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[Dead] Is it because of the name?

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They found him in Hell's Gate. They found him at night. The silhouette could be seen through Amraphensbane's door, its shadow stalking behind the backlit shades making its way to the door. When the creak issued signifying its open, what stood there was no typical client for the killer investigator— no, what stood there was a zombie. Its bottom jaw hung from precarious curtains of flesh and one of its eyes were puckered shut, its general complexion sitting at a good -1 out of 10. 

Breath wheezed gently from the cavernous maw missing teeth that sat gateway to its fluting throat. Its singular yellow, jaundiced eye scanned from left to right, slowly, across the office, until it landed on Amraphensbane. There was a type of sorrow in the creature's balding brow, long wisps of black hair clinging to the fringes of its purplish scalp. It was either so bereft of emotion it could attack at any moment, or it was an innocent creature so deformed from its original self it was forever contorted into lament. Finally, after staring at the wolfish man for a moment, a drawn-out gasp signified its long inhale.

"You search for decent employ," it wheezed with disturbing coherence, as if imparting this message superseded the very physical capabilities of its deteriorating body. "The Dead calls.

"Be it gold or power, secrecy or fame; the Dead holds your fortune in the palm of its hand.  Do for us what we ask, and you can be king."

---

Days later, through a rift in the Blue Hills of Terrenus, Amraphensbane found himself in a spacious two-story carriage. On the first story of the carriage was stored a large mass of medicine on its way to Lunaris. Sitting at the forefront of the steedless carriage was a joyful pauper. His only purpose was to ensure that the carriage didn't crash into one of the many tall trees between which they drove, assumably with an enchantment to reroute them. 

In the second story of the carriage sat something different; something even quieter than the clinking bottles of medicine in story one. Something sinister. In the second story of the carriage sat the First Officer, a Lieutenant, a Skeleton, and a recruit of the mysterious criminal organization known only as a whisper on the lips of the most in-the-know to be the Dead. Each of them had a black circular adhesive patch stuck somewhere on their bodies. This adhesive patch was a trademark of covert Dead operations; it allowed the wearers to communicate telepathically with one another so as to maintain silent communications both short and long range.

The First Officer even held a mask in his hand this time, but for now he held it in his right hand, which was leaned on its respective knee just like the left. He made eye contact with the others as if he were speaking, because he was— just not aloud. His voice issued with perfect clarity in their minds, his yellow eyes moving from one to the other.

We've bribed one of our hookups in foreign trade to document Sebastian's transportation schedule for the last month. According to this schedule, the plan is to try and get Sebastian Heiliger alone while he is being transported from his main offices home at the end of the night at 2000. We will need one party to distract the caravan, one to do a surprise attack on the guard, and two to take advantage of the surprise to attack Sebastian. Now remember before yo pick your sides, Heiliger will likely be guarded by the Lunaris sheriff. Alright, now who picks what?

 

@susitsu @Rin @Thotification @danzilla3

OOC:

 

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A skulking, skull-faced creature of the night.

This was only somewhat accurate, but it is what many thought when they saw his traditional garb; plain black robes with a high hood draped down over the clean skull of a werewolf worn as a mask by a strange merchant, or mercenary. He seemed to be peddling his services, selling his talents to the world and growing a small amount of fame. He had taken jobs that all tied to the same name; Amraphensbane. He served nobles and drug-lords alike. Perhaps they had even hired him in the past and he did not know it. They were The Dead, after-all. Unknown, unseen.

He liked the sound of that.

And it made quite a scene when the corpse approached him with an invitation; a corpse and a skeleton had just struck a deal.

"I will accept these conditions," He calmly replied with a singular nod. "Your organization has a reputation for being unheard of."

 

He did what was asked of him, arriving half an hour earlier than scheduled, to case the area for fifteen minutes from the shadows before appearing as though he arrived fifteen minutes early for the arranged time. He was alone; this was fine. He didn't know if he was being watched or not, and he could be. Sneaky mages were beyond his understanding, but they almost all died fast. So that wasn't a problem.

Appearances were everything. Therefore, he was early, even if there was no one watching, and a portal that only opened exactly on time. He was still early.

 

And what a scene he was to behold. Simple in his dress of a robe and skull, seeming almost like a being with no arms but made of a mass of shadow. However, he so suddenly revealed his arms, draped in the black fabric of his robes and gloved, he reached up to push the skull-helm inside of his face. It vanished, and he bowed before his clientele as a polite gesture of respect and thanks for having hired him. He wore no mask now, staring them down through icy blue eyes as he examined them quietly. His hood was draped over short, black hair, brushed off to the left. Words weren't necessary to begin with, so content to even take orders as he sat once it was deemed appropriate; either he had to invited to sit or the social temperature was incredibly clear. He did indeed stand an awkwardly long time after his bow.

Then, through the patch he had concealed safely on the back of his neck, their conversation began without introduction. He knew they knew who he was. But they held that advantage over him. They were unknown to him, but there was a tactical request, a necessity for conversation to breach this barrier. He didn't really need to know who they were, that wasn't important yet. This was a tryout, so he answered concisely, in his thoughts, in all their thoughts, 'If the sheriff is a particular issue, I would not be opposed to a hit-and-run tactic on Sebastian. Do you know, does he wear armor?'

His fingers tapped thoughtfully on the hilt of his kamas beneath his robes, envisioning the openings where he might make one strike and leave a man to bleed out. If he didn't wear armor, I could easily take his heart from out of his chest without using these 'tools.' A last thought for himself, not projected to the rest of the party. A wandering hunger, something that left his mind with a look to the beautiful world outside.

Edited by susitsu

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64e74a0c3043dcbee4feccfcc0a64ce9.jpgTHE DEAD MISTRESS 


Her yellow eyes met the man's, a brief exchange between two contrasting individuals. He was the First Officer of the mysterious organization and she was but a shadow of the illusive woman once known as the Mistress.

Whatever happened in her undesirable past, she had already buried it with her recent demise. Now, she's just enjoying her newfound freedom. Still, this mission the First Officer had for them was quite a sad one. For her at least. Unlike the other members of the organization, the woman was a public figure, one who's visible to the naked eyes of the public. Their current target was the governor of Lunaris, Sebastian Hellinger, a man she had once considered a friend. They had a few run-ins in the past but her recent venture into the Lunaris economy only brought them closer. If not through friendship then at least through money, as signified by the recent increase in the contents of their figurative wallets. 

It was unfortunate that the mysterious organization had set their eyes on Sebastian yet the woman was unfazed. Whatever is the outcome, as long as tonight's crew manage to injure the man or at least break the illusion that the governor cannot be reached then it would be worth it. 

Poor Sebastian. Don't blame me if anything bad happens to you and your body. Such a waste of a good man.

She would have chuckled at that notion, but she needed to keep up appearances. Crossing her supple legs, the woman crossed her arms across her ample chests. The prospect of a new recruit was rather exciting and seeing the man in person only made the woman eager to see this newcomer in action.

But we had our own tasks to do, given the First Officer's order.

It would be a dick move to let the newbie take on Sebastian. Not to belittle the newcomer but Sebastian is a different sort of monster especially here in his own land. The woman mused her chances in taking on the governor, inhaling a lungful of cigar smoke from the stick placed firmly between her full lips.

Such a lucrative taste as always.

Leaning back on her seat, her eyes shifted towards the wrapped package propped beside her lithe figure. It was a slender thing and inside was her assurance for this battle. Anyone in this carriage, barring the First Officer would hardly be any match for her once she whips out the weapon hidden inside the package. With Baeoi in her possession, it is only prudent that she take the harder task. So she mentally sent her decision.

"I'll give the other's a chance. I'll be taking on Sebastian himself. Although, I wouldn't mind if the First Officer joins me in this task."

 

 

Edited by Thotification

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Well that's no fun if we all go after the same person. Then we'd all try to kill each other just to kill one person.

Esben replied as he finally spoke up. The coach ride had been a good ride, he enjoyed the countryside. Though he enjoyed his study more. Possibly this could work in both ways for all parties involved. 

And though our goal is to assassinate Sebastian, I might tag along with the two to see if my scientistic knoweldge could be provided useful before they take his life. 

I am after all, a scientist. I like to experiment before the victim dies. If that is alright with everyone here of course. 

The elf then placed his hands in his lap. Of course if things come to worse, he could use weapons to help. But he also wanted to use more scientific research and knoweldge in this. 

He sighed softly again, missing his lab even more.

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The sun was just beginning to set as Sebastian walked out of city hall to await the carriage that would take him back to his apartment. He had originally resisted having the transport, but his advisers had insisted; said it made him more statesmen-like. In the end he had given in, reasoning that at least he would be able to rest on the way home. Not that he was in any hurry to get there tonight. Carina was out of town, which meant that he would probably just read for a little while before going to bed. 

Soon the carriage rolled to a stop in front of him, and he got in, looking forward to being able to relax.

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When unworthy kings and cake-eating queens sat on thrones; when greedy lovers loved while good people died alone; when the pestilence spread through the crops and the people ate them anyway; Cain came to take away all they held dear. The Dead replaced the silver spoon with a desolate palm of still water slapped to the face.

When you dream, time passes hundreds of times faster in your mind’s eye than you perceive consciously.

When you die, time passes hundreds of times faster in your mind’s eye than you perceive consciously.

Now, time passed with an eerily smooth disposition. Cain, the man in the corner of the carriage, ceased looking on any of them. Despite being no larger than 2/3 the size of Amraphensbane, he stifled the carriage with his presence. The very flesh felt pressed away from his form, unwanting in both dimensions in which ‘unwanting’ can exist. Looking upon the singular First Officer felt like looking at a crowd of armed mobsters in the moment they shifted their attention on you. Cain’s was a visage, an aura, that required suppression amongst friends so as not to offset their attitude toward him. Could he be so great, or did he just flex an arcane age beyond his physique in hopes appearing he was?

No, when the red wolf’s eyes shifted silently upon Amraphensbane’s, carriage rocking rhythmically, it was with more than simple posturing. It was with utter knowledge and delegatory power over what was about to happen.

The carriage driver was grinning, his Pringles-man moustache quirking to his grin; but when blinking after passing city security, his eyes became a white fog. His mind was a white fog. He was but a puppet, one of a million eyes through which Cain saw. 

Galessa, report.

The operatives would hear Cain’s voice, its tone directed to someone else on the psychic connection.

Aye, issued a foreign female voice. Leaving city hall for the apartment now.

Cain’s yellows were upon the others with the issuance.

That means we’ll cut them off four kilometers from the apartment. This should be no more than a five minute attack, which is longer than it will take a report, mobilization, and units to respond to the scene.

Ahead of the moving carriage was Mortimer’s Lab 2.0. This was the headquarters the Dead had set up in Lunaris, through which they pedaled their honest (but Cain-ized) medicine into the city.

Masks, said the ginger as it stood and cupped its mask over its face. Then a rectangular compartment opened to slant yellow light into the carriage’s second story. Skeletally masked Cain exited down the wooden steps at the bottom of which the moustached man stood. Cain touched the skull’s forehead and the man tipped his hat in return. The carriage had parked right beside an alleyway, down which Cain led the way. It was a long alleway; the end was a moderately visible line of waning daylight about a quarter mile ahead. Midway to the opening their was another alleway right (east).

We’ll take the guards and poor sheriff, said the skeletally masked ginger. His black clothed, black masked, and strikingly red-haired visage led the point down the alleyway. Without looking, it was somehow clear through the psychic connection that Cain meant he and the Mistress would take the guards.

In case we need support, you’ll be perfect, projected the message to Esben.

If we take away everything, I trust you to make a lasting impact on our friend Sebastian, said Cain to the recruit. More than defeating the governor of Lunaris, it was planting the fateful kiss of the Dead upon his cheek for which he aimed here. Amraphensbane, according to Cain’s research, was a perfect mercenary for the job. This would be the were’s proving grounds.

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Oh yes.

 

The order was given, and he was starting to be drawn from his thoughts towards the leader of this crowd. He didn't quite have an idea of how to regard this pale creature yet, but he was beginning to understand. Prior, he had been considering how interesting this territory appeared in conjunction with admiring The Dead's methods. It was a joyous thing, after-all, to learn of new work. New tradition, new glory, new everything. The change was something he enjoyed the most. And with an unseen, unheard jubilance, he answered the order, to adorn himself without touching his face. Today, was a simple mask for a face that meant nothing. He could have his face cut off for all he cared.

 

I will be hunting the alpha today. What a treasure.

 

Now, strapped to his face was a smiling theater mask, displaying his perfect frown of indifference to the world around him. All dressed up in his dark robes, this image could only draw recollection of horror stories. Whatever was concealed beneath his loose flowing robes, he looked like a panther ready to pounce or disappear into a mere shadow as he rose up with the others. But he did not disappear, for light entered the carriage from the door.

He was ready, and did not require a weapon in-hand to deal with first contact. No, his hands were pulled back just a bit into his sleeves as his claws sharpened. He would strike for the throat at the first problem if he was the nearest one, following up on the rear of the group. This way, he could break away under the veil of their forms; the indistinct pattern of clothing on the wind would leave them wondering which way the piece of cloth he would be seen as went all while these seasoned marauders sought to claim their lives. What did some passing, robed stranger mean in the face of death?

 

Oh yes. I will disappear. You are all the perfect cover.

 

Five minutes. This was the ideal time-frame for his first job with The Dead. Complications happen. If it didn't go perfectly, this might be forgiven, for it may have only meant a greater chance at proving himself was given.

 

But all the better I make good of our escape. He is sending me alone, which most likely means he would prefer this happens suddenly and instantly.

 

No longer was he sparing a thought of admiration. No, he had recognized their professionalism and taken note of the division of units. Amraphensbane was notoriously a stealth specialist, excelling at taking his targets off-guard, either killing them immediately or first crippling their fighting capacity and breaking them down with swift hit-and-run tactics. This meant even if he didn't score an important strike, he keeps his own momentum going and tries to keep his foe from ever catching their breath. He wasn't exclusive to this, considering his own durability, but his inherent lycanthrope traits lend themselves to his talents quite helpfully. But this also carried a weight. If Cain wanted him dead fast, it meant he couldn't screw this up.

He took into account every factor related to success, and that alone, to keep his mind clear and focused on the fast future coming at him with every step that he planned, all the way up to if he had to transform just to survive the fight for many variable of reason.

He was damn well uninformed on his mark, but that hasn't stopped him before.

'I am ready. I will break to strike unseen when the chaos begins.'

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THE DEAD MISTRESS 
64e74a0c3043dcbee4feccfcc0a64ce9.jpg


Now that the mission was well underway, the white-haired woman can't help but feel a sense of familiarity with the First Office. Past that gingerly looks, there was a man that was rather similar and yet starkly contrasting to a certain peacekeeper, the woman was oddly intimate with.

Shaking off the sudden round of sentimentality, the white-haired woman donned the skull-themed half-mask. As the masked covered her face, so too did her personality as the Dead Mistress took over. It was not so much as a change in persona but a change in her entirety as a person. Anything that resembled the woman known as the Madame Linda Linda was long gone and replaced by this cold, uncaring figure, a persona that was more similar to the late terrorist known as the Mistress Blackhead. This too was a matter of precaution as the woman was about to stage an assassination attempt on a treasured acquaintance. Was she concerned about the man's safety? Not one bit. She was more concerned with the fact that the man might recognize her. The white hair was certainly a dead giveaway.

White-hair aside, the woman was first and foremost a great actor. This wasn't the first time she had played a role. She had played a dozen roles, each with different personalities, each with different habits and tics, and she had perfectly played them well. She has never been caught once and not in this mission either. Truth be told, no one will know who she really is unless she announces her presence. To add even more precaution, she decided to go for a pink hair scheme and a tan. Truly, she's a master of disguise.

For now, she'll simply nod in assent to whatever the first officer says. All that is left to do is wait for their prey, for the seabass to pass through the dead waters, where the dead sharks lay in wait. 

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Esben said nothing as he only nodded. He didn't need to do much here but follow, research and go. For the other two could do the job for him and he could just watch. That was the side of him he liked best. He could do merely nothing and still accomplish a goal. 

Of course, he would look at the mask at his hand then. It laid there as he wasn't sure if he wanted to put it on. Vanity was a weakness of his and the mask was not one that he liked very much. Of course he stood there in the alleyway, for a moment as he stared at the mask. 

He placed it on as he supposed should he close, no one would recognize his face. And though he didn't mind it, the poor man had a high bounty on his head in his own homeland, he didn't want to compromise himself just yet. 

Just call for me should you need it. But I shall be doing some of my own research until then. I want to test some of these poor subjects aligned with Sebastian. Just in case the assassination fails. A back up plan.

With that, the elf known as Esben slipped out of the alleyway as he walked towards a side entrance. He'd keep well to stay out of eye sight as not to be seen as necessary. Though, he wasn't known much by these new people to bring in the elf to the dead, he still wanted to test out things he'd been working on.

As he had said, a plan b should their plan fail. Something to help them out. And so Esben continued his stroll. As he was taking his time.

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