• Closed • Meet the Monsters

The infamous Al'Angyryl meeting, scented candles included.

Rising from the stony plateau overlooking the rivers and plains of the western continent, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from this same rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence, eagerly spreading its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the different factions set aside their agendas long enough to see this through?

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• Closed • Meet the Monsters

Postby Kovic » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:29 pm

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16th of Cylus, 718


Everything had to be perfect.

First the swept the floor with an old broom. When the table was already set, and the few chairs ordered from the foot soldiers were delivered and placed around the round table, the cavern looked so much better. With a wet cloth he’d remove whatever grime could’ve made the old, termite-eaten table even uglier than it was. The chairs were given the same treatment, a rough touch to bring out their most delicate nature. They didn’t look like much, but they were clean enough to kiss the rear of a king - if any kings was stupid enough to wander into this dark cave. The rocky walls lacked sconces, and this was compensated with a few watermelon-scented candles Maws himself had purchased for the occasion. With a match, they were lit and left in the middle of the table. It gave the scene this refinited, aghast sentiment.

After the necessities were complete, it was time to take care of the luxuries. A jug of fresh water was left on the table, atop a wooden tray, and five cups, cleaned and dried by Maws himself, were placed upside down to avoid much from flying within. A wooden bowl was placed nearby, with a collection of apples standing within; golden ones, red ones, and some that doubted whether they wanted to be red or yellow. When they were set, Maws took a step back, and looked at the scene. He’d gape at it for a moment, then approach and try another arrangement, tweaking the setting again and again until the image was worthy of being captured within linen.

Those uninvited to the table would find far less comfort. However, they too would find a keg of fresh water along with some clean mugs, again cleaned by Maws himself, atop a small table. Chairs would not be available to them, nor they’d get to sniff the gentle aroma of watermelons that rose from the table. How he delighted in that smell! Were a string quartet to play a ballad in the depths of the darkness, Maws himself could have swayed in the darkness with the scent, rapt by his deep desire to consume everything.

Perhaps he could consume the whole meeting. Perhaps that is why he took such good care of the scene.

The scene was ready to be witnessed by the eye, and so Maws went out of the cavern and cleaned his throat.
“Excuse me,” he’d say to a distant frame. “The meeting is ready to be held. Could you please let our despot know, as well as everyone else invited? Thank you.”

Maws returned within the cave, and with the candlelight, he’d make sure his suit, and especially his shoes, were as shiny and as impolute as they could be. Of course they were. Maws was always the imagine of perfection, of refinement. No muck ever tarnished his flesh or his attire, and his features were always clean and virginal. His hairs were always soft and well tamed within the ponytail, and his beard… Oh, his beard! It was perfect. Such a pampered man bush he owned, so manly and yet so sweet, like the aristocrat’s young child wrapped in armor, swearing to one day defend the borders of their kingdom.

And so Maws moved to the table, and carefully took a seat at the far end of the cavern, from where he could observe the whole cavern, and from where he could control it all, be it who came and who didn’t. And, most of all, the place where the sweet aroma of the candles could reach him best.

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Meet the Monsters

Postby Ryder » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:09 pm

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Ryder leaned back against the wall, longsword at his side. It had become habit for Ryder to bring weapons with him at all times these days. His dagger still rested on his back, and the hidden blade cloaked by his sleeve, waiting to extend in to the neck of anyone that tried it with him. He had no intention of using it here, of course, but if he'd learned one thing from the faction it was that you couldn't trust anybody by appearance.
Ryder kept his head low. He was early, but he made it his job to be. He'd been invited by Noth to this meeting, allegedly he needed to be there. Whatever it was about, Ryder was sure he'd find no interest in it, until it turned to plans for battle. Ryder was craving another caravan raid, or some kind of fight to go down. Preferably against real, armed enemies, not another petty fist fight with the fellow members of the group.

Keeping his eye open for Noth, Ryder looked over the people that were waiting. Should he see Noth, he'd make his presence known by approaching. As far as he was concerned, Ryder was only here because the Beast had requested he was. Aside from that, he had no purpose here. Nobody else was of interest to him. Though, it did make Ryder wonder if Maws would be around, and what the relationship between Noth and Maws.
After a little while, a man came out to let them know they could enter the room. Ryder would enter, but be sure not to sit until the Beast had arrived and taken his place. From there, Ryder would would stand beside him, with a friendly introduction towards the man. He made sure to give Noth space, but to make it clear that he was here for the avriel and nobody else. As much as he scared Ryder, Noth was his boss, and had never given him any reason to doubt his safety in this group. If anything, Noth was the reason Ryder could truly feel safe, nightmarish appearance aside.

Ryder made sure to give a small nod to Maws, but nothing more. Whether that was due to some dislike of the man or the secrecy of their alliance, not even Ryder could be sure. Perhaps a slight combination of the two. As much as Maws had given him an offer, and been mostly kind to the man, Ryder had no like for him. Not even the slightest bit. But it didn't matter. He wasn't here to make friends, he had those already made. He was here to repay the debt of his life. If Maws could help him do that, liked or not, at least he was of use to the mercenary.
The room itself looked good, Ryder thought, somewhat admiring the suit Maws was wearing. If anything, he was good with appearances, and nobody could deny that. It smelt fresh, looked clean. If someone walked in, they would have little idea that this was the location of a murderous group of bandits, and might even assume they'd walked in to a formal meeting of the higher ups in Etzos' government. Admittedly, Ryder was impressed.

Patiently, Ryder waited for the meeting to start, keeping himself stood straight and upright. His physique was improving, making him that much more threatening.
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Meet the Monsters

Postby Neronin » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:52 am

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Neronin hadn’t slept in a few trials and his work on his current project had all but halted, and it made him agitated. He had come back to Al’Angyryl with a renewed vigor to become so indispensable that none thought to question his loyalties. He had been gone, sure, but he also knew he had something to hide on top of that more innocent reason for being wary. He had Vuda breathing down his neck to give him information, information like that which would be discussed in this trial’s meetings. Neronin sighed through his nose as he paused in his project, covering the body.

The mage scratched at the arcane runes that now fully encircled his crown. When he was tired they sometimes agitated him, but only when his Rupture spark was being restless for use. Neronin had no time to indulge the second spark, not with this damn meeting coming up. The undead ravens on his table hopped up and fluttered onto each shoulder in the wake of his spurt of willpower. Neronin began to exit his cavern lab, then paused. Perhaps he could make some headway, if he multitasked. He snatched the project from his desk and let it dangle from his hand as he made for the meeting.

Neronin didn’t have to navigate through the small group of people at the meeting, because they had already moved inside, and those who were not yet inside quickly moved aside from him. Neronin stepped into the room and saw that Maws was already there, but Mongrel was absent. And he had thought he was being late. Neronin stepped up to the table and took the nearest seat, noticing for the first time the youthful warrior. He must be new. Neronin thought as he set the head and shoulder on the clean table. He the reached out and took a glass with bloodied hands and poured himself some water.

Then, without saying anything, he returned to his work. The necromancer bent over the face of the grotesquely misshapen corpse and used his ether to change the shape. He had wanted to create a thicker, more powerful maw, but the balance of the bones and the support for the muscles was all wrong. He would need to anchor the muscles more creatively. He began to form a saggy tail crest, a fin-like protrusion on the top of the head, to thicken the jaw muscles and attach them. The meeting chamber filled with the sickening sound of dead flesh being reformed. One of the undead crows hopped down onto the table but remained still otherwise.

Finally Neronin sighed and pulled the half finished Stitchborn‘s head onto the floor next to his chair, leaving a smear of blood. Neronin leaned back and waited for Mongrel to appear. The man was running this show, wasn’t he. The least he could do is show up a little early. Now that he was here, Neronin wanted the meeting to go as quickly as possible so he could avoid making a damaging first report to Vuda. He would remain silent, tapping his fingers gently against the bloodied glass and staring at the tabletop until Mongrel arrived.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” - Lovecraft
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Meet the Monsters

Postby Noth » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:37 am

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If ever there was an indication that the organization that the hybrid had helped sire and grow through its fledgling years had finally become something more significant than a basic street gang, perhaps it was the fact that they were now holding meetings. Long ago, when the group had first founded, there had only been at most a trio to compose the entirety of Al’Angyryl, and so meetings had been incredibly informal, and altogether unnecessary for the sake of administrative and plotting purposes. Sure, the trio had met and discussed and spoken to one another, but it could hardly be constituted as a genuine meeting in the same way as the one now approaching.

The twilight hybrid considered the growth that had managed to inflict itself upon Al’Angyryl within the last few seasons, and compared things to when it had only been those few hapless individuals striving against a powerful city. They weren’t strong enough as it stood to simply brush aside the city of Etzos and its many defenders now, but they were certainly much more powerful than they had been, and the thought of legions of warriors serving underneath him, bearing the bloody-handed banner as they marched across the city, slaying and slaughtering all who would oppose their glorious reign was one that was satisfying and intoxicating in its magnificence.

Noth had gone through the effort of scouring through the cavernous system, inviting all of the members who needed to attend to the meeting so that they might assist in future operation planning, as well as provide a good report of their current activities. Maws had received a basic message, requesting his presence, along with an explanation that they would be ‘actually doing something’ so as to prevent any protest that this was simply a further excuse to laze around the cavern. Marrow had been interrupted in the midst of his experiments, and informed that his presence would be required. The man had been gone for so long, that anything beyond simplistic formality seemed… difficult to muster, but he hoped in time that things would fade back to the relative friendliness that they had shared; insofar as a feathered monster and a necromancer focused upon bending the flesh of the dead to his will could be friendly. Ryder, one of the newer recruits to their organization had shown some promise, and so he too had been invited so that he could be introduced to the upper echelon, and given an opportunity to prove himself in some capacity. Good leadership was a difficult thing to find, and the hybrid had relied in the past on those already established as leaders in the gangs that he assimilated, though he could certainly understand that at times they were not quite as tactically minded as he would have preferred for his officers.

Finally, he had invited along the Naer. She too had not been with the organization for long, and in many ways she was more or less a simple contractor as opposed to one of the enlisted soldiers under his command, but she had proven herself to be quite capable, and the work that he had so recently assigned to her intertwined nicely with the plans ahead. Thane and Ears too had been summoned to make an appearance at the meeting, although Ears was simply meant to stand guard at the door and ensure that no eavesdroppers or spies would happen to catch vital snippets of their plans and conversations.

It was sometimes an unfortunate truth that the intense blackness of Cylus made it difficult to perceive time. That had been observed with the restlessness of the soldiers under his command, along with some basic difficulties in operational work. It was also the reason that the hybrid had not shown up somewhat earlier for the meeting. After all, it seemed logical that if he was the one going to be presiding over the gathering, he should ensure that he was there earlier than the others, and yet, the absence of sunlight made such timing difficult if not altogether impossible, especially given the busy schedule he already embodied. Thankfully, at some point in his maneuverings, he became aware that the event should be beginning soon, and so he made his way to the meeting room, stepping in immediately, talons raking across the cold stone as he positioned himself in a chair situated at the table.

Crimson eyes examined the cleanliness of the gathering, taking note of the effort that must have gone into making what was normally a cavernous room into something fairly accommodating to their purpose, and simultaneously aesthetically pleasing enough not to drive them away. A sweet scent struck his nostrils, and he breathed it in, relishing in the burning of the candles. That had been a decent idea, because the pleasing aroma helped to satiate the persons gathered; if not make them somewhat hungrier, whilst also providing enough light for them to do their work.

He took note of those gathered, of Maws and his position at the table nearest to the candles, of Marrow and the way that he played incessantly with some unknown abomination, apparently having decided to bring his work with him to their meeting. There was the squelching noise of blood as he carefully manipulated the object, and the Avriel raised an eye in both question and curiosity. Necromancers and their tendencies to bring their little toys to important meetings, he sighed internally, re-directing his attention to the final person of importance: Ryder. The fellow was quite political with his stance, choosing to remain standing in the absence of the tyrant, and Noth nearly smiled underneath the metallic armet he wore. Such loyalty was a virtue to be treasured, and he made a mental note to reward it at some later date. With a brief gesture towards an available chair, the hybrid granted him permission to sit.

“I trust our final guest will be joining us shortly. Nevertheless, there is much to be discussed, and far too little time left in the season to implement it.” He leaned forward upon the round table, reaching upwards and removing the metallic armet from his head and settling it before him, its visor directed towards the door as if though it too were keeping watch, capable of sight, and presumably a vast number of other dreadful deeds. “Before we begin discussing anything new, however, I think it both prudent and pertinent to our goals that we review the progress on our other projects. Maws,” He spoke, directing his wicked gaze upon the ancient fellow, getting a whiff of the burning candles as he faced in their general direction. “How goes the transfer into the underground city?” He would await a response before turning his attention to Marrow, his eyes flickering to the undead crow. “How quaint. I trust these creatures are relevant to our meeting? Perhaps they are your newest endeavor?”
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Credit to Pegasus

As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Meet the Monsters

Postby Navyri » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:24 am

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Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.

A'A Headquarters
16th of Cylus, 718


Wires.

Laced across the floor in an almost beautiful pattern, Navyri played around with trap, testing its durability. She considerd many things - Like how much pressure would need to be applied to break the string, where would an individual need to stand to set off an alarm (should she use a bell? Falling rocks?), and what sort of dilemma should befall a trespasser? There were a few easy options - torches that triggered and fell upon a unsuspecting victim to light them on fire, poison darts, or a rather primitive but useful option - a ball of sharpened wood or metal, spinning as it descended from the darkness.

But these would take time... Time and supplies. These men in the cave were not like her - they were majority human, which gave her an advantage. Already without the same vision she possessed, darkness was a weakness to them. She moved as easily in Cylus as she did throughout the rest of the year, more energized than usual. Slinking around unnoticed, she had collected a few supplies from the men - nothing too desired. Wooden boards, a box of nails, a hammer, some fishing string. In her room she had retreated and begun to play, experimenting with protecting her sanctuary as she pleased.

Afterall, Mercy had never said she couldn't have privacy.

Some would consider it a right, after all!

Sounds of a hammer gently working resounded off the walls, fading into the upper levels of the cave, but to any curious eyes, no light was ever cast. She worked in secrecy - as she always had. What she was making... well, that was for her first victim to find out.

Her first creation was simple really - embarrassingly so. Just three wooden boards, with rows of metal nails protruding from the bottom. They were of medium size. Long enough to pierce through the sole of a boot, but not so big that someone might kick them when stepping and reveal their presence. More than once she moved towards the opening of her room, walking in with careful steps - hoping to imitate the strides of the men around her. When she felt confident she knew where her feet most commonly fell, she set the boards in place, stepping around them.

She had returned to the wiring, playing around with the sensitivity of the string when the sound of voices began approaching, "You..."

"No you. You were the one given the orders. You get her."

"I'm not going in there! Naer... the stories..."

"You're such a child!"

As they bickered they stopped on the edge of the entrance, Navyri's eyes watching where the light ended. Would these bumbling fools be smart enough to look where they were going? "Uh, Naer?"

Navyri kept quiet, curious enough to wonder why they had wandered into her domain, but cruel enough to enjoy their squirming.

'Let's play a game, Curio. I want to test their nerves.'

Navyri slithered in the shadows, coming around the side of them, while her familiar dropped from his perch and circled overhead. Her voice echoed from the walls, amplifying the normal subtle accent of the southern continent, "How brave are you to enter here?" Both pair whirled around but she was already pulling away, signalling for her friend to take over.

"Noth sent us. There's a-a meeting. Your presence is-" Curio swooped down, his wing barely brushing against the man's cheek but it was enough to send the lackey flailing. He jerked backward and a wicked delight lit up her eyes. As if in slow motion, she saw it all with clarity, how his body flailed and he cursed, his comrade tensing in fearful confusion and bolting towards the exit. But the best of all was seeing him catching his own weight, throwing his foot back and promptly landing on the spiked trap.

She heard it all - the sound of wet squelching as it did just as she expected. The nails pushed through the worn leather like melted butter, into the fleshy part of his arch and scraping against bone. A sharp intake of breath and then....

A scream so shrill and satisfying, Navyri felt nothing but pride at her handiwork, "Watch your step," she mused, sliding towards where the other man stood. Down the tunnel the echo still cried out and it was like music as she made her arrival.

The clean up would be annoying but it renewed her ingeniuity, the uneasy expression of Ears waiting at the entry made it clear the result of her little game had been clear enough, "Hello, handsome. Long time no see."

She made him uncomfortable, she knew. But it was so easy to pick on the weak ones! Ears was trying not to appear as scared as he felt, but she could see the tremor of fear in his hand, and she brushed past him, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the many lights. It smelled... Like a dead whore.

Sweet and yet still unsavory. Her blue eyes roamed the room and she saw she was not the only one invited. That was good. In fact, it looked like maybe she was the last to arrive?

"Hello, hello." The dark haired woman was in a good mood, and looked at Marrow and Kovic, "Doesn't it look nice in here? Is this your handiwork, Maws?" she smiled with approval, walking behind Marrow's seat and eying the decor. "Sorry I'm late. I-"

Spotting the dead birds on the table, she frowned, distaste twisting her expression. So... that was the smell, "There was an incident... Must you really?"

She didn't mind his experiments nor his own sacrifices for his magic but the birds... she didn't care to watch them mutilated, even in death. Not so displeased as to be upset, she showed this by reaching behind him, scratching the back of his head lightly with her nails, as casually as one might pet their dog and pulled out the empty seat.

Navyri seemed quite at ease, unfazed by the company around her, and opened her wings so they could drape over the back of the chair comfortably. As she settled, she looked up, noticing the stranger she had not before. He was young and a bit rugged, and she watched him with cold calculation before looking to the intimidating presence that had summoned her here, "Please, continue."
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Meet the Monsters

Postby Kovic » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:16 pm

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Life was ironic and had a wicked sense of humor.

If the universe was just and didn’t dwell in its jest, it wouldn’t have made Maws such a terrible abomination. The creature mostly killed and ate men for a living, and yet, this twisted universe ruling over the world, had made his nature a secret. It had made him an actor, someone who was able to hide well enough in the depths of some made-up name and backstory. What mattered most, and was most relevant to the creature’s current endeavours, was the fact that this capacity to hide amongst puny mortals was now, almost sadistically, avoiding another murderous rampage from spawning.

Maws was not a man of vendettas nor grudges. Few things managed to upset him, but they all seemed to be stacking up on this peculiar trial. Tardiness, lack of respect, and most of all, lack of gratitude were all three features he could not stand. First it was Neronin himself bringing his undead abominations onto the table. The Immortals would all fall to their knees and fellate him were he to do as he planned, to rise from his chair and strangle the necromancer, to rip his skeleton out of his flesh and grind it into bone meal, to strip his flesh into little shreds and feed it to flora trapped within a pot as fertilizer. This ether-addicted mage had no idea just what power existed within Idalos, powers that far surpassed rising skeletons and commanding them at will. He would be ripped apart with the ease a womanizer ripped through a bimbo’s underwear, and Maws’ only desire was to howl out this truth in angry dirges, so loud even the moon would shiver.

“Thank you for joining us, Marrow” Maws said, calmly, and offered a polite smile. Cosmic justice was dead, indeed. His eyes fixed on the Prince. “The move is proving to be more challenging than anticipated, yet it is proceeding adequately. As far as I’ve been told, we’re experiencing some issues with our sanitation services. Regardless, I will do my best to encourage our employees to finish before the dawn of sunlight in the next fortnight.”

The aforementioned Mistress trotted within the room. Maws offered no reply to her quick remark. Yes, he had cleaned the place, and nobody seemed to have realized. Such ungrateful lot reminded him of a sounder of swine, who only ate and shat without a single care. Sometimes he wondered just why on Idalos he was playing with suits and smiles, especially now that he was tempted to commit uncivil deeds. The test of his discipline was passed, and so Maws, no matter how much he wished it, denied himself some manslaughter.

“Thank you for joining us,” Maws offered. His eyes flew from one or the other, the features of those seated on the table perfectly visible by the candlelight, and those that stood outside this privileged circle resembling ghosts, floating in the darkness all around, watching, listening in silence. “In summary, we’re expected to move into our safer headquarters by the end of Cylus.”

The Mortalborn now took one of the tankards and poured himself some water. The tankards were extremely well clean, as Marrow might have noticed. Maws himself had cleaned them with his spit, a substance so potent it had, surely, dissolved all germs and left it as chast and immaculate as a flask of acid would. You’re welcome, he thought, not quite realizing how disgusting this information would be if disclosed. With a small sip from his tankard, Maws inspected each of the four faces before him, waiting for either comments, questions, or some semblance of gratitude.

His next faction would not include any bandits, he promised himself.
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Meet the Monsters

Postby Ryder » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:25 pm

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As the beast entered the room, Ryder kept his stance, glancing to him as he gestured for the mercenary to sit down. With a small nod, he took a seat beside the hybrid. In the room were a weird mix of characters, some of which as intimidating as the creature that had invited him. One of the monsters in this room was whoever had brought the body of a bird in to the room and was seemingly tampering with it. Ryder glanced away from it, not wanting to see such a sight.
Then, of course, was Maws. Ryder already knew that behind this beautiful decor and smart persona was something more, though he didn't know what. All he knew was that he was a threatening man. None of his threats, however, compared to the security that Noth made him feel. Ryder held on to that, the feeling of protection that the beast of the night gave him. Perhaps it was knowing that his life was now under the watch of the crimson eyes. Whatever it was, it made him feel safer than he did when alone with Maws.

What really caught his attention, however, was the woman that entered the room. Wings on her back, yet looking near to entirely human. She was different to these people, Ryder considered. She was human, or more so than anyone else Ryder had encountered in this faction so far. Aside from her wings, she almost seemed as human as he did. Compared, at least, to the dark bird man, the sadistic Maws and the strange man tampering with dead birds.
With the dead birds in his head, she complained about it. Ryder quietly pondered it for a moment, wondering why she cared so much. Perhaps she just didn't like the mutilation of animals? Deciding it was nothing, the mercenary took his thoughts away from it. His mind kept, however, on the girl. Admittedly, Ryder found some attraction in her. But he wasn't one to follow through on that, not in a public meeting. Besides, never again. He let those words snap himself back to the meeting.

Ryder sat quietly as the murder bird spoke his piece, asking questions to the important figures of the meeting. As far as Ryder was concerned, he was here as security and to learn some things about how the faction ran and would work in the next few seasons. That was all. As such, he kept himself quiet until addressed by anyone.
As he sat and listened, however, his head was running with thoughts. Of the faction and what it did, and how he got here. How one fateful day protecting a caravan led to a lifetime commitment, one where his allies are more evil than person. It was a curious development in his life, but there was no denying that it was exciting.

Quietly and patiently, the Murder Maid waited and listened.
"The most dangerous people in the world are not the tiny minority instigating evil acts, but those who do the acts for them" ~ Suzy Kassem
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Meet the Monsters

Postby Noth » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:59 am

The hybrid paused an instant at the sudden sound of a painful shriek emanating somewhere down the hallway. Were this any other scenario he probably would have arisen from his seated position, but shouts of suffering weren’t an altogether uncommon occurrence in the cavernous headquarters, especially after raids where they had managed to take captives who were tortured and interrogated for whatever snippets of knowledge they possessed. The fact that there were no calls of alarm helped to ease his mind that the shriek was a minor incident and not something that required his attention.

Naturally, it came as little surprise when Navyri strode through the doorway a few moments later, though he didn’t mentally connect the pain with the presence of the Naer. The woman composed of umber seemed to have found herself in a decent mood, considered the hybrid from his seated position, pausing in any attempt at continuing the conversation as she apologized briefly for her tardiness. It wasn’t until she mentioned that there had been an incident that he recognized that perhaps she had been the cause of the pain; he would need to converse with her at some point about accidentally or intentionally harming his servants, they had their uses, but they lost many of them when seriously wounded.

She shot a comment of what he could only assume was disgust towards Marrow, and then promptly relinquished any hold of the floor she had taken with her sudden entrance. The hybrid nodded, returning his attention to Maws. He very nearly expected the fellow to suddenly sprout up with a conversation over his inefficiencies, about how he had not managed to slay Vuda yet, and how it was utterly irrelevant that he should focus so much on the move to the underground. The hybrid genuinely didn’t understand why the fellow seemed to hold such a personal vendetta against the shadow master of Etzos, but there was little doubt that he had been wronged at some point and had deemed it important to rectify the injustice. At the end of the trial, he supposed that he didn’t really care so long as the ancient fellow remained loyal at his side; though, perhaps even his loyalty was brought to question at times.

Maws had answered his interrogative, stating that the move had proved to be more difficult than he had originally imagined, but that progress had been made regardless. There was mention of difficulty involving sanitation services, and the hybrid nodded briefly, his imagination running amok with ideas of what sort of issues could be arisen along with different solutions that might apply to the issue at hand. He paused in his thoughts, recognizing that the point of delegating was so he would not need to strain his mind on every single issue that arose, and promptly granted a cordial nod to the ancient. “Excellent work, Maws. You’ve done quite well as of late. Perhaps the next time we capture prisoners, we will see if they’re to the liking of your… particular tastes.” He offered, the thought of reward inherent in his sentence.

“The thought of captives brings us to another important portion of this meeting. You see, some time ago, it was recommended to me that we assault a place known as Bolstrum. It is little more than a stockpile for the Black Guard and the Etzori army as they skirmish with Rhakros and Sirothelle, and so it would be prudent if we were to assail it.” He paused briefly, allowing the tension in the air to carry his words with far more force than they would have if he had simply continued in his speech. “We are, however, not going to be attacking Bolstrum. There are several reasons for this… there is not quite enough darkness remaining in Cylus to allow for us to use it as cover for our forces, along with that, it is a fair distance away and would require much more logistical support then I believe we could muster at this time. That said, the primary reason we will not be going to Bolstrum is because for quite some time I have been monitoring the area, and have become aware of the fact that the current weaknesses expressed by the stockpile are a ruse.” He clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, leaning backwards in his chair as he elaborated. “You may have heard of an assault some time ago involving what appeared to be a group of rebellious villagers? That was my doing. Thankfully for us, the Citadel have begun shipping soldiers and Black Guard over to Bolstrum, because they expect us to assail it over its weakness. This means they are diverting manpower and attention away from our true target: The Hall of Rule and Reprimand.”

He paused again to allow his words to sink in, to allow each and all gathered to recognize that he was scheming an attack almost directly upon the capital building of Etzos, that he was intentionally planning to assail perhaps the most heavily defended location that the Black Guard possessed. “With the assistance of the necromantic creations of our darkling friends, the manpower that we have mustered from the assimilations over the last few seasons, and… the presence of an ancient entity…” He nodded towards Maws, “We are more than equipped to deal with them. The attack will be focused on causing as much damage as possible, though I don’t doubt that we will have the opportunity to steal valuable equipment as well.”

“Your thoughts?”
He concluded, opening his hands wide to the remainder of the table.
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Credit to Pegasus

As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Noth
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