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Of Kings and Grand Ministers

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Tyrfall ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Go to hell,” McFearson said fiercely. “I’m not co-operating any further with you Waetra. You are greatly overstepping your bounds. You have absolutely no mandate from the Yggdrasil Union to be doing any peacekeeping or peacemaking. And I don’t recall anyone in Tyrtania inviting you here!”

“If you spill one drop of Tyrtanian blood, no matter who it is, I will exact the same punishment on your people ten times over. I’m through with being diplomatic! Back off and let me do my job. Tyrtanians will take care of themselves. I won’t let you destabilize things enough to see those radicals in power. Roth keeps them in check. That’s all you need to know.”

With that McFearson turned off the radio.

"well now thats just rude" Waetra said to herself

turning to the comm officer "have the Iecandra update our general on the situation" "then send the following message to general McFearson" "if you want to have the lives of thousands on your hands when all those opposing Roth rise again then so be it" "i'm pulling out all my forces and leaving you to your fate however grim it might be"

"right away commander" the comm officer went about carrying out her orders

"send a recalled order to all of our troops were leaving"

------------------------bomber squadrons Blood and Abyss-------------

"oh come on you have got to be kidding me"said red leader "red leader to Blood Squadron return to the ships" "were pulling out"

---------------------------------------------------------------

"well this is not the further orders i was hoping to get" "Black leader to Abyss Squadron looks like there won't be any fireworks this time return to the ships"

both squadrons pulled back to the battle carriers

-------------------------------assualt groups half way to fort tiber---------------

"this is the Ieca to all assault group you are to return to the ships were pulling out of Tyrtania"

"well that sucks" said the shadow elite lieutenant "alright everyone fall back to the ships were pulling out"

with that everyone started to pack up and head toward the ships always keeping there eye behind them in case enemy troops attacked them while they were withdrawing

Martov Vale ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Stefano Valores. At your service General!” Stefano gave a flourished bow.

“Alright, none of that Stefano,” Ana said. “We’re not here just to visit. There’s business to attend to up here.”

“Oh yes? Can you tell me, or is this Vrykolaka business?”

“The latter,” Gabriel said flatly. “And Ana, I think we should be going. There’s a long way to go before sunrise.”

Stefano nodded. “The last thing you want is to get trapped because it’s one of our rare sunny days. Even in these mountains it’s not uncommon. Now if you were down by Grimmshire I might say differently but…”

“Alright,” Ana interrupted. “We’ll keep moving.” She turned to General Tloram. “Unless your soldiers are in need of rest, of course.”

Stefano handed Ana a bottle of clear liquid. “Slivovitz, for the road, even if you do decide to stay for awhile.”

Gabriel snatched the bottle away from Ana. “I love your fruity vodkas,” he said, holding the bottle reverently. He snickered. “I wonder how many shots of this a human can handle.”

“We need them sober Gabe.”

“For when we get there I mean.”

the general smiled "you might be surprised at how much alcohol we can handle" turning to Anastasia "no we don't need any rest we've all been through worse then this except maybe Gramin but it'll be good training for him"

turning to stefano "nice meeting you stefano, its a shame it wasn't under better circumstances "

"Anastasia lead the way"

Edited by Elici

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The Former Military Advisor, Xuthus, simply looked smug. "Then i am going to heaven.". But no sooner than that, had Deukalion lashed out. Xuthus cried out as Deukalion effectively turned him over, landing him on the deck of the Athene, unconcious. His pistol dropped into The Golden Sea. Deukalion was notably not even breathing hard. He grinned "It is very foolish to point a gun at me"

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The soldier approached Minister Cairford. "Ma'am, there are many ways of fighting for your country. And many that are more effective than lobbing chemicals at infantry." The soldier suddenly drew the contact sedative from its holster and sprayed the Minister.

Catching the Minister as she fell, the soldier turned to the servant. "She is merely sedated. Please assemble everyone who is leaving with us."

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-------------------------------Martov Vale---------------------------

"General this is the Iecandra do you copy"

"i'm receiving you, Iecandra what is it"

"the commander wants me to update you on our situation so here it goes"

"shortly after you left the liberation army contacted us wanting to negotiate"

"and?"

"well first she talked to a Lieutenant briggs and when that fell apart she ask to talk to the commander of the liberation Army"

"a man by the name of general McFearson it started off well enough but even those negotiations went sour so as a result the commander has ordered all of our units to pull out of Tyrtania" "i'm afraid your on your own general my the gods and godesses of Elici watch over you"

"they always do"

"good bye general and good luck"

"one last order before you leave"

"yes general"

"have the commander send the orldaw to the Yggdrasil union and get permission to initiate a peacekeeping/making mission to tyrtania alexandre will be Tsar again one way or another"

"yes general"

transmission terminated

"looks like we're on are own are forces are pulling out for now"

Gramin and Granvin both had worried looks on there faces at the news of being stranded ,while the general and other elici soldiers showed no signs of how they felt about this new development

------------------------ on the command deck of the Ieca------------------------

"commander all troops have returned to the ships" reported the comm officer"also the Iecandra report our messange was delivered to the general"

"good did the general have anything to say about resent developments" repiled Waetra

"yes commander he wants us to messange the orldaw to go to the Yggdrasil union and ge ta peace keeping/making mission t otyrtania authorized by the union so that we can bring Tsar alexandre back to power" answered the comm officer

"very well as so as we're out of tytanian water we'll send the orldaw the generals messange" said the commander

turning to the navigator "for now set course for the far side of Big Bay Island i want to be close by when we get that authorization" ordered the commander

the ships left Tyrtania and headed for the far side of Big Bay Island

Edited by Elici

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Tyrfall ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“General, a final message from Waetra,” a communications officer said while handing a piece of paper to McFearson.

McFearson read it over quickly and then crumpled it up. “She clearly doesn’t understand what’s going on around here. We’ll keep the crazies busy. What’s the status report on new one?”

“Still in St. Dominic’s Rest sir.”

“Good. Keep an eye on him.”

The Golden Sea --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blackburn chuckled. “I can see that Deukalion.”

He snapped his fingers and the two men that had accompanied him came over. “Boys, go find Roth’s associate a pair of cement shoes. Wouldn’t want him to be ill-equipped when he goes swimming, now would we?”

Cairford’s Manor ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Francais looked down at his shoes. “It’s just us Sir. And the cook.” He looked up. “But I’m not so sure this is a good idea. When she wakes up she’ll likely blow up half of Korros. She has very bad fits of anger.”

Martov Vale -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“This is interesting news,” Ana said after overhearing the General’s conversation. They had left Stefano’s camp and were partway up the old shepherd’s path.

“But I think that it’s good,” Gabriel said cheerily. “Means that we won’t accidentally get a bomb dropped on us.”

Anastasia stopped and crouched down. Ahead was a small shack. It was pitch black inside and the door was closed. A wind blew through and the door opened with a shrill squealing of rusted hinges. It appeared as though no one had been there in a very long time.

“Stay here,” Ana said to the soldiers behind her. “Gabe, you stay here too.”

Ana got up slowly and walked forward, keeping a little low. She could see everything perfectly fine, and it didn’t seem like anyone was there, but something bothered her about the shack. Something she just couldn’t place.

Suddenly a huge beast, easily six feet tall at the shoulder, came barrelling through the woods straight towards her. It tackled Ana and brought her to the ground while clawing and biting at her face and chest. Ana punched the beast squarely on its muzzle and then grabbed its furry arms, pushing it up higher to keep its huge, sharp teeth away from her neck.

Gabriel rushed into the fight. He jumped onto the beast’s back and slashed at it with his claws. The creature roared and batted Gabriel off with a mighty swing of its paw. Gabriel went crashing into a tree, but this gave Ana the moment she needed to push the creature up and kick it off.

The beast staggered back and lay sprawled on the ground for a moment before jumping back up.

“Well what are you waiting for?!” Ana yelled. “Shoot at it!”

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Tyrfall ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“General, a final message from Waetra,” a communications officer said while handing a piece of paper to McFearson.

McFearson read it over quickly and then crumpled it up. “She clearly doesn’t understand what’s going on around here. We’ll keep the crazies busy. What’s the status report on new one?”

“Still in St. Dominic’s Rest sir.”

“Good. Keep an eye on him.”

"alright send the orldaw the generals orders" Waetra said to the comm officer "were far enough away from Tyrtanian waters"

"yes commander" came the reply

---------------------------------Elumadin (the generals office)-------------------------

a envoy walks into the generals office with a message for the Orldaw

"orldaw a message from the fleet that was deployed to tyrtania"

"well what do they want"

the envoy hands the message to the Orldaw

the orldaw reads through the message

"tell the commanders that they're in charge of the nation until i get back"

"were are you going sir"

"to the Yggdrasil Union"

"why?"

"thats not you concern"

"yes sir"

"oh and should anything seriuos happen before i get back i still want to be consulted before any decisions are made"

"yes sir"

with that the envoy left to relay the orldaws orders to the other seven commanders still left in the country, while the orldaw departed for the Yggdrasil union in the hopes that he could get approval from the union to send their troop on a "peace keeping/making" mission to tyrtania

Martov Vale -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“This is interesting news,” Ana said after overhearing the General’s conversation. They had left Stefano’s camp and were partway up the old shepherd’s path.

“But I think that it’s good,” Gabriel said cheerily. “Means that we won’t accidentally get a bomb dropped on us.”

Anastasia stopped and crouched down. Ahead was a small shack. It was pitch black inside and the door was closed. A wind blew through and the door opened with a shrill squealing of rusted hinges. It appeared as though no one had been there in a very long time.

“Stay here,” Ana said to the soldiers behind her. “Gabe, you stay here too.”

Ana got up slowly and walked forward, keeping a little low. She could see everything perfectly fine, and it didn’t seem like anyone was there, but something bothered her about the shack. Something she just couldn’t place.

Suddenly a huge beast, easily six feet tall at the shoulder, came barrelling through the woods straight towards her. It tackled Ana and brought her to the ground while clawing and biting at her face and chest. Ana punched the beast squarely on its muzzle and then grabbed its furry arms, pushing it up higher to keep its huge, sharp teeth away from her neck.

Gabriel rushed into the fight. He jumped onto the beast’s back and slashed at it with his claws. The creature roared and batted Gabriel off with a mighty swing of its paw. Gabriel went crashing into a tree, but this gave Ana the moment she needed to push the creature up and kick it off.

The beast staggered back and lay sprawled on the ground for a moment before jumping back up.

“Well what are you waiting for?!” Ana yelled. “Shoot at it!”

the general pull out his dual pistols and fired off a clip into the beasts head and chest. the beast dropped to the ground dead

"sorry for the delay i wanted to be sure you needed my help before i intervined"the general said mockingly "wouldn't want you complaining about me interfering once the deed was done"

as the the general ran up to Anastasia and extended his hand to help her up off the ground

the rest of the elici soldiers followed the general after seeing that the threat was gone for now atleast

"was that a werewolf?"asked

Edited by Elici

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Martov Vale --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“No!” Ana cried, “Get back! Now!”

She was already standing, and the beast was slowly getting to its feet. Both their wounds were closing up and bullets were dropping out of the creature. They clinked on the ground as they fell. In a swift movement it knocked back one of the soldiers and jumped forward towards another. The creature bit into the man and shook him roughly.

Ana came in from the side and tackled the beast. It dropped the man and tried to bite Ana who was trying to pin it to the ground. The beast threw her off, but she did a turn in the air and landed on her feet. The beast rose and snarled at them all before taking off into the forest at top speed.

Ana glared at the General. “Stupid foreigners,” she spat. “Around here you have to learn that nothing stays dead for very long. Maybe that will teach you not to mock me. Especially when I could leave you here alone. You couldn’t last three days in my country!”

Gabriel wandered over, the scratches on his face quickly healing. “Easy Ana,” he said. “We might need them if there are more werewolves around.”

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Deukalion grabbed Xuthus, who would likely wake up shortly. Two Deukalionnic soldiers quickly tied his hands, leading him over to the two Yoruba men.

"I never thought it would be my own Military Advisor." Deukalion said with an edge of sadness. "What betrayals have taken place, and will still take place."

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The soldier began putting a rescue harness on Cairford as he replied, "We'll deal with that later. Get the cook. And collect anything that Roth may try to use as proof of national or local suzerainty, like crowns and such."

The soldier carried Cairford into the parlor.

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Martov Vale --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“No!” Ana cried, “Get back! Now!”

She was already standing, and the beast was slowly getting to its feet. Both their wounds were closing up and bullets were dropping out of the creature. They clinked on the ground as they fell. In a swift movement it knocked back one of the soldiers and jumped forward towards another. The creature bit into the man and shook him roughly.

Ana came in from the side and tackled the beast. It dropped the man and tried to bite Ana who was trying to pin it to the ground. The beast threw her off, but she did a turn in the air and landed on her feet. The beast rose and snarled at them all before taking off into the forest at top speed.

Ana glared at the General. “Stupid foreigners,” she spat. “Around here you have to learn that nothing stays dead for very long. Maybe that will teach you not to mock me. Especially when I could leave you here alone. You couldn’t last three days in my country!”

Gabriel wandered over, the scratches on his face quickly healing. “Easy Ana,” he said. “We might need them if there are more werewolves around.”

"Don't get snippy with me vampire!" the general repied in a deadly serious voice "if memory serves your the one that said one shot to the head, two shots to the chest will kill anything up here"

"so its your fault the "stupid foreigners" thought the werewolf was dead" "next time i'll just cut off its head"

"lets see it heal that" "now care to be alittle more forth coming about what the hell is up here and who or what are these Karimnans"

"everyone alright"

the elici soldiers all nodded that they where fine

Edited by Elici

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The Golden Sea ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blackburn nodded. “This certainly is not the only one. Still, I do not think Roth will have much time to worry about your lands Deukalion. I think that he will soon have more problems to deal with; Yoruba being one of them. He wants all of Tyrtania, but he cannot have it.”

The Yoruban officers took Xuthus and dragged him across to their frigate. Several more of their soldiers were waiting with iron chains, and one with a bucket full of wet cement. The Yorubans placed Xuthus feet first into the bucket and propped him up while winding the chains around him.

A sailor crossed the plank between the two ships and handed Blackburn a piece of paper. The President read it over quickly. “It would seem,” he said, “that there is already one more. Or rather, a very big one that hasn’t gone away.” Blackburn handed the paper to Deukalion. “Alexandre, crafty devil that he is, somehow managed to escape. Apparently it was on a flying broomstick.”

Cairford’s Manor --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Francais followed the soldier and was about to respond when the cook, a large woman with greying hair, came in. “What in the blazes is going on here?!” she shouted. “What do you think you are doing?! You put down Miss Cairford this instant!”

Francais slipped off to gather up some artefacts from around the house.

The Martov Vale --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ana went silent and stormed off in the direction of the shack. She kicked a skull on the ground in front of her and sent it flying across the clearing.

“Don’t mind her,” Gabriel said anxiously. “She’s just upset because she was caught off guard.”

“Bite me!” Anastasia yelled from the doorway of the shack.

Gabriel stretched. “Generally shooting something in the head does work, but generally werewolves don’t come this far north. Their territory is normally in the massive forest southeast of Brasov. That land is even darker than here. Something about those lands is just… Creepy. And that’s coming from a vampire.”

“Werewolves came to Tyrtania with us Vrykolakas and Moroii, and all the other ethnic subgroups of vampire. The vampires were basically given the Martov Vale while the werewolves were allowed to roam south of here. We vampires gladly offered our services and allegiance to Alexandre for his kindness. The werewolves were not quite so grateful. The Tsar was tolerant of the werewolves’ apathy towards him and forbade the vampires from fighting or enslaving them as we traditionally do.”

“That was, until the werewolves overstepped their bounds and started hunting humans. Alexandre tried to bargain with them, but in the end he repealed the law against our traditional vampire ways. After a few large hunts and mass killings of werewolves the beasts disappeared into their forests and we never heard very much from them. The fact that they are up here is, worrisome.”

“As for the Karimnans, there is little to tell. They were great scientists that for the most part, built Tyrtania. Their research and technology has protected, fed, and laboured for Tyrtanians. The Karimnans made the caste system possible. They made the Anthropomorphs, the first of which were modelled after werewolves; except the change was permanent. Then more developments came, and we now have a rainbow of different Anthro species. Or had, until the revolution wiped a fair portion of the Anthro population out.”

“Then the revolution came. Roth had a deep hatred for the caste system and the Karimnans ways of mass producing the humans that filled the ranks of Tyrtania’s labour force. Now there are no Karimnans left. All dead; except for a handful that are held captive by Roth. Rumour has it that the Karimans had some sort of secret laboratory up in these mountains where genetic research was being conducted. It was shut down just over a year ago and replaced with a new facility in Fort Tiber. No telling what to expect up here.”

“I doubt that it’s anything crazy like flying creatures with tentacles, that’s not the sort of thing Alexandre would have gone for. He liked to keep tabs on Karimnan research constantly. However, he did have this crazy idea to make a carnivorous horse cloned from some bones an archaeologist found on a dig in Greek lands.”

Gabriel shrugged. “I think the worst we need to worry about werewolves. Granted, that is very bad, but it beats acid spraying mutants.”

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The Martov Vale --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ana went silent and stormed off in the direction of the shack. She kicked a skull on the ground in front of her and sent it flying across the clearing.

“Don’t mind her,” Gabriel said anxiously. “She’s just upset because she was caught off guard.”

“Bite me!” Anastasia yelled from the doorway of the shack.

Gabriel stretched. “Generally shooting something in the head does work, but generally werewolves don’t come this far north. Their territory is normally in the massive forest southeast of Brasov. That land is even darker than here. Something about those lands is just… Creepy. And that’s coming from a vampire.”

“Werewolves came to Tyrtania with us Vrykolakas and Moroii, and all the other ethnic subgroups of vampire. The vampires were basically given the Martov Vale while the werewolves were allowed to roam south of here. We vampires gladly offered our services and allegiance to Alexandre for his kindness. The werewolves were not quite so grateful. The Tsar was tolerant of the werewolves’ apathy towards him and forbade the vampires from fighting or enslaving them as we traditionally do.”

“That was, until the werewolves overstepped their bounds and started hunting humans. Alexandre tried to bargain with them, but in the end he repealed the law against our traditional vampire ways. After a few large hunts and mass killings of werewolves the beasts disappeared into their forests and we never heard very much from them. The fact that they are up here is, worrisome.”

“As for the Karimnans, there is little to tell. They were great scientists that for the most part, built Tyrtania. Their research and technology has protected, fed, and laboured for Tyrtanians. The Karimnans made the caste system possible. They made the Anthropomorphs, the first of which were modelled after werewolves; except the change was permanent. Then more developments came, and we now have a rainbow of different Anthro species. Or had, until the revolution wiped a fair portion of the Anthro population out.”

“Then the revolution came. Roth had a deep hatred for the caste system and the Karimnans ways of mass producing the humans that filled the ranks of Tyrtania’s labour force. Now there are no Karimnans left. All dead; except for a handful that are held captive by Roth. Rumour has it that the Karimans had some sort of secret laboratory up in these mountains where genetic research was being conducted. It was shut down just over a year ago and replaced with a new facility in Fort Tiber. No telling what to expect up here.”

“I doubt that it’s anything crazy like flying creatures with tentacles, that’s not the sort of thing Alexandre would have gone for. He liked to keep tabs on Karimnan research constantly. However, he did have this crazy idea to make a carnivorous horse cloned from some bones an archaeologist found on a dig in Greek lands.”

Gabriel shrugged. “I think the worst we need to worry about werewolves. Granted, that is very bad, but it beats acid spraying mutants.”

"i see well thank you for the information" the general said to Gabriel "i hope Anastasia doesn't take what i said personally" "i didn't mean to point out any faults on her part i just don't like being made to look a fool"

turning to the elici soldiers "secure the area i don't want anything coming near us without me knowing about it well in advance" the general gave them all a glare that told them should they fail werewolves and vampires were the least of their worries.

the soldiers went about securing the clearing around the shack making sure that nothing could sneek up on them

"whats our next moved then Gabriel" the general asked as they went to see if Anastasia was finished investigating the seemingly empty shack

Edited by Elici

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Carrying the minister on his shoulder, the soldier replied to the cook. "We're from the Empire of Korros. Everyone is being evacuated from his manor. You can assemble in the parlor, or I can sedate you. We don't have time for discussion."

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Martov Vale --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Don’t worry,” Gabriel said. “She doesn’t like things like this to get personal. To her this is all just business. She’ll bounce right back to her normal self. Doesn’t mean she won’t slit your throat later if it seems prudent, but she prefers her backup alive. Normally…”

Ana came out of the shack carrying two small, clear bags filled with red liquid. “Apparently,” she said while tossing one to Gabriel, “This was one of our safe houses. A long time ago that is.”

Gabriel poked a small hole in the bag and slowly emptied it into his canteen. “You’re sure it’s still good?” he asked while sniffing what was left in the bag.

“It was left in a battery operated fridge. I’m sure it’s still drinkable,” Ana replied before downing the contents of the bag.

“Guess we’ll find out,” Gabriel muttered. “Can we go now?”

“Yes. I’m thinking it should just be over that ridge there.” Ana pointed up the steep mountain that they were on. “Clear enough directions for you General?”

Cairford’s Manor ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The cook was silent immediately and bustled after the soldier who was carrying Cairford.

Francais returned ten minutes later, his arms filled with rolled up scrolls and a few pieces of jewellery including a splendid gold tiara. “I umm… Think this is everything,” he said to one of the soldiers.

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Inside the parlor, the team made final preparations. Two of the soldiers quickly secured the items in protective containers resembling thick attache containers. Two others helped the servant and the cook into their rescue harnesses. Another explained some brief intsructions.

"When you get outside, leave your hands at your side. We will secure you to the cable. The lift will be rapid, but don't be alarmed. Keep your mouth open so the your ears don't pressurize." (turning to a soldier watching at the window) "Are we ready to move?"

"Yes."

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Martov Vale --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Don’t worry,” Gabriel said. “She doesn’t like things like this to get personal. To her this is all just business. She’ll bounce right back to her normal self. Doesn’t mean she won’t slit your throat later if it seems prudent, but she prefers her backup alive. Normally…”

Ana came out of the shack carrying two small, clear bags filled with red liquid. “Apparently,” she said while tossing one to Gabriel, “This was one of our safe houses. A long time ago that is.”

Gabriel poked a small hole in the bag and slowly emptied it into his canteen. “You’re sure it’s still good?” he asked while sniffing what was left in the bag.

“It was left in a battery operated fridge. I’m sure it’s still drinkable,” Ana replied before downing the contents of the bag.

“Guess we’ll find out,” Gabriel muttered. “Can we go now?”

“Yes. I’m thinking it should just be over that ridge there.” Ana pointed up the steep mountain that they were on. “Clear enough directions for you General?”

"well thats comforting" the General said to Gabriel

turning to Anastasia the general smiled "yes those are clear enough directions" "shall we continue then"

"move out!" the general ordered

the soldiers formed up around the General and the two Death dealers ready to move on to the graveyard

Edited by Elici

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The soldiers and the household shuffled out quickly to the patio. Six cables descended from helicopter. Working quickly, the team secured themselves to the cables. With only the soft whine of a motor, the team was carried up to the chopper. Once they were inside, the helicopter flew off silently into the night.

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Cairford’s Manor ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

A soldier on patrol looked up into the night sky. He thought he saw a little glimmer amongst the stars. He shook his head and returned on his walk. “Probably that awful water from earlier,” he said to himself.

Martov Vale ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The group journeyed higher and higher into the mountains. The path wound its way upwards along the edge of sheer cliffs and deep, black chasms. There were no sounds except for their footsteps and the occasional clattering of a rock being pushed over the edge of the mountain.

They rounded a sharp corner and entered a dark tunnel. Ana grabbed a torch off the wall and lit it up. The walls were covered with blood red paintings of animals to begin with, but as they moved deeper into the cave the drawings grew more malevolent. Bison changed into bats, upright people fell at the knees of tall black creatures with huge wings and pools of red paint at their feet.

One of the soldiers from Elici kicked a stone down a hole in the ground. The stone fell, creating a sound that reverberated through the caverns every time it bounced off the wall or a ledge on the way down.

The sound of bats squealing was audible throughout the cavern. Even more disturbing was a chattering in some ancient language that echoed after it. As suddenly as it came the sound stopped, replaced by a heavy silence.

After remaining frozen for almost a minute Ana regained her composure. “We’re going to keep moving. Come on.”

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OOC: Sory for the inactivity.

Deukalion nodded. "He oversteps his means if he thinks he can wage a crusade in his state."

He looked and read the paper. "Interesting. It is curious as to where he went, however."

------

Xuthus was starting to regain conciousness, still dazed from Deukalion's senior kick.

"Wwhat are you doing?" he said in weak protest to the Yoruban officer around him, as he tried to move but felt like he had irons for feet.

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Martov Vale ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The group journeyed higher and higher into the mountains. The path wound its way upwards along the edge of sheer cliffs and deep, black chasms. There were no sounds except for their footsteps and the occasional clattering of a rock being pushed over the edge of the mountain.

They rounded a sharp corner and entered a dark tunnel. Ana grabbed a torch off the wall and lit it up. The walls were covered with blood red paintings of animals to begin with, but as they moved deeper into the cave the drawings grew more malevolent. Bison changed into bats, upright people fell at the knees of tall black creatures with huge wings and pools of red paint at their feet.

One of the soldiers from Elici kicked a stone down a hole in the ground. The stone fell, creating a sound that reverberated through the caverns every time it bounced off the wall or a ledge on the way down.

The sound of bats squealing was audible throughout the cavern. Even more disturbing was a chattering in some ancient language that echoed after it. As suddenly as it came the sound stopped, replaced by a heavy silence.

After remaining frozen for almost a minute Ana regained her composure. “We’re going to keep moving. Come on.”

"Watch where your stepping!" the general ordered in a hushed voice

the general started speaking words in a strange language

"tnio het swado" while he spoke he drew a symbol in the air that looked like a crescent moon with a semi-circle connecting the two points of the moon and a four pointed star in the center. the watcher and shadow elite all drew the same symbol in unison

"mi orld Dakrear ogd fre het Dakre, akte ues tnio oru emrica os tat ew slal ent eb ense reo arehd nulit ew os hoso"

As the general, watchers and shadow elite finished the chant and the drawing of the symbol that seemed to be made of pure darkness they instantly vanished into the shadows and could neither be seen nor heard no matter how good your hearing or sight is.

"lets go and see what all the chanting was about" said the general

Edited by Elici

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The Golden Sea ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Well if I were Alexandre and heading west, I’d probably want to hide in the forests near Grimmshire. They’re dark and twisted beyond all imagination,” Blackburn said with a grimace. “And I’ve heard talk of some very strange goings on in those lands. Then again, those always were strange places, and never really under Tyrtanian control; just a part of the island.”

“Or he might have tried to escape over the Gray Sea. Treacherous waters those are; nigh impassable for ships, but on a flying broomstick, he could have very well made it to the other side.”

One of the Yoruban officers tied a gag around Xuthus’ mouth and secured it tightly with a knot. He smiled, “Ready for your swim?”

The other Yorubans grabbed Xuthus and dragged him to the edge of the ship before lifting him up over the railing and dropping him feet first into the sea with a tremendous splash.

Blackburn peered over the edge of Deukalion’s ship. “I think that’s the last you’ll see of that worm. But you never know. One time I thought I’d seen the last of Anastasia Torrovitch, and then she came back a week later. She threw me off a cliff; but I’m still here. Guess fate sees to it that our greatest enemies never die.”

Blackburn sat himself back down on a crate with a grimace. “Although, I’m not as young as I use to be, but she’s as lively as ever. Hunting vampires has a tendency to make you feel much older than you are.” He laughed, “And I’m pretty old.”

Martov Vale -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anastasia peered into the darkness where the Elicians had just been. “Clever trick,” she muttered, “But you don’t want to go poking around in the lower caverns. I don’t even go there. They’re filled with enormous bats, goblins, shades and the dwergi: vicious little demons that once served the Vrykolaka Lords.”

Gabriel chuckled. “I once heard a rumour that there is a tunnel that leads for a thousand miles into the ground. At the other side is an enormous subterranean kingdom built by people who were banished from the surface world and sent there through a magical portal.”

Ana pointed the torch down a tunnel that was on their left. The slope was steep and covered in moss. “If you want to go goblin hunting, that is the way. But I doubt they’ll give us any trouble. Good luck finding your way back, because it won’t be from this tunnel. Gabriel and I have wasted enough time as it is. Thank you for accompanying us. Follow if you wish, but feel free to do as you please.”

Ana and Gabriel proceeded along the tunnel the group had been following, the torchlight slowing fading away into the almost tangible darkness.

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Martov Vale -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anastasia peered into the darkness where the Elicians had just been. “Clever trick,” she muttered, “But you don’t want to go poking around in the lower caverns. I don’t even go there. They’re filled with enormous bats, goblins, shades and the dwergi: vicious little demons that once served the Vrykolaka Lords.”

Gabriel chuckled. “I once heard a rumour that there is a tunnel that leads for a thousand miles into the ground. At the other side is an enormous subterranean kingdom built by people who were banished from the surface world and sent there through a magical portal.”

Ana pointed the torch down a tunnel that was on their left. The slope was steep and covered in moss. “If you want to go goblin hunting, that is the way. But I doubt they’ll give us any trouble. Good luck finding your way back, because it won’t be from this tunnel. Gabriel and I have wasted enough time as it is. Thank you for accompanying us. Follow if you wish, but feel free to do as you please.”

Ana and Gabriel proceeded along the tunnel the group had been following, the torchlight slowing fading away into the almost tangible darkness.

"well we've gone this far no sense in giving up now"

"we'll stay with the vampires for now" the general said to the elici soilders as they all continued in the direction Anastasia and Gabriel had just gone.

Edited by Elici

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The chopper touched down on the carrier deck. As Minister Cairford was transported to the infirmary, preparations were made to move the symbols of office to a secure location.

Inside the command center, Admiral Dbome had a video conference with his ship captains.

"Intelligence reports that the Tsar escaped execution via a flying broom. Given the nature of the flight, we were unable to get a radar or thermal lock on him. Our GEOINT assets our reviewing imagery over the likely escape routes, but that's going to take time. In the meantime, we've been instructed to watch the coast and insert recon teams to covertly search the more isolated areas. I want to stress the teams are not contacting or engaging anything. So far, our presence is effectively unacknowledged by the theocrats. Let's keep it as such. Also, make sure your recon teams are properly equipped. Tyrtania has significant preternatural elements. Every man we send landside should at least have arcane rounds.

Now, the intelligence service is also running its own search. The are obstinately close-mouthed about the what and where, as usual. However, they have requested that we have assets on standby to pick agents up should they locate the Tsar, or just need to have their asses pulled out of the fire. So stay prepped, and stay sharp. Ullr Carrier Group will take the lead on the recon and recovery operations.

That'll be all, gentlemen."

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"general we should have caught up to the death dealers by now" said one of the shadow elite

"yes well i have a feeling that they don't require our help anymore so lets try and find a awy out of this place"

"yes sir" came the reply

"oh and watcher do keep an eye out for the tyrtanian shades, some how i doubt they'll be willing to help us even if they are in a sense you brothers/sisters" the general added

"yes sir" replied the watchers

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“Oh hell…” Gabriel stopped and looked behind him. “I think we lost the humans.”

Ana shrugged, “I told them to follow and keep up. They’re probably just back a bit waiting to jump out and try to surprise us.”

“Ana… They’re adult aged humans, not 12 year olds.”

Anastasia turned to Gabriel and cocked her head to the side, blinking her eyes slowly. “Is there a difference?” she asked.

Gabriel muttered, “I’m pretty sure there is.”

Ana began to walk away. “They’ll catch up. If not, I’m sure they’re more than capable of finding their way out.”

“And what do you think will happen if the Dwegi catch them? I don’t think the Dwergi would be happy to know that the Moroii are about to make a big comeback.”

A single word escaped Ana’s lips. “Shit.”

“I’ll go get them and meet you at the end of the tunnel,” Gabriel said, running back the way they came.

“Better hurry Gabe.”

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