RP:Darling, I Want To Destroy You
Part of the Through The Looking-Glass: Return To Wonderland Arc
Summary: After Khitti's band's concert in the cemetery, Quintessa approaches the templar. The changeling is given a warning that it would be in her best interest to not become like Larewen, and Khitti tells Quintessa of a bounty that's been attached to several public boards across Lithrydel, wherein the target is her own brother, Lionel O'Connor.
Main Graveyard Area, Vailkrin
Khitti || Unnatural sounding music echoed through Vailkrin’s cemetery, the band from which it came holding a concert within the main area of the graveyard. The Winter Soul-stice was the last concert of the year for The Sound of Sirens and it was clear that they were going to go out with a bang. All but Red (which was Khitti’s stage name) was up there with the rest of the band, allowing the others to warm up the crowd with instrumental rock music. It would continue for a few moments… until it didn’t. Suddenly the entire stage went black, the few magically sustained faery lights above the crowd went out as well. Jon 3 was heard first, a few chords carefully repeated on his electrified guitar until Dayv Ghoul finally joined in with his drums, the two melodies entwining perfectly. The hauntingly beautiful song was soon accompanied by Spyder on the bass and Gorey Taelyr joined in as well on rhythm guitar. The stage erupted momentarily in a flame of purple flame, allowing for Khitti to shadowstep into place, dressed to the nines in black attire and black makeup, the crowd’s screams loud enough to literally wake the dead. ♫ I feel your presence amongst us… You cannot hide in the darkness. Can you hear the rumble? Can your hear the rumble that’s calling?♫ The rumble of thunder was heard on cue, lightning crackling from within and around the band’s instruments as well as Khitti an enchanted microphone. ♫ I know your soul is not tainted, even though you've been told so. Can you hear the rumble? Can you hear the rumble that's calling? I can feel the thunder that's breaking in your heart. I can see through the scars inside you. I can feel the thunder that's breaking in your heart. I can see through the scars inside you.♫ The song continued and came to its end and many more were there to follow in its wake.
Khitti || Then energy in the concert area never died down once--perhaps because they’re all dead and don’t need a break?--as the crowd split up here and there, allowing a gap for mosh pits to form as they rocked out to the band’s harder songs. ♫In times of turmoil, in times like these, beliefs contagious, spreading disease! This wretched mischief is now coursing through your souls! Never to let go! Never to let go! Them rats!♫ The sound of squeaks and shrieks were heard amongst the crowd as illusion-made rats ran around at their feet, as well as on the stage. ♫Into your sanctum, you let them in. Now all your loved ones, and all your kin, will suffer punishments beneath the wrath of God! Never to forgive! Never to forgive! Them rats!♫ Just like with all the rest, the song would continue until its end, giving way to the last song of the night. The lights hovering above the stage shifted to blood red, causing Khitti to look like something akin to a blood-soaked prom queen and her shadow-flame pyro as black as night. ♫When, when will, when will I, when are you gonna die? Oh, got to track you down, who’s got who now? Now, now we, now we will, now I’ll have a blast! Bang! That was fast, I got you! Bang! That was fast, we ain’t through!♫ A bit of theatrics were added to the mix, Khitti pushed away the microphone and started fighting Gorey Taelyr with her gladius Embershard, her song still echoing as she sang. ♫I’m coming for your headstone, bringing a crew or doing it alone! Coming for your headstone! They won’t refuse, I don’t dig my part on my own! We got a big one for me, head over here, new higher throne! I’m coming for your headstone!♫
Khitti || Unbeknownst to all, the song was a message. A message to those that had wronged her. A message to those that had wronged others. It’s too bad no one would ever see it for what it was. The song would eventually conclude with Khitti being the victor against Gorey, and the concert would end, leaving the crowd to dissipate to wherever they pleased. Khitti retreated to the band’s break area as the stage was teleported to the area it was stored in during their in-between tours times. She’d changed, dressing herself in her usual comfortable knee-length sleeveless black dress, with a black knit duster, dark purple leggings and soft, black leather boots. The entire bad would leave soon as well, while Khitti lingered in the cemetery, sitting atop the nearest, largest gravestone that would hold her, olive-green eyes peering up at the eternal night sky. It would seem Khitti’d kept her weapons with her for protection from those in Vailkrin, for not only did she have Embershard, but Tenbatsu Kaji as well, both in their typical places on her person.
Quintessa Dragana had been plotting for days how she would confront Khitti ever since the Red Skull Trophy, the day the woman had taunted her from the crowd. At the time, the changeling was angry at her, furious even, but the young baroness had time to think about it since then and had decided not to act in malice. Instead the hex blade had been stalking her at her concerts, dressing simply in black leathers and winter coats as she enjoyed the music. It was easy to blend in this way. The band brought in many spectators from far and wide and even the changeling with blue and hazel eyes went unnoticed while they were on stage. Quintessa never joined the mosh pit though, as tempted as she was. She could not deny that the call was strong and that Dayv Ghoul's drumming was sublime. Even her rival, Red, was a sight to behold. The hex blade needed to conserve her energy though, so she stuck to the sides, nodding alone and occasionally unable to resist the urge to dance. This concert, which began as a way to spy on Khitti, had become something Quintessa really enjoyed watching. Daedria would be proud of such theatrics. Once the concert had died down and the crowds dispersed, the changeling would light a cigarette and wonder the graveyard where she knew Khitti would be. Unlike the former vampire, Quintessa wasn’t carrying her sword. It wasn't prudent to attend a concert with a katana at your side if you didn't want to turn heads. Besides, the odd girl wanted things to go peacefully between them tonight. "Nice show," the bob-haired girl says from behind, letting the smoke from her clove cigarette drift through the night breeze. "I quite enjoyed it."
Khitti || “Thanks, kid,” the redhead said. Khitti didn’t look at Quintessa right away, instead keeping her eyes on those moons above. She’d assumed whomever had just complemented the show had said in it passing, but as soon as that cigarrette smell hit Khitti’s nose, she turned her head, her attention finally settling on the changeling. She narrowed her eyes at Quintessa, but eventually just smirked at her, rather than saying whatever snide comment came to mind, eventually saying at length, “Why are you here?” The question was vague. Of course she meant ‘Why are you here speaking to me?’, but Khitti never elaborated on it, allowing Quintessa to try to figure it out for herself. A chilly breeze rolled through, Khitti’s duster pulled more tightly around her. Once upon a time, she hadn’t had to worry about a thing like that and the older she got, the more she missed it--she also hadn’t had to deal with that wretched arthritis that’d started creeping up on her.
Quintessa let the question linger between them for a moment as she took a long draw from her cigarette. "I guess," she begins, blowing a cloud of smoke above her that is slowly taken away by the wind, "I want to know what your problem with me is." Quintessa thinks back to what little she'd read about the woman. Mostly it bad been the blade she wielded, the Tenbastu Kaji, and not the wielder. "I knew laying claim on House Dragana would make me enemies, but you are not a vampire, why do you care what I do with what Larewen left behind?" Mismatched eyes flicker up and down at she examines Khitti. Would she try to attack her tonight? Was coming without a sword to fight back really a good idea? Quintessa pushes those thoughts away. It was far too late to think about that now.
Khitti’s smirk resurfaced as Quintessa spoke, “The fact that you know so little of Larewen and House Dragana shows that you don’t deserve it, girl. Larewen would never leave her house to anyone. I’ve known that woman for almost five years. I -lived- in that house. -Defended- that house. Defended Larewen Dragana -myself- and almost died for it. I don’t want the damn thing--I couldn’t make my family live here if I tried--but you just waltzing on in thinking you own the place while she’s gone again was enough to make me want to shove my sword through your skull.” Thankfully, for Quintessa, she doesn’t act on that impulse. It was clear the girl came in peace and Khitti would respect it. “I -was- a vampire. I died for that cure. But changing one little thing like that doesn’t mean I just suddenly stop caring about everything that happened when I was undead.”
Quintessa can't help the way the corners of her mouth pull up on the ends, unintentionally flashing a row of sharp teeth. Being met with this kind of aggression was what the changeling thrived on, but as her left hand reached for the sword that wasn't there her grin faded to just a smirk. "I admit to being uneducated, but you apparently didn't speak you her in the months leading up to her disappearance. She had grown desperate in her attempts to seize Vailkrin. She turned me in an attempt to further her own means and took me in a her star student. I was to learn everything she knew... But then she disappeared, likely killed by that traitor, Elioyahazer, for House Nasar." Quintessa grimaces, her mismatched eyes of blue and hazel falling to the ground. "I was left alone at House Dragana, what else do you expect me to do but keep things going like my mother would have wanted? She might not have wanted to give it to someone but I know she wouldn't want it to crumble to dust. She'd want me to carry on in her name. To make House Dragana something she would be proud of. If there was someone more worthy than myself to take the barony, they'd have my support."
Khitti shrugged. “Larewen and I have always had a love-hate relationship. It comes with the territory when she takes you in. I haven’t seen her since I originally quit my job as deputy leader for the Necromancer’s Guild. She betrayed me. Again. Said she’d help me. Didn’t. You got off lucky, to be honest. She was never going to teach you, Quintessa. That’s what she tells people.” There’s another shrug as Khitti pushed off of the headstone, and turned to face the changeling, leaving the gravemaker between them. “She’s not your mother. She’s not anyone’s mother. She’ll never -be- anyone’s mother because she doesn’t have the empathy it takes to do so. I’m sure me saying all of this is quite mind-boggling, considering my feelings towards you and what you’re doing, but… this is not the first time Larewen has left. And I don’t believe Eli killed her. I saw how he was after he was turned. He was a bit too dedicated to her, just like everyone else has been through the years.” There’s a tilt of Khitti’s head as she eyed Quintessa, “You will never be safe, so long as you remain in that House, with that attitude. Calling yourself a baroness. Talking the way you did to Gevurah. Larewen knew when it was in her best interests to have allies. You clearly do not.”
Quintessa looks up at Khitti when she spoke to her. While the strange girl had never experienced any of these things first hand, she had heard many stories about it. "I have allies," Quintessa protests, suddenly wanting to prove to the human that she was worthy of the things she was doing. "Kasyr Azakhaer. Bradyn Mahara. I have the support of the Mage's Guild and common folk of the city. I am not my mother I-" The changeling clenches her fists, trying to fight back against the maelstrom of emotions swirling though her. Quintessa knows deep down that Larewen would never be the mother figure that she was desperately looking for and Khitti's words only served to point out what she was feeling inside. "So long as Larewen is gone, I hold her title. She can have it back if she ever returns but until then it is the -only- place that is safe for me. I won't go back to living in the streets!"
Khitti || “Bradyn Mahara is no one’s ally, truly. Bradyn cares only for his House, himself, and his Library. When he realizes that there’s nothing else you can provide him with, you will instantly become disposable. Kasyr means nothing to me, as he was before my time here. The Mage’s Guild… I have heard things about that guild. Things I don’t care for. Turning people away when all they want to do is learn. Leaders that don’t actually lead.” Khitti shook her head. She looked bored; apparently picking out Quintessa’s flaws wasn’t actually that entertaining. “You were not -given- the title and that’s the problem. This wasn’t something she left to you personally. It’s not -yours- to keep, even if she’s allowing you to live under her roof. You say you’re not your mother, but it’s clear you very much are. Larewen wanted everything for herself. Her greed would’ve been her downfall a long time ago if it wasn’t for her many disappearances.” A sigh. “So don’t go back to living in the streets, but at least respect what you have and know your place, girl! You’re not special. You’re just one in a long line of strays that Larewen tries to keep for herself.”
Quintessa stood up straight, the emotion draining from her face. No one had ever spoken to her this way before. No one had ever said things that cut so deeply at the insecurities she felt in her core. There is only silence until she winced, the cigarette left to burn reaching her fingers and then instinctively flicked away. "Ack!" When the changeling's mismatched eyes return to Khitti she can't hide the pain she feels. "So what is my place then? Since you seem to know me so well, tell me what you think I should do."
Khitti saw the changes on Quintessa’s face, the way her body language shifted to match it, the way her own words caused the girl to forget entirely about her cigarette. “I don’t know,” she said at length. “I haven’t even found my own yet, despite all the things I have now, compared to when I came to Lithrydel. But, if you continue down Larewen’s path, instead of your own, you will not like the place it takes you too. I should have killed her years ago after the first set of lies, but I didn’t have the means or the knowledge to do so. Now I do--” A nod was given to the katana on her back. “--and now she’s hardly around. Larewen’s “legacy” needs to die with her, whenever she does finally. If you continue to keep hold of House Dragana, do it differently. If you should ever become an elder vampire, actually teach your fledglings. Don’t let them run wild like rabid animals in the streets. Emrith. Laezila. Eli. All corrupted by her. All left to their own devices, much like the vassels of her House.” Khitti paused, darkly painted lips pressed into a grim line as she let the girl take in all that was said. “If I ever see one hint of her tainted blood changing you as it did them, I will -end you-, Quintessa Dragana. That said… there is something that would likely be of interest to you on the board in the Hanging Corpse. Perhaps you could do one of the only things Larewen could never achieve.”
Quintessa stared at Khitti as she spoke, actually listening to what the woman had to say. The changeling wasn't sure why, but she felt like she had a lot to learn from her. "I'll never follow her path," the hex blade promises, "But I cannot give up House Dragana; So much of my research for the Necromancer's Guild is tied up in her laboratories and libraries. I need Larewen's personal books to fill in the gaps where she didn't teach me. I-" Quintessa looked cautiously at the blade on her back when it was brought up, the- "Tenbatsu Kaji." The hex blade knew of the blade. A teenager's obsession. "Yes, I might put up a fight but... I'd be no match for you." It was hard for her to admit, but she knew it to be true. The changeling's gaze flickers back to Khitti's face when the tavern board was brought up. Was this some kind of challenge? "What was it?" She was determined to go have a look later.
Khitti laughed a little. It was kind of odd, coming from such an angry, stone-faced woman. It’s like she might not actually be this serious all the time. “It’s funny how many times I’ve heard that. I said the same thing myself at one point. That I needed the Necromancer’s Guild. There was a time I would’ve abhorred the idea of going there to learn from those people. Necromancers like Bradyn and Larewen made me into a monster once upon a time and here I am, only having just rejoined it again to do research of my own. You do what you need to do, but heed my warning.” A look was given to her sword again, crimson brows furrowing, but she decides to say nothing about Tenbatsu Kaji. At one point, Khitti might’ve allowed Quintessa to inspect it, but now? Now, trust--for anyone that wasn’t her family or close friends (which were very few in number)--was nearly nonexistent. “There is a bounty there to kill my brother, Lionel O’Connor. Attempts, with some sort of proof, will be rewarded. Five thousand gold per. Even if there ends up not being proof, I’ll know whether someone is lying or not. Tenbatsu Kaji will see to it. A message needs to be sent to him, and this is the best way to do it. While I would absolutely love to shove Embershard through his skull and set him on fire, there’s always a bigger fish, as I have business elsewhere that will soon need tending too that I require all of my strength for. Besides, letting the people he swore to protect, and failed, kill him will send a much bigger message than I ever could.”
Quintessa managed to give Khitti a smile when she bought up the bounty. "Lionel O’Connor!" She repeated, far too gleeful for someone that was so defeated a moment ago. "I know the one- The Butcher of Vailkrin. I was only a wee girl back then but I remember the stories. I'll be happy to take on this contract!"
Khitti couldn’t help but grin at Quintessa’s excitement. “You will have others to contend with, of course, as I’ve put it on several boards throughout Lithrydel. You and I aren’t the only people he’s failed, in any capacity, after all. Unsurprisingly, he’s come back from the dead, thanks to the universe hatred for me, but he is weakened and without Hellfire now. It was destroyed in the battle where he died, apparently. And should you have successful attempts, you can find me at the Devout’s Guild or the Necromancer’s Guild’s headquarters for your reward. If you do manage to kill him, then we’ll certainly discuss -that- reward then. He might be weakened but that frakking idiot’s will to live is as strong as the rage that I have for him and his many betrayals.” There was that word again. ‘Betrayal’. Clearly, it was something that was almost always on her mind. “In the meantime, I must return to Cenril before my son murders my husband with a stuffed chicken.” Khitti wasn entirely serious about this and it showed. There’d be no goodbye, however, for the girl. Instead, Khitti just turned and headed off towards the Death Cult Temple, and the entrance to Kelay beyond it.