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There are tales of ghouls and the dead rising along the Eastern Allir Reaches. The Templar chapter based of Allria has gone to investigate the matter... and perhaps bring to an end to whoever is at the root of this evil...

Interested? Find out more here.

OOC:
A necromancer seems to be ravaging the Eastern Allir Reaches(near the spine). Some of the Templars are trying to stop him/her. Feel free to join in as a survivor, a passerby, maybe the necromancers servant!

Tales There's Daggers In Smiles

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Takama, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Elise Virak

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    "Excellent." It seemed that the woman understood at the very least. Explaining the plan to the Dark Elves had been...a chore.

    They weren't exactly dumb just...eager. A quality that she would exploit today of course. She would send them all to the slaughter one day, but tonight it would be they who massacred.

    "We will enter here." She pointed to the southern side of the manor. "There is a small low point in the wall."

    It was also on the opposite side of where the Elves would attack.
     
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  2. Takama

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    "And then we enter a minute or two after the alarm is sounded" Takama understood now. "It is genius mistress". The guard would be called out, frantic to repel the attackers while the real threat slipped over the opposite wall. No one would be looking for infiltrators amidst all the chaos.

    Her finger traced the path Elise wished them to take. "Aside from their household guard, what else can we expect? Do they have mages in their service?"
     
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  3. Elise Virak

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    She mused for a second. Spies were a way of life in Vel Anir, it was why she'd shrunk her own attendants to only those she could trust. At this juncture it was important to keep information as far out of the hands of everyone else as humanly possible.

    A difficult task, but achievable.

    "There will be a Dreadlord, and an apprentice likely." House Hothra was only minor nobility, a branch of Weiroon.

    Great Houses often had the Allegiance of dozens, and in Virak's case Hundreds, of Dreadlord's, but the minor nobility rarely held one or two. Usually only if they were lucky.

    "None of the family have any ability." She said dismissively. "Save for the daughter, who is six."

    A pity that she also had to die. She might have been useful is properly trained.
     
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  4. Takama

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    Takama grimaced. She was skilled but one did not gain the title of Dreadlord without some talent. Even a mediocre one was a force to be reckoned with. Marked with an apprentice, the two of them might be a match for her. Like a galleass being outfoxed by a caravel and galleon. She'd have to keep her wits about her.

    She felt a pang as Elise mentioned the child, almost as an afterthought. Takama took a breath, choosing her words delicately. "One that young with talent would be useful mistress" she said, trying to keep her voice casual. "There is much that can be done if the training is started young. Would we not be better taking her?"
     
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  5. Elise Virak

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    "There is too much risk." Elise had of course considered it. There were many Dreadlord's, but not enough by far.

    Anyone with magical ability was worth something, even if their skills were relatively few. Even the lowest mage was as useful as ten highly trained soldiers. That was a fact all of Vel Anir had learned long ago, and was a reason the Dreadlords even existed in the first place.

    "She could remember what happened to her family." Elise pointed out. "Take vengeance, whisper to others."

    The Baroness waved a hand. "Too much risk. She has to die with the rest."

    A shame, truly.
     
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  6. Takama

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    She wasn't sure why she was pressing on this topic. Takama had done many morally questionable things in her short life but even this seemed a step too far for her. "Not quite so mistress, there are ways and means of it. A spell to obfuscate her memory, she would be easily malleable". She shrugged, "It would be an easy matter. In one stroke to remove a threat and gain another soldier?"

    She managed a smile, "She will never even know who did it. Only praise that the merciful Lady Virak gave her life and nurtured her talents". The thought of slaughtering the family did not phase her much, but the mention of magical potential made it seem like such a waste.
     
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  7. Elise Virak

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    For a time the Baroness said nothing, her fingers tapping on the edge of the table, drumming slowly as she thought about Takama's words. She had not thought of that avenue before, perhaps because she had no ability in the manipulation of the mind, most in Vel Anir did not.

    Her lips thinned as she thought, but eventually she nodded her head. "Very well."

    She hated the idea of wasting potential, especially when it could help her in the future. Within a decade the girl would be of age to become a Dreadlord, and at that point Elise planned to be sitting on the Throne of Vel Anir. Every powerful user of magic she could tie to herself would be invaluable.

    Especially if they were loyal.

    "We will take the girl." It would be difficult, but not by much given the problems they were already facing.
     
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  8. Takama

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    Takama let out a breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding. She bowed her head in acknowledgement, "Thank you mistress". Appealing to mercy or justice would not have swayed Elise Virak. It had been the idea of wasting talent. "I will make her my responsibility and ensure she is brought with us".

    Her good deed of the night, it almost let her forget that they were about to commit murder on a large scale. "Mistress, is it essential that you come with us for this? We can accomplish it alone. If there is a Dreadlord there, you could be in danger".
     
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  9. Elise Virak

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    At least she would not have to tend for the child.

    Many women had motherly instincts, a need to raise and tend to a child; Elise did not. Everything was just another tool to her, including those too young to understand. "I so often forget you are not of our lands."

    Elise mused out loud.

    It wouldn't make a difference of course, Takama was well aware that most of the Great Houses were either lead, or had more than one mage among their number. She would know as well that Elise was one of those. Her words were simply a polite reminder of that.

    She could wipe away any Dreadlord with a snap, or so she told herself anyway.

    "I will see this task completed." The Baroness stated simply.
     
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  10. Takama

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    Amol-Kalit was as cutthroat as it came but there were curious codes of honour. Takama found herself clashing with Vel Anirian mores at times, they had a tendency to be blunt and cruel. Children could be enslaved, used as bargaining chips, but killed? No, let them grow up and continue the blood feud a generation later, no matter the trouble it caused further down the line.

    "Yes mistress" was all she said, "I have your permission to make the final preparations?"

    The plan would go ahead with little change. The dark elves would move at one hour past midnight, storming the main gate and the surrounding walls. Their archers would kill the wall sentries and with luck they'd be over the wall before the alarm was raised. The real strike would come after it was sounded.

    Takama crouched in the undergrowth, staring at the silhouetted shapes on the wall. Sentries found their vigilance slipping as night drew on. A false sense of security set in and they began to dream of their bed, drink, and warm fires. She could picture the dark elves slipping through the forest, keen eyes sighting in on tired sentinels. The arrows loosed and bodies crumpling. Lithe figures surging forward to vault the walls, scaling them with ropes and crude ladders.

    As if on cue, the alarm bell began to ring. It paused for a moment as the ringer was shot but then it was taken up again. The watchers on the wall disappeared, no doubt running towards the front of the manor. Takama waited before running forward doubled over.

    She flung the grappling hook high, giving it a blast of air to aid it. The hook caught on the battlement and she yanked on it once to make sure it was firm. Without hesitating she began to scale the wall, her arms and legs falling into a steady rhythm. She drew her sword as she landed on the wall but it was empty. Securing the hook, she planted her weight on it while the others began to climb.
     
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  11. Elise Virak

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    Elise moved quickly, more quickly than some might have guessed.

    Vel Anir was famed for it's use of women in combat. Unlike other places, they had no care for gender as long as one could pull their weight. Some of the greatest Anirian Generals in history had been women.

    Still, at times there was a falsehood spread around the women of the court. It was claimed that the nobles were lazy, sloven, and all around pathetic. This was not true, at least not of those who were young and insecure within their position. Everyone was taught to fight, to kill, to survive.

    Politics in Vel Anir was very near to war.

    Throughout her childhood Elise had been trained by the best scholars, beaten, thrown into the wilds, and made to survive trial after trial. She was as much a fight as anyone else, save for once large difference.

    Within her grasp lay the power of her lineage. She approached the wall, her eyes fading into a dark inky black. Veins popped from her skin, and she felt power rush into her. With three quick steps she ascended the wall, her feet finding solid hold where there should have been none.

    In short order she came to ground besides Takama, landing with a muted thud.
     
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  12. Takama

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    Takama's move had been for the benefit of the non magically gifted. Elise had vaulted up the wall with ease. Battle was joined in earnest now at the other side of the manor with the strange war cries of the elves intermingled with the clash of swords and screams.

    She led the way, padding down the stone steps with nary a sound. The fighting was still at the walls so the doors weren't barred. Takama surprised the first guard, slicing her sword across his arm before the return stroke cut his throat. The second made a run for it but screamed as he erupted into flames, setting a tapestry alight in his death throes.

    She closed her eyes a second, remembering the map of the manor. "This way" she said, choosing a door seemingly at random.
     
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  13. Elise Virak

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    Elise followed after the Dreadlord with a confident stride, her face a mask of stoic emotion.

    Killing had never particularly bothered her.

    It was a trait that she had not shared with her brothers, and one of the reasons she had always thought that made them weaker. Erich had always cared about others, and his now dead twin had been even worse. She'd never quite understood what father had seen in them.

    She was the true potential of House Virak.

    Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a band of three soldiers, all of them dressed in fine leather armor and decorated with the symbols of House Hothra. Elise turned to them for half a second, inky black eyes catching them and trapping them in an endless abyss.

    They hesitated, and then suddenly a surge of bloody spikes jutted from their skin and pinned them to the walls and ground below them.
     
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  14. Takama

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    Takama had barely taken a step towards the soldiers when they seemed to burst apart. She froze, red spikes pinning them to the walls and ground around them. One still twitched in his death throes. She was a hardened killer but the sight appalled even her. It took Elise by her side to make her move again, tiptoeing between the still warm corpses.

    She took the steps two at a time, barely slowing to kill the guard stationed at the top. The door there was sealed though. Fire hardened wood with metal studs, it could take hours for an axeman to hack through. Takama snarled and placed her hand on the hinges. Slowly the temperature began to rise.

    The metal began to hum with the heat and then glow as it turned molten. Takama drew back and kicked the door. The impact jarred her leg but it was swung inward, the hinges snapping like twigs.
     
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  15. Elise Virak

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    Elise watched calmly, standing by the door.

    Inky black eyes gazed around the corridor, lips thinning as she glanced through some of the portraits that hung upon the wall. She recognized many of the figures in them, though the painting at the very end of the hall caught her eye the longest. It was of the King.

    An interesting thing to see in any Nobleman's home in Vel Anir. Elsewhere it might have been more common, but here? She wondered briefly, her attention only drawing back to the door ahead of them when she heard the heavy wood smash open under Takama's foot.

    "The Dreadlord will likely be in the chambers ahead." Her voice was cold, devoid of emotion more so than usual.
     
  16. Takama

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    Takama nodded and motioned with hand signals. Two of the assassins crept forward, blades drawn as they moved along the corridor. She kept her senses sharp as she moved behind them, trying to discern where her rival was.

    The question came sooner than expected. One moment there were two retainers ahead of her, the next they just came apart. Blood splattered everywhere, spraying the rest of the group. Takama had a moment of revulsion before her hands came up in a ward.

    The second wave hit them, the air shimmering silver ahead of her as it hit her shield. Even still the force still send her staggering back a few paces. Takama snarled and punched forward, blasts of air punching through the walls ahead of them with each feigned blow.
     
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  17. Elise Virak

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    Elise stood in the doorway, watching quietly. Inky black eyes slowly followed the debris as it exploded out from the wall, striking it's opposite and heading directly towards Takama. It was quick, yet methodical.

    There was a patient hand behind the magic.

    Powerful bursts of air lurched out from Takama, smashing into an unseen force just ahead of her.

    The Baroness knew little about the Dreadlord of House Hothra, even less so about the apprentice. Information had been scant, and apparently for good reason. This man...or perhaps woman, was far more skilled than she had expected. The Abyss of her eyes darted from place to place, searching, hunting for their opponent.

    A ripple lurched through the hall, and then suddenly the floor just ahead of Takama exploded.

    Elise threw up a hand as wood and plaster sprayed out.
     
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  18. Takama

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    Takama reeled backwards, the explosion sending her flying. She hit into the wall with a heavy thump, pain shooting through her body. Eyes swimming with tears, she blasted out gouts of fire, firing at random across the hallway and down it, trying to find her attacker. She screamed as she gave it everything she had.
     
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  19. Elise Virak

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    Flames sprouted within the hallway, balls of fire bursting against softwood and catching on whatever was in reach. Heat immediately engulfed the room, casting shadows and winding through the hall like a snake begging to strike.

    That was when she saw it.

    There was a bare haze at the other end of the hallway, a flicker behind one of the fires. At first she thought it was simply the heat playing tricks on her eyes, but then she saw it move in a way that such could not be the case. Inky black followed along the path of it's movement, gaze wandering, shifting.

    Another pulse rang through the room.

    It rushed towards her, surging, biting.

    In the last instant Elise wrenched her hand to the left. A piece of the wall peeled free, pulling itself over and forming a barrier that exploded almost an instant later. "At the end of the hall! He's invisible!"

    She was not sure how...the concentration needed would be immense unless...the apprentice. It had to be.
     
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  20. Takama

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    Takama heard the yell and even with her blurry vision, she could focus where Elise said. She brought her hands together, then pointed them palm outwards. Twin rays of light shot out, searing flame and heat scourging everything in its path. She swept the end of the hall with it at waist height.
     
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  21. Elise Virak

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    The figure shimmered, and then suddenly cut into reality as one edge of the twin beam's caught it's side. A black coat appeared from nothingness, and then a man quickly within it. His face was twisted with agony and rage, lips thin and teeth bared as a roar of pain escaped him.

    Elise caught sight of him in an instant, the distraction being all that she needed.

    Inky black eyes seemed to focus on the man, fingers twitched, and then suddenly the other Dreadlords cries found themselves cut off. Black and seared flesh seemed to pucker and then suddenly burst as the wound Takama had dealt him exploded out. Solid blood speared from the man and jutted into the wall behind him.

    He screamed in pain, eyes bulging as he looked towards Elise.

    "Y-yo-"
    His words were silenced as another spray of blood cut through his body.

    The magic of House Virak was strong, powerful, but it too had it's drawbacks. All along her flesh bruises had begun to form, blue lines that fell over her veins and arteries, marking her body like a maze. She seemed to ignore it, inky black eyes flashing to Takama.

    "Find the apprentice." She hissed.
     
  22. Takama

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    Takama was panting from the exertion, the burst of energy had been like taking a sprint uphill. Her own attack had only stalled the Dreadlord but Elise had executed them in a brutal fashion. She averted her gaze but was struck by the sight of Elise, black veins standing out on paler skin.

    Takama didn't linger. She leapt over the hole in the floor, hunting for the Dreadlord's apprentice. Feeble magic attacks came her way but she deflected them with jerks of her hand. The boy screamed as her blade hacked down, again and again and again, the force overpowering his ward.
     
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  23. Elise Virak

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    "Wait!" Her voice boomed above the flames.

    It would likely come as a surprise, both to the boy and Takama, but Elise had seen what he'd done. Power was important, there was value in being more powerful, but skill and ability were just as important.

    The Baroness crossed the room in a near instant.

    "Keep him alive." Her voice cut almost as deep as the Dreadlord's blade. "His little trick."

    Dreadlord's were taught to fight, to kill, to maim and murder. They were not taught to go invisible, they were not taught the more subtle arts.

    Where had this boy learned it?
     
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  24. Takama

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    Takama's blade halted, a few inches from bisecting the apprentice. Her face showed what she thought of the order but she removed the blade from near him. One strong arm caught him by the scruff of the neck and hauled him up. "Don't try anything stupid" she snarled, shoving him towards two of their guards.

    The family chambers were ahead. Tamaka blasted the door off its hinges, stepping through with drawn blade.
     
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  25. Elise Virak

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    They cowered.

    There was no other word for it really. Though some families held magical abilities, though this one did, it was only in the form of a six year old.

    She was held, clutched tight to her mothers chest. Her siblings were arrayed all around them, and the father stood in front of them all. His expression was a mixture of fear and brave determination, something that Elise could admire at least. If only for a few seconds.

    "How dare you, House Weiroon will have your hea-"
    "No. No they won't." Elise said as she stepped through the doorway, coming up behind Takama.

    A gasp fell from the man's lips, his shock evident as he realized who Elise was. Inky black eyes settled on him, a disturbing smile touching her face as she regarded the cowering family.

    "The girl." She said with a soft hand. "Now."

    It was clear she had little patience.
     

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