<Sascha> watches warily as the trees close in behind them on the path and sighs. “It was the right thing to do. I was not about to let so many of the Sword be lost to that thing if there was anything I could do to assist.”

Anastasia nodded, in total understanding. “It took us to a place where for a large part, our powers matter for little and our senses were utterly bewildered. The Demon we are up against is ancient… and was fueled by our presence… and the power of an Angel…” she shares, looking to Sascha to see if her words are news or known things to her.

<Sascha> nods softly, “It has been brought to my attention. In fact I was asked to assist on the matter because my Faith may be helpful in restoring it as it seems a rare trait nowadays.”

Anastasia chuckles and smiles lopsidedly, “few of us had faith in life… death did nothing to engender it. That night though… made me QUITE the believer… Pardon the question but how much can be expected of you, and the angels? I feel it matters greatly that the rest of us find some way to join in this fight to powerful effect.”

<Sascha> shrugs slightly, watching the storm for a moment before responding. “I do not know, but I will do what I can. It may seem strange to you as I do not know the Path 689*7yo+u

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<Sascha> watches warily as the trees close in behind them on the path and sighs. “It was the right thing to do. I was not about to let so many of the Sword be lost to that thing if there was anything I could do to assist.”

<Sascha> shrugs slightly, watching the storm for a moment before responding. “I do not know, but I will do what I can. It may seem strange to you as I do not know the Path you follow, but mine is one of redemption. God made us what we are for a reason, a second chance if you will.”

Anastasia thinks about that and hmms as she muses, “In many ways what happened could lead me to doubt my path, but in the end I have to believe that there is a way for me to make a difference, do something real in all this, or why not greet the sun?”

<Sascha> shakes her head. “There is enlightenment in many paths. Even mine is split into multiple ways of walking it. And I have studied many of the Paths wich are common and some uncommon with the Sword’s members. But if you ever feel as if you need guidence you can seek me out and I will help.”

Anastasia seems heartened by the offer as she mutters self depreciatingly, “you would think my death, then clawing my way out of a second grave would have taught me there is more to heaven and earth then I’d ever dreamt but still, I was deeply shaken.” She smiles a tight lipped, resolute smile as she adds, “but I will put the pieces together, begin again again, and do appreciate your offer, Sascha. I would not

ignore wise council when offered.”

<Sascha> smiles warmly, “Glad to hear it. So tell me a bit about yourself. Where are you from, you have any special skills? I know the local Packs as well and we could see where you’d fit in well. I am hoping that perhaps Valuderie will calm Zaluut down a bit in fact.”

Anastasia chuckles and says, “originally, Boston… in life and death. My Sire, dead by my hand, was a Camarilla Toreador taken by the beauty of my voice and body.” She dropped her voice and put a razor sharp edge in it as she went on to say, “I taught him I was so much more then he imagined after I crawled out of my second grave in New York City, returned to him and feasted upon his vitae,” she admits with some

pride. Then in a casual tone she says, “I have a bit of practice at playing the spy… life and death taught me the power that comes from being able to become what others think they see and ‘little more.’ But if I were to be honest, I find the devotion of the Sword of Caine to be my true calling. I agrees a Valuderie could be exactly what’s needed by Zaluut and the rest of us.”

<Sascha> nods approvingly, “We are not disimilar in that. I was embraced in New Orleans by an ‘Independant Tzimisce’, but I had been talking with a few of the Sword in town when the city was contested and I felt that the ideals of that appealed to me far more than what the Camarilla was. So I joined up with the Pack that was ingrained there at the time and underwent Ritae. Later

on, I also sought out my Sire, who was useless except to strengthen my own blood.”

Anastasia was pleased to have found in Sascha a kindred spirit, and chuckled when she named the best use for a progenitor. “I will admit, I’ve spent too long traveling my path alone. My original pack was not worth much, I was the only survivor from our attack on Boston. Since then I’ve found that my wits are my best companion, but I am eager to find those who I can walk shoulder to shoulder with, ready to enjoy our

freedom and trials together.”

<Sascha> nods and examines the path carefully as she walks, senses heightened in case of more trouble. “Well, there are eight Packs that share Baton Rouge, though two are partly nomadic. The Watchers, which is Zaluut’s Pack. I am a member of the Angels, though often mky work specifically means I am not there all the time. The Orphans are children, but not to be underestimated.

The Feral Hearts are all women and a strong Pack but perhaps a little on the rustic side. The Wardens… some would say they are a cursed Pack, as many of the number have fallen into a strange slumber since their creation. The Weeping Angels are led by Kitt and Talwar, they are quite a capable group and stealthy. Nox Aegis is a band that travels about, even through Camarilla cities,

their Priest is Antol, a Kaisyd. And Wicked Carnival is Dragos’s project but as of yet I do not believe they have a Priest officially.”

Anastasia, likewise, keeps her heightened senses peeled for signs of danger even as she listens to Sascha’s rundown on the local packs. “I relish the chance to meet them all, most especially if there are packs who could use a priest,” she muses and asks, “are there plans for calling all the packs in in light of the threat we face?”

<Sascha> looks thoughtful on that before responding. “That… would be up to the Arch Bishop. Athena is known for two things… her beauty and her temper. And she is not thrilled that I have stepped over her on this matter already.”, she winces, if only slightly. “She believes that the Demon should be the Camarilla’s problem. I respectfully disagree.”

Anastasia shakes her head ‘no’ as she says, “the Demon does not share such a mindset, as it showed no such discrimination when it came to who to draw into its web. It’s designs have nothing to do with the divisions we make amongst ourselves, be we Vampires, Mages, Werewolves or something else.”

<Sascha> nods in agreement. “Oh I agree. And on this matter it infuriates Athena that while I am still a part of the Sword, my duties are greater than that. I am a demon hunter for the Inquisition, frankly. That is why I am in New Orleans so much.”

Anastasia leans in a little bit, clearly more then casually interested in all you share. “I have only heard the campfire stories of Demon hunting, I feel I would benefit from a real education in what it is to fight demons, as I seem to be in the sights of one.”

<Sascha> nods. “I have some text on the subject if you like, as well as experience. I would be happy to assist in that study if that is what you really desire.”

Anastasia smiles gratefully at Sascha. “I would appreciate both the reading materials and any more… hands on techniques and practical knowledge you might chose to share,” she says then sighs. “What an unlife, eh? Demons and politics and loss, oh my.”

<Sascha> smirks a bit and nods, oddly as they get closer to Zaluut’s the freckles on her face seem to fade off, barely noticeable until they are gone completely. “I am afraid many of my hands on approaches involve a lot of nightly prayer and an understanding of the relationship we have with God.”

Anastasia pauses for a beat, realizing that that makes sense as a practical approach against their enemy and doubt colors thoughts. “Understandable… but perhaps beyond me,” she murmurs pensively. She notes the change in Sascha’s visage and says softly, “has it been that bad. No use delaying the inevitable…”

[Obfuscated] Cian meanders back towards Zaluut’s clearing, the blood of a pair of hunters still hot in his belly. He takes his time, enjoying the respite from Zaluut’s foul mood. He remains obfuscated on the off chance that other hunters or hikers are around and might spot him. He really didn’t want to give the old Tzimisce a reason to turn his ire towards himself.

<Sascha> pauses just outside of the house. “We should talk more when you are at the Asylum again. If i am there I am usually at the Chapel. If you go to the building directly behind there, there is a woman named Atanya, she can lend you the books i keep there. I will make sure she knows you have my permission.”

Anastasia smiles brightly at Sascha and nods her head. “I do appreciate that very much. I will tend to my studies to be prepared for the next challenge we face.” The she turns and waves saying, “hello Cian, miss me?”

⋠Cian⋡ drops out of Obfuscate as he crosses the threshold into the clearing, snapping his fingers. “Damn. I expected Sascha to see me, but you too? Fuck. I gotta practice more. Fair warning, Zaluut is still pissed.” He grins at Anastasia, his eyebrow cocked in a question. “Yeah, I guess you could say that. The fuck you been up to?” His head swivels to Sashca and he dips

it slightly.

<Sascha> winces as there is a large crack of thunder overhead. “Yeah, I can tell he’s still upset. Everyone for miles can tell he’s upset.”

⋠Cian⋡ rolls his eyes and nods. “Yeah I’ve been focusing on not getting fucking electrocuted. Or eaten by the furniture. Or the fucking trees. Both seem pissed. Trying to do what I can to keep the old man out of frenzy. Staying quiet, doing some chores or what the hell ever. Not sure how much it is helping but it keeps me in my unlife at least.”

Anastasia winked at Cian and said, “mostly I was getting them used to seeing me in the most useful light while learning as much as I could about our Demon foe, its history and who is also in its sights.” She twitched at the crack of thunder then said, “we need to help him out of his rage and remind him who stands with him now.”

<Sascha> takes a step away from the door. “Well, you two have fun with that and good luck. I will not be joining you as in this state, with both of us being Tzimisce our territorial natures could be… unhealthy.”

⋠Cian⋡ nods, sighing a bit. “Yeah, that makes sense. Probably best to leave him be for a bit though. He was building up to one fuck of an outburst when I left to hunt and I haven’t heard one big enough to qualify yet so…probably still coming.”

Anastasia chuckles and teases Sascha, “you’re always Free to show him you’d make a better bishop…” but REALLY means nothing by the jest. She shakes her head at Cian’s display of cowardice and decides to take the bull by the horns. Without hesitation, she goes to Zaluut’s door and knocks upon it boldly saying, “One of your Swords would have an audience with her Bishop. May she enter?”

<Sascha> nods and starts to head back. “Funny, luckily he knows i am not the slightest bit interested in involving myself in the Sword’s politics. You all take care.”

⋠Cian⋡ winces a bit and shakes his head then leans against the house next to the door. “Well so much for that. He’s the one sent me out so that he could be alone for a few but, too late now.” He grins, shaking his head, then nods to Sascha. “You too.” As she walks away he looks off into the woods, a deep frown on his face. “Find anything out about what the fuck happened

from those wizard dudes?”

The door opens of its own accord, though there seems to be some sound coming from the study as muic plays in the background. The whole mood of the house is different, as if the house were a reflection of his emotion as well. The walls feel tighter, the lights are dimmer, and there is just a tension that hangs in the air.

Anastasia boldly steps into the house, walking the middle path through the hall, seeking the heart of the home and its master. She says nothing, giving Cian a little wave, beckoning for him to follow her as she goes to meet Zaluut, no matter what mood he should be in.

⋠Cian⋡ shrugs and follows her in, his eyes gleaming in the dim light. “Watch the furniture. It’s been growly lately.”

Zaluut is nowhere to be found for the time being, though the house still responds to the pair as if they were guests, if a bit agitated. Candles light halls as they enter, and the fireplace comes to life in the study, warming it for them. The Master of the House however, seems to be requiring his privacy for the moment.

⋠Cian⋡ shrugs and walks over to one of the chairs, returning its growl with a low one of his own as he sits. “Guess he ain’t in the mood for company. Been like that a lot the past few nights.”

Anastasia frowns when the Master of the House denies her request for an audience. She nods at Cian, and takes his warning to heart. As they travel through the house, she looks for her belongings. Her pack is small and light but holds her most prized possessions. She draws out a magnificent gold goblet and a black obsidian knife. After placing the cup on a nearby table she holds her hand over the cup and slices into it,

then offers Cian the knife next. “Zaluut, I have no right to demand this of you, but I ask you lead us in a Vaulderie when you deem the time right,” she says firmly, respectfully and resolutely.

⋠Cian⋡ eyes the cup with what appears to be a sense of longing then shakes his head. “I can’t. I’m not True Sabbat yet. I can drink, but I cannot add my blood.” He sighs, then shakes his shoulders to chase away the moment of melancholy.

There is a distinct sound of a door slamming from upstairs, and though no footsteps follow, Zaluut seems to come down the corridor as if gliding. He is wearing an old suit of armor, and though his hands are exposed they are covered in thorny scales. His face looks older than usual, his ears pointed and feral, hair dark and bloodstained.

Anastasia nods at Cian, shooting him an approving look as he displays honor by acknowledging his status in the Sword of Caine. She prepares to lay the knife across the top of the goblet so that Zaluut can take it up when he chooses to. Her head bowed, she takes a step back from the table and the goblet and waits in reverent silence. Her head snaps around when she hears the door slam open to reveal Zaluut in his

anachronistic garb and dreadful countenance. She lowers her head further, paying him her obeisance and all due defference.

⋠Cian⋡ looks up at Zaluut and mutters under his breath. “Ah shit.” He stands from his chair quietly, studying Zaluut’s appearance with interest but making sure not to make too much eye contact, not wanting to aggravate the old Fiend any further.

<Zaluut> looks between the pair of them and they both remember having a Vaulderie ceremony in the study, properly. Both also feel a little light on vitae but don’t really remember much after the ceremony except that Zaluut did not speak much and then left to rest well before the dawn, with his apologies for not being properly hospitable to his guests.

⋠Cian⋡ sits back down upon the couch and looks over at Anatastasia, his green eyes gleaming in the firelight. He stares at her for what feels like a long moment, processing the heady rush of emotions that accompanies the fresh Vinculum. “Right…that went better than I expected. Seems like you had a good instinct there. Vaulderie calmed him a bit. I’ve been trying to stay

the fuck out of his way cause…well…I kind of annoy the shit out of him.”

Anastasia can’t take her eyes off Zaluut when he leaves them, feeling closer to him then ever. She feels more centered and grounded, at peace for the first time since she came to town. “Remember, our Freedom is purchased by our bravery. We must be willing to risk all for the things that matter the most to us,” she says with a hand smirk on her lips. “You annoy him because you haven’t yet really cut your fangs

and still have a puppyish air, not a Sword’s keen edge,” She purrs to Cian.

⋠Cian⋡ frowns and scratches first his ear and then the scars on his face. “Makes sense I guess. I mean…I’ve killed motherfuckers before but not like…directly, ya know? Not facing someone down and beating their ass or whatever. One dude I burned his house down while he slept, the other I cut the brake line on his bike. Well and there was the dude when I crawled out the

dirt. But I was frenzied during that. And the kid was an accident. A stupid fucking decision on my part, but the dying thing was an accident. I was really fucking hoping that I’d get a chance to show that I am worth a shit with this monster hunt. Instead I just climbed a wall and wandered through some goddamn fog.” He sighs and shakes his head, staring into the fire. “All I want is to

be the best monster I can be. An apex predator.”

Anastasia smile gets feral and she rises from her seat. “Monsters must eat… let’s hunt… start there, do it with some style, your style, as you let the Beast loose from its cage,” she says in a dangerous tones.

⋠Cian⋡ grins and rises. “Well…I already ate but…I’ll still come. We can hunt as a pair and you can have my share. This time.” The firelight flares off of his eyes, giving them an eerie, predatory gleam. “Besides, since I don’t need the meal right now I can take my time and really make them piss themselves with fear before I finally make a move.” His sentence ends with

a low growl. Though his Beast is satiated by the recent meal, the deeply disturbed boy loves the rush of power after a lifetime of feeling powerless.

Anastasia nods and sweeps out of Zaluut’s home, heading to the darker side of Baton Rouge in search of sustenance and amusement. “What’s your target of choice?” She asks Cooley

⋠Cian⋡ frowns, licking his lips. “Pretty sure there are some campers out there. I smelled a campfire when I was out eating those hunters. I think I can find my way back there.”

Anastasia chuckles and says, “how well did you clean up after your hunt? Your meal probably had a car…” she muses, “let’s check.”

⋠Cian⋡ chuckles, shrugging. “Well I try not to kill motherfuckers that don’t deserve it if I can help it, and I didn’t know the fuckers so I snuck up on one, took some, and pushed him out of the tree so he would wake up thinking he just had a fall and blacked out. The other guy was asleep in a pile of leaves so…I just left him there. I’m sure they have a car but I have

no idea where, and they smelled like deer so I can’t really follow their scents. But we can try, I remember where I left them. Might be…I don’t fucking know…tracks or some shit.”