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Wonderful Objects

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width=600http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s18/XjapanloverX/misc%20y%20mixed%20anime/rosedesign-2.jpg'>http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s18/XjapanloverX/misc%20y%20mixed%20anime/rosedesign-2.jpg[/img]

 

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"Ah yes, welcome everyone, to the roleplay of Wonderful Objects. Do watch your step, the trip down the rabbit hole can be pretty steep, and it may or may not leave you with a minor case of major cultural shock.

 

Join at your own risk."

 

If you have any questions fire me a PM, also check here for information and joining etc.

 

First post coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

align=right width=400http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s18/XjapanloverX/misc y mixed anime/heartdesign-1.jpg[/img]

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{Oookay... First post... Let's see how I do.... Gah, getting started is always the hardest....}

 

The city of Donau was impressive at any time of day, but at night it took on a new grace entirely; the torches had been lit with the setting sun, and they illuminated every doorstep and street way, casting eerie shadows that danced in the coming moonlight. Of course, at the current late time, no one was left in the streets, but the place remained well lit regardless... In fact, such probably would have made it hard to move around unnoticed if he wasn't... Well, himself....

Still, considering how many there were, it was rather a relief that the city was made of stone... Then again, since it was mostly surrounded by water, fire probably wasn't the most severe risk out there.... The water was another one of the place's attractions; even in the dark, it reflected the city's grandeur beautifully.... In fact, looking out at it from the window he stood in, the Hatter almost thought that it was more beautiful than Serdio.... Almost.... He wasn't quite mad enough to think that the capital city of Spades was more elegant than that of the Hearts.

 

... And of course, having a corpse at his feet didn't really help set the scene.

 

He shifted his attention to the body, it was that of a messenger hare, female, blonde, roughly five feet tall- really, a rather beautiful girl... Except for the fact she was dead.... Her face was serene though, and there was a minimal amount of blood- if one didn't know any better, she appeared to be sleeping.

 

...Okay, so he'd disobeyed the direct 'off with her head' order in giving the girl a painless death.... But he'd gotten the job done- and really, lobbing off someone's head was messy- always ruined a good set of clothes without fail... And of course the object that removed stains had been stolen- which was horrifically frustrating- someone's head would definitely roll for that one.... Hmmm... Why was that thought appealing? ... Perhaps he'd spent too much time around the queen lately....

"Ah yes... The Queen...." With many of the objects having been stolen, and being at war over them, the Queen of Hearts had been rather on edge.... And it seemed that having people killed was her method of remedying that stress. Rather ironic, but it increased his paycheck significantly, so the Hatter didn't have room to complain.

 

"Of course...." He looked at the hare again, remembering the reason behind her execution. She'd come with a message from the Spade kingdom, saying that their people meant no harm to the Hearts despite possessing some of the objects, and that an alliance would be beneficial to both kingdoms.... The proposal had been quite sound actually.... But the queen had demanded that the hare take off her glasses since she was looking at the piece of paper she was reading from more than at her, and of course, without her glasses the poor girl had to squint to see anything.... And the Queen hadn't taken well to getting the strange stares in her direction..... "Perhaps it's reached the point that I talk to her about self restraint...." Much as he respected the Queen, she'd lose quite a bit of it if she incurred the wrath of the Spade kingdom because someone had looked at her strangely.

 

The Hatter decided against disposing of the corpse- such would be messy, and really, he'd taken care not to leave any evidence behind, so letting whoever found her give her a proper burial wouldn't be detrimental. It wasn't like he had any grudge against her, it was just business.

 

Thus he turned to leave the room, but before he did so, pulled a rose from his hat and placed it in her hand, murmuring as he did so, "A true rose withers beautifully."

 

He did not look back after that, and as he climbed to the roof and sped across the rooftops with as much speed as he dared, his mind was entirely focused on getting out of there and back to his own kingdom safely. Business was business, and escaping was part of the package. The shadows on the rooftops were prominent though, as there weren't any lights on the roofs themselves, and the buildings all towered over each other- so the prospect didn't seem that difficult....

 

.... But of course, for every prospect there was a solution that was simple and clean.... And wrong.

 

And right about then, the sound of war horns echoing in the distance suddenly made escaping unscathed and unnoticed seem much less simple indeed. The hatter stopped where he was, standing in the shadow of another building and craning his neck in the direction the sound had come from. His eyes were met with the flag bearing the symbol of Clubs.

"Of course it would be them." He found himself thinking sarcastically, "If fighting were such a fad, everyone would like you guys a lot more. You and that one singular braincell that you all share." Really, he didn't really care either way if the Clubs were attacking the Spades- being a Heart, it wasn't his affair to meddle in... But it would make escaping a bit more difficult, which was a pain.

 

The war horn echoed again. It was only a matter of time before the Spade forces moved into action and chaos overtook the streets.... It was best to make a getaway before then. The Hatter began moving again. He'd heard it said that time never took sides.... So why was it always against him?

 

{Okay.... Hopefully that works o-o

 

Sorry that it is so monstrous.... and uneloquent XD}

 

 

------------------------------------------------------

 

{I've decided not to introduce Tai and Yue in this post. I think it'd ruin the mood set by the Hatter XD}

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Bryony d'Obray, Queen and ruler to the Kingdom of Hearts, stood on the balcony of the palace. The cool night air blew across her as she looked over Serdio. The moon was round and full in they sky, it's silver glow making the mountains in the distance shine. The stars gleamed, their lights freckling the sky. If the Queen looked up, she would be able to pick out her favorite constellations. It was a beautiful night.

 

But Bryony was in a mood. A mood which was due to a certain hatter...

 

"He's LATE!" She yelled. She stood with her arms crossed, glaring at the city below her. How long could it take to dispose of one little rabbit messenger?

 

She stormed back into her study, slamming the doors to the balcony behind her. She ran her fingers through her hair with a muffled, frustrated scream. How was she supposed to know her kingdom was safe if her assassin did not check in on time?!

 

"If he is not dead when I next see him, I shall chop off his head!"

 

"Mmm... That seems counterintuitive, don't you think?"

 

Bryony pulled a face. The dratted cat always seemed to arrive at the most opportune times. "Cheshire, always lovely to hear from you."

 

The cat's face appeared in front of hers. "Lovely, hmm? Perhaps I should drop by more often." The face rotated until he was looking at her upside down.

 

"Yes, well, not too often or we might not be so fond of each other." She said with a look. As great a potential spy the cat would be, she was not in the proper frame of mind for his antics right now.

 

The cat righted itself. Circling around the Queen's head, he purred, "Oh? Well, I suppose you don't want to hear the news then." He started to vanish. "I suppose your assassin can tell you all about it when he returns." The cat's grin faded away, and the Queen of Hearts was alone.

 

((OK. So. I hope this works. A little mini-intro of Chess, but it was the QoH point of view, so a proper intro later, yes?))

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((Hmmm.... Which character to introduce first? I'm not quite sure how to introduce Jane yet, and the sword is out of the question until her carrier arrives.... So I guess that leaves the Duchess. :evil:))

 

The Duchess was not happy. And usually, when the Duchess wasn't happy, it meant that somebody else was about to be dead. Nobody dared approach her as she paced atop the citadel overlooking Lerania. When she was in one of these moods, being anywhere within a hundred yards was a dangerous business. Nobody knew why she was unhappy this time -- there were a dozen possible causes; the Territory of Broken Hearts had been invaded to the northeast by the Clubs (they were rather trigger-happy, weren't they? Figuratively speaking, of course), the White Queen had denied the Duchess an alliance (this came as no surprise to anyone besides the Duchess), and the Demon Circle was currently contesting the Duchess' claim to the throne (nobody quite knew how she had come to be the sovereign of the territory in the first place, nor were they sure why it had taken this long to be contested, but it made the Duchess extraordinarily irritable). And that was besides all of the different daily duties that the Duchess was required to engage in.

 

However, none of the Duchess' entourage had placed her anger this time -- for Ariane had simply disappeared. She had not reappeared for over a week, and the Duchess was concerned. For if Ariane no longer existed, what did that make the Duchess? Could the Duchess still exist if Ariane did not? Did the Duchess exist at all?

 

***

 

A week previously, Ariane had been walking among the gardens. Cultivated by demons, they held a dark, ethereal beauty completely different from the gardens Ariane had experienced back in the Kingdom of Hearts. When she had first awoken here at the citadel, newly crowned Queen of the Territory of Broken Hearts (the Duchess did get around while she was in control), she had instantly made her way to the gardens. They had been her refuge ever since, and she had even planted a garden of her very own (much to the shock of the Duchess' entourage). Knowing that she could never go back, Ariane had condemned herself to a life of which she knew only half of and in which her only comfort was this garden.

 

As Ariane was walking she was contacted by a messenger who told her to go to her audience chamber immediately. Realizing that the Duchess would likely reassert control before she even entered the chamber, Ariane slowly made her way through the gardens and, finally, into the room. Only this time, the Duchess didn't come out -- Ariane continued into the room for the first time, and she was immensely surprised.

 

Ariane found her way to the throne only by the need to sit down, and was immediately presented a silver necklace upon a velvet cushion by a wearied-looking demon. He bowed slightly and then, without waiting for a dismissal, moved to the exit and out of the citadel. Ariane was left perplexed and with a tarnished silver necklace on her lap.

 

It did not take long for Ariane to figure out how the necklace worked; in fact, she discovered quite by accident. As she was strolling down the hall away from the audience chamber, she tripped and the necklace went flying right over the head of one of the Duchess' advisers (Ariane eventually began to think that another of the necklace's powers was the predisposition to land around a person's neck), and, suddenly, Ariane was in control of the adviser-demon. She stepped once in his body and then quickly took the necklace off, entirely shocked for the second time that day. As soon as she took the necklace off, she was back in her old body (the Duchess not having the time to awaken yet) and the adviser was holding the necklace and looking dazed. Ariane took the necklace from him and sped down the hall and back to her quarters (while the Duchess preferred the royal suite, Ariane slept in a much more modest room with a window out upon Lerania). She stuffed the necklace underneath her mattress and sat down on the sofa chair, completely exhausted.

 

A month later, Ariane was on her way to Donau in the body of a female demon, the Duchess left behind in Ariane's body.

 

((Sorry about how badly written that was; I'm very bad at beginnings. And I had written more about Ariane teaching herself to use the necklace, but by some weird glitch it all got deleted. >.< I'm sure it wasn't that interesting anyways. XD))

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Her Majesty Cassandra Morgan von Briell sat unmoving on her throne. Her trademark scowl had deepened, and her ruby irises held such a murderous rage that, if looks could kill, everyone in the throne room would have dropped dead.

 

She has reasons for her foul mood. She had plans that needed to be done very soon, and everything was ready. Except for one thing...

 

"THE DARK AVENGER! WHERE IS HE?!" The Red Queen screeched at a nearby servant, who cringed at her ear-splitting voice. The latter cleared his throat and tried to regain his composure as he replied, "He... had a mission from the White Queen, Your Majesty."

 

If possible, the Red Queen's expression became more menacing. All her problems and distress seemed to have always come from her sister. Twin sister, to be exact. They had both been natural leaders, intelligent, stubborn, and were overall too similar to each other for their own good.

 

Even as young girls, the two had always competed for power. And now, although they have formed a grudging alliance, they had fought on who would gain control of the lands taken, and who would have the most influence on their new assassin- Vorpal Slayer.

 

While Cassandra pondered in her own thoughts, the servants that lingered in the room at wasted no time to disappear from her presence. When the Red Queen finally snapped back to reality, she had to yell for a guard to carry out her orders.

 

"TELL THE DARK AVENGER THAT HE IS TO SEE ME! NOW!!!"

 

~*~

 

Vorpal Slayer stood before the throne of the White Queen, otherwise known as Her Majesty Calysta Evellis La Fayette. He had just finished doing a mission for her- which was to intercept and kill several Clubs soldiers seen lurking at the borderlines of the White Territory. It was no easy job as they were well-equipped and fully prepared for battle. Vorpal had no trouble whatsoever to kill them, though.

 

His left arm rested on the hilt of his treasured Vorpal Blade as he waited for what the White Queen had to say.

 

Calysta observed the one-armed warrior, who, despite just coming back from a difficult mission, showed no sign of fatigue or injuries.

 

She admired his strength, and wondered how she could secure his loyalty to her and her alone. The young man is now serving the Territory of Chess as a whole, but if the war ended, it would be divided into Red and White again. It wouldn't do if the Dark Avanger decides to fight for the Red Queen.

 

In fact, the boy had been one of the primary reason why Calysta denied alliance with the Territory of Broken Hearts. She would not let the Duchess use him- not when she and Cassandra are already fighting over his time and services.

 

Smiling pleasantly, Calysta addressed Vorpal. "You have done well, Dark Avanger. I shall reward you for your hard work."

 

The assassin stared at her blankly, apparently confused. "Reward?" he asked, as if he doesn't understand what the word meant.

 

"Yes. Reward. I will give you anything you want as a compensation for your hard work. Name it, and it shall be yours."

 

Vorpal blinked a few times. Only after a few minutes have passed did he finally understood what was being offered.

 

"I'm hungry. Do you have something to eat?" he asked informally.

 

The White Queen forced to maintain her smile as she complied to the request. She was irritated at the youg man's inability to address her with the respect and courtesy she deserves. But no, she can't afford to offend him. Besides, what kind of courtesy could she expect to come from someone with as much education as a wild jugle animal?

 

((Whew. That's a long post. Hope it's not too much as an introduction. Anyways, I decided to take the White Queen as well, if it's okay. Anyways I have plenty of RP-ing experience, so you don't have to worry about having me posting one-liners. :D

 

And despite what I'd wrote in my post, Vorpal is technically not an assassin. He's more comfortable with duels and open battles, so that makes him more of a warrior/soldier.

 

Also, I decided to start my Intro with the Territory of Chess first, so Beast will not be appearing until... my next post I guess?))

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((words cannot describe how tempted i am to have Maeve perfectly happy and content, just because every other ruler is so throughly frustrated XD))

 

Maeve paced anxiously back and forth across the black marble floor. She was awaiting the return of a messenger, sent to Hearts with a proposal of alliance. The girl had not returned.

 

"I would not be surprised of Hearts herself is behind this one," she muttered. "So if there's a beheaded body in the streets--"

 

"--be assured I will find it," a male voice said. She whipped around. Her Knave was leaning against the doorway, arms crossed and smirking. His rapier hung at his side. His eyes sparkled. All in all, he was ready for work.

 

"All right then," Maeve said with a sigh. Masahiro straightened up and crossed the distance between them. "Go find it. And if the killer is anyone of interest...do bring him back alive, won't you?"

 

"Queen Maeve," another male voice--more timid this time--said from the same doorway where Masahiro had been standing.

 

"Mikhaiel?"

 

"You should look outside."

 

Maeve's ears picked up the sound of a horn. Then shouting. She cursed as she walked purposefully to the window, her Knave half a step behind her. The army of Clubs was attempting to bear down on her city.

 

Well, all right then.

 

"You want to play this game, do you now?" she asked the air with a smirk. "Well then." She turned to Mikhaiel. "Send for General Malcolm and let him deal with them as he sees fit."

 

"Yes, my queen." Mikhaiel bowed and dashed off, his bare feet making almost no noise on the floors.

 

"Masahiro, your orders still stand."

 

"Yes, my queen," Masahiro said with a smirk, bowing dramatically and leaving the throne room. Maeve turned back to the window.

 

"Clubs," she sighed. "Pesky Clubs."

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Malli was stalking through the royal gardens in the palace of the territory of Broken Hearts. She knew that she had to get going soon. Looking up to the sky, she stomped her foot on the ground and instantly teleported 3 meters. It was enough to get her out of the garden.

 

Malli started running. She was pretty good at running, and liked it. What she really wanted to do, though, was to kill someone from the kingdom of hearts, as the duchess had told her to. Malli jumped over a fallen tree, and accidentally launched herself 5 meters into the air, landing on the top of another tree.

 

The kingdom of Hearts was still rather far off, but Malli could see the lights and the silhouette of the huge palace there. She kept running towards the city.

----

 

Fayt yowled as she heard the war horns. She jumped, and clutched Bouchi tighter. She had been sleeping in a tree in the middle of Donnau. It was a beautiful city, but Fayt didn't have time for that right now.

 

She tucked Bouchi into her backpack, and made sure that her mirror was in her pocket. She looked around her, trying to see where the sound of war horns was coming from. She saw the Clubs' banner hanging in the distance.

 

Fayt looked down, and climbed out of the tree cautiously. Dropping the last five feet to the ground, she peered through the darkness. She walked slowly through the streets. Anyone could have objects here.

 

Fayt ran through the streets, suddenly spurred on by the thought that there might be items about. She excitedly forgot to watch where she was going.

 

"OOOF, meow!" she yelped as she bumped into someone. She remembered him from her short time working for the kingdom of hearts. Fayt gulped and took a step back before saying in a polite tine, "Wow, everyone seems to be here tonight, meow! Hi, Hatter."

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((Ah, so the Kingdom of Spades had made its introduction. I guess I can introduce Beast now then.))

 

Down beneath the castle of Spades, located near the dank dungeons cells, lies a musty chamber. From the remnants of 'strange devicess' within, it appears to be leftovers of a torture chamber- which for some reason now serves another purpose.

 

Inside the dim-litted room was now Beast, a half-demon assassin. As usual, he was conducting unauthorized autopsy of dead bodies and using them to create marionette minions.

 

He was examining the corpse's brain when he heard a sound of a horn. Halting his experiment, the assassin exited the room and climbed up the stairs that led to a series corridors which would eventually lead to the Throne Room.

 

He passed by two fellow henchmen before he finally stepped into the Queen's room. "Your Majesty..." he announced his presence.

 

All Beast could see of Queen Maeve was her back against the window, and Beast stepped forward to see what was outside.

 

"Invasion from Clubs?" it was a rhethoric question. The half-demon did not wait for the Queen's response as he addressed her once more, "Shall I deal with them, your Majesty?" he asked, a wicked smile played on his lips, "I've never had a Marionette from Clubs. They might make an intersting... collection"

 

((@Tei: Is this Ok? Me creating random passages in the castle, I mean. :P ))

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The White Queen sat on the head table of the dining hall, stroking her pet kitten Snowdrop, and watching with slight disdain as Vorpal dug unto the large amount of food she had given him. Really, the boy was like a wild animal. If it weren't for his skills in battle, she would have had him and his insane father permanently removed from the Kingdom. Her sister might even agree, had that been the case.

 

Snowdrop suddenly leapt out of Calysta's embrace and landed smoothly on the table. Its brilliant blue eyes flashed with glowing lights and an image of a red-clad woman appeared.

 

"Cassandra." The White Queen addressed the hologram image of her sister coldly.

 

"Calysta." Came the equally hostile response. For a moment, it seemed that the sisters would glare at each other for eternity, but the Red Queen finally stated her purpose for contacting.

 

"I need the Dark Avenger. Send him to me now"

 

The White Queen narrowed her eyes, her jaws hardened. "I fail to see why you can not simply relay the message to me. I shall send him myself."

 

"NO!! YOU WILL SEND HIM TO ME NOW!" yelled the Red Queen, her loud voice echoed throughout the room. Vorpal looked at the image, startled.

 

"Queen Cassandra?" he asked in surprise. "What's the matter?"

 

Cassandra turned towards Vorpal, her expresion relaxed, but her voice was firm as she addressed him. "Vorpal, I need you, and I expect to see you in Kazas in half an hour"

 

Eyebrows raised, the Dark Avanger eyed at his unfinished meal, then back at the Red Queen. "Yes, Queen Cassandra" he finally said.

 

The Red Queen appeared satisfied and her image disappeared. Snowdrop curled into a ball and fell asleep on the table once the contact was over.

Supressing rage, the White Queen's expression was harder than ever as she picked up her kitten.

She managed to force a smile, though, when she addressed the one-armed warrior. "I believe you should leave now, Dark Avanger, if you wish to make it in time..."

 

Vorpal merely nodded and slung his namesake sword onto the straps on his back and left.

 

Once outside the palace, he whistled loudly, calling one of his minions.

 

A large bird landed in front of him a few seconds later, its wings flapping wildly. The Jubjub Bird's eyes sparkled with mirth as it always does when it hears its master's whistle.

 

Climbing onto the bird's broad back, Vorpal ordered the creature to fly to the Red Queen's palace.

 

He arrived at his destination right on time- exactly 30 minutes since he was summoned.

 

"You wish to know why I have called for you, Dark Avanger?" was the Red Queen's greeting, when the man in question stepped in her throne room. Her black kitten, Kitty, curled asleep on her lap.

Vorpal nodded.

 

Leaning on her throne's arm, the Queen then said, "I have heard that the Kingdom of Hearts have made their move. So had the Kingdoms of Clubs and Spades."

 

Vorpal nodded again, still not understanding how these circumstances relates to his summon. "And?" the Dark Avanger asked.

 

"I realize that it is time for the Territory of Chess to make its move too, and I plan to send my troops to invade Tidea." she gave a brief pause to inspect the warrior standing before her before finally stating her reason of sending for him, "I want you, Vorpal Slayer, to lead my troops for this invasion."

 

Vorpal's eyes widened. His face was twisted with shock, confusion and a mix of several other emotions. Cassandra barely noticed his change in expression. "I understand that it is sudden, and you have no experience of leading soldiers. However, if you are to be useful in future battles, you must understand that there are more in this campaign than merely swinging your blades at your enemies. Besides, Diamonds are reknowned for their ambush and sneak attacks. But it will not work if you take the Bandersnatch with you."

 

Vorpal did not really understand the plan, but he nodded anyway- he would discern it soon enough. Instead, he asked, "How about Queen Calysta? Shouldn't she be told?"

 

Cassandra's exression darkened at the mention of her sister, but merely replied, "She does not understand the geography of Tidea as well as I do. She will be of no help in this siege, and would merely be a hindrance. You will leave tomorrow, thus you will need to make preparations for the time being. Dismissed."

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Lapin walked down the halls of the palace in a manner that would cause anyone who didn't know her to believe that she was nervous; however, she was simply bored. "Nothing to do, nothing to do.." she mumbled quickly. She walked up the hall, then down it. Up and down, up and down. When she tired of that, she stood in place and began to rock back and forth on her feet. Back and forth, back and forth.

 

Two aqua-blue, widened eyes darted around, looking at their surroundings. He was late. Oh, why did he have to be late? The Queen of Hearts was most upset at this, and Lapin knew of the Queen's temper. Then again, everyone knew of her temper.

 

Lapin was no longer paying attention to what she was doing - which was walking in a small circle. This was, by far, the most unpleasant part of her job. Waiting. It seemed like the black hare had been doing that quite an awful lot lately.

 

One of the girl's hands went to her hair and began to curl the raven-colored locks. When she realized what she was doing, her hand snapped to her side. She'd been trying to stop all of her nervous habits for a while. However, Lapin was the kind of person who was incapable of staying still, and her hand went to the pouch on her waist.

 

As incredibly grateful that she was for being allowed to hold onto the ink bottle and quill, she simply could not comprehend why. Why were two of the wondrous items from that room given to a lowly messenger hare? No other messenger hare with one of these items came to mind. Lapin shook her head in an attempt to rid herself of the doubtful thoughts. No matter the reasoning for it, she had been trusted with these items.

 

The hare sighed and leaned against one of the cold walls. "Rien à faire..nothing to do.." Lapin sighed.

 

((Yay, crazy rabbit girl that talks to herslf and repeats some sentences twice! xD Oh, and is alright if I throw in some sentences in French? I figure I'll have her repeat in in English afterwards.))

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As the Vorpal Slayer began away from the Red Queen towards the door of her throne room, a small voice rose. "I don't like you. I think you're cruel and hateful and your only purpose in life is to find more power. You and your sister are the same." The voice was feminine and whispery, but the Red Queen heard it clearly. "You do not have much time...."

 

The voice faded away and left the throne room in tense silence.

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((well it's not like i've drawn a floor plan of the place XD have all the passages you want. within reason, of course XD))

 

"I've never had a marionette from Clubs. They might make an interesting...collection." Beast's voice said from behind Maeve.

 

She sighed. It was no use pretending that Beast's marionettes didn't creep her out a bit. And when you can creep out a Vampire, that's pretty bad, she reflected with a dark smile. But still, there was something to be admired about his work.

 

"If you see fit," she said. "General Malcolm is already on his way to deal with the situation. Masahiro is in search of my last messenger to Hearts. So think twice before you stab the shadows," she added, for good measure. It wasn't unheard of that her assassins were a bit too good at their jobs. She looked back out the window. Clubs was frustratingly military-centric, and their army was rightously feared by everyone in the other kingdoms.

 

Well, almost everyone.

 

Maeve was not afraid of Clubs. No, she respected them, as she knew she well should. But she was not afraid.

 

"On second thought, Blade," she said, turning to the assassin. "Go. Tip General Malcolm off if you can. Tip Masahiro off if you can. If you can't, do your job as well as you always do."

 

***

 

Masahiro crept through the streets. Donau was a fairly dark city to begin with, and the night made it all the darker. He was deep within the shadows cast by any lights around anyways.

 

He wove through down roads and through allyways. He had covered about half the distance between the castle and the city wall when he saw someone else. The other was walking purposefully down the street, wearing the four-paneled, spade-adorned cloak that marked the city guards. Masahiro's eyes narrowed. Yes, the guards patrolled the streets--but he had never seen this one before. He was brawnier than most of Spades' warriors, and the sword at his side was a broadsword, not a rapier like the guards carried.

 

Clubs, he thought, drawing the dagger concealed in his boot. He moved soundlessly across the street and in one smooth motion, clasped his hand firmly over the man's mouth and put the blade of the dagger to this throat.

 

"Not a sound from you," he hissed in the man's ear. "Unless to tell me who you are and why you're here."

 

"I'm a guard from Spades!" the man said through Masahiro's hand. The knife flicked across his throat. A thin line of blood appeared.

 

"Lie to me again and it will be fatal," Masahiro whispered. "Who are you and what are you doing here?"

 

"I'm a guard from Spades!" the man insisted, fumbling for his broadsword. "Who the hell are you?"

 

"The Knave," Masahiro said simply, turning the man roughly around and whipping the cloak off. Under the spade-adorned cloak was a club-adorned tunic over chain mail. "And you, sir, are a dead man." Before he could make another sound, Masahiro had covered his mouth again and slit his throat. It only took him a few steps before he found a loose paving stone that lead into a maze of tunnels below the city that only a Spade could possibly hope to navigate. He stowed the body there, then continued on in search of more assassins of Clubs, masquerading as guards from Spades, and in search of Maeve's messenger.

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"I don't like you. I think you're cruel and hateful and your only purpose in life is to find more power. You and your sister are the same." The voice was feminine and whispery, but the Red Queen heard it clearly. "You do not have much time...."

 

Cassandra jerked her head towards the voice, her face already forming a glare. She looked round the throne room to see who had dared to speak to her in that manner. But the only life in the chamber besides herself was Kitty and Vorpal, and she was certain it was neither of them. Kitty was asleep, while Vorpal's voice was certainly NOT that feminine. Had someone used telepathy on her? Not wishing to deal about such trifling matter further, she rose from her throne and left, carrying the black kitten with her.

 

Vorpal Slayer had heard the silky voice as clearly as the Queen had, if not more. He felt the voice coming from his back, and once the Red Queen left the room, he whispered quite uncertainly, "Sword, is that you...?"

 

~*~

 

Beast's grinned widened as he heard Maeve's order. He had considered reminding the Queen that he no longer respond to his old name- Blade, but he was not that impulsive. Instead, he bowed down once more her, "As you wish, Your Majesty" he said and before the next second passed, he was already gone.

 

Outside the palace, the half-demon assassin moved lithely from street to street, alley to alley-unseen and unheard. His sharp eyes darted around the City of Donau to find any interesting people that would make a great collection. He did not want an ordinary person to be the first of his Clubs marionette collection.

 

As he searched the town, he noticed a man wearing a Spades uniform- but his build and weapon betrayed his disguise. The assassin smiled evilly, and soundlessly moved behind the impostor. Five bony fingers reached over the latter's temples and applied force unto it until a cracking sound was heard, and crimson fluid trickled from the pressure point. The Clubs spy opened his mouth to yell, but only blood spluttered as a sharp blade skewered through his throat.

 

Convinced that the imposter was dead, Beast shoved the carcass away, and licked at his blood-stained fingers. It tasted disgusting.

 

He heard several footsteps approaching, and he guessed it was the Clubs soldiers patrolling. He was not mistaken.

 

Dashing out, he emerged right in front of the soldiers. Unprepared for him, the guards charged wildly, causing Beast to laugh. "How foolish. I see none of you are fit to make it to my collection."

 

Drawing his chain-bladed staff, the assassin attacked. The chains on his staff extended and lashed at the Clubs soldiers, tearing flesh and spilling blood. He made sure that he slit their throats first, so they could not scream. A pity really, he would have loved to hear them pained screeches, but that would alert the whole town.

 

The injured men started to crawl away, seeking escape; but Beast sliced their arms before they could venture far. "Pathetic..." the demonic assassin muttered. He raised his boots and stepped on one of the fallen men's temples, crushing them with little force. Not wishing to spend more time to deal with these idiots, Beast snapped his fingers. Portal holes opened from the ground and several of his marionettes emerged- not Awnya of course; she's too precious for them.

 

Beast left the arena, as he left his marionettes devour the men, until no parts of their bodies remained.

 

((Astra: who's the Hatter talking to? An NPC? Or Masahiro?))

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{Haha, Masahiro. I posted that one at roughly midnight... So I was really tired and it came out messy.... That'll probably happen a lot, since late at night is normally when I have time to post XD}

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((my apologies, adept_rogue, i don't know why i called you blade O.o i think i was thinking of an old character named blade i used to interact with. sorry about that, maeve knows that your name is beast XD))

 

((oh--one more nitpicky thing--why does he curtsy? because that's a very feminine thing to do XD))

 

Beast had hardly departed when Yue came rushing in, crying something about Tai and drinking and music.

 

"Yue, Yue," Maeve crossed from the window, trying to keep her voice gentle. Two young demons causing trouble wasn't exactly a welcome surprise when her city was being invaded by Clubs. (Of course, with Beast, General Malcolm and Masahiro at work, she supposed that they wouldn't be invaded for very long.)

 

"Slow down, Yue, what happened? Tai drank something bad and the musi--what music?" she asked, suddenly realizing there wasn't any music to be heard. She'd have to remedy that. "Oh, you mean the horns. That isn't music, Yue dear, that's Clubs trying to invade. I'm sure it will stop soon." The words had hardly been spoken when there was a squwak and the horns began to die out. "See? Now then, explain exactly what happened. Slowly please."

 

"He's drunk, your Majesty," Mikhaiel said with a small giggle from the doorway. "You see, he was curious about the bottles labled "Brandy," and, thinking they were a gift for someone named Brandy, decided to test them. Or, at least, that's what I got from their hysterics."

 

Maeve sighed and smiled. "That's easy to remedy," she said. "I'm sure Masahiro will be able to make him feel better with a snap of his fingers when he returns, but until then, Mikhaiel, do what you can."

 

"Yes, my queen," Mikhaiel said with a quick bow.

 

Maeve looked at Yue. "There now, nothing to panic about. Many a mortal man has had more brandy than Tai and lived to tell the tale. But I'm sure this will teach him a valuable lesson in drinking from unfamiliar bottles?" She patted Yue gently on the head, then glided back to the window.

 

The Clubs invaders appeared to be losing strength. She felt herself chuckle. If this was the best that the Clubs assassins could manage for an "ambush," she was certain that they would never take her by surprise in such a way. If the full army launched a full siege of Donau, though, that could prove problematic...she narrowed her eyes. She would have to work on that--or, rather, have General Malcolm work on it. War strategy bored her, and Malcolm was so much better at it.

 

***

 

Masahiro hadn't gotten a hundred yards down the street when he spotted another figure. Too fine to be a Club...but certainly not a Spade. He was headed toward the gates of the city--sauntering might be more accurate, actually--and stopped when he saw Masahiro.

 

"I do suppose your first remark will be to demand my name." So, he'd seen Masahiro interrogate the Clubs assassin. "You may call me the Hatter- my real name from the upper world is truly not worth mentioning. Might I have yours as well?" He tilted his head ever so slightly and smiled deviously, "So long as you have more capacity for civility than the Clubs, I see no need for us to be lobbing off each others' heads... He then chuckled to himself and added, "My apologies for such violent imagery- I really have been spending too much time around the Queen."

 

He looked at the Hatter, his hand still resting on his rapier but not in such a fashion that it was at all threatening. "More capacity for civility than the Clubs? Yes, that I do have, sir. My name is Masahiro." He felt a small smile cross his lips. "And do you, sir, have anything to do with Maeve's messenger to Hearts not returning?"

 

There was a ninety percent chance, of course, that he did--what else would an assassin from Hearts be doing in Spades? Masahiro kept a straight face, knowing that if their plans of being civil failed, he could hold his own, and--if it came to that--he would take this other assassin down with him.

 

((O.o violent masahiro is violent...how unlike him XD))

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Under the moonlit night, Beast strolled through the streets of Donau. He was swinging his chained rod calmly, slaying all the Clubs soldier that came to his sight. Of course, there weren't too many of them, as General Malcolm had a large share of kills as well, or so Beast had heard.

 

Too bad the assassin mused, It seems that no one was interesting enough to be a part of my collection.

 

The soldiers of the Clubs were military-centric, and great in strength, yes. But they were too brash, too impulsive to know the right moments to attack, defend or retreat. No, he certainly have no use for imbeciles. Those type of people tend to move out of control when he tried to turn them into marionettes. He'd learn it the hard way...

 

The half-demon stepped towards the City gates to see if any more Clubs soldiers coming. But no, only two men stood there. His comrade, Masahiro, was facing another assassin. A twisted smirk escaped his lips. Perhaps this invasion was not as boring as he had come to fear.

 

"Is anything the matter?" he asked smoothly at the two of them.

 

((@Tei: it's okay, I'll just say he used to be called Blade before he became Beast. If you recall, he does have plenty of names.

 

And I thought courtsey merely meant 'bow'? Guess I was mistaken then. Ah well, I'll just edit those parts.

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Fayt hissed at the Hatter as he walked away. She had been making that much noise? She knew that yelping probably wasn't such a great idea when she woke, but that was too bad. Fayt focused for a second, and turned into a cat.

 

She jumped down from the roofs and onto the street, landing gracefully. She padded along the street, looking for someone that might have treasures. She found herself walking towards the palace, which was still quite lit this late at night. Getting in would be a problem, though. She had heard of this assassin that could teleport- she would have to be found and stolen from.

 

Fayt looked up at the castle. She decided to try her starving kitty routine. Half walking, half staggering up to the guards at the front gate, she meowed desperately, shivering, and brushing their feet. One of the guards looked at her, but did nothing. Spades could be so mean! Fayt walked a little farther away from them, and changed back to her human form in a flash. She took out her mirror, and peered into it. She turned the mirror towards the face of one guard. In a few seconds, the mirror emitted a bright light, sending the guard's eyes to his face.

 

"Feel like letting me in?" Fayt asked angrily.

--------

 

Malli silently crept through the forest towards the kingdom of Hearts. She saw more lights and tall buildings as she approached. She came upon the wall, and jumped. She landed on the top of the wall. From here, she could see a few guards, and a single person walking through the town. The castle, Malli's destination, was in the distance.

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{O-o uhh... How is it that there are townspeople milling around the shopping area when it's in the dead of night and the city is being attacked by clubs?}

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((It's Serdio, and there's just a few of the villagers. Clubs aren't attacking the Kingdom of Hearts, unless I was reading it wrong, and there's just a few of them that are milling around. I'll go change the villagers thing now. Woops.))

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Maeve whipped around when she saw a bright light beneath her window. That was no Club, and certainly no Spade would ever be so noticable. She crossed the room, sat down in her throne, and pulled a book from the satchel at her waist. She then took a key from the long chain around her neck, unlocked the book, and wrote:

 

M

y

 

R

a

p

i

e

r

 

The book glowed faintly, and a fine silver hilt appeared on the page. She drew the sword, sheath, belt and frog from the book, shut it, and replaced the key and the book in their respective places, and buckled the belt.

 

So her assassins were out--perhaps that was planned. And one of her demons was drunk, the other worried. But let no one make the mistake of thinking that they would be at the advantage.

 

"Luck is a lady whose smile is as cold as a stone. She'll bring you things, many things you might never have known..." she sang softly. "But when your die is cast, she'll have the final laugh at you. She'll lock you in a duel, where you come out the fool..."

 

Beware of the Queen of Spades.

 

 

***

 

"Hatter, this is Beast," Masahiro said. "Beast, the Hatter. I see no reason to--"

 

Masahiro stopped speaking when he saw a bright light shining near the palace. He knew better than to turn his back on another assassin, but that light demanded attention. He doubted Clubs was capable of being that flashy, and certainly no Spade would light off a flare or a Sunbrust spell in the dead of night.

 

"Hatter, if you'd excuse me," he said, bowing without taking his eyes off of the Hearts assassin. "I'm afraid I have some pressing business to attend to. But before I so rudely depart," he said, "Perhaps you'd answer my previous question? In regards to our messenger? On a normal day, I'd be happy to invite you to dinner, of course, but you understand that given the attack on Spades, such invitations are better saved for a later date."

 

***

 

Mikhaiel, meanwhile, wasn't paying any attention to strange lights or assassins. He was paying more attention to hung-over demon children and all the remedies that he knew. He tried tea, water, ice, and anything else he could think of.

 

"Aiaiya," he sighed. "I hope Masahiro gets home soon."

 

((my god, masahiro's intereaction with the hatter is absolutely hilarious XD))

 

((yuffie, i know that two out of thee of my characters saw that light and responded with promises of violence. but you can't expect a trained assassin and the queen to have missed it.))

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Beast barely listened to Masahiro introducing him to the Hearts assassin, apparently called 'Hatter'. Already he was considering the possibility of turning this peculiar man into a Marionette. He had some Marionettes from citizens of Hearts, but not an assassin, and that might be a good addition to his collection.

 

But before he could ponder further, his demonic eye sensed a ray of bright light flashing from behind. It came from the palace, his senses told him, and Beast had to wonder what kind of idiot actually uses such an attention-seeking method of attack to gain entry. He would've guessed Clubs; but then again, knowing the testosterone sacks they are, they'd probably try to chop up the guards rather than blinding them with bright lights.

 

Regardless, those people must be either very reckless or stupid to be using Sunburst Spells to trespass into the Palace of Spades- in the middle of the night, no less, where their attack would be much more noticeable. Granted, he and Masahiro

were not in the palace to guard the fortress, but that doesn't mean it was completely defenses.

 

Beast had, earlier, summoned five Marionettes to finish of the idiotic Clubs Soldier he wouldn't waste his time for- which still leaves five more back in the palace to take care of the intruders. Even if they are somehow able get pass his undead servant, the Queen was not someone to underestimate.

 

He wondered why Masahiro thought it was necessary to dash off like that. Oh well, the half-demon shrugged nonchalantly; even though he currently felt no need to head back and supply extra defences, things might change. And if he ever get a notion that the palace might be in danger, he could always return- and probably faster than Masahiro.

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Perhaps he should have been a little more on edge with the situation he was in, but as it was the Hatter remained perfectly at ease; being in enemy territory his foes certainly had the advantage... but he was just the sort to remain cool and calm no matter what... Because getting worked up was just.... well, rather a bother.

 

...Of course, he was smiling, and given the fact that he was perfectly mad, perhaps that was not a good thing for them.

 

"More capacity for civility than the Clubs? Yes, that I do have, sir. My name is Masahiro."

 

Hmmm... Masahiro was a strange name- sounded like something from the real world.... Hmm... Well, it would certainly explain logically how it was the Queen of Spades had aquired such a skilled knave out of the blue- if he'd come from the real world it'd probably been as much of a surprise for him as everyone else.... Well, that was interesting. The Hatter stored that theory for later use.

 

"And do you, sir, have anything to do with Maeve's messenger to Hearts not returning?"

 

And there it was. Well, he'd known it was coming, but the Hatter still paused a moment before answering.

"Business is not always pleasant." He finally stated with a sigh, "But it has to be done." There was little use lying; he could make it sound convincing if he wanted, but there was nothing to gain from it- he doubted that even if he were to make the man believe his words that he'd be free to go as he pleased.... And one could only trust a dishonest man to be dishonest when it benefitted him.

"If I hadn't done it-" He added this after a thoughtful moment, "Then the Queen would have likely done it herself, and more brutally at that.... Did I mention she has a habit of decapitating people?" He'd been away from reality for awhile, but it still seemed like an odd fetish to him.

 

The sound of footsteps caused the Hatter's attention to shift, and he saw yet another person approaching.... This one was another Spade, he was certain.... Swinging around his chained rod, he looked more brutish like the Clubs... but there was just a way that a Spade carried themselves differently than a Club... The Hatter couldn't explain it.

 

"Is anything the matter?"

 

Ah yes, of course it would be just the Hatter's luck that yet another person would stop to chat... First the cat, then this guy.... Goodness, what was he doing that made it look like he wanted to talk?! He wished someone would tell him so he could remedy the situation.

 

More unlucky still was that this man before him was clearly another assassin- or at the very least a trained warrior... Seriously, how unlucky could one get?! It was like he'd killed a bunch of people and now karma was exacting revenge.... Oh wait...

 

The Hatter heaved an inward sigh, keeping himself on guard but deciding not to try anything sudden just yet.

 

However, just as he went to speak again, a bright flash of light captured his attention- and theirs as well. He did not know who the fool was that created said light, but he was not about to complain about their mistake- if they lived to tell about it, they'd get experience... If not... Well, then everyone else would have gotten experience on how to react to bright lights people foolishly lit off in the night.

 

When Masahiro bid him farewell, the Hatter bowed politely in return and took off his hat. "Indeed good sir, if the invitation for dinner ever arises, I'll be sure to bring the tea." He said simply, a mysterious smile playing about his face at the thought, "Until then however, we shall part ways here. It was a pleasure to meet you as well Beast." With that he placed his head back upon his head and activated his pocketwatch; to everyone else it would look as if he simply disappeared- really though, he'd just slowed down time and made a speedy exit. As much of a pleasure as it was to aquaint with new people, he did not wish to push his luck.

 

{Yep, they're funny together...

 

I think there might be some typos in this post... Cuz I'm watching titanic and am heavily distracted by Leonardo's good acting haha!}

 

 

--------------------------------------------

 

It took Yue an awful long time to calm down, the Queen was usually good with that, but telling the poor child that the city was being invaded by Clubs just set her off again. Generally the wise choice was that when things went wrong it was best not to go with them... But she always thought of the worst possibilities before the best ones... And worked herself up more than she should have.... but the Queen was very patient and eventually it registered with Yue that her brother was going to be fine....

 

"There now, nothing to panic about. Many a mortal man has had more brandy than Tai and lived to tell the tale. But I'm sure this will teach him a valuable lesson in drinking from unfamiliar bottles?"

 

Yue managed a small smile, still hiccuping, but not in hysterics anymore at least.

"The nice thing about lessons is that they 'lessen' day to day...." She finally mumbled after a moment, "...Though I do not believe my brother will ever learn...." Another hiccup, and she wiped her eyes.... Then a really bright flash of light left her wiping her eyes even more, utterly dazed.

 

Ohh... What were those clubs doing setting off lights in the night!

 

Yue watched the queen's reaction to the sight with curiousity.... So bright lights made her grumpy.... She'd have to remember that.... but she was quick to follow Mikhaiel from the room anyways- because she was more worried about her brother than anything. Still though, as they made their way back to Tai, she couldnt' help but say, "I am of the opinion that if violence was as good as those horrid Clubs say, they'd keep more of it to themselves."

 

Tai was waiting silently, positively miserable and reluctant to come out from under the covers; he was getting awful tired of all the stuff that Mikhaiel said would work.... but didn't.... And with that bright flash of light his head was hurting more than ever.

"If whoever brandy is survives drinking this... Then he must have at least three stomachs!" He moaned, drooping his ears.

 

{Young Leonardo Dicaprio~ <3

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Annel stood up slowly from her desk as a flash of light hit her window. She cautiously pulled back the heavy curtains (in the queen's favorite shade of black; they were thankfully translucent enough to at least let in sunlight) and looked down upon the front courtyard of Spades Castle. Some girl was idiotically shining a light at one of the guards -- didn't she realize that half of Donau could see it?

 

Annel quickly slipped on her dressing gown and sped down the halls towards the queen's throne room: for whatever reason, Maeve seemed to like to spend most of her time there. Annel didn't see the appeal; not only was the room uniformly cold throughout the year, the throne also appeared to be crafted in order that anybody sitting on it would be utterly unable to feel comfortable. Whoever designed it must not have liked the king or queen of their time very much.

 

Reaching her destination, Annel slowed down and opened the doors quietly. "Your majesty -- I thought you'd like to know that there's a cat-person in the courtyard trying to blind one of your guards. As far as I can discern, that is. I'd rather you dispose of them quickly. Despite being trapped in your country for the time being, I do have work to do. And I would guess that there's no need for that sword -- I wouldn't say that the would-be intruder is quite important enough to require such a fine blade."

 

Annel turned away from the queen and lightly stepped once more towards her own loaned chambers. She faced once more towards the queen. "I thank you again for your... generosity." Then she left the room.

 

((So I decided that, instead of being a prisoner, Annel would be a guest at the palace until she became no longer imprisoned by the war itself. Is that all right, Tei? I've decided that most of the embassy was able to exit before the war really heated up but Annel was not able to due to other complications [upon which I have not yet decided] and so the queen raised a hand in hospitality. As I've seen more of her, it seems like the kind of thing she would do. =) ))

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((Yeah, Fayt is kind one of those people who doesn't really think about how her actions are going to affect her future. Shining a light wasn't a good idea! She's going to be attacked! ^ ^))

 

Fayt stared at the guard, who was waving around frantically, trying to find his weapon. For a moment, the thought that someone may have seen the light crossed her mind. "That probably wasn't smart." she said to herself.

 

Fayt took out her whip and got ready to fight whoever was going to come. She looked around to see if there was a tree anywhere. As far as she could tell, she wouldn't be able to climb anything. Instead, she turned into a cat and sat down, waiting for someone to get to her location.

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