ͼConradͽ sits in his room, cleaning both his sword and his pistol. Tonight was to be the first, and hopefully last, night they would spend hunting down the creature that has been testing the Chantry’s wards. Unsure of what to expect, Conrad has been doing his best to prepare for any eventuality. The Wards on his sword have been triple checked, though he wishes he had more

that he could put on it, the weapons cleaned, and he has rundown the list of rituals he needs to complete before the hunt begins. He sighs and cleans the excess oil from his blade before setting it on his lap and centering himself to begin a ritual to set it aflame. He may not have a Ward attuned to this beast, but the Burning Blade ritual was a fairly good catch all. Before the casting

begins he looks over at his picture of Elena and gives her a sad smile. “Wish me luck, my love.”

ͼConradͽ holds the blade in front of him once the ritual is complete, watching the eerie green flames dance over the steel. The light it cast about the room had a haunting beauty to it, and Conrad almost loses track of time watching. He shakes himself out of it, however, and goes back to his preparations, mentally noting that he wished the Tremere had spent more time developing

rituals that focused on personal protection.

ͼConradͽ sits at his desk and drums his fingers. There was really not much else he could do to prepare at this point. Warding some ammunition would take far too long, and even if he had the time Conrad honestly wasn’t sure if any of his Wards would actually affect the creature. He hoped that a Ward versus Kindred would prove effective, given that it was supposedly possessing

a Tremere, but there was no way to be sure until the moment of truth. He wishes he had the time and mastery needed to learn and use Ward versus Spirits. The two of them combined would almost assuredly work. “No use crying over spilled blood. All there is to do now is clear my mind and wait.”

<Storyteller> A darkness sweeps over the entire group, sound and light cease to exist for a moment. When it slowly starts to return, something is terribly wrong. This is not the forest. This is NOT where you were. This is someplace very bad. The walls are black and seem to absorb light, yet there is a faint ambience in the air that is enough to dimly see by.

Kayn, in his massively tall crinos form extends his arm towards the ceiling if any, to explore and test the new surroundings.. While he isn’t happy, by his ears against his head he isn’t panicking either. Even so he crouches low relative the form, sniffing the air and yellowed eyes constantly moving

<Fiona> is now back to human, staring at her hands before snarling, looking more pissed than she normally is. Anyone close by should give her a little space.

■► Cassian ◄■ looks around, trying to determine exactly where he was, or what plane of reality he was in at this point. He raised auspex, heightened senses. Glancing about, there were a few people still present, but many were now gone from view.

<<Vaclava>> looks around, heightening her senses and using auspex.

■► Cassian ◄■ is not here.

~*Ramirez*~ blinks and then spins around, peering out in all directions. “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. He’d reach out trying to feel the umbra..the shadowlands.. but nothing was able to be reached. There’d be no side-stepping from this. Wherever he was, it was deadlocked and what of the group was here, he took accounting for. The creature was smart to

divide them up and now the hunters were the hunted, in some game. He took out his pistol and took the safety off.

<Fiona> “No fucking shit, cowboy.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I’m Mexican, stupid ass.”

Kayn looks down to those beside him, chuffing once at their bickering, followed by a low growl.

<Fiona> “What the fuck ever. There’s Mexican cowboys too.”

<Storyteller> As the room starts to come into focus, there does not seem to be a door, but a single hatch 25 feet up on the ceiling. There is not much space in the room, and everyone is a bit crowded.

<<Vaclava>> “It seems as ifv not efveryone has seen the vWizard ofv Oz, Ramirez…”she murmurs as she stares upward at the hatch.

~*Ramirez*~ looks up at the hatch. “Guess not. So..who like wants to fly up there and get a rope or something?” Looks around to see if anything is in the room that could actually be useful for climbing.

<Fiona> “If I could fucking fly up there, I would.”

Kayn reaches.. perhaps half the distance to it with arms outstretched, lupine head peering up curiously

He snorts, testing the material of the walls with a clawed hand

~*Ramirez*~ “If you have any use besides stupid commentary, keep us posted.”

<Fiona> “Whatever the fuck brought us here turned me back into a human from my bear form, and I can’t seem to shift into an eagler.”

(eagle*)

~*Ramirez*~ checks the wall to see how sturdy it is for climbing.

<<Vaclava>> just quiets her mind and listens. celerity is probably not getting her out of this one so far.

A voice whispers to Fiona, “What was given has been taken away.”

<Fiona> looks around. “Who the fuck said that?”

<Fiona> “If that was you, dumbshit, I’m gonna kick your fucking ass so hard, your mother won’t recognize you.”

Kayn gently, gently nudges Ramirez aside with one massive clawed hand before sinking the hand hard into the wall, the other in the opposite wall of the small room. Pulling down he is satisfied it will hold when pushing against both, large corded muscles straining under the thick coat of mottled fur to pull up and use his likewise clawed feet to assist his ascent, soon making it all the way up to the hatch and pushing at

it with one hand.

Everyone else is possibly nudged aside as well as the large wolf tries to climb at first

<Fiona> eyes the wolf-man-thing.

~*Ramirez*~ moved to avoid being unnecessarily in the way.

<Fiona> would attempt to climb as well, digging her fingers into the wall and muttering about how she wished she had her fucking claws.

<Storyteller> The Hatch door starts to spin, and it looks nearly compical as the werewolf tosses his weight one way then the other trying to spin the hatch open.

Kayn huffs! Alternating between hands to spin this horrid hatch. Who designs hatches like this! Must be a demon

~*Ramirez*~ “This is kind of amusing.. ” The werewolf looked rather comical so best to look at something from a positive point of view.

And he switches, and switches. Does it ever end

A radian at a time is bad juju

<Fiona> begins to climb, fingers leaving marks in the wall.

<Storyteller> The hatch opens, it is barely big enough for one person at a time to squeeze through. Kayn might he a little wide in that form.

<Fiona> continues climbing, and would reach the hatch after a bit, eyeing the wolfmanthing. “You or me? And don’t fucking say ladies first. I -will- punch you.”

Grasping the top of the lid he hold the other hand out for Fiona, hauling her up if she lets him to get through the hatch. He says nothing, only chuffs.

<<Vaclava>> claps her hands “Oh bravo!”

When she is through, Kayn shimmies his way back down, looking down to Vaclava and Ramirez then back up, indicating with his hands for one or the other to hold onto him, gauging their reaction.

<Fiona> goes through, giving him a terse nod before looking around.

<Storyteller> As each person makes it out of the hole, they start to notce the landscape around them is gray and flat. The fog seems to go on forever though, and limits vision to about ten feet.

He mutters something in a strange language, voice deep and inhuman, waiting

<Fiona> eyes the area warily, clenching her fists.

~*Ramirez*~ would accept the assistance up and then dust off and look around the area, trying to see if it was somewhere in the shadowlands, umbra.. if there was any telling where they were.

After Ramirez (hopefully) is up, he comes back down again for Vaclava, getting her up and out of the dark place and following behind last, shifting to glabro while his hand clasps the lid. It’s likely still a tight fit, but he gets through. Voice now deep and gutteral, he can at least speak, dusting off. “I’m gonna be sore after that.. Any ideas where we are?”

<<Vaclava>> smiles at kayn “Thank you, my dear.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Trying to get my bearings.”

Kayn nods to Vaclava, giving a small but genuine smile despite the situation. “Ain’t no thing.. Kayn.” He gives her his name before looking around himself, not the time for a lot of chit chat sadly

<<Vaclava>> nods in return “Vaclava.”

<Fiona> eyes the others before returning to looking around, her single eye studying the area.

<Storyteller> The fog seems to absorb any light or sound that reaches it, but it seems to move with the group so that it’s always about 10 feet away from them.

<Storyteller> Ramirez notices a lot of similar features to his visit to the Shadowlands before.

~*Ramirez*~ “It might be somewhere in well, the weird part of the shadowlands. It’s kinda like that anyway. We should watch out for some big serpent.. and well, if we are in the shadowlands, maybe we can find the path we should be on. This fog though is making it hard to see much.”

<<Vaclava>> murmurs “Vwhen eyes vfail, use your ears.”

Kayn glances towards Vaclava and nods lighty. “I’m a terrible tracker, but I will see what I can smell and hear in lupus.”

Kayn tries… tries to shift down to lupus but something goes wrong, leaving him still in glabro seeming a little confused. He sighs. “Might start walking?”

<<Vaclava>> “DOn’t people tie things to one another in case they lose sight in the vfog?”

<Fiona> “Not like we can do much else. And do you have that fucking disease from House?”

<<Vaclava>> “Ofv course, it vwould help ifv I had brought something to tie vwith…”

<<Vaclava>> looks at fiona confused “Disease? Vfrom vwhat house?”

“What’s a fucking disease? You mean an STD?” Kayn glances towards Fiona, grinning wryly

<Fiona> just stares at Vaclava. “Go watch some TV, and you, shut the fuck up.”

<Fiona> points at Kayn.

“How blissful silence would be.” He mutters, looking around once more

The man starts walking forward, musculature shifting once more as he falls forward onto four paws, a wolf of the same fur pattern as his crinos form now there. He sniffs at the ground and keeps his ears perked, listening in the eerie fog

<<Vaclava>> blinks and shakes her head and says lightly with dry humor “Tee fVee?”

~*Ramirez*~ stops and would close his eyes, reaching out. “Going to try something…”

<Fiona> eyes her.

<<Vaclava>> looks perfectly innocent, busy listening and staying near the others

~*Ramirez*~ tries to move out some of the fog with Entropy so they can see more around them and try to find a more clear destination to go to or some clues as to the whereabouts of the others.

Kayn sniffs at the ground, following along

<Fiona> mutters, beginning to walk after the wolf.

~*Ramirez*~ “We need to find a path.. That’s what Hollow would have done. If we are in the shadowlands, we’re somewhere really deep but there must be some path somewhere to find.. road.”

<Storyteller> Kayn doesn’t detect anything outside of the 10 feet. In fact, he finds as he walks around a bit that even his own scent is erased once the fog has spread over it. Ramirez can see patterns in the fog, eddies and currents so it must be moving, drifting.

Kayn looks back to Ramirez before continuing, keeping his words in mind.. He is thoroughly disappointed at scents being erased, changing back up to homid upon the discovery.

“..No spirits roaming these lands, scent even is erased quickly.” He sighs some. “I’m afraid I’m not much use right now death mage.”

~*Ramirez*~ “The fog moves.. it has currents. Maybe if we follow the currents we can find something, or go against them.”

“What realm is this?.. I’ll follow your judgementm”

<Fiona> “How the fuck should we know?”

~*Ramirez*~ “I think we are somewhere deep in the shadowlands, pretty sure, but it’s way past the civilization areas. We need to find something of a path and until we do, we’re in literal no man’s land… with likely whatever wants us here.”

~*Ramirez*~ starts moving in a direction following the flow of the currents.

“Lets.. follow the currents. If its not his realm specifically..”

~*Ramirez*~ also tries to sense outward, using entropy, spirit and life to see if anything would lend a hand to finding their way, as he kept his entropic connection to having some control over the fog.

<Fiona> “The fucking what now?” She follows them nonetheless.

“Umbral realm.”

<Fiona> looks blank.

<<Vaclava>> shrugs “No idea vwhat he’s talking about but he is more ofv an expert than I. I trust Ramirez.”