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 Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:05 pm



In all the years Peg had been a practicing incantor, she’d never been able to mingle so openly among the different societies that she knew were floating about the ball room. After studying the Count’s portrait for what seemed like forever, remembering every finite detail, she turned to look at the gathered crowd of guests once more. It seemed as though she had been transported back in time as she saw all of the costumes and harlequin masks in place. Her sky blue eyes fluttered from guest to guest until they finally landed on the Count himself. Blinking, she didn’t realize he’d entered until she found herself looking into the same dark eyes she’d been studying since she discovered the portrait. Only the eyes she saw now were not painted likenesses on canvas but the real thing.

He looked almost exactly the same. His hair was a little longer now than in the picture or was it that his hair was pulled back in a queue in the portrait and she just over looked it? Furrowing her brows, she turned to look at the portrait once more before she compared it to the real thing but when she turned to look at the Count again, he was not there.

Intrigued, she began to move away from the portrait and mingle more into the crowd to find the mysterious, enigmatic Count. He was still there…somewhere for she could feel his presence. But….where? Even as the music started up and people began to make their way to the dance floor in pairs, Peg walked slowly around the perimeter searching for the elusive man. If she didn’t know better, she would swear he was purposely hiding from her.

It became a game for her then. As dancers twirled around the ball room floor, Peg dipped and darted between on lookers surrounding the dance floor looking for what she now knew was a needle in a hay stack. What was she going to say to him when she found him? IF she found him? Bah…that didn’t matter. He was of far too importance to be bothered with the likes of her. She was just happy to get a glimpse inside the elegant mansion she’d been wanting to see since her childhood.

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:42 am

As Margaret Dowling stood among the guest at the edge of the dance floor looking out across the couples dancing, the ensamble finished one watlz, the dancers gave a polite applause as ensamble began another.........
Count Kollinskovich silenty stepped up behind her and spoke softly "Might I hauve ze honor of dis dance Miss Dowling?"
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:26 am



To say that Peg was surprised is an understatement. When she heard the accented voice in her ear from behind her, Peg’s heart jumped to her throat then fell to her feet then leapt back to her chest where it began to beat erratically. That voice undoubtedly belonged to the Count himself. While she had never heard him talk before now, she knew the accent was from the region of the world he supposedly grew up in. Closing her eyes for a brief second to regain her composure, Peg turned slowly to face the Count and nodded, smiling coyly.

”It would be my honor, M’Lord.”

Placing her hand over the top of his as he led her out onto the dance floor for another waltz, the first thing Peg realized was that the Count stood closer to her than what should have been for the dance. Perhaps that should unnerve her but it didn’t. At first, anyway. The second thing she noticed was that she didn’t feel any heat radiating from his body as she thought she should. Puzzling, yes, but not a deal breaker. Perhaps the Count was just a cool customer who was very confident in himself. In fact, as Peg let her gaze drift up to his, she concluded that was exactly what it was.

But something puzzled her and as the Count took the lead and moved her across the dance floor in the mesmerizing waltz, Peg tilted her head to look up at him even more. Her right hand resting on his shoulder and her left hand in his, she cold feel the firm yet gentle hold his arm had around the small of her back as they swayed to the music.

”How did you know it was me? I thought we were all under the cloak of anonymity when we came to your gatherings, thus the whole reason for the masks. Not that I mind. After all, I’m nothing but a simple school teacher. But I am curious to know.”

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:37 am

They seemed to float a few inches off the dance floor as the turned together around the floor. The other guest parted abd moved silently off the floor to stand and watch. Count Kollinskovich, looked down into Pegs eyes and said softly :Would it not be prudent for zee host to know each of his guest, Miss Dowling? Especially une these days of suspicion und mistrust. Do not be concerned, your secret iz safe vith me." Together they glided across the floor like two ice skaters on a frozen lake.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:07 am



Peg was oblivious to the fact the other dancers had left the floor. Especially when the Count looked down at her. It was like she was no longer in the here and now. But when he told her that her secret was safe with him, she threw up every block she could think of. Her fluid like moves and the look on her face and in her eyes never changed. Peg dared not show any sort of reaction, positively or negatively, to his statement that may in some way verify what he suspected about her.

”I haven’t the slightest idea of what you’re referring to, M’Lord.”

Peg felt like a duck. Calm, cool and collected on the surface but paddling like all hell beneath the surface. Did the Count know who and what she was when the sun went down? And if so, how? She was extremely careful in maintaining her identity. Hell, most of the others she associated with in the non public life didn’t realize who she was during the day.

So how is it this strange man, who was whirling her about the dance floor, was capable of knowing her most intimate and deadly secret? He couldn’t. That’s all there was to it. He was fishing for information to see how she would react and hopefully she had maintained her feigned innocence to throw him off what ever trail he was on.

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:50 am

"Vy your name uv course Miss Dowling. Vat other secerets vould I be speaking uv? Please if I hauv offended you I beg your forgivness." the count said as the continued to dance.


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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:48 am



Waryn took the vial from the Count. He held it up to the light with his shaky hands and examined it's contents then pulled the stopper out with his teeth and smelled the contents. A pure extract of Dragon's Blood.

"I owe you, Count." Waryn had told him as Viktor ushered him to a room far from the ears of the guests. For what would now ensue was even more painful than what he currently endured.

Viktor left Waryn on the mattress and hung his mask from a bed post. He said nothing and left, leaving the private eye to add the other contents to the vial which he required to remove the bane-leech.

Waryn removed the stopper of the vial with his teeth and began to add his other herbs and and elixirs to the vial which he had previously procured from his apartment. Struggling to keep his hands steady he combined the herbs and then held them over a candle while shaking them until they were well blended.

Viktor returned to the room and placed beside Waryn a small piece of wood and a bucket of ice, which he placed on the floor. It almost like the giant had done this before, or he was just very informed.

"Thank you, Viktor." Said Waryn, as he removed the vial from the heat and sat back down on the bed.

The contents of the vial had now turned from blood red to a vibrant blue, and it had now become one of the most lethal poisons known to man, but one that would not kill a Human. Unfortunately, it caused terrible spasms of pain, so that one felt as if they were dying, which was the part of the process that Waryn was dreading.

Again Viktor left without a word and Waryn he prepared himself. As the door was shut tight, he downed the contents of the vial, and laid down with his black bulbous arm hanging over the ice bucket. He took the small piece of wood and bit down hard, then waited.

The pain started with a terrible nausea, but quickly escalated into terrible waves of agonizing cramps. Waryn screamed over and over with each wave, but the process was mercifully a short one and as the elixir flowed through his veins it poisoned the bane-leech forcing the creature to release it's thousands of small suckers without breaking the flesh and it dropped into the icy cold bucket beneath it.

Without a host the immature bane-leech began shrink not unlike a deflating balloon and the ice placed it in a dormant state preventing it from attempting to slink away and plague someone else. It was now harmless and Parsefal could already feel sensation returning to his arm, that had been left red with a few small bite marks upon it, but fine considering.

Exhausted, but relieved Waryn could see through blurry eyes, the returning form of the giant man. He gently wrapped his arm with a warm towel and placed it on the bed beside him. Viktor then picked up the ice bucket, placed the lid on it and left Waryn alone.

A euphoria set in as the poison left his system and Waryn dreamed fantastic dreams while his body recovered. He could smell medicinal scents rising from the towel that the butler had wrapped around his arm. A cool sensation, engulfed the wounds left by the leech and the pleasing sensation slowly spilled across his entire body.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:59 am



Peg gave the Count a warm smile and shook her head as she was twirled around the dance floor. It was like something out of a dream that she should find herself here with the handsome, mysterious foreigner yet Peg knew not all dreams were fairy tales. Or that those fairy tales sometimes had darker sides to them. Much like she suspected this Count had.

”No. You did not offend me, M’Lord. I was under the impression you were referring to something else but I was mistaken.”

There was something about the way he said those words that made Peg think there was a double meaning to his statement. All the same, she remained guarded but seemed as though she were having the time of her life. Which wasn’t too far from the truth. It was the first time in a long time Peg was able to see the sights of society for herself without having to pretend too much who she really was. But then again, exactly who was she? A school teacher for an all girls Catholic school or the practicing incantor of the Dark Arts? Hm….it all depended on what mood she was in, she supposed. And right now, she was teetering close to the darker edge of the double edged sword.

If Peg had been aware of what was happening to the private detective in another room, she would have stepped over that line and enjoyed the entire scene, up to the point where the bane leech let go, of course. Then again, she would have scooped the thing up and saved it for another occasion.

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:02 pm



Waryn Parsefal awoke with a hunger that permeated him to the core. He was positively ravenous and attributed this as a side effect of the bane-leech. Vaguely, Waryn recalled the effects of having one removed and this 'hollowness' seemed to be familiar.

Sitting up he checked the clock on the wall and was surprised that he had slept for a mere ten minutes. It had felt much longer and he was quite refreshed. In fact he felt fit as a fiddle, aside from the fact that if he had some salt he'd eat the let right off the night stand. So this is what it was like to be a dog he considered, comparing the single mindedness to all the perpetually starving hounds he had known, at least thats how they appeared to him anyway.

His forearm was irritated, but after what he had been through it was hardly a bother by comparison. He had far more pressing issues on his mind, anyway. First and foremost was answering the call of his rumbling belly. He hoped the Count's ball was serving escargot — he had a terrible craving and he didn't even care for them.

Donning his mask, Parsefal stole out of his room and down the hall. The Count's mansion was immense but all he needed to do was follow the sound of the music and the smell of the food and he found himself standing on a balcony overlooking the grand hall.



While Parsefal felt he should have been admiring the splendor of the elaborate masquerade, his thoughts were only of the food and so he made a quick bid for the buffet. He moved quickly down the stairway to his left which landed him nearest to the tables which were laden with appetizers for all.

Waryn praised his mask for it allowed him to conceal the amount of food which he stuffed into his mouth enabling him to gorge himself in relative privacy.For a long while he grazed, unaware of anyone about him, but slowly as the food settled he became conscious once more of the music and of the garish costumes that twirled across the dance floor. Satiated he felt like himself once more and now composed he took a glass of red wine from a server and proceeded to walk about the perimeter of the hall while he gathered his wits.

Someone had tried to kill him in a most hanus fashion. One of the Black Hats? He thought not. The use of bane-leech was not their style, he didn't even believe the young incantors were aware of such foul things. No, it was someone older, someone with experience in the Black Arts, a practitioner of those magics prohibited by the Silver Council and looked down upon by most. Not that all incantors did not dabble from time to time, they all did it, just like most men peeked into a 'Tijuana bible'. Obtaining and nurturing a bane-leech, however, took some expertise so Waryn was sure that he was looking for a 'dark incantor'. Someone reputed and feared for the knowledge. Someone who was perhaps, presently lurking behind a mask, watching his every move.
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:30 am

The music stopped and applause seemed to slowly grow in volume as Peg realized that Herself and the Count had been the only ones on the dance floor. Count Kollinsikovichon slowly released Peg, stepped back taking her hand, bringing it to his lips and kissed it lightly. "Zank you Miss Dowling you dance devinely" he bowed, rose and added as he offered her his arm. "If you zill honor me und join me I must greet my other guest."
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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:50 pm



It wasn’t until the Count stepped away from her that Peg heard the applause and realized they had been the only ones on the dance floor. Thanking herself for remembering the makeup she wore, she knew if she hadn’t the whole lace would have seen how bright red her face could get. As it was she was certain they could see at least a little of it.

When the Count kissed her hand she thought it odd his lips were as chilled as they were but then she didn’t have a chance to really think about it as he was asking her to join him as he greeted his guests. And who was she to decline? Peg knew only a fool would step away from this invitation. So nodding, she accepted his arm and let him lead her around the place as he greeted his guests and thanked them for coming to his ball.

”It would be I who would be honored, M’Lord.”

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:39 am

With Miss Dowling on his arm, the Count and Miss Dowling walked among the guest to the staircase leading up. They walked up to the landing and turned to face those gathered. Vicktor seemed to materialize from thin air and his deep gravely voice filled the room. "Ladies und Gentelmen vour attention please. Count Kollinsikovichon und his guest of honor the Countess Dollinkshinov.

The Count then said "I vish to velcome you to my humble home und to zank you for your generaous contribution to zee Greater Chicago Endowment For zee Preservation of zee Arts und Antiquity. Now please dauce, dine und enjoy your eeevening." He then once again took Pegs arm and led her down the stairway stopping to introduce Countess Dollinkshinov and chat with the Mayor of Chicago, a U.S. Senator, an Illinois State Representative, a Federal Judge and some of the other guest. He whisperd to Peg "I told you your secret iz safe vith me." Shortly they were standing infront of Detective Parsefal. The Count bowed and said "Allow me to introduce Countess Dollinkshinov. I trust you are feeling much better Herr Pasefal."


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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:53 am



Peg had to smile at the name the Count chose to give her for the ball. Countess indeed. How ironic. Keeping her hand loosely resting on the Count’s arm, she greeted all the people he greeted with smile, a polite curtsey, and bow of her head. Everyone who was someone in Chicago was here tonight and here she was, walking on the arm of Count Kollinskovich greeting them all as though she were someone as well. It still puzzled her that she had been invited to this regal celebration but she wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, either.

When they reached Waryn Parsefal Peg’s hold on the Counts arm tightened slightly when she heard the Count call him by his last name. Was this THE Paesefal she was thinking it was? Waryn Parsefal? The thorn in all the sides of the Black Hats at some point of other? Of course it was difficult to tell when all she could see were the eyes through the harlequin mask.

Keeping her smile in place, Peg curtseyed and bowed her head as before but this time where she seemed to politely ignore the conversation, she paid very close attention to what was being said between the Count and this Parsefal person.

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PostSubject: Re: Everlasting Night - Chapter 1 - The Fall   Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:19 am


When the Count said his name aloud, Waryn's eyes shifted nervously behind his mask. At the present moment surrounded by the many factions of the magical community his anonymity was his greatest defense. He needed discretion, not fancy formalities but perhaps the apparent 'all-seeing' Count was unaware of the price on his head.

Satisfied that no one else in ear shot and reacted to his name, Waryn humbly bowed before his host then took the hand of the Countess and graciously bowed before her in a style befitting of the event and their costumes.

"Countess Dollinkshinov." He acknowledged then turning to the Count answered, "I am indeed, Count. I am in your debt and thank you for allowing me to attend your most prestigious gathering."

"I don't imagine you would remember that I attended your ball some years ago, Count." Explained Waryn, "I am no longer on the Silver Council nor do I even walk in the circle of the Pentacalium anymore. I'm just a private detective for hire now."

Waryn passed one of his business cards to the Count, a rather plain card except the logo of the 'eye' that was used on it was actually a magical symbol resembling that of the Pentacalium. His slogan was, 'Winds of the sky grant me your watchful eye.', which wasn't much of a catch phrase as much as it was a charm. The Count recognized this, any incantor would but then Waryn's clients were not of the magical community. It was a simple enchantment that upon their speaking the phrase the detective would become aware of the potential client's name and how they came by his card.

"So, Count," Added Waryn looking at the masked faces around them, "I don't suppose you might have an idea of who would leave a bane leech at my apartment?"

Waryn had to ask. He knew it was inappropriate, but then he never was much one for rules.
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