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#301 Edited by Nemesis_Liafador (1277 posts) - - Show Bio

You better be nice to Zauby's characters

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#302 Edited by Inner_Demon (2328 posts) - - Show Bio
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#303 Posted by Nemesis_Liafador (1277 posts) - - Show Bio
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#304 Posted by Inner_Demon (2328 posts) - - Show Bio
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#305 Posted by Musa_Bashir (1007 posts) - - Show Bio

@_dirge_: @soterichor: @ezra_strix:

No Caption Provided

The dread count's disorienting miasma had thickened the atmosphere throughout the castle, no room or study had been spared from the hallucinogenic holocaust. The Shaytan, his sister, the Prince of Orphans, each one's sub-conscious suffering from the effects. But the Beast of No Nation had figuratively punched through the proverbial ceiling, and now stood on the cusp of successfully retrieving the esoteric octavo. A piece of a greater puzzle.

Or so he hoped, so he had been told. Having witnessed the terrifying and supernatural tear high above the Kwazulu, Musa had surrendered his caution and instincts that would have otherwise been weary of such alliances. "Is dat it? Grab it, we must go!." one of Musa's surviving Coda's shakily gasped as he, along with two other survivors, rushed into the study shortly behind the lost Bashir heir. Without hesitation Musa swept the ancient album up and slipped it into the shoulder strapped satchel of his men.

"Go, take dee book back to dee Bay." Musa sharply ordered. Before he had even finished he had anticipated and intercepted his men's defiant rebuttal, physically emoting his stoic decree with a stern nod towards a window over-looking the sea. Spinning on his heals he quickly inhaled, then slowly exhaled. With his composure recaptured, the Beast of No Nation took off in a dead sprint back the way he had come, back into the claustrophobic den of mental anguish and gripping fear.

There was no set plan or methodical strategy at play. Musa saw and reacted to perceived threats, real and imagined, through unimpeded reactionary hyper-mobility. Traversing any and all obstacles without physical pause or interrupted flow of motion. Wall running up and over cavernous stalagmites, vaulting across collapsed sections of the ground, even catching what might have been the last heroic action of the current Al'Shaytan; as he launched his lance with Olympic posture into the shadows. From his peripheral he admired the courage, from his sub-conscious he realized and would seize the moment.

See the Beast of No Nation had dashed head long back into the frey without a plan, knowing only that he could not simply abandon the sibling assassins. He had had no idea what he could, or would do when he returned until this very moment. Baseball sliding along the rocky ground he attempted to snag the deadly Nightingale around the waist while simultaneously spinning, dropping his belt of explosive ordinates, and completing his spin as the subterranean passageway exploded. He knew his suit could take it, the spin positioning his back to the point of eruption.

The hope being it would launch both he and the body sheltered Cassandra out of the cave's opening and out into the sea. Musa had sought to capitalize on the Shaytan's brazen and presumably last stand by saving his sister. Who, with her mind unsettled by the Strix's mad mental cocktail, had already cost him the lives of his assassins. Had nearly cost him his life. If left unattended surely she would have continued to be a hindrance to the Shaytan's very survival. This way, perhaps, he had a chance. This way, he could make the sacrifice he had seemed so desperate to make.....

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#306 Posted by Ezra_Strix (581 posts) - - Show Bio

I was gonna wait for Zauby but I'll get a post up some hours from now.

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#307 Posted by Zauberin (6115 posts) - - Show Bio

I feel a tad guilty.

Moderator
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#308 Posted by Arquitenens (11973 posts) - - Show Bio

@ezra_strix: Nevermind, they jerked my schedule around again so I gotta go in early and stay late. Do your thing. Worst case, I'll just swing with G's course of events.

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#309 Posted by Ezra_Strix (581 posts) - - Show Bio

@soterichor: @musa_bashir: @_dirge_:

The Horned God hung in the shadows, weaving visions of lunacy and diseases of madness into the minds of those who roamed his castle's dungeons. And it was from the damp darkness of a corner that Ezra's eyeless gaze fell upon Vincent, his thin lips pulling back into a hideous and toothy grin as he watched the al-Shaytan's descent into madness. A descent that coincided with his son's arrival. An arrival Vincent greeted with the mighty hurl of a lance. Oh how the cold air shrieked in the lance's wake. And as Fraga turned round, the Staff of Sarsu'um humming a slow tune that floated to the beat of Ezra's heart, Vincent's lance - Gae Bolg - struck home, piercing into Fraga's side without mercy. It echoed wet and meaty as the lance drove deeper into his flesh until it met bone.

"A..hglr....", was all the Beast of Blackpool managed, the blood spurting hot from his wound, and spilling out his mouth. Dropping to his knees, his face wrinkled with anguish, Fraga felt his fingers loosen round the Staff of Sarsu'um. Dropping his arcane staff as bile and blood pooled in his throat, choking him as he yanked Gae Bolg out his side with a gargling roar, the Beast of Blackpool collapsed in a puddle of his own blood. "Oh my", Ezra gasped, his voice soft and sickeningly sweet as he stepped out the shadows, "That looks quite painful", he lamented, his expression vacant and his arms motionless at his sides. "Are you alright?", the Mad Strix asked, stepping closer, the click-clack of his dress shoes echoing over Fraga's gargling and horrified vocalizations. The widened and desperate gaze of a son met the empty and harrowing stare of a father.

"Are you not friends?"

"F...father", Fraga rasped, the blood loss stripping him of conscious thought. His eyes shut and his wound leaking, the Beast of Blackpool lay unconscious, his blood staining the Mad Strix's shoes. Glancing Vincent's way, Ezra clasped both hands behind him, his chin kept high, and his face as dead as a corpse. "Why would you do that?", he asked, as if genuinely concerned, a woman's voice - Abigail's - quietly bleeding into his own. "Are you not friends?", he almost smiled, glancing at his wounded son but speaking of Abigail. "Perhaps she is better off without you", the Horned God rasped, his voice climbing in pitch and softening in tone. Slowly bending over, his fingers coiling round his son's cold throat, Ezra smiled. With Fraga unconscious, the monster that lie within his son was ripe for Ezra to claim - Saamas.

Ah but then... then something in him broke, shattering like glass as he felt foreign fingers graze the book cover of his ancient tome of knowledge. "NOoooOoooOOO", Ezra cried, his voice foul and not quite human as his face twisted and contorted into something wrapped in the derangement of nightmares. Stretching into the shadows, the Horned God slithered after the Bashir Heir - and failed. Musa had outsmarted him, outmaneuvered him and made his escape from the Pomest'ye, with the Mad Strix's book and possibly the al-Shaytan's dearest sibling. And with Ezra elsewhere in his castle, Vincent was given his reprieve from the Horned God's lunacy, and the chance to flee, with or without the Beast of Blackpool.

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#310 Posted by Musa_Bashir (1007 posts) - - Show Bio

Worst case, I'll just swing with G's course of events.

i think u mean 'best case'

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#311 Posted by Ezra_Strix (581 posts) - - Show Bio
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#312 Edited by Musa_Bashir (1007 posts) - - Show Bio
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#313 Posted by Ezra_Strix (581 posts) - - Show Bio

@musa_bashir: I was talking about the last one but this one's pretty good too.

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#314 Posted by Musa_Bashir (1007 posts) - - Show Bio
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#315 Posted by Ezra_Strix (581 posts) - - Show Bio

@musa_bashir: Right? Sometimes having a lot of good avs has you struggling to choose which one to go with, LOL.

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#316 Edited by Arquitenens (11973 posts) - - Show Bio

@musa_bashir: No it's the worst because it meant I'm getting my ass kicked. By life.

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#317 Posted by _Dirge_ (3632 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmmm....

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#318 Posted by Dorian_Gray_ (23 posts) - - Show Bio

@ezra_strix:

Elsewhere

It might as well have been Charon's cruise ship, floating slowly towards the underworld. But Dorian refused to place silver coins over his eyes, for to do so would be to give in to death. He would wait on the banks as long as need be, for he would find a way out. He was Dorian Gray, dammit! He had been alive a hundred years, dodged the draft, survived the blitzkrieg, survived several laws that somewhat clashed with his lifestyle, and it wasn’t all going to end here!

His little peptalk to himself was rather ineffective, faced as he was with a beast that held his everything in its corpse-like hands…Dorian couldn’t imagine anything other than a corpse having such fingernails. The-thing-that-was-not-Morozova was running these fingernails along the portrait’s frame. Dorian shuddered. He could feel it in his spine, intimately. "I promise, darling", Morozova said through her sickly smile, "I'll be good to our painting."

It’s mine,” whispered Dorian, so quietly that he couldn’t even hear himself. “It’s my painting.”

Silence fell, the same forced silence as before, silence potent as if it was sprayed from a can of mustard gas.

But only if you are good to me.” Dorian shuddered at the voice. The words were wrapped up in fairy tale, the witches that flew on frosty nights when the moon was high; witches that ate children, ate heroes, ate gods. He had feared them when his mother read him the tales (and when was the last time he had thought of his mother?) and now his fear was rekindled. As the horrible voice echoed louder and louder, Dorian clapped his hands over his ears. It was no use. Other voices joined in. You’re over Dorian you’re outdated you’re last year’s model you’re archaic out of mode a regular junker fit for the scrap yard.

And then the Devil Himself appeared, for who else would do this to Dorian? Who else could play him like a fiddle, and the Devil was notorious for his fiddling. Who else could do what the Devil had done? He must be here to make good on the bargain Dorian had made so long ago, for surely even the Devil tires of waiting for a soul he was promised. (And Dorian could not comprehend the truth, what he was really up against…perhaps he would have been even more frightened. Perhaps not). He was holding a human skin, the skin of Morozova. And then, to Dorian’s immense disgust, he used the skin to wrap up the portrait. Dorian understood the need to be dramatic, but really? Was that truly necessary? He almost gagged, the sensation of almost-living skin unbearable. The Devil gestured for him to come closer. Dorian rose to his feet (for he had never quite made it up off the floor), and stood for a moment, hesitating.

Take my hand, darling.” Those were his words, in that maddening voice. Dorian took a step forward, but did not take the proffered hand.

"Your painting will be returned to you," said the Infernal Prince, reaching out slowly and stroking Dorian’s cheek with his thumb. Dorian cringed. He felt like an animal being sized up for the slaughter. He felt like he was bound in chains, helpless, at the mercy of his tormenter. And he was. “But only once you’ve helped return something of mine.”

Dorian started to laugh, first quietly then outright guffaws. It was so funny when he thought about this. Absolutely hilarious. He couldn’t quite express why, but it was. He grabbed the outstretched hand and

Between There and Here

the shadows closed in, pouncing like wolves. It might have taken a fraction of a second. It might have been an hour. A cannibal wind howled, hot and cold. Dorian thought he heard voices, familiar voices, suicidally sibilant. The darkness was merely a front for deeper darkness, and Dorian dared not look into it. He closed his eyes tight, and

Here

soon he was kneeling on an unknown surface. He slowly opened his eyes, seeing nothing as they adjusted from the darkness.

Tell me what I need to do, and what I should call you…I suspect your identity, but I don’t wish to make a fool of myself if I’m wrong,” he said. He was still surrounded by the sickly feeling of shed skin. He was still surrounded by death. He was still Dorian Gray, and he would survive this, no matter the cost.

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#319 Posted by Ezra_Strix (581 posts) - - Show Bio

@dorian_gray_:

They were wrapped in darkness, swallowed whole by a wretched abyss as the Horned God dragged him from a charming cruise to the damp shadows of the Pomest'ye dungeons. And there, the deafening silence returned, the atmosphere chilling the spine like a cold sheet. "I will show you", Ezra answered, turning round, his smile widening till the bones in his face seemed to push out against his blotted skin. Slowly, the dungeons shed their stone walls until the dungeons themselves were no more, given way to a gentler and more hospitable place - a guest room. A room where shades of red and gold hung brilliant, where squashy armchairs sat, and scarlet tapestries lined it's walls.

The Horned God
The Horned God

Slow and lumbering, the Mad Strix moved like a tree with legs, the sound of creaking wood floating from his joints as he hung Dorian's painting above the fireplace, the crackling fires flickering beneath it, daring to lick it's frame as Ezra crouched and turned round, his grin faded, and his face motionless. "Ezra", the Horned God rasped, dry and deep, "Call me... Ezra", he continued, his lips no longer moving, his body still as if he were a statue, as if he'd been petrified into stone. "I want him", Ezra growled, his beady eyes staring a whole through the portrait of Ali Sani Bashir, a portrait to Dorian's right. "Ali Bashir. He is a sweet boy. My sweet boy", he giggled, his voice soft, climbing in pitch until it squeaked from his still mouth. "But he has been... naaauuuughttty", the Mad Strix droned, "Bring him back to me".

"Crush his bones... tear at his flesh... pluck the eyes from his sockets", Ezra paused, falling completely silent until suddenly, his voice boomed as he shot up, impulsively standing to his feet, his body stretching taller until his antlers scraped the ceiling, "BUT DO NOT KILL HIM! DO - NOT!", Ezra bawled, his voice growling louder until it offended the ears, until the loudness rattled the skull and suddenly - was no more. Crying, sobbing with no tears trickling down his face, the Mad Strix whimpered as lunacy poured from his every twitch and word, "He's a sweet boy...", he mumbled, before his timbre grew violent, possessive, "My sweet boy". Pausing, the Horned God stepped forward, "Bring him back to me", he said, now monotone and stern.

"And I will return your painting, and free you from this bind".

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#320 Posted by _Dirge_ (3632 posts) - - Show Bio

@ezra_strix:

@soterichor: @musa_bashir: @_dirge_:

The Horned God hung in the shadows, weaving visions of lunacy and diseases of madness into the minds of those who roamed his castle's dungeons. And it was from the damp darkness of a corner that Ezra's eyeless gaze fell upon Vincent, his thin lips pulling back into a hideous and toothy grin as he watched the al-Shaytan's descent into madness. A descent that coincided with his son's arrival. An arrival Vincent greeted with the mighty hurl of a lance. Oh how the cold air shrieked in the lance's wake. And as Fraga turned round, the Staff of Sarsu'um humming a slow tune that floated to the beat of Ezra's heart, Vincent's lance - Gae Bolg - struck home, piercing into Fraga's side without mercy. It echoed wet and meaty as the lance drove deeper into his flesh until it met bone.

"A..hglr....", was all the Beast of Blackpool managed, the blood spurting hot from his wound, and spilling out his mouth. Dropping to his knees, his face wrinkled with anguish, Fraga felt his fingers loosen round the Staff of Sarsu'um. Dropping his arcane staff as bile and blood pooled in his throat, choking him as he yanked Gae Bolg out his side with a gargling roar, the Beast of Blackpool collapsed in a puddle of his own blood. "Oh my", Ezra gasped, his voice soft and sickeningly sweet as he stepped out the shadows, "That looks quite painful", he lamented, his expression vacant and his arms motionless at his sides. "Are you alright?", the Mad Strix asked, stepping closer, the click-clack of his dress shoes echoing over Fraga's gargling and horrified vocalizations. The widened and desperate gaze of a son met the empty and harrowing stare of a father.

"Are you not friends?"

"F...father", Fraga rasped, the blood loss stripping him of conscious thought. His eyes shut and his wound leaking, the Beast of Blackpool lay unconscious, his blood staining the Mad Strix's shoes. Glancing Vincent's way, Ezra clasped both hands behind him, his chin kept high, and his face as dead as a corpse. "Why would you do that?", he asked, as if genuinely concerned, a woman's voice - Abigail's - quietly bleeding into his own. "Are you not friends?", he almost smiled, glancing at his wounded son but speaking of Abigail. "Perhaps she is better off without you", the Horned God rasped, his voice climbing in pitch and softening in tone. Slowly bending over, his fingers coiling round his son's cold throat, Ezra smiled. With Fraga unconscious, the monster that lie within his son was ripe for Ezra to claim - Saamas.

Ah but then... then something in him broke, shattering like glass as he felt foreign fingers graze the book cover of his ancient tome of knowledge. "NOoooOoooOOO", Ezra cried, his voice foul and not quite human as his face twisted and contorted into something wrapped in the derangement of nightmares. Stretching into the shadows, the Horned God slithered after the Bashir Heir - and failed. Musa had outsmarted him, outmaneuvered him and made his escape from the Pomest'ye, with the Mad Strix's book and possibly the al-Shaytan's dearest sibling. And with Ezra elsewhere in his castle, Vincent was given his reprieve from the Horned God's lunacy, and the chance to flee, with or without the Beast of Blackpool.

"What have I done?" The realization that Vincent had speared Fraga and not Ezra almost shook the Cainite's resolve. Vincent needed Fraga alive to translate the tome. And then, to add salt to Vincent's wounds. The Horned God spoke. "Why would you do that?" His voice subtly bled into Abigail's as the Mad Strix spoke. Are you not friends? Perhaps she is better off without you" Vincent regained his footing and stood up. "On that we agree."Vincent's bloodshot eyes narrowed as Ezra drew closer to his fallen son.

No Caption Provided

The thought crept in as Ezra now knelt down and placed his hands upon his son's throat. Vincent could now hear the sentient hum of Gae Bolg. With a subtle hand gesture, he recalled his lance back to him knowing that there was a small chance that Ezra could be hit with it. As the lance left Fraga's body, the barbs extended form the shaft in a vain attempt to shed some of Ezra's blood. But that's when Vincent heard it. The Horned god let out a inhuman shriek. As soon as the lance found it's way back into Vincent's grasp. The Devil's Head didn't know if he had struck the Mad God, or if something else had happened. All he knew was that he had a small window, and Vincent took it. The Lone Cainite melded into the shadows right over Fraga's body and quickly grabbed him.

"Apologies. "Vincent spoke to the unconscious Stirx from now resting over his left shoulder. Now with Fraga in tow, Vincent quickly shifted back into the shadows and made his out of Ezra's dungeons and back to his ship with what was left of his men.

(Sorry for the delay. I had some RL issues and had to leave.)

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#321 Posted by 8th_Wonder (400 posts) - - Show Bio
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#322 Posted by Arquitenens (11973 posts) - - Show Bio

No worries indeed. He knew my terms and broke them anyway. So I'd say you'll have "no worries" about hearing from Grif for...oh, at least three days.

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#323 Posted by _Dirge_ (3632 posts) - - Show Bio

-_-