Description: Using Konrad Von Sabrewulf's cufflink as a clue, Velvet Blue travels to Germany to track down the werewolf to investigate connections with Kiyomi's attack in Tokyo. Surprise WereWolf Sleepover.
The Bavarian countryside is a beautiful place. Truly, there is something about south Germany that really captures part of the Old Europe essence. The shift into Autumn has not fully registered yet. The evening is cooling down fast from a moderately warm day as twilight hangs in the air in the Alpine forest. The sun has set below the horizon, yet the orange and purple and red hues of color still manage to illuminate part of the sky while the nearby mountain peaks rise high above.
The land that falls under the name of Sabrewulf has a much more wild appearance. Much of the surrounding wood has become more grown up and wildlife has begun to encroach and dwell within it that would otherwise not be seen near human housing. In the middle of it all, with but a simple and barely used unpaved road leading to the heart, stands an historic-looking and decidedly very very old Bavarian Mansion.
The grounds, thus kept behind no fence or wall, are tended, yet only just barely. The windows are all dark, save for a single glow of illumination, and the building looks otherwise forgotten and gloomy. It must be the Sabrewulf Estate, though: the emblem on the front doors is the symbol for the Clan. Each door bears a heavy weighted knocker. To one side is a cord that one can pull for a doorbell -- a literal mechanical system for ringing bells to announce calling -- and while the place might otherwise be grand, even in the light of day, the warm colors of sunset and the quickly-growing-cold air of the mountainous night casts a haunting veil over the mansion.
Within, audible even from the step and stoop of the front entrance, the melancholy sound of piano notes drift in the air to fill the void where no other sound can be found.
It had taken a fair bit of extra spending cash to both get transportation and track down this place--god knows Velvet had too much disposable income, but he'd have to wring out a few of his regulars from the clubs once back home to recoup. And hey, owning a used powder-blue VU Beetle was something he could come to terms with. Eventually. Somehow.
Pulling up once past the rocky terrain near the mansion, Velvet Blue got out--long white wedge-heeled boot meeting rocky soil, crunching softly into it.
"If only I could run into Werewolves that lived in the city, or the suburbs or something--not out at places like this--do they domesticate werewolves?--better not ask that question," he muttered to himself, long gray suede coat fluttering around him in the night air and chill breeze. He regretted wearing tights under this, but he'd be damned if he wore blue jeans with these gogo boots.
Now time to see if our furred and toothy fellow was in a forthcoming mood, and ready to entertain guests~
And so, Velvet Blue rang the doorbell. He'd thought of trying for a window, but eh--he didn't really need to climb through Konrad's window, right? They weren't even dating!
The doorbell is not something so simple as many modern things that chime a simple electronic tune or even just buzz. The pull of the cord actually sets off a ringing of bells within that are just as easily heard outside. The bells sound a bit old, but still very much functioning, and together they announce the presence of a visitor. They also mark the end of that piano playing inside. Quietness follows, along with what might be an uncomfortable lack of door-answering, as if there isn't anybody to see to guests that come calling.
Shouldn't there be somebody answering the door? A place like this likely has a number of hired butlers. Nothing seems to follow. Lights don't even seem to turn on within, if the limited view and drawn drapes allows as much to be seen.
Just when it seems there is nothing to be had from the venture (and what an adventure it is to get so far to track down the strange man met in London), a booming bassy voice seems to growl words from the other side of the very thick wooden doors.
"Geh weg! Keine Besucher heute Abend erlaubt. Auf Anordnung des Freiherrn."
Without light or audible footstep, somebody at least has approached the door to deliver this rather improper telling off of visitors. It doesn't take understanding the language spoken to know what is meant. The stern voice, the lack of unbolting the door to speak face to face, and the general chilliness of the reception overall (not to mention the weather, as the minutes pass), all rather clearly state the obvious. Somebody wants to be left alone, but that's -not- the same voice the man had from the British Island.
At the feeling of the old cord, the bells and the resistance of the mechanism--Velvet finds himself nearly hanging off the doorbell rope.
"Sanctuary--sanctuary--" yes, the performer is actually making a Hunchback of Notre Dame in this situation. It's very inappropriate.
"Sanctua--OH! Hello Heinz!" Velvet Blue is standing there, grinning at the werewolf man, it probably is as shocking to see someone Konrad knows here, as it is to see someone out here in general in the middle of the night.
"I needed to see you, a pack of werewolves tried to slaughter about 11 people in Japan over the week, I was wondering if I could ask you about helping me find them," Velvet finally lets off the bell cord, standing back.
"And no, I don't think you are involved, or the like, I was there--" he pointed with his index and middle finger at his yellow, cat-like eyes, which are luminescent in the gloom. "They were there with some kind of weird fox woman, too--you know run into someone like that before?" he's gesturing to Konrad to let him in, in the meantime.
There is a thump against the door from the other side, almost a jarring bang, as the unexpected visitor decides to announce their presence and purpose in such a spectacular way. 'Spectacular' isn't always a compliment. More silence meets this sudden explanation; the voice, still, is recognized and the one staying hidden behind the closed door finds a need to turn some mental gears in an effort to try to deduce how this strange Darkstalker managed to track down his family estate in the middle of nowhere. Hence, silence.
This was annoying and extremely inconvenient for the figure standing inside. He knew he had lost a cuff link during his London trip to repair his watch, but he hadn't thought it was stolen away -- now, well, the hidden Baron thinks otherwise.
The silence is broken by another bang on the door, this thud louder than the previous one. "What are you doing here?" asks the voice in the same growly bass, although it certainly lacks the distinction of an accent with English. Sure, the question had already been answered, but so incredulous is this encounter that he asks anyway. He might be buying a few more seconds to think, but the barely-managed annoyance of a surprise guest turns into an -actual- growl rather than a detail of speech. "It is not...safe!"
The beast struggles quietly, or as quiet as he can manage in this aggressive fit of being put into a position he doesn't want to deal with, before simply failing to reel in the urge to throw back the latch and yank open a door, to lean out in all monstrous appearance, to open his mouth wide in a display of sharp teeth and a deafening snarly roar in response to this trespass. It's an attempt to prove a point.
Yeah. That's a werewolf. Another werewolf, in context to the situation, but... A werewolf anyway.
Red glowing eyes meet yellow cat eyes. "Why should this concern me?"
Velvet Blue finds his hair blown back from the roar--having to steady himself afterward.
"Well, if there is trouble with werewolves, I figured the best person to ask, was you," Velvet looks up and down at the now quite furred form of Konrad... or should we say, SABREWULF.
"...I figured you'd be bigger, in this form, somehow--anyway--" Velvet continued, as if nothing had happened.
"I said a pack of werewolves appeared in Tokyo, and they were trying to kill people, I don't think they were the same kind as you though, now that I got a good look at you... I had to fight these ones off, by myself," the drag queen puffs themselves up a little, as if he wants Sabrewulf to see how tough he was. At least momentarily, during that.
"Do you just not care, or do you wanna try and get to the bottom of this sorta thing?" he seems to be honestly curious about what he feels about this thing.
It's true. The wolven half Konrad possesses isn't much taller at all. In fact, with the posture the beast normally adopts in leaning forward slightly and balanced by tail, his height doesn't seem to be that different at all. However, the same cannot be said for his musculature and general build.
Admittedly, most people would run screaming with the smell of urine staining their pantaloons -- or worse -- at the sight of such a creature. It has happened a few times over the years. This lack of reaction, honestly, is very puzzling. This 'Sabrewulf' simply stares for a moment longer as the last question is asked of him.
The gaze is broken by a series of spastic twitching along the arms and the neck in an almost unnatural way, for any more unnatural as he can already be, before raking claws over the side of the inside wall of the entryway and turning away suddenly.
"Come! Come inside and shut the door behind you, if you truly dare. The night will get cold and I only mind one fire. Come, follow, and I will properly hear your plea. It does not do to have such a conversation in the doorway."
Now, the lupine Konrad doesn't really wear much of anything, but he does have a blanket draped around and over his shoulders. This blanket is pulled tighter about himself as his surprisingly light footsteps are only punctuated by the click of his sharp nails against flooring.
"Wow, so this is where you live?" Velvet Blue might already know the answer to this and other exciting questions, but for the moment he seems quite amazed by just being able to /see/ and walk through this place. The performer's white wedge-heeled boots tromp through the dusty, dark corridors of the German mansion, the door shut behind them. If they were afraid, they didn't seem to show it. Almost immediately, the cold of the place seemed to close in--making them draw their coat closer around themselves. The cold in the place was... oppressive.
"You're probably wondering how I found you, you dropped your button back in England," Velvet pulled the small brass or gold piece of metal from a pocket, showing it off once they were near the wolf's one active fireplace. He's look for a place to sit down, before doing so.
"Something tells me you don't have central air or heating in this place," he notes the blanket Konrad has pulled around himself. It reminds him of Kurt Russell at the end of that horror movie, in the antarctic.
And so this glowy-eyed werewolf, with a blanket so draped about his form, turns to lead the way. Through the entry hall, through the grand foyer, past the main stairs, down a hall, passing doors that lead to a formal dining hall that leads to the kitchen and larder, a study (the library is on the first floor, not ground floor), until reaching a large heavy wooden door that leads to the great hall.
The room is large in size compared to the general size of the mansion itself, seems to be rather well-used, and has partially been converted into an all-purpose area. The main fireplace blazes radiating light and warmth into the only well-lit room one could witness from such a walk. The floor is made of blocks of stone, although lavish rugs cover part of the hard cold floor save for the fifth nearest the fireplace. The seats set up near the fireplace are winged highback chairs, plush and comfortable and regal-looking. Of the four chairs, one is larger than the others -- almost a throne -- and sees the most wear. The fur that clings to the upholstery marks that chair as likely off-limits for use.
The walls are decorated with oil paintings, decorative weapons, and hunting trophies from days past. A grand piano sits to the side of the room, as well, and the bench is pulled back as if it had been in use, yet no sheet music rests in view. An extensive wet bar has been fashioned nearby, as well, should one desire a drink. It is notably more comfortable in this room as far as temperature, but the more empathy-sensitive types may feel as if this is an intrusion into the lair of a wild animal. This is not accomplished by smell or cleanliness, but through the feel of atmosphere alone.
Upon entering, the werewolf steps to the side and gestures for his guest to enter. Even in the brighter lighting (comparatively), those eyes still glow red. "Please, help yourself to a drink, if you wish, and relax." Despite having such a deep fierce voice, there is an undeniable edge of aristocratic grace that somehow bleeds through. With a following gaze worthy of any haunted house, the wolf shuts the door behind to maintain the temperature. Such a fire in a room smaller would make it too hot. Eventually, the Baron walks over to the fireplace, too, and takes a seat in that personal chair. The dancing illumination over his bestial form does little to make him look any more pleased to have company at all.
"Ah, so you determined all of that through a single cuff link and my emblem upon it? Impressive. Annoying, but impressive. This must be a serious matter for you to go through such trouble to find me. I don't believe I need to ask you to return it to me, either, yes?" Sabrewulf is...staring. He's staring with daggers.
"Stately Wayne Manor here--and I figure bats live here, too!" Velvet Blue sits in one of the highbacked chairs nearest the fireplace, situating himself and getting the front of his coat unzipped just a bit, just so he doesn't overheat near the open flame.
"No maid in here, is there? maybe a swiffer handy?" Velvet notices the fur encrusting the largest highbacked chair, one would assume this is the one Sabrewulf uses.
"So, Konrad--this is where you hang out when you go all fuzzy, is it? Like I said I didn't come here to grill you on whether you had anything to do with those werewolves that hit Tokyo--but I was wondering if you might have known anything about it--I'm kind of sensitive on the whole 'darkstalkers trying to mass-murder humans' thing," the performer explains, pushing one of his long-booted legs up to cross over the other.
"What, this? here--I don't collect things like that, anyhow," he deposits the cufflink on the table.
The muscular creature's bulk and form don't really fit the general shape of such chairs, but the werewolf manages a position that works. A very well-practiced position, at that. "I have not had servants attend my estate for many years," says big and fuzzy. "Less risk of them being hurt." There's no shame in admitting was is painfully obvious, after all, and such a statement also showcases his views on innocents being injured.
This isn't to say that Konrad himself does not care for his home. He does, but there is only so much that one man with nose stuck in a laboratory or books can do on his own. This room is clearly kept well. Over the years this room has had many visiting people, hosted countless social events, and was once a thing of great beauty. Now, however, it is but a shadow of what once was. It is not unlike the man-turned-wolf himself.
"But about this matter of other werewolves, I admit, I am...surprised. I was not aware that others suffering from lycanthropy existed other than myself." It's not as if Sabrewulf has looked or searched for such. "So, no, I know nothing about this attack of which you speak, nor am I that aware of, rrr, anti-human politics. That sounds dreadfully absurd."
The werewolf inhales deeply before shaking his head. "What can you tell me about the incident?"
"I'm not sure if they're... that native to this plane, exactly--like you seem to be. They could have been caused by some sort of sorcery, or hex--I'm not sure--or perhaps they were some kind of werecreature from the Makai, I'm not totally sure," Velvet Blue sighed, shaking their head.
"Of course there are anti-human darkstalkers--Jedah caused a lot of anti-darkstalker sentiment among humans, eventually there is going to be pushback against that kind of thing, it's an old story--people fear things they don't understand," Velvet seems to realize he's not going to get any answers out of Sabrewulf.
"The ones I saw were probably not even human, originally, that is--there are all sorts of creatures like that, that I've seen, so... why do you stick out here? Are you having that much trouble controlling yourself?" the entertainer is more sullen now, but still curious.
What few sentences are given and what details are included in them, such as names, are listened to with a notable amount of attention. A furry arm rests upon the armrest of the chair so settled into while rather sharp-looking claws play along the fabric cover the frame and padding in a slow line of worry back and forth. The line worn away there seems to show that this is a common habit when having a good think.
"I am not very well-informed on events that take place outside of these walls. My seclusion keeps people safe that would otherwise fall by fang or claw. It is, as you say, still a problem for me. I have been dealing with this affliction for..." Too long. "Quite some time now." That clawed hand squeezes at the metal embellishments set along the seam of the armrest's end. "I am far from getting better."
He's getting worse.
"I am planning some trips to visit some academic centers, many privately owned -- with a few strings pulled here and there -- as it would seem that the knowledge passed down to me through my family is not enough to deal with...what I have become."
Konrad has no desire to relive the details of how he actually wound up destroying information that might have saved him, but that was years ago. It changes nothing to discuss it now. Glowing eyes are cast upon Velvet Blue. The faintest twitch of a lupine lip shows the barest flash of teeth. There's something about him that may not seem right, in this form. There is something very very dark about him that simply isn't so obvious when human. This is the same man, yet it is not the same man at all, only it damnably well /is/.
"I know little about such lycanthropic cases beyond those which afflict humans, or have." The thought that these other werewolves may not be the same as he at all only serves to reinforce his assessment in being something very old and, while once common enough to require protectors for humanity, potentially unique. In other words, what might be scholarly hope fades slowly into loneliness.
"But I would still be interested to know more about the matter. As I am sure you are aware, my Clan name's legacy is that of people who once hunted and even cured lycanthropes. While I have never had formal training in doing so, I may yet be able to offer some insight...if such would even apply to those things if they are something wholly different. Is there nothing more that you can share?" It would seem that the Baron is trying to avoid the subject of his own affliction by redirecting conversation.
"You seem more... feral like this, than you were before, it's kind of depressing, I don't know what might be a solution for you. I can't cure myself anymore than I can cure someone else," Velvet shakes their head, long dark hair falling over his bat-like ears and yellow, catlike eys.
"I tracked you down because you were the only lead I had, it was possible the curse was passed from you to those people, I thought, but no--you weren't anywhere near Japan at the time, and looking back those wolves didn't much seem like you, exactly," the performer shrugged.
"They were led by some kind of woman with fox-like features, ears and long tail--she wanted to kill humans, along with the werewolves--not sure exactly what she was, maybe some kind of nogitsune, or fox demon, I should probably find her before more people wind up dead due to her shenanigans," he shifts in the chair, uncrossing his legs.
"I assume Jedah's spire appearing in Japan also had something to do with it, I don't know if an answer might be there for you, but it probably beats waiting around here with no leads, eh?"
Reaching over to the side opposite the position where his guest sits, claws open up something -- a wooden and metal box -- to reveal a felt lining where ivory and silver tools lie in wait to be used with the rolled paper filled with filtering material and dried tobacco. Slipping a cigarette into one of one of the holder, and following up promptly with a lit match to ignite one end, Velvet is treated to the image of a burly beast with a four inch long cigarette holder and lit cigarette resting and held in place from the side of his muzzle.
The case is picked up, still open, and held out at arm's length across the way in order to offer Velvet one if desired. "Cigarette?"
"There are records I possess which discuss many European demons, devils, spirits, possessions, and 'supernatural' disease, much like my own, which isn't so much supernatural as misunderstood. I am, at my core, but a man and a man is all I wish to be. I am certain that I can discover a cure, but I am not sure it is wise to place myself in grand situations that might endanger other people."
It might be a bit confusing, and at least frustrating, to hear him constantly mention his desire to not hurt people when he seems perfectly civil. That might be a clue that he isn't always able to be so polite and humanly present, although that loud roaring warning upon opening the front door could have already said as much.
"I know little about Japan. I haven't yet aimed to explore academic possibilities in the East, although I'm sure plenty exist. They have a very different history than here in Europe, you see. I had planned on exhausting my sources before looking for things more exotic. That said..."
"I...cannot necessarily control being this thing nor do I always have control over how I think or react." And that confirms it. "I do not wish for people to get hurt going on adventures. Were I to change, what would stop people from associating me with this group you speak of? The world knows not the dark secret of Freiherr Konrad von Sabrewulf. I would prefer to keep it that way. As far as I am aware, this makes you...the first, outside of my former servants, anyway. Those that knew better."
"No thank you, was never quite into it, family turned me off from it," Velvet shakes his head and hand away from the offer of the cigarette. The image of a werewolf with a long cigarette holder is gonna be one that's hard to shake, however--it instantly reminds him of Uncle Duke, from the Marmaduke comic strip.
"So you think you're that much of a problem and you can't travel due to it, I assume--that is a problem, which means I need to bring a soluton closer to you," Velvet Blue rises from the chair, not wanting to cut the meeting this short, but he doesn't want to fall asleep somewhere with a hulking werewolf with an eyetwitch like that, either, as much as he feels bad.
"I agree, neither I nor you want you to get out of control and do something that you would regret, because it would be we that is held responsible--in more ways than one. I don't have any delusion of trying to get humans on our side anytime soon, but incidents like that in Tokyo can't be repeated," Velvet moves the chair back into position, just a bit.
"I'd rather not know, myself, about your condition, but I didn't have a choice to enter into my condition either, it was forced on me," Velvet Blue shakes his head. "Well, I've been a downer enough, I'm going to go find what passes for a Waffle house in this derelict corner of Deutchsland here, but I'll be back," Velvet Blue turns to leave, apparently not needing the werewolf to show him out.
"I do have a number, if you wish to ring ahead before your next visit. Perhaps, with some luck, I may be able to manage a more presentable appearance if one is not...naturally present at such time." Konrad watches his guest prepare for an exit; a twisted knot of feelings comes with it. Not keen on surprise company (or much company at all) for the sake of the safety of such people, having suppressed such worries has granted the beast of a man the passing illusion of something almost normal. The short stay and abrupt need to exit is a sobering reminder that he is a dangerous creature, even for those that aren't mundanely human. Large lungs power through a slow sigh as smoke streams free from the werewolf's lupine nose while staring more at the fire than his guest.
Making the effort to stand once again after replacing and closing the cigarette case, Sabrewulf moves over to the wet bar where there is a bit of stationery. With a rehearsed grip of pen in hand, the Baron writes down his number, along with the country code in case one needs to dial from outside of Germany, and replaces the writing utensil. Turning away from the bottles and glasses, he will no doubt need to return to them once Velvet has left, although he makes the effort to pass along the note first.
"If you head into town, a small village nearby, about 20 kilometers out," -- that's nearby? -- "You will find an inn there that doubles as a restaurant. They make a very good Kaiserschmarrn, which it sounds like you might enjoy. It is...a type of pancake. Make sure to order it with, rrr, applesauce."
Suggestion and number offered, there is nothing more the lonely Baron can do. He prepares a drink once alone again and, before Velvet can fully exit the mansion, the haunting melody of piano song begins to play once more.
Velvet Blue gets to the front door of the mansion by himself, and opening it with a creek is greeted to the sound of howling wind--and was that a dark shape that just skittered over the hood of the small car he'd bought not too long ago?
Something in Velvet allowed the door to close again with a thud. Okay, screw that. Barring the door, there would be the sound of his boots again approaching Sabrewulf in the great hall where he'd been led.
"On second thought, might you have a guest room? I uh, might freeze to death on the way there in just this coat and tights," Velvet gestured to the sheer black leggings he wore beneath the coat. He realizes he'd just intruded upon Sabrewulf playing with his organ. Double entendre intended, there.
"Also, do you got any food?" he laughed a little, grinning sheepishly. This was going to be a long night, it seemed.
The sound of the piano so played is not only haunting. It is also sad, yet speaks of incredible skill. How long must Konrad have been practicing in that body to be able to match a level of piano mastery as one might with human hands for which the instrument is so designed? Back facing the entryway from where the grand is positioned, the wolf is not aware of the return until words are spoken. Even still, he does not immediately stop. No. Von Sabrewulf sways with the emotion of the song self-written about personal loss and the dim hope of eventual recovery. It is, at its core, a love song. A very sad love song.
After a measure longer, the playing grows softer and eventually stops. He does not look over his shoulder. "I do not have a room prepared for guests nor am I that skilled with cooking." Rising from the piano bench and retrieving his cigarette from a nearby tray beside a glass with liquor in it, also taking the glass, the wolf turns and begins lumbering toward Velvet and the exit from the great hall. "I will show you the kitchen and the larder, which you have passed by three times so far, and welcome you to use such things to create whatever you would prefer. While you do so, I will go make up a room for your stay. Is that...acceptable?"
"The range uses gas, but there is also a microwave oven, if that is easier. If you prefer your bed warmed, let me know and I shall gather some coals from the fireplace in a warming pan. My personal room is on the top floor, guest rooms are on the first floor, but I may be found in the great hall for most of the night."
Log created on 21:33:16 10/28/2018 by Velvet Blue, and last modified on 11:57:03 10/30/2018.