Fable - Ask Rebirth

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Harlowe

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A small line appeared between Harlowe's brows as she frowned at his words. They made little sense. What was she meant to feel? What did it have to do with where they were going and the... the whatever this was? She sighed and stopped walking to try and do as he had said and block everything else out - something that was incredibly hard for a person with heightened, well, everything.

It took a while but eventually...

"What... is that?" she opened her eyes and looked at him in bewilderment.
 
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Nazara

The Shade
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"Most dub it 'The Calling'." He told her.

There wasn't really an explanation for it, not that he could give her in any true terms anyway. His lips thinned for a moment, as if searching for the right words. "It's a part of the contract. In a way, it's what binds us together."

He explained.

"For some it is stronger than others, and it pulls us in different directions." Nazara motioned towards the palace. "It ensures that we maintain the survival of the Regiment, and each one of us does what is best suited for us."

For a moment the Shade lingered, then he motioned towards the palace. "Let's get going, I doubt Matias is doing well with the Baron on his own."
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe hesitated.

She had so many questions but she didn't think even Nazara had the answers to them; from what she had learnt the Regiment didn't question the Contract. They just got on with it. Such a mentality was a soldiers one and one Harlowe was used to but this new life... it seemed to have injected something new in to her. The need to question things, challenge them. A troubled frown settled upon her brow like a weighted crown which she bore in silence until they were closed to the palace.

"So... how does this work? He tells us what he wants done and we decide whether to do it or not?"
 
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Nazara

The Shade
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"Sort of." Nazara said.

It never got easier to explain any of this, no matter how much time actually passed. Explaining something as vague and esoteric as the Contract was...hard. Especially when most of them didn't even understand it. Hell, none of them understood it.

Not fully. "He will make a proposition, and we will know if it is the correct course to take.'

He explained as they entered through the doors of the palace.

They were lead by a pair of guards through the winding sandstone halls, eventually bringing them to a grand hall with a throne.

There they found the Baron of Lissen, he was half leaning over his throne, speaking to a tall man with blonde hair and intensely piercing blue eyes. The Baron was laughing, and he turned to Nazara and Harlowe as they entered.

"Ah look! Your friends are finally here. It took them a few weeks."
"Some monsters are faster than others." The man commented with a slight chuckle.
 
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Harlowe

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Like a gut feeling, Harlowe framed it. Thinking of it as such was much easier than trying to wrap her head around the intricacy of the contract she had signed with a single word. Still, now she was aware of it she was curious to see how it would work in this scenario.

Quietly she followed the guards as they led them through the palace, marvelling at the mosaics built into the wall and the oddities that decorated small alcoves set into the walls: she had expected posh vases not glistening skulls of odd animals. Just who was this person and, what did they want? Her lips pressed into a tight line that turned her lips a pale pink but kept any such questions to herself.

The throne room was not a disappointment either and Harlowe winced at the brightness to the room despite the night. Her eyes when they did adjust went straight to the two men in the room, curiously lingering on the self identified monster before turning to the man who had summoned them here.

"Apologies for our tardiness."
 
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Matias

Jötunn
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Matias didn't linger by the throne, but instead slowly walked away from the Baron and stepped towards where Nazara and Harlowe stopped.

His gait was that of a swordsmen, the way he walked marking that more obviously than anything at all. It was like he was ready to strike at any moment, a viper already tensing it's muscles in case something got too close. As he stepped near Harlowe she would notice the impossible blue of his eyes, his gaze sweeping over her for a moment.

"What is it you desire of us, Baron?" Nazara was the one to speak, not acknowledging Matias.

"My brother."​

The man began with a sigh.

"My dearest brother has become a problem. He has made a claim to my eastern lands, and...I cannot allow it to stand."​

As the two men began to speak Matias leaned over closer to Harlowe. "You're new."

He whispered quietly to her.

"I do not wish to bring force of arms against him, but if he were to...fall in an accident..."​
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe tracked the other monsters movements out of the corner of her eye as the Baron began to talk. She was interested in the conversation but she was also aware of the danger than ran through this other man. The way he walked, the way he ran his gaze over her in that assessing manner... if she had still been able to get goosebumps she would have then. It was as if the human she had been recognised the threat he posed. She tried to push such feelings from her mind and focus instead on this feeling she was meant to get to know whether or not this was a job for her.

It was very hard to do when someone else was speaking to you.

She flicked him an irritated look.

"And?"
 
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Matias

Jötunn
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"It's interesting." Matias' words were a quiet whisper, though Nazara would still be able to hear them.

Not that the Shade seemed to care much. He was paying close attention to the Baron, listening to the tale of how the Noble and his brother had once upon a time been as thick as thieves and nothing could tear them apart.

It was a story that no one was interested in, but nobles were always full of themselves. "I think he likes to bring the new ones along."

Matias said, offering her a knowing look before suddenly Nazara spoke again.

"You're in luck, Baron." The Shade said with a smile. "I have the perfect solution for your problem. Though, I am afraid it will be costly."

There was a frown from the nobleman.

"Costly?"

"I can solve your problem within the week, but the Regiment will require payment, and not in coin." Matias frowned now, listening more to the exchange than to Harlowe's answer.

"There is a Keep in the Eastmarches. Lok Anun, I believe it's called." It was an old fortress, broken, crumbling. "I will need it deeded to the Regiment."

There was a paused.

The Baron was no fool. He knew what it would mean. Knew that he was inviting monsters into his kingdom. Sure they would be on the furthest reaches, tucked into the mountains, but they would still be there.

After a moment he nodded.

"To prevent a war of blood...I can see this done."
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe tried to seem uninterested in what it was this new monster had to say about the only 'authoritive' figure she had met in the Regiment. Her eyes stayed on Nazara's profile, watching his expression for any hint of what it was he was thinking. For the most part he looked bored; with their conversation and the story.

Was it true? Was this a form of initiation?

She went to ask more but shut her mouth when Nazara finally spoke and gave his decision. Harlowe frowned slowly. But he had told her they didn't have a home... was that about to change now? And why? Why these lands?

Yet as soon as he had said it that little tug... it seemed content.
 
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Matias

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"Excellent." Nazara said, seemingly quite content as he offered the Baron a short bow.

There was no formal treaty of course. No legal document that was for be signed. That was not how the Regiment worked. They took their employers at their word, and if that word was broken havoc would be set loose upon them.

Through the centuries they had more than once sacked a city who denied them their prize. Each time the slaughter had been almost legendary, and those stories kept most who employed the Regiment in line. Most. "I'll send Harlowe and Matias immediately. They're two of the Regiments best."

The Frost Giant, for his part, did not seem surprised.

Instead he seemed more annoyed. His eyes closed and he let out a sigh. Shaking his head.

They were of course not the Regiments best. They were two of it's newest members. That meant this job would be a pain in the ass and most of the others wouldn't want to do it. So of course it was foisted upon the rookies.
 
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Harlowe

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Prick.

Harlowe shut her eyes briefly as Nazaras words came down like a sentence upon them. Her last mission with Nazara had... not gone well. She had only been a week old, had still clung to her mortality, and had ended up going on a bloodfrenzy rampage through the Palace.

Children. She had killed and feasted upon children.

Since then she had made excuses to focus on training and complete more mundane soldier tasks for the regiment. She wasn't ready. Nazara knew that was how she felt and yet he had sought her out and made her come here.

Still, the Baron was looking at them expectantly and she sketched a bow, silver hair falling like a curtain around her face to hide her expression from everyone, before turning on her heel to leave.
 
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Nazara

The Shade
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They left the throne room as a trio, Nazara coming to a stop once they reached the steps of the palace. He gazed briefly around them, checking to see if someone was around and then addressing the two.

"The city his brother is in is called Olgen. It's an old place, there's a contact waiting for you there. Idrasil is his name." The way that spoke was quick, secretive almost. "The Regiment will come if you need it, but this is a problem best solved quietly."

The Baron had asked for a force of nature to deal with his brother. That was what the Regiment could be, but an accident was better than a force of nature.

Matias frowned for a moment, glancing over towards Harlowe with a weary look. He didn't know of her 'accident', but he also didn't know anything else about her either.

"So you expect us to walk in their blind? No information? Nothing? And what...just kill this guy?" The Frost Giant pressed, hand resting on his sword. "I don't know about her but I'm not exactly a fucking assassin."

Nazara rolled his shoulders. "You'll figure it out."

The answer was flippant, arrogant, and clearly a dismissal of any argument.
 
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Harlowe

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Children. She'd killed children.

Bile rose in her throat but she swallowed it down, keeping her eyes on the floor as Nazara gave them the limited information he had. There was a flinch at this new monsters anger and a part of her wished she was filled with it too. Anger would be better than fear. Fear of herself. Of what she could do.

"Find. Stalk. Kill," Harlowe summarised softly, hitching the satchel onto her shoulder out of habit rather than because the weight bothered her. "What monsters do best, right?" She asked dryly before glancing to Matias, briefly, before shame could reach her eyes.

"Let's get going, it's a long walk."
 
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Matias

Jötunn
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"Cheerful." He commented to Nazara as the girl slung her pack over her shoulder and began to walkdown the steps and away.

For a few seconds the Frost Giant hesitated, as if he wanted to argue more...but it was certain that the Shade wouldn't have any more. Lips thinned for a brief moment and he offered the man a scowl. "Didn't even have a bath."

Not that he could fucking enjoy them anymore.

The water was always freezing, even if heated above a fire for an hour.

Shouldering his own pack he let out a sight, adjusting the sword on his belt and stepping away from Nazara. No goodbye was offered, no wave, he just sped up his steps until he caught up with Harlowe. "What a dick."

He commented.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe's crimson eyes flickered to the man at her side.

What was he? They were all different, two of the same very, very rare. Even if they seemed similar there were differences, which is what Orin was so keen to discover about her as she matured. So what was he? Her eyes roamed down then back up. He smelt of frost and clean, crisp mountain air.

It was definitely better than the stench of death Nazara gave off.

"Harlowe,"
she inclined her head. "You must be newer than me if you haven't figured out Nazara is a dick yet."
 
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Matias

Jötunn
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"Matias." He said, looking up into the sky with a rather depressing expression for a moment before glancing ahead of them again.

Harlowe's talk about a long walk was not at all far from the truth. It would take them a week to reach the place Nazara had talked about, and neither of them had horses. He wasn't entirely sure about Harlowe, but most of the beasts did not like being around him.

Not that he blamed him.

"I haven't been with the main regiment." The Frost Giant explained. "I was in the south with Vix."

That was a name Harlowe would not recognize, but she had been who'd offered Matias the contract. She was a demon, of some sort, he'd never quite been able to figure out what.
 
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Harlowe

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A little spark of curiosity crept into those crimson eyes as he mentioned one of the other parts of the Regiment. From what little she had learnt of how it operated - because nobody really seemed to know - there seemed to be different smaller pockets of it all over the world.

"You get used to him," she said quietly. Nazara had never been cruel, he had even been kind at some times, but there was an emptiness to him she couldn't quite place that others seemed to find disturbing.

Her feet crunched on the dirt trodden path.

"Can I ask, what... skill set you have?" It was probably a good thing to know of her partner.
 
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Matias

Jötunn
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"You mean what sort of horrible monstrosity am I?" Matias did not seem to care about the other travelers overhearing.

Either he didn't particularly mind the thought of people confronting them or he just assumed that most of them would be too scared to do anything. His icy blue gaze flickered over the road ahead, lips thinning for a moment as he explained.

"Vix says I am a Jötunn." Though he'd had no fucking clue what that was.

"A Frost Giant." Though he really only felt half of that name. Hed always been as tall as he was now, and the only other effect he'd felt after waking was the constant cold that crept over his whole soul. It was a discomfort he felt at all times, and even now in the baking sun he was nothing but cold. "I can create ice, blizzards…"

Matias trailed off.

There had been changes to his body too. He was stronger, his blood froze things, and he'd noticed lately that he did not get tired as often. "What about you?"

He had a guess from what he'd seen. Her eyes, the fangs, but Matias had learned never to pre-judge.

Not on the Regiment.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe winced at his words but didn't contradict him; it was how she felt after all. Though Felice... Felice had made her feel different. Like she might be able to have friends and... not feel like a monstrosity as much as she looked it.

How she felt it.

"Boring, ordinary vampire," she flashed her fangs into a mockery of a smile before becoming solemn once more. Though she wasn't ordinary. Even Orin had been panting when keeping up with her strength and he had seemed puzzled when she had heard things he couldn't. Still, she tugged the hood of her cloak into place to ensure sunlight didn't touch her skin and to keep her eyes covered. Thankfully it was not hot so it didn't look out of place entirely.

"I was a soldier... before, though. So I can fight," she conceded.
 
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Matias

Jötunn
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"Better than some things." Matias mused.

He had seen some of the other things the contract produced over the last few months. Vampire and Frost Giant seemed pretty tame compared to the beasts that roiled in the back of the regiment. The Great monstrosities that did not go anywhere near civilization.

When he'd first joined Matias had been awoken in camp by a man with mandibles, two great spine like tails lashing around him.

Bob had been his name, and he'd been strangely kind. Took some getting used to though. "I was also a soldier."

He told her.

"Cortos." Mentioning the name of his home city seemed a tad too painful
 
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Harlowe

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"Nymvogrod."

The opposite to Cortos with it's beautiful warm sunshine and green seas, Nymvogrod was cool and bordered by the rough Nahas Ocean that raged off Eaglehead coast. Harlowe wasn't thinking of her home though as her lips began to twitch in to one of those rare smiles.

"A Cortosi became a frost giant?" She mused. Nazara had explained the creature you became was a representation of what was inside of you. It was why everyone was so different, so unique, everyone had their own personalities. Their own hopes. Dreams. All of that bled into the new body.

Harlowe was still trying to figure out what that meant about her.
 
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Matias

Jötunn
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Matias spat bitterly. "Don't bring it up."

It was clear that he disliked the transformation that had befallen him. Perhaps not in the same way that Harlowe did. Being a monster, being alive again, was not what bothered him. He felt no hunger like she did, but he did feel an odd...rage.

He could not really explain it, and he was unsure if it came from himself or the contract, yet it always seemed to be there. It always loomed, there at the edge.

"I still can't feel the fucking sun." Matias hissed. "I'm always cold, and my fucking socks keep freezing."

The young man still did not have complete control of his powers.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe's shoulders shook with her silent laughter but it was at least that; silent. It was the most joy she had felt... she had felt... well, since waking up in this body truthfully. Still, she was polite enough to school her face and clear her throat before saying sincerely.

"At least the sun doesn't kill you," there was sorrow in those words and understanding too. It might not have been terribly warm, her lands, but she had still liked the feel of its rays on her skin. Now she had to hide from it. Orin had told her that there were spells and old objects that would help her walk in it but many were protected and hidden.
 
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Matias

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Matias shrugged his shoulders. "Doesn't do much if you can't even feel it."

He had always liked the warmth of the Sun.

He had always enjoyed walking into the water and feeling it wash over him. Now if he stepped into a puddle it turned into ice. There was a hollowness to it, as if something had been taken from it. In a way he almost envied some of the more monstrous members of the regiment.

At least a Werewolf could still take a bath.

"Do you know anything about the city we're going to?" Matias asked with a frown. "I spoke with the Baron a bit, but he mostly talked about his brother."
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe went silent at that.

She was grateful to his next question as it eased her from her dark thoughts. Regrets and whispers that had haunted her from the slaughter of her first mission, that made her query if this life was worth it. If being a monster in this world was anything less than a curse.

She breathed out through her nose in a sharp manner.

"Not much," she admitted. "Apart from the stories, of course. Olgren is a very, very old city. Traditional. It's armies are strong but the strength lies in the cities walls... they could last for centuries in them. As far as I know they are not in a time of war so the gates should be open - they prosper on good trade along the Silk Road - though I have no doubt that he will be preparing for assassins."
 
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