[Obfuscated] Deveraux is wandering around observing from the cover of Obfuscate. He’s sure someone will spot him eventually, but for now he’s just wandering about and seeing what he can see.

<Zaluut> is standing out near to the hedge maze, on one of the platforms that overlooks it. He seems to be watching something within the maze quietly.

[Obfuscated] Deveraux will move over toward Zaluut and see if he can catch a glimpse of what he’s watching.

Anastasia strides into the courtyard, her eyes sweeping over her environment in a way she hoped was nonchallant and predatory, but might betray some of the anxiousness she feels. First impressions being important, she’s dyed some of her hair blue, done it up in a striking style then adorned her body in tight patent leather, studs and bullets.

[Obfuscated] Cian creeps across the courtyard and out towards the maze. Though he has yet to manage it, he still enjoys trying to sneak up on Zaluut. Makes good practice.

Mocking herself behind her eyes for the habits her vapid Sire instilled in her, Anastasia pushes aside the doubt and negative self talk and squares her shoulders as she takes a long, deep pull from the cigarette in her left hand. She smiles as the hot smoke warms her chest and reminds her of the scent of her Sire’s haven burning in her wake as she left her past behind her after being ‘recruited’ into the

Sabbat. With renewed determination she strode towards the main hall to see who might be within.

<Zaluut> notes the new arrival and then as he starts to leave the platform the ground around Cian softens and he starts sinking into it like quicksand. “Keep trying, little pup.”, he says as he walks past Cian and then moves to intercept the new arrival.

⋠Cian⋡ laughs, breaking his obfuscation and begins l trying to claw his way out of the softening ground. “Dammit old man…one of these days.” His skin ripples and wavers as it keeps pace with the colors of the shifting mud. He shakes his head and dismisses the camouflage for now. No point now that Zaluut has already spotted him.

Anastasia can’t help but marvel at the figure Zaluut cut, the picture of a noble vampire from the Old Country but in a way that was anything but cliche. She dips her head at him without taking her eyes off him, showing him respect and deference without anything cowed or weak about herself. She smirks as she hears Cian’s words and sees the ‘challenge’ he has to face, gifted to him by the figure approaching

her. She says nothing, waiting for him to address her first.

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° pulled into the asylum parking lot on his motorcycle and would disembark. He’d make his way across the long stretch of property, silently, though his strides were long and even as he headed in a direction towrad Zaluut.

⋠Cian⋡ finally manages to drag himself out of the quicksand and saunters over to catch up with Zaluut. He cocks his head in curiosity at the new person, opening his mouth to make a smart ass remark but quickly closing it. He rubs the wrist of a hand he’s recently had to regrow after Zaluut severed it during sword practice.

<Zaluut> takes stock of Anastasia and nods to her. “Greetings. Are you looking for someone in particular, or just announcing yourself?”, he asks before seeing Talwar coming his way and nodding his head more deeply to the man. “Evening, my friend.”

Anastasia doesn’t flinch under Zaluut’s appraising gaze and nods as he addresses her. “Well met by moonlight,” she said in a melodious voice whose tones lingered in the air with an enchanting kind of resonance (Enchanting Voice Merit). “It was my intention to announce myself, yes, and my hope to meet the sharp edge of the Sword of Caine,” she says with a playful kind of poetry to her words.

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° bows his head deeply to Zaluut. “Evening Zaluut. It is good to see you.” He had words to impart but he would look over at Anastasia with some cold, studious curiosity and wait.

Only after responding to Zaluut does Anastasia turn her attention to the one he names a friend, casting a discerning eye over the dark skinned fellow with the wild mane of hair, noting his reserved curiousity with something of a smile.

<Zaluut> nods. “Well, consider yourself announced. I am Zaluut. This place is a home for many of us.”, he then looks back over to Talwar. “Is this something that requires privacy?”

⋠Cian⋡ eyes the newcomer, his tongue flicking out a few times. Judging from her appearance this new woman was much more the type he was used to hanging out with, when he was mortal at least. Gothic subculture was quite popular among the homeless youth.

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° “Some of it will require that, yes.” His voice was low and soft, yet somehow managed to carry on the wind to be heard. “Also, Cassian has agreed to meet with you, so we can work on finding the creature. Some others are putting together a ‘day’ team to hunt when we cannot, so we can continue after the creature without

interruptions.”

⋠Cian⋡ perks up at the mention of hunting some sort of creature. “Oooh…that sounds like fun. Can I go?” His raspy voice matches his twisted face quite well, and belies the fact that he was sired at age fifteen.

Anastasia inclines her head to Zaluut, a sign of her gratitude at his acknowledgement of her intentions. She says nothing to interrupt his chat with Talway, her eyes but not her full attention going to the muddy, blue skinned vampire who’d joined them, noting the recognition is his eyes as he looked at her. She’d seen that look of reverie and remembrance before amongst Cainites, something close to nostalgia

as they looked upon her and the style she’d adopted. She smiled a bright and feral smile at the two other vampires, when Cian talked of joining the hunt, tacitly sharing her willingness to be counted amongst their number as well.

<Zaluut> sighs faintly, and nods to Talwar. “I see. Well I shall be returning to the house then soon.”, he looks carefully between the pair of additional members and thinks. “Perhaps. It would require that you stay at my home in the forest for a few days. Are you positive you can be polite for that long?”

⋠Cian⋡ holds up a finger and opens his mouth to speak then frowns and lowers his hand, a thoughtful look on his face. “Umm…I can try really fuc…really really hard.” He grins wide, clearly a bit overly proud at catching himself before he cursed. “If not you can mold my mouth shut or take out my vocal chords or something, no complaint on my part.”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° “Your honesty is appreciated.” He may be being sarcastic or not. It was hard to tell.

Anastasia’s smile takes on a sharp edge as she offers, “a clean incision in the right place that you don’t heal until the hunt’s done would be a simple solution, and one that could demonstrate your willingness to sacrifice something dear to your nature for the cause.”

⋠Cian⋡ cocks his head at the newcomer, studying her for a moment and then chuckling. “You’re kinda messed up. I like it.” He turns back to Zaluut and smiles. “We should keep her.”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° “She may be your doom. That alone is a reason worthy of keeping her.”

Anastasia laughs a lilting, lyrical laugh at the words being spoken of her. “I’m happy to have found such favor, so fast,” she says in a tone that’s both wry and wickedly playful. Her eyes then go to Zaluut to hear his estimation of all that’s transpiring, as his voice has proven to be is first amongst the Cainites here gathered.

φCadeφ sticks his tongue out at Talwar. “Oh ha de fucking ha. You’re a real riot Talwar.” He quickly looks at Zaluut and holds up a hand. “Just getting all out of my system in advance.”

<Zaluut> watches them both for a few moments. “You must swear to obey my orders on the matter. That is my territory we will be hunting it in, and what is not, is part of the Camarilla city.”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° smirks to Cade and then his expression goes deadpan as Zaluut lays out the conditions to the property and the scenario that they will be presented with.

⋠Cian⋡ sneers a bit at the mention of the Camarilla but nods his head and forces his face into a more serious demeanor. “Yeah I can do that. No eating the Cammies unless you say so, no wandering off, mind my manners, and be a good boy and do what I’m told. I think I can manage. Won’t be worth much if I can’t anyways…right?”

Anastasia says in an even, forthright tone, “Your will shall guide my hand, and your purposes my every action.” She is, for the first time, all ‘business’, letting it be known that she understands the import and risks inherent in this task. The boys banter doesn’t distract her, instead she asks, “May I ask what is known of this creature we hunt?”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° smirked to Cian. Correction~

<Zaluut> nods. “Very well. I will hold you both to your word. Do not disappoint me.”, he says and then looks back over to Talwar. “The creature is a Thaumaturgy experiment gone bad. It can move in daylight, and deflect magic of all sorts.”

Anastasia’s mouth forms a perfect O as she hears what they’ll be hunting. She hadn’t truly cared what it was they would issue from its mortal coil but this was beyond what she imagined they’d be dispatching. Blinking both to mask her surprise and keep from saying anything ill considered she took a few moments to compose herself and see if further details would be forth coming.

⋠Cian⋡ grins and rocks on the balls of his feet in excitement. This seems like it promises to be a real challenge. He looks over to the new person and grins. “This is gonna be fun!”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° “It will also be potentially dangerous. We are not sure what it has been up to, other than weakening some wards here or there and draining energies.”

⋠Cian⋡ nods slowly as Talwar speaks, though he doesn’t quite understand all the implications, he does know that wards are a very important part of the Asylum’s defenses. “Yeah that sounds pretty fucking bad. I’ll be careful and stuff.” He grins and jerks a thumb at the new person. “I’ll keep an eye on the new chick too. Don’t worry.” He giggles and makes a face.

Then looks at Zaluut sheepishly. “Ok that was the last one until we are done. I promise.”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° looks over at the woman and then shrugs. “I think she can take care of herself. She has some mettle to her.”

⋠Cian⋡ sighs and shakes his head. “One day Talwar. One day I will teach you humor.”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° “If you die in a funny manner, I will laugh?”

Anastasia sighs and fastidiously checks the long black nails of her right hand that come to wickedly sharp points. She doesn’t take the bait in Cian’s words, but is the picture of a feral feline preening and sharpening her claws in preparation for a hunt. “What was it, before the experiments. It’s actions speak to an cunning intelligence that seek vengeance,” she says respectfully questioning Zaluut.

φCadeφ holds up a finger again, and then scratches one of his scars. “That’s a start at least. Jerk.” He grins at Talwar and then turns to Zaluut, awaiting the answer to Anastasia’s question as well.

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° nods his head once slowly to Cian.

<Zaluut> looks to Anastasia and nods, “The city of New Orleans is under a curse. The Embrace does not work there. The Tremere attempted to find the mechanism of said curse and attempted an Embrace. This thing was created in the process.”

⋠Cian⋡ shakes his head. Everything he’s read about the Tremere has painted them in a pretty negative light, and this whole fiasco was definitely reinforcing that idea.

Anastasia filters out most of what the boys say, her focus being on Zaluut and the information he shares. “That is… interesting… who did they attempt to make a Cainite? This might tell us something of what motivates the creature and allow us to anticipate the choices it will make,” she muses then ohs and asks, “is it’s ward weakening ability something innate or taught?”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° “I do not think the ‘who’ mattered quite as much but perhaps. The spectre..reaper that took over is the problem.”

⋠Cian⋡ frowns and tries to think of where he has heard those words before. “You mean…like those things the ghosts sometimes mutter on about?”

<Zaluut> nods in agreement with Talwar. “The soul of the original was consumed by whatever is keeping the Embrace from working. Replaced by something else. I do not know in great detail, but it is intelligent and has been using my territory to avoid the Tremere. They are frightened to come into the forest for they know what I will do to them.”

⋠Cian⋡ smirks as he imagines a whole host of horrors Zaluut might visit upon any trespassing Tremere.

(Ok, sorry to go silent, phone call)

Anastasia nods and looks thoughtfully at Zaluut, absorbing all that he shared. “ It will be quite the hunt, perhaps we can fall upon a few of Tremere’s get along the way”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° “I will make my way out to your estate if you wish, to prepare.”

<Zaluut> “We shall see what happens. Now I need to go and prepare.”, he actually smiles a little at Talwar and nods. “I will call for you two when we are ready.”

°¥ Talwar Khanna ¥° bows and then would turn and depart, heading back to his bike.

“I will be ready to answer the call when it comes. Thank you for offering me the hospitality of your demesne,” Anastasia says in even, respectful tones before Zaluut leaves them.

⋠Cian⋡ bobs his head. “Yep yep, you know where to find me.” He turns to Anastasia and gestures towards the Asylum. “You want the tour?”

Anastasia nods, smiling at Cian with a warmth that doesn’t reach her eyes. “Yes, thanks. I’m known as Anastasia,” she says in a light tone

⋠Cian⋡ nods and starts walking towards the enormous building. “I’m Cian. Not a Nosferatu, before you ask.” He chuckles and leads her inside. “So…there’s really no point in trying to show you the whole place. It’s fucking huge, and it’s a lot to try to figure out in one go. So we’ll hit the highlights.” He nods and starts off down a hallway. “So where you from?”

Anastasia dips her head at Cian as he introduces himself. “If not a Nozzie A, that would make you… a Smurf of Doom?” She quips in that enchantingly melodious voice of hers. She smirks and nods, “The penny tour… library, armory, tennis courts… and I was originally from Boston, you?”

⋠Cian⋡ laughs and shakes his head. “Yeah I’m the fucking sneaky blood sucker Smurf that the other ones never talk about.” Another raspy laugh echoes in the hall as he points off towards a stairwell. “Zaluut’s uh…office or some shit. So invite only and shit.” He heads down another hall, the path they’ve taken so far seems extremely convoluted and difficult to

follow. “I’m from around here. Don’t have the accent though. Before the bitch up and vanished my mom insisted I learn Gaelic, she was an immigrant. Once she was gone well…homeless kids don’t get around much unless they are running from some shit, ya know?” He points off towards a large double door. “Library. Antol is usually in there. He’s blue like me, but on purpose.”

“I’ve heard eternal Celibacy will do that to a Cainite,” Anastasia says to Cian as he talks of Anton. Then she hmms as she thinks of Cian’s parentage and adds, “you lived, and now you don’t. So you’re the better for surviving your first crucible,” her tone is not quite warm but at the same time isn’t derisive. It may be the closest thing to compassion she may come to, but at the same time

there’s a profound air of disinterest in mortal tribulations. “Do you speak Gaelic well. I’m sure with some of the older of us that could stand you in good stead.”

⋠Cian⋡ snickers at that comment about Antol and and leads her further down the hallway. “Yeah, being homeless blew ass, but it made me into a sneaky fucker with fast hands and a mean streak, which, as it turns out, is perfect for Cainite life. Or unlife. Whatever.” He points off down one of the hallways. “Kitt’s haven is down that way. She’s like…second in command

or some such. My Gaelic is rusty as all fuck but this guy Deveraux that comes around sometimes is gonna help me practice. Any help I can get really. The elders aren’t my biggest fans right now. I had a bit of a fuck up.” He shrugs it off and turns down another hall. “So are you in like a nomad pack or are you a loner or what?”

Anastasia nodded, drinking in Cian’s story as he focuses on his unlife. “We are the sum of what we’ve endured plus who our will would have us be,” she muses and notes the names he’s sharing with her. “I was ‘recruited’ in haste and the other shovelheads who crawled out of the grave with me have met their final rest. So I’m a loner, but not by choice,” she admits easily. “I heard there’s

the opportunity to make something of myself here so I came,” she said with a sigh, “let’s see what comes of the next few nights to see if that is what will be.”

⋠Cian⋡ nods approvingly. “So you’re a survivor. Good shit. There’s several packs around here, I’m sure you’ll find one that suits you.” He stops and looks her over. “Unfortunately you look to old to join me and the Orphans, but like I said, plenty of choices.” He points off towards a solitary room that clearly used to be a cell. “Stay out of that one. It’s haunted

and Mutters doesn’t like company. So what brand are you? I know it’s supposed to be rude to ask or some stupid shit, but the fuck if I care. Seems a dumb thing to be weird about.”

“No other choice… I had a hankering for Sire that just wouldn’t quit!” Anastasia purred like a self satisfied kitty. “Gnarl toothed bastard thought of me as nothing but eye candy,” she spat out angrily, “his Muse he said, but really he just wanted to suck my creativity out of me like he had my blood,” she growled, eyes flashing with a dark, self righteous menace. Then she laughed and mimed picking

something out of her teeth with a long nail, “in the end, he’s dust and I am stronger for it.” Then she tossed her head and said, “orphans, eh? That should make you Oliver… I could be your… Molly… was that her name???” She offered trying to remember something from her youth. Then she shrugged and said, “that’s my hope. Find the right Pack then serve as its Priest…”

⋠Cian⋡ gives her a confused look. “The fuck…who the hell is Oliver and why is he on molly? You sure you’re not a Mal-krazy-an?” He laughs and shakes his head. “Nah, you make too much sense. Sorta. So you ate the fucker huh? That’s pretty legit. Me, I like Jimmy. I mean, sure, they kidnapped me, took me out to the woods, hunted me, and carved my face up with a

rusty scalpel after I shot them a few times but…him Sara and Eliza are cool.” He winds around another corner and points to a door. “That’s where we stay. I call it the Orphanage. So you wanna be a Priest huh? Right on. I’ve been reading up on the rites and shit myself. Not much else to do usually. Seems interesting.” He scratches at one of his scars and looks around. “Especially

the creation rite. I’ve been wondering about mine. If something went wrong or if maybe I was part of some experiment? I turned out a lot fucking weirder than Jimmy expected.”

Anastasia laughs and ruffles Her fingertips over Cian’s head, “we’re going to get along famously. I was referring to the musical Oliver, the one about the Orphanage and hunger and a pack of thieves all in love with this girl… anywho, doesn’t really matter,” she says with a genuine smile, the kind that makes her eyes sparkle. “Oh, my Sire was a Cammie fool, had to go so I deaded him. Story done. Wow,

interesting… wonder if he was choking you as he sucked you dead…” Anastasia muses then nods, “the Rites and the fight against those manipulative fuckwads the antediluvians… priceless.”

φCadeφ rolls his eyes as she rubs his head but seems more amused than anything. He manages to keep up with her rant fairly well, he did live with a Malkavian after all. “Haha could be. Antol think I got some fae in me like he does. Dunno about that. Not sure how the fuck that makes me seed ghosts and have weird ass gargoyle powers or whatever the fuck but…the

hell if I know, right? But yeah,” He bobs his head as they walk. “I’m with you on that. Fuck those ancient cockwads. I didn’t die and come back just so some sleeping asshole from a billion years ago could pull my strings and then wake up and eat me some night.”

Anastasia nods, mostly understanding Cian and filing away his creation rite story for future investigation. “I hated being a tool and love being the sword at those bastard’s throats,” she admits fiercely. “This Hunt is a beginning… I’m sure those T-bagging wizards are up to this to the base of their fangs, accident my ass.”

⋠Cian⋡ snorts and nods his head. “Yeah I wouldn’t be all that surprised from everything I’ve read. Still though…Zaluut doesn’t like the fuckers much so…if he is giving them the benefit of the doubt then maybe they really didn’t do it.” He shrugs and looks around. “I get the feeling there’s some sort of truce or some shit between us and them around here. Dunno

for sure though, I’m pretty fresh out the grave so they don’t tell me much but, just the way some of them talk, the questions they ask. I dunno.” He holds up a hand before she can reply. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they ‘like’ them or some fucking shit like that. Just that there has to be a reason we aren’t making an effort to kick them out of New Orleans. Seems like we

got the numbers.”

Arlekina sighs and says, “Tremere are the ultimate puppets, so many strings on em so tightly wound. I will obey the orders we’re given but by the time the dust settles, I’m sure we’ll learn they aren’t as innocent as they claim.” She stretches and says, “where’s a good place to crash during the day? Even dead, a girl needs her beauty sleep… and mmmmmmm a Blood Bath….L

φCadeφ laughs and pats her shoulder. “Sorry but no amount of beauty sleep will make you as sexy as I am.” He looks around and points at one of the doors. “Nobody is using that room if you wanna crash there. Pretty much all the rooms have boards and shit over the windows so as long as it ain’t been claimed it should be fine. If you want someone to bullshit with

while you wait for sunup I can probably talk Eliza into letting you crash at the Orphanage for a night. Wouldn’t be the first time.” He shrugs noncommittally. “Either way no skin off my ass.”

Anastasia laughs with him and pretends to nip at the hand he pats her shoulder with, but if he’s being careless her fangs may draw blood. “Perish the thought, blue is the new black after all,” she teases then nods and says, “I’ll set down for the night there. I go to dream land wearing no more then what I did when I came into the world,” she explains then waves good-day as she goes to open the door.

“Stay beautiful, C-boi,” she says as a farewell.

⋠Cian⋡ waves “Will do. A-hole.” He winks and laughs. “Had to. I’ll think of a better one. Later nights.” He he heads off towards the Orphanage and fades from view.