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Hunter's Moon [IC] [CLOSED]

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
Wonderful. The skittish little lamb has finally grown up. Cassandra fell to her knees for a moment, as Mariette shoved the sword back in and twisted. She groaned, more blood oozing down her chin as she gritted her teeth. "...Such a tease!" she said, eventually curling the corners of her mouth into a grin as Mariette stepped away to focus on taking out the guard and horse riding off with Galina slung on its rear.

She took the time to force the rapier back out, pushing and pushing the blade out till it fell to the ground. She coughed a few times, before standing back up as her wounds healed. She looked down and frowned. "Aww...my suit is ruined." she muttered, before glancing up when she heard the sounds of shouting. Wesley's shouting. He was gunning down some of the guards that had slung Galina on the horse, whom had chosen to remain and assist in the capture of the others. "Wesley! My dear, sweet boy!" she said, grinning wildly as she moved towards him.

Meanwhile, Mariette's shots connected with the horse, forcing it throw its rider and collapse. Galina rolled off onto the ground, landing with a sort of plop sound. Before Mariette could finish off the guard and rescue Galina, however, she noticed several horsemen approaching from the road ahead. Cavalry units, likely the Colonel's men. There were plenty of them, and they seemed to be weilding rifles as well as military sabers. One lucky swing, and they'd cleave her head from her shoulders once again.

She then felt a hand grip her shoulder, forcing her to turn about with her revolver ready. Instead of an enemy that needed shooting, it was Rosanna's headless body. It had pieced itself back together, clothes in pieces and covered in huge spoltches of blood, and was motioning that they needed to retreat with the others. She pointed to a nearby horse, which was attached to the wagon that the gatling gun sat upon, then motioned for Mariette to follow as she marched towards it.

-------

Jakob remained behind, as Valeria and the others darted for the trees and into the forest. As the cavalry arrived, he managed to shoot a few of the men off their horses with his revolvers before a horse smacked into him. It knocked him to the ground, and soon he was set upon by other cavalry troops. They beat him with their rifles or fists, before managing to subdue him with rope. Another one captured.

-------

The magical missile of a bolt darted through the trees, colliding with the incoming cavalry horse and forcing it to immediately faceplant into the ground. The cavalry officer upon the horse went sailing off, slamming to the dirt and flipping a few times.

Immediately following it, several of Theodore's bombs began to detonate, killing some of the cavalry troops as they entered the treeline behind the group. Trees were uprooted or blown over as well, creating obstacles for them to traverse as they tried to reach the fleeing group.
 

Radley

Aeroflot supreme
As the group ran for the hills through the trees, Erwin seemed to stumble and look back towards the mansion.
He was unable to run fully, as he nearly tripped ever so often when his focus remained on the fire instead of where he was putting his feet.

He seemed transfixed, almost hypnotized by the infernal blaze that cosumed the manor and lit the landscape with a deep orange haze, befitting the very forges of hell itself.
 
As the group ran from the cavalry through the forest, only the most observant would notice in the heat of the moment that the ground seemed to be... dying. Dozens of shadow tendril like shapes darted in between the members of the Inquiry, as if avoiding them purposefully before darting out and attacking several of the cavalrymen in close pursuit like a hunters stalked its prey and struck at the opportune moment.
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
The snaking tendrils surged through the forest brush and trees, darting past the inquiry group towards the incoming cavalry. It seemed that the detonations of Theodore's bombs, however, through their aim off a bit. Some of the cavalry were hit, dropping dead near immediately, but most of the cavalary continued on in hot persuit of the group. Some of them opened fire on those that they could see with their revolvers, shots wizzing past some of the group and hitting trees or dirt.

As Erwin stood staring at the blazing inferno that was the mansion, he failed to see the incoming boot of a cavalry officer. The kick knocked Erwin into the dirt, knocking his hat off and forcing him to drop the weapon he had in his hands. Other cavalry soldiers quickly swarmed him, weapons leveled on him as a few dismounted and attempted to subdue him.
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Roseanna wanted Mariette to turn back when she was so close to rescuing Galina. It wasn't going to happen.

"Go help the others," she flatly replied. "We will join you soon enough." She opened her new grimoire and turned to one of its forbidden illusions- images which strain and confuse the victim's minds, leaving them stunned or dazzled for a time. This one was quite a bit more powerful than anything in her original tome, and she began to prepare it where she stood using the Romanov blood she received from Morgane. With any luck, it would render the men physically ill, or maybe even permanently blinded. With a dark invocation, she focused on the riders, focused on their eyes.

Beset by sights unseen, unholy shadows, blights upon the mind...
 

Krypanzer

Dota 2 has a lot of peenoise
Wesley swung his hatchet to a guard who tried to hit him with his rifle's buttstock. The hatchet swept cleanly as blood sprayed everywhere across Wesley's body. he felt a new fire burning inside him, a newfound courage that will help him defeat his fo-

And then all of a sudden. he heard Cassandra's voice. his new found flame extinguished before it even had the chance to expand. leaving him with coldness inside. he looked behind him and there she was. a few yards away from him. The pureblood grinned with pure intent on seizing him.

And with that. he ran like there's no tomorrow. through the trees were he hoped that if he ran fast enough. he'd be concealed by the fauna.
 
Ethraeil stepped forward into view as he calmly walked towards the danger, rather than away like everyone else was. With what seemed like little effort, he brought his hands up and flicked his fingers upward, causing the ground to freeze over in a barrier behind the Inquiry and send large spikes of ice straight at the chasing riders.
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
The spell cast by Mariette was powerful enough to blind the front row of cavalry troops entirely, as well as their horses. They stopped, rubbing their eyes and panicking at the lost of their sight, while their horses moved about in their own panic stricken state. The cavalry behind them paused, wondering just what had happened to their comrades. This offered the perfect chance to grab Galina's unconcious form and escape.

Rosanna's headless body marched over to where the horse still stood, chained to the wagon where the gatling gun sat, before grabbing the chains and simply pulling them apart. Once the horse was free'd, she mounted it quickly, using the reins still attached to the horse to ride it. And ride she did, off into the woods to meet back up with the rest of the group.

Meanwhile, Erwin and Jakob were carried off back to the camp where the cavalry troops had come from. They were promptly tossed into a wagon, with a cloth sack covering their heads. Colonel Wallace looked on as the two were tended to, a smirk appearing on his face. Well, that's two foxes for the hunt. I wonder if Cassandra will bag me any more?

-------

Cassandra continued to stroll after Wesley, as he darted for the treeline nearby. It wasn't in the same direction as the others, but he could hopefully circle about and meet up with them. She giggled as she watched him attempt to run away. "I CAN RUN FASTER THAN YOU, WESLEY!" she yelled after him, following it with a louder chuckle. She let him gain a bit of distance from her, giving him a bit of a head start to make things fun. Then, poof. She was gone.

She appeared before him a moment later, forcing him to slide to a stop. "Told you!" she said, smiling. A moment later, the back of her hand collided with his face. She hummed to herself as she stepped over, gently picking Wesley's stunned form up and slinging him over her shoulder.

And once more, she disappeared.

-------

The icy wall of spikes shot up from the ground behind the fleeing members of the inquiry, impaling several of the cavalry and their horses and forcing the rest to stop to find a way around. It afforded the group plenty of time to flee, deeper into the forest to the west, behind the mansion.
 
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Pleased with his distraction, Ethraeil focused on the newly deceased corpses and raise a hand to them in an slow, upward motion. Arise and fight for a better cause, insects.

Within moments, their fresh corpses twitched and contorted before reanimating, their eyes replaced with wispy blue flames. They then turned their attention towards their former compatriots and went on a relentless assault.
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Bounding through the trees, Mariette could sense the auras of the inquisitors off in the distance. She could also feel Cassandra's presence, blinking from one position to another. She closed on a human and, moments later, disappeared. Although she wasn't completely sure, Mariette suspected it was Wesley. He shouldn't have come here, knowing what we're up against. Naive garçon..."

It wasn't long until she caught up with them, having moved so quickly that she arrived just before Rosanna's body did on horseback. "Cassandra has one of you- Wesley, I assume," she reported, plainly.
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
The zombified cavalry troops and their horses stood, and promptly began to harass the still living troops on the other side of the ice wall. Shots rang out, swords clanged against one another, undead groans and the yells and screams of the living mingled amongst one another. An even bigger distraction.

Valeria grunted, stepping over and handing Rosanna's body back her head. Rosanna made an audible groan as she saw her body. "I was starting to like that dress! And I can see my undergarments! That ain't proper!" she said, putting her head back on quickly. Valeria then turned her attention back to Mariette. "They also got Erwin and Jakob. We can worry about rescuing them later. We need to get the hell out of here and back to camp. We can't do anything in these clothes and with half empty weapons."
 
Ethraeil continued his assault as his mindless minions did his bidding and attack the cavalry. For the first time since the dark ages, he felt liberated. No longer bound by fear nor disgust of himself, he reaffirmed his will to do what was necessary. In this case, it was to slaughter the horsemen chasing the Inquiry. He summoned another volley of ice lances and launched them at the enemy as he roared: "DOOM AND DESPAIR HAVE FALLEN UPON YOU! FALL AND DIE LIKE THE INSECTS YOU ARE!"

The hearts and minds of mortals would always shake in the face of a true enemy.
 

EdwardDewey98

Professional Argentine
Beaten, subdued, and unable to see a thing, Jakob struggled against his binds while shouting obsenities towards the soldiers around them. Calling them traitors and knaves among other less honorable things. He was outraged that Stonewall Wallace, the man himself, a hero of war and a living legend in the Atracan military was now working with a group of evil vampires. He could hear the Colonel giving orders nearby. Jakob then began shouting towards him. "WALLACE! You traitorous piece of SHIT! How dare you do this to Atraca!? To your fellow men!? I bled for this empire, you bastard! LET US GO!" he said, hoping to attract the Colonel's attention.
 
What a mess. Aleister had managed to keep up with the others and away from their pursuers thanks to the abilities granted to him from his vampiric nature. Not having to suffer through breathing and exertion after a few dozen meters was a wondrous thing. But against so many cavalry troops, it wasn't an entirely certain escape. It seemed that the lich's magic went a long way to helping them get much further ahead than they would have otherwise.

When they finally stopped, he ended up near Valeria and Mariette. His hair was out of place, his makeup smudged, and his jacket covered in blood and dust from the floor collapse. He still had dried blood on his chin from his meal earlier.

"I don't think whoever they captured will last much longer. Our enemy doesn't strike me as the kind that enjoys living prisoners," he explained, removing a glove and using it to pat away the soot from his jacket now that they stopped. "Whatever we do, it should be quick. And I'd recommend contacting the Church or Order for help. This was a full massacre. They may even raze the town at this rate."
 

Dmaster

Sautekh Nemesor
Camille managed to break into the treeline, performing a full sprint to avoid the oncoming gunfire and the magic being thrown about. Between the ripping of the air from all the bullets and the whispers of the dark tendrils about her she had about enough of today. She grit her teeth and ran even faster into the forest, frustration clear in her expression and fatigue evident in her breathing. "I... hate... guns!" the huntress shouts to the heavens, starting to skid once she encountered Ethraeil and the rest of the inquiry.

Immediately she stooped down, gasping for air while she held her legs and listened to Valeria explain the situation. Taking one last deep breath she stood straight and regained her composure, looking around the forest to try and get her bearings. "And just what is there for us to do? There are mercenaries and cavalry men between us and them, and they still have plenty men to spare to make firing squads to execute them." she retorts to the vampire. "You immortal lot can throw yourselves at a militia, but I won't be jumping at the chance to riddle myself with bullet holes. We have to retreat for now and formulate a plan, as the Senior Inquisitor said."
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
"The church is already busy with another uprising in the east, and it'll take days or weeks before we can get any assistance from them. We have to retreat now, gather ourselves, and follow after them. We're not abandoning them, trust me." stated Valeria to the group. She glanced over to see Ethraeil continuing to attack the cavalry units, launching volleys of ice spears and shards at them. Several cavalry were hit by the incoming ice, but most of them weren't hurt enough to stop. They fought off their zombified comrades and fired upon the lich in an attempt to eliminate him from the situation. "ETHRAEIL. WE'RE LEAVING. LETS GO." she shouted, waving to him before motioning deeper into the forest.

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A soldier punched Jakob, effectively silencing him for the moment. "Shut your mouth or I'll shove my fist down your throat." spat the man. The Colonel overheard Jakob's yelling, but didn't respond. He simply continued giving out orders to his men, not finding Jakob particularly worthy enough for his attention at the moment with fighting still going on. Eventually, he motioned towards another officer, and the man nodded before bringing a silver whistle to his lips. He blew a few times, the signal for the troops to return.

--------

The cavalry currently chasing after the group halted, upon hearing the whistle, before turning about and quickly riding back towards it. The zombified cavalry units dropped dead once again, leaving the group alone in the forest.
 

EdwardDewey98

Professional Argentine
The punch momentarily shocked Jakob, but after recovering his senses, he let out a chuckle. "Was that a punch? It felt more like the caress of my wife!" he said, before shouting again. "WALLACE! Be a gods damned MAN and face another soldier, you bastard! Or did you earn the rank of colonel by being a bitch behind your men!?" he shouted, even louder. "You do look like a dog after all! Barking orders, but no bite at all."
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
Another punch was expected, but it never came. Instead, the bag was pulled up from Jakob's head. And standing next to the wagon was Wallace. "No. I earned the rank of Colonel by killing and eating people just like you." said the colonel. His eyes were different. Far different than they had been before. His brown irises were now a bright yellow. A color all too familiar to Jakob from during his days in the war. "Now what was that comment you made about me looking like a dog? All bark and no bite? Because you haven't seen anything yet."
 
A bullet whizzed right by Ethraeil's skull, and Ethraeil turned to its source and ripped the man's soul out of his body. But as he prepared to continue fighting he heard Valeria yell for him to retreat. And while he was dissapointed he could not inflict his wrath on more, he obliged and raised another spiked ice wall to cover his escape as he ran back towards the Inquiry.
 

EdwardDewey98

Professional Argentine
The revelation hit Jakob hard. Seeing the eyes of a werewolf sent him back to the days he was fighting against the Tsavanian werewolves, stuck in the trenches and out in the fields with only his wits and a handful of scared men to back him up. Countless young, brilliant minds died and the last thing they saw were those terrifying yellow eyes. Jakob's face shifted to an expression of pure hatred. Not only was the Colonel betraying Atraca, he just admitted to having killed other men just like Jakob. Other loyal soldiers. "...you're still one ugly motherfucker." he finally said, a grin forming on his face. "Then go on, sir! Eat me! I finished my mission. I helped my friends escape." His grin shifted to a smile. "At least I will die with honor and dignity. Unlike you...dog."
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
The Colonel actually laughed. "You've got spirit, kid." he said, with a smile. "Your mission ain't over yet, though. And you ain't gonna die with honor or dignity. I promise you that." He then motioned for the soldier to slip the bag back over Jakob's head. The bag was pulled down, and tied just like it had been before.
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Mariette sensed the auras of the enemy retreating and breathed a sigh of relief, not for the fact that the fight was over, but rather because she would finally be able to feed without interruption. She set Galina on the ground gently before turning to Valeria. "I'll be with you shortly," she explained before darting in the direction of where the enemy had been. There was a dead soldier nearby whom had just had his soul removed from his body, and while his blood was still warm and fresh, Mariette descended on him, slaking the thirst which had plagued her since her resurrection. She stood and wiped her mouth on her sleeve, pausing a moment to reflect on the ruination of a dress which had once been one of her most prized possessions. How little it seemed to matter now...

As quickly as she had run off, Mariette reappeared and hoisted Galina back onto her shoulder. She then trotted after the rest of the group to ensure the Tsavanian huntress would be delivered to safety.
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
The ice wall was errected, but it proved pointless as the cavalry were already retreating and returning to their commander. The inquiry group continued into the woods, before circling north and heading back towards Tresomin. Meanwhile, the Colonel and his men watched as the mansion burned to the ground. "Well, Bristol certainly wouldn't be happy. If he were still alive, that is." said Wallace, glancing over to one of his officer. The pair chuckled for a moment, before the Colonel turned to his men. "Alright! Pack up! You know where you need to be! First platoon, you're with me! We're gonna have a little fun with our captives." he said aloud. The troops began to move about, gathering up their gear and packing their tents and such away. Fallen soldiers were given proper burials and wounded were tended to while they could be.

Later that night, the group divided up. Most of the group would depart, heading further to the southwest through the hills towards Oar's Rest. Meanwhile, the Colonel and a platoon of his troops took the wagon holding their prisoners towards the south. Into the swamps around Porthcrawl.

--------

Wesley would awaken hours later, lying in a pile of hay in the loft of a barn. The area around him was lit by a few candles, carefully placed so that they wouldn't be knocked over and light the hay or barn on fire. Other areas of the barn were lit by moonlight, seeping through cracks in the roof and open windows. The sounds of a horse could be heard outside, along with a female voice. Gently whispering to the animal. The animal grew calm after a minute or two, and the whispering stopped.

Before Wesley could get up to see who was the one whispering, there was movement out of the corner of his eye in the darkness. Like something just suddenly appeared. And the gleam of a pair of red eyes gave away just what it was. "You're finally awake! Good. Now we can have a nice little chat." said a voice, before the vampire moved near. Cassandra's face was soon bathed in candlelight as she moved in close and sat next to Wesley, taking her inquisitorial hat off and sitting it next to her. Apparently she had gone and changed back into the inquisitorial outfit she had been wearing when the group first met her.

She then gave him an actual warm smile. Not the crazed grin she had given others. "I hope you slept well. If I hurt you, I didn't mean to. I just...needed to move you. Away from there and the others." she said, her eyes shifting back to their green color and darting about. Inspecting him for damage, it seemed.

---------

As the group traveled, first through forest and then through open plains and hills back towards Tresomin, it was relatively quiet. Each member of the group dealing with what had happened at he mansion in their own ways. Eventually, some began to speak up. "...So what was all of that back there, Mariette?" asked Valeria, without looking to her. She was curious as to what Mariette's motives were as well as the information that Mariette apparently had. "Yeah, first you're with us, then you're upstairs with that bitch Cassandra, and then you're tryin' to duel Camille? Then you turn 'round and help us again after getting your head chopped off!" said Rosanna, having decided to walk and allow one of the more human members of the group to ride the horse for a bit.
 
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In the flurry of events within the past few hours, Ethraeil procured one of the undead horses he had raised after it wandered aimlessly and rode alongside the Inquiry. He remained in quiet ponderance for the majority of the way, giving himself time to deliberate as to what was occurring exactly as well as to avoid speaking regarding the elephant in the room. That would come later. He instead focused on the peculiarity at hand: the souls he had quite literally ripped away from the cavalrymen were not human at all, but rather had the aura of werewolves, much to Ethraeil's interest.

So... the talking beasts align themselves in this plot with the pureblood Duke and his lackeys. Interesting. he thought to himself. He then decided to pay one of the souls he had taken for a visit, as he put his own body on autopilot as he delved into his own mind. At first, Ethraeil stood alone in the darkness of his mind before outstretching his hand in front of him. "I command you to speak to me." he called out. In front of him, the wispy specks of life-force began to semi-coagulate until it suddenly began to vocalize panic and fear.

"Where are they taking our captive associates?" Ethraeil demanded to the soldier's soul with a cold tone.
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
The countess didn't answer at first. Even though she knew the questions would come, she was struggling to find a succinct explanation without injecting it too much of the anger she was feeling, towards the inquisitors, herself, and the enemy. When she did finally speak, her tone was flat, droning, and cold as ice, very different from the silky, aristocratic voice they had originally known. She hadn't smiled since being revived.

"I think you all know me well enough by now to recognize my greatest fear: to die after waiting so long, so, so long... one-hundred-and-forty-one years, half of that in a monotonous loop of growing and harvesting grapes, making wine, and hosting other stagnant souls on a joyless estate... just waiting for the world to change. I did all I could to set an example of how things might be if enlightenment could overcome ignorance, but now I see quite clearly how pointless an endeavor it all was. Those with hatred in their souls can't be dissuaded, even those who owe their lives to me would joyously remove my head from my shoulders if they suspect me of betrayal, regardless of what I have to say about it.

"I didn't want to leave my estate. I wasn't afraid of encountering ghouls or hostile vampires on this inquisition; I've dealt with both of those on my own at La Cygne, removing anything which would threaten the legitimacy of my efforts to cooperate with the Church and the state. What I was truly afraid of was the human mob- the lynch mob. When I was allowed to travel with this group, I thought I had cleared the greatest hurdle, only to find that I would be facing purebloods, and that I had doomed myself by trying to survive by my spellbook... it was as if fate had played a cruel trick on me. I have no sympathy for the devil, but when she offered me that gift, all I could think of were all the years I've wasted, the fear that's ruled over my actions, and the simple joys I've missed.

"I told her I would do anything to be like her," Mariette explained, and her eyes narrowed in disgust. "All anyone understood by those words was that I would betray my allies for my own gain. Nobody, not friend nor foe, ever seemed to consider that I might lie to Cassandra and her employer to gain the gift, which is exactly what I did. I don't always need black magic to create a convincing illusion. Once I had it, I felt as if I had eluded death. It was merely a matter of picking a good time to reveal that I had never changed sides. After all, while many of you inquisitors are ignorant and cruel, I know better than to consort with the pure evil that drives that woman forward.

"Her employer is Duke Ashwood, who is a natural pureblood as well. The man plots to topple the powers that be, and usher in a new era wherein the vampires rule. In doing so, he wants to eradicate the Divine Church entirely. One might think a vampire like me would appreciate such a vision, but I don't. No man who employs Madame Cassandra and that demon, Sazak, should have access to power over anything. It's not about what's best for me. It's about right and wrong.

"But I got distracted," she admitted, wincing as she thought through her decisions. "I thought that I had conquered death as soon as I received the gift. I thought I was invincible, and that I no longer needed to fear the lynch mob. I knew I had been sighted atop the stairs with that evil woman and that you all would immediately think me a traitor, but what harm would it cause me? I could simply reveal my true allegiance whenever I wanted. So I went to settle a petty rivalry. I sought out Mademoiselle Giguere with the intent of frightening her with my newfound strength and speed. Saving her life had made no impression, and I told her how much that infurated me. So I wished to use another method- I wanted her at my mercy, and I wanted to break her precious sword. And then I would spare her, and say to her: 'you see? You ought to appreciate this alliance we have. I've endured all your insults, all your ingratitude, and rather than harm you, the only thing I've bruised is your ego.'

"Mademoiselle," she said, grimly, "that child correctly guessed that I had become a pureblood and still dared me to make her a martyr. She found glory in the idea of driving me into the enemy's hands and then dying by mine. I knew then that I wouldn't fight her, even for the show of it, but before I could back away from the ruse, I was confronted by Monsieurs Erwin and Theodore, who saw the signs that I had gone to the enemy's side and immediately condemned me. I was still trying to sort the situation out when the floor gave way and, under a flurry of bullets and throwing knives, I tried not to make any further sudden movements when I was caught completely unawares by that lich and had my head taken off."

"Given another chance at this evening, I might have stabbed Cassandra with her own rapier the moment she gave it to me, in full view of the rest of you, but then I wouldn't have learned a critical lesson. What I thought was invincibility was only false confidence. Death can truly come at any moment and without warning, and I have no control over it," she described, bitterly. "But now that I know that, the fear has no more hold on my actions. Without the fear of death, nothing will prevent me from doing the right thing."
 

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