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 Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall

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Tiphereth

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PostSubject: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:39 am


A lamp post flickered and a cold northern wind rushed down Wells Streets, scattering pale leaves across the glistening wet road. September has passed and the cool of autumn followed in it's wake and those few people walking the streets at such a late hour, raised their collars to ward off the chill and the eerie feelings associated with great sabbath to come. All Hallow's Eve, was around the corner, a time when incantors, by law were allowed to walk the streets in full garb if only to assist in dealing with the ghosts and goblins that the mystical time brought forth. Even though, sightings of such things were rare, no one dismissed their existence and even though the world of the non-magical turned it's back on the enchanted folk, they still to took comfort in knowing that somewhere in the shadows lurked the Watchers. An order of incantors that existed to ensure that the those of the other world never broke the covenant that existed between the two peoples. They prowled the night, using their magic to remain unseen, until they struck and destroyed any person or creature that crossed into the world of those who wielded iron.

The Watchers were an order of the Pentacalium, a society of law abiding incantors that had existed for hundreds of years. It was formed five hundred years ago and had remain true to its conviction for all that time, working to keep the magic world unseen and separate from those who would only destroy what they could not understand. All things magical that they were forced to destroy, they did for the greater good of their kind which is why it pained them so, that those incantors still existed that would sacrifice all that they had worked to build for a brief moment of freedom. Knowns as the Mallathar, these radicals have always existed in some form or another, and they believe that those who repress the use of magic are at fault and forever struggle to over turn the very society in which they live if only to just to perform their magic out in the open, free of consequences. Unfortunately, their are always consequences to the use of magic and the Pentacalium will never allow the barriers that the have worked so hard to build, crumble to serve the needs of the few.

A pedestrian wisely crossed the street as he spied two unsavory individuals walking abreast toward him. Their stark, pale faces shadowed by the brims of their black hats, hid their dark eyes as they moved in and out of the amber glow of the lamp posts. The man knew who they were, everyone did, named so for the dark bowlers that they wore the 'Black Hats' were a gang that supported the cause of the Mallathar; although much of their bullying tactics were meant more to feed their egos rather than support a revolution. They ignored the man as he scurried across the street, they had more important matters to attend to this night. They made their way purposefully toward the Wells Street Bridge, where more Black Hats awaited them, standing by the rail like three black scarecrows, all of them carrying walking canes while it was blatantly obvious that not a one of them had a limp. They made no attempt to hide this fact, for they knew that regardless whether they truly needed them or not the police couldn't take away their disguised wands unless they had a reason to. The law could not prohibit the use of canes and so this simple loop hole in the system allowed incantors to walk the streets with wands and could not be arrested until they revealed to be so.

One of the black hats, turned before he stepped onto the bridge and noticed that the lone pedestrian was no longer in sight. He paid little attention to it thinking the man most likely ducked down an alley trying to avoid them, which was the prudent thing to do. He quickened his pace, catching up with his partner then resuming his stride. They stopped, before the other three, and silently acknowledged one another with nods and hand gestures.


Waryn Parsefal, the lone pedestrian, hid in the shadows of the maintenance walk-way on the outside of the Wells Street Bridge. Standing on the narrow, grated floor he could see through the stone railing, and make out their faces clearly. He had been tailing these black hats for several days now and all his subterfuge was going to pay off when their contact was finally revealed. He almost wished he could take a picture to capture the moment; the moment that he verified that the Assistant District Attorney was on the take, but cameras and magic didn't mix and the revealing his presence would most likely get him killed. So he remained still in the blackness, waiting for his suspect to arrive, all the while rubbing the talisman around a his neck. The iron amulet was a ward against detection, and so long as he wore it any spells that the black hats may have been employing to make them aware of any spies were nullified, unfortunately it's use also hindered the private eye's own magical abilities. Such was the balance of magic though, that the very item that offered protection often crippled one's ability to fight, an acceptable risk in this situation, since five on one wouldn't be much of a fight anyway.

One thing that made Waryn curious was why the black hats agreed to meet on a bridge. They were all nervously fidgeting for a good reason, and that was because wards over water were twice as powerful and it was common knowledge that incantors were basically powerless on bridges which is why they avoided them. All along the rails were inset various kinds of iron wards that countermanded all orders of magic, so the only way an incantor could damage something with a wand would be to use it like a bat for all good their weakened magic would do them.

The time dragged on and a half hour later, Waryn was starting to think the guy wouldn't show, when a car appeared on the other side of bridge. It stopped and flashed it's head lights three times before continuing forward. He had to hand it to who ever arranged this meeting since no one would suspect the back hats to do business in such a place and he figured the guy in the car definitely had a lot of power, kind of like a District Attorney.

The car stopped beside the black hats and the back window rolled down. Waryn, patiently waited for the A.D.A. to emerge and hand the 'hats' a package; a package containing the details for yet another hit. The P.I. leaned in a little closer, trying to see the man in the back seat clearly but all he saw was the barrel of a tommy gun emerge and start firing. Bullets ripped through the surprised incantors, killing two of them instantly while the other three jumped to the side. The driver of the car rolled down the window and a revolver fired three shots into the back of one of the fleeing incantors, while another, running the opposite direction was gunned down by the tommy. The last incantor, jumped onto the side of the bridge, right above Waryn and stared right at him as he looked down into the cold black waters, then more shots rang out into the night as the young man's body was riddled with bullets. Watching through the stone rails, the Private Investigator saw the killer, and it was not who he thought it would be, in fact he didn't recognize the man at all and couldn't be sure even if he was an incantor, or not.

Waryn made a snap decision and decided to return fire, but even as he went for his revolver, the body of the last black hat fell on him. The dead weight pinned him, before he could reveal himself and as he lay their hidden beneath the corpse, the door of the car opened. Dress shoed foot steps could be heard on the pavement as the shooter looked over the side of the bridge to verify that the black hat was dead. "He's a goner boss." Informed the henchman, then he climbed back into the car and Waryn could hear the sound of a car door slamming. Moments later the car pulled away, and once it couldn't be heard anymore, he pushed the body off of him and quickly began to make his way across the bridge via the maintenance scaffold.


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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:07 pm

As the sun slowly set and evening shdaows deepened across the seventeen acre exspance of the front of the mansion at 1350 Lakeshore Drive, facing Lake Michigan Viktor rose, dressed and hurried to prepare his master's breakfast tray. Carefully placing a folded copy of the Chicago Tribune, a crytal vase with one black rose and a crystal goblet filled with his master's morning "juice" at the exact temperature of 98.6* and a cup of tea on the tray, along with a silk monogramed napkin (BK) . Viktor walked into the large heavily draped dining room across the highly polished oak floor and placed the tray on one end of the sixteen foot polished oak table. He lit the four ornate crystal candelabras then stepped to the doorway to await his master's arrival. Count Barnabas Kollinsikovich suddenly appeared out of the darkened hallway and made his way across the highly polished floor,to the head of the long table. Viktor pulled the chair out for him, then slid the chair forward, bent down, removed the napkin, unfolded it with a flick of his wrist and placed it on his master's lap. "Gooood evaning your excalauncy." Voktor said with a thick accent, then stepping back and to the side, he stood silentlly his eyes looking straight forward.

"Good evauning Viktor." the count said as he reached for the goblet, drank from it slowly savoring the taste, as he unfolded the evening paper and placed it beside the tray and began to read the headlines slowly.


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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:38 am



Count Kollinsikovich perused the head line of the Chicago Tribune, 'Five Black-hats Gunned Down!' and the article went on to describe that the bodies of the incantor gang members were found on the Wells Street Bridge, last night by a street cleaner. The article proved to be diverting enough, but such events were becoming too common place of late.



The Oberon Arms, a small red bricked apartment block located on the corner of Shakespeare and Oakley in Bucktown sleepily met the morning sun. The man in the one upper floor apartment walked across his living room, a coffee in one hand, the Chicago Tribune in the other. He checked the clock on the wall, noting the time to be 9:04 am and then judged the difference of the morning light's position on his leather arm chair from the previous day.



Waryn Parsefal sat down and read through the story. He scoffed a few times and then finally laughed at the details that the Chicago Police had fed the paper. He could tell they were afraid to even whisper the word gang war, but that's what was happening, and after last night's execution he was sure of it.

He had been hired a week ago by a Mr. Smith to tail a group of Black Hats and find out who they were meeting with. Waryn knew that Smith wasn't they guy's real name, he looked more like a Balducci but fake names were part of the business. Every day he had met the guy at a different location and filled him with the details, then he paid him and went on his way. There was no small talk, no extra requests just the facts and cold hard cash; the perfect client as far Waryn was concerned, but deep down he knew the guy was bad news. He had only convinced himself otherwise because the money was good. Now five black hats were dead because of him and the blood money didn't even begin to clear his conscience.

The private eye added another shot of bourbon to his coffee and slapped down the paper on the low table before him. He drank deep and closed is eyes, letting the morning sun warm his face. It was true that the Black Hats were Mallathars, but after trailing them for a week he had learned that they weren't such bad kids, in fact one of them was the son of a respectable businessman. He took another swig of his liquored tar and laughed. That Mr. Smith, sure did a number on him. Feeding him just the right amount information to lead him on, he must have had his number from the beginning, playing on his weaknesses like a pro, and he didn't see it! Waryn could kick himself for being so short sighted, but it happened to the best, not that he held himself in such high esteem but just knowing that others better than him had their failures made him feel a little better.

Waryn still couldn't believe that he had thought the A.D.A, himself might have been involved. He had been blinded by his own conspiracy theories and let himself get used, that was the bottom line, but realizing it didn't make it feel any better. Now he believed he had started something in motion that couldn't be undone. What it was he couldn't be sure, maybe a war, maybe something else, but whatever it was he right smack in the middle of it now.

Waryn leaned forward and finished his morning beverage. It was Thursday, I bad time for conflict. Maybe he'd catch a talkie down at the local theatre, that new Sam Rayne feature 'The Lonely Trail'. A good Western was always a great diversion and would take the edge off.


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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:43 am



On another side of town the headlines were being read by another set of eyes. Ones that were as blue as the sky. Dark, delicate brows furrowed as they took in the words on the paper. After the article was read, the paper was tossed down with a cluck of the tongue. Margaret ‘Peg” Dowling didn’t like the news she had just read. Senseless murders. All of them. What was this world coming to? No doubt she would have to be extremely careful now. No telling WHO that could have been out there.

Checking herself in the mirror once more before she picked up her pursed, donned her hat, gloves and coat then headed out of her apartment to catch the bus that would take her downtown near the Ravenswood district of Chicago to the Josephinum Academy.

The bus dropped her off about a block away from the Catholic, college prep school for girls. As Peg walked the short distance to the school, she was still plagued by the story in the newspaper this morning. It was obvious who ever murdered the men knew they were going to be on that bridge. But how? The Black Hats kept their meeting places secretive to themselves. No one outside the sect knew where they would be meeting and they never met in the same place twice in one week. So that meant it had to be someone from the inside.

That was most disturbing.

As Peg reached the front of the school, she took a deep breath, put on a pretty smile and walked up the side walk. As she made her way into the school, several of the girls smiled and greeted her with a cheerful ‘good morning Miss. Dowling’ to which Peg would cheerfully smile back and greet them in kind.

Settling herself in her classroom, she removed her hat, gloves and coat hanging them up properly in the closet off to the right of her desk. As traffic began to pick up in the hallways, she knew it wouldn’t be long before the bell rang and the girls would be in their seats ready for another day of English.

Pushing the troubled thoughts of the news headlines form her mind, Peg put herself in the right frame of mind to instruct the girls as only she knew best. Of course, in the back of her mind, if they only knew of the necklace with the charm on it she wore beneath the high collared, buttoned blouse they would try to have her exorcised. But….what they didn’t know won’t hurt them….much.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:39 am



Waryn rolled his neck out, stiff from last nights lucubration. He knew there was going to be retaliation over the execution of five Black Hats and all Mallathar would be out for blood. Question was, 'Did they even know who they were going after or would their simply be acts of random violence tonight to demonstrate their anger'. Either way, Waryn figured he'd be prepared.

His days as a member of the Pentacalium were over, but at one time Parsefal was an incantor of merit, even sat on the Silver Council for a time. Unfortunately, he and the others didn't see eye to eye on matters and he decided to leave, at least that was the story he told people. He retreated into a spare room in his apartment, the door of which was an collection of various silver and golden wards, all embedded in the wood which was decorated with elaborate engravings of magical symbols. Standing before an old wooden table, amidst shelves and shelves of components and materials used in the art of incanting he gathered up what he had been working on through the night. He put a few medallions around his neck and casually tucked some small bags in his pocket along with a few discs of metal that were inscribed with various symbols. He left the room and as the door closed behind him, Waryn whispered a few words under his breath.

In the washroom, Waryn styled his thinning sandy coloured hair, the cream darkening it considerably. He stood then before the mirror straining his eyes to see that bright eyed young man that was once so encouraging, the thick golden hair the handsome features, all replaced by a tired old man. Only his sparkling blue eyes, retained a fragment of that youthful energy and even they were slowly fading to a dull grey. His entire world was enshrouded by grey since he turned his back on the Pentacalium, but he had chose to embrace the Greylon's world. Greylon was the term that Incantors used to describe those people who did not embrace magic. Many people in the world actually employed simple spells every day, but it was a socially acceptable use of magic that some, like devout Catholics or Jews, viewed as sacrilegious. Only true Incantors employed powerful spells and for that they were shunned and scattered to the winds, forced to live in shadow and was something that Waryn just couldn't stomach. He didn't believe in the philosophy of the Mallathar either, foolishly believing that they could bend the will of the Greylon world into eventually accepting the magic using kind enjoying all the same rights and privileges as they. Just walking around the city and seeing all the wards embedded in the stone over door ways, in the side walks and hanging from street lamps let one know without a doubt what the world thought of Incantors.

Waryn plucked his hat off of the wall hanger and threw on this grey trench coat. He checked his look in the stand up mirror by the doorway before he left then stepped out of his second story apartment and onto a landing overlooking the garage he parked his black Desoto in. Once more he whispered a few words and touched the door before he headed down the stairs and into the large garage designed to house the three vehicles of the Oberon Arms tenants.



Shakespeare Avenue was a one way street, eastward bound so Waryn usually headed north up Oakley and made his way to Western Ave, the main route through Bucktown.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:10 pm


The basement was musty smelling, vast and dark. William Black was not a man given to modern things, a single lantern burned weakly on a table several yards away.

The man squirmed in his seat, he was lashed to an old wooden chair, lashed tight. The reverend leaned in close to the captive man, the pale yellow lantern light was reflected in the reverends black tinted glasses.

You simply must stop your snooping, tch, tch. The reverend hissed. Beyond the gray faced villain the prisoner could see two of his beefy henchmen standing ready. The henchmen were dressed in fine pinstriped suits, they wore black gloves and donned black fedora hats, they cracked their knuckles mockingly at the captive man.

I have no questions, there is nothing I need to know witch hunter. You must now understand that your time of cooperating with the authorities and those goodie-goodies on the silver council are at an end.

The reverend picked up a long slender glass bottle from a nearby table. The bottle was tall, it had an apothecary's style dropper in the top of it. It was about half filled with a thick viscious black liquid.

Behold, death is upon you now...
The old man pulled the dropper from the bottle and gently squeezed a few drops of the liquid onto the ground at the prisoners feet. The liquid bubbled and crawled on the basement floor, it too reflected the weak yellow light of the singular lantern.

From the slithering liquid sprang several small, vicious looking tiny black imp-like creatures. The reverend's men stepped back when they saw the small beasts. The imps swarmed all over the captive man, biting and tearing at his skin, his face and neck. The man screamed in agony, the small creatures scratched and bit him mercilessly.

You can go now.. The reverend barked to his men they happily left the basement amid the screams and pleads of the doomed man.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:45 pm



Waryn had been driving for about a quarter of an hour and it was a little after nine in the morning when he entered the mean streets that bordered one of Chicago's many rail yards. The area was frequented by cut throats and gamblers, and also incantors looking to obtain rare components at Hagethlor's Market. The market was hidden underground in a network of ancient tunnels that some say were built long before any Europeans ever set foot on the continent. A magical labrynth was name for the powerful incantor that created it over four hundred years ago and used it to harbor all is ill gotten treasures.

The private eye turned down a shadowy side street, darkened by the tall buildings that bordered it. Waryn didn't think that heading into the Market was one of his better ideas, considering the circumstances but he needed to see an old acquaintance and learn how deep the shit was that he had immersed himself into.

The engine of his Desoto was beginning to sputter. The hex wards were kicking in. The incantors from the Market had placed wards all over the area, specially magicked to hex modern technology. Cars wouldn't work unless they were driving away from the market, guns would misfire or miss their targets and radios wouldn't pick up a signal. It was for this reason that police rarely entered the area, and left law enforcement up to the witch hunters they employed, but even they kept a low profile.

Waryn parked his car in an alley and carried on to the market on foot. The entrances were well hidden, and only incantors could cast the spells that would reveal the doorways. One of the many entrances was only a few blocks away. It was cool autumn morning on that twenty seventh day of October, and Waryn raised his collar and thrust his hands into the pockets of his trench coat to ward the chill as he proceeded down a narrow alley way. He soon came a crossroad but before he turned to his left was alerted by the sound of foot steps echoing through the alley behind him. The pace as slow and steady, the gate of a man who knew precisely where he was going and had plenty of time to get there.

The pace of the oncoming man, sounded very much like the private eye's former employer and Waryn didn't believe in coincidences. Quickly he headed left to the Market entrance but as he all but ran down the narrow corridor but when he got to the end his 'witch sight' could not see the glyph. The door had been moved! "Crap!", Waryn said aloud out of frustration. He had forgotten that the incantors that ran the Market sometimes moved the doors and he had no where else he could go but back the way he came.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:04 am



The reverend stared at the glossy table in the coffee shop, he quietly tapped his spoon against the small cup in front of him. Two of his best men sat across from him, they had no beverages nor cake like the reverend.

Putting another bite of angel cake into his mouth the reverend spoke.
It seems that we must expand our efforts gentlemen...

Cake crumbs fell freely from the old man's mouth as he continued.
I hear many things, many things indeed. Our old game is boring me, it is predictable and no longer brings me any joy... The reverend's words were almost a hiss as he stuffed more yellow cake into his wrinkled mouth.

Just because we have done away with many of those feeble witchhunters does not mean that others will not come with different weapons and the same sense of misguided duty.

A waitress in her late twenties came to the table.
Can I get you gentlemen anything else? She chirped.

No my dear we would like the check. The reverend hissed, he reached out and patted her gently on the hand as he spoke. Her smile faded as the old man touched her, she rubbed her hand and quickly left to retrieve the check. As she made her way to the front counter she stumbled, she clutched at her stomach. The young woman doubled over and began to vomit violently, she fell to her knees and continued to heave and wretch. Her coworkers came to her side trying to help.

Young people... The reverend smiled wide as he watched the young woman's misery. He turned his attention back to his silent men still sitting across from him.

As I was saying, we must expand our little game men, we must look at the cops and also consider the many private dicks in this city, these men in particular are hard to see coming, especially if they are good at what they do.

Reverend Black finished his cake and pushed his plate away.

I need you to visit this man first men, he has been sniffing at the fringes of our activities for some weeks, I am unsure if he knows anything but it is no great difficulty to remove him from this equation, no harm no foul.

The reverend laid a business card out in front of the men, it had blood on it. The card read:Waryn Parsefal Investigator for hire. There was an office address.

He may do business out of his home so keep that in mind...
The old man looked back to the sick waitress, she was still very ill and still throwing up.

The old man reached into his overcoat and brought out a small black, silk handkerchief. He gingerly opened the folded fabric, inside it was a coal black egg, about the size of a chicken's egg but softer and flatter. It pulsated in the folds of the handkerchief, it appeared to have a heartbeat.

You listen to me now, take this treasure with you. It would be wonderful to place this in the gumshoe's car or house. This is all I ask, put this little gem where ever he is at ease, where ever he fears no enemy, where ever he has his false sense of security.

Reverend Black handed the small black package to one of his men and got up to leave the coffee house, he placed a bit of change on the table and turned to go. At the last second he turned back to face his men.
And boys, don't drop the egg, don't break it or damage it before you have a chance to deliver it...this would be very bad.
With that the old man walked away slipping his hat onto his head as he side stepped the vomiting waitress as he exited the coffee shop. The two men looked at one another, one of them slowly and carefully wrapped the egg in the black hankie and slipped into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. The other one studied the business card for a second, the two men then exited the coffee shop and walked to their vehicle outside and drove away.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:48 pm

On Wednseday afternoon, after Margret had returned to her apartment near the Ravenswood district of Chicago from teaching at the Josephinum Academy and was in her small kitchete preparing a cup of tea, the buzzer on her apartment door rang. Lifting the kettle of the small stove and turning off the gas, Margret walked to the door and said "Who's there?"
A young boy's voice answered "Western Union ma'am." Margret's heart filled with dread for a moment as she remembered the telegram she had recieved from Western Union informing her of her Grandmothers death not a year before. Cautiously she opened the door and a young boy in a Western Union uniform smiled and asked "Miss Margret Dowling?"
When Margret said "Yes." He handed her a black silk linnen envelope embossed in rich gold foil with the letters CBK. The boy then turned quickly, walked down the steps and got on his bicycle and rode away before Margret could even offer him a tip.
Stepping back into her apartment and shutting the door, Margret opened the envelope and removed a black linnen card.

Opening the card, she read the gold embossed letters:


HIS EXCELLENCY
COUNT BARNABAS KOLLINSIKOVICH
requests the honor of your presence at
The Fifteenth Annual Masquerade Ball for The Greater Chicago Endowment For The Preservation of The Arts and Antiquity





Saturday October 29, 1935
at 10:00 p.m.


Please RSVP: Lakeshore - 666
1350 North Lakeshore Drive
Viktor


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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:20 am



Peg was delighted and confused. Everyone knew the Counts extravagant engagements were THE place to be in Chicago. Especially the annual Masquerade Ball he threw for the Arts and Antiquity Endowment. She was delighted because she’d gotten an invitation and confused because, well….she’d gotten an invitation. She’d NEVER received one of these in the past. While she’d always wanted one, she knew she was nothing but a mere English teacher at a parochial school. Certainly not the sort of person one rubs elbows with in the same crowd as Count Kollinsikovich.

A sinister smile eased over Peg’s beautiful face then. This meant she could openly mingle with the other members of the Mallathar society and no one would be the wiser as to her association with them. As far as anyone was concerned, she was just a dark haired woman that couldn’t be identified.

As Peg leaned her back against the door of her apartment, she immediately thought of her attire for that night. There would be no doubt she would leave the uneducated wondering about who she was and what side of the fence she was on, but for those who would recognize certain trinkets and talisman on her costume, they would know immediately who and what she was.

Her tea forgotten, Peg walked to her desk and took out her stationary then penned her acceptance to the invitation. Oh yes….she would gladly attend the Counts Masquerade Ball with pleasure. Perhaps then she’ll be able to find out who slaughtered her fellow brethren on that bridge just the other night. And perhaps make them pay for their treachery.

Folding the stationary paper in half, she left it set on the corner of her secretary then walked back into the kitchenette to finish preparing and enjoying her cup of tea. Tomorrow morning, she would drop the RSVP off at the Western Union office and give the delivery boy a tip to make sure he delivered it right away.

***********
The next morning found Peg Dowling up bright and early. After a light breakfast of an English Muffin and a cup of tea with lemon, the English teacher donned her hat, gloves and coat. Slipping the RSVP for the Counts Ball into her purse, she left her apartment building and walked to the bus terminal down the block.

Instead of taking her normal bus, Peg rode the bus that would take her further into the Downtown area. Once she was dropped off, Peg walked the few blocks from the bus stop to the Western Union office. The same young man that had delivered the invitation to her was there and she smiled prettily at him. Seeing the wide smile returned, she knew she wouldn’t have any trouble making sure he delivered the RSVP. Once she squared up with the window clerk, she approached the young man and removed the glove from her right hand as she smiled again.

”Thank you so much for delivering the letter to me yesterday. I’d like to make sure you deliver my response as quickly as possible. This is for you.”

Peg slipped the young man five dollars and she saw the way his smile grew. Looking back at her, he tried to refuse her tip but Peg gently pushed his hand back towards him and smiled prettily again. The instant her bare fingers touched his bare hand, Peg saw the almost imperceptible glazing of his eyes.

”I can’t accept this, Miss Dowling. Really…”

”Please…I insist. You deserve a reward for your hard work. You deserve it.”

The young man seemed to blush and finally nodded his he let his eye make full contact with hers. Peg smiled even more and nodded as well when she saw she had him, hook, line and sinker.

”Thank you.”

Leaning in a little closer and lowering her voice for his ears alone, she spoke some strange words then leaned back and smiled again. The young man nodded once more and turned on his heel to wait for the telegram to be prepared by the window clerk that had been busy typing it out and didn’t pay a lick of attention to the two off to the side.

Peg turned on her heel and walked out with a satisfied smile on her face as she placed her glove back on her hand then proceeded to the bus stop to catch the bus that would take her to the Academy.

***********
A little while later, the door bell rang at Count Kollinsikovich’s turn of the century mansion. When the tall, intimidating looking Viktor answered the door, the young Western Union man was there to deliver Peg’s RSVP. While others had shown fear when seeing Viktor’s hulking size and brooding gaze, the young man didn’t seem the least bit worried.

”Telegram sir.”

When Viktor reached out to take the envelope from the young man Viktor would see he was looking past the hulking man into the mansion with a strange look in his normally bright eyes. As Viktor furrowed his brows and slowly closed the door, the young man stayed where he was until the door clicked shut. As soon as it was closed, the young man shook his head and gave a puzzled look.

”What am I standing around for? I got work to do.”

Turning in his heel the young man left the mansion and headed back to the Western Union office for his next telegram that needed to be delivered. Later that afternoon, Peg happened to drop by the Western Union office. Once more she removed the glove from her right hand as she approached the same young man she’d spoken to earlier that morning.

Giving him a bright smile, Peg moved close enough that allowed her to touch his hand but not too close as to raise eyebrows. Once more the young mans eyes took on a strange look and Peg leaned a little closer to whisper strange words in his ear. What happened next no one but Peg could see.

As she stood there, she was able to see what the young man had seen in the Counts house when Viktor opened the door. Or, more accurately, what she DIDN’T see. No religious artifacts of any kind. That told her a lot. With her curiosity satisfied, for now, she removed her hand form the young mans. As soon as her hand was removed, the young man blinked and looked confused then looked to Peg and smiled again.

”I’m sorry…what were you saying?”

Peg laughed softly as she put her glove back on.

”You were just telling me how you delivered the telegram for me first thing and I was thanking you.”

The young man looked embarrassed and nodded.

”Oh yeah…sure thing, Miss Dowling. It was my pleasure.”

Peg nodded again then turned to leave as she mumbled under her breath.

”I’m sure it was, dim whit.”

Walking to the bus stop, she took the bus that would drop her off near her apartment building. Yes. The Counts Ball was going to be a fun affair indeed and she simply couldn’t wait.

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:21 pm



Even as Waryn motioned to travel back the way he came, the foot steps had stopped and as he turned the large form of Mr.Smith was standing at the mouth of the alleyway. The P.I., recognized the pasty sallow skin and the black soulless eyes of the large man as he moved toward him with his slow and steady gate.

Waryn remained rigid his hands still tucked in his pockets, standing his ground only because there was no where he could run. "Mr. Smith. What can I do for you this morning?" he inquired cooly.

Mr. Smith did not reply, only persisted in closing the distance between them, his dark lifeless eyes burning a hole in the pit of Waryn's stomach. The investigator, of course, knew why the man had sought him out, but he needed to stall for time while he rummaged through his pockets searching for the correct bag of components to cast his spell.

"So why did you kill them, Mr. Smith? Revenge, or was it just a pointless murder?" Probed Parsefal.

Mr. Smith reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a snub nosed .38 caliber hand gun, his face remaining expressionless while Waryn continued to fumble with the ingredients in this pockets. The man pointed the gun at his chest and that was when the investigator fingers found what they were looking for.

"You can go and ask them yourself." Answered Mr. Smith coldly as he pulled the trigger.

Waryn jerked when the gun clicked. He hadn't been completely sure he had grabbed the right ward, but now that he had a hold of it the gun was rendered useless. The ward would only last a few moments, though, which was why it couldn't exist in the form of a ring or a permanent talisman. An area could be protected for an extended period of time but the wards did not often agree with impermanence of location and so they had be used on the spot.

Mr. Smith stood there stunned pulling the trigger over and over and Waryn took the opportunity to reach back and sucker punch the thug. He felt his knuckles sink into the man's face and heard the snap as he broke his nose, which looked as though it had been broken several times before, which was why the blow didn't have the intended effect. Mr. Smith's head snapped back, but he was hardly done, only temporarily stunned. Still, Waryn was able to run past the thug and sprinted as fast as he could back to his car. It was long before he could hear the foot steps of Mr. Smith pursuing and Waryn knew it was only a matter of time before he tried his gun once more and found it was working. He only hoped that the existing hexes of the market would steer the bullets away from him. They were designed to protect incantors and whether he was still considered one was debatable.

Waryn was breathing hard and the foot steps were getting louder. Mr. Smith was gaining! The investigator cursed all his idle stake outs for it looked like they were going to be the death of him. He ran round a corner, sweat beading on his forehead and there was no way he could have avoided the hand that suddenly shot out and grabbed his collar. Who ever they were they were strong, too strong for Waryn to fight and he was pulled through a doorway into darkness.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:36 am



Mattias anticipated and easily caught Waryn's spinning elbow strike with his hand. "Calm down, Parsefal, it's me." he told the man, and upon recognizing his voice, Waryn relaxed.

"I should have recognized your gentle touch Hexennacht." Waryn joked in his dead pan manner as he turned around, tucking his pistol back into his shoulder holster.

The taller man smiled, his face illuminated by a soft beam of light radiating through a transparent brick in the wall that Waryn had just passed through. Leaning against the wall, Mattias looked through and saw Mr. Smith walk by with a confused look on his ugly mug. From his side, the thug wouldn't notice the brick to be any different and so he carried on with is search, while Waryn was safe within the dark passageway.

"What are you doing here anyway, not that I am not grateful, but I thought you were banned from this market?" Waryn asked as he pulled out a flashlight and shone it down the corridor.

Mattias shook his head as they started to stroll down the aisle. "That was the Redfield Market in the north. The permanent one." he corrected.

"Ah yes." Agreed Waryn, "So I trust we've learned from that, then?"

Mattias frowned and threw his old friend a indignant stare, and at the same moment Waryn's flashlight began to dim. "The magic's getting thick already." remarked Wayrn as he tucked the flash light back into his pocket and Mattias ignited his lantern.

The two men then continued down the long straight corridor, just one of the many passages to Hagethlor's floating market. A magical place protected by impermanence, for every month or so, the incantors magically moved it to a different location in the city, wards and all. In actuality the labyrinth itself did not move, it's location had never changed, it was only the entrances that moved, and though the corridors remained the same, Wayrn swore that they got longer every time.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:38 pm



Moonlight shone down on the sidewalk out in front of the home of Private Detective Waryn Parsefal, hard foot steps echoed against the buildings as two of the Reverend Black's men approached. One of the beefy men stood watch as the second went about picking the lock on the front door. It was understood that Mr. Parsefal may have magic employed to protect his home from invasion so the burglars were armed with a few wards that wold give them a short window in which to be unaffected by any existing protective spells. This magik was given to them by the Reverend himself. They were instructed to move quickly for the wards would only last a few short moments.

The front door clicked open, the two men slipped inside. One stayed near the door and watched out the front window, pulling the curtains back with his black gloved finger. The other thug moved to the kitchen, he approached the refrigerator and opened the door. The man slipped the black egg from his jacket pocket and oh so carefully placed it inside the fridge. Once the egg was set the man took a small silver hammer from his pocket, it was similar to a tool one might use to break open a walnut. The thug gently struck the egg once with the small hammer, a small hairline crack appeared on the surface of the egg. The man closed the door to the icebox and made haste to the front door.

Let's get the hell out of here... The second man nodded and they slipped back out of the apartment locking the door behind them.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:32 am



Waryn's mind wandered back to the Wells Street Bridge where he had witnessed the murder of the black-hats. He remembered the boy leaning over the railing, the terror in his eyes followed by that blank stare of death.

It become apparent then to the private eye that the murdered black-hats were the key to unraveling this mystery. He had assumed that they were just a bunch of lackeys, but now he wasn't so sure. The hit had been professionally done, and the tactics employed were by somebody who had knowledge of magic but not necessarily an incantor themselves.

Parsefal relayed all that he knew to Hexennacht and the witch-hunter agreed with him that someone at the market was the best place to get some answers. Mattias wasn't convinced that the assassins weren't incantors. They may have been acting the part of Greylons to throw people off their trail.

"No matter how you look at it, Waryn, you're in hot water. This Mr. Smith used you to keep tabs on the black-hats so in a sense you helped set them up." Mentioned Mattias as he lead the way through the dark corridor.

"You trying to cheer me up?" Cracked the private eye.

Mattias smiled but turned to his old friend with a serious expression. "You've finally crossed that line, Waryn. The one you spent your entire life tip toeing around." he replied, then his hand struck out in the darkness before them and hit something solid.

Before Waryn's eyes, illuminated by an unseen light source, an immense and ancient wall came into view. The doors that Hexennacht had struck swung open revealing a bustling underground lane, lined with old style shops and haggling vendors.

"Welcome to the other side." Said Hexennacht.



Hagethlor's Market had many entrances and most entered onto the main thoroughfare, called Myrindthen's Lane, the consistently widest passage of the immense labyrinth. Ancient archways spanning its length and the buildings carved out of the rock reflected various periods of history even the cobblestone street was a patchwork of different eras. All illuminated by flame, quite often gaslight as electricity was dampened by the flow of magic embedded in the very architecture of the hidden world.

People from all walks of life, mainly those from the sunlit world above populated the market. Most were dressed not too differently from Waryn, but there were those like Hexennacht whose garb reflected different times. They were the ones that had either lost touch or were forbidden to walk the streets of the Greylons, some whose origins stemmed from the World of Everlasting Night, whose borders existed in the furthest and darkest passages. It was because of those beings that Waryn only ever visited the market in his most dire moments, otherwise we would never enter, what he referred to as one of the planes of hell. To his friend, however, Hagethlor's market was home. Throughout the centuries people spread into the unexplored passageways and constructed dwellings. Wells were dug and livestock and vegetation that could exist in the subterranean world had been cultivated, some magically created and some taken from Everlasting Night where the physical laws of nature were different.

Hexennacht lead the way down, Myrindthen's Lane followed closely behind by the private eye. Though it didn't show, Waryn was anxious and he was thankful to have met up with the imposing witch-hunter. Despite the fact that Mattias tended to attract trouble, Waryn felt secure in the man's presence. Born of the dark world, he knew the underworld and if anyone would be able to locate one of the black-hats it would be him.

As they passed beneath a grand archway constructed in honor of King Henry the Eighth, Waryn unconsciously rubbed the medallion around his neck. The small, copper disk which appeared to be a penny was a link to those wards which protected his apartment. Swirling his thumb over the worn embossed pentacle, he was sensitive to what it revealed, and paused for a moment in the middle of the street.

"What is it?" Asked Hexennact curiously.

The canter of an approaching horse and buggy pulled the incantor from his trance. "Nothing." he answered with a puzzled look on his face. For a moment Waryn had believed that one of his wards had detected something, but then all was as it should. The enchantments of the burglars had successfully negated Parsfal's charms and so he dismissed what he assumed as an invasion to be the result of the anxiety caused by the market. Just as Reverend Black had planned it, the private eye suspected nothing.

"Let's keep going." Urged Waryn, "The sooner we find these guys and get some answers the sooner I can get the hell outta here."
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:06 am

Meanwhile, back at the apartment of Waryn Parsefal the shiny black egg in the refrigerator shuddered slightly, the skin/shell along the hairline crack was moving. A small piece of the shell lifted up and shifted. A small black shape pushed from the egg not unlike the foot of an oyster or clam. The shape was moving very slow, there was a reason the Reverend's men chose the icebox.

The small black foot grabbed at the shelving in the fridge, it looked like a starfish hatching from a hen's egg. The small thing ached for warmth, it waited for it. It waited for the freedom and strength that a little warm air would bring, it had been waiting a long time.

It waited cold and hungry.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:25 pm



The large man cracked the top of the egg, peeled back the shell and gobbled it up in one disgusting bite. For the past quarter of an hour, Waryn had watched one of the tavern's patrons as he ate his meal. His table was laden with enough food to feed six men, and as the weighty man had began to devour everything, Waryn had been unable to pull his eyes away from the gluttonous display.

"I may never eat an egg again." Waryn said to Mattias.

The witch-hunter smiled as he glanced over at the obese man. "I may not eat at ALL.", he commented as he turned back to the private investigator then took another sip of his beer. "Still not going to stop drinking though."

Waryn grinned and raised his glass. "Ya got that right." he responded then took swig of his ale. The best ale one could find in the entire city, at least according to his pallet. It was the one thing... the only thing... he missed about the market; the beers and ales brewed by the locals were superb. In fact, the cuisine of the tavern was delightful. Unlike the world above, they served hearty meals roasted over roaring fires or simmered to a state of perfection.

The tavern was called the 'Spotted Troll'. Named so for the enormous statue at it's center, which truly was a preserved monster but Waryn preferred to imagine that it wasn't real. He had never wanted to accept that such creatures lurked in the darkest corners of their world; those places that touched upon the world of Everlasting Night. Apparently the beast was slain where it now stood and it had been stuffed and put on display to strike fear into the hearts of all it's brethren. For seven centuries it had watched over the tavern and for seven centuries no creatures of the dark world had ever dared to enter; another reason Waryn liked the place. He had been glad to learn that Mattias had it on good account that the Black Hats once in a while frequented the back of the pub.

Waryn checked his watch and compared it to the ancient clock hanging on the wall behind them. The ancient time piece was perfectly in tune and he even tell by it's ticking that its rhythm was as precise as the day it was made. Like the clock the entire tavern seemed timeless. The beautiful engravings that decorated the bar appeared as if they were just freshly created and polished and yet they probably dated back to the tenth century.

"How much longer?" Asked Waryn impatiently. He wanted to leave the market as soon as possible, but by the look he received it didn't seem like they would be leaving all too soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:35 am


Dimitri had been slowly gathering facts together in his church a newspaper sub-headline catching his eye he flipped the paper open finding the digest story the date on the paper was almost ancient he read over the piece. “Demons found in Chicago?” He read the paper dismissing finally it had been false placing it in another pile of papers slowly sorting through the piles leaning his back on a pile of logbooks small tags sticking from them as if the piles were alphabetically ordered but each tag was not a letter but seemed a symbol the ink written on them shimmering slightly in the light. Dimitri finally reached to a thick book bound in black leather a shiver going up his spine as his fingers almost touched it. “Trapped?” He picked up a knife stylised into a pen a sharp blade as its tip he carefully pressed the blade into the leather he drew it along its surface working quickly sometimes angular sometimes flowing curves till he had finished his sigils it was in fact three different ones overlapping each other with a fourth binding all the sigils for a common purpose, ironically the sign of allegiance probably used to sign the treaties and pacts between the dark and light.

The book had come in his mail which he collected from the headquarters of his branch every morning very few knew of his residence as a watcher the only post he expected was from the order… he wondered if it was another practical prank of a higher up trying to make Ol’ Drimitri the butt of the joke again. He opened the book with a flourish using the tip of his pen to flick it open his eyes going wide the book had been hollowed out the magic saturated item on the back of the cover he had expected but the grenade in the hollowed out book was something of a new trick the pin being pulled by the cover of the book. Zack watched as the book slammed open the pin giving a harsh ‘ping’ as it left the grenade he hadn’t blanked out, it was that he couldn’t do anything but instantly his brain realised “There is no spoon?” The philosopher’s question bouncing around but he was right the spoon had not detached from the grenade, he leaned close seeing that the two trap items had touched the magic melting the exterior top part of the grenade a miracle the pin even came out. “Who would send me a jack in the box?”

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“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:48 pm



Waryn had been waiting in the tavern for over an hour, about 59 minutes more than he expected or wanted to but his patience paid off. Three Black Hats entered the establishment, swinging their wands about haphazardly as if the owned the place. They were young and cocky, and even though some of the patrons could put them in their place they knew that when you messed with one Black Hat you had to deal with the entire rack. It honestly wasn't worth the trouble, so people tolerated their behaviour. As long as they never overstepped their bounds, which were pretty clear, they got away with their boorish antics.

The private eye didn't turn around, just incase they knew his face, but Mattias stared right at them and smiled. The young men knew of the Witch Hunter and tipped their hats respectfully as they walked past. One of them took an interest in Mattias' friend and crooked his neck to get a better look at his profile before they disappeared round the corner.

Mattias' eyes then flashed to Waryn. He downed the last of his beer and stood up. "Ready to get those answers?" he put to Waryn.

Waryn looked up with a lethargic nod. He really wasn't looking forward to this, but it had to be done. He had find out who was gunning for Black Hats.

One of the young Black Hats, the one who had been so interested in Waryn was first to notice the two men approaching their booth. He obviously recognized who the private investigator was, but curiously had not considered exacting any revenge.

"Gentlemen." greeted Mattias, "I trust I need no introduction and I can tell that you are aware of my friend's name as well. That's good, we can get right to it then."

Only one of the young man was considerate enough to raise the brim of his top hat and acknowledge them while the other two kept their eyes on the table. Waryn could tell that they had strict orders not to engage him conversation, but why?

Mattias gestured graciously to Waryn, giving him the floor, and the private investigator in his usual unobtrusive manner stepped forward.

"I'm here to set the record straight." he began, "Seems my former employer duped me into setting up some of your brothers but that was never my intention. I was paid to find out if your group had any connections with the A.D.A. but apparently I was just being used to keep track of your movements."

The young man in the tall stove pipe style hat just listened, his eyes half closed as if he was already bored with his explanation. Waryn didn't blame him, listening to his own words they sounded pretty lame, but it was the truth.

The young man had strikingly blue eyes, accentuating their every move as he glanced to the table, up to his two companions then back to Waryn. "You should know better old man." he said, which basically meant that his gang didn't care about his explanation and that he was dead either way. 'Great', Waryn thought, 'this was productive.'

"Well since I'm already a dead man, why don't you guys let me in on who's picking off Black Hats. You guys make any new enemies? Any old ones with a renewed interest in revenge?"

The blue eyed man peered into the private eye's worn face, slapped his hand on the table and when he rose it high a deck of cards materialized beneath it. The typical style of a Black Hat, a combination of legerdemain and true magic used in trickery, although they all had the potential to do far more if required.

He cut the cards twice creating three piles and beckoned for Waryn to choose one. The private eye sighed. It was a nice touch throwing in a game a chance for a man who was down on his luck, but he really didn't have anything to loose so he flipped the center one. The Magician stared right back at him, apparently they were tarot cards and he had drawn the second most powerful card in the deck. This made the other two Black Hats, perk up and the blue eyed man grinned.

"Go home, Parsefal." he said.

Waryn was confused. He glanced over to Mattias for some clarification but the Witch Hunter was just as puzzled.

"Go home." The man repeated and seeing that the private eye yet awaited some kind of instructions told him, "Wait for our call."

Waryn would have rather they just came right out and attacked him or demanded something. He hated waiting, that's why he had sought out the Black Hat's in the first place, to cut to the chase and now he was right back where he started. There was nothing he could do about anyway, so he acknowledged the young blue eyed man with a nod, turned and left. He thanked Mattias for his support and made his way out of the market, back to his own world, not that it made anymore sense than this one.

He found his car, started her up and drove back to his apartment. It was mid afternoon by the time he got back and trudging up the stairs, the private eye was none the wiser that anyone had been there during his absence. In his line of work, however, it was wise to know your surroundings and made sure to check his wards with a simple spell and when they yielded nothing was content to unlock his door and walk in.

Entering his apartment, Waryn took off his hat and coat and hung them on the coat rack in the front hall, then closed and locked his door. He rubbed the back of his tense neck and thought that a nice stiff drink would help him relax so he made his way to the liquor cabinet which was in the dining room at the end of the hall, past the kitchen and just before the living room.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:37 am

On Saturday October 29, 1935
at 10:00 p.m. the limousines began to arrive at Lakeshore 1350 North Lakeshore Drive . As the distinguished invited guest, in costumes approache the massive doors, the slowly creaked open and Victor stood holding out one white gloved hand.

"Guud evining und velvome to Rayvensvood Manor. My Master bids you Welcome to his house und ask you to enter of your own free veel. Come freely. ...... Go safely. Leave some of ze happiness you bring. ..... Zee Count vill join you presently in ze grand ball vroom shortly. " Victor said in his soft gravely voice. He motioned towards two ornate stainglassed doors that stood open to the guest's left. From the ball room a small string emsamble could be heard playing softly.

Inside the ball room a long sideboard stood along one wall. Upon it were appitizers and glasses of champagne and bottles of wine. Two waiters stood at each end of the table dressed in black tuxedos, several more waiters milled around the room carrying silver trays full of glasses of champagne. Around the ball room tables and chairs and couches were scattered about the room. On one end were two highbacked, plush throne like chairs and a huge ornate fireplace. Above the mantle hung a protrait of Count Kollinsikovichon the oppiste end of the ball room was a large staircase .
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:46 pm


The small thing stayed still in the icebox, it was unaware how long it had been in the cold but it knew to stay still and conserve it's energy.

The small creature was called a bane leech, an extremely rare and dangerous creature. They are found on moors and in marshes and of course they feed on blood. The thing that makes them truly unique is that they will seek out warm blood and heat in general, they will then use the warmth and blood of a living thing to grow many times larger. They say that there is no end to how large these foul things can get, if there is a supply of blood and heat they will just keep growing.

The Reverend Black had been keeping this one alive by introducing it into fertilized chicken eggs, now it had a small taste of life and hungered for more.

The collecting and keeping of such rare and vile things are outlawed in most magic circles, for the use of such things are considered backhanded and called 'black' magic. This suits the Reverend Black just fine because his enemies will most likely not expect such an attack.

When the small thing sensed warmth it would use what little strength it possessed and launch at it's target very quickly and attach it's small mouth full of razor like teeth and begin the feasting.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:32 pm

As the invited guests for Count Kolllinskovich began arriving after Victor opened the doors to the elaborate mansion, one invited guest made her way into the most talked about home in Chicago. Dressed in a period ball gown reminiscent of Queen Victoria’s era, her gown was shades of black and gray. Her normal raven colored hair was neatly pinned beneath a white powder wig adorned with black plume feathers. On her face was a feline themed mask complete with pink nose.






Her sky blue eyes peered out of the mask with the same amount of curiosity as the cat her mask portrayed. The ornate furnishings, the rich colored carpets and wall paper made her think she had somehow found a portal to another place and time. All around her people fluttered around dressed in similar costumes of the same period.

Peg Dowling was like a kid in a candy store. She’d always wanted to attend one of these balls but had never been lucky enough to receive an invitation. Until this year. What changed to make sure she received one, she’ll never know, but she was glad she was here.

She was certain there were members of almost every association, magical and not, here. While none had yet to publicly identify themselves as such Peg could practically feel the air vibrate with energy they all gave off. Some different than others, but always the energy.

She was glad she had taken the time to bring a talisman along just in case she should ever need it. While she didn’t THINK she would, Peg never liked to take unnecessary chances. Besides, in this mixed company, it was difficult to say if everyone would stick to the unwritten public protocol in situations such as this.

As she moved beyond the huge foyer, Peg made her way to where she could here the string ensemble playing. Even the music was very period dated. Her eyes cast around to look at the gathered guests already drinking and enjoying the Counts hospitality. And speaking of the Count. Her eyes lit on the portrait on the opposite side of the ballroom located above the fireplace mantle.

Peg weaved her way between dancers and would be dance card entry’s to make her way to the get a closer look at the portrait. The first thing that captivated her was the incredibly dark eyes followed by the almost imperceptible smile the Count had in the portrait. Her eyes then studied the rest of the man. His manner of dress, the medallion on his chest, the crest pinned over his left breast and the head of the ram on his cane to the ring on his right index finger. The more Peg studied the portrait, the more she was having trouble determining if it was authentic or something he had created for the ball.

And the more Peg studied it, the more she wanted to find out about Count Barnabas Kollinskovich.

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Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:29 am



Waryn was glad to be home. He dipped his hands into the basin and splashed the warm water across his face, running his hands over his head and through his thinning hair. After drying his face he hung the warm towel around his neck and pulled his suspenders up over his white undershirt, then made his way to the liquor cabinet. The private eye grabbed himself a glass and a bottle of whiskey and poured three fingers which went down in one biting gulp. Then he poured himself another but this one he wanted to enjoy on the rocks.

Wandering into the kitchen, Waryn shuffled toward the ice box where within the sluggish bane-leech shuddered in the cold, waiting to feed. He placed the glass on the counter and grabbed the handle, but paused to check the time on his wrist watch.

The Count's party was still a few hours away. He wasn't invited, but he figured he'd see if he could slip in with some of his former friends who still sat on the Silver Council. It was true that he hadn't left on the best terms, but they still owed him a few favours from those days when he was a force to be reckoned with, instead of just... a wreck.

Waryn opened the icebox. It was dark inside and so he didn't notice the shards of the black egg. He reached in a small block of ice and it was then that I became aware of a foul odor. "What the hell?" he thought, "Did something spoil?" It was then that he screamed from the excruciating pain of something biting his left hand. Instinctively, Waryn recoiled but he would done better had he left his hand in the ice box since the second the bane-leech felt warmth it dug deep into his flesh.

When Waryn saw the slimy black thing sink into the back of his hand he knew right away what it was. Quickly he ran into his study, gripping his wrist tightly as he tried to lessen the amount of blood flowing to the parasite. Already it had grown, and it would keep on growing until he was dead and moved on to another victim but he wasn't about to let that happen. Keeping a cool head, Waryn rummaged through his books, occasionally wiping the sweat from his brow with the back of his free hand. The creatures bite, or more accurately it's anticoagulant was extremely painful and if he didn't do something, and fast, it would eventually paralyze him.

He found what he was looking for in large, leather bound book and then assembled the components he required on a bronze pentacle. He lit some candles then started to burn a stick as he chanted some words in a strange language, then drew with the piece of charcoal various symbols round the pentacle. When he was done he arranged the components and began to recite the words of the spell. The pentacle erupted into blue flame and then his hand began to glow blue, then it and the leech became rigid as the flesh turned grey.

It was the quickest thing that Waryn could think to do, which was to paralyse his hand along with the leech before it could do the same to him. His had was numb, and the poison and the creature had stopped, but it was only temporary. He would have to acquire an extremely rare component to remove the bane-leech with a spell he had to perform once before. Unfortunately there was only one man that he knew to have this required element and that was Count Kollinskovich.

Wasting little time, Waryn through himself together, pulled a glove over his hand, and procured from his closet a costume. The Count was extremely particular, as were many others who attended his gala, of people concealing their appearance at all times. Understandable, he considered, but how tragic that he might die while dressed up as a harlequin.

Jumping behind the wheel of the Desoto, Waryn fired up the engine and drove to the Count's estate. He kept his hand in his lap and thankfully the pain was nothing but a dull throb while the leech was frozen, but soon it would awaken. Waryn only hoped that he would make it to the Count before it began to feast upon his hand once more, for in very little time he knew that the creature would begin grow. It would not take long for the leech to spread up his arm like a black fungus if he did not get what he needed from the Count.

When he arrived the manor, Waryn parked his car and slipped into his costume.



He approached the door along with all the other masqued guests and quickly realized that even if there were any of the members of the Silver Council present he'd have no idea who they were. He was on his own, but what did he have to lose.

As the Count's giant servant, Viktor studied the invitations of the guests before him, Waryn slipped in around them. He made his way through the front hall but didn't make it very far before a large, incredibly strong hand fell on his shoulder.

"Teeket, pleeze." Demanded in the giant man in his low rumbling voice.

Waryn absent mindedly patted his black cloak. "Well isn't that strange," he said, " y'know I had it just a minute ago, I do believe somebody nicked it."

Viktor wasn't fooled for a minute and proceeded to usher Waryn out, when he doubled over in pain as the leech began to stir and once more painfully siphon the blood from his hand. He tore off the glove to relieve the pressure of swelling black blob that oozed slowly up his arm as it started to grow.

"Look." Gasped Waryn coming clean with the large man, "I need the Count to help me remove this thing and destroy it. He's the only one who has what is needed. Tell him I'm Waryn Parsefal, we met a long time ago."

Waryn's words were beginning to slur as the toxins from the leech entered his blood stream and he began to go limp, hanging in Viktor's iron grasp.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:44 am

Viktor looked at the black blod upon the masked Waryn Parsefal's arm and gave a gutteral sigh. "You vill follow me please." Viktor said and led Waryn out of the foyer, down a hall way and into a library. "Vait here." Viktor said as he walked out of the library and closed the two ornate doors behind him. Waryn could see the walls were lined with book shelves, that rose from side boards about four feet tall that surrounded the room, to the ceiling some fourteen feet above, filled with leather bound books with gold titiles. On one end of the room was another massive fireplace in front of which stood two high backed thickly upolstered chairs. As he stood looking around the room and cold chill seem to engulf the library, despite the fire that burned steadily in the fireplace. A voice seemed to come from nowhere "Gooood eeeevining Herr Parsefal, how may I be of assistance." Waryn gave an almost in perceptible jump as leaned on one of the sideboards and turned around to see Count Kolllinskovich standing beside one of the chairs, with his back to the fire.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:54 pm



Waryn was hardly in a fit state to deal with surprises and the Count's sudden appearance unnerved him. The fact of the matter was that he knew what Kollinskovich was and while his existence in this world was tolerated by the Silver Council his presence was still nonetheless disturbing. Remaining in his chair, since he now lacked the strength to stand, he swiveled round to face the Count and seeing that the host had yet to don his costume, removed his stifling mask.

Wiping the perspiration from his brow with his sleeve, Waryn first politely apologized. "I am very sorry to intrude in this manner," he groaned as the black blob pulsated on his arm, moving in rhythm to his heart beat, "but you were the only I could turn to."

The Count stood by observing the growing mass on Parsefal's arm with a strangely pleasant expression upon his handsome face and the investigator had little doubt that he recognized the bane-leech. No doubt he also realized that the creature was practically indestructible while it fed and so the idea was to remove it before it consumed its host. If the unfortunate did happen, and victim was completely drained, allowing the beast to mature and survive without a host it would then be vulnerable. This of course was not preferable course action for Waryn, but one that he was sure Kollinskovich was aware of.

"I find that I am in need of Dragon's Blood." he requested of the Count.

Waryn knew full well that the 'man' already suspected what he required. An extract from the extremely rare Dragon Rose, a flower that could only grow in the world of Everlasting Night, or within the presence of a being from it. While it was a secret, Waryn and a few other members of the Silver Council were aware that the Count cultivated them and knew how to bleed the precious 'blood' from their receptacle without killing the plant that bloomed in cycles. The small amount of the red liquid gained was extremely potent and very expensive. A common ingredient for powerful summoning incantations and lethal poisons, and essential in the removal of bane-leeches.

"I don't suppose you could spare a dram? I'm good for it." he said maintaining his usual dry humour even though he was now in incruciating pain.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:37 am

A slight smile crossed The Count's lips as he reached into his jacket pocket and remove a vial of dark blood red liquid. "Ah, Herr Parsefel, I am quite sure your debt for dis vill be paid. Ven ze time for payment does cume. For now let us say it iz a .... How iz it you say une dis land? ......... A gesture of friendship."
The count then seemed to float across the room to where Parefel sat and handed his the vial. "Drink dis Herr Parsefel und rest. Viktor vill show you to a vroom. Vin you feel strong enough please ..... join us une zee ballroom." Count Kollinskovich then motioned for Viktor, clicked his heels, bowed, turned and left the room. As soon as he had left the warmth of the fire seemed once more to fill the room.

Count Kollinskovich, then made his way to the long staircase at the end of the ballroom and stood overlooking the ballroom and his guest.


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