Fable - Ask The Path of Purity

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Heike Eisen

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"Are you sure you still want to do this?" asked Captain Bronmarch of the Allirian Guard.

"I have to try," Heike said. "I owe it to my people. To Ferelith. To Maria. To King Rommel. To my father Albrecht and my mother Sieglinde. I owe it to all of them."

And she said again,

"I have to try."

* * * * *​

They walked down a street in Alliria under the bright morning sun. Heike with her hood up, her clawed hands and her arms hidden under the shawl draped over her shoulders. Captain Bronmarch walked beside her.

She was nervous. For the love and home and hearth, she was nervous. She kept replaying the conversation she had with Captain Bronmarch in her mind, the advice he had offered her, over and over again:

"My recommendation is that you meet him in a public place," Bronmarch had said.

"...How public?"

"A tavern."

Heike had canted her head in a wary manner at this.

Bronmarch continued: "The idea is to make him feel as secure as possible. You do not want him to think that this is some sort of trap or trick. I have no doubt that a Templar will not hesitate to kill you if he suspects as much, given...given what you are, Heike."

"Right," she had taken in a false breath here, and, in rhythm with her memory of the conversation, took one at present. "What else?"

"There should be travelers and inn-goers eating breakfast. Plenty of other normal people, good folk, but not too many. I advise further that we arrange this meeting during daylight hours, during a clear day with full sunshine, and..."

"And what, Bronmarch?"

"And that you sit by a window in the tavern. In direct sunlight."

"I..." Heike had hesitated here, but summoned resolve. Remembered why she was doing what she was doing. "I understand."

"This is merely my advice," Bronmarch had said. "I think that with a Templar you will need to be even more trustworthy than you were with me. You need to put yourself at as many disadvantages as reason permits, give him the absolute high ground. This means--"

"--no chance of escape. If something goes wrong," Heike had said for him.

And Captain Bronmarch had nodded grimly.

Heike remembered that nod--that dour nod--most clearly. It was the manifestation of her fear in doing this, in seeking out a Templar's help. Here, going along with Bronmarch's advice, there were only two possible outcomes: success, or death. Of that she was certain.

Yet, should she succeed in convincing this Templar, she might very well be on the path to achieving that which she dreamed of for nearly six years now.

A cure.

A cure for her vampirism.

Heike and Captain Bronmarch walked. A small group of songbirds flew over the street, landed on a shop to Heike's left, and chirped merrily away, all the ills of the world blissfully unknown to them.

* * * * *​

Heike sat in a tavern in the Outer City of Alliria, a small place known as Tankards Up. Captain Bronmarch had come in with her briefly. Sat down with her at a two-person table by an east-facing window so that no undue suspicion might be roused by her. He offered her a few last words of quiet encouragement. Then stood. Left.

And she was alone. Sitting in the glare of the sun through the window, protected from near-instantaneous paralysis by the thin layer of cloth that was the hood over her head and the rest of her clothes. Any slight turn of her head to her left would allow the light of the sun to touch the flesh of her unmasked face.

Her hands she kept under her shawl. And something came back to her. Something she had not experienced in a long time: the shakes. Her hands were shaking, ever so slightly. This like breathing, like blushing, ghosts of the old functions of a body that was once alive--pale mimicries. If her heart was not stilled by her affliction, she had no doubt it would be hammering against her chest.

Success.

Or death.

A Templar had answered the somewhat vague notice placed by Captain Bronmarch upon one of the bounty boards in Alliria. Had inquired to the Guard about meeting the "Ms. Eisen" (Bronmarch's call on the presentation of Heike's name as well) who sought the aid of a Templar.

And this Templar would be coming into the Tankards Up tavern at any moment.

Alaric
 
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Alaric

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The door to the Inn fell open to reveal a man wearing heavy plate-mail, the emblem of the Pariah Templar brandished proudly upon his chest.

No helmet adorned his head, long blonde hair cast in in a tail around his shoulder, emotionless eyes slowly floating over the inside of the inn. There was a sword belted onto his hip, a knife on his upper thigh, and it appeared another small dagger strapped to his right gauntlet. There was a fierceness to him, an edge to how he moved.

Some stared at him, others ignored him completely.

Templar, it was said, were either despised or thought of as a nuisance. The same went doubly so for those of the Pariah. Most saw them as zealots, hateful beings who despised the mage more than any other. Alaric was not so different than many of his brothers.

He had only accepted this mission because of the opportunity that it might bring him. Though of course there was an alterior motive, a solution that the sender had likely never intended. His lips thinned as he spotted the hooded figure, and an assumption was made.

With slow, methodical steps Alaric moved over towards Heike's table.
 

Heike Eisen

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There he was. It was mistakable.

Heike had glanced over toward the door of the Tankards Up when he had entered, and then was overwhelmed by the sheer fright of This is happening. She turned her head straight forward again, careful not to over-correct and turn to the left and catch the sun.

She waited.

Staring forward, not at Alaric but intensely avoiding such by staring toward the bar and the barkeep, beyond both as it so happened. She waited and stared and heard the slow, approaching steps of his sabatons. The familiar rattle of his plate armor. And, in a strange way, Heike now knew more directly the terror that the guilty likely felt when she was hunting them.

When he was close, when he was standing right by her, Heike turned her head again. Canted up slightly. Beseeching yellow eyes and deathly pale skin under her hood for him to see.

"I am Ms. Eisen. Heike Eisen," she said. "And I ask only that you hear what I have to say."

Before...you do what you will.

Alaric
 

Alaric

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Suffer not the mage.. The Creed of the Pariah's was a simpler one.

It was far more hardline than that of other Templar Chapters. Though this...woman, if one could call her that, was a monster, she was not a mage. She was not a necromancer, at least as far as he knew, and she was not of the worst affliction she could be.

There was a closely held secret in his Chapter, one that most tended to never speak of at all. While they were perhaps the cruelest of their Order, they were also the most pragmatic. While none would ever admit it, many within the Pariah's ranks had worked with creatures such as her before.

Vampires, Werewolves, even a few Daemon's.

All had been employed in the service of the Pariah. Some had even joined their ranks, though such knowledge was so closely guarded even Alaric had not been told. "I will let you speak."

There was no emotion to his tone, no inflection.

Hand rested gently on the hilt of his sword as he stared down at her.
 

Heike Eisen

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He had not yet taken a seat, but he had not killed her outright either. He had his hand on the hilt of his sword, but he opened up a dialogue with her. That was something. Certainly better than all of the gruesome scenarios that had viciously played themselves out in her mind.

Heike gave a small nod. Then, in the effort of full disclosure, she said the truth. Spoke no falsehood, as were the words of her Oath.

"I am a vampire," she said. Then, to underscore it, she showed a mirthless grin, revealing her teeth and the twin set of fangs on the upper row. Let her mouth close. Continued, "And I loathe my affliction. I wish..."

That same surge of emotion bubbled up in her when she voiced this desire to Tzuriel Alanthis not so long ago. Her first attempt at a cure, and one that was not meant to be. She closed her eyes, maintained her composure this time (in no small part thanks to the fear of being in Alaric's presence), and shed no tears.

She opened her eyes. Finished with, "I wish to be human again, and I believe I may know of a way. But I cannot do this alone--I require the aid of a Templar."

This was it. A small moment whose outcome would be resounding. One way, or another.

"Will you help me?"

Alaric
 

Alaric

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Alaric considered the woman for a moment, his expression might as well have been a marble slate. There was no real emotion to the way that he looked at her, though it was clear he was considering just what the offer might mean.

There were many strains of Vampirism, that much even he knew.

Vaguely he could recall one of his instructors telling him that several Templar Chapters had done work studying the species and the various diseases that caused the affliction. A cure was not something he'd never been told about.

Though that hardly meant it didn't exist.

"Perhaps." He answered finally.

The idea of curing one woman didn't really interest him, but if he knew just how she planned to do it that tool might become valuable. "How do you plan to do it?"

Alaric asked, his hand slipping from the hilt of his sword.
 

Lexi Quinzell

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"What's a fucking Pariah doing here?"

Alexandria Quinzell, Commander of the White Raven order of the Templars, famed for their vaulted and locked library that was said to contain information those mages of Elbion could only dream of, had been having a rare good day before her Second had informed her of another Templar presence in the city. She tended to avoid the politics of the splintered organisation as much as she could as a figurehead. The source of her good mood was the man she was currently wrenching her blade out of, putting the heel of her boot on his bloodied chest as she pushed and pulled at the same time to work her monstrous sword free.

Allirians scurried around her, keeping out of her way. Nobody seemed that bothered about another murder in the Outer City anyway; perhaps this kind of citizen was used to it. The white cloak with the black raven haltered what few people might have said something. The White Ravens dealt with the things in this world that nobody else wanted to think existed, as demonstrated by the way peoples eyes simply slid over seemingly unseeing the writhing pile of worms the man was quickly becoming.

Kain pulled a face as she wiped her blade.

"I don't know Commander but I know where he went."

And so it was that Lexi found herself stepping into the same establishment Alaric had stepped into only moments earlier. She wasn't a physically imposing woman but the scar on her face and eyepatch, coupled with her uniform and the general air of 'get the fuck out of my way' she wore had most of the people in the general vicinity of her appearance pausing in their conversation.

She paid them no mind as she scanned the room, settled on the Pariah, and made her way directly for him with her jaw set.

"Planning to do what exactly?" Lexi asked casually, hand resting on the pommel of her sword, as she caught the tail end of the mans sentence. Her one eye flicked from him to the woman, scowled, and then turned back to the Pariah.
 

Heike Eisen

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A metaphorical sigh of relief rang through Heike's body, starting from her head and rippling down her neck and into her chest, coursing from there through her arms and her legs. The Templar's hand was gone from the hilt of his sword. Promising, but Heike knew that she was "not out of the woods yet," as the saying went. For all she knew, the Templar might take it as some manner of blasphemous affront that Heike--a vampire--wished to enter the Sanctum of a Templar Chapter.

But she needed to try to convince him. She had to. The hope of Reikhurst rested with her, for she knew of Jürgen Kaiser and The Bloodstone, had the backing of Alanthis Trade and Co., knew where the Crown of the Twenty-Third King lay, and most importantly had the will to rally the survivors of the citizenry and the Golden Blade. With each step Reikhurst's fate would be more so decided, whether it would see a restoration and a new dawn, or whether it would remain in ruins and crumble to dust behind the ever-forward march of history upon Arethil.

Heike opened her mouth to answer Alaric--

Planning to do what exactly?

--when someone new had come forward. An armored woman, having just entered the Tankards Up tavern and making a straight line for the Templar with whom Heike was speaking.

Heike closed her mouth. Shut. Looked with only small movements of her eyes from Alaric to Lexi and then back to Alaric.

He wasn't alone? Captain Bronmarch hadn't said exactly that the Templar who had answered the notice was alone, but he heavily implied as much. Still, it wasn't out of the question, so...this woman was with him, right? She seemed to know him. Why else would she have come directly to him? Surely she was with him.

(and what if she wasn't?)

She wasn't Allirian Guard. She might be with an Order of Knights that Heike was unfamiliar with, given the emblems adorning her attire. But...

Heike kept quiet, for the woman was addressing the Templar, not her. And the scowl was a bad enough sign as it was. Heike decided it best to let the Templar answer, unless he were to direct the question back to Heike. Unwanted interjection into this spontaneous conversation between the Templar and the armored woman would be--Heike figured--a supremely unwise move to make.

Alaric Lexi Quinzell
 

Ye'svonne Airileth

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"Off to sell to drunkards again?"

"My dearest, most wonderful love, you know that drunkards often pay the most coin for nonsense. However my work isssssssss far from the sort! You know that better than all."


With his pack of potions set and ready the alchemist Ye'svonne Airileth kissed his wife and headed off to the Tankards Up in search of drunken fools who never leave their houses to purchase his stamina and recovery potions. Some not more than a simple hangover cure, others actual boosts to physical ability.

He moseyed slowly. He saw the back of Lexi Quinzell enter the building but thought nothing of it. He slapped his backpack down to ensure everything was there and secure. With that, he swung the doors of the Tankards Up wide open an started with a booming voice;

"LADIESSSS AND GENTLEMEN, APParitions and fau-" Ye'svonnes voice completely cut off by the fact he was now looking at Heike, speaking with both a terrifying man and woman.

And the tension was palpable.

He swallowed hard with his eyes fixated on his friend, fearful of what it was he'd just ran into. He'd brought the dagger Silver had given him, but even still he was virtually non-existent in a fight.

He never sat down and the attention that he'd drawn from yelling was all gone now. Just this heavy air and the feeling that his friend was in danger.
 

Alaric

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"Nothing that would interest you, mage." Alaric answered with a bite, his hands remaining at his sides and never reaching for his sword.

He recognized the woman of course, or rather the armor that she wore. The cloak over her shoulder. The mark of who she was.

A look of consternation flickered over his features.

Though the Pariah were not much for cooperation with their fellow Templar, they still kept up with the various Chapters that operated around the world. The White Ravens were one of those that were more closely looked at by his fellows.

Their habit of using the Arcane was, to put it lightly, looked down upon by the Pariah.

Magic was a trap that none of them could accept nor suffer. His fingers tightened slightly at his side, head snapping as a voice broke into the room. He looked at the lizard for just a brief moment, raising an eyebrow before he returned his attentions back to Lexi. "You should return to your library."

In times past there might have been more respect, there might have been some semblance of deference, but he was young and caught in the trappings of his Order.

So he did what he thought his elders might have.
 

Lexi Quinzell

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Her face remained blank as the shouting and commotion rose then fell in a hush. More people were beginning to pick up on the tension coming from the small group, not that it seemed to be of any note to the Commander. Oh no, her attention was all on the two before her.

The others sneer was all the invitation Lexi required to seat herself firmly down at the table next to Heike. His comments told her more about him, his position, his training, more than he probably realised. She slouched her arm casually over the back and with the tip of her boot reached out and shoved the chair opposite her out for the young lad to sit down. That one, searing, hazel eye never left his as she spoke.

"Alexandria Quinzell, Commander of the White Ravens," she held out a hand towards the woman beside her and, after a moment, dragged her gaze from Aleric to her to study her in more depth. "If you are in need of a Templar I wouldn't recommend a Greenie."
 

Heike Eisen

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Heike...actually quite liked Alaric's attitude toward mages. Reikhurst had always been a place generally suspicious and distrustful of magic, thinking it all too easy for the mages in question to become lost in the pursuit of more power, corrupted by it. The gathering and hoarding of power, whether magical or political or otherwise, was fiercely disdained by true Reikhurstans. So good on him, Alaric, for that--Heike admired it so.

Yet, this seemed to put him at odds with the (so it now seemed) other Templar. Heike, admittedly, did not know much about the Templar or their history. She remembered the generalities from her education in the history of Arethil, so the accusation of one Templar to another of "mage" she did not fully understand. They were clearly of different Chapters, and these with views of some significant difference between them on magic. Thus the tension.

And Heike could not help but to think that said tension would only worsen matters.

Before the female Templar could respond to the quip of "You should return to your library," the tavern door--with far more commotion than before--opened again. And there was...Ye'svonne? Here by the whim of chance. He saw her. Didn't say anything to Heike, nor she to him. At present, the situation simply did not allow it. She was walking a tight rope, and she could only (needed to) focus on one thing at a time.

The female Templar took a seat. Introduced herself--Alexandria. Commander. And then held out her hand.

Heike looked down at Alexandria's hand for only a second, but--to Heike--it felt like a nerve-wracking hour. What could possibly be the right call here? Decline the handshake, and risk an affront against the Templar who had given her the simple grace of not immediately cutting her head off? Or expose her large clawed hand, which was not so dangerous to the armored woman but was the mark of a monster nonetheless?

Heike made her decision. Kept her clawed hands hidden inside of her shawl, but addressed the matter forthrightly, "I am sorry, Alexandria. My hands are...ill-suited to cordial affairs. I mean no offense."

The contention between the two Templar Heike thought to stay well the hell out of. Keep from choosing sides if at all possible.

To Alexandria, Heike said, "My name is Heike Eisen. And I am indeed asking for the aid of a Templar, for...for I am a vampire, and I believe that I may know of a way to rid myself of this abhorrent affliction with such aid."

Lexi Quinzell Alaric Ye'svonne Airileth
 

Ye'svonne Airileth

Lovable Alchemist
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The alchemist knew the look Heike gave him too well. One of begging and of determination. His interruption could not be allowed. It may even be best for now to leave the fact that they knew one another in the æther.

He couldn't just keep standing there he'd become even more suspicious. Ye'svonne meandered his way over to the bar, but tripped on his feet doing so. He didn't fall, but was clearly in a state of stress. He didn't hide his emotions well. It was also very common of him.to be in dire concern of his patients, even if it was in the past.

"W-water pleassssse."
He spoke to the bartender.

"Gotta buy somethin' bub."

"Um, okay then. One of your lightessssssst lagers."


The barkeep rolled his eyes and poured the lizard a pale beer and sent him on his way after collecting Ye'svonnes coin. The alchemist took a seat within earshot of the conversation, his back turned t them to hide his expression.
 

Alaric

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Alaric returned his hand to the hilt of his sword, though just resting it on the pommel with a scowl.

It was very clear that he did not enjoy Lexi's presence here. She was an aberrant among the Templar, at least to his Order. Magic was dangerous. It was the thing that scourged this earth, what bred Necromancers, Ghouls, and...well things like Heike.

Dabbling within magic was what had brought the world to ruin a dozen times over. Why would anyone want to use it? Why would you encourage it?

The White Ravens did, at least Alaric had been taught that they did. He was not well pleased to have her involved here, particularly because she might use her magics to somehow ruin all of this. A scowl pulled at his lips, but he said nothing further to either the Vampire or the other Templar. Instead he simply stood over the both of them like a grim statue.

He wasn't going anywhere.

Not unless they forced him to, and Alaric was fairly confident that he could kill them both. Two less monsters in this world would suite him just as well as finding the cure for Vampirism.
 

Lexi Quinzell

Commander of the White Ravens
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There was nothing Lexi enjoyed more than making other Templar's uncomfortable.

"Lot o' lore about the Cure for Vampirism," she casually fingered the eyepatch around her left eye and wondered if the Pariah knew what it was covering. Their famous distaste of magic probably extended to the whole binding goddesses to your soul malarkey she had managed to pull off when she had taken over Command of the White Ravens.

She hoped it wound him up.

"Which fable are you chasing this time?" Lexi spoke as though they were discussing an interesting theory on the alignment of stars and not something that could change this woman's life. "There's the Breath of Life, the flower Draleina which is said to restore a natural heart beat, all types of ancient spells..." she flicked a glance at the stoic Pariah to see his reaction to any of those she had listed and then passed on to the strange creature who had come into the inn after her.

"Is your friend joining us or going to continue to look worried from across the room?"
 

Heike Eisen

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The good: Heike's head was still on her shoulders. One out of the two Templar was (ostensibly, perhaps) interested, or at least receptive.

The bad: A hand (Alaric's) was back on the hilt of a sword. That interest from the female Templar could still well be a way to get information from Heike before her head rolled on the tavern floor. And...Heike was about to tell them both that which, for all she knew, could be an offense of grave proportion to the sensibilities of a Templar.

But all Heike could do was press forward. She committed to this, for whatever might come of it.

Which fable are you chasing this time?

Heike shook her head at the suggestions offered by the female Templar (and that small flick of the eye from her to the male Templar underscored the contentious nature between her and her counterpart).

And told them, "I learned of an old Templar Chapter: The Night Watchmen. Correct me if I am mistaken, but from what I could tell it seems as though they are...no longer serving Arethil. That they were disbanded or brought to ruin--it was unclear to me which. But in my reading, while it did not explicitly mention a cure for vampirism, there were allusions to a kind of initiation. Cleansing, purification, the expiation of sin. They wished to become uncorrupted--indeed, incorruptible--men, so far as I could tell. And they were obsessed with the removal of 'impurities.' I did not find much on this path to initiation, but..." Heike struggled for a moment, "...it was mentioned that many of their recruits died in the process."

It wasn't much. The information was scant, from a book so damaged and worn by burns and weather that it was close to an act of divinity that some of the searching scholars under the employ of Tzuriel Alanthis had managed to glean all that they did. The Night Watchmen were surely a small and tightly knit Chapter if nothing else, given only the rare corroborating mention of them in other tomes. Even if following information as vague and scattered as this was foolish, was dangerous wishful thinking at its height, it was all Heike had. There was a reason Alexandria had called the idea of a cure for vampirism a fable. But Heike had pinned her hope on this particular fable nonetheless, because she had nothing else.

"That is where I wish to go. Into the Sanctum of the Night Watchmen." Heike sincerely hoped (relying on it quite heavily as of late) that one of the two Templar had at least some knowledge of the obscure Chapter. Because Heike knew the approximate location of the Sanctum from the burned tome--around the southern tip of the Allir Reach--but not the exact location. "And from the reading I discerned that it can only be opened with the touch of a Templar. Hence..."

A slight nod to Lexi. A slight nod to Alaric.

After her explanation, some attention was brought back to Ye'svonne. Heike looked in his direction. Toward the back that was turned to them. She let out a small sigh, expelling the unnecessary air housed in her lungs. This, knowing what she would have to say. The proper decision that was to be voiced.

She said to Lexi, "No, he will not. I do not know what dangers may await on the way to, around, or inside of the Sanctum. He is a kind soul. A merchant, an alchemist, but not a warrior."

Even if he was, even if there indeed proved to be no foes along the entire course of the journey, the Sanctum itself, the Path of Purity written about in the burned tome...the meticulous chronicling of all of the dead recruits...something about the Path itself was quietly terrifying.

Heike reiterated herself with regard to Ye'svonne: "No. It would not be right."

Alaric Lexi Quinzell Ye'svonne Airileth
 

Ye'svonne Airileth

Lovable Alchemist
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Ye'svonne didn't so much as sip his beer as he listened intently to what was going on. Heike was hunting for an answer to her ailment. An enormous task by anyone's standards. Let alone the path she spoke of sounded treacherous and far above his pay grade.

But Heike was a friend. One did not simply abandon their friends. It was also a search for a cure for vampirism. This was a medical once in a lifetime opportunity! If there was more to it than just magic there was a boundless amount he could learn. He knew he couldn't fight but there were three that could. Who didn't need a healer?

With an abrupt shot from sitting to standing at Heike making decision for him he wandered to their table. Not before stumbling out of nervousness once more.

"I, uh," Ye'svonne cleared his throat and stood straight up. Addressing the terrifying warriors.

"I am Ye'svonne. I am a friend of Heike'sssssss and she has been a patient of mine. Despite her own arguments I would like to come as an aid and as an inquisitive sssssssssoul."

He reached into his bag and pulled out a flower to show Lexi.

"I uh, I don't know about a Draleina, but this is a Choral Petal. It helps ease arrhythmia and palpitations. It's great in concentration potions or anti anxiety remediesssssssss."

He laughed nervously.
 

Alaric

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Alaric frowned the more the Vampire spoke.

The Watchmen were a Chapter that were well known to him, to most Pariah in fact. They were...connected in a way to his own Chapter. The two despised each other, or had at one point. The Night Watchmen had seen his brothers as an aberration of their own path, perhaps because their method of...creation had come from the same source before the Order split.

Whereas the Watchmen had sought a cleansing however his own Brothers had created something new, something that would allow them to avoid the magics of this world. That was how the Pariah had been born, how they had become nulls.

The same research twisted into different results for either Chapter.

Of course as soon as she mentioned them a thought occurred to Alaric that he would most definitely not voice. Anything that could be used to 'cleanse' a being could also be used to reverse the effects of the creation of a Pariah...at least perhaps.

His own Chapters methods were a complete mystery to even those who endured the procedure. Alaric himself did not know exactly how he was what he was, but such a thing sounded a danger to him and his fellow. The method was only known to the Pariah's Chapter Master and Chief Alchemist. Slowly he cast his gaze towards Lexi for a moment, then he made a decision.

"I will help you." Alaric stated plainly.

If only to ensure the continuation of his own Chapter.

When the strange lizard man walked over and cleared his throat, Alaric shifted his stance slightly. The man spoke like he was a doctor, though he was one of the strangest he'd ever seen.
 

Lexi Quinzell

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"The Night Watchmen, eh?" Lexi kicked up her feet and rested them on the chair she had offered Alaric but he had snubbed. If he wanted to wear holes in his boots quicker it was no sweat off of her back. As she settled down into her chair she fished around in one of the many pockets that lined her robes and produced a pipe and tobacco. It wasn't long before she had lit it and was puffing small elegant rings of smoke into the air. She appeared to be mulling everything over; the story, the appearance of this friend and the obvious different opinions on whether they should be allowed or not on such a mission.

Lexi had no time for civilians in a mission and she cast her doubtful eye over this wretch with obvious contempt.

"The Night Watchmen haven't been heard from in a while, that's true, but," and this time her eye lingered on Aleric. "If I had to place bets I wouldn't say they were all gone," she took a deep draw and blew out, eyes closing. "They were a private bunch of fuckers. Their sanctuary even when opened ain't gonna be on walk in the park. Especially for his kind," she motioned toward Aleric for she was also familiar with the two Chapters histories. "And I ain't exactly no pure dame either. It will be interesting to see if any old Templar can open it of if it has to be one of their lot. In which case, you're back to square one hunting for something as close to a fable as the Templars can get," Lexi snorted and then chewed on the end of her pipe as she quietly drifted off into contemplation. She had read hundreds of books in the endless Library the White Raven's called their home but she was struggling to remember much more about the Night Watchmen. They hadn't seemed too much of a problem for her to worry about at the time.

"And I suppose you know where this Sanctum is?"
 
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Heike Eisen

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Alaric (despite his friction with Lexi) agreed to help, Lexi knew quite a lot about the Night Watchmen as it turned out, and Ye'svonne had come over from his place at the bar counter. Heike wanted to tell Ye'svonne that it would be alright, that it was simply best for him to remain behind, that this was something she needed to do, a risk she needed to bear and to burden as few others with as possible. This and grateful well-wishings for his kindness in the past and now. But she did not dare interrupt her conversation with the Templar; neither had entertained him, and so Heike--at present--did not either.

Heike likewise wanted to offer a genial smile to Alaric, but she simply could not do anything of the sort yet--it was as if the muscles of her face would not allow it. So she gave him a nod of gratitude. The man was an enigma, the only certain thing about him being that he was a Templar and that he was not so fond of Alexandria's Chapter. But, as it was in this venture, despite not knowing hardly anything about him Heike nonetheless needed to place far more trust in him than he did in her, for she had no other choice if she wanted to have this chance at a cure.

Heike returned her attention to Alexandria. Might not all be gone, the Night Watchmen--just like the Order of the Golden Blade, Heike thought. It could be an overall good thing or an overall bad thing. And the initial estimation of this wasn't great, given what Alexandria said about the Watchmen and their relation to the male Templar's Chapter. Alexandria herself was admittedly "no pure dame either." Seemed that the curious workings of timing and circumstance had brought the three of them together into like company then: not a one of them even close to a warm regarding from the Watchmen. She didn't even want to think about what a catastrophe it would be if the door could only be opened by a Night Watchmen and none could be found.

And I suppose you know where this Sanctum is?

The corner of Heike's mouth betrayed a small tug of anxiety. She said, "I know the region from the scant information I have read. Near the southern peninsula of the Allir Reach. But its exact location I know not."

And then she turned a hopeful gaze up to Alaric. Asked, "Perhaps you might know of the location, Templar? If not...there may be more reading ahead."

Lexi Quinzell Alaric Ye'svonne Airileth
 
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Alaric

Pariah Templar
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"I know where it is." Alaric said, the lack of emotion in his voice clear that he did not quite enjoy being the one to have to reveal it. His eyes briefly flickered over towards Lexi, fingers tightening on his shoulders as he crossed his arms. "And I can open it."

At least he thought he could.

The Watchmen had never been particularly open with their methods, but any door sealed to them would have been crafted with Magic. As much as they would not have wanted to admit it. He was a Pariah, magic was his to undo.

That was what his Master had always said. "The Sanctuary is hidden inside of a grove deep in the Wood, I suspect the path will now be worn, but i know what marks we must search for."

The road had been stone once.

Alaric knew this only because he knew the history of his own Chapter, his Order. When the Templar had been whole, all their fortresses had been together. Only after the split had the Different Chapters claimed their home. The Pariah knew of the Watchmen's home only because of their...unfortunate ties.

At least that rivalry would come in handy here.
 
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Lexi Quinzell

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Lexi raised an eyebrow and snorted a plume of smoke from her nostrils as though she were a dragon. An odd smile curled at her lips and the look she gave the other Templar was caught between amusement, disbelief and a begrudging respect.

"Is that so?" the words were long and drawn out as though she were caught in a thought she was not sharing with the rest of the group. Her eye moved away from the Pariah to the fogged up window to watch the passersby. For a moment she said nothing, chewing on the end of her pipe and steadily breathing the smoke in and out. It would not be a mission without danger but the wisdom they might find in such a place was too tempting for a Raven to pass up.

Rose would kill her if she didn't try.

"Well I suppose if your anti magic doesn't work, perhaps my magic will," it would always be one or the other. Lexi dragged her eye back to the vampire. "When do you want to leave?"
 
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Heike Eisen

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A wave of relief as the male Templar said that he knew where the Sanctum was located, and Heike even let a small sigh of the same. He likewise sounded quite confident that he could open the door. And it was here that a dizzying feeling of irreality struck Heike: was this truly happening? She could scarcely believe that she was among Templar, not under attack nor fleeing from them, and that they were actually helping her. Helping her with possibly achieving that which she thought was impossible, that which she had previously resigned herself from, that which she had lost hope for.

A cure. An actual cure. The chance at having her life back, perhaps in every sense of the word.

Alexandria, as well, had committed herself to the task. It was all almost too good to be true. Whatever it was--Bronmarch's advice playing out to great effect, these particular Templar having a notable measure of grace and restraint, something about the inherent mystery of the Night Watchmen--circumstances had, for once in Heike's duration as a vampire, conspired in her favor.

"I would go at once, if all is well with the two of you and such is to your liking," Heike said, keeping her voice reserved, but a slight tinge of her bristling excitement undergirded the formality of her tone.

Heike stood. Slowly and carefully. Not only was she loath to have an accident involving the daylight striking her flesh, but she still didn't want to make any quick and sudden movements in front of the Templar.

"I cannot properly express the depths of my gratitude for this. Truly, I thank you both for even considering what I had to say. Thank you, Alexandria. Thank you--"

To the male Templar, she said, "May I ask your name?"

Alaric Lexi Quinzell
 

Alaric

Pariah Templar
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The Templar grunted.

Pariah had never been known for their friendliness. Generally they displayed as small cauldrons if grump and hate. That was why most tended to dislike them. It was partly, of course, due to the process by which they became magical nulls.

The surgery rendered them with dulled emotions. They could still feel, they weren't inhuman, but it was more difficult for them to do what was so much more natural for others. Their natural state was an overt bleakness, and breaking away from that was difficult, especially just after the surgery had been done. "Alaric."

He answered finally.

Keeping his name hidden wouldnt so him much good really.

It wasn't like he was on some secret mission, nor would anyone within the Pariah scold him for giving away his identity. No, best to just show some small measure of friendliness and just get this over with.

Even if his partners were a witch and a vampire.
 

Lexi Quinzell

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Lexi blew out the smoke from her pipe one last time then abruptly stood up. She wasn't one for hearing thankyous and the such - this was her job and she got paid well enough for it. Not always in monetary terms, sometimes with the gift of knowledge like this. If she could bring back something to the Librarians then they would be off her back for quite some time.

"Let's go then. I have a small group of men who will come with us - KAIN!" her eye swivelled to the man - her second - who had been stood by the door in a seemingly casual manner. She didn't need to say anything else; the man nodded once and disappeared outside whilst Lexi chewed on her pipe.

Her eye had returned to Alaric.

"Lead away, kid."
 
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