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Mickey Flash

Dark Nature

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"Awww dont like the dark? Next time I can give you a nightlight AHAHAHAHAHA" Keieie teased a bit. "It was simply a teleporting spell. Sadly I am sure I will cast is many more times in our travel together. I mean its alot better than walking everywhere. But yes I do have information for you. Cost, well I do not want any of those shiny rocks AHAHAHHAAHA. You know what I want, but ill be nice. If you want the information from me of where this fellow is, you will...have...to.... kiss me AHAHAHHHAHAHAH" Keiei laughed while licking his fangs. He would have given it to her without the cost, but this would be more fun. She was becoming annoyed by him and he enjoyed it. Plus, if he planed correctly, he would get what he wanted.

 

 

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"I found him. Keiei will be happy about that. Maybe he will let me have a little fund. I mean it was hard tracking this guy all the way here. Though I dont know why he needs him. He could easily find out all the info about her daddy without it. I dont know why he enjoys playing with these lesser beings." Chou said as she created her own butterfly. She gave it a kiss and sent it into the shadows as it made its way to Keiei. She would wait for him to respond before making her move.

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The Butterfly flies above him and he knows who it is from and knows she has tracked him down. She was such a good girl. "SO what says you? Is this too much for you? I mean we HAVE went on a date already AHAHAHAHA" Keiei laughs loudly. If she did kiss him, he would respond with telling her about the band and the bar/ tavern the fellow was in. He would tell he could take her there but they would have to travel the way of the shadow. If she said no, he would simply watch her want await what she wanted to do. Though he wanted to see how this played out.

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"A kiss?" Lorial's lips tightened, and her eyebrows lowered.  She wondered what kind of shit he was trying to pull.  No one wanted kisses for payment, or no one she knew.  She circled around him, and sniffed the air.  It was hard to smell through all that power, but she didn't smell desire.  She thought she smelled amusement.  He was playing with her.  When she realized this, her frown dissolved into nothing.  A twinkle entered her eyes.  "Seriously?  You would rather have kisses than money, or even a favor?  You are a strange creature." 

 

Lorial continued to lazily circle the vampire, or evolved vampire.  She wasn't sure what he was.  She crossed her arms and looked at her feet as she made him wait for her answer.  It didn't matter to her.  A kiss with a vampire was nothing to her.  She couldn't stand vampires, but had sex with them on a regular basis to answer the call of her nymph.  "So you will tell me what I want to know for a kiss.  Fine.  I'll play.  We'll do this quick and get it over with though.  No need to waste time." 

 

If he were another creature, she would have been concerned of a kiss getting out of hand.  Her nymph took over sometimes, and then her inner vampire jumped into the fun with strong bloodlust.  But he was of a vampire species, and she didn't think she'd hurt him if it did get out of hand.  Maybe. 

 

She walked up to him slowly, as if approaching a creature in the wild.  She felt as if she were.  He had a wild air about him.  As if he'd turn and bite off your arm if you got too close.  She reached forward and touched his hand.  Her calming influence seeped from her skin into his skin.  She didn't warn him.  Why would she?  He didn't warn her about his shadow darkness taking her over.  And she had a feeling he planned to do it again in the future, with no warning.  She let her influence seep deeper as she rubbed circles in his palm with her thumb.  She didn't know how much of an influence she had on him, as of yet.  She would be able to tell soon enough. 

 

She approached until they were toe to toe.  "Alright, we are going to take this slow and easy," she said quietly.  She didn't need to be pushed past her breaking point.  Time was too precious.  Her hand reached up and stroked his face, letting the influence really take effect.  "Not going to be out of control.  Just a nice, quick kiss."  She leaned in closer, letting the softness of her lips touch his briefly.  She pressed closer and let her lips caress his, her hand stroking his cheek.  She felt his fangs.  Instead of scaring her they excited her, the same as a nude male would.  Fangs to her were a must in interactions like this.  Her fangs peeked through, and her eyes turned pink.  She pulled back slightly, her sharp teeth biting into his bottom lip. 

 

A fleeting thought went through her head, of hurrying this up so that she could get the information that she needed.  She let go of his lip without breaking the skin.  That would have triggered something she had no time to explore. 

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Sounds of hurried steps, the crunch of leaves, both heralded the arrival of the caretakers of Veelos Cemetery. Bodies moved in the black night, giving little need for imagination. Lit and his companion slowly made their way beyond the gates and further into the heart of the hollow ground. He smiled deeply from within his veil of raven hair, everything was as he planned. The duo did not stop until they came to a great statue of an angel looming high above them. Far more elaborate tombs lay ahead, but this place would do.

A voice hissed from the shadows of a nearby tree. "Who are you to call our beloved mother crone? The real crone is the false queen who is allowed to walk freely with her head quite well attached."

Hixel turned to look up at her master, somewhat unsure or his next move. She knew well of the gang that based themselves within the cemetery. They were zealots and scammers, all working under the belief that the headless witch Vessna was wronged and could be brought back from her untimely death. She had a fleeting thought that Litalis would attempt to play that card against them... They would indeed be a most willing audience should he show them some of his wares. She looked back to the talking tree, and howled. "We'll call that sad sack whatever we damn well please. You bunch of ingrates. My master has news for you. So you'd better listen up!"

"That will be quite enough for now, Hixel. I believe our new friends are rowdy enough." His words were hushed as he spoke to the nymph. He looked about in the dark and spied the little fiends scattered through the cemetery. They were cowardly and few, just as he had expected. The Servants of Vessna lacked the numbers of the other gangs, but their conviction was their strength.

"Children of Vessna, listen to me," he beckoned. "I beg you for audience, let me share my news. Then you may decide for yourselves, whether to threaten us or allow us to walk."

There was a rustling all about them, but no advances were made upon the pair. Everyone held their distance. Finally, the voice that had spoken earlier spoke once more. "Share your words, magician. We know of you and your wretched little sprite; we have ears like the others." The hiss went silent once more.

"Thank you, for I come to you in earnest." Litalis spoke more clearly, projecting through the darkness. He wanted his words to be heard by all Vessna ' s followers who flanked them. "There are others coming to this cemetery, coming this very night. They wish to do you harm, they seek answers, and may even dare desecrate the resting place of your beloved mother. They seek me out as well. I come to you as a messenger. I know your devotion to Vessna, and would not dare question it. Would you allow these hunters to tread upon your lands, and disturb that which you hold most dear?"

His voice carried through the night, his timbre as dark as the shadow. But in its absence the night was quiet, not even a rustling of leaves. "Why should we listen? You can defend yourself, you have no need. Our mother is our business."

Litalis smiled deeper, "I offer my assistance. I often have dealings out here, you know this. I will lend you my strength, I just seek asylum for the night... until they leave, or they depart this life. There's two of them, a dark being, corporeal, and a vampire..."

"Nymph" Hixel growled.

After a pause, they replied. "You would give us your strength? To defend our mother?"

"Yes, and should you provide us asylum, I will grant you something special. I will use my power to allow you all to communicate with Vessna, would that not satisfy all of you?" Litalis roared in these last words. He knew they would bite. Most were so depraved, they howled at the moon. Others among them knew not was sobriety was, they remained under the influence of substances domestic and exotic. He had a pleasing bargain. All around him the cemetery howled.

"Alright, magician. We hear you, and accept. What power will you give us?"

With that, Litalis calmly stepped forward. His hand slipped within his coat and produce a pomegranate. He turned it before him, inspecting the fruit. Satisfied with its quality he held it up, for all to see. Then he broke it in half and placed half upon the ground before him. "Take this fruit, and spread its seed. It has been enchanted by me, place the seed through the hollow soil. Partake of a seed yourselves, but only one! These seeds will grant you, and the dead my magic. The dead will walk, and together you may repel the scourge this night. All of you, come, taste of the fruit and taste of my power."

He withdrew one seed from his half and pushed it beneath the soil. After a short time, a pile of flesh and bone crawled its way out of the soil. The mass ordered itself and the corpse rose to its feet. Litalis withdrew and hastened his footsteps as the pack of zealots quickly crowded the pomegranate half. The deed would be done, and the smile he wore would not fade. "Come Hixel, let us find a place to watch the fireworks."

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Taking no offense to Rone's frustration, he continued walking quietly along with him, turning to his thoughts once more.  The city was buzzing with daily activities of it's inhabitants, and the crowds were large but scattered.  It would be a while for the other team to get what they wanted from the graveyard.  He knew not the power, nor the tactics, of his employer and was intrigued as to what an observation may reveal.

 

Perhaps he could examine the graveyard before they were required to meet back with each other at the Fishing Hole. It was still young in the day, and they hadn't approached sunset yet, so he saw no harm in it. Figuring he should consult Rone on the matter before taking off, he offered his piece.

 

"Rone, whilst pondering upon this perplexing possibility I propose a proposition, my pretty pallid young pal. Perhaps we could examine the Graveyard? I wanted to go there, but was told otherwise -- yet, done with work are we until sunset, so what harm is checking on the wellness of our employer?" he persuaded.  "Lest we leave her to wallow in darkness without competent company.  Confounded! She could consent to cooperation and we would be completely neglecting such matters."  He resorted to a monologue of alliteration to lull, or annoy, his human counterpart into compliance.

Edited by Artisan of Soul

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Rone deadpanned at the abruptly eloquent elf, head tilting to one side. He shrugged and spread his arms. "First the bar, now the bloody graveyard, what say have I? I only want to be paid and through with this messy work. Vampires--what fool becomes entangled with the living dead?" He muttered to himself and folded his arms as they walked. His mind turned to how he had come to this place. The last thing he remembered about Terrenus was waltzing down the docks with his friend and once-companion, and then a blur up until he awoke. Yes, he had been pretty drunk at the time, but he should have at least some recollection of the transition. He mentally shrugged. It hardly mattered--Rone wouldn't likely be going home anytime soon. He glanced at Iriequil, curious despite himself.

"How is it that an elf came to be under the employ of a vampire? Somehow I had supposed the two would be morally opposite." He paused to consider the elf's actions with the gangmembers and rethought his position. He supposed immortals were simply bigoted in that sense. He mentally shrugged again. The concerns of the supernatural were, naturally, superior to his mindset. But his curiosity remained, perhaps despite his more cautious nature.

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So that was it, the way she moved her hands along his face, The warmth yet sweet way she moved about, still filled with the unknown and primal urge. Then he felt it, a calm like he had never felt, something new to him. It was not a full control of his mind, but a change in his will. He could fight it if he liked, but didnt, he wanted to see how it played out. She was more gifted than she let on. She seemed to be holding something back, herself mostly. As if she was scared she would lose control. But why would she? Was she wanting more from him than she knew? He would need to explore this. As her lips press his, he feels the soft touch and enjoys it more than he thought he would. He was about to bite her into her but she broke free. She had a bit more control than he thought. But with that it was sure he get another chance at it. This he was sure of.

 

 

"AHAHAHAAHHA strange am I? I might be, but whos to say I am not the normal one in a world full of oddities AHAHAHA" He laughed with a quick stroke of her cheek before moving away from her. 'I guess a deal is a deal. I will give you the information again. I will have to save another taste of you for another day. Maybe on a real date...With a real taste." He said licking his fangs, eyes glowing a bit more golden. "The man you are seeking has now left a pub and has headed to a place where people placed their dead. Beyond the where, I do not have much information. I can take us there but we will no know what we will be fully getting into. Might be fun, the darkness is calling AHAHAHAHHAH" He laughs as he summons to more shadow butterflies. They fall into each other's shadow and grow to the size of being able to be ridden. The he creates two more and they take the form of the pair of them. 

 

 

I will send out copies ahead in case of a trap. I feel the man we are tracking is no fool. I am sure there is something or someone waiting on us. I feel we are being watched as I am him. My spies are well hidden and not in danger but I do not like it. But we have a choice ahead of us. Shall we walk to the graveyard, or stay hidden with my shadow magic. You say you didnt like the darkness, but something about you tells me something different, Though I rather walk and find out more about that gift you left out. The one where you placed me in a state of calm AHAHAHAHAHHA. trying to make me a good boy?" He laughed as he moved closer to her.

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"Shall we walk to the graveyard, or stay hidden with my shadow magic. You say you didnt like the darkness, but something about you tells me something different, Though I rather walk and find out more about that gift you left out. The one where you placed me in a state of calm AHAHAHAHAHHA. trying to make me a good boy?" He laughed as he moved closer to her.

 

"I never said I didn't like darkness," Lorial said, blowing her hair out of her eyes in exasperation.  "I said I didn't like the shadow taking me over.  I like to have control over myself.  I happen to love the darkness, against my better judgment."  Lorial knew how hypocritical it was to want to have control over herself, but to sometimes influence others with her influencing touch.  It was not something she asked for, but she was born with it so she had to deal with it. 

 

When Keiei moved closer, she easily side stepped and moved away.  Usually when she kissed a vampire, or more, she left them with a knock-out arrow protruding from their skin.  She never had to worry about talking to them more, or having them tag along wherever she went.  She was beginning to regret the tiny kiss she'd bestowed.  "I'm not under the mistaken impression of ever making you a good boy," she said dryly.

 

She watched the shadow things, that looked like her and Keiei, fly away toward the Veelos cemetery.  She turned and walked in that direction.  Looking over her shoulder at Keiei, because she didn't like having him at her back.  "So you felt the calming influence, did you?  I'm curious, did it effect you strongly?  I never know with stronger creatures."  She looked down at her hands, and stuffed them into her pockets as she walked.  "I have no control over it.  I control the will of anyone I touch.  It's a rare thing for someone to break it."  Looking ahead, she decided that was the extent she wanted to talk about her calming influence. 

 

"If you seriously think we are being watched, then I think I can handle a little of your 'shadow magic' as you call it.  As long as I get a heads up before I get taken over."  She frowned in consternation.  She wasn't liking how this mission was going so far.  Too much was an unknown variable, and she loved being in control of situations.  "When I get a hold of that dark elf, I'm going to make him regret meeting me."  Her eyes went a little pink around the edges at the anger that was starting to manifest from the trouble the dark elf was causing. 

 

Eventually, after a little back and forth between her and Keiei, she could see the outline of the cemetery up ahead.  She could see the shadow of movement all around the graves.  "What the fuck?" she whispered as the scent of rot and death entered her nose.    

 

 

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Litalis looked down upon the scene evolving below from atop his perch. Both he and Hixel had found a roost amongst the trees, far enough removed from the center of the 'action.' Cocking his head to one side, he eyed the followers of Vessna, watching them run about the cemetery spreading the pomegranate seeds. Deathly fingers slid through his raven locks, musing upon the development. He knew the others would arrive very soon, but not too soon. Hixel leaned into his back as she, too, watched what precipitated below.

 

"Why did you promise them that they could speak to Vessna? Seems excessive."

 

"Not entirely, they will end up in the same sorts as she, will they not?"

 

"Hmph. Such a waste of energy..."

 

"As yours is a waste of words. Quiet yourself and watch below."

 

The nymph quieted down and wrapped her arms about the elf's shoulders. His arms hung low between his legs, his stance rather primitive, almost feral. He tipped his head to the other side, before relaxing upon the branches. Reaching within his pocket, he produced the other half of the pomegranate and began to snack on the contents of the rind. The vibrant red fruit popped between his teeth; the tart juice pouring over his taste buds and down his chin. He popped several handfuls before tossing the remnants aside. Hixel eyed the fruit but said nothing.

 

"And now we begin," Litalis spoke darkly. From within his coat, he produced yet another cigarette. This one different from the others. A black paper wrap that held perfumed tobacco and aromatics. The cherry burned with a purple tinge, releasing the odd smelling smoke from its prison. His hands hovered before him, fingers arching and reaching into the black night. Faintly, the tips began to glow with a faint green light. It grew in vibrance as the light almost took on a linear quality, extending from his finger tips like puppet's strings. His skeletal fingers began to dance across the air, his midnight voice humming an eerie tune. Hixel, too, soon followed his lead. But humming would take on a greater life. A wicked aria came forth from the little nymph.

 

Like clockwork, both the minions of Vessna and the risen they had summoned, all fell in line. They all heeded the command of the eerie tune. The puppeteer grinned deeply, he would make sure he earned his keep this day. Dozens of the undead, and the entranced minions marched upon the gates. It would be into their midst that two super humans would materialize from the shadows. Should any others attempt to approach the cemetery, they too would be treated to a most warm, and consuming welcome.

 

"You know, I don't even remember why we're giving them so much trouble," spoke the nymph.

 

"You have anything else in mind this evening? I want to see what happens when she meets L'Spade. I am quite certain she has him entirely wrong, and he would simply adore the attention... dandy that he is..." his midnight voice trailed off into a snicker.

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A low chuckle was produced from Iriequil as Rone continued to groan and complain. A slight smile spread across his lips. "I'm a whimsical elf, indulge me will you?" They walked along their previous path, Iriequil looking for signs and buildings as if trying to find his way.

When morality was mentioned, the calm natured elf thought carefully for several moments. Eyes cast upward, holding loose attention to the clouds, he developed an answer he thought Rone might accept.

"Well if you're truly interested, it is not as black and white as your mind currently believes." Gently nudging Rone with his elbow, Iriequil's gaze cast down to his disgruntled acquaintance. With a vacant, calm smile he explained, "You aren't like the hateful hooligan humans that engage in heinous acts with their distasteful gang, huddled that heat-heavy hovel." He teased, intentionally drawing another faint groan from Rone. "For the singer, there is the dancer, for the dancer there is the patron, and for the patron there is the server, and for the server, there is the employer. Employers answer to their community, and community is filled with variables. There are many different races with many different factions, each held to different ideals. To say that a vampire is evil, or that all elves are morality opposed to said evil, is to greatly diminish the amount of possible people there are in this world."

Arms folded across his chest, his hand resting atop his arm would flick or wave in rhythm with his explanation, providing emphasis to his words, while also keeping Rone's attention. "Lastly, our employer seems to be reserved and injured -- emotionally, not physically." he corrected. "It's apparent in her early morning whiskey, the way she flashes coins and barks orders, and the professional distance she keeps from us. She comes to a city of thieves and murderers to ask for help. Do you not think that speaks volumes about our situation? The assertion is that whoever she is after, so what a just, upright person would do to hunt this man will undoubtedly fail; only a criminal truly knows a criminal. So why would I be opposed? Truly she is in dire need of assistance, and no disrespect to this city, but I do not trust the common rabble to handle these types of tasks."

He cast a tired loom towards the strange butterfly that trailed them around several buildings, up and down a street, and now towards the graveyard. "And especially now that I know I'm not trusted, it makes me especially unhappy to place her fate in another's hands." Edited by Artisan of Soul

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Rone did his best to listen, but the verbal wandering proved difficult for his limited span of attention. He squinted and tried to parse it all. Dancer? Server? Employer? What did dancing have to do with the vampire Lorial? Of course Rone knew that morality was perspective--his choice of wording had been designed to irritate the immortal, rather than display some sort of ignorance on Rone's part. He squinted at Iriequil and gestured with one hand as he tried to make sense of the reasoning given for his involvement. "That was... really quite a fantastic load of bullshit just to say 'I'm bored, she seemed interesting'. You don't honestly expect me to be taken in with all this notion of acting as a de-facto knight of chivalry for her, do you? Damaged or not, she is a vampire, which necessitates certain aspects of her character. How is keeping professional distance indicative of emotional damage, in any case? She knows us not from the first son of the Gods themselves, why should she be more friendly than the paycheck we're working for?"

 

He shrugged as they entered the graveyard, one hand dropping over the grip of his saber as the other hooked into his waistband sash. The living don't belong here, he thought to himself. This is a field for the dead. I shouldn't have come. The swarthy man glanced at the elf and gestured to the uneven rows of tombstones, shadowed a ways behind by proper tombs. "Perhaps a more pertinent question is, why have we come here at all?" Rone's voice went quiet as he sensed, more than heard, movement through the crumbling stones. He grasped his sword more firmly and turned to peer through the gloom. "Seven hells," he swore softly. "We ought to leave. I have a very bad feeling."

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He simply smiled at all the questions. "AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Silly dear. The darkness never took over you. What you felt was you moving through the shadow plans. Tis more of a simply trick of the lack of light. I do have such spells but I would not dream of using them on you. There is other fun to be had for that AHAHAHAHAAAH" He laughed as they moved closer. Between Chou and his copies, her could tell something was a mist a head of them. "Looks like I can have a little fun. Well if you will allow it. You know what, I am going to do it anyways AHAHAHAHAHAAA" He laughed as  he step in front of her.

 

 

From what he could gather, someone who he thought was the man they were following, had summoned the dead to stop them. He was not sure the reason, but he was not worried. He also thought he knew they were coming as the moved on the clones first as the real pair had not made it there yet. The other group had yet to show but should be on the way by the tracking butterfly he had sent. It was sending bits of what they were speaking of to Keiei but he said nothing about it. "Chou, you get to have fun/ I do not want to play my hand as if yet so you are to use the copies. Puppet them until we see how they respond to us. If anything I will interject if I think it is needed." Enjoy my sweet AHAHAHAHAHA" He laughed as he turn to another Shadow Cho.

 

"Hey you pair of others. DO not cry about my cho following you. It would be foolish for us not to have a way to speak if we are to work together. AHAHAHAHAHA Besides, if it was to mean anything else you would be dead already. So be warned. I am going to engage a nasty little battle. Stay out the way or be hit by my little Chou, tis really up to you AHAHAHAAHAHA" He said as he turned to Lorial. "Watch me show you power of a god. I will show you what the shadows are for. The real meaning of FEAR AHAHAHAHAHHHAHHA!" he laughed as he sat down. Two shadow cho floated lightly in the air around him, casting a dark shadow upon him. He seemed to vanish yet still sit before her. his eyes blacken, and his smile became that of pure enjoyment. 

 

 

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Her smile was that of a kid left alone in a shop of candy. She couldnt help by giggle insanely. She appeared before the two shadow copies and spun around and looked to all the dead and who brought them. "I am going to rekill you now. Be nice and let me!" She said as she turned to the Keiei copy. "What are you waiting for, get to work" She ordered as the Keiei copy formed a long bow of dark shadows. With in seconds, he was launching arrow after arrow into the on coming hoard, hitting arms, legs, chest and even heads. Turing to the Lorial, you too, get down there." She ordered as she leaped from the butterfly. It changed into the shape of a shadow like ax. Coping her speed and skill, she cut through undead after undead in a very odd pattern. CHou watching from above, muttered to herself as she released two spells.

 

 

The first caused several shadows to dart along the ground, where ever they pass, the ground became slippery and extremely hard towalk on, even at a slpw past. This was in the hopes of causing the undead to slip and fall about. The next caused the arrows fired and swings from the ax to spark a bit till they where on fire. Hopefully, this would cause for zombies to fall and spread the fire through the hoard. Reckless as this seems, Chou was using the copy of Lorial to keep the scene controlled. Making sure they didnt move to spread to far and light the whole place on fire. She was doing a delightful job of setting up for her grand show.

 

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After Lorial smells the stench of rot and death, she listens to Keiei start rambling about fun to be had.  He then begins to talk, to no one Lorial could see.   He calls the person 'Chou.'  Then he talks to the air about a pair of others, warning them away from the cemetery.  He mentions cho following them, the little shadow butterflies, and Lorial puts two & two together to realize he's talking to Rone and Iriequil.  She looks off into the distance, her vampire vision barely making out the two male figures who entered the cemetery.  Coming close to them were some of the animated dead that seemed to be walking around.  She begins to wonder if she'd entered Crazy Town. 

 

Lorial hears an insane giggle and sees a tiny floating creature above the shadow copies of her and Keiei.  The sight convinced her that she was in Crazy Town.  Fire spreads from one living dead to the next.  Some fall on the slippery ground. 

 

The corpses near Rone and Iriequil are too far away to be on the slippery ground, or caught by the fire.  Lorial crouches and touches the grass, sending a message across the cemetery.  Roots pop from the ground around the zombies' feet, grabbing a hold to restrain or trip up the creatures.  It is up to Rone and Iriequil to finish them off how they see fit. 

 

Lorial looks over to Keiei to see if he noticed her little trick, but he is sitting with black eyes and a demented grin on his face.  The longer she's around him the more unhinged he seems. 

 

Another smell comes floating through the air, faint but aromatic enough to smell over the rotting burning corpses.  It smells of a strange smoke, one of a different burning substance than old flesh.  She followed it and looked up to see the dark elf and his little friend crouched up in a tree to watch the show.  "You little shit," she whispers as she runs with vampire speed to the tree.

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Litalis grinned as he saw that the pieces were beginning to fall into place. He hastened the tempo of his little tune. His fingers danced faster through the air, eyes gleaming with delight. The elf was quite content, as was his companion. She turned and spun delicately among the branches of the tree. Her song carried on well after Litalis had stopped humming to himself; his cigarette continued to slowly smolder and perfume the air around them. 

 

"You do realize that this modest trick will do very little to dissuade our fellow cutthroats..." 

 

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" screamed the nymph. "This whole thing was your damned plan. Why in the seven hells is it my problem to solve? You're the fucking necromancer here." She crossed her arms, and pouted. Her fury was stifled only on account of her mostly good mood. "Stupid, whiny, little half-nymph again..." her words trailed off into a groan as she considered their adversary.

 

"Quiet yourself, Hixel. They will come soon, and come for us. What ever shall we do?" He chuckled quietly as he shook his hands, the bright threads vanishing into an equally vibrant smoke. Litalis would not yet abandon his perch however, he would remain poised to evade any potential threads. "Oh damnable stars, how could you cross us so? We are simple children of the night, merely seeking our way! How can you deny us our destiny?" His head fell back, to face the sky. The automatons below would carry out their task easily. Advance, subdue, and incapacitate the trespassers to the cemetery. The actually likelihood of success was minimal, but that was the entire point. He was not in place to destroy the troupe, merely plague their advancement. Litalis straightened his posture and popped the vertebrae of his neck before returning his attentions to the scene unfolding below.

 

Shadows moved about the cemetery, coming to face the risen and those enslaved by his spell. Further, it seemed one of the fae peoples had come to the aid of the group below. The elf quirked an eyebrow for a moment, considering the strange sight. He quickly dismissed it as the others seemed to be making their individual stands. Two at the gates, the fae with her shadow fiends, and finally the vampiress. Oh, how he was beginning to enjoy creating stress for the young woman. "Little shit, was it?" He spoke, his voice husky and alert. "Oh, Hixel, my dear pet. It seems you have a visitor. The young woman happens to be looking for a 'little shit,' I do believe that is your calling card?" He began to cackle as he leapt from the tree, disappearing further into the darkness.

 

Hixel remain behind him, still lingering among the tree's branches. "You want to use nymph magic, sure. Let's play, bitch. Half blood, against full blood. Who do you think the trees care to listen to?" She barked, waiting for the distance between her and the vampiress to close. Hixel would leap from the tree with outstretched arms, and close them in one violent motion, crushing the air between her clasped palms. The tree she had been occupying would respond in kind, bending at the trunk and its limbs would consume the vampire in a tangled knot, crushing her body in the process. Hixel would giggle as she pranced about the cemetery, animating trees, playing with the woman. "You think your little trick with the roots is something?" She cackled as she brushed by the vampire, being sure to vanish, leaving only a tree trunk where she 'had been.'

 

All this seemed to pass by in a moment, while hordes continued to rise from the graves. While they put up little resistance, their numbers did not seem to halt. Dozens seemed to have been felled by shadow bolts and blade, but a stop did not seem to be in sight. Their enchanter was nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was actually Vessna who put up resistance, rather than the wily elf?

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Iriequil let out a disappointed sigh as they entered the darkened graveyard. Eerie, pained groans and creaking of ancient bones could be heard within, indicative of reanimated dead. All considered, this was the most roundabout hunt he had been on for several years.

He ignored the communication of Keiei, giving only one last tired glare in the direction of his butterflies, turning his attention to the shambling corpses that were comparably more hungry for attention.

"Sigh. Your spark of wisdom is extinguished so ruthlessly by the damp blanket that is your perspective of the world. What harm is finding poetry in day to day life?" A wry smile crossed his lips as he placed a hand on Rone's shoulder. "While you may be correct, she was not a part of those you regard highly, and to her, we are not regarded highly either, I disagree that each and every action one makes is not an important one.

"This debate, however, is for a later date. I feel what you fear and wish to proceed. Can I trust in you to stay with me and see this through?"

Rone paused, reaching for his weapon as he saw the first of the undead hobble towards the two. Iriequil pressed the question again, and Rone snapped an answer. "Fine, but know I'm not going to die for you, elf. You may be immortal, but I'm not, so my life is in danger, I will leave you."

Iriequil heaved another sigh and shrugged, reading his daggers as eight more corpses drug their rotting bodies towards them. "I suppose the phrase 'I'm only human' would be appropriate." He snickered, staying calm and well natured even as more undead revealed themselves.

Swiftly and elegantly, he greeted the enemies with a joyful ruthlessness. Vaulting over roots and tombstones, driving blades into skulls and delivering sweeping, disabling kicks to undead that gained too much ground; Iriequil ended the reanimated lives set before him as if it were fun. He sought to keep the fighting away from the gate, so as to not let any loose, and was fairing rather well as one undead after the other fell before Rone and Iriequil. However simple the combat, the horde seemed unwavering in numbers. One downed undead seemed to call another in its stead, leaving Iriequil without a plan.

Soon, roots grabbed hold of the beasts, snaring roughly forty for easy dispatch. Rone was working up a slight sweat dealing with the undead that would shambles upon him, only worn by their sheer numbers rather than any actual challenge of skill.

"Rone!" Iriequil shouted in their brief intermission, examining the squirming undead for the type of magic used. "Something else is afoot."

Gesturing to his foot atop the head of a snared, yet squirming, corpse, he used an elven chant to identify the magic being used. "These undead have no link with a necromancer. The magic used to reanimated then is not bound to a source, it's within them. An artifact would be able to pull something like this off, but it's safe to say these are not the work of a necromancer with any worthwhile mention. They're only a wall meant to distract and prolong our advance into the graveyard."

He crushed the fragile skull beneath his boot and ignored the remaining, currently incapacitated, undead.

"If you have faith in your fleet feet we could flee in search of our culprit amidst the father graves, but if you are contented to waste time killing these shambling husks then that is fine too. These undead have little interest in leaving. They've simply chased us near the entrance, so the city is not in danger, only us. What say you? Are you up for a run?" Edited by Artisan of Soul

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All too soon his misgivings were confirmed when shamblers appeared lurching between the gravestones. He drew his sword and met them without thinking, allowing the faster, stronger elf to do most of the work. As the lull came he leaned on a tombstone to catch his breath, watching as half a disembodied hand flopped and squirmed across the ground with disgusted fascination. He sighed and shook his head, reaching into his pocket. "A moment, then, if your heart is set on gallivanting across a field of the cursed undying." He produced a small medallion forged from bronze and thumbed it with a frown. This wasn't how he had envisioned using Theo's gift, but he supposed he was glad to have it at all.

 

Rone clasped both hands over the grip of his sword and knelt with the point in the dirt, head bowing and his attention focused on the bronze lump pressed into his palm. He hadn't done much praying in his life, but he understood the gist of it as he sent his fervent, hopeful thoughts to the demigod he had called friend. For a few long, agonizing moments nothing happened, and then all at once the length of his blade burst into flame. Rone's eyes snapped open and he nearly dropped the curved sword before yanking it out of the now-smouldering ground and inspecting the flames licking along the carefully-tended steel. He showed the elf. "This is the upside of having half-god friends," he said proudly. Of course now he couldn't sheathe the weapon, but it hardly mattered. "Let us find the one responsible, and I will gladly lop his--or her--head cleanly off."

The saber cut down zombies with comparative ease now. He still didn't have the speed of the elf, but Rone was no pushover, swift and aggressive with each blow made and step taken. He impressed himself by taking a running leap from a tombstone and slashing three heads in half with a single blow, pausing to point and ask Iriequil if he'd seen it before realizing the elf was already a few dozen yards on. Rone began to mutter to himself as he went, slashing all the while. "Should have been a mage... bloody magic folk... could have snapped my fingers, boom, blasted all of you to bits... bloody zombies... who even uses zombies anymore?... uncreative non-necromantic dark compulsion... sorcerer. Thing. Bah..."

 

He kept up with Iriequil for several long minutes before pausing to catch his breath. Who knew leaping extravagantly into the air just to look cool could be so exhausting? "What on the god's unholy shithole of earth are we even LOOKING for?" he groaned, clutching a stitch in his side.

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