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Author Topic: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep (Councillors win!)  (Read 23511 times)

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Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #50 on: June 17, 2011, 01:08:49 AM »
Accompanying the other Councillors into the King's chambers Mistress Beguile's paused just inside the door then walked slowly to a window that looked down into the courtyard where only the day before Lady rottenaim had met her untimely end.  Her heart was heavy knowing that she had be a part of the decision that led up to her execution.  That in and of itself weighed on her but worse was the fact that the lady in question had been the Vampire Hunter.  A dread chill ran through her body at the thought.

Who will protect us from the scourge of the vicious blood suckers she asked herself as she raised her face to catch what she could of the faint sun that might make it through the cloudy overcast.  Moments later she exhaled a deep, heartfelt sigh and turned back to the chamber to join the others in their discussion of who might be responsible for these latest killings.

As she moved through the gathering the words exchanged between Duke Aiden and the Lady Imogen came her way and she pondered on that aspect and their truth.

Offline Starlequin

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #51 on: June 17, 2011, 03:25:16 AM »
The bed looked excruciatingly comfortable, fitted with luxuriantly soft blankets and pillows stuffed fat with down. It also looked undisturbed; its intended occupant sat motionless in a chair in one darkened corner of the room, enduring an interminable, sleepless night with fingers steepled together beneath a grim and grievous expression. The sound of the Kingsman's axe slicing through Lady rottenaim's throat still echoed in Lord Starlequin's ears, a cruel and taunting reminder of his unforgiveable misjudgement the previous evening.

He remembered her last moments as she was led silently to the block, not a word of complaint or denial of guilt passing her lips nor a tear of remorse gracing her cheek. How her eyes had met his, and how...oh, merciful God, how he'd smiled, boastful and triumphant, so certain she was in league with their murderous tormentors. He'd thought the worst part had been watching her corpse with a crumbling surety that at any moment it might burst into flames or crackle to dust. But no, there was so much worse to come, as they searched the lady's room and discovered her true identity. The rest of the night had been spent in silent prayer, in hopes that God Above would forgive him his trespass; Starlequin knew he'd never forgive himself.

Tears of shame and guilt had fallen since sunset, dried by dawn, and now Starlequin rose to rejoin his fellow courtiers. He dressed from the wardrobe he'd brought along, colors considerably more sedate than those he'd sported the day before, greys and dark reds, and completed the new morning's style with a thin, silver collar and two silver bracelets about his neck and wrists. Silver, that was what all the old legends said, wasn't it, for warding away unnatural creatures such as those that plagued them now? Starlequin dearly hoped so; he had precious little left in which to place his faith. Doubtless the others would suspect him even more ardently now, leaving him painfully few allies to defend his innocence. Given his part in rottenaim's death, he would hardly blame them. Perhaps he would speak with Lady Analise; they had spent a few moments the night before sharing their thoughts on those they suspected, and he felt they'd earned some measure of each other's trust. He could only hope she would feel similar.

This morning's arrival to court was far more punctual than the day before's, and he waited patiently for his chance to speak with Analise alone as the morning business was conducted. However, it quickly became apparent that their full coterie was not in attendance; both Lady Analise and Admiral Eden were conspicuously absent, leading several among them to immediately fear the worst. And rightly, as it happened, both bodies being discovered mere minutes after a search began. It was plain from the grisly condition of the corpses what had transpired. Admiral Eden's murder was particularly disheartening; such a clever and cunning opponent was shi, how much more fearsome must hir assassins have been?

Restless and caught between fury and despair, Starlequin paced through the hallways and came across the Lady Imogen and Duke Aiden conversing quietly beside one of the many open balconies overlooking the courtyard below. At the mention of Lady Analise's name a sliver of his composure fractured, and he slammed one fist forcefully against the smooth stone wall, jarring both Lady and Duke's attention.

"If it was your failure to protect her, Sir Duke, then it is my failure as well, and compounded by my own blind stupidity. She spoke to me also of those she distrusted, but did not see fit to share with me any names. And coupled with the death of Lady rottenaim, it would appear my foolishness knows no limits." Starlequin extended a bloodied hand to the Duke, his expression etched with grim determination as he looked from lady to gentleman. "I cannot say now who I suspect of this foulness; my judgement has already proven most poor, and I cannot yet bare to risk another innocent's life until there is no other choice. But without hesitation I can pledge you this, my friend: we will hunt down these blasphemous monstrosities, to the ends of the earth if need be, and we shall deliver them to their final judgement. And may God have mercy on their miserable excuses for souls."

Offline Imogen

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #52 on: June 17, 2011, 04:11:54 AM »
Imogen rested a gentle, restraining hand upon the Duke's sleeve. "She mentioned suspecting Marguerite to me as well, and for quite astute reasons. Although I share her reluctance, I cannot forget who slandered the Lady Rottenaim's name." A venomous look found Lord Starlequin upon his addressing Aiden. "Rumors have it, good Sir? Do you remember?" Her voice was thick with sarcasm. "I shall not tarnish the lady's memory by repeating your words further."

She straightened and looked past the two men towards the hall. "Please excuse me." A smile was sent to the Duke as she swept past Starlequin, pointedly ignoring the latter as she headed down the corridors.

Offline Marguerite

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #53 on: June 17, 2011, 08:38:15 PM »
Duchess Marguerite looked to the swine who thought to accuse her and now knew one of the individuals who Ana and Eden felt could be an enemy. "Yes, Ana did come to moi and asked for aid for she felt there were certain individuals who could be an enemy. She asked if I could help and I agreed to though it seems no one here is willing to help other than to hang the innocents. If you look at the voting, I did not vote for the innocent Rottenaim for I felt there was something disturbing about Starlequin. There are others who voted for rottenaim who could very well murdered Ana and Eden." Duchess Marguerite looked to all and peered at each closely, her eyes widening and narrowing as she played with a deck of cards in her hands. "I am no bloodsucker or mangy dog. I could never harm Eden who was a second lover to moi. Instead, I am a friend to finding out who has murdered the innocent and take them out before they eat us in our sleep." To looked to all to have their say knowing it was a mystery as to who was innocent. "If you want, have me thrown in the sun or press silver to my skin. I do adore jewelry on my rings and in my ears. Can anyone else test themselves to such acts without wincing in pain?"

Offline Ryven

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2011, 09:56:28 PM »
Count Ryven stood close by, eyeing those in the heat of conversation.  Tempers were high, and blame was being flung like thick mud through the room.  Three innocents were dead already, some by their own choice and a poor one at that.

"Dear friends...if I can still call you all that, let us not let reason become blinded by emotions.  It is quite the tragedy for three of us to to have met our bitter ends so soon, but let us turn matters to whom is responsible."  He said, trying to steer the conversation to more constructive matters.

"Aiden swore to protect her.  Perhaps she got a little too close for her own good, and he used that as the perfect chance to strike."

Offline Aiden

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #55 on: June 17, 2011, 10:51:18 PM »
"A burden I shall carry with me deeply from now on, but we can not all be bakers safe in our kitchens Count Ryven, I do not expect you to understand that kind of burden."
He hissed at the man and sighed deeply, moving to sit at his spot at the table and wait for the others to make their decisions.
"Analise has told others of her suspicions and even now you doubt her? I think your friendship with her makes you blind Count, pray it is not your undoing."
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 10:52:32 PM by Aiden »

Offline RemielTopic starter

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2011, 04:42:17 PM »
Current Tally:

Aiden (1): Ryven
Marguerite (1): Aiden

Votes not yet cast: Imogen, Rhedyn, Geeklet, Moirae, Josietta, Xandi, Kyrsa, Starlequin, Izu, Mithlomwen, Marguerite, FoamWeber, Valerian, Beguile's Mistress, Lord Mayerling


King Gregorii drummed his fingers upon the arm of his throne as the Councillors murmured and muttered, reticent to pronounce a public accusation, possibly due to recent events and the deaths of three of their number.

"Speak up, my lords!" he cried, at last.  "How can we hope to rid ourselves of the vile plague that afflicts us if we are not brave and bold enough to give voice to our suspicions?"




Reminder: The voting phase has begun. It will end Thursday, 23 June, at approximately midnight, EST (GMT-5).

Offline Valerian

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #57 on: June 19, 2011, 05:40:19 PM »
The Lady Val finally gathered her courage and spoke.  Saddened as she was by the untimely deaths, they all owed it to those they had lost to do their best to find the killers.  She could not bear to dwell on the possibility of being wrong again -- the thought brought tears to her eyes and a deep sense of dread to her heart -- but the king was right.  If they did nothing, then the monsters would succeed effortlessly.

"My lords and ladies, let us not forget Lord Starlequin.  All of you who voted for him that first day must have had some reason for your suspicions.  Even the Lady rottenaim, may her spirit rest in peace, suspected him, and we know now that she was truly innocent and loyal."  She paused to take a deep breath and try to calm herself as she thought of that terrible loss.  "Some have said that Lord Starlequin gave a good and proper excuse for his behaviour, but for myself, I think only that he protests too much."

Offline Josietta

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2011, 10:13:40 AM »
Lady Josietta had finished her morning prayers when she heard a familiar scream. Frowning as her stomach bottomed out, she knew it was more than likely what they had all dreaded. Swiftly she picked up her skirts to find out who exactly had been taken by the monsters that roamed the halls at night. When she came first upon Lady Ana she motioned in a cross like fashion and whispered a half silent prayer for the Lady's soul before she turned quickly away paling at the vision of death. A life taken far too soon.

Moving further toward the crowds to see the next victim she wasn't sure she wanted to know or to see the damage done. With a deep sigh she held tight to her stomach and peered through the crowd to see who it was. Her eyes widened and she glanced quickly toward the others around, looking for allies amongst them. The blonde haired lady searched for those who knew Eden and prepared for comforts and the like. She would indeed be spending some time in the chapel today helping with the grieving family and friends of those lost thus far.

Wiping a tear from her cheek she moved away from the gruesome remains and glanced toward those whispering words of who it was and who the victims trusted. With a furrow to her brow she looked at Lady Val and nodded.

"Yes Lady Valarian. I agree. Lord Starlequinn was a choice of mine before and I have yet to be convinced otherwise. Running an estate may keep you busy but it is not enough for me to absolve him of whatever crimes or sins he may have committed thus far. Until such time that solid proof of his innocence can be shown, I will continue to believe he is linked to the untimely deaths of our people."

Offline FoamWeber

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #59 on: June 20, 2011, 06:39:06 PM »
Lady Weber arrived in time to hear that last comment. She'd heard the scream, but decided to take a moment to eat breakfast before heading down to find the source. It was always for the same reason, after all.
"Demanding proof of innocence will never get one far," she replied to Lady Josietta. "However, I have to agree; Lord Starlequin does seem to be the most guilty one here."
Of course, her reasoning was more that she wanted vengeance for his insult, but the others didn't need to know that.

Offline Lord Mayerling

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2011, 06:57:41 PM »
“Ladies, Lords, please gather round.” Having generally gathered the attention, Mayerling began an extraordinary story. “During the night, I had the opportunity to discover, beyond the shadow of doubt, that

Geeklet is a vampire among us.

Hir identity was discovered through this medallion, a charm handed down the Mayerling clan through the generations.” He held out the charm for the gathered group to inspect.

“I became suspicious of the monster when shi changed hir vote towards the end of yesterday’s gathering, whence shi stated,

Quote
"I apologize if it seems like I am coming off as fickle, but as more votes roll in, I see something going on that I cannot in good conscious let happen. I do not understand how you people can keep on voting for Lord Starlequinn after he has given a quite thorough explanation, while Lady rottenaim has given virtually none?"

Clearly hir vote was changed to protect Lord Starlequin when it appeared the group suspected him the most. It was, in fact, hir vote that made the difference in the surrender of an innocent. Therefore, I believe we can also reasonably assume Lord Starlequin is a vampire as well.”

Mayerling’s face then turned darker, more distant. “As pointed out by Geeklet hirself, this revelation may very well prove catalyst to my own murder. Shi has said that my actions to this point allow only result in the deepening of my own grave. To that, all I have to say is that a grave dug to any depth cannot contain his soul. As a man amongst you, I have elected to reveal the truths I have learned in the hopes my death is not in vain. As such, I have chosen to make my life more valuable to you all now, than my death can ever be. I am ready to die, my gathered friends, I only ask that you heed the truths I have shared with you.”

Offline Xandi

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #61 on: June 20, 2011, 07:06:47 PM »
After listening carefully to all that had been said Lady Xandi stood and in a shaky voice said, "I believe that Lord Starlequin has much to answer for. It struck me as strange that it would have been his head on the chopping block before a number of people became suspicious of poor Lady Rottenaim. I believe that while the Lord speaks eloquent words his heart, if he has one that still beats, is working toward the demise of everyone in this court." Lady Xandi steadied herself before continuing. "I pray that God will have mercy on the souls of those whose lives have already been stolen. My only hope now is that their lives have not been in vain and we can capture and destroy the beasts that have wrought this terrible plague upon us."

Lady Xandi sat in her chair and fanned herself in fear that this was all to much for her to take. She was a gentile sort and this kind of excitement could very well render her faint.

Offline Ryven

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #62 on: June 20, 2011, 07:08:00 PM »
"Good sir, if you know without a shadow of a doubt that Geeklet is a vampire, why are not not voting for hir?  Star has been suspicious and may likely be a vampire, but there is still not certainty as there is in the case of Geeklet.  If Geeklet is a vampire, why are we allowing hir to exist another night among us?"

Offline Lord Mayerling

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #63 on: June 20, 2011, 07:14:03 PM »
"Good sir, if you know without a shadow of a doubt that Geeklet is a vampire, why are not not voting for hir?  Star has been suspicious and may likely be a vampire, but there is still not certainty as there is in the case of Geeklet.  If Geeklet is a vampire, why are we allowing hir to exist another night among us?"

Mayerling smiled, citing the growing tally of votes for Lord Starlequin, "Because a man cannot kill a vampire on his own."

Offline Ryven

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #64 on: June 20, 2011, 07:16:48 PM »
Mayerling smiled, citing the growing tally of votes for Lord Starlequin, "Because a man cannot kill a vampire on his own."

"The late vampire hunter would beg to differ.  RIP Rottenaim."

Offline Xandi

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #65 on: June 20, 2011, 07:25:53 PM »
"Ummm I can understand Lord Mayerlings reasoning. If he is proven right about Lord Starlequin then it would seem, even if he is murdered within the next night, that he has outted two monsters in one day. It makes perfect sense to me."

Lady Xandi sat again and almost fainted at how bold she had just been.

Online Geeklet

Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #66 on: June 20, 2011, 07:28:42 PM »
I assure you, I am no vampire. You claim the change in my vote to Lady rottenaim was in order to protect Starlequinn? I had not voted for either of them previous, for I had little knowledge to derive any sort of conclusion from. Now miss rottenaim shared little information which made her seem somewhat suspect, but now I can see that it was merely to keep the REAL vampires among us from finding out her identity. Lord Starlequinn, however, was giving us copious reasoning for his innocence. While I am still unsure of his allegiance, I suspected that keeping him around, as verbose as he was the previous day, would give me even more of an opportunity to analyze his statements so that I could come to a better conclusion.

It is curious though that all this comes after I cast a vote of suspicious against you, when it wasn't either of the two popular options to do so. Are you threatened by the fact that I might know the truth behind your facade?

And today, while there were some more private discussions going on, you voiced to the group that you believed one among them could not be trusted, yet did not specify who. Why didn't you say then what you are saying now? Are you merely trying to stir the pot, and waited until just now to pick your victim? I said nothing within that private group, because there were a few people, you among them, Lord Mayerling, that I still had my suspicions on.

Offline Ryven

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #67 on: June 20, 2011, 08:04:07 PM »
"Ummm I can understand Lord Mayerlings reasoning. If he is proven right about Lord Starlequin then it would seem, even if he is murdered within the next night, that he has outted two monsters in one day. It makes perfect sense to me."

Lady Xandi sat again and almost fainted at how bold she had just been.

"His reasoning does seem sound, but I have learned over the years to not take everything at face value.  It doesn't take much to flaunt a simple trinket and claim to have used its power to divine someone's true intention.  I, myself, have one, though I'm sad to say, it does not do what Lord Mayerling claims his did."  He said, fingering the pocket watch in his jacket pocket.

"Remember, my fellow counsillors, vampires are not the only nasties that we have to look out for.  Have you forgotten about the werewolves that are roaming about?  Let us not get caught in some crossfire between them.  While what Lord Mayerling says could very well be true, it could just as easily be a ruse conjured up by a werewolf looking for an opportunity.  I don't know one way or another, so I will let my vote stay as it is for now...until more compelling evidence is brought forth."  He said, removing his hand from his pocket to leave his precious pocket watch be.

Offline Xandi

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #68 on: June 20, 2011, 08:14:32 PM »
"What you say seems sound Lord Ryven. However if Lord Starlequin is executed and proven to be a monster would it not seem sound to believe what Lord Mayerling says? I am so frightened, because you are correct the monsters are not only the vampires we also must discover who the hideous beasts called werewolves are, but my Lord we must start somewhere. Doesn't this seem at least a place to begin. I mean if Starlequin is proven innocent then Lord Mayerling must be a werewolf or vampire don't you think?"

Xandi's voice trembled as she spoke, this whole affair seemed to be more and more complicated and she was a simple courtier.

Offline Ryven

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #69 on: June 20, 2011, 08:23:41 PM »
"You would be correct, and if Lord Starlequin does prove to be a monster, I would be more apt to believe Lord Mayerling's accusation.  However, as we have already lost one of our dear comrades to misplaced voting, I will follow my own conscience for another round before I jump on the bandwagon."  He said before eyeing the others.

Offline Xandi

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #70 on: June 20, 2011, 08:34:45 PM »
Looking at Lord Ryven and wondering why he seemed so careful to place his vote when things had begun to look like we could have some concrete evidence either way.

"As you wish my Lord. I would never encourage anyone to vote against their own conscience. I must say that your reasoning does not fit with your own personal voting history. It seemed that you did not have such reserve in order to vote against Lady Rottenaim when there was absolutely no evidence one way or the other. In fact your statement was,
Quote
"After much consideration and deliberation, I have decided to change my vote to the Lady rottenaim as well."


You said, "with much consideration and deliberation" your decision was made. But now with a convincing argument you seem to delay, it makes a person wonder my Lord. I hope you can forgive my boldness, but I am confused by you."

Offline Ryven

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #71 on: June 20, 2011, 08:51:02 PM »
"That is precisely why I am not changing my vote.  I fear my consideration was not as adequate as I first had thought.  I did not weigh the facts correctly, and now, I have contributed to the demise of one of our only defenses against the dark forces.  I should have kept my vote where it was for I would not have been responsible for Rottenaim's demise.  May her soul rest in peace.  Can you see now that I do not wish to make the same mistake twice?  I am willing to accept the consequences for my first vote, but if I change and find out that, again, I have helped another innocent to their grave, I could not forgive myself."

Offline Xandi

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #72 on: June 20, 2011, 09:03:41 PM »
While Lord Starlequins death, should he be innocent, would be a tragedy. The knowledge that we would gain from it would enable us to start down a road to destroy the monsters that surround us. Lord Mayerling has declared he has concrete proof of Geeklets guilt so if he is correct then his assumption about Starlequin should be heeded and acted upon. If he is proven wrong then we still have gained an advantage in knowing he must be one of the guilty. Does not this line of reasoning seem sound? I understand that we stand a chance of making another mistake but should we do nothing more of our kindred will be murdered and it would be in vain. I am not trying to sway your vote Lord Ryven, I am only struggling to understand your line of reasoning.  I can not see the advantage Lord Mayerling would gain if he is proven wrong. Perhaps you are seeing something I have missed, pray tell what that might be?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 09:06:01 PM by Xandi »

Offline Ryven

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #73 on: June 20, 2011, 09:28:28 PM »
"I've already explained my reasoning.  It's a risk, plain and simple.  If he is telling the truth, he's counting on people to believe him and take out the vampires.  If he is lying, he is counting on people to believe him and take out innocent counsillors.  Why do you assume we are doing nothing?  As I recall, there are several others who have yet to make their vote.  It is still early yet, and if I may be so bold, I do not appreciate being questioned so.  You say you do not wish to sway my vote, but that seems all that you wish to do.  If you're trying to pressure me into giving something away, I'll tell you now, I am a counsillor as I have alluded to before."

Offline Xandi

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Re: The Scourge of Shadowlore Keep
« Reply #74 on: June 20, 2011, 09:33:49 PM »
Bowing to Lord Ryven and smiling, "As you wish my Lord. I only thought that perhaps you were seeing something I was not. Please pardon my ill manners in questioning you so. I only wished to understand. Perhaps the stress of the situation is affecting me as well. Please forgive me for what you see as me pressuring you. I will not speak another word of the matter to you, you have my word."

Lady Xandi sat in her chair and turned to face the others in the court who had yet to speak.