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Dead Before Daylight is an Alternate Universe Urban Fantasy role play in a world where supernatural creatures and humans exist side by side – at least, some of them do. Creatures like witches, pixies and satyrs live and work as openly as any human. They commonly hold positions of power in government and are afforded every right and protection.

Other creatures are not so lucky. Those believed threats to humankind and other benign creatures are still persecuted and oppressed. Beings like vampires and werewolves are still forced to live largely in hiding, as they are not afforded the protections of law.

Such blacklisted creatures have created a haven for themselves in the small city of Dawnbreak; but their sanctuary is becoming increasingly threatened by the arrival of outsiders. In the meantime a menacing power is lurking in the forests and increasingly beginning to threaten the town as people begin to go missing, and mangled bodies are beginning to be discovered in and around the woodlands.

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Dragon
Brenda
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 Raihin At Dusk, TAGS: See Within
Friday night. The appointed meeting time set and she did not dare receive 'guests' unprepared.

As soon as dusk began to lower its hazy curtain on the glow of the sun fading behind the thin canopy of spring foliage, the fox had coffee brewing in the kitchen. The coffee machine was in rustic brass, like the rest of the galley-style area. Tucking into the underhang of the upper floor loft, under what was actually her bedroom, the island formed the perimeter of the space in the otherwise open plan ground level.

She let the aroma permeate the lower part of the lake house by closing off the two doors of her bedroom and the study upstairs- she was unable to do anything about the vaulted ceiling space which housed the loft promenade. She actually had to change the beans once before anyone arrived because she used it up brewing coffee after coffee and tipping it down the sink. The grounds in the garbage disposal were also pungent and she deliberately did not change it.

The albino herself was being formal in her diplomacy: she wore a pair of white leggings and a crisp, white blouse underneath a satin yukata outer robe. It was the same one she had been wearing the night she had confronted Kurenai (her own mental abbreviation for Seth Senior). She could no longer label him as 'Redford-san'- there were too many men with that surname in her obit now...

The satin robe of cream color tied together the pale white legs peeking out from between its folds and the stark pristine of the blouse subtly, the twinkling stitching in the pattern of sakura blossoms covering it giving the garment an formal feel. And perhaps a familiar one, if the deputy himself came tonight. She never missed an opportunity to endear herself to useful people.

Her hair was pulled back severely from her features into a high ponytail which poured the white stream of her hair down her back. It left her exotic features open and, she hoped, accessible. She even decorated the joint of the tail with a pearl and white lotus pin. Her eyes were darkly highlighted as always, but the rest of her makeup was insidious, right down to the opaque glint of her lips.

She knew once the sky was dark the howls would start again, the same way they had done almost every night. The 'wendigo' seemed to delight in letting her know it was coming and then leaving her to guess in which direction and how it would make its appearance. Sometimes it was at the bottom of the yard overlooked by the great room tall windows. Other times it was right on the other side of the glass itself.

But thankfully, during that one terrifying moment, it had not reached through the pane, head turned to watch other prey as the lightning had lit up its grotesque profile in a split-second over-exposed negative...

With that thought in mind she had lit the fireplace next to the two-story windows, the heath serving as the centerpiece of the leather armchairs and sofa area. It was on a raised, brick hearth, the same place she had sat as she and the officer had recuperated after the race from the road. The logs were stoked high and the coals filled the bottom of the grate to add their brightness to the roman candle. That was what it was. The werefox was practically lighting a lone flare in the dark to ward off the hyena...

DragonBlue Morrigan

David was one of the earlier to arrive, his sister saying she had something to do but she would 'pop in' when she was done. It was pretty standard for the flitty woman to do as she pleased, he always akined it to the witch blood running through her veins.

Unlike his son Damian, David wasn't nearly as formal looking when he went out, even for a job, unless it required it and to be honest he would have rathered Damian come than himself but with Red involved... well it meant it was his job, no matter how old he was getting.

With a last adjustment to his loose jacket he finally knocked on the door to this woman "ShinJu"'s house.

DragonBlue Mindy G

It would have been less awkward if the first guest she opened the door for was the deputy sheriff. Or even the witch. But as the white figure could be seen moving inside through the frosted panels encircling the doorframe, so too was the featureless mask of their face intent upon the visitor on the doorstep.

By the time she reached the threshold, Shinju knew by scent alone that the tall male on the other side was neither of the werewolves she expected. She opened the stained oak panel and bowed from the waist in the doorway. As she straightened from the bow her lashes were already open, the points of her red eyes focused on the visitor.

She had taken the opportunity afforded by the bow to identify all the places in his attire where weapons could be stowed, what could fit where. She had caught him adjusting his jacket as she approached the front door...

She did not challenge her guest however, looking away to somewhere near his shoulder as she greeted him.

"Konbanwa.
Thank you for coming." she began cordially. This man smelt Human, at least as far as she could tell, but perhaps he was another magic-spewer like Vital. She did not trust a witch very far at all.

Of course, the albino had grown up among the dark boardrooms of Tokyo surrounded by powerful men and had been trained in traditional etiquette. Many times she had received guests to suites for her father, she and Kaede playing elegant hostesses to the gathering. That poise and grace served her well now as she stepped back and aside, clearing the threshold for the man.

"Please come inside. My name is Shinju..." the werefox introduced herself, the words feeling a little stilted as she tried to make her native introductions more casual. Normally she would have given him her entire name and he would have been expected to call her 'Fujiwara-hime' or 'wakagashira-dono', but that life seemed over now. Nowadays she let strangers call her by her first name...

And if it had not been for Alice, the people coming there tonight might think her a harmless foreign Shifter, Shiori Matsumoto. But that alias was practically a burnt-out wreck after the woman had blurted it out in front of Kurenai..

Perhaps it was punishment for running from her responsibility to the truth? To find herself in this little town surrounded by werewolves, their far-too-knowledgable pregnant wives and the rumors of dragons existing within the territory!

She was starting to despise and simultaneously become fascinated by Dawnbreak...

Morrigan DragonBlue

"That woman of yours is a shit magnet of the highest order."

Seth looked over from where he was sitting in the passenger's side of his father's truck, already wishing he'd driven separately, "How the hell is any of this her fault?" he scowled, "Alice didn't go out looking for this. The fox came to her."

From there the rest of the drive more or less devolved into a back and forth argument between them, though that shouldn't have come as any surprise. The Redford and Gregory families had always held tense relations. Seth knew that his father wasn't upset with his wife so much as just generally annoyed that he had to answer to any of the Gregory hunters at all.

An abrupt silence fell between the pair as Red turned off the road and onto the drive to Shinju's home.

"Nice place," Seth muttered as the rustic mansion came into view. It looked as though David had gotten there ahead of him, the familiar vehicle already parked in the drive.

A minute later they were both stepping out of the truck. Seth was hesitant to go inside. This would be the first time he'd seen his father-in-law since before he and Alice had married.

It was too late to back out now, though, and Red was soon herding him up the walk to knock on the dor and announce their arrival.

Mindy G Morrigan

Luckily for the Redford men, there was no need to knock; the albino was still in the cheerfully lit doorway welcoming her first arrival.

When she saw them she paused in mid-motion, about to close the rustic door panel, but instead she opened it wider and stepped over the threshold to greet them. A proper bow and then an extra nod to the deputy- she was being formal, but she was deliberately paying extra attention to him after Alice's words.

The werefox had done some research of her own, succeeding in uncovering mainly public knowledge, a few drinking stories and some hearsay. Nonetheless, what she could uncover with a mild scratching of the surface seemed to collaborate the idea that the older of the two werewolves was indeed an important man in his community.

She was somewhat wary of the little exchange she had noticed between he and the witch; the mage herself seemed to have a history with him and there was that sexual vibe she had caught which made her wonder if they were ex-lovers. More to the point, if the witch was possessive, she could end up incurring more trouble than he was worth.

So Shinju stayed subtle in trying to pique his interest, keeping it to a momentary gaze and the familiar yukata.

"It is a pleasure seeing you again, gentlemen." she said. "Please come in and make yourself comfortable."

Turning her head back to look at the handsome, blue-eyed Human and then the werewolves, she offered: "Would anyone like coffee?"

DragonBlue Morrigan

David looked at the woman. While she was trying to figure out where he kept all his weapons it didn't mean much. He, like his daughter, was armed to the teeth. It was a family trait the pair shared, even while ShinJu was at her home Alice had concealed weapons that only Seth knew about. It was an unfortunate part of being human without blood enhancements. Being armed was the only way to be protected but he'd survived this long, his mother longer, he figured he'd still be fine.

"Yeah, I know," he said curtly. "I'm only here because my sister told me I should be," he said as he stepped in. "If I don't like it, I'm leaving."

Mindy G DragonBlue

Both wolves greeted the woman at the door. Neither of them were as formal as Shinju, a difference in cultures, but they nodded politely as they greeted her. Red came in first and Seth fell deferentially behind the older man.

The reception with David was less amicable. Where he'd seemed easy enough around Vital, Red didn't share that with her brother. He nodded curtly at the man before they were all led into the sitting room by their host.

"I wouldn't mind a cup," Seth murmured, offering a soft smile to the woman.

Mindy G Morrigan

There was only a glare at the Redford men and a returned curt nod before he moved in behind them. "None for me, thank you," he said smoothing a hand over his jacket. He was half looking for a reason to leave although leaving his sister there with Red? Not something he was willing to do, whenever she decided she was done with her makeup and would pop in.

As Seth and Red got settled Vital popped in behind Red and leaned over to give him a kiss on the cheek. "He handsome," she muttered to him as she moved to stalk around the couch and sit beside him, laying her legs over him, her business skirt reaching to just above her knees.

"Do you have tea love?" she asked Shinju.

DragonBlue Mindy G

As the silver-streaked gentleman gave his ultimatum behind her shoulder, stepping into the house, the werefox had to concentrate to stop a smirk hitching into the corners of her lips. Oh, how that bluster reminded her of Tokyo. She immediately took a liking to the Human...

She was polite and acknowledged his wishes with a minute nod and a affirmative hum.

After both werewolves had entered in wake, Shinju closed the heavy oak door behind her, the cast iron latch clanking into place. Beside the door frame a small panel changed its light from green to red, most likely her security system cycling.

Alice's partner was the first to take up her offer for coffee and she bowed her head to him and turned away to move deeper into the house. To the left and separated from the arrangement of leather armchairs and sofas, was a country-style kitchen in dark burgundy granite and pine. Nearly disappearing behind the island counter (she was a small statured woman even for her racial profile), the albino began to fill one of the mugs freshly warmed in the dishwasher.

Just as the dark rivulet began to trickle into the stoneware cup the hackles on the back of her inner fox went up in succession along her spine, ending in an intense tingle at the base of her skull. Her instincts preceded the sound of a British accent from the great room and her red eyes were a little less human for a moment as she slashed her glare towards the lounge.

Her lashes fluttered and she lowered her eyes away however the moment she saw it was the witch. Fear of her kind was practically in the kitsune's blood.

"Hai." Fujiwara replied and left the mug to fill while she prepared a second. Into this she placed a diffuser ball filled with Earl Grey blend and used the hot water from the machine to fill it.

A few minutes had passed until their host emerged from the kitchen carrying a tray in both her hands. The sleeves of her robe had been pulled tightly up to cover her hands completely, giving the tray a disembodied quality in her hold. Her gait was smooth, ballerina-like as she crossed the Native American eagle woven rug and placed it on the coffee table in the middle of the seating. The table was a oblong slab of raw wood sanded and lacquered into a glassy surface, its sharply angled feet being thick branches.

None of the decor seemed to match the woman, clearly it was the furniture that had come with the house and there was scarce few personal touches.

Straightening, she had the mug of coffee in her hold, which she rotated as she approached and gave to Seth handle first. Her lily fingers were going pink where she held the cup until he took it.

She had every intention of then returning to the tray to serve the witch- unless the woman was impatient and helped herself. A part of Shinju would have been honestly relieved as she did not want to have to make eye contact with Vital.

With that apprehension on her mind she lifted her eyes momentarily to look Seth in the face and that frayed aura was in her gaze. It came and went, gone by the time she turned her head, speaking to the entire gathering as well:

"Please make yourselves comfortable. The... whendeego," she was still over-enunciating that word. "Does not typically come near the house so early in the evening."

And by that time the werefox was hoping to have wards erected to make it think twice about coming back tomorrow night.

She was running out of time as the new moon approached in mere days...

Morrigan DragonBlue

Vital wasn't impatient so much as she didn't care for Shinju's customs. She grabbed her cup of coffee and settled over Red almost like this was her natural spot. Shinju didn't know how much of a shit show she had invited into her house. Had her pregnant friend Alice showed up, the fireworks would rival the fourth of July.

Instead Vital settled happily across Red would institutionally made advances. "So... we're here for a wendigo is what my niece said. Powerful buggers but," Vital shrugged as a knock came to the door.

Mindy G DragonBlue

The albino turned her head, watching the witch's movement from the corner of her eye. She was still standing in front of Seth, waiting for him to take the hot mug and he got an up-close show of the fox gritting her back teeth so hard a tiny muscle in her cheek flexed. She was definitely jangled by his aunt-in-law.

"The beast is my secondary concern," Shinju corrected the other woman quietly. "I need to secure my territory first."

She needed to go to sleep at night without one eye open. She needed to be able to train in the garage and not need to pause at every twig snap. Her composure had limits and she had to be self-preserving about this endeavor...

The knock made her murmur a polite 'gomen' to the gathering as she made her way to the door.

She did not blindly fling the door open, instead utilizing the glass panels along the edge of the doorframe to glance outside at the doorstep's occupant. Of course she hardly though the creature would ring the door bell, but it was an old habit she still cultivated...

After a pause, the small, pale woman pulled the panel inward and bowed to the new arrival...

DragonBlue Morrigan

Unlike the other arrivals Donnie was loud and didn't mind being loud. "ooouuu---eee it's chilly out tonight," he said a he came in nearly stomping into the house heading to where the other heartbeats were. "Red, Seth, Vee, Dave," he nodded at each individually. "Still don't know why I'm here."

"Because I invited you Donnie," Vital said. "Thanks for coming."

DragonBlue Mindy G

The albino let him in with the same series of gestures that she had used for the other men, stepping aside to let him come into the house. The high ceilings made it slow to warm, but the living room area in front of the huge windows filling the back wall of the house was gathered around a lit fire which shed more than enough warmth within its radius...

She did not follow the store-owner directly to the lounges but instead went via the kitchen to pull another tray out of the brass-finished fridge. As she passed his shoulder on the way to the same coffee table, the albino murmured to him:

"Hai, thank you for being here, ...Mr Redford."

That pause was significant; it was subtle, like a lot of her culture, but it was deliberate. Alice, had she been there, would have picked up the hesitation and figured out that Shinju still held a little grudge against the older wolf.

If he had not made things so difficult that morning in the store she could have maintained her alias. She could have handled the problem by herself (or so she believed) and none of these locals would be in her house spreading their scent all over her furniture.

Offering him the tray, she waited until he took a glass of water or declined, then brought it to the coffee table beside the first. The tray --K-clank!--ed down a little too loudly as her fingers lost their grip on it, her hands jerking in fright as the long, guttural howl drifted on the evening breeze...

Her head jerked up like a startled deer, red eyes wide and fixed on the windows dwarfing the gathering. Her own heartbeat spluttered and hitched before bursting into a thundering rhythm.

"*{Did it come... because of them?}" she whispered as she shivered. "It has never come this early in the night..." the kunoichi started to explain to those assembled.

*{ } - translated from Japanese
Morrigan DragonBlue

Red side eyed Vital briefly when she settled her legs over him, but no protest was made. He simply lifted his hand and settled it over her knee.

The doorbell rang, followed by the brief commotion and a familiar voice. He looked towards the foyer hallway to find his brother coming in. Donnie's declaration that he didn't know why he was there was met with a shallow shrug - Red wasn't entirely sure why he was around for this particular meeting.

There was a slow build of tension in the room. One that would have been present in almost any meeting between the Redford and Gregory families; but it was made a little worse by Vital's position over the patriarch of the former clan, the recent marriage between the families and whatever the hell Donnie had done to offend the fox.

Red muttered a greeting to his brother when the man drifted a little nearer and Seth nodded.

Perhaps fortunately there came an interruption as the hair raising scream lilted beyond the walls. Red's gaze snapped towards the sound. In his periphery he saw his son grow visibly tense - of anyone present Seth was the one with the closest encounters to the thing, even more so than Shinju and Red's had been.

"Fuck," Seth muttered, shifting in place and setting the cup in his hand down. "that thing doesn't keep to patterns, near as I can tell," he said a little louder, "I don't think many creatures like that do."

Mindy G Morrigan

Donnie looked to his brother's old sweetheart and shook his head as he saw the position she had settled on and how taught David's shoulders were even though he seemed to be trying to keep a relaxed demeanor by having his hands in his pockets.

As the creature howled, everyone else seemed to get uppity except the two hunters. They seemed to relax almost like a calm before a storm.

Vital sipped on her tea. "So, we were talking about wards. I looked it up and unfortunately for Wendigo's they really aren't something you can ward against so much as deter. They are hunters and so you have to deter them with other things," Vital explained. "Unlike wards, however, they aren't full proof."

DragonBlue Mindy G

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