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All You Need Is Hate(IC)


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Freedom City Waterfront, October 28th, Sunday, 7.08 PM

The Order's instructions had been clear, and Blodeuwedd's execution of the instructions had been flawless. The smugglers' guards outside the warehouse had led the Welsh agent straight to their employers, who had led her to their employer, a corrupt official in the Freedom port Authority, who had led her(after resisting slightly more than her last informants) directly to the captain responsible for the latest shipment of contraband concealed amongst a shipment of iron from Wales destined for the industrial quarters of Freedom City. The Order had mentioned in passing that the smugglers had forced a minor air spirit into their service, apparently an ancestral friend of one of the UK-originating crew members. This had only been in the context of tactical threats to the agent, the message urging agent Blodeuwedd to evade it rather than engage, in the hopes that they could put a stop to the black market before it grew out of control.

From her vantage point, she could make out through the pouring rain ten dockmen overseeing the unloading of the large cargo crates from the Ton Llygad, the crane doing the unloading being operated by the crewman with the tie to the air spirit, the miserable creature sitting dully in the air above him, shimmering oddly in the light as the rain passed through it. The tarmac was slick, and the water poured off of the crates as they were swung leisurely through the air, the stiff wind whistling in from the sea and whipping the coats of the dockmen around them.

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Blodeuwedd crouched down cloak around her, rain pouring down. For most people it would be a horrible experience. But for some reason she was enjoying herself, her she was in her element doing exactly what she was trained to do. She could have probably stay up her all night watching the ship, but it was an imperative to find out exactly what they were up to, plus tomorrow was a school night.

Checking her cloak was still concealing her correcting, she fired off her grapple line and made her way down toward the ship to get a better look around.

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Out of the corner of one eye, Blodeuwedd might have caught a glimpse of a figure approaching up the gangplank of the ship. He was clad entirely in black, with a greatcoat done up to his throat and a peaked hood pulled up over his head. Normally, this might not have been out of the ordinary with a nefarious deal apparently going down...except it was more than likely the girl recognized those very particular runes covering parts of the coat. As well as that height and posture - if not the iron mask thrown into brief and sharp relief by the illumination of a lightning strike.

Morgan Crowe stalked onto the deck like he owned the place, and eyed the crates with a cold demeanor as he turned to the crewmen. His hands were in his pockets, out of view - and despite the pouring rain, it didn't look like he was suffering from an ounce of discomfort. Odd, but could easily be ascribed to 'bloody magery'.

No...what was tremendously odd...was that he wasn't trying to stop the men. In fact...it seemed as if he was surveying them. Like he was supposed to be there.

"Captain." The young man's voice was a cold rasp. "You're late."

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The knots of longshoremen and sailors talking amongst each other on the ship regarded the man in the coat with suspicion, a few of them drawing a little closer to each other as he passed by, hands clenching unseen weapons beneath their own windblown long coats and ponchos. Someone acting so confident, as if they belonged there and had no question in their mind about it, at least gave them a disinclination to ask unfortunate questions of the would-be avenger of the night. They let him pass by with narrowed eyes but besides that largely unmoving.

The captain was easy to find, a bulky weatherbeaten man with a short, bushy goatee, a naval hat perched on his bald and slightly scarred head and piercing gray eyes, a long blue coat shielding him from the worst of the elements that his green sweater, thick black pants and rubber boots could not. He was frowning at the sky after the expertly-timed lightning strike out to sea, the rumbles of the far-off discharge reaching him just as the visitor swathed in his dark hooded coat and mask stepped up to him. Nodding shortly at the greeting and scowling at the terse reprimand, the captain shrugged heavily, saying with an accent that sounded like it had been picked up from every dialect of the British Isles "Not the fault of me or my boys, sir, it's the sea that did it. We would have been here two days earlier if that storm hadn't sprung up." he shook his head with a grimace as he went on "It was all I or my lads could do to make sure the cargo arrived whole and unspoilt." His face brightened at that, and turning to the shorter man he said cheerfully "Speaking of which! I take it that you would like to, shall we say, inspect the merchandise? I can assure you, it is in as good condition as you could demand, good sir, though you set it against the Grey Book* itself!" he declared fervently, doffing his hat and placing it over his heart with great reverence, the removal of this article revealing a thin network of whitish lines streaking about his scalp, terminating in several divots in his flesh that looked ominously like the wounds left by nails and claws. Replacing his hat with a swoop to get the rain out of its inside he observed the American he assumed to be the purchaser for a while, an encouraging and hopeful grin lending cheer to his otherwise dark and grim appearance.


Catalog of contraband arcane or mythic objects, with coded listing of areas they can be obtained from. Extremely rare and expensive Circulated mostly among the European criminal underworld, largely unknown in the Americas. Known for National Geographic-quality photography. You'd have to actually seek out people who might have one to find out about it in-character.

The two coated men talking things over were clearly visible to Blodeuwedd, especially the fact that the captain held the ominously cloked and masked man in some esteem. The longshoremen and sailors occasionally glanced at them, clearly waiting for them to do something. The air spirit had even raised its head to watch the pair. The opening was almost too perfect.

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Since arriving at Claremonts she had been conducting subtle investigations about the student looking for the one that the Orders Seers had warned about. Of all that she had investigated Crow was one of the highest on the list, but that didn’t mean that he was guilty of this crime. Better to gather the complete picture before drawing any conclusions.

Allowing the cloak to conceal her presence, and relying on her highly trained stealth she followed the pair at a suitably safe distance. It helps that the magic that Crow gave off made it easy for her to follow with the special green lenses of her goggles.

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The black figure fixed a cold iron mask on the captain - his mouth below that mask pursing. He seemed displeased. Distinctly displeased. That cold rasp sounded again, hushed against the rain which dripped from his hood. It was terse. Very terse.

"Very well."

Oh, he was looking forward to ending this - he'd been tracking these smugglers for months on the side. When artifacts of an arcane nature were slipping into the city under the radar of most experts, not to mention the Parkhurstians, an investigation had to be made. Granted, knocking out this month's purchaser and stuffing him in a crate two warehouses over was a bit of a spur of the moment decision, but hey - carpe diem, right?

"The merchandise was undamaged, correct?" There was a tiny note of malice in that sentence - no threat stated, of course; that would just be gauche. One didn't have to state a threat to make it clear what would happen...if something was awry. Crow's hands remained in his pockets as that flat expression bored past the captain's eyes; like he was looking right into his head.

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Seeming disappointed by the presumed buyer's lack of enthusiasm, the captain nodded shortly to two sailors nearby, who hastily went below decks, returning laden with a small metal container that seemed to weigh much more than it looked. "I had the boys keep the merchandise in these, make sure they wouldn't get crushed by the load of metal wer're stocking." he explained breezily while levering the top of the steel box open with a handy crowbar, showing it to be full to the brim with carefully packaged shards of iron. "Behold!" the captain proclaimed "None of them were in the least danger, and all have retained their..vital qualities" he said delicately "One piece against your skin could extend your life for decades at least. I believe there are quite a few clients of yours wishing to cheat Time."

The opening of the box sent a flare of magic power bursting out into the air, visible as a sickly green aura around the group on the ship's deck, with a monstrous skull looming above them. The men unloading the ship didn't notice Blodeuwedd as she slipped around them in the driving wind and rain, and she caught the general mood of the longshoremen and the sailors as she approached the ship.

It was acquisitive, and more than a little curious, not to mention mutinous.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Blodeuwedd looked around for something anything to distract and scatter the assorted sailors, whilst she probably could take them all down it would cost her too much time. They were jittery enough that just one unnatural event should send them packing. It then she heard the sounds of the cranes still unloading the cargo hold. With a smile she fired her grapple and swung to the top of the crane.

Standing on top of the crane she had to do things quickly, they weren’t going to stop unloading just for her. She also didn’t want to hurt anyone, just spook them. Double checking the distances and angles below her she unhooked the crate the crane was carrying allowing it to crash, safely, onto the deck below.

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"...And of course we cgetdown!"

Even before the cargo container fell to the deck with a smashing groan, the captain dove to the side of the ship, grabbing Crow along with him, managing to draw a Glock pistol even as he fell onto his back. He aimed it up through the rainy sky at where the crane was, squinting one eye down the iron sights as he looked for who had sabotaged the unloading. Seeing no-one he got to his feet and offered his hand to the supposed buyer with a grim look I'm sorry, mister, but we might need to take this deal inside. A man could catch his death out here. I'll have the la-" he suddenly saw that the sailors and dockmen were running as if for their lives off the boat, hurtling down the ramps, racing for the parking lot as fast as their booted feet could carry them. He looked after the departing men with a look of faint and quiet rage, then turned his cold eyes up at the crane and took out a radio, saying into it in curt Welsh <"If you or your friend move from there, Ned, you're both dead."> Putting it back into his long coat he said to Crow jovially "Alright then, sir! If you will just follow me belowdecks so I can set up a ward, we can be quite well protected from brats that drop containers on ships."

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  • 4 weeks later...

Morgan didn't hit the deck when the captain tried to grab him - merely stepping sideways lightly and watching the sparks fly as the cargo container hit not two meters from where he was standing. The incognito runemaster stared coldly at the smashed box for a moment - then spit on it.

Had to keep playing the role, or that Glock would be turned on him next. Damnit, who was up there with the sabotage? And why would they jump in now?

And more importantly...how did the captain know how to set up a ward?

"Your security leaves something to be desired. Either that or your safety standards." He said rather flatly; hands still in his pockets. One touched a small piece of chalk, lightly turning it between his fingers. Get some chalk dust on the fingertips...remember what he'd learned vis-a-vis prior preparation. There was a moment where the eyes seemed to...evaluate...the captain, then he simply nodded. "Take me to the merchandise."

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Blodeuwedd didn’t even wait for the container to fall, she was already in the air heading back down towards the ship. Someone up in the crane would be an obvious target and even though her suit could take a bullet it would have given away her position.

With a final acrobatic flourish she landed lightly on the ship above them, but she didn’t have time to admire her work. She had suspected, and he confirmed, that they would head below deck. Only allowing herself a tight little smile she dashed ahead of them and swung through the door and hid herself into the darkness ready to follow them deeper into the ship.

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Without further talk, the man hastily led the disguised Crow deep into the bowels of the ship, carving small runes at the end of each hallway that erected a shimmering blue barricade, unknowingly a few seconds after Blodeuwedd had passed them.

At last the trio stood in one of the smaller storage rooms of the ship, with crates much like the one that he had had brought onto the deck. Taking a crowbar down from the wall, he neatly opened up one of cases to reveal a mass of green gems. "Dragon's eyes!" the captain proclaimed triumphantly, digging a hand into the pile and producing a handful for his presumed buyer's observation "As green as you could wish, and not a stain of blood upon them! The hunters of Wales do good work, though that dratted Order has kept the good stuff for themselves, driving honest men such as my suppliers clean out of business." he shook his head sadly. "We have several shipments of metal, a ton of scales, a few hearts on ice, and even a certain goblet you might find useful." he winked slyly "What's your pleasure, sir?"

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  • 5 weeks later...

Crow made a show of inspecting the goods; leaning over the crates and giving the contraband a bit of a gimlet eye. He'd already noted the small runes at the end of the hallway and the shimmering blue barricade - granted, it was amateur work, but it was interesting; he'd never considered a force rune for shielding. He tabled the idea away for later, perhaps some sort of bracer for emergencies...hrm.

As-is, he had more important things to look after. Dragon's eyes. Claws, dragon hearts...a goblet? That rasp came out again, and he nodded at the goods. Though admittedly his next words may have been considered slightly cliche. "Your reputation doesn't disappoint, captain. These reagents will do well in my work, very well. Finding dragon's hearts is a nightmare in this blasted city, and with those League and worse looking in..." Another moment of admiring the contraband - stuffing down inner disgust. The others would have turned this place upside-down by now with necromantic power or elemental force or mind-bending illusions. They could probably find these things in their sleep. He had to rely on misdirection and sucker punches. And find their locations by trickery.


...perhaps there was a brief flash where he clenched his fists, his jaw tightened, and he looked ready to strike the captain. A brief flash. Gone in an instant. The calmness reasserted itself swiftly. At least closing up the investigation and carting all this stuff back to Parkhurst to be either locked up or sent back to whoever really owned them would feel mighty good.

To wit; "This goblet - show me."

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"In-deed, sir?" the captain looked a little surprised, though he recovered with commendable speed and good humor. Leading the way to a small corner of the store room, he carefully removed a small panel from one where, stuck his arm in up to his bicep and searched around with eyes raised to Heaven with great concentration, small mutters and irritated whispers suddenly succeeded by a stiffening of his arm, whereupon he withdrew it and produced a small bronze cup, covered by a thin white veil. Raising it reverently he glanced at the disguised Crow, with an almost apologetic look "This isn't the Graal, I'm afraid to say. That was stolen out of the West Country by those dratted Iscariot bastards. But it has some very great power all the same."

He put it on a nearby crate, leaned against it with a casual air, licked one finger and traced a pattern on the wall behind him, which left a faint blue glow. "Now we can be sure that nothing as Fey as I bet our mutual enemy is can get at us." he said with great confidence and a winning smile across his scarred face "Those Welsh cretins and their idiotic allies have put a real dent in the trade recently. What has our..benefactor arranged as a fitting exchange for these beauties?" he asked, eyes glittering with greed.

And something else, something much more arcane than usually glinted in the light of a man's living eyes.

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There it was almost unnoticeable, but it was there. Blodeuwedd had be trained to read body language, manly in her role of social infiltration but it also helped her when fighting human opponents.

And Crow didn’t like what the Captain was doing.

Obviously he was after the Chalice. She wasn’t sure which one it was, magic cups were a dime a dozen. Didn’t mean she couldn’t help him out a little, but how to let Crow know it was her?

IN a soft slightly ethereal voice she began to quote from the Battle of the Trees, whilst constantly changing her position. She hoped he’d pick up on her choice of tree’s, plus the fact it was in her native Welsh.

<â€The Oak, quick moving.

Before him, tremble heaven and earth.

A valiant door-keeper against an enenly,

His name considered.â€>

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  • 1 month later...

The captain may have heard the sounds of ethereal Welsh surrounding them, or he may not have. Given that the second the words registered, Crow had placed a hand on his shoulder.


The captain then may have heard a crunching sound, and seen a large amount of sparks; a solid fist loaded with the pure energies of Earth hammering into the back of one's head did not do wonders for one's perception of the world. Or one's equilibrium. Or one's consciousness. Really, it just didn't do wonders for one at all. 


Crow's hand on his shoulder held him up for all of two seconds, then released him - the man collapsing like a sack of potatoes to the ground. Oddly enough, the teen had caught the captain's cap itself in one hand as he toppled; looking at it somewhat thoughtfully.


Then he replied in the Old Gaelic.


<"I have been a speckled snake on the hill,
I have been a viper in Llyn.
I have been a bill-hook crooked that cuts,
I have been a ferocious spear.">


A beat. "That sound sufficiently badass, you reckon?"

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As the captain crashed to the floor in an unconscious heap, his hat falling onto the crate of contraband iron a shudder went through the air. To Blodeuwedd's goggled eyes a blue light flared over the prostrate man's body, answered by a flash from the runes he had inscribed all over the ship's corridors. With a roar like the voice of a sea lion, the runes let loose a shower of fire bolts that hissed through the air, filling the cramped ship with deadly missiles! They weren't really aimed, more lashing around like insane and gigantic blue fireflies, but a swarm of the runic fire arrows managed to melt straight through the wall opposite, showing they were dangerous enough!


Meanwhile, outside...


"What the Hell is that?" asked the man sitting miserably in the crane, staring in confusion at the dancing blue lights that flashed and blazed through the ship's windows. Squinting up at the spirit hovering above him through the rain, he called up "Hey! Pal, you got any ideas?" "That is the Captain's magic. There must be trouble on board. I should probably go down and do something about it, you think?" his friend shrugged, putting back on his heavy rain coat "Couldn't hurt. And the Captain won't chew us out if we deal with it. Let's go!"


The pair were soon slipping into the cavernous cargo freighter, the misty spirit drifting through the ceiling while his human comrade stalked down the halls, a large and carved gun held lightly in his hands...



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Despite, or because of, Crow sudden turn around Blodeuwedd choose for now to keep to the shadow’s.

“Nice Hat!†as normal her tone was deadpan

As she spoke she kept an eye on the environment, watching the wisps of magic dance in the air. It was a shame it meant more trouble was on it’s way. She gave a little sigh

“But unfortunately it was also alarmed. So before his crew show up to see what’s up with the Captain, would you care to tell me why you're here?â€

Despite all that she found out about Crow she was still inclined to trust the young man, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t try to find out what he was here for.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The teenage runecaster's voice was calm, almost eerily so; despite the flying bolts of arcane magic and ward-ringed fireballs that filled the air. His movements here were economical, step by step by step, no wasted movement. Every blast that would have hit whistled an ace by his shoulder, his arm, his leg, one particular bolt illuminating that grim carved mask he wore over the top part of his face, throwing the whorls and runes covering his eyes into sharp relief.


"I don't make a habit of conversing with shadows I can't see. A lot of strange things concealed behind them. Lot of ears, and eyes, and fingers; things I'd rather see plugged, pierced, or sliced away."


Not bad. Apt, and threatening. You make them fear you, yessss... Shut. Up.


"Reccomend you prove a friend or foe. Before I start to make assumptions."

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“Oh I thought the accent would give thing away, not many Welsh speaker’s living in this city.â€

With the Captain down for now and sometime before the crew could react, she stepped from the shadow’s pulling down her hood and goggles.

“I’m Blodeuwedd.â€

Apart from having her hair in platt’s there was nothing in her bearing or demeanor to suggest the shy little girl that Crow had met on her first day.

“I think we might be here for much the same reasons, I suggest we compare notes. But some haste might be in order...â€

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  • 4 weeks later...



It would have been a bit of an understatement to say that Crow was rather impressed. In fact, he was more than rather impressed; though a well-honed sense of discipline (hah!) and the mask over his eyes let him maintain that poker face with aplomb. Instead, he just nodded at her assessment. Bending over, Crow swept up the goblet and held it in a hand for a moment, before folding it into his coat (and through that, the tiny pocket he'd enchanted into his ring. Best not be having things just disappear out of his hands, after all).


Finally, he replied calmly; eyeing potential hiding spots around the room.


"Your words have sense behind them. Alarm might have tipped off someone; agree to compare notes when the crew's been cleared out, locked down, and ready for transit?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

With a simple movement Blodeuwedd drew Dyrnwyn casting an eerie blue light into the darkened room.

“As long as there’s nothing here that’s dangerous that shouldn’t be a problem. When the crew do enter I suggest that you try to convince them that someone ambushed the Captain. Don’t worry I’ll still be here. And maybe lose the hat.â€

Tucking Dyrnwyn under her cloak to hide it light she again faded back into the darkness of the hold. Taking up a good strong position to attack anyone who enter the hold.

Edited by TiffanyKorta
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