RP:Bloodbath in a Funeral Parlour - Nemo comes to Cenril

From HollowWiki

OOC Notes

'Nemo' is the alias of a current PC, and is not an Alt or NPC.


When things heat up in his regular haunt, a man dons the persona of 'Nemo', black-masked assassin, and plies his trade in a new location: Cenril.

Since the deaths of Vaduuk and Grot, Cenril has been constantly embroiled in petty gang warfare and generic criminality which external forces have been unable to entirely constrain.

It is fertile ground for an old assassin to carve for himself a new niche and a small power base for both entertainment and profit.

Nemo Comes to Cenril

A dark-clad man, once-and-future assassin, slips into Cenril as a shadow among a crowd of rowdies. While tensions between the Rynvalian and Cenrilli underworld elements had eased off with the deaths of the Razor and the Duke, Cenril was still a hotbed of murder, theft, gang warfare and petty intrigues - and was thus a place of interest for the silent, watchful-eyed individual. The assassin was, for now, masked in anonymity, the enchanted facewear causing the eyes of passersby to find more interesting people to pay attention to, and he uses this to his advantage in the bars and dockside drinking holes of Cenril. Fortune favours the assassin on the second day spent purchasing cheap ale and eavesdropping on conversations with a sharp eye for the movement of lips, and ears trained to discern the patterns of words even when broken by the interference of a tavern's general hubbub. A wart-riddled dockie is spouting off to his drinking buddy "D'ye hear about Craven's crew? Old Sawtooth's lads hit 'em damn hard last night. Word is, they're dead men walking. A palm of gold says they're finished within a day." His ale-swilling sailor companion laughs "Five days. Craven's good at running. I heard his brother was killed in the to-do. What's the bet he's sobbing over a proper coffin, eh? Big on tradition, the daft git is." The dockie sneers "I won't take that bet. He is doing just that - one of 'is lads was seen enterin' the dead-man's gallery up on Beloy an hour ago. Sawtooth'll probably move soon. I looks forward to the five gold yer gonna be coughin' up, saltyboy." The other man spits "Friggin' rigged bets. I oughta split ya gizzard." The assassin misses the rest of the conversation as he slips out the tavern door, a slight smile on his face.

The Chapel of Rest in Cenril was packed with coffins today - eight of them, and purchased on the cheap. Given the ragged and somewhat pale appearance of the six men sitting in vigil there, it is apparent the rest of their money went into the service and assurance of a spot in a graveyard. Some of the candles have guttered out, casting the already-dark room in further shadow. The funeral director comes in at one point to deliver them a tray of refreshments before exiting, bringing a cold draught of air with him. After a long period of silence one of the men speaks up, addressing a wiry man with short-cropped brown hair and hazel eyes. "What are we gonna do, Craven? We're proper shafted this time. Ain't no way we can bounce back from this. Sawtooth had double the men we had before we lost over half ours." Craven clamps his eyes shut "Jus' shaddup a moment would ya? How in the blazes is a man expected to grieve and plan at the same damn time. That's me bloody brother in among the lads restin' there" A shadow shifts in the corner, and a calm, cold voice states "I suggest you put aside your grief for now, Craven, unless you plan to join your compatriots before the evening comes." The figure which steps out of the shadows is wrapped in hood and cloak, both made of a dark material which seems to draw in and blend with the surrounding shadows. His face is obscured by a featureless black mask which conceals all but a hint of pale blue eyes. As the men start and Craven reaches for his dagger, the dark figure holds up a black gloved hand in a gesture of caution "I am here with a business proposal, gentlemen. One beneficial to both yourselves and myself. As a gesture of goodwill, some intelligence for you: several of Sawtooth's men approach the Funeral Parlour as we speak. If you wish to live, follow my instructions to the letter. We shall then be able to do business." Craven looks at the strange figure, dagger half-way out of its sheath, his men slowly spreading out around the room "Who in tha bloody 'eck are you?" The shadowy assassin smiles secretly behind his mask "I am... Nemo. And your one chance to make it out of this deathtrap alive long enough to get some revenge. Do we have an accord?"

Nemo stands passively while the men argue amongst themselves for what seems like half an hour, his attention largely directed to the sounds coming from the main parlour. They were rough clay for an artisan to work with, the assassin mused, too egalitarian for the harsher realities of back street warfare. Using respect and fair deals to establish the small niche they had, they had not been quite cold-hearted enough to attain the kind of success their more brutal opposition had acquired through the shedding of blood and breaking of innocent bones. The sound of a door opening has Nemo moving swiftly to the doorway, as he hisses to the six men "Be silent, and conceal yourselves behind the coffins. Do this and live." A pair of dark-steel daggers appear in his hands, obtained through an old Fermin acquaintance's connections, and he stands in the shadowy nook by the entrance of the door, swiftly disappearing from casual view as his cloak blends with the darkness found there. The men, at Craven's nod, have obeyed, and are crouched behind the coffins towards the far wall. A slight cough, and a hissed reprimand, act as prelude half a minute before the doorknob turns slowly, subtly, the door silently unlatched. Not so subtle is the kick that sends it flying open, and the pair of crossbow quarrels which zip through the room to punch holes in splintering timber on the far side of the Chapel of Rest. Immediately afterwards a large man bursts through the doorway, a heavy blackwood shillelagh in his hands.

Nemo waits within the shadows concealing him, and the shillelagh wielder is swiftly joined by two more men, both smelling of saltwater and fish, one with a long knife, the other bearing a cutlass. The cutlass wielder spits when they confront an empty room, signalling a pause to those queuing behind him "Where're the bloody bastards, Heinrich?" to which the large man responds simply "Hiding. Like Rats. We crush them, get reward. Now find them." The knife wielder does not get a chance to say anything, as a dagger punctures up and into the bottom of each lung. His attempts to shout a warning fail in a silent wheeze as his lungs deflate from the bottom as he attempts to breathe prior to shouting. Holding the man up for the second required to use him as cover, Nemo then removes the daggers, propels the dying man into the cutlass-holding sailor as his cloak loses its hold over the shadows, and steps in with a left-handed thrust and savage slash. Heinrich's left arm is pierced long enough to prevent it moving to defend against the primary attach which cuts the man's neck through flesh and arteries down to cartilage and bone. Even as the blood starts to spurt, Nemo has stepped past, avoiding its splatter, as he lets his left dagger pull out of Heinrich's arm and pushes his right dagger through the eye socket of the entangled cutlass wielder. With Heinrich's gurgling, and the sailor's short-but-shrill scream, Nemo knows the time for stealth is over. Yanking his dagger from the sailor's eye he calls out "Count to ten breaths, then follow me." and swiftly approaches the doorway.

Nemo counts the breaths as well, blurring into action. A breath out to release all tension - one; his daggers cross to meet and divert a descending falchion as he breathes in. A quick breath out - two; a short stomp to the side of the falchion-swinger's kneecap elicits a scream, invites a dagger in a short curved slash across his throat as the assassin breathes in once more. Breathe out - three; sidestep as the man falls, duck and breathe in as two more quarrels are launched from crossbows. Explosive expulsion of air - four; dive forward under a swinging axe, to breathe in and spring upwards towards the crossbowmen. Another quick expulsion of air - five; jam a dagger into the armpit of one crossbowman, breathe in with a spinning slash across the eyes of the second. Breathe out - six; continue the spin, puncture blinded crossbowman's kidney with dagger, breathe in and evade a thrown dagger. Short breath out - seven; push kidney-punctured crossbowman into advancing axeman, breathe in while stepping forward into a low stance, using the crossbowman to obscure the axeman's view of Nemo. A soft breath out - eight; push the crossbowman again to clear a path to thrust dagger into axeman's groin. Nemo breathes in and swings around to ensure the axe hits the crossbowman rather than himself as another thrown dagger thunks into the wall beside him. As he breathes out again, the count of nine, he can hear movement from Craven's men in the other room, and launches one of his own daggers into the throat of the man even now drawing a third knife. Nemo breathes in, takes stock of the situation. He can hear more movement outside the funeral parlour, but has time to retrieve his dagger as his breaths reach the count of ten. Craven and his men rush into the main parlour, knives and daggers drawn, to stare at the bloodshed. Craven does a quick tally "Blimmin' eck. That's eight blighters done in under a bloody minute. What the hell do you want with us?" Nemo points to the screaming axeman and groaning crossbowman "Finish them, first of all, and then make doubly sure of all of them. You must then prepare yourself for more trouble as we leave this place. We are not yet out of this mess. Have you got a safehouse?" Craven nods to his men "Get to it, dammit, we don't have all day" and takes care of the axeman himself while responding to Nemo "We've got a safehouse near Arril street. A shopkeeper owes us a few favours for keeping the place clear of trouble."

Craven and his men swiftly select weapons from Sawtooth's dead men. Two of them slip extra daggers through their belt as they stand to one side and reload the crossbows. Craven himself picks up the axe and long knife, and the other three arm themselves with cutlass, falchion, and shillelagh. Nemo uses the opportunity to approach the funeral director hiding behind the counter at the back of the room. "I do trust, of course, that you are a man of discretion?" The funeral director nods vigorously. "Excellent. Please accept our apologies for disturbing the peace and sanctity of this place. I'm sure some of these blackguards have coin on them. Feel free to use their ill-gotten gains to help with the cleanup." The funeral director doesn't quite know how to respond to that, but before he can formulate any kind of statement Nemo has already turned away, gesturing to Craven that he and his men should fall in beside him. He strides purposefully out the door, where another four men are standing ready with swords. Nemo looks at them through the black mask, even as Craven and his men fan out behind him, the two crossbows levelled in threatening fashion. He speaks to the four wary men in a cold and matter-of-fact tone "My name is Nemo, gentlemen, and I am here to advise you that there is a new player in the game. Get word to Sawtooth. He either works for me, or he is a dead man walking. Spread Sawtooth's response through the rumour mill. It shall make its way to me, and I shall make a visit to Sawtooth. No matter how he answers" Nemo steps towards them in an unconcerned fashion as Craven and his men fall in behind him. He pauses briefly only to say to the swordsmen "You may go now." A quick glance at each other and the strange masked figure and his six companions is enough to confirm that discretion would be the better part of valour this day, and Sawtooth's men leave. Craven shakes his head "So what was the business proposal, anyway?" Nemo's smile can be heard in his voice as he replies "I save your life, and you work under me. I rather believe the matter is concluded. Welcome to my employment, men. It's the start of a new way of doing things" The men quickly enter the back streets and alleyways of Cenril, and reach the safehouse by a circuitous route where Nemo discusses with them the current state of Cenril's underworld, and who would prove the most dangerous of opposition.