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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/08/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Die Shize

    H&V Episode 1: A City Abandoned

    Music Image Image The Secretary of the Storm It was evening when the door closed and silence permeated the room. It was not one man’s alone. He had a single guest in his office, the same soul that he had taken under his wing since before the storm had even soared. She had been communicating with him all day, keeping him apprised of many matters, from the inevitable demise of a bygone business to the profitable charity that his own was dealing out in doses to the people of Palgard. Miranda Smith was more than just a secretary—she was the personal assistant to the owner, founder, CEO and Chairman of Cyclone, Inc. who identified himself as Kolvern Rikalsky. Though, as he knew well enough by now, she was much more than some everyday PA. She was on the level of other chief executives within the company, and a cherished confidant of its head. Corporate secretaries, they went beyond answering phones and handling visitors. They managed meetings, advised key members, maintained sensitive corporate documents and records, helped ensure company compliance with laws, and so much more. This one, this Miss Miranda Smith, went even further beyond. She sat on the board of directors with her CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and missed not one meeting or moment to learn everything that he was trying to teach her. He had his President & COO (Chief Operations Officer), who was otherwise his second in command for the daily running of the Company, the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) who even Miranda considered ran things behind the scenes simply due to managing the money, the CSTO (Chief Science & Technology Officer) who drove the Company’s core mission, and so many other C-Suite executives, directors and executive directors, vice presidents and senior vice presidents, but none of them shared the same personal space with Cyclone’s CEO as its CCO (Chief Communications Officer) who dualed as the Company’s corporate secretary. As CCO, Miranda often found herself serving as the Company’s public face, particularly where Leonard Diggins, the COO, did not preside as President. Communications, for Cyclone and other enterprises, was all about public relations as much as private—internal and external. Alongside personally handling matters delegated by the Company’s head, Kolvern himself, she sang for shareholders and stakeholders, danced with the media, chatted with bloggers, negotiated with investors and navigated her way through the onslaught of the press—even what petty one Palgard possessed. It was her duty, both as personal aide to the CEO and as part of the public face to the people, to preserve the culture, the history and the reputation of Cyclone, Inc. She was a busy little bee, but she had a whole hive of honey that demanded her every wing of flight—and sometimes her sting. There she stood that evening, right in front of the door that she had just shut behind her, right where she had stood earlier that day to announce the downfall of SteelStreams, Ltd. and had in turn announced the latest opinion of the public when it came to Cyclone, Inc. She stood there this time staring at not the face but at the back of the man whom she had come to speak with once more. Only, this time, hers was no unwarranted arrival. Her presence had been requested by the man himself. Unlike her own black dress suit, Kolvern stood in his in such a manner that it often looked like more of an extension of his body than a set of garments to wear. His hands were clasped behind his back, his gaze focused on the window behind his desk; a motionless pillar of power in both physique and authority. She could catch a faint reflection of his vacant visage in the glass where the blinds were parted, a dark world lingering outside. “Come to see the Patron of Palgard in the flesh, have you?” Kolvern’s tone had sounded humored enough, though there was a distinct trace of fatigue within it that Miranda chose to ignore. “You sent for me, sir?” She stood as still as him, her binder and tablet held at her side. She didn’t know if she would need either right now, but those tools were as much an extension of her person as the suit was his. “I did.” Kolvern acknowledged. Or did he remember after having forgotten? The man had a mind of his own, one that Miranda had since forfeited figuring out in full, but sometimes she wondered whether he was more than a man—much like elves were elves and dwarves were dwarves. Though this man is certainly neither elf nor dwarf. “Come. Stand beside me.” His request had seemed simple enough. Before her twenties, as a child in Ignatz, Miranda might have run in the other direction. Kolvern Rikalsky, however, grew before her more and more as a father figure day by day. Even as she took a step forward she felt like a little girl coming to her daddy’s side to be given a lesson—one given with warmth and wonder. Not the kind of lessons that my fake father gave me. The great office of Cyclone’s boss of bosses was just as spacious in between the desk and the window behind it, so Miranda had adequate room to maneuver around and come to a stand beside the man. He didn’t budge a millimeter, his eyes ever glued to the window as he received her presence with silence. A silence that speaks in place of a thousand words. Image The Patron of Palgard The darkness of a dark world floated outside the window like a black goo that could not be unstuck. Kolvern watched it, his vision interrupted only by the odd blink, and only then when his eyes began to sting. They, like the people of Palgard, needed watering. They needed sustenance. If the eye was a window to the soul, then the window of this office was the eye to the world below. When Kolvern’s eyelids closed over his vision, there was a knock on the door that felt purposed for it. “Come in”, he spoke, recognizing the turn of the handle, the time it took for the door to close once more and the delicate footsteps of Miranda Smith, his secretary of secretaries. There was a moment of shared silence that ensued, broken by neither individual as either simply stood facing the same direction. Through the glass, Kolvern caught the faint reflection of the woman waiting behind him, though he didn’t need it to see. “Come to see the Patron of Palgard in the flesh, have you?” The irony in that moniker, as bestowed by the people, was not lost on him. He didn’t know whether it was something to chuckle or scoff at. “You sent for me, sir?” Miranda’s voice had wavered with wonder; always questioning what might happen next in any situation she was in. Kolvern had long since discovered her curious nature and had quickly capitalized on it. “I did.” He answered plainly. He knew precisely why he had bidden her entry, from the beginning that time ago to this moment in time right then and there. There was a purpose and reason for all of it, even if she had barely scratched the surface in understanding. That ends tonight. “Come. Stand beside me.” He might have watched her obscure reflection to see how long it would take for her to grasp his invitation and make her way over, but he already knew. Instead, his eyes shifted from the streets beneath his tower to the black heavens far above them both. When Miranda arrived at his side, Kolvern didn’t greet her—the dome of a wasted world did. Music “Take a look at the night sky. What do you see?” He caught from the corner of his eye her lithe shoulders shifting for a closer look. Curiosity of a cat. “The moon. The stars.” She shook her head, and he knew that she was smiling. “So many stars. So beautiful. Lit up in the dark. Like fireflies in the sky before the sun comes to blink them away.” Against her delight, Kolvern resisted the urge to return her smile with his own, keeping his lips set in a rigid line. “Stars. Shining, silent and still. What you don’t see beyond the glitter is a cosmos of chaos. Stars going supernova, asteroids colliding, black holes devouring the space around them. A system of laws and uniformed math, a kind of ordered chaos, but chaos all the same.” There was a pause as Kolvern felt Miranda’s gaze find his face, the scrutiny undeniable. “Perhaps, but unlike on our world, there is peace in the stars.” When she spoke her words, the naivety was just as unmistakable. Still a child at heart. “Peace is a lie. The universe is at war with itself and always has been. The stars are just an illusion hiding an infinite black void, a gaping pit that waits to swallow us all, but one that gives birth to galaxies like suns from a stellar nursery.” He left her with his words as he turned from the window, taking a few steps to reach a stand where an antique globe of Valucre was planted, and where his hand was planted upon it. “Now look at our little planet; a pebble in the ocean. What do you see?” He spun the globe. Continents and other landmasses spun with it: Terrenus, Genesaris, Tellus Mater and many more. “The rise and fall of empires, the petty feuding of nations and states, the poverty of forsaken children whose parents girdle the world with their greed.” Miranda said nothing, just stood there listening, and Kolvern had expected nothing less. She spoke when she had something to say. She kept silent when there was nothing to say. “Look back outside that window.” He turned to face it, tilting his head to gesture her toward it, but he did not follow. Now, it was his turn to watch her back. “What do you see?” She stepped closer to the window, her eyes roving about the dark plains and the black skies, searching for something. Always searching. Always seeing. Still, she said nothing. “You see a city on the verge of destroying itself. You see a pit as fathomless as the universe itself. But that too is a lie.” With that, Kolvern walked over and stood beside his pupil, joining her gaze toward the stars shining so close yet so far. “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Descend it and die; be destroyed down in the pit beneath it. Climb it, though, and you may yet reach the top. What awaits us there is a new city, a new world, a new universe—a new order.” Removing his hands from behind his back, Kolvern used them to take Miranda by the shoulders and turn her toward himself. There was perplexity plastered on her countenance, brows crossed in equal confusion and contemplation. She wanted to understand. But you don’t. But you will. Their eyes met—grey-green gazing into green, two black orbs lost in separate seas. “I will ascend that ladder, I will climb chaos, and I will bring forth a new order that will cover the entire cosmos. Or I will die in the attempt and be destroyed. It doesn’t matter. Life and death. Victory and defeat. Peace and war. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. For those tiny souls scurrying out there beneath us, the pit is all they know. For me, the climb is all there is.”
  2. 4 points

    Heroes and Villains

    That was the "issue" post which will drive the current episode. I'm not 100% decided on which I way I want this to go, but I'm thinking he gets stopped by a Superhero in the end. Note that ParasiteZ is made up of a bunch of interconnected parasites that telepathic weapons. Meaning that they can be used to mind control those with inferior minds, I'd say by sticking on on the back of the person's neck. So an interesting route might be that the heroes are trying to stop ParasiteZ from taking over all the gangs and becoming stronger, while some of the villains try to capture some of the parasites for their own use (lookin' at you Red Hands)? I'd like to hear what you guys want your hero/ villain to get out of this. I'm down with a character other than Skylord bringing ParasiteZ to justice or stopping his plans, or them working together, etc, etc. I probably don't want PZ dead cause I think he might be a fun villain to have in the background stirring shit up while we do other stuff or someone we could come back to in the future. Also, in the future whoever is GM for the episode will have two types of posts: GM posts and player posts. For this episode Skylord/ Jake will be my player posts. That doesn't really mean much except to say that I haven't posted my post for this round. I was gonna combine them but it's 2am and I'm too tired for a whole other scene haha Another note, if your character isn't interacting with another character, you don't have to follow posting order since it doesn't matter. Just try not to post more than twice before everyone has posted unless you've communicated that with everyone 😄 Hope you guys like the post/ issue!
  3. 4 points

    H&V Episode 1: A City Abandoned

    "Uh, Billy, whatthefuck wazzat?" Doran asked, clicking off the trigger to his new magitech rifle. The Boss said it could blast through ten inches of solid steel! "I dunno man," Billy responded with a lazy yawn and threw his feet unto the weak wooden table, shaking the large beer mug atop it. "The wind? Couple capes fightin' to the death like dey like ta do? 'Ow the fuck am I s'posed ta know?" Doran shook his head and stood up, eyes still trained to the warehouse's darkened back corner. "I coulda sword I seen somethin' move o'er there." Both of them had been warned by the Boss that no more failures would be allowed. If they messed up again it was on their heads. Sometimes Doran really wished he'd done as his ma had told him to do and moved to Martial Town instead of joining the King Spiders. Been one of those fancy lawyers or doctors that make tons of cash. Then he eyed his magitech rifle and the thoughts flushed out his head like shit down the toilet. No way he could give up the thrill of Palgard for some fancysmancy stuck up desk job. With quiet steps that caused Billy to snicker, Doran tiptoed across the room as silently as his large frame allowed. Reaching a few meters from the darkened corner after only bumping one, okay two, objects along the way made Doran smile. Proud of his stealth. "Ain't no one gunna call me clumsy now, eh Billy?" "You ain't supposed to talk when tryin' ta sneak up on persons." The smaller, more relaxed man laughed. His chair creaked loudly as he leaned back and even further, arms swinging at his sides in mock humor. "Fuck off," Doran cursed, looking down in embarrassment. But quickly he looked up again, magitech rifle at the ready. "Come out and face me like a man, ya slippery lil' fuck." Silence, however, was his only response. Not a murmur or whisper, not a breath or a sigh. Nothing. And then something caused Doran to frown. There was something coming from the darkened corner. But it wasn't... human? Almost... insect like. At first it was hard to hear. Doran had to stretch his neck toward it just to hear the small clicking sounds. Something small and blue crawled out from the corner toward him. It chirped and clattered toward him. Weak and small. Doran laughed, lowering his rifle. "It ain't nothin' but a lil' critter makin' all tha-" The clicking got louder as over a dozen other blue insects crawled from the darkened space. Then another dozens. Then there was a swarm of them, hundreds of them surging from the corner all at once. Doran was covered in the small insects long before his brain had even processed the information. His scream went silent as they crawled down his throat. Billy was next, having just closed his eyes to take a nap. The man didn't see it coming. His entire body was buried in the see of insects within seconds. By the time they'd eaten their way through his entire body, a few of the guards further away came rushing to see what the commotion was about. And out from both the bodies exploded thousands more of the little insects. Click. Click. Click. Not an hour had passed before every single member of the King Spiders in the warehouse had been devoured. A group of larger, more deadly looking insects banded together at the building's center until a tall figure was formed- an almost humanoid figure except for how it was more of a silhouette than a person. Every inch of it was black as the darkest night. The only noise that could be heard from it was an eerie chittering. A moment later it spoke in human tongue to the other insects that were also forming sillouettes, though the following insects went a step further. Using what they just ate, the insect groups took the forms of the gang members recently devoured. "Wwwwelcome home, beautifulsss," ParasiteZ said. "I believe it issss time for the King Spiders to have a taste of their ownnnnn medicine..."
  4. 4 points

    Heroes and Villains

    I'm gonna pitch the problem's start in my night post. After that everyone can do their stuff in the night post and then I'll probably time skip a day or two so that the issue can really develop. @SteamWarden @Sanonymous I saw that you guys are doing a little dance with your two characters. If you'd like, you guys can post a couple times out of the general posting order so that my time skip doesn't cut your interactions.
  5. 3 points

    [Quest] Those left behind

    Those Left Behind "How eagerly commerce makes use of the waste That falls from the furnace or mill in its haste. And fortunes are wrung from the smallest of things That once were ignored, turning men into kings." - Edwin Leibfreed, The Ragman The city never stops. Not for us. Thousands dead now; We roll the bodies out in stacks a dozen high. The incinerators burn day and night, pouring black smoke into the air around the shipping district. Casper's population is withering, and the survivors drift through the streets in the oppressive silence of grief. But still she goes rolling along. Those millenary of lives, even piled one atop the other in grotesque masses, do not tip the scales of priority against her bloated cult of commerce and industry. Three wretched months have passed since the first signs of plague surfaced in the tenement blocks near the wharf. The Phoenix Regent's quarantine came a week later, and though well-meaning, turned the streets closest to Paul's hospital into an incubator for the disease. All his best researchers still had no explanation for the epidemic, much less a cure. And so the city moved on, civil servants scrambling to come up with a plan to adapt and continue business as usual, plague or no. One of the measures had been to commission an Emergency Support unit -- a pretty name for the two hundred or so untrained, ragtag personnel they marshaled and assigned petty tasks to help manage the daily operations of containing the epidemic. Another, the mass distribution of anti-pathogenic masks to the three million surviving residents that still lived in high-risk areas. Press releases sent across the continent urged its trade allies not to break off the free exchange of goods between them and painted optimistic fables of an end to this plague dawning close on the horizon. The military dedicated manpower to bolstering the protection of the vulnerable city, and sent small, elite groups on missions to put an end to this public health crisis. Amidst this push for normalcy from city authorities, the rank and file citizens did not have the luxury of surrendering their lives to the disruption. They were expected to suit up, dry their eyes, and get back to work.
  6. 3 points

    Highway to Hell

    Not only did the Mil Dot provide barbecue and cold pop durring that dinner, Thurgood had actually been working with the Totenboroughans to cut down the trees, since he has a weird sleep schedule. Thurgood had been sleeping for a complete week bedore this project, with a cycle consisting of 15 hours of stage four sleep separated by 15 minute rises to stage one sleep, cramming about a month's worth of sleep in a quarter of the time. Thus, he now can't really sleep, nor could he last night. So instead, Thurgood mapped out the rest of the road to Totenborough and marked trees that needed to come down. While doing so, he met the night crew, taught them how to use chainsaws, got them proper protective equipment (because chainsaws are fucking dangerous), and everybody got to dropping, bucking, then moving trunks into a stack in case they're needed for the road. It's a wonder nobody woke up or complained about the engines revving throughout the night. Dropping all the trees took so long though, that the stumps still remain, with the jagged remnants of the "hinges", or wood left between the face notch and back cut to steer the trees that loggers call "barber chairs". "From the second I started, but ain't gonna be today," Thurgood replies, likely dashing Sebastian's hopes, "even with explosives, it'll take us all day to clear all those fuckin' stumps, and it's gonna take the whole crew to do that. Hell, it took us all fuckin' night to cut 'em down. Better get my explosives, caps, detcord, and initiator then." Thurgood then walks back to the Mil Dot to get all that, carrying two of his chainsaws.
  7. 3 points

    Highway to Hell

    The night had passed uneventfully, and the camp was in high spirits as they had rested after a long day of hard labor. Part of this was undoubtedly due to the food situation; as their dinner had been provided by restaurant owners from Lunaris who had volunteered to cook for the work crew. Delicacies ranging from Terran favorites, to the Mork'Outh cuisine which had skyrocketed in popularity lately were made available to the men, and on one had walked away hungry. Afterwards, everyone had enjoyed a relaxing evening until it had come time to turn in for the night. At first light the crew had gotten moving again, and had just about made their way to where they had stopped yesterday. When they arrived, they would find that the forest that had seemed to stretch on before them had been cleared along the same path they had been taking. Standing in the newly formed path were a group of fifty people led by tanned, muscular man with long, sandy blonde hair. He strode up to meet Sebastian, and shook his hand firmly. "Good to see you Governor," spoke the man in a smooth baritone. "Likewise Markovic," replied Sebastian, "Any problems on your end?" Markovic shrugged, "Nothing unusual. We're ready to proceed whenever you are." Sebastin nodded, "Good. With the trees gone, all we need to do is level the ground and pave it." The two men parted for the time being, with the men from Totenborough moved to join the Lunarian men in their work. Sebastian moved to speak to Thurgood. "You ready to finish this?"
  8. 3 points

    Heroes and Villains

    So how will your press boy work? Will we maybe see articles in the paper from him about the (mis)adventures of what goes on? It'd be neat for him to get things out there with the villains and heroes so the everyday people of Palgard are caught up. Also I find it amazing how the introductions went. Skylord lost a case due to the city's corruption. Red Hand crushed an opposing company. Steve King won a boxing match with two punches. Beast is doing hockey stuff and talking with her buddies. Apex (I think I got that right) had just terminated a villain. And Night Dragon had... breakfast. Wow was I not interesting with my day to day routine. Edit: Oh and Poltergeist killed a dude with his own pen.
  9. 3 points

    contemporary movement

    Despite the arrival of the cavalry, Nai’s racing heart is still not assured. The danger is still very real, and his siblings are spilling out their lifeblood into the soil beneath their feet. He takes a moment to escort Tynes to the truck and into his guards’ waiting arms before returning back to the fray, not quite in the immediate vicinity of the standoff but close enough to observe his brother’s stark-white face, the grimace of pain he cannot quite hide from plain sight. "Lower your weapons, all of you. Release Lord Hildebrand, and we will permit you to leave. But rest assured that you will not survive if he is harmed further." Jasper’s mouth is pressed into a thin, pained line, and he looks dangerously pale against the sunlight, but those eyes are definitely aware of their surroundings, even with the encroaching frost glazing over his irises. Hold on, brother, hold on, Nai silently begs him, gritting his teeth as the standoff continues further with every word sent flinging across the expanse and every second that stretches out, tenuous as a fraying thread: Varda and Jasper do not have all the time in the world. Worried eyes flicker for a breathless moment towards the fallen figure half-hidden in the grass, unmoving but for the strained rise of her chest, reassuring himself on his eldest sibling before he then blindly reaches out a hand behind him. Shaking fingers entwine themselves with his own, and Nai does not need to turn around to know that Aspen is weeping heavily yet silently, lips caught between her teeth. It is how she has always cried, especially when their father had died. "Sure! Sounds good! That guy stays right where he is, and so do I, until the other two are clear then everyone goes their separate ways. And hey, maybe we'll see each other again sometime!" Nai glares daggers at every individual on the other edge of the divide, holding his brother captive in their wretched grasp; the fact that they’ve done such a despicable thing proves to be a point against their case to properly follow through with their demands. Aspen whimpers, feeble and spent, and he turns his gaze towards Diric and Dicken, waiting to see what they would do should the assassins not keep their word. @jaistlyn
  10. 3 points

    The Reverie Ball (Open Hub)

    @MacBeth "Excuse my terrible manners, Kaare," she said with just a hint of laughter peppering her apology. Looking the part, one must also act it, and she had made a tumble in her lack of proper salutation. So used to giving demands and taking them with stride, pleasantries such as these are often placed on the backburner while duty stands at the forefront. She had forgotten that she could be soft and well manners, even enjoyable to be around once the burdens of her position are stripped away. Beneath the ridged curve of her stubborn jaw and the constant perk to one eyebrow, the elf is a woman who can enjoy the simpler things. Like wine while enjoying the company of a rather endearing stranger. "Delphine," just put. He hadn't introduced her to his titles and heritage, prompting her to withhold her place in this grand event. Curious eyes wandered over her bare shoulder, catching the silhouettes of her Lord and the Kommadant still entertaining themselves with the sweets. The Emporer of Kadia will approach the pair, leaving Delphine to remain far away until she is needed to intervene. Only minorly educated in the events that surrounded the Emporer Connor, she is confident in her choice leaving them all to their conversations. Just a thimble of his accomplishments had moved her to broaden the horizon of her education of Valucre and its many kingdoms. Being able to put all that to use shows that it pays to read at least a little about the goings on that make this world so special and unique. Withdrawing from duty, she returns her attention Kaare as they swim through the waves of bodies and conversations. "I've not dipped my toes in the ponds of upper-crust revelry in a very long time - I'm a fish out of water here." The Free Marches have its celebrations when holidays are concerned, and this one, in particular, is not universal. Thus she had refrained from offering her partner a joyous reverie. Lying is not her forte, nor is trying to fit in unnecessarily to be molded into an acceptable piece to this societies puzzle. It just wouldn't have felt right or genuine, even though it may have appeared rude when she had merely smiled in response. Kaare hadn't reacted negatively, having offered to guide her towards the drinks and even extending his arm for her to hang upon, he acted in a dignified manner. Luck may have forced him in her path. In a position of protector, she is supposed to act with the airs of a belligerent, forthcoming creature meant to push aside all disruptive nuisances. Sadly, her hold upon her partner's arm was like a vice, and her bottom lip is snagged between her teeth - too many people with too many feelings. "Are you from these parts Kaare?" she asked breathlessly. Borish, she may be, Delphine is not a slow learner. Her recent misstep was taken with stride; according to some book of manners, it is only right to get to know a stranger, especially one considered kind. It would also keep her distracted from gathering too many emotions from all these glamourized strangers. On that thought, it would have been smart to wear gloves.
  11. 3 points

    Sokui no Rei (Jigoku no Toshi)

    As the crowds welcomed their neighboring city's Shogun, shouting and cheering in approval, the young Prince seemed to be growing restless. A slight bounced was delivered at what Koji found to be his son's preferred rhythm, effectively buying him perhaps a few more minutes of face time before he would end the formalities and allow the festivities to resume into the late hours of the night, if not until the rising sun of the day after. Kaori on the other hand seemed to be made for this kind of stuff, that or she just loved being in her father's company enough to deal with just about any environment. The crowds died down once more, in which Koji jumped right into the conclusion of his speech. "Again I would like to thank you all. For joining us today in celebration, especially to those whom traveled great distance to be here today, and those whom came to join in on providing entertainment. I thank my citizen's, for your selflessness and your loyalty, and I hope that you will show our guests a wonderful time so long as they wish to stay in our company. Eat and Drink til your heart's content! I will be among you shortly!" A slight bow was given as the crowds erupted one list time with gusto! Turning on his heels the Emperor moved with practiced haste beyond Katiya with no intended disrespect, and straight to Noi. Observing her for a moment, a smirk crept upon his face. "Your devotion never ceases to amaze me, Noi. Come now, let's get inside where you can relax." If Kaori wanted down or to go to her mother, now was the perfect chance to do so before they all began to transition back into the throne room. As the Prince grew more fussy, Koji could only surmise that perhaps the boy was actually hungry. After all, he did take him from his nap straight into the commotions of the outside world. Turning to Katiya, he offered Akui up to her, in which he'd confirm allowed for her as well. "I believe he is hungry, distract him until his food is ready will you?" He asked out of respect, though it was ultimately rhetorical. He knew she wouldn't object either way. Perhaps he was a little curious as to how she'd receive him on a whim, curious to watch her mother him directly. Once she took him, she'd notice that his almond shaped eyes were wide and alert. With maroon sclera and pale olive green iris', his gaze was truly a site to behold. They boy was clearly just as much a monster as his parents before him. Such wouldn't only become more readily noticeable as he matured. Somewhere between her cold, alabaster skin and her mere presence, the Prince was nearly instantly quelled for the moment. As they all would return within the pagoda, escorted by the same guards that lead them out, Koji turned his attention to Koharu. "Feel free to stick around and mingle, or to return to Union City at your leisure. If you need anything, feel free to request it from any of our available servants. Perhaps I will catch you around before you go." His way of saying he would prefer to speak to her before she left without placing any pressure or expectation upon her verbally. For now he had his wives and children to tend to before he could walk among the public on a more personal level. Regardless, it wasn't necessary for them to speak now. He was sure he'd be visiting Union City again sooner rather than later, just to maintain presence and collect status reports if nothing else. Neither which called for him directly, and yet he was oh so willing to do it despite the lack of necessity. @Dreamer @Aleksei @Chappu @Etched in Stone @Hurttoto @Eternity @vielle
  12. 3 points
    Die Shize

    Heroes and Villains

    Still gotta read up on everyone's IC tonight, but I also wanted to inform everyone that my next post is gonna be kinda verbose. I mean, I'm a wordy writer anyway, but there's context here that I want to convey, perhaps a 'two-part' introduction to my character and his company, before progressing like normal roleplay. I just feel myself getting more and more wrapped up in the 'superhero' premise of this roleplay and I guess I'm getting a little carried away. xD
  13. 3 points
    [👁️] : I'm blind. [🚪] : Everyone? [👁️] : Everyone. Gone. Swallowed up all my eyes in Elendaron. [🔑] : [🚪] : You know what this means. [🔑] : [🔑] : I do. [🚪] : It has to be you. [🔑] : We'll be ready in a few months.
  14. 3 points

    Let's Make A Deal [Stormlands]

    Echo was dreaming of flying buildings and screaming boulders when a loud buzzing woke her to a pitch-black cabin. She struggled for a moment with the sheets of her bed before she noticed a static red 7:00 floating above her nightstand. The alarm clock buzzed again. She bumped it firmly on the head. The buzzer rang a third time until she noticed the clock had nothing to do with the sound. With a soft groan, she hauled herself out of bed and pressed the wall panel to open up comms. “Are we there yet?” she yawned, not bothering to cover her mouth. Carter didn’t seem to mind, simply because he wasn’t there to see it. “We’re slowing down, so I believe that’s an affirmative. Looks like they’re taking us down to some sort of cave. Really big one, too.” “Like how big?” “Big big.” “Shit,” Echo said. “That’s big.” “Yeah.” She heard the wry smile in his voice. “Want me to gather the crew?” Echo left the speaker active and dimmed the tint of her cabin’s windows. There was just enough light to keep her from squinting. “Please,” she replied, changing into grey cargo pants and a navy blue jacket. “Would you mind putting on another pot of coffee while you’re at it?” “Already taken care of.” Echo gave a silent prayer of thanks. “You're the best, dad.” “Hey, c’mon. I’m not that old.” “You kind of are.” She bent down to tighten her bootlaces. “Nobody grows a moustache anymore. I’ll see you in five, alright?” “Roger that.” The connection plunked out like the abrupt end of a phone call. Echo double-checked to make sure she had everything on her. Phone, wallet, gun - couldn’t forget that - watch, earbuds, mana hypo. Looked about right. She couldn’t think of anything else that was missing aside from a few toys locked up in the armoury, which she’d most definitely visit before the day got any more exciting. Satisfied, she stepped out of her quarters and made her way to the galley, then towards the bridge with a stainless steel thermos in hand. Carter was waiting for her in his usual chair. Meanwhile, Klavier stood at the end of the walkway. He was leaning against the railing, staring out the window, and Echo moved to join him so she could also get a good look at the cave Carter mentioned. It was vaguely shaped like the jaws of a shark, she thought, built into the face of a smooth plateau. There were crooked rock formations jutting from the canyon it overlooked, hiding it from afar and potentially from above. In the recesses of its maw, past the curtain of toxic rain, she was able to make out a variety of twinkling lights. Lightning struck the roof the cavern, once and then twice, and it almost looked like it struck the exact same spot on both occasions. “How’s it going?” she asked casually. “Oh, you know,” Klavier folded his arms, matching the lightness of her tone. “Bunch of officers entering a pirate haven. That usually goes over pretty well.” “Usually.” Echo sipped her coffee. “How’s our guest doing?” “Wonderful. She finds her accommodations quite accommodating.” Echo chuckled. “Did she tell you that herself?” “No, but she meditated the whole time. Figured things have to be pretty zen if she’s going to do that.” Klavier pushed off from the railing to look at her. “You realize she’s blind, right? Ram confirmed it last night.” “I thought so.” Echo frowned at the thought. “Makes you wonder how she managed to sneak into our ship - specifically, through the hole in our roof - when she can’t even see.” “It’s possible her vision deteriorated right after she got in.” “Seems kind of convenient, don’t you think?” Echo took another sip from her thermos, then tapped a finger below her eye. “I doubt it works that fast. If it did, she should’ve been blind a long time ago. Notice how she wasn’t wearing any sort of protective gear for her eyes?” Thinking about it now, the whole story felt a little off. It made Echo feel naive for having softened her suspicions, all because there were too many unknowns to consider. “I guess it doesn’t really matter now,” she shrugged, gazing at the fast-approaching cave. “But if we get the chance, I want her in the med bay for a proper examination, using proper equipment. And then after that, I want a proper interrogation.” Echo stepped back and settled into the captain’s chair. “Otherwise, I’m sure our new pirate friends will be happy to shed some light on her case.” The Casimir’s crew, including their prisoner, stood in the cargo bay while the ramp slowly made its descent. Echo stood at the edge, outfitted in a red envirosuit, with an assault rifle gripped in a firm rubber grip. She’d decided to keep the helmet on, even though the cavern provided safety from the rain. Partly because she didn’t trust air, fearing it would be humid, but mostly because its prismatic faceplate had a good record of keeping skulls bullet-free. Hopefully the situation wouldn’t come that. The goal here was survival, and she’d have to remember that the next time she felt the impulse to chew someone out. Carter and Klavier were equipped similarly, though the Draconian's suit was tailored to his size. He also held one of Echo's newest railgun models. It was a weapon only he could use efficiently, due to a pair of long, unwieldy rails whose weight and recoil were far too cumbersome for anyone weighing less than half a ton. Echo thought him menacing, in a proud, maternal sort of way. She tried her best to emulate the casual irritation of his posture. The ramp finished lowering, and the lights above it blared green. A platoon of armoured guards waited for them on the ground outside. Echo took the first step, keeping her gun in a neutral position, measuring her stride to appear as non-threatening as possible. Darnell and his crew stood among the encircling force, and he tried on a smile that was clearly meant to provoke. Fortunately, Echo was too busy examining their surroundings to pay him any attention. Of all the things she had expected, it wasn’t a small city. Steel towers emerged from the cavern’s floor and ceiling, like giant stalagmites and stalactites basking in each other’s electric glow. Twin pillars at the centre ran the whole length as a means of support, with what appeared to be elevators sliding up and down its sides. The platform they stood on was part of what passed for an open hangar. Behind them, the Casimir lay helpless in the looming shadow of the HCS Mace. A barely audible hum, characterized by a sporadic tick, warbled the air without pause. Echo identified the noise as coming from an invisible shimmer spanning the cavern’s mouth, and couldn’t help but wonder if these pirates had access to force field technology. “Welcome to Freestone,” Darnell said, performing a mock bow. “We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy your stay.” Carter shuffled uncomfortably. “Are we sure these guys are just pirates?” he muttered over comms. Echo didn’t answer. The sudden display of power left her infuriatingly tense. It took everything to relax her voice when she turned on her suit’s external speakers. “I expect you’ll continue to honour our terms, Captain?” she said, with a faint uptick near the end of the sentence. Darnell cocked an eyebrow. When he understood that she was referring to their earlier deal, the second eyebrow went up in obvious amusement. “Like I said, your weapons don't mean a thing now that you’re here. You so much as point your gun at me and I’ll make sure everyone in the city puts a bullet in your corpse.” His face abruptly sobered and he sniffed indignantly. “Though, I’ll have to make an exception for when you meet the Baron. You understand, surely?” It wasn’t a question. Just another thinly veiled test of her patience. “I do,” was all Echo managed to say. “Fantastic. Aksis, why don’t you take the lead?” Darnell patted the small robot at his side, then roved his eyes over Klavier. “I’ll follow from the back and make sure our guests behave.” Aksis blinked. It seemed like a funny feature for a robot to have. Even its movements were different, and not at all…well, robotic. “Come with me, please.” It bowed its head, sincerely, Echo noted, and waved for them to follow. A few of the guards switched off their safeties as added encouragement. Echo took one final look at the Casimir’s defeated figure. Her faceplate hid her rapidly-deflating cheeks as she turned back around. “Alright, let’s go,” she said, kicking her crew into a stoic march. They entered a nearby building, then boarded a tram encapsulated in a tube. It was the kind of thing you’d see at a particularly large airport. A gentle lurch got them out of the station and into a winding ascent, until they glided above Freestone as if they were foreigners on a tour. Most of the ride travelled along the cavern’s wall and rarely dipped into the city itself. A bit of a disappointment, but it offered the better view. From where she sat, Echo was able to discern details she’d initially missed, such as the transparent walkways connecting one building to another; the wafting steam of different industrial blocks; the species of giant fungi used as artificial lighting; and the monumental castle overlooking the entire hollow. “Why the hell is there a castle?” All the guards turned to stare at Echo. None of them answered, but none of them looked away either. “Just saying,” Echo mumbled, more to herself now. “Looks kind of…” Stupid? “…out of place.” Eventually, the tram grinded to a halt. They exited at a station sitting by the foot of a steep cliff. A marble staircase climbed all the way to the top, where the castle resided amid a purplish, luminescent jungle. No other visible forms of transport scaled the cliff wall, and Aksis’ first step caused Carter to curse his arthritis softly. By the time they reached the top, Echo’s legs were warm with strain. Even her arms were sore from carrying her rifle the whole way. Aksis, being a machine, didn’t easily sympathize with her fatigue, and made an impatient clicking noise as he continued past the amethyst-cut gates. “This place is really something,” Klavier whispered, shifting to their private channel. “You’d think the government would have intel on a stronghold this big.” “I’m sure they do,” Echo said distantly. She was admiring the hallway’s seamless gem-and-stone architecture. “That doesn’t mean they have to share it with everyone. Remember, I’m still a private.” “And yet, they gave you an airship.” “Yeah, and real work. As punishment.” She embellished every syllable. “Only reason I’m not stuck digging a trench out in the boonies is ‘cause HQ values my research too much to put me in any real danger. Chasing after smugglers in a souped-up destroyer should’ve been a cakewalk, but then this shit happened.” Klavier acquiesced her point with a nod, then craned his head as they stepped into an atrium. “This castle’s got to be at least a millennia old.” Echo’s tone was skeptical. “Awfully well-preserved if it is. Doesn’t look a day over a decade, if you ask me.” “It’s Elven,” Klavier said simply. “And what does that have to do with anything?” Ahead of them, another set of gates rose from a miniature flight of stairs. “I understand the cave protected the castle from the rain, but there’s no escaping oxygenation.” “Echo.” “What?” “Elves.” A second later, “Magic.” “Ah.” Echo tried to conceal her embarrassment. “Yeah, that makes a uh… how did you know this place was Elven?” “I have a Bachelors degree in anthropology with a minor in history.” “Wow.” The word alone contained a world of surprise. “What the hell are you doing in the army then?” Klaver looked like he was about to shrug, then turned it into a roll of his shoulder as he remembered their conversation was private. “Guess you could say I’m not a huge fan of booby traps or cowboy hats," he said. "And there aren't any jobs?" "And there aren't any jobs." Aksis finally slowed them in front of the elevated gates. The clanging of its feet echoed in the atrium. “As Darnell said,” it began, voice crackling like kindling. “You cannot proceed with your weapons past this point. Please hand them over to the guards. We will return them if…” Aksis let the phrase hang in the air, as if debating between words or silence. In the end, it chose silence.
  15. 3 points
    Her anger was a bit silly, but she felt it justified. Those girls had to be at least six years old, and they didn't need to go around giggling about how her twin sister said her butt was big. And it wasn't really, at least, Ellie didn't think so. When she stopped and saw Constans there, with her twin wrapped around him, her face grew heated. She had greeted him, but still, she wasn't used to feeling this way when he was around. He seemed to look different each time she saw him, and his hair was finally growing in. She didn't know before if he was bald because of choice or because of other reasons. It was when he spoke to her now that she forgot her anger. Revered Sister. He called her Revered sister. When Constans spoke to her, she felt as if her heart was going to burst in her chest. When he stretched his arm out towards her, she didn't waste any time, and she went to his side, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, her head resting against his chest. She looked over at her sister as her ear was pinched, and she giggled. Brat. She stuck out her tongue so that only her sister could see, and grinned. She got revered and her dearest twin sister got called little, and that was funny to her seeing as Isabelle was only a few minutes older than she was. She pressed into Constans' side, and looked up over to Milka as she appeared. She was still soaking wet from the baths, and she could see through her dress a bit, as hard as the woman tried to keep her hair dry, drops still managed to get onto the fabric, and she could see bits of her milky white skin. To be honest, Eleanor was jealous of Milka's curves. That hourglass figure enraptured men like a starving child and a hunk of bread. Her thin, nearly curve-less frame did nothing for most men, and if it did it was because they had other, darker secrets. Most men found her attractive because Elves have pretty faces, and they're not what people are used too. That's one thing that helped Izzie and Ellie survive in Blaireville. There was one missing though, and Eleanor looked around, waiting to see if Eirene was going to pop around the corner, instead two little acolytes came instead. They were so cute, the two little girls ran into the main room, their little hands wrapped around each other, their little feet making slapping noises as they hit the stone floor. They ran in so quickly, Eleanor was worried they would fall and skin their knees, but they didn't, and that anxiety eased as they stopped in front of Constans. "Mother Eirene is in the baths! Do you want us to tell her to come?" One of them asked, Mari was her name. Her companion nodded, confirming the statement. Eleanor looked to the children, and she smiled softly. "Rhea, Mari, please go fetch Mother Eirene. She should hear whatever Father Constans has to say." She said softly, and their eyes lit up, and they nodded excitedly. The two little girls, still hand in hand, turned tail and ran back to fetch the bathing Mother. Now it's what Constans said that disturbed her. Innocent women being hurt. Eleanor physically flinched when she heard this, knowing that kind of pain first hand. She wondered how her sister would react to this news. No doubt she would volunteer herself for whatever Constans asked of her, but Eleanor wasn't so sure. But, if her God willed it, and if Constans asked her to do so, she would have to push down that fear, that pain, and help those not as fortunate as she and her sister.
  16. 2 points

    H&V Episode 1: A City Abandoned

    Heroes and Villains Episode 1 A City Abandoned [Jake "Skylord" Evans begins to talk] For years the city of Palgard has been plagued by anarchy. What is left of its government and city officials are corrupt, their every move determined by the wills and desires of the factions which rule the city. During the day it is almost as if Palgard is a normal city. Men and women go to work. Children go to school. People buy and sell, talk and laugh, love and hate. When the sun is out those behind the scenes stay right where they are- in the darkness of Palgard. Generally the string pullers are the wealthy and the powerful, oligarchs who watch the ongoings of Palgard with ominous gazes. The law enforcement departments are defunct, arresting the bare minimum to maintain some appearance of functionality. Right and true officers are hard to find; usually fired before they can climb so much as a single rank for not "falling in line." If a politician is not someone behind the scenes, they are on that person's payroll. Like a mafia, crime organizations aren't separate from the city government. In fact, the city government is all but controlled by the crime organizations. Some areas are better than others as the ruler of the territory is more kind. Two years ago, however, the Terrenus government built Martial Town. A sort of haven and alternative city for those in Palgard, a way to escape the horror that rules them and their loved ones. Many fled Palgard for the seeming Oasis, yet, many stayed. Palgard is their homes and they refused to leave. Some even convinced themselves that Palgard wasn't all that bad. Or that Martial Town wouldn't be all that better. As Martial Town grew, Palgard became more and more chaotic. Especially when the three leading factions ceased their activity. The Terrenus Peacekeeper Renata Saratxaga and her military soldiers left Palgard soon after Martial Town started to grow. The Bandit King Sanu Toak and Captain of Industry Hana Alenko have both vanished, disappeared into whatever dark place they crawled to. Perhaps they even left Palgard. With the sudden vacuum of power swallowing and drowning Palgard, many factions reared their heads in attempt to grab control of the failing city. And that's when things in Palgard took an odd turn. Heroes and Villains started to appear. And not in terms of "good person" and "bad person." At first these people were dubbed "Masks" regardless of whether they were a hero or villain. The term slowly separated into Heroes and Villains, some more popular or successful than others, though the general slang for Heroes and Villains is still Masks. Some may thrive in Palgard's dysfunction. Some may strive to fix it. Others just fighting to survive and save their loved ones. Others for revenge. This is the story of those Heroes and Villains. [Jake "Skylord" Evans stops to talking] [Episode begins early in the afternoon February 5th] Cast: @Ataraxy as Jake "Evans" Skylord | Hero @danzilla3 as Apex | Other @Tyler as Cory "Poltergeist" Karsk | Villain @SteamWarden as Chloe "Night Dragon" Benoit | Anti-Hero @Die Shize as Kolvern "Red Hands" Rikalsky | Villain @vielle as Diana "Beast" D'Angelo | Anti-Hero @Thotification as The Godmother | Other @Sanonymous as Steve "?" King | Hero @Unicorgi as Jonathan "Shadeglass" Smith | Hero
  17. 2 points

    Strangers in a Strange Land

    The journey all began with a lie. A day later, crouched in a purple moba bush, Viscerex saw a wild boar and shot it unawares. That boar was him. Dim witted. Easy prey. He stabbed its life-vein and watched its blood run thick over the half exposed root stems of the forest. He stabbed it again, and again, long after it was dead. It was him. He laughed at it. He kicked it. He threw his helmet across the forest. At night, he watched her breathe. Elves breathed differently from men. Quieter. Her chest barely rose. Sometimes, he would hold his fingers above her lips, just to make sure she was still alive. The days were filled with slow riding, watching grooves in the dirt paths come and go, breathing the cold air. He watched her when he could, fed them when she'd allow. He tried to speak a hundred times. Beneath the impassive smirk of his steel face, time and again, his lips parted feebly. They always had the same words on their precipice, sentiments strongly felt but never spoken. The ship was tougher. He felt no sense of progression on board the vessel. Trapped again, like the afternoon when he'd walked in on the priest and the elf laughing together. Occasionally, when the sailors laughed, he thought of it and had to stay his hand. But the sailors could laugh at their private jokes. Ioreth and Constans had been laughing at him. Fool Viscerex, idiot barbarian. The loser at the foot Coth. He chose to endure it below deck and there befriended a rat, which he fed until it was fat and then sacrificed to god for clarity. What little clarity he found came through the terrible sweetness of her voice. Even her laughter was tragic, and he wondered if she believed that the courteous joy she showed the world fooled him at all. Before the ship, he had chanced upon her singing and reeled from it, weeping. On board, he would sometimes lurk outside her cabin and listen to her hum. The sailors thought him no more than a hired thug and let him linger where he pleased. He sat against her wall, night after night, and disappeared when she stirred. Eventually, the vessel did progress. Ursa Madeum was not unlike Coth, but soulless. As he wandered through it at Ioreth's side, he remembered that the rest of the world was like this, vulgar and colorful and empty. God shined on Coth, and he had never realized it until now. It was evident in the posture of people-- they were all so slumped here, even the happy ones. He walked tall among them, even little Ioreth did. He felt absurdly proud, until he imagined saying so to Constans. Rion was another one, another source of misery for Viscerex. How many times his dagger been pulled halfway from its sheath he couldn't say by the end. Yet he was so hesitant to act, so afraid to be chastised by Ioreth, who could fight her own battles, that he kept slamming it back down alongside with his rage. Yet when the little elf left the guide behind and entered the bar, Viscerex grabbed the old soldier by the throat, lifted her feet off the ground, and glared at her down the cuts of his helmet's eye holes for thirty seconds without saying a word. Her face was as red as her hair when he released her, and she knew precisely why. Inside the bar, he stood. His job was not to speak to the taggers along. He drank nothing, he said nothing. He hated himself for being here, but wouldn't have chosen anywhere else in the world.
  18. 2 points

    Heroes and Villains

    You are whatever you wanna be my friend. You can kill who you please and I think none of us will question the scary ass Apex predator.
  19. 2 points

    A Night To Remember (Open)

    Dante had downed about three bottles worth of alcohol before regaining himself. He looked around the place and saw Sasha had brought him into some big ass house and apparently there was a massive party going down. "What? Wait what now?" Pulling Sasha to his side to get her attention. "Sasha where the fuck are we? Whose house is this?" He looked out a window. "What city are we in?" Sasha quickly looked at Dante and shrugged. "Some manor. Not sure. And again, not sure." Dante was about to snap at Sasha but then he heard it. The fuck are you looking at? He quickly looked at the woman, whose voice sounded robotic and shrugged. "Sasha was probably looking at you because my ass was needing a drink and she wanted to make sure she wasn't receiving odd glares." Quietly he gets out of his seat and stands up to look at her with a dead serious face. "Now I'm gonna say one thing to you. I don't care who you are. Don't talk to my creation like she's part of the common folk. If you wanna talk to someone like that then you may talk to these stupid party people like that. I will not have my creation be disrespected in front of me by some random person." He grabs a glass of alcohol from the bartender and walks away out of the room, leaving Sasha standing there speechless. Sasha heard all of what Dante had said and stood there. She then looked at the two people and put her hands as if she was innocent, slowly walking away. It was super obvious Sasha wished to not cause ANY trouble. @Dredge@danzilla3
  20. 2 points

    Heroes and Villains

    Since he's a journalist and uses that to gather information about folks to commit assassinations on particular people then wouldn't it be possible one of his employers could have him target one of the PCs? I'd find it interesting if he has a job that involves getting to know a certain daytime hero or villain better (journalist style) and then target them to kill them. The unlikely one's to be targeted would be Beast due to being a teenager and maybe Skylord due to him being a losing lawyer and not much of a threat until he successfully puts someone away.
  21. 2 points

    Heroes and Villains

    @Die Shize Well it won't affect others but boy was that thrilling to read.
  22. 2 points

    What do you listen to while posting?

  23. 2 points

    the strength of mankind [semi-closed]

    Sheryl nodded in agreement, and then bowed politely once again. “Upon these terms, the Force Majeure agree. We will be more than happy to provide you with aid against the front of Whispernight, such as it is.” The Knightess caught the meaning of the words Connor referred to, but did not touch upon them out loud. Master Knight James himself had ordered agents and eyes to be placed on the Datsuzoku Dynasty, as he did not trust its Emperor, Pendragon descendant named Koji. However, they maneuvered carefully, and there was little to speak of on that particular topic at the moment. She turned specifically to the Aelindrian gentleman, “If I may ask, Lord Sancroix. I understand that there is opposition to the plans of yours and the council’s, from not an insubstantial amount of lords in your assembly. Your nation values its principles, as do we all, but I am hoping there will not be many complications down the road. What arguments might your detractors present, or if you have any misgivings yourself, I would be happy to lay them out and have them cleared now” It could certainly be said to be a disadvantage, to have a chamber with so many voices, but that chamber produced voices like Lord Alfonso d’al Sancroix’s as well. It was simply a fact of their governance. If elements unfavorable to Kadia and the Force Majeure were to gain real power however, well, the dissolution of a treaty would be unfortunate, but also a fact of politicking life. As Sheryl understood it, the reforms proposed in Aelindra had not fully taken root yet. A stable state was always more preferable to deal with.
  24. 2 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    "Thank you for your assistance," Kristall nodded as Selena cast her healing spell upon her, the aqua-haired girl feeling some of her vigour returning as she propped herself up on her sword - things seemed to have gotten quiet over at this side; as it appears that the Twistlings had abandoned attacking those in her quadrant to seek new targets elsewhere. "No telling if more enemies may show up, but it looks like they could sure use our help over there," she remarked as she pointed in the direction of where the Twistlings are now - having joined up with the remaining Chhitten pack to fight against the defenders. So she found herself being presented with two options - to stay put in her current position in case more enemies showed up to assault the wagon, or head over to where the fighting was currently at its fiercest to bolster her allies. "With the way the enemy seemed to be consolidating their forces, signs point that their numbers are thinning," Kristall added, hazarding a guess that for the enemy to consolidate their numbers in a singular attack force rather than spread themselves out, it was a sign that they were running out of reinforcements. "So one more push it shall be then," and with that she would sprint over to where the Twistlings and Chitten pack are to lend her assistance to her allies. @jaistlyn @Dolor Aeternum @Tyler @zackrobbman @P.N.See
  25. 2 points

    H&V Episode 1: A City Abandoned

    diana "deedee" d'angelo If there is anything of permanence for Diana in this ever-shifting, fickle hellscape of a city, it’s the Palgard Panthers: best fucking hockey team this side of town, no matter what the big leagues say. “What, cat gotcha tongue?” Roscoe’s face fills her vision, all dishevelled dark locks and cocky crow’s feet eyes, fully obscuring the ice rink from where she sits on the bleachers, lost in thought. “Ain’t heard a single word from ya for two seconds; you’re getting me worried over here.” Diana snaps out of her reverie, gaze narrowing as she swats the intruding limbs away from her personal bubble. The boy is lucky he’s such a skilled center forward, or she wouldn’t be putting up with his shenanigans for too long; two years too long, in fact. No matter how shitty Palgard gets on the worst of its days, she has her team to come back to. Who cares that her parents had jumped ship to Martial Town, that they left her with a hollowed corpse of a house and only her dog Duke for company? She has family here, where she had stayed. “Was feeling grateful, is all—where can I find some damned respect,” Diana mumbles, bending down to untangle the shoelaces of her ice skates, slender fingers making quick work of the task before Roscoe can even find the right words to reply. Further out on the ice, Jax and Trent make tight, precise circles around fire-red cones, and the sight brings a warm balm to her chest. She doesn’t get to see them everyday, not since the riots had begun. Mama Gatsby rules their household with an iron fist; of course she’d want to keep her precious younglings safe. Which is too bad—they’re fantastic defensemen, if only to help keep the pressure off her as the goalie. Mama Gatsby cares not for little leagues, and it’s a damned travesty which Diana pays the price for every other week, when she's stressing over lineups for the scheduled games. When she turns back to Roscoe, he’s tilted her head as he looks at her, having finally dredged up a reply. “Piper’s havin’ a free-for-all at Sharpmate’s later on, if you’re up for noodles?” “Piper’s fucking poor; how the hell can she afford that?” The boy counters with a grin, jagged and sharp. His sparkling personality makes it easy to forget Roscoe is a bumbling baby vigilante, if only when it comes to stealing money from hellish shopkeepers and giving them away to beggars on the sidewalk. The Beast can overlook that, really, no big deal. “How the hell do you think,” he questions her, and when Diana responds with a blank stare that demands further explanation, Roscoe acquiesces. “Did some work six blocks from your place last night.” Diana’s lips tighten into a thin line at that. The elvish ghettos are not the right place to be in, late in the evening darkness. “So are you up for noodles or not? I’m a hungry bastard who needs to be fed immediately.” The thing is, she’d love to join up for these kinds of gatherings, but the Call rings out loud and clear every night: the Beast needs to secure its city. Diana stands, shoves her skates into a locker as Roscoe trails behind like a persistant puppy. “Tell Piper thanks, but I ain’t looking to get blubber in me before the big game next week, alright? The Raviners need to be taught their fucking place, and I won’t jeopardize it with inconveniently timed noodles.” She smirks at the disappointed frown this declaration inspires, then ducks out of the skating arena into the urban jungle beyond. Her cousin had pleaded, begged, even threatened her to come join them in Martial Town, but Diana has made her peace with her life long ago. Palgard may be a cruel, dark mistress where people make their beds with monsters every night, where the light rarely pierces through the gloom, but this; this is her city. Palgard is her fucking city, and she looks after her own. Her nose itches, the way it always does when trouble comes knocking on people’s doors in the slums, and Diana scrubs a hand across it, grimacing with mild distaste. Damned bloodhound of a sensory organ. One thing is for sure: the Beast is going on a hunt tonight.