The Darkest Corners: A Modern Fantasy RP (Interest Thread - Closed)

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"Syria. I ascended not too long ago, about six years now. What brings you to London then?"
Syria. Lucius wondered to himself whether his family had kept some of this young upstart's ancestors as slaves. Seconds later, he snapped back to the dreary world of this 'Plane' thing, and pondered how much he ought to tell the mage...

"I had heard that an old colleague of mine was in the area. Have you ever met another Lich? And what business has a young ups-" Lucius caught himself mid-insult, and changed tack, "young man like yourself got in the Great City?"

"Bwah?! What happened?" Roland muttered, slowly coming to again. His head and neck hurt but nothing seemed to be broken. He opened his eyes to see that he was in the lap of the same blue haired woman who had approached him earlier while they were all still waiting to board the plane.

And a steward was reaching out to pick him up.

Oh no you don't!

Roland let out a most unwoodpecker like squawk and flew at the man's face, hitting him with his wings and claws a few times before retreating to the other side of the plane, towards row 14.

Lucia watched the bird attack the Stewart and fly toward the back of the plane, more importantly, she thought she heard it say something "Well, that makes things more interesting"

John saw the bird flying his way. Since his normal human cover was long since been blown ("Is there a single person on this entire plane that doesn't know I am a wizard") he commanded two of his golems to take flight worthy forms (a bat and a small hawk, respectively) and catch that little bird.

"There are people trying to sleep," John said, as he threw his paper and plastic creatures at the woodpecker.

"young man like yourself got in the Great City?"

Zaheer responded flatly. "There is power here to gain, I want it. Pure and simple. Also no, I can't say I have met another Lich. Demons stopped making your sort ever since they found out how poor an idea it is to try and enslave something that only gets stronger than them later. I always found your sort to be ironic, yet entertaining to say the least. I hear your kind can't truly die, can you verify this? And if you can revive at will, who has forced you? Simple curiosity is all."

"There are people trying to sleep."

Roland saw a man throw some papers at him. No wait, that wasn't quite right. Something, two somethings, were flying towards him. Was it just him or did they look vaguely like a hawk and a bat?

Roland tried to dodge them but the hawk managed to latch onto one of his wings. Unable to fly, they both crashed onto the floor between seats 14A and 14B. He tried to fly off again but the hawk was pinning him down.

"Argh...Get off me you damn thing!" Roland said angrily, trying to shake the larger hawk off of him.

John got up from his seat, seeing his golems catching the "bird."

"Sorry, excuse me," he said to his seating partners as he climbed over them, hoping not disturb them to much. John reached for a badge, deciding to go with the FBI than the air marshall.

"FBI, excuse me," John said, "I need to talk to the stow away."

"Argh...Get off me you damn thing!"

John was a bit surprised when the bird talked. Animorphs normally are limited to the vocal cords of what ever creature they turn into (so were either incapable of normal speech or extremely limited in what they could pronounce), and could of turned back into a human to escape the paper prison. This was something else.

John grabbed the mostly encased bird, walking back to the food storage area in far back of the plane. "Please tell the captain we have an 'extra' passenger," he said to the steward in the section, mostly to get her to leave.

John had his golem pin the bird to a wall. John made sure his coat hung open so the bird could see his gun (Glock 9mm, didn't bring his revolver since no FBI branch uses a .357 and he couldn't get fragmentation ammo in that caliber).

"Who are you, what are you, how did you get on this plane, who let you on, and why are you going to London?" John said, getting straight to the point.

"... who has forced you? Simple curiosity is all."

"Fuck", Lucius cursed under his breath for a second. Still no solid leads on this damn woman. Still, he'd find her one day - and he would kill her. Still, must remain focused on the present, for now. He processed the information he'd been given, and decided to work towards an alliance.

"Power, my friend? You have no idea...", Lucius paused for a second, deciding how much to reveal, "I know of some old archives about 200 miles from the city containing arcane lore millenia old. If you'll help me find this old... friend of mine, I would happily take you there..."

Lucius moved his hands, reasonably subtly, to set up a field to warn him if anyone reached into his mind - he knew several of his fellow passengers could do that. Thinking back, he realised there were questions this 'Ascended' had asked.

"I can't say I ever felt forced to stay alive, I still have plans in motion. Not that you'd get the long-term strategy just yet - I suggest you learn fast...", Lucius countinued, "That being said, no, we can't die very permanantly - the best most people can achieve is putting us out of the way for a few weeks. I'm surprised that doesn't happen more often, mind you."

"That being said, no, we can't die very permanantly - the best most people can achieve is putting us out of the way for a few weeks. I'm surprised that doesn't happen more often, mind you."

Zaheer felt that the Lich was bad news, but honestly he felt he could handle him if things got too wretched and the object of more power always allured. "Ah, always benefits in aligning oneself with certain forces. I imagine the fate for this woman isn't particularly pleasant, did she manage to kill you? I would be willing to aid you in finding her I suppose, but if you wish to harm her then you will have to do that on your own. Sound like a deal?"

Zaheer still wasn't sure, but damn, ancient powers would be very helpful for the future in a certain circumstance. He just hoped the Lich wasn't lying to him, he would hate to make a weekly event of killing the guy.

"... I would be willing to aid you in finding her I suppose, but if you wish to harm her then you will have to do that on your own. Sound like a deal?"

"You have yourself a deal... friend", Lucius smiled, slightly. Liches were never easy to find, so help was always useful.

Given the choice between paying soul or body for infinite years and power, the concept of paying his body had never appealed to Lucius. Even at the age of 18, before he was even involved in the Senate, he had aspired to eventual Lichdom. But then ascension was hardly a popular option in Rome - most people considered it an affront to the Gods (a concept Lucius hadn't entirely left behind).

Bringing his attention back to the point, he considered how much Zaheer would need to know about Arzhela. The name, at least, and some history. Lucius decided it would be prudent to leave out most of the details of his own involvement with the woman.

"Kill me? Gods no, only Werewolves - and armies - have managed that. I was avenged each time, I made sure of it. She was a colleague of mine, you might say, centuries ago - I had thought her permanently dead, but I have recently discovered this not to be true.", Lucius took a deep breath, preparing to divulge more to this stranger than he ever had to anyone else, "Back then, she went by Arzhela - I believe she was from Ireland. She always seemed fairly fresh, barely 200 years old, so I'd guess she'd be about 1000 by now. What I've heard suggests that she was in Oxford about a month ago, I'm hoping to pick up the trail around there."

Roland was picked up by a man in a coat and carried off to the back of the plane to what looked like a storage area.

"Please tell the captain we have an 'extra' passenger"

That's not good... he thought but wasn't too worried yet.

"Who are you, what are you, how did you get on this plane, who let you on, and why are you going to London?" the man asked after having one of the paper critters pin Roland against the wall.

"Well, I think it's quite obvious that I'm a bird," the woodpecker answered, sounding a bit smug. "And I got on board by hiding under a hat. Not the best of places to hide, yes, but beggars can't be choosers." Roland glanced at the gun, clearly visible under the man's coat. "Is that a 9mm Glock? I don't think it'd be such a good idea to use that here, on a plane of all places. Wouldn't you agree?"

"Well, I think it's quite obvious that I'm a bird, and I got on board by hiding under a hat. Not the best of places to hide, yes, but beggars can't be choosers."

"Is that a 9mm Glock? I don't think it'd be such a good idea to use that here, on a plane of all places. Wouldn't you agree?"

John sighed ("Smart @$$"), "Yes, I can see your a bird NOW, but there obviously more to that since a normal bird can't talk. Why are you a bird?"

"The gun is loaded with fragmenting ammo, it will break apart if it hits hard surfaces like the side of the air plane, so I can use it on as many annoying smart @$$ birds as I wish," John said, "I suggest you cooperate with me here, you have broken a LOT of federal laws that can easily brand you as a terrorist. You do not want to know to know what we do with supernatural terrorists."

"Now, who was the person who hid you in his hat, what is your name, and why are you headed to London?" John finished.

Roland sighed. Why did cops always have so many questions. Might as well come clean and answer him.

"Really, I sneak on board a plane and am instantly labelled a terrorist? You federal folks sure are jumpy," Roland said, sounding somewhat annoyed. "Well, if you looked around a bit then you'd see that the only person with a large enough hat for me to hide under is the guy dressed in red, sitting in the front row. I think he said his name was Saturday. Had some weird accent," he said and tried to shrug but the golems prevented him from moving. "You can call me Roland and I'm heading to London to find someone who can change me back into a human."

"Also," Roland added, "Wouldn't firing a gun on a plane upset the passengers?"

"After seeing a TV remote transform into a grenade in your hand, you do not take chances," John said, remembering a mission against a poltergeist.

He forgot about the tall man in the hat, to much between then and now. Saturday thankfully is an easy to remember to name.

"You can call me Roland and I'm heading to London to find someone who can change me back into a human."

"Also, wouldn't firing a gun on a plane upset the passengers?"

"Oh, so your cursed into a bird," John said, "That I may be able to help you with, if you stop being so annoying." John still had a migrane, "Also, just so we are clear, the safety of the passengers is more important to me than their comfort."

Sleep for Dwight was luxury that he could rarely afford. Every time he ever attempted too his other self always took over his body and did things that always regretted later. But for once his Other Self was asleep. His dreams were plagued with blood and violence as they always were. He saw himself being set on fire as his other self emerged from the ashes fully reborn. Dwight awoke with a start with his Uncle glaring at him. Suddenly his phone vibrated it was his uncle. "How I ever got taught teaching an imbecile like you is beyond me." Dwight put away his phone and drifted back into his land of nightmare.

Oh, so your cursed into a bird. That I may be able to help you with, if you stop being so annoying.

"Really?!" Roland sounded very happy and hopeful. "I promise I'll do whatever you say if you help me get rid of this curse. Being a woodpecker may have its perks but I'd really rather be a human again."

He tried to move his wings but he was still mostly encased in a paper golem. "Would you mind letting me go now? My wings are starting to feel a bit stiff and it's not like I could fly away."

John commanded the golem to release the bird from a wall. It retook it's bird form, if Roalnd tried to escape.

"No, I am not going to demand you do tasks while I hold humanity in front of your nose like a carrot," John said. The PIA had done things like that before, which only resulted in magical creatures seeking revenge, destroying property, killing agents, and bad PR. Dispelling curses tended to give them more loyal subjects, willing to do "favors" out of thanks instead. John started to write some symbols into the ground (so John could better focus his power).

"Ok, first I will need to know what cursed you in the first place," John said, "Curses on the land, the peck of a magical woodpecker for chopping down it's tree, bored wizards, these details are important."

Roland stretched his wings a bit when the golem released him.

"No, I am not going to demand you do tasks while I hold humanity in front of your nose like a carrot," the cop said.

"Thanks but I mean it. If you turn me back I'll owe you big time," Roland said, "Mind telling me your name? Since you know mine it would only be fair."

"Ok, first I will need to know what cursed you in the first place. Curses on the land, the peck of a magical woodpecker for chopping down it's tree, bored wizards, these details are important."

"It was some crazy old hag that did this!" the woodpecker said angrily, "I was off hunting way out in the middle of nowhere when she suddenly appears and starts to sing some silly old children's poem. I passed out and the next thing I know I'm a damn woodpecker. I swear if I ever see her again..."

"The name is Joseph, Joseph Welles," John said.

"It was some crazy old hag that did this! I was off hunting way out in the middle of nowhere when she suddenly appears and starts to sing some silly old children's poem. I passed out and the next thing I know I'm a damn woodpecker. I swear if I ever see her again..."

"Wait, a HAG did this to you?" John said, stopping his work to look at the bir, "Do you know nothing about the Fair Folk or how screwed you are if you piss them off?"

Richard looked in between Zaheer and the lich silently, listening mentally as passively as he could.

As somebody who was training to be a Guardian before his ascension, he'd picked up a few tricks. Passively 'looking' magically at a telepathic exchange generally wouldn't get you any exact words or conveyances, but the general feelings of the interaction would be known to you. Cold business and caution, with a thinly veiled irritation on both sides. Lovely. Hopefully Richard wouldn't have to signal to Anester to let the two fight outside of the plane, at least then they wouldn't vaporize the entire object, however.

"Back then, she went by Arzhela - I believe she was from Ireland. She always seemed fairly fresh, barely 200 years old, so I'd guess she'd be about 1000 by now. What I've heard suggests that she was in Oxford about a month ago, I'm hoping to pick up the trail around there."

Zaheer looked, Richard was listening in. That was fine, Zaheer could handle anybody on this plane, though it wasn't like he did anything wrong in particular. He said out loud to Richard. "Don't worry, we are past the intentions of murder now. Well, of each other anyway."

Feeling satisfied he returned to his conversation. "Interesting, does she know magic? I can track the use of it, starting at Oxford we could look for a place she stayed at. Wouldn't be hard from there, but I have to ask what exactly she has done to you to cause this. I mean you have dedicated quite a bit to finding her. Also, out of simple curiosity, what is in these archives you speak of?"

Zaheer was intrigued by this Lich. He knew they always had an outside motive, but this trade seemed very transparent. Locations for locations, power for murder. Zaheer felt a little bit bad about it, but he also viewed humans as expendable under proper conditions, and boy these conditions were excellent.

"Interesting, does she know magic? I can track the use of it, starting at Oxford we could look for a place she stayed at. Wouldn't be hard from there, but I have to ask what exactly she has done to you to cause this. I mean you have dedicated quite a bit to finding her. Also, out of simple curiosity, what is in these archives you speak of?"

Lucius outwardly ignored the eavesdropping wizard, but made a mental note to pull him up for it later. Now, however, he was too close to a lead on the woman to get distracted.

"So far as i'm aware, all Liches know magic, though this one was never the most avid user of it. Her preferred tactic was raising armies of relatively lesser undead to do her bidding - we all go through that phase, and gods is it easier than slavery", Lucius thought back fondly to his own time controlling armies of undead. so much work, but so much fun. "I couldn't say for sure how she is, now though. I couldn't say for sure she's done anything, yet - but it can't hurt to be sure, and I would like to see her again. She most likely has some long-term plan in motion though - I know I have enough of them!"

Lucius paused, and contemplated for a few seconds whether he ought to ignore the question of what was in his archives. Thinking pragmatically, he decided to give a little away,
"The archives have almost half a million books of arcane lore. a good many of them relate to Lichdom, but there are plenty with old magic in their pages. If I remember correctly,", Lucius of course, knew exactly what the books were - he'd written almost half of them, "most of them relate to magic for controlling... various things"

"most of them relate to magic for controlling... various things"

Zaheer was mildly less intrigued with that in mind. He was already about as good at summoning things as one could get, but on the other hand there was always the thought of controlling others. Not something worth abusing, but not a skill worth ignoring either. Perhaps...well anyway he had made a promise and as it turns out, it's unlikely she can be harmed anyway. Two Liches walk into a bar...

"Right, another Lich then. Well, when we land, assuming my colleagues have nothing more to ask of me we can get on that immediately. Who knows, if I have to enter combat you might have to change your opinion on Ascended Magi."

The spells Zaheer knew would make any Lich jealous. They think they have a monopoly on the undead, what a joke. Zaheer could bring the world to ruin with the creatures he could summon, though he supposed it would be easier to simply blow up the planet's core. On the other hand, Earth is a cool place, why would he want to do any of that anyway?

With all the excitement seeming to have died down, Lucia yawned, bid the two she'd been chatting with good night, and went to sleep

"...you might have to change your opinion on Ascended Magi."

Lucius narrowly stopped himself from scoffing at the thought of a mere ascended, less than a century old, outclassing him. Still, he figured he should step carefully, just in case this youngling was somehow as powerful as he thought he was. Still, he was almost starting to wish that there would be some combat, just to prove his power.

"Yes, she is indeed another Lich. What are your colleagues likely to need of you on your first day in a new country, though? I think you might grow some respect for Liches, if we see fighting"

"Wait, a HAG did this to you? Do you know nothing about the Fair Folk or how screwed you are if you piss them off?"

"Does that mean you can't help me?" Roland asked. The disappointment in his voice was almost painful to hear. "How was I supposed to know she was some Fair Folk. I got no warning or anything. She just suddenly appeared and BAM! I'm a bird."

John rubbed his head again, trying to prevent himself at lashing out at potential allies because of his head splitting pain.

"The Fair Folks magic is very powerful, but also is limited by all kinds of rules and magical binds," John said, reviewing the information he had o hags in his minds, "For example, Leprechauns, can summon all kinds of matter in the pursuit of gold or shoe making, but can never tell a lie and has to count any dropped salt no matter what."

"Hags can lay on some nearly unbreakable curses, but they cannot kill another living being, and can only curse those who deserved it," John said, forcing himself not to dwell on the last point. "There are only three ways to break a hags curse. #1, make the hag that cursed you lift the curse. #2 find a being more powerful than the ones from the Fae Lands to remove your curse, which I am not and most of the ones that are demand some heavy payments for 'services rendered,' or #3, remorse. Deep, completely honest regret for what ever you have done."

"Of course, depending on what ever you did," John said, keeping back inquiries on what sins this would pecker has committed, "remorse will kill you."

Lucia had been chatting with her, but her spirit didn't seem to the in it. Pegs quickly had the answer as she slumped, sound asleep, on her chair. She was surprised at this, mainly because of the noise of the mages(?) bickering over who could fire the biggest fireball or something. But the subject in itself was sleep-inducing, so Pegs assumed that it was part of the reason why the dragon was sleeping now. She decided to join her in the land of nod. And so Pegs slept in an effort to reduce jet lag, and dreamt of Faerie during the flight.

"Yes, she is indeed another Lich. What are your colleagues likely to need of you on your first day in a new country, though? I think you might grow some respect for Liches, if we see fighting"

Zaheer was a tiny bit embarrassed that he did not know what they had in store for him. "They intend to tell me about what they want from me when I land. My guide has been pretty useless so far, but I might bug him to give me pointers on long range teleportation. Could help me avoid this kind of transport in the future. As for combat, I would honestly prefer to avoid it. When people like us get in combat, the casualties tend to range on the ridiculous side and it's worth avoiding if at all possible."

Zaheer could tell the Lich was only half and half on him. An unsteady alliance had been forged. Zaheer was about certain he could take the Lich, if they can't die, then he could always just seal him in a tobacco can for ten thousand years, see how an eternity in old chokey would fair the magical being.

"But I don't even know what I did that angered her!" Roland said. "I was just out hunting as usual." The woodpecker slumped, disappointed. "I've been trying to find her for over four years now but without any luck. Which is why I'm heading to London now. I'm hoping to find someone who can break this curse."

Roland sighed, then peered up at John. "So, what happens next? Are you going to arrest me?"

John rubbed his head again. Why couldn't he just of been a dentist? Dentists don't have to deal with this @#&*.

"I am assuming your hunting habits were a sin in the eyes of nature happy Fae," John said, hoping that was it, "The beings with enough power to force their way pass the curse on you are few and far between. I doubt even those other mages on the plane could break it. Well, ok, maybe they could, but they would be liable to bring out Lovecraftian horrors from beyond the twilight realms if they tried."

John looked at Roland, and wondered what he really should do. Illegal immigration and illegal entry of an airline isn't their department, nor did he think the PIA had any connections who would willing to transform a bird human without some serious payment. However, he didn't want this bird causing more of a ruckus than he already did. It would be far easier to keep track of things when more people were asleep.

John got an idea, "Listen, I will 'arrest you,' so you will be sitting with me, but you will 'escape' once we land. It should be easy to justify, given your current condition. Then you go looking for somebody who will turn you back, but don't give your hopes up."

"...When people like us get in combat, the casualties tend to range on the ridiculous side and it's worth avoiding if at all possible."

Lucius smiled at the thought of 'ridiculous' casualties - he'd never been that fond of humans, even when he was one. Lucius turned back to Zaheer, and thought for a second, "Yes, well we would probably be best to avoid killing half of Britain", He paused, thinking to himself that this could actually supply him with an army, "you say long-range teleportation. sounds useful, if dangerous - I'd rather fly, frankly."

As time went by on the flight, many a passenger began to drift off into sleep. The attendants delivered pillows and blankets to those that requested them and to those that remained awake the delivered coffee and snacks. After the Lich and Ascended had quieted and the "FBI" agent returned to his seat - bird in tow - an almost supernatural quiet overtook the plane, and even the attendants visits became fewer and fewer.

To those that remained awake, the plane seemed particularly dead. Save the occasional movements and sounds of people in their sleep and the rarer events as people went to the bathroom everything was still. From seats 12 through 14, the movements were similar, but somewhat more restless. During the night, several awoke to make use of the bathrooms.

The first was William Anester, awakening a bit before 5 A.M., who groggily moved toward the bathroom in a daze. At 5 A.M. almost to the dot, before even William Anester had returned, Dominic Rogue could be seen making his way toward the same bathroom, returning quickly thereafter to grab his gentleman's cane. Not a minute later William Anester returned to his seat, intent on returning to sleep. After a few minutes of rustling around, he stood up and ran back toward the bathroom, disappearing into the shadows of the plane's rear. Finally, after several more minutes, he returned, apparently ready to sleep again. He sat in his chair and drifted off without much delay. at 5:15 Dominic returned to his seat and to sleep. From then on, only a handful of others moved at all, mostly the occasional readjustment in sleep or to the bathroom. Most people missed this in their dreamland, and even those who stayed awake were only partially aware of the events.

It wasn't until 6:33 that another awoke; this time Katie Rogue. Having been asleep since before takeoff - only briefly awakened during the night to board the plane - she awoke well before anyone else aboard the plane. A few moments later, her screams pierced the ears of her fellow passengers, reverberated and amplified by the metal tube in which they resided. Though many awoke, it was a full minute before anyone realized why she was screaming.

In the seat in diagonal to the front of her, sat Vampire Lord Edward Crim of Sussex, his eyes cold even by his standards, blood dripping his mouth, a look of abstract horror twisted on his maw. None of these were her reason for screaming however. His hands were covered in copious amounts of now dried blood, as was the floor beneath it. Next to him, his wife lay motionless, a long gash covered in similarly dried blood on her throat. Though gruesome, this was also not her reason for screaming - she was a Dhampire; blood was nothing new.

Her reason for screaming was a wooden stake jammed through the chest of its victim; caked with dried blood. The stake had been pushed with enough force to pierce not only the victim's chest, but the seat behind it. From the sharpened hunk of wood, a thin line of blood ran down; falling from the tip to the floor and drying by the minute.

The stake itself had two important pieces of information to make note of. First was it's make. Even from a row away, once the item had been pointed out, it was clear the item had been expensive make. The bat like head of the stake marked that, until recently, the stake had been a fine gentleman's cane; the very same as Dominic Rogue's cane. Expectedly, Dominic's cane was missing; creating a worried look on its owner's face. The second item of note was perhaps more surprising; the location.

What had once been Dominic's cane was embedded in Lord Crim's chest, not his wife's, leaving the stake's victim as deceased as his wife.

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