RP:The Monsters That Scare Monsters

From HollowWiki

Part of the The God of Undeath Arc

Summary: Gevurah discovers the corpse of a yuanti-like, black creature who had in its possession a magical pendant and a notebook tracking the whereabouts of Kasyr, the Vampire King and Revenant who had been missing for years. The corpse was killed in a manner that suggested the foul play of Alithyk Caluss.

Kasyr arrives at House D’Artes. Upon seeing the snakeman’s corpse, Kasyr believes Gevurah is trying to summon Gospel and proceeds to lose it. Cue arguing, misunderstandings, insults.

Eventually Gevurah and Kasyr realize there is an opportunity to work together to get rid of the Caluss problem and the Gospel problem. Daath arrives home to find his wife and friend (?) deep in an interesting conversation. The trio begin to formulate a plan to rid the world of the problem of Alithyk Caluss and Gospel. They become the three most unlikely heroes.

House D’Artes

A black lacquered box that was once delivered to Matron Gevurah via the Drow Embassy in Craughmoyle finds its way back, years later, to the original sender. A small black note reads ‘Kasyr’ in silver ink. It stamped with the D’Artes insignia in red wax. The box has no magical enchantments. Inside the box is a serpent’s black tongue. A long silver hairpin stabs yet another black note into the bloodless organ. “Your second course arrived at my doorstep. Come immediately. Supper came with an ominous side dish that bodes poorly for you - and me too.”

Kasyr may not be a fortune teller, but he can at least pick out an omen of misfortune when it's this blatant. Whilst it has been a long time since he's last since this particular bit of mischief, it manages to elicit a keen sense of paranoia in the swordsman, a reminder that he's not the only individual more than capable of playing the long game if a Vendetta's involved. And yet, it's the -invitation- in and of itself that ultimately serves to coax Kasyr into action, to once more venture into the darkened caves and Corridors of the Underdark. Honestly, his appearance when he does arrive at house D'artes might even be considered somewhat disarming, given that he's sporting little more than some non-descript black clothes, his trademark scarf, and a sleeveless black vest. The only thing that betrays any sort of tension on his part is simply the manner his left hand all but permanently resides atop the beaten up longsword sheathed at his hip, and the occasional jitters of his ears. "Now the question es. Welcoming party, et speech...ou- invention, dramatic build up et speech, et -then- ..." Yeah, he's just -full- of trust right now.

Gevurah :: Kasyr’s arrival in Trist’oth sends a telegram via whisper network of drow spies and couriers to the ruling house. The vampire may also notice an unusual presence of Razurath, who have indeed occupied the city but have taken a laid back approach to its governance. By the time to revenant (former revenant?) arrives at House D’Artes, there is a welcome party of one: the D’Artes chamberlain Izzerin, an undead creature bows low several times in the manner natural to lifelong sycophants. “The mistress awaits you in the Temple, sir.” Kasyr may be familiar enough with necromancy, or proto-flesh specifically, to recognize the ghastly way this ghoul was put together, a patchwork of original drow body parts and Daath’s proto-flesh. Izzerin leads him through a labyrinthine series of gothic halls and doorways. Portraits, tapestries, busts, magical artifacts and weapons in glass displays crowd every inch of wall space. Massive chandeliers hang from vaulted ceilings crowned by statues. Izzerin and Kasyr walk -through- a deceptive tapestry of Keter, across a private den, out into an inner courtyard, then down a vertical wall until landing on an indoor balcony. Izzerin parts black curtains and beckons Kasyr into the High Priestess of Vakmatharas’s private temple. It’s a cozy space, lit by faerie fire, and boasting at its center a crater-like, smooth bronze depression. A yuan-ti-like black corpse lies face down in a pool of blood at the center of the crater. If it had any belongings, it has been stripped of them. Gevurah kneels at the far end of the sunken bowl opposite Kasyr. “You came quick. Then I suppose you already know what this is about.” She growls the accusation. “I had hoped you had stupidly fallen in on the wrong side of this. Do you even know what you’re playing with? Back off. You’re in over your head.”

Kasyr has a mild grudge against the Razurth. The damnable creatures had stirred up a lot of noise in the environ of Chartsend, and made the process of falling unnoticed due to self-imposed exile a lot harder than it had been before. That said, they are far from a priority in that moment, especially when the Kensai comes face to face with the disconcerting creature that leads the way. Even as he moves to fall in step behind Izzerin, he can't help but click his tongue at the sight of what is essentially Tenebrae's handiwork 'alive' and well. Still, he does his best to mind his manners, affording the servant a courteous nod when presented with the chamber Gevurah resides within. That said, the luxury of the quaint little space is altogether lost on him, as the moment he finishes acclimatizing to the light, his attention locks onto the creature at the center of the room. He's -aware- that the priestess is talking, and a part of him still reaches out in search of some indication of an assassins dagger, or the sound of a whispered spell that's in wait- but it's so difficult to focus in that moment, the thrum of blood rushing at his temples drowning out almost everything as he fixates on the scaled body. Had it been months, or was it years now since he'd last managed to come this close to one of them. The pointed nature of Gevurah's continued speech at least draws him out of his stupor to catch the tail end of her words. He could feel his knuckles go white at the mention of being over his head, "Really. Since when is that new?" As much as he'd like to keep this tone level, he can't help the way his flaring temper leaks into his voice, "But Vraiment, what makes you think you're better equipped than me for this."

Gevurah , under cooler circumstances, would not rise so quickly to meet Kasyr’s temper, but this subject (which subject, exactly?) rattles her core in a way nothing else can. “BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND THE THREAT!” she hisses, her body trembling for a revelatory moment that exposes her overwhelming fear of something that clearly isn’t Kasyr. She lifts an amulet from the ground beside her and tosses it across the bowl at Kasyr. It’s a quartz, opaque prism on a golden chain, nothing remarkable. She watches him to see what he will do with it, if he understands how to dispel the enchantment that occults the map within the gem. As Kasyr puzzles over the amulet, the priestess steps barefoot into the blood-filled bronze bowl to turn over the serpentine creature. Half its face has been eaten by a necrotic rot. Neneath the rotten flesh is nothing but a hollow void. “If you don’t stop it, this is the fate of the world. You enjoy the material plane too much to have it destroyed, so why are you doing this? Are you already defeated by it? Too much of a coward to fight it?”

Kasyr is, as previously stated, mildly paranoid- and not just because he has in past done the equivalent of catching a tiger by it's tail and then taking a few moments to then flip it off. Which is why when the amulet is tossed towards him, he actually takes an abrupt step back from the thing, popping up his weapon from it's sheathe just enough that it catches the chain about the guard. That said, the lack of an immediate calamity, summoned creature mauling his faith, or any sort of sudden compulsion does at least tempt the Kensai into lifting up his sheathed weapon enough to hazard a closer glance at the item. That said, it's a fairly far cry from being a sword- and thus there's very little he can divine about it's nature other than a faint sense of 'magic'- which sees him simply allowing the item to slide off his sword and onto the ground, before he kicks it back over to Gevurah. That said, her accusation doesn't fall on deaf ears this time, his eyes narrowing, " It es a -work- in progress. It is -my- work in progress, et I have been going it alone. Don't you goddamn act like it was anyone -but- me that forestalled things." The former revenant's in the midst of gesturing at Gevurah when it dawns on him. "-How- do you know about it? It's -not- safe to commune with the damnable thing. It . ." And yet, he can't help but fall quiet- because as much as the Kensai feels a stir of indignation, it's also a fact he has been -notably- silent on the matter of the creature that's so deeply intertwined with his long absences. That sees him even known -skittish-.

Gevurah throws her open palms towards the ceiling in an expression of exasperation. If Kasyr isn’t lying, then this mystery stretches beyond her imagination. “Of course I found out about it. I followed its minions to its castle in the Chaos Realm where it is building its undead army. I am sure you’re familiar.” Again, that accusatory tone. The matron scowls as she crosses the rest of the distance towards Kasyr and cautiously, never taking her gaze off of him, picks up the amulet off the floor. She mutters the word ‘useless’ in drow then whispers a quick spell to reveal the map inside the quartz. She holds the amulet back up to Kasyr and says, “Look.” If Kasyr were to use the quartz as one would a magnifying glass, he’ll see a desert under the full moon of Arh’Nuk. The constellations in Ark’Nuk’s quadrant of the sky are projected onto the sand. Veins of light course through certain stellar patterns, though it is hard to discern why or what it could mean. “Does that mean anything to you. And don’t lie to me. The creature also had a notebook with details about you in it. He was tracking you down, which is how I found your address in Chartsend, through its notebook. I’m sure it was on its way there to find you. One of Caluss’s minions found it first and it met this fate.”

Kasyr may be heated, but that doesn'st stop a brief flicker of confusion crossing his features at the mention of both a castle, and undead minions. All at once, his expression is one of anxiety and intense concentration, his gaze fixating on the creature that lays husked out near the Matron. "No. No No. No- I'd know if it was free. I'd -know-. Wouldn't I?" The undead's a new twist, but would it really be beyond the pale- and if that were the case, was it really prudent not to make sure with the bod- "I'd kn- Eh?" Even before he can question the -reason- for the amulet being placed back in his proximity, the image starts to form, rather rapidly due to the Kensai's intense scrutiny on that location. The look of befuddlement continues for a few more moments after the demonstration, but there's something about the location that starts to click for the Kensai, something familiar in the sands, and the hint of mostly forgotten masonry beneath moonlit dunes. "...I was -supposed- to be well hidden. I wa-" For the first time since the conversation started, the Kensai begins to recover his composure, if only due to the absolute confusion brought on by Gevurah's final remark. He was fairly certain Caluss was -not- a drow for Gospel, "...Whose minion? ...Wait, you didn't do that?" He'd just assumed the corpse had been in this state as both a show of force, and for dramatic revelation purposes.

Gevurah shakes her head in over-confident disbelief with every question the Kensai stammers. Every aborted utterance only confirms in the smug matron that she is absolutely right, that this vampire has no idea what he is dealing with and he should be grateful to her for intervening before his dandy ass was offered up to Caluss as yet another supplicant in his undead army. But then Kasyr fails to recognize the name and his confusion becomes infectious. Gevurah’s brows knit in befuddlement too, a dark mirror to Kasyr’s fairer skin. “Alithyk Caluss… Who did you think I was talking about?”

Kasyr is in the process of gesturing between with both his hands between the necrotically ravaged lizard carcass and the Matron, only occasionally pausing to rub at his own temples. The weird confusion of emotions that's churning in his stomach and his head isn't making it particularly easy to think, and it's only compounded by the simple admission of guilt he'd made earlier, when he was being accused of the entirely gods-be-damned wrong crime. "Gospel. -Gospel-, you insufferable espece de ... Calin de Bine. Va T'en Foutre, elg'caress." The outright outburst of profanity neatly accompanies the absolute -panicked- rage currently roiling in the Kensai, because no matter what, there's a simple fact to be drawn from all this. He'd been -found-, and for how long he was unsure. "Who the hell -else- do I need to worry about now? I have enough of my own problems without you dragging me in, enfin."

Gevurah squints at the word ‘Gospel,’ but before she can ask after the name Kasyr has launched into his rant. As the panic-stricken man rambes, it occurs to her that she and Kasyr don’t really know each other. He’s a surface celebrity, so everyone feels they know him, when in truth they do not. In person, he doesn’t live up to Gevurah’s expectations which were shaped by the wealth of lore and history he’s left in his wake. He lacks something. Is it...power? Something feels off. Either the stories were wrong, or this is not Kasyr, or Kasyr is possessed, or -something- is happening here. She whispers a quick prayer under her breath as Kasyr rants. The spell gives the priestess the ability to read his aura. No possession that she can see, though some entities hide from this basic spell quite well. He doesn’t look like an imposter. He is not glamoured. But… Gevurah peers at Kasyr. How odd, he isn’t reading like an undead. “How did you do that? I can’t detect any undeath on you. A good way to hide, but how?” She also can’t feel his power, but she decides not to insult him needlessly. He’s jumpy enough as it is.

Kasyr recognizes the look he's being given, the tell-tale sign of scrutiny, and yet, there's something exceptionally cathartic about being able to vent in the moment. "Honetement, if Caluss is some other Penny Dreadful villain cropping up to take the place of Vuryal, ou- I'll wait for the inevitable empire, et knock it down, but in the meanti- " Gevurah is -really- good at shutting up the Kensai, occasionally, and the question she offers him serves as an excellent means of actually leveling out his temper. Because that question touches on something the swordsman has done an admirable job of keeping quiet for -years-, enough so that his reputation as 'Former King Of Vampires' and as one of the most powerful creatures 'lurking' in the land remains quite intact. The look he affixes Gevurah is a fair degree more level than it was a few moments ago, and may as well be as frosty as his ex-wife's domain, "A constant and oppressive aura makes you stick out like a sore thumb. I'd been working at suppressing it for quite some time, with...mixed degrees of success." So far, so true Kas, "A few years of Isolation with little to do but hone yourself and prepare for an eventual conflict helps." The truthfulness scale has suddenly veered off into fairy tale land, but hey, still technically plausible. "As does having a way to shunt some of what is essentially yourself elsewhere." Hypothetically true, considering the existence of Requiem, which serves as his phylactery- but wholly irrelevant. Liar, Liar. "Clearly, it's not enough, if I was discovered all the same.”

Gevurah laughs dryly at Kasyr’s last comment. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. I am exceptional.” Matronly modesty! And totally wrong, she has no idea that Kasyr is nothing more than a human at the moment. “Caluss is a demi-god, or possibly a full god, I don’t know yet. I do know Vuryal wouldn’t have a chance in hell of defeating Caluss alone, neither can you. If you are not aiding Caluss’s efforts, then you are no enemy of mine - well, as far as I can tell now.” She concedes the point with a dark smile before stepping out of the bronze bowl and onto a black towel to dry her blood-soaked feet. “Come, we have stories to share. I’ll tell you of Caluss, and you’ll tell me about this Gospel creature. Oh… I don’t keep blood wine in on the property, but-” Suddenly inspired to be a good host, she grabs an onyx chalice off a small lectern and scoops blood out of the bowl, into the chalice, and hands it to Kasyr. “...à votre santé.” She beckons he follow her to another room, a small lounge where they can sit and get to the bottom of this serendipitous murder that brought them together.

Kasyr affords the matron a wry grin, whilst simultaneously thanking Daedria that his bluff -somehow- didn't get called, "Having recently acquired a snake-monster as a welcome Mat didn't hurt your chances, all the same." The description of Caluss as a creature that would put Vuryal to shame doesn't entirely surprise the Kensai, who can't help but mention, "I mean- It isn't a fair comparison, since he couldn't rule a functional evil empire without burning down half of it himself. But what do you mean by -god-. ...Are you talking about an entity on par with the Ascendi, ou the Dark Lords?" ...There's ...almost a weird sort of interest there, -very- close to excitement and scientific curiosity rolled into one. It's almost as thought the Kensai has been harbouring a personal interest in murdering something(s) of divine origin for a good portion of his life. That said, whatever academic interest and totally not murder-hobo-y glee that was burdgeoning inside of himself is promptly quashed by the offered Chalice. It's not the... Well, okay, the fact that he's being offered just a heap of raw blood -is- a problem, even if he does still like steaks raw enough that they may as well be mooing. But the -source- of that blood, and the familiar sense of it's tainted nature is absolutely repulsive, " ...I think I'd rather gargle dragon's blood, et chase it down with some Cenrilese holy water. Suffice to say, those creatures are a poor ...vintage. Though, that es likely going to become a bit more apparent when I explain my years long ...headache." All at once, the Kensai can't help but glance around the room, his empathic senses actually straining to reach out as far as he can send them, if only so he can attempt to ascertain if Daath is nearby. After all, it would be entirely fitting in a stroke of theatrical genius and drama were he to suddenly come onto the scene, considering what Kasyr is going to be admitting awareness of. And really, Kas is pretty happy that he hasn't been stabbed yet. Or rather, that noone's attempted to, today, anyways.

Gevurah is fetching herself a glass of wine from a cabinet in the lounge when Kasyr rants about Vuryal for the second time. She rolls her eyes with her back to him. She beckons for him to sit on an arm chair across from her dais. “I can have a slave brought up for you that is more to your taste. Drow? Elf? Human?” Gevurah is a great hostess! She taps a charm on her bracelet to summon wait staff. “While we wait, tell me about that creature and this Gospel problem of yours.”

Kasyr is getting that rush of blood back up in his temples, though this time because of the simple problem that Gevurahs hospitality is proving to be the greatest threat to keeping his somehow well-kept secret. Screw it, time to double down. "You know, I always was curious to know just how the application of, well, the techniques your people have honed over the years to make individuals pliant might influence a vintage. I would certainly be remiss not to inquire if you have something more exotic on hand. " ...There is probably a (few) god(s) making frowny faces at Kasyr right now for more or less setting up a creature to be horribly tortured, just in the hopes that the process won't be done by the time storytime is over. At least he didn't try the unicorn gambit in tandem. "I appreciate the courtesy all the same, et regret I couldn't have offered you the same while I had more..palatial estates at my disposal. ...As for that creature, " The practiced and polite tone of the Kensai falters there, a genuinely melancholy and distressed look appearing instead, before it's forced back into a more neutral position, "I don't have a proper name for them yet. I just know what it es they serve, what they have a connection to." He draws in a breath, and then offers a slight shrug, "For a long while, I used to wield a blackened blade that had been developing as grim a reputation as my own. It, had a penchant for consuming the spirit of those it struck down, a Taboo which made it incredibly valuable...et yet ultimately quite dangerous. Because it wasn't just a mindless lump of metal. There was something inside of it. Something I -thought- I had a better handle on." The kensai says this, but, the way his lips twist make a lie out of it. Out of everything Kasyr can fib about, this one is the hardest one to cover up, because of how much calamity the sword had caused, to so many people. "Well. It didn't exactly turn out well, in the long run. Gospel got loose." Whilst he looks like he has more to say, he seems as though he's waiting for Gevurah to process what's been narrated asofar.

Gevurah ‘s brow twitches when she reads the self-deception and fear on Kasyr’s face. “So Gospel is a sword…” She considers the story carefully. Her own father came undone by a sentient sword, the E’et Nilah Blade. “What happens to the souls it eats? Why didn’t it eat you?” A waitress enters the lounge and bows deeply to Gevurah, then slightly less deeply to the guest. Gevurah speaks to the waitress in drow, puts in an order for a long-tortured drow woman, please, the more whips the better. The waitress bows again and leaves. Gevurah turns back to Kasyr. “Where were we? Yes, the souls. Where do they go?”

Daath had been enjoying some well rested rest after completing the task of containing Gevurah’s mess with her lover. A message had been sent, and a house had been erased from existence within the hierarchy or power within Trist’Oth, but the deed has been done even if it had come at quite a cost both with resources and power spent. The strain of using such magic had left the drow practically drained for what could be a considerable time, but he had the strength to answer Izzerin’s urgent summons. The ever so loyal servant has made it a point to keep his favored lord up to date on things that may earn his lady’s favor, as well as make sure the current acting House Mage knows when important matters are afoot, and given Kasyr is in the house is one such matter, especially (to Izzerin at least) since the kensei is with his wife in a private room. Was she upgrading already? Did she know her lover, Lanlan, was now not more than a houseless rogue? The numerous possibilities between Daath’s mind and Izzerin’s constant ramblings of how inappropriate and unheard of this encounter is make the trip from the magister’s room to the parlor go by a bit quickly. Here, the dark elf enters without much to prelude his arrival, tossing open the doors to settle his gaze upon the pair with a stoic expression that seems to be the mask he always wears. “Well, this is interesting.” Says the drow, as he moves to close the distance between him and Gevurah as he says. “I thought you two were actively trying to murder one another?”

Kasyr inwardly curses. Well, that was one way to interpret exotic- and he was fairly certain that there was going to be no shortage of long tortured drow in Trist'oth, nor would it be too hard to make up any differences. Good job, Kas. "Gospel -was- a sword. But, It's something far more now. Perhaps it always was? In any case, it's very nature is...infernal , that much I discovered when it -did- try and devour me, en fait. I was. . . spared that due to the intercession of Kanos." There's a rueful smile, "My saving grace, for services rendered. But what I -saw-, what I experienced matched experiences of hell at the hands of the Ascendi, and what was jotted down in myriad books across Lithrydel, including some of the bleaker tombs in Vailkrins black Library. Still, it was a potent weapon, so I kept wielding it for some time, even knowing that those I vanquished with it ended up being ...directed there. I simply ...learned from it's attempt, et made an arrangement with Daedria of the Ascendi- a safeguard that I believed would fully shield me from it's wrath." The Kensai actually looks somewhat pensive as he stares up at the ceiling, his thumbs twiddling, "I wasn't entirely wrong, but I hadn't taken into account -just- how many souls I'd fed it across numerous wars. I hadn't peered that deeply into it." He closes his eyes, and exhales slightly, "The best way I can describe it, is that it managed to incarnate itself. Whether it was an idealized form, or...perhaps what was always trapped in there- it used all that garnered power to bring itself into the world. Or rather, to start to. While it was in the midway point between blade and beast, I managed to ...banish it, to the void, as it were." What a fancy way to say spaaaaaace. "As it turns out, what I'd done was stranded it far closer to home. Specifically, I mired it's raging form on the surface of Arh'Nuk, where it's been..." He's trying to search for the right words here, but they're all sort of equally bad. The process of arduously searching for the right word also serves to pull Kas into his own little world just deeply enough that he doesn’t notice the doors behind him being thrown open, or Daath announcing himself onto the scene. "...festering. It's not been idle, either- being it's former wielder has...afforded me an unfortunate awareness of it's growing influence. I'm not sure of the exacts, but It has been reaching out for some time, trying to find a way back, j'pense. Which es part of why I secluded myself with my preparations." There may have also been a healthy degree of procrastination involved there due to an all-consuming dread tied to the possibility of that encounter. That said, that still doesn’t stop the kensai from looking extra sheepish when he takes note that there’s been an addition to this particular conversation. Enough so that Kasyr just spares a few moments to look between Daath & Gevurah. Was -that- how she’d found him?

Gevurah struggles to follow Kasyr’s story. Its turns are abrupt, the deific name drops are sudden, the euphemisms opaque to the point of useless in places. But she pieces enough of the story together to figure out this: The sword eats souls. Kasyr once wielded it. It is now on the Arh’Nuk moon in some organic, non-sword form. It is ‘festering’ (yet another one of those infuriatingly opaque euphemisms), and she’s about to ask for greater detail when Daath enters the room. She welcomes her husband with a nod and the ghost of a private smile as makes room on the dais for Daath to join her. The empath would feel that between Daath and Gevurah there is no animosity, and yet also no deep love. Their relationship includes a form of affection, something akin to friendship or the beginnings of courtship, plenty of mutual respect, but lacks the intense bond that holds most newlyweds together. “No, that was a misunderstanding,” she says to Daath, in common for Kasyr’s benefit. “A snake person’s corpse was found in the dead caves. The way he was killed would interest you, necrotic magic that empties into a void. You can see the corpse in the temple.” She nods towards the adjoining shrine. Inside is a bronze bowl set into the floor like a shallow, rounded pool full of blood. The yuan-ti-like corpse lies face up, its face rotted away revealing nothing but a void beneath. Blood soaks into the hem of Gevurah’s robes as well. Daath can enter the other room and speak to them clearly, the two rooms are quite small. Gevurah continues as Daath investigates the corpse, “Kasyr was just telling me about his sword, which eats souls, and now sits on the Arh’Nuk Moon in a form…” again, that damned opaqueness. What exactly does Kasyr mean? As Gevurah watches her husband work through the doorway, she notes his arcane exhaustion and suddenly (as the empath may detect) she grows anxious as she guesses just what could have exhausted the necromancer like this. All day she’s been in the temple studying the corpse, and had ordered the staff not to bother her with anything. She hasn’t yet heard the second house was destroyed. She switches to drow to exclude Kasyr from a private question, “Is it done?”

Daath is busy studying the corpse's remains like any advent student of a particular craft would another's work, and he can see this itself was very potent magic to have so rotted away the life essence. Curious indeed. But what draws the magus from this is the mention of a demonic weapon that is now on the moon. Not any moon, the damned Arh'Nuk? That is something that demands the Magister's attention. Gevurah's question wouldn't be ignored wholly, as his not answering is more to hint that there was nothing to talk about. Such is drow politics, when a house is erased it just never existed. Lanlan is now a houseless rogue, no longer a noble by drow standards and most surely not a patron or anyone of worth. A heavy toll, especially once the illusionist would find out. Either way, Kasyr is the center of attention as Daath says. "You just placed one of your damnable objects on Arh'Nuk? Just dropped it on by, and told no one?" Yes, you see the sheer estoric magic that radiates off the moon is barely harnessed by master tier mages due to numerous factors, mainly how far the moon is from them. Even its untapped (until now) power is more than potent enough to act as a major boon to a mage, dangerously so in the right (and wrong) hands. "Festering? Do you know how many mages have draw power from what can now be described as a poisoned well? The consequences of your sheer lack of responsibility is astounding, but not uncharacteristic it seems." Even though Kasyr has had numerous responsibilities, to many others he's handled most with a gravitas of a bullheaded young adult. Heavy handed and aloof at best, while mostly winging things as they go. Just, this time the revenant's err is that his reckless abandon has stepped into the Magister's domain. Particularly since the damned moon his cursed weapon now "festers" upon could very well seep into countless magic and endanger untold nations, the underdark included. "What have you done, Kasyr?" Is all the dark elf can say right now as he stands by Gevurah. Mayhaps the depth of the danger of something evil feeding off what could be the most powerful source of raw and ancient magic in the realm (and well beyond) is lost to non mages, but if this thing was powerful enough to make Kasyr nervous before, the damnable thing is potentially the greatest threat to the realm right now.

Kasyr isn’t -entirely- sure it was just a misunderstanding between himself and Gevurah, but then, the relative importance of Laezila’s life or death in the grand scheme of things isn’t really something the swordsmans had to consider in quite some time. That said, Daath’s rather pointed questions are rapidly cutting to the heart of the situation, in a way that Kasyr is having a fair bit of difficulty refuting, or reframing. “It was not ‘dropped’ there, intentionally.” Gee, that makes it better. “Hell, I wasn’t even -aware- it was there for quite some time. “Not that much was done with that knowledge. “That -es- part of why I agreed to be a part of the mage guild, however. Satoshi once mentioned something along the lines of how there was a relationship between the mage moon et some mages, or artifacts. Far be it from moi to turn down the ability to at least be in closer proximity et keep an eye on things, in case something goes wrong on a large enough scale.” So, basically Kas had haggled slightly, just because he’s a bit of a dick. That said, whatever sheepish defensiveness has crept into his voice, the revenant can’t maintain it forever, his voice suddenly taking an exhausted tone, “Et, quite frankly, I have been unable to locate them to rectify the situation. Gospel’s cultists…ou followers, I mean. Once upon a time, I could count upon being stalked by one of it’s minions- et yet, with the absence of that creature running rampant, my ability to locate, or ascertain what exactly it’s been up to has diminished greatly over time.” He lets out a hiss of breath, “Which left me with the simple option of biding my time, et preparing. It’s not ideal, I know- especially given what it’s in the process of influencing, but the option of ‘Let’s go travel into the stars et fight an eldritch abomination es not exactly something I see most people capable of, or willing to volunteer for. Especially if failure means eternal damnation. Figuring out how to do it on your own es a logistically difficult et problematic situation.”

Gevurah :: Daath’s silence is confirmation enough. In the wake of the news, Gevurah maintains her inscrutable expression. To the empath, who speaks neither drow (and if he did, he’d likely still be lost) the sudden wave of remorse that comes from the matron may come as a shock. A pang of guilt corkscrews in Gevurah’s stomach so painfully it makes her nauseous (and the empath too?). She stands suddenly and quickly crosses over to the cabinet to pour herself a second glass of wine, and another for Daath. With her back to Kasyr and her husband, she lets her thoughts slip to Lanlan and the political disaster he’ll inherit upon his return. Her heart aches, maybe the empath feels that ache too. By the time she turns back to Daath, she’s mastered a mask of approval and pride, which is on its face true, even if it’s not emotionally true in the moment. Is she proud of her husband? His ability to deliver on the total destruction of the second house is impressive, yes. Did she approve this action? Yes. And yet. And yet. It’s hard to feel the pride she falsely projects outwardly. Gevurah hands a glass of wine to Daath once he’s done taking the Kensai to task for his recklessness. She sits down again and leans back in her dais to let the mage rage about the monster on the moon. She only chimes in to say, “If the sword is everything you say it is, then we must bring it back from the moon. It’s the only way to defeat Him.”

Kasyr hasn’t had to deal with as sharp a degree of empathic feedback in quite some time, but he’s -not- prepared to deal for the sudden spike of emotion from Gevurah- which sees the swordsman rather abruptly staring at the wall as he tries to center himself. The hell had he stumbled into? That emotional turmoil doesn’t help with the act of processing what Gevurah says next, which has him sounding a fair bit bewildered, “-Pardon-? I just mentioned how this thing is a nightmare creature from hell, et your first reaction is to drop it here?” Kasyr -had- on certain bleak evenings, contemplated the possibility of dropping the creature on Vuryal in those twilit hours of the night where bad ideas sound tempting … “I can understand -removing- it, or finding a way to suppress or kill it. But, to bring it here? You’ve yet to say who is this …er… Calice?” Close, Kas, Close.

Gevurah :: “Caluss,” Gevurah says to both answers Daath’s question and correct Kasyr. “Alithyk Caluss is the full name.” The priestess eyes Daath warily. If she’s hesitant to discuss Caluss, it’s clearly because of him. A God of the Undead would appeal to any necromancer, but especially one as ambitious as her husband. Telling him may prove to be the biggest error of her life, but it’s increasingly clear to her that it’s an error she cannot avoid. “There are ancient, obscure texts from a long dead drow house that speaks of Alithyk Caluss, the God of the Undead. I am not sure when or how or why he was created, but I am close to figuring that out. Here is what I do know: Thousands of years ago there was a drow necromancer cult called The Order of the Shade that worshipped Caluss. At the time, his power was not felt in the material plane. He was banished somewhere. A few years ago, the order resurfaced. They successfully broke him from his planar prison and he poured into the material plane like ink.” She hesitates before continuing, “Lanlan and I discovered his motive and where he has been residing since then. He is in the chaos realm in a castle amassing an undead army. He can turn the living into undead without killing them first, and seemingly at will, though perhaps it is more complicated than that. His goal is to turn the entire world undead. No living, and no corpses either. It is a direct threat to every race, including the drow, and a direct threat to Vakmatharas’s domain and rule. I barely escaped his castle with my life…” She and Lanlan had to work together to escape, but she doesn’t say this. “I don’t think it can be killed, only banished again. Maybe Gospel can banish Him.”

Daath is really getting tired of gods and god like beings deciding to use the realm as their playground to throw whatever temper tantrum and for whatever reason they decide is justification to do so. Any god the drow worship tend to use their own hubris against them, and given Gevurah's information of how the god wishes all things to be undead speaks volumes. "Slaves. Mindless and powerless against him. A clever tactic." He knows this well, as every necromancer ever does this very thing. Undead (even those brought back by others) are very hard pressed to ignore his presence, let alone his call to arm. Only a few could truly ever sway away from his influence, and more often than not even the high will power of the numerous undead that brought themselves back to life out of hatred, or a need for revenge could fall victim to the drow's power. Apply this logic to a god? And even Daath would have to worry, and that isn't a fun idea to sit on at all. "So, this Caluss, a fallen god brought back by yet another cult, is on the verge of unleashing a reign of terror, while at the same damn time a cult dedicated to perhaps the most powerful weapon in all of creation is trying to convert followers and bring about Gospel's wrath?" He sighs here, takes a minute to actually sip of the wine he's been holding for a while now, before he says. "We have to act. We have a shortage of the useful hero types to toss at this, so playing just the right part to ensure victory is ours is off the table. " He'd never thought he'd miss Lionel's presence, given he is the type to find some way of winging a win here, and truth be told playing hero isn't Daath's forte. His wife's concern is rightly appreciated, as if any get wind that a god wanting dominion over the realm usually means people flock to their side in efforts to grab power they can't gain on their own. The Necromancer's Guild will be kept out of the loop for now, and with Diin's slumber, the Mage Guild is in short supply as well. More messes to clean up. "So we try to toss Gospel at Caluss? Could we not try to transport the weapon from the moon to the chaos realm?" Having two big dogs fight then stepping in to finish off the winner -is- a very drow answer. To Kasyr he says. "Unless you think Caluss could take up Gospel, and the threat would grow bigger?"

Kasyr has, by this point, had to deal with a number of cults. The Nathali, extremist Cenrilian’s part of militant parts of their church, A doomsday Cult worshipping some thing from beyond the stars, as well as Gospel’s followers- so the simple fact that things have boiled down to yet another esoteric group of cloaked rabble rousers threatening the balance of creation doesn’t strike the swordsman as weird. “Well, he wasn’t able to convert -you- into an undead during the escape, so, there es very likely a mechanism at play. Perhaps there needs to be a weakness that can be played upon, or some matter of faith in him? People will pray to just about anything when they’re desperate.” Kasyr sounds -less- than thrilled when he says that. “Not in the long run, Daath. They’d eventually decay, would they not, especially if they were simple mindless undead. So, wouldn’t that be…extinction. Still, perhaps that’s only the first part of an even more profoundly disturbing plan. It’s not the first gods have waged wars against each other.” Daaths remarks about heros does have the Kensai shooting him a briefly annoyed look, but there is an unquestionable truth that he’s dallied a bit too long on the matter. “I’m not -entirely- sure. I think if it could be easily wielded or could transfer the connection it has to moi, to someone else readily, it would have done so already, since I -could- bring it here. I’m just, “ Fairly positive it will completely murder him in a standing feet, “…not the most confidant that I could actually suppress it in a fight, especially given that the individuals who I’d have most banked on being able to assist in the endeavour are” Gone. Dead. Retired. “…indisposed of. I don’t -think- we’d have to worry about Caluss wielding it though. …Discussing with each other, however? J’en sais pas. That he’s killed one of it’s minions is at least slightly promising, however. I’d honestly have to wonder -what- was the motivation there.”

Gevurah shakes her head at Kasyr’s assumption that Caluss failed to turn her undead. “He didn’t even try. It was minions who caught us. We escaped before Caluss found us. It’s a large castle, with acres of grounds. Had he found us…I am not too proud to admit I would have been bested by a god. And so would you.” Then she looks to Daath a little more tenderly and adds, “And even you. I don’t want to be rash here.” Gevurah thinks Daath > Kasyr, awe. “But you’re right, Kasyr, I need to learn more about how he turns the living into the unliving. That could provide a clue on how to defeat him.” Her gaze levels on Kasyr, “Why can’t you wield Gospel anymore? It’s simply too big? Or is there something else?” Just then there is a knock at the door. A drow servant bows low to the matriarch, her husband, and their guest. A badly tortured and recently whipped drow female slave is brought in and offered to Kasyr. “Ah,” Gevurah says, “your requested vintage.”

Daath watches as the drow slave is brought in for the vampire, and really it doesn't faze him in the slightest (as it shouldn't given the two kingdoms he frequents). What more pressing is the fact Gevurah and Kasyr have known of seriously need to know information for a very long time now, and Daath's -just- learning about all of this. To Gevurah he says. "We need to have a talk soon about keeping secrets -like this-. As I suspect this is why you even entertained the idea of marriage originally?" He means there encounter several months back when this was proposed, not the more recent renewal of said plan. To Kasyr he says. "First things first though, we need to decide what threat we deal with first, and how we engage said threat. Gospel is a when and where we choose to fight, thats our biggest leverage so far, with your ability to call the damned thing, we can choose where we decide to fight it." To Gevurah, he says. "The undeath is probably beyond our understanding as is all godly powers. If death in a necrotic sense is his domain, he could simply just wish it, and such are not beyond a gods power. Hell and heaven were created by whims, this is the kinds of powers mortals cannot comprehend, and the type many only channel inklings of. Which means, even my expertise would be as a gnat to a dragon, and I very much would prefer not to have to be reminded of such. So, we need to find out -how- the old cultist broke him out of his prison, and then see if we can put the genie back in the bottle. Because if its a fight, we lose."

Kasyr gives Gevurah a bit of a mischievous smirk, though it becomes a bit more focused upon the introduction of the provided vintage, “I mean, I’ve seen godlike identities such as the Ascendi make a complete mess of things before. Hubris, and the need to monologue are apparently aspects which transcend the boundaries of mortality. Perhaps that’s why it’s so engrained in some. Still, it’s always heartening to note things like limitations that might exist in entities beyond the normal threshold of well…” The Kensai gestures in a sort of shrug towards those gathered in the room, even as he reaches over into his travel pack and starts rummaging around, “Us. Not being a omniscient or prescient is a useful detail, as is the lack of him making a personal appearance. The more hands on types are distinctly problematic.” After a few moments, the Kensai pops out a goblet from his pack, as well as a bundle of feathers, and a scalpel. I mean, the feathers are more just a burst of raven feathers than a conscientious removal, but in any case- so armed, the swordsman makes a rather deft cut across the throat of the tormented drow. “I’m genuinely unsure if Gospel would be properly -wieldable- at this time. I’m not sure I could force or compell it to once more take the guise of a sword, given last I saw it, it was in the process of becoming a giant angry snake. Which I mean, to be fair is pretty weaponizable if you drop it on someone. That said, it’s not really something I could probably -use- at the given moment? Probablement. I’m more keen to know why Calisse killed one of Gospels Cultists. Is whatever they’re doing a nuisance or a threat to his plans, or is it more or a less a rival at the moment?” Moving to put the cup to the slaves neck, the Kensai is just very casually filling the cup, though- man, a lot of the blood is just missing and hitting the ground. “I’d agree that a lot more research es needed in the cases of all the players in this little dispute. If we could set up the mutual destruction of our respective headaches however, that’d be the best bet. I’d not want to see them ever acquire any common ground.”

Gevurah glowers at Daath when he reprimands her in front of the guest, but answers Kasyr first. “Yes, mutual destruction. We all have questions to answer about Caluss. And we need to know how to tame Gospel long enough to wield it against Caluss. I’m sure the three of us can find answers.” Having finished her second glass of wine, she rises to leave and makes a performance of the way she stands to let Daath know she is displeased. “Kasyr, your hideout is blown. You may stay here if you so wish. Use the library as you wish.” She lingers near Daath’s side before leaving, her body language suggesting a marital intimacy that clashes jarringly with the words she whispers to him in drow while ignorant of the fact Kasyr understands their language, “Talk down to me in front of someone else again and there won’t be a marriage to speak of.” She smiles toothlessly at Daath for Kasyr’s benefit, as if she just invited her husband to bed, then leaves.