Author Topic: A Dance of Shadows  (Read 2104 times)

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Offline Seragil

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A Dance of Shadows
« on: April 08, 2019, 11:42:08 PM »
The sun had finally sunk beneath the horizon and black and purple shadows now covered the land as the last of the light faded from the sky. He had thought about taking a car, but he hated those tine cans, and he would have had to drive through nearly the whole city to get here and he wanted no followers and few eyes to see him, so he did what he usually did and flew. The building was now beneath him and he thought about just dropping from the sky like he did at Penbrook but that might be a little ostentatious plus considering the surprise attacks and ensuing slaughter these western demons had recently suffered, coming in hard and fast could be misconstrued as an attack, so instead he took his approach slow and steady, giving those in the compound below plenty of time to see him and assess that he was not a threat, wel,l not coming to attack anyway.

He banked his wings and alighted before the imposing gates of the Block. According to his contacts this was the headquarters of the ex-oligarch demon Chtahzus'aak. If the demons still had a representative in the city Saraekiel figured it would most likely be this one.

He flicked his gaze over the spiked walls, the gate and the shadows, and smiled wryly. Coming here was most likely pointless on his part, as Demons and Angels had a long and bitter history with no love lost between their two races, so he assumed he would most likely be told to leave. but that ancient war had nothing to do with him or the here and now. It had been the demons Jake slaughtered to claim the West and so he had come to see if he could do anything to help; plus, Saraekiel  very much doubted they intended to just lay down and take it and he would offer help there too, if it was wanted.

“My name is Saraekiel” He said respectivly to the shadows as he stepped up to the gate “ and I would like to speak with Chtahzus'aak, if I may?” He lifted his head up and looked directly into the camera that was pinned on him. “ and no I don’t have an appointment, nor am I expected.”

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 01:05:24 AM »
The shadows watched the dark angel circle overhead, gathering together and murmuring amongst themselves.  Visitors by air would be met with resistance if they ventured too close.  A small group prepared to form ranks to meet the dark angel in the sky, but then he landed in front of the gates.  They did not relax, remaining poised and attentive from their hiding places in the shadows.  None here trusted an angel.  They hoped that he would attempt an attack, just to get the chance to pluck the feathers from his wings and rip him apart.  Their kind had warred in the past, but with the lighter birds--not this fallen kind.  Many demons saw little difference.

When the dark angel spoke, there was a hissing rustling in the trees, as though a breeze passed through it without wind.  A freakishly-tall shadow demon inside the gates stepped into view and regarded the dark angel before him with thinly-veiled disgust.  He stared for a minute before the gate slid open enough for Saraekiel to step through.

"Leave your weapons there."  One long finger pointed to a spot on the wall to the right of the gate.  If he did not comply, he would not be granted entrance and would be escorted off the property.  By force if necessary.  The dark angel was more than outnumbered.

Once the request was obeyed, the gatekeeping demon would lead the dark angel up to the compound's entrance on foot. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Seragil

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 01:30:50 AM »
He watched as the shadows moved and wasn't surprised as a shadow demon seemed to form before him behind the gates. As he suspected, the demons love and admiration for him and his kind wafted from the creature like a rancid perfume as the creature stared at him. It would be so easy to bait it and he was sorely tempted but Saraekiel kept a straight face and bit his tongue to prevent himself from give the demon an eat shit grin, he succeeded for the most part, although his lips quivered from the effort.

When the gates finally opened he slipped inside only to finally raise that eyebrow when the demon demanded his weapons. This was ridiculous, his weapons were tied to him and would appear in his hands when called whether they were at his side or not. He narrowed his eyes in annoyance and thought about arguing about it but it was a small thing really and if seeming to surrender his weapons got him a meeting with Chtahzus'aak then so be it.

He summoned his weapons and dropped the glamour that helped conceal them. They gleamed and shimmered with dark and malignant power and he gave a small smile as he went to place them where asked. he thought about doing exactly as requested and placing them against the wall, touching the ground, the taint that would leech out of the the weapons would eat into the wall and poison the ground and spread throughout the compound. It was tempting but harassing the demons was not why he had come so he held the shamsir blades a few inches from the ground and let go, they floated there in the air, touching nothing as ribbons of dark light swirled and weaved its way around them.

"Touching them would'nt be a good idea" he offered in fair warning once he was once again standing in front of the demon. Once the were in front of the compound Saraekiel looked it over and shuddered. it was a cement tomb, no windows, no air, nothing. Fuck

"I take it we're going in there then?" he asked with evident distaste "Then by all means, lead on." he flicked his eyes over the building and shuddered again. Being in there was going to be hell.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 04:04:42 AM »
He did not reply to the warning, keeping his expression stern.  Of course no one would be touching the foul blades.  They were fascinating, and as they walked away other shadows drew in to observe.  Chtahzus'aak had many enchanted weapons in the vault--though only a select few had the privilege of viewing its contents.  The demons wondered if he would try to seize the blades to add to his collection.  But that would surely require the sorcerer, who wasn't due back for another week or so.  A gust swept through the ranks and they ceased their gossip, snapped back to attention and returned to their posts.

The gatekeeper thought the dark angel's reaction to the entrance was amusing.  This one wanted the audience, and so would be offered no sympathetic looks or otherwise.  There were more rustling whispers in the shadows around the building as they approached--this time commands directly from Chtahzus'aak.  The sigil on the front of the slab glowed dull red before the doors dematerialized, allowing just enough time for the two to step through before snapping back into view. 

The Receiving area appeared empty, though the shadows gathered and undulated in every corner and crevice.  The gatekeeping demon stepped down the short flight of stairs and led the dark angel to a small seating area near the front desk. 

"Wait here."  Came the request, spoken with a more commanding tone than the demon had the authority to dictate.  He shifted his wings a bit before vanishing into the shadows, presumably back to his post, leaving the dark angel without an escort.  Saraekiel was by no means alone and unguarded.  There were many things lingering in the corners, watching with suspicion. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 09:25:42 AM »
After Saraekiel was led away from his swords, another shadow whispered along the ground and materialised close to the floating weapons. A black man stood in its place and gave a quick glance to where Saraekiel had gone before returning his gaze to the weapons in wonder. Artefacts were a drawcard to this particular demon; Brael was a sucker for all things magical and arcane. He'd started up a collection, pocketing things here and there, locking them away and writing notes about them - as much as he knew.

He didn't feel comfortable touching the swords without the dark angel nearby. He'd heard the warning but thought little of it. Before the dark angel left their home, Brael intended on making his request to test the weapons out. Perhaps he would be allowed. He was looking forward to it. He vanished back into the shadows and raced into the building, slinking along the walls to get to Zeus' side. He materialised beside his leader and would stay shoulder to shoulder or a little behind Zeus when he met with the dark angel.

He would keep his silence unless there was an opportunity to ask about the swords.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
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Offline Seragil

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 04:27:08 PM »
He ignored the commanding tone of the gatekeeper as he did the gatekeeper themselves, his body language almost dismissive as he looked around the receiving room. The lighting was almost non existent but there was enough to lend the illusion that it was the lighting, or lack thereof that made the shadows seem to shift and move as if they were alive, which he knew they were, he could feel their eyes upon him and he smiled knowingly.

Saraekiel barely acknowledge the departure of the gatekeeper as he traced his fingers along the top of the backrest of one of the chairs offered. There wasn't much in the was of seating, but he was glad to see that what was there were mainly backless, he ignored them all, and the living shadows, as he placed his hands behind his back and waited.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 11:25:44 PM »
Chtahzus'aak had just finished writing his last report for the day when the dark angel was sighted in the sky.  He intensely disliked unexpected visitors, especially of the feathered variety.  The creature would be granted an audience but Zeus did not trust him.  He sent along the message through the shadows to bring him in, sensing the reluctance behind the obedience in his forces.  They would be allowed that.  Zeus did not police thoughts.

The first test was the request for weapons.  The followed command would work in the dark angel's favor.  It was a step in the right direction, but there was a ways to go before trust would be granted. 

When the dark angel passed through the barrier into the compound and was directed to wait, Zeus had just exited the elevator, joined shortly by Brael.  He gave the demon a nod before they walked forward, pace unhurried, steps echoing in the seemingly-empty lobby. 

"Saraekiel."  the demon spoke in a neutral tone when he was a few strides away.  "To what do I owe the pleasure?"  The look on his face showed no such pleasure, but neither did it show that same contempt as the gatekeeper.  Chtahzus'aak was suspicious, but open to listening.  If this was an attack, the dark angel would be ripped apart swiftly.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Seragil

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 01:06:20 AM »
He had been here for less then a minute and already he hated it, he felt buried alive. There were no windows, no air, no access to the sky, there was nothing but shadows and stone walls but at least the room was large enough that he didn't feel like the walls were closing in on him. He was distracted enough by his discomfort that he didn't hear the sound of the elevator opening but at the sound of approaching foot step he turned and appraised the approaching demons, hoping one of them was Chtahzus'aak.

His lips twitched with amusement at his statement, doubting very much that he was pleased to have one of his kind here, whether he was Dark or not.

"The pleasure is mine, I'm sure. You're Chtahzus'aak, I presume?" He thought about offering his hand tyo shake but that was such a human thing and neither one of them had ever been something so mundane. Instead he kept his hands clasped behind his back, away from his sides; indicating his peaceful intentions, and gave a respectful nod of his head. " I came because I recently discovered that you are the Leader of your people here in the city and as I have only recently become the District leader for the North and its surrounds I thought I would come and make your acquaintance. I also wanted to come and offer my condolences for the suffering and loss your people are currently going through and wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help you ease their burden and bring this suffering to an end."


Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 03:46:17 AM »
Zeus nodded to acknowledge his identity, and crossed over to the closest couch to sit for the duration of their conversation.  He would have offered a chair to the visitor, but he seemed to have chosen his most comfortable position.  The acknowledgement of his leadership in the West was another point in the dark angel's favor.  Though the demon still wondered at his true motives. 

There was a barely-perceptible softening to the demon's features at the offered condolences.  He hadn't expected this level of respect and it caught him unprepared. 

"Thank you," Chtahzus'aak said somberly.  "Their desire for revenge still runs hot, so long as McCloud's fingers remain in the West."  He sighed through his nose with agitation.  That was another matter that needed ironing out.  Many pieces were in place but knowing which ones to move and when--this had been eclipsing much of his thoughts since his return.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2019, 07:33:57 AM »
As much as Chtahzus'aak was liking the dark angel, Brael did not. He did enjoy the respect offered his superior but was miffed at not being acknowledged second. Not even a nod or a glance. He was not some common foot soldier or bodyguard. Chtahzus'aak had no need for such things. A light frown marred his expression and he joined his leader on the couch, keeping a slight distance between them and his gaze fixed on the one before them.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
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Offline Seragil

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2019, 06:33:42 PM »
Saraekiel narrowed his eye's slightly in confusion as Brael joined Chtahzus'aak on the couch. he had assumed the other demon was a servant of some sort or bodyguard, since Chtahzus'aak hadn't bothered to introduce him, obviously his assumption had been wrong, which left the question; who was he and why was he here? Was he Chtahzus'aak second in command? his lover? Was Saraekiel meant to know him or recognize him? Or was this a test of some kind?

Since both demon's seemed more then willing to discuss business in the foyer, Saraekiel moved and stood beside the stool across from them and looked down at the ground as he considered his next words.

"Yes, I imagine your people would be hungry for revenge against the unprovoked and unsanctioned slaughter of their families and children. These vampires seem to think they can do what they want, to whomever they want, whenever they want, and the rest of us will just sit back and take it." he said in reply to Chtahzus'aak as he placed his hand on the stool.

As much as he would like to continue the conversation about Jake McCloud and the rest of the vampires in the city, not knowing the identity of the other demon was bugging him.

He lifted his gaze and looked at Brael. " I don't believe we have met." He said as he tilted his head slightly with a look of curiosity in his eyes. " If we have met before then I apologize for not remembering you." Saraekiel knew damn well they hadn't met before but decided to keep things polite.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2019, 10:37:16 AM »
The unexpectedness of the dark angel's arrival made for a less than formal engagement, and from a more defensive spirit, he hadn't begun with polite introductions.  After McCloud had so rudely breached his security, Zeus was not feeling all that friendly toward unknown visitors.

Chtahzus'aak spoke up before the other demon had the chance.

"This is my associate, Brael."  He did not elaborate further but would give Brael the opportunity to speak should he wished to add anything else. 

"McCloud's actions will not go unchallenged."  Zeus carefully continued, eyes on the dark angel.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Seragil

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2019, 11:39:13 PM »
" A pleasure to meet you then Brael" he said with a nod of his head towards the demon. He slid onto the stool and smiled at Chtahzus'aak's words.

" I am glad to hear it, for I believe if these actions are allowed to get swept under the rug and ignored then what hope do the rest of the non vampire citizens of this city have? You demons are the largest, and most diverse supernatural groups when it comes to numbers and abilities in the city. If the slaughter and subjugation of your people goes unchecked by the other leaders of this city, then the rest of us will surely be made to follow."

He flicked his gaze towards Chtahzus'aak, capturing his eyes with his own. " I won't sweep it under the rug, so please, tell me how I can help you and yours."

Jake McCloud's grasp on the Central District was being challenged and Saraekiel hoped it would be taken from him. He doubted he could fight for that, and keep his precarious hold on the West as well, helping the demons on the other hand would only strengthen Saraekiel's position and so help them he would.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: A Dance of Shadows
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2019, 01:16:27 AM »
What he needed.  That was a complicated question and asked for a bit of trust.  Answering could provide more information than the demon was yet willing to give.  Trust needed trust, and Zeus was all too aware of this.  When he had met with Ben, the scattered demons needed sanctuary--that was the most pressing and least controversial need, and now it had been met.  The next was for information, and he was well connected now with many sources.  The specifics of what he needed to know had been taken care of and pieces were falling into place. 

Resolving this would be delicate.  Kerr’s family would expect fair negotiations, perhaps pressing charges, but certainly not outright war--they would see it as being no different than McCloud’s actions no matter the justification.  Charon indicated he would not interfere if it came to war, and maybe even expected the course of action may veer in that direction.  Lan Bao was another matter, and he needed to meet with her again to see what she had learned of the Witch in the South.  Then, of course, there was the letter from McCloud himself that had so far been ignored.

Meanwhile, demons in the West, those most hurt and angry, cried out for blood and justice.  Their hunger must be satiated in one way or another.  But the demons needed to make fewer enemies, not more.

“Knowing that I have friends in the North is vital,”  Chtahzus’aak spoke slowly, as though he were still thinking.  He did mean both dark angels and hoped that Saraekiel’s gesture was an indication that Zoheret was on the same page.

“What my people need now is justice.  There are many ways this could be achieved.”  He watched the dark angel carefully.  “I need it to not backfire.”  Zeus left this intentionally vague to see where Saraekiel’s assumptions would lead and if he had something to offer that Zeus may have missed. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente