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Topics - LdyBelial

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1
WestEnd / ((Hey... LookIt! We got a makeover!))
« on: June 13, 2019, 09:50:03 PM »
((A new look for our old forum! 

We've been asked to give it a go... so, yeah...  Give it a go! 

What do you think?

Lan

2
WestEnd / Street Music
« on: March 21, 2018, 03:29:47 PM »
Everyone has a soundtrack in their head - share it with the rest of us!

This area is dedicated to the tunes that move us, inspire us and light our paths as we travel along the pavement.  Following the twisting streets where will the music take us?

Everyone is invited to share!

3
WestEnd / WestEnd Pictorial
« on: October 15, 2017, 07:30:28 PM »
Our WestEnd in Pictures!



The WestEnd is a hodgepodge mismatch of eras and architectural styles.  Many of the buildings have long seen better days. Some stand empty and abandoned while others have been adopted and given new life.  In any given neighborhood you will find them staggered side-by-side.  But Beware; Just because a place looks abandoned doesn't mean it is! 

The area closest to the WestEnd Market has the most life and highest population. Many of the buildings have been kept up, some even renovated, a few still reflect the rough edges of glory days gone by.  However, the deeper one gets in to the meandering streets, alleys and byways the more likely they are to find danger lurking.  Beware the empty streets for eyes follow.  Take cautious heed outside the WestEnd Market for many a monster has claimed a place in WestEnd's loneliest, emptiest spaces.  For in the WestEnd it is easy to get lost... and, better yet, stay that way. 

Here can be found pictures of the WestEnd as seen through the eyes of those that call it home. 

((Everyone who plays in the WestEnd are invited to post their pictorial ideals of their WestEnd vision.  From homes to businesses, to pictures of the people that can be found in the WestEnd.  Yes, even character pics are invited!

Please be sure to give us info on who/what/when/where or why to avoid confusion. 

Please be advised:  Everything created by players remain the original creators content and cannot be destroyed, messed up, attacked, etc. without the original creator(s) permission. 

Thanks!
WestEnd Mgmt.

PS: Pic is from the actual West End Graffiti project - we lay no claim to it, thanks!))

4
WestEnd / Want a Folder in the WestEnd? Tell Us Here!
« on: December 23, 2016, 04:11:18 PM »
The WestEnd is a player-created area and as such has different rules than the rest of the folders on Dragons Mark

We Modertors of the WestEnd must submit all new or reinstated folder requests from now on as determined by the Admins of Dragons  Mark.
 
If you want a folder in the WestEnd tell us here!  Just know that all the same rules apply to getting a folder here as getting a folder anywhere.

We ask only that you play respectfully within our setting - please see The WestEnd - Description.



Quote
Anyone may request a folder of their own for posting stories related to the Red Dragon Inn and the sub-sections we have set up, however we ask that you review the following BEFORE posting a request.

1) You need to have a minimum total of 20 valid postings (in otherwords, no filler posts just to hit the quota) you can put in your folder request in the new Folder Requests thread.

2) These postings should be started in one of our "Public Use" folders. Currently we have the following folders are available for Public Use;
Dragon's Tales
Within the Barrier
The Marketplace
Stars End Spaceport

3) Post your request in the folder for the forum section you wish to have your story folder in. Currently you can choose from The WestEnd only.  Any other folder request must be posted in the folder request section in the OOC area of RDI Dragon's Mark  

4) We set up your folder and move your threads from Dragon's Tales to your folder. Folders are put in to forum sections depending upon available space.

5) You keep on posting under the usual guidelines in your new folder.

6) The screenname used to make the initial request is the 'owner' of the folder and is the only one who may request to add/remove other names as moderators. A folder may have up to four total moderators. Moderators should not delete other players postings, instead they should be MOVED to the Moderators Holding Tank using the moderator tools.

7) Folders that are inactive for 60 days or more will be locked and moved to the catacombs. No exceptions. You may always ask for the folder to be moved and unlocked at a later date by posting your request in the Catacombs Requests folder.

Please note, new folder requests are processed approximately once a week. Catacomb requests are handled once a month only.



We look froward to making magic with you!
Lan

5
WestEnd / ((Mature Themes Must Be Marked with NSFW))
« on: April 12, 2016, 08:37:22 AM »
((Hello WestEnders!

Just a quick reminder:  All Posts with a Mature Theme must be marked with NSFW according Dragon's Mark Message Forum Guidelines:

Quote

6. The general guideline is to keep content within the bounds of a PG-13 movie, or what you would see on prime-time, network TV. However we also recognize the need to allow our adult participants a more mature level of creative expression. Forum threads may occasionally be published that touch on more mature themes and topics. In order to aid readers who may find these materials unsuitable, all threads that may contain questionable content must be marked with "[NSFW]" at the beginning of the post title. NSFW has become an accepted tag when posting in interactive discussion areas as a note that the following content is "Not Safe For Work". We feel this well known tag is an easy to use method that will fore-warn readers about the content of a thread.

    If a thread is found to have questionable content and is not properly tagged as [NSFW], the administration will either notify the original poster to edit their posting to include the tag, or add it at their discretion.
    Adult Content/Violence/Illegal Activity: Messages containing excessively sexually oriented or violent, images, content, or links to these things will be deleted. Out of Character messages with links to or suggesting illegal activity will also be deleted. Posting or linking to any of these could also result in a ban.


Post that break the rules may be edited or removed by DM's Administration without contacting the player.  We WestEnd Moderators have no control over this.

We appreciate your help keeping The WestEnd Board up to the standards of Dragon's Mark rules and regs.

Thanks!
Lan and Julie

6
WestEnd / The WestEnd - Description
« on: April 11, 2016, 01:15:31 PM »
From the mouth of the WestEnd's Creator, Sid's Player, Julie:

Quote
[size=16]WestEnd[/size]
The WestEnd is a rundown and dilapidated district west of the Red Dragon Inn. It is on the cusp between Old Town and Stars End Sector. The neighborhood is bordered on its west by a warehouse district, with docks and the water beyond that. It isn?t an easy place to live and has become a haven for the disenfranchised due to certain quirks of this particular area of Rhy?Din.

Some of WestEnd?s peculiar quirks already in play and up for use include:

WestEnd seems to be a ?dead zone,? of sorts. When one is inside its boundaries one is effectively ?off the radar.? To ?see? into WestEnd seems to be impossible by any means; magics, scrying, tech, second sight, telepathically, otherworldly talents. Once inside, it is near impossible for any to locate you who are also not inside the confines of the WestEnd.

This ?dead zone? also has consequences inside the boundaries of WestEnd, or maybe it is just because the WestEnd is between the manna rich Old Town and the high tech splendors of Stars End Sector. For whatever reason, both magic and tech work often twisted and unexpected ways inside the WestEnd. Most of the lights, though there are not many working ones on the maze-like streets of this tumble down neighborhood, are spell lamps. If it seems to work like something in the modern world, one can bet the internal mechanism of whatever it is will be a marriage of tech and magic in order to function in the WestEnd.


[size=18]((The OOC:[/size]

The WestEnd is a player-created setting.  What?s that mean to you?  The WestEnd has an established setting with a few quirks that we ask players playing here to be considerate of:

    *
The WestEnd?s layout and ambience are similar to that of New Orleans? French Quarter.  With many alley ways that end in dead ends.  Narrow, tight streets surrounded by a mix of multi-cultural buildings.  Streetlamps can be found in the more heavily occupied area of the WestEnd, what local?s call WestEnd Market, but are rare in less populated areas.
 
* It is hard to find people in the WestEnd, almost as if no matter what kind of radar you are using it is broken. An aspect of the "Dead Zone" effect.  
 
* There are Gang Infested Blocks in the WestEnd where it is very dangerous to roam.

* Wild Manna Fluctuations are common and unpredictable.  They can destroy most technology, (yes this includes cell phones,) and cause magic/spells to go haywire.  It also impacts guns and black powder.  Imagine Magic has a capricious sense of humor ? a gun doesn?t just explode, but instead it turns into a flower.

* Tech may not work correctly in the WestEnd but there are ways to work around this IC.  You are welcome to be creative!  The Bloods have made ?spellboxes? which are a merging of tech and manna.  They absorb manna if it is too high or unpredictable, and create a stabilized field of manna if it dips to nothing.

* Urban decay haunts the WestEnd.  It is a collection of buildings from various Earth time periods.  Some of the older buildings are in need of serious renovation and have become home to the poor, the outcasts and the runaways.  You will find the most rebuilt area in the WestEnd to be in and around the WestEnd Market.  Although some individuals and organizations are attempting a broader rebuilding effort they often find themselves stymied by the wild magic fluctuations and the gangs warring with one another over street boundaries.  Inhabited neighborhoods do their best to keep their areas clean if a bit rundown.  Only the Gang Controlled blocks look unkempt and derelict.  Did I mention how dangerous the Gang Controlled blocks are?

* A lot of NPC?s and local color ? and You can add your own!
[/list:u]

You are welcome to overcome any and all of the quirks/environmental challenges above, all we ask is that you do it in a creative manner that explains how your character has accomplished it.  

What can you do?  

You can do whatever you want to do.  All we ask is for you to be considerate of the WestEnd setting and play respectfully with the rest of us.  

What can?t you do?  

You can?t kill off or destroy NPC?s or local color you did not create.  If you didn?t make it, you can?t break it.  But if you made it; you can do whatever you please with it.

You can't blow off the setting and try to remake the WestEnd into your personal vision.  Just like in any other FFRP setting there is plenty of room in the WestEnd for you to create your own niche?.   You don?t have to destroy what someone else has created to accomplish it.  Be considerate and everyone can have fun.

In our next post to this thread you will find the IC Intro to the WestEnd.  

Have questions?  Comments?  Need further clarification?  PM me and I will be happy to chat.  In the meantime?

Merry Gaming Kittens!!!
Lan

7
WestEnd / ((OOC - The Renovation Has Commenced!))
« on: April 02, 2016, 12:45:01 PM »
((Hello Fellow WestEnders!!!

This is Lan here.  Over the next few months we will be reorganizing the information for the WestEnd to make it clearer that this is indeed a Player Created Area with a setting and a full cast of NPC's and a slew of locations which we call "Local Color". Our NPC's and Local Color has not been created to be cannon fodder but instead to lend an ambience of community to our shared setting.

As always - we welcome your participation as we move forward.  We invite you to add your own creations to any aspect of our shared setting. Be it locations or NPC's we offer the same safety to your creations as we do to ours. What you create belongs to you and no one has the right to destroy, remove, or otherwise tamper with your creations except you.  If you want to add local color, NPC's or locations of your own, please feel free to!  We will not lay any claim on anything we did not create.  Everything you create still belongs to you.  The goal behind the WestEnd has and always will be sharing our fun with others.  We want you to feel welcome and included on every level.

[size=14]All we ask is that we all play respectfully with one another and to the shared ambience of the setting that Sid's Player, Julie, created.  
[/size]
Our first project is to offer a clear understanding of the WestEnd's setting to make it easier for anyone wanting to play here.

We will be separating the NPC, Local Color, Building and Sharing a World... thread into 3 distinct threads.  
    NPC's and Local Color
    Building and Sharing a World
    The WestEnd (Description.)
    [/list:u]

    Be Advised:
    NPCs and Local Color will be protected characters and locations.  These are not open for destruction without permission from the creator directly.  In fact, any global destruction called by any player or players' without the explicit permission of all the players participating in the WestEnd will be ignored.  No God Modding/Powergaming here, thanks.

    If you have any ideas, suggesting or questions, feel free to PM me!  Communication is the key to successful FFRP.  Julie and me are always open to talk!!!

    Looking forward to More Awesome WestEnd Adventures!!!
    Lan

    (Edit:  Decided to put the NPCs and Local Color in one thread.  Less work trying to separate what has already been shared.)

    8
    Blood House Onyx / IMPORTANT - BOARD RATING MA! NSFW!
    « on: July 30, 2014, 05:50:53 PM »
    Regarding the site's rules -- Please consider all posts in this folder as RATED MA for Mature!

    Violence, Mature Situations, Mature Subject Matter, Potential Vulgarity may be included.  

    READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

    Thank you,
    Lan

    9
    Blood House Onyx / Look What the Cat Dragged In!
    « on: July 10, 2011, 04:14:49 PM »
    [size=9]((Authors' Note: This post follows Baiting the Perfect Mouse Trap.  All characters in the following were played by their original players or those merely mentioned were done so with the explicit permission from their original players.  What's that mean?  It means the group is back together folks! Thanks!))[/size]

    The Brownstone doesn?t look like much from the outside.  Its aging fa?ade seems to have seen better days.  The porch looks like some work has been done but otherwise, the four-story house fits in quite well with the derelict neighborhood surrounding it, very nondescript.  For Maeri however, it would be easy to see beyond the magical illusion to the strongly re-enforced structure underneath.  

    The steps leading up to the porch are stone and sturdy under her feet.  The door looks thick and impregnable, a recent addition.  The house is surrounded by protective spells and a multitude of high-tech defenses.  It is almost as if Bel has taken as much care with this residence as the Blood House or Hades Dawn.  

    It had been a while since Maeri had even considered stepping on any grounds owned by a Blood.  Having walked away, she had really had no intention of ever returning.  It was, though, in all fairness to Bel, that she did decide to make this visit on this evening.

    Her own spells to maintain the illusion of humanity firmly in place, Maeri strolled up the walk.  Lips were now moistened as she ran her tongue over them.  A habit she had of tasting the air, not just for scent, but for the weaving of spells.  One did not lightly cross spell against spell, especially ones of strong illusions such as these, without keeping an awareness of how the two would mingle.

    A hand came up and the knocker was struck to announce her arrival.  She knew that even if Bel had not expected a visit from her, the tingling of her magicks brushing against that of this place, would have alerted her more so than the firm sounding of the hammer against the door.

    Bel answers the door with a bright welcoming smile.  ?Maeri, how kind of you to come sweet!  Come on in!?

    The entrance hall is rather larger than many of its predecessors.  There is a faint smell of fresh paint and drywall lingering as if there had been recent remodeling done to the area.  There is a distinct lack of furniture and other homey additions.  Stairs leading up to the upper floors line the back wall while to either side are double doors all of which are currently closed.  Bel waits for Maeri to step inside before closing and securing the heavy front door.  Apparently she feels there is a need to do such things.  She then leads the way towards the formal sitting room, to the right of the entry.  She slides the double doors open and gestures for Maeri to follow.

    Yvette has already laid out the tea service on the low slung coffee table that rests before the two sofas, replete with sweet treats; pecan pie slices and pretty little petit fours she had made herself.  Two overstuffed sofas covered in dark jewel tones, one of forest green and the other a majestic deep burgundy, sit in an L-shape invitingly. Comfortable looking chairs are scattered in strategic spots alongside the sofas, with tables nearby and intentionally handy.  The lighting in the room is warm but muted.  Tasteful pieces of art accent the walls and furniture.  Time had been spent in ensuring a comfortable and inviting space.  

    ?Coffee or tea, Maeri??  Bel asks as she claims a seat on the forest green sofa, her hands already moving to the service laid out by Yvette.  ?Please, sit, make yourself at home!?

    There had been a smile that came easily enough to Maeri?s face, though still with a bit of caution. "Thank you," was offered as she stepped past Bel and into the sitting room. She couldn't help the smile warming a bit as memories came back to her. Upon sitting and almost curling comfortably in the seat, she made her choice. "This evening tea would be most appreciated."

    It was rare for Maeri to allow anyone else to prepare a drink for her. Bel was one of the few rare exceptions to that rule. Of course, it would have been rude to simply devise her own drink and decline such polite company and hostessing. However, that had not stopped her before from declining such kindnesses.

    Bel smiles and nods, pouring a cup of Yvette?s famous brewed black tea, it has just a hint of spice to it.  She offers the cup and saucer to Maeri then places the cream and sugar nearby so Maeri can help herself to her preference of condiments.  For herself she pours a half cup of the thick, chicory flavored New Orleans styled coffee and adds cream to top off the cup.  Two teaspoons of sugar follow to lighten the heaviness of the dark blend.  She stirs her coffee with a small silver spoon as she lounges back.

    ?I have the updated contracts already for all Onyx House allies??  Bel drops a soft, muted chuckle, obviously amused with her plotting.  ?I am covering all of Dragonkind in Rhy?Din.  I am sure that will stir a few pots of discontent...?  She doesn?t look as if this bothers her in the least; in fact just the opposite seems to be true.  ?I have copies for you too.?  

    Maeri takes the tea and sips at it in a mimicry of caution over the heat.  All the while, her attention turned to Bel and her comment concerning the Dragonkin of Rhy?din.

    A soft murmur of pleasure escapes her, and eyes sparkle with pleasure.  Though as Maeri lowered the cup, she did query, ?One thing though, what is to hold Lankyn to these agreement??  She really didn?t care about anyone else who might be affected.  She, the dragons who had been left unprotected and to be molested at the whims of others, and an agreement which might put things to a more balanced setting were all that mattered to her.

    Bel enjoys a sip of her coffee as she contemplates how best to answer her friend?s inquiry concerning Corwyn.  He?d given Bel permission to oversee the running of Onyx as she sees fit.  Of course? the deal made with the devil Veighn wasn?t simply an Onyx alliance situation.  However?  Corwyn?s primary goal at the time the deal was struck had more to do with the taint on Tasha than the good of the Bloods and their collective holdings.  

    Corwyn won?t go against Bel?s decision to protect the Dragonkin? but he may not be amused that she is outright inciting the dark devil Veighn.  

    A light half-shrug is dropped as green eyes move to meet her friend?s squarely.  ?If he doesn?t like it, he can fire me??  She allows for a small smile, but she is deadly serious.  ?You have given our Family more than most.  You deserve our loyalty over??  Bel doesn?t bother to invoke the devil by naming him, ?any others that come to mind?  If Corwyn doesn?t like what I am doing, well, then, guess its time to start a new Family, don?t you??

    A slight nod offered at that assessment.  ?That, unfortunately, is why I felt the need to divorce myself of my alliance to the Bloods.?  It had never occurred to Maeri what was owed to her, but what this Family owed to itself.  ?Let me be completely upfront.  I can?t say that I will fully trust Lankyn on this.?

    There was a moment of pause before Maeri continued.  ?However, I would like to take a look at this agreement and its particulars.?  She had never been concerned about the dragons in her own homeland.  She and her mate had been most careful when establishing their own holdings.  It was those who ventured further afield to places such as Rhy?Din for whom she had to take the greater care.

    ?We will also need to discuss how this agreement may affect some of those I?ve made while away from the Bloods.?

    Bel produces the new alliance treaties, and the public declaration she?s had done up announcing the Bloods support of the Dragonkin.  She offers the papers over to her friend.  ?Feel free to take your time looking them over, Maeri.  Your opinion on them would be most welcome.  As for trusting Lankyn??  Bel isn?t one to offer up advice on this topic, she isn?t sure if she trusts him all that much either?  But, he is the progenitor of the Family and deserves some form of loyalty from her, doesn?t he?  She again drops a half-shrug setting her cup aside on the coffee table.  

    ?Corwyn means well? his intentions are to protect the Family.  It is his means to that end that even I find questionable at times??  It is the most she has to give on the subject.  Unfortunately it sounds lame even to her ears.  Perhaps she should contemplate a better answer for future situations?  

    That thought also bothers her?

    Bel pushes her concerns about Corwyn to the side for now, he?s out of town and there is no telling when he may return.  Worrying over his reactions earns her nothing but wasted time.  ?And of course, happy to hear whatever your concerns may be where other alliances lay.?  

    Maeri set down the cup and saucer on the table closest to her before taking the papers offered.  A quick scanning of the context as she flipped through pages of what amounted to all the legal declarations necessary to make things judiciously correct on any world, and then to the meat of the matter at hand.

    She took her time and great care with the particulars.  Maeri was well aware that if one thing had been left unsaid or stated even slightly wrong it could be worse than a spell going awry.  She had often thought that mages and lawyers studied some of the same material just to learn to be purposefully obtuse.   Both groups were quite good at such things and better than some djins for being sticklers on wording.

    After a bit, Maeri looked up and nodded. ?It appears to all be in order and most agreeable in the wording.?

    Bel smiles and nods obviously pleased that Maeri approves. ?Keep those copies I made them for you??  

    She leans to take up her cup of coffee.  She never bothers with the saucer for herself.  Lounging back she enjoys a few sips.  Those green eyes move to rest on Maeri inquiringly.  ?As for other alliances, sweets, I am more than open and willing to negotiate there as well?  Not that I want to force you back into the Family, Maeri.  I don?t want to force anything upon you.  But I do want you to know you have our full support.  Mine and the rest of the Family?s.?

    What Bel wants is their friendship back in place.  She?s missed Maeri and truth is Bel has very few she deigns to call ?friend?.  

    Maeri considered for a moment tucking the papers away in the manner she was most accustomed to using.  However, with the wards she had sensed around the place, she refrained from old habits and simply rolled it up and produced a ribbon to tie it into place.  She then took up her drink once more.

    Without a pause, she offered, ?I too missed the warmth of our friendship.?  Maeri knew that Bel likely could sense that about her, even as she did of Bel.  ?Things such as this always have a way of circling back on themselves in the end though.  You, more than most, should know that.?

    And there is the trademark wisdom of the Dragoness?  Bel?s smile blooms brightly as she gazes with affection on Maeri.  ?Oh, sweets, don?t you realize, that is one of the many reasons I need you around!  To remind me of such insights??  Bel chuckles softly, ?Otherwise, I would be caught up in the drama that seems to evolve all over this realm of ours!?  Her tone is light and teasing but there is a deeper truth to what she?s saying and they both know that.  ?I confess, I have missed you dearly!  Now? if you don?t eat at least one of these petit fours, Yvette is going to have a litter of kittens in the kitchen!?  Bel is only half joking.  

    She pushes the platter over towards Maeri for her to pick one of the bite-sized treats.  

    ?You should know, I may have unwittingly started a war with the Dragons, not the Dragonkin, but the gang that calls themselves such?  I am sure you recall them, yes??  A hint of weariness tugs at beatific features as she confesses this to Maeri.  ?They are insisting on a meeting with Corwyn? and he?s up and gone on his own walkabout!  I have no idea when he might be back!?  Bel drops a light sigh then another half shrug.  ?Things never seem to calm down, you ever noticed that?  Maybe there?s a spell we might dig up??  Again? only half joking.

    A half laugh as Maeri replied, ?You will have to allow me to think upon such a spell.  One must be cautious when tampering with such thing.  Balance in all things, as you know.?  She knew that Bel would be aware of her bend toward balance.

    ?As to the Dragons,? Maeri couldn?t help but pause before uttering that word, as it irked her that they would identify themselves as such, ?I most certainly do.?  Her eyes narrowed.  ?Another misguided agreement, if you ask me.?

    Maeri shrugged, ?One only dances with the devil if they are willing to be the fuel for their fire.?  With that assessment, she took the offered sweet and daintily nibbled on it while she considered this piece of news.

    Bel nods in agreement with Maeri as she finishes off her coffee.  Setting the empty cup aside green eyes move back to her friend and she chuckles.  ?Yes, I agree with you there!  We can only hope that whatever drew them to pursue the girl Corwyn sent me to collect was worth all of this?  You really should meet this Thorn of Zenfaer, Lin Mae.  There is? something about the girl that harkens familiar??  Bel?s expression clouds thoughtfully.  The girl is a puzzle Bel is still trying to decipher.  Maybe Maeri can help with that?  Bel can hope!

    [size=9](This is only the beginning...  To Be Continued...)[/size]

    10
    Blood House Onyx / Mab - The Acquisition
    « on: November 13, 2010, 01:31:32 PM »
    [size=11]"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."  
    William Shakespeare [/size]

    Part I

    Belial's back is pressed against the wall, her blaster hovers beside her head in her right hand. Her jaw clenches as she sums up their current situation. They are inside a dilapidated old warehouse somewhere in San Francisco, The World. As far from Rhy'Din as one can possibly get. Bel has never really favored the place the Elves call The World, not over other realms where being what she is has some tolerance of acceptance. Wulf and she are trapped at a juncture of hallways and under heavy gunfire. Bullets whiz past down the long stretch of hall separating her from the object she has come to ?acquire?. A glance of green eyes to her companion, nay, assigned bodyguard really. (A distinct lack of trust in her on Corwyn's part...) Wulf is grinning like a fiend as he takes pot shots at the enemies.

    ?Whoohoo!? he hollers over the zing of passing bullets having caught her eyes on him. ?Never knew you had this much fun on your business trips!?

    Yeah, right. Fun.

    Bel scowls and shakes her head. He may think this is fun, but she's not really enjoying it. ?I hope whatever it is Corwyn has sent us for is worth this mess.? But, it is more likely Wulf can't hear her over the constant barrage of echoing shots. He nods nevertheless and keeps on grinning as he pops off a few more shots meant more as a determent than to actually hit anything.

    ?Maybe we outta come up with a new strategy, Bel?? He shouts over the noise. ?They've got us pinned down here, and unless you got an idea on how to get us outta this, I'm seeing a stalemate coming when we run outta ammo.?

    He's right of course. Bel scowls harder, her thoughts drifting back to Corwyn's office and how simple he'd made this assignment seem.



    ?I need you to pick something up for me in the World.? Corwyn said as he looked up from the paperwork scattered over his desk. A wave of his elegant Elven hand invited her to sit, but Bel stood instead. She was still upset over what Jack had said only a few weeks past. ?Corwyn's manipulating you both, Bel! Why can't you and Sid see it?!? Was Jack right? Bel crossed her arms over her chest and stared at Corwyn.

    ?Something on your mind, Belial?? He asked as he glanced from the papers back up at her.

    ?Why me? You said since I have been assigned House Leader of Onyx, that my wandering days have ended. Isn't there someone more...? She paused for effect ?Capable, less impossibly placed, who might better serve you as errand boy??

    ?This is a sensitive matter, Bel. It requires someone I can trust implicitly. At this time, that would be you.? He smiled with his typical easy charm. ?The information you will need is in that envelope? a nod of his regal silver-haired head towards the envelope on the edge of his expansive desk. ?I need you to keep this mission under wraps. Of course, Wulf will accompany you; it is his assignment to see you are kept safe.?



    Bel had frowned then just as intensely as she does now. 'His assignment to keep her safe'; yeah, right. Unlike her, Wulf can get shot and it could prove fatal. A low growl falls from between clenched teeth as she levels the blaster while rounding the corner. Humans don't have the same skill set of those of her ilk; she targets two of the shooters and takes them both out with well placed shots of her own, too quick for them to have time to aim back and she's pressed once again against the wall.

    ?s***, Bel! That was like...? Wulf's expression is more than a little impressed, obviously he doesn't know how closely related she really is to him. ?Wow!?

    ?You didn't really think I was merely a human, Wulf, now did you?? She smiles, a hint of her old self showing through. ?We aren't likely to take them all out that way, but a few less never hurts.?

    ?Right on, sister!? Wulf laughs zestfully; he really is enjoying himself. Good for him.

    ?You stay here and keep them occupied, I am going to slip up to the roof and see if I can't find a way to outflank them.? Bel says as she holsters her blaster, preparing for action. Wulf nods and grins again. Maybe he heard her. Maybe he didn't...

    The Thorn of Zenfaer.

    Bel thinks the title sounds sinister, and assumes it is a relic of some sorts. Why else would Corwyn have sent Bel? Bel has a knack for finding high-powered relics; she's been hunting them for years and has gained quite a reputation for her ?finds?. She'd also assumed that they would meet some kind of resistance. Acquiring powerful things tends to lead to powerful opposition - no one ever wants to lose their trinkets and toys, most would rather die than let them go. Bel sees no problem giving them what they want. She's good at bartering in many ways and if death is the payment demanded, then who is she to argue? She beyond most understands that there is more to existence than the physical realms.

    But just once she would like it to be a civilized affair, No gunfire, no magic tricks, just a quiet exchange of money for item kind of thing.

    Bel slips down the hallway, retracing their previous path. She has the layout visualized, and already a strategy in mind. Her feet carry her swiftly and silent, her movements practically on auto-drive. Her thoughts however are chaotic; a mishmash of now and the past as scenes flicker across her mindscape like some disjointed, independent film. She recalls her first days in Rhy'Din; she was a different creature then, a demoness hungry for her freedom with a wanderlust that demanded action. She'd been the monster in the night, a predator of humans and elves alike. Back in those days, bartering for souls for personal gain was the game. And, she learned to play it with finesse. That was all before the awakening...

    It dawns on her that Corwyn must have known what she was all along. Bel pushes the thought out of her head. Now is not the time to ponder such repercussions. Nevertheless, all that has happened to her has shaped and influenced this moment. As her feet find a sure path towards the metal stairs and a ladder she suspects will take her to the roof, inside her head Bel is wondering just what it is she really wants. Once upon a time, killing had been fun. Drenched in blood, in the heat of a fierce battle, the adrenaline alone was the drug. Adventure such as this would have been top of her list of 'things to do today'. Somewhere, somehow, that's all changing. When Corwyn had kyboshed her ?walkabouts? citing her position as Leader of Blood House Onyx, Bel had assumed that she, like many others in the Family, was being relegated to a more domestic, paper-pushing kinda gig. Yet... Here she is, being shot at and sneaking around to ambush from behind, thick in the violence she had begun to think of as her past. So... What does she really want? She had pined for the adventure while trapped behind her desk... Then, she'd found an interest in Corwyn's private library.

    Some might wonder how come it took her so long to figure it out. Belial thinks Freud would have a field day diagnosing her. Whatever the myriad of excuses, or reasons she may have given in the past to avoid such things as tomes the size of small boats, went out the window when she realized that the more she read the more she began to understand things. So many things in fact that more and more questions have arisen. Bel has found a new passion that eclipses even the heady draw of violence - wisdom. Through her studies, Bel has learned the value of spirit, soul, the essence of connection and the magic of the grace of humankind. This new found understanding has not dulled her ?killer? instincts, she has no qualms when it comes to protecting her and hers, but it does make her reconsider such choices as the situation in which she finds herself now. She could choose not to do this.

    Up the ladder and to the roof. Not a soul covering the hatch. Bel counts three, perched to cover the front entrance and the side door that she and Wulf had already stolen in through. Not a very tactical bunch, which gives Bel a sick feeling. Poorly trained people means non-military, non-military means civilians. Damn it! Killing them is akin to slaughtering hapless sheep. No sport, no victory, just a bunch of corpses whose souls become barter for others' gains. Bel sneers silently as she makes a swift surveillance of the rooftop. No other obvious way inside, but she has her own tricks up her sleeves. Having lost all desire to kill their current enemies, Bel leaves the hapless would-be snipers alive as she turns into a nearly invisible mist. Drifting much like a ghost she crosses the roof unseen to the point where she knows the gunmen had lain in wait for them. And, like a ghost she sinks down through the layers of the building. It feels strange, passing through physical objects, like pulling apart strands of herself, stretching them like taffy only to draw them tight again.

    This is a new trick, a trick learned from one of the many books in Corwyn's private library. If she'd not read about it, she'd never had tried it. It had taken her months of practice and even now she is not quite sure what to expect next. She doesn't feel a draw off of her energy, but certainly there must be some disadvantage, something she simply hasn't triggered yet. Well... today might be that day. Bel drops a mental shrug as she shifts through walls and over floors, just like a floating specter. Until she hits something that she cannot penetrate. Bel scowls at this new barrier; it's not physical, it might be mental... or magical, but it would take someone of great talent to create it: someone that can't be simply human. A mental sigh. Of course, it would be as far from simple as possible. Damn Corwyn! He had to have known. Bel moves around the barrier, trying to find any holes, trying to find any answers but to no avail. She is now by the top of the stairs leading down to the ambush site. She can hear the gunfire but not as sharply as when she was physical. She should put a stop to that then figure out this new obstacle. Bel solidifies; her feet hit the floor with a soft thud.  Her blaster already in hand she begins creeping down the steps. So far no ill effects from the dematerializing...

    ?Psst!? a voice behind her hisses. ?Hey You!? A loud whisper beckons. Bel turns her head to peer over her shoulder at a petite Japanese girl peeking out of a door Bel hadn't seen before. Green eyes widen with surprise.

    ?Where did you come from?? Bel stage whispers back so to be heard of over the noise of the gunfight below.

    ?Oh,? The girl grins sheepishly ?it?s a little trick I do. But that's not the point! Would you not kill off my friends please? They are only trying to protect me.?

    ?Protect you?? Bel is more than a little confused and she is letting it show.

    ?Yeah, I know, it sounds weird and maybe even a little cult-ish, but they're really nice folks and they think I am something I'm not. I just, well, you know, I don't think they should die because of me. So, if ya tell me why you are here, maybe we could just work this out and no one else has to die?? The girl asks hopefully.

    Careful for what you ask for, you may get it comes to Bel's mind as she smiles at the girl. ?Happy to. I've come to acquire the Thorn of Zenfaer. I would be more than willing to pay handsomely, and without further violence.?

    The girl smiles wide as she stretches out her hand towards Bel, a chain dangles through her fingers. ?That's what you wanted?? A soft giggle. ?Here ya go then. It's just a silly old silver necklace, but if you want it, it's yours!?

    ?A silver necklace? Ahh...? Bel takes the trinket, fingers brushing the girl's and like a flash of lightning she realizes it's not the necklace she's actually here for. Thrown for a loop, Bel's mouth falls ajar and those green eyes widen obviously on the small figure crouched beside her. ?You...?! Damn you, Corwyn!?

    ?Me? What?? The girl retains her easy smile, hopeful and sunny. ?You have the necklace, do you mind calling your people off please??

    Bel has to stifle a chuckle. Her people. There are only she and Wulf, how terribly demeaning for the poor fellows fighting, no doubt. ?Yes, let me call my people off.? No need to humiliate when it could potentially be sidestepped. Compassion? Maybe... or maybe it's really about the bartering. The attracting more flies with honey method. With a thought, Bel tells Wulf to stand down. ?I have a bodyguard in the hall; I would like him to be escorted without damage to us if you could arrange it. Would that be suitable? The rest of my... er, people are gone.?

    ?Ah?? The girl stares at Bel suspiciously. ?Wanna explain how you did that without a radio??

    This time, Bel chuckles out loud. ?There are more things in this world than heaven and earth.? She quotes Shakespeare. ?We have our ways, child. Suffice it to say, do you mind letting your people know not to hurt my person please??

    ?Oh, yeah, of course. Hey Haru!? The girl hollers down the stairs. ?We've worked it out! Don't shoot the man at the end of the hallway, let him through!?

    ?Huh?!? Came a voice from below followed by a thunder of feet on the steps. Three men with guns drawn round the corner and come to a sudden stop staring at Bel and the girl crouched on the stairs.

    ?What the...?

    ?Hey, how'd you do that?!?

    ?So, you're saying it?s over??

    They all spoke at the same time; it made Bel's head hurt.

    ?Yeah, it's over. She came for my necklace.?

    All three turn to stare at Bel, their expressions say it all; they don't believe that for a minute.

    Well... they're right.

    Bel gives them her most dazzling, trustworthy smile. ?Please let my bodyguard through? The others have already left. We promise to do no further harm. You have my oath on this.?

    She watches as they struggle to make up their minds. With the one they are trying to protect sitting on the other side of the one they are wary of, the answer is pretty easy. They lower their guns and the one who seems to be in charge turns and heads down the stairs, barking orders for the others to 'stand down'. At least the violence aspect of the acquiring has been quashed. The next phase will be far harder to manage no doubt. How could Corwyn have sent Bel to pick up this girl and not tell her??!! A relic. So simple! All of it bulls***!

    To be continued...

    11
    Blood House Onyx / ((Mab OOC - Relevant Threads))
    « on: March 29, 2009, 04:40:06 PM »
    ((Hello all,

    With this next epic storyline we will be using the prefix of 'Mab' here on our board as we did with DCH.  This will make keeping up easier for those following the sl.  All are welcome to do the same, but we ask everyone posting on this board to adhere to this guideline.  

    If you make a post concerning the Mab sl which is not located on this board, please link it here so that we can find it.  Please remember if we don't know about it, we can't play off of it.

    As always everyone is welcome, we ask only that you talk to us.  Let us know what you want out of the sl.  This way we can work together so that everyone gets what they want.

    Let's make magic!!!

    Lanette

    12
    Blood House Onyx / DCH - Conspiracies Part 2
    « on: June 09, 2008, 09:04:14 PM »
    Four thirty, Tori's diner.  This time, Alain's not alone in the booth, the same booth they used last time.  His necktie's been removed and tossed carelessly over the table, he's packed in against the wall but spread out comfortably, smoking a cigar, and Tori's sitting on the table.  One of her heavy combat booted feet dangles off the edge, and the other is propped against the back of the seat right next to him.  The purpose of this is two-fold - first, she's pointing out a scar to him, her tanned finger tracing a long curve of scar tissue... and second, she's effectively blocked him in.  Whatever they're talking about, there's a little flirtation in Alain's grin, and he's ignoring his cup of coffee.

    Belial takes a new route today, preferring not to stick to patterns, they can get you killed.  Coming up along the outside the diner, she doesn?t pause today nor seem to peer inside the window.  Belial glides to the door and slips inside, letting that green gaze dance over the interior only to come to a rest on Tori.  She can?t see Alain?s face, only the side of his head but she can smell him thick in the room.  A teasing smile plays over full red lips as she joins the pair.  

    Dressed causally in black fitted jeans and a black leather jacket that bears no insignia upon it, Bel could easily pass as a local were it not for her ethereal beauty.  She smiles and nods to Tori, those green eyes falling on Alain as a brow arches with impish delight.  ?Hope I am not disturbing??  Her tone suggesting she knows otherwise.  ?I could come back? later??  She teases.

    It?s his expression that gave Alain away.

    Alain and Tori both turn to look at Belial... and the latter seems to grin just as impishly, lips curling at the corners, revealing a pale little scar that reaches the edge of her lips.  "He's all yours," the woman replies in a naturally husky voice that comes from overuse, even abuse of a stern tone.  "Enjoy him," she adds teasingly as she leaves the booth, and Alain just takes a slow sip of his coffee, not saying a goddamn thing, though you can be sure he's grinning on the inside.

    Belial smiles to Tori, nodding.  ?To be sure? he is a prize.?  The lady is granted a playful wink as Bel slides into her side of the booth.  ?I would love to try some of your pie, cherry if you have any, and some coffee too please??

    Bel turns that green gaze on Alain, canting her head to the left grinning.  ?I like her.? She comments as she shifts to get comfortable.  ?If you are willing, shall we get down to business??

    She doesn?t have a lot of time this eve and hence she can?t be as laid back as last time.

    Belial places a small metal box, roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes but much slimmer, on the table, pushing it over towards Alain.  A nod at that box, ?Inside there you will find the tools you will need.  But I would recommend you practice a bit??  Another box, much larger appears suddenly in her hand.  She places it next to the smaller one.  ?You?ll find a booklet detailing application in there too.  I suggest you read it then play with the stuff in the big box only.  There are three layers in the small box; they are coded to each of the partners.  That way we cover both angles; if the lock requires more than one hand, thumb, what have you?  You?ll have access to all three.?

    Belial pulls yet another box out of thin air, this one is a little bit larger than a ring box.  She places it next to the slender one.  ?In there you will find eyes, Detective.  Grown in our labs the retinas will match exactly to Mister Dewey and Mister Howe.  Unfortunately, we?ve never been able to get an image sharp enough in detail of Mister Cheatham.  If you need his eye scan, you?ll need to get a sharp picture of the man?s eyes for us to replicate.?

    Belial doesn?t explain where she?s getting this stuff, or how she knew he?d be able to use them.  In fact, it might all seem a little eerie how much she knows.  

    ?Don?t play with the eyes, Detective; they will get mushy, I?m afraid, if handled too much.?  

    He grins at Belial's explanation, and examines a few of the items, but declines to examine the eyes just yet.  Tori comes back with cherry pie for both of them, raises an eyebrow slightly at some of what she overhears, but dutifully makes no remarks and asks no questions - she smirks, shakes her head a touch, and moves off to other duties, leaving them to their business.

    "Christ, you make this whole thing easy...  I almost prefer doing it the hard way."  He winks at her, and takes a sip of his coffee, not touching the pie yet.

    "I can get you a picture of Cheatham's eyes easily... but hopefully I won't need them.  I imagine the lock requires only one or two of the lawyers, since they have been using it at least some lately..." he muses, thinking now about their movements, their habits, around the offices...

    Belial sweetens her coffee and adds a dollop of cream, shaking her head with a bit of a grin.  Something obviously is weighing down on her thoughts today and she seems slightly distracted by whatever it is.  However she remains focused on their business at hand, as always Bel is a professional.  She prides herself on getting the job done right.  

    ?Easy?  If you only knew the things I went through to gain the information I have about the demonic trio??  Bel smirks, a delicate brow arching ironically.  ?One of the things I figured out pretty early on is that Howe is the one who tends to hold the most incriminating evidence.  Whatever it is they are plotting?  Howe?s neck deep behind it and if you can access his private chambers you might find a gold mine of information.  Well??  Belial chuckles then enjoys a sip of Tori?s tasty coffee.  ?At least from what I experienced??

    Setting the coffee aside Bel picks up her fork, slicing a thin bite off the pie but not yet sampling it.  The fork hangs inches from the plate as Bel continues.  ?Cheatham? now that one is an enigma.  I could barely find anything on him.  An image of his eyes, his face; either would be a boon.  He?s either the shyest of the partners or the most paranoid; the guy is fairly a hermit!? Bel sounds frustrated.  A glance at her fork and the bite of pie is savored.  ?Mmm, delicious!?  

    "I haven't seen him once... but as soon as you're 'dead,' the chances of him showing his face should become extremely high."  He takes a large bite of the pie.  "Good stuff, isn't it."

    He sets his fork down on the edge of the plate.  "I'm going to concentrate on the smaller room first.  Honestly, I don't think I'll attempt to access Mister Howe's private chambers unless I go in knowing I'm already on a suicide mission.  I imagine there will be unimaginable pitfalls beyond even an unlocked door."

    A few bites into her pie, Bel set the fork to the plate, lifting her napkin to wipe full, red lips.  ?You haven?t seen him at all?  Not even once?  Interesting?? coffee reclaimed she lounges back, one shapely jean-clad leg propping up beside her.  ?I wonder?  It does beg to question what casualties were taken during the explosion of their office building.  Oh? And have you noticed?  There?s a new sign outside the building and it reads ?Morgan Enterprises?.  I can?t imagine any of the demonic lawyers appreciate that!?  Belial on the other hand finds it utterly amusing.  She isn?t in the least surprised that someone stepped in and seized control of their assets when DCH appeared to be down.  

    ?Hmm, look in to that, Alain? something very fishy going on there? and knowing may be an important clue.  Keep in mind our primary objective is to find a way to take them down.  We need them out of the way before the end of Fall.?  Belial doesn?t elaborate on why however.  Arms curve around her leg, hugging it towards her.  ?We have other issues arising, Alain? these are very explosive times and I need to ask a boon of you??  Belial isn?t comfortable bringing Alain into her little covert operation, her insane war against Veighn, but to remain anonymous and accomplish anything she needs his help.  ?This isn?t? ah?  Official Alain.  If we get caught we both face stern consequence from the Family.?  She hopes she?s making herself clear.  She cants her head contemplating him with that intense green gaze, perhaps a tad bit unsettling.  ?I won?t ask you for your help if you don?t want me to??

    "Most of the things I do are off the record," he replies, "and I would be killed and my name ruined if they were brought before the wrong people.  I'm used to it."  He takes another bite of the pie, and gestures with his fork as he chews.  "Explain... and we'll see if you can make me a deal."

    Belial smirks at Alain.  ?I want to hire assassins? to annoy Lord Veighn Yhaull.  The Bloods hold Alliance with the fiend, but he?s kidnapped Alysia and he?s??  That green gaze dips from Alain?s blue eyes, drifting down towards her lap.  With the tucking of her chin to chest she shakes her head.  ?No, no, nevermind.? murmured low and mostly to herself.  Quickly she changes topic.  ?I want to unearth more of his powers, test his extremes.  The assassin?s will need to be high-powered mages? I doubt they?ll come cheap, but I have done well over my time in the physical, I can front the money.  But I must remain the silent partner in this?  If we are caught out; Veighn will see this as an act of aggression, not of mine, but that of the Family?s.  I cannot allow that to happen.?

    "I know a guy who owes me a favor," he replies, before he's even done mulling over Veighn.  He knows the creature - never really considered him a man - and knows he is both powerful and perverse.  "...But I want information in exchange."  He sets his fork down and places his hand on the table.

    "I may be sacrificing my life to bring down a great evil, and that's fine by me... but it will also serve the ends of the Family.  The Bloods.  The fact that you've made alliance with Veighn is enough to make any man hesitate.  Don't take this the wrong way, but I didn't get very far in this business by trusting people... I need to know the Family doesn't intend to pick up where DCH left off.  I need some example, some form of evidence, that I am not merely helping RhyDin out of the frying pan and into the fire."

    It's blunt enough to almost be taken for a joke, but he appears quite serious.

    Bel?s arms drop and the leg vanishes under the booth as she leans forward.  Elbows rest to the table and her hands fold casually as she meets his serious gaze with her own.  ?You really think we would be that stupid??  Bel shakes her head slowly, ?That?s not the game here Alain.  The Alliance with Veighn was the *greater good*, never doubt that.  Do you perchance know what kind of creature he is??  A curious canting of her head sends ebon curls dancing.  A few stray strands tumble over her eyes, casting her features in an odd play of light and dark.  ?*We* don?t know what he is; do you understand the magnitude of such a confession, Detective?  If we do not know our enemy then warring with him is unwise.  Best to bind him to a contract that ties his hands; if only to keep the Family safe from his perverse aggression.  Do you not agree??

    Belial?s hands unclasp and she takes up her coffee, sitting back.  ?Careful not to judge us in too strong a light, Alain?  The Bloods may not be saints but nor are we sinners.  We strive for peace, not war.  But when war comes a knocking, and trust me it always does, we will not flinch but prevail.  It is the way of things? judge as you will, but do it fairly.?

    "I don't have much with which to judge the Family," he replies, and sips his coffee, unflinching at her words and her body language.  "I'm not a saint myself.  A fellow detective has long accused me of always walking in the light, but the truth of the matter is, I've always favored the grey areas.  I like peace, stability, and prosperity because it is good for my family, good for my friends, good for the city, and good for business.  I can understand that you've made a deal with Veighn... but I still don't have the slightest indication of what you stand for outside of bringing down DCH.  That suits my purposes just fine, but in case I survive this, I'd like to have some idea of what comes next."

    13
    Blood House Onyx / DCH - Conspiracies
    « on: May 23, 2008, 03:44:38 PM »
    With large windows on the south side facing the river, Tori's Diner always had a lot of natural light, though muted by thin blinds turned down, filling the room with a golden glow as the afternoon crept towards sunset.  The bell rang when Alain enters through the single side door of the building, and stale cigarette smoke, sweet tea, scrambled eggs and cherry pie greets his nostrils.  He couldn't help but watch Tori at the register writing down numbers, her lean-muscled tattooed arms propped against the counter while she works.  Her chin lifts and her eyes snap to him, and she watches coolly... until she deciphers the Detective's undecipherable expression, and gives him a ghostly grin and a short wink.  "Two cups of coffee, and leave us a pot," as the waitress herself was nowhere in sight.  "You're lucky, D'Mourir," she replies with a laugh, but moves to get the coffee for him, and he sits in a booth facing the river.

    Belial shimmers into existence inside the shadowy alley less than a block away.  She moves to the opening and that green gaze sweeps with seeming casual indifference over the neighborhood.  They have to be cautious, one never knows where spies might lurk and getting caught isn?t an option, it?s a death sentence, at least for Alain?  Seeing nothing or no one out of the ordinary Bel is satisfied.  She glides out onto the sidewalk heading towards Tori?s Diner.

    Through the glass window she spies the Detective.  The slightest of pauses in her steps as guilt niggles at her conscious.  He is so young and in the golden light of the end of day he looks vulnerable and far too mortal.  A hand lifts to drag fingers through the mass of short ebon curls, a gesture that speaks volumes about her chaotic thoughts.  Then she picks up her pace with renewed determination.  

    As Bel slips inside she can?t help but think that Alain has picked an excellent location; she needs to compliment him on his area knowledge of the township.  The place is small, quaint, and smells heavenly.  The patrons range from Dockworkers to sailors, a rough lot with little disposable income and yet the ambiance is homey and comfortable.  Bel smiles to the lady behind the counter as she moves to join Alain at his booth.  The lady doesn?t smile in return, but is gracious enough to offer Bel an upnod.

    ?Nice place you picked, Detective?? Bel smiles warmly as she slips into the seat across from Alain, resting small hands to the table?s smooth, clean top.  ?I suspect you are going to reassure me the coffee is excellent??

    "I won't," he replies, grinning across at her - her cup of coffee is already waiting, and he rests his cigarette on the lip of the ashtray.  "But it's a solid working-class cup of coffee, and it gets the job done."  He raises his for a long sip.  "It's good to see you again," he admits with a pause, but before the conversation turns more serious, he does ask, "Hungry?"

    Bel shakes her head as she pours herself a cup of the coffee.  With Yvette at home Bel rarely bothers to eat out; the lady has a talent in the kitchen and Bel has become rather addicted to the spicy Cajun cuisine.  ?Not particularly, no.?  

    A hint of an amused grin flickers over beatific features.  They could be just a random couple out to enjoy some quiet time not the conspirators they really are.  They may not blend in with the local color, but neither do they stand out like sore thumbs.  Bel finds the fa?ade comforting and rather humorous at the same time.  Should anyone spy them from their typical social circles the rumor that will likely spread reeking of illicit romance.  A situation Alain has frequently been associated to of late.  

    Bel cants her head as she adds sugar and cream to the coffee.  ?If you are hungry, don?t hesitate to order on my account.?  

    She?s taking her time getting down to their business.  Many excuses come to mind, but the honest and most direct are she is enjoying his company and she doesn?t get a lot of ?downtime? lately.  So? why rush when there is no need?  

    When Belial says no, Alain's bright blue gaze turns to Tori.  It doesn't take long for their eyes to meet, and Alain shakes his head.  No meal, just coffee.  "No, think I'll just pick up Italian on the way home."  He grins.  "I'm nowhere near the cook I thought I'd become."

    He takes up his cigarette for another drag.  He appears comfortable, but there's a reason for it - he's scoped the place out, and he knows Tori has her way of alerting him should anything appear awry.  His arm rests along the back of his seat, and in the golden sunlight, the numerous scars seem to deepen.

    "I've made contact with Guthorm.  He appears to be doing well, and we hatched a plan together.  To 'murder' you."  Eyebrows lift mildly.

    14
    Blood House Onyx / Adapting to the Situation
    « on: May 04, 2008, 07:02:21 PM »
    [size=11]"The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain."
    Sun Tzu, ?The Art of War.?[/size]


    Belial sits at her desk in her office at Onyx House.  She?s been sifting through the image orbs collected from a sundry of places the Bloods keep eyes on, pieces parts sorted out by members? of the Family whose task it is to monitor them.  The information they have been providing of late has been scarce, as if all the scheming and plotting of known Blood enemies has been intentionally kept out of public places.  That? or things really are that quiet.  Belial knows otherwise.

    There have been no reported sightings of Daug or any of his sordid entourage.  Bel knows Daug only too well.  She?s been playing cat and mouse games with him for years, doing all she can to undermine his plots and plans.  In the past, she spent a great amount of time chasing after any relic he showed interest in.  But lately, her contacts haven?t been able to monitor Daug.  Neither they nor the Bloods currently know where Daug is or what he may be doing.  If he is seeking out some new ?key?, (a.k.a. relic), to use in his nefarious intrigues, he?s kept the information very tight to his chest.  Not going through the typical channels.  Bel has already assigned a covert team to hunt the Bone Dragon down.  She?d do it herself, but that behavior would be considered impulsive and foolish; she?s currently the assigned leader of Onyx House and besides? Corwyn would be displeased.  He?d make her life living hell.  There will be no ?walkabouts? for her anytime soon?

    There have been sightings of activity at the spot where DCH had their Marketplace offices.  Construction is nearly complete on a new building.  Much of it has been done in the dark hours before dawn.  It reeks of some kind of clandestine activity.  However they are using some pretty heavy duty magic; keeping whatever they are doing away from prying eyes.  Bel needs to know what that is and where they laid their hands on a power strong enough to keep even the most experienced mages from penetrating.  In reality, she needs a lot more than that.

    One of the primary rules of Sun Tzu is to know one?s self and one?s enemy.  Bel is getting good at understanding herself, but she is rather vague when it comes to knowing the Senior Partners of DCH.  She has a little information on Mister Dewey, a bit more on Mister Howe, nothing on Mister Cheatham, and only an unclear idea of why the three have chosen Rhy?Din.  Rumor has it that it has something to do with the Nexus or some such.  But everyone with a brain understands the chaotic nature of that beast? certainly so do they?

    Unless they know something everyone else doesn?t?  

    Bel is determined to find out.  

    With Guthorm and Alain on the inside, she?s hoping that soon information will be flowing.  Hmph, it better start happening soon and it had better be fast before either of the two moles are discovered, or the consequence will be very steep; death.  DCH will not tolerate traitors in their midst, they made that perfectly clear with the example they set with poor Stew Burger.  Of course? Bel and Sid are the puppet-masters this time, there will be no blame laid elsewhere.  They cooked up the scheme together and brought it to pass.  Sure, they made practical choices, but nevertheless the death of either one of the two moles they?ve managed to implant will weigh heavy on both Seraph.

    Bel scowls at the images playing out before her, her thoughts far away on present plots and schemes, not on the work before her.  The hour is late, and Bel has spent most of her past days working.  She needs to take a break.  She also needs to speak with Sid?

    Shutting off the image orb, she sets it aside then stands, fingers brushing through ebon curls.  It is Saturday and Sid is typically bar tending tonight.  Bel figures why not head to the Dragon, have a few drinks and chat with her sister.  She doesn?t bother changing; her jeans will do fine.  Without further ado she flickers away in a bluish white light.

    15
    Blood House Onyx / ((OOC - Tara's BACK!!!!!!))
    « on: April 10, 2008, 05:07:28 PM »
    ((Whooooooot!!!!!!!!   Tara, baby, you're back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ::pounce hugs the stuffin' outta her!::  And you can always post on the Bloods board, baby!!!  It's your's and Tara's home too!!!!!!!


    Missed you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love You!!!!!!  Now I am gonna get to read you again!!!  

    Lanette

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