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On The Road To Nowhere: The Beginning
Tatyana drug her gaze from the fire and smiled up at Matthias as he left the group.
"Don't stray too far." she warned him softly...not worried about him, moreso really for whatever lurked out in the woods beyond their encampment.
As Liath spoke, she looked at him and took in his words. Her golden eyes sparkled in the firelight as he spoke of giants.
"Surely that is a tale I shall look forward to." Her eyes met his own for a moment and suddenly she was swept away to another time and another place. Her heart lurched in her chest for a moment before she was brought back to the present.
"Forgive my forwardness, but you have the most remarkable color eyes. They seem like the summer sky, a windswept ocean...careful, someone could get lost in them." she blushed a little before she looked back to the fire again.
"I have but one tale to tell, and I do not think it's one for this eve. Yalene, perhaps some high seas adventure might be more to everyone's wants and liking."
“If ye wish.” Yalene responded screwing her face up into a comical expression of thought, “I ‘ave a few that I could tell ye, would ye rather ‘ear of ship-raids where I got meself captured? Or what ‘appens after a storm?” She questioned her small audience, trying to recall the details to both tales as she asked her question. Thinking of the tales made her mind drift to the sea for brief moments, how it felt to have the constant swaying of the ship beneath her feet.
Liath chuckled. "It has oft been commented on M'Lady Tatyana. But thank ye for the compliment." said Liath as he smiled at his new companion. "Dae ye have any tales of new shipmates, M'Lady Yalene?" asked Liath as he laid back on his elbows, stretching his long legs alongside the fire.
"What happens after a storm?" Tatyana looked curiously at Yalene as she mentioned this.
"Not to sound ridiculous or the what not, but it intrigues me. I've only seen the ocean a few times, I've never sailed on a ship." She knew she must have sounded completely silly. Glancing over her shoulder to see where Matthias had wandered off to, she smiled slightly as she watched Liath's wolf finish off his remaining dinner before she turned back towards the group.
"Must be an adventure to be sure." she muttered softly.
Mila watched with slatted eyes as Matthias left the fireside, cursing the very day that vampires were born. Why was it the a creature the lived off of life itself felt it fit to call those who did the same hypocrites, after all humanity at least did not hide in the night and kill in the dark places of the world. No at least they had the nerve to kill what they ate in broad daylight and in the public eye, and animals knew their place in the life and dealt with it. “Vampires” Mila breathed letting a tiny glimpse of her frustration show threw, normally the serene and peaceful woman would not let her anger become so apparent because that only showed those around you what your weakness might be. But Matthias got under her skin and drove her to her breaking point, how was it that after so many years of reining her emotions that she could allow a creature such as him to make her anger rise so easily. Not wanting to dwell on that thought much longer Mila took up her sewing again and focused her attention on the conversation going on around her. “Yes, do tell us what the seas are life after a storm….” Mila spoke with wistfulness almost, having spent many years on the sea in her youth traveling to and from Ithaca to Athens and back again.
Yalene grinned, “I will tell ye two tales, one o’shipmates for dear Liath and one o’after storms for the two of ye.” She told the group, her mind quickly thinking of the first shipmate she could remember.
“I was no more than 4 years when ‘e came aboard the Artemis.” She began languidly, her beads clinking as she shifted, “’e was no older than 13 years, ‘e was an orphan; least that’s what my brother told me, ‘is name was Roel and ‘e was French.” Yalene halted her words bringing her mind back to Roel’s first days on the merchant ship; they were hazy in some areas but not completely lost.
“Used t’take me up into the ropes, t’show me the sea; did that ‘is first day aboard, said that ye just could not get the same image from the deck. I’d seen the sea before, ‘avin’ been at sea fe’re at least a years time, but never ‘ad I seen it from that ‘eight.” She sighed softly, “See the reflectin’ of the ship in the water, the breeze; needless t’say I became ‘is shadow. Followin’ ‘im ‘round the ship as ‘e worked, and ‘e would let me. Many of the older sailors wouldn’t, too afraid they might ‘urt me, too afraid o’the Captain.” Yalene paused again, creating a small ship of flame in the fire before letting it disappear again.
“Not Roel, ‘e thought I was the moon, reminded ‘im o’is own sister back ‘ome. ‘e is perhaps the most interestin’ o’the sailors from early memory,” Yalene paused again, later memories coming forward of a now adult Roel and the farewell he had given her when she left the Artemis two years before.
“’e was my closest friend, just as important as my brother’s. ‘e still sails on the Artemis, and I still send ‘im letters.” She finished with a small smile, knowing that it was not as crafted as many of Mila’s tales but feeling as if she gave small insight to a very important companion.

“As fe’re storms, they’re the most dangerous things ye’ll encounter while at sea.” Yalene began, knowing this story by heart, “Take the lives o’sailors if ye let them, and this eve was no different. We were off the coast o’Africa at the time, the storm came upon us quickly.” She stopped speaking for a moment, creating the small ship of flame again but this time accompanying it with tumultuous seas, “Scare ye if ye let them. We spent the entire eve in the storm, and it took good men from our ship. Three died, tossed overboard during the chaos, ye would cling t’anythin’ ye could grasp to keep from fallin’ into the inky storm waters; but sometimes ye ‘ad nothin’ to grasp, that’s when ye fall.” A serious expression crossed over Yalene’s face, she let the flame-water calm and the tiny flame-ship right itself, “and if ye’re lucky ye’ll still possess ye’re cargo when the storm finally calms itself. We ‘ad lost most o’ours, the Artemis was in shambles; it would take weeks t’get ‘er lookin’ proper again. We sailed ‘er into port best we could, and got t’workin’ on ‘er immediately, fixin’ the torn sails, mendin’ broken wood, replacin’ rope.” Yalene let another scene appear in the flames, one of the African port they had brought the Artemis back to, “We were there fe’re nearly a months times fixin’ our girl up, collectin’ new cargo, and the like. Ye can always tell a group o’sailors that ‘ave lived through a storm, they’re spirits aren’t nearly as ‘igh as they should be.” Yalene let the flame image disappear as she finished her tale, “different ways o’dealin’ with the grief, a sailor will always wish t’never endure another storm after they ‘ave recently been through one; I endured forty-five, so ye see, that wish’ll never be granted lest ye fall and drown.” Yalene looked at her audience for a moment, “That’s all I ‘ave for this eve.”
Matthias returned to the place where he had spoken with Tatyana and smiled to himself as he sat down The perfect place. As he closed his eyes, his mind slowly drifted away, but instead of concentrating on levitation, his mind went back to the night before he met his new travelling companions.

“It’s been a while.” Matthias looked startled as the voice spoke Is it really him? “Don’t bother turnin’ around, ye know who I am, and now you can get out of this place so I can sleep.” Darius would have been a fool if he didn’t expect Matthias to turn, and was now simply waiting for the inevitable. Matthias could only smile as he turned around “You didn’t really expect me to just leave, did ye?”
“Always was the hopeful one.”
“Yes, you were.”
“Haven’t met ye in a while now.”
“About a hundred years by my count.”
“Could say its been too long.”
“You could.”
“How have you been?”
“The usual, a bit of raping, thieving and murdering. Although I’ve cut it back to just killing these days. You?”
“Keep ‘em alive these days.” The banter between the two was fast and snappy.
“Soul too much of a burden for ye, aye?”
“Nay, it is a gift.” Darius eyes twinkled at this remark, knowing Matthias would probably never take him seriously, but if he would look close enough, he’d know.
“Ye can’t be bloody serious.”
“Heh. Bloody.”
“I’m not joking Darius.”
“Not joking either.”
“Look, the sun be setting in a about an hour. Let us just get done with this, and we’ll leave each other be again.”
“Want to tussle about a place to sleep? Guess the clan must have ‘refined’ your taste.”
“I left the clan.”
“I know.”
“You were that ‘ghost’ weren’t you?”
“What do you figure? So you’re not afraid about what they may do to you?”
“You haven’t been.”
“Well… let just get this done now, okay?”

Slowly, he opened his eyes and cautiously looked around. I could have sworn I heard something.
Tatyana listened with rapt amazement at Yalene's tale. She was so engrossed in it that she didn't realize she was actually leaning forward a little.
As the story finished her smile waned, she had been hoping to hear a little more but figured Yalene was saving the best for another night.
"One night I shall tell you the tale of a gypsy princess and the sand dragon. Tis a popular story around our campfires. But tell me how many wonders you have seen? My caravan has traveled many places, to the east so far that men there make the stars explode and dance in the night sky with color..., I've seen water so clear in fjords that it shines like glass...Fields of wildflowers that look like tapestries... "
Tatyana paused, realizing she probably sounded like she was boasting.
"I just mean, I'm curious about other parts of the world...Gypsies are shunned no matter where we go normally, so I love hearing tales of great wonders and sights."
Matthias though his senses were keen, there was not a thing lurking around the camp. Its earlier onlookers had long ago evaporated back into the shadows and disappeared, even the creatures in the forest were making little noise to rouse suspicion; if anything were to come to close Stràcair would have alerted the group of anything coming too close.
Mila felt that her tales might pale in comparison to what her companions had to say, for they seemed to have lived many more lives then she herself had. Yalene with her squalls and tales of horrors and happiness on the open sea, Tatyana and her gypsy princess and Liath as he spoke of his homeland were all far more amusing then old tales of times lost and civilizations that no longer existed and had faded away into what many would call myths or lies. “If I had known I was traveling with such a well versed group I would have come prepared, for my tales of lost lives and ancient cities are nothing compared to the passionate retellings of dangerous experiences on the open sea or anything else it seems this group can speak of.” Mila wasn’t upset nor was she saddened by the fact that she had lived a great many years longer then any of her companions yet did not have has many exciting tales to show for such a long life. “But maybe when I am not feeling so bashful about my boring tales I will speak of one, but for this moment I am content with hearing stories that are so very unlike my own.” The amber eyes woman gave a soft smile as she folded up the tunic she’d been repairing, after placing the neatly folded tunic back in her sewing basket Mila shifted her weight on the tree trunk that was her makeshift seat.
Getting up, Matthias slowly started to notice the haze in front of his eyes, and the wobbling movement he was making. Vampires DON'T get dizzy. He angrily thought to himself Even with a soul. as he fell to the ground. "Oh god, it was an Anagog." He whispered to himself as he started to convulse and his face change shape. With every convulsion he switched between two visages, his normal face and a face with ridged brows and yellow eyes. "WUUOOOAAA!" He let out a howling screech through the night. I must find her body... destroy it. He thought before his head finally rested against the ground.
"Then we are very much alike, My Lady." Tatyana inclined her head towards Milla.
"For I too enjoy hearing tales unlike my own. I fear most of my own tales have sad and tragic endings. Life as a gypsy is not the easiest. We move from place to place, never really accepted no matter where we are. Tis rather sad." Looking over her shoulder for a moment after Matthias, a worried frown marred her brow.
"I wonder where he's gotten himself off to now." she muttered before turning back towards the group. Unslinging the bow and quiver from her back, she stretched her arms over her head and let her muscles relax as they dropped to her side again.
"But, if we grow tired of tales, there's always music and dancing." her golden eyes twinkled just a bit at the thought.
Mila smiled gently at Tatyana, “Most of the players in my tales have all since passed on and are but a fond memory for me. So I would say that my tales are sad, but only to myself.” She raised a hand to push her unruly hair out of her eyes, glancing towards the post that Tatyana was looking Mila noted that the young gypsy was more inclined to befriend Mathias then Mila was herself. But then it was obvious that Mila was not always trusting of creatures such as him, and his arrogance had not sat well with her. “I am sure Matthias is fine.” The immortal woman could still sense his emotions, though she has not yet revealed to her companions her little ‘secret’.

“Yes indeed some night we will have to set aside all tales and just allow the music and dance to entertain us.” Mila smiled fondly, for music and dance had been two things that were often seen in the great courts of ancient Greek kingdoms and those two things always reminded her of her childhood.
Liath rose quietly from his position by the fire, stretching the kinks from his back as he did. "Thank ye for the entertaining tales M'Lady." he said with a nod of his head towards Yalene.
"If ye dinnae mind, ah'll tae take mah leave o' ye ladies for a wee while. I feel the need tae stretch mah legs, so ah think tis a most opportune time tae take a walk around the camp." he smiled down at them, and following a small bow, turned and walked softly out of the circle of firelight.

As he did so Stràcair sprang to his feet, trotting after him as he began to circle the edge of the camp, enjoying the quiet sounds of the countryside which filtered from the woods and fields beyond. Away to one side he hear a strange screech which set his teeth on edge. Stràcair's ears perked up and he let out a soft growl. Liath stared off towards where he believed the sound had come from, but as it wasn't repeated he returned to his slow circuit of the camp.
As Liath made his slow circuit of the camp he heard voices, though they were coming from the opposite direction of the screech, they were peculiar nonetheless.

- Theore
The yelling by Matthias quickly subsided into a soft cry for help. It took great effort for him to rise, while touching his now monsterly face. Anagog demons, the bloody imbeciles. He couldn't let his companions see him in this state, for he wouldn't be surprised at least one of them knew about Anagogs, and they effect they held on vampires. Got about half an hour to torch the body. he thought as he stumbled deeper into the forest.

Note from GM: Please refrain from using modern slang (The particular English slang you used only dates back as far as the 19th, not nearly far enough for Matthias to be using it), I have taken the liberty of changing it this once.
Tatyana had been staring into the fire when Liath left to take a walk. It's flames were so hypnotic she almost fell asleep sitting there.
But something jolted her from her almost dreaming state and she apologized to Yalene and Milla.
"Forgive me, tis been a long day and my mind wanders." she stood and dusted her skirts off and stretched her arms over her head yet again as she let out a soft yawn.
"I should go see where Matthias ran off to. See if I can save him, or someone else, from peril." She smirked a little, grabbed her bow and quiver and headed towards the darkness.
Liath peered into the darkness as he neared the area from which he believed he had heard the voices. Pausing he crouched down in the shadow of a large tree, his heavy dark cloak forming around him shapelessly. He bowed his head a little so his eyes were shielded by his hood. He knew from past experience that provided he had not been seen moving into position, he was virtually invisible in the darkness. This tactic had proved itself on numerous hunting trips, set yourself in position in an area your prey frequents and wait, trusting his other senses to alert him of any movement around him.

Beneath his cloak, his fingers pressed against the ground, reading the vibrations. All he could feel so far was the soft padding of Stràcair's feet as he sniffed around, pausing occasionally. From the sound of the wolf's breathing, Liath could tell that Stràcair looked at his position more than once, perhaps trying to decide why they were preparing for a hunt so close to camp. The sounds of breathing lessened, and the vibrations diminished as Stràcair moved to the opposite side of the clearing and disappeared into the bushes beyond. Liath knew the animal would not go far. They had played this game too many times before, trapping prey between them.

The screech he had heard earlier had been unusual but could be accounted for by an animal meeting a less than pleasant fate. Voices on the other hand could mean someone planning mischief on him and his new friends.
Liath could feel the faint tremors of footsteps, and he soon spotted a figure approaching no bigger than his companion Yalene in size, the figure had stayed to the shadows, seemingly unaware of Liath as it laughed and motioned into the darkness, where the giant could only see the glint of two eyes. As expected they were between Stràcair and Liath, and seemingly oblivious that they were not alone.
“I dare say, ye ‘ave found quite a group!” The first said, it’s voice sounded high and almost sweet, most definitely feminine, “To make mischief upon them will be quite fun!” Then the laughter that Liath had heard before rung throughout the clearing once again.
“Hush you! Ye do not want to catch their attention, do ye?” The second voice scolded, it was harsher, and older, “They have hunters among them!”

The two figures were now outlined by the moonlight, the second figure stood at head and a half taller than the first, and was male. What they intended to do could not be made certain, but they were most definitely up to no good.

Yalene laughed as she called after Tatyana, “Don’t go shootin’ ‘im though! ‘e may not appreciate that!” She was teasing quite obviously, anybody who carried a bow knew how to use it, and she knew that Tatyana would not shoot Matthias.
Matthias slowly stumbled into the darkness of the forest. Most sounds and smells were blurrish and vague to him, but pressed onwards, drawn to the woman he had fed on earlier. Wouldn't want to die before getting a chance at that... his thought pattern stopped as he heard a faint voice. Tatyana. Can't let her see me like this. he thought as he quickened his pace.
Tatyana grinned over her shoulder at Yalene as she disappeared into the dark. Her remark amused her greatly.
With her bow at the ready, her eyes began to scan ahead of her until she saw Liath.
"Has our friend gotten himself a bit too wayward, My Lord?" She whispered softly as she crouched down stand next to him, her eyes eagerly searching the dark, her mind wondering what mischief Matthias had gotten himself into this time. Even though Matthias was what he was, Tatyana couldn't help but feel a bit of compassion towards him, she had found a kindred spirit much like her own...without all the gory violence, mind you.
Matthias stumbled along, shifting between visages the entire time. Eventually he prepared to lean on a nearby tree, till he found out that there was no tree and fell face first on the ground. He looked up grudgingly and recognized the place to be the women's burial ground, at least he hoped he recognized it. "Better start diggin'."
Mila hadn’t noticed that now only two people sat around the fire, for the immortal woman and slipped into her own thought so much that she’d all but forgotten she was even still by the fire. “Please forgive me Yalene for ignoring you, my mind has the nagging habit of slipping away from me.” Mila smiled across the fire at the younger girl, feeling most comfortable with Yalene because she’d stayed in the young girl’s in for so many years. “Might I ask your feelings on this troupe?” She questioned valuing Yalene’s honest opinion as to how she felt about certain companions and if she felt they would be able to travel together in harmony for very long.
Liath burst upwards and outwards from his position in the shadows, a flash of silver in the moonlight as he rushed towards the strangers. There was no point in hiding his position now, yet he was surprised the intruders had not been startled by Tatyana's appearance in the clearing. Perhaps they were not the keenest flints in the quarry.

From the other side of the clearing Stràcair leapt into the air, landing close to the interlopers. His sharp teeth glistened evilly in the moonlight, and a low growl was directed towards the pair between him and his partner.

Liath made a grab for the pair as he neared them, hoping to prevent them from escaping.

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