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 Cold Iron, Early Spring, 2503, South of Clar Karond
Pavel
 Posted: Dec 30 2017, 12:07 PM
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512 years old
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This had gone about as well as could be expected. The mortals didn't like him, didn't trust him, but they were willing to go along peacefully. Pretty much the ideal result here. "Do not worry. If I had meant to kill you, I would have let you fight the harpies first, and then my own minions. One does not get to be an old vampire by fighting one's own battles." He stepped further back into the shadows, lowering his hood. He was quite a sight, pointed ears, sharp teeth, and long quills running down the back of his neck. The dim light of the candlelit cave certainly didn't make him look any nicer.

Pavel beckoned them to follow, leading them deeper into the cavern. He wanted as much rock between him and the sun as possible. "Some young socialite, off to wine and dine with other young nobles. And show off his flash new dragon, of course." Pavel didn't generally have a good opinion of the nobility, unless they did quite a bit to prove themselves.

"Uberon, I've brokered a peace. Do you wish to speak with our guests?" the vampire called out. He hoped the sorcerer would be cooperative. "Our host is a Druchii, but one hunted by his own people. They are not fond of Druchii men who study magic, as it turns out." He wondered if they'd heard of those laws during their captivity? It wasn't likely they were told anything directly, but many Dark Elves thought of their slaves as little more than furniture, it was amazing what they'd discuss where they could hear. "He has no more love for Malekith and his vassals than you do."
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Chrael of the Crone
 Posted: Jan 1 2018, 01:56 PM
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Chrael kept her expression neutral as the creature revealed its form. Clearly, the vampire was of a particularly dark and degenerate breed to be so twisted. She wondered what the creature had been in life, and how much of the man it once was actually remained. Would he be horrified to see what he had become? Or perhaps he had thrown himself into damnation's arms gladly. Ultimately it mattered very little. He was a monster now, and that meant he had to be kept at arm's length.

"As long as he gives me the chance to cut down his wretched kind, I shall tolerate him," she said coldly.

She considered the possibility of returning home to Ulthuan. She longed to feel the warmth of her home kingdom, and to see her father's face once more. For a moment, Chrael allowed herself a moment of longing for the chance to sleep in a real bed once more, wine in her belly and blankets wrapped around her. It seemed almost too good to be true. She stopped herself, before she got hopeful.

As they walked into the antechamber of the cavern, she noticed how much the stone had been shaped. It looked more like the interior of a fortress than it did anything natural, with bookshelves and carpeting... and perches for harpies to stand, their eyes glinting as they sized up the newcomers. A warm fire crackled in the centre from a brazier, and she could smell some form of potpourri. Clearly their host had made something of a home for himself here.

Then, Uberon appeared, stepping forth from the shadows. He was a lean, hungry looking Druchii, with a bald head and gaunt features that made him look all the more malevolent. His face was marked by a simple, well-kept goatee and wolfish yellow eyes that observed them with a cold intelligence. He wore simple robes, though clearly well-maintained.

"Hello," he said. "And welcome to my home. I have been following your adventure south since you caused all that... ruckus. You both look like you have had a very long journey. Please, consider yourselves my guests. I shall have a meal prepared for you and..."

He looked at the rags they were wearing. "We will see about clothes."
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Grumni Grumbolsson
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 04:05 PM
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In a hundred years, Grumni would have never thought to have found himself in such a situation. The walk into the cave of harpies was surreal enough, but with an elgi mage at his side, and a vampire brokering a deal with them that involved killing a druchii for their safety, the dawi felt himself extremely uncomfortable. To make matters worse, all of this was taking place under the eye of yet another druchii mage. The combined power of the vampire and dark elven mage was surely enough to overwhelm Chrael, he guessed, so the dwarf assessed the situation quietly.

He had no idea how to kill a vampire. Folks tales suggested a knife through the heart, or silver ammunition. The latter would be impossible to obtain, and the former would be fairly difficult, considering the difference of stature and Grumni's lack of training with the dark elven blade. The druchii was another matter, and his harpies would be formidable enemies as well. A grumble escaped Grumni as he realized that he had no choice but to accept the circumstances.

The dawi eyed the one called Uberon. He wanted nothing to do with the man. The food was probably poisoned, and the clothes would give him some kind of dark elven pox. He felt like a goblin wandering into a thunderer ambush. Grumni crossed his arms against his barrel chest.

"Unless it's fresh meat, y'can keep it," the dwarf replied. "An' I doubt you've got anything dwarfsh in this hole."
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Pavel
 Posted: Jan 3 2018, 01:37 PM
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512 years old
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The dwarf was being pretty quiet, as expected. Undead, vampires especially, had their fair share of space in the Book of Grudges. At least the other two were being more talkative. They still didn't trust each other, but they'd gotten past the murder phase. Pavel couldn't help chuckling to himself a bit. Strigoi were known as hulking bestial monsters, with no care for subtlety. How did he end up as a spy and diplomat?

Pavel stepped forward, hoping to help build the bridge. "If it's fresh meat you like, there are deer in these lands. I can send out some dire wolves to hunt." He wasn't sure if they'd take him up on the offer, but maybe it would be taken as a sign of good will. Anything to smooth things over before they worked together.

"We should probably discuss what we bring to the table, so we can plan our attack. I will be providing the bulk of our forces; ghouls, undead beasts, and a Terrorgheist. I have less in the way of magic, but I can control my minions well." He didn't like revealing his strengths and weaknesses, but it was a necessary evil. They were going to be coordinating, after all.
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Chrael of the Crone
 Posted: Jan 3 2018, 11:13 PM
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Uberon frowned at Grumni, his eyes running up and down over the Dwarf once more. He sincerely hoped that he wasn't going to be a problem. He knew that the small ones could be especially petty little creatures and that they often could not see when things were clearly in their interest. Still, as long as he could get the child of Aenarion on his side then perhaps there would be no problem.

"It is a shame you do not yet trust me," he said. "But this will change in time. We have a few days before the plan is put into action properly."

He ran a finger down his cheek, bringing it down to his goatee and stroking his beard. He then smiled.

"I bring my mastery of Dhar, among other sorceries, and my wives. They shall form the advance scouting force, and will be able to infiltrate the enemy. Not to mention I am providing a home base of sorts."

Chrael watched the others. The idea of getting changed out of her rags and into some new clothes appealed to her, as well as the idea of eating something with actual spices in it. Still, her distrust towards her hosts was strong enough. She could sense for poison, though... Her stomach growled, and she grimaced to herself.

"I am versed in Qhaysh and Shyish. Give me a horse, and I can ride it as well."

Uberon raised an eyebrow. "Would a nauglir do?"

"Is a nauglir a horse?"

"No, bu-"

"Then no."
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Grumni Grumbolsson
 Posted: Jan 5 2018, 12:09 AM
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"Dire wolves," the dawi thought aloud, and murmured a pensive groan. "Normally hunt me own meat, but I suppose if you're sendin' them out anyway..."

The words were hard enough for the dwarf to get out, as Grumni allowed himself to gaze upon the vampire's form. The creature was terrifying in its own right, but the dawi were not a race to cower and run at the first sign of evil. Not that he knew what the vampire had done in his life, of course, but there was something...wrong, about his presence. Its presence.

As the vampire listed off the minions under his control, Grumni nearly froze at the mention of a Terrorgheist. Only in the quietest corners of the darkest taverns in Barak Varr had the beasts been mentioned, though the only tales told about them were from drunken mouths. Winged beasts as large as a dragon, they'd said. Could devour a horse whole in one swallow. The thought unsettled the dawi further. Perhaps some of it was fear, but he couldn't shake the sense that he shouldn't be here. He wondered what his kin would say of him at this moment.

Before Grumni could reply, the druchii spoke up. He was a confident elf, to say the least. The dwarf was ready to speak his whole mind on the matter of trust, but in this situation he doubted it would go over well.

"Days?" the dwarf repeated, rhetorically. "Mm. Well I suppose it's only right to thank you for shelter, druchii."

Grumni glanced around the cave and eyed a nearby chair. Without a pause, he grudgingly walked over to it and took a seat, though he had to throw his weight slightly to get his whole backside onto it. He then slung his tattered knapsack around and set it on his lap, as he began to untie his bow and test the string. Though his brows were furrowed, it seemed as though the dwarf had accepted the current conditions as he looked through his knapsack.

"I'll need to make more arrows," he mumbled to no one in particular. "Hope y'can fell a dragon, elgi. Don' think I can shoot that high."
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Pavel
 Posted: Jan 5 2018, 06:23 PM
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512 years old
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The vampire smiled, relaxing a bit. Then he immediately stopped smiling, forcing a neutral expression. Massive fangs made the whole "friendly smile" thing look more like a threat than anything else, it tended to put people off. One of the downsides of his bestial form, pretty much any facial expression he made looked like he was about to eat someone's face. Pavel focused for a moment, giving a mental command to his pets. "They should bring something back soon. In the meantime, I don't believe we've all introduced ourselves. I am Pavel of Strigany." He didn't generally use a surname, never really had one, but he found that people trusted his authority more when he tacked on something after his name. Just a single name struck some as too peasant-y.

Meanwhile, the elves were getting along as well as could be expected. Their peoples had hated each other for thousands of years, he didn't expect either to be too cheery right now. They weren't trying to kill each other, though, so that was progress. "Horses are hard to come by around here, I'm afraid. It will be hard to find something for you to ride, though if we can find a good vantage point to use your magic, that might not be necessary."

Pavel chuckled, his keen ears picking up the dwarf's muttering. "Your arrows can provide some support, help dealing with the guards. For the dragon itself, that is why I brought a Terrorgheist, and went out of my way to find a mage." He only had one Terrorgheist to bring, but he liked just leaving out the implication that he had more in case he needed them. It never hurt to make people wary to go against you. "My own magic will support my undead while they join the harpies for the main strike force, while I attack the lord and dragon directly on my great beast. Your own magic you can use for support as you see fit, but anything to weaken the dragon would be appreciated."
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