Expanse: The City Reboot (Dark Fantasy Epic) Main Thread (Open, Started)

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image Vergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"Peach Tea? Sounds lovely, I'll have a cup." Vergil remarked, sounding delighted at the prospect. As he received one from The Vessel, he began to taste it, then gave his opinion.

"Rather pleasant aroma, good colouration throughout, has a rather sweet taste: but that is usual for fruit based teas. It has properties that would revitalize and energize someone after a long day, or in our case, a tough battle. All in all, rather nice, thank you." He said, sounding quite the gentleman.

Vergil calmly drank his tea as he saw others unsure of whether to accept it or not. He then began to think over the sudden change of personality that The Vessel showed.

""Foolish Mage Hunters, they'll never accept the tea, judging by the expressions of their face, they are not trusting of The Vessel enough to actually drink it. They'll think it is some kind of poison that she has crafted to kill them, or worse. Obviously she wouldn't of put the actual poison in the tea, I mean, she wouldn't want to poison the entire lot of us, so where could she have placed the poison."

He then looked around briefly to see any noticeable changes in the area, his mind then went back to the fire.

"Hmm, she seemed determined to start a fire, maybe she is going to use some sort of powder that creates a smoke cloud when exposed to heat, and that cloud is the poison. That still doesn't explain the reasoning behind the tea mind you, maybe there is some sort of drug in the tea that makes the drinker immune. If that is the case, she will have to convince everyone, but Lucian and Vincent to drink the tea. I wonder how she will do that? Without raising suspicion mind you. But still, clever girl"

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Scarlett had accepted the peach tea without even realising it, a lump formed in the back of her throat as she peered down into the cup of steaming liquid. The trigger of bad memories.

Silence. In the absence of words the two women stood side by side listening to the sound of the wind across the mountain. The bright sun peeking through the pale cloud shone down on the exposed hard ground and surrounding piled snow. A gentle snowfall accompanying the whispering breeze. Sera opened her mouth to speak, tears forming slowly in her eyes, but realising no amount of words could comfort Scarlett at this time closed her lips instead and squeezed shut her eyes to let the tears run down her cheek. She wanted so desperately to say something to see Scarlett smile again. Even if it was just for a little while. Scarlett looked zoned out. Her mind elsewhere as she lowered the child's body to the ground. Wrapped completely in white burial linen she never would get to see her daughters face again.

Sera had bought her fruit teas for weeks afterwards, relatively inexpensive they where just sweet enough to make Scarlett feel a little better. Hiding her emotion Scarlett looked up at the group and pressed the cup to her lips, inhaling the sweet aroma of peach. She wasn't going to start crying now. Not in front of everyone, anyway. She closed her eyes and drank the tea in one long sip. She smiled weakly. It still worked after all these years.

image
Vincent - Entrance to Mo - Grim

"No need to be rude to you then I suppose. Besides, I've got no reason to hunt mages who've done nothing wrong. I do need to ask who was the cause of that beautiful pillar we saw back in the Eternal Mists though. Quite a masterpiece someone erected there, and the smell was just grand." Vincent said, beckoning the young girl over and taking a cup of tea from her platter.

Vincent looked down into the brownish liquid, the smell of peaches rising up from the cup. He brought the cup gingerly to his lips, taking another inhale. In his training to become a Hunter he had not only learned swordplay and tracking, but also skills that were more useful when he wished to remain hidden. One of these such skills was learning to detect poison in various foods and drinks. It only took Vincent a second to confirm that there was no poison in his drink, yet he still didn't wish to drink something made by a mage.

Better to show them that I mean no harm for now. Vincent thought, pretending to take a swig of the tea and then settling back into the shadows.

"Now, how about you tell me who killed those people back in the Eternal Mists?"

image Vergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"To put it bluntly, we all had a hand in killing those men. That's the long and short of it." Vergil quickly replied to Vincent's question with a smirk on his face, as he saw the man pretend to drink some of it, he then set his cup aside.

"Of course, Mage Hunters are trained to detect 'poisons' in both food and drink, but the cure, it slipped him by. Then again, I had my suspicions that he wouldn't accept it; whenever has a Hunter trusted a Mage?" Vergil mused to himself, knowing that at least one person would fall, when The Vessel made her move.

He then overheard her asking Vincent and Lucian, whether or not they fancied a piece of music.

"You should listen to her play, you could say, it has a rather soothing effect on its listeners, depending on her mood of course."

image

Ok so far everything was to plan.
Telnor hadn't got a cup yet.
She offered one.
"This ought to help. You look a little tense."
She'd been listening to the others talking.
"I didn't really fight anyone in the eternal mist. Just played a little."
She was still doing her best to be dopy.
"Perhaps our guests would appreciate a song."

Lucian Grey - Entrance of Mo - Grim

Lucian collapsed onto the floor, laying sprawled out with his back against the cold cobblestones. The auburn maned girl was tending a fire, the smell was enticing, their thief was making passing glances between her and his partner and Vincent was drinking cautiously, but without hesitation, upon the sweet liquid in his grasp.

"No milk?" Lucian queried

image Lorel Ion - Grim

Lorel didn't know how to react to being in the presence of two Mage Hunters. Sure they are acting nice and all now, but they did attack Lorel in Middle District, on sight.

"How can we trust you?" Lorel spoke, which Velen almost found surprising as he was doing the most of the talking. "You say you won't attack a Mage for doing nothing wrong, but I know of you Mage Hunters, you will hunt for sport. Hell, soon after I was kicked out of Upper
District, a bunch of you ganged up and attacked me. It had only been a mere hour or so."

Telnor- Entrance to Mo- Grim

Telnor leaned against the bench listening to others talk and by the sounds of it two newcomers. He felt around his right leg and grabbed the dagger there, his only remaining weapon and kept it by his side. He may not be able to see but he wasn't going to let anything happen to him without a fight. He sat there listening. It seemed that two new comers were Mage Hunters after Vergil for stealing. Things could get ugly.

When Vessel came up and offered him tea he took it gratefully.

"Thanks Vessel. Maybe this will help," Telnor took the tea and drank it. It had a nice peachy taste to that helped it go nice and smooth. Telnor sighed, that tea hit the spot, tea always did.

image Vergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"Whilst you may not of fought anyone Vessel, you still provided support." Vergil remarked kindly towards The Vessel, he then replied to Lucian's complaint of there being no milk.

"As far as I can see, there is none available, besides, milk doesn't work well with fruit flavoured tea." Vergil remarked as he set his cup aside. He then laid out on a bench, his back next to a wall for support.

"Thank you sir.
I only did what I could.
So..."
She asked the mage hunters.
"Why exactly do you think mages need to be regulated by an outside party, don't they regulate themselves? After all wouldn't mages be more likely to know how to properly deal with other mages?
A complete refusal to use magic hardly gives you any experience."
She might not like mages entirely but she still felt like sticking up for a profession that was such a big part of her family.
"Anyway what say you to divine power, as opposed to magic?"

image image Vergil Crawford/The Vessel - Entrance of Mo - Grim

Vergil listened with some interest to the conversation that The Vessel, Lucian, and Vincent were having about the ethics of the Mage Hunters, and their reasons for why they control them. Afterwards, Vergil called to The Vessel.

"Vessel, mind if I have a word with you in private for a moment, there is something I'd like to discuss." Vergil asked her, gesturing her over to him.

"Certainly Vergil, excuse me gentlemen." The Vessel replied with, excusing her self from the conversation with Lucian and Vincent. She then made her way to Vergil, and sat down next to him. "Now then, what is it you wanted to discuss."

"I would like to discuss the plan you have concocted to rid the group of our Mage Hunter problem."

"Ah right. So have you worked it out?" The Vessel asked Vergil, curious to know his answer.

"Indeed I have Vessel. You have drugged the tea with some sort of poison, counting on Lucian and Vincent not trusting you enough to actually drink it. But in reality, the tea is merely a decoy. For you have actually placed in the tea, some sort of immunity to the poison you are going to place into the fire, which when combined with the heat, will generate some sort of poisonous gas cloud, rendering anyone who hasn't drunken the tea unconscious."

The Vessel, amazed at the correctness of Vergil's deduction, began to slowly clap in applause.

"So, you are as good as you say. Well done Vergil, I never would have guessed you'd figure it out, then again, coming from someone who knew much about Lanadrii, I wouldn't be surprised if there were other vestiges of knowledge hidden in that mind of yours."

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Scarlett looked a little bored, the new arrivals had proven to be less interesting than she had hoped for and the situation was beginning to make itself abundantly clear, they had no intention of starting trouble. She crossed her arms and sighed quietly under her breath. Scarlett was quickly beginning to feel a little useless, her talents lay elsewhere from conversation.

Although the Vessel had raised a good point. It was an age old question. Who watches the watchmen? Vergil called to the Vessel about a word in private and suddenly Scarlett resumed listening. Staring into the distance she activated her gift and began mapping the sound of the area inside her head. Whatever Vergil had to say to the Vessel Scarlett would know soon enough.

Lucian Grey - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"Hey, Vincent, mind if I have a swig of that? The green eyed lass scurried off before I could get one." Lucian pressed the palms of his hands against the coarse stone road and pushed his body upright, his grey strands of hair slicked by the water and clinging to his angular features, his personal mask; unkempt being the perfect description of the jovial hunter.

"You don't seem particularly thirsty anyway" Lucian chimed, reaching out and letting his hand hang in the air, awaiting his partners charitable disposition. The smile that graced Lucian's face dwindled as time flowed, he was well aware that his partner wasn't the most talkative of fellows but to outright ignore him.

"Can i interest you in some tea?"

Lucian, bewildered, glanced over his shoulder to notice that the woman with the goldleaf harp had made her return.

"Might as well, If you haven't any milk it'll have to do." Lucian recoiled his hand and turned to face the woman in front of him, his head bobbing once in a sage-like manner. The vermilion haired woman retreated to the pot hanging in the flames embrace and returned with a cup filled with the sugary brown liquid.

"Sir, may I kindly re-ask; what is it that give the Mage Hunters the right to judge those they hunt?"

"You'd have to ask the council. Me and Vincent are merely weapons to them, we're contracted to kill or capture a mage and get paid to do so. I'm aware they have some sort of dogma they follow that allows them to justify what they do, but I've never much cared for it. If you're asking for my justification; I just enjoy a good fight."

"I see... and what of the powers of divines, opposed to that of magecraft?"

Lucian furrowed his brow and scratched his chin, he was considering this question with a great deal of intrigue before ultimately delivering his answer.

"Well, that is an interesting question... one I'm unsure how to answer. Perhaps if I'm ever contracted to kill a god I'll be able to tell you." Lucian concluded before drinking deeply from the fruit-flavoured concoction.

image
Vincent - Entrance to Mo - Grim

"How can we trust you? You say you won't attack a Mage for doing nothing wrong, but I know of you Mage Hunters, you will hunt for sport. Hell, soon after I was kicked out of Upper
District, a bunch of you ganged up and attacked me. It had only been a mere hour or so."

Vincent turned his head slowly to regard the younger teen sitting across the fire from him. The light from the fire casting a shadow of Vincent's features and hiding his face from the others around him.

"You ask how you can trust us, yet you took part in the slaughter of innocent people. You probably had a bounty placed on your head, and it's a wonder your still alive. You probably had recruits and striker's after you. If a Ragusin or Dissiansha had been sent after you we wouldn't be having this conversation. Ignorant Mage, your lucky I've chosen to act friendly to you and your companions." Vincent hissed, getting to his feet and turning around. Vincent vanished into the darkness in the direction of where his horse had been tether before they had all sat down to the warm fire. Vincent's blood was pumping, and it was taking an enormous amount of self-control to resist drawing his blade and returning to the fire to put his blade into the boy's chest up to it's hilt.

What are you doing Vincent? You're a Hunter, tasked with the eradication of these foul abominations. Why are you sitting around and talking to them as if they are friends?

imageimageVergil Crawford/The Vessel - Entrance of Mo - Grim

Vergil watched as Vincent went off to tend the horses, a brief smile appeared on Vergil's face.

"Well that is one less person to deal with. Unfortunately, with Lucian haven drunk the tea, the whole plan has faltered, guess I'll have to come up with a backup plan." Vergil thought to himself as he rose from the bench, and made his way to The Vessel.

"Bad news I'm afraid, the whole has gone wrong."
"What do you mean, gone wrong?"
"Well, Vincent has left for the stables, and Lucian has drank the tea, meaning he won't be effected by the sedative."
"Oh well, guess we will have to think of something else. You don't happen to have any ideas?"

"As a matter of fact, I do. I have these Smoke Bombs and Flash Bombs, if you signal the others, I'll throw use these to cover our escape into Mo. Granted it isn't a great plan, but is what I could come up with at short notice." Vergil then discreetly showed The Vessel the bombs.
"They could work, okay then, I'll get Lorel, Itsuka, Velen, Scarlett, and Telnor in position, and I'll signal you when we're ready." The Vessel then made her way towards the intended people.

"Right, now we are under way, how best to do this. I could throw the smoke bombs into a wide arch, covering a wide area, and then when they have detonated, deploy the flash bombs. For an additional bonus, add a few throwing knives into the mix, plus with the dense smoke cloud, the pair of them will have difficulty seeing them. Yeah that works, time to get into position, and await the signal."

image Lorel Ion - Grim

"Is this man for real? He thinks he can stand up to all of us? If he is to attack us, he is dead. Goes for you also other Mage Hunter. Neither can you together stand up to all of us. Now talk! You sit here and drink tea with us? Is this some sort of joke? Also what are we waiting for? Itsuka and Velen, we can't just sit here and wait to see if another attack comes! We need to leave now. What if that squad comes back with an even larger force. We may have been able to hold them off for now. But what if there is two more, three more, or even a battalion of guards with them?"

image

Vessel had to admit she'd not been able to come up with better. Oh well his plan it was.
She got into position. Finding as many of the other's as she could.
"Ok everyone stuff's about to get pretty hot so brace yourself."

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Using her gift Scarlett eavesdropped on Vergil and the Vessel's private conversation, it was not by far the greatest plan in the world but it would suffice. She nodded politely at the Vessel as if she was hearing the information for the first time. Better not to remind everyone of her ability.

Scarlett got herself ready to move quickly. She looked at Vergil awaiting the signal.

imageVergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

Vergil saw everyone discussing the plan of escape, he had to admit, it wasn't one of his best, but with the little time available to him, he had to think of something that could potentially work. He then saw Scarlett come near him.

"I take it that The Vessel informed you of the plan, or did you just listen in on our conversation with that ability of yours? In any case, when the smoke field is up, go get Telnor, with him being blind it will be difficult for him to escape." Vergil asked her, knowing of her talent.

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Scarlett nodded. Deciding not to tell Vergil she had listened into the conversation. At least when the smoke screen went up she could use her gift to find the right direction out. She looked across at Telnor who still lay on the bench resting. She could sympathise, a little, been without sight and under the threat of danger must be a scary sensation at the very least. If he panicked at the sound of the diversion she might have to render him unconscious, it would be easier and there would be little time for explanation. Gods she hoped he wasn't heavy.

"Alright, remember, it would be better to kill them if you get the chance." Scarlett remarked about the mage hunters.

imageVergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"Whilst it would be most convenient for us to kill them, I have this strange feeling that they are important somehow, but not at this moment though. I can however, render them unconscious, it should slow them down for awhile." Vergil remarked in response.

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Scarlett didn't share Vergil's opinion in the slightest. She raised an eyebrow out of surprise and looked over at the two mage hunters discreetly, Scarlett certainly didn't see anything special in them.

"What makes you say that?"

imageVergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"I don't know, I just have this feeling that some point in the future, they will be of use to the group, but when that times is, I do not know, nor can I say how they will be useful. Until then, they are an annoyance, an annoyance that we need to remove for the moment." Vergil responded, his words sounding mysterious, as if to suggest other forces at work.

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Scarlett was not impressed with the reply from Vergil. And it showed on her face. Although now was not the time for debate, so she let the matter drop. Almost.

"What makes you think I won't kill them in all the confusion."

She was testing him.

((retracted for now.))

imageVergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"You could say that Fate has played a rather ingenious hand. It seems that they are not destined to die, neither by your hand, neither by mine, nor by anyone presently here. Regardless of how many times you try, Fate, the cruel puppet master that it is, will pull your hands away at the last moment Scarlett, for even you are bound to it, regardless of what you believe." Vergil replied to Scarlett's challenge, then chuckled to himself.

Lucian Grey - Entrance of Mo - Grim

Lucian raised the small wooden cup to his lips, letting the last trickle of sickly sweet ichor dribble down his throat. The white haired lad that he had met earlier was glaring him with disdain and spouting his aggression while the Mage Hunter drank, Lucian wasn't particularly phased by the young mages words, and even considered merely ignoring them for a while; but ultimately decided that he might as well grace the boy with an answer.

"You must forgive my associate, Vincent, he isn't the most sociable of people. I'd also ask that you do not bark orders at me; If you wish to know my intentions you merely need to ask."

Lucian placed the small wooden cup aside and shuffled his body to face the little one who had addressed him.

"As for your little situation earlier, Me and Vincent offer our blades in protection. Whoever those people that attacked you were they seemed to flee when we approached.

Lucian fell backwards, his body laying firmly against the cold cobblestone base.

"And besides, If you think I end up becoming more trouble than I'm worth, just slit my throat in my sleep." Lucian gave a short chuckle before turning his attention to the ray of light that pierced the veil of the clouds

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Scarlett looked at Vergil and smiled.

"Fate is what you decide it should be. You walk your own path in this life and fate, as you call it, is born from the consequence of your choices along the way. It only becomes the guide of your actions when you don't like the outcome and wish to rest blame beyond yourself."

Scarlett turned around and caught sight of the light breaking through the clouds. A complicated expression crossed her face.

Are you listening Sera? I made my choice a long time ago, and should I come to face it all again in the here and now, I won't hesitate to make the same decision again. No regrets. No looking back. Not ever.

Looking down at the ground she smiled to herself and walked away.

"Why don't you slit your throat now and save us all the trouble?" Scarlett remarked passing by Lucian.

Lucian Grey - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"You've good ears girl" Lucian's grin sharpened ever so slightly as the vision of a woman, a few years his senior walked past his field of view.

"Besides, why would I deprive you of the pleasure?" Lucian, amused by his own blatant disregard for his safety closed his eyes and let the rays of light that shine through the silver-grey strands of hair that masked his visage; it's warmth radiating through his very being.

image Lorel Ion - Grim

"You say that, but how do we know we can trust you. How do we know that you won't slit our throats during the night? Or have an ambush in wait for us." Lorel spoke.

Velen was surprised Lorel was taking so much control. Itsuka being a mage was inclined to side with Lorel. "Lorel," Velen spoke low enough so only Lorel could hear. "You must calm down. I won't let harm come to you. These mage hunters won't have it so easy."

"But still..."

"If it bothers you that much, we don't have to stick with them. We can just leave. We leave now and we can get going on the mountain trail before they do."

imageVergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"I guess we will leave the matter to that then, Scarlett. Thank you for that descriptive analogy." Vergil remarked, applauding Scarlett for her response, he then turned to the discussion between Lucian and Lorel.

"Dear Lucian, if it was just me that had to decide, I would have you along, for you seem like an interesting person. Unfortunately, it seems that the nature of the Mage Hunters has put you at a disadvantage. I personally bear no ill towards you, since I have seen no intentions of a threat of hostility from you or Vincent against me." Vergil started off with, bringing their attention to him.

"It is not you personally that they distrust, but the stigma of the organization that you belong to. If you belonged to some other group, they would more be likely to believe your intentions for civility and co-operation. You know how the saying goes, the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few." He added, trying to bring calmness and order to the heated debate.

imageScarlett Verneer - Battle Aftermath at Mo Entrance - Grim

Scarlett paused for a moment at Lucian's side, more often than not she took her ability for granted and failed to recognise the enormous benefit it had provided her over the long years. Saving her life too, on more than one occasion.

"I suppose I do. A gift from my mother."

Scarlett looked into Lucian's face. Something about him bothered her. Ignoring it for the moment she walked to the bench that held Telnor and helped him to his feet, whispering comforting words into his ear as motivation. Activating her gift she mapped the sound surrounding the group into a perfect map of the area. There was nothing out of the ordinary, but of course, nobody else had to know that. She was far too keen to move on.

"I can hear armour, lots of it moving this way. They must be a couple of streets away at least. We should go."

imageVergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

"Your right Scarlett, I can see them as well, thanks to my Shade's Vision. Everyone, into Mo, we have to begone before those guardsmen arrive, their about three, possibly four minutes away." Vergil remarked, sensing the oncoming soldiers, he then turned to acknowledge Lucian briefly as he prepared some bombs.

"Unfortunately Lucian, where we are going, neither you nor Vincent can accompany us to, so I'm afraid we'll have to drop the pair of you for the time being." Vergil apologised with as he threw several smoke bombs around the others, this created an obscured view which would allow them to escape hopefully.

"Now for the encore, a little sleeper hit you might say. Sadly, the cure in the tea that you drank won't save you from these." He proclaimed as he pulled out a couple of Sleeper Bombs, their dark green shells visible in the smoke. Afterwards, Vergil tossed them at Lucian, the plume of purple smoke they produced seemed to be having an effect.

image

The smoke wasn't anything worse than she'd done to herself.
"Guys you know not everyone has extra senses right." Well technically she did but none that would be useful here.
She swung out a hand trying to catch onto Vergil or Scarlet best not to say who she preferred.
"Wait." A little more desperate than she would have liked.
She grabbed onto someone. One hand on them and one on the harp.

imageVergil Crawford - Entrance of Mo - Grim

Just before Vergil left, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned round to see that it was The Vessel, she seemed slightly panicked by what has just happened.

"Its okay Vessel, its me, Vergil. Come on! We have to go!" He called to her, hoping that she responded. Vergil then grabbed her hand, and carefully lead her through the smoke field.

As the pair of them reached the gate, the guardsmen stationed there began coming at them, their weapons drawn. Vergil quickly drew one of his katanas with his free hand, he blocked a guardsmen carrying a longsword as he slashed another wielding a flail, he then finished the other guard as he and The Vessel made it through.

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