Fable - Ask Rebirth

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

Harlowe

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Harlowe didn't know how she kept moving. Nothing else registered; not the odd person they passed, nor the smells, nor even the temptation of blood. She felt tired. Achingly so. She hadn't felt this way since she was human and it was all she could do to just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Thankfully nobody got in their way and the odd little way they had taken back through the city meant they had been able to check if anyone was following them. Once they were satisfied they headed back to the house.

The doppleganger practically jumped up and down with excitement when he saw the body.

"Not for eating," Harlowe warned and the merriment died a little in the creatures eyes, though the hunger remained. She didn't say another word as she slumped into one of the chairs. "I feel like shit."

"Blood magic is very nasty, very very nasty," their host agreed and even lightly patted the vampire on the arm as if he sympathised. "Price is paid by the puppet, not the puppeteer."

"What price?" she frowned, running a hand down her face.

"Of magic," the dopplegangers eyes gleamed.
 
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Matias

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Matias threw down the frozen man onto the body with a loud thunk echoing through the room.

If he had used his magic right, which he was pretty sure he had, the man wouldn't be waking up until he offered the trigger. That at least gave them time to plan, or at least think about what the fuck they were actually trying to do.

"Blood Mages." He reminded Harlowe.

"I never used magic in..." Matias frowned. "Life, but the Solar Choire was pretty stringent about telling us what the 'consequences' of the Abyss' works."

He wasn't trying to shame her, he just figured the explanation would come from him better than it did the gnome. "These guys are blood mages, probably used your own strength to control you."

Matias wondered if they could do the same with him, or if Harlowe was some special case.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe looked up at Matias with dark smudges under her eyes and a vacant look. It was the type of exhaustion human soldiers got when they had been on a campaign for weeks with barely any sleep. For a vampire to look as such was worrisome.

"It makes sense why I feel like I was just run over by a mammoth then," she croaked. The gnome had tottled off but he returned soon with a cup of hot tea which she took with no question until it touched her lip. A flicker of surprise crossed her face.

"Is this... blood tea?" She looked down at the dark red liquid and sniffed it. The gnome grinned.

"Our own blend, yes yes. Is good, no?"

Harlowe made a low noise in the back of her throat that sounded like a moan before she began to greedily gulp at the liquid.
 
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Matias

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Matias looked at the two other monsters. "Gross."

Sometimes he felt as though he was the only Monster in the entire Regiment that didn't eat flesh or drink human blood. It was something he was rather thankful for, though less because he valued the life of others and more because he...really enjoyed food.

It was one of his favorite things, and really had seemed to only become more true after his transformation.

"Eat up then, buttercup." He motioned to Harlowe. "We'll question our friend together."

Matias frowned a moment."Though maybe you should stand behind him."

In case he could still control her.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe glowered at her companion over the mug of warmed blood but before she could say anything the gnome clicked his tongue.

"All he needs is blood to control you, nasty, nasty mages," he shook his head and went back to his little kitchen in search of something. At least, she assumed he was searching for something for he began yanking open cupboards and muttering in a language she didn't know. Instead she glanced back to Matias just as her eyes began to fade from blue to red once more.

"I'm also not sure how you thought a thing that comes up to my belly button was going to protect me from a mage either," she quirked a brow at him and sipped at the blood again.

There was a bang and then a curse before the gnome came back with some chalk and began drawing strange symbols on the floor. When he was done he put a chair in the middle and nodded.

"Put him inside then question."
 
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Matias

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Matias looked at the Gnome for a moment.

Was he really a gnome? He was really starting to doubt that fact. From what Harlowe had said and both his own instinct it seemed more and more likely that this creature was something entirely differed.

Still, the Frost giant let out a sigh and rubbed at his face. "Fine."

It would have been a lie to say that he understood half of what was going on now. The magic that coursed through his veins, if it could even be called that, came naturally. It wasn't something he understood, it wasn't something he thought about.

The power was an instinct, nothing more.

Matias had no idea if it was the same for Harlowe with her abilities, but everything he did simply 'felt' right.

With a shrug he pulled the half frozen man away from where he had dropped him, pulling him off the floor and practically throwing him into the chair.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe took another sip of her hot cup of joe Vampire Edition and watched as the blood-mage slowly regained consciousness. She wondered what it would feel like to be frozen completely like that; was he conscious the whole time? Could he hear? Or was it like when you were trapped under the ice of a frozen lake and everything on the other side was muted?

Maybe he would tell her if she asked very nicely.

When the mage finally opened his eyes she flashed him a bloody fang-filled smile then licked the blood from her lips. There was a look of disgust on the mage's face which melted slowly into... terror.

"What did you do?" he struggled against the ice binds that kept him in the chair.

"Oh your magic? Yeah you won't be pulling that stunt again," she took another sip of the blood.
 
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Matias

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Matias watched the man quietly.

He had been part of interrogations before, had even been the subject of them. The Solar Choire back in Cortos had a long reach, and although in his own home they were not as strong as in other places, they could still hold some sway.

There was a way to play this game. Harlowe had already laid the first card down, and it seemed that the man was not used to being weak.

Was that because of the Brotherhood? Or was he always this way?

Matias studied him for a few moments, leaning against the wall before he slowly clicked his teeth. The man turned towards him, glaring for a moment with recognition in his eyes. It was clear the blood mage recognized him as the man who had frozen him, though that was all he recognized. "Answer our questions, and we'll make it quick."

He didn't bother to explain what "it" was.
 
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Harlowe

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Silence fell over them like a soft blanket. The mage glanced between the three of them, weighing up his options, whilst Harlowe sipped her tea and tried not to let it show how exhausted she was and the gnome filled one of his fingernails into a sharp point.

"I've suffered worse than anything you three could do to me," he snorted, making the stupid decision to try and claw back a bit of pride in spite of the fact he had been pale and afraid only seconds ago. In fact, not only did he dismiss them with his words, but he closed his eyes and tilted his head back as though settling down to sleep.

"I very, very much doubt that. Do you know what he is?" she motioned to the doppleganger. "He could just eat you and take every little bit of information you know anyway, become you, and then move on to everything you hold dear and destroy it, all whilst they think it's you."
 
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Matias

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Could the changeling actually do that?

Matias had absolutely no idea, but it did make him wonder why they hadn't done it already. Lips thinned for a brief moment and he realized that the thing probably couldn't. That or it was more difficult than Harlowe was actually letting on in the first place.

"So." Matias slowly pulled himself from the doorframe he had been leaning on.

"I think you need to make a choice." The Frost Giant said as he peered down at the man. "You answer our questions, or I freeze off your fingers and toes one by one."

The man looked at Matias, then to Harlowe.

He could see sweat begin to bead upon the man's brow. A frown touched his lips, and paranoia began to cling to him. Matias could practically smell the fear within the air.

"W-what do you want to know?"

Matias smiled.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe set down the cup with only a slight tremor to her hand.

"Tell us about the Duke; who guards him, what is his security like?" They had the notes in the book but it would be good to have some details confirmed - it would help them ascertain whether or not the rest of the information had any merit then. The mage shifted uncomfortably and his brows pulled down into a frown. No doubt he was debating whether or not it was worth the punishment if he was ever caught to divulge that information. Eventually he sighed.

"The Brotherhood do, we are his personal bodyguard," well that fact matched up. "There are at least five of us with him at all times - one visible, the rest of us are dressed as servants or courtiers so we don't draw attention to ourselves."
 
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Matias

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Harlowe sought the more practical knowledge, and she was probably right to do so.

They were here for a job. Nazara had sent them to accomplish a goal, and that was first and foremost what they should have been worried about. Yet Matias couldn't help but focus on the other part of what they had learned so far. "What's the Brotherhood?"

The Frost Giant asked pointedly.

The Man seemed to hesitate for a moment, looking from Matias to Harlowe and then the changeling. There was a brief pause, and then the changeling ran his massive tongue over his teeth. It was unsettling to watch, even for Matias.

"I-I-It's the Brotherhood of Blood. We're mages..a cabal. We share knowledge an-and..."​

He stopped for a second, Matias stepping forward. His hand reached out towards the man's finger, as if about to act.

"We conduct rituals of power! Blood Sacrifices! The Duke promised us a city! A way for us to attain godhood!"​
 
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Harlowe

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"I assume he promised you the Duke's brothers city?"

The mage didn't say a word but his silence was enough of a confirmation for Harlowe. Her lips pressed into a thin line as she thought the scenario through; the two brothers were poised for war. It seemed the Prince had been right to be so worried and untrusting of his brother. She really did hate politics. The gnome had gone unusually quiet and still as he listened, eyeing up the mage as though he were a prime bit of steak he was watching being cooked before his eyes.

"Tell us more about his security, how often does it change, when does he have the least guards on him?"

The mage shifted uncomfortably.

"T-there's always five apart from at night when there is only three of us in his room, in the day we change every two hours but at night it is the same people all shift."
 
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Matias

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Harlowe was asking the more important questions, arguably.

The points she made were ones that he would have asked a few months ago. Back when he had been an ordinary soldier such things had been important. Tactics, strategy. All of that had been the core of his world. Now? Now there was a new aspect.

Magic. Monsters. All of it was something else that he had to worry about. His entire Battalion had been wiped out by a portion of the Regiment. Chancing those odds he would have bet on his own people a thousand times.

Now Matias knew what the other side could do. "Your brotherhood."

The Frost Giant prompted.

"Who leads it? What are they capable of?" Slowly he leaned in, waiting for his answer.

The one he received caused the young man's face to darken. Their prisoner detailed a cabal of Blood Mages, each one as powerful as the blood that they had just taken. He spoke of more than just controlling Vampires. He spoke of fire, lightning.

He spoke of men who were capable of any magic until they ran out of blood.

It was a terrifying thought. "And these men Guard the Duke?"

A shaky nod of the head was his reply.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe tried not to let the dread show on her face. How on earth was a vampire and a frost giant meant to be able to take on that? Nazara had given them the mission because he had thought it was beneath any real monsters to take on but not she wondered if he had been too quick to dismiss not coming on it himself. She had no doubt it would have been useful to have the shadowy figure able to disappear into darkness right about now.

The vampire leaned back in her chair and crossed one long leg over the other.

"What are your weaknesses? How do we stop them from controlling us with their magic?" she never wanted to feel that powerless again that was for sure. The mage looked uncomfortable before shrugging.

"I've never found anyone who has been able to so I don't know."
 
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Matias

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Matias wanted to correct 'you', but he didn't say.

The Frost Giant still wasn't entirely sure what exactly he was or what abilities he held, but he knew that he was different. His blood was not human, it was something he didn't quite know how to handle. Briefly Matias looked down at his hand, scrunching his fingers.

"Well." Matias said as he stepped forward. "Doesn't seem like we need you anymore then, does it?"

His fingers curled, reaching out towards the man.

"W-Wait! Wait!"​

The shout echoed through the room, but Matias didn't seem to stop. He reached out, and a small mist rose from his hand, ice echoing over his fingers.

"I can bless you! I can put my magic on you! Help you resist them for a time! We ca-can't all control the same puppet!"​

Matias stopped, his hand freezing half an inch away from the mans face.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe quirked a brow.

"Bless us?"

The young vampire had been a religious woman when she had been alive but her religion had been an echo of her people. Other Gods, spirits, whatever - she had thought of all of them with scorn. Since her transformation her scorn had only spread to her own God, for she couldn't think that he had intended this for her. It was why there was such disdain in her voice as she snorted at the suggestion.

"Y-yes, it would make the other mages think I controlled you," his eyes flickered nervously from one face to the other. Harlowe pursed her lips and glanced to Matias before looking back to the mage.

"How do we know that you're not going to just try and control us?"
 
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Matias

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Matias again resisted the urge to counter Harlowe's words, but he knew it would likely only make her feel worse about the whole thing. She was a standout in this, though she might not yet have realized it just yet. Vampirism was...well, it was it's own interesting little curse.

The one he wore was far different.

"I-I can't with this...this stuff around me."

It was a good point, and slowly Matias let himself glance towards the Gnome as if to see if it was true. The changeling nodded his head. "So we can trick them?"

"F-For a time yes, but I have to be alive!"

The Frost Giant looked more than a little weary. His lips thinned for a moment, and then he looked over towards Harlowe.

"I'll let you make the choice." She'd already found herself under his spell once. "There's always another way."

They would just have to find it.
 
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Harlowe

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The young vampire tucked a silver bit of hair behind her ear.

"P-please..."

Her lips twisted as the mage turned his gaze to her and whined like a small puppy. It was an effort not to lash out considering only an hour ago he had thought to use her, control her, strip her of everything in order to wring information out of her. The thought of trusting him and potentially having that happen ago was terrifying, but so was the thought of one of the other mages doing the same thing to her when they were in the middle of the mission.

She glanced to the gnome who nodded.

"It should be safe, little vampire, but I shall stall with the mage in case he is a triskster," he grinned, showing rows of perfectly sharp teeth.

"Fine, then let's try it."
 
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Matias

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Matias did not like it. There was something about the mage that he simply found...off-putting, but he wasn't about to tell Harlowe what to do in any capacity. After a brief moment he simply nodded his head, deciding to agree.

He was confident that whatever magic would touch the Vampire would not touch him.

Whatever he had become, the Frost Giant knew that his own blood was something different than hers. Did the mage know? He had seemed surprised earlier, but perhaps that was simply because he had not expected him to be what he was. "Alright."

Matias agreed with a nod.

"Then lets get this over with." He scowled. "I'm sick of this fucking city."

And everyone in it.

The Mage looked at Matias for a moment, then at the Gnome. There was a weariness to his glances, fear, almost. He swallowed, looking between the two before nodding towards his hands. Matias glanced once at Harlowe, then stepped behind the man. "Try anything, and I'll kill you before you finish your breath."
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe nodded her head in agreement but stayed where she was in the armchair opposite. The mage cast a wary glance between the three before slowly standing up and inching his way over to where the Vampire sat. Once he stood before her the two gazed at one another for a quiet minute and an odd tension hung between them built off of those few minutes in the alleyway. How the tables had turned now and they both knew it.

A smirk tugged at the left corner of her lips revealing a single fang.

The mage gulped and then put a hand on her forehead.

Unlike before where her body had seized up instantly this time the magic that washed over her was... faint. Like an imprint. It only took a second and then the mage dutifully stepped back into the ring and sat back down on his chair.

"There... It won't last long but..." he rubbed at his wrists.

"Let's go then," Harlowe sighed and stood up, then remembered what she was still wearing. "Give me a sec," before he could protest she flittered back to the bedroom, appearing a few moments later back in her night-dark armour.

"Right. Time to get this over with."
 
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Matias

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"Watch him." Matias said as he regarded the gnome and gestured towards the mage.

"Yes yes. Never leave eysight."

For a brief moment the Frost Giant nodded, taking a step and turning towards the door before he stopped himself. A sigh escaped him and he shook his head. "Don't eat him either."

He didn't linger long enough to see if the Changeling was offended.

Matias and Harlowe quickly headed back out into the streets. Night had now truly fallen, the moon barely offering enough light to see the few cobbles up ahead, at least for ordinary eyes. The Front Giant and his companion moved quickly through the streets, avoiding eyes and heading towards the massive Keep.

"This is going to be a fun day." He mused as they found the entrance to the tunnels.
 
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Harlowe

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"We have very different ideas of 'fun'," Harlowe laughed under her breath.

The tunnels were exactly where the gnome-thing's maps had indicated. She tried to ignore the nagging sensation at the back of her mind which said they had reached them too easily; she wasn't human anymore, perhaps that meant things were easier. But... that mage had said they had been waiting for them both and had known they were coming. Surely they would be on the lookout for them at night especially?

She gnawed on her bottom lip as they edged into the tunnel.

Harlowe had to hand it to their contact; he was thorough. Everything was according to the diagrams he had given them and it wasn't long before they were sliding a manhole cover aside and appearing inside the palace gardens right by the wall.
 
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Matias

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Matias pulled himself up first, figuring that it would be best that he came up before her. Harlowe was fast, and he knew she could practically launch herself from the tunnel if it came to a fight.

For him? Not so much.

Pulling himself free The Frost Giant immediately stood, glancing around slowly and peering through the garden to find it completely empty. His lips thinned for a moment, scanning over some of the foliage that surrounded them.

Most of it was dead or dying. "The mages?"

He asked quietly as Harlowe pulled herself up.

"Or did the Duke fire the Gardener?" It could be both really.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe landed in a crouch after jumping out of the tunnel opening and stayed there as she surveyed the land around them. In the darkness her crimson eyes seemed to glow more vibrantly and contrasted with the luminous quality her hair took on in the moonlight. A true monster.

Her nose scrunched up as the putrid smell of rotting vegetation hit her but there was a certain odd tang to it.

"Magic of some kind, not sure if it is the mages specifically but it doesn't smell natural," slowly she rubbed a bit of dirt between her fingers and sniffed again. "It's hard to explain but it is like... the life itself was taken."
 
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