Lord Joyde The Madman: Heylo, everybody! How are you all doing?
Okay so this one is definitely the last chapter before I leave for my home town since people are coming to get me later today.
Enjoy the content!
Not much else to say here, total warhammer 2 has me somewhat interested so there may be future complications but the more I see of it.
The less I want to play it.
Also, what do you guys think of the new image? Its just a sketch, courtesy of False Immortal Yue!
Anyways, here comes the next chapter of Destiny: Infernal! I sincerely hope that you enjoy, let us begin!
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
A few minutes later... - Excavation Encampment - Alice's Point Of View...
"Something is terribly wrong here..." The dark elven woman that I've met before spoke in a rather uncertain tone as we all gathered near the middle bonfire.
Tenuous firelight, making us all feel like rats in front of some lions den."Nobody triggered the alarm?" Casper muttered in equal disbelief.
Two of our guys dragged a half-naked woman towards the group."Boss! Boss! Something's fookin' wrong with this place. Look, dis hoe don't react to nuthin'!"
We all blinked at their way of speaking, somewhat confused. One of the thugs saw me and his eyes went wide."A-uh, don't worry lil' lady, we's just played a bit wi-"
"Don't. Even. Try." I promptly waved a hand towards the man. The damage is already done, no need to make it worse. Casper managed to somehow recover from the stupefiction."Aye, we all got that somethings not quite right. Let me guess, you tried to rape the lass but she didn't wake up no matter what you did?"
"I's not rape if they enjoy it, ya?" The duo of mongrels laughed, causing the most of us to just sigh as Skave, the dark elf's human boyfriend, dragged in a seemingly unconscious guard."Look 'ere. This ones clean, no alcohol or anything on his breath. Still not reacting at all."
Walking over to the fallen, mourfully sleeping, soldier, I placed a hand onto his head and channeled my magic into it. By doing this, I could feel the differing mana within the mans body. There was his, mine... and then something far blacker. A dark, swirling maelstorm of blood and evil.
"Huh?!" The bandits around me nearly screeched in response as I turned around, my expression grim."A noble vampire, if the amount of people beguiled is anything to go by..."
*Cough cough* A sudden sound caused my head to turn around and towards the fallen soldier. Seems my little magic trick woke him up a bit. Letting out a breath and steeling myself, I take upon a regal stance and begin questioning the man."Soldier!"
His eyes immidiatelly forced themselves into attention."Y-ye*COUGH*aaurrg..."
"Please, do not overexert yourself. My name is Alice Pendragon, High Lady of the Duchy of Axilar... me and my.. entourage happened upon your camp and noticed something wrong. The people here do not respond to anything. Can you tell us what happened?" I waved my right hand behind my back, signaling the bandits to scatter. Which they followed through without a hitch."I-..I-rugh!.. milady.. please.. run.. from here.. a vampire.. lord.. attack the s-site... go to.. go to the city and.. call for h-help-aa.."
Smiling wickedly as the man confirmed my former assessment, I promptly break his neck with a high kick before turning back towards my allies."Casper, the vampire most likely attacked the camp sometime during noon and entered the cave after beguiling everyone else in order to rest. The fact that he or she hasn't come up already to confront us can only mean that they are still asleep."
"So what do we do? Hmm.. do we take the risk and grab everything we can or just leave outright?" Casper turned around to look at his group, all of which turned towards each other in turn, all uncertain. On the one hand, they might get skewered by a devil of the night. On the other hand, the loot here may just be worth it.
I've already pocketed over two hundred golds worth of loot myself and I've only been through seven select tents. Not to mention how Luctus should be satisfied for quite some time what with how many people's lives I've eaten tonight."How about this? We make for the caravan, store all we've got till now, make ONE return to pillage some more and burn everything else?"
Offering my advice seems to have been the correct course of action as several approving murmurs echoed through the crowd."They've already set a bunch of these bonfires... so razing the camp should be plenty easy but.. some of these guys are still alive."
"You want to risk your life by staying long enough to kill them all before they burn?!" Casper exclaimed as silently as he possibly could, his voice drowned in fear. A vampire lord is no joke, after all. The bandit in question, much to our surprise, shook his head in negative."N-no, fuck that boss! I meant, if we leave these guys alive enough to scream, one of them might wake the monster inside of the cave before we manage to get far enough away."
Oh. Well, thats a thing that could happen too."But if we dont set fire to the camp, the vampire will survive. And vampire nobles can track your scent... imagine if the fucker finds out what happened here and starts hunting us in Sorcierre!" Casper rebutted with an equally terrifying proposition.
"We could... bury him here." One of the thugs suddenly offered. We all turned towards the man. A young blonde half-elf with a long scar across his eye, wearing brownish leather armor and outfitted with a two-handed axe. Not the kind of image you get when half-elf comes to mind, exactly."Baron? What do you mean by that?"
The man then pointed towards our left, showing a massive cart full up on barrels."Wanna bet those aren't full up on grog?"
"Aktu-lly, if et vuz dat proper grog, teh boom moughta been bettah bot dis'll wurk too." An orc within our group replied with a joking tone as we all nodded and Casper pointed towards several strongmen."Kruxa and Mery, get that cart in front of the mine's entrance... We just need to find something to set the things on fire now."
"That wont be neccessary." I calmly replied as I picked up a stone from the ground and began etching a rune into it."I can create a makeshift fire-bomb with this. The explosion wont be enough alone to trigger the rest, but if you shoot the stone with that pistol of yours..."
Caspers eyes went wide in recognittion."Alright, that'll work. Get to work everybody!!!"
The orc and a massive human man promptly rushed behind the cart and started pushing it towards the entrance. But the cart was strangely full... that might mean the expedition either didn't require much digging or it wasn't a success at all... wait, Casper said that another bandit group discovered ruins inside."Casper! What happened to the bandits that found this place?"
The man in question seemingly froze the moment he heard my inquiry."... I-.. I have no idea. One of 'em rushed to report the place to a nearby royal whatever in exchange for gold but... we haven't heard anything from the gang since. We all just figured they've fucked off somewhere."
"What if the ruins they uncovered weren't ruins at all, but an undead lords crypt?" My assesment made the man flinch."Then this was a fucking trap all along. We can all just be happy that we didn't spring it."
"Its often the second mouse that gets the cheese... but what happens to the third one that comes around?" Muttering out in semi-silence as we all raked the camp for the remainder of the loot, Casper let out a deep breath."Well lets hope that the mouse sees the trap and fucks off before anything realized that it was ever even bloody there."
Walking around at the speed of a snail, I seem to have stepped onto something metallic. A strange, golden neckale with the familiar symbol of a sky-reaching green tree. The same type of pendant that I found on my way to Sorcierre some time ago... With one exception, this one was next to the body of a woman who, upon closer inspection, had a set of fang marks on her throat. Without even considering anything else, I grasp her mouth tightly and rip out her neck, turning her into dust.
Yet, no lifeforce entered me even as the woman turned unto ash. She was being turned... the red kiss, indeed. Upon even closer inspection, I found a letter with the same family symbol on her person alongside quite the purse of gold. Only gold, that is. Shame I didn't have the time to count it.
Or chosen assassination... Someone, gods please let it not be the damn vampire, is targeting this particular family. At least, with the letter I have something that I can use to find out more about this... unlucky family. As using their golden pendants to do so may not be the best idea.
Carrying them around is bad enough already."Alice? Are you ready to leave?" Casper put a vary hand onto my shoulder.
"I am... Casper, I think we should burn this entire camp after all." He quirked an eyebrow at me."Why?"
The woman seems to have had a sister or maid next to her. I promptly walked over to the unconscious body of the woman and showed Casper her bare neck."Its full of vampire fledgelings." The twin red scars, the dried blood flowing down and towards the womans chest... Casper gave a somber nod."Alright everyone, change of plans. We'll bury the fucker AND burn the camp... hes infected a bunch of people, looks like."
"So were in a pit full of vampires?! Holy fuck.. yeah, we should burn it all." Many approving murmurs echoed throughout the group as the orc and man finally managed to drag the cart to its proper posistion."Roight baws, we's dun et." Kruxa give out a silent yell before promptly rushing off towards the caravan.
Walking over to the cart full of explosives, I shoved the stone rune into the wood."That good?"
Casper took aim towards the rock and nodded."Yeah, that should do it. Alright everyone listen up! Get some wood in yer hands and set fire to all this shite... but... lets drag the remaining people over to the explosive cart first."
Everyone worked in quiet, a creeping fear causing us to hurry as we all stacked the bodies upon the fire and set the camp ablaze, leaving a path for Casper to run through after blasting the rune with the pistol.
Which he did, causing a massive explosion to shake the ground as the man ran as fast as his legs could carry him before leaping quite the distance and right into our decently-loaded caravan."ALRIGHT PEOPLE! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!"
The screams of a hundred souls echoed from the burning campsite and, at last, the feeling of dread passed.
Yet somehow, I knew that my own ordeals had only just begun.
The morning after... - Alice's Apartment - Alice's Point Of View...
"Guaaahhh.... so ... tired..." Muttering out as I rubbed my blood-shot eyes, I somehow managed to walk over to my desk."Mistress, your classess start in five minutes!" Faervel exclaimed in terror.
I shook my head in negative."Not going today... Too tired from the raid."
Faervel nodded somberly, seemingly unhappy that I went and commited an evil act. Hah, so adorable, isn't she?
Alex, my ever-so-insane coachman, knocked and entered our apartment much to Faervels displeasure. She apparently dislikes the old man for some reason. Can't say I share the sentiment though, considering what he just brought in.
"Milady! The master tailor sends another letter and five hundred gold coins as per your deal with him. There are also several other letters from the good mayor." He placed the aforementioned letters down in front of me, alongside the massive purse of gold.
With this, I can afford to pay the construction of the castle city and then some! Granted, five hundred gold seems a bit too much."Hmm, you seem tired, milady? Did you stay up late at the tailors mansion?.. why did he give the money to me then?"
I blinked."What? The mansion..?"
Alex blinked in confusion before turning towards the letter he gave me yesterday, the one I did not open."Ah! You didn't open the letter? Why?... the master tailors wife gave it to me yesterday. She said that she wanted to invite you to dinner that night and that the letter was simply an invitation."
"You didn't mention this before, Alex." I let out a massive sigh."Please go to their mansion and offer my sincere apologies as well as ask that they postpone the dinner to a later date as I am going to be busy this week."
"Any prefferences for the date, milady?" He questioned me with an understanding glance."... Tuesday should work out fine for me."
Considering that I'll most likely be spending saturday and sunday back at the castle. It was friday today, by the way."I see. Anything else?"
"Here, take this." I handed him the parchment that Lloyd the thief got for me. The one containing the exchange ratios for all the kingdoms banks... I also gave him a pouch of around three hundred gold, mostly spoils of yesterdays raid alongside some of what I had before."What is this for, milady?"
"The purse contains exactly three hundred gold coins, Alex. One hundred gold per gold type. The parchment contains the exchange ratios for the banks of the human kingdoms. I want you to go and make the most out of the money by exchanging it at different banks." With his task given, the coachman beamed a smile towards me."Hmm.. this is very risky, little lady. What makes you think I won't just run away with the gold?"
"Wheres the fun in that, Alex?" An insane retort, something which pleased the old man."Indeed. Doing that would just be stupid... but, I hope you don't expect me to keep my loyalty without any reward."
"You can take twenty-five percent of the total gold count and use the three hundred for travel expenses as you please." The man's eyes widened before replying."I'll agree to the travel expeses bit but I don't think I'll be taking so much for myself.."
"But you ju-" I quirked an eyebrow at the man as I saw him smirk."That was just a test, milady. I'll take however much I need to in order to cover for the travel itself and ensuring my own well-being of course, but apart from that, I have no need of the money."
A blink, make that several utterly confused blinks as the man left the apartment. Faervel scowled behind me."Emotionless.. lifeless slave of the accursed flame, a soulless husk of a man!" She grit her teeth, yet continued doing her chores right afterwards.
Ignoring her to the best of my ability because of the contents of her raging whispers, I returned my gaze towards the letters. Opening up the one from the tailor Merriel, I steel myself for the probably sad contents."Little miss Alice... I.. I suppose I should have expected that you would not come to the dinner, regardless of my wifes optimism. I told her that we are no more than business partners but she just would not listen to me. Anyways, despite this event, I still felt that you should receive the full profit of the machines virgin venture into the tailoring world. Orders are piling up and I may need to start hiring more workers at this rate as I alone am not enough to both work the machine and tend to the shop. I'd like to ask for your aid in determining the wages as well as finding new... recruits, should we say. You would be surprised to learn that most mages despise tailoring in general, despite their increasing need of tailors, especially ones such as I who are well versed in the arts of enchanting. In other words; there is no point in seeking out a good laborman in the city itself, but as a High Lady I am sure you have many potential workers back home, no? I eagerly avait your response!"
Hmmm.. well, so long as they don't need to be too *learned in the arts*, new workers should be relatively easy to come by. Especially since they would be studying under a master tailor. Next, the letters from the mayor."Milady, in an attempt to convince you to fund the city, the nearby lords have ordered a full-scale re-survey of the lands sourrounding the castle. Thankfully, they managed to find a generous vein of shapestone fairly nearby after their agents conversed with the elder of a small village called Dirkhaven. Problem is, the village is right on top of the vein and its people are largely uncooperative with the lesser lords men. The lords ask that you return to the castle so that you may help convice the villagers to move... either that, or give the order to raze the place. Shapestone, as you may know, is a form of smooth limestone that has been infused by a natural supply of mana.. its discovery has also garnered the attention of our mages, as they claim that such veins of stone may only be found at the top of a ley-line... whatever those are. Having a quarry of shapestone on our doorstep would not only halve the money required for the castle city to be built, it would also draw numerous artisans and merchants to the budding city. This, combined with its rather favorable posistion in the upper corners of your county and a possible trade route with the orcs would cause the city to skyrocket and become the indisputed capital of the entire province. I ask that, whatever course of action you choose to take, the quarry of shapestone comes under our direct control!"
Shapestone... it is a stone that has a high affinity for earth magic, ironically enough. With just a little bit of skill, one can infuse the stone with magic and cause it to re-shape itself in accordance to the users will. Naturally, bigger things need more stone and more mana so its not like the material has limitless potential. Plus, its kind of weak... not exactly something you'd build a castle with but the profits gleamed from its procurement alone would be more than enough to get our hands on some proper castle-building stone.
"Faervel, go find Alex and bring him back here. I have urgent need of him." The she-elf nodded with a grimace, stopped whatever she was doing and left in an instant. A terrible smirk etched itself upon my frame...
My pen-carrying hand trembled in excitement as my thoughts turned towards the orcish mercenaries which served under my father and were currently staying at my castle."Warlord. I apologize for not yet knowing your name, much less how you look like, but I have a job for you and the other orcs within your army of sellswords. You see, there is a human village called Dirkhaven somewhere close to my castle. I want you to raze it to the ground, destroy and kill every single person inside. Leave nothing behind. I would ask that you don't even take slaves, should it be possible but its not .. strictly required. Should you complete this task successfully and leave no witnesses or any connection to myself visible, let it be known that you have earned my favor and more. Once I return my treasury to a stable rate, you and your soldiers will be receiving full wages, as any regular of my army does now or will later. For this venture to have the most benefit for both of us, this task should be completed within two days time, prefferably before I arrive at the castle tomorrow noon, but if that is impossible then thats also fine. Just make sure that you and your men are done with the village before I find my way to it. If need be, I shall stall my coachman to buy you some time. Good luck and happy hunting, Warlord."
They can sure be useful. An opportunity for carnage that I cannot allow myself to miss... just have to tell Alex to hand it to the orc and not even show it to Yvain. As for the good mayor..."Yvain, I have recently received a large sum of gold that I can invest into the building of the castle city, but as you have said beforehand, regardless of what happens, that quarry is far too important to not be used so I want you to prepare a small detachment of men to guide me towards the village where I will try to parley with the village elder. Also, tell the lords to move their agents away from the village if possible. No need to disturb the peasantry anymore than we already have, right? If nothing else works, we could hurry up the production of housing and order the peasanty to eventually resettle, but the construction alone would take us a long time to finish. Please ask the other lords if they can send some builders our way."
Short, simple but also deceitful... well, as far as Yvain is concerned. I just hope he does not catch onto my little power play. Sigh, peasants sure have a knack for getting in the way of their betters.
I wonder why this is so.
In any case, it seems that Alex's trip will have to wait as I'll have to deal with the quarry first. Oh well, its not like the banks will go anywhere, though the exchange ratios may change in due time.
For now, this seems like the best course of action to take... the village will be razed and I shall merely be there at the right time to reap the rewards... hell, I might even save some people and gain some fame in the process should the orcs not manage to slaughter everyone there before I arrive.
Hmm.. this might actually end up being a very profitable ordeal, indeed!
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
And that is it for this chapter of Destiny: Infernal!
Muhahaha, evil Alice is best Alice!
As per usual, I shall stay online to edit out mistakes and answer them early comments!
Those are my favorite, after all. ">
Anyways, read and review! And Good Morning/Day/Night to you all! ADIOS FOR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!