Gangs of Havenport (Tassadar) GMed by Takimaru

Takimaru

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Re: Gangs of Havenport (Tassadar) GMed by Takimaru

The jingle of coin caught the boy's ear. His eyes followed the prize that was promised to him, and that was just enough for Isolda to keep him distracted. "...Oh. T-That's..." He turned a little pale when the original owner of the head in the box he was carrying was referred to as a 'friend', and suddenly began to look all too lost and frightened once again. "It's all they told m-me," he stammered quickly, his gaze on the bag growing more desperate, perhaps in the hopes that Isolda would finally give it to him so that he could be on his way, hopefully unscathed.

"The rest of it is here," said Nottis, frowning as he drew a note from within the box. It was covered in a sheen of saliva, likely from having been inserted in Oribel's mouth.

There is no home for Voidics but the Void. This city will not be your sanctuary. By His name we will cleanse you from this plane. Meet us in the square so that the citizens of Havenport may look upon the rest of your abominable forms.

The Order of Saint Thrail, 4th Squadron
"Perhaps I was foolish to think that even here, we could establish a place for us. Elynsor... damn that entire country," muttered Nottis. "But these knights have come to the wrong city," he continued, looking up and squinting his eyes as a Deunic man could be seen hurrying across the pier and down towards the warehouse. The leader of the Hepta seemed to recognize him, as he didn't look particularly alarmed at the arrival. "As they will soon find out."

"N... Nottis...! Hahh, hahh... I... hurried over here as fast as I could." The tan-skinned messenger's face was covered in sweat. He looked with widened eyes upon the motley crew of Voidic beings, although it was difficult to tell whether it was their imposing presence or the shock of the news he was yet to deliver. "Knights from Elynsor are in the city! They have made a display of your associate's body in the city square. It is... hauhhh... causing quite the commotion."

"I will be sure to repay that tenfold," Nottis spat back. "Where are they now?"

"Last I checked they were still within quick walking distance of the square, at one of our establishments there. I do not think they know it is associated with the Hepta."

"Good. Expect us soon."

"Should I... place a bounty on them? We can poison their drinks."

Nottis shook his head. "No. Such a death would be too merciful for them. But I would like for them to be kept there."
 

Tassadar

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Re: Gangs of Havenport (Tassadar) GMed by Takimaru

With the coins relinquished and nothing else she could think of to ask him, Isolda let the child run off with the bag and rose back to her feet. She turned to face Nottis, but when the Deunic man came running up toward them what she'd been about to say died in her throat and she simply waited. A dark scowl whipped across her face as the newcomer recounted what the crusaders were doing with Oribel's body, and that look only darkened when Nottis discounted a decent suggestion.

"No," she said flatly, putting a hand on the man's shoulder if he tried to run off immediately, "DO poison their drinks, with something slow acting and nonlethal. We want them alive. Don't make it obvious." She turned to Nottis, "stop me right now if you have a better plan than just going to confront them, but... Are you just not thinking straight right now, or is idiotic pride how you normally go about things? This is so obviously a trap it might as well be a box held up by a stick with some bait under it.

"These assholes are obviously more competent than the half-wit gangsters you're used to dealing with, and they know how to deal with... With people like us. They also clearly know how to rile someone up, and I'll bet there are more on their side laced in among the crowd ready to jump in when you show up, and of the sort prepared to make sure we're in no shape to take on a brigade of armed templars. Don't play into their hands, make them play into ours." Having said her piece, assuming Nottis didn't stop her immediately with confirmation that he did in fact have a better idea than what she suspected was his plan, Isolda would fall silent and let him respond, arms folding over her chest.
 

Takimaru

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Re: Gangs of Havenport (Tassadar) GMed by Takimaru

The Deunic man paused when Isolda laid a hand on him. While he was undoubtedly a long-time resident of this city of gangsters, he didn't move when an apparent associate of Nottis was addressing him. "Er..." started to respond, his eyes shifting in between the wanderer and the Black Hepta's leader, as if awaiting approval from the head of the group.

Nottis simply threw his chin in the square's general direction, urging him to proceed.

"I'll see what we can prepare," said the messenger before hurrying off.

The leader of the Hepta then turned his gaze to Isolda without moving his head.

"Hoh. I wouldn't have expected you to be so capable of subtlety, what with the way we first met," commented the half-demon. "Pride? Perhaps, yes, though it is not unfounded. You see, these aren't the first hunters that I have dealt with in the past, albeit not here in Havenport. With zealots like these, it's a matter of principle. I wouldn't want them to think that they could win 'if only' they weren't drugged, 'if only' they were in more favorable territory, 'if only' the situation was different. For people like these, one must snuff out any last hope they might have had. Leave no doubt in their minds what they are up against. Destroying the flower does little--you must destroy the root. The ideal." He glanced down at Oribel's head, still in the box. "Perhaps they think that we will die afraid. Or alone."

"Voidics possess an undeniable power over those of this world. What is a human's best hope? A Cosmic spell, perhaps... a thrice-blessed blade at best. Other than that, very little. That is why we are predators, and they are prey. And yet, they will fight back--it is in their nature. I will have to remind them of the roles here. Rill, go on ahead."

The mysterious, faceless member of the group nodded and turned towards the water side of the pier warehouse, diving into it with barely a splash; if anything, he seemed to morph into the liquid itself.

"Are you still worried? You shouldn't be," said Nottis. "Culdan, I'll need you to come with me."

"What about me?" asked Eira, his ears drooping.

"If you haven't worn yourself out too much from last night, then feel free to come along--same with you," replied the part-demon, smirking at Isolda. "But don't get in the way. I said I would make an example of them, and I guarantee I will show you just that."

"Pride before the fall," mumbled Alona under her breath. "I don't feel right staying here, so I'll go... but if anything bad happens, I am leaving."

The group moved rather swiftly, striding through the streets of Havenport. On nearly any other city on the Western Continent, such a group of Voidics wouldn't be so welcome. Here, they still weren't, but rather than outright hostility, passerbys tended to avert their gaze. Nottis was recognizable--he was a leader of one of Havenport's notorious gangs, and none of the few with the power to oppose him walked the same avenues that day. Thus, their trip through part of the city went rather smoothly, that is, until they reached the town square.

A pale man with somewhat greasy, jet-black hair and facial piercings stood in the crowd and looked over to Nottis. He nodded. Upon closer inspection, Isolda would find that he appeared almost identical to Denth--whom she had most definitely killed only a few days before.

"It's clear out here," said the leader, only to look up with a frown at the display these 'hunters' had made. Oribel's headless, naked body was crucified in the square as others watched with horror. Such displays weren't that uncommon in a city infested with gangs that thrived on fear-inducing demonstrations, but it was still a shock to see nonetheless, especially when a lone female was the victim in question. On the skin of her body's arms and legs were numerous bluish burns.
 
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Tassadar

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Re: Gangs of Havenport (Tassadar) GMed by Takimaru

"I know my way around a sword. That doesn't mean I don't know when other avenues are better, even if I rarely have the option," Isolda retorted following Nottis' supposition, her tone sharp and still suffering the occasional crack. She closed her eyes as he continued and took in a deep breath, not ignoring him completely but still making more effort to calm and center herself than to pay strict attention to what he was saying.

The gist of it didn't slip past the pale wanderer, however, and her frown deepened. She'd heard this sort of thing before, albeit never from someone like herself - or perhaps more accurately like Nottis in this case. She pondered pointing out that his logic was hardly uncommon and had gotten quite a few people like him killed for their hubris, but decided it would be a waste of breath and energy. So instead, she simply replied; "Questions of if don't matter to the dead... And you can't kill an idea, no matter how many men who hold it you kill in place of it." Her gaze fell to the box shortly after his, and she felt the weight of Oribel's death settling into her stomach like a lump of lead again.

The continued arrogance of what he said, the pride... It was tiring and frustrating, and Isolda had to remind herself that she was already in it too deep to simply walk away. If nothing else, she owed Oribel better than that. "We die like anyone else," She warned simply, staring still at Oribel's head. "Better than most in a straight up fight.... Maybe. For you, or for me, or for Culdan. But not all of us... And even we die like anyone else when someone slips poison in our drink, or slits our throat while we sleep. I'll bet that someone in the bunch you want to have a brawl with in the middle of a crowded street has said what you've just spewed damn near word for word, when talking about us."

Isolda would let that hang as Nottis handed out his orders, and simply rolled her eyes at his comment about being tired out. "You needn't worry about me," She replied, and then looked to Alona. She had no idea if the courtesan could fight, or how well, but if this was a ploy to get at the Hepta's hideout she was safer with them than waiting here on her own anyway. She fell into step beside Alona, the only one in the group she could honestly say she liked much so far, and after a moment threw her hood up to hide her face and ears.

The walk to the square passed in silence, and didn't take long. Isolda was on edge, watching every movement, seeing every avenue and alley as a route for enemies to descend upon them. Nothing of the sort happened, of course, and for once she welcomed the uncomfortable ignorance of passersby. The crowd at the square was much the same, and Isolda glanced only briefly at the man who looked like Denth before her gaze flitted to the main spectacle.

There she was. Naked, battered, and very very dead. Isolda's hands clenched into fists, futile anger echoing through the hollow expanse in her head where her emotions used to be. The shock had come and gone, as had the anger, the sadness.... Ghosts had been left behind, and they coalesced again, but as she gazed up at Oribel's brutalized corpse, put up on display as a message to people like her, all she felt was... Tired. Physically, emotionally, and mentally tired.

If Nottis wanted to take the lead on this meaningless display of bravado, she would let him. His pride would earn him nothing at best, that much she was sure of, but until things necessitated that she take up the sword Isolda would remain passive. Oribel's body would come down after the paladins who had put it there were dead, one way or another. "Should have had their horses stolen... If they have any," She remarked aloud, albeit speaking mostly to herself. "No escape... No survivors. Not for this. Not today."
 

Takimaru

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Re: Gangs of Havenport (Tassadar) GMed by Takimaru

Isolda wasn't the only member of the group who exhibited a noticeable reaction to the gruesome display. Whoever it was that killed Oribel doubtlessly sought to make an example of her, and the ghastly gaze of some of the bystanders proved the plan to have been at least marginally successful. While it was hard to tell Culdan's expression through his closed visor, his upward look showed the half-elf that he had at least acknowledged the catgirl's body. Eira, normally cheerful in his demeanor, allowed his face to flatten to a rare look of seriousness when glimpsing the crucified remains of their former scout.

As they went down the line, Alona's look was far more affected. Her eyes widened for a moment as tears welled up in them, and she could look no longer. "This... things like these are why I find it hard to stick around," commented the dark-haired beauty in a quiet voice. "Does it ever really end?"

"It won't," replied Nottis. "Not when they come to you, actively looking for you. This is what's been happening while you've been enjoying yourself with humans."

Alona exhaled sharply, exasperated. "Perhaps they wouldn't if you didn't group up together like some kind of stupid club!"

"Do we not have the right to?" queried Nottis coldly.

"Not the time for arguing," said Culdan with a growl. "If you want to be here, be here."

His firm suggestion seemed to be angled more towards the tan-skinned woman, whose hesitance about the situation only grew. However, if Isolda sought to say anything to her, she would at least listen. Alona had cultivated a small, yet growing respect for the other woman, and so any words that the half-elf chose to offer wouldn't be completely lost.

Then, Isolda spotted a white building with brown beams, which Nottis tilted his chin upwards at. "That's the place," said the gang leader. While it seemed to be less upscale an establishment than Denth's, it was apparently a Hepta property nonetheless, a cozy looking tavern, at least from the outside. Few tourists would likely guess that a Voidic half-demon was the true owner of such a place. Just outside the doors was a set of horses, six of them, all white and decked with the saddles and banners of Elynsorian nobility. It was easy enough to guess whose they belonged to.

"Ooh, lookie what we got here..." cooed Eira, unsheathing a small dagger kept at his side and cutting the reins off a steed in one smooth motion. "They won't be needing these, I guess?"

But the horse remained, faithfully standing there to wait for its master's return. The bunnyboy frowned and allowed his Voidic aura to flare up in a more threatening manner. "Hehe... you'd better leave before I send your head off as a gift. RAAHHH!"

Its eyes widening with fear, the horse immediately bolted off down the road, pushing crowds of common folk and random bystanders out of the way with its newfound sense of urgency.

"So," continued Eira with a shrug. "What about the rest?"
 

Tassadar

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Re: Gangs of Havenport (Tassadar) GMed by Takimaru

Though she might not think much of his overall way of thinking or methods, Isolda found herself siding with Nottis during his and Alona's exchange. Culdan's interjection was more along the lines of what she thought was best at the moment, but after a moment Isolda quietly said; "Oribel was by herself."

That argument was quick to pass however, and after her thoughtful remark about the opposing group's horses, the beasts themselves were soon revealed. Without their masters to prevent it, Eira quickly acted on her initiative and cut one of them free. It stood solidly until his voidic aura flared, causing it to bolt and reminding Isolda of how many horses reacted to her when she tried to ride them, but she let the void rabbit take care of the rest if he so wished, saying only; "Do the same, cut them free and scare them off. Let someone else profit off of their retrieval and sale."

Her eyes settled initially onto the door ahead of them, but when it didn't open she scanned around, checking for other ways for someone to exit the building. Someone creeping through a side door into a nearby alleyway could get behind them, and she didn't want to have to worry about getting attacked from behind. "So.... Are we just waiting out here then?" She asked, tension filtering lightly into her voice, though she spoke to no one in particular.