Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Dark Jack
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The room was large for this kind of clinic, especially with how far from the city center it was, and was generally furnished in a way that was puzzlingly different from what one might expect from such a place. A hundred feet wide and seventy feet long, by far most of the room was occupied by nothing but rows of simple cots arranged in an obviously deliberate manner, head to foot and side by side, with just enough room between each cot for an attendee to fit through the space. Several small chandeliers hang from the ceiling to assist the sconces mounted on the walls, numerous enough that the room would likely have been quite well-lit normally, yet the room was beginning to dim as candles burned out, leaving some flames flickering and others gone, forming islands of shadow around some of the cots.
On one of the two longest sides of the room, nestled against the wall, was a series of small tables, blackboards and apparatus; clearly the equipment of the blood minister running the clinic. But there was also a couple of wooden barrels standing in the corner that seemed anything but meant for a man of the church, as they were full of instruments of death rather than healing; swords, axes, and spears stuck out of the top of them in a selection that was remarkably mundane considering the clients currently occupying it. Weapons for normal people, not Hunters.
Opposite of the healer's equipment, in the middle of that wall, was the single entrance and exit out of the room: a sturdy wooden door, closed shut against the world outside.

The room was quiet aside from occasional whimpers, as the people lying on the cots – men and women who had been given blood treatment and were undergoing the metamorphosis from human to Hunter – squirmed and thrashed in the throes of the nightmares haunting them, of beasts that could not reach them, and Messengers who eagerly did. But it was not deserted, actually; someone was watching.
From the inky blackness pooling in one corner of the room stepped a lone figure, silent as the darkness itself, and surveyed the room. The figure wore the typical uniform of a Hunter, the so-called Hunter's garb, only with the top of the head wrapped in cloth under their cap, which in combination with their mask completely obfuscated their appearance. Their motions had the fluency of someone both confident and nimble, and one might be tempted to think that the quiet nature of their footfalls came not from effort to make them so, but from habit.
The Hunter turned their head slowly, letting their eyes take in the sight of the many cots and their occupants in front of them. This was... very strange. Since the Night of the Blood Moon the Healing Church had been very protective of their Paleblood Hunters and had turned them all at the upper Cathedral Ward, at the very heart of their domain, yet these Paleblood Hunters were being turned as far away from there as possible without leaving Yharnam. And there were so many of them! The Hunter had never seen anything quite like this.

While examining the people gathered before them, the Hunter abruptly stopped turning their head, fixing their attention on one cot in particular, situated in the far right corner of the room compared to the exit. The room was crawling with Messengers, naturally – how could it not be with so many Paleblood Hunters in one place? – but they were absolutely swarming that particular cot, crowding around it eagerly to have their turn at climbing atop of it, shoving one another as they tried to reach the person hidden underneath the layers of otherworldly creatures. They were pushing, pulling and shaking the person, clearly agitated.
With no other sound than a faint rustle of their coat the Hunter crossed the room with long, steady strides to investigate this phenomenon more closely. They dispersed the swarming Messengers with a wave of a gloved hand, revealing the object of their fascination: a man with a somewhat foreign look, probably hailing from far from Yharnam. The most unusual thing about this man was his complexion, which was white as a ghost but with veins that stood out as black against the white skin, along with black eyelids and -sockets. His lips were light-blue and his cheeks were sunken, making him look incredibly ill.
The Hunter cocked their head curiously, gently running the fingertips of one hand along the man's face. He was dead. He had been given blood treatment, but had still died? But... the thing inside him... it felt like Paleblood. Why had he died?
Carefully brushing the man's hair away from his eyes, the Hunter raised their head to survey the room in its entirety once more, only now looking for something specific. Indeed, randomly distributed across the room were another three cots with Messengers clamoring to get to the people lying on them. Four dead? Very strange indeed.

The Hunter moved slowly towards the center of the room, taking a moment as they went to look at and caress the face of every transforming Paleblood on their way, wanting nothing more than to assure these people that even if the Healing Church saw them as nothing but tools, they had the Hunter's sympathy. Outside, where the sky had was turning crimson with the setting of the sun, howling could be heard in the distance. Somewhere else, much closer to the clinic, more howls answered the first. A Night of the Hunt, as marked by the tolling of the bells... ah, but the Healing Church had no idea. The Hunter could tell, though: this would not be a normal Night of the Hunt. This night could take days, weeks, months or even years. This was going to be a hunt to remember.

At the middle of the room the Hunter was met by four Messengers on the floor, waving their arms to gain their attention. The Hunter paused expectantly, and one of the Messengers held up one of its thin, bony arms high above its head and closed its fingers around something invisible, clearly miming that it was holding up a lamp. The Hunter shook their head and made a shooing gesture with its hand, and the four Messengers sullenly retreated back into the floor, disappearing into wherever Messengers went. The gatekeepers would find a different place to raise their marker. Not here. Having it here would be too easy.
The Hunter turned their head to the door and cocked their head once again, as if staring at it intently. The door was locked, likely in an effort to keep out the beasts that would be coming soon. It was durable... but not indestructible. Getting through would be quite possible, even if it was going to take a little while. And if these Palebloods could not find it in themselves to conquer the door, the beasts outside doubtlessly would.

Shrugging, the Hunter reached their right hand into one of the pockets of their coat and produced a human skull. They held the skull up high over their head before clenching their fingers into a fist, crushing the object in their grasp and unleashing a fine mist of whitish dust, strewn with specks of light that glittered like stars. Then the Hunter themselves abruptly lost opacity, rapidly turning transparent before, in a heartbeat, they were gone. Had it not been for the gently spreading dust of the skull, one might have been tempted to believe that the Hunter had been naught but a dream.

All that remained in the room was the Palebloods, and the host of Messengers doting on their sleeping masters. Howls echoed once more through the city of Yharnam, curdling the blood of many a Yharnamite who could do nothing but huddle closer to their censers, hoping against hope that they had enough incense to make it through the night.
Not Hunters, though, and most certainly not Paleblood Hunters... even false ones. A Hunter must hunt.
It was time to awaken.
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Eastern Yharnam, relatively near the Hunter's clinic

His eyes kept darting around, carefully taking in every detail of every nook and cranny in the city streets, trying in vain to stop the corners of his mouth to stop twitching as he walked down the cobbled path leading to their destination. The bells had rung. A Night of the Hunt! Tonight of all nights! Victor was close to start literally frothing with sheer suppressed urges, clutching the hilt of his silver sword tightly as he felt every hair on his body stand on end.
When the church had offered to save him by making him a Hunter, Victor had not understood just what being a Hunter meant. Sure, he knew that Yharnamites found the consumption of blood to be euphoric and that he, considering his past, would likely end up addicted to it, but the rest? Like the other bloodthirst? This restlessness that filled the body and made the mind turn on itself, making him shake as hard as withdrawal ever had? He had known that he would be required to hunt, but he had not foreseen that he would need to hunt. He had not realized how the desire to maim and slaughter would build inside of him until it permeated his entire being, nor how glorious it felt when he gave in to the murderous intent inside him. The joy of hearing the cries of pain, of feeling warm blood spilled on his hands and face, the ecstasy of stealing another living being's final breath... it was incredible.
Victor had spoken to other Hunters about this, of course, but did not find the agreement or assurances he was looking for. They all initially seemed to confess that they felt the urge to hunt, but they did not seem as consumed by it as he did. The way they looked at him when he described the intensity of his desire said it all: they were disgusted with him. Not even his fellow half-monsters were willing to accept the one he had become. Not even Hunters could understand how strong his pleasure in hunting was... how addicted he had become. How it pained him when he was not allowed to kill.

And now, when a Night of the Hunt finally came about, Victor was stuck on a task like this. Granted, they had already been assigned the task and were underway when the bells tolled, but it was nevertheless nothing short of a travesty. He could get behind going to receive the new batch of freshly turned Hunters – they were to be his brethren, after all – but the context of the task could not possibly have planned to be any more painful or insulting to him. They sent him to escort a Blood Saint – a Blood Saint! – who was said to have some of the most delicious, intoxicating blood in all of the Healing Church, to keep her safe as she bestowed her “blessings” on the new Hunters. He cursed Dietrich for knowingly testing Victor like this; Dietrich knew that Victor had trouble resisting the temptation of blood and was prone to binges, so he decided to tempt him with the best blood imaginable. She was sacred to the church and as such untouchable, yet so very alluring...
But escorting this Adelicia, as she was called, was not the only potential disgrace he was faced with. Oh no, Dietrich had an even greater insult in store for Victor; that he would be joined by Raine Provostus. Just thinking about this man made Victor want to not only spit in disgust, but dash straight at the sorry excuse of a man and separate the head from his shoulders. A Hunter who had served the Healing Church, then turned his back on them to join the Harrow, of all people, before finally finding his place with Moira's black church. The Harrow and the Black Healing Church were bad enough by themselves, but one who had been both and was also a traitor? Victor considered most Hunters to be his brethren deserving of his support, but this “man”, if you could even call him that? Vermin.

Victor had taken the head of the group on their way to the Hunter's clinic, leading their sorry little trio through the streets, though it had been a while since there was last any need for a leader to guide them. The street had been straight and completely blocked to the sides by tightly packed smaller Yharnam residences, many of which were newly erected after the destruction wrought on the fabled Night of the Blood Moon five years ago. Just several years ago Victor would have taken topology like this as a cue to relax and lower his guard, but facing beasts – real beasts – had opened his eyes so that they could never again truly be closed.
There were beasts outside of Yharnam, of course; few native Yharnamites even seemed to realize this, but the scourge of beasts was found all across the lands, not just in their little city. Prior to the fateful encounter with his first Yharnam-beast, Victor had always assumed that the rumors of Yharnam and its plague of beasts was an exaggeration, since other nations across the land seemed to have little trouble dealing with the beasts that showed up there without superhuman Hunters. He had presumed that Yharnam-beasts were no different from others of their kind and that these monsters were simply more numerous here than elsewhere, but he had been mistaken. The beasts found elsewhere, he had since learned, were actually remnants of old seats of blood healing that had ultimately been consumed by the scourge. Consequently these beasts were typically very old, often sustained well past their natural lifespan by the beast-blood, and far from as dangerous as the vigorous, freshly corrupted ones found here.
Among humans and frail, ancient beasts, streets like this would be safe. But here? Scourge beasts were no trifling matter, Victor knew this now. He had seen them leap from rooftop to rooftop, scale sheer walls and crashing through windows and fragile doors as if it was nothing. A mere building would not stop a scourge beast from reaching them.
And that was not even considering the things out there that were even worse. Victor had yet to encounter a cleric beast, and he prayed that he would never have the misfortune. The Harrow prowled the dark for a way to vent their violent desires, the Followers plotted and schemed, the Fire Dancers could strike at any moment... and the Vilebloods? Who even knew what to expect of those things? The only thing you could count on with the Vilebloods was their hostility towards the church.
Not to mention the Moonborn...

He looked over his shoulder, past the broad frame of the scabbard-blade of his Holy Blade sitting on his back. He had initially been displeased with being forced to accept the scabbard along with the silver sword in his hand, since he found the transformed version of his chosen weapon clumsy and inelegant, but had since come to appreciate the comforting weight of the scabbard on his back. It was like a large shield, like his very own turtle-shell, protecting his back from attacks like the one that had nearly paralyzed him before becoming a Hunter. He exclusively used the small sword for fighting, but the scabbard-blade had its uses.
“It's not far now,” he grumpily told Adelicia and Raine behind him, his gaze darting shiftily to obsessively examine their eyes. The eyes was where the scourge of beasts could be seen first; the pupils broke and irises shattered. As a result, Victor was extremely attentive to the appearance of people's eyes. He liked Adelicia's eyes. “We will have to ride an elevator to get to where the clinic is, and the elevator will be guarded by a couple of... distasteful characters. A servant and a giant. Do not be alarmed when you see them, they serve the Healing Church.”
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Ashgan
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The hollow, metal staff rung out with a dull echo every time the butt met the uneven cobble road. Adelicia grasped the silver-wrought shaft with both of her hands, leaning fully against it as if too weak to support even her own meager weight. An ornamental, but solidly constructed censer dangled from the top end of the staff, gently emanating a haze of soft, reddish-pink fumes that trailed after the Blood Saint like a banner in the wind. It smelled of serenity and safety. It calmed the nerves and lulled those within into a half-drunken stupor, should one linger. At the very least, it had that effect on the young lady whose onus was the bearing of the censer staff; her companions appeared less affected, she noticed.

Taking the lead through Yharnam’s winding roads was a man called Victor. Adelicia walked a certain distance behind him, as far from him as she could reasonably justify straying without it being noticed. She found men alien and fearsome at the best of times, and especially if they were hunters, but Victor was somehow worse than most. His muscular frame, the tribal beard, the vicious scarring and perhaps worst of all, that latent sense of violence about him were all things that made her want to hide in a corner until he was out of sight. But alas, a higher power demanded that she play her role in this so-called night of the hunt and so she followed him, ever the obedient servant, yet never leaving his sword-hand out of sight. She saw it trembling every so often with unrest, perhaps even unrestrained desire. She could not fathom his thoughts, but she suspected they were nothing she would wish to partake in. Violence was, after all, a thing she found herself wholly incapable of.

It was more than mere prejudice that made her keep her distance from Victor, and which made her spine tingle at the thought of how close behind her the even taller Provostus must be travelling. She had seen hunters at work before and knew them for the inhuman things they were. Her large, blue eyes had borne witness to jagged blades rending arms from their shoulders and ribs from their spines. On dark, moonlit nights she had seen the warriors of the church shrug off wounds that should have been lethal and revel in the spilling of blood – whether it be their own or their enemy’s. And indeed, she had even seen how efficiently hunters could dispatch the common man, for an offence as slight as grasping her hand without warning. It put into context the old adage she had heard over and over: Fear the old Blood. Fear, it turned out, came as easily to her as violence came to a hunter.

The three came to a brief halt, with Victor turning to face his companions with a searching look in his eyes. She did not like the way he looked at her, as if probing her for something or wanting something – she did not know what dark fancies the man harbored, but the very fantasy of it made her feel filthy under his gaze. Adelicia instinctively shrunk against her staff when he grunted that they were close now, staring at him from underneath her innocent white hood. Long tresses of wavy, pale blond hair fell out of it and over her breast. His warning, she found, had been mostly in vain; she had encountered the giants before. They were certainly strange and unwholesome, but she found that their aspect more closely resembled that of lost children than that of men. As such, she found them more pitiable than frightful, and much more palatable than hunters like Victor.

“T’is good we shall reach the clinic before nightfall,” she judged, her voice as tender as a sleepy lover’s. Not wanting to appear as the terrified child she was, she lifted herself from her slumped posture and halfway straightened herself, still gripping the staff with two hands. “Perhaps we can even return to Cathedral Ward under the safety of dusk, do you think? We might avoid the Beasts entirely, if we make haste.”

Her words were laced with infantile hope, though doubt had already taken root in her mind. She did not know what the night of the hunt truly was, but had heard mention of it often enough to know that it was different from other nights. For somebody hoping to evade the threat of beasts and danger, the name certainly represented a grim omen of things to come.

It was horrible.
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Eastern Yharnam, relatively near the Hunter's clinic

Victor looked at Adelicia with impatience and wonder, his head cocked to the right as thoughts churned in his head while his gaze darted around to examine every part of her appearance and posture, only to return swiftly to the eyes whenever it strayed. He had a feeling that once, back when he was still human, he might have found the girl attractive, and he wondered why he felt no such attraction now that he was a Hunter. Was it simply that he truly identified as a different species altogether now, or was there a darker reason behind it? It could be that sexuality simply was no longer part of his nature, because rather than the arousal he might once have felt at her untainted, youthful appearance had been replaced by the thirst for blood and violence. He wanted to put his mouth on her throat not to kiss it, but to rip it out with his teeth and drink deeply of the crimson miracle within her.
It was probably for the best that he did not mention thoughts like this to others, even other Hunters. He knew that some Hunters still had romantic relationships, some even with humans, and he was not certain that they would take his way of thinking well.

Thinking on the Blood Saint's words, Victor shot a gaze to the west, over the rooftops and spires of central Yharnam, and looked at the darkening red hue sky. “To the Cathedral Ward? No.” He shook his head firmly. “Not only would night fall before we got there, but the bells have already tolled. You've heard the howling and screaming. Beasts are already in the streets. Traveling that far would be too dangerous. It would serve us better to find a place with plenty of incense near here and barricade it for the night. Provostus and I can focus on hunting once you are safe.”
Hidden 5 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by Bartimaeus
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Raine Provostus

The streets of Yharnam aren't the most welcoming. Not like other cities, where persistent stall attendants shout at you insistently to buy their cheap wares, or where street urchins paw at your clothes with their filthy hands - no, it is much different in Yharnam. Yharnam's streets are silent. Uncomfortably so, many would say.

One would think any sound to fill that vacancy would be a welcomed one. But for the more humane residents of Yharnam, the toll of bells is a betokening declaration. A declaration of impending slaughter - and likely demise for many Yharnamites. This toll that echoes through the streets of Yharnam, reverberating off of the cold stone, declares the beginning of a foreboding phenomena in the secluded city - A Night of the Hunt.

The toll left the air still.

Raine Provostus let his cold eyes settle on the figure in front of him. A figure much more slender than he - or even the second hunter trekking even further ahead - one that donned white garments signifying her stature as a Blood Saint. Adelicia was her name. With every other step the staff she kept at her side, which seemed to be supporting her weight, struck the stone on which they walked - the only sound that dared to shatter the silence. Aside from the occasional shrieks of beasts in the distance.

The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. The bell's toll was something of a dinner bell for his kind. It had been some time since he had heard its call - and the last time he had..

The voice of his fellow Hunter interrupted his wandering thoughts.

“It's not far now,” Victor informed the two. Raine eyed him as he turned toward them. He seemed to be looking for something in particular as their eyes met. The older Hunter's eyes looked somewhat frantic - but Raine doubted he felt any fear. He likely felt some sort of adrenaline coursing through him just at the thought of the night ahead of them.

Provostus remained silent as the other two made their exchange - he listened not only to them, but to everything around as well. He shouldered the gear that hung over the back of his heavy cloak closer to him, using his peripherals to scan the area around the trio. He knew all too well that the beast's favorite hobby was the hunt - and if they weren't careful, the hunters would become the hunted. One of his elongated hands wandered to the weapon at his hip, resting upon it. He stood close to the Blood Saint he was charged with escorting - as few as two yards, even, as he knew the effects a person such as her could have on beasts, just from her smell. In fact, Provostus could feel the draw of her blood himself.

He turned his gaze to his present company.

"It would be unwise for you to remain out in the open for much longer." he advised - his flat, calm tone permeating the air. The voice didn't have any sense of urgency to it. "If you value your welfare."



[Victor, Adelicia]
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It was the answer she expected, but not the one she had been hoping for. With eyes downcast partly from disappointment, partly from an unyielding need to avoid meeting his gaze, Adelicia gave an acknowledging nod. At the very least, she thought, her escorting hunters would not remain with her for the entire night; sometime soon they would be on their way to wherever it was hunters went to quench their inhuman thirst. There was comfort in knowing that much, at least. Perhaps they could find a quaint chapel somewhere in this part of town, or maybe there would be a civilian shelter in the area. Surely the people would benefit from having a saint in their midst to bless and comfort them, and if she was lucky there would even be some children amongst them. Yharnam’s youngest inhabitants often found her easy to like and enjoyed a special bond to her on their interactions; and Adelicia, for her part, had to be reprimanded more than once for giving out blood treats to children without a Vicar’s permission.

“It would be unwise for you to remain out in the open for much longer,” a voice came from behind and above her head – so close that she startled and half turned, half stumbled a step away from Provostus. He was a quiet fellow, in spite of his commanding height, and she had almost forgotten he was there at all. Staring up at him with wide eyes, she remembered only after a second or two to close her mouth. Her gazed did not remain fixed for long, not because his face was so high up from where she stood, but because she felt a wave of shame wash over her. Why was she of all saints sent out to deliver these blessings? Many of her fellow sisters were far less prone to fright than she was, and the Vicar knew it too. Had the treatment really resonated this well with her blood? Was it really better than the others? No one ever told her anything, but she’d heard the rumors of course. A part of her enjoyed the thought of being special somehow.

The other hated it.

“I suppose you are right,” she lamented, first turned towards Provostus, then towards Victor – ever careful never to look him in the eye. The chill from the first time they did was still in her spine. “Y-you needn’t be mindful of me. I can keep up; let us make haste, yes?”
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Eastern Yharnam, relatively near the Hunter's clinic

A wicked smile played on Victor's lips for a second when Adelicia assured them that she could keep up. He found great amusement in imagining what would happen if he just turned on the spot and sprinted through the streets toward the clinic as fast as he could... how panicked she would be once she realized that her puny little human frame could not possibly keep up with a Hunter. Raine could probably keep up just fine – if anything, Victor suspected that Raine might outpace him – but her? She would be helpless.
This amusement was interestingly in conflict with the simultaneous annoyance Victor felt toward the woman, her obvious reservations toward the two of them and her inexperience, though. He found that he wanted to go to her, seize her by her dainty little shoulders and shake some sense into her, yelling at her to make her look them in the eye. It took a moment for Victor to realize that his irritation in this was not actually rooted in thirst for violence or sadism, this time, but in genuine concern; he really wanted to make sure that she was conscious of people's eyes so she might recognize those driven mad by the scourge of beasts, even if they had not yet shed their human form.
He wondered what meaning these feelings might hold, and what they might suggest about him. Did one make him evil while the other redeemed him? Ah... trying to make sense of his thoughts was too hard. It would do him much better to find someone to hunt.

Annoyed at the fact that he was taking Raine's advice – not intentionally, but because they had to move on regardless of whether it had been suggested or not – Victor turned his attention back to the street in front of them and walked on, fighting back the urge to run so that Adelicia might actually be able to keep up. His eyes resumed their wild shifting, examining every ledge, window and shadow, looking and hoping for prey to reveal itself.
It only took another several minutes of walking before the trio reached a place where the street they had been traveling formed a T, their street ending where another two lead to either side. The direction they had been traveling was entirely blocked by a massive structure: a sheer brick wall standing easily sixty-five feet tall, erected for reasons beyond the need to know of lowly Hunters and with a small iron guard rail at the top. He knew that this was not actually a wall, but rather the edge of the elevated plateau they would need to ascend to in order to reach the clinic, practically inaccessible aside from a few designated paths planned by the Healing Church, one of which was the elevator they were bound for.
Yharnam had a strange thing with elevators that Victor never really understood. There were elevators elsewhere, of course – the basic technology was old by now and had been used since ancient times – but nowhere else were elevators as plentiful as here. He had wondered why, at times, and thought that maybe it was because most beasts were too stupid to figure out how to operate them, thus ensuring that only those sound of mind could traverse them... and then he had shrugged it off and thought about other things.

Victor turned to the right at the intersection and was immediately met by the sight of the elevator shaft – a simple chimney-like structure of stone stretching from the ground to the lip of the plateau above – and immediately noticed three things.
The first was the huge form of the church giant who, despite its designated role as guardian of this place, appeared to be fast asleep next to the elevator.
The second was some scattered blood splatters – a small one in front of the elevator, a larger one smeared across the wall to the right of it and several other, smaller splatters in the area further to the right – forming a trail toward where the church servant lay in a pool of blood, his arms sprawled to the sides and his staff nowhere to be seen.
And finally, the third was that the elevator itself was not currently at the bottom level.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Habibi359
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Marcus the Rat



Marcus wakes up in discomfort. Between his eyes he sees stars. But as he blinks he recognizes that the sky is a roof and the stars are candles. He hears roaring. It takes him three seconds to realize he’s the one making this sound. He can’t remember what it was, fear, rage, cheer? He stops and takes a breath in. There is a myriad of smells that he finds… Familiar from somewhere. It reminds him of danger and rage, but he cannot remember why.

Marcus then takes notice to the rustle around him. Screams, slamming, cries and violent banging. He turns his head and takes a notice to a blond bearded man grinning and hitting his head against the cot. There’s blood between his teeth. Marcus rose up a little and notices ten more cots with ten more patients violently shaking in their dreams.

That wasn’t the only thing he noticed. There were beings ghoulish and humanoid, yet not human, crawling over the nightmare-cursed humans that seemingly were resting peacefully. Marcus rose to sit on his cot and noticed the beings around his resting place as well. He yelled and crawled backwards in confusion and terror until his back hit the wall. These beings on the floor didn’t make effort to come up on his bed and as Marcus looked further, they seemed small. He quickly got off from his bed and stomped on the floor and yelled at them to hide his fear, to scare him off. They disappeared as if understanding that Marcus was not an easy pray.

He took a good look at the room now. Nobody else but the screaming patients in the vast hall of experiments, of blackboards with writing and patterns he didn’t understand and equipment, glass vials, tubes and such filled with substances he didn’t recognize. Though he could swear there was blood on some of the bottles…

Was he one? Why was he here again? There was something important, a reason why he was here but he couldn’t remember it in that moment. He went through his thoughts. He was Marcus, he had no longer a gang, after that he had went to Black healing church…

But he could think about that later. He noticed a way out, a huge wooden door and close to them a barrel full of weapons. Marcus took a swift sprint towards the barrels intending to grab a sword out of the barrels.
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Without wasting his breath, Victor trudged off and continued spearheading their journey; Adelicia followed obediently, holding on to her censer staff as if it were her lifeline. Why were so many hunters such unlikeable fellows? She wondered whilst absentmindedly staring at the back of his cloak. And what made a hunter, in the end? They were treated blood, just like any Yharnamite. Just like she was, in fact. What was it that separated her from a hunter? Why was the one so frail and weak, and the other so powerful and savage? And when she considered just how feral beasts were she could not help but speculate: was it simply the state of mind that mattered? Could she, too, if overcome by inhuman lusts, become such a thing? Did she even have the capacity for such desires?

What a strange thought that was. She had never heard of a Blood Saint turning into a beast. Perhaps it was impossible, after all. Or perhaps it was simply another secret that was kept from her.

Cooped up in her own world, Adelicia came close to bumping into Victor before she realized he had come to a halt. Finding her proximity to the huntsman far too dangerous, she quickly retracted her steps.

“Why are we stopping?” she asked with a hint of concern, casting her gaze over the area ahead. It was difficult to ignore the slumbering church giant, and her eyes lingered on it for a little while. It looked so at peace, fast asleep without a care in the world. It wasn’t wracked with fear, or frothing with bloodlust. It didn’t care about the hunt or beasts. Apparently it did not even care about its duty. It was content to simply exist, and to sleep when it felt the urge to. If only she could live such a carefree life!

Happy thoughts were quickly silenced when her eyes finally fell upon the grisly stains of blood that covered significant parts of the ground and walls off to the right. Blood was a common thing in Yharnam and its sight in glass containers fazed her none but it was nonetheless unsettling to see the substance so removed from its usual context. It wasn’t the sight of blood that set her on edge, but rather the imminent danger it implied. Just at that moment, the smell of it hit her like a punch; heavy, cold, iron-like. The scent of pain and death. Cold, too, was the feeling of her insides and, as the blood drained from her already pale face, she clumsily stepped further backwards, away from the carnage and, perhaps worryingly, away from the hunters. When she finally caught sight of the slain servant, her eyes remained stuck on its gore-drowned body – too horrible to look at, but too horrible to look away from.

It is happening again, she thought. Again and again. Beasts will come, and hunters will kill them. Blood begets blood. Violence begets violence. Yharnam is a city at war with itself. This cannot continue. It has to end. It has to end!

Oh please, someone end it!
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by King Cosmos
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Joseph walked down dark, deserted streets. The only illumination came from above, where a full moon almost too large to be natural hung in the sky, and occasionally from below, where small and fitful lanterns stood outside the doors or below the windows of houses. The only sounds were that of his own breathing and footsteps, both too loud for his liking, and the infrequent howling of beasts in the distance.

He had ignored his brother’s advice, throwing open the door to their home and following him into the night instead of barricading it and lighting their meagre supply of incense; it was foolish, he knew it was, but then so was his brother leaving in the first place and at least if they were together they could protect each other. Except it had taken him too long to come to that decision. It had been maybe only a minute or more before Joseph had decided to follow but that was long enough for his brother to disappear into the maze of Yharnam’s streets and now they were both lost, stuck outside on the night of the hunt with no one to protect them. In his hand he held a knife, something grabbed from the kitchen just before he left, but against the terrors that were out in force tonight it would be less than worthless; rather than try to fight it would be better to slit his own throat before the beasts reached him.

A thick fog had descended around Joseph at some point and he found his vision limited to only a few feet in any direction, the mist deep enough that he could barely see the buildings on either side of him. With the fog came a damp cold that seeped through his clothing and into his skin and chilled him to the bone, making him want to shiver and chatter his teeth. He pushed forward, moving more quickly now with a renewed sense of urgency, and the sound of his footfalls seemed muted and further away somehow; a small part of his brain made him aware of the fact that he hadn’t heard a howl in a while and rather than finding that reassuring he felt afraid, like the beasts had gone quiet because they had found new prey and were on the hunt.

Another sound reached him and Joseph froze in place, not daring to move a muscle and even holding his breath as he listened carefully to the noise. It was rhythmic; a single sound repeating at regular intervals, like something was being struck repeatedly in a slow pattern. It was violent and visceral; whatever it was that was being struck was being struck forcefully and with destructive intent. It brought to mind images of someone being beaten as it had the same dull note to it like whatever was being hit was soft and absorbed the impact.

Joseph took a single step towards the sound and the fog parted before him, as if in response to his movement, forming a clear tunnel between him and the source of the noise. It was a person, kneeling down and hunched over something on the ground; in their hand they held something, a club or a length of wood, and as Joseph watched the figure raised the object above their head slowly before bringing it down with force, producing the dull thudding noise that he had been hearing. They repeated this action repetitively, ceaselessly, as Joseph stood and watched.

Another step brought him closer, followed by another, until he was close enough to see what was on the ground. What he had first thought was a sack of some kind revealed itself to be a person, a body, a corpse, beaten bloody and then beaten some more until it hardly resembled a person at all. And yet Joseph had no difficulty recognising who it was; the clothing was familiar and the face, what was left of, even more so. His father’s lifeless eyes stared back at him, jostling every time the body was struck but always stopping to meet his again, as it pleading for help. While the person beating him…

“Jonathan?”

Joseph’s brother stopped, halting mid swing, before slowly standing and turning to face him. Upon seeing his face Joseph wanted to turn and run but found himself unable to, fear rooting him to the spot as his legs locked and his knees began to shake. The thing that looked like his brother stared at him with eyes like a wild animal, heavy breaths fogging in the cold night air as his hand squeezed the bloody length of wood tightly.

As the thing suddenly charged him Joseph was only able to let out a single strangled scream before it was on him.

****

Joseph awoke with a cry, shooting upright in his cot as his heart beat rapidly and he fought to control his breathing. The nightmare lingered in his mid, still able to picture the dark, foggy streets and the beast wearing his brother’s skin charging towards him. It took him a moment to realise where he was, or rather where he wasn’t. Rather than his own bed he was sat on a cot of some kind and rather than awaking in his own room he had awoken in some kind of clinic, surrounded by dozens of other cots and the sounds of anguish, misery and death.

And Messengers; a few of the little creatures hung off of the edge of Joseph’s bed, their deformed faces staring at him as they reached out to him with thin fingers. Joseph pulled back from them, shying away from their touch, but couldn’t muster the energy to be truly scared of the strange beings. They weren’t as scary as what he had just awoken from after all. “What… what’s going on?”
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Habibi359
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Marcus took a good look at the weapons in the barrel. Swords and spears to pierce one’s foes. Perhaps they were expecting a fight, whoever they were. He chose one of the one-and-half handed swords. It was bit longer bladed than those he had used during his time in gang. He tried it’s weight and balance, first pointing it towards the back of the hall and then towards the roof. It was a weird feeling, the sword felt lighter than what it looked and what he remembered. He gripped it holding it with only his right hand and gave a swing. His arm felt different. Stronger. That or the blade was not iron, but Marcus doubted that. Everything was different since he went to meet...

Pieces of memories started to flash in his head. He had gone to become hunter. To hunt the hunters that had wronged him. He had been talking with someone… A Cleric of Black Healing Church, about the Fire Dancers. How he had helped some of the outsiders to Yharnam, protecting them from dangers. How his gang had been all but annihilated by Fire Dancers. He did leave out the parts where they had robbed some wanderers and travelers, but did tell about his wish to destroy the Hunters who had ruined his life and the willingness to give his life for the Church. Hunt the beasts... And the Fire Dancers.

Then he remembered meeting clerics again and them giving him a goblet. The drink had been bitter and soon after he had emptied it, the clerics had started their chanting. He had been confused and amused at first, before he had started to feel dizzy. His visions had started blurring. The darkness embedded the candles and the cleric’s prayers started to sound like they came from under the waters. “Sleep restlessly and be born anew. Dream of horrors and awake...”

He didn’t remember anything past that point but the nightmares.


Marcus had gotten used to the screams in the room, the wailing and the crying of the patients in the cots. He flinched when he heard a sudden voice. He turned quickly to face the source. “What… what’s going on?” said a young man, temples shaved, eyes brown and eyebrows dark. Confusion and discomfort flashed in his face. Someone woken up like him to this life. Marcus made a quick look at the rest of the room, but so far nobody else seemed woken up. He noticed his sword was pointing his with both hands towards the bed, so he released the left hand and lowered the tip to point at the floor.

“You’re... Awake.” Marcus answered, not knowing truly himself what had happened. “ I woke up few minutes ago. They… Church… I…” Marcus stuttered, swallowed and tried to focus. “I was supposed to become a Hunter. Then I... I woke up here.” He said and took a nervous, quick look at other cots, at the patients screaming in them and at the creatures crawling around.
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Eastern Yharnam, relatively near the Hunter's clinic, bottom of the elevator

Adelicia seemed petrified by the sight of the dead servant, much to Victor's annoyance. It did not affect him the same way as it did her, obviously; even before becoming a Hunter he had been more-or-less accustomed to blood and corpses from his work as a mercenary, and giving up his humanity had only made him all the more indifferent to things like this. It was disconcerting to find the church servant dead like this, of course, but only because of the insinuations of his death and the fact that it had been supposed to be an ally, not because of the violence involved in its demise. Whether it had been softly suffocated with a pillow or torn to bloody ribbons made no difference to Victor; if anything the gore was mildly invigorating to him.
Somewhere in a deeply buried, nearly erased and almost forgotten part of his mind, Victor also felt regret that Adelicia was being subjected to something like this. A flicker of his eye caught her shocked, staring eyes, and he felt a heavy, dark remorse within himself that those pretty, innocent eyes were being subjected to something like this. Yet... a larger, fresher part of him, much closer to the surface, felt elation at her defilement. He wanted to laugh, to scare her more.

Raine, a veteran Hunter, seemed predictably no more affected by the scene than Victor was, and together the they approached, cautiously and ready for a fight, to examine it more closely, and only took a single glance to confirm that the servant was indeed dead; his skull was visibly caved in, deforming the top of his head. Though his first thought had been that the servant must have been attacked and killed by beasts, a closer look made Victor reconsider this assumption. The bloody servant was covered in singular cuts that did not run parallel, deep stabs and blunt force trauma that seemed severe more because of repeated impacts rather than the force of single strikes.
The cuts were clearly not made by claws, and the stab-wounds made it all the more clear that they were dealing with bladed weapons of some kind, at least for some of them. Some stabs were narrower and arranged up to three at a time, evenly distributed in a straight line; the telltale wounds of someone stabbed with a pitchfork. And the blunt blows... they were not delivered with the power of a beast or a Hunter, but something closer to the strength of a human. However, there were bitemarks on his neck, left by clearly inhuman teeth.

“Yharnamites did this,” he said after a moment, trying not to sound too relieved; for a moment he had been afraid that they might be dealing with something too dangerous for just the two of them, like a Vileblood or a Hunter of the Harrow.
He looked at the elevator. “They've gone mad with the scourge and started to turn, but probably have enough wits about them to know that the giant would have slain them all. They rode the elevator...” He shook his head. “Who knows why? Safety from beasts? From Hunters? Who knows what goes on in their heads. They probably thought the plateau was safer, and the servant was just in the way.”
Victor quickly walked over to the giant, stepped over its ridiculously oversized axe to get past the massive creature and unceremoniously pulled the lever next to it. Soon the sound of grinding gears and rattling chains could be heard, and high above the elevator started descending the shaft down to their level.
“Hopefully they don't know about the clinic,” he mused, stepping past the sleeping giant to rejoin his companions.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Ashgan
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Yharnamites? Adelicia repeated in her thoughts. Somehow the idea that men, not beasts, caused this display of violence made it even worse. There were certain expectations men and beasts were held to; that the latter be a helpless slave to its hideous cravings and the former a moral being, beholden to the laws of civility. To see the one act like the other was a terror she could not put into words. Fear the Old Blood, they always said – she could see why. The Scourge came from the Old Blood and it was the ruin of man. For how many years was Yharnam beset by this plague? And when she thought of the devastation that the last great hunt had caused, she had to question if the church was right to continue meddling with the blood. Could anything good come from it? Was the all-cure that ran in her veins truly worth the price they all were paying for it? A shudder descended her spine and returned her to her senses.

The blood saint slowly approached the two hunters again with dainty, measured steps, ever careful not to come too close to the body. What detail she had spied from afar was more than enough for her sensibilities, and she had no desire to see it from up close. All her thinking on the nature of the scourge and the blood sparked a curious thought that she, without truly considering it, felt the need to blurt out when she was close enough to the hunters to look up at their grim faces: “Can the Scourge be cured? Is there any way at all for a man to come back from it?”

So fascinated was she in the prospect that, perhaps, not all who became thralls to the Scourge were lost, that she forgot to guard herself from Victor’s menacing eyes and looked him straight in the face. Her blood was a panacea that could cleanse any ailment in the world – by what irony was it also the root of a disease more horrible than all of them? There must be something that can be done, something other than slaughter. There had to be.
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by King Cosmos
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“Church…” Joseph latched on to that one word from the man’s answer, the term and everything it brought to mind enough to jog his memory. He had been sick and, knowing how serious that particular illness could be, he had sought out the Healing Church for a cure; however that didn’t how he ended up here exactly, everything after that decision was a blank and the path leading from that decision to here was unknown.

Surrounded by cots occupied by screaming individuals, in a place that didn’t have the look of a reputable clinic, with small and monstrous creatures lurking everywhere he looked. ‘Becoming a Hunter’, was that what the man had said? Was that what all these people were here for, why there was a barrel of weapons behind the other man? That didn’t make any sense. It didn’t explain why he was here, why the rest were here, and not somewhere run by the Church. Not unless there had been some mix up. “That… I was only here for healing. I was sick. Not to be a Hunter.”

He moved to get off of the cot, the Messengers moving out of his way as he swung his legs over the edge and hopped off. His legs were shaky as his feet touched the ground and he found himself grabbing the edge of the next cot over as they struggled to support his weight; his strength returned quickly, mercifully, and he stepped away from the beds to stand in the aisle between the rows. “Is there someone from the Church here? A doctor? Anyone?”

@Habibi359
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Bartimaeus
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Raine Provostus

Hunter Provostus still stood close to the Blood Saint Adelicia as they drew closer to the elevator - not so close as to cause discomfort, but he suspected she would feel that regardless - eyeing Victor as the other hunter activated the lift's lever, before he began to return to them. He reached - if you could even call it that, with his unnerving arm length - over his right shoulder, shifting the stock of a weapon briefly before it came loose, and he lowered it to his abdomen. It was a crossbow - a heavy-looking one. His right hand once again fell behind his back, this time at the lumbar, and returned wielding a serrated steel bolt, which he promptly placed into his weapon. He hooked his long fingers against the string and pulled it back into position - making it look easy. He nodded slightly in response to Victor's hopes as he finished.

His mind shifted to the bag he carried over his left shoulder. He jostled it, feeling the weight of his helm within it. He reasoned it would be fine to leave in the bag - as long as their only opposition remained a few Yharnamites. Part of him was grateful it was just Yharnamites who left the scene as it were before them. Part of him was disappointed.

He turned his gaze to their charge as she spoke. The shadows on his face seemed to deepen as she posed her inquiry. It wasn't often that the hunter found himself unsure on what to say, but now he hesitated.

"You do not get back the pieces that you lose to the beast." he responded, bluntly. Something about his response sounded tense, if slightly so.

His eyes turned back to the elevator.



[Victor, Adelicia]
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Eastern Yharnam, relatively near the Hunter's clinic, bottom of the elevator

So says the ex-Hunter of the Harrow, Victor thought grimly, inspecting Raine's eyes more closely than ever before for signs of the scourge as a fit of paranoia overwhelmed him. For a moment he actually fully expected his fellow Hunter to abruptly sprout fangs, fur and claws, and Victor realized with mild displeasure that if this was to happen with the current formation of their little group, Raine would be able to disembowel Adelicia, or rip her head off, or brutally murder her in other bestially imaginative ways long before anyone could do anything to stop him. Well, aside from Adelicia herself, but there was no way she could stand against a Hunter turned beast.
Somewhere, far to the west nearer the city center, a piercing, high-pitched wail echoed through the streets of Yharnam, inhuman yet unlike the howls of regular scourge beasts, causing Victor to offer silent thanks to the gods for having placed him so far away from it. That sound was unmistakably the cry of a cleric beast, and Victor, for one, had no desire to face off against something like that. Other Hunters might have suicidal aspirations to fight ever-stronger opponents to increase their own power, but not him. Victor was quite satisfied slaking his bloodthirst on the weaker critters.

“Yeah,” he said out loud, holding up his silver sword to let it gleam in the subtle light of the nearby lampposts. “This is the only cure for the scourge.” He reached for his belt with his left hand, retrieving the blunderbuss hanging from his belt there and grasping the firearm properly, hooking his fingers in the trigger to be ready to fire. “Just so you're prepared, we're going to kill these people. It's going to get bloody.”
The sound of the elevator descending was getting much louder, and Victor was suddenly assailed by an urgent sense of dread, causing him to spin around and stare intensely at the elevator coming down the last few yards, teeth bared and sword grasped tightly. He was certain that something was riding the elevator down to them, ready to ambush him while his back was turned, before Raine could do more than yell in warning.
The elevator – a twelve-by-twelve feet metal platform with a very obvious button in the middle floor – arrived at the bottom, and the folding door slid aside. Aside from a worn, dirty-brown hat in the near-leftmost corner, it was empty.

Victor allowed himself a sigh of relief, trying to slow his heartbeat back down to its resting pace now that he was no longer fearing for his life. Somewhere in the distance, possibly to the northwest, he heard a noise the likes of which he had never heard before, sounding vaguely like the cry of a corvid. Could possibly be an unusually large corrupted crow. So... cleric beast to the west, crows to the northwest, and mad Yharnamites on the plateau east of them. This Night of the Hunt was escalating much quicker than expected, especially considering that beasts tended to get more active later in the night, and the sun had not even fully set yet.
Frowning at the threshold of the elevator, Victor shot a glance at the snoring giant to his right, his eyes going from its axe to the bell around its neck. He was not sure why he kept looking at the bell, only that it felt important somehow... until he suddenly, not even knowing why, turned to look at the corpse of the church servant again. Giants were former servants. Servants wore bells too. This servant did not have a bell.
Why? That the Yharnamites had taken his staff was one thing – at least a staff could be of some use – but why would they have stolen the bell? A bell was useless; the only reason giants and servants wore them was so that citizens were warned that one of their kind was near, since they were undeniably carriers of the scourge and a little dangerous to be near.
He turned back to the giant again, looking at its peacefully resting face. Then he turned to the others.
“Should we just leave the giant here?” he asked, being mostly interested in Raine's opinion. “He might be useful... or dangerous. We could wake him up and try to bring him along, or kill him in his sleep.”
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Marcus listened at the poor sob’s tale of the sickness that he had had, cure and the Church. He didn’t know whether this man was really a hunter or not, though if he could see these creatures, they were at least treated somewhat in a similar way. Perhaps his disease was worse for a normal blood treatment to work so they had had to do more drastic treatments. Not that Marcus knew how the blood treatment worked exactly, so possibility was that the Church had taken advantage of him. Marcus didn’t know and he didn’t care too much. Still, he too wanted some answers and in his mind they were on the other side of the door.

Marcus looked at the first steps of the man. Feeble at first, but strength soon returned to his feet. Marcus took a better look at the man now that he was standing. Capable Yharman man with good body, though nothing in his outlook, stance or manners made Marcus think he was fighter. Probably he wouldn't be too much of a trouble trouble. But who knew what kind of powers the blood had given to him? So Marcus decided to be a comrade for the time being. Besides, the fact that there was someone as confused as he was made Marcus feel bit easier.

“Haven’t seen anyone here expect us bedridden and cursed.” Marcus said, opening his ears for a moment for screams of the others still in their nightmares. They were of no help to these two now. “I just woke up. But I expect there to be someone capable of answering your questions somewhere behind this slab of wood.” Marcus said and knocked on the wooden door slightly with the tip of his sword. He then took a look at the barrel of weapons and grabbed an axe out of it with his free hand. Quick inspection revealed a well-maintained axe, sharp even. And it too felt way too light in his hands. He threw it on air and grabbed the axe’s head. “Seems they’ve left us some tools. Here. Use this if they don’t give you any satisfying answer” He said and tossed the weapon lightly towards his only companion in the room, expecting him to catch the handle from such an easy throw.

He was ready to open the door and see if he could find anyone he could talk to. Ask questions and get some answers. Enlist to be a hunter.
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Just half a second after Marcus threw the axe to Joseph, a distant cry, muffled by the walls and door surrounding them yet still easily audible,could be heard. To a native Yharnamite like Marcus, the horrid shriek would likely be easily recognizable as the voice of a beast, though he might not have the experience to determine which one, especially since the church tries to limit the knowledge of the public regarding beasts.
The Messengers also seem to get a little agitated. The little ones crowding on top of the dead suddenly fall off their cots entirely, either scattering on the floor or disappearing into tiny portals. Within a couple of seconds, the number of Messengers in the room has halved.
Approximately twenty seconds after the shriek, the cry of a corvid followed.
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“Oh,” she softly mouthed, casting her gentle gaze downward. Of course she could not expect a hunter to have any interest in curing the scourge. If one defined oneself by the hammer they wield, every problem will, sooner or later, begin to look like a nail. She, however, refused to give up so easily. While a hunter might be born to hunt and to kill, she was a blood saint. She was born to heal and rejuvenate, and by the gods she would –

A piercing screech unlike anything she had ever heard before rolled over the city and made the young maiden’s knees buckle. Barely holding on to her staff, Adelicia shrank more and more as the scream continued, eventually shutting her eyes and pushing out cold, frightful tears. Her entire body was stiff and shivering even after the horrible noise had stopped. When she finally opened her eyes again, she figured that the terror she just felt would linger in her bones for the rest of her life. With big eyes, like those of a startled kitten, she looked from Victor to Provostus and back, seeking answers. She did not think to wipe the pair of tears from her pale cheeks.

Mercy, however, was in short supply it seemed. Victor’s idea for a cure and his cold, barbaric presentation of it made her feel physically sick. Grimacing with disgust, she averted her eyes from the hunters. Hammers and nails, indeed! The church was cultivating monsters to fight monsters, combating evil by creating a greater one. They had to be wrong. She wanted them to be wrong. The idea that there was no other choice for this city but to continue its endless cycle of beast outbreaks and subsequent purgation was outrageous to her. How anyone could accept such a state of perpetual violence was utterly beyond her, and Victor’s attitude towards the matter was enough to make her feel angry – a feeling she had not felt for many years. His last remark about the upcoming battle – if the term could be applied – turned her knuckles white underneath her gloves.

“I suppose you’ll get what you want, then,” she defiantly half-whispered to herself, still looking away from him and fixating the sleeping giant and descending elevator. Adelicia immediately felt pangs of regret, and she did not know what came over herself to step so out of line. The stress must be going to her head. Perhaps she was lucky that something more urgent than her little display of insolence caught the hunter’s attention and set him on edge as he spun toward the approaching elevator. Made uneasy by the hunter’s evident agitation, the three of them quickly established that there was nothing behind the elevator’s opening doors. Unrest turned to relief, if only for a moment, for as soon as the first step forward had been made another cry filled the air, this one less harrowing than the Cleric Beast’s, but still enough to make the blood saint visibly jolt. Slowly, the meaning of a ‘night of the hunt’ was beginning to dawn on her. It was not a mere sortie of hunters to find and slay the odd beast. Everywhere around her, things were turning into beasts or losing their minds. Was anywhere even safe anymore? Would anyone be spared? Would even she turn into a beast as the night went on? It was dizzying to think about.

Adelicia flinched when she heard Victor’s voice but she quickly regained her senses. By now she had a feeling that the hunter would not care about her feelings on the matter, but she wanted to speak up regardless, perhaps driven by what frustrations still bubbled in her mind.

“You can’t just kill him,” she pleaded with a furrowed brow, “he’s a church servant like you and me. But,” she added, casting a sidelong glance at the creature, “I also think he’ll slow us down. Just leave the giant alone. We need to reach this clinic as fast as we can.”
Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Bartimaeus
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Raine Provostus

Provostus' gaze didn't waver from the frame of the elevator's supports as the shrill screech ripped through the air in the distance. The sound was that of a Cleric Beast, no doubt. A worrisome proposition, to fight one, but fortunately for the trio, it was a distance away - if its wail had anything to say for it. So in duty, the veteran hunter raised his weapon towards the lift as it drew near its resting place.

To find the platform empty - aside from a worn hat.

He lowered the weapon again to his abdomen.

Only now did the hunter raise his chin to look into the distance toward's the beast's roar. Shortly thereafter, another less easily distinguished cry was heard. Potentially a Crow, but best to be mindful regardless. His surveille once again turned to Adelicia, the much taller individual eyeing the girl from the corner of his eye as he recalled what she said moments before in a seemingly defiant mumble. He didn't respond, opting instead to latch his weapon over his back again before drawing a sharper implement from his belt. One that looked like a hugely oversized fork. He laid a thumb upon a small mechanism on the side of the hilt, and pressed - causing the weapon to transform audibly with several chnk chnk noises, accompanied by the sound of metal sliding neatly against metal. The end result was something much more akin to a thick trident with two prongs(1).

His gaze shifted to the slumbering giant, briefly examining its sinking and rising form as it snored, unaware of their plotting. The hunter looked at Victor. "I'd rather not bring it along." he said begrudgingly, before his eyes twitched over to the girl, then back again to his fellow hunter. "We can leave it."


[Victor, Adelicia]
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