keisha said to herself. It had just gotten interesting. She knew that she was a Magus herself, technically, though with only one ability her skills had been turned to the art of shadow work. A skilled Magus could certainly be a problem, and Keisha knew it.

The Magus used a wave of his hand and the fames that had been climbing the wall were extinguished, though the smoke had already filled the room and obscured everyone’s vision.

Keisha moved into the room, using the smoke and the shadows to keep herself hidden. The Magus had clearly lost track of her and began conjuring a wind to remove the smoke. Keisha had moved to an angle off to the side of the Magus and drew another knife and threw it. The Magus moved and deflected the blade and intended to retaliate. Keisha had used her ability to push the knife faster and harder. When the Magus had deflected the knife he prepared to retaliate, but Keisha did not release her hold on the knife even after it had been deflected. Instead she held it and used to ability to have the blade flow with the deflection and arc back around. The blade caught the Magus in the back un-expectantly and with very little force. It struck hardly enough to cut the skin. Keisha was amazed she had managed to do even that. The look of shock on his face from feeling pain was enough to disrupt his incantation and Keisha had the second blade in motion before the Magus had fully comprehended that he had been grazed. With so much happening the Magus was unable to protect himself in time and the blade struck him in his left eye. Once the blade and landed home Keisha pushed it forward telekinetically until it had bored its way deep into his skull. The Magus fell to the ground then and his body began to twitch violently. The remaining guards threw their weapons on the ground and held their hands up. No words were spoken.

Keisha was breathing hard, exhausted from using her ability, but she still looked at each of the men. She could see in their eyes that they were defeated.

“You men have seen history being made. The usurper is dead, and the rightful emperor will take his place. Now, leave me before my mood shifts.” Keisha said, and the men did not hesitate to leave the room and the estate.

Keisha moved to the fireplace and began to search it for some kind of trigger to open the locking mechanism. The children were escaping, and Keisha could not have that. There would be those that may rally behind the heir to the Vorryn throne. Keisha tried for several minutes to figure out the device but could not locate the unlocking mechanism. She cursed loudly to herself but knew she could not waste more time. More soldiers were undoubtedly on the way and she had lost the element of surprise. She had lingered here too long already. Keisha quickly retrieved her lost blades and went to the balcony. With one look back she regarded the hearth with disgust. With more time she could find it, but she knew her time was too short already. The children had escaped, but she would find them. They would have to be coming out somewhere in the city.

With that the Shadow Sword jumped down from the balcony and disappeared into the night. She had a gift for her lord and she would not keep him waiting.
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby PoisonedDragon » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:21 am


Xander and Arrius crossed the courtyard quietly, approaching the stone house on the corner. When they reached the steps leading up to the front door, Xander stopped and lowered the hood of his cloak. He then pulled back his hair, which had fallen loose of its ponytail during all of the pair's exertions. He tied it with a small strip of leather and then took a moment to straighten his clothes. Under normal circumstances, Xander wouldn't have cared about his appearance in the least. Normal circumstances however, never applied when dealing with this particular friend of Xander's. Satisfied that he looked as presentable as possible given the circumstances, Xander stepped up to the door and knocked.

Within seconds of the knock, the door was opened by a large, imposing figure wearing the common uniform of a butler. The man was smaller than Arrius, but not by much and, despite his attire, looked like he would be more at home in a bar-room brawl than opening the doors of manor houses. The butler looked over the pair with cold, steely eyes, but made no motion to allow them to enter. Xander cleared his throat quietly and straightened his shoulders, looking the large butler square in the eyes.

"We are here to see Lady Ilandra."

The butler hesitated a few more moments, then stepped aside as he answered in a deep monotone.

"Yes, she has been expecting you."

Xander was rocked back on his heels for a few seconds. Of all the responses he had expected, this was not one of them. He recovered quickly however, and stepped past the butler into the house's foyer. The room was much as Xander remembered, fairly large and tastefully decorated. Doorways led to the right and to the left off the foyer, and a staircase in the middle led up to the second floor. The door shut behind them, and it was then that Xander allowed his eyes to wander to the top of the stairs. Lady Ilandra stood at the top of the stairs, dressed in a simple, yet elegant gown of pale green silk. Her red hair, showing more grey than Xander remembered, was unbound and flowed in loose ringlets to just past her shoulders. Her face showed few lines or wrinkles and, despite her obvious age, maintained a look of youthful vigor. Her expression was a mix of resignation and amusement as she looked down on the pair standing in her foyer.

"Well, well, I have been wondering when you would turn up."

"Hello Ilandra."

"That is Lady Ilandra, lest you have forgotten, and I will thank you to remember your manners while you are a guest in my house."

"Yes my Lady, please accept my humblest apologies."

There was no hint of sarcasm in Xander's voice as he responded, and he bowed slightly out of respect.

"That is better. And this must be the mighty Arrius I have heard so much about. You both look atrocious, and I refuse to speak further with you until you are more presentable. Nico will see that you have a wash and a change of clothes, and will show you to my sitting room when you have finished."

Her tone left no room for argument, and before either of the two friends could respond, she had turned and disappeared into one of the upstairs rooms. The large butler, presumably Nico, motioned for them to exit the foyer to the left. Following Nico's direction, the two friends moved to the back of the house where they found a set of three modern showers waiting. Xander was suitably impressed with the new addition to Ilandra's home. Showers were a fairly recent invention that used a simple water pump to draw water up from a reservoir. The most common form of the shower had to be operated by a hand pump, but a few of them, like Ilandra's, were operated using a steam engine in the corner of the room. This had the added benefit of heating the water as it passed through the pipes. Nico put a few shovels of coal onto the fire in the steam engine, then moved a lever next to the wall. The engine rumbled into action, and heated water began pumping from the three showerheads. Nico motioned towards the showers.

"There is soap in each of the stalls, and towels on that shelf over there. I will see about finding you a suitable change of clothes."

With that Nico left the room. Xander looked at Arrius for a moment, then shrugged and began undressing. He placed his belongings in a neat pile against the wall and approached one of the showers. Arrius hesitated a moment longer, then did the same. As they showered, both of them grateful for the opportunity to wash the dirt and blood from their bodies and hair, Arrius asked the question that had clearly been bothering him since they had arrived.

"So tell me, who is this Lady Ilandra, and how in the world did you meet her?"

Xander chuckled a bit at the question.

"Lady Ilandra Whitehall, is the widow of Lord Whitehall, a minor noble here in Leita until his death twelve years ago. Prior to his death it was common knowledge that Lady Ilandra was the one truly in charge of his estate. He was a drunk and an adulterist, and when he died there were plenty of suspicions that Lady Ilandra was involved, but nothing was ever proven. As women are not technically eligible to hold lands after their husbands die, the majority of Lord Whitehall's estate was seized by the Leitan Council upon his death. Lady Ilandra however, is a very intelligent woman, and had invested a large portion of her husband's money under her own name, and so she has never wanted for anything since his death."

Xander paused during his story to wash his hair, then resumed after he had rinsed the soap from it.

"I met Lady Ilandra six years ago. Tallus had become a little, unfriendly for me, and I needed to get away for a while. There was plenty of work here in Leita, and it seemed a good place to hide out until things cooled off in Tallus. It seems funny now that I think back on it, but I was actually hired to steal from Lady Ilandra. The Leitan Council wanted to get their hands on the documents proving that her investments were an extension of Lord Whitehall's estate so that they could seize those funds as well."

"Did you do it?"

Xander laughed again.

"I didn't get the chance. While I was casing the place, making a plan to carry out the job, I was approached by one of Lady Ilandra's men and invited in for tea."

"You're joking."

"I wish I was. It hurt my pride a little when I realized that my plan had been discovered. But, since it had already been discovered, I didn't see any harm in accepting the invitation. Lady Ilandra was a very gracious hostess, and was not even angry that I had been planning to steal from her. In fact, she offered me twice what I had already been paid if I would bring her proof that the Council was conspiring against her. I couldn't really say no to an offer like that, and three months later, seven members of the council were arrested. Lady Ilandra and I have had a relationship of sorts ever since. Whenever I'm in Leita I come to visit, and sometimes she has work for me. Her tastes are a little odd, whenever she does have a job for me it always involves something of historical significance rather than monetary value. She is extremely well educated and knows more about history than I know about anything. I'm hoping that in addition to giving us a safe place to stay, she'll also be able to tell us something about this mask."

At that moment, Nico re-entered the room with two bundles of clothes. After confirming that both Xander and Arrius were done with their showers, Nico pulled the lever to shut off the water. He then passed a towel to each man and they proceeded to dry themselves off. He motioned to the bundles of clothes which he had laid on a bench.

"Lady Ilandra wishes you to change. You may leave your belongings here and I will bring them to your rooms. Quickly please, the Lady is waiting."

Xander and Arrius quickly dressed. The clothes Xander had been given were much fancier than he was used to wearing, and consisted of a white silk shirt under a black, sleeveless tunic with gold stitching, and black leggings. He was also provided with a pair of soft house-shoes. Arrius' clothes must have come from Nico's own wardrobe, because they were almost large enough to fit the giant. They were the kind of simple clothes one might wear while doing chores around a large household, but they were clean and only a little tight on Arrius' huge frame. As they left the room following Nico, Xander grabbed the bag containing the mask, but left the rest of his belongings behind as instructed. They followed Nico back through the house and up the stairs to a large sitting room on the second floor. Lady Ilandra was already seated in a comfortable armchair by the fireplace, with a tea tray on the table next to her.

Ilandra motioned for the two of them to sit. Xander took the chair across from Ilandra, and Nico pointed to an oversized chair that looked rather out of place in the room, in which Arrius sat. Nico poured the tea and passed a cup to each of the two men, then bowed and left the room.

"Now Xander, I suppose you are wondering how I knew you would be coming here tonight."

"The thought had crossed my mind."

"Its quite simple really, my network of intelligence agents has expanded considerably since the last time you were here. Word came in from Tallus just a few hours ago that two thieves matching your descriptions had escaped from a military base and might be on their way to Leita. The Leitan Guard have been placed on high alert looking for you. Once I learned of this, I knew it would only be a matter of time before you showed up at my door. Perhaps its time you told me the whole story."

"Before we get to that, I have a question, if you don't mind Lady Ilandra."

"Very well."

"How much do you know about Emperor Angelus?"

"I know as much about him as anyone else I should think, although most of what we know about him now are pure myths. History tells us that he was a military figure first, and commanded the loyalty of a great army. He was also a religious leader. Between his military strength and the devotion of his religious followers it is understandable that he quickly rose to power as Emperor. By all accounts he was a powerful leader, but he was also tyrant who enslaved entire nations. Many unbelievable tales surround his reign, including the speculation that he was a powerful Magus."

"And what about his downfall?"

"Well, as with the rule of most tyrants, Angelus' reign was plagued with rebellions. Most were squashed easily by the might of his armies. History tells us that it was actually a fairly small group that finally ended his reign. They staged a very quiet coup d'etat and removed him from power overnight, literally. The leadership of the Tallusian Empire has changed hands several times since then, but our current Emperor Vorryn is said to be descended from those men who originally overthrew Angelus."

Xander hesitated before proceeding. He wasn't really sure he wanted to know the answer to his next question, but he knew that he couldn't continue without uncovering all he could.

"In any of the history or legends regarding Angelus and his fall from power, is there any mention... of a mask?"

"A mask?"

"Yes, a mask."

Lady Ilandra paused for a few minutes, clearly deep in thought. Eventually her eyes widened as if she had remembered something shocking.

"Now that you mention it, there was something. Something I uncovered only recently in fact. I recently acquired a very old and rare volume supposedly written by one of the rebels who carried out the coup. It only mentions the mask in passing, as being an object that the Emperor never let out of his possession, that he treasured it above all else. Later in the tome it mentions that the Emperor's own treasure was the key to his downfall. Strange, I never put the two things together until just now. Now tell me what all of this is about."

Xander opened his back and carefully removed the cloth wrapped mask from within.

"Its all about this."

Xander unwrapped the mask and turned it so that Ilandra could get a good look. Her eyes widened in disbelief as she looked down at the artifact.

"Two days ago I was hired by Ludwig Weiss to steal this mask from a tomb he claimed belonged to Emperor Angelus. The tomb was located under that military base which we were reported to be escaping from. The tomb was riddled with traps, but we made it through to the burial chamber. When I removed the mask from Angelus' sarcophagus, both Arrius and I were startled by the fact that the body within looked freshly dead, rather than a millenium old. We exited the tomb as quickly as we could, only to find Weiss waiting for us in the cemetary above. He was there with a troop of soldiers, waiting to double-cross us. The way he talked, it was like he was one of Angelus' religious fanatics. He seemed to believe that if he could get the mask he would be able to resurrect Angelus. Ever since then we've been on the run. Weiss seems to have the backing of the military, and who knows what else."

Ilandra looked horrified as she stared down at the mask, and she was struck speechless. Her throat convulsed a little as she tried to regain her voice, but it cracked a little when she was finally able to speak.

"If what you say is true... This is bad. Angelus' reputed cruelty was surpassed only by the devotion of his followers. If Weiss is a religious fanatic devoted to Angelus, then he will believe truly in what he is doing. And if he does have the backing of the Tallusian Army... Well, this situation is just dangerous all around. I'm not sure I'm the right person to help you. You can stay here tonight, but you should leave tomorrow. I know someone who might be able to tell you more. His name is Ducat, and he is widely accepted as the leading authority on Angelican history. If anyone can tell you more about that mask, he can. Nico will show you to your rooms."

Without another word, Ilandra rose and left the room. Xander rewrapped the mask and replaced it in the bag. Nico entered the room shortly after and motioned for the two men to follow. They were shown to seperate rooms, where they found their belongings waiting for them, as promised. Xander pulled off his shoes, tunic and shirt, and lay down on the soft bed, glad for a chance to rest after a particularily tiring day. As he lay on the bed, he pulled out the mask again. He looked it over, careful not to touch the gold with his bare flesh. It appeared as before, a simple mask of solid gold with intricate designs carved into the face, but there was no denying the power contained within it. A power that, as far as Xander could tell, was growing steadily stronger.
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby PoisonedDragon » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:47 am


Shara stopped just outside Saul's office and stepped into a corner. She crossed her hands in front of her chest and began a complex incantation under her breath. As she chanted, the shadows in the hallway rose to surround her form until she was completely enveloped. The shadows then melded back into their original positions, and Shara was gone. Traveling by shadow was certainly quicker than any other mode of transportation, but it wasn't instaneous, and it took Shara about ten minutes to reach the Tower of Arcana on the opposite edge of the city. As Grand Magus, Shara's quarters occupied the entire top two levels of the tower. The top floor was her private chamber, the second from the top her workroom.

Shara materialized in her workroom and paused in the middle of the room for only a few seconds before crossing to the door. She waved her hand to release the magical locks and barriers that protected her private sanctum, then descended a spiral staircase into the main tower. Each level of the tower had a specific purpose, and Shara only needed to descend only two levels to reach her destination, the Master's Circle. Beneath her as Grand Magus were seven Masters who watched over the day to day operations of the Order of Magi. Only the Masters of the Order were free of the Control Bracelets, and only the Masters of the Order could control the bracelets worn by lower members of the Order. Only three of the Masters were present in the Circle when Shara arrived, but that didn't concern her, since she only needed one.

She picked the most senior of the three who were present, an aged Magus by the name of Logan. He stood before a reading lectern, a tome of arcane writings open upon it, its pages illuminated by flickering candlelight. He noticed Shara as she approached, and she could see the lust in his eyes as he looked at her. It didn't bother her, she had been surrounded by lustful men all her life, and she had learned to deal with it. She stopped a few paces from where Logan stood, and waited for him to approach her. He did, shuffling a little as he walked. When he reached her, he went to one knee out of respect and bowed his head.

"Greetings Grand Magus, a pleasure to see you as always."

"Greetings Master Logan. You may rise."

Logan struggled a little as he rose to his feet. His age was beginning to show, and Shara knew it wouldn't be long before one of the lower ranking Magi would kill him in order to take his place among the Masters. Such was the way of the Order, and for the time being, Logan would serve his purpose.

"Your assistance is required Master Logan. I must locate a member of the Order who has been kidnapped by enemies of the state."

"My goodness, how horrible. Its sickening to think of the depths these traitors will sink to in order to fulfill their petty schemes. I will help in any way I can. If I may ask, who was it who was taken?"

"Kajatta Daystar."

Logan nodded and shuffled over to one of the walls where a large bookcase stood holding a number of labelled tomes. He ran his fingertips across the spines, squinting at the labels until her found the one he was looking for. He pulled the tome from the shelf and flipped through the pages until he found the correct entry.

"Aha, here it is. Kajatta Daystar, Magus of the Fifth Class, specializes in Elementalism, currently serving as a commissioned Major in the 9th Special Forces."

He quickly noted the identification number listed next to the entry and then replaced the tome on the shelf. He then shuffled over to a huge oak cabinet. Pulling out a small gold key that was hanging on a chain around his neck, he fitted the key in the lock on the cabinet and opened the doors. Lining a multitude of shelves inside the cabinet were hundreds of tiny glass vials, each filled with blood. The blood contained within each belonged to a specific Magus of the Order and was tied directly to the Control Bracelet on their wrist. He scanned the shelves quickly, using Kajatta's identification number to locate the correct vial, and pulled it out of the cabinet. He then closed and locked the doors, and moved to the northwest section of the circle. Shara had already crossed the room to that location and was waiting for him beside the master control device.

The device was a strange looking contraption made of silver metal, with a multitude of spindly arms surrounding a large crystal ball at its base. Logan reached up and placed the vial of blood into the apex of the device. He waved his hands before the device and began a chant, causing the arms to begin an intricate dance and the crystal ball to begin glowing. Shara remained silent as Logan worked. Before her ascension to Grand Magus, she had been a Master of the Order herself, and had used the control device several times. It required immense concentration, and the information provided could only be interpreted by the Magus performing the ritual. It took nearly ten minutes, and by the end, Logan was breathing heavily and looking exhausted.

"She is in Leita, but its difficult to pinpoint her location. Something else in the city appears to be interfering with the reading."

Shara cursed silently. She hadn't anticipated this. The Control Bracelets were designed to penetrate obscuring magics, and operated over vast distances. The only answer she could come up with was that the Mask was interfering with the operation of the location spell contained within the bracelet. She sighed, and nodded.

"Wake the other Masters. I want a full location ritual performed, all seven of you. I need an exact location. I will proceed to Leita immediately, you can contact me in the Leitan Sphere once you have the location."

"Yes Grand Magus, right away."

Logan shuffled off to round up the other Masters, and Shara ascended back to her workroom. She recast the locks and barriers on the door, then moved to the center of the chamber. She stretched out her arms and began an incantation. The floor of her workroom began to glow intensely. While it was certainly possile for her to cross the distance between Tallus and Leita using shadows, it would take too long. Certain places however, places of high magical concentration, could be bridged instantly by a sufficiently powerful Magus. The Tower of Arcana and the Leitan Sphere were two such locations, and Shara was more than powerful enough to make the jump. As the light intensified, Shara increased the volume of her chant. All at once the light flashed at its maximum intensity and then disappeared, along with Shara.
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Arrius » Mon May 03, 2010 2:19 am

Arrius listened to the conversation between Xander and Ilandra, and he had to admit, the more he heard the more it sounded as though they had gotten themselves in way over their heads. Arrius liked to boast that he feared no man, but to be honest, the thought of a thousand year old Magi Emperor with an army of loyal followers who was known for his military prowess and cruelty sounded like a little more than he could handle. Still, he remained silent while they spoke, listening to their words and allowing his thoughts to wander. Arrius’ life had always been a self serving one, and although he knew he would never grow to be an old man with the lifestyle he lived, he couldn’t help but think that he was rushing the whole process by tempting fate like this. There was little he could do about it now. The army was looking for him, and if what Ilandra said was true, then the loyal followers would be looking for them as well. Ilandra did mention someone who may be able to help. It was a man by the name of Ducat, though she gave them no more information about him before retiring for the night. Ilandra made it clear their conversation was done for the evening and they were shown to their rooms. Arrius was given a small room, which was still neatly decorated. A bed lay in the corner under a window. It was well decorated, but lacked the personal effects that proved it to be a guest room.

Arrius sat down on the bed and looked around. His clothing had been cleaned and neatly folded at the end of the bed. There was a mirror in the corner, which Arrius used to look himself over. The clothing he wore was too tight, but it was a close fit. It was not his style, but he appreciated the clean clothing. Arrius was still wearing his steel shoulder guards and he noticed they still had blood stains covering the scratched surface. Arrius was still clean from the shower, but he took a few moments to scrub the dried blood from the steel. Once that was done he took a few minutes to reflect on the day. It had been so active it was nice to be able to stop and sit for a moment. Finally with some time to himself Arrius pulled out his carrying case and retrieved a syringe. With practiced ease he injected the volatile fluid into the vein of his arm and let it flow through his blood. It was a good feeling and one he had been looking forward to. Putting the empty syringe back in the case he re-secured it into the pouch on his side.

Arrius stripped the borrowed clothing away and prepared himself for bed. He skipped his customary evening workout. The events of the day had proven tiring enough, but the thought of sleeping in this place was one that he was not comfortable with. Arrius pulled the bed away from the wall and pushed it flush against the door. The door itself didn’t have a lock, and Arrius was paranoid with sleeping unprotected. Once the bed was blocking the door Arrius pushed the armoire up against the bed. With the weight of both large pieces of furniture it would not be possible for anyone to come through the door without him knowing. Arrius took the blanket from the bed and brought it to the far side of the room where he laid down on the floor for the night.

The night was a restless one for Arrius but the morning eventually came. Arrius had been sleeping under the window and the rising sun had woken him. Getting up Arrius checked his surroundings. The barricade he had erected remained unmoved. Arrius dressed himself in his original clothing and secured the steel armor around his shoulders and fitted his gauntlets back onto his hands. He flexed his fingers and smiled. He was ready to go. Arrius returned the furniture to its original location before coming out.

Arrius was somewhat surprised to see that Nico was already up and going about his business. Nico gave a simple nod in greeting but said nothing. Arrius returned the gesture and went to the next room where Xander was staying. Arrius knocked on the door, and waited a moment. There was no answer for a moment and he tried the handle. The door opened easily. Xander was not there, and the room appeared much like Arrius’ had.

“Lady Whitehall is speaking with your friend in the study, if you would care to join them.” Nico said to Arrius as he passed by.
“Thanks.” Arrius answered. He was surprised that he was the last to rise, and still only just after sunrise. Still, he went to the study and found Xander and Ilandra sitting there talking, just as Nico had said.

When Arrius walked in the conversation stopped and they both turned to look at him. The moment of silence was uncomfortable, but Xander smiled and invited him in. Arrius came in, mumbling a good morning before sitting down in the large chair beside Xander.

“Ilandra and I were just discussing the details about where we can find Ducat, among other things.” Xander said in response to Arrius’ questioning look.

“That’s right. Ducat is a shrewd man and not friendly to strangers. I was just explaining to Xander that he may be a difficult man to speak with. Some say he has gone mad. He’s always ranting about conspiracies and the like. Still, he is an expert in the history of Angelus.” Ilandra answered, a little too quickly. Arrius may not have been the most intellectual man where he had come from but he knew when someone was trying to hide something.

”Is that all?” Arrius asked suspiciously, looking between Xander and Ilandra. Ilandra’s smile was as fake as any politician and she gave a slight nod in answer. Arrius could see through her pretence, but didn’t know what he was missing. Xander, however just gave Arrius a subtle wink. Arrius took the hint and let the matter drop.

”When do we head out? We don’t want to wear out our welcome.”
Ilandra was still smiling when she answered.
“You both had best be on your way. Too much time in one spot may not be healthy for either of you or for me while you’re here. It was a pleasure to see you again Xander. When you get this mess figured out you should stop by again.”
Arrius stood up and waited for Xander to say all the necessary goodbyes before they went to the back door.

Once outside Arrius and Xander were in the back garden and they had a six foot fence that they pulled themselves over. The other side of the fence led to the backyard of the neighboring house. Arrius was satisfied that this was far enough, so he stopped and blocked Xander’s path. Xander just sighed, knowing the question that was coming. Xander answered before Arrius could even ask.

“Don’t worry my friend, all is well. Ilandra just asked me to do some work for her while we’re in town here. She doesn’t know you well enough yet, so she asked me in private. Don’t worry it’s nothing.”

Arrius paused for a moment, not quite sure he understood Xander.
”You’re telling me you took a job, while we’re being hunted by the army and possibly some kind of Magi Emperor guy? Don’t you think we’ve got enough on our plate?” Arrius asked, though he kept his voice low.

“It’s on the way... besides, she gave me that old book on Angelus that she was reading as payment. I figured it would be best for me to read the book myself. Maybe it would answer some of these questions for us.” Xander answered calmly.

Arrius took a breath and considered the argument. He could see how the book could prove useful, but he still didn’t like the fact that Xander didn’t consult him first.

”Well, you could have at least told me. So what is it that we have to do?”

“She only just told me this morning. Besides, I knew I could count on you. The job is easy. Ducat is a shut in. He doesn’t see visitors and rarely ventures outside, but it wasn’t always the case. Ilandra’s husband was not only a drunkard and an adulteress, he was also a gambler. He gambled away a family heirloom of Ilandra’s in a game of dice and Ducat was the one to win it. She figured that if we were going to talk with him anyway, I might as well get her heirloom back.”

Arrius laughed.
”Well, that’s one way to build good will with this Ducat fellow. But a deal’s a deal. What was it, a ring or something?” Xander nodded that it was.

“As luck would have it, Ducat lives in the city here as well. It’s on the other side of the city, but at least we don’t have to journey too far. Ilandra told me where it was.”

With that settled they set out to find Ducat and get some questions answered.

The travel through the city was painfully slow. Xander would have been able to get there easily on his own, but with someone the side of Arrius, and with the soldiers all looking for someone the size of Arrius, they were forced to take only back routes. Xander minimized their risk by scouting ahead at times, and they slowly crept through the city.

It took hours, but eventually Xander said that they were there. The house was little more than a shack, and it was in the slums of the city. In this area Xander and Arrius looked like upstanding citizens. Still, the street rats gave them a wide berth. Even the desperate and uneducated knew better than to cross someone that looked like Arrius and Xander.

The house Xander indicated was little more that a shack. It was a single floor dwelling with a slanted roof. The windows had bars across them and were so dirty Arrius could not see inside. The house seemed to fit with the general atmosphere of the street it sat upon.

“Well, if that’s the place I don’t think that ring of yours will be there. No man holding onto something that valuable would be living in a place like that.” Arrius said as they were studying the outside of the building from across the street.
“Well my friend, let’s both hope your wrong. We don’t have time to go hunting for it.”
Arrius couldn’t agree more. There was little scouting that needed to be done. There were clearly no soldiers in the area, and other than the lower class of citizens nothing seemed unusual. Arrius and Xander approached the front door. Arrius noticed it was solid wood, and would have been quite expensive in contrast to the upkeep for the rest of the house.

Xander knocked loudly and waited. There was no answer. They looked at one another for a moment and then Arrius knocked, louder this time. There was still no answer. Arrius tried again and this time Xander motioned for him to be still as he pressed his ear near the door. Xander moved his two fingers back and forth to indicate he could hear someone walking. Arrius listened and he could hear it as well. There was definitely someone inside. Xander motioned that he would go around back and Arrius nodded, but before Xander could move they heard someone come up to the door from inside.
“Who’s there?” It was a man’s voice coming from inside, and his voice was unsteady. He sounded afraid. Xander was the one to answer him.
“Master Ducat, hello, I am here to speak with you about an area of your expertise. I can pay for your time.” Xander offered hopefully.
“Go away, I don’t want to talk.” The man said. Xander let out a sigh.
“Please, sir. It is of the greatest importance that I speak with you. I was told you were the most knowledgeable man on a particular subject.” Xander said, trying to play into his ego.
“Go away.” Was all the man said. Xander was about to try again when Arrius lost his patience. Arrius took a couple steps back and motioned for Xander to step aside. Xander moved quickly and Arrius charged the door, putting his shoulder down as he collided with the door. The sound of wood cracking echoed as the frame of the door cracked and fell in. The door itself cracked and folded inward as Arrius kept pushing through. The man on the other side of the door had been standing directly in front of it and had been knocked to the ground by the force of the door collapsing. Arrius moved into the room quickly with Xander still outside.

Ducat was on his back scrambling to his feat. He had a short sword in his hand and as soon as he got to his feet he lunged at Arrius. The motion was slow and poorly done. Arrius simply turned to the side to avoid the thrust, grabbed Ducat by his sword arm with his left hand. With his right hand Arrius simply punched Ducat in the bicep with such force that Ducat’s arm went numb and the sword fell from his grip. Arrius pulled Ducat across the room and with his left hand he pushed him into a chair.
Arrius noticed then that the interior of the house was spectacular compared to the outside. The windows were all blacked in, and there were bars on the windows, but everything else was impressive. Some of the artwork on the walls rivaled that in Ilandra’s home, fine rugs lined the floor. There were several hunters’ trophies hanging on the wall. Arrius noticed several boars’ heads, as well as deer and several animals he did not recognize. A large black bear pelt lay across the floor under the large wooden table. Arrius realized that the outer appearance of the building was just a mask, concealing it’s treasures within.

Xander walked into the shattered doorway and calmly walked to stand in front of where Ducat was seated. Arrius stood beside Ducat and used his imposing size to intimidate the man into remain seated. Ducat had grown pale and his hands were shaking.

“I’ve done nothing to you! I swear I can pay you double whatever they’re paying you, just don’t kill me!”

“Relax. Take a deep breath. We’re not here to hurt you. Like I said on the other side of the door, we’re here just to talk. My partner is just... direct. Our time is limited though.”

The man did not seem calmed by what he was hearing, but he didn’t argue.

“What do you want with me?” was all that he said, seeming skeptical as he looked Arrius up and down.

“What can you tell me about Emperor Angelus?” Xander asked vaguely. Arrius took a moment to look around the room. Among the art and other decorations he noticed several bookshelves that appeared unorganized and overflowing with large tombs.

“Are you one of them? Here to see what I know? I swear I will tell you nothing.” Ducat said before spitting on Arrius’ foot. Arrius clenched his fist and was about to strike Ducat but Xander gave him a brief motion to stand down.

“One of who?” Arrius said instead.

“One of the Brotherhood.” Ducat answered. Arrius and Xander exchanged a questioning glance, which was not lost on Ducat.

“So you’re not one of them? If you’re asking questions about Angelus then that must mean you’re working against them. If that’s the case then I fear your life expectancy is growing very short.”

“What is the Brotherhood?” Xander asked.

“They’ll kill me if I tell you anything.” Ducat said defensively.
“I’ll break every bone in your body if you don’t.” Arrius answered. Ducat looked up at the big man, and once he saw that he was serious Ducat nodded.

“Well it seems I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I’ll tell you what you want to know, but know that they will come for me if they learn it was I who spoke about them. The Brotherhood is an organization who’s roots came from Emperor Angelus himself. He began the Brotherhood to train and test the loyalty of his Generals and other followers. The followers of the Brotherhood are fanatics. They worship Angelus like a god. For most they are raised from children for a single purpose. Membership is given to those born into it, or to orphans with ties to no one else. Any one of them would give their lives to forward the goals of the Brotherhood. They are all brainwashed with the Brotherhood’s propaganda. It’s goal, since Angelus’ defeat has been to find where the usurpers had buried his body. It was their belief that Emperor Angelus could be raised back to this world to take his place. They are bent on the destruction of the known world to have Angelus reign over us all. They have infiltrated every major aspect of modern society. Those who learn of their existence or question anything they do are killed. Like what will happen to you... and now me, most likely. ”

“How is it that you learned all this?” Arrius asked, still skeptical.

“It is like day and night. The Brotherhood is the darkness that threatens to descend upon the world. There is another group who offer us light. Their sole purpose is to combat the efforts of the Brotherhood. They are men and women of true honor and valor. They know the stakes we play for and know the price for failure. I count myself among them, though I have fallen from favor. “

“Do you know anything else of Angelus or this Brotherhood? Is there a way to bring them down? Who is this other group you speak of and can they help us?” Xander asked.

“I will tell you nothing more. I’ve said too much already, but if you want to learn more of Angelus I have a tomb written about his life and downfall. It has been badly damaged in a fire, but some information still remains.” Ducat said indicating his bookshelf from across the room.

Xander motioned for Arrius to check. Arrius went over to the bookshelf and began to sort through the books. It only took him a moment to find a book that had been badly charred with fire damage. Arrius pulled it out and Ducat nodded that it was the right one. The book was in very poor repair and the bottom quarter of the book had been lost to the fire.

“This looks useless.” Arrius said, looking at the damaged book.
“Take it anyway.” Xander said, before looking back to Ducat.
“Thank you for that information, but I have one more thing I must ask. I’ve been asked to locate something for a friend. I see the large black opal ring on your hand there looks very much like one that’s been described to me. Where did you get it?” Xander asked Ducat.
“I won this in an honest game of chance years ago. What of it?” Ducat asked suspiciously.
“I’m sorry my friend, but I’ll have to take that with me. It was gambled without knowledge of it’s owner and I’ve been asked to see it returned. You understand how it goes.”

“You damn thieves aren’t satisfied with taking my life, you have to take my possessions as well?”
”Just give him the ring, or I’ll take the whole finger with it.” Arrius said absently as he flipped through the burnt pages of the book. Arrius didn’t even bother to look up as he spoke.

Ducat reluctantly took the ring off his finger and handed it to Xander with a scowl.
“That ring was won from a traitor you know. He was in league with the Brotherhood, and it cost him his life. I hope it brings you the same luck that it did him.”

Xander looked at him suspiciously.
“What do you mean?” Ducat simply smiled.
“It was well known that Lord Whitehall was in league with the Brotherhood. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but the man was a shrewd businessman. All of his investments and the growth of his estate was done on behalf of the Brotherhood, and that cost him his life, the traitorous swine.”

It was then that Arrius looked up from the book, confused.
”Hey, Xander, didn’t you say that it was the Lady Whitehall that was the brains behind that estate?” There was a momentary pause before Xander replied. The realization of the situation was beginning to set in.
“Yeah... that’s what I said...”

With that, Arrius walked to the closest window and cleared the dirt away to look out.
””Hey Xander... we got a problem. There’s a lot of soldier’s outside, I think they’re moving to surround this place. I think we’ve been sold out again."
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Kajatta » Mon May 03, 2010 2:46 pm

Kajatta was plunged straight through the pool of water at the top of the shaft. The splash soaked the nearly barren room as well as completely drenching her. As she stood ankle deep atop the platform, she noticed the splash had also put out the candle on the table. The room was dark, and the false image of Ben sitting on the chair was gone. She stepped out of the pool slowly, feeling encumbered by the weight of the water on her clothing. Approaching the candle, she snapped the fingers of her right hand, and a small flame appeared just beyond the tip of her index finger. She directed it by holding her finger just next to the candle wick and held it until the fire caught, it took a moment for the candle to dry enough to light. Once it did, Kajatta felt herself pulled in the direction of the pool. At the same time she noticed droplets of water from all over the room break off from where they had soaked and stream back to the pool, driven by magical force. She began to feel lighter and the pull weaker as more water left her own garments to join the streams at her feet. Within moments she was dry, but the image of Ben never rematerialized. She shook her hand to wave away the flame and decided she was ready to leave.

Kajatta reached into one of the pouches of her belt to make sure the book was still there and undamaged. Luckily they were made of thick leather and mostly waterproof, though given the nature of the water in question, she had to assume the book wouldn't have been damaged regardless. In fact the only lingering effect of having been soaked was that the bun of her hair had come undone. She decided to just pull out the pins completely and let her hair down for the time. Doing so she became aware of her overall appearance, she was still wearing a military uniform. Any place she could go to hide while in Leita would likely not welcome any authority figure. Still, there was nothing to be done about it for the time, it was late and all the shops were closed for the day. She decided to just pull her hood up and hide her uniform under her cloak.

As she approached the door she opened it a crack and peaked outside. Satisfied that no one of importance was around she opened it enough to squeeze through and stepped outside. She moved through the streets quickly, looking for a place she could spend the night without being bothered or attracting attention. Though she had been in Leita before, she never spent enough time to really know the place. Just a rough idea of where the rough neighborhoods were, and such a neighborhood was exactly what she needed.

It wasn't long before Kajatta found herself walking past worse and worse looking buildings before she found herself in the Leitan slums, most of the buildings had boarded up doors and windows, though were likely still inhabited by drifters and vagabonds. Each time she passed a tavern she would notice several men loitering just outside of it and each time she could feel their eyes probing her. Though she was confident she could handle the situation if they tried something, she still found it unnerving and would rather avoid the attention that dealing with them would bring.

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before one of the groups decided to follow her. They kept their distance, likely waiting for her to wander into a more secluded area. Kajatta decided she wouldn't give them the opportunity and turned into the first alley she passed. While walking she quickly prepared a spell under the cover of her cloak and as soon as she broke her pursuers' line of sight on her she touched her hand to the wall of the building beside her. The spot where she touched glowed faintly, then dimmed. As she continued walking the spot where she touched grew out from the wall to create a new wall behind her, blocking off the alley entirely, and it had the added benefit being made of the same material as the wall she touched, making it look like it belonged there.

"What the fuck?" She heard one of the men whisper from the other side of the wall as she walked further away.

Knowing she would likely have several encounters like that the longer she kept wandering the streets at such a late hour, Kajatta decided to stop at the next inn she passed, regardless of its condition. No sooner had she made the decision than she regretted it. It was just at the end of the alley that she found a rowdy tavern that seemed to double as an inn. She couldn't find the name of the place as all that remained of the sign was the old rusty chains that once held it up. Just as she was about to step inside she was forced to step aside as one of the patrons came flying out, followed immediately by four others who ran after him. The four men began kicking the first man before he even had time to get up. They were shouting obscenities at him, clearly he had offended them somehow, but Kajatta was not about to hang around to find out the whole story. It took some effort to squeeze inside the tavern as more and more patrons were gathering by the door to watch.

Once inside she found the barkeep wobbling behind the bar looking as if he'd had a drink himself for each one he served. She walked quickly up to the bar, which was practically vacant with everyone huddled either outside or by the door.

"I need a room for the night." Kajatta said as she placed a gold coin on the bar.

The barkeep stared at the coin for a moment, as if trying to understand what it was she was asking for. Slowly, he reached into his vest pocket and pulled out an old, grimey looking key. He slapped it down on the bar just next to the coin. He slowly slid his hand off the key and onto the gold coin, taking it and putting it straight into his pocket. The barkeep started wobbling a bit more as he turned to his left and raised his hand to point up to a staircase along the back of the room. Just then he quickly ducked under the bar and Kajatta heard the violent convulsions of the man vomiting followed immediately by a splashing sound as the alcohol saturated bile hit the already soaked wood of the floor.

Kajatta reluctantly grabbed the key and walked to the stairs. Once again she was regretting her decision, looking at the staircase she saw each step had a story to tell. Many of them were covered in blood and vomit, and potentially other unknown fluids. She walked up the steps quickly, eager to get into a room and most likely sleep with her clothes on. At the top of the stairs, she had to step over a man who was laying on his stomach, either unconscious or dead, she didn't bother to check.

She looked at the key and saw it had the number "3" etched on it and looked around for the matching room. She was relieved to find that the very first door had the same number carved into it. Kajatta inserted the key into the lock and turned it, the door opened smoothly and she stepped inside. She was surprised to find that the room in no way resembled the rest of the establishment. It was clean and neat, and once she closed the door behind her found it surprisingly quiet. She reinserted the key and locked the door, testing it after to ensure its seal. Still, given the area, it didn't hurt to be extra cautious, so she quickly cast a spell on the door to make it expand slightly, forming an almost solid seal with the wall.

Kajatta threw herself on the bed, the events of the day had proven more exhausting than she realized, and the nap on the cart was far from restful. Before she knew it she had drifted off to sleep.


Kajatta awoke to the sound of commotion outside. She got up and walked to the window. From her vantage point she could see Imperial soldiers moving around the street below her. Her first impression was that the magi had activated her bracelet and traced her location, but as she looked at her wrist to curse the device she noticed the soldiers were instead surrounding a small dilapidated shack across the street. Still, it was a strong possibility that she was being traced, and it simply wasn't that accurate yet. But that would change quickly. She had no time left to lose, before anything else, she would have to find Finn before the Order found her.
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Keisha » Tue May 11, 2010 4:10 am

The night had grown late and the sun had long set. The moon was high, but clouds had moved in to obscure its light. It was still several hours before dawn would break and the new day and new empire would begin. Keisha had been returning to the graveyard inside the compound. She avoided the common entrances to escape notice. She was not wearing any military insignia which should draw attention. Instead she scaled the outside wall to enter the compound. After the security breach that had occurred and the injuries of some soldiers it was no wonder the compound was a hive of activity. It was clear that those held accountable for the breach were taking it out on the common footman. Little did they know that in a few short hours the world would know their new master had arrived. It was true that the security would need to be flawless to prevent enemies of Angelus from making an attempt on his life. Keisha did not concern herself with the details for security. She knew that it would be Saul or one of his subordinates that would take that matter. Keisha’s concerns were not for soldiers or armies. Her role was far more intimate. She focused on a single target and a single life. Unlike Saul, who controlled armies and many men, Keisha’s subordinates fought on a different field. Instead of the open plains of modern warfare, Keisha’s subordinates fought their battles in silence and shadows.

Keisha returned to the tomb of Angelus and found her master there. Angelus had not gone far from when she had last seen him, but he was seated on the grass in a state of meditation. Keisha stopped where she was over fifty feet away. The shadows of night assisted her and she waited. She would not disturb her master’s mediation. Angelus seemed to sense her presence and broke his meditative state momentarily after she had arrived. Angelus rose and turned to face her. She knew that no ordinary man could have heard her approach. It was impossible, but she knew Angelus was no ordinary man.

“Come forward.” Angelus commanded in a calming, almost fatherly voice. Keisha did as he commanded and came to kneel at his feet. Angelus put his hands on her shoulders and directed her to stand. Keisha had the ivory box in her hand and she held it out for Angelus to view. Her eyes had been lowered as she presented the box. Angelus took the box from her hand and held it for a moment in his own. Keisha’s eyes moved up to meet Angelus’ stare. He was looking at her instead of the box. Keisha kept the eye contact for a moment before Angelus looked down at the box. The small lock fell away before Keisha had taken the time to unlock it. Angelus opened the box and viewed the trophy held within. He admired it for a moment before closing the ivory box.

“You have done well, Shadow Sword.” Angelus said as he placed the box on the ground.

“I live only to serve, Master.” Keisha answered, though after a moment of hesitation she continued.
“The usurper and his bride are no longer a concern. His two young children escaped my blade this night, but I swear their blood will stain the earth.” Keisha was afraid of how Angelus would respond to what she felt was an inexcusable failure. Angelus smiled kindly.
“Have no fear, for no mere child can harm me or our cause. Do not waste your talents on orphans. Send someone in your place. I have more pressing matters for you to attend. You have cleared the throne of the usurper and I would take it now.” Angelus said.

Angelus motioned with his hand for Keisha to walk with him. Angelus walked in slow, measured steps through the cemetery. Keisha remained in step at his side. They walked at what seemed like a painfully slow pace, but Angelus did not appear to be rushing. They walked through the compound with soldiers and men at arms rushing to complete whatever task they had been set upon at such a late hour. None stopped to question or even acknowledge Angelus or Keisha. They walked in plain view, though all those around them appeared oblivious to their existence. It was as though they were spectres walking through the mist.

Eventually they reached the main gate of the compound. The soldier’s on guard also did not appear to notice their passing. Keisha used her telekinetic ability to remove the bar from the door and push it open. The guards standing watch did not move or flinch at the act and remained at their station.

“Do they not see us Master?” Keisha finally had to ask. Angelus looked to her even as they walked through the gate.
“Yes, they can see us but their mind has been clouded. They can see us, and they can hear us, but so long as I will it they are in a dream state. They will recall only glimpses of us and soon it will fade from their memory.”
Keisha used her mind to close the gate behind her, though she left it unlocked. Angelus began to walk them towards the Emperor’s keep and his throne.

“My power grows stronger even now, but I have been away from this world a long time. My flesh requires rest to ensure I return to my former glory. When the sun rises Saul will have these soldiers officially swear their loyalty to me and we will change the world.” Angelus said as they walked.

“You will be a saviour to us all. Your reign will bring peace to the world, but that will not be obtained without bloodshed.” Keisha answered simply.

“No, not without bloodshed.” Angelus agreed.

They continued the slow walk through the streets until they reached the Emperor’s keep. The front gate to the keep was open. Keisha suspected that the remaining servants and soldiers had fled the keep once news of the Emperor’s death had spread. None would want to be there to answer for what happened. There were undoubtedly many secret meetings being held by those of noble birth vying for position and intending to capitalize on the situation. Little did they know that their new Master had already arrived. Angelus walked the grounds of the keep and then entered the buildings. The keep was silent, and not a soul stirred.

Angelus found his way to the throne room easily, still walking in the unhurried, slow, measured steps. Keisha stayed by his side as he entered the throne room and looked around. Colourful tapestries and artwork lined the walls. Angelus walked up the steps to the large throne. He sat down gently and looked around from the new vantage point. Keisha bowed low before him.
“Welcome home Master.”
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Re: The Mask of Angelus (Closed RP)

Postby Arrius » Tue May 25, 2010 7:51 pm

Arrius watched the scene outside with interest. The window had been blackened with dirt, but Arrius could see out of the small streak he had cleaned. His visibility was still poor but he could make out several uniformed soldiers with their weapons readied moving into position beside the building. Some were carrying swords and others spears. He could see others running past his little window to what would probably be the back of the building. Even at a quick count Arrius made out ten soldiers. He was certain the number was greater. Ten was only the ones he could make out from his vantage point. Xander came over to the window and took a look outside.

“We don’t have much time. They look like they’re already in position, which means we’re probably surrounded.” Xander said. Ducat got out of the chair the moment he had been left unattended.

“I have to get out of here. They’re going to kill me.” Ducat’s voice was panicked. Arrius turned to face him.
“Yeah, I think that’s the idea. If you go out there now you’re just going to make it that much easier for them.” Arrius said before turning to Xander. “They don’t know that we know they’re out there. If they’ve split their numbers to surround the place it could work to our advantage. We just can’t get pinned down and let them use their numbers the way they want. I say we charge straight out the front and break past the soldiers there. We cut ourselves a hole and get the hell out of here. If we move fast enough they won’t have a chance to get organized and the guys around back won’t be able to make it back around before we’re gone.”

Xander answered quickly. “They’ll have their greatest numbers out front and the best chance of holding us there. We’ve got a better chance going out the back.” Xander reasoned.

“We should barricade the door and lock this place down. If they can’t get in they can’t get to us. If we go out the front they’ll kill us, and if we go out the back there are tall fences and I’m too old to climb them. If we go out the back we’ll just be trapping ourselves there.” Ducat said speaking so quickly his words ran together. It was clear he was in a blind panic, and the only thing keeping him there was the lack of anywhere to go. He certainly didn’t want to go out to face the soldiers.

Both Xander and Arrius shook their heads to Ducat’s initial idea, and Arrius was the one to explain while Xander looked back out the window for an update.
“No, if we board up here they’ll just burn this place down around us. If the fire and smoke doesn’t kill us, they’ll be waiting for us to escape the flames.”

“They’ve got cross bows.” Xander commented as he observed the soldiers getting to their final positions. “Well, we’re out of time. If we don’t figure out what we’re going to do right now, it’s not going to matter much.

“I’m not going out there.” Ducat said resolutely, crossing his arms over his chest. Arrius didn’t much care what the coward did. If his initial example of his swordsmanship was any indication of his skill Arrius knew Ducat wouldn’t prove of any use anyway.

Arrius looked to Xander. “I still think we should go through the front. We won’t have time to climb fences, but it’s your call. Say the word and I’m with you.”

Xander took a moment to think. Neither option seemed very optimal. There would be fewer soldiers around back but more barricades to overcome. Finally Xander nodded and said “We’ll go out the front. We can’t afford to be held up and let them swarm us. We’ll take our chances on the open street. Those cross bows will be a problem though.” Xander said uncertainly.

Arrius looked around the room for ideas, and his eyes came to the large table he had noticed earlier, sitting atop the bearskin rug.

“What kind of wood is that?” Arrius asked Ducat.
“Who the hell cares?!” Ducat’s voice was high pitched and it looked as though he may start hyperventilating. Arrius gave him a withering stare and Ducat took pause.
“Mahogany… Imported Mahogany… it was very expensive. A custom piece…” Ducat answered feebly.

Arrius didn’t wait for him to finish his rambling. Arrius walked over to the table and with a powerful instep kick he knocked one of the legs off.

Ducat cried out at the damage, but didn’t say more. Arrius quickly moved around and used the heel of his boot to break off the other three legs. Picking up the heavy Mahogany table top Arrius tested its weight. It was heavy, but easily a burden he could handle. The table top was about three feet wide by four feet long.

“What the hell are you doing?!” Ducat demanded. He was visibly sweating now. Arrius ignored him and turned to Xander.

“This should slow some of those bolts. Keep that sword ready and stay on my back. I’ll charge them using this as a shield. If you stay close enough to keep their swords at bay I hope this will catch most of the bolts they’ll fire. If we stay together we may be able to break through before they know what’s going on.” Arrius suggested. In truth he didn’t know how well it would work, but it was the only thing he could think of to try to keep them from the cross bows.

Ducat’s eyes bulged at the thought of the idea, and Xander looked skeptical as well. They were outnumbers and neither Xander nor Arrius were equipped to deal with a large number of ranged assailants. No matter how poorly planned and improvised their plan was, they had to act now before they lost the critical element of surprise. Xander shrugged and readied his blade.

Arrius didn’t wait to see if Ducat would follow. He didn’t care. Instead Arrius led the charge, rushing through the door frame he had smashed through, holding the table top before him. With the barrier in front of him he couldn’t see where he was going. Arrius rushed forward with a battle cry. The moment he came through the doorway he felt the table shutter and eight bolt heads penetrated the thick wood of the table. The bold tips poked through the back but the wood had stopped them. Each of the bolts would have hit Arrius in the chest if he had not been protected.

Arrius continued to push forward blindly. He could not see where he was going but felt a barrier in front of him as he reached the first soldier. Arrius did not hesitate to use the wood as a ram to knock the soldier to the ground. Arrius’ next steps trampled the young soldier and Arrius was sure to step heavily on his head as he moved over him. He could hear soldiers shouting and the sound of spears striking the barrier. Arrius heard Ducat scream out in pain behind him.

Apparently he had decided to follow. Arrius could hear Xander’s blade clashing with steel on steel as Xander tried to keep the soldiers from reaching them. Arrius could see that soldiers were swarming to the sides. Arrius’ initial count had been so far off it seemed pathetic. There were at least thirty soldiers including the crossbowmen that had come to stop them, and that was only the ones that remained out front. Arrius could not imagine how many more awaited them in the back.

Arrius felt as several soldiers reached the front of the barrier and put their backs to brace it. Arrius pushed forward forcing them to concede slow steps. Arrius tried to force them down as he did the first soldier, but they were too many. There were at least five men who were holding him back and Arrius found himself in a stalemate.

“Turn right!” Xander shouted, and Arrius acted without thought. He turned the barrier to the right, bringing it protectively over Xander just as the twang of the crossbow was heard and four more bolts struck the wood.

Arrius felt a searing pain in his side, and when he looked down he could see the barb of a crossbow bold protruding from his side. It had struck him in the back on a sharp angle, causing the barbed bolt head to punch straight through. The soldier’s were closing in, and one man came to approach from Arrius’ wounded side. Arrius gritted his teeth and kicked the soldier’s kneecap. He could feel the bone crack under the force of his heel and the soldier dropped his sword and fell to the ground.

They had stopped making ground and they found themselves stopped. It was exactly what they could not do. Arrius renewed his vigor to push forward and break through and they moved another ten feet before a second bolt struck Arrius in his right thigh. He cried out in pain and surprise as the bolt hit, and it acted to infuriate him. Arrius dropped the table. The soldier’s who had been pressing against it to stop his forward progression now fell into Arrius’ open hands.

Arrius showed no mercy. His clawed gauntlets gripped the throat of the first soldier and he used them to tear out his windpipe before letting him drop to the ground. The next soldier lost an eye as Arrius used the gauntlets to claw his face. The next received a solid punch to the jaw which sent him sprawling to the ground. At a glance Arrius could see Xander trying to hold off a number of soldiers. Xander was acting purely defensively, trying to ward off blows.

“Go back!” Arrius called back to Xander who began to move back towards the house. Their push had failed and they now found themselves exposed, in the open and being surrounded. Arrius wanted to find a way to force the soldier’s to come at them in smaller numbers. Arrius was willing to kill thirty men if that’s what it took to get out of there, but even facing them one at a time would be an extraordinary feat. Still, remaining in the open was a death sentence.

Xander moved them back quickly. Arrius noted several wounded and dying men on the ground as they moved back; evidence that Xander had been busy. The soldiers had not had the chance to surround them completely and they reached the building easily. Once inside the door Arrius grabbed a hold of the bookshelf nearest the door and toppled it down to block the doorway. It was effective in blocking the entrance.

Arrius’ hand went down to his side and felt the blood flowing from the wound. He moved his leg, which still had the bolt protruding from his thigh. His movement was still okay but every movement reminded him it was there and he had to grit his teeth.

Ducat had followed them, though he looked in worse shape. He had received several sword slashes to his face and chest and was now missing part of his left ear. The worst wound was a bolt that had punctured his stomach. Arrius had seen enough men die to know Ducat would not survive the day. His wounds would bleed out… eventually. Ducat was already coughing up blood and was hardly able to stand, though his sword was still in his hand. Arrius had not even been aware that Ducat had retrieved it.

“They sent the whole god damn army!” Arrius shouted, more to himself than to anyone else. “What the hell are we going to do now?” Arrius said in frustration.

“The frontal assault idea didn’t work the way you were hoping, but we couldn’t have known they would have sent so many. We can’t fight them all. We have to figure out another way out of here.” Xander said while he was thinking.

It looked like they were in a difficult situation here and Arrius was surprised the soldiers were not trying to break down the barricade. Then he realized why. A quick smell caught the scent of smoke.

“Great, the fire started already. You know Xander, once we get out of this I think we need to have a long chat with Ilandra about all of this. In the meantime, do you have any idea how we’re going to get out of this?” Arrius said as he took a moment to catch his breath.
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