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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:40 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Cynical Cat wrote:
Gunnar saw that the boy's aura was a mix of pale dark blue and purple. The merchant, on the other hand, was a mix of pale vermillion, dark blue, and lavender.


Once, Gunnar would have shown the reaction on his face. Now, there only showed a further narrowing of his eyes as he eyed the two. Their presences were odd enough here, but what showed through their very beings was... somewhat concerning, though also amusing in a dark sort of way.

Moving with calm strides, with his hands visible at his sides, he approached the two, his eyes calculating as he looked at the merchant. "It's rather late out," he said to the boy in lightly accented Greek - though the slight accent was not a Norse one. "Are you lost?"

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:27 am 
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"A sad thing it is when children have no one to care for them. However..." Adrianus motioned with his hands toward everything "The world is corrupt, and we make of it what we can." The child's claim that he took care of himself was oddly believable. He might be the scion of a drunk or other absentees, and thus the responsible one. It happened often enough. Or he may be an orphan with literally no one, nominally, to look after him. Still, if the boy is this competent and self-assured, there is potential to be found in his future. The sort of person with whom you want to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship. One ought teach them things, make their lives more comfortable. That way, they will be loyal to you. One does not simply control such individuals. That tended to end badly--Spartacus Revolt badly.

"You are naturally correct. I have torch bearers, and go about armed. My little constitutionals have more than one purpose. I also like to make my presence in the district known to my tenants, inquire as to their condition, and ensure the good behavior of the mercenaries who also patrol the area. To do this, there are trappings of status I must wear, such as my sword. My planned trap must be set up gra..."

He paused before the sentence was complete. A large man in traveler's clothes and wearing a sword at his belt, with a satchel upon his shoulders approached them with confident strides. Adrianus' eyes narrowed as the man asked the boy if he was lost in an accent that was not identifiable. This man was either the best and most high-minded Samaritan ever, coming to look after a small boy who he thought may find himself in the clutches of some foul monster (Only half true really. Adrianus had no desire to capture this child in his clutches against his will. That is a good way to end up like Lentulus Batiatus. There are many things Adrianus saw himself as: Fratricide, Magister, Power Hungry Usurper, to name a few. Moron is not on the list), or he was himself a predator of one form or another.

The idea that the newcomer might just be a concerned citizen who wished to look after a lost child without any further assumptions occurred to him, but he dismissed it out of hand. The world is simply not a good enough place to have such people in abundance such that they appear at random on the streets of Constantinople, in the Latin District. Especially after dark.

Not wanting to give anything away, and to see how the boy handled himself, Adrianus kept his expression neutral.

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The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:58 pm 
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Sons of Dis...

Speaking to the Merchant had been a mistake. Continuing the conversation had been a worse mistake. It was bad enough the man had begun lecturing him as any adult might a particularly strange child (Marcus was certainly no stranger to that reaction, but now he'd attracted further attention. Another man, armed but empty-handed, had approached and asked him in some further polyglot accent if he was lost. For the briefest of instants, Marcus permitted himself the indulgence of closing his eyes and calling down ten thousand more curses on Perpenna's putrid head. It was self-indulgent, and he knew it, but even Roman duty permitted the occasional flush of self-consciousness. And then the moment passed, and he opened his eyes, and tried to figure out what he was supposed to do now.

Predators were one thing. Marcus knew how to handle those, and hungry as he still was, might even have welcomed the advent of a slave trader, kidnapper, or sexual deviant. Eliminating them was only proper after all, and whether their blood actually tasted better than that of the innocent, it certainly made Marcus feel better. There were few sights as satisfying as watching their expressions of power and cruelty turn to gasping horror as Marcus broke their arms with a flick of his wrist, or conjured shadows from the corners of their eyes to devour them like turgid slime.

The concern wasn't predators, it was altruists. The rare individual who saw an apparently helpless child and felt duty-bound to intervene, to help, to aid in some way. Whether propelled by the strange tenets of their alien faiths, or some simple spark of human decency that Marcus had to occasionally remind himself did exist in the world (evidence notwithstanding) they were the real trouble, because unlike the others, Marcus couldn't simply dispose of them with free reign the way he might a lecher or orphan-snatcher. More than once in his travels since re-awakening, he had through mischance or foolishness found himself in the grasp of well-meaning altruists who had assumed him to be some poor child of misfortune (if only they knew the half of it), and sought to "help" him in a manner that was anything but helpful. And with his usual tricks of shadowplay or mind control off the table (he simply could not bring himself to reward someone's honest efforts to help an indigent child with bloodshed, terror, or mind-warping), these situations could vary from frustrating to downright dangerous.

The worst one, unquestionably, had been in the mountains near Calabria, some ten years before. Wandering the passes of the upper Appenines in mid-winter in pursuit of some vague sighting of a Lasombra Elder, Marcus had encountered a mendicant friar who saw a small child lost in the wolf-infested hills, with neither cloak nor jacket to shield him from the bitter cold. With no way of knowing that Marcus considered the cold irrelevant, and wolves an opportune snack, the friar had packed him off to a church-run orphanage somewhere near Cosentia largely before Marcus could think of a way to convince him not to. The resulting three-day ordeal had been a nightmare, as Marcus tried to come up with a way to escape from the remote orphanage wihtout killing or driving mad everyone present. It would have been easy to simply Dominate his way out, or manipulate the shadows until everyone was too terrified to oppose his leaving, but rewarding those who took it upon themselves to care for helpless children with shadow and death was something Marcus would not permit himself. As it turned out, he wound up having to fake his own death from illness, undergo an interminable burial service, complete with a Christian mass, and dig himself out of the pine box and loose earth he'd been interred within in the dead of night some two days later.

The chances that either of these men meant as well as that friar had were exceedingly slim, but not impossibly so. And even if they wanted something worse, this was not the setting to dispose of them properly. Worse still, if one of them meant well and the other ill, the result could be a public brawl, drawing even more attention from people Marcus desperately wanted to remain hidden from. And on top of that, there was Noemi to consider.

Still, he had to do something. And so weighing all these facts in his mind, he turned to the newcomer and answered him as forthrightly as he could, letting the man make what he might of it.

"I'm not lost," he said. This was neither the time nor the place to play helpless orphan. "I was just taking her home." He gestured to Noemi, watching the man as carefully as he could. "She lives nearby. I know her mother."

If either one of the men made a move towards Noemi, Marcus would eradicate them so totally that their ancestors would rise from the grave in protest. But assuming they did not, then he was willing to see what he was dealing with here.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:58 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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General Havoc wrote:
"I'm not lost," he said. This was neither the time nor the place to play helpless orphan. "I was just taking her home." He gestured to Noemi, watching the man as carefully as he could. "She lives nearby. I know her mother."


"I see," Gunnar replied in an even tone of voice, crossing his arms as he regarded the child, and the merchant standing with them both. "What concerns me is that the child you speak of is alone, out of the four of us."

"Run along home now child," he said to the small girl. "I'm sure you are missed at home. Go swiftly."

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:25 am 
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Adrianus was perplexed. Who did this man think he was, admonishing his betters with crossed arms like some scolding nun? Was he acting on secret knowledge, or perhaps "knowledge" which only an insane man would "know"? The man looked... competent and was certainly well-armed, and while that did not preclude insanity, it did mean that insane or not, there was a risk in getting into a fight. There was also something he said. Alone out of the four of us. That made no sense, unless the fundamental nature of one of the four people was different. Discounting the torch bearers as irrelevant of course, as they were only involved as bystanders and not subjects. Adrianus began to suspect, but could not be certain.... so he would not reveal his nature, but would see if the other might. However, he would also not tolerate an interloper coming in to lecture HIM.

Sir Guilliame had moved up by now after a well armed man revealed himself and was at this point moving to Adrianus' side, somewhat between him and the stranger, shield at the ready with his hand on his sword glaring daggers at the new face.

Adrianus' voice suddenly went from conversational to restrained anger poorly disguised as cheerfulness.

"Let me make sure I understand you correctly. You presume to come into my demesne, scold me like like a disgruntled nun, and then send a helpless little girl scampering through the Latin Quarter at night? She is certainly safer under escort than she is alone. Do you have some goal or information here that is currently obscured from the rest of us? If so, I would love to hear it, and can even accommodate you in Latin, French, German, or Arabic if you prefer."

This should give enough hints for a vampire to grasp, and give him an opportunity to explain himself. However, there would be no mistaking the lack of choice.

_________________
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
- Theodosius Dobzhansky

There is no word harsh enough for this. No verbal edge sharp and cold enough to set forth the flaying needed. English is to young and the elder languages of the earth beyond me. ~Frigid

The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:09 am 
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This was not going well.

Marcus had no idea why this man had spontaneously come upon them and pre-emptively ordered Noemi to run home. He had no idea beyond the fact that the man seemed to be particularly interested in his own doings and those of Noemi, and wished for her to separate herself from him. Why he wanted this, Marcus did not know, but all manner of lurid possibilities were running through his head right now, each worse than the last. What's worse, the merchant seemed to have taken the man's command to Noemi as some kind of challenge to his authority. Clearly the merchant fancied himself a man of importance in this area, and disliked the stranger giving commands. What that was about, Marcus did not pretend to understand. But as before, he could guess.

Carefully, Marcus backed up a few paces and picked Noemi up once again. Noemi for her part seemed more confused than anything. A strange man had told her to go home and then Marcus had picked her up, but if she had any insight into what was happening, she said nothing of it.

"I can take her home," said Marcus to both men. He was repeating himself, but that wasn't important right now. What was important was that, whatever this man's reason for wanting Noemi to run home at night, alone, he was fairly certain he disliked that idea.

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:20 am 
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Gunnar was unable to perceive any aura around the child.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:02 am 
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As Lydia walked down hill to the poorer districts away from the Central Meses, she found no prey. There were people about, but not many and not alone. The border of the Latin Quarter saw some ugly clashes and street violence so that was not unusual, but Fortuna was not with her. She saw no one she could easily peal away from a group. However, the lights staying still ahead of her, downhill at the edge of the Latin quarter indicated something was occurring in the streets and the lack of crowd noise indicated that it probably involved someone of some status.


*****

Helgi crossed the Exokionion. The vampire passed through the colonnade lined Forum of Arcadius and the Forum of the Ox, each as large as a northern village, before entering the outskirts of the Central Mese. Staggeringly, an array of lights indicated a large number of people were out and about despite the late hour as well as serving to indicate that much of the city still remained in front of him despite the distance he had travelled. He thought back to the descriptions of Odin's Hall, Valhalla. Five hundred and forty doors did Odin's hall possess, each large enough to pass eight hundred men at once. Until seeing this place a hall of such a size was unimaginably large, but having seen New Rome Helgi could now almost grasp how great Odin's Hall truly was.

The golden city was not as great; but it was built by men, not by gods and giants. Mortal men who had not the aid or cunning of dwarves nor the spaework secrets of northern smithcraft. Truly it was a marvel.

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Last edited by Cynical Cat on Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Her torchbearer left behind, to find another noble in need of light, Lydia stalked the evening black-clad, her inside-out cloak covering her finery. Yet a meal eluded her, leaving her walking into the Latin Quarter. Light and voices caught her attention, and she moved cautiously closer. Two... no, three men, and two children. What could this be?

A moment to see the faces of two of the men brought recognition. Gunnar Tovalson, one of the Eagles, if she remembered right. She had seen him at one function or the other. The other.... Ah, Adrianus, she thought, of Venice or one of the other trading cities now covering Italy. One of the Upstarts, but one who had been acknowledged by her elders. Perhaps she had stumbled into his holdings, as he did make claim to a demense when he was introduced. The third man stood behind the Tremere protectively, a bodyguard, perhaps his ghoul. Yet what brought these two men together, standing over these children?

"I can take her home." Protested the elder of the children, holding the younger tightly. It was obvious that he wished only to be gone. Why the others were not shooing him away was ... curious.
Lydia never could resist indulging in her curiousity.

The streets were empty but for the group, thus Lydia stepped out into the street, pushing the hood of her black cloak back to approached them openly. "Greetings, m'lords. Is it not a fine evening for a walk?" She spoke her native tongue, the Greek that Byzantium ran upon, and her face and carriage bespoke her noble lineage. She fully expected both lesser Vampires to recognize her; Lydia Nikolakis, scion of the Lexor Brujah, long a member of Byzantium's nightly rulers. The children were given but a glance, one that sized them up and dismissed Marcus and his sibling as unimportant.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Ah, diplomacy. At least Gunnar didn't have to face such a beast on an empty stomach.

Firstly, there was a victim of a long-ago crime - a child who had been Embraced, and had clearly learned to survive by his wits. Though Gunnar was more than a trifle irritated at the mere evidence of what had occurred, the child vampire's insistence on staying near this child was suspicious. Suspicion had grown into curiosity, as he held the child protectively, and that she had let him.

Of course, what bothered him at the moment was the fact that there was no aura around the child. Children usually had vibrant auras, the growth and chaos of life within them making them shine with potential - but here, it was as if she were not there at all, but for her presence.

Second, there was a merchant the child vampire had been speaking with, and it was not a pleasant-looking sort of conversation; rather, an uncomfortably awkward-looking one, that he had managed to now make more complicated.

And speaking of complication, here now arrived the Lady Lydia, a fairly well-connected Kindred of the line of Brujah, happening upon their impromptu meeting in the Latin Quarter, at what had to be the most inopportune time - when a single human child was surrounded by three vampires.

Gunnar restrained a sigh, even as he kept a wary eye on both the child, and the Italian merchant. "A good evening to you as well, Lydia," Gunnar replied to her in Greek with a calm tone of voice, after confirming her identity out of the corner of his eye, unwilling to look entirely away from the two vampires nearest the human child for the moment. "It seems that several people arrived at the notion of taking in the evening air at similar times. However, my greater concerns are for but one of them," he continued in the same tone of voice. "I feel that lesser concerns of curiosity can wait for the moment."

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:06 pm 
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For such a large and malodorous place as this, the lack of people just by the gate was curious, but it was clear he would not find what he desired here, not now, anyway. The towers of shameful death seemed to keep away even their so-called faithful. So the road was followed, into the Mese, and through the Forum of the Ox, his pace brisk and eager to get the shadows of mourning from over his head. From where he stood, he could see the bustle and renewal of life from the Central Mese.

Such a place as this was as if out of legends. Could Valhalla be as populous as this? If so, he hoped the smell would be better. His nose wrinkled as he made his way through the marketplaces of the Central Mese, noting occasionally the fair-haired peoples that might be of aid to him. Olaf’s words sung to his mind, but the layout of this place was more than a little confusing, in part because the man was drunk after the rousing battle they shared against the would-be bandits and murderers. And while Helgi would not trade that manner of camaraderie for much in this world, better-kept directions would have been a boon. Still he carried on, his eyes sharp for the manes of his kinfolk, certain that even in this light, colors of the sun would be easy to see.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:06 pm 
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And now they had attracted yet more attention, but this time, Marcus didn't curse. He was too perplexed.

A woman, a woman of great status and wealth, at least by her jewelery, clothing, and bearing, had spotted the little group and approached. Initially, he had no idea what to make of her, too proud of bearing to be a lady of the night, her accent too good to be Latin, and no other explanation as to what she might be doing here. She spared Marcus and Noemi barely a glance, of course, but the way she looked at the other two, the way she spoke to them, "My Lords" and all, it appeared she knew them, a suspicion confirmed a moment later when the second man addressed her by name. Yet though the second man, the one he could not place, answered politely enough, his attention was plainly still with Noemi. And that was even more worrisome.

Noemi, for her part, could not remove her eyes from the pearled, golden necklace that 'Lydia', the new-come noble woman, wore. "Marco, look" she said, pointing, clearly enraptured, "I want that!"

Despite himself, Marcus half-smiled at Noemi's avarice. A humeral like that cost the earth. In thirty years, he doubted that he had ever laid hands on enough coin to purchase one. Not that he'd made it his business to.

"Maybe someday," he said to her, not averting his eyes for a moment from the others. Frankly, he was uncertain what to do now. He knew as sure as he was standing here that the woman at least would not respond to him save with a cuff, even if he had the effrontery to address her. That was fine by him. The other two though, particularly the unescorted one, was still a worry. Particularly since he had made his interest clear. It was time to brush this man off.

"Leave her alone," said Marcus to the strange man, his bearing becoming subtly different, less restrained, less deferential. "She is not your concern, greater or lesser."

He made no motion of challenge or aggression, but there was steel to Marcus' voice now, child's timbre though it held. Even Noemi noticed, turning to Marcus as though finally understanding that something was the matter. Yet Marcus' only response was to shift her slightly in his arms, the better to hold onto her if it came to running away... or the better to set her down safely if it came to something else entirely.

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:16 pm 
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La Perla, 4th Floor
Study


He could see nothing. As his eyes sought to pierce the darkness around his room hungrily seeking to claw out any hidden threats he saw nothing out of place. And so he stood, sword in hand near the center of his study as dread blossomed on his chest and icy tendrils slithered up and down his spine. A lesser man would have howled, he knew many humans that would have fled by now seeking refuge and comfort by surrounding himself with guards and sturdy walls.

I would have fled once.

The thought that swam to the surface of his mind was steeped in truth. He never had managed to be particularly brave while he had been fully human. As a child he had never fought what had been given to him and as a man, he had been grateful for that which had been offered him. He had never sought to confront his father. There had been no need. His life had been easy, nearly everything that he had wanted had been provided to him. He had not seen a need to risk it all over some hot words. Life had been comfortable. He heard sandals slap against carpets, felt a rapid knock on the sturdy door that had isolated his study from the hallway beyond it and a moment later his eyes caught sight of Agathe. He did not need any enhanced senses or insights to see the panic which chased after her the same way that men chased after whores in the darkened streets of some of the poor districts of the city.

"A mob?" He said with surprising calmness. This was the fear that had descended upon him. This was the Dread that was making his blood race through his veins. There was no unseen enemy in the study, his heightened sensitivity had predicted this moment. Faced with the knowledge of the formerly unseen threat he took a deep breath and held it. He could not flee, doing so would only give credence to whatever had drawn the mob to his door. It would also demoralize his servants, lead to the sacking of his home and his inability to remain within its walls for long. He would have to leave the city immediately and start over elsewhere.

I am not prepared to do that.


He took a step towards Agathe and then another, his right arm moving as his fingers touched the arm of his servant firmly. "Calm yourself Agathe. I will handle this personally, this is what I want you to do."He forced calmness into his voice and gave his servant specific instructions on how she was to proceed. The instructions were simple and he expected that Agathe was quite capable of carrying them out. Upon leaving the study, he glided towards the nearest set of stairs.

La Perla

[Editing]

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Last edited by Marcao on Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:26 pm 
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In watching the byplay between the child, and the Embraced child holding her, a suspicion was growing in Gunnar's mind. The young one very well could be under the influence of something that altered one's mind or emotions... but if she were not, then she viewed this Embraced child, this... Marco, as her protector.

Her defender.

If this were true... then the situation was somewhat different than his first impression.

Regardless though, current events had graduated to the status of a "situation." And situations, regardless of the previous state or composition, tended to degenerate. Or decompose, if particularly interesting examples of the supernatural were on hand.

Gunnar held his gaze with both the child, and the vampire that was cursed to always appear as one. "I have no designs to pry her from your grasp - mostly because she's allowing you to," he said calmly, as he regarded both of them curiously. "What does concern me though, is that you and she are not alike," he said, giving subtle emphasis on those two words that a true normal child would be unlikely to catch onto the significance of. "So, I am compelled to ask, given that you are as you are, and she is as she still is - who is she to you?"

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:34 pm 
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Oh no...

All of a sudden it made terrible, terrible sense. The man's subtle emphasis was enough that Marcus finally realized what was happening here. He knew what Marcus was. How that was possible was beyond him, perhaps he'd made a mistake or perhaps this one had abilities beyond the normal ken. But the latter was what he was betting on, because if he knew that Marcus was a vampire, and yet was not fleeing into the night or drawing torches and holy weapons to strike him down, then the best explanation was, of course...

Suddenly the man's seemingly random presence within the Latin Quarter late at night made much more sense. So did his interest in Noemi.

Marcus took a second to let the shock pass and consider his position. Were the others also Kindred? This man knew Lydia, and she him. Like him, she had no reason to be out here. He could not say for sure of course, but it seemed likely enough. What of the merchant? The lone man had not known him, but in retrospect, much of the merchant's talk of demesne and territory had very different undertones when considered in the light of Kindred. He could not be certain of course, but it was, perhaps, wise to assume so until proven otherwise.

Where did that leave him? He knew no other Kindred in this city save for the occasional chance encounter, and half of those times he believed that the other vampire had not known him to be one. Then again, it had only been a matter of time. He just wished the circumstances had been different.

First things first.

"I know her mother," said Marcus to the unknown man. "They are both under my protection. You will not touch either of them, and neither will anyone else in this city." What sense this was making to Noemi, Marcus couldn't even guess, but he would deal with that later.

He decided on a counter-attack. "What business is it of yours who I am or who she is, anyway?" he asked the man. "Who are you?"

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:13 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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General Havoc wrote:
"I know her mother," said Marcus to the unknown man. "They are both under my protection. You will not touch either of them, and neither will anyone else in this city." What sense this was making to Noemi, Marcus couldn't even guess, but he would deal with that later.

He decided on a counter-attack. "What business is it of yours who I am or who she is, anyway?" he asked the man. "Who are you?"


A very clever conversationalist, this young one - or perhaps he was indeed what signs pointed at him to be, which was one of the few Kindred who knew the value of protecting humanity and its innocence, beyond their own immediate self-interest. Gunnar relaxed his stance as he regarded the young kindred with curiosity.

"They are under your protection, no matter the wishes of anyone else in the city?" Gunnar asked, as if pondering the idea. "I see. They must be very important to you, for you to take this responsibility on your shoulders."

He regarded the kindred in a child's body for a moment more before continuing. "I am Gunnar, and I was sent here as a traveler to take the measure of this city, for there have been some patterns showing that some find... disturbing. The first night I undertake my appointed task, and I see you," he said, staring directly at Marcus, "with her. I grant that your purposes and reasons may very well be altruistic, and should I find them to be, then you will have no trouble from me. But, I feel that I must be sure that she is not at your side because you are...", and here, he appeared to be searching for the right words, in such circumstances, "...feeling the weight of your own existence."

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:56 am 
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When Lydia showed up, Adrianus thought this situation had gone from bad to worse. The stranger, who Lydia knew by name and thus was also a vampire, seemed to have taken on a less threatening tack. He also dropped enough hints to confirm he was a vampire, and that he knew Marco was.

First, he turned to vampire number 4, and territorial incursion number 2.

"Good evening M'Lady. You have interrupted an awkward introduction, I am afraid"

Then Gunnar opened his trap and said something sure to insult any Vampire with any shred of decency and provoke a fight. Adrianus wheeled on him.

"You are very close to provoking hostilities with your accusations. If this is how you introduce yourself, I do not suspect you will survive for very long in this city. This is my territory, it is for me to police, and I will not abnegate that authority to you or anyone else, save my acknowledged superiors. What Marco's intentions are have nothing to do with you. They are between himself, the girl and her mother, and me insofar as his actions violate my territorial integrity."

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"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
- Theodosius Dobzhansky

There is no word harsh enough for this. No verbal edge sharp and cold enough to set forth the flaying needed. English is to young and the elder languages of the earth beyond me. ~Frigid

The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:59 am 
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"Marcus," said the small boy that the two men had been speaking to and of, correcting the merchant who had repeated Noemi's nickname for him. "My name is Marcus."

His voice was calm and collected, but the temperature of his words was icily cold, so much so that this time, Noemi definitely noticed, turning to the boy carrying her. "Marco?" she asked, sounding apprehensive. "What's going on?"

"It's all right, Noemi," said Marcus, turning his head to the little girl, forcing a smile, and looking her in the eyes. "I won't let anything happen to you. Just go to sleep."

The effect was almost instantaneous. Without protest, without a word, the girl closed her eyes and slumped her head forward onto Marcus' shoulder, her arms falling limp at her sides as she fell fast asleep. Marcus shot a glance to each of the other three vampires in turn, and then, as carefully as he could, stepped back several paces, knelt down, and gently laid Noemi down on the steps of a small church, pillowing her hands under her head before turning back around to face the others.

But when Marcus, now empty-handed, turned around again, he was another person entirely. Gone was whatever reticence he had affected, gone was the furtiveness and childish manner of before. In its place was a stare as direct as the unblinking gaze of a statue, which he turned in turn on each vampire, but focused primarily on the man who had just impugned his honor, his intentions, and therefore his Dignitas.

"My name," he repeated, "is Marcus Sertorius Postumus. And you know nothing of me or the 'weight of my existence', nor what I have gone through to stand here. I am the son of murdered parents and the childe of a monster who created abominations for the sake of revenge and cruelty. I have passed through fires the likes of which would send you screaming into the night, and if you impugn once more that I intend to vest on that girl the same curse that was vested on me, I will tear the lies from your throat with such force that your grandsire will be struck dumb."

Marcus' voice was that of a ten year old, but his words were anything but, his Greek morphing as he spoke into an old, ancient form of the language, an Attic Greek, easily understood, but recognizable as something different.

"That girl," he said, pointing back at the sleeping child, "is under my protection, as is her mother. And the nature of that protection is between nobody," he shot a withering glance at the would-be merchant prince as he said the last word, "but myself and them. I do not hold them protected by anyone's leave, and certainly not the leave of an itinerant traveler who demands my intentions while he asks small children to run alone into dark alleys in a city filled with predators!"

Some deep well of resentment and anger was powering this speech, that much was clear by his manner, his tone, and his clipped words, hinting at greater rages lying within. But before they could burst to the fire, he clamped down on them with an iron grip, and drawing himself up, he stood before the man named 'Gunnar', and stared him in the eye.

"I have told you twice that my intention was to see her safely to her home. This is the last time that I will repeat myself to you. She will come to no harm under my supervision, not from myself, and not from you. Whatever you think of your own power, I assure you, be you Belisarius himself, you will not lay one finger upon her. Not with every Kindred monster in this city at your back."

He took a step forward, and as he did so, he let his roughspun cloak billow out slightly, allowing the three vampires to glimpse the sword concealed beneath it, tucked away within its scabbard, but very much present, a small chip of stone embedded within its hilt like a needle in a pincushion. And then the cloak fell once more, and the sword was concealed, and he was once again a small, threadbare street urchin, standing in the glare of two men and one woman of power and means.

"Now then," he said, his voice quiet once again. "I have told you my intentions. And you must either believe them, or call me a liar."

He crossed his arms before his chest, and stared at the Gunnar with an expression that would have been appropriate were he the adult, and Gunnar the small boy.

"Which is it to be?" he asked.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:24 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Gunnar watched as Marcus carefully cared for the child (by putting her to sleep; not bad, he thought), and spoke his piece with dignity, grace, and the wisdom beyond a child. The wisdom that only comes from hard-fought and sometimes hard-lived years.

General Havoc wrote:
"Now then," he said, his voice quiet once again. "I have told you my intentions. And you must either believe them, or call me a liar."

He crossed his arms before his chest, and stared at the Gunnar with an expression that would have been appropriate were he the adult, and Gunnar the small boy.

"Which is it to be?" he asked.


Gunnar looked back at the child for a moment after he'd finished speaking, and finally nodded once. "Then, I believe you, for you have shown your worth of character. Go in peace."

Comrade Tortoise wrote:
"You are very close to provoking hostilities with your accusations. If this is how you introduce yourself, I do not suspect you will survive for very long in this city. This is my territory, it is for me to police, and I will not abnegate that authority to you or anyone else, save my acknowledged superiors. What Marco's intentions are have nothing to do with you. They are between himself, the girl and her mother, and me insofar as his actions violate my territorial integrity."


Gunnar stared at the man for a moment or two after he had spoken. "I do not often introduce myself in such a way," he answered evenly. "I wish you and your territory well," he said with a nod, and a small smile.

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"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

- William Gibson


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:01 am 
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Adrianus was, in a manner of speaking, dumbfounded. Not only had Marcus invoked a roman name for himself, but he had slipped into recognizably different Greek. This had certain implications that were rather obvious, namely, that this young vampire was, despite appearances, very old. Thus very powerful more than likely. The sort of anger he displayed at even the implication that he meant this girl harm, as well as his protective behavior counter-indicated any such intent. Besides, if he had simply wanted to feed on the girl, he would have simply withdrawn when this situation occurred, and it seemed out of character for one who approached a stranger to warn them of danger to then so vehemently lie about his intent. No. He was telling the truth.

Adrianus then spoke, while Marcus was waiting for a response. He did so in Latin, as a recognition of what Marcus was and apparently still is.

"Peace, Marcus Sertorius Postumus. I believe your intentions in this matter to be honorable. I also do not consider your relationships to your clients to be a matter that would warrant my involvement, unless you were to actively work against my own interests. I see no reason why this should be the case, and would rather have one such as you as an ally than adversary." There was respect there. Not deference, but respect and understanding. Many vampires would not at first glance take a child vampire seriously, however, Adrianus was long accustomed to things not being as they appear at first glance, and Marcus had amply demonstrated a certain metal that one ought not take lightly, save at their own peril. Marcus might look like a child, but he was not one.

Then, he switched over to Gunnar, and Greek.

"Good. I am willing to forgive poor first impressions. Initially, we were trying to gauge the other, but did not know of the other's nature. Now, that entire conversation makes much more sense. I thank you for the service, even if rendered inadvertently. That said, if your business here is feeding, I will have to ask you to refrain, as I claim that exclusive right within my demesne unless you give me some reason to extend you the privilege. The same extends to you Lady Nikolakis. I am happy to extend other forms of hospitality to either of you."

He paused, thought for a moment, and continued

"Marcus, if you would be so kind as to introduce me to the Girl's mother so I know who not to feed upon? As I said, I have no desire to intrude upon your clients, or do anything that might earn your enmity, and expect the same courtesy lest it do the same."

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"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
- Theodosius Dobzhansky

There is no word harsh enough for this. No verbal edge sharp and cold enough to set forth the flaying needed. English is to young and the elder languages of the earth beyond me. ~Frigid

The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:26 pm 
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Inside the Great Palace, a dead thing stirred. His sleep had been troubled with dark things. Memories or portents, he could not remember. Such dreams always passed from his memory as soon as he woke. It was a passing annoyance. He was not satiated either. He could feel the dryness on his tongue. It was a good thing. Satiation was something any slovenly fool could achieve. Hunger gave the mind a keen edge, kept one ready.

Dressing himself in something light, to best fit the weather outside even if he could not feel it, Erik was kept further by letters and business that he liked to keep up on. He was still a leader of men, even if he did not lead them directly into battle so often any more. He liked to know what was going on. And there was always the chance that his lord Belisarius would have a mission for him.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Lydia listened to the men and child (CHYLDE?) rant at each other. What clan could this Chylde be?
She could already tell it was not Brujah, the gift to dominate minds was not granted to her clan. The Ventrue and Lasombra both were known to employ that gift, often to other vampires' regret. From Marcus' rant, he knew his Sire far too well. No bloodbond to exist between them, else the deep vicious hatred she heard in Marcus' voice would not exist. What else did his Sire do to so inflame his hatred?

The glimpse of the sword at his back raised an eyebrow as well, as the handle was similar to a Roman gladius, from what she could see of it. How old was this Chylde, that he spoke so ancient a dialect? How many decades (centuries?) had this seeming boy stalked the night?

The force of his hatred was enough to make both Gunnar and Adrianus back down like currs before a pack leader, which Lydia found very amusing, though she kept that hidden well. They instantly attempted to placate the boy-Chylde, while snapping at each other in an attempt to regain some status between them. Later, she would apologize to Adrianus, admitting she had not know the breadth of his territory. She was positive that she could soothe his ruffled feathers, as she did not normally hunt this way. First, however, there was the Chylde.

"Marcus Sertorius Postumus, why are you here in Constantinople?" It was a calmly asked question, with honest scholarly curiosity behind it. "What clan do you claim?" A far more loaded question, but Lydia wanted to see if her assumption was correct. She made no move towards the boy or his ward, merely waited for his answer.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:26 pm 
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One by one, the three Kindred responded, each apparently perceiving the measure of pent-up rage that fueled Marcus' proclamations. That, at least, was a relief. Marcus' proclamations of Roman outrage were not infrequently met with ridicule and scorn on the part of Kindred who could not take a small child speaking thusly with any degree of seriousness. If nothing else, none of the vampires here seemed to be taking that path, for which Marcus silently thanked Fortuna.

Still guarded, he chanced a glance back at Noemi, who still lay peacefully on the church step, fast asleep. Turning back to the vampires, he answered as best he could, the flash of outraged Dignitas subsided, replaced once more by the reticent, watchful appearance he normally wore, eyes dancing from vampire to vampire as though unsure of what to expect next. The Merchant had answered him in some form of Latin, no doubt perceiving his true origins either from the quality of his Greek or the origin of his name. But his questions had been loaded with politics, and talk of alliances and introductions, and he needed time to decide on those issues, while he considered the implications. The woman's questions had been much more straightforward.

"I am of the gens Sertoria," said Marcus, moments before he winced and stopped himself, recalling only an instant too late that Kindred meant something entirely different by 'clan'. "Apologies," he said, closing his eyes a moment and restarting. "My clan is Lasombra. And I am..." another pause, as he debated internally how to word this, "I am... searching for someone. Someone I wish to find, if he still lives."

He still had no idea what to say to the Merchant, and therefore decided to postpone the question a moment. "Who are you, Domina?" he asked, "and why are you in... this place?"

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:50 pm 
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"I am Lydia, of the gens Nikolakis, and the Clan Brujah," Lydia answered in kind, allowing for the young one's slip. It seemed, whomever his sire was, Marcus was taught little of Vampire Society. That to Lydia, only added to the sire's crimes. "My family came here with Constantine to build this city, while the Lexor Brujah are Scions under the Trinity that rules the city now. Does that answer your question, Juvenis?"

She had thought how best to address the youth, and at the moment calling him 'Lord' was inappropriate. Thus Juvenis, 'youth', would have to serve as a friendly address. She took pains to make it respectful, and not degrading in any way.

"I would guess the one you seek is your Sire, as well."

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:51 pm 
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The front doors of La Perla stood open and the entrance hall was filled with ruffians and vagrants. They were mostly clean, by standards of the common folk, but there was a wild, ragged look to them. There were a dozen of them, most with wild hair and ragged beards and torches in their hands. Their clothes were ragged an all of them were armed with clubs but two brandished hatchets, two were armed with daggers, and one was armed with a butcher's cleaver.

Around them on the floor were sprawled Ignacio's door keeper and two of his men at arms, injured or possibly dead. A pale young man with long, wild brown hair and blazing eyes lead them. He carried no other weapon but a torch and wore a ragged, dirty robe. Beside him was a wild haired woman in a ragged gown, barring the fangs that showed her to be a childe of Caine.

The boy shouted something in Italian and gestured towards Ignacio with his torch. The small mob roared in acknowledgement.

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