Fable - Ask Rebirth

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Harlowe

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Harlowe sniggered.

"Shu' up!" the man above her snapped and dug the blade into her neck until a thin trickle of blood ran down her neck. The vampire's eyes narrowed. In defence of the thief he did at least have the good sense to look scared for the brief moment it took him to realise the girl he had climbed on top of hoping for an easy time of it wasn't strictly speaking normal. It was the look of an animal realising they were not the predator but in fact the prey.

He didn't have time to react further.

Harlowe's hands snapped up under his chest and hurled him off her. The ceilings were low anyway but she hadn't tried to tamper her strength and the man hit the beams above them with a sickening crunch of his spine. He screamed in agony and screamed again when he hit the floor.

The slit across her throat was already healing.

"Do you need a hand?" she asked her companion from where she leant now against the doorframe.
 
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Matias

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By the time she turned around Harlowe would see that the man who had been standing over Matias was now a frozen statue. His blade was broken in half, steel snapped as though it had been made of rock candy.

The Frost Giant was standing by his bed, adjusting his tunic.

His solution had been clearly less violent, but also more elegant. He looked over towards Harlowe, then at the man on the ground who was now little more than a pulp of crushed bones and bruises flesh. He raised an eyebrow. "I wonder if my friend the Innkeeper sent these boys."

He mused.

"He would be an utter moron to do so." Matias frowned, deciding in the end that the man probably had nothing to do with it.

He'd not known what Matias had been, but he'd recognized Harlowe's...illness well enough. He would know enough not to send ordinary men to kill them. He waved a dismissive hand. "Let's just go."

No reason to burn the place down.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe sighed.

"Shame. I really missed beds," even dirty, mangled looking things like the one she had been lying on. For weeks now the Regiment had been camping and she had only had the thin rollmat she'd been issued to act as a barrier between her and the ground. Straw - even stale straw - had been a nice luxury while it lasted. Quickly and efficiently she got back into the sleek black armour she had carefully set out on the tiny desk then heaved her pack back over her shoulder.

Over the top she settled the cloak.

Downstairs was deserted but they let themselves out through the unlocked front door. The street beyond was just as quiet. Something just didn't feel... right.

"It's weird that anyone would try to rob someone in there," she murmured quietly as though worried about disturbing the eerie silence of night.
 
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Matias

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Matias shrugged his shoulders. "They used to do it back home."

Usually the Innkeepers were in on the scam, but it seemed foolish for the man to do so now. He had to have known that both Matias and Harlowe alone could have brought the whole place down in the snap of a finger.

"Rob those who are coming through, not those who you know." he glanced back at the Inn for a moment. "They probably saw me tossing coins to the Innkeeper, figured I had more."

The locks hadn't exactly been secure. "There can't be conspiracies everywhere."

Matias said with a shrug.

Sometimes a robbery was just a robbery.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe cocked her head to the side in a distinctly inhuman gesture as she considered his words. As a lowly soldier she had never had anything worth stealing and most of her stays at inns had been with her squadron. 50 men and women armed to the teeth were a good deter for thieving.

"If you say so," she mused. Perhaps it was a new part of life she would need to get used to.

Nobody bothered them as they left the city though the sleeping guard grumbled at having to open the small door that led out of the walls at such an hour. Harlowe sighed when they were beyond the shadow of the city and glanced over her shoulder once.

"More walking," she turned back to the road with a sigh. "Great."
 
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Matias

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"You'd think the Regiment would have undead horses or something." He said with a roll of his eyes.

Could animals sign the contract?

That would certainly make things a bit easier. At least then they would have mounts to use, though he supposed that wasn't really necessary. Most creatures within the Regiment could move faster than any horse could ever hope to.

Harlowe being one of them. A sigh escaped him as well, and then he just continued to walk. "Maybe we'll bring it up at the next meeting."

Matias joked quietly, knowing full well no such meeting existed.
 
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Harlowe

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"I've seen a few of them ride wargs," Harlowe commented lightly.

She had no idea where they had gotten them from or how they encouraged the beasts to obey them. Whenever she had seen them at the edge of the campsite they had seemed like snarling monsters themselves and had actually wondered on several occasions if they had once been humans themselves.

The vampire shuddered at the thought. Perhaps being a vampire wasn't all that bad.

Once again they walked on in silence or the occasional idle bit of conversation to pass the time. Neither of them seemed inclined to stop at night as they had before for more than a few hours and so they made good time to their destination. The sky above them had just begun to turn a vivid blood red with bruised clouds that harkened the oncoming night as they crested the final hill. Harlowe stopped and rested her hands on the small of her back, letting out a low whistle. There, at the bottom, was their target.

"Well they weren't lying in the stories," she murmured and indeed it didn't. What lay before them was an ancient city that had survived the tides of time over and over again. It didn't take an expert to see why with its hulking wall and built in weapons of war.
 
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Matias

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"No." Matias said softly as he peered down into the valley.

The Baron had lied.

He shouldn't have been surprised really. Nobles always lied. That was a lesson he had learned early on from his father. Why tell the truth when a spin of it could get you what he wanted. Lips thinned for a moment, and he glanced at Harlowe. "This place is a fortress."

Was this why Nazara had just sent the two of them? Had he known?

The whole of the Regiment would have struggled with a place like this. Not because they didn't have their strength, not because they couldn't make it over the wall, but because from the way it appeared they would never make it over.

Trebuchet, ballista, and dozens of towers lined the walls. A competent commander could hold all of Olgren with only a thousand men.

"Well." He commented. "Good thing I found that backway."

Matias frowned for a moment. "Hey your sense of smell isn't any better is it?"

He may have failed to mention that their secret way was through a sewer.
 
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Harlowe

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"Yes," Harlowe confirmed as her eyes dragged their way over every glinting point of metal aimed towards the steady stream of travellers trickling in the gate. "More sensitive smell, hearing, taste," there was no boasting in her tone. If anything it sounded like a shopping list and a distracted one at that. Her hand gently rubbed at her stomach where one of the nasty looking harpoons that lined the walls had finally pierced her bowels on the front line of the Bloody Meadow. If it was any possible for the vampire she actually looked a little paler.

Slowly she seemed to come out of her memory and whipped her head towards him.

"Why?" her eyes narrowed in suspicion.
 
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Matias

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Yikes.

He looked at Harlowe briefly, then glanced back towards the fortress for a moment before he stepped to the side and began to move down the small hill path. "Just uhh."

Matias trailed off.

"Get ready to plug your nose." The Frost Giant said as he moved down the ravine, stepping carefully so he didn't end up falling on his face. Half-way down he broke off from the traditional path and set off on a less marked trail.

Thirty minutes after that they were walking through a small patch of brush, moving around the outside of Olgren. The great walls seemed to loom over them at all times, as if in threat of what lay within.

Then, a little later they came upon a small pool of water besides the wall. At the crux of it lay a large opening with a single metal grate that was obviously connected to a sewer.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe had a growing, sinking feeling as they meandered off the main path down towards the base of the wall. Said feeling only worsened when she caught the first whiff of the sewer and she let out a tiny little groan.

Her heightened senses were a blessing for a lot of missions; she had been able to hear the approach of a secret ambush in Gerroch some ten miles out, she had been able to smell the scent of the odd poison that hurt creatures afraid of sunlight in Telif, and she had been able to taste the subtle poison in the water supply with nothing more than a little nausea in Llmora. When it came to crawling through sewers however, it was the greatest curse she could imagine.

The young vampire was retching when they were still ten minutes from the entrance.

"Give me your shirt," she demanded when they came to the entrance, though her words were muffled by the fact both hands were over her mouth and nose.
 
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Matias

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He glanced at her for a moment. "Woah now."

Matias said, his tone clearly indicating a jest.

"I know we've spent some time together but I need you to buy me dinner first." The Frost Giant seemed rather pleased with his joke, though he was already unclipping the fastenings on his armor as he spoke.

With one quick yank he pulled off the leather, then dragged his shirt from his back.

Surprisingly, though they had been traveling for near a week and under the sun she would find absolutely no scent upon the garment. Nothing save for that strange smell of ice and cold that seemed to come from him at all times.

He tossed it over to her. "Here."

Matias said as he pulled his leathers back on, taking a step forward and reaching a pinky towards the pool of water. As soon as he touched it a wave of ice rushed over the water, freezing in an instant.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe gave him a withering look that would have sent men even in the Regiment scuttling off with their tails between their legs. Still, she was grateful that he gave up his shirt for her so she mumbled a thank you and she tied it about her face like a bandana. Even if there wasn't the usual stench of sweat the crisp ice was just as good at battling the rotting egg smell that came off the sewer. If she just didn't breathe until they got to where they were going to might be able to not throw up.

"At least we don't have to wade through it I guess," she raised a brow at the ice. "Don't suppose you have some skates?" the vampire joked as she put one foot on the smooth surface tentatively. Vampires might have been quick and agile but she hadn't tested out her skills on smooth ice before.
 
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Matias

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Matias glanced at her for a moment. "I don't, but I'm sure you'll manage."

The Frost Giant stepped onto the sheet of ice with seemingly no problem at all.

Though he was wearing boots, Matias seemed to have absolutely problem at all walking across the frozen surface of the pool. It was like he had been made for it, his steps not careful, but just as though he were walking on dirt.

When he reached the otherside of the pool he motioned for Harlowe.

"I'll hoist you up." He told her. "Then you pull me up."

Matias had absolutely no illusions about which of them was the stronger of the two. She could lift him much more easily.
 
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Harlowe

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A small shrug of agreement was her only response to the plan before stepping fully onto the ice.

Harlowe slipped once but managed to right herself before hitting the ground. It was far better than she was expecting but when she reached Matias she still gripped a hold of his leathers as though afraid her luck wouldn't hold up. As he bent to make a cup hold for her knee she slid her hands to his broad shoulders and looked up at the hole in the wall.

"One, two," on the pulse of three as he lifted Harlowe pushed off the ground with her other foot to help launch herself up the wall. She gripped the lip of the sewer tunnel and pulled herself into it with ease, crinkling her nose up as the smell got worse. Without wasting time she turned around and, half dangling out of the tunnel on her belly, offered him a hand to then drag him inside.
 
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Matias

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Matias turned on his heel, looking up at Harlowe who was already holding out her hand.

He took a breath, a slow steps back, and then he rushed forward. His feet kicked against the wall, and he dragged himself half-way upward towards the drain. His icy hand slapped into Harlowe's and the Vampire easily dragged his weight up into the tunnel.

Fingers dug into the limestone walls, his nose crinkling at the stench. Palm came to cover his nose, pinching the nostrils. "Kress."

Matias swore quietly.

"Let's get the fuck through this." The Frost Giant said with a scowl.

His other hand came up to point towards the tunnel, knowing that they would eventually come to a ladder which would lead to the city streets.
 
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Harlowe

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No argument's there, she thought to herself as she followed him down the sewer tunnel. Even with the shirt wrapped tightly around her nose and mouth she had to make a conscious effort not to breathe. It wasn't that Vampires needed air but for their whole human existence it had been vital and that habit was a hard one to break in their immortal lives. Even now she still panicked about not being able to breathe under water when Orin had assured her all she had to do was not breathe and she would be fine.

It was a hard habit to break.

When she saw the ladder she stepped around him and shot up it in a blink.

"Thank fuck," she groaned, heaving herself out into the deserted alleyway and moving aside to let the giant through as she untied his shirt from about her face. "Never. Again," she pushed the shirt against his chest, glaring at the sewer in disgust.
 
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Matias

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Matias grabbed the shirt and then immediately tossed it to the side. "Bit dramatic."

The Frost Giant said as he glanced around the city street.

It seemed mostly empty at the very least. No one was milling about or tending to the market stalls that lined the side of the street. Dusk was truly setting in now, and it would appear that most of the city was settling down for the night.

"Let's find our friend, yeah?" Matias said, his eyes still scanning the alleyways and everything else around them. "I don't fancy being out in the open for long."

He did not know what, but something felt...off.

Like a net was suspended over them, waiting to drop at any moment.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe made a face behind his back when he wasn't looking for implying she was dramatic. He hadn't had to just crawl through a sewer with senses ten times the strength of a humans.

His next words however did pique her interest and she peered past him onto the street beyond. The city did indeed seem to be settling down for the night but in a... hurried sense. As though they feared being found out past sunset. She readjusted the hood of her cloak to ensure the last rays didn't catch her skin before setting off into the city. Nazara had said that she should follow the tug at the back of her mind so she gave into the odd little song and let it guide her in a haphazard way through the streets.

It wasn't long before they came to a stop in front of a townhouse squashed into a squat little row of similar looking houses. The doorknocker had been forged into the shape of a hissing serpent and when she went to touch it the thing hissed. Harlowe jerked back.

"What the fuck," she glared at the apparently alive snake.
 
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Matias

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"Cute." Matias said as he looked at the slowly shifting snake. It stared at the two monsters for a second, it's nose twitching for a second as though it were taking in their scent.

The Frost Giant was about to say something else when suddenly the snake drew back.

It coiled against the door once more, forming into solid stone. Then the sound of locks coming undone began to echo out. Half a dozen loud clicks could be heard, Matias looking towards Harlowe in confusion.

Then a man half the size of Matias appeared behind the door.

"Ah yes, good good. You're here. Did anyone see you come into the city?"

Matias looked down at the man. "No…"

"Goods good...come in."

The tiny man said as he stopped aside and waved at the two monsters. Harlowe would notice his scent, different than than any before. Almost as if it were constantly changing.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe glanced to Matius then shrugged and followed the tiny - what appeared to be, gnome - into the house. She took a breath and then tilted her head curiously as the different scents washed over her. Though her eyes told her their contact was a gnome her nose was telling her it was a lie. The house itself didn't provide any answers either. From the front door they were led down a narrow rickety corridor which then widened into a small living space with a few chairs, fireplace and kitchen area.

"Cozy," she chirped and flopped into one of the armchairs. The hood of her cloak fell back from her face and she ran a hand through her hair which the gnome watched hungrily.

"We would like to wear a thing as pretty as you," the creature smiled, tilting his head like a bird of prey. He clicked his tongue and seemed to shake himself before bustling about with a kettle.

"Tea?"

Harlowe threw Matias an alarmed look.
 
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Matias

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Matias raised an eyebrow, sharing the look with Harlowe. "Sorry?"

The Frost Giant said with a shake of his head, clearly trying to break through the odd tension in the air. The strange man seemed to shift, looking up at Matias and frowning for a moment.

"Too cold."

Oh yes this was entirely too creepy. Matias had no idea what the fuck this thing was but he also had no intention of being flayed. He was stronger and better built against most things, but he could still die just the same as any other living being.

He had no intention of meeting death again. Especially here.

"You know why we're here, yes?" Matias asked, deciding to cut through the bullshit. "The Regiment sent us?"

The Gnome like man stopped, looked up.

"Yes yes. Regiment of course. Here."

Before either Matias or Harlowe had a chance to do anything the little man went rooting through a pile of papers taller than him. A few of the pages went flying before he produced a leather bound journal, dragging it free and walking it to Mat.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe waited until the odd little man had gone back to his kettle muttering to himself before she slunk over to the chair Mat was sat in and perched on the arm. She wasn't egotistical enough to deny that she did it for protection as well as out of interest of what was in the journal that might help them. It didn't look like anything special from a distance but when she got closer on the front of it an eye suddenly opened and she let out a muffled little shout of alarm.

"What the fuck is that?!"

The odd little man giggled in delight.

"Such pretty screams," a sigh. "It is a simple spell, simple, simple, but protects the secrets within." Harlowe glanced to Mat before back to the book which had become once more what it appeared initially.

"Let's just go," she whispered in her partners ear.
 
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Matias

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He felt a shiver shoot down his spine as the eye opened.

Matias didn't quite declare his surprise the way Harlowe did, but his eye did bulge and his grip tightened slightly on the leather as the strange gaze peered up at him. Lips thinned, and he looked towards the gnome with suspicion. "Not yet."

He said quietly.

"What is it?" The Frost Giant kept the shake from his tone, trying to still himself enough that he didn't show any semblance of fear.

A breath filled him, though the Gnome only grinned.

"Secrets. Yes. Secrets. What better way to keep track of them. Open. It will open for you."

Matias swallowed, glancing at Harlowe for a moment before gently tugging at the cover of the book. It folded open, and inside revealed a cacophony of notes and scribblings. He looked down on the notes, catching a few glimpses of 'The Brotherhood', 'blood magic', and the 'Duke'.

All of it was well written, organized.

He shifted the journal slightly to show Harlowe.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe glanced longingly at the door when Mat shot down her plea to leave. Of course he would, he wasn't the one being mentally measured up to become... to become what exactly she didn't know. She wasn't sure she wanted to know either. Thankfully the gnome seemed too interested in his tea to be paying them any mind as they looked through the journal.

"This is way above our pay grade," the young vampire grimaced as she read the bit on blood magic. How would that impact a creature who needed blood to survive? She wasn't sure she wanted to know.

"Is this why everyone was hurrying to get home before dark?" She asked, eyes raising to the man who trotted over with a tray of cups filled to the brim with green liquid.

"Yes, mhm, yes indeed," he bobbed his head and clicked his tongue. "The curfew. Those who stray out at night are sport for these makes," he grinned showing rows of pointed nasty teeth. "You will stay here. Mhm."
 
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