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The Hound

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The Hound last won the day on September 26 2017

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About The Hound

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    Patron Saint of Corrupted Youth

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  1. Sometimes the key to a well executed plan lies in a particularly bad idea. Upon his return to Valucre, Leandros Kostikos had found that everything around him for the most part had changed. Empires had changed hands like the particularly cheap hookers he had… Uhm… Met in the streets of Hell’s Gate. His friends had all but disappeared (and thank everything that was holy, so had the people he owed money to. For the most parts.) He had traveled across the lands of Terrenus, visiting the places he had adventured to and finding that for the most part, he could not recognize anything but names. Only one thing stood, remaining the way he had remembered in his heart’s eye. Altissium Bay. With a small smile, he remembered the city he had built with his own sweat, blood, and hard work. In the guise of a traveling magus, he had listened to the whispers about the Stones of Genesaris, and something inside of him compelled him to investigate. Although factual information had been scarce, he did find that there were whispers of artifacts found by other adventurers. It had seemed that although elusive, there were trails of their history strewn throughout Genesaris’ history. It had taken the wizard three months of research, incredibly intricate spellwork, and a particularly unsavory affair with a female dwarf he did not want to think about, but he had narrowed down one of the stones’ location. Antigone. It had been hard departing his beloved Altissium Bay, but the wizard swore to himself that once the affair with the stone was resolved, he would return to reclaim what he built. For some reason, there was something about the stone that called to him… Something important. And so he sailed, working as a hired hand in a merchant ship and maintaining his identity as a wizard incognito. Instead he had divested himself of most of his magical focii save for the crystalline ring in his right pinkie, which served to entirely conceal his magical presence, and the ring on his left pinkie which would allow him access to his magical cache in a pinch. And of course there was his right eye carefully concealed beneath an eyepatch, hardly hindered by being covered and still running the glamour that hid his scars. He had bound his shoulder-length black hair with a simple leather strap, displaying his prominent, sharply angled cheekbones and a nose that had looked as if it had been broken a few times. Instead of his usual vestments of a long, black coat and a silken shirt, the wizard had donned a tight fitting, sleeveless black leather top complete with a hood that displayed heavily muscled, scarred arms and matching black pants adorned an ancient looking pair of blades that rested in either of his hips. To all of those who would see him, he would seem just another common soldier. Which in an island where people were heavily bigoted against wizards, he mused, would come in handy. Months had passed on the ship, and the wizard busied his mind with coming up with a plan as deft hands worked on the decks of the ship and he chatted up the crew, learning what he could about the island he was about to visit. They had forsaken magic for the sake of technology, it seemed, and thrived due to the advanced constructs they had created. At that, the wizard couldn’t help but to smile. Of course one of the most powerful magical artifacts in Genesarian history would be hidden in an island filled with beings who both hated and revered magic. Upon making landfall, Leandros was quick to lose himself into the city, trying to learn the pulse of his surroundings. It seemed that the rumors were correct. Magic was, indeed, heavily restricted and treated as a threat. All of this, and yet… Magic made their magic hatred possible. They yearned so much to restrain wizards, that they had turned to what they feared the most. And if that was not the most mortal thing he had seen in the last few decades or so, it had been close. Decently satisfied with his reconnoitering after a week of traveling from place to place, the wizard decided to scout the surrounding forests. Placing his hand on the ground the wizard willed a trickle of power into the ground beneath him, sending the pulse as far away from the city as possible. Closing his eyes, he could feel… Connected to the earth. With a deep breath, he probed for anything that could help. Anything that could be of interest. Anything… Aha. Not a few leagues back he could feel a gathering of beings. It was not quite the same feel as he had gotten in the city, but something more rudimentary. Quickly dispelling his magic so he would once again be nondescript, the wizard set himself forward in a run towards the gathering of living beings. If memories of the texts he had read about the island served (and let’s face it, they did), he would find clusters of orcs or rebel mages scattered beneath the deep brushes. After a half hour of running, the wizard found himself in a suspiciously serene clearing. Closing his eyes, he felt the presence of living beings encircling him, hidden away by the luscious green foliage. It was there that he had to make a choice. Play the part and be captured, or make sure that there were no witnesses. For a moment, the wizard thought of reaching for his magic and laying a conflagration of ice to his surroundings… But the same deep gut feeling that had told him to seek the Stone had also warned him against drawing attention to himself. Furrowing his brow, the wizard shook his head to himself. “Kostikos, you’ve done stupider things…” He thought darkly to himself. “But sure. Let’s play hostage.” He said under his breath as he removed his left pinkie’s ring and pocketed it into one of his concealed pockets, leaving only the translucent focii. Deliberately, he did what no sane man would do. He played the fly. And flew right into the spider’s web. After that, things happened in a blur. Six hulking figures he recognized as orcs surrounded him, weapons brandished. And so he played the part. Bringing out his blades he felled one, but allowed himself to take a large fist to the side of his head. Lifting his blades and allowing a carefully acted out flash of fear to cross his face, the wizard dropped his weapons. “Peace! Peace! I was just trying to find myself food.” He said, voice quavering as one of the orcs hit him again, causing him to spit blood upon the ground before restraining him. “This’n the right place.” A slurred voice in rough common spoke, taking his blades. “And now you’re ours.” And that’s how it happened. Conveniently, even after searching him for weapons, the orcish creatures overlooked his rings. After a week of jeering and poking at the wizard in his cage, they mostly ignored the wizard. Breaking out and… Eliminating the threat would have been easy. But something inside of him made him wait. So he did. After a week of what could barely be passed off as meals and relatively no action, something changed. It seemed like his “captors” had found more guests. His eyes widened slightly as he felt the release of magic, and a half-crooked grin lit his lips. Minutes later, he saw a large figure carrying… A girl who looked like she had seen miles and miles of bad roads. A girl who was screaming like a banshee with a particularly bad case of phobophagic fleas. Gripping the wood of his cage he surged forward. “Psst. Girl.” He shouted, voice roughened by the general lack of water. “Hey girl. Come to free me?” And people said Leandros wasn’t subtle or good at planning things.
  2. Courtyard > Entry Turning his head back toward his son, Rowan felt the corner of his lips tilt upward as he flashed his teeth toward his Grant and his betrothed. “The maps, the guest list, the possible points of assault. You know me, my boy. You are the best part of me. And you know Father Knows Best." Rowan said primly as the ghost of an amused chuckle bubbled from his throat. Turning his eyes to the woman that leaned against his son, Rowan’s smile widened even as his voice turned to mock severity. “It is fine, Daughter. I am used to my son being inconsiderate… One hopes that my grandchild will, perhaps, be a bit more mindful of their elders.” Rowan finished with a sigh, expression shifting to something akin to exasperation although the smile never quite left his eyes. Once upon a time, the whole affair of going to a formal gathering would’ve had him either slinking in the shadowy corners awaiting for attack, or putting on airs of effete joyousness. These affairs had always had the beast within him wary. Watchful. Ready to rain down death and destruction, should their Raveena be threatened. And although Rowan himself was still wary and watchful, and would not hesitate to smite anyone so foolish as to raise their hands toward their retinue… He also found that something within him was truly finding enjoyment in the night’s do. Turning his eye toward the Hului man with a patient smile. The lad had become a staple of their retinue since Raveena had turned her attentions to him. Rowan found him to be an amusing contrast in duality. Youthful, joyful, and a powerful link to Raveena’s lost culture, the young man’s joyous countenance was marked by a wariness he knew well. To most, he would appear jovial and perhaps even as nothing more than a dandy. But the look in his eyes, the ramrod straight posture, and the callouses in the young man’s hands spoke of his true nature. More than anything, Raveena’s hunger to absorb her culture had awoken something deep within the Emperor Consort. Over the last few weeks in the guise of working overnights, Rowan had thrown himself into learning as much of the Khaiperian culture as he could. He understood something of the need his wife had felt. Prior to having regained his memories, Rowan had felt… Lost. He had felt as if he was a man without people. And so he had made his goal to learn about the nation he had become a part of in order to aid his wife in any way possible. And to that end, he had spent endless nights reading, Everett asleep in his lap. He had procured the armor he wore today, a relic of the Khaiperian people. And… As a surprise to his wife, he had set out to learn his wife’s mother tongue. Turning his face toward Adanaai, the Emperor Consort flashed his teeth at him jovially. “Give me enough time in a maze or a forest, Adanaai, and I can properly map out the exit points.” Rowan said easily, a faintly amused glint playing in his emerald eyes. “And failing that… Well. I am quite capable of creating an exit point by smashing my way through the nearby walls.” Rowan rumbled seriously, eyes never leaving the youth even as he once more leaned down and placed a kiss atop of his wife’s head. For a moment he guided his wife in amiable silence toward the main entrance, finding peace in watching the interactions that went on between the different members of their group. After a moment, Rowan disentangled himself from his wife’s arms and gestured for Grant and his wife to find their way in first. He might be enjoying himself, but as it stood both his son’s betrothed and his own wife were pregnant, and therefore made for the most obvious targets. Turning his eyes toward Adanaai and sparing a single moment to wink at Raveena impishly, the Emperor Consort modulated his voice so that it was low enough that only his wife and the man would hear his words. "Is'k varr sros aeui ora voscrkir, seun. Iis'k orresrs suu baa um okhra'naa siord em coka sremsk du su bodrae. Huvaqaar, aeui kiks or'kuu raorm suu sakvaar sros voremakk vesr vreugde, raks aeui bacuka kuu rordaa'mad bae es sros aeui ora muu rumsar obra su usmikhni se. Triks kaa. I raormad sros rakkum sra rord voae." It's well that you are watchful, son. It's alright to be on your guard in case things do go badly. However, you must also learn to temper that wariness with joy, lest you become so hardened by it that you are no longer able to smile. Trust me. I learned that lesson the hard way. Rowan said in a lightly accented Matreyan, much to his displeasure. He had not yet mastered their fluid accents and intonations, which had been so easy for him in the past. Raising his voice so the rest of the group could hear him, Rowan offered his armor-clad arm once more to his wife. “Well then, shall we go greet our hosts and delve into interesting conversations?” He said jovially with a smile playing on his lips. @Malintzin @Aleksei @danzilla3 @L E V I A T H A N
  3. [Courtyard toward entry, toward Great Hall] Death, Rowan mused to himself quietly as he watched his wife’s mouth fall agape with a reserved but amused smile of his own, had a way to change how one thought of life. Once upon a time, the assassin turned emperor would’ve thought of a gathering with so many as an unnecessary risk with too many variables that could have lent to harm and chaos to his wife and son. Even as his eyes swept the perimeter in something that was more of a habit than a trained compulsion as it once had been, the Emperor Consort could hardly feel the usual tightening knot of tension he had once felt at social gatherings. Acutely, he could feel his wife’s arm wound around him even as he faintly allowed himself to imagine the cacophony of sounds that would once upon a time have been swarming in his thoughts. Life after he had been brought from the precipice had been… A trial of change. Once boasting of a plethora of different abilities and the voices that had swarmed in his mind for so long, the man found himself devoid of both. Instead, he found something else within him. Something that was just as foreign as the voices once had been. He could feel the thrum of power surrounding him, like a river that sought to engulf and draw him in, and something he had never felt before. It was a vein of power, pure and unadulterated. The ley lines his wife had spoken about, he’d hazard a guess. Taking a deep breath, Rowan led himself through the mental exercises he had undertaken to quiet his senses as he felt his wife’s cheek rest against his shoulder. In an unguarded moment, the man’s small smile widened by a fraction as he leaned forward and gently kissed her forehead. Raveena, he thought to himself, had always stricken him as a figure of beauty. But as their years passed and she accepted both her past and her future, she had grown to be something the poets in his former land would have composed epics about. Petite, delicate of features, and dark in complexion as she was, she stood a stark contrast to himself. When they met, Rowan had been tall and built with a lean frame graced with muscle that had been fostered with a lifetime of discipline and strife. He once boasted of dark black hair so dark that it seemed to draw in light, often worn in a tight, neat ponytail that highlighted his sharp cheekbones and the vulpine orange eyes that swept his surroundings. Always seen in immaculate suits filled with the accoutrements he had carried to eliminate threats, Rowan had been a spider waiting to weave his web of mayhem and death. Where his wife had been a creature of light and life, he had been a predator built to bring about death. And it all had changed when he had embraced his family and let go of his life. There were still similarities between the Rowan of old, and the man who had awakened from certain death. When he awoke, the man that once had been known as Agent Preta had been shocked to see the stranger he faced in the mirror. Once the color of a raven’s wings, he had found the stranger in the mirror to have snowy white tresses. Amber eyes had been replaced by the bright green of a forest amidst spring. And most startlingly, he had found a spider shaped glyph over the place his heart had been removed. But none of that startled the man as much as the changes the eye could not see… After a lifetime of discipline and rigor, the assassin turned Emperor Consort had found that the world had irrevocably shifted by the birth of Everett Knight, the rekindling of his relationship with Grant, and the myriad of children his wife had adopted in his wake, not to speak of the child on the way. Once upon a time, the man would’ve kept them all at a distance, and yet? He had found he craved nothing more than his family’s constant presence. And most of all, he wanted to make up for the time he had lost. He had thrown himself into his training with a discipline he had fostered over years of unsavory work. He had a second chance, and he would devote himself to his family. Not only had he studied the physical, but Rowan embraced the role of father, and the role of husband. He strove to learn his wife’s culture, secretly setting himself to learn the languages of her people and their custom. And that was what had led him to choose tonight’s garb, dressing requirements aside. He had cast aside the suits he had once chosen in favor of a Khaiperian suit of armor, black and lusterless save for the crimson etching of a dragon on his chest, and its matching scales on his pauldrons and greaves. He had elected to wear his hair unadorned, snowy white cascading over his shoulders and bouncing off of his ensemble as he walked forward. On his right wrist, he wore a single sword of a matching ebony metal, engraved with the same dragon imagery… But even though Rowan Knight had changed, he had not quite changed so much as to walk in without other resources. He had the blacksmiths rework the armor in guises of it better fitting him so he could add hidden blades at the wrist, with a matching set concealed within his sabatons. The Emperor Consort may have changed, but he had not quite changed so much. He watched indulgently as his wife conversed with the Huluian, pleased that his tutoring allowed him to mostly follow the threads of conversation. Sparing a glance to the spot immediately behind his left shoulder, Rowan felt his lips tug as he took in the visage of his eldest. In a surprisingly open manner, Rowan reached backward and patted his son’s arm in a gesture of affection that surprised himself. Blinking obliquely, Rowan faced forward as he heard his beloved’s switch in language. “Great hall, first floor, first chamber north of the entryway, my heart.” Rowan said absently before he could stop hmself, flashing a small smile of apology toward his Raveena as faint spots of color graced his cheeks. He had, of course, memorized the layout of the manor and the event scheduled. He may not have been Rowan Knight, chimera assassin extraordinaire anymore… But he was still Rowan Bloody Knight. @Malintzin @danzilla3 @L E V I A T H A N
  4. Whisper Happy Birthday~ :bigsmile:

    1. supernal

      supernal

      Happy birthday!

    2. The Hound

      The Hound

      Thanks guys!

  5. One month prior... The duality of existence, Rowan thought to himself, was perhaps the most bloody befuddling thing in the world. It had a bit more than a year and a half, roughly speaking, since the chimera’s world had ended. After struggling to defeat an enemy that far outmatched him Rowan Knight had succeeded, and paid the price for his success. The former soldier had never been a man of religion so he had expected that if an afterlife had existed, he would find himself on a southbound tram… He had so many regrets. So many memories that had returned to him. He didn’t get to say goodbye to his wife. To his child. He was dead now…. Except that he wasn't. For nearly two years, the chimera found himself a prisoner of his own body. He had heard them. His son’s lamentations. His wife’s determination turned into despair and finally into hopelessness. He had heard countless people as they came and went, but he could not soothe them. He could not open his eyes. He could not speak. All that existed was the blankness of the room he had found himself in, trapped with the once troubling voices that had spoken to him. Sparing a glance toward the dying representation of the DNA that had been spliced into him and turned him from man to beast, the man found himself feeling a twinge of grief. In the aftermath of the battle the DNA that he had hosted pushed itself to the limits with the healing of his body, and had been left depleted. Walking over to the physical representation of his other self, Rowan placed a hand atop the beast’s shoulder and sighed as he sat beside him. “You and I have gone through a lot. We were odd bedfellows from the start, trapped in an existence that neither of us had wanted…” Rowan mused aloud hearing the weak, chitinous maw open and close itself as it chittered tiredly. He blinked slowly, and Rowan offered a small but tight smile. “I know how you feel. I don’t want you to go either, brother of my soul. But it’s alright. You’ve saved me many times, but it is alright.” The creature grasped futilely toward the man’s hand. Gently, Rowan squeezed the Beast within’s cool carapaced fingers and offered a tremulous smile as a tear rolled down his cheek. “I cursed our existence for so long, you know… And now I find that I don’t want you to go. But really, it’s quite alright old friend. You’ve earned your rest, and I will be here for you until you find rest.” The man said gently, caressing the creature’s hand with his thumb in a soothing manner. For what seemed like hours, Rowan Knight held the creature’s hand. He watched as it tried to speak to him in vain, and murmured soft soothing sounds to it. After a while, Agent Preta’s grip of his hand slackened and his breathing became more steady. “Ave atque vale, Agent Preta. Thank you for allowing me to do the impossible.” Rowan said quietly, realizing that for the first time since his body had been reconstructed so long ago he was entirely, utterly alone… “And now I have lost the last thing I had left. I am ready. I shall not hold my loved ones in limbo any longer.” Rowan said as he stood, peering at the emptiness before him. “I am ready to face the afterlife, if only for the hopes to see my family again. So come on then. Get after it. But do not, bloody do not, expect me to go gentle into that bloody good night.” Rowan shouted at the empty space, glancing upwards as indignation filled every fiber of his being. “And if you all pose a threat toward my family again, gods of any bloody existing pantheon above and below, I will come for you. You’ve seen what happened to that other bloody chav. Living or dead, I will come for all of you if one hair of my wife or children’s hairs are harmed.” He now shouted at the skies, and felt… Something shift. A tremor ran through the emptiness that had for so long been his jail, and he felt an unbearable, searing warmth blow up from within him…. He was falling…. And falling… --- With a rapid jerking motion, Rowan Knight pulled himself into a seating position. Dizzy, the man flexed his fingers and stared down at his hands as his eyes struggled to readjust to the light around him. It would seem that somehow, he had managed to escape death once more. It was… Curious. He had expected his body to have atrophied, making movement difficult… But it wasn’t so. Experimentally, the assassin swung his legs toward the floor and made as if to stand up. For a moment, Rowan surveyed his surroundings and deduced that he likely had been at one of the infirmaries within the empire. It was then that Rowan spotted a figure in yellow garb standing with their backs to him. “Do excuse me. Where would one find a nice cuppa around here.” Rowan asked lightly, faintly alarmed at how roughened his voice sounded. With a carefully constructed blank face, the man found himself filled with smug glee as the diminutive figure of the physicker nearly jumped out of their skin. “H-how are y-” The mage stammered before Rowan raised a hand to silence him. “Not a bloody clue, mate. And we can go over that later. I need a few things: Firstly, guide me to my chambers so that I may find something more suitable to wear and I can equip my usual effects. Also. Let’s not let Raveena or Grant know, eh? Where am I? Oh, bugger it. You can tell me on the way.” Rowan said quietly, trying to ignore the quietness in his mind from the place where the chittering had once been. --- A short while later, the king found himself in his chambers once more and he took a moment to process. He had bathed, shaved the godsforsaken beard that had been allowed to grow on his face, and at last gotten a look at himself. For the most part, Rowan Knight had remained the same over the changing of the seasons… If one were to not count the spider-shaped glyph over where his heart had been punched out, the changing of his hair’s color from black into a snowy white, and the green eyes that stared back at the once orange eyed stranger. Heading over to his dressing chambers, Rowan selected a white variation of his usual night’s do. This one, he found himself amused to note, had been tailored from the spidersilk he once had been able to produce. Reflexively, he attempted to shoot webs from his wrists… And found that nothing happened. Frowning to himself pensively, the man wondered if he was once again simply human even as he outfitted himself with his usual arsenal. Taking the gun that had once been his partner into his palm once more, Rowan tucked it at his usual customised holster at the inside of his jacket. Finally satisfied that he once again looked like himself, the former chimera styled his hair into his usual ponytail and headed toward the doors to his chambers… Only to be found face to face with a nervous looking attendant. “Spidersilk… That’s webbing, innit milord?” The attendant said in a conversational tone, and Rowan cocked an eyebrow. At least some things had not changed. “Report, Agent.” Rowan responded confidently, and watched as the simulated nervous expression shifted into a neutral face and the man’s posture straightened. For a while he listened, his expression betraying nothing. Wrath washed over the former chimera as news of the destruction of his wife’s empire and her assassination were delivered to him. He quirked his eyebrow slightly, reminding himself not to close his hands into fists as the man finished his report. That would have to be dealt with. A slight quirking at the corner of his lips appeared on his face as he was delivered with news of his son. It seemed that some of his old self survived, after all. He was a father, and he would have the chance to get to know and teach his son… “Activate all agents. I want a full squadron watching over Raveena and Everett. Covertly, and without drawing attention. Send Wormwood as squadron leader.” Rowan said quietly. “And if anyone asks where your orders came from, let them know that Preta is at the center of the Web once more. Meanwhile, I need an airship. Fastest one we can find. It is time that I returned to work, lad. And I need to speak with Kirena posthaste.”
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