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

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"I'll need to get her out the way I came in, nothing else I can really do.
You however, well I think you've earned whatever's down there, getting out I'm not so sure about but I'm pretty sure not even champions would be dumb enough to build a secret underground thing without a way out.
And anyway someone with your skills should be able to improvise.
Now this girl could die if I don't do exactly what I'm doing now.
I've got to go."
He starts carrying Julie away on his back, the champions are already mostly scattered. So they don't bother him.

image Local Champions Base (Courtyard/Underground Storeroom) - Tinsdal

"Right, make sure she is taken somewhere safe. If she comes to harm, its on your head got it." Vergil said in an attempt at being threatening. He then clambered down into the underground complex, as he watched the mysterious man carry Julie away. The room itself appeared to be fairly spacious, and rather dark, with Vergil being able to only make out the details of a room in a near vicinity. From what he could hear, there was sound of water flowing nearby.

Must be a waterway nearby, which probably means that there is a boat as well. That must be my means of escape then. Vergil thought to himself, as he lit a nearby torch, which brightened up the room a little. With this new light source, more of the room was viewable. He could see another chest at the other end of the room.

On it was a new sequence: 1 1 2 3 5, with five blank spaces after that. Another code locked chest it seems. I'll open it once I get back to the mansion, the Vessel will probably want to see this as well. Vergil told himself, as he noticed a grappling hook laying on the table next to him, along with a few pouches of Kiel.

"Might as well take a little something for myself. That grappling hook may come in useful." Vergil said to no one, as he picked up the pouches, stuffing them into his pockets, and attaching the grappling hook to his waist. He then picked up the chest, and followed the sound of the water, whereupon, he found a small boat, more than big enough to carry himself and the chest. He clambered aboard, placing the chest in front of him for balance. Vergil then cast off, and floated his way back.

image
Vincent - Inn - Hollow's Peak

"Now now Lucian, is that anyway to say hello to a friend?" Vincent smiled from the shadows of his seat. Vincent managed to straighten up and clasp his hands together and rest his elbows on the table's edge before looking at Lucian again. It was clear to see even in the dark, that Vincent had lost a fair amount of blood, yet his eyes remained their cold dark red.

"I was doing my duty as you should have been. There was a mage here Lucian, a powerful one. He was at least an advanced tier 2. I'm damn lucky, if I do say so myself." Vincent grinned, his arm that sat in a sling was torn and it now hung limply from his side. Blood trickled down from his left nostril, and there was a fresh cut that stretched across his right cheek.

The grin left Vincent's face just as quickly as it had come, "They killed him. That bastard killed one of the younger children here Lucian. It goes to show Magi have no sense of justice or of what is right or wrong. I was watching it when they split that child in half. That fat bastard of a crime-lord sat there chuckling as his puppet used his magic to cut the child clean in half. I was in the crowd that had gathered to watch this boy plea for his life, just biding my time until I could strike swiftly and quietly. That's when the boy came in, or more correctly, was dragged in. The guards threw him on the ground at the Crime Lords feet, holding him down with the tips of their swords. As he begged and pleaded with the Lord, the Magi came out from a room behind the throne. Both hands swirled with his devilish magic, and before I could lose a bolt, a pillar of darkness shot out of the ground and pulled the child apart and threw his body-parts across the room. I loosed my bolt in the next second, it flew straight, managing to strike the Magi in his left shoulder, and before he had time to react I had notched another and fired that as well. This next one managed to graze his left cheek, giving me and him opposite-matching scars." Vincent said, pointing with his good arm to the large cut on his cheek.

"It was chaos right after that. The Magi conjured a wall of shadows from all corners of the room and blocked him and the Crime Lord from my sight before I could let loose with another bolt. Then the time for my crossbow was over. I drew my blade and stashed my crossbow away as the guards came into the room. I thought at first I'd be able to handle them, but that was before the sorcery came again. Chunks of ice shot out from the shadows of the room, and tendrils of shadow lunged forth to try and stumble me into the path of a guards sword or an icicle. The first icicle caught me off guard, as did the second. Both striking me in a tender spots." Vincent said, motioning to his face and his limp arm. Vincent's eyes were clouded over, as if he was there in the Crime Lords manor once again, surrounded by the Crime Lords' dogs and dodging the icicles that would have surely murdered an untrained man.

"It was by chance that I managed to escape at all. The Magi's icicles managed to thin out most of the other guests, leaving me a large gap through which I could run for the door. The only man that dared stand in my way found himself with half a body laying on either side of the door. I split him from the groin up. Then I ran. I finally ended up here, but you must swear to me now that we will go after that Magi. Swear to me Lucian, and uphold your oath as a hunter." Vincent said, his eyes snapping back to focus on Lucian. His eyes darkened another shade, his bright red eyes glinting eerily in the dim light of the tavern.

Vincent had only barely given the women who had followed Lucian in a swift nod. Barely acknowledging her presence, given the much more pressing matters at hand. Blood dripped down from Vincent's limp arm, dripping on the floor to form a puddle about six inches across.

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

Gritting her teeth she tried to hide the irritation in her voice. "Look. Girl. Let's get to where we are going and I'll tell you all you want to know."

Vessel
"Ok."
Coconut reared up and started to gallop off.
It didn't take them long to draw up to the deans mansion, they came up to a bridge over a river.
"You recon I could jump it?"

image The Dean's Mansion - Tinsdal

It took him awhile to navigate the twisting bends of the waterways underneath, but Vergil could finally see the sunlight of the distract, as he passed underneath one of the districts famous 'Bridges of Trust'; how they got that name he was unsure about. Vergil could clearly see the Dean's Mansion a short distance away, and carefully turned his sail boat towards it direction, making sure that he didn't spill any of his precious cargo.

With a strong breeze blowing behind him, Vergil soon made port at the Gardens of the mansion, and began docking procedure, when a maid had arrived to greet him.

"Welcome back sir. It is a pleasure to see you again. Pardon me for asking, but where did you acquire such a craft?" She asked with a curious look on her face, confused as to where Vergil could have gotten the boat.

"A long story I'm afraid." Vergil replied, as he disembarked from the boat, carrying the chest in his arms.

"You couldn't do me a favour, and prepare a pot of tea or something please? And possibly a bottle of wine as well. Decoding this chest is going to take some work."

"Certainly sir." The maid replied with, as she walked off. Vergil then carried the chest over to an enclosed area, and set the chest, along with his other treasures. Before beginning work on the chest, he stopped an thought to himself.

"I hope Julie is alright."

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

She looked skeptical. There was little chance the shire horse could jump that gap, it was not that kind of a horse.

"No."

After what seemed like an eternity Telnor finally stood up and turned to Rac.

"So what do we do next. I mean how do I get out of here? Not to be mean or anything but I cant stay here. I don't belong," Telnor asked.

"That's what we need to figure out. We need to lock up the one called Gelm. We can't kill as that would hurt you. So we called a symposium of the mind. Every single being in your mind will be there. There are some that are usually uncooperative but Gelm is a threat to all of us. If he takes full control we all die. Including you."

"Where did he come from. I know he is another part of me but I still don't understand much about him."

"Gelm is your mirror. When you encountered tragic events in your life he started to form. After the incident with your faction he became fully formed. He contains parts of many negative emotions. Your violence, hate, anger and desire for revenge primarily fueled him until he formed his own beings of those. They have their own realms and their own area that we can not access them by ourselves. They form the cornerstones of his being and if they are killed Gelm should be defeated or at least weakened enough to let you take control back. But we don't think you can beat him by yourself. So we are all going to lend you your power. Thats what the symposium is for."

Telnor sat down against the wall. "Are you sure thats the only way? To be honest I'm tired. It could be so easy to give up. To let someone bear the responsibility for a while."

Rac smiled kindly at Telnor. "Please even if you feel that way come to the Symposium. Maybe we can convince you differently."

Telnor looked up and nodded. Rac just smiled and spread her arms wide open as light seemed to surrounded the two of them. Slowly the cave disappeared and was replaced with a large room full of people sitting down in front of Telnor.

"These are all the beings the comprise your being. Each of them have their own lives, their own relationships. Their own homes. Maybe we don't exist in your world but we sure do here. Are you going to let of all them die? That would be the same as killing your world if you had the chance to stop it," Rac excalimed. Telnor just turned away from the beings that were there.

"Just what I thought. Hes a coward. We all know that the day he ran away," a short, stocky man stood up, yet despite his miniature stature his presence covered the entire world. "He never listens to me. The being of Stubbornness. I should be the one who you should all give your power to."

And with that the whole room broke out into yelling and pandemonium. Each being claiming that they should be the one to get the power. Telnor looked up and around the room. Each being may have been a different emotion but they all shared one thing in common. Fear. Fear of no longer existing. It was then that Telnor realized what he had to.

"I'll do it. I will fight Gelm. He won't get the best of me!" Telnor declared. To the side Rac smiled. She knew that Telnor seeing everyone afraid like this would bring him to action. This being that kindness was one of his greatest emotions.

"Very well Telnor. If we all give you our power than you should be able to defeat Gelm. Everyone. Join together. This may take a while Telnor so be patient." Rac lifted her arms, as did every being there and a tornado of light surrounded Telnor as the beings began to join Telnor.

Tinsdal- Prision- Gelm

Gelm rolled off his bed and started to do push-ups. He didn't know how long it may take for someone to rescue him so he had to do it on his own. And he had to be in good shape to do that. He was in here for the long haul.

image Lucian Grey - Hollow's Peak - Red Stain Den

Half embracing the obscura of that dank, smoky den of pestilence and despair, lay the black clad hunter, his body slumped aback the course wooden pews of creaking mahogany, his tuffs of midnight fur drenched and dripping with an ichors of a deep crimson and fury filled eyes of the same hue. As Lucian queried and adopted the seat opposite him, his snow crowned companion began regaling the brutal and bloody tale that had befallen him on his trip through Hollow's unattended, his every word saturated with a rage just barely contained to the tip of his tongue.

As Vincent continued to narrate, his broken husk of a body became ever more animate, the muscles of his arms and torso began to flex and contract, bringing his body out of the darkness and upright, his visage a pure avatar of vengeance and unbridled hate, and Lucian growing ever more weary.

"Swear to me now that we will go after that Magi. Swear to me Lucian, and uphold your oath as a hunter."

Lucians stomach began to turn with the young man's query. There was often a reason the grey maned Ragusin refused the work with other Hunters; that damnable oath; a chain of commands and tenets to which each predator of magic was bound. Normally, Lucian would simply follow his whims; his morbid and insatiable curiosity allowing him to deliver the final judgement on his ordained prey. However with the shackles of a partner he would risk not his own life, but the others to which he was bound, with his disobedience.

"I fear this Magi may not be our only source of woe." retorted the hunter, his feeble attempt at avoiding a promise.

"Your carelessness and callousness has likely brought us more attention than we could have hoped to desire. Not to mention the fact you've gone and gotten yourself shredded by what probably stands as the local militia." Lucian furrowed his brow, his thumb and forefinger pressed on the creases of his foreheads while giving Verena a passing glance.

"We will leave for Tinsdal to complete our mission, but I need to return here before we depart south. I promise, the moment we walk through the gates of Hollow's Peak we will address this mage with the might of the Flame Crossers"

image
Vincent - Hollow's Peak - Red Stain Den

Vincent was about to snap something in return, but quickly bit his tongue to avoid an argument with Lucian. It was a simple thing, if Lucian refused to aid Vincent on the return to the Middle Districts, then Vincent would simply have to go after this Magi when he was fully functioning and his arm was healed. Mage Hunters never did get along well, so why the Council decided to pair Lucian and Vincent together was a mystery to him. Then again, everything the Council does was a mystery to Vincent and most other Hunters below the Ragusin. Vincent stood up quickly and nodded, throwing a backwards glance to Lucian and his companion:

"I'll be bandaging my wounds, meet at the Northern Gate when you're ready." Vincent said coolly before pushing open the door and stepping out into the night air. Vincent looked around to make sure he wasn't being followed before darting off into one of the side alleys, making his way to the Northern Gate in less than twenty minutes. The gate seemed quite, standing open and beckoning Vincent to continue into the next district, but Vincent ignored the urge. Instead, he began to bandage himself up and put poultices on his more serious wounds. Once that was finished Vincent allowed himself a few moments of rest, some time to close his eyes and reflect on the happenings of Hollow's Peak.

I was too rash. I lost my focus and allowed myself to be taken over by feelings of anger and revenge. I cannot allow for this to happen again, I must refocus my thoughts on what truly matters. We must find the thief first, and then I will return here to tie up loose ends for the Hunters. Mission takes priority, just as it always has.

Vincent exhaled, letting the cool night air of the North fill his lungs and calm his racing heart. It was no use getting anxious over a fight he had lost, it had been a foolish cause from the beginning, and he had allowed his emotions to cloud his judgement. To act without a plan was a fools way to die, and Vincent had no intention of dying. Not yet. Not until he found out who he was and why he had been left laying in the sand of Lake Foel.

"Well then maybe you shouldn't have accepted the lift.
On coconut!"

The beast put on a burst of speed not often seen in the breed.
It flet like the jump took ages, that weird feeling of weightlessness and fear all before being smashed into the ground on the other side. The shock jolted them back into normal tempo.

"Told you it was possible."

One of the guards clapped.

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

She watched, arms folded, confident of the outcome, as the annoying girl on the horse jumped the river. A feat she should have failed. That kind of horse had never been known for agility, or anything beyond strength, and would never be chosen for such a task. She gritted her teeth, feeling the irritation inside, and turned her attention to the amused guard clapping at the achievement. At least he seemed amused. She glared a look of 'haven't you got anything better to do' watching the features on his face fall to a serious look before nodding in greeting and returning to the deserted post. She looked back at the girl and forced a smile.

"Fine. Can we go now?"

Veiled in darkness, the looming estate of the Dean was nauseating, arrogance and wealth hiding in the night. She hated the world of these people. The lies of wealth and power had grown out of hand over the recent decades, and despite the Deans good reputation, she hated him even more. The innocent always had something to hide. Something good.

She smiled walking across the bridge. Kalyn Vaalender had died here. Finally. Still, he had sent the signal, and that could only mean bad things where on the horizon. Her smile faded.

"Well?" She called to the girl.

"I think a few friends of mine are there. They should be back here soon enough. In fact who knows, it took us long enough. You might even already know one of them after a fashion at least."
She was by the doors talking to one of the guards again.
"Have Vergil and Julie returned?"
"There was a man back here recently. I can show you the way if you'd like."

"Sure" later
The Vessel entered the room Vergil had been based in.
"How did it go?"

image The Dean's Mansion - Tinsdal

Vergil had been tinkering with the chest, when a familiar face walked through the door.

"How did it go?" The Vessel asked.

"Ah, welcome back Vessel, it is good to see you. The recon mission went well enough as expected. Whilst we had made a stealthy entrance, the exit strategy was less than quiet. A section of the building roof collapsed, plunging Julie into darkness. I had managed to pull her out from underneath the rubble, but she was rather unconscious. There was a another person at the base as well."

"If I can recall, he was wearing a white cloak, and proclaimed to be a healer and a preacher. He had obtained another flintlock pistol, giving it to me. Whilst he has taken Julie some place safe, I got to explore a underground complex, finding some rather nice treasure; mainly another metal chest, some pouches with Kiel, and a grappling hook." Vergil remarked, showing off his treasure hall. He continued to work on the chest, when he noticed a face he did not expect to see.

"Oh, hello Katelyn. Surprised you managed to escape confinement so soon. Then again, someone of your abilities, I'd imagine it wasn't too difficult. Relax, I'm not going to call the guard. Why don't you two ladies sit down, and enjoy a cup of tea."

"You left Julie alone and unconscious with a stranger you met in a champion's base!?"

image The Dean's Mansion - Tinsdal

"You do know, that if she didn't get immediate medical attention, there was a high possibility that she could of died there. I should of mentioned that the injuries were rather severe, I was surprised that she was even still breathing after being crushed underneath the rubble." Vergil remarked with sincerity. He then got up from the table.

"I couldn't leave without the chest, knowing that it could help us. The documents inside will help you a lot more than they will with me. Sometimes, you have to take a blind leap of faith, not knowing the outcome. You'll be glad to know, that I can still sense her aura, which means she is still alive. Unfortunately, I cannot get a precise location of her." Vergil finished saying. He then went back to the chest, and input the final digits.

"8, 13, 21, 34, 55. There you go." Vergil said, as he sat down, and opened the chest door.

"Go ahead, take a look. You know, both me and Julie, we were doing this for you. We each said, that we would do anything for you."

image Lucian Grey - Hollow's Peak - Red Stain Den

Lucian watched with a worrying eye as the hot blooded hunter arose from his table and stormed free of this wallowing pit of depravity, Lucian's pseudo-promise doing nothing to quench the flame burning inside that bruised and beaten body. Even now the golden eyed mage slayer wondered why he had be tagged along with such a person, maybe it was punishment? Or maybe the council had hoped he'd teach the lad something he hadn't already learnt himself?

"Well he's the charming sort..." Verena quipped dryly as she adopted the seat where his companion had rested moments earlier, making very sure to avoid the tiny pools of blood that had flooded the underside of the table.

"Yeah, angry, violent and armed. Everything you need on a covert mission." Lucian remarked, the sarcasm rich in his voice. He leaned backwards against the shoddy excuse for wooden chairs and let a smile creep to the corners of his lips.

"Lucian, I promise we'll try and keep this info about the attack as contained as possible, but it is going to catch up to you and it'll just get worse the further into the North you go."

"I know, but at least it'll be entertaining when it does come to bite us in the arse." Lucian assured, his infinite confidence returning to the surface of his entire visage.

"Whatever the case, I'd best be after him. Who knows who he might end up attacking next... It was good seeing both of you. I promise my next visit won't be as long." Lucian removed himself from that dingy table, gave his young friend a warm hug and strolled out the door, his pursuit to Tinsdal finally beginning.

Vessel

She didn't really know how to react.
"Ok that's something. I'm sure she'll handle herself, when she wakes up at least."
Clearly she didn't believe it. Not that she hadn't tried of course it was just events recently had her more on edge than she'd like to admit.

She tried immersing herself in the notes.
But that only made things worse.

Frantic double and triple checking later...

"Ok, not a plague, not entirely a plague, well not just one, well...
A gas."

She took a while to compose herself.
"A gas that carries a plague."

image The Dean's Mansion - Tinsdal

Vergil sat back, and watched as the Vessel poured over the notes with great interest. Then, she announced that it was a gas that carried a plague, after regaining her composure on such a discovery.

"What kind of plague is it?"

"I can't be sure, but it's bad.
Very bad if the champions really have this...
Looking at the notes there's probably only one more set, I don't think I can create a cure or if it's even possible but we need to do this as soon as we can.
There's one other thing here, a picture. Of an old looking man, with an address on the back.
I recon it's the best lead we've got."

image The Dean's Mansion - Tinsdal

"Its good that we actually have a lead on this one. If it is a residential address, chances are that there won't be much security; which will make getting at the chest easier. We may also want to talk to this man, if he is still alive, see if he knows anything more specific."

Vergil got up from the chair, picking up his pistols and grappling hook. He was just about to leave the room, when he turned to the two women.

"Are you two coming then?"

image
Vincent - Hollow's Peak - Gate to Rosenvalle

Vincent saw Lucian approaching, and stood up, swaying a bit to the left before finally managing to right himself and put his right hand in his cloak pocket. His left arm was tight in it's sling, and his left leg was bandaged rather heavily. Vincent's cheek was left un-bandaged, but Vincent had cleaned it. Both weapons Vincent usually carried were stowed away either on his pack or at his belt so he could easily reach it with his good arm. Vincent gave a small nod to Lucian as he approached, before turning to face the gate.

"We should move, the Magi will be long ahead of us by now." Vincent said, starting forward into Rosenvalle, finally leaving Hollow's Peak behind him.

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

Plague? She tried to picture the map, the room, the lines, the little bits of red twine connecting the dots. Nothing. Nothing connected the Champions to anything of this sort. Had the focus on the Warfleet blinded them? Katelyn was sure that, somewhere, the Overwatch might have some information on this gas, after all, she had seen the research about delivery methods herself. The test victims too. She had no intention of revealing anything. Especially now. The focus tracking the warfleet had used all the resource under Overwatches command and they had no time to be distracted now. Besides, a Plague might be crafted into a viable weapon if she could return a sample. She decided to go along and see what turned up.

"Sure. Let's hope it doesn't rain eh?"

She couldn't help the remark, or the wide mocking smile, it was just so funny, at least to her. She was sure nobody would get the remark.

"Ok then we need to get a move on."
Getting a move on later
"Didn't expect this."
Sun stone nursing home
"So this makes things interesting, what exactly do we do about this?"

image Sun Stone Nursing Home - Tinsdal

"First things first, we should probably conceal what weapons we can. After all, we don't want to be scaring the poor guy. Sometimes showing a friendly demeanour, will get them to loosen their tounge a little; gaining more information in the process." Vergil remarked, as he took off his crossbow and coat, and slid his swords into two straps at the back of the coat.

Thanks to how the coat was made, when he put the coat back on, the sword blended in seamlessly. Fortunately, he wouldn't have to follow the same process with the pistols, since due to their size, they wouldn't be seen as easy about his person. The crossbow on the other hand, Vergil would have to hand that in. Whilst hiding the grappling hook would be difficult, it wasn't impossible.

Katelyn Verneer - Sun Stone Nursing Home - Tinsdal

Kate looked at the building standing before them, Sun Stone Nursing Home looked old and unlikely to provide a solid lead into the plague. She turned back to the other two who seemed to share her skepticism.

'So this makes things interesting, what exactly do we do about this?' The young girl remarked out loud.

'Well. We go in I suppose.' She ignored what the man was saying.

Katelyn walked forward and pushed open the door, a nurse raised her head at the new arrvial and inspected her.

'No weapons'

'Excuse me?'

'Your weapon. You'll have to hand it in.'

Kate removed her mechanic bow and placed it gently on the desk before the nurse. She hoped there was no check for hidden weapons. The nurse took the bow and handed it to another nurse, who placed it in a room behind them.

'Can I help you?'

"So who are you here to see?"

The nurse at the counter asked.
The Vessel responded.

"We're here to see a relative of mine." She handed over the picture.

"I didn't realise he even had any relatives left, he says most people he knows are dead."

"Weird he didn't mention me; then again I guess his memory is going.
But I'm here to play for him."
She drew her harp.

"A harpist? Really? Well I hope he likes it. Maybe after your done we could do something."
"Well you'll have to show me too him first."

"Oh of course." The nurse looked a little embarrassed.

Corridors later

The nurse opened a door, it was heavily locked more so than the other rooms.
"You can have about an hour, after that he'll probably want to sleep. He gets weary a lot these days.
And maybe after that we can get lunch." She smiled riley.

"Who knows, now if you'll excuse me I should play for him."

"Ok." The nurse left sheepishly.
Inside the room was pretty much bare, in the central chair was dumped an old man with more scars than you could count. He looks like he barely even moved anymore.
His head turned slightly with geological speed before fixing unblinking eyes on the vessel.

"A woman? Then you can't be my deathless spectre at least. I'll see another sunset, it would seem."
The words slopped out with little sense of speed or order, only acceptance.

"Then what brings you here? To a man forgotten even by his own. You hardly look like the sort to deal with champions."

image Sun Stone Nursing Home - Tinsdal

Vergil had followed the Vessel and Katelyn into the retirement home behind them, after handing over his crossbow for safe storage. They entered a fairly empty room, all that existed in this blank space, was a decrepit old man; who seemed to have more scars that what was acceptable given his age, this guy must have seen some action in his youth. Vergil had rested himself against one of the walls, whose paper had turned slightly yellow, possibly of age.

"Then what brings you here? To a man forgotten even by his own. You hardly look like the sort to deal with champions."

"You'd be surprised as to what this fine woman could do sir. Let's just say, she is talented."

"Then is she interested in joining?
Well, I hate to say to say it but deciding that is the job of the current oncoming storm, not the previous one.
You have to talk to him about it, but don't expect words to do anything you'll need to show him these talents of hers."

image Sun Stone Nursing Home - Tinsdal

"Really, so were you the Oncoming Storm at one point? I hear that is a rather respectable position in the Champions order. Didn't we Vessel, express interest in joining this group at some point, but unforeseen consequences by an unknown party, lead to something happening to the Storm?" Vergil remarked to the Vessel, in a mixture of both truth and lie.

image - Dean's Mansion - Tinsdal.

Lorel got the information that the Dean was in full support of everything. That was good. Velen was happy to hear this, and the Dean already sent out a carrier to leave for He'val to inform the rest. Itsuka met up with them and they began to wonder where everyone else was.

Itsuka knew however. "I believe I saw them going to the Sun Stone Nursing Home."

"Alright, let's head over there." Lorel stated, and together the three left the Dean's mansion and began to make their way down the snow filled streets.

Itsuka looked over at Lorel. "So do those markings still have blood flowing out of them?"

He shook his head. "No, they just appear to be red markings now which are a relief."

"Can you still control Blood like Gemsi could?" Velen asked.

"Yes, but like him I can only control my own, and unlike him it's not nearly as powerful as his was."

"Interesting, so it's sort of become like my Red Magic, a special magic."

The white-haired boy nodded his head. "Exactly."

Katelyn Verneer - Sun Stone Nursing Home - Tinsdal

Oncoming Storm? Kate froze for a moment, looking at the old man, then at the young girl, that did not sound good. The Champions had been busy. She tried to recount their file, she couldn't, silently cursing herself under her breath. She had been too focused on Sera and Scarlett. She had been so sure that would be the catalyst. Espcially after the last time. That reminded her, she needed to speak to her sister.

"So, forgive me here, what's the Oncoming Storm?"

She looked around. Expecting to not like the answer.

Daniel De'Silver - Overwatch Command Centre - Tinsdal

He could feel the fatigue, the aching, working through him and weighing down the lids of his eyes to beckon him to a dark and dreaming slumber. He wanted to sleep and the temptation was almost too much. It had been a long day, a long couple of days maybe, or so he thought.

Here, below the district streets, the room held no windows, no source of natural light, just the pale light of the hanging lamps that bathed the Library in a sickly glow. Somewhat fitting with the essence of musty paper, dust, and aging books.

Daniel De'Silver slumped back in his chair, listening to the sound of strained wood, creaking, groaning, as he shifted his weight once more. It seemed whoever had crafted the chair had gone out of their way to make it uncomfortable. He might even get a bad back after all this. Had the Library not been a hive of activity and noise it might have been noticeable to the others, engrossed in books, or pouring over maps. No doubt as a cause for great irritation. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes he looked up at the carved stone ceiling. It felt like the imprint of inked text from the books had burned itself into the back of his eyes.

'Want some coffee Daniel?'

A sweet voice filled the air, slightly hushed, he smiled and nodded more than once.

'Gods yes. I think I might collapse in this stupid chair.'

She giggled. 'You could always ask Isabelle for a break you know? You don't have to push yourself so hard.'

'I know Helen but I can't rest until we hear from Katelyn. And we should have. She finished her job and should be back here flipping sarcastic comments to her mother, as usual. As much as Isabelle hates it'

Helen offered a sympathetic smile and handed down a large mug, Daniel smiled in response and looked down at his tired reflection in the steaming black liquid. It was fresh from the pan, a welcome sight from the luke-warm coffee he had been drinking for the past hour.

'Thanks.'

Bringing the mug to his nose Daniel let the rising vapors enter his nostrils, just the smell alone perked him up, but his mind returned to Katelyn. Where the hell was she?

Gently blowing his drink he took a small sip and savored the bitter taste of the beans, gazing out across the Overwatch Command Centre, or the Library as it was otherwise known. Someone had scrawled an update on the chalk board at the far side of the room. It turned his stomach. The Warfleet was now twenty days from landing.

His gaze flicked onto the world map, carved into the wall, spanning two floors in height. Crowded with pinned notes and red twine to mark connections. There was no time to waste. Placing his mug down on the desk Daniel took a hold of the next folder and read the title.

'Notes on the Six Sigils.'

"The oncoming storm is the leader of the champions of the tempest.
And the current one is a cheating bastard, who won't even finish off his opponent after taking the organisation out from under his feet."
"You speak with a lot of feeling, how long since you were dethroned."
"It feels like hardly anytime at all, I'd tracked one of our greatest enemies to a hospital. The raid was to be my finest moment and now I fear the usurper has that glory."
"There was no glory in it; he lost to a power..."
The old man's eyes widened he became almost instantly bone white.
"The deathless spectre?"

Katelyn Verneer - Sun Stone Care Home - Tinsdal

Typical, more mystery, Kate mused folding her arms and looking at the young girl.

'The Deathless Spectre, really, don't you have a better naming system, you know, one less cliched?'

Katelyn had a bad habit of speaking her mind out loud. Sarcastically. It irritated Isabella greatly.

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