This is getting excited, LOL.
Mirco-expressions and emotes lingered for what seemed like an eternity but in reality, everything had happened within the blink of an eye. Mason, true to form, had been verbally offended. And worse yet, the transgression had happened within the sacred walls of the Grayl's ancestral castle. Neither of which would be tolerated and Jacob knew immediately that there was no going back no. Not for Dorian. Not for Mason. And as he swiftly reached for the coiled leather whip decoratively hung above the fire-place, instincts having taken hold, he understood there would be no going back for him either. Ever.
In one swift motion, as the dapper Dorian brushed away the remnants of having been shot with breathtaking ease, Jacob stylishly free'd the traditional lasso, cocked back, and sent it flying towards the youngest Grayl's ankles in an attempt to snare and trip him before he had time to intervene on Mason's behalf.
Pouncing off the wall like a true-born acrobat in full aerial prestige, the Clockwork Phantom sought to close the distance between himself and Samuel. He had caught, but purposely ignored, his brother's previous glance. The previous attempt to silently persuade him to act accordingly had been dismissed in favor of more....proactive measures. Aiming to subdue Samuel, or at least keep em occupied while Dorian contended with the indomitable Mason.
Now his fate rested on the shoulders of a monster....a man, that he had only just met, shared no ties with; blood or otherwise, and had openly taunted his brothers to the point of open violence. He was sure....possibly overly to the point of arrogance, that he could contend with Samuel. Could stall him while Dorian did just enough to open up an improved escape from the castle. But both would need to hurry or risk facing the full wraith of the supernatural slayers, the Grayls.
In the wake of their blinding light, a powerful glow that had cast itself across the room, Mason's bullets were little more than a child's plaything to Dorian. Behind his steel mask, the Ghoul Ripper scowled, a tinge of irritation creeping onto his face at the realization. The realization that gunfire that had felled the fiercest of vampire lords - had accomplished nothing against his brothers' vaunted guest. The realization that he had underestimated Dorian and dismissed, foolishly, as a vampire. But he was something more. Something else.... no. In Mason's mind, whatever Dorian was, he and vampires were one in the same, pale-skinned imitations of humanity's glory.
"I will not be made a fool of!", the Ghoul Ripper growled in thought, his cool and cocky veneer giving way to a temper founded in pride. "Heh", he scoffed, forcing a smirk behind his mask, "Concerned with your shirt more than your head? Well.. it's still far from the worst decision you've made today!", Mason declared, his voice rising a pitch as he unsheathed his sword before Dorian's charge. "Hmph. Fool", Mason dismissed, in arrogance and ignorance as Dorian charged him - completely unaware of what his foe had in store. He'd sidestep, shuffling away from the Pale Immortal, and in doing so, spin round in a full circle, gathering momentum and centrifugal force before swinging his sword at Dorian's exposed back, the aetheric runes of his sword's blade superheating it's edges till the air misted and hissed.
As his brothers played the roles of spectators, the Ghoul Ripper sought to snap his blade into Dorian's back at the final instance. To cleave deep into his flesh, drag the sword's superheated blade through flesh, tendons and spine alike - and sever Dorian's torso from his lower half in one clean cut. Only... Mason felt himself grow weary. Blade and flesh had met yet... it was he would felt weak, as though something were tugging on his body's will to survive, to live. His vision blurred, and for a moment, for a fleeting second, Mason nearly felt himself go limp. Panting, his tired eyes glancing first at Dorian then... then at Jacob? Attacking Samuel? Madness! Was it some sort of trick? Was this monster's power one of deception? He didn't know. He couldn't know. Though as he yanked his sword back and hopped several feet away, his body wearier, the Ghoul Ripper felt his blood boil.
"Traitor. TRAITOR!", he accused, growling through his mask, glaring at Jacob with a rage unlike any other. Glaring back at Dorian, Mason's resolve was ironclad, and his decision made. Sheathing his sword, he reached for his shotgun once more. Oh but this time, his other hand held his crossbow, one whose bolts were too powered by runes of aether. He said nothing. He took aim and a burst of crossbow bolts found themselves tearing through the air for Dorian. Only now, he fired a second shot, this time with his shotgun, it's bullets darting for the crossbow bolts, to smash into them, for aetheric runes to meet aetheric runes and come undone in a searing explosion that'd leave the air, himself and parts of the room burnt. But Dorian? The primary target? The explosion of aether, of the fifth element, was there to scorch him to ash.
Here, now, Mason traded his own flesh for the demise of a monster. Overcome by pride and anger, he'd grown self-destructive. But he didn't care, so long as Dorian perished, the consequences hardly mattered.
Also if it seems like the mirror stuff came out of nowhere, I have been setting it up in previous posts.
"Concerned with your shirt more than your head? Well.. it's still far from the worst decision you've made today!" said the violent Grayl. He’d fallen for the taunt, that was for sure. Dorian probably didn’t need to needle him, but hindsight was 20/20 and his vision would be sharp as a microscope looking back on today. As the Grayl unsheathed his sword, Dorian began to have second thoughts about his plan. Did he really need to invite a hit? Did he want to tempt fate with every blow? How much damage could his Portrait really take? Excuses, excuses, excuses, he chided himself. Lord Henry had once said that pain was the ultimate pleasure. He had been dead drunk at the time, but since Dorian knew he was about to be in an incredible amount of pain he needed something to hold on to. The blade was drawn back, the air itself crackling around it.
Lord Henry was dead wrong.
“A-ah,” Dorian choked out. His flesh healed directly after the blade had left it, but the pain was excruciating, with the exception of when he spinal cord was severed, and everything went numb. But his plan was working. He could feel the Grayl’s life energy seeping into him, transferring to his Portrait. It tasted like death. After what felt like an eternity, the blade left Dorian’s body, the Grayl retreating in - did Dorian read his body language correctly? (He didn’t) - what looked like fright.
Two of the Grayls were having a bit of a tussle. Dorian wanted to watch (it might make up for everything he had gone through on this abominable day) but he knew he had to take advantage of the seconds he had. He scouted the room. There were mirrors. He might be able to escape after all!
Before he could stage his dramatic getaway, he was shot at point-blank range with enough magic to explode an elephant.
When Dorian’s vision cleared he was standing in a drawing room. It had rather garish curtains, red furniture that was on loan from the local brothel, and a Persian rug depicting small figures participating in obscene acts. Dorian looked closer. He was going to have to try a few of those. He straightened up (as if) and this time found himself looking at a hideous old man sitting across from him. “Hello,” said Dorian, and the man’s mouth moved. Dorian tilted his head quizzically, and so did the old man. He looked incredibly familiar, but Dorian couldn’t place him. He put his hand to his chin. So did the old man. And Dorian recognized him. He was the one in Dorian’s Portrait, the bane of his existence. Dorian looked down at himself. His hands were dripping with blood, and when he pulled open his shirt his sunken chest was riddled with scars. Dorian screamed, and this summoned two figures.
The first was Lord Henry, wasted away to almost nothing, just as he had been on his deathbed. His face was drawn, the skin waxy, and resembled little more than a death’s head.
The second was Basil, who still had Dorian’s knife in his back.
“Dorian m’boy, you look terrible!” said Lord Henry. “I always told you that without youth we are nothing."
“What’s going on?” said Dorian. He was dreaming. He must be dreaming. He had recurring dreams about being trapped in his own Portrait, this was just an extension of that.
“Well, you’re dead. Almost dead. There’s a few issues you see, and we’re working on that.”
“Where are we?” said Dorian.
“Purgatory,” said Lord Henry. “About as close to Hell as you can be without being quite in Hell.”
“What’s Basil doing here then?” said Dorian.
“Oh he just wanted to see you one last time,” said Lord Henry. “I said he should remember you as you were and not how you are, but he insisted. He’ll go back to hosannas and boredom soon enough.”
Basil approached and ran his hand down Dorian’s cheek. “You were always my muse. I’ll miss you, Dorian.”
Dorian slapped his hand away. “What issues were you talking about?” he asked Lord Henry.
“Oh, since your soul still resides in your Portrait you can’t really be killed. However that blast all but severed the bond between your body, soul, and Portrait. If you were to be returned to the mortal coil, you might just find yourself trapped in your Portrait for all eternity. Or you might be in a charred corpse for eternity. Or you might be perfectly fine, but you’ll still be in the middle of that dreadful castle you just had to go and explore and you’ll end up back here. So we’re offering you the choice, as your closest friends: Stay or go? I’d certainly like the company.”
Dorian didn’t even consider the proposition. “I will never die. I will live forever, and live in beauty. Goodbye Lord Henry, goodbye Basil, take care not to get overcooked in the flames of Hell.
Lord Henry shook his head. “That’s the Dorian I remember. Fare thee well!”
Dorian closed his eyes and-
-for a moment he couldn’t move at all, couldn’t see – he must be in the Portrait. He tried to cry out but nothing happened. Then his eyes grew back. He was sprawled on the floor, for all intents and purposes a charred corpse. Dorian closed his eyes. Lord Henry was right. Lord Henry was always right. Then sensation returned from his left hand. He was healing! He didn’t know what was going on around him, but he decided to play dead until he was ready to put his plan into action, the one that had been interrupted by his temporary demise.
There were mirrors around. If Dorian could get close enough to see his reflection he could actually summon it from out of the mirror. There were several mirrors he could see at once. He’d get his reflections, and then they would be under his control. He’d send one sprinting towards the exit. This was almost certain to be mistaken for Dorian…he hoped at least. Then if he could he would clamber into one of the mirrors and be gone from this blighted castle.
If he made it…and he realized this was still a big ‘if’…he’d go straight home and hope he didn’t find the Grayls standing over him. He had enough traps in place to set the battleground easier but still…
He had nowhere else to go. He knew his ‘friends’ would sell him out for a penny or a good round of cheese.
Even monsters have bogeymen.
@mason_grayl: @dorian_gray_: @jacob_grayl: Jacob had done the very thing that Samuel feared the most. He chose a monster, an abomination over his own brothers. Samuel had prayed to the Lord each night that the whispers that plagued the Castle would not come to fruition. That one day the Impure Ones would prove the Pure One's hostility towards them to not be without reason. That one day they too would side or become like the very monstrosities that they vowed to rid their land of. The Hunter of Horrors had sided with the same Horror that had threatened his own brother. When the others spoke of this possible prophecy coming to be, Samuel wondered what would cause this. Why ever would his brothers choose something they bled to kill rather than their own name and blood? Would their tainted blood take control over the rest of them? Would the Darkness that flowed through their blood rise again, destroying the Grayl House like it tried to do when they wore the Grimm Name? Or would they finally meet the Devil and like so many others fall to temptation by his confident demeanor and smooth talking persuasion? Dorian Gray, who are you to turn brother against brother in their own home?
All of Samuel's Prayers must have fallen on deaf ears because the Lord didn't even give him the strength to understand the situation completely. Jacob's lasso met Samuel's shocked legs and did exactly what its user sent it out to do. Samuel's body collapsed onto the floor beneath him, and when the thud met his ears. He quickly reached for his sharp sword, cutting the grasp of the weapon, releasing him from the clutches of his traitorous brother. Samuel's eyes shift around the room to find his brother. No longer could he be prepared to intervene in case Dorian achieved any advantage over Mason. The Line had been drawn by Mason, attempted to be erased by Jacob's attempt to allow Dorian to go freely, but Mason dug the line in the sand deeper by firing shots at their uninvited guest. Jacob chose a side, but not before throwing his little brother Samuel against him.
Samuel could stand being thrown across a line in the sand to oppose the very monsters he believed the Lord sent him to rid the Earth of, but it was his own brother that chose to stand across from him. His own brother who just earlier today had attempted to be respectful while Samuel prayed in the House Chapel. His own brother, who Samuel had attempted to make a deal with the devil simply because his brother was interested in the product.
Samuel's eyes were then almost blinded by Mason's attack on Dorian, but the Aether striking aether resulted in an explosion. Bouncing him against a nearby wall. Even though he had his eyelids to protect from the bright combustion, as he rested on one knee his sight was still fuzzy. MAson had possibly indirectly assisted Samuel in dealing with Jacob. While Samuel's eyelids had shielded his vision from some of the exposure, Jacob with his self-mutilated face may not have been so fortunate. Though sight would not be the Grayls biggest restraint it would at least slow them down. Samuel chose to speak to his Lord in whispers in this time of weakness, hoping that his prayers would not fall on deaf ears this time. "Father, I am weak, so I ask for you to be my strength. Father, I am blind, so I ask for your sight. Guide me as your vessel, defend me as your son. Protect me from these trials and tribulations. Amen." As soon as Samuel finished his prayer. He reached into his pouch and threw five small throwing knives in the direction he believed Jacob was. The knives drenched in Holy Water were a blind attack, yes, but they would through sound give him the vision he sought. If they hit Jacob, then the Lord had truly blessed him, but if they didn't that didn't mean his prayer had gone unheard. Each blade would make a sound once it came into contact with something. The sound of a blade hitting concrete was far different than it hitting wood, and if a blade didn't make a sound then most likely it had come into contact with flesh and blood piercing the skin. So, as each blade left his hand he listened closely to its contact.
As each hit their mark, he would listen and through this, he could regain his understanding of his environment, even when blinded, and possibly harm Jacob in the process.
The mercurial angles which fueled the awesome acrobatic motion of the Clockwork Phantom were nothing short of magical. Figuratively, of course. Any such supernatural grandeur had been forfeited and slowly deluded throughout the generations as part of the Grayl's genetic surrender long ago. The great purge, the cleanse. Regarded as the family's finest heredity hour as House Grimm gave way to House Grayl. Through selective breeding the Grayl's had removed what they believed to be the tainted source, the tainted strain. It linked them to the supernatural, to the monsters....to the unique and obscure. The powerful and the fantastic.
Yet they had willingly severed the line, damned the blood in the name of a higher purpose. They believed their's to be a just crusade but Jacob had never deceived himself into believing he was anything less then a monster in disguise. He had followed Samuel enough to understand that. As evil if not more so then the creatures they continuously tracked down and murdered. But the very thing which they so desperately hated, hunted, was the very thing which gave them their near superhuman abilities and senses. Left over remnants from a time forgotten. However Jacob had never allowed himself to ignore the family's hidden ancestry. Unlike his devoted brothers the Phantom secretly invited the shared heritage. Reading and obsessively studying the forbidden chronicles in the safety of his basement laboratory. His supernatural proclivities conducted under the candle lit supervision of his extensive repository.
'Ah yes but how many lives have they saved' he thought
'Ah yes but how many family's have you destroyed' he questioned
'Ah yes but what they do is just' he continued
'Ah yes but what they do is for pleasure' silently quarreling with himself
With confused motion Jacob twirled.....but something happened. Something he had not seen, and by the time the sound had registered it had already happened. Unbeknownst to the Phantom, just mere seconds into his aggressive aerial landing near his brother Samuel, his elder brother Mason had sacrificed not only himself but the situational arena in which they were currently engaged. And before he could react with little more then a raised arm, the room partially exploded. True to form the gymnastic grenadier rode the tidal wave of kinetic force and bent it to his will. Rounding his weightless airborne gait 180 degrees to allow the impact to register his feet first against the far wall.
Like loading a spring his knees bent, calf's energized, and then re-launced him while his body unnaturally twisted to avoid Samuel's intuitive eruption of anointed daggers, as they fanned out through the air searching for a target that had already been an'gone. The tips of his dexterous fingers landed first, supporting the full weight of his lanky frame before he spun into a back bending arc that allowed his feet to overtake his body.
It was time to go. Mason had shown he was willing to burn them all to kill the one. Smoldered but otherwise unharmed, not that he would ever visible emote it if he were, Jacob looked to Samuel, then to Mason. This was goodbye. This was farewell. And with that, the self-exile would begin. Darting towards the door it were as if the rogue Grayl had been swallowed up by the shadows as he catapulted into the banisters and vanished among the wooden beams.
Fate's cruel hand was unveiled that day. The day Jacob turned his back on his brothers, his family and simply - left. The day the Ghoul Ripper was forced to confront a fear he'd once thought impossible and irrational. And yet it happened. A Grayl had abandoned their family for a monster. His steel mask superheated by the explosion that'd left his body broken and mangled, Mason uttered no whimper or cry as his face was burned. Instead he was silent, too shocked and rattled to make a sound as his dried eyes stared endlessly at the door Jacob'd walked out of. And the longer Mason's stare held, the more the lump in his throat thickened. He couldn't believe it. He refused to believe it. But he had no choice but to accept it.
Shutting his eyes as he lied motionless on the floor, Mason felt his entire world fade lose it's color and fade away. Jacob's departure, his brother's decision to turn his back on their family, on their traditions and beliefs, it was worse than any wound the Ghoul Ripper had suffered battling a monster. It hurt worse than when SirLawrence Talbot nearly split his chest in two. It hurt like being stabbed in the heart tenfold - and feeling it's bleeding remains sink to the pit of his gut. "JACOOOB!", Mason wanted so desperately to scream, his breathing erratic and his chest heaving as his widened from a cocktail of emotions. But no sound echoed from his throat. His vocal chords had been partially scorched. Oh fate was cruel. For as Jacob left, Mason's inability to speak, even if temporary, would remind him of this pain forever.
Wheelchair-bound and passionless, Mason had yet to heal. Bandaged like a mummy and left to his thoughts and woes, the crippled Ghoul Ripper stared at the empty courtyard below, watching as the crisp air swept leaves and rustled bushes. Being a hunter, a man who plucked out the hearts of monsters and mounted their heads on walls, it was all Mason had ever known. It was how he justified his role in House Grayl despite his impure blood. It was how he honored his family's traditions, traditions he gave the utmost credence to. It was how he proved his worth to House Grayl. But now, crippled and injured? He was worthless. To House Grayl and himself. He'd tossed his burnt steel mask to the sewers a week earlier. He was the Ghoul Ripper no longer.
And as he thought of Jacob, his blood boiled. He scowled and winced in rage and hurt, nearly foaming at the mouth as he felt his face grow hot, for none were more important than Jacob and Samuel to Mason's sense of self. In a family where he'd been labeled the black sheep and derided with bigotry, his brothers were the only ones like him. They were different like him, and their blood tainted like his. Mason could not help but identify with them, to feel a sense of shared identity. And the three of them, they'd banded together for a common cause - the Hunt. The preservation of humanity. "They're outcasts like me. And we fight for the same cause", he once thought. But now.. now Jacob had turned his back on them and took a part of Mason when he'd left. The foundation of the Ghoul Ripper's identity had been destroyed.
His identity, his purpose, his stability. Looking over the balcony and noticing it's height, Mason wondered. It'd be easy for him to... but alas, his thoughts were cast out by the coming approach of elder Grayl, Geoff. There was much for them to discuss.
An Impure One had finally done what everyone under Castle Graylskull warned about in whispers. One of them had finally sided with the very monsters they swore to hunt to preserve humanity, had finally sided with the very tainted blood that coursed through their veins. The worst part about the whole situation wasn't that Jacob had sided with the Monster known as Dorian Gray, no. The worst part was that Jacob had sided against his own brothers and left them to deal with the aftermath. The Whispered Warnings had turned into Outright Objections to the Impure Ones walking the very same halls they had their whole life. They were used to being Outcasts, Samuel used to think that built an unbreakable bond between them, but now they were seen even more like just another enemy.
Mason was reduced to a physical shell of his former self, limited to a wheelchair. This was believed by some to be the Grimm Ending of the Ghoul Ripper. Slain by his own brother.
Jacob had left Castle Graylskull and with his upbringing and his now past life as a Monster Hunter, could only have made him almost untouchable. Jacob had lived his whole life under Castle Graylskull and just like Mason and Samuel, he knew the inner workings. Although a high price bounty was placed on him, it was believed that he would only be found when he chose to be seen. The Clockwork Phantom would strike again when he saw fit.
As for Samuel, Jacob's betrayal had cracked the strong foundation he had lived his life by. The Sermon Slayer's belief system had been broken. God had gone silent on him, he no longer spoke to Samuel and Samuel no longer prayed to him. His bible and crosses had begun collecting dust from time. He no longer quoted verses, he no longer attended service and never broke the door's threshold to even step into a church. He had lost his way from the God he had followed his whole life. Jacob turning his back on their bond, made it seem like every man was for himself. The Impure Ones were no longer a brotherhood, but simply just a title for another monster. Unlike, Mason, Samuel chose not to stay at Castle Graylskull. Similar to Jacob, he had fled, but not out of fear of being hunted or siding with the very monsters they hunted, no. Samuel fled to find himself. The Soldier of God had gone MIA. He fled to the New land, in hopes of new beginnings.
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