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Thotification

For the Madame's desires

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A local tavern within Stronghold City...images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRDs6GPsQyq5VsgPa6dYLloY0VfkwwE7u8tJqMMYuDsj8hTOj1Q

The woman waited at the far end of the tavern the rather large hood of her coat covering most of her visage under the shadows. Patience was one of her many virtues. It was evident from thw way she had been sitting on that corner table, with couple of empty cups splayed before her. It had been an hour or two and still she waited for someone to appear. A fish that would be hooked to her promise of coin.

The woman has needs. Assistance mostly. There were reports of ghostly sighting at an abondoned building at Stronghold and she wanted to take a crack at it. She had bought that building at a cheap price and she will make full use of it. She was never one to believe in ghosts and even if that thing is true, the woman will find a way to exorcise it.

And that is why she needed all the help she can get. Mercenaries at most and some local guide. Also a meatshield to protect her from harm. This was why she sent out this request throughout every tavern hole- 

All it says was a good pay and the location of the meeting point. Details will be discussed once there are enough people. Find a woman named the Madame. @Bureku

-The Madame's lips curled upward into a smile. It won't be long now.

 

Edited by Thotification

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The presence of life stirred an ancient evil from its slumber on this land. It could sense a being with powerful spiritual energy and a powerful purifying presence. This was of no concern to the malevolent deity, as lifetimes had been spent in a patient slumber planning this event. A large enough sacrifice to finally tie itself to the mortal plane once more.

Suppression of it's own power came as second nature to this particular being and this was no different. Its eyes focused squarely on the buffet of souls heading squarely for her domain.

Days before...

Darkness swirled in the shadows as a single soul formed like dew in the wilds. For days it subsisted on not but the embers of a lost shell of a life. A soul once broken mended and forged into a new and skew version of itself. Amalgamating a body from the shadows it formed into a puppet for the use of its master. In time it came to know life once more. Slaying a mercenary and stealing his gear the being had joined among the mercenary group headed for the tavern. And soon his purpose would be fulfilled.

@Thotification @Csl @Ataraxy

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The woman known as the Madame eyed the group of mercenaries before her. They were a ragtag bunch filled with mismatched individuals. She knew that most of them are just expendables, mostly interested in getting some quick cash. After all, it was a rather handsome reward that the Madame had offered.

Somehow the Madame was startig to regret her decision. She could have just hired professional soldiers and specialists back in her homeland than babysitting these hired hands. Oh well, there's not much she can do about it. 

Still, before the group could depart, the Madame needed to build some kind of camaraderie between these strangers. Perhaps an introduction phase would suffice. That and she had no fucking clue whoever she is talking to. Trust is a big issue afterall and right now she's all alone in this endeavor. 

She stood then to address everyone. "Thank you all for coming. I am your employer and you will adress me as 'The Madame'. We will be departing tomorrow morning in search of the ghost that haunted that building. We will exorcise and once the job is done you will be rewarded. Before that I would prefer if everyone introduced themselves first."

Edited by Thotification

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KHAKINA KHATUN

The little girl eyed the other members of this meager troupe. Everyone in this party seemed suspicious and she was more or less uninterested with their respective agendas. She was only here for one thing and one thing alone. She was looking for her friend.

It has been months when Khakina escaped the frigid lands of Shawnee leaving behind the dead Mistress and her cyborg friend, Break. It was a dangerous even and she being weak and all, was only able to ran away with her tails between her legs. The Legion's advance was inevitable and Khaki no longer wanted to do anything with them . With Break and the Mistress gone, there was nothing left for her there. She was all alone.

Well there was the ghost of the late Mistress that kept haunting. The apparition did appear after the recent dissolution of the Black Spear cartel. Without the Mistress, the other members just kind of gave up. Everyone went on their seperate ways. Sometimes Khaki would meet up with Sera for a job but that's it. Perhaps the story of the cartel is over.

As everyone turned their attention to Khaki, she fidgeted. They must have been waiting for quite a while and here she was lost in her thoughts. Oh well, there's nothing for her to do but get on with it.

"Khakina Khatun. Marksman. Rear guard."

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The shadow had blended in thoroughly with its surroundings and the people around it. It had slowly begun to learn the language. Even picking a name, Ikki.

He watched as the people around him filled into the building mimicking their movements. He could feel the will of his mistress moving him forward. He could hear the woman commanding these men and women. He could sense danger, power and an odd sense of nostalgia.

His pointed ears twitched beneath his long black hair. He could sense the tension and excitement from the entity. He anxiously began to reach for his dagger however a gripping fear stopped his hand. He would continue to wait for his chance to move forward. 

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"Thank you.. um ...Khakina Khatun for that wonderful introduction," the Madame spoke, her sultry lips curling downwards into a frown. What a peculiar child. The Madame was not one to make use of children but this little girl in front of her seemed capable enough. If this kid survives, maybe the Madame could take her in. She looked so cute right now.

The Madames attention moved to a few more peole. Some introduced themselves as soldier escapees of Tia. One called herself an angel which the Madame believed to be one bug fat lie.  Another referred to himself as an exorcist. There were priests, spiritualists, mages, wizards, sorcerers. All in there were around twenty of them. Quite the large group actually. Should she cull them now? Or later? 

It was at this moment when her eyes flitted to the last person. He looked like the suspicious sort but the Madame was not one to judge.

"Your turn, boy. Now hurry up and tell me your name and anything about yourself.  Quickly before I lose my temper." @Bureku

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ANGELETTE  "ANGIE" EVENINGSTAR

Well, that went well. Angie did not expect the Madame to be rather lenient to someone with a different race as her but the woman also accepted Angie into the subjugation team. Angie was of the angel race after all and she did not want to make the others uncomfortable with her holy presence. A divine being like her was way above these commoners. But Angie had a job to do and that is to cleanse this place of the evil spirit that haunted it.

Angie remembered how this place was but an abandoned stronghold, a fortress that would face foreigners intending to harm the Veluriyam empire. She was connected with the empire's royal family, after all, but not that close. One can say she was more of a fan of the emperor and they just happen to be similar in some ways no mere mortal can ever comprehend. A foot soldier. That's what her status as of the moment. And Angie intends to keep it that way.

But what she was most wary of is the Madame and this girl who called herself Khakina. They both share a familiar scent but the Madame had the aromatic fragrance of a god's blessing while Khakina was more of a monster. On closer inspection, Angie was wrong. Khakina wasn't just any monster, she was an amalgamation of monsters. The little girl was, in fact, a devourer, a being whose purpose is to consume until it can satiate itself. How this little girl become infected with such disease was beyond Angie's comprehension. For now, Angie would need to watch. Carefully.

 

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Ikki shifted a bit when being addressed directly, but quickly responded. If only in short broken sentences.

"Name is....Ikki. Here for exorcism."

He looked at the one named angel. Her appearance just seeming to be a bit...different than the rest of the mercenary group. But his longing for violence was only bolstered by this. Her soul was worth importance to him. 

He then turned to the one called Khaki her body seeming to be that of metal and darkness. He felt a slight kinship to this one. Unfortunately his orders were to kill everyone.

things seemed to become slower and more quiet as time wore on. The hour of his creators plan drew close. He would take in the layout of his surroundings. And prepare for his job to come to a close.

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THE MADAME

"Name is....Ikki. Here for exorcism."

There's another peculiar one. The Madame inwardly groaned. She can sense the man's murderous intent but she's accustomed to it. That's just another trait of these mercenaries that she would have to tolerate. It had been a long time since she had personally and physically fought. Perhaps she is just out of shape.

Shaking her suspicions off, she addressed her people. "Well, I guess that settles it. Once again, I am your employer, the Madame. For now I bid you adieu. Sleep well tonight. You may sleep on the beds above. I personally booked them but you can sleep outside as well if you are worried about your safety. The important part is that we meet here tomorrow morn. Good day!"

With that everyone would slowly disperse, heading on to their respective rooms leaving the Madame and Khaki alone. The two eyed each other for a while before Khaki left with a shrug. There was only sadness within the Madame. Sadness for a friend she had abandoned.

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Ikki smirked from the crowd in anticipation of what was to come. He had no idea of the sheer amount of mercenaries that had come to join in the ritual. Their souls would provide a feast that would bring upon a new age for this land. The crow had perched itself among the fields so to speak and it would reap a bountiful harvest. 

After being dismissed he would return to his camp  and wait for nightfall. A ghostly blue flame licking the night air had been lit at the center of his camp surrounded by infernal runes. He was far enough from the legion of exorcist and mercenary to sit and plan. He tapped into his mistress's power. And before his eyes a filter if black and neon blue blanketed his vision. Perfect dark vision and a mixture of seeing the remaining life force within a being. He looked around himself. Noticing the closest camp of his prey. He moved closer. He lurched forward in what could be considered pain if puppets could feel pain. A silent agony in the night as a set of black feathered wings burst forth from his body. Throwing himself into the air they caught him. He could feel the rush of air going past his face. He felt as though he remembered that. But this was for sure a new experience. Silently he soared into the unsuspecting camp as they sat and joked and drank to their next job. One by one he picked them off. The first was taking a post by a bush as Ikki swooped down and drove his dagger into his clavicle. Gasping the mercenary tried to warn the others but was sooner dragged into the air where Ikki dropped him onto a tree impaling the unfortunate traveler. 

the next two werent as lucky he waited for one to get up for another ale and turn his back on his companion. Swiftly and silently skewering the one sat comfortably next to the fire, with a branch from a nearby tree. Then while the remaining man turned around to see the horror that had beset his closest friend. A swift arm grabbed him by the back of the collar and threw him face first into their campfire his screams were enough to spook a murder of crows in the dead of night. The ritual had begun

Edited by Bureku

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KHAKINA KHATUN

When the murderer has left the camp, the little girl moved in like a vulture. Her eyes seemed to shine as she entered the angel's sleeping quarters.

"Poor thing," the girl whispered, her gaze landing on the dying woman. She no longer has the strength to speak, her life slowly wasting by the second.

This was Khaki's chance to satisfy her hunger. She had no choice, she needed to consume or the abomination inside would consume her.

Like a snake, she unhinged her jaw and began shoving the dying angel into her mouth. The woman would have protested but she no longer have the strength to do so.

When dawn broke out, Khaki left the camp with a satisfied look in her face. That last meal was delicious. Now she needed to go meet the Madame.

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The next morning...

The Madame eyed her hired helpers. She was back to her rented table at the corner of the tavern, sipping tea. Same spot, same drink, same situation. But something seemed off. There seem to be fewer people than yesterday. Where did the others go?

Frowning she addressed everyone present, "Thank you all for coming today. I see there are fewer people now but whatever. Now then, I expect everyone to be prepared as we are leaving within the hour."

At that she resumed to sipping her tea. The others would need to eat brrskfast or do what they needed in preparation. The Madame is a patient woman. She is more than willing to wait if it would increase their chances of survival. She knows the dangers of this ordeal but not the others. Soon, she kept telling herself. Soon the true insanity will begin. 

 

Edited by Thotification

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Ikki had strolled into the building as if nothing had ever happened armor clean and raven wings gone his only hint of what had befallen his victims from last night was the new intellect claimed from their absorbed souls. Their combined knowledge had amalgamated within his mind. Their talents, their memories and their skills had imprinted themselves into his psyche. A once empty stare had been replaced by a smile and soft eyes. He eyed each one of the others as a type of nutrients for his mistress. He strangely noticed something odd about the one named Khaki. Aside from himself every being in this room had only 1 soul. This one however looked as if 3 souls inhabited this body at once. One looked as though it belonged there, another looked as if it shone with perfect brilliant light, and a third fragmented soul with an inky black sludge oozing from its core. He was fairly new to this world but instantly recognized this threat, a being such as himself was unnatural and a second was something that constituted a sort of panic within him. Was he not the only puppet? Was there a second deity working in the same area? Or had his mistress replaced him? ... No that was not possible. He would have sensed that. Although while this internal struggle had begun his instinctual hunger drew him closer to Khaki. His legs moved of their own accord separate from his conscious mind. He had stopped himself only once he had come within 10 feet of the monster. Piercing blue eyes would meet hers if she had come to look at him.

A pain in his chest had begun to pulse within him. Something within his body burned, Anger? Hate? Envy? This was new to him. He would have to study further.

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KHAKINA KHATUN

She eyed the man. He was a bundle of mystery. Her gut told her this being was dangerous but her heart says he was someone she should know. Which shall Khaki choose? This was a rather peculiar situation. Even more peculiar now that she's more suspicious of this Madame than of this Ikki person. Who is he or she exactly?

She had theories for both of them and she's not afraid to use them. Last night's angelic meal had provided her with some information regarding the man but not convincing enough even for a monster like Khaki. Should she take him down now? But there are too many witnesses and she cannot defeat all of them. In fact, everyone's more suspicious of her than this man. Which is really disturbing.

Now on to the Madame. Khaki could feel it. That familiar feeling as if she's looking at someone queer and pitiful. She could not quite place it but she had a few hypotheses and she just needed to check them out. Like right now.

"So...." Khaki started as she and the others gathered before their supposed employer. "Tell us who you really are, 'Madame'. We need a bit more from you before we trust you fully. Your integrity weighs more than your coin."

Edited by Thotification

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THE MADAME

"Tell us who you really are, 'Madame'. We need a bit more from you before we trust you fully. Your integrity weighs more than your coin."

The Madame pursed her lips. This little girl is becoming nosier by the minute. Now she's regretting ever hiring this little git. If she knew Khaki would start suspecting her then the Madame should have turned this woman down as early as possible. Khakina is putting the Madame at a rather bad place. What should the Madame do? Should she tell them her true identity? Or should she settle for a fake one and throw Khaki off her back? But the Madame knew that once Khaki is onto something that girl won't stop until she gets what she wants.

Taking a calming sip from her tea, the Madame formulated her response. "It seems you are putting me at a rather dangerous position, little girl. I am your employer and that's that. My identity should not be easily divulged at a lowly establishment like this. But if it would please you..."

She stood up then, as if already tired of their conversation. "I'd suggest you all follow me to our destination. Once we are inside I will tell you everything."

So the Madame led them all to the abandoned building near the tavern. A place no one dared to enter at all. Once there, the madness would start.

@The North Wind

Edited by Thotification

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