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 I can get no relief.
-Ezekiel
Posted: Nov 1 2011, 01:55 AM


I'm an ArseHole, deal with it.
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 6,645
Member No.: 91
Joined: 7-May 05



OOC: PM me if you want to join this thread. Two covers of great songs influenced this post a great deal. Song 1 and Song 2 are both amazing covers of equally amazing songs.
===============================================================

Waves crashed against the sides of the small merchant boat as it navigated the treacherous waters of the Orion Bay head. The captain kept close eye on his helmsman and the man in the nest as they shouted to each other the conditions. Orion Bay was not a difficult bay to enter, but the crew had gotten used to the pilot boats and light houses of Nazca that they had become complacent when it came to navigating without assistance.

But more than that, they were on edge ever since they had picked up the passenger. Not that the Captain was concerned, the man had - the sound of his voice made no mistakes there, the passenger was completely covered by a long black cloak that hid all features - paid in diamonds, uncut ones. Yet no one on the ship had seen his face and as far as they could tell, he rarely ate. And almost as if to make things worse, he towered over them all.

"We'll be in the port within an hour," said the Captain as he moved to stand beside the man who was standing near the helmsman. "Course it depends on how busy the port is." "Thank you Captain, I am aware of the delays. Orion is a pirate port is it not?" asked the man, his deep voice making the Captain's chest vibrate. "Oh not any more, Nazcan Raiders keep them in check." "Nazcan?" "Have you not heard?" "I've been travelling for some time, I turned my attention to scholarly pursuits after putting my sword down." "Scholar, so you're a monk" "No" said the man with such a firmness that the captain took an involuntary step back. "No, not a monk. I decide after years of fighting for my living that I deserved a break."

"Ah well," said the Captain, he was glad the man was speaking, but the more he talked, the more the captain felt unease. It was like there was something in him telling him to flee very quickly. "You see, Nazca's Lord decided that he had enough of the pirates being split into little groups and attacking everyone willy nilly, so he unified them and gave them a Guild in Nazca, he also made a Merchants guild, hence the sign on my main sail. As long as I have that sign, no Nazcan pirate will attack me. What's more, should I be attacked by a freelance pirate, I report it to a Raiders post and they hunt the sods down."

"I see, that is an effective system, Nazca becomes the police of the seas and trade. The Lord of Nazca must be quite a formidable man to unify such a rabble. I imagine Leopold Crowley would have something to say about all this." replied the man without turning to look at the captain. "Oh, Leopold Crowley is the lord of Nazca, he's become respectable to some. Personally I say once a pirate always a pirate but he's fair and just, Nazcan terms of course. As long as I pay my guild fees, I don't get charged docking taxes in any port, save the hidden ones." said the Captain happily, rubbing his hands together in a greedy fashion.

"Captain! Ship ahead!" came the call from the nest. "Colours?" shouted the Captain in return, his hand flying to the spyglass on his hip as he followed the man in the nests hand. "None sir, it's docked in port." "What you telling me for then?" "You need to see this ship Cap', I've never seen one like it." For a moment the captain thought his nest had gone mad, but he knew better than to second guess him, he was his first mate and no one more trust worthy. Save maybe his helmsman.

Training the spyglass toward the dock, the Captain gasped in shock, removing his eye and rubbing it before replacing it. The ship in question was one of the largest he had ever seen, but it was not human made that was for certain. It had sleek elven lines with a bowspirit carved into a snarling dragon, with it's claws clutching a long silver ram. The carving continued up the side to look like the wings of the dragon. The captain thought for a moment that there was no way the ship could possibly be a war ship, until he counted the guns. "Sweet Elyssa, Mate, have you ever seen a ship like that?" "Nay, it's elven and human made, I see dwarven cannons though."

"Captain, may I see?" asked the Helmsman, his eyes gazing forward as he gently moved the tiller with one hand. Handing the spyglass over, the Captain heard his helmsman give a sharp intake of breath before saying. "That be The Golden Dragon, lads. I suggest we reef sails and wait Captain, the guardians of the ship won't like us getting too close." said the Helm as the Captain looked at him curiously until he realised the helm was pointing to a dark shape on the horizon.

"It looks like a bird" said one of the crew "or a dragon", others started to make signs to what gods they believed in. It wasn't until it was on top of the ship that they could make out it's shape. A giant crow, made of a strange shiny black stone, easily the same size of the merchant ship. But more impressive than it's size was the heat coming from it. The Captain could feel the heat from it as it rolled a red eye over the crew as it swept past. "Reef the bloody sails" shouted the Captain as the wind from the crows flight slammed into the ship, threatening to ripping sails and rigging.

Fear gripping the captain as the crow screeched, it's voice sounding like a burning inferno was caught in it's throat. Turning to his passenger, the Captain was amazed to see that the man was unmoved, his crew was lying flat on the deck as the crow flew past and this man stood firm as if it were an everyday sight. "Get your head down you fool!" shouted the Captain as the man seemed to follow the Crow as it winged around the ship. "Do not worry Captain, your ship will be fine."

The Captain watched as the man raised two enormous hands to the hood of his cloak. A hiss escaped his lips as he looked at the man, a single primal word echoed through his body. Flee, he had to run from this man, this man was dangerous. "I am not a threat!" the man shouted as he raised a hand to the Crow as it kept the burning red eye on the man. "I only wish to speak with you. Please, safe passage for these innocent people. I have paid them, you may question them if you wish but I swear on the memory of Ellanette, I mean no harm."

For a dreadful minute the Crow seemed poised to slam into the ship before it flapped it's wings and lifted it self higher into the air and fly back toward port. The Captain raised himself to his feet and looked at his passenger, his hands trembling as he opened his mouth. "You knew that thing was coming?" "I was expecting something far worse, that Crow was safe in comparison to the others he has at his disposal." "Others? What others?" "A Golden Dragon for one."

The ship coasted into port, the crew stood watching as four gigantic crows wheeled over the town. The Captain looked toward his passenger as the man surveyed the town with a look of mild interest. With his cloak removed the Captain could see the silver hair tied back with a silver clasp. The strange scars that criss-crossed his face, told the Captain more than he wished to know. Some of the land caravans had spoken of the Barbarian tribes that lived on the plains of Kelrock, never before had he seen one looking so refined. Yet the man's eyes were pitch black, a shiver ran up the Captain's spine every time the man glanced in his direction. It was the same look he had received from a dragon the ship had stumbled across. He was an insect, awaiting the boot to fall.

"Captain" said the man turning toward him with a bulging leather pouch in one hand. "I thank you for your services. And apologies for involving you into this mess. I hope this more than covers any issues you may have." he said pushing the pouch into the Captain's hands just as the gangplank was lowered. "May the winds be fair to you."

The Captain watched as the man replaced his hood and walked down the plank, for a moment the Captain prayed that he would get mugged by someone in the crowded dock but he was disappointed to see the man disappear into the crowd so easily. "Captain?" "Three days shore leave for everyone, next time we take on passengers, we ask them who they are first."

The man in question knew how to disappear, he also knew that he was being followed by two sets of followers. One set was inexperienced and were clearly picked for their size. The other set were hidden for the most part and travelled at a distance. Of the two groups, the man knew that the second set was the threat.

Making his way down the high street, the man stopped to check his bearings and to look for a potential location where he would find the man he was looking for. A suitable location was often hard to find with this one. He could be in a luxurious location or he could be in a location best described as a cesspit. Looking around, the man decided that it was probably best if he headed toward the townhall and ask for directions there, a ship such as the one dock would be well known to local officials. As would any remarkable people it had upon it.

This short walk also gave him a moment to reflect on poor choices he had made. Presently, his master was not speaking to him. Understandable given his crimes. It had been hard enough trying to get to Orion with very little possessions, but it was made harder when he discovered that his master had sealed his powers. Relying only on his strength was not a daunting task, but it did leave him with some unique issues, he had not realised how reliant he was on his abilities that it came as a shock to him to discover just how often he used them for menial tasks. It had been nice to reconnect with simple tasks, if something of a nuisance.

"Tell me, are you looking for little old me?" said a voice ahead of the man, he stopped and looked up at a tall man dressed in a red coat with a large number of beefy men behind him. It wasn't hard to tell that this man was a body double, he was too thin, just that bit too young. It was a nice attempt but really, this was something that would fool a child. "Take me to your master, I wish to speak with him" "What ever do you mean? I am L-" "Please, don't insult me. You can not be him, you are far too young. Now I wish to speak with him." said the man, he raised his hand to point at the fake in front of him but stopped, something behind him had garnered the attention of those in front as well as himself.

A pressure was at his back, such a fierce intent to kill that it threatened not only him but every living around him. Instinct told the man to move. But something else told him that to move was to die. "What makes you think I want to talk to you?" Then as soon as he felt the pressure, it retreated as a man with a salt and pepper beard, a white linen shirt and black pants walked from behind him. A pair of glasses perched on his nose as he held a book in one hand.

"The last time I saw you, you were burning down Sanctuary. I have every reason to have you torn apart by my crows." The man said, the voice was calm, almost serene. But the eyes told the man everything he needed to know. "I've seen your four crows, rather impressive way to go." he replied, he opened his mouth to say more but the other man raised an eyebrow and pointed up, inclined to follow the finger, the large man took a step back. Hundred of normal sized black stone crows looked down at him as they four larger ones wheeled over head.

"If you are lucky, I'll make each one have it's own piece of string." "Please, I'm certain it won't come to that, Leopold, I'm here to talk, I swear." "You better be telling the truth Ezekiel, or I'll have you torn into such tiny pieces, no being, immortal or other wise will be able to piece you together."
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-Roush
Posted: Nov 1 2011, 06:51 PM


Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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Joined: 2-August 10



Roush was better, but still not well.

It hadn't been long since his people had been nearly annihilated and his own mind and heart betrayed him; since Xanthe was forced to invade his mind and erect barrier after barrier. He knew that it might not have been the best idea to come out so soon, but as soon as he was done here he'd go back to his mountain.

He had come down to get an update on the occurrences of the world from the still-operating network of A'ya and now A'ni. A large group had spread throughout the world; this is how Roush would relay orders and how information would get to him. There was never a time or place named for a meeting, they happened when Roush found a A'ya. He was good at finding people. Tracking them down. Disappearing was a new trick, but it had been going well thus far.

He slipped through the city, slowly. He knew someone was here.

Whoever it was, their agents were slick. Had he not been an air alchemist, he wouldn't have caught it. But there were subtle clues. Perhaps somewhere they didn't want him to go. To their trained eyes, he stood out, just like they stood out to him. He used them to find what he was looking for. And was it unexpected.

The logic in him told him he should be glad that his emotions were locked away. The two men that he recognized immediately, Ezekiel and Leopold, were the reasons he got in the position he was in. His encounter with Ezekiel soon after he left Deep Forest had literally left it's mark on him, though the scar was more then just physical. It had burned the desire for power into his mind. It was that day he decided to became allies with the Aesir, so they could protect him from people like Ezekiel. Perhaps he would have been better off allying with Ezekiel to protect him from people like the Aesir.

And then Leopold. He had been in Sanctuary. Even came between Roush and the object he desired so greatly: the Topaz, the demonic gem that granted him his fire. He had made Roush fetch Salamel... his savior one day, the eradicator of his people the next.

These two men, both enemies of the Aeisr, had fostered a desire in Roush for power. Even when he thought he had it, Leopold had shown up again and reminded him how small he really was. He was going to kill Lily Ann. He was going to burn every tree in Sanctuary, roast every person until the white marble was singed black.

Thank the gods Leopold was there.

Everything looked so different now. What a perspective change, from predator to prey. Ally to enemy. And all in the blink of an eye. All because of Xanthe. All because of the notion of independence.

The heavy coat he wore fell off of his shoulders as he made his was slowly into the back ally. He was thicker then he had been before. It was obvious he had been working out. His red hair was actually cut shorter, all brushed back. He had a beard now, though it was not to make him look distinguished; it was to hide the tat on his cheek. A dark obsidian mask covered the left side of his face, making the other mark over his left eye. It from from his hairline the bottom of his cheekbone, no slit for his eye. It went all the way to his ear, then down to his jaw.

He barely even looked like Roush anymore. But he couldn't fool an alchemist that had known him before. His energy would be recognized, undoubtably. As far as either of these men knew, he was still with the Aesir, which is why he approached them slowly but steadily, not hiding his presence as the coat slipped off of him completely. He threw it to the side, and kept walking towards the two, trying to be as least threatening as possible. That seemed like a silly thought, since as either of these men could have handled him just fine even when he had his gem.

When he was within a reasonable distance, he figured he had better announce himself, lest he appear as a wallflower.
"I hope I'm not interrupting anything important,"

He knew he was. Why would these two men appear in the same place, if not for something important? But this is where he needed to be, in important places at important times.

"but I may be able to assist you."
It was almost a bluff. Almost.

The last time he approached people like this was quite a while ago. He was much younger, very inexperienced. He remembered how nervous he was as he walked into Castle Laubholz to meet with Luthe for the first time...

This was exactly like that and nothing like that at the same time.

On one hand, he was incapable of nervousness, apprehension, fear... Anything. Through all his meditation, he had yet to unlock a single of Xanthe's blocks. But it would come in time.

On the other, just as he was on that day, he was looking for allies. Hopefully this time it would turn out differently. He didn't have another 1,000 relatives to lose.

"I am no longer with the Aesir."

His arms were raised a bit, palms forwards. His katana was still slung by his hip, and his daggers were still on him, some hidden and some not. Fighting was the last thing on his mind; he was emotionless, not stupid.

"but I have some information about them you might enjoy."
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-Ezekiel
Posted: Nov 21 2011, 08:48 AM


I'm an ArseHole, deal with it.
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 6,645
Member No.: 91
Joined: 7-May 05



OOC: Hope you don't mind a littel godmodding on my behalf, bit hard to do what happens without it. PM me if you have any questions.
========================================================

Well now, it's not every day that your own holiday is interrupted by not one slight problem but two slight problems. Well, when I say slight I clearly mean massive. And by problem I clearly mean Ezekiel. Even dressed in a cloak you can practically see the rippling pectorals. Not to mention the height. If there ever was a muscle man competition, my vote would go to Ezekiel, along with my vote for supreme dick who butchered and massacred an entire race all by himself. In short, he's bad news.

The other problem was only a slight problem. He was a negligent Alchemist and of little consequence. Not even sure what his name was. Poosh? Moosh? Tooshie? Whosh? It didn't matter. He worked for the Aesir, or rather he didn't. Why he was telling me this is beyond me. I didn't care if he was or not, I was on holiday. Or at least trying, but we'll get to that later.

"Arrest both of them, bind Ezekiel's hands, feet and mouth with ropes and chains. The boy you can bind his hands. I'm going to see a man about a dog. Worst holiday ever!" I said as I walked toward the townhall. My crows stayed behind to watch the two very carefully. Not that I didn't trust either of them, but as I mentioned, one was practically sculpted, while the other was congealed. Ropes and chains wouldn't bind Ezekiel, that was foreplay to him.

Much to my surprise, Ezekiel consented to the binding with little word, the men I had brought with me were quick thinkers and far from stupid. Most of them were my honour guard from Nazca, not that I required one. But it was nice to know that I had one. Nothing tells you, that you are dealing with top notch soldiers when they can follow orders, be creative with those orders and bake a crème brulee to die for. Seriously, employ intelligent and cunning people and they surprise you.

As for Roush, the man in charge decided it was probably best for him to explain the situation. "It is in your best interest to follow my lord's orders. Your alchemy has been null since you enter the city. Five of the men here are alchemists personally trained by his lordship. Your hands will be bound, but remember that we can kill you in creative and humorous ways. Be sure to ask about the man who discovered his sudden and deadly allergic reaction to cheese and crackers. Follow me and remember, cheese and crackers."

Oh man, I remember that one. Happened in Nazca. See, this guy thought he could try to kill me with an bow and arrow and wondered why it had never been tried before. He figured that since he was terrible at long range, he'd go for point blank. I was sitting in my garden eating some cheese in crackers with Richard while discussing a play we had just seen when I looked over to see the cheese and crackers missing and a guy holding a bow, drawn back with no arrow in it and his mouth and nose shoved full of cheese and crackers. I was wondering what Richard had been gaping at, should have guessed it was something perfectly normal.

As for me, I stepped into the town hall where several people were waiting for me, all of them started to talk at once. Raising my hand I waited till they went quiet before walking to a desk with a small dog asleep on the paper work. "Alright, who was first?" I asked wearily as I pocketed my glasses and watched as a rather round and haughty looking woman charged through the crowd and screeched "Your men killed my dog!" Both the lady and I looked at each other, before we looked down at the small dog on the table. "This dog madam?" "Yes!" "The one with the collar that says Tiddles?" "Yes!" "Dead is it madam?" "Yes!" "Funny," I said opening a desk draw and pulled a squeaky toy from it's depths. One squeeze brought the dog back to life and by throwing the toy I got the dog off the table. "It's a miracle! Tiddles is alive! Why thank you sir!" Yes, this is my holiday.

Clearing the desk of drooled on paper work, I looked up as my captives were brought in and forced to sit in two vacant chairs. Ezekiel had been placed between two old ladies who were knitting and talking to each other around him. The boy had been placed next to the Tiddles lady, complete with dog and woman frenching one another. Before I could pass a remark at that disturbing scene, a rather large and beefy hand slammed on to the desk in front of me.

Looking up at the owner of the hand, I saw a man who was big in a boulder sense. He was furious about something, you could tell by the brilliant shade of red he was. His first words were "It's got to stop!" Before I replied, I calmly stared at his hand on the desk until he moved it and shuffled back looking very embarrassed. "Well then I'll stop it" I said looking at the man who suddenly looked very happy. "Good!" he said and swaggered away as if he had achieved something. I waited till he was out of the building before asking the man who was acting as secretary. "Any idea what it was I had to stop?" "Not a one my lord." "Know who he was?" "No sir, I don't." "Fount of all knowledge aren't you" "As you say my lord." "Wanker" "Thank you sir."

Turning my attention to the boy, I gave him a blank stare. It was a stare that took years to perfect. It basically made people very uncomfortable because it made you think I was analysing you with great interest, but really I was thinking about what to have for lunch. "Alright, tell me in a Haiku why I shouldn't have you beaten by small monkeys in funny little hats." I said to him, this seemed like a fair arrangement. Monkeys was the way forward, or not as one of my guards leant over my shoulder and whispered in my ear. "No monkeys you say, well what do we have? A fat woman frenching a dog? Oh yes, I understand. Good point." Looking back at the young man, I flicked a pen in the direction of the woman. "Give me a Haiku about why you shouldn't have to have sex with that woman and her dog."

And this is my idea of a holiday.
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-Dory
Posted: Nov 30 2011, 07:29 PM


The heart of the hustle: to use the mind as a muscle
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Posts: 2,898
Member No.: 1,513
Joined: 13-November 07



((....hi. >.>))

((Amitiel's a character))

Amitiel had no idea what she had given the sailors to allow her passage on their personal vessel, but she'd exhausted what was left of her change-purse with her attempts to find some honorable soul somewhere on Redemption, and still come up short. Whatever it was, the men seemed happy enough to take it in lieu of the gold she didn't have-- actually, they were -still- fairly happy with it, and that was the part that confused her.

From the best she could tell, it was some sort of natural herb, perhaps magical in nature, which was ground and then packed in to a pipe for smoking. The effects, though promised to be "honest" by the lady who ran the seedy apothecary, were even more perplexing. Eyes glazed, they hadn't said much of anything at all to her-- actually, they burst out in to a giggle fit every time she so much as stepped in to the smoke screened room that made up their quarters. She'd been entirely unable to get a polite word in edgewise.

Now that they were approaching the docks, she wasn't even in the mood to talk anymore. The simple sailboat was dwarfed enough by the mammoths of ships which surrounded it, but it tossed on the waves like little more than a toy as bloodshot eyes sought to navigate it against the docks. It wasn't even tethered before she, and both of her belongings, was on the dock and blazing in to the city.

The faces and stands around her blurred with speed and focus. One hand rested on the leather pack which dangled, empty save for half of her stock of the blasted plant, from her hip. The other hand gripped the hilt of her shining Namesake blade, more than prepared to draw.

She didn't even slow down until she had moved deeply enough in to the city that she felt assured that her presence would, given proper force, leave no choice but to be noted. Only at the foot of the steps of city hall did she stop, dropping both arms to her sides lest her presence somehow be taken as offensive yet -again-.

She sucked in the very deepest breath she could, chest puffing out like the ruffling of feathers, before she projected her voice as loudly as she could without running the risk of cracks breaking the name, "LORD. LEOPOLD. CROWLEY." that reverberated further with psychic force than her physical voice would allow. The pebbles on the ground below her vibrated, and then rattled as she crossed her arms; seized with the evocation of frustration she had no hope to control. They pelted at the ankles of those who ventured too close, doing no more damage than the bite of a mosquito; but it was enough of a hinderance to open a quickly broadening maw of solitude around her. Of course, there were also the guards to consider, but if the Lord didn't want to dispatch them, she almost relished the thought of doing it herself.

Question my honor, said her stance as she shifted her weight on to one leg to wait for a response, and the pebbles began to outright hop; I fucking dare you.

Of course, she would never have said such a thing out loud. Wouldn't have thought herself capable of such a thought to begin with, but the Lady had had quite enough. She'd been made a fool of in front of the Aesir, in front of the Golden Sash, in front all of Nazca, in front of not one but two gentlemen with whom she had once made friends, not to mention the old friends who had been present, or the blasted drow woman who'd gotten so far as introducing herself before she'd vanished in to thin bloody air; and that wasn't even getting in to the three day trip that had brought her to that very moment.

The pebbles reached elbow level as she went on, "YOUR NOT-BROTHER SENDS HIS BLOODY REGARDS." in that unique type of scream that only a Lady could master. The same one which, coincidentally, kept her knees from rattling together and, as the pebbles reached for her shoulders, her eyes from bursting in to waterfalls of tears.
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-Roush
Posted: Dec 2 2011, 01:00 PM


Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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Group: Warrior
Posts: 1,709
Member No.: 2,707
Joined: 2-August 10



OOC:
I had some time, and this is the topic I need to post in the worst, I think. Still busy, so...

Also Zeke, I can tell by the mispronunciations your saying Roush wrong. There no "ooo" sound in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eDBEaOhuiE

There, they say it right.


IC:

The ropes drew tight around Roush's wrists, as he offered them up to Leopold's men. Of course he didn't struggle or resist, though intimidation and humor was completely lost on his detached psyche. As he felt the course braid stretch across his skin, he could feel the other alchemists' presence in the air and earth around him.

This caused him no real pause; he wasn't here for combat or confrontation. That would be ridiculous. Besides, nothing was being done about his ultimate fail-safe; the rune he acquired that would allow him to escape at any time. As long as he had that he would feel safe(ish). If he had that taken from him, then the game would change a bit. He would have to be economical with the truth; his little bit of information was all he had between being dematerialized or pounded into the dirt. Luckily for him, he had never came into direct conflict with either of the men. Now that he though of it, the only real enemies he had were from Sanctuary.

Lily Ann had seen his face, after he killed a few of her citizens while delivering a message for the Aesir, so it was safe to assume it was not quite as safe for him as it was for others. He would have to direct the A'ni to try and stay away from Sanctuary for a while until he could ascertain their position on his race as a whole. Besides that, he had almost killed a few different people on his way to the gem; Kilik and Nyoka, plus one that he didn't know by name. Some undead soldier that he almost burnt to a crisp. He would have to make amends... Somehow.

Roush didn't have to much time to process Leopold's odd request, which would have been difficult anyway. A woman appeared.

It was always a woman.

He extended his air alchemy gently out to the girl, trying to see her. He wondered what the alchemist thought of him having his energy slowly flowing along the outlines of all solid surfaces in the area constantly... He doubted it was something they all did. It was how he saw, of course.

He recognized her almost instantly. Lady Amitiel. If he could have experienced happiness he would have. She was the first female he knew outside of the forest. Perhaps he could even call her friend? Perhaps.

The man who stood before her now was a shell of his former self, though at least wiser then he had been at the time they met. He could tell that she had business with Leopold as well, so he kept quiet, bowing his head and stretching his fingers out below the binds to make sure his blood flow continued. He could cut them, if he needed to. He was sure his air alchemy could manage at least that...

But again, there was no reason for that.


OOC:
Creative version of "Roush stands in the corner quietly."
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-Ezekiel
Posted: Dec 12 2011, 07:08 AM


I'm an ArseHole, deal with it.
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 6,645
Member No.: 91
Joined: 7-May 05



OOC: Sorry for the very late reply people. I've been less than inspired...luckily I found this little ditty. Also Roush, it's not my pronunciation, it's Leo's. For he knows you could pronounce it as Lord Farqwibblemouth but spell it Roush.
========================================================

I sat back watching Roush for some time with interest before turning my attention on to Ezekiel. The boy was still in my mind, why he decided to come to me after his stupidity was beyond me, he had committed crimes that would not go unpunished. Yet it was not my place to judge, whether he liked it or not he would have to go to Sanctuary. As would this man.

It was nearly impossible to read him, his eyes were closed and his face impassive. Silver hair and pale skin, combined with the perfect stillness of a man who's instinct told him to be ready to strike. I doubt even I could stop him before he killed everyone around me for the mere sport. We were mortals, he was something else, meat possibly.

I sat there staring at him for sometime, he was not going to blink as it were, so that task would fall to me. But what does one say to him? Hello Ezekiel, lovely weather isn't it? Mind if I drag you off to Sanctuary to be shouted at by lesser men? No, this was a man who would just sit as still as a statue only to infuriate those trying to serve out justice for crimes too large to be punished.

"They have one of your paintings here," I said softly, that got a reaction from him. His eyes opened slowly and he turned his head to look at me with sudden interest despite the chains. "Would you like to see it?" No man bound in heavy rope and chain should be able to nod their head fully. He did and it made all of my men take notice. Some moved their hands to weapons, others took steps toward me. "No doubt you could do so your self, but if I removed the bindings around your mouth, would you give me your word that you will not do anything that will cause my men or I to attack you?" Another nod, an unnecessary twitch of my finger and the bindings lessened enough for him to shake them off.

Before he spoke, he spat something on to the floor at the feet of one of my men. "Silver, smart man. That trick works on undead, lycans and most demons. But not on me." he said in that deep volcanic rumble of a voice. Looking at the guardsman, I nodded to him to pick up what ever he had stuffed into Ezekiel's mouth, he flinched as his fingers touched it. "Bitten in two?" asked the Captain of thr guard, "best keep both halves, look at them when you are afraid so you know what true fear looks like."

"Which of my paintings do they have here Lord Crowley?" "One of the rarer ones, I believe it has been altered however." I replied carefully, a raised eyebrow was the only response I got as I waved a hand to one of the guards who disappeared into the depths of the building.

While we waited I picked up my book again and flicked through it trying to remember where I was before giving it up and started to doodle on a piece of paper marked IMPORTANT. My doodling was interrupted by a shrill screaming from outside.

"Oh for Creed's sake, Sam go outside and tell Amitel to come inside. But use restraint and tact. Last thing I need is an angry woman as well as a fat woman kissing her dog ruining my holiday." I barked at the guard Captain, but the small man who was acting as my secretary stood up instead. "Allow me my lord, I believe a measured response is best here." "Also helps that you are dressed like a right tit in your butlers suit, but can still hide five knives on your person." said the Captain, his men grinned at the small man as I leaned forward. "That guy always worked for me?" "Aye, he's technically your man's man." "Really? He carries himself like a man who's been in one too many street fights." "And he's a knob sir." "Ah, the best kind then."

"Lady Amitel?" asked the prim and proper man as he stepped outside smoothly, his hands gesturing for the lady in question to enter. "His Lordship requests that you come inside. He is currently on sabbatical from what little sense he has left and is awaiting a haiku about having from a boy who attacked Sanctuary rather foolishly. And also a monster who wiped out the once great Elven nature. I suggest you enter quietly as the latter and my master will be discussing art in a moment."
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-Dory
Posted: Dec 12 2011, 09:48 AM


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((Shit happens.)) ((Also, I pronounce "Roush" wrong.))

For a long moment, Amitiel didn't budge. It wasn't that Leopold's prim little emissary took too long to reach her, but more a matter of disbelief. She hadn't necessarily expected the Lord to greet her personally. Frankly put, he had better things to do; but she doubted the analysis of poetry and artwork, no matter the nature of his audience, was on that list.

All the same, and hesitation aside, she managed to pull her hold from the pebbles around her. She crossed her arms with a huff as they settled with a whoosh and a clatter at her feet, eyes wandering away from the building and the invitation at the door for just the briefest of moments before, softly, she spoke the word, "Alright.", though one could easily have found the impression that it was not all that the young lady wanted to say.

Nazca was under threat, and the Lord Leopold was entertaining horrors? It was a far cry from a reassurance, but at least reaction to her rather obvious concerns had been swift. The rest, it seemed, would have to wait for a moment.

Stepping forward, she took each long stride toward the town's hall with dignity, right palm resting comfortably on the cage-like confines of her blade's hilt; pausing only to give the strange gentleman time to open the door for her before she was blazing through the hall. Finding the proper room was a simple matter of following her more subtle of instincts, which she did without hesitation-- perfectly willing to leave the gentleman behind if he found himself unable to keep up.

Existing inside of it was another matter entirely.

On one side, there was a woman who appeared to be well on her way to having relations with... with a dog. She didn't even try to wrap her mind around it, or why it was allowed to continue; choosing instead to simply look -away- from her at any and all costs. The prisoners, she almost didn't recognize; though as she stepped with a sudden shyness through the final door, she ran the information she'd been given through her mind.

One had attacked Sanctuary, and one had apparently wiped out an entire elven nature. With the second, a discussion regarding art was about to blossom. Of course, she had no way of knowing which was which, and no reason to care as she swept her burning emerald eyes toward the seated Lord-- and then stopped.

Looked back toward the An'i, and looked closer. There was no way. It couldn't have been. The Ether surely couldn't be so cruel; but there was no mistaking his aura, no matter how tainted it had become. Facial hair made for a poor mask, though it did cover up the tattoo's which might have marked him to a less familiar gaze, less intently trained on his emotionless, glazed eyes.

"Sir Roush." The name escaped her lips with her breath, and she froze entirely. Stood rigid. But that meant... but why would... Her head felt heavy. She thought she might faint. The gentleman had attacked Sanctuary? But that wasn't like him at all, not the Roush that she had befriended. So very misunderstood, but so very careful. Thoughtful, always, even for her Lady's sensibilities.

This was the very same Roush she had watched decide against violence in court with the dark haired Lady of the Sash. The same Roush which had spoken with her at length, on the nature of his people, his killing, his hatred for the human female-- and she had been silently made exempt, for the devilish nature completely lacked. The same Roush who had been kind to another lady, of whom they had taken custody in the name of the Aesir.

Attacking Sanctuary?

Something had happened to him. Something other than being tied up and stuffed in to a corner somewhere. Suspicious nature of his actions aside, there was something so very wrong in the glaze of his eyes. An emptiness she couldn't quite place; and the throb of her head gave way to splitting, tear jerking compassion. She might have dropped to her knees had she not locked them fast, fingers trembling as they fell away from her blade and any desire to draw it.

"What's happened to you?" Sharply, barely a question but more of a demand, her chin lowered with resolve. The rest of the room and her concern for it it was shoved without hesitation to the wayward corners of her mind. It was simple. What did she care for the strangers? And she was still rather angry with the Lord.
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-Roush
Posted: Dec 12 2011, 10:38 AM


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Roush might have been ashamed to look up at Amitiel now, had he the opportunity to feel. His gaze was especially empty; he had been blind for the entire time he knew Amitiel, so his eyes always showed some vacancy, but not like this. This was hardly better then looking at a dead man.

She had been before Torlem. Before the Aesir.

"What happened?"
His voice was faint, weak...

"I'm still trying to figure that out myself, Lady Amitiel."

He dropped his head as he spoke, closing his eyes as he filled through his memories, finding the appropriate place to start.

"After we delivered Xanthe, I was sent to Sanctuary to recover a demon gem. It held an incredible amount of hellish power, and the Aesir wanted to make sure it ended up in their hands. I did get it, though I almost killed a few people on the way there. I helped put out the fires that day..."

Roush shifted uncomfortably, pulling at the ropes around his wrist.

"I was at the battle with the Empire. Faerie' and one of myself lead the charge. So many thousands of people died..."

It had been a point of pride. Where was that foolish desire to kill now, when the tables had turned on him? Perhaps this was justice. Perhaps he deserved what had happened to his people. And now he had to just live and bear the guilt... If he could feel guilt. But no. Something in his mind snapped instantly, throwing his thought process back another way.

This is not your fault. It is the Aesir's.

He shook his head a bit, and got back to the story.

"The Aesir then decided that instead of letting their remaining enemies have time to organize in the shadow of the Empire's defeat, they would move quickly. They sent out warning shots to multiple cities; Tristan, Nazca, Sanctuary... I was the warning shot to Sanctuary. They will soon begin to systematic invasion of every non-Aesir state in the whole of Redemption. There is nothing stopping them now; They do not want allies, they want servants. But..."

He had to stop for a moment to clear his throat.

"Immediately after Sanctuary something happened. Someone showed me what I had become, under the orders of the Aesir, and the influence of the demon, Torlem, and the power that had become the center of my existence. They made me realize that serving the Aesir was not good for my people..."

He had to look away, closing his eyes again.

"But... When I left..."

He took a deep breath...

"They annihilated the A'ni. Caithann was sent to do the job. Between us and our allies we could have pushed him back but... Salamel showed up. He summoned that death specter that instantly killed two-thirds of our race.

"I... Hope was lost... Then something happened. Ariel appeared. Lady Ariel, of the Aesir. While at first we thought that we were about to be trod underfoot, we soon learned that she was there to help. She attacked the Helldivers, and well as the present members of the Five. Xanthe and Freya, you remember them, were there to assist us as well. There was also an unknown named Syvette."

Syvette... An interesting character. A earth alchemist, like himself. Female.

Why were they always female?

"So... Thats why I'm here. Leopold Crowley was one of the only men I knew who might successfully stand up to the Aesir. The other would be Ezekiel, but I had no clue how to find him. But I'll be damned if he wasn't here when I showed up. Funny how fa..."

He remembered something she used to talk about...

"The Ether works, isn't it?"
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-Dory
Posted: Dec 16 2011, 06:36 PM


The heart of the hustle: to use the mind as a muscle
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Amitiel held her breath, mind picking through the words the moment they met her ear.

There had been a demon gem-- and then the killing had started.

Nazca wasn't the only city threatened. Sanctuary, Tristan! No-- no, that was too drastic. Though the Lord Luthe had proven to raise her suspicions, he couldn't even in her wildest dreams, have stepped so brazenly and so far. She was missing a detail.

And then someone had mysteriously interfered at the very last moment? It sounded eerily similar to Xanthe's own intervention.

Would you change hell?

She hadn't spent a moment, when she hadn't considered that question; but she had escaped unscathed. Roush, on the other hand...

Another shift; more tangible this time; and then the icing on the cake: Ariel had engaged in combat against the Aesir.

Factors were being removed from the governing body, and rapidly; but why?

Her eyes refocused with the mention of the Ether, and her pupils dilated-- as though coming out of a trance. She stiffened, and she stood, looking away in a hush and then over her shoulder toward the Lord Crowley before they wandered further, still, toward one of the unknowns.

"A chair, please." She spoke, very quietly, before she looked toward Roush, and sucked in a deep breath. The situation was eerily familiar. Before her, bound, sat an agent from the enemy side; with a wild claim of perversion of will. The only real difference was the way that she had come upon him-- and that she knew that his claims had their base.

"Before the Lady was taken in to the dungeon," She sat as the requested chair was presented, folding her hands over her knees and leaning forward to be sure that Roush could hear. "She asked me a question."

Hesitantly, she unclasped her hands and, shaking, she lifted one toward his temple. She didn't want to overload him, but the message was an important one; and he had seen the half of their elusive Valkyrie that she had not.

"Imagine watching hell open. Watching the demons take everything you love, and knowing there is nothing you can do to stop them. What would you do?" She was afraid. Terrified, even, but keeping her eyes open despite the tears. Amitiel hadn't understood it, then. Hadn't understood how her words could be so stiff, yet with so much meaning. She'd wanted her to commit this moment to memory. It had permeated every cell of her mind, even to the point where she didn't actually register any fear for herself. This message, so cryptic. It had intrigued the lady. She'd been unable to speak, but the prisoner had continued.

"More accurately, Lady Amitiel, would you be willing to walk in to hell, willingly, after them, if it meant that, somehow, some way, you could change it?"

Struck silent. All the pieces were before her, but she couldn't put them together. Couldn't process. "Change hell?" Was the best that she had musters, but the point had been made. The prisoner relaxed. The rest of the world went on as though nothing had happened, but Amitiel had fallen in to a rut. Why couldn't she make it process? But then she had remembered the seed of question, the delightful glint in the Lords eye, and...

She had fled.


Amitiel leaned back again, uneasy, and sighed.

"No one came after me." She spoke, barely above a whisper; and looked downwards.
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-Roush
Posted: Jan 11 2012, 07:01 PM


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Roush leaned forward, whispering into her ear. He had known everything he said before was definitely audible to Leopold and Ezekiel.

"I have seen hell, Lady Amitiel, and its flames were eerily familiar as a former ally stripped me of my family. I am here to attempt to change hell, as it's Masters sit enthroned in Castle Laubholz. All will be needed. If the world does not unite, there is no hope. Trust me."

With that, he leaned back. Hopefully Leopold would be compelled to act upon the information Roush had brought him. Hopefully Amitiel could help unite the world against the threat.

And hopefully he could collect himself quickly enough to help.

With a flash a blue light, Roush's binds fell to the floor, and he was gone.



OOC:
Roush out, back to his little hideout.
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