Castlevania: Disharmony

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 Post subject: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:20 am 
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"Just great," Grace thought to herself. "Just freaking great."

"So what's your business in Budapest, again?" She called over her shoulder. She wasn't used to riding horses, and sidesaddle was proving particularly difficult.

"Just meeting a friend about a potential job," Dan replied. He was having no difficulties with his own horse, and even seemed to be holding it back to keep pace with Grace. "You don't want to know the details."

"Uh huh," Grace said. "Funny how news of that job showed up right as I was getting ready to travel in the exact same direction."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:57 am 
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"Not so strange," Dan replied. He spotted a carriage up ahead heading the opposite way. He avoided eye contact and stayed silent as they approached, sniffing as they passed. Aside from Grace's own magic, he didn't sense anything. When the carriage was sufficiently behind them, he continued. "With the conflict in Veros over, Budapest is becoming a central location for the supernatural happenings. It'll draw in the clients you wish to sell to, as well as the more devious characters I hunt."

"Like me?" Grace asked. Now she was glad looking at him wasn't an option.

"Of course not," Dan said.

"So you're saying you never memorized my magic in case you needed to track me?" Grace asked.

"I..."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:56 am 
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They were a mile down the road before Dan finally spoke again. "I wouldn't track you down to hurt you," he said quietly.

"Right," Grace replied. "I saved your life. So I get a pass."

"It's not like that," Dan said, growing more frustrated. "Yes, a lot of judasari attack any magic user they come across. I only go after the troublemakers."

"Like Kyrad," Grace added.

"Yea-no," Dan thought for a second. "Like the demon that looked like him, not him personally."

"But you didn't know that," Grace replied. "If you had been at full strength, and Fredo hadn't intervened, you'd have tried to kill him."

"That was a unique situation," Dan replied angrily. "They had the same magic. That's not supposed to be possible."

"Right," Grace replied. "And you won't make a mistake like that again. There's no way you could attack an innocent person by taking contracts to hunt magic users for money. No one would hate or fear a magic user if they didn't do something to deserve it, right?"

Dan didn't reply. Grace gave a small smile as passed the next mile marker.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 2:17 am 
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"Hold on," Dan said.

"Come up with another excuse?" Grace asked, glancing over her shoulder.

"No, I mean hold on," Dan said, catching up and grabbing the reins of Grace's horse. He forced both horses off to the side of the path behind some bushes.

"What is it?" Grace asked, sliding down from her saddle and peeking over the bushes.

Dan pulled out a spyglass and extended it. "Something strange up ahead," he said, scanning the path before them. "I've never sensed any magic like this."

Grace focused her senses, and was indeed able to detect something strange in the air. It was completely foreign, but only moderately powerful, and as they sat in silence her ears perked up.

"Do you hear music?" she asked.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:59 am 
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Sure enough, when Dan closed his eyes, he could hear music. "Some type of flute, I think," he said.

"It sounds cheerful," Grace said, grabbing the reins of her horse and turning back towards the path.

"What...where are you going?" Dan asked.

"We have no reason to think they aren't friendly," Grace replied. She headed up the path towards the strange, upbeat music. She could hear Dan's horse following along behind her.

Around the next bend they found the source of the magic and music. A wagon had broken an axle, and the travelers had set up camp on the side of the road until it got fixed. A large man was flowing into a pan flute while the others clapped along. They waved and smiled as the two travelers passed by.

"See, nothing to worry about," Grace said once they were out of earshot.

"I thought you were going to stop and try to help them," Dan said, climbing back onto his horse.

"No one looked injured," Grace replied, settling herself side-saddle again. "And I can't fix a broken wagon."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:45 am 
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The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. Every so often, Dan would try to make small talk, but Grace didn't seem interested. After a while, he simply kept his mouth shut and kept alert for dangers.

There were none, however. Over the next few months, there would be an influx into Romania to fill the void left by those who fled the influence of Dracula's castle. In the meantime, however, the roads were fairly safe, if only because there wasn't enough traffic to warrant setting up an ambush.

Budapest itself seemed unaffected by such events. Though it was probably much busier a year ago, there was still a bustle of activity in the city. And the threat of the apocalypse had had no effect on the buildings and roads, which were both well built and plainly elegant.

"I suppose this is where we part ways," Grace said, not turning to look at Dan.

"It's rather late," Dan replied. Indeed, the sun was settling steadily onto the horizon. "I won't be able to get to work until the morning. Unless you plan on working through the night, there's no reason we can't at least continue together to the nearest inn."

Grace frowned. Dan was right that she wouldn't be able to get anything done until the next day, but she was strangely eager to be rid of Dan. She wasn't afraid of him, nor put off much by his attitude. No, she just wanted to part with him quickly so it would be less painful.

Still, she couldn't think of a reason not to go the last leg of their journey together as well, so she shrugged and pointed her horse towards the smell of cooking meat.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:26 am 
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Hours later, the two had settled into their rooms (adjoining, since they were the only two left). They hadn't exchanged words over dinner, nor had Grace stopped to say goodnight before disappearing into her room and locking the door.

Dan stripped down and lay in the bed. The window was open, letting in a gentle breeze along with the sounds of the city. He heard a carriage roll by, a cat mewing, and the constant chirp and hum of various insects. He could already smell magic, faint and hidden, but there nonetheless. He wondered about the job he was here to take. He wondered about what he'd do after the job was over. He wondered if Grace's shop would be successful...

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:11 pm 
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Dan was up early the next morning, but he found that Grace had already packed up her things and checked out. He frowned, throwing his pack over his shoulder and heading into the city.

He passed various store; some were still opening up, others were still locked tight. A few were up and running, however, with peddlers and proprietors alike trying to draw in business. Dan payed them little attention, brushing off the few who approached, and continued walking until they were just a thought over his shoulder.

The road out of town was fairly empty at this time of day. Dan took a look in both directions, checking to see if anyone could see him, then headed off the beaten path. The detour was short, just a few yards out of the way, but while the road stayed level, his new path sloped downwards. A few moments later, he found himself under the bridge the normal path traveled across.

"You're early," said a voice from the shadows.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:32 am 
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"The uh, rent's due on the first of the month," the portly man explained. He was reading off a piece of parchment, but occasionally his gaze would wander. "You're responsible for any damages to the building or surrounding area. The bust...er, that is, the best way to reach me in case of emergency is to stop by my home. It's the tall white house on sex...er, second street."

"I'm sure I'll be fine," Grace replied, smiling politely.

"Yes, er, well, I suppose that's it," the man stated, seeming a little disappointed. "Just be sure you don't sell anything illegal," he added. "This might not be a prime marketplace location, but we can't afford to attract low-ass...er, class criminals."

"I'll be extra vigilant," Grace replied, gently ushering the man out the door and closing it behind him.

She turned and looked around at the room. It didn't look like a shop, or at least not one she'd want to buy things from, but it had potential. If she cleaned the floors and counters, put some curtains on the windows, and set the right lighting, this could be a respectable establishment. Still, that was a long ways away, and every day she was closed was lost sales.

She opened her bag and got to work cleaning.

-----

"This town is diseased," the man continued, keeping to the shadows of the bridge. "I'm looking to buy a cure. I've heard high praise of your abilities, but talk is cheap. You complete a few jobs without issue, there may be more lucrative opportunities available to you. Until then, you're strictly a mercenary, and you'll be payed as such."

Dan didn't respond. Just as he hadn't when the man had tried to sneak up on him from the shadows. He needed money, which meant he needed work. But standing around listening to what he wasn't going to be paid was boring him. He hoped some details related to the job were coming soon.

"Er, uh, anyway," the man continued, clearly having expected some kind of reaction. "The job's simple enough. There's a shop in the lower district, right off the marketplace. My sources tell me that there's some sinister magic going on in there, and I want you to put a stop to it. And by stop, we mean permanent. It won't do if they move to the next town and set up again."

"I assume this is to be kept quiet?" Dan asked. "Are you gonna come by and count bodies or do you expect me to put heads in bags?"

The man looked like he wanted to wretch. "I'll take your word for it," he said. "I was just making my intent clear."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:00 am 
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"What a joke," Dan grumbled as he made his way back into town. He was going over in his head how much he didn't like this job. For one, there were a dozen easier ways to have given him that information than making him trudge out to that bridge. It could have been passed as notes, remaining vague on details but conveying the meaning easily enough. Or they could have met in town. If this was such a small job, and the group he was hunting relegated to that one section of town, they could have met almost anywhere else to discuss the mission in secret.

He stopped to stomp his boots in the grass, trying to get the mud off of them. Now, he had to deal with anyone who'd seen him leaving town this morning. He wasn't gone long enough to have done anything important, and if the man who hired him returned to town about the same time with muddy boots, it would look suspicious.

"Fishing would have been a good cover, as well," he mused to himself. He could have easily procured a rod and basket. Even if he returned empty handed, most people wouldn't have have given him a second thought.

He figured this guy wanted to make a good impression. Fake the whole "cloak and dagger" nonsense to lend some weight to his task. From what Dan could tell, he probably just didn't have a lot of money to pay him. Still, work was work, and as long as these people really were as bad as he was told...

"Damn it," Dan muttered to himself. He resigned himself to the idea of investigating thoroughly before taking action. But in either case, the first step was the same. Get a scent. He made his way towards the lower district, trying to catch a whiff of magic."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:21 am 
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"Shit," Dan said. It was the fifth time he'd said it, but it was just as relevant now as the first. He'd been standing outside the shop for a while now; not simply gawking at it, but off to the side. He knew that Grace was inside; hers was the only magic he could detect in the area. And he was sure this was the place that he had been hired to investigate. If he didn't do something, someone else was going to get hired to do this job. But Grace had made it plainly clear that she wanted nothing to do with him, and was sure to be even less thrilled if he barged in telling her she had to flee the city.

"Shit." Six times now.

Still, he realized that he'd only been hired an hour prior. It was unlikely another mercenary would be hired for a day or two. He could at least get lunch and try to think up a plan.

"Shit," he sighed. He turned and headed down the street to find somewhere that served alcohol.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:10 pm 
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"Nother shot o' courage?" the bartender asked.

Dan had been sitting at the bar for a few hours now, still no closer to a solution. "Not courage I'm looking for. Can I get a shot of inspiration?"

"Won't find that at the bottom of a bottle," the bartender replied. He filled the glass again anyway.

Dan's head was starting to feel cloudy. He didn't know exactly how, but he was aware that his body now handled toxins differently. Supposedly, he had an increased resistance to poisons, though he'd never put it to the test. All he knew was that it made getting drunk a difficult task.

"Looks like you're trying to forget," a young woman said, sliding gracefully into the seat next to Dan.

"Wouldn't be the worst thing in the world," Dan replied, taking another sip.

"Mind if I forget with you?" she asked, ordering her own drink.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:11 pm 
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"Right then," the woman said, taking a sip of her drink. She winced slightly; apparently it was stronger than anything she was used to. "How about this? No names, no talking about our problems, just drinking and happy thoughts."

"Drinking an happy thoughts," Dan repeated, holding up his glass in toast.

The woman clinked her own glass against Dan's. For the first time, Dan managed to get a look at the woman. She was blond, tall, and pretty. She was wearing an interesting outfit that seemed to be made mostly of scarves and shiny trinkets. As she took another drink, she pursed her lips and gave her head a little shake before swallowing. Dan couldn't help but smile at her inexperience drinking.

"Well, already got a smile out of you?" she asked, casting him a sideways glance. "Lets get a few more drinks in you and see what happens..."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:42 pm 
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"So he's just sitting there," Dan continued, a wide smile on his face. "And he's got this big dopey grin on his face. So pleased with himself. And he puts my brother's pet bird right at his feet. And my brother just looks shocked, and he's so sad, because his bird is dead. And he wants to be mad at the dog, but it's a dog. And he was so sure they would be friends. The fact that dogs and birds wouldn't see each other as equals hadn't even occurred to him."

"That's terrible," the woman replied, but she was laughing as well. "What did you do?"

"Oh I was awful," Dan replied. "I'd told him this would happen, and had no sympathy for him. I asked him: Are you gonna ask Dad for another bird?"

"What did he say?" the woman asked. She took another sip leaned against his shoulder.

"Oh, he beat the hell out of me," Dan replied. "All his sadness and confusion and disappointment all rolled together into a big ball of anger. Beat me so bad he felt the need to apologize when it was over."

"Sounds like you deserved it," the woman said, she had her eyes closed and was holding onto his arm gently.

"I suppose," Dan replied. "But it kept him from feeling sorry for himself. He was always sensitive, and I guess getting mad at me kept him focused."

"So you were looking out for him?" the woman asked.

"Maybe..." Dan replied.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Closed for Business
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:59 am 
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He wasn't exactly drunk, but Dan was finding it easier and easier to ignore the details of the night. He didn't know what street he was on or even how late it was. All he knew was that there was a warm hand leading him and he wasn't concerned with where or why. He was tired of thinking through consequences.

A door opened, then closed behind him. He turned a corner, then went down some stairs. Another door, and the journey was over. He was in a dimly lit room with a desk, a chair, and a bed.

"Sit down," his guide whispered gently, nudging him towards the bed. "I want to show you something."

Dan did as he was told, sinking gently into the fabric. It was warm in the room, which was strange. It was night, and he was pretty sure they were underground...

He shook his head gently and looked up. He wasn't sure what he'd been expecting, but this wasn't it. The woman was holding a lute and took a seat on the chair. Slowly, she began to hum as she plucked the strings.

"This is nice," Dan thought to himself. As an isolated moment, it had all the makings of a perfect evening. But though the context was hazy, it was still present. Still, Dan wasn't interested in any of that right now. He was resigned to live in the moment.

"This is nice," his mind repeated. He covered his mouth as a small yawn escaped. "Wouldn't want to fall asleep, that would be rude," he thought. He closed his eyes tight and forced them open, taking a deep breath to try and shake off the tiredness.

"This is..." he thought again, but now he was aware of something he'd missed. The song wasn't just in his ears. He could smell it. He could taste it.

"This is magic."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Profile  
 
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