[center [size15 [Cutive+Mon You are you. You live your life as peacefully as possible, if that's how you choose to live it. Then, one hot, muggy, September afternoon, you get a letter in the mail. It is handwritten, in beautiful calligraphy. The letter reads as follows.]]]
[left [size15 [Cutive+Mon I doubt you know me or have heard of my name, but I am Duke Asher Cornwallis. I am reaching the end of my life, and I expect to pass on quite soon. I have decided to include you in my last will and testament, for reasons that you may find out if you come to the reading of my will. You will receive another letter when the time comes. A car from my employ will arrive shortly thereafter to deliver you to my residence. I understand completely if you doubt this claim and choose not to attend. However, I dearly hope you do.]]]
[center [size15 [Cutive+Mon For reasons only known to yourself, whether it be mere curiosity, or simply greed, you decide to accept the Duke's offer. One Saturday in late October, you find another letter in your mailbox, proclaiming the Duke's death. You hurry back to your residence and pack a bag, then await the arrival of the car. You spend several hours driving through the countryside when the car finally arrives at a grand mansion that evening. You enter the mansion and are escorted to a large dining hall. As an hour passes, seven other people arrive and take their designated seats. Dinner begins, and you might enjoy socializing with the others around you. Your pleasant evening is thoroughly ruined, however, when the woman at the head of the table, one of the seven that arrived, screams. She claws at her neck, face purple, before finally departing this earth. A video plays, projected on one of the walls in the dining hall. The figure is masked, and their voice obscured, it is impossible to discern anything about them. They tell you, rather ominously, that to gain the Duke's inheritance, you must survive their "Game". Each day will provide a new challenge. Fail to complete it, and you are punished with death.]]]
[center [size15 [Cutive+Mon Suitably terrified, one of the men surrounding the table gets up and runs towards the door. Upon touching the handle of the front door, an electric current courses through him and he falls to the ground, his body providing a suitable deterrent for anyone else hoping to escape that way.]]]
[center [size15 [Cutive+Mon Will you try to escape? Or will you linger, and attempt to win the Game, if not for the inheritance but your own survival? Perhaps you may even attempt to discover the identity of the killer, and exact your own revenge?]]]
[center [size15 [Cutive+Mon [http://rp.eliteskills.com/vc.php?c=396790 Accepted Characters]]]]
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[center [size14 [font "Times"
First impressions are often not a good base of reference for anyone. The sheer impromptu nature of a first impression in day to day conversation had always been something that Nicholai had struggled with for many years, and he had always wished he could plan them out in advance so that he didn't come off the way that he always seemed to -- as someone to avoid.
As the lights came up on the rather exuberant and luxurious dining room to reveal the head of the Duke that he had only known reference to in two concise letters, he couldn't help but feel that of all the first impressions he had made that in the very least they had never involved a decapitated head. Everything around him felt simultaneously to have happened altogether too fast but also quite slowly, most likely due to the pregnant, horror-filled silence of the room as not one, but presumably two dead bodies now rested before them. Well, nearly two.
As those around him began to react, some with looks of terror and one man who had been consuming for a portion of the evening brandished one of the knives from the table setting, Nicholai moved cautiously to the woman who had been poisoned to check her pulse, and though she was truly dead as he had expected, he felt a wave of additional sadness wash over him as he confirmed that fact.
It had not been a painless death, which he knew far too well was all that one could hope for. Feeling unnerved at the sight of her, eyes wide with the emotions of her last moments, he gingerly reached a shaky hand to close her eyelids before taking a silken napkin and placing it over her in some attempt to drive the image of her still body from his mind.
This had not been something he had wanted to deal with, not anymore. The death, the dinner party full of people who seemed to be searching for some sort of connection, for those seeing this as a form of last hope financially, none of it had seemed like something he should attempt to approach. And initially, he had not imagined that he would even attempt to-- upon receiving the first letter he had recognized the first name of the Duke-- one which his father and brother both had shared, he had immediately decided that it was a waste of his time, and that it would be nothing but trouble.
He got along well enough by himself, and though there were leaner times, money had never been too much on the forefront of his mind.
It was the phone call from his ex that he had received as he was checking his mail that had driven him to accept the Duke's offer earlier that morning. Rents are high in the city, and when one only has one job and child support payments to rely on, it made it even harder. He knew that he couldn't afford to make up the difference, as he already had over the months since they had been forced to separate for safety and quality of life. With this money there was a promise of escape.
Funny just how wrong his hope of an escape for them had been, now trapped in a game that he knew he could not win.
Does life insurance still pay out when one is murdered in a way they could've prevented? He had come, he had dressed the part, and avoided invading the tedious and idle conversation for most of the evening, letting his loner nature pervade and taking advantage of the fact that most felt uncomfortable speaking with him.
He looked to the others around him, snapped back to reality. [b [#31512b "I didn't know him either. Does that even matter at this point?"]] Nicholai said in a relatively soft voice, trying not to further upset any of the other people around him. His voice was easily understandable, but perhaps a bit rough around the edges as he did not use it as often as others might. [b [#31512b "It seems like we're stuck now."]]
Olsen Taylor sat on the edge of his Aunt Laura’s bed, bright silk coverings and elaborately beaded cushions propping him upright, as she paced up and down the room. Three hours before the bank had declined his Aunts appeal to take out another loan. Laura owned a dance studio, she had taught all the children in the city dance for the past twenty years but now they were asking for more money, and she was only a month away from losing everything. Running a hand through her hair, Aunt Laura turned to look at her adopted son, her nephew. “It will be fine chicken, it’s about time I retired anyway.” She said attempting a laugh, but the sadness in her eyes was evident.
Olsen had received the slip telling him of the death of the Duke that morning. No part of him had been tempted to go, in fact, he had thought the whole thing was rather pathetic, surely the Duke could have just given his money to charity or something else. Olsen had never met the man, why would he want his money. However, now his Aunt, a once strong woman who had taken him in as an infant, was silently sobbing into her hands. Standing up, Olsen placed his hand on her shoulder, leaning down to softly kiss the top of her silver hair. “I’ll fix this. I have to go now.” He got to the door of her bedroom before stopping for just a moment and turning back. “I’m going to visit a friend for a while, I’ll let you know when I’m back and we can get dinner. Love you Lore.” He said and walked out of the bedroom.
Once back at his flat he opened the bin and started to rummage through the containers and cardboard for the piece of paper.
[b [I A car from my employ will arrive shortly thereafter to deliver you to my residence.] ]
Olsen looked up at the clock in his kitchen and swore under his breath. Grabbing a few things and shoving them into his backpack he tried his best to ensure that he had covered all his basics. The letter never mentioned how long they would be away for? Olsen changed into smart black trousers and a black sweater, just as he was finishing fixing his hair, there was a sharp horn from outside his apartment. It was almost as if the driver had known he was finished, the timing couldn’t have been better. The chauffeur of the car got out to open the door as he finished locking up. The car was an upmarket town car, the type that he had gone home in after a night out with the right person. You could tell a lot about a person by the kind of car they order and Olsen was pleasantly surprised as they drove off.
The drive was not uncomfortable and after what seemed like an eternity they stopped outside a wonderfully huge mansion.
The evening was flawless. Food and drink flowed and it was a culinary excellence, each thing that was eaten made each one of them sigh with satisfaction, each sip filled their bodies with a luxurious wine. The servers were in and out with a smooth transaction that only a practised event could achieve. Olsen tensed up as he bought the crystal glass of sweet red wine to his lips. Had the Duke practised the reading of his will? Maybe there had been more than one dinner. Something didn’t sit well in his stomach and he went back to observing the event around him.
The candles drew his attention next, it seemed a rather odd number and each one was placed in front of a guest, it was a poor layout, a blemish on an otherwise flawless evening. Draining the last of his wine, he sat back, waiting for one of the servers to come and fill his glass again, as they had done so often already. He planned to drink and eat his body weight with the superior substances being provided if nothing else he would have a story to tell the girls at work.
The person next to him turned to say something and Olsen turned his back swiftly, making it clear he was looking for a server. He had managed to avoid conversation with these people all night and he was not about to start. He was here for one thing and one thing only. The cash. “Where the hell is the waitress-” Olsen stopped midsentence as the women a few seats down started choking. An unpleasant noise which made his own throat close up. He watched the brunette opposite him attempt to move to help her but it was too late, the blue had sent into her skin and within seconds the life snuffed from her eyes. The girl next to him started cursing which emitted a single laugh from his lips. Everyone had been trying to act so polite all night that hearing the young girl swear had brightened his mood.
The head dropped and everyone reacted. Olsen pushed his chair back and stood up, eyes turned to him, his face was not smiling. Suddenly all his instincts kicked in and he picked up the cutlery knife with one hand and, looking down at the girl next to him who had just puked, picked up her full wine glass with the other. “Would someone, like to explain, that the fuck is going on?” He barked at the strangers. The wine was swallowed in one mouthful and he tightened his grip on the glass. “I don’t even know this bloody Duke.” He said, motioning the hand with the knife towards the swinging head.
Staring out the window Elle wasn’t sure what to think. She curled up on the window seat, holding her coffee cup tightly in her hands. With her hair tied back, she sipped carefully and looked at the sunrise take over the landscape. Her emerald eyes over took the scene. The mailman was dropping off the mail that morning and all she could think was the letter that she had received not too long before. The calligraphy so beautifully etched, she barely wanted to feel what the words expressed. The grimness that it held while it was written so carefully, she wasn’t sure how to take it. She wasn’t sure if there were more people to come to this supposed residence and she was curious to find out what it all intended to have. Inheritance…oh what she could do with that.
Her mind flickered over to the bills that she had to pay, to the dreams that she had wanted to pursue, and the places that she wanted to go. Walking to the mailbox, she pulled the stacks of envelopes that were bills and statements. Her fingers surrounded the piece of parchment paper envelope, feeling the silkiness of the texture when she opened it quickly. The duke had already passed? Her brows furrowed together and she knew that soon there would be the awaited car to take her the residence where she would have the chance to claim the inheritance…
She walked back inside and packed the bag, getting ready in black to suit the occasion…as she wasn’t sure if they were to be attending a funeral of some sort, she didn’t know what to really expect. Fixing her hair and slipping on a pair of pearls, she felt comfortable enough to move away from the mirror and grab her leather suitcase and her jacket when she saw the car pull up. It was black…a town car, and the crisp air coming from the tail pipe and the tinted windows told her just enough that this was going to be an adventure…
It was an impulsive decision to go through with this. She needed the money…she needed things to be taken care of here at home at her residence….She had to find new roots in new places and she knew with the means she could do just that.
She was hopeful, but she was without a single thought as to what all this would entail…
After hours, she sank heavily into the seat and it wasn’t until they were pulling up to the residence where she had the mild thought that this was the worst idea that she could have ever come up with to do and ways to get out of her current place…Her eyes traveled over the fall leaves that were surrounding the elegant building that the Duke had supposedly called home…At least that was what she thought as she carried her things tightly in. Holding the bag tightly to her side in the crook of her elbows, her fingernails dug at the skin of her hands. Nervous wasn’t even the word that she would claim, but she continued to move forward anyways.
Later on during the night, she was walking in, looking at everything. It was a grand place. She looked at the people who were already there, people of all kinds and origins that she wasn’t sure what to expect. She sat in her devoted place and sat her bag where she was supposed to and there she was enjoying a very delightful dinner. It was superb. The candles…the decorative platters to the food, it was something of a dream.
Her eyes overcame the people and she had indulged in conversation. She was happy to get out of the house and to socialize with people. Getting out of the archives of the library, it was definitely weird to be seeing the light. Only having the interaction with her bosses except during her classes, she was very new to the complete social contact she was getting at this get together. Her stomach was tying itself into knots as she continued to eat and drink the wine that was given to her. It helped slightly with her nerves, but she still found herself trying to relax.
She liked to travel and get out of her comfort zone, but she was hesitant of it all. Her eyes traveled over the people who were laughing and engaging in conversation. It was a fun time. She blended in and cocked out a few jokes, hoping that time would settle her nerves and by the end of the night she would be comfortable with the people that surrounded her. Pressing her lips together, it was within an hour in and she was feeling pretty good and confident in her place, she found herself in shock when the woman at the head of the table was turning a different color.
A woman sitting not far from her had immediately pushed herself out of her chair to help her, but was slowly back in her seat when the woman was no longer moving. Elle wasn’t sure what to do. She was in shock. Her heart raced in her chest as her fingers shook terribly. “What the fuck?” She cursed, unsure what to think. Was this a game? Was this all a show and they were going to have people come out and laugh with them to think that it was all a joke?
Instead of people…it was a video that suddenly started to play on the wall…
The voice…the cloaked and masked figure sat there ominously in the center of the screen… Even just the masked face stared into her soul. Fear wasn’t even a good word, neither terrified. Horrified barely covered the fact that she was shaking even more now…Biting her lip and gulping quickly, she wasn’t sure how to react to anything. Her eyes were glued to the screen and she couldn’t look away.
No sound could get her to move. She was stricken with panic. Her lungs were constricted and she found it hard to breathe when the voice spoke of a game….”What the actual fuck…” She whispered. She ran her fingers through her hair nervously. This wasn’t happening…this was all a game….
Yet…as the figure moved away from the screen and a head swung, her eyes went wide and her eyes dilated in response. She covered her mouth with her hands and she felt her heart drop to her feet. Her stomach quenched and she grabbed the nearest ice bucket… The food that was just recently added to her stomach was quickly emptied into the bucket and she coughed it up before she wiped her lips shakily.
She felt light headed and sweat claiming her forehead as she shook her head. “This can’t be happening…” She tried to breathe but the recent vomiting episode, she wans’t sure what to do….She could barely move and her body was still heaving…
It was an unusual situation for one to find themselves in. Sat at a table with seven complete strangers, celebrating the life of someone that neither one of them knew on a personal level. Yet, here they all were, some expecting to receive some of the inheritance that had been promised to them in the letter they all received. Each person shared a common thought yet they all had their own motivations for being there. It was likely that some were there for greed; the mere idea that they might come into some money for simply existing. Others, much like Brittany, were there out of intrigue; to find out more about the man whom they had never heard of until the moment they opened the letter.
[center [I I understand completely if you doubt this claim and choose not to attend. However, I dearly hope you do.]]
[center [I With sincere thanks and wishes of good luck…]]
If only they completely understood how much they would need that luck.
They had spent part of their evening surrounded by rich foods and wines that some might only dream of tasting. Conversations flowed freely between the strangers as they missioned to get to know key facts about each other’s lives. Looking for any kind of hint that might have showed a connection between them; any kind of information that might indicate why they had all be selected by the Duke. Although the atmosphere seemed light, there was something that threatened to break such serenity.
The sound of screaming had been drowned out with laughter to begin with. That was until those closest to the woman began to take note of the fact that she was slowly dying. Brittany placed her glass down on the table before her, wanting nothing more than to help the woman. She rose from where she stood, intending to rush to her aid but it seemed that death had claimed her quickly. Her candle blew out as quickly as the life left her body and Brittany was forced back into her chair in shock.
A light on the other side of the room soon grabbed their attention. It lit up a wall that had been bare until this point. A wall that Brittany had deemed to be out of place until this point. It seemed to have a purpose after all. A face appeared in the space that had been specifically set out for the exact reason. A face that had been concealed by a mask and the voice that came with it was almost as haunting. The modulated voice was much like one would expect to find featured in a horror film. But this…this was very much real life and it forced the room into a silence; a terrified silence. At least there was a chance that they might learn of the reasons for their attendance.
As the voice spoke, Brittany’s heart began to race, threatening to beat out of her chest as the fear pumped adrenaline round her body. She wanted nothing more than to run but the terror she felt had rooted her to the spot, transfixed by the terrifying masked figure with the haunting voice. It was becoming more and more apparent that whoever the masked figure was intended to frighten the guests and it was clear that he was successful. She looked around the room, taking in the look on everyone’s face knowing that it would have been mirrored in her own. Whatever this was, was evidently bigger than the Duke; it was bigger than any of them could have anticipated.
The mask divulged information that took a moment for her to process but she was slowly beginning to realise that the Duke had gained his title and wealth in a rather unconventional way and soon enough the guests who attending the dinner would become contestants in the sick game that the figure had orchestrated for them.
[center [I Game of death.]]
The words echoed in her head, completely taking over her thoughts and her breath started to quicken. She was still unsure of why she had been asked to come here. Brittany couldn’t recall a single thing in her life that would warrant her being pulled into this game. Life was [I not] a game. At least not to her. Life was something to celebrate for if you had life, you were lucky. Life could be cruel at times but it was usually worth it in the end. She looked back towards the figure when the voice started to fill the silence once more. It told them that they had a choice but she knew already that it was a lie.
Eventually the figure left the screen leaving nothing but the sight of a single chair in the middle of a darkened room. She kept watching waiting for something to happen and just when she thought that it was all over, a head rolled out of the darkness and into the light. A single scream escaped her lips as the panic began to set in and her arm knocked over the glass of wine that had been sitting on the table before her.
[center [pic http://i63.tinypic.com/220xw0.jpg]
[font "Tahoma" Death…
Tragic, but beautiful.
Black veils, dark roses, crying, and emotions. It is all surrounded with death. Hiding in the shadows, always there, it watches your every move, your very breath is controlled by the deep dark fear subconsciously that you could be taking your last one... Lives move forward however. People make choices...The world goes around, and other choices are made.
[i Everyone is haunted…]
Everyone has their moves and ways of coping with this darkness they hide within themselves. When they find themselves weaker in situations, some hide it, some push forward, some cower, and others kill it, possibly burn it alive. Yet...it will [i always] be a part of you.
It was fun, it was normal, it was a celebration.
Grand goblets, perfect china, delicious dinner to be served. Champagne in celebration of the Duke, his favorite foods spread over the delicate silk placements. Candles were lit, 7 specifically held their bright flame, burning through the dinner. Centered in the middle of the table...they were all simple decoration.
The woman clutched her throat, clawing at the throat...Arteries were burned from the inside out. Veins were squeezed until their last drop of blood spoiled in the fabric of her clothing. Muscles clenched, and bones were straining to hold their shape in the woman’s neck. She was innocent, right?
Screaming...joyful screaming...painful screaming…
Lack of oxygen is scary.
Face [+purple purple], face down.
Across the room, an unbearably bare wall was suddenly lit up, and the lights burnt out...except the now 6 flaming candles. The entire room went quiet. The entire room was dark except for the video that was playing...taking motion on the wall for everyone in the room to see.
“[+maroon Darlings...I see you have made it to my dinner gala.]”
“[+maroon The Duke… Poor Duke, his long and beloved life was loved by many and hated by few.]”
“[+maroon We come to celebrate him. His life. His achievements, his earnings and awards. I have chosen you...Each and everyone of you specifically. To help me, celebrate his life.]”
“[+maroon But the prize...it’s inheritance, cannot be handed out and squandered. No…]”
The modulated voice carried on, and the white mask that had no specific emotion on the face turned only slightly. Black covered everything else. “[+maroon It must be earned. Like the Duke had done for himself. And I have chosen you...for my game.]”
“[+maroon Game of life.]” It spoke…
“[+maroon Game of lies.]”
“[+maroon Game of hauntings.]”
“[+maroon Game of death.]” It whispered.
The voice paused, sure to let the words sink in. “[+maroon You will have choices. One that challenges you physically, and one mentally or emotionally. You can choose as to which one you would like to play. Each and everyone has to play their part...just like the world. Just like in a life…If you want to win the inheritance, if you wish to go back to your life, a choice must be made.]”
“[+maroon If you decide not to play...if you decide to quit, death will be knocking at your life door.]”
The shadowed mask lifted a gloved finger and pointed directly at the camera. “[+maroon You make the choice. Life is full of choices.]” It laughed and let the hand fall back into the lap. It removed itself from the camera, leaving a single wooden chair. The room was dark, void of anything else. Windows were there, trees in the background.
It was silent for a second.
Then it moved…
It dropped, swinging back and forth…
Something dripped from the object....it was too dark to see.
Then it was lit up.
It was the Duke’s head.
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