The Shadow and the Serpent.   Posted by Shadow of Twilight.Group: 0
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 42 posts
Fri 10 Aug 2018
at 04:21
The Shadow and the Serpent
Prologue

Europe is a tattered patchwork of Domains built from the ashes of the deceased Camarilla, for centuries the Lancea et Sanctum has been the only Covenant to have the strength to impose its will across numerous Domains but their homogeny is in decline. The Gallows Post has forged a means to enable Kindred to move from Domain to Domain, meanwhile stirrings from Rome to the lofty halls of of the Holy Roman Empire Vampires have begun to gather in to the Holy Night Empire of the Invictus, and then the twisted tree that is the Legion of the Dead once determined defenders of the Camarilla but now little more then mercenaries.

As Elders grow influence conflict looms upon the horizon and the burgeoning Invictus is under threat of tearing itself apart. The power hungry Ventrue Prince of Cologne known as Lord Hardesttadt has slowly bending his peers in Germany to his will but an ambitious Gangrel based in Bohemia by the name of Dutchess Marian who seeks to supplant the Ventrue and a conflict seems inevitable.

Seeking to end the conflict before it truly begins Hardesttadt has summoned the Legion of the Dead to his court to craft a plan.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 43 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 07:12
The Shadow and the Serpent
Characters

Heinricus
Clan: Nosferatu
Bloodline: none
Covenant: Legion of the Dead
Rank: Elder
Status: Prince of Dresden, Nominal Dictator of the Legion of the Dead
Little is known about his origin other then that he came to some prominence in the Camarillas waning years and awoke from Torpor some two centuries ago where in he made him self Prince of Dresden and through cunning and wealth in recent decades made himself defacto leader of the Legion of the Dead. He has used the corruption in his Covenant to enrich himself and his allies. He is a creature of greed but also ambition so long as each goal compliments the other.

Valentine
Clan: Daeva
Bloodline: none
Covenant: Legion of the Dead
Rank: Ancilla
Status: Capitan of the Legion of the Dead
A solider in life and a solider in death Valentine is bordering on cynical only feeling the spark of passion when pushed to physical and emotional extremes. He leads inexperienced legionaries in fulfilling their task although the blatant greed of his superiors only feeds his cynicism.

Hardesadt
Clan: Ventrue
Bloodline: none
Covenant: Invictus
Rank: Elder
Status: Prince of Cologne
A ruthless hoarder of power little is known about his rise to power as none are left to recount the tale outside of superstition. With every passing year his influence spreads along the Rhine river, it is said there is not a city in German in which he does not have one Thrall.

Marian
Clan: Gangrel
Bloodline: none
Covenant: Invictus
Rank: Elder
Status: Dutchess of Bohemia
A Gangrel of uncommon ambition through force of will and intimidation she has carved out her own Domain with designs of expanding her Domain with two thrust, one in to Germany and one along the Danube River.

Ludvik
Clan: Mekhet
Bloodline: none
Covenant: Lancea et Sanctum
Rank: Ancilla
Status: Bishop of Bohemia
A crafty vampire whose cunning mind has been well utilized by his allies, he is a vampire with vision for the future and as such his plans are not ones of immediate gratification but rather long term reward.

Vit
Clan: Gangrel
Bloodline: none
Covenant: Invictus
Rank: Ancilla
Status: Baron of Northern Bohemia
A Chiled of Marian set to the task of conquering Germany and thus the chief subject of Hardesadt’s wrath. He travels from village to village with his Coterie enthralling and Ghouling humans with the intent of raising an army come spring.

Xaver Furst
Clan: Mekhet
Bloodline: Khaibit
Covenant: Legion of the Dead
Rank: Neonate
Status: Solider in the Legion of the Dead
Sent by his Sire to earn favor with Hardesadt the easiest way to accomplish this and return to his hearts true desire was to join the Legion of the Dead.

Gisela Drogomier
Clan: Ventrue
Bloodline: Gorgons
Covenant: Legion of the Dead
Rank: Neonate
Status: Solider in the Legion of the Dead
Sent as a hostage of sorts by her sire before she passed in to Torpor, Hardesadt has agreed to freeing her should this crisis be averted without escalating in to a full fledged war.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 44 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 19:51
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part I: Arrival

Storm clouds gathered as the Legion of the Dead assembled in Cologne the Domain of the power hungry Ventrue Prince Hardesadt. Heinricus a Nosferatu wore a twisted form his skin like rough leather with scar sitting atop scar, at one point he was a warlord but now dressed in a fashion that was a mockery of the nobility for he was a vampire that was the victim of two hungers, for blood and for wealth and he knew the Prince of Cologne to be wealthy beyond measure and sought to capitalize on the conflict that brewed in the east.

In a sentry post beyond the city limits Heinricus meet with his captain Valentine a Daeva by blood he was a veteran of dozens of conflicts.

“Do you really think we needed to call up this many Legionaries ? The contract should be easy enough to fulfill.” Valentine spoke as he snuffed out a fire.

“My poor naïve friend, I simply want our client to see what it is he is paying for.” Heinricus spoke, his voice shrewd and gnawing.

Valentine said nothing he could see that Heinricus intended to make a large sum of money by involving more Kindred then needed to be.

“Now then, the last of the recruits should be here tonight, you will greet them I understand that Hardesadt is hosting quite the banquet at Elysium this evening.” The Nosferatu gloated shining one of the shimmering trinkets hanging from his neck.

With that the Nosferatu dawned a cowl and mounted his horse and quickly made for the city leaving Valentine at the watch post to await the last band of recruits.

Several hours passed and only the sounds of a moonless night could be heard only broken by the sound now of an approaching horse. Instinctively Valentine held the hold of his sword as two individuals came to his vision. He thought to himself that there was no way this could have been the final band he knew its number to account for at least a dozen Neonates. Paranoia now set in his mind was this a rival or just other strangers in the night.

Paranoia gave way to alarm as he recognized one of the Kindred, it was the rouge from the Gallows Post that had been hired to escort the final band of recruits, beside him was a Kindred of exceptional build, tall and strong. Both came to a stop before the watch post and Valentine stepped out his hand resting at his blade.

“What happened, where are the rest of them.” Valentine ordered an answer.

“We were attacked in the woods, he is all that is left, now pay me so I might be on my way.” The rouge spoke quickly.

“Go inside we will discuss compensation later.” Valentine relaxed if even slightly while gesturing for the rouge to enter the watch post.

The rouge marched past Valentine who now affixed his gaze on the intimidating vampire before him, he would have been easily dwarfed had it not been for the fact he was standing upon several stairs.

“Your name solider.” He spoke sternly.

“Xaver.” Replied the tall Kindred.

“What happened out there ?” Valentine would not be the type to be intimidated by brawn alone.

“We were ambushed.” Xaver replied, in a way it was flattering to not be feared for his physical stature.

“Not far from here a wild man fell upon us, killing a core before returning to the woods.” Xaver spoke bluntly but there was not much more to the tale.

“I see.” Valentine reflected.

“I will finish our business with Gallows Post, go in to town and find one of us they will give you shelter.” Valentine gestured towards the city.

Xaver shook his head in agreement and continued down the road as Valentine entered the watchtower where the rouge was in waiting.

“Where is my coin.” The rouge sounded impatient.

“Forgive me but I am just following orders.” Like quicksilver he drew his blade and impaled the Vampire through the chest and in to the wall. So fast was the attack the vampire did not even utter a shriek.

With a few moments more Valentine rekindled the flame that would consume the rouge, there was to be no loose ends for the Legions mission, surprise would be their ally, and Heinricus always did loathe paying the Gallows Post.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 45 posts
Thu 16 Aug 2018
at 04:58
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part II: The Court of a Tyrant


The Elysium of Cologne was held in a building that was some part castle some part lavish townhouse and it was here among the pomp that Prince Hardesadt could often be found cultivating his schemes for power. Countless Ghouls and blood dolls skulked about while Kindred each competed for the patronage of the Ventrue Prince, none were foolish enough to conspire against the Prince for his grip on his Domain was like an iron gauntlet.

Hardesadt cared little for socializing if it did not offer him any long term reward and often he could just show his face at Elysium and bring a still quiet to the room. This night was as many others Hardesadt entered in to a room that was familiar to him all be it with some strange faces among the crowd. He said nothing his face was cold as ever yet still so great was the magnitude of his presence that a hush fell over the room.

He strode through the room careful to make eye contact with a few advisers and several would be rivals just to chill their souls as he passed by. The Prince kept his silence and climbed a series of stairs which lead to a balcony overlooking the hall where the festivities resumed.

“You cannot hide from me.” His words were cold as to be expected and his eyes unflinching.

“Of course.” A female Kindred appeared behind him leering through her own talents for Obfuscation.

“Gisela, you have been a most effective retainer over these trying years but your time in my service shall soon be at an end.” He lectured her not in a condescending way, the way he spoke was more matter of factly.

“She will awaken soon ? How do you know ?” Her words rang almost as cold as his.

“I know because I must know such things, nevertheless one last task remains for you while you remain in my service.” He continued now turning to face her.

“You shall be my eyes, ears, and if necessary my hands among the Legion of the Dead.” He spoke now with sternness turning his attention to the main door of the hall where Heinricus stepped through the door.

Like a bee the Nosferatu traveled from circle to circle but his intent was always to work his way to Hardesadt and quickly enough he stood before the Prince and his retainer.

“My lord Hardesadt a pleasure to meet you at long last.” The gilded Haunt spoke with thinly veiled humility

“Heinricus your talents … proceed you. I understand that you have assembled many of your soldiers here, shall I presume that you are interested in addressing my struggle.” Hardesadt spoke and his body did not so much as move he was perfectly still.

“Indeed it would be my pleasure to see your enemies undone.” His crooked voice was sniveling all the same.

“I assume that also means you have our fee.” Heinricus was practically salivating.

“I have, your payment will come in silver, half now half when the task is completed, a potion of it shall be raw silver and the remainder shall be minted.” A touch of disgust rang in the Ventrue’s voice.

“There is one more thing.” Hardesadt turned his attention to Gisela.

“This is Gisela Drogomier, she is a loyal retainer of mine and a local member of your Covenant, I would like for her to join your company for this venture, to attest to what it is I am paying for.” Hardesadt spoke shrewdly.

“Certainly, I do hope you can keep up little girl, respectfully my lord Hardesadt I will return to the fine gathering bellow, we can hammer out the details later.” Heinricus offered a crooked smile before departing.

“Irrelevant half wit.” Gisela spoke coldly.

“Worry not Gisela, he shall serve his purpose, think of this as a lesson, all people have something by which they may be bent, for Heinricus it is wealth, if you know what will bend those around you utilize it.” Hardesadt briefly looked to her before scanning the crowd.

“Money, a lover, a desire, all of these things can be used to manipulate, strengthen or weaken.” He continued.

“I understand.” She came by his side as they surveyed the crowd.

“I knew that you would.” Hardesadt spoke, pleased by the nights events.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 46 posts
Sun 19 Aug 2018
at 17:12
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part III: A Fateful Meeting

The next night in the shadow of the keep where Hardesadt kept his Elysium the soldiers of the Legion of the Dead assembled and made ready to be presented to the Ventrue Prince. Some soldiers polished their equipment, others spared with one another, while others sat in circles regaling one another with stories. Marching through the assembly was Heinricus and his right hand the Daeva Valentine.

“Based on my count it would seem your claims are true.” Heinricus spoke in a mild mannered way, the façade of the greedy cretin set aside.

“Did they all meet their final death then ?” He stopped and looked at Valentine.

“I can not say for certain.” Valentine answered quickly.

“Then there is a possibility our movements could be betrayed, we cannot let this get out of hand, if Hardesadt questions our ability …” Heinricus spoke before going wide eyed as Hardesadt approached with Gisela and a small entourage with him.

“Set aside the pretense of trying to out wit me and tell me what is happening.” Hardesadt spoke in his typical coldness.

“Oh well you see my lord, there have certainly been some discrepancies.” Heinricus attempted to thinly veil the truth.

“Tell me the truth.” Hardesadt glared exerting his will through the Ventrue’s natural ability to command.

“The last band of soldiers were ambushed by a werewolf on the outskirts of the city, there was only one survivor.” Heinricus spoke against his will.

“I see.” The glare that Hardesadt gave made it impossible to reply to his obvious use of power.

“Heinricus, allow me to make myself clear, what I am trying to do is save our kind from itself, without a tyrant we are but raving beast, do not try to deceive again, I will not be so kind a second time.” Hardesadt spoke his voice was cold yet crushing in the same breath.

“Now bring me to this survivor.” Hardesadt ordered.

“This way my lord.” Valentine replied after an uncomfortable period of silence from Heinricus.

The band now consisting of Heinricus, Valentine, Hardesadt, Gisela and a few more now made their way to a desolate part of the display field, the fire meant to illuminate this place was snuffed our leaving it in darkness save for the lone Kindred who seemed to be drawing comfort from the dark baring the arrival of the other Kindred.

“My lord Hardesadt, this is Xaver Furst a solider called upon the eastern most stretches of your realm the Childe of Iskander the scholar a fighter proficient in brawling combat as well as threats to that are in some shape to strange.” Valentine spoke and Xaver could not help but glare at him and think to himself how this Vampire he had never heard of knew so much about him.
“Tell me your tale.” Hardesadt spoke in an ever dismissive way.

“As we approached the outskirts of this city a band of wolf men descended upon us, we fought in vein and were forced to flee.” Xaver spoke despite the obvious difference in power between himself and Hardesadt he was not intimidated in the slightest.

Gisela listened with keen interest to the story being told and she could not help but be impressed, much like herself he was not belittled by the presence of the Elder Hardesadt not like the other vampires she had seen grovel at the Ventrue’s feet.

“You would recognize them if you saw them again?” Hardesadt questioned.

“Yes” Xaver answered stoically

“Heinricus, you shall organize a hunting party to deal with these wretches tomorrow night so to restore my confidence in your organizations abilities.” Hardesadt ordered departing before a reply could be given, in the end there was only one valid answer to give the Prince.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 47 posts
Tue 21 Aug 2018
at 05:26
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part IV: The Hunt

The next night came and the soldiers of the Legion of the Dead assembled on the outskirts of the city of Cologne at the border of where civilization meet the wilds. Hardesadt had ordered Heinricus to hunt down the werewolves that had ambushed the last group of soldiers leaving Xaver as the sole survivor. The crooked Nosferatu knew he had to do this otherwise lose the confidence of Hardesadt and the ramifications of that could be quite dire.

Heinricus arrayed his soldiers in to three divisions, one lead by himself another lead by Capitan Valentine and yet another lead by another of the Legions Captains. The divisions themselves were divided in to squads number between three and five Kindred.

As the moon hung high in the sky above Captain Valentine received the order to advance in to the wilds, he ordered forward his supporting squads and then his own which consisted of himself, Xaver, Gisela, and another Vampire. Each vampire was adorned for battle in some capacity, Valentine mounted and armored, Xaver wielded a gauntlet of his own design, Gisela a sword and the other vampire a spear.

“How will we know when we find them?” The solider questioned.

“When you see a seven foot tall wolf monster we will have found them.” Valentine answered in a stoic sense his focus more on the woods ahead.

“How much will we paid for this ?” He questioned again almost jovially so.

“This is to prove your skill as a solider nothing more.” Valentine flickered with irritation.

“Who is to say you will even make it back to collect any reward.” The rampant greed of her fellow soldiers in the Legion of the Dead was nauseating to Gisela. Meanwhile Xaver scoffed at the exchange.

“Enough chatter, we are in enemy territory we will need every element of surprise we can muster.” Valentine hissed.

The vampires fell silent aside from the sound of their march through the woods eventually the squad came upon a clearing where there was all manner of discarded equipment, they were but a stones throw away from the main road. Valentine ordered a halt and turned his attention to Xaver.

“Is this the site of the ambush ?” He spoke directly to the Mekhet

“It is.” Xaver replied.

Valentine dismounted to closer examine the scene and shortly after he heard a blood curtailing howl on the night wind and a moment later the sounds of violence rang out across the woodlands.

“Soldiers too arms!” Valentine shouted his voice roaring through the woods as he drew his own weapon.

No sooner did Valentine issue his order did his squad make ready drawing their weapons and were quickly greeted by a colossal wolf monster emerging from the woods.

“I am not being paid enough for this!” The vampire holding the spear broke ranks retreating in the direction which they came.

“Spineless coward get back in position!” Valentine ordered to no avail.

Another wolf monster pounced on the fleeing vampire and with its claws opened up the vampires stomach before hurling him a distance away.

“Damn, hold your ground they can stay like this only for a short period.” Valentine grabbed the spear.

“Hold off that one and I will hold this beast.” He lunges forward with the weapon using his celerity to dodge the werewolf and the spear to keep it at a distance.

Gisela was first to act she charged the beast, she used her superior speed and dexterity to get past its defense and her sword but deep in to its flesh several times. Despite her skill with the weapon no sooner did she draw the creatures blood did its wounds regenerate. It then lurched its body forward and using its  great mass flung her aside.

Had it not been for the exceptional resilience in Gisela’s blood she may well have suffered far more grievous wounds. Before the wolf beast could finish Gisela Xaver moved forward calling upon his strength he lifted the beast and through it a short distance. The monster quickly recovered and snapped forward with its snarling jowls. The Mekhet raised his armored gauntlet protecting himself from the worse of the Werewolves rage.

Xaver glanced at Gisela while struggling to keep the beast at bay and the two vampires knew on their own neither was strong enough to survive this battle. The towering Mekhet used his full strength and broke free of the monsters teeth grabbing its arms and pushing it upright.

“Finish this” Xaver said through gritted teeth.

Gisela charged forward impaling the creature through its chest. With its heart in ruins the beast collapsed its body shifting to that of an ordinary man as it died.

Valentine had made little headway in his battle having become disarmed of his spear. Gisela bit her lip working the Vitae in her mouth in to a venom she spat for the eyes of the werewolf blinding it with her venom. Xaver opened his wrist with his fangs and coated the spear with a shadowy blackness and like a bolt of lightning compelled the spear forward firing the projectile through the creatures chest killing it instantly.

“Impressive.” Valentine said with a sigh of relief as he looked at the two neonates.

“You two” he paused.

“Represent what this Legion was always meant to be.” Valentine felt a glimmer of conviction for the first time in decades of service to the Legion of the Dead.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 48 posts
Tue 4 Sep 2018
at 20:52
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part IV: To The Victor Goes The Spoils

In one night the Legion of the Dead marched from the city of Cologne and did battle with the Werewolves living in the wild around the city. Despite their casualties the Legion triumphed and brought Prince Hardesadt the broken bodies of those who had been a nuisance to him. In one fell swoop the Ventrue Elder achieved two of his goals, the first was the restoration of his view of the Legion and second the Werewolves who had been trouble for him were dealt with. Yet nothing the Kindred Do is done freely and so Hardesadt allowed the soldiers of the Legion some excesses.

The Masquerade was a far more fluid thing in these dark nights and it was far easier to explain away the existence of vampires, indeed Hardesadt had on several occasions lead Hunters to the lairs of Werewolves or Sanctums of Mages. He would allow the soldiers to celebrate their victory that night the pieces would be easy enough to put back together in the nights that followed.

As the soldiers of the Legion descended upon the cities inns, brothels, and pleasure houses the most successful group of soldiers made their own path through the city. This group consisted of Capitan Valentine, Xaver, and Gisela. The streets were dimly lit and only the most courageous soul would be milking through the streets at this hour yet the Vampires knew they had nothing to fear.

“You two are capable fighters.” Valentine came to a sudden stop breaking the silence of their return to the city.

“But you are not yet soldiers, not completely.” The Capitan spoke in a somber way turning to face his subordinates.

“What do you mean ?” Gisela pressed with her inquiry.

“It is impossible to explain, you both fight with skill but little sense of purpose.” Valentine was quick to reply.

“Are we not mercenaries, why speak of what we do as if it is more then that.” Xaver pitched his own macabre perspective.

“Perhaps you are right but without conviction, without purpose what point is there to what we do. Listen well to me Neonates as the trappings of mortality fade around you the only thing that will tether you to it will be purpose.” Valentine spoke with a spark in his words.

“Can you honestly believe yourself, you sell your services to the highest bidder as do we, There is no purpose in it.” Gisela seemed despondent with the idea.

“That is your perspective, I want to take this opportunity thought and make something of it, I will make you soldiers and the pair of you together may just become greater then either of you individually.” Valentine locked his gaze on his subordinates.

“So be it.” Xaver consented.

“Do not waste our time.” Gisela in her own way agreed.

“Very good then, feed well tonight, the march from Cologne to Dresden is a long one and your training must be complete by our arrival.” For the first time in quite some tome Valentine smiled with the prospect of something interesting.

“I will report your triumph to lord Hardesadt, enjoy this night.” Valentine retuned to his typical expression before going his way in to the night.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 49 posts
Tue 11 Sep 2018
at 17:58
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part V: Hungers

Having broken company from Valentine for the evening Gisela lead Xaver through the city streets, she knew them far better then him having resided here for many years and spent many nights stalking the cities Hunting Grounds. Xaver for his park kept to silence as they skulked through the cities cobweb of streets his eyes were quick to note the various places he could use as an impromptu Haven.

The pair made their way to a tavern shaped like an L and flanked by a stable, the structure was impressive for the time standing three stories tall constructed of dark colored wood and stone, one flank of the building acting as the Public House where the Kine milled about lost in a drunken stupor while the other flank held the private rooms. They entered the building where Kine drank away their burdens and sure enough they were not the only Kindred lurking about.

“I hope you do not need any help getting the job done.” Gisela broke the silence with a smirking grin upon her face.

“I can hold my own.” Xaver responded some part of him taken aback by the throngs of people around him and there being no small shear of stares.

“So shall I show you how easily it can be done little Shadow…” she spoke with a hint of aloofness as her eyes scanned the room.

“And just what method will you use ?” Xaver questioned.

“Oh I will show you just how easy it is to pull the strings of people.” Her eyes seemed fixed on a target.

“I am already familiar with that.” Xaver was focused on her unsure where she was going with her chain of thought but he knew his words were falling on deaf ears her predatory aura was flaring and the look of a predator sat on her face.

Gisela slowly made her way across the room making her way through the crowd like a serpent slithering through the crowd. She arrived at a table consisting of three men and spoke to them for a time going so far as to whisper in to the ear of one of the men.

After a few minutes of conversation Gisela returned to Xavers side with a grin on her face.

“What did you do ?” The Khaibit questioned.

“Oh do not worry I have taken care of everything you just need to follow along.” She spoke with a spark of charisma.

“I am not your servant to follow you around as you wish.” Xaver rebuked.

“I never said that you were but we must not be late.” Gisela answered

The pair departed the tavern as quickly as they arrived and made their way to the stable where Gisela instructed Xaver to hide himself. After some more time one of the trio of men made their way to the stable.

“Did you get our room ready ?” She spoke in a sultry way gesturing for the man to come to her as she took an all to suggestive position.

“I did.” The man replied showing a key as he approached her.

“Excellent.” Gisela spoke with a coldness in her words and as the man came within arms reach she sank her fangs in to his throat. His voice fell utterly silent and his body seemed to grow paralyzed.

“Monster!”  The second man growled brandishing a knife he charged at Gisela.

Xaver watched from the darkness, he did not know what Gisela was trying to demonstrate for him he had seen female vampires use temptation to feed before. She seemed drawn in the moment though as she was not reacting to the man charging her. Before he could think a second thought he emerged from the darkness and with the flick of the wrist tossed the man across the room.

“Good.” Gisela spoke under her breath as she dropped the first man limp upon the ground.

“Go ahead and take your fill of him.” Gisela gestured at the man Xaver so easily tossed about.

Xaver could not deny the gnawing hunger and took what he needed from the hapless mortal.

The third man then revealed himself with an expressionless look upon his face he picked up the large knife and began to hack apart the first man.

“What … what is happening here ?” Xaver was taken by surprise.

“A test.” Gisela answered with satisfaction.

“What kind of test ?” Xaver seemed on the verge of anger.

“We are going to be fighting alongside one another I needed to make sure I had your implicit trust and I clearly do. I arranged this for us.” She spoke with a devilish delight.

“I see.” Xaver was unsure what to make of the situation.

“In any case I have arranged a Haven for us while we wait for the war to begin, Hardesadt would not permit to rush one of his Havens with an outside so it had to be done so one of the rooms in this inn belong to us.” She picked up the key.

“In the morning authorities will find this man and his friends and deal with him appropriately and we will be free of this incident.” She spoke candidly and began to make her exit.

It was morbid but flawless in its execution and Xaver could not help but be impressed by the women who lead him about the night here owning it as if it was hers.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 50 posts
Mon 17 Sep 2018
at 07:25
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part VI: Bloodstained Coins

The Legion of the Dead began the long march from Cologne and towards their war in Bohemia, as winter fell the soliders of the Legion of the Dead made their Haven in the trade city of Leipzig which was a hub for the Gallows Post and where Heinricus would receive his payment from Hardesadt. The Legion would be forced to stay here for a time as winter set in and already challenging movement would become only more difficult.

Heinricus procured a lavish Haven built out of the estates of one of the cities merchant princes, the opulence verged on excess with silver trim and exotic fabrics adorning the place. The structure shadowed a fountain and the entire property syringed by a palisade of iron. Daily wagons carrying the Legions payment and the Nosferatu would salivate over his wealth.

Valentine was summoned to his commanders Haven and as the dutiful solider he came when called. The loyal solider was beyond discontent although he would never voice it, he knew any measure of surprise would be lost by spring and that their march was delayed by the greed of his commander.

He came upon a room adorned with gold, silver, jewels and other finery at the center of which was a large table with maps strewn about them detailing the countryside of Bohemia.

“Sir you have called for me.” Valentine spoke in a submissive way.

“I did do you know why?.” Heinricus spoke dropping a large satchel of coin upon the table.

“I presume to discuss strategy for the spring.” Valentine replied

“No, no, no.” The Nosferatu laughed deeply.

“Word of your discontent has not escaped my ears and I cannot afford any internal strife Capitan.” He spoke now with a malicious hiss, Valentine gripped his weapon but did not draw it.

“I have my own thoughts on how we should have approached this but I yield to your command.” Valentine spoke hesitantly.

“Do not worry Capitan, I am not going to kill you, you will have your chance to prove yourself, I give you leave to take a small band of legionaries and begin the invasion.” The Nosferatu was pleased with the fear he instilled in his subordinate.

“Now, it is the dead of winter before soon such a task would be near suicide.” Valentine fought back against Frenzy.

“Indeed it will be but you are a faithful solider and you have your order now get out of my sight.” Heinricus crudely gestured.

“Sir” Valentine clenched his teeth and took his leave.

“Now then.” Heinricus gestured to a Vampire in the wings

“Take this letter to lady Marian, let us see what she is willing to pay for my favor.” The Nosferatu handed the writ to his servant with a crooked grin.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 73 posts
Tue 30 Oct 2018
at 17:55
The Shadow and the Serpent
Part VII: The Good Soldiers

Captain Valentine k ew that in all likelihood he had been handed a death sentence for his insubordination, the mission he was given seemed like an impossible but could prevent many unnecessary casualties if he succeeded. He had authority only to take a small band of his subordinates and so the individuals he chose would have to be of exceptional talent. He took several night going over the records the Legion kept on its soldiers selecting the best candidates for the mission, those that were to be chosen did not know it when he spoke with them that he was interviewing them.

The fateful night came and he called his chosen soldiers to assemble in a small clearing, there was hardly any light aside from the torches held by Valentines thrills. The captain stood in his battle ready uniform atop a crate allowing him to easily survey his audience. One by one the chosen soldiers filled in to the clearing, among them were Gisela and Xaver, the Captain kept silent until a little more then a dozen soldiers stood before him. All those assembled of Soldiers of notable skill and accomplished deeds.

“Soldiers of the Legion of the Dead.” Valentine spoke his voice booming over the crowd bringing the assembly to attention.

“We have been chosen, for a peerless task, to strike at our foe now, in the dead of winter, we have been given an opportunity to end this war before it even begins.” He spoke pounding his chest as he did.

“Winter will veil our movements as we strike at our foe.” The Darva cleared his throat and held up a fist full of papers.

“I have collected every document the Legion has collected about all of you, upon your return I will burn these documents, you will be able to reinvent yourself, your past will evaporate.” Valentine shouted before stepping down from the makeshift podium.

“Something is wrong.” Gisela said on a hushed whisper to Xaver.

“Why would they gather only a fraction of their strength for such an important task, even if they wanted to do significant damage are number hardly seems enough.” Gisela seemed disappointed with the tactic being employed.

“What choice is there we have orders and we are soldiers.” Xaver replied.

“The payment is worth the risk though, an opportunity to expunge your past.” Xaver seemed to already be planing his life after this conflict.

“This is a suicide mission.” Gisela responded.

“There is no future.” She obviously had little belief.

“Listen well to me you two.” Valentine approached them.

“The Legion is compromised by greed, those who would be pretend soldiers but those gathered here are true soldiers.” Valentine attempted to resolve Gisela’s dissatisfaction although she hardly seemed impressed.

“Even you must be dubious of these orders.” She replied crassly.

“Regardless our mission remains before us, on the next night we will ride. You have your orders.” He answered equally despondent.