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Demon At Your Doorstep

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Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Alucard on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:01 pm

Alucard arrived swiftly to the Knight's Guild located at Hilnadreg Peak. It was cold and he was growing slightly impatient with the wish to get out of the cold. Though, he decided he would go through all the proper channels as this was Beleg's occupation, he didnt want to cause too much of a ruckus. Arriving to the large gate that would let one into the fortress he was about to push it open when he was halted by she shout of a young squire pointing a spear at his face from a slight distance. "Halt! Who goes there?!" The boy held confidence and a stern look. Obviously he intended to intimidate the mysterious man who had approached his post. "Ah good, a servant! Go and fetch your Commander and tell him to get his feathery ass down here!" His red eyes glistening with slight annoyance at the hold up, being kept outside in the cold longer than he wanted. The boy took a moment to recoil before truly realizing what this man had DARED to say about his commander. Raising his spear he went to position it at the red eyed bastard's throat, but found the head of the spear had been removed. The red eyes of the man glowed dangerously, "Do not test my patience, boy." He gulped, sweat forming on his brow. Almighty Nytos, save him!
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Beleg on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:51 pm

Before anything bad could befall the young squire, his saving grace appeared next to them, footsteps having been covered by the howling wind as they crunched through the snow. The poor boy saluted sharply as he noticed Beleg walking towards them, his fur-lined cloak pulled back casually, given that he was used to the cold. Waving the squire to stand down and at ease, the Knight-Commander looked at his erstwhile brother and cracked a grin. "Ally, don't scare children. It's almost like you want to prove rumors right! Besides, he was just doing his job. Ethel, go grab another spear and return to your post. If your knight complains about the broken equipment, send him my way. Alucard, follow me inside."

Walking forward into the mead hall atop the mountain, he would descend the stairs and lead him down a few halls until he found his personal study. Closing the door behind them and pulling out a bottle of bourbon and two glasses, he would pour them out and hand one to the demon. "So, what brings you here?"
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Alucard on Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:02 pm

With the arrival of Beleg came less immediate relief and more of an immediate headache at his brother using a childish nickname he knew that Alucard disliked. Though he said nothing of it, and simply followed the Seraph into the building, giving one last measured glance at the young squire holding his solute. As they made it inside, Alucard had never been into a Knight's Guild hall yet, so he was taking in the new experience. He also paid close attention to how the soldiers reacted to his and Beleg's presence. They glanced at him with suspicion, but hid it behind their reverence for their Commander. Once they arrived down the stairs and into the room that Alucard could only assume was Beleg's chamber of research, he was handed a glass of bourbon and asked about his presence. Looking to Beleg, he would allow a smile to grace his lips, "Oh, I was simply in the neighborhood and decided to drop in to see how you were doing. I have never visited you here before, so I thought it would be a good change of pace, compared to the long journey to Tartius Tor for you. I may also drop in on Lord Akatosh to pay him a visit, I haven't seen him in a century or so." It was nice, being able to sip a glass of alcohol in the warmth of the Guild Hall. Much nicer than the glaciers and frostbite that waited outside.

"what about you? What have you been up to?" It seemed like idle talk, or foolish questions, but given that the two beings in this room usually didn't see each other for decades at a time, it was important to catch up every now and then.
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Beleg on Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:31 pm

Shivering slightly at the mention of Lord Akatosh due to his most recent adventure, Beleg pondered how he should answer the question before replying. "Until recently, not much. I've done a few training sessions with the knights and their squires, which was quite well received, but otherwise it was business as usual. I'll likely need to make a trip out to Elagrid soon to speak with the Knight-Commander there, due to an issue with a handful of their knights harassing some of the squires of my guild while they were on a quest. A fully-fledged Knight of Ridbrad is something to fear, but apparently those that haven't even seen their fourteenth year are fair game."

Oh, that wasn't the whole story, and Alucard would know this. The thing was, Beleg telling him even that much was a show of trust that no one else outside of his Guild or the King of Ridbrad's Inner Circle would have. The full details of the incident were only shared with King Ruzzoll, and would be discussed behind closed doors with the King and Knight-Commander of Elagrid.

Continuing to speak, Beleg explained why he was outside of Frostspire, and why Ethel was so wary. "I must admit, I did not expect to see you here, and I must apologize for the rude greeting. I would assume all of my knights have been on edge, with both the incidents and the fact that I left just over a week ago on a quest of my own. Several of them weren't even born the last time I had been forced to do so, as the Jolly Dwarf tries to keep me close by. After all, when my hand is forced into action, it is for the safety of the Kingdom and it's people. So, tell me. Why WERE you in the area, anyway? You know that while Ruzzoll and I enjoy your company and would welcome you anytime, we do have to keep you out of the eyes of the Vatican when you're here."
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Alucard on Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:47 pm

Listening as Beleg spoke he would nod as he sipped the last of his bourbon. "Indeed it is troublesome to think that two sister Guilds would have such troubles between themselves. There is surely more to the story, but obviously that is why you are seeking a council with the Commander there. I'm sure it will work out in the end, it always does after all." He would allow his lips to curl into a fanged smile when he finished speaking as he went over to the table housing the bourbon bottle as if to refill his cup. Placing his cup on the table, he would actually pick up the entire bottle and begin drinking. "Now, to more interesting matters, what sort of quest would be important enough to bring you down from your perch? The kingdom in peril? A woman? Does she have a sister?" He would laugh at his own slight jests at his brother's behalf, think of it as payback for the nicknames. He would wave his hand nonchalantly, "As for why I was around, would you believe me is I said that I was treasure hunting? Tartius Tor has been growing a bit dull as of late, and I was in need of some adventure!" Another toothy grin, another sip from the bottle. Being a Demon had it's perks, he was unable to get drunk. Thinking of the prize he obtained, he couldn't help but sense some slight shift to Beleg's aura. It was minuscule, but there, something was sealed away almost. Perhaps that had something to do with the quest? He would not know unless the Seraph deemed it important enough to mention, because he knew it wasn't Alucard's style to ask directly.
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Beleg on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:02 pm

Snickering slightly at Alucard's usual antics, Beleg noticed a slight shift in his eyes, something that said he had noticed something. Leaning back and putting his boots up on the desk with his legs crossed, the black-haired knight gave him a curious look. "Oh? How intriguing, considering I was doing the same. I got a rumor of a certain...gift left for me by our father, and realized that such a thing would be disastrous if it got into the wrong hands. As it stands, I don't plan to use it unless I truly have to, but I get the feeling that being allowed to claim it was an indication that it will be needed in the near future."

The allusion to their father would be clear, as the two had learned how to communicate through half-statements long ago in order to confound any listeners, especially those that might report to certain people from a certain clergy with certain hidden agendas. Beleg was talking about Nytos, the god said to have fathered each Seraph and each Demon, and who had sent them to Skyshard for various reasons. None of them really remembered their time in the Heavens, but it did not mean that they were not all bound together by such a thing. "So, what did you go searching for, that would bring you all the way here? I know how much you hate the cold, Ally!"
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Alucard on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:15 pm

Chuckling lightly, Alucard would nod his head to Beleg. It would seem things were getting quite interesting now and he was glad to have visited his old friend. How odd that they would have found their birthrights on the same day? Given that they were born simultaneously as well? It was an odd coincidence indeed, if one believed in such things. No, given the clues left in Beleg's tale, he could only assume that it was indeed the Blade of their father that had been obtained by his brother. The fact such an artifact was now in play was a sure sign that fate had put something into motion. Though, he didn't ignore Beleg's very distinct question, he also didn't want to have any unwanted listeners. He did choose to ignore the nickname again, but this time, he would allow the eye to spin into existence in his right eye socket. The purple pentagram standing out against his natural red, slitted eyes. He was now brought into the world of pure understanding again. He was able to "see" everything in the fortress, and he felt he could extend this sight anywhere in the world should he wish it. He was able to see through the veil of words and realized his assumptions were true, if it wasn't for seeing through this, then the fact he could see the Blade of Nytos waiting for his brother's command would have sufficed. He knew it wasn't currently on the mortal plane, but nothing could hide from his sight now, other than the Cloak of Enos, but as far as he was aware, that was still hidden away. "I found the Eye of Chaos. I can only assume it was left to me by Father as well, though I can only guess as to why. But, as you said, the hand of fate may be turning." The time for them to reveal themselves in the grand scheme of life was drawing nearer with each passing day. He only hoped they weren't the only ones ready for the upcoming battles. "So, you ran into much trouble when retrieving the blade? I can see that we aren't within prying ears reach, so feel free to speak plainly."
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Beleg on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:43 pm

Nodding, Beleg shifted to lean forward, feet down and elbows on the desk, his face a mask of seriousness. "Not necessarily. The tests were intriguing, that was certain, but they were not completely difficult. To open the door, it tested my blood, determining whether or not I was the eldest Seraph, Nytos' "firstborn". After that, there was a test of morality and wisdom, where I needed to make a correct decision with no clear evidence, and no real guidance. It was anything but straightforward, but once one began to think outside the box, it became fairly simple. Next was a fight with what I could only assume was the one enemy I feared most, Lord Akatosh. The issue was that it was from the time when we had first met him, when the difference in strength was the greatest. He attempted to toy with me like he used to, when in reality he was hard-pressed to defeat us towards the end of our training. The final test was to hear our father, and take up the blade as his anointed heir and Champion. The implications of that are annoying, but it's not like he could give the job to you. There'd be a dozen demigods within the first week, and the stuffy old coots that lead the Vatican would have coronaries."

The fact that Beleg was officially recognized as some sort of celestial prince was going to be rough, because even if he had known this before his "birth" in the realm of the living, he had forgotten anything and everything that he would have been taught or had done. Besides, the smartass of a Demon in front of him would still be Beleg's opposite, and likely would end up in a position as some sort of counter. King of the Underworld, maybe? Ah, who knew? "So, how about you? How did your little hunt go?"
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Alucard on Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:39 pm

Well, it would seem he was correct. Beleg had come across the mighty sword of myths, fabled to have been created by the all-father himself, able to cut anything. His explanation of the tasks reminded Alucard of the tests he was made to take on to claim his own mythic prize. "It went as well as could be expected. I actually managed to find the Eye of Chaos.. It shows the truth of all things. It's something quite extraordinary. The tests that I had to take on were simple to work around, though i'm sure the average spelunker would have struggled there." This was evident by the numerous skeletons he had come across, though this didn't really phase him at all. Looking at Beleg, Alucard couldn't help but be brought back to the times they trained together in both blade and magic. It was interesting that someone as well known as Beleg, had someone so anonymous as Alucard that could keep up with him. "Say, just how powerful are these knights of yours? I heard tale that you boasted the strongest of the five guilds? Surely, this is just due to your presence." There was no way that the knights and squires here could be all that strong, though unless the other's were just exceptionally weak.. then it could be so. Alucard would allow the eye of Chaos to fade from view as he looked at Beleg with his dual red eyes once more, "Perhaps a demonstration?" a wry smile would grace his lips, truly marking him as a Demon of lore.
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Beleg on Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:03 pm

Beleg's eyes narrowed and he gained the same smirk as Alucard, considering how to answer that question. He knew that his answer, and any demonstration would be intriguing, certainly. "What you've heard is true, for several reasons. I hold them to a higher standard, and make sure to have them provide regular reports of the training of their own squires. At the same time, I've encouraged the mindset that we are a family, not simply a military unit. That ensures that they work together far better, and support each other's weaknesses instead of sharing them. Therefore, while it is true that the average Knight of Ridbrad has superior training and is generally stronger than a knight of another kingdom, they also work together far better as a cohesive whole, and don't rely on a rigid set of instructions. We both know how the best laid plans fall apart the moment battle begins, and I've trained them to understand and utilize them while at the same time rendering them completely unnecessary and ineffective."

It was clear that Beleg was proud of his men, and rightfully so. If Alucard were to look once more, or even stretch out his normal senses as a Demon, he would see that even the newest knights had far more magical energy than the standard held in Elagrid, and were both relaxed and ready for anything at a moment's notice. The squires themselves were running around, the younger ones doing chores while the older ones were training with practice swords in the yard, working on learning the basics of magic and studying tactics and the history of warfare.

Pondering Alucard's request, Beleg stood up and wandered out towards the training grounds, where several knights were standing off to one side, watching the squires train. A few of them sparred with the teenagers, while others gave advice. It didn't seem to matter who they were technically squired to, the young men and women were simply happy to be there and learn from their superiors, and it showed both in the quality of their fighting and the fervor in which they trained. Beleg glanced to the side in an attempt to gauge his brother's thoughts, and asked a simple question. "So, what do you think?"
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Alucard on Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:35 pm

Looking out over the yard of training squires, Alucard was indeed impressed. Though, he had little to no experience with knights in the last few centuries, barring Beleg, he had nothing to base this off of other than what he felt from the average passerby. He had to admit, that these men were indeed well trained and seemed to be ready for battle. "You are correct, they do seem capable." He would compliment, though suddenly and idea crept its way into his mind. "Say, do you think you could have a couple of them spar with me? It has been forever since I used my sword. Actually, it's been a while since i was in a fight in general now that I think about it." It had indeed been some time since he had done battle, perhaps this could be his opportunity to fix his rusty skills and even test the knights here? Either way, he would allow Beleg to decide, he didn't care, he could always just go to the Vatican if he wanted a fight. Chuckling slightly at his inner musings, he would continue to watch the young men sparring and those helping them in varying capacities.
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Beleg on Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:32 pm

Frowning slightly as he calculated the risk involved in such a thing, the strength of his knights versus the strength of his brother, and the number of them who had joined because they felt it was their duty to the Gods, Beleg was forced to shake his head, speaking up before Alucard could reply. "I'm sorry, but it would be too suspicious. While my senior Knights could likely pressure you some, I have no doubt that you would defeat them one on one, and that would cause issues. A wandering swordsman with more skill than a fully-fledged Knight is already a rare thing in the Five Kingdoms, and considering your particular talents it would not surprise me if someone put two and two together and informed the Vatican. Even I cannot protect you from their judgement. I have no doubt in my mind that they will be a part of what is to come, although whether or not they fulfill their own tenets in doing so is yet to be seen. I would rather keep myself out of their influence for as long as possible, until it becomes necessary for me to step in."

It was sound advice, and some that Beleg hoped his brother took. He knew that the other man could have a...temper when certain things threatened the people he cared about. "As it stands, King Ruzzoll is already becoming disillusioned with the other kingdoms, between Elagrid's perceived superiority and Vandale's corruption. The worst, though, is Ganenmarsh. Our own alliance with them is growing tenuous, as their King is becoming more and more of a disgrace with every breath he takes. We both know how the Jolly Dwarf values equality and kindness, and I wouldn't be surprised if my next orders are to overthrow the elven monarchy and replace it with someone who would do our alliance and their own people proud."
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Alucard on Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:25 pm

With a slight chuckle and a pat on Beleg's back, Alucard would smile. "Ah, you are no fun! Anyways, it is time for me to head off, I will be visiting our master and then back to the luxurious life of a retired Demon. Though, I am sure i will see you again, sooner than later. Oh, and do wish your ladyfriend hello for me, i did not get to speak with her when I was last in Alurand, wouldnt want her to think I forgot her." With a wry wink, the demon would dip into the shadows beneath his feet. He knew some knights may question it, but he loved leaving Beleg with more work than he was worth. It was now time for the ancient Demon to head to mmet their master, perhaps it would give him a chance to blow off some steam and test his new eye. Either way, he was excited with how interesting things had gotten lately. Though, if worse came to worse in Ganenmarsh, he knew Beleg was aware he could count on Alucard to lend his support, even in disguise as the Black Dragon of legends.


Exit.
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Re: Demon At Your Doorstep

Post by Beleg on Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:32 pm

Snickering and shaking his head, Beleg would wave off the questions from his knights. Alucard's words did bring up several important issues, however. Perhaps he should visit Nera shortly after his trip to Elagrid. Walking back into his office, he wrote a missive to King Ruzzoll and attached it to a large black raven, laughing as the bird nipped at his fingers playfully.

The moment the return letter came back, he would be off on his assignment, and would be taking a detour through Ganenmarsh, both to ensure that the king was behaving and to visit the small resistance that was being built up there. Ridbrad hadn't given them their support yet, but it was around time that ended. Perhaps he could talk some of the other Kingdoms into assisting...

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