The Magus Killers

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The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:28 pm

In some dark place, a mother screamed and bled. Her plump belly pulsed and she lied on her back with pale legs open, upon a stone altar, clad in a ruffled white dress.

Then a baby cried loudly.

The mother was silent. Black cloaks surrounded the little bloodied creature now, taking it in their gaunt hands, and holding it upward toward the cosmos. “O, Great Ones,” a raspy voice sang, “hear our prayers, accept this offering.”

They dropped the child into a fire and its piercing screams seemed only to get shriller as its flesh burned away. A wrinkled, fire-blackened set of tiny bones remained after some time. The mother was still silent; the blood had stained her white dress and oozed along the edges of the stone altar. She was breathing softly, her thin body trembling in pain and fear and where was her baby? Eyes closed now, she let her head fall gently. Eyes open, the sky was above her, night sky, and twinkling infinite stars. So vast and dark was the seamless world above, making all in mortal existence seem incomplete and superficial.

“O, Great Ones, wherever thou art, hear our prayers…”

The night went on. The men in black stood chanting. The woman in the bloodstained dress felt life flowing out of her as it had for so many before her. She glanced down at the crimson, bright in moonlight and aweful. How blessed humans are to have such things within them. Was this death? Her womb had been blessed with child, with life, and now death? How soft and beautiful, like sweet music, was the call of darkness. Dim lights grew dimmer. Her lights fading, she closed her eyes again, and wished for something to happen.

She died and her body sat cold as the stone it laid upon. The red on her dress grew dark and ugly. The world was silent. The call was gone. No one had answered, because no one knew how.

* * *


Word of a transfer from Germany circled around the agency. No one knew much about him, other than that it was Leon Winters's son, which was enough to make him a person of interest.

Edward Darcy, a highly respected mage and manager of the American branch, sat at his desk, thumbing through Siegfried's file. "An impressive résumé, Winters," he said, glancing up at the boy, "there are, however, some details missing from your file..."

Darcy closed the folder and reclined in his chair. He habitually ran his fingers along the edge of his thick moustache, then set his hands in his lap. "Your partner, Caldean... can you explain that to me?"
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:36 pm

Siegfried inhaled deeply. His black coat was off of his shoulders, and he had it folded over his forearm which was crossed over his chest. The purple eyes he had built a reputation around closed as he collected his thoughts.

"The Surgeon took him," Sieg explained. "It was a hectic battle with the bird and Marion Kehl, which led to Calin Caldean's death." The young mage's tone grew sullen as he discussed his late best friend.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:09 pm

"I see." Darcy studied Sieg briefly. This was a young man whose surname alone carried a wealth of connections, if he had encountered such infamous mages and there was no mention of it in his file, it was best not to pry.

The old man set the folder aside. After smoothing his moustache again, he itched his balding head and went on: "You've been assigned a new partner: Culasso. He should return from his current assignment shortly. I've already briefed him on your investigation, so he can give you the details." He sipped from his coffee mug--the old man was seldom seen without it. "You're dismissed."

Before Sieg left, Darcy added, "Your father did a lot for The Association. I expect big things from you, Winters."


Last edited by Debonaire on Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:27 pm

"I expect to thrive," Sieg responded as he turned around to face the doors of Darcy's office. As he put on the coat over his tailored suit, he fixed his ponytail to hang slightly over his shoulder.

The American atmosphere was much more relaxing than the harsh German branch had been. As he looked around, he saw a few women in dresses instead of suits. A few men were even wearing no ties or vests. This was most definitely a shock to the young mage.

Siegfried made his way to the large dining room to get himself a drink and possibly better acquaint himself with his new coworkers. It almost felt like he had a normal nine-to-five, just with more murder.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:22 pm

It was a bit after lunch, and most had left the dining hall, though some mages lingered. Sparse, smallish clusters of people could be seen around the room. Moments after Siegfried had arrived in the dining hall, many exchanges glances and soft whispers.

A young, blonde-haired man seated toward the center of the room waved Sieg over to his table. He was thin with a roundish face and couldn't have been more than a few years older than Sieg. No tie, no jacket, merely a brown vest and a wrinkled white button-down.  

Two others sat with him: an overweight, hair-speckled man and a pale woman with porcelain features. Both were clad in full suits, though the fat man wore no tie and his shirt was unbuttoned a bit to accommodate his drooping chin.

The trio looked at Sieg.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:31 pm

Siegfried looked over at the Americans, and grabbed his bottle of water. He gave them a smile before walking over to them.

"Siegfried Winters, but I go by Sieg most of the time," the mage said as he sat down at the table. A quick twist was all it took to open his bottle of water, and he took a sip from it.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:43 pm

"We know who you are," the girl said nonchalantly, pinching her straw with a white, gloved hand and sipping from it. She had a dignified coldness in her demeanor; she wasn't quite unkind, but certainly not friendly.

The blonde guy laughed a bit and rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah, man, word got around that a Winters was transferring. I'm Daniel," he said, then gestured to his friends, "this is Viola and Pierre."

Pierre, who was still eating, greeted Sieg with an awkward nod of the head.

"You get assigned a partner yet?" Daniel leaned in.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:52 pm

"Culasso," Sieg replied after his long drink of water. He set the bottle down on the table and screwed the cap back on it.

The Winters looked between the three of them before laughing a bit. "Seriously, though, my family's not that important."
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:16 pm

"You've been paired with Culasso? That man scares me..." Pierre had paused between bites of food to express his alarm. His voice was soft and he used it shyly.

"Guy's a bit of an asshole, yeah." Daniel laughed a bit, shaking his head slowly. "He'd pick a fight with the sky if he didn't like its shade of blue."

Viola didn't make a contribution, as if determined to assert her indifference to both Winters and Culasso. She remained silent with a faint, cat-like smile creasing her lips.

Daniel kept talking. "I've just heard a lot about your old man is all. We won't treat you different, but some of the people around here might."
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:27 pm

"Heard that he's a swell guy or heard that he's a cheating bastard?" Siegfried asked Daniel. He adjusted the gloves in his blazer's pocket.

As Sieg moved his arms, the tail of the dragon tattoo he had inscribed into his left arm was seen a bit. The group couldn't make it out completely, but a few runes were visible.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:23 pm

Daniel stared at him for a second, momentarily stunned by the blunt nature of his reply. "The first one," said he and, before he could say anything else, Pierre noted the time: they had work to do. "Ah, shit. Yeah. I'll seeya around, new kid," Daniel said, then took his leave.

"It was nice to meet you, Siegfried Winters," Pierre said and extended his hand unnaturally for a handshake, as if he had only done so because at some point in his life he was told that doing so was polite. Afterward, he followed Daniel out of the dining hall.

Viola remained, in no hurry, for she hadn't finished her drink. With a coy smile, she glanced at Sieg only to show how unimpressed she was by his presence.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:22 am

"See you around. Nice to meet you, too," Sieg said with a smile at the guys before shaking Pierre's hand.

His purple eyes focused on Viola. He leaned forwards, resting his arms on the table. "You don't have anywhere to be?"
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:16 pm

Viola matched his gaze with bright blue irises, a porcelain face encircled in curly white locks.

She understood that, in this world, one's image was paramount, and thus dedicated her time to upholding it. Always seen strutting with elegance and solemnity, Viola knew that she had to hold the attention of as many eyes as possible and then make the heads attached bow in respect. Now, faced with this boy who, with only a surname, managed to inherit the high esteem from her peers that she so desperately desired, Viola was determined to assert her superiority.  

"If you're looking to make friends," she said coldly, "you'll have to look elsewhere. It's quite arrogant of you, in fact, to assume I'd rather speak about where I have to be than finish my drink in peace."
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:54 pm

Sieg raised his eyebrow curiously, flipping the pony tail behind his shoulder so that it just hung down his back.

He didn't quite understand the woman's attitude or tone she'd taken up with him. After all, he didn't think he'd been here long enough to make an enemy. It seemed like the more things changed from what he was used to, the more they stayed the same.

He raised his hands defensively. "The other two just seemed to be partners," he voiced his suspicion. "I was just kind of wondering where yours is."
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:20 pm

"I work alone," she retorted. Her tone had softened a bit; she was pleased by his apparent show of submission. On the subject of partners, she added: "Culasso is known to be a difficult man."

Viola finished her drink, then took out a small circular mirror from her pocket, gazing into it so that she could nudge stray hairs into place and ensure that her makeup looked pristine. Though having engaged in a short dialogue with Sieg, she made this gesture to reassert that she was only concerned with herself, and not him.

After tucking the portable mirror back into her jacket, she stood upright with nearly perfect posture, though it didn't disguise the fact that she was quite short. The girl was about 5'2, though if her ego had physically manifested itself, she'd be a behemoth.

Viola paced gracefully out of the dining hall without another word.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:26 pm

Sieg absorbed the information about Culasso, taking it into the image he'd built of up tall, dark, and handsome. He rubbed his chin slightly imagining the figure. It took him a second to break his train of thought and realize that Viola was leaving.

Her heavy footsteps and confident saunter were enough to demand respect. His eyes went down her back and to her feet. No heels, which he was impressed by. Most short mages he knew had been known to wear heels to seem more intimidated.

After the interaction in the dining hall, he was waiting on the balcony of the large building to overlook the forest surrounding it. An inconspicuous place for a mage's organization, and one he couldn't have picked better himself. He was mostly just killing spare time under the guise of waiting for Culasso.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:41 pm

From behind, Sieg would hear the muffled, gruff voice of Darcy shouting: "How many times do I have to tell you, Culasso?! Take that shit outside!"

A few moments later, a man stepped out onto the balcony with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. He was clad in a black trenchcoat that hung open over his inky suit. Tall, check. Dark, check. Handsome, check. He wore an impassive expression on his stubble-shadowed face and a piercing, vulturine gaze radiated from his brown eyes, as if examining wounded prey to calculate how quickly it would die and how best to swoop down and devour it.

Claude looked Siegfried up and down. "You're Winters," he said, a statement, not a question.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:51 pm

"And it seems like you're Culasso." Sieg turned around to look at him fully, and looked him up and down as well.

Tall, he'd expected. Dark, he'd expected. Handsome, he'd hoped. Looking like death? Not on the expectation list. His new partner looked rough and washed up. He wondered why someone like that would stay in the Association for so long.

"Siegfried Winters, to be more specific. You can call me Sieg," he said as he extended his hand to Culasso as a sign of good faith. He made eye contact with his new partner, having to look up lightly to do so.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:06 pm

"Claude," he said evenly, keeping the cigarette pinched between his lips.

The kid didn't look as impressive as his name suggested. This was the son of a genius mage? In any case, Claude wasn't a babysitter, and he wasn't thrilled to be saddled with the responsibility taking care of Sieg.

As Claude extended his hand, Sieg would notice a flame rune tattooed into his palm.

Though he was civil enough to allow Sieg the handshake, there was a distinct iciness about Claude. It was unlike Viola's in that there was no intention behind it; this man genuinely didn't like the world or people, and seemingly for good reason, for everything about him indicated that neither had treated him well.

Claude lowered his arm, walked past Sieg, and briefly pinched the tip of his cigarette between two fingers. A click was heard, like a spark. When he removed his fingers, smoke emitted from the cancerstick. He took a drag.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:31 pm

"So you use runes as well?" Siegfried asked, trying to make conversation. He leaned back on the railing of the balcony, resting his elbows on it.

The young mage seemed curious of the veteran's disposition. He wondered what kind of events that Claude Culasso had gone through to grizzle him so much. Then his thoughts turned to the grit that the more experienced mage must have after those experiences.

Conversely, Culasso could also be weak and as washed up as he looked. Time can tear a man apart as much as it can build him up. Sieg wondered if Culasso's appearance was evidence of him being a callus or a blister.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:44 pm

Claude exhaled smoke. "We're going to Innsmouth," said he, uninterested in smalltalk, "Small fishing town in Massachusetts. Isolated. Reported sightings of strange occurrences: strange lights in the ocean, unnatural storm-patterns. Women have gone missing." He let the cigarette fall, then he crushed it beneath his foot. "There's a file on my desk. We leave in the morning."

With that, Claude walked back inside.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:11 pm

Sieg blinked. He didn't know where Claude's desk was. After a defeated shake of his head, he decided he'd just ask Darcy about it.

Once in Claude's office, he looked around at it. Efficient with no personal effects minus an ash tray. Sieg found it rather boring. He picked up the sole file on Claude's desk, and began to flip through it.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:31 pm

* * *

Early the next morning, Claude and Sieg sat on a rusted bus; the train could only take them so far, for none stopped in Innsmouth.

A pale fog had settled over the region and the sky had disappeared behind a veil of grey clouds. Rolling hills and the salty scent of ocean breeze encompassed them. The distant shadows of structures faded into view, silhouetted by the haze, that in time revealed a dilapidated old fishing town that might as well have been composed of fish bones, for the crumbling buildings resembled skeletons. Its age was apparent, and it hadn't aged well.

Breaks squealed. Bus stopped. Doors opened.

Claude stepped onto the gravel road with his hands firmly tucked into his trenchcoat. He inhaled deeply through his nose, as if he were trying to pick up a scent of some kind, then stared down his surroundings. He scanned the area mechanically.

The town must have been semi-abandoned, for there was barely anyone in sight. A few curtains could be seen shifting in windows. A few doors creaked just barely open.

Claude lit a cigarette. This time, using his lighter, for it was clear they were already being watched.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Luner on Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:43 pm

Siegfried examined the area round the two of them. This town wasn't used to visitors, and didn't plan on being welcoming. He took what seemed like all black racing gloves out of his pockets.

Two little snaps were heard as he buttoned each glove closed around his hand. His purple eyes continued to move around the area as they walked.
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Re: The Magus Killers

Post by Debonaire on Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:36 pm

Claude stopped walking, then held up a hand for Sieg to do the same. Gesturing with his chin, he directed his partner's attention to what appeared to be a young man by the docks situated on a crate, a worker on his lunch break.

The boy couldn't have been a day over seventeen, and he was incredibly frail-looking with sunken features. He had, however, a cheerful and naive disposition that distinguished him from the standoffish, antisocial townsfolk.

Claude stayed a few steps behind Sieg, figuring that he'd let the young mage do the talking. It was a test of sorts, to better gauge the kid's capabilities as an investigator. There was more to the job, after all, than performing magic tricks.

The young worker looked between them, smiling. "Hiya, fellas," said he, "is there something I can do for ya?"
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