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Fantasy Hunter's Moon: Ascendancy [IC] [CLOSED]

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. AU
  4. Historical
  5. Horror
  6. LGTBQ
  7. Magical
  8. Supernatural
  9. Zombies

Infab

The Demon Fanatic



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Preface
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
Theodore Roosevelt

July, 1881. It has been months since the return of most of the members of the Beaumont mission. Their efforts to rescue the captured Valeria Witlock were successful. However, they were unable to recover any of the artifacts stolen by Sazak, Icon of Vainglory, during the events on Grimtham Isle in 1877. During their escape, however, they were able to slay two icons: Ralvas, the Icon of Pride, and Azgon, the Icon of Wrath. They also disrupted the way of things in the Abyss, carving a bloody path across its capital territories in the hunt for Valeria and the artifacts. Allowing Tariun, leader of the Abyss's rebellion against the tyrannical Demon King Taranoch, to make major headway in her war for the throne.

However, things have grown far worse since their return. A massive war between the nations of the mortal realm has begun, spurred by the Icons in an attempt to disrupt the realm and make it easy for Taranoch's forces to invade and conquer. The binding holding his legions in the Abyss has been broken, and already demons have begun appearing across the realm. Taranoch returns to the mortal realm, in an attempt to bring about a second Age of Darkness.

Yet one of his own Icons plots against him, with the assistance of his most trusted advisor. Sazak, the very Icon whom set all of this in motion, absorbed the godly power from Adona's ring before Taranoch destroyed it. He schemes ever more, planning to soon overthrow Taranoch and claim it all for himself. To do that, however, he must gather up the remaining artifacts, under the guise of fetching them for Taranoch to keep them out of the hands of Adona and his fellow gods and goddesses.

Adona, meanwhile, has gathered a sizable group to combat the Icons. Some are heroes, while others are former villains. There are even some just caught in the thick of it all, chosen for greatness. They all must seek out the lost artifacts, and stop Taranoch and Sazak before its too late. The fate of all the realms hangs in the balance.


This RP is currently a partially closed RP. We are not actively recruiting, but if you are interested in it, shoot me a message! I'll see what I can do regarding working you in, if you really want to join!

As GM, I control various NPCs in the story, but some may be controlled by players. All events will be under my direction. Feel free to throw ideas at your fellow players. I want you guys to have fun!


Rules

1. Please, be nice.
2. No power or metagaming. You have a lot of freedom and slack, but ultimately rolls determine if things happen.
3. Out of Character (OOC) chat should be in double parentheses, ((so it will look like this when you post OOC)).
4. If you go inactive or drop, your character(s) will be under my control (and may potentially die.) If you let me know you're going to be inactive for a while and can pick back up later, I'll look after your character till you return.
5. This is primarily a PvE game, but PvP can still potentially happen if its agreed upon by both parties and run by me.
6. As GM, I'm god. New rules can be implemented on the fly.

Link to the Hunter's Moon Wikia page: Hunter's Moon (It is still a bit under construction, but all lore and character pages and such are there and up!)


Players
(If a player drops out, their character will be controlled by me and listed here as dropped. List is currently WiP, but listed players are confirmed.)

Azathor - joshuadim joshuadim
Camille Giguere - Dmaster Dmaster
Cassandra Bainbridge - Infab Infab
Lady Rebecca Witlocke - Infab Infab
Sir Royland IV - Breadman Breadman
Sebastian Ackermann - K0mori K0mori
Takato Ka - Damian0358 Damian0358
??? - Worthlessplebian Worthlessplebian

 
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Prologue

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
July 10th, 1881
Westerly, Grimtham Isle, Atraca


Spring had come and gone from Westerly, and Summer had settled in. Shifting the world around them to beautiful and vibrant shades of green and blue. The fields surrounding the village were already being tilled, the locals preparing them for the Summer planting season. Anything to keep their minds off the war that had reached the isle's coast to the east and south. Tsavanian naval forces, attempting to conquer the island. Struggling to reclaim old lost territory from the Atracans as the massive continent wide war rages on the mainland.

Standing among dozens of apple trees in a large orchard was a young man, looking up at a very specific tree. Its branches had grown rather long and unwieldy, some even reaching into other trees and wrapping around their own branches. "Looks like I'm going to have to trim you back a bit." he said softly, a hand on his hip as his eyes traced each of the branches. He breathed a sigh, before glancing to the bucksaw in his other hand. He'd be here most of the day, really, as there were several branches that needed to be tended to.

But before he could get to work, he'd need a ladder. Kind of hard to trim back some branches if you couldn't reach them. He turned his head, trying to remember exactly where he had left it. And soon, he spotted the old wooden ladder. Resting against the side of his thin metal shed at the end of the orchard, near his home.

As he went to walk towards it, he heard a voice. Male, young. But it bore a hint of an echo to it, signifying a presence otherworldly. He knew who it was. And he had been waiting for it for several years now.

"Gyasis!" said the voice, as a man stepped from behind a nearby tree to his left. Thin, wearing blackened aggressive looking plate armor. His hair was long and black, almost stringy looking. His eyes bright yellow, the surrounding sclera as black as ink. "My, you have a rather nice orchard! So many apple trees, not a trace of worms. Practically perfect." the man continued.

"...Hello, Sazak." he replied, as he stopped in place.

Sazak stepped into the open, in front of Gyasis as the god looked ahead towards where his home was. Soon, Sazak was directly in his view. "I assume you know why I'm here?" said Sazak, a smile slowly creeping across his face as his eyes locked onto Gyasis' own. Gyasis simply smiled back. "Yes, I do. You're here for the artifact... and to kill me."

"Right! Now, where might this amulet of yours be, hmm?" asked the Icon, tilting his head as he continued to stare at the god. Gyasis shrugged. "How should I know? I lost it a long time ago. I'm sure the others don't know where theirs are either." was his response.

Sazak's smile shifted to a frown rather quickly. "...What is it with you gods and your belongings? Do you just decide 'I don't need this anymore' and toss it aside for some mortal to find? Does it just slip out of your pocket one day, lost for centuries until some nobody digs it up out of a hole in some shitty backwater village somewhere?" he said, motioning his hand towards Gyasis before waving it off to the side. Gyasis' smile grew larger. "Well, we were human before after all. Things slip our minds, just like others."

"I never understood that part either." remarked Sazak, as he motioned a finger back towards Gyasis. "Why select some random mortals to be gods? The most imperfect beings, given power far beyond their understanding, and tasked with governing the mortal realm as well as Heaven itself? I mean, look at how that turned out? Velin exists." As he spoke, he slowly started to walk around Gyasis, the god remaining still as he listened to Sazak's rambling. "That's a question for someone far above my station." responded Gyasis.

Sazak grunted. "Right. Claims of 'Elder Gods' and such. Honestly sounds like horseshit, but eh..." muttered the demon in response, as he soon made his way back around in front of Gyasis. Eventually, he stopped, turning his head to look at the god. "Well, I'll find your amulet. One way or another. And I'll find the others too."

Gyasis folded his arms. "...And what will you do with them? The binding has been shattered, correct? There's no need for the artifacts anymore." he soon asked, to which Sazak responded with a chuckle. "Dear, dear Gyasis. They're still rather important in the grand scheme of things! Especially to me."

He motioned his hand to his chest, pressing his armored hand's palm flat against his chest plate. "Knowledge is power. And with the right information, and proper execution, anyone can become a god." he said, a grin appearing on his face after he finished.

Gyasis' eyes widened. "...How did..." he spoke, his words barely audible. What had Sazak done? Sazak's grin grew wider, almost into a slasher smile. "I'd tell you but, of course, you're going to be paying a visit to Purgatory after I kill you. Can't have you running your mouth to Velin or the Angels."

Gyasis' eyes shifted, looking down towards the grass. But soon, a smile reappeared on the god's face. "...The others will figure out a way to stop you, regardless as to what you do."

Sazak's grin remained. "Oh, they'll try. They'll try their absolute hardest. But I've got a feeling I'm going to come out on top." he responded. Soon, his grin faded, and he looked about the orchard. "... I'll grant you one final choice, before your demise. Pick where you want to die at in this orchard. I'll make it quick."

Gyasis's eyes moved back up to Sazak's. "...Does it really matter, Sazak?"

"...No, I guess it doesn't."

Elsewhere...
The Grand Cathedral of the Divine
Eternis, Delaplaine, Atraca


"...Did..." softly spoke Velin, her head slowly turning about to gaze upon Adona. Her expression spoke volumes, but Adona already knew what was wrong. He had also felt it. "...Yes. I felt it too." he said. His expression had already shifted to one of sadness, but the saddest one in the room was Undite. She was sitting at the long, thick wooden table nearby, staring down at it. Tears streaming down her face and dripping into her lap.

Cassiel, standing nearby with paperwork in his hands, looked between the three. "...W-What happened, my lord? What did you feel?" he asked. Traces of worry already creeping across his face, clutching the paperwork in his arms tighter.

Adona glanced to Cassiel and spoke again. "...Gyasis is dead." said the god, soon shifting his gaze back to Undite. She hadn't uttered a sound, but the tears continued. The man she had loved most of her long life was gone. Her heart was broken.

Velin, however, showed enough emotion for the two of them. "FUCK!!!" she spat loudly, stomping over and grabbing the underside of the edge of the table. And in one upward swing of her arms, she had flipped the table and sent it sailing across the room into the wall.

She then spun around, leveling a finger at Adona. "WHY DIDN'T HE LISTEN TO YOU!? WHY DIDN'T EITHER OF THEM COME HERE!?" she barked, angrily pointing to the floor as she spoke. "THIS COULD HAVE BEEN FUCKING PREVENTED! HE COULD HAVE FUCKING LIVED!" Tears were starting to stream down her face as well.

Adona spoke softly in response. "...Gyasis and Thiasis wished to remain where they were because neither felt they could be of any help to us. Both were already at their limits with their godly powers. If they used even a sliver more, they would perish from the strain... and with the current state of things, they would eventually be forced to use their powers."

Velin grunted angrily, her teeth gritted hard enough to bite nails in two. "SO THEY CHOSE TO DIE AS FAR FROM THEIR FRIENDS AS POSSIBLE!?" she spat through her teeth. Adona looked up to Velin. "...They chose to spare us the pain of watching them die, Josefina." was his blunt response.

Velin went quiet, the anger subsiding and being replaced with sadness. "...Why did it come to this..." she muttered, her gaze soon shifting to the stone floor. Adona's response was soft. "...It was always going to come to this. But we need to focus more on what is to come." he stated, before turning his attention to Cassiel.

"Cassiel, it's time. Gather the others and have them meet me downstairs in the Order's planning room." requested the god, to which Cassiel responded with a rapid nod. "Yes, my lord. It shall be done." he said, offering Adona the stack of paperwork in his hands. The god took it, and watched as Cassiel vanished into a golden portal that had appeared behind him.

--- --- ---
Eternis, considered by some to be the holiest city on the continent, had been turned into virtually a fortress of a city over the past several months. The war being so close to the north as well as the south had forced the change. They had to be prepared in the event that Daristein made the attempt to claim the city, or if the fighting in Eshax to the south spilled over into Atraca. Atracan troops marched through the streets in large platoons, while emplacements were being built using wooden logs, concrete, bricks, and sandbags. Machine guns were also strategically placed across the city on almost every street, ready to cut down any invading forces. The most heavily defended location was the Grand Cathedral, as requested by Velin.

The central hall of the cathedral had been turned into a makeshift hospital, where wounded men and women could be treated far away from the battlefields. Atracan soldiers, Escarian soldiers, even a handful of Daristeinians were here as well as dozens of civilians who were unlucky enough to be caught in the fighting.

Cassiel appeared from the portal near the end of the room where the priest's podium used to be, and looked about. Taking things in for a brief moment with a look of sadness, before searching for some of those that were still here. Spotted near the wounded Daristeinians was one Sebastian Ackermann, a Daristeinian soldier whom had been recruited by Adona to join in the undertaking against the Icons and Taranoch. He waved to get the man's attention, before looking for some of the others.

Next was Camille Giguere, whom was standing at the far end of the cathedral near the doors. Speaking to her husband, Hudson, and the rest of her family. Another wave to get their attention. Then a voice interrupted his searches. "...Cassiel, I believe it would be much more efficient if you were to...you know, actually walk up to these people and talk to them." said a female voice.

He turned to his left to see Cassandra Bainbridge looming over him, wearing her typical garb. A long black cloak, and her inquisitor hat. "Yes, I know. But this still works too!" he responded with a smile. "Have you seen Rebecca and Royland? Adona's needing all of you in the planning room downstairs."

Cassandra tilted her head towards the doors at the far end of the cathedral. "Outside, still training new recruits. Azathor is also out there, watching. As for Takato, I don't know where he is."

"Oh! No worries on that front. I know exactly where he is. I'll fetch them all!" he said, before vanishing again suddenly into a golden portal. Cassandra watched, before rolling her eyes and looking over towards Camille and Sebastian as they approached.

--- --- ---
"Clarkson! CLARKSON! I SAID JUMPING JACKS, NOT JUST HOPPING UP AND DOWN." shouted Rebecca, as she pointed towards one of the inquisitors-in-training bouncing up and down at the end of the line. She rapidly shook her head, marching over in front of the trainee before glancing back and calling over an Atracan soldier. "Soldier! Show this man proper jumping jacks!"

The soldier looked between them, before shrugging and stripping off some of his gear. And moments later, he was doing as instructed. "See? That's a jumping jack! Do that!" she said, motioning a hand up and down at the soldier as he did the proper version of the exercise. Nearby, Royland and Azathor looked on. Royland's trainees were doing push-ups nearby. Royland glancing back to them every so often to make sure they were still doing them and keeping count.

And a short distance away from them sat Valeria Witlock. The young red-haired woman, dressed in more casual clothes compared to inquisitor garb, smiled softly as she watched the new trainees exercise. Hunters of all forms had to be in decent shape. If you weren't, it would be your undoing out in the field. She didn't miss doing it, of course, but it was fun to watch the others try as she continued to heal up from her stay in the Abyss.

Suddenly, however, Cassiel appeared. Stepping out of a golden portal near Azathor and Royland. She didn't hear what he said, but she knew what it was likely about thanks to his thumbing over his shoulder at the cathedral's doors. He did the same when he appeared near Rebecca as well.

It looked as though it was time for their hunt to begin.
 
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Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
The Giguere family had been sheltered in the Grand Cathedral for those several months after their manor had been turned into an active war zone, only evacuating just as the fighting broke out thanks to some divine intervention. More accurately, the intervention of a certain dullahan in service of the divine. Even if Camille was indifferent to the deities at the best of times, she had been grateful in Adona's allowance for them to remain here for the time being.

In the early days of their arrival, Camille's son Casseus and daughter Marie did not seem to mind being displaced when it came to living in a place of such size and splendor as this. Far too young to care for luxuries such as fine Escarian wine and having servants, they were rather enamored with the vastness of the cathedral halls as they played with one another. In some ways the adventures never stopped as they tried to explore as much as they could at a breakneck pace, even if Camille was worried about them getting to places that were off limits. Once the gun emplacements cropped up and the makeshift hospital was established, their playful disposition was much more reserved. Their parents were sparse in giving the details of the horrors of war, but they had been told enough to understand the gravity of the situation despite being so young.

For the moment, they were close to the doors to the building as Hudson stuck close to the both of them, his hands over their shoulders as he talked with his wife. The huntress was dressed in her armor with her weapons on her person, fully prepared to undertake the mission she had been assigned to. Casseus kept trying to make a grab for the feathers that made up his mother's cape, and Hudson firmly squeezed his shoulder to put that idea out of his head.

When Cassiel waved to them, Hudson was the one who noticed and simply pointed over in the angel's direction. That prompted Camille to look over her shoulder before she gave a nod of her head in understanding.

"I've no idea if they plan on teleporting us to where we're needed or if we'll be leaving through the doors, if I am honest." Camille said to Hudson as she turned her gaze back to him, uncertain of if she should say goodbye or not.

"You always did seem to prefer carriage or boat instead." Hudson states simply. "I guess if you don't you just end up saying goodbye twice, right? Hardly the end of the world."

"What an interesting phrase to be using..." she mutters back with a twist of her lips. Soon the huntress gives a soft smile and sigh before she nods her head, taking a step forward to kiss him before she got on a knee to look at her children. "I have to go for a while, mes amours. Do be good for your father. I'll know if you misbehave..!" She gently pulled them both from Hudson so that she may hold them in her arms tightly for a time, only loosening her grip to give them both a kiss on their cheek. With that finished, she began to stand up.

"Take care of them, Hudson." Camille urged her fellow hunter now that she was eye to eye with him once again. "Do not get them or yourself killed in my absence."

"Think they're old enough to swing a sword, yet? They might be able to protect me if I get a few lessons in." he responds jokingly, prompting her to roll her eyes at the absurdity of his words. She didn't even dignify it with much of a response.

"I'm going now. I love all of you." She was silent for a moment as she looked the three of them over, starting to turn away to meet with the divines.

"See you soon, Cam. Be sure to get a few cuts in on that monster for us, we'll be rooting for you." Hudson replied, causing his wife to stop in place.

"Bye mère..!" both Marie and Casseus called out in near unison as they waved, the huntress turning about to give them a warm wave goodbye as she did her best not to be overwhelmed with the storm of emotions going within her.

Soon she walked toward the center of the cathedral, standing rigid near Cassandra. The vampire might notice some semblance of a tear in the corner of the huntress' eye, but Camille had no words for her at the moment.
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Even before the golden portal appeared at the head of the cathedral, Sebastian suspected that his time in Eternis was nearing an end. Having rode the long distance overland from eastern Escaria months prior, flanked on one side by that rider apart from time, Ser Tristyn, and the carriage belonging to the Giguere family on the other, Sebastian had very little to keep him company but his own thoughts. He didn't blame the Gigueres for their resentment; although he had saved their home from a direct shelling in a fit of naïve heroism, he was still a part of the invading force that had ripped through their community and left many of the neighboring estates in ruin. They didn't owe him anything.

Of course, as he rode, he wondered why Adona had asked for him. Once Ser Tristyn had explained to him whom the Gigueres were, and what they had done in service to the Gods in recent years, it made perfect sense why Camille had been called upon. But that, in turn, only made it more difficult for the young soldier to comprehend his own purpose here.

The months had gone by slowly, and Sebastian kept busy by volunteering where he could within the city, reading any news he could find about the war's progress, and maintaining a strict fitness regimen. By building up his strength, he chipped away at the lingering fear of destiny residing in his heart. Whatever mountain he would need to climb, he would make smaller by building himself larger. The loneliness soon began to fade as the cathedral became a hospital. Sebastian had quickly made friends with those who had come from the fatherland, and would often go looking for whatever specific foods or other items they were asking for in an effort to keep their spirits high.

And although he had kept his uniform, lately he had been dressing in casual clothing to match his largely unkempt hair and beard. It did little to change the perceptions others had of him; about town, the locals still recognized him as a Daristinian soldier and wanted little to do with him, and those who didn't would know from his accent. Still, he was here with a purpose and they at least respected Adona's judgement, and didn't trouble him on the street. He quickly faded into the background, becoming a silent fixture outside the cathedral, where he often smoked, since he felt it inappropriate to do so inside.

Now, it seemed, this routine was coming to an end, as the angel Cassiel had waved for him and Camille before heading outside for the others. He excused himself from the company of the wounded soldiers and walked to where Cassandra was currently standing. He was vaguely aware that she was a vampire, although he couldn't quite remember who had told him so, and he hadn't interacted with her directly. In truth, he was very uncomfortable, just as he had been with Ser Tristyn, but regardless he would try to put on a brave face. Since Camille had nothing to say, Sebastian decided to at least acknowledge them both.

"Tag," he greeted them. "So, are things finally happening?"
 

Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
When Sebastian walked up to her and Cassandra, Camille was silently grateful that she would not have to stew in silence. While it was true that Cassandra hadn't exactly made any attacks on the many innocents in the Grand Cathedral, the huntress was not the least bit pleased to be working alongside her for anything. Painfully aware of her being a pawn in Sazak's scheme that turned the world upside down in Grimtham, she would continue to hold nothing but anger and resentment for the vampire. It would take more than a sob story and plea for forgiveness for Camille to see things differently.

To that end, she did not exactly feel anger toward Sebastian for being a part of the invading force. He was a soldier after all, and when it came to making the moral choice of gunning down her and her children in their home, he instead chose to help them escape the battlefield. It would be foolish for her to be anything less than grateful to him for that, though there was the grim reality that both of their homelands were currently at war with one another. It was the source of a reserved anxiety and tension that gnawed at the back of her mind, but if they could stop the demonic meddling taking place they would be one step closer to stopping this war.

"Salut," she replied to the man with a quick nod. "I would certainly hope so. Collectively I think we've all done enough sitting on our hands as the world burns around us..."
 
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Infab

The Demon Fanatic
Cassandra remained silent as Camille arrived, eyeing the woman briefly and taking note of the look in her eyes. She was holding back tears. Cassandra held back a comment on it. Leave the woman be, Cass. She might never see her kids again, if the worst occurs.

"Tag," he greeted them. "So, are things finally happening?"
"Salut," she replied to the man with a quick nod. "I would certainly hope so. Collectively I think we've all done enough sitting on our hands as the world burns around us..."

"Indeed." commented Cassandra. "The most I've been able to do to be helpful lately is assist the elder Witlock with her recruits. It turns out that I'm quite the useful tool to teach the kiddies about vampires."

Honestly, she could have done more, but it seemed the others already had it covered. Turning Eternis into quite the citadel in order to protect the Cathedral as well as a central supply line between Atraca and Escaria. Even Vincent, whom had lead the half successful mission into the Abyss months prior, was out in the streets. Blessing weapons and machine gun nests, and creating wards around certain structures to keep demons at bay should they try to attack or at least sneak in.

Soon, she glanced to Sebastian. She really hadn't spoken to the Daristeinian soldier since his arrival. Camille, she had tried to speak to as little as possible, but for the others she made a bit of an effort. If they were going to be working together to end this, they should be at least on speaking terms. "Your name is Sebastian, correct? My name is Cassandra Bainbridge." she soon said, offering a hand from beneath her cloak. "I'm a vampire. Pureblood, though not in the standard sense."
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Sebastian nodded in agreement with Camille before listening to Cassandra introduce herself. She already knew his name, which surprised him, although by this point he figured it shouldn't have. He tried not to hesitate in shaking her hand. "Glad you're on our side," he replied stiffly. "What do you mean, 'not in the standard sense?'" he asked.
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
"Glad you're on our side," he replied stiffly. "What do you mean, 'not in the standard sense?'" he asked.

Cassandra smiled. "Originally, I wasn't." she said, glancing towards Camille. She then looked back to Sebastian. "Normally, Purebloods are born Purebloods. That or, on occasion, people are turned into a Pureblood when given that certain Kiss of the Night. That's a particularly rare occurrence, but it happens."

"...I was, originally, a normal vampire. I was turned into a Pureblood using one of the artifacts. Adona's ring, specifically." she explained. She then posed a question. "Do you recall the big uproar about Duke Joseph Ashwood, back in 1877? The big incident on Grimtham Isle? Made international news, I believe. I was one of the ones helping him in his endeavor. He granted me pureblood status as a gift, in order for me to better assist him."
 

Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
Camille had crossed her arms over her chest as Cassandra explained the events, meeting that gaze with an angry glare. "Oui, and her deranged lust for blood saw to the failure of our mission. Though we were able to kill Ashwood, Sazak managed to steal both Valeria and one of the artifacts, setting most everything in motion," she was sure to add, notably bitter about the whole affair.

"Sazak also saw it fit to give our little inquiry a whole retinue of terrible curses as a parting gift, the fiend. To think things would be so different if things hadn't played right into his hands."
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Sebastian was silent for a moment as he processed the information Cassandra had just given him. Before he could ask any follow-up questions, Camille added some much-needed context to the conversation. There was an uncomfortable pause as he looked to Cassandra, expecting her to respond quickly to the huntress' remarks, but the seriousness of her expression suggested that it was all true. And if it was, then there was not much which could mitigate such a terrible past. He couldn't help but look away, a bit horrified and disgusted.

"...I can only wonder what the Gods were thinking, bringing us all together like this," Sebastian finally said, speaking as much to his own inexperience as he was to Cassandra's divisive presence.
 
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Infab

The Demon Fanatic
Cassandra simply listened as Camille added her thoughts to the conversation. It was true, so there wasn't any point in denying it or coming up with excuses. And soon enough, Sebastian was forced to look away. She could only imagine the thoughts running through his head. She breathed a sigh. Patience, Cassandra.

"...Yes, things would have played out far differently. We wouldn't be here together. And I'd still likely be insane." she finally responded to Camille. She then glanced to Sebastian, as he spoke again.

"...I can only wonder what the Gods were thinking, bringing us all together like this."

"...Only Adona knows, I guess." she said softly, glancing towards the staircase leading towards the upper floor. She then looked back to Camille. "...I do trust we'll be able to work together efficiently, Camille. I'm sure you can put the past behind us long enough for that, hmm?"
 

Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
Camille kept a rigid stance as she measured Sebastian's reaction to the harsh reality of Cassandra's past, staying silent as the pureblood gave her piece. Obviously if given the choice between what followed after Sazak got Adona's ring and Cassandra still being insane, she would rather the pureblood keeping her flayed sanity. In that perfect hypothetical world she would not have been plagued by her curse and there very well may not have been a war, thus a single deranged vampire seemed like a small price to pay for the exchange.

"...Only Adona knows, I guess."

"Please. They're desperate and have been for ages. If that isn't the case they would have handled Grimtham before it got out of control, and gone into the Abyss to clean up their mess rather than send my husband on some suicide mission," she spat, clearly not wanting to give any favor to the divines.

"...I do trust we'll be able to work together efficiently, Camille. I'm sure you can put the past behind us long enough for that, hmm?"

The huntress glanced to Cassandra, her eyes losing their glare as she looked her over with some scrutiny. "Killing Sazak and saving the world is far more important than my reservations with you working with us. You are a part of this team. I cannot change that, and I won't let such things hinder our chances of success," Camille admitted with a rather flat tone, a stark contrast to the emotion she just displayed earlier. "Your crimes pale in comparison to his, and I won't rest until he is dead." Where there was once no emotion there was suddenly deep conviction.

"Just do not give us reason to believe that the trust Adona put in you has been misplaced."
 
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joshuadim

the writer
It had been quite some time since Azathor had walked on the mortal world, and many things had changed since then that left him wondering about what else he had missed during his many years down in the Abyss. Yet some things remained a constant, which included his own father's machinations influencing to all this violence now occurring. And now, this was a real mission to go after him to end him once and for all. Yet for some time he and the others who had been gathered, some who he didn't recognize and others whom he only heard in passing with regards to past events, had remained idle in waiting for the signal to be given to begin their mission. The waiting had been frustrating for him, as he felt as though he was useless while those he had left behind back in the Abyss were fighting hard against Taranoch and his Icons.

Now, as continued to wait, Azathor was fiddling with a camera that he was curious about as he had never seen one before. He couldn't quite figure out how it functioned exactly as he moved and rotated the bulky box around in various ways. He muttered under his breath in frustration before spotting that he was needed. He quickly put down the camera and headed over to the Cathedral, eager to finally commit to action. Some of the others had already gathered and began conversing with one another, and Azathor soon chimed in as he approached. His first words were directed towards the Escarian lady whose identity he assumed was who he thought she was. "I believe you must be Camille, right?" Azathor asked, "I met your husband when he was on his mission in the Abyss."
 

Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
Having nothing else to say to Cassandra for the moment, it was rather easy for Camiille to put her attention elsewhere. Turning to the new arrival, she tightened her lip somewhat as she wracked her brain over who this might be. "My husband met many others in the Abyss, and has given varying amounts of detail on them in conversation," she starts, a hand going to her hip.

"Even so, oui, I am Camille." It was clear that she did not know who she was speaking to, especially since she had no name to go off of.
 

joshuadim

the writer
Azathor weighed his next conversational options carefully, given what his father had done to her he considered lying in order to prevent some sort of potential outburst. He wouldn't blame her for such a reaction, but he also considered that being honest would build that rapport needed given they are on the same mission. Ultimately, he decided against any sort of deception and opted to shoot straight, but he still had to choose his words carefully.

"Ah, it's rude to not introduce myself then given that I know your name." He spoke, still considering how to exactly relay the information. Damnit, I'm probably overthinking it. He though to himself as his eyes observed Camille. He then nodded and extended a hand for a shake.

"The name's Azathor."
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Having watched the exchange between Camille and Cassandra, Sebastian wasn't reassured at all. If he had understood correctly, the vampire had been insane as recently as the incident on Grimtham, which had occurred only a few years prior. He thought about how different the world had become in only a few short years, and wondered if it would continue to devolve towards a new Age of Darkness. Camille had called the Gods desperate; maybe they lacked the strength to avert the coming catastrophe, although the Gods, and all mankind, for that matter, were obliged to try.

On the other hand, Sebastian sensed that the huntress might be a bit melodramatic. She had referenced her husband being sent on a suicide mission to the Abyss, but seeing as Hudson was not only alive but had been in the Cathedral mere moments earlier, where all could see that he was of able body and mind, suggested that either the Abyss was not nearly as dangerous as she was implying, or that her husband was some sort of living legend.

Or, perhaps he was just extraordinarily lucky. Sebastian remembered the battle where his friend Connor had been slain, just before Ser Tristyn arrived with the summons that brought Sebastian to Eternis. The two of them had been pressed up against a hedge, trying to evade a mounted lancer, and Conner had been fatally slashed open while Sebastian escaped unharmed. He had survived by a coin flip. He wondered what sort of stories the hunters might have with the same brutal odds.

Another stranger approached who introduced himself as "Azathor." Sebastian didn't like that name at all.
 

Breadman

Big loaf supreme
"You're slacking!" Royland's voice boomed from behind his helm. "Hammond, sit on top of Lancel. If he wants to do less push-ups then he will do so with added weight." The soldier complied and got on top of his comrade's back. Royland may have been strict or 'hardass' as some of the men called him, but he tried to be creative with his disciplinary actions. As for his newfound ally in this war, Azathor was very useful in recounting what had been going on in the Abyss for the last few centuries he had been gone. The expedition led by Inquisitor Vincent was fruitful even if it failed to achieve some of its objectives. They still had recovered Witlock from Sazak's grasp, even if she had been in better shape. But a piece of news had concerned him more than others on a personal level. Lozon's wraiths had turned against their master. At least it would seem so. Their ranks were decimated on account of his failures and now they slipped their master's chains. Some had joined the rebellions, others seemed to be sticking to the status quo and a few others seem to be content with wallowing in the anarchy. He dreaded a chance meeting with any of them and that would mean for him.

His conversation with the demon was cut short as the angel arrived. It was time for them to move. The knight needed but a while to make sure everything was prepared. Weapons and armor were cleaned and blessed. His replacement was accounted for. Anything else would have to be taken care of in stride.

"At ease!" He gave one final order before leaving for the gathering. The knight followed behind Azathor, who was eager to meet with the other members of this expedition. Royland already knew most of them, at least he had introduced himself. Save for one. The Darstinian was a complete unknown to him. His trust in Cassandra extended as far as his lady would demand. Camille had proven her mettle in combat if Theodore is to be believed and while the scholar might dabble in dangerous knowledge, he is no fool. Rebecca, he would trust with anything. The oni was nowhere to be found, but he was trusted by others enough for him to stay his blade. But this soldier was really an odd one among this group. Still, he was chosen to be part of the venture and it would be good to at last know each other's names.

"Excuse the delay." He made his presence known, bowing his head towards Sebastian's direction "Ser Royland the fourth, at your service."
 
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K0mori

Servant Supreme
Another man apart from time, Sebastian found himself thinking. However, unlike Ser Tristyn, this man didn't inspire the sort of instinctual fear that the rider had sparked within him. "Sebastian Ackermann," he replied, standing up straight. "I hope I can help."
 

Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
"The name's Azathor."

Camille's face twitched ever so slightly when that name was spoken, not quite certain as to how she should react. It is true that Hudson had mentioned the name to her in the past, and she did know who the demon before her was as a result. What her husband neglected to mention was his own place in the killing of Azathor's brother, an event that wasn't quite as grand or heroic that it may sound.

"Ah. Sazak's son," she said simply, not quite making an effort to reach out and shake his hand at the moment. Though Hudson told her little he did mention that Azathor was rather driven in putting an end to his father just as the rest of them. Yet still Camille could not get over the hesitation and worry of having him in the group with them. How was she to know this wasn't more deceit at work? With the horrible curses that Sazak was able to conjure, she would not rule out the possibility of Azathor being some horrible monster wearing a guise, planted to slaughter them should they get too close to their goal.

"Well, it is good to put a face to the name," the huntress stated neutrally, choosing not to reciprocate the handshake at this moment.
 

joshuadim

the writer
Much to his relief, there was no real outburst of any kind but Azathor still felt awkward having reached for a handshake to someone who would rightly have such apprehensions about him. He awkwardly fuddled his hand back to his side and nodded. "Not a moniker I'm fond of, mind you." he simply stated in response, "Then again, what hasn't he corrupted or destroyed at this point? All the more reason to stop him, and Taranoch."
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
Cassandra remained quiet after Camille's comment. The woman apparently didn't remember that Adona was supposed to be the god of fate. She imagined if he knew she would betray them, she wouldn't be here. She then cocked an eyebrow as she pondered that thought. Unless he was strictly adhering to the course of fate. She eventually shook her head, casting that line of thought away.

Soon, Azathor entered the Cathedral, with Royland behind him. And shortly afterwards, Rebecca followed, being tailed slowly by Valeria. Every time Cassandra saw Valeria, she felt an overwhelming sense of pity. Being used by Sazak, then tortured for three mortal years in the Abyss (which were the equivalent of thirty there). She could only imagine the horrors he subjected her to, while Mariette and Cassandra had been forced to be basically maids for his palace.

But, the young inquisitor was recovering. Slowly, but still recovering. Undite was assisting her in that, helping to mend her mind and soul. An added bonus to that was that she might discover some information that Sazak may have left behind in there, while she had been possessed.

Soon, Azathor arrived and introduced himself to Camille. And Camille's facial twitch told her all she needed to know. Cassandra smiled. "Azathor. It's been a while." she said, glancing to the demon. "I trust Tariun's rebellion against Taranoch is still going smoothly?"

She paused for a brief moment, then continued with another question. "...How's Mariette doing?" she asked, her voice a bit softer than before. "If you've checked on the state of things recently, that is. I send her letters often, and get replies, but ink on paper only expresses so much."

Meanwhile, Rebecca strolled down one of the open paths between the makeshift hospital cots, pausing to check on wounded soldiers here and there. Offering words of comfort and encouragement for those that needed it. Valeria quietly followed behind, watching her ancestor move along. It was such a strange thing, finding out that her ancestor was a living saint. She had helped to found the Vigilant Order, and was practically a hero of the Age of Darkness. Having banished Sazak back to the Abyss and secured the binding. Honestly, she had become a bit of an idol for Valeria, and several of the others here in Eternis.

But Valeria also felt as though she would never measure up to the likes of Rebecca. And she wondered just what the Saint thought of her, especially now after all that has happened.

As that thought crossed her mind, she felt a twinge of incredible sadness. Pausing only briefly before she heard Rebecca's calm voice. "Valeria?" said the saint, walking back towards her. Her metal armor clacking with each step. "Are you alright?"

"O-Oh! I'm fine! Just... Just thinking about the Abyss. Again." responded the young woman. Rebecca nodded, as she stopped next to her. She then wrapped an arm around her. "Cast those thoughts aside, young one. You shall not return there. Sazak holds no power over you anymore, and soon enough, he shall hold no power over anyone. I will finish what I started long ago."

As she spoke to her descendant, the pair walked along. Eventually arriving where the others stood.
 
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K0mori

Servant Supreme
Having greeted Ser Royland, Sebastian halfway turned back toward Camille and Azathor to hear their conversation, just in time to hear her say that Azathor was none other than Sazak's son. As if it weren't enough to stand amidst a pureblood vampire and knights from a lost era, was Sebastian really expected to tolerate the presence of an Abyssal Icon's son?

"I... uh..." he stammered to Ser Royland. "Give me a moment," he said, stepping away from the group for a moment. He walked back over to where the Daristinians were lying about on their cots and located his own belongings. A minute later, just ahead of Rebecca and Valeria, he returned wearing his helmet, and fully armed, too. The rest of his equipment was bundled up in his back pack. A cigarette hung from his lips, smoke rising in a wisp as he shuffled along.
 

Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
Camille could not help but notice Sebastian's reaction to their unlikeliest ally, silently sucking at her teeth as she watched him excuse himself. Of course the gods would not inform the poor man about such a crucial detail, and while Azathor could end up being an asset despite his familial ties she felt that everyone should know the truth. Her main worry would continue to be the consequences of his involvement, predictable or otherwise.

"It is a lovely thought," the huntress replied to Azathor's sentiment just as Sebastian had come back to the group, looking rather stressed. "We've no choice but to succeed."

She remained silent as Cassandra began to ask questions about Mariette, Camille rather curious about the affairs taking place with her in the Abyss as well. In all the chaos of the mortal realm, the huntress found it too easy to forget that war was being waged in the Abyss as well. It felt strange to be rooting for demonic forces, even if they were considered to be the better alternative to those currently in charge. Still, she was more interested in her friend.

When Rebecca and Valeria approached, Camille raised her hand slightly as a quiet greeting while she put on a soft smile. "Bonjour, Witlocks. How are you doing today, Valeria?"
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
"Bonjour, Witlocks. How are you doing today, Valeria?"

"I'm okay, for the moment... Just taking things slow." responded Valeria, smiling at Camille. "Lady Undite said I shouldn't exert myself too much, so I've been wandering around the cathedral. Watching the soldiers march around Eternis, and the Inquisitors train."

She sighed. "Honestly... I wish I could help somehow. Beyond just... just giving encouragement and emotional support." She then looked to Cassandra. "...Thank you for the books, Cassandra. They've helped me to pass the time... plus the relationships between the vampire houses are interesting to read about. Especially the Karnsteins and Ruthven."

"My pleasure, Witlock." responded Cassandra, with a slight nod. Afterwards, Valeria looked to Sebastian. She had saw the soldier wandering around over the past few months, but had never directly engaged him in conversation. All she knew was he was from Daristein, and had arrived when Camille and her family did.

"...I don't think we've spoken to one another. I've seen you around, but never had the chance to talk... mainly due to my... problems, and Undite's treatments." said Valeria. "I'm Valeria Witlock. Senior Inquisitor of the Vigilant Order... or rather I was. I'm just... here, now. I'm the reason all of this happened."

Rebecca spoke up immediately. "You were used, Valeria. You were a pawn in Sazak's game." stated the Saint, almost bluntly. "You are not to blame for this."
 

Breadman

Big loaf supreme
Royland wasn't surprised that Azathor was Sazak's son, in fact he knew for a while now. He was surprised that nobody had informed Sebastian. He watched at the lad walked off and come back with his gear and cigar in lips already burning. The knight patted him on the shoulder.

"Don't worry. He's going to be the least of our problems in just a short while." He listened to Camille's conversation with the WItlocks "You've done a lot for morale my lady. The men see you return from the Abyss and making a recovery and hope fills their hearts that they can overcome the invasion." He added to Rebecca's words "Do not underestimate your role in this. When the time comes, you will once again carry a torch through the darkness for others to follow. Until then, rest your body." He paused to think for a second "I'm sure Theodore is around still digging through the archives for any relevant information he can find. Someone should keep an eye on him, I believe. Someone he'd trust."
 

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