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Infernal

Our Duty is Eternal

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Call it what you will, but there has always been a strange, invisible force that pulls people in certain directions. This force goes by many names. Fate, God, Luck, they are all the same, and all have potentially catastrophic sides to them. For House Estella-Negra, they have only known the harsh sting of the negative providence towards them, it nearly breaking them entirely.

Everyone must answer to this force, from the lowliest serf to the most powerful of nobles. Today on a pleasant day in the countryside some distance from the city of Izabal, this idea has never been more true. Standing atop a balcony of their prestigious estate, the patriarch of Estella-Negra, an honorable man by the name of Esteban, ponders in somber silence. With the sun shining pleasantly down on his pale skin, a light breeze caressing the area, one would assume this would lighten the mood of most people. For Esteban though, nothing could remove this cloud of depression that had been upon him for so many years. Fate had never been kind to him or his kin, all thanks to the blasphemous prophecies of his progenitor, Jericho Estella-Negra.

It was a cruel thing, to live in such a beautiful land, only for one's life to be so ugly. Out of the five children he has had with his wife, Selena, only one has survived to manhood. Samuel, his beloved child, doomed to an early grave, as they all were, it seemed. Bearing the name Estella-Negra was a curse, one that was always fatal. The darkness that lurked within this family held a solid grip upon their very souls, choking them with impossible nightmares of what will be and what cannot be. Such maddening tribulations could only be compounded by eldritch teachings handed down by the trusted hands of familial bonds. Dark lore of La'Ruta is known to all of those within Estella-Negra, for it was the coveted secret of their household.

"Proud and venerable, yet so close to indefinite damnation." He whispered into the passing winds of that sunlit morning. Turning back to the inside of his ancestral home, consumed in the darkness which filled both the interior of the building, and his very soul.

Deep within the confines of his sanctuary, Esteban's footfalls echoes through the empty halls in soft succession. Torches were lit within the corridors, providing soft spaces of orange light separated by the thick lines of darkness in between the sconces. Sometime in the distant past, this place was once filled with the laughter and joyous spirit of its residents. These times were not during Esteban's lifetime, nor were they part of his father's, his father's father. All we have known for generations was the umbrage malice that had started since the very beginning of our family's formation.

"My love, you must remove yourself from such troubling thoughts. We all have our duties; we must embrace those duties for the good of our Household." Selena was such a comforting soul in the grips of these troubling times. Voluptuous features marked the beautiful Orisian heritage that they both shared, her amber brown hair as soft and silky as ever as he ran his hands through those luscious locks. Embracing each other in the half lit darkness, Esteban brought his lips to her, the passion between them, relieving him of the pain which plagued his mind. In breaking their embrace, he gazed into the depths of her hazel eyes, knowing her to be his lover and soul mate.

"Yes, my love, I know. These thoughts plague my mind at all hours. Do you not feel the Herald of Doom upon our doorstep?"

"Every since I married you I have felt it, but I do not care about that. To be with you makes it all worth it, even if it means at the end we all take our rightful place in the crypt beneath this place." Such beauty, breathtaking in her understanding and commitment to her people, it always inspired Esteban to new heights. For so long they had stayed within the shadows, hoping to one day garner the power and respect they deserved. Today perhaps, would be the dawn of a new chapter for House Estella-Negra, one where they take destiny into their own hands.

"Yes, you are right, my love. Let us take what is rightfully ours, and succeed where others have failed. Even if we are to die, we shall not die without having accomplished something in our lives. We will create a new future for our family, for Samuel, our only living son and heir to this dark, twisted legacy." Once more they kissed, set in their new path as they would make a new effort to retake control over their destinies. On this day, they would send out a call to the brave, the intrepid, and to those hungry for power shrouded in glory. House Estella-Negra would finally move from the shadows, and into the light of its new and vibrant future.

Some of the invitations were sent by their human couriers, others carried by the silent and melancholy siervo por siempre. They would seek out those willing to become part of something greater than themselves, and to take hold of greater riches. As a new member of Estella-Negra, those who answer the call will receive all they wish for and more, though the cost can sometimes be more than daunting...

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Wulfyl was wandering around on an lonely road with her tiger friend Sahual ever since she left Terranus. Ever since she has rescued him they became inseperable friends and loyal in fights. She rested her hand on her right shoulder what bore the wound of her fight with the bear she encountered in the forest not so long ago. If it wasnt for Sahual to jump on the bear she wouldnt be alive but luckily she didnt wear her armor so it was spared. Wulfyl walked further while remaining lost in her thoughts. It has been 6 years now since her exile ever since her family and other tribemembers discovered she was an wolf shapeshifter. For some reason they were seen as an omen of bad luck while she knew deep inside the Wolf Totem had blessed her with a rare gift. Sighing she gripped the hilt of her sword. She longed for an home again and an family. One that wouldnt turn their backs on her true nature as both an human and wolf. Her body was very thin since she didnt eat enough, just enough to survive and be on the move. Her blond hair was messy and but washed since she tried to at least keep her physical appearance clean since she didnt want to end up as the filthy hermits. ''I wonder what to do now Sahual.'' She said. Sahual looked up but tried to show her he understood wandering around without an goal or an home. 

She was resting on an large rock when she was suddenly approached by an unknown male. Sahual growled at the human to keep his distance but Wulfyl assured him it was okay but remaind vigilant herself. The human who looked like an courier just handed her an invitation and left without an word. Confused she just stared at the paper that was thrusted into her hands without explenation but sat down on the rock again. She examined the paper what just bore the name Estella-Negra but nothing more. Seeing no name otherwise from who it was she just opened the invitation. She read how this was an invitation towards anyone who wanted to be part of something great and in reward would have great riches. Wulfyl was first doubtful but was intrigued. While she didnt care much for the supposed riches since she didnt know if it was just an faint promise to attract new members the idea of being part of something great while sounding wrong still attracted her. She noted the invitation for any kind of adress and found it written at the bottom. After much conflict wether to accept it or not she decided to go nevertheless since she hadnt much to lose at this point. ''Well Sahual it could mean our lives finally have an sense of direction and an goal.'' She said happily. Following the directions she eventuallly saw an giant house. Wulfyl took some time to admire the building since it was something she had not ever seen before. She took one last glance at the invitation to see it was not the wrong place before placing it back in her satchel. She heard her stomach growl at the lack of food she had eaten as usual. ''Maybe there is food inside.'' She looked down at her body. It was clear she didnt eat properly and was to thin for her build and age. With food on her mind she approached the house carefully. Reaching the front door she stopped and sighed before glancing at Sahual. She just nodded and knocked on the door. ''No turning back now.''' She said to herself. She grabbed her shoulder since the wound was stinging.

 

 

Edited by Slatheok

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A master artifact magician. A scholar of the ancient, and a denizen of crypts. Marcus, the ever famous artifact collector and maker. He has enchanted many items with magic of varying nature. Rings that make you run faster, necklaces that make you smarter, you name it. Only problem is these artifacts always have drawbacks. Running faster takes a toll on peoples stamina much faster too, and being smart from a necklace meant that if it were ever removed it meant either amnesia or a migraine. Yes, it was tiring work trying to make the perfect artifact, but he'd had no such luck so far. It was hard to find stable components, and his work had causes widespread damage, so not many people would trust his wares anyways.

Fools.

No one in the world could possibly understand that in order to gain something, something else must be lost. He just had to find a way to make that rule stop applying to his artifacts. And he knew it was possible. Plenty of the worlds magical items such as legendary blades can produce an effect not because it is legendary, but because it has broken that rule. It can produce its effect and not lose it over time. A gain without a loss. But how would he emulate that?

A letter.

He had received a letter promising a reward for his assistance. Any kind of reward. That was promising, so he'd simply ask for all their families magical artifacts. A simple request, he'd return them once he learned how they worked. He was no peddler, he was a magician. And he would make a legendary artifact to hold his name throughout the ages.

"Quite the establishment." He said, looking at the manor. He'd come expecting much but it was still a sight to see. He was in the employ of vampires, so what less could he expect than a manor probably earned over a lifetime of efforts and another lifetime to cement their place.

"Ok, in and out. I won't make any friends like last time I did one of these. They'll cloud my judgement. In and out." He muttered to himself, getting ready for what could be the most confusing mission of his life. He was a man of artifacts, and as such, people politics escaped his knowledge.

Spoiler

(((I will rewrite my whole post if it is need.)))

 

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Two weeks prior the current day, unsaid location.

The foreboding stillness of the evening air was intimidating for most, almost unbearable; corrupting the minds of those unfortunate enough to wander into the vicinity. The unsaid location was no where in particular, at least, not in a physical sense. No, instead it was a mindset of no general direction, one in search of the vilest of desires. The desire for power, at any cost, with no need for discernment or definition. Unknown to it's denizens, even known to fewer in search of such. Still, from the ominous void of earthly affair, a place between world's, the source of sorcery the likes of which none understood; a single mind reached towards those with true desire.

It was from this place, the "Dark well", that Vil Villaino connected with the small percentage of those in need of his talents. A mindless thrall, it would seem, siervo por siempre, without destination this time. It's intent was clear, reach out towards those who could glorify it's masters. A trivial matter in Vil's eyes, but one that could provide him a stronger foothold in this realm. The corpse shuttered violently in privacy, the sort suitable for such deeds. It vomited it's innards into a pile, clawing it's skin in agony afterward. An odd act for such a fiend, but this was only the beginning.

Flesh peeled from the bone, a sight most gruesome, and after; silence, interrupted by the snapping of the exposed layers. The remaining body parts fell limp, sliding onto the floor as they revealed the cause of such unpleasantry. An old, decrepit man, emerging from the thrall. Biomancy at it's finest. The man was covered in the clotted dark blood of the sacrifice, resembling his own. His wire beard and long white locks stunk of death, and amidst the horror show, his gnarled smile and right eye almost shined through the blood bath. The vaudeville villain was given life once more, drawn towards those who desired his aid, but at what cost? Flesh birthed flesh, but what would the desire of House Estella-Negra birth?

Present day, Izabal countryside.

The trip through the countryside was grand. As a man who had traveled world's, and respective countries, Vil Villaino was far from a heathen. It wasn't everyday that the sorcerer was given life, nor a chance to enjoy the finer points of being of this realm. His carriage bobbed and hopped about, it's driver seemingly lost in thought. This wasn't unheard of, as Strife, the young white haired lad who served Villaino, was only the age of sixteen. He was less cultured, and more immature in comparison to War, Death, and Ruin, his elder siblings. While exact copies of each other, Strife was doomed to suffer a fate almost as bad as Ruin. Eternal youth, genetically that is, an endless struggle of confusion and angst which would never develop further.

Strife seemed awestruck once the mist broke, revealing the large Manor that would host the two. Villaino smirked coyly, impressed himself if truth's were told. Casa De La Condenados. A truly magnificent sight. Vil's presence grew stronger and stronger, his intent becoming more and more clear to the Lord's whose puppet he had assimilated, that of a pleasent moniker towards their noble house. Still, there was an impending reason to stay without arm's reach between them, and the testing of the water at hand would surely set both parties at ease.

The carriage came within earshot, signifying arrival. The old man slid his patch afront his left eye, hiding the empty hole from sight, and began to fit into his surcoat. As these sorts of affairs went, addressing a house of nobles that is, respect was, or should be, a top priority. Vil Villaino had every intention of giving House Estella-Negra the respect they deserved, knowing well the olden ways of such. Without a word, Strife opened the carriage for Vil, who grabbed the lad harshly by his arm. "The gifts my boy. With haste, and remember, keep your head knelt unless spoken to." He warned. Strife tugged free in arrogance, fearing not his master's ire. Still, he was compliant, quickly fetching a few chests. 

The first smelled of exotic scents, filled with such and fine linens, for a lady. The second was for a Lord, boasting a fine pair of boots, a large apish pelt from Taen, and various arromatic tobacco blends with an impressive pipe. The third was for their child, a sturdy straight sword, engraved with their families crest, a curved bow, and a book on the mystic arts. Fitting for one who would need to be strong to lead, resembling strength, dexterity, and knowledge. Villaino hobbled towards the door, expecting to be greeted, his servant in tow.

Edited by NUMBER N1N3

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So it begins. 

They had arrived, those who would follow the call into the dark world that is House Estella-Negra. Slowly the doors of the ancient house opened, and they were greeted by a man of honorable and refined intentions. Samuel Estella-Negra bowed before the group, welcoming them into his foreboding home of lonely solitude.

"Welcome, my friends. It is an honor to see that you have come to us from near and far. Please come in and join us for a wonderful feast we have prepared for you." He was a comely young man, two years past twenty, with a well trimmed pencil mustache and goatee, as black as the slicked back hair. Pale skin was accentuated by the dark clothes he wore, making him an attractive son of the esteemed family.

"My apologies if our humble abode is a little depressing, as my parents have stuck with the same drab design as it has been for centuries. Once I sit upon the high seat I think I'll try to make things a little more lively, maybe have some windows put in and let some light into this place. Would really spruce up the place don't you think?" Even in the oppressive darkness of this strange and melancholy place, the sole child of the eccentric family could remain optimistic. Though he had suffered much in his life, he did his best to keep his spirits high, refusing to bow to fate as his parents have. 

After entering into the dining room, they were directed to their seats, with servants coming to bring them their meals. Succulent meats, garnished in crushed nuts and drizzled with flavorful sauce, various side meals of spiced fruits and vegetables. Aromas of wonderful flavors filled the room, and they were gifted with fanciful treats to fill their bellies. "For you, my new friends, as a token of our appreciation for you coming here today. You will find that we are a good ally in the times ahead."

Mixed with the regular human servants were more of the black blooded unliving creatures. Their unshakable silence compounded upon the eerie atmosphere that filled this place. 

"The Lord and Lady will be here shortly, in the meantime you may help yourselves to as much as you like. Perhaps I could play you a song for your entertainment? Music been a passion of mine for many years now." A servant passed him his flute, a beautiful instrument made of polished silver and onyx. When brought to his lips, the instrument would begin letting loose calming melodies that invoked sweet memories upon the mind. If inspected further though, these serenading tunes would have a darker undertone to them, as if comforting a loved one in the dying moments of their life. It was sweet upon the heart, yet could leave the mind somewhat disturbed if one pondered its meaning for too long. Such was the life of a member of House Estella-Negra, sweet notes of happiness that hide the grim future that lays ahead of each individual.

Finishing the song, Samuel looked to each member, getting a feel for who they were. He had a fairly good idea as to their motivations for being here, but didn't feel certain about it. These people seemed as varied as they came, and Samuel believed their reasons for being here was also just as unique. Once his parents introduced themselves, then things would become more clear. "So what do I have the honor of calling you folks?"

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Wulfyl followed the man who she assumed was the host for them into the house. While Sahual felt tense he just sticked close to her while growling at the other 2 as an warning to keep their distance away from his friend and master. Wulfyl just took the entire house in. The interior decorations felt dated but somehow felt it fitted the house perfectly. She took the son in for an second. He seemed well dressed and mannered but something about him was off. Wulfyl felt as if he was an non human. However since she never really met much non humans she just kept her mouth shut and decided not to ask that stupid question and just took the other man in. She was clearly the only female who showed how much she lived in the wilderness. The other male seemed like some kind of either an collector or inventor but she still kept her mouth shut seeing he was not into the mood for friendly chatter. The other male wore an eye patch and arrived with an servant so she assumed he was some kind of rich local judging he arrived in an carriage. Feeling a bit out of place as the only female she just looked in front of her again hoping to not make much eye contact with them during the times they were all together in the house. Wulfyl just worried how they would take in an wolf shapeshifter. Would they also see her as an omen of bad luck like her family and tribemembers did? Would they be hostile towards her and force her to leave or just kill her on the spot like some hunters of the tribe tried to do? She didnt know if these fears were well placed in an enviroment like this since she always had to run and keep moving. She made an small wish towards the Wolf Totem that this was an place where they didnt judge her or her true nature. She looked at herself in the reflection. Unlike the others she wasnt really that well taken care of. Dark eyes since she never slept much, messy but washed hair and her armor that despite the straps just hanged loosely around certain parts of her body showing she didnt eat much. Wulfyl just decided to feel happy for now and try to be positive and not give into the fears that plagued her mind and gave her nightmares. She didnt move her right shoulder much since it was in to much pain and really needed to be cleaned soon. She felt however already a bit lightheaded since she already lost enough blood. She suspected that those claw marks would stay permament on her shoulder as scars.

Wulfyl was taken aback with the food that was displayed in front of her. She smelled the aroma's and it reminded her of when she was still at home in the tribe. Shaking off those thoughts she realized she was to hungry to talk and just attacked the first plate that was in front of her. Her table manners showed really her animalistic side but she didnt care. She was underweight and never had so much food. If the food was always like this she was sure she would get her normal weight back in no time. Sahual however just growled at every servant that tried to serve his master and sometimes swiped out so they would keep their distance. He eventually noticed how one came to close to him and tackled him to the ground. Wulfyl looked up at the scene and quickly dragged Sahual off the servant before something bad would happen. ''I'm sorry about that. Sahual is not really good with strangers.'' She apologized to the servant. She whispered towards Sahual it was all good and they wouldnt attack her or him. Wulfyl looked back towards her meal and continued to eat. She listened to the music that the host played. It sounded as something she had never heared before. She never had the chance to listen to much music but somehow found an escape in it away from her fears. She decided not to think upon the meaning of the music that was played since she was one to just listen but not to dwell long upon such things. When the music stopped Wulfyl applauded and took an sip from her drink what seemed to be alcohol. She stopped right away since her body couldnt handle alcohol very well and just asked towards an passing servant for some water instead. Water was her preferred drink to have since she always drank that when she was surviving in the wilds. She didnt notice the host Samuel was looking at her. She was taken back to reality by his voice what asked an question. Wulfyl looked at the others to see if they would say anything but decided to go first so that was out of the way. 

''Well uhm...'' She was a bit speechless and played with an small straint of her dark blond hair before returning her blue eyes towards Samuel and the others. ''I am Wulfyl Rhovanes. I was born in the Wilds of Terranus to an nomadic tribe. I am 21 years of age though something I was blessed with allows me to live longer then an normal human. I dont really like to tell what it is since it got me into exile in the first place when I was just 16 and knew nothing of the world. I only knew the world that I was raised in. Aside my brother who tried to protest against the decisions of the Elders everyone seemed on the same mind to exile me including my own father and mother.'' Tears began to well up in her eyes and started to stream down but she continued regardless. '' I was exiled because this blessing I have was seen as an bad omen. I can never return there or they will kill me right away. I feel I lost my home and was abandoned by those who were supposed to be my parents. Only my brother seemed to see past the stories and see the truth. If it wasnt for him and our bond as siblings my entire family would be dead by now.'' Wulfyl wiped some tears away with the sleeve of her armor. ''I eventually met Sahual here.'' She motioned to her left at the black tiger with blue stripes. ''Í saved him from poachers and that was the start of our friendship. He isnt very keen on strangers and will give off warnings if he feels you come either to close to me or himself. But he is very loyal who he considers his friend but that decision is up to him who he sees as his friend and who not. I cannot make that for him.'' Wulfyl wiped her last tears away. ''Sorry it is still a very touchy subject for me.'' She said quietly. 

She made an unconcious move with her right shoulder. She only was aware of that when it started to burn again with much pain. Wulfyl grabbed her shoulder again and tears fell since it burned to much. She knew at this point she lost to much blood since her vision was slowly becoming blurry. She didnt know how to take care of wounds like these since she was never taught by anyone. All she could do was covering it but it seemed the wound was deeper then she thought. Wulfyl stood up and walked shakely but dazed around for some kind of help but her blurred vision didnt help much. She was desoriented and fell upon her free hand trying to gain control again. But the light feeling in her head wouldnt go away. Wulfyl knew if the wound was not taken care of soon she would lose concious or something worse. She couldnt see anything through her blurred vision and didnt know the strangers who were in the same room would try to help her as an stranger in the first place. Feeling hopeless Wulfyl only could say: ''Damn bear.'' She touched he foreheard with one of her hands. The forehead felt to warm to be normal. She suddenly fell ill. ''Was this sickness longer here or just here because of the wound?'' She thought. Deciding to see the wound she scrambled herself towards an wall and stooded up using the wall as support. She leaned against the wall with her back and undid shakingly the straps of her chest armor. She pushed aside the strip of her black tanktop to see the wound was becoming worse. ''Oh great.'' She exclaimed. She looked at her reflection to see how white her face was slowly becoming. She knew she was losing her strength and running out of time.

Edited by Slatheok

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Marcus was led inside the great manor, led by what seemed to be the son of the one he would soon call his employer. The woman with a cat was awfully weary of everyone, and the other fellow was bossing his protege around. Marcus knew he'd have to be the glue that held this group together. After all, while he knew little of politics, he was a merchant. And a merchant could keep the peace better than any mediator. The host was adamant that the manor could be made more lively, but the atmosphere was so oppressive it could very well have been a prison. Or maybe that was simply the effect of the lighting, or lack thereof.

They were led to a dining hall, where music and food was presented. He was also treated to a servant almost getting mauled. Seeing as it was undead or whatever, Marcus cared little. He believed what dies should stay dead, but he didn't care enough to enforce this rule of mind. He looked down at his food. It definitely looked delicious, and smelled good too.

But.

Marcus was never one to trust so easily. Poison, truth potion, enslavement artifacts in the food, all the above could be included easily into such a deceptively good meal. He docent doubt the taste would be good, but that may be the last one he'd have of his own free will. Instead, he took a flask out of his coat pocket and poured the contents into a glass. He realized that it may appear rude, but this was a job, not a party. He came here to get his hands on some artifacts and nothing else. He had something he wanted to do, and while there was no time limit, he was still not excited at the prospect at having to work for beings so immensely powerful that they could kill him in an instant. He was even wearing a necklace of magic warding to protect from mind control, the drawback being he wouldn't be able to cast mind altering magic either.

Then Wulfyl, his new companion with the cat, began to introduce herself. He tried his best to zone out most of the conversation, as this was how bonding happened. Learn about someone's past, and you create a path to friendship. But he couldn't. He could relate with her on many levels. Not on the bad omen part, but exile. She was a strong one. She quickly left wobbly after her story, followed by a few servants, but kept at bay by her cat. Marcus knew better than to try and help, that thing would tear him apart. He could always just cast magic at it, but that would most likely result in killing it, and he didn't want that. So he had to rely on the staff to help her, as they were definately more skilled in first aid than an artifact scholar.

"Well, I suppose i should introduce myself. I am Marcus Farfetch. I collect and research artifacts. Have no story to tell aside from that I do not wish to cause any problems. Lets co operate and work together for the duration of this mission." He said briefly, sitting right back down and drinking from his own supply of grape juice.

Spoiler

(Marcus is a bit cold at first. I made him that way since he is pale and an ice wizard. Get it?)

 

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Vladimir smiled contently as Samuel greeted his guests, or perhaps; sinisterly. The elder gave a courteous bow, extending his left arm, his cowl stirring in unison with his torsos contortion. Strife kept his head pointed towards the ground, remaining silent for the moment as the two followed their host. Villaino filed in behind the others, paying no mind to his surroundings, as if eerily familiar with them. Samuel spoke about livining his abode, a thought which provoked a hearty chuckle from the old soul. "I prefer the solace of dark light, but to each their own. Either way, your home is stunning." Vil complimented, ushering Strife to hand his gifts to the arriving servants.

The duo, and two others, were led into a dining hall where they were seated and offered a magnificent variety of cuisines. A noble feast indeed, one Vil almost wished that he could enjoy. It was rude to dine before the full presence of the house was present, but with Samuel's insistance, Villaino reached for a jug of wine and filled his chalice. The liquid swathed about dully in the cup, his wrist halting then and again for good measure as he listened to the "entertainment." A song which caused Vladimir to close his eyes, grit his teeth, and almost feel alive again. He could almost hear her speaking to him. His dear, sweet, Morgan.

The other guests broke Vil's remembrance, a good thing as it was, as he needed to be focused in the here and now; not in his past. Wulfyl spoke of some sort of exile, or a rather personal affair which hardly held weight in the villain's mind. It wasn't until she began fumbling around that she really caught his attention, and in pity, Vil tapped his pinky against the table, a ring attached clicking thrice. Strife stood from his seat, heading towards the woman to help, paying heed to her pet. The boy finally spoke up, his voice much more deep and stern than anyone could expect. "We need to clean the wounds and apply pressure. I need you to stay calm." Strife warned Wulfyl, but more obviously speaking directly to Sahual. He kept his eyes locked with the beast's, ready to act on a moments notice, holding for a second before reaching his right hand towards Wulfyl's arm.

The banter at the table began again, calling for more introductions. Marcus had introduced himself, and it would seem that the slickster Villaino was up next. With his drink aired out, the deviant wet his pallet with a toast. "Indeed." He agreed with Marcus, taking a hefty swig before setting the wine down. With unending nerve, and a certain cunning only found in the mischievous, Vil displayed one of his more professional talents. The sorcerer stood, brushed his coat off, and told a blatant lie. "Damian Dumille. At your service." He roused, bowing before calmly sitting back in his seat.

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These were the people who would help House Estella-Negra achieve it's goals, what an interesting group indeed. Quirks aside, there was plenty of potential to be had with them, potential that could spark hope amongst the downtrodden and the disenfranchised. Political tensions were starting to boil over amongst the different factions within Orisia, with many wondering if there would not be an internal war breaking out soon. War was never good for anyone, but sometimes it just could not be helped when people put their pride on the line.

 

At the sight of Wulfyl becoming disorientated from her injuries, Samuel became concerned over her. The favorite child of his parents did his best to help those in need, for he believed that love was the only way to truly heal a wounded people. How this woman was able to continue walking with such a wound for so long, and after being so malnourished for so long, was a true testament to her willpower and strength. Joining in the old sorcerers protege, he tried assuring the large jungle cat that they were no danger to its mistress. However the tiger did not seem to believe their intentions, baring its teeth and swiping at them with a large clawed paw. That was when the door opened, and his parents entered the dining room.

 

"Hello, everyone. We apologize for being so late." Esteban said, looking over at the scene before him, an eyebrow cocked in surprise. "It seems one of our guests is hurt. My beloved, would you go over and help her while I take my seat?"

 

"Of course, my love, go and enjoy supper." As the tall, pale man dressed in finery befitting a major lord of such macabre tastes went to seat himself at the head of the table, Selena approached the wounded shapeshifter. Tall, luscious caramel skin, long raven black hair tied into a sophisticated bun held in place by a golden net with rubies placed upon them, and clothes of such dark, twisted design one could mistake her as a specter of death instead of a noblewoman. Without fear she approached the tiger, stepping past both Strife and Samuel with such grace that they could hardly stand in her way out of fear. Though she was beautiful, the tiger believed her to be a threat, that id until her mouth opened once more, and beautiful words of foreign origin danced out of those perfect black painted lips of hers, calming the beast so that she could get close to Wulfyl.

 

"You have nothing to fear, darling girl. Pain is something we in this household are very accustomed to, in more ways than one." Her voice was a pleasant wave of jasmine and silk, the rich Spanish-like heritage of her Orisian birth evident in her accent. "Gift me your troubles, so that you may continue living the life that you deserve." With one wave she brushed back some of the hair from the girl's face, looking deep into her eyes as she cupped her cheek, her hand smooth and gentle in this action. Speaking once again in that strange tongue, the veins in her hand began to turn black, traveling up the length of her arm and into her neck, spreading out along her face. Inky darkness covered those dazzling chocolate brown eyes, as the infection was cleared, and the flesh began to knit itself back together. When her chanting was finished, she continued to smile, as if looking upon her own daughter, then helped her back to her own seat before sitting with her husband.

 

"Your talents as a Soothsayer never cease to impress me, my love." Taking her hand, he kissed her softly, the veins in his own face turning black somewhat, before returning to their normal color. Once their kiss was concluded, Selena looked normal once more, though upon her shoulder looked to be the faint outline of claw marks in faded pink scars. "We are honored to have you here in our home, though now it is time we told you what it is we are asking of you."

 

Looking out at their guests, Esteban first introduced himself and his wife, then went to the reason as to why they were asked here today. "There is another noble House that we are about to engage into a...trade disagreement with. As we are one of the largest shipping industries in Orisia, we are afforded a market power that has brought us great wealth and power. Using this power we will no longer be bringing in anymore goods for this other House, Bloodnight, who besides us holds the most power in Izabal. We require the aid of others to make sure we are able to weather the storm that will come once we have done this, which is where you will come in." Taking a sip of his wine, he smiled, and continued. "House Bloodnight cannot stay alive economically without our goods, they have put too much focus on selling instead of producing. If they are forced to try their hand at producing their own goods instead of importing them through us, then we estimate they will be out of business by three months. It is in that that three months that we will be in the most danger, for they will do everything they can to convince us or force us to reverse this decision."

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Wulfyl managed barely to listen to the problem Esteban laid out but feeling still an bit weak from the fever that had taken hold of her wound though it seemed to have disappeared. But after what just happened all she could do was clenching her hands into fists. She was feeling anger towards her fellow tribesmembers, the Elders and parents. In the 6 years that she wandered around she tried not to blame them at all but tried to see their side of the coin and accept her fate. But narrowly avoiding what felt death had snapped the bonds in her mind she build up over the years in exile. Sahual placed his front paws on her chair while trying to get her attention by rubbing his face along her chest. Wulfyl raised her left arm and petted Sahual while anger formed itself into tears. She looked at Sahual and knew he at least wouldnt run away. He was the only family she had left in this damned world. ''It's not fair.'' Wulfyl whispered before she hugged him. Tears felt down her face. She had finally the chance to let this anger go. Finally she could express herself as she wanted at the meeting for her judgement. She felt abandoned, betrayed and left behind. Wulfyl finally understood what all these sad thoughts meant. They gave her the feeling she wasnt good enough no matter how hard she tried. That others would also turn their back on her when they discovered her true nature. She missed her brother who was the only one to show that he still saw her as his sister no matter what. He was the rock in the months following up to her exile. Now that rock was gone she felt she just drifted around on the open sea waiting to sink. Now Sahual was playing the same part what kept her grounded. 

When the last tears finally were gone Wulfyl wiped her eyes dry. While she remained her normal position in the chair again but Sahual remained in the same position worried for his master. He refused to back down and just layed his head on her shoulder while she kept petting him. While Sahual couldn't communicate with words he showed how he understood by his actions. Those around him might think he was acting either to weird or to clingy but Wulfyl knew it was normal for him to do this what assured her he wouldnt abandon her. Their bond was unbreakable but was only strengthen more by the things they experienced. Wether it was doing relaxing things or fighting. Sahual adjusted his head by laying it more towards her neck while his face faced the table with all the guests. He stayed for an few more moments like this before backing down feeling assured his master was calm. Sahual turned his gaze towards the women who sang to him forcing him to calm down. While not showing it from the outside Sahual showed in his eyes he didn't like her very much. No one would approach his master if he did not feel comfortable for her. He knew something was wrong with those people and kept his guard up. He then stood up and walked around the table towards Samuel. While he also felt off something inside Sahual liked him since he didn't force him to calm down against his will. When he had reached his chair Sahual leaned upon the chair while placing one paw upon his hand as an thanks. Wulfyl noticed it and smirked at the sight before explaining to Samuel who looked confused at what was happening. ''Sahual is thanking you. It seems he likes you to some extent. I wouldn't say fully but liking you enough that he trusts you around me. While I am knew that after time he would at least like some people I didn't expect it would be so quickly,'' Noticing Samuel had noted her explenation she saw he petted his head for an bit before whispering something to Sahual. Sahual backed down again sensing he thanked him by now and walked back towards his master before coming across the strange man and woman. While he didn't do much against the man since he didn't anything yet he didn't trust the woman but moved on towards his master before doing anything he would regret. When reached his destination he sat down again next to Wulfyl.

Wulfyl leaned back into her chair. She felt an slight headache and stood up. ''Excuse me, I need to step outside for a bit. I will return soon.'' She said but her voice sounded not normal anymore. She knew this meant that the anger she released earlier also awakened the wolf inside her. She wanted to hide it for now since she didnt know how they would react. She also saw the moon was full meaning she would transfom regardless. She strumbled outside leaving the hosts and other guests in confusion since her face was sweating and when she spoke her voice sounded as an mix between human and animal. She looked at her claw hands. ''Guess the biggest part comes soon.'' She thought and knew she wouldn't reach the front door fast enough. In her panic she looked around to see if there were more hiding places where she could hide till the morning. Wulfyl was still standing in the middle of the room till she heard footsteps behind her and an male voice calling out but she was a bit to focused on finding an new hiding place she didn't notice till she felt what felt as an hand on her shoulder what brought her back to reality. Realizing she couldn't escape she just stood frozen in place not knowing what to do.

Edited by Slatheok

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(Work with vampires, listen to vampire sax!)

Marcus nodded, trying to understand what the situation was. Basically, a group they were trading with was going to try to go independant and it would cause problems. Something to that effect anyways, he was not that in tune with this "Bloodlight" house. It was then that he noticed Wulfyl stumbling outside. Again, he'd be eager to help, as he was not a heartless elf like those he hated, but that pet of hers would most likely sense his past and tear him to shreds. He turned his attention to the hosts,

"Understood, so what is it we need to do? I assume you want us to threaten the Bloodnight family?" He asked, having another drink of his grape juice. "And Dumille, If we are going to work together, I believe we should allow each other to know the obvious before we start. What is it you're after? Knowing one's motivation can prevent problems down the line." He added, voicing a truth not many can stomach. The truth of truth.

And as far as Wulfyl goes, Marcus had a feeling he could trust she wouldn't be a problem. At least not immediately.

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Dumille clenched his right hand as he listened to his hosts explain their situation, curling and uncurling his fingers a few times, rubbing the rings among them in-between his thumb every so often. While still unsure of Esteban's exact reasoning behind putting a profitable benefactor out of business, Dumille could list almost a dozen. The most reasonable in this case seemed to be that, perhaps, House Estella-Negra wanted to fill it's competitors shoes, or more likely in the case of Noble proclivity, put someone more controllable in their place.

Factually speaking, and well aware to Esteban; Dumille was sure, someone would always fill the role of 'runner up.' Upon closer inspection of the idea, and to the best of Dumille's understanding, putting another House into that role wasn't their aim at this moment. Had it been so, surely a member of said Nobility would be at this meeting. Unless... 

"Understood, so what is it we need to do? I assume you want us to threaten the Bloodnight family?"

The idea was quickly shook off, it now being apparent that the merchant Marcus wasn't the contender.

"What is it you're after? Knowing one's motivation can prevent problems down the line." 

After Marcus had asked this question, Villaino raised a stern brow. Fortunately, the old man was neither unreasonable, nor covetous. He was, however, sinister. A trait which gleaned tyrannically through the grin which had surfaced in the corners of his face. "At this point, my boy... I seek.. Knowledge. Until the resources are spent, and an outcome achieved, I cannot speak with certainty. I am familiar with a phrase to describe this policy..." He mentioned, now holding his right hand in front of his face, inspecting the luster of his jewelry. "An.. Eye for an eye??. I believe it's said." Dumille jested, the statement almost immediately causing one to ask themselves what it had meant, and of course, why he only had a single eye to begin with.

A brief moment of silence licked the air as he rested his hand back onto the table, ready to get back to business. "Please, continue.." Villaino insisted, showing a lack of desire in knowing what Marcus was after. This reaffirmed his confidence that their goals wouldn't collide, and left even more dispute as to what his own aspects were. The elder was still trying to figure out what Esteban was getting at, or moreso, what ideas he had in mind to protect his own assets during this three month period. Was it black mail, extortion?.. Doubtful. That seemed more fitting for a group of thugs. Dumille was beginning to enjoy himself, assuming he and Esteban were like minded.

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As Wulfyl left so abruptly, Samuel went to follow, concern showing clearly on his face. This woman seemed to be going through a lot, and he wanted to do what he could to help her through this predicament. Calling out her name multiple times, he located her in the hallway, his hand going to her shoulder to help steady her. "Are you all right, Wulfyl?"

Looking at her face, the way she was sweating, the way her flesh was beginning to change into something else, he knew what was happening. "You are experiencing the change, yes?" Any moment now she would change, and there was a good chance things would get bad if she did. "Follow me, I can lead you somewhere where you will be safe, come quickly." Taking her hand, he lead the shapeshifter into a dark staircase that lead into the family crypt.

It was dark place, with the bones of the dearly departed interred within the stone chambers carved into the stone. Somehow the shadows grew thicker here, more oppressive in its atmosphere of cold dread. Taking a torch from a nearby sconce, Samuel lead the young woman into the depths of this macabre world beneath his home.

"This place is very large, so you should be able to run about as you please without hurting anyone. Nobody else really visits here besides some caretakers and my family, not really a popular place for tourists." At the end of a long staircase, they came face to face with an expansive wall that seemed nearly made entirely from the skulls of the dead. "Here lies the great House of Estella-Negra, future home of both my parents and myself sometime soon. Hopefully that doesn't happen now, mostly because there is much I would like to do before I am put to rest here. My apologies for how erm...depressing it is, but its just how it's been since the beginning of our family."

Seeing as how she could change at any moment, Samuel frowned somewhat and kissed her forehead. "I will come looking for you in the morning, to see if you are all right. Do not worry about this place, for the spirits here are anything but malevolent. They will help you, guide you if you require it, and maybe even give you some guidance along the way." With a respectful bow, he exited the crypt, going back to rejoin his family and the rest of their guests. Left in the dim darkness of the dank halls of the dead, Wulfyl could hear a small whistle of wind that one could mistake for a voice beckoning her...

"We are not savages, we will not attack them after we have cut them off from our business." Esteban kept his hands laced together, looking over the table as he explained the situation. "If we were to outright attack them, then they could petition the Crown for intervention, and our fates would surely be sealed. Our God Emperor is not known for his forgiving attitude..."

Selena continued, not wanting the group to dwell too much on the possibility of death and destruction. "Instead we will be hosting a little party for them, deep in the city with many people as our guests. It is there we will announce our intentions, and where you will be collecting our little insurance policy." Smiling, she called for a servant and one of the unliving members arrived, handing each of the dinner guests a picture of a dashing young man with strawberry blonde hair, bronze skin and ruby red eyes. "That is Salvador Bloodnight, heir to the Bloodnight family, and very important should he become someone's guest for an extended period."

"We would prefer he be brought in voluntarily, but if you absolutely must incapacitate him by some means then you shall do so. While we hold their son we shall stall them at every turn in their attempts to contact or meet with him. Eventually they will try to take him, most likely by covert means, this is where your other expertise will come in to keep that from happening. Its important that he stay alive for the duration of this period, or else we will lose our leverage against our enemies, and we are likely to lose much after that." Esteban rose, his hands going behind his back as he went to stand before a portrait made for the one who began the entire story for his family. Jericho Estella-Negra looked regal, sitting upon a wooden chair with a table at the left of him, his book of prophecies laying there in black leather and yellow parchment. His eyes burned with an intensity many felt intimidated by, jewels of brown which burned straight into the soul.

"For centuries my family has stood by and done our duty. Years and years of working in the shadows, serving all those who were greater in power than us. In time, we advanced slowly, our power sometimes waxing and waning, but still we served. Now though will be our time to take control, to ascend into the higher steps of power, where we will no longer serve, but be served instead."

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Wulfyl was speechless. This was the first time someone didnt turn his back on her when this came. She hated the forced transformations but the Wolf totem was bound to the full moon. She did sound as a werewolf but she wasnt since she also changed outside full moons due anger. Yet the wolf itself was not something that could be controlled. She began to sweat more so she putted her armor in a safe location near the front where she entered the place. ''Crypts huh?'' She said out loud. She heard how her voice echod in the place. ''Guess this is were the ancestors of Samuel lives.'' Taking a deep breath she moved forward in only her black tanktop and black leggings without her shoes on since they were part of the armor and the only shoes she had. ''I really must find some new pair soon.'' She thought. She then came to the realisation that the clothing she also wore would disappear when the change would come. She frowned but she didnt have a choice. ''I put them back on in the morning.'' She said when she putted her clothes with the armor. While it was something weird to do for her it was normal since clothing wouldnt grow with her wolf form. She knew that all to well after ruining so many clothing when she was still at home. Her body heat was warm enough to keep her warm in the crypt.

Wulfyl walked into the darkness exploring the place while awaiting the change. She didnt really want to encounter the spirits of this place but she guessed since this was their final resting place it would maybe happen. Still she didnt had much choice. This place was safe enough to contain the beast during nights of the full moon. Her ears picked up weird wisteling coming deeper from the crypt. Curiousity took her over and followed the whisteling one step at a time. She was led to a dark tunnel where the whisteling seemed to come from. She stopped in her tracks and debated for a bit. Since she wouldnt leave this place for a long time she decided to continue to follow the whisteling into the dark tunnel. She spreaded her hands since there were no lights illuminating the tunnel. Her eyes werent changed yet so she couldnt see well into the tunnel like her wolf eyes could. She putted one hand on the wall to be sure nothing would suprise her but she heard her claws scraping against the wall. Then she saw the faint glowing of light coming at the end. She pushed herself forward to see what was at the end of the tunnel.

She came out into a strange place what seemed to be a altar but she didnt know for who it could be. She saw before the altar a open sarcophagus that displayed bomes at its contents. She stepped closer to maybe see a name from who this skeleton belonged to. She finally found the name: Jericho Estella-Negra. She had no idea who it was but the bones seemed to be ancient. At least this person was alive before she was born. Seeing nothing more of interest she walked towards the altar to see if there was something of interest. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary then what seemed to be ritual items she sighed. She was sure the whisteling came from here but she didnt know who or what made this sound. She stepped back from the altar and looked again into the place standing next to the coffin. ''It seems this crypt will have to do.'' She looked down upon the bones. ''Lets hope I dont disturb the rest of those who rest here.'' She mumbled. At midnight the wolf would have full control over her. Once it had taken over she wouldnt think anymore as a human despite it had both the human and wolf mind. That is what made her dangerous. She hated that she didnt have full control over it. She relaxed her body and prepared herself for the upcoming change what came closer with each passing meter. She could feel it.

Sahual was still in the room but already knew what the moment was. He was lucky her wolf form still knew him. He glanced around the room. If the others would go near her it was the beast that would tear them apart if given the chance. Still he would wait till the morning to search for her. He glanced over at the man and woman. He still didnt like the woman. Deciding that to wait in a room full of strangers became boring he glanced around to see there were enough shadows for him to disappear in. He walked towards a shadowy corner and glanced around but the others seemed to discuss important things so they wouldnt notice he was doing his own thing. He wouldnt attack anyone. He liked to play in the shadows to keep himself occupied while the change was happening. Trusting his master was in a safe place he stepped into the shadows to become one with them. 

Edited by Slatheok

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A total political cu? Now this was something Marcus could understand. This lord wished to ascend to the throne of whatever this land's value held as king, or at least having lots of followers. It was risky, dangerous and could even result in him getting publicly executed, but laws were just rules set in place by the powerful to control the weak. It's when the weak bite the hand that cages them that the law steps in. The law of the jungle was true no matter how many laws were put up, and no matter how much people liked to believe it; when there is no one to enforce the laws put in place, people will reduce into chaos.

This lord wanted to become that force. The one who makes the rules. The one who stands atop a throne. Whether or not the population would listen to him after he ascended was another thing, but the populations of the world were so conditioned to following other people's rules that they most likely would.

Marcus saw through the facade laws could build. Order where there is none. A system so easily twisted into a weapon by the cruel and vile. Needless to say, Marcus was all aboard taking down an arrogant noble.

"Consider it done; If that boy refuses to co operate, I can simply lead him away from the crowds and freeze him for transportation to a hideout. And I can assure you, I am capable of making warm ice." He said, beginning strategy devising immediately. "Knowing these noble types, we will need to find refined garbs to infiltrate the party. I came in wizards robes and our friend with an animal companion came in armor. That is my first request."

He noted that he forgot a small detail.

"And you do not need to worry about me doing anything brash. The ice tactic is my last resort. Wouldn't want to have him angry when he wakes up now do we?"

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