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Marquis Zantara

Have Gun--Will Travel (Bounty Thread)

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It had been a bit of time since he'd last been in Orisia. Honestly, he wasn't quite sure if he was going to come back, but the Marquis had heard of a issue while he'd been in Versilla before his visit with the Queens' sister and when it came down to giant monsters being in places they shouldn't be well....it got the Cleric thinking. And wanting a challenge. So he had upgraded from his smaller vessel the Orchid of Life into a full blown three master schooner that went by the name of The Amethyst Heart. Bypassing the Capital city with his crew of miscreants, the Marquis tacked his way up the Ranthus River and pulled into port.

 

"I really need to get with that guy and get my diesel plant built." Zantara muttered to himself, taking a moment to look up at the setting sun glad for it to be gone. He had some older maps of the country and as usual, his nautical skills had been up to the task at hand. Now if only the two important VIP's below deck would appear. They had been a troublesome bunch but he and his companions had enjoyed them all the same. The Seer's brood in this world. He had done his best to keep it on the downlow when he'd brought them through the portal from Durem to Patia. And for the most part...he was sure that no one besides possibly Roen himself knew who they actually were. And he'd been damn sure to keep out of Roens line-of-sight. The Devil had by now gotten wind of all his many excursions across the planet and in his position, if Roen wasn't looking to pin the Cleric down with that nasty blade of his and get some answers well...then he wouldn't be the Devil of Patia now would he?

 

And the wily Cleric was REALLY REALLY good at being out of the grasp of those who wanted him.

 

Watching his masked crew pull down the sails and tied her up, Zantara took a moment to light up his old pipe, sitting on the metal railing puffing quietly to himself. He was here to hunt for Suujali and there had been talk of a earlier group going out to find the two beasts. No one quite knew what happened, but they hadn't been heard of in a while.

 

And so the Cleric sat there puffing his pipe while he waited for his passengers to make their appearances

 

 

 

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The sounds of laughter and scraping across the ships deck was like the sound of a rowdy party. The howls of a woman's laughter as she was half dragged along and half walked. Of course, drinking the area's brew on board hit her pretty hard. It seemed no matter how fast her metabolism was, drinking a lot of it would put her on the floor. Or in this case, in the arms of some of the crew men as they tried to get her off the boat so they could work. "Aww, no! Just carry me! Make me a man pallet!"She laughed, finally getting into the light in the deck of the ship. They set her down next to the Marquis, rather than tossing her drunken leather ass overboard. Kalmuli eased down, struggled to keep upright. Her high angled, devilishly pointed bob was a mess between being on deck with the breeze and getting dragged around.

 

Whatever. 

 

This place was fun! It was new! Making mistakes allowed her to advance and learn more about the culture after all. Hee Hee...She looked to the Marquis, her face a little rosy and she leaned over to rest her head on his shoulder while he smoked his pipe.

 

"Ah, this brings me back. The sea. The waves. The sailors. It's like being on the MarkMaque Sea again in the Ictha Dimension. Minus the giant sea urchins...Those poor, poor sailors didn't know what was coming."She said, trying a little sloppily to smooth down one side of her head. "I had fun though. So, what's in this port? What booty do we be seeking now?"

 

Kalmuli raised her hand, making a hooking gesture like a pirate and squinting one eye.

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The deck of the boat was fascinating to watch.  The masked men did their business dutifully and with the ease of practice.  The way each knew just what rope to pull and how to tie it off.  It was something the Yn'seono had never seen before.  Now, if only the boat would Not be in water, that would be great.  She had never traveled by boat before and the entire experience was disconcerting to her.  She was able to distract herself by watching the crew, but so far it only served to ease her distaste for being at sea, not mitigate it.

 

The young girl was not in an appearance that someone would recognize.  She was in her original form, that of a box.  Deep red scales with hints of turquoise covered the surface, brilliantly reflecting light from her surface.  Dark metal brackets line her edges and seams, bolted perfectly in place.  A single eye set in the center of the front, lavender in hue, gazed out and watched the drunken woman sloppily make her way to the Cleric with the aid of several of the crew. 

 

It would seem like they were docking as well, if the actions of the crew were any indication.  Yn was tired of staying in her normal form.  She had legs now, she wanted to use them!  But living as an item, birthed from a sentient structure with a solid foundation, the water was absolutely no place for her.  But hell, since it was almost the end of the voyage, she would give it a shot anyway. 

 

Since she was brought on board as just one of the Marquis's possession, she wasn't surprised at the unsettling reaction of the crew towards her.  In fact, she must have appeared like a Mimic to most.  Her top opened along the hinges and the edges were lined with a small row of sharpened teeth, much like a lizard's.  Pale thin legs kicked out from the depths, her feet touching the ground with a slight struggle to reach.  Once she had her footing though, the box lifted from the deck, her face pushing out around the single eye, a second slipping open to match.  Her hands and arms extended, warping the bottom of the box as she stretched them up as high as she could reach.  With a swift swing of her arms down to her sides, the rest of her original form shot down the length of her short body and left her fully transformed into her preferred, human state.  The dress of her maid's outfit  and her dark hair flared wildly in its instant creation and the winds of the port.  The white frills at her shoulders settled quicker from her sudden moment.  She stood, as regal as an adolescent could look in the deep red hue of her long and conservative dress.

 

That is... until she ran to the railing and clung to it for dear life.

 

"Why does this thing have to move so much?" she whimpered into the railing, pressing as much of her body against the structure for comfort.

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Dagoth always had a distinctive stride when it came to making entrances on his sire's companions, the firm and resounding thuds of his heavy boots giving ample notice to anyone that should care. He couldn't deny that it also helped to ward off the various urchins and beggars that swarmed these places looking for handouts or a soft mark. He ran his hand through his crimson hair, shuffling slightly under the weight of his own kit bags they were neatly strapped together but had clearly seen better days with the slight fraying of straps. He nodded with some amusement at the masked men that moved past him to collect his chests and the other equipment he had brought for stowing. With a few quick scans the peacock himself was spotted, Dagoth met him with a sharp wave and a slight grin.

 

"Ahoy, permission to come aboard old boy."

 

He spoke with a more traditional queen's English in his accent than normal, avoiding the usual naval tapping of his brow favoring instead the never ending search for wherever he had put his smokes in this Khaki pocketed nightmare trousers. Quickly he gave up the one handed search and gently dropped his bag to the floor, chuckling at the slight groan of the deck as it braced to take the new weight. He hands would dance from pocket to pocket as he searched.

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William would take a bit longer than the others before appearing on deck, having spent their time as they approached the dock getting himself, the weapons, and the equipment he brought along together and ready to go; appearing on deck shortly after Dagoth did, carrying a couple of bags and a pair of rifles wrapped in soft carrying cases, one for him and one for Zan to play with.  Dropping the equipment bags off and out of the way on the deck for one of the masked deckhands to watch over before moving over towards Zan, Dag, and the other members of their little expedition; chuckling slightly as he watched Dag begin to dig and rifle through his pockets in search of his cigs.

 

"Lost your smokes again I take it Dag, would have thought that something as important as those would be practically grafted to your hand; seems I was wrong."

 

Taking pity on the elder kindred, William fished out one of the packs he had filched from Dag earlier on in their voyage from the cargo pants he was wearing; making sure that Dag could find his lighter as well before turning towards the head of their little soiree.  Leaning against the railing right next to Zan himself, William let his eyes roam over the city that they had just made port in; a small wave of deja vu washing over him before he could place where he had seen a similar site before, a painting of crusade era Jerusalem that had been in his former home before moving in with his current family.

 

"So, oh trustworthy Cleric, what's the game plan now; to the hunt, or do we have the usual paperwork to sign before being set loose on our prey?"

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  First was the Fae who had spent much of the travels enjoying his stock of liquor from home and here, telling her REALLY bawdy stories to the hired crew and trying her best to break their composure. There had been a few of her pranks that he was so sure was going to do it but for all that he knew she had become a sort of mascot to the bunch. Such a insanely troublesome woman. She got them to carry her at least and that was surprising enough. Wrapping a arm around her waist, the Marquis kissed the drunken Fae on the forehead while tapping his pipe out on the edge, his ashes falling into the sea. "Well I thought you might enjoy a little sightseeing, some shopping, a lovely little dinner. The Boys, I'm taking on a little bit of hunting trip for The Spider. I hope to bring back her a prize." Laughing warmly, he tucked his pipe into the pouch on his hip and hopped off the rail, leading Kamuli over to the ramp leading down to the docks below beside of the living Box Yn as she transformed into her humanoid form.

 

He, Kalmuli and she had history together, three of them touched by that Time Lord of long ago. Offering Yn'seono his other gloved hand palm up, he looked down on the small child-like being with what to most would be seen as a fatherly smile of indulgence. "I could explain how waves are created by tidal forces or how this country has a annoying habit of disabling the more interesting ways of travel...but how about we get off the vessel and you and Kalmuli have some fun in the city?"

 

Looking over the city, the Marquis was somewhat perturbed at the sight. He hadn't heard about any issues in the city while he'd been in Versillia, but his well practiced eyes could see the layers of new paint and construction, half rebuilt walls and the subtle and not-so-subtle signs of a place that was rebuilding from a invasion? A nasty fire perhaps? He could smell something that reeked of old Dragon Blood drifting from the depths of the city. He was expecting something more robust than this. The streets seemed almost deserted, even for this time of the day. Shaking the thoughts away from his mind with the appearance of the two kindred, the Marquis bowed his head slightly to the one known as Dag before turning his attention to Will. "Me and the ladies will find whoever is in charge of this...city. Look into possible business opportunities, find the local watering hole. The Bounty is in the name of the Black Queen but she should be in Patia by now bothering the hell out of the Devil. We might run into her elder sister Malaysia though. That would be interesting...I kind of liked the lady. Reminds me of Iris. Her or possibly one of the Queens Knights wondering why we bypassed the Capital. I have a feeling that they keep a strong eye on newish arrivals."

 

Looking over his shoulder while the crew opened one of the two cargo compartments and began to lift out the Spellcycle that he'd gotten modified in Joran City with it's sidecar and fat knobby offroad tires, the Marquis nodded towards it while turning his attention back to Will. "But if you feel like exploring, take her out for a spin. We'll need to see about horses for the rest of us, I think. It might take us a day or so to find them, so no HUGE rush so far right?" Waiting until it was unloaded onto the docks and pushed up to the main road, the Marquis thought long and hard about what he would say next. It was time to be...diplomatic. "This city seems....off. Be careful. The Matriarch would be annoyed at me greatly if something happened to the two of you."

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If Kalmuli could read minds, she would have cackled at his thoughts from the beginning to the end of the trip. Of course she was bawdy! You couldn't be polite on a ship...at least, not in her experience. She had tales and tales that caught the ears of many on board, gleefully telling them of her exploits both the sensual and the sensational. The pranks though...they only seemed to enjoy a little bit. Dangling someone over the edge of the ship didn't seem to win any funny points with the crew. Though, it was all for sport. In this world, with the Marquis, she wasn't limited to the restrictions that the other worlds had and she could enjoy causing a little chaos here and there.  Anything that got the Marquis to smile was worth the time. "Sounds delightful. I have been looking for a few pieces of lighter wear for the sake of traveling. The color black is slimming, but not necessarily best for lounging."She said, giving her flushed face a little fan. The little mer-like girl approached them. She didn't know much about her, but she was good as a kitchen hand and a means of keeping the crew tidy. At least it would be good to have her around. She didn't too too many bawdy and scandalous activities around children.

 

Kalmuli brushed her hair away from her face, she shifted a bit to face the landscape of the city. She inhaled deeply, a light green mist escaping from her mouth mingled with black. "Mm...This place has seen battle. Not long ago either, give or take a month and a few weeks apart." She guessed, waving the mist aside. The place smelled of the sea mingled with a foreign concoction of gunpowder. Something had come through here though the damage seemed minimal. "How exciting. This place gets more and more interesting the further in we travel."Kalmuli mused as they headed down the ramp and onto the dock. She seemed to gain her land legs back quickly, wistfully letting the sea breeze fill her senses with the mingling of fish and port. Two more men joined them and Kalmuli nodded her head in greeting. They were two she was not familiar with but since they would be joining them on the trip, she would have to get a long with them.

 

Sort of.

 

The sight of the spellcycle got her excited as it was unloaded but pouted when it wasn't for her. Poo. Those were so fun to ride!

 

"I'm sure that as soon as the town notices our presence further, we'll be greeted by the authority. Should make things easier."She concluded, keeping her eyes on the city ahead.

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"Brother, always a pleasure."

 

Dagoth took the packet without so much as glance at his sibling until they would be stood side by side granting the younger one a slight roll of the eyes and having the pack tossed back to him. With a small inhale the stick would hum in to life, the grey wisps wrapping around his nose. The Marquis was always an interesting character in his movements and motivations, Dagoth watched with some bemusement as the bike was unpacked and he moved to leave.

 

"I do hope this hunt can start soon. I'd hate it if someone took our prey."

 

He couldn't help but let a small mocking yet child like groan escape his lips at Zan's comments, his whole body language changed trying to suppress the waves of laughter bubbling from within him. Dagoth quickly shot a look at Will before regaining his composure fitting for a man of his stature and age.

 

"Junior, is worried about us. Quickly call the car we must go home, this strange magical city isn't right and could be dangerous!"

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Yn nodded as she looked up to Zantara with the eyes of a child that trusted the man implicitly.  She accepted his hand gingerly, placing hers in his and wrapping her other around his arm for her own security.  At least while the ground was unstable.  She took in his words and attempted to make sense, but, once again, while she understood, the context wasn't there for her to truly grasp what was being spoken about.  There were simply too many foreign terms and too many things that she had heard of before but had yet to experience.  Too many things to question about as well.  And, too many people.  On her own or with just the Cleric, she would have been fine, but everyone else was so foreign to her that she retreated into herself figuratively. 

 

She looked between Dagoth and William and their exchanges, taking in and logging their interaction as a child is wont to do.  They seemed friendly enough.  And she reassured herself that Zantara would only surround himself with the noblest of folk.  That had to be true, and there was no way that she could be skewing her perception based on her prior relationship with the man. 

 

At the mention of exploring the city to some degree, the young sentient item looked towards the structures and buildings, her keen eyes drawing in more information than most.  This was her realm, per se. 

 

"You and The Lush are right,"she said, giving a title to the woman on Zantara's other hip,"The buildings are gravely wounded... some are even dead and their caretakers don't know it yet.  Painted corpses line the streets now.  Take care with entering them...  Listen if they protest."

 

She spoke in a somber tone, as if speaking about people.  And, indeed, her grip tightened on Zantara's arm slightly as she took in the sight of, essentially, an open grave.

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"Hmmm...smells like they've been a bit rowdy lately"

 

While the site of the city was one that he had related to olden time Jerusalem, the scents and aura that the city seemed to give off hinted at another time in William's life; the signs of fresh battle easily seen even by those with little experience on the subject while the cloying scent of old blood and rot hung on the winds running out to sea.  Just a few sniffs and William's eyes began to gleam slightly, a slightly reddish glow in the back of his eyes as he her his more base instincts enjoy themselves for a bit; a sly grin spreading over his face.  

 

 

Shaking his head and dragging himself out of his own little world, William turned his attention back to the man that had invited him along and the two female compatriots that he had dragged along as well; smiling softly as he gave them both a nod of acknowledgment before turning back to the cleric as he began to lead the both of them from the deck.  A Gangrel he may be, but he had been taught at great lengths to be courteous to guests.  William would have gone so far as to greet and introduce himself to the two of them when he heard something being hauled out of the hold; the sight of the 'spellcycle' making the kindred grin once again before jumping over the railing  and down onto the docks.  William would have tuned out Zan entirely as he began to pour over the bike in anticipation for a 'quick' test ride when he heard the worry edge into the cleric's voice; turning his head back towards Zan as he listened to the man for a bit longer, sharing the same quick look with Dag before speaking himself.  

 

"Oh don't worry Dag, I'll be there to defend your modesty if any ruffian appears and decides to lay claim to your purity.  In all honesty Zan, Dag and I have fought together before and with things better left unmentioned; a better question is how much can the two of us get away with before too many questions come up?  Like say...will they ask to many questions about me carrying a firearm?"

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Sighing mentally as the two kindred acted exactly as he knew they were going to about his warnings. Children grown large with powers beyond mortal ken right out a spaghetti western... two Men With No Names. Well scratch that. They weren't anywhere that good, morally speaking. These two were most assuredly Angel Eyes at the very least if not Vash & Wolfwood. As his hands were too full of a drunken lush and a little girl's hand respectively, he couldn't rub the bridge of his nose to force away the slowly building migraine. "I think that they would have some clue of what you have gunwise, but as long as we aren't holding up bars and pillaging the nightlife, I think you'll be fine. You two boys have fun..."

 

Nodding for them to get going, the Marquis stood there for a few moments letting Will and Dag go play before he gave Yn's hand a tiny squeeze. "You'll have to be my eyes then won't you little one? I don't want to go into unsafe places. Leading Kamuli and Yn'seono down the rest of the  docks and towards the city center oddly looking on the outside like a very normal family...which if the Marquis realized that he made no mention. The Enduring Bachelor turned into the image of a family man by a Fae who had one of the worst violent streaks he'd ever come across and a little girl who was filled with more weapons of mass destruction than the entire Soviet Bloc could dream of.

 

Life had been taking so strange turns as of late. Looking down the river towards the Capital far far away, the Marquis took a moment to think of that Monarch known as the Black Queen, the nominal ruler of these lands at least in name. This country confused him...so much unused potential hidden behind a blockade of daemons. He hated things that didn't make any sense. Bitting back a grumble, he breathed in deeply while standing at a crossroads, his forked tongue flickering out of between his lips. His lavender eyes looked down at the ground in the rough direction of the Castle Heights, in a questioningly look. Under that miasma of La'Ruta, the priest could sense a old being...something very much akin to Roan. Someone in Topor, lost in the slow death of dreams. Or so it felt like. The being could be dead for all he knew and this was just residue left over from someone of such age passing away quietly.

 

How...interesting. Was it a luck that had brought him here?? Or was it just coincidence that he'd picked here of all places to come for a hunt?

 

"I say....lets go check the River Trade District first! We've got a hour or two before they'll close up, I'd imagine. These medieval type cities like to shut down not too long after dark. Hey Yn? You want to go get something to eat??" he finally spoke up, giving her hand a small squeeze and releasing it to pull out a small pouch of coins from his hip, holding it out to her while the trio walked down the quiet boulevards, nodding to the locals as they passed.

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If Kalmuli could read his mind, she would have blushed and smacked him. Her? Violent? Hell yes. The last time someone had gotten into her way or threatened bodily harm to herself or to the Marquis...the sheer magnitude had coated the carpets and walls of that meeting room like a paint bomb had gone off. Red coated everything, even her snowy hair that had turned a bright crimson along with her caveat around her neck. The feeling of release that came with a violent aftermath was euphoric. Though, in this new port town, she would have to refrain. 

 

Thus the heavy drinking. It relaxed her. Made her more compliant. Sloppy as it was, sometimes it was necessary to dumb it down a little to prevent another massacre. At least it allowed her to have a little fun without being on edge as was common with being in a foreign world. Kalmuli had her arm looped around the Marquis, her eyes wandering as she checked out the surroundings. The place was definitely...a dump. It was like the aftermath of a medieval carnival that came through town...and suddenly pirates showed up. It was amusing and grim at the same time. As she walked, she leaned her head on the Marquis' arm. "Mmm, Food sounds wonderful. I can imagine that they might have some decent..."She paused, glancing at the mer-child and then continued on. "...seafood. Port towns like these are usually great for it."

 

Kalmuli showed mild concern for the little mer-child though some one-on-one time with the  Marquis before things got busy was worth it. A busy man like him, they often get the time that they could use to vent and reminisce.  Of course, now that they were on land things were only going to get busier.  "Mm, I haven't had a good seafood dinner in a while. Maaaaarrrquuuiiiisss...We should go with Yn and go eat too. I'm hungry."He said, giving him a jostle back and forth.

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the two males that seemed more boys than men unnerved her slightly.  they seemed friendly enough, but with that wild side that could only mean that chaos would follow them wherever they went.  Had she a reference for movies throughout the multiverse, she would most likely have likened them to the sadistic versions of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.  However, this was simply a judgement call based on what she knew.  And, what, with her own weapon having gained its own sentience as well and leaning towards an overbearing blood-lusty side, she was more apt to jump to conclusions.  It would seem that experience made her judge others more quickly than when she was just a birthling.

 

"Hm?"she snapped from her observations of the two as she looked up to Zantara with obedient lavender eyes.  A grin formed as he asked if she wanted to eat something.  She remained as his side, her hands clasping in front of her chest as he released her to retrieve an item.  Her eyes widened at the sight of the pouch as she accepted it graciously with both hands.  The lushy woman made a suggestion that seemed decidedly pointed towards her.  But, for the life of her, yn couldn't fathom what the woman could mean with bringing up seafood in such a manner.  Her smile even faded as she locked eyes with the woman and gave her that innocent look of confusion over the matter.  Her confused look lingered and she continued to stare at the woman, lifting the pouch over her head, opening her mouth and raising her chin, dropping the pouch of coins into her readied maw.  Her jaw snapped shut with the clack of sharp teeth.  The bipedal and sentient armory could store just about anything with the nigh limitless space that she contained within her.

 

"I have been working on developing tastes,"she said proudly to the Cleric. "But if that was seafood, I don't think I like it,"she added sheepishly.  She also didn't want to admit to him that the 'seafood' looked like a pouch of coins.

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Dagoth laughed at his younger brother, turning his body slightly away from William raising his hands to just under his chin rolling one of his boot caps on the floor.  "Oh would you, I wouldn't know what to do if they....OH it doesn't bare thinking about!" The cainite burst out laughing clapping Will on the should before turning towards Zan who was clearly enjoying his company a little too much for a serious hunting expedition for Dagoth's liking. "Well Dandelion, tell us will the pulse thing be an issue?" There would a brief moment where Dagoth would show just the slightest hint of a serious expression to the Count before hiding it behind their usual masquerade. But it was too late and the Count had sauntered off with his arm candy.

 

"Fucking...Come on brother lets get you on that bike before you tear down the bloody ship." He would move with what gear he had retained towards the bike giving it a quick once over before stepping back, he knew better than to take first dibs on something like this around Will. 

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By the time that Dag had gotten himself ready for their little ride about on the new toy, William had already taken position on the bike and was pouring over the controls; familiarizing himself with them and making sure that they where none to different compared to his more mundane internal combustion powered bikes.  Once Dag had parked himself in the side car and situated whatever belongings he wished to before firing up the bike and digging out a set of riding goggles and setting them to hang around his neck before slowly taking off from the dock area; taking it easy on the throttle as he moved through the city streets and towards the nearest exit, testing the bikes throttle response and power before they left the city and got to where he could really cut loose and get the bike to sing.  Once they had left the dock area though and where moving through the city, William's gleeful manner bled out of him as they rode along as his real reason for getting away from the ship began to make itself apparent.

 

"So, Dag....what do you think the odds are that this little hunting trip is going to go tits up withing 10 minutes of first contact with our targets?"

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