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

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Alto D'Escartes - Harold Nelehem's Estate - Grim

Alto laughed. "Quite the contradiction, aren't I? I focus on you, because you are simply out of place." Alto's eyes turned to a cold, piercing stare. "One of you reeks of the smell of impending death. Anyway, let's take this outside then shall we? I wouldn't want to interrupt your plans." Knowing full well what the consequences might be, Alto stepped outside.

Vessel (+parents) Same party.
Her father toasted slightly uneasily.
"Yes of course. I hope your ventures go well. So how did you and my daughter meat?"

Telnor-Grim- Party

"Oh you know this and that. You see someone and it just sort of all falls into place. But I am a horrible story teller. Why don't you tell them darling?"

Scarlett Verneer - Harold Nelehem's Estate - Grim

Caught in a draft, the light of the flickering torch danced across the bathroom, casting it's frail light into the otherwise damp gloom. The rotted wooden decor looked to be as old as the house itself and the peeling lime green paint that had once covered the walls had all but vanished. Scarlett Verneer reached out to the old mirror hanging on the wall above the sink and rubbed away the thick layer of dust that clung to it. She peered into the glass. Her ageing reflection looked haunted and Scarlett resigned herself to growing old once more. She could certainty feel it. Even though she was only thirty four and had yet to receive a single grey hair. Her reflexes were slowing, her mind was becoming more distracted and she was beginning to tire of life. Sooner or later she would make a vital mistake and the Red Stain would catch up to her, knives at the ready. The young blood was always eager to take her crown. Maybe this was a sign for retirement?

Scarlett looked down into the grotty sink, placing her hands down on either side and shook her head, sure maybe in Red Stain years she was getting old but her life was still in it's prime, she could take many more contracts before her talent for death was spent. Besides what would she do in retirement? Although, if she waited too long then she would be too old for children. Scarlett looked back into the mirror and caught the questioning glance of her reflection. Did she want a family? What kind of a mother would she be? Would she repeat the history of her own mother and leave a child abandoned? No, that was unfair, she had been murdered after the birth to hide the fact Scarlett hailed from noble northern blood. Then would her own past endanger the lives of her future family?

There were just too many questions right now and pushing all distracting thoughts from her mind Scarlett turned the rusted metal tap. The pipes groaned and strained with the pressure before coughing out a mirky brown liquid. Leaving it to run for a while Scarlett watched the water clear as the residue of the neglect, still trapped in the pipes, begun to wash away. Cupping her hands she splashed the cold water on her face and neck.

Not long now.

Clerk - Tabulath

"Yes, follow me." And the clerk lead the man through what was like a maze of clothing until they reached a room, full of various hats of kinds. So many in fact that they were like Snow Flakes, none are alike.

The Clerk clapped his hands. "Alright, pick which hat you want. Bring it to me and we shall work out a deal." With that he left the man alone.

That man is a Mage Hunter, I can tell. Should I tell Yias?

Lucian slivered through the labyrinthine shelves, remaining a constant two strides behind the clerk that greeted him upon entry. To his surprise the store ended up being far more extensive than he had first deduced from his quick glance through those crystal clear windows at the stores front, each winding corridor of stands and shelves littered with various attires and accessories from all different styles of make.

This place is huge!

Lucian's serpentine eyes darted to and fro as the curator pointed out the various pieces of headwear that they passed along their journey like some pretentious museum of velvet, cotton and wool. Eventually the pair came to an halt at a wall that rose high above Lucian's brow. At this dead end, fitted on small rods that jutted out like spikes, was a plethora of hats, face masks and even one or two helmets for customers to try one and purchase.

"Lets see..." Lucian vigorously rummaged through the collection, irradiated with an aura of childlike enthusiasm, only stopping every now and then to try on an item; each one more preposterous in appearance than the last, until finally a gasp filled the thick perfumed parlour.

"It's absolutely amazing!" Lucian chanted to the emotionless figure that stood at his side, obviously trying to remain as professional as possible. Grey lifted a strange black hat from the hooked wall and rested it aloft his silver strands. Moving swiftly to the mirror he had passed on their journey to his prize, and with clerk in pursuit, he made a few quick poses ranging from the absurd to the downright stupid.

"I'll take it!" He chimed before removing his soon to be acquired headpiece. The hat was, for all intensive purposes, hideous. It looked as if a taller (more impressive) hat hand been taken and crushed in a vice with uneven ripples of fabric rising from the cap. The brim was fairly wide; enough to hide ones eye's if pulled low, and at its peak; it donned a long ribbon-like accessory seamlessly stitched into it's design that fell behind the wearer.

Vergil Crawford/Dante Moreau - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Vergil lowered his sabre and proceeded to follow Alto, Sera, and Tear out into the gardens at the back of the estate. After he made sure Sera and Tear were somewhere safe in the gardens, he returned to face Alto, who had his blades drawn and adopted a fighting stance that matched his personality and weaponry. He thought to himself 'Dual blade stance, this will be interesting, but no matter, I can match'. He then pulled the dagger from his right boot and proceeded to sharpen his sabre with it. After this he called out to his opponent.

"Your quarry is with me Mage! The ladies have nothing to do with it, after all, you spent so much time focusing on me." He shouted towards Alto, catching his attention in the process. He then raised his sabre and pointed it towards Alto, reorganizing his foot positioning to help distribute speed and power to both weapons, and making sure that his hidden wrist blade was covered by the fabric of his suit and trench coat.

Darling? Good job him. Her parents wouldn't be happy at all. Unfortunately they hid it well.
"I feel like taking a walk. The gardens here are something else,
.. so romantic." They wouldn't like that either.

Alto - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

"Really? Somehow I very much doubt that." Alto remarked. "But your right, you are the one I want."

Alto stepped forward and unsheathed both his swords, they glistened in the pale moonlight as he swung, arcing downwards at Vergil's head.

Vergil managed to block both blades with his sabre. He then swiftly applied a kick to Alto's abdomen, knocking him back, but still standing. Vergil then rushed to try and cut Alto with a sideswipe with his sabre.

Alto - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Alto vanished in a cloud of smoke. The blade cut through a haze of mist in his absence and for a moment Vergil swung too far and lost a little balance. Teleporting behind Vergil Alto reappeared and applied a hard kick to his back, knocking Vergil forward.

"Is this all? I expected, well more, I must say!" He smiled. "How disappointing."

Thrusting forward with one blade, the other ready to defend, Alto aimed to skewer Vergil on the outstretched steel sword.

Vergil gently rolled along the floor, he managed to quickly turn around and block the oncoming sword thrust.

"Clever boy!" Vergil smirked. "Using your abilities for tactical advantage, but try this!". Whilst distracting Alto with the compliment, he gave him a quick cut across Alto's left shin with his dagger.

Alto - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Alto cried out into the night as the blade swept across his left shin and drew blood. Kneeling down he gritted his teeth and closed his eyes for a moment. The air around him grew darker with hues of deep purple rippling through like water. A smile widening across his face Alto unleashed his magic and a circle of eight shadowy figures appeared around Vergil, Alto disguised as one.

"Nice try boy! But you forget I possess abilities of my own!" Vergil called out to the doppelgängers. He then engaged Hidden Sight, so he could distinguished the real Alto from the forgeries. He sensed a blade from behind him and quickly struck the figure in the chest with his sabre, preparing his dagger for the counter-attack.

Sera - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Sera reached out and grabbed Tears shoulder to stop her from interfering. Surprised by the use of ancient magic she was confident Vergil could overcome his opponent.

"Stay back Tear, this is something Vergil must do on his own."

Alto - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Alto leapt back narrowly missing a strike to the stomach and unleashed a flurry of forward blows one after another forcing Vergil to retreat, they came from all angles with no pattern ever repeated twice. Finally he dropped to his knees and swept inwards with both blades at Vergil's ankles.

Vergil Crawford/Dante Moreau - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Vergil leapt over the blades aimed for his ankles, both of them narrowly being hit in the process. He then began swinging his sabre left and right in different patterns to try a find a hole in Alto's defences, it was then that their swords clashed, placing the two opponents in a sword lock.

Alto - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Alto pushed forward until his face met Vergil's, blocked only by the crossed blades, and sneered. "How did you know which one I was?"

Leaping back he reformed his stance and raised the two blades, awaiting an answer.

Vergil Crawford/Dante Moreau - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate

Before he replied, Vergil gave a slight chuckle.

"Simple really, I possess an ability that allows for enhanced sight. It is an essential tool for my true vocation. You had made one fatal error, I sensed you raising your sword behind my back. If you were trying to deceive me with that parlour trick, you would have me believe that all of you were about to strike".

He then kicked Alto's wounded leg, causing him to topple and drop the sword in his left arm. As he walked over, he kicked the sword further out of Alto's reach.

Sera - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate

Alto roared with laughter as Vergil kicked his sword out of reach. "Oh Dante, I think you will find it is you who has made the fatal error."

Alto rolled back bearing the pain of his wounded leg and summoned the darkness before him. It grew and grew into the shape of a giant man. Sera stopped smiling. The shadow figure grew to twelve feet tall before Vergil and slammed it's right fist into the ground with such a force that it shook Vergil off his feet. Reaching up it prepared for another strike as Vergil rolled back, narrowly dodging the falling fist. Scrambling to his feet he retreated a few paces and watched the giant man lumber towards him. Sera suddenly realised what was happening, if she didn't act now they all would die.

"Tear, now!" she screamed.

Tear drew her blades and sprinted towards the giant shape of a man, launching herself at it's neck she slashed out but fell through the darkness bound into the form and crashed into the soft grass behind it. Right next to Alto. Alto dismissed her with a wave of his hand and Tear felt the full force of the wall of darkness that hit her and sent her dazed body spinning away like a rag doll. Sera stepped forward raising her left hand, fingers outstretched. Summoning her strength she let out her sunbeam magic, a bream of bright, burning light that shot out of her palm and through the giant shadow mans torso and into the dark night beyond it. The shadowy figure reeled with the incredible light and broke down into a thick sludge on the grass.

"Vergil." Screamed Sera. "He's using a rare form of advanced tier shadow magic, he won't tire, he's using the darkness of the night to replenish his energy!" She paused. "When I strike, so must you!"

Sera couldn't believe what she was seeing. Alto would be unstoppable, utilising the darkness of the night he had limitless power, with this power he could teleport across an entire city district in seconds, he might even be able to do it across every district and travel the full length of the city!

Moving her arm to Alto she fired the beam of light directly at him and watched as he raised a dark shield before him. Sera smirked. He was straining to hold back the force of the light, he might have unlimited energy but if he didn't know how to counter her attack it would be useless. He didn't and Alto was now trapped. If he moved to block Vergil's attack his concentration would falter and she would vaporise him like his giant guardian. If he didn't and held his shield, ignoring Vergil, then he would be hit by Vergil's strike. It was an impossible choice.

Sera felt her whole body weaken, she couldn't maintain this beam for long. Maybe a minute or less before she collapsed out of exhaustion. Vergil would have to act fast. Very fast.

Vergil Crawford/Dante Moreau - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Realising the very small opportunity he had to strike, Vergil quickly spun round and leapt at Alto like a feral beast. As he reached him, Vergil gave his left hand a slight pull causing the hidden blade to engage, he knelt and stretched his arm out, causing the blade to go straight into Alto's heart. He roared with a smile as he said:


The energy from the resulting explosion caused Vergil's sabre to shatter, leaving him with only the hand guard and a small piece of the blade remaining in his hand as he flew backwards slamming into a nearby wall. He briefly looked at his hidden blade, fortunately it had only suffered minor damage, and was still in operational condition.

Alto - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate

The blade pierced his heart and Alto summoned the last of his magic to live a few seconds more to speak to Dante.

"She's like me Dante, a mere weapon, only..."

Alto closed his eyes and found the light blinding. Death embraced him and he passed from this realm with the last words of Vergil echoing in his mind.

Sera - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate

Sera stopped her magic the second Vergil was in range, for fear of killing him, and fell to her knees in the grass. She was exhausted and would need to recover some of her energy if she was to fight Scarlett in a few hours. Raising her head and panting she looked out into the dark for Tear. Failing to see the shape of anyone lying in the grass she forced herself up and walked slowly to Vergil's side before searching for her.

"He's dead then. Good." She paused catching her breath. "Help me find Tear."

Vergil Crawford/Dante Moreau - Ruined Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate

As he saw Sera walk towards him, he got up with little effort. After briefly dusting himself down, he replied.

"Certainly, Sera, wouldn't want a pretty thing like her die in vain."

He then activated Hidden Sight, and scanned the surroundings, seeing through the smoke he could make out a shape that matched Tear's.

"Over there." He shouted, pointing towards a pillar.

Clerk - Tabulath

This man sure had some, interesting taste...

"Alright, that hate shouldn't be too much. 15 Kiel? That should be easy to afford." The man spoke.

I don't think he noticed that Yias is a mage or that boy. So let's help him get going...

Sera - Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate

Tear emerged through the dark as Sera and Vergil arrived at the pillar. She looked a little dazed and confused but seemed on the whole alright. Sera sighed and turned to Vergil.

"We must get back to the house, we have wasted enough time out here. Come on, we should get in position."

With that she strode away, Tear following behind.

Vergil Crawford - Ruined Garden's of Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

"Certainly Sera, just give me a moment". He called to the two as he made his way to Alto. He knelt down next to the body, arcs of shadowy energy criss crossing across his lifeless body, and stared into those silvery eyes of his.

'What did you mean by 'She is a mere weapon, only...' could you have been referring to Sera? After all, she exhibited the same level of power as you in those final moments. I shall have to keep my eye on her, see if she does anything dangerous'. Vergil asked the corpse, he then noticed the two blades that Alto had been wielding throughout the fight. They were twin katanas, their blades made of a silver coloured metal of foreign origin, and the handles were a mixture of wood, metal, and leather. Set amongst both of the handles were purple coloured gemstones.

He picked them up, and struck with them several times to test their strength and speed.

"Perfect!. He remarked, 'These will serve as replacements for my sabre... but they will also act as a reminder of you', Vergil looking at the body as he thought this, commemorating Alto for his skill and prowess in battle.

"Requiescat in pace, amico." He quietly told the lifeless body as he made his way back to the house.

Sera - Harold Nehelem's Estate

Sera walked Tear back into the ballroom and signalled Vergil to wait outside in the corridor for her. Looking down at Tear she smiled.

"Are you ready?"

Tear nodded. Sera turned and walked out of the ballroom to Vergil. Stopping only to raise a magic seal on the door, it slammed shut glowing a fierce red with black symbols, as did every other door leading to the ballroom.

"Come Vergil, we will take the servants passages upstairs."

Vergil Crawford - Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

"Certainly". Vergil replied with as he followed Sera behind up the stairs.

Sera - Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Harold Nehelem's room was grand and ornate, Sera and Vergil slipped in quietly through the door and checked the room. The sound of running water indicated that Harold himself was taking his ritual bath before he would retire to bed. Sera turned to Vergil and cast a silence magic on him. Now Scarlett's ability would be useless and he could move unhindered. Sera pointed to the wardrobe and turned to face the bathroom. She took a deep breath and pushed open the door much to the surprise of Harold.

"Who... who are you?"

Sera reached out with her left hand and clicked her fingers, Harold grabbed his neck as water slipped from his mouth. He began to scramble from the bath but the water never stopped coming and he drowned, slipping under the bathwater as the water continued to pour from his mouth. Satisfied Sera closed the bathroom door and waited for Scarlett.

Vergil Crawford - Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Vergil silently nodded as he understood what Sera wanted him to do, he made his way to the wardrobe, where he climbed in. Just as he closed the door, he saw Harold succumbing to Sera's magic, and drowning in the bath water.

Telnor smiled and put his arm around Vessel's waist.

"Why that sounds like a great idea dear. Maybe find a place a little bit more,"he shoot a sly grin at Vessel's parents, "private."

He lead Vessel out the door and into the gardens. Telnor looked around before removing his arm and laughed. "That was hilarious! The look on their faces was priceless!!!" Telnor laughed as all of a sudden an explosion rocked the gardens. He raced around the corner and dived into a bush. Looking around he saw a body laying on the ground with three people leaving the scene. Quietly he trailed them back into the ballroom. He quietly followed them through the crowd and slowly moved towards the door they exited. He raced to the door and got there just as it closed. He tried to open but it was sealed shut. He shook the door trying to force it open.

"Damn it!!!!"

Tear - Harold Nehelem's Estate - Grim

Tear stood in the ballroom and watched Sera's magic seal all the doors, the noble elite fell silent before panic erupted as they rushed to find an exit. Ripping off the bottom of her dress Tear drew both her swords and got to work. A pupil of dance her fighting style was elegant and graceful but no less deadly. Screams filled the air as she began cutting her way through the nobles. She had memorised a list of faces Sera had given her earlier and killed her targets with ease, slaughtering all those around them to disguise it. Those who resisted, the nobles who had brought swords and a few guards trapped in the room, put up little resistance to Tear's blades. A nobleman at the far end of room used a wave of air magic to blast a hole in the wall and those nearby fled in terror. Tear stood watching the cowards run, she had done her work and fled the scene to hide in the garden and await Sera.

Telnor dropped to the ground as a woman started to kill the guests. Realizing that he was not in a position to beat her. There was too many people around to confront directly. So he played possum and laid low. Waiting until she had left the room he trailed her out into the garden. However he lost her just as he got out there. Drawing his sword he started to look around, however there was too many tracks too follow where she had run off to. He started to look around and started to look into the bushes.

imageLucian Grey - Tabulath

"15 Kiel, for this masterpiece? This must be my lucky day!"
Lucian slipped his freehand behind his back, reaching for a small apocrathy satchel attached firmly to the belt of black and steel that was fastened firmly around his waist. A quizzical expression crept across his features as the Mage hunter rummaged thoroughly through the tiny depths of that bag before withdrawing with prize in hand, A small sack that jingled within his grasp.

"2...3...6...9...11...15." Murmured the black clad figure as he slipped coins of gold from the brown pounce into a well made in the cusp of his other hand. Lucian's eye's, now hidden beneath the brim of his headwear began scanning the still figure of the store clerk, He was tense, uncomfortable.. Afraid?

"There we go... I thank you for your time and patronage!" Lucian chirped as he dropped the small pile of coins into the shallow recess of a hat adjacent to him before turning on his heel and retracing the path he used to traverse through this maze of a store. A short time passed and before Lucian knew it he was, once again, out on those rain drenched streets of Tabulath. The only soul keeping him company, the lone hooded lad standing aimlessly in the rain.

"Mage Boy..." He let the words hang in the cold midnight winds before placing a hand on the boys shoulder.

"You'd best head in or risk catching a cold in this shower." His jovial tone echoing through words, a perfect match for the wide grin drawn on his pale features. With that passing comment he sauntered to his steed and took mount.

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