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  1. 5 points

    The Problem Nexus

    THE PROBLEM NEXUS An index of OBELUS' puzzles Begin to see with eyes wide shut All is not as it seems. I. The Mezthaluen Tabloids Once, there was a boy who thought he could save the world. PUZZLE PROGRESS OUTPUT Rings of Fire Solved by @Zigzag [1: Sovereign's Choice] Blacksmith's Daughter Solved by @Malintzin [2.1 Gyrum] Missing Person Solved by @Ampersand [ 2.2 Upsilon ] Silver Cloud Solved by @Ampersand [ 2.3 Blind Sight ] █████ ███ ███████ 0% [ locked ] ██ ████ 0% [ locked ] II. Davant Declassified Begin to see with eyes wide shut. PUZZLE PROGRESS OUTPUT Terminology Solved by @Csl [ 1/6 ] The Crossbow Analogy Solved by @The Alexandrian [ 2/6 ] Power Classes Solved by @Csl [ 3/6 ] History Solved by @Csl [ 4/6 ] Authority Structure 0% [ LOCKED ] Input passcodes below. Use closing angle bracket (>) as prefix. >passcode
  2. 5 points
    The Alexandrian

    A Cure For What Aleth You

    Lies. All lies. Sharp nails bit into her palms, drawing tainted blood from her veins. Droplets of molten silver trickled through the pliant channels between her fingers. She trembled, a child lost to the fog, her ghastly appetite gnawing at her. Her inadequacy was bitter, and her stomach soured. I am no hero. A sniveling pup. Weak. Worthless! A waste of flesh, unloved and utterly alone! Unnatural, they called her. TRIPE UNFIT FOR THE BUTCHER BLOCK! She felt the world unraveling around her. Nu Martyr. Renovatio. Tia. The Cult of Power. The Dead. The Legion of Doom. Elendeath. Whispernight. The Enrele. Caeceila is a fool dumbstruck by her reflection in a pool of water! She bumbled through life under the delusion she could shelter her people from the rain, the wind, the cold, and the knives ripping their throats open. Avenging the blood spilling through the gutters, mixing with piss and shit in the godsforsaken sewers, because it was her duty. Because she was a noble. Because she was a cut above the rest. Ha! Caeceila is a jester, and even now, the gods chuckle at her antics. All my training, my breeding, the contracts penned in my blood and carved into my flesh, profane rituals and blasphemous prayer, eyes blinded by hubris and fear, years of simulations in that lonely abyss, and for what? I hit you with everything I had, and I didn't even leave a mark. The reaper called on Dougton, and it spared not a soul from its scythe. Young, middle-aged, old: it mattered not. Death took all in its inexorable embrace. They cried out to the gods in desperation, to Gaia, their fictitious idol. They were hacked to pieces petitioning their false gods! They were enslaved in their own bodies, peering out of glassy, unblinking portals forced to witness the atrocities their hands committed. Their children were taken as cattle, raised for the table, cared for until Hivemind Aleth absorbed them into its mass. Blood poured from the bottle into the saucer, and the Beast pawed at the web, demanding release. Caeceila felt it all. She too would die here. They would all die here. So much innocent blood. Why? Why did it call to her? A cruel joke! Mothers preying on their offspring. Brothers tearing each other to shreds. Jason. Jason is their one hope. Jason is their champion. As the stars wink out and the stagehands tug at the curtains, Jason will claim his rightful place and mend this shattered globe. She is a monster. She is a coward. She is a pretty, useless thing, playing at greatness. She will amount to nothing. They look to her, and she can do nothing for them. Jason is all that matters. Caeceila must save Jason. Her voice quivers. She can't do this. She isn't good enough. Caeceila failed again and again. Why didn't she admit her failures were a testament to her weakness and give up like the rest of Terrenus. Fracture. That's what they're calling it now. What would they call her? In her brokenness, Caeceila Glasmann stumbles toward Jason of the Lions. Humiliated, despairing, and rendered half-blind by unnatural fog, she works her way to the last hope for Valucre. I am a failure. I can't do this. We need to move you off of the streets. You must - The word "survive" is on her lips as she watches, in abject horror, as a blade (probably) buries itself hilt-deep in Jason's intestines. Her eyes are wide with shock as her legs go numb and give out beneath her. She falls to her knees upon the rough, cobblestone road, bruising her legs though she cannot feel the pain, and stares blankly into the distance, and for a time, Caeceila is dead to the world. Her respite is short-lived, for it is a mercy she doesn't deserve. He is dead. Death is all around her. Dougton is a maelstrom of suffering. She hears an explosion in the distance. Why should they be the lucky ones? They would take her, wouldn't they? In a heartbeat, they would make her a puppet identical, in function, to Jason. She would rather die. They too would be better off dead. She must avenge them upon themselves. She must take innocent life. She must avenge Jason. She must sate her hunger. She can't bear this feeling any longer. When Caeceila rises, she is worse, for the source of her power is the end of all things.
  3. 3 points

    Tavern of Legend Season 3

    There was a quiet thump on the door of the Tavern as someone/something slammed itself rather inelegantly into the doorframe. Seconds later, a most peculiar creature entered the Tavern of Legend. Iris the rolling pin quite literally floated between the small gap present in the door. He defied all laws of physics, seemingly undeterred by gravity as he wafted inward with the chilly outside breeze. For many, this hyperbolic scenario was nothing short of bizarre. Thankfully, to all whom were in the Tavern, the rolling pin was not the star of the show. He was merely a servant of a most passionate and aspiring young chef. One who would enter the tavern... Right... About... Now...
  4. 3 points

    The pigs gotta die!

    ((It's been over five months, so time to end and submit this thread for canonization)) Full Summary: Pigs adapted to the Moss Forest have rapidly increased their population and caused lots of trouble in Lunaris. The citizens rally at city hall to air their grievances. Thurgood and Aveline Singlance organize a massive hunt and contest to diminish their numbers. A group of weretigers makes a huge dent. Short Summary: Thurgood and Aveline lead a hunt to reduce the problematic pig population. Concequences: Jungle Pigs are now a canon species. Pork has made its way into the diets of many sapient humanoids living in Lunaris. Opportunities: These pigs have managed to adapt to the Moss Forest rather quickly. Is there a supernatural force at play? These jungle pigs have impacted the Garantha, Rixnaur, and especially Zkriz'ka populations in a meaningful way. What about the Mork'Outh? What do they know about this sudden explosion in population? The pig population is still significant. If hunting a large, fierce boar is part of a rite of passage or something, there are certainly some here. Also, they can very well cause problems again. ((I'm pretty sure I've at least met the minimum requirements for canonizing a new animal species @Csl @danzilla3))
  5. 3 points
    squid peanut

    The Lengths We Go To

    Shortly after her plea, the tiny fairy was struck with the realization that her speaking up probably served to startle and confuse just as much as inspire. When you spend as long as Spear Thistle had, watching humans and the like talking their giant heads off, it becomes easy to forget that fairies aren't a thing most of them are expecting. it's certainly rude to be so ignorant, but big things move slowly in more ways than one. In all honesty speaking to humans wasn't really something Spear Thistle did that often, messing with them was free rein but she often preferred to watch them from a distance, following their silly giant lives while plundering their pantries, good boys and girls would even get treats in return. Eryel had been a particularly special case. mountains of salted pork were as close to heaven as Thistle cared to look for, and having such a moving tale to watch unfold was like having icing on the cake that was just a second cake. A young woman, forced to leave the only home she ever knew and live in a pale imitation of it. Her one living relative bed ridden and the mercantile empire she had seen her father rule reduced to little more that a stall. a series of tragedies that the girl had to hide behind a mask to the outside world. Her life hinging on her innocent smile that had long since vanished from her soul. How could someone like Spear Thistle not get invested? Of course she had given a helping hand to make things a bit nicer, mainly stopping any would be rat or bug infestation from ever getting a foothold. An act which totally not just a matter of territory. Spear Thistle jumping in was because she was just so startled at Eryel fumbling her big shining moment of turning her fate around. It may be true to the character but Spear Thistle wanted an inspiring call for help, she had gotten front row seats and everything. it felt like the perfect drama was shattering before her very eyes, how was Eryel ever going to meet a dashing prince and find true love now? Things we looking even worse because Thistle had to open her big mouth. "oh man, why'd I go and say that, what did I think was going to happen?" Spear Thistle silently thought. "aaaaaaah, my motivation is dropping so quickly, aaaaaah what am I gonna do?" When suddenly, spear Thistle was hit with an epiphany. She's a fairy. Young maidens being helped along their quests by helpful fairies is totally something that happens. She's not a narrative dead end, she's a deus ex machina! "Yeah, I'll be Eryel's adorable magical guide, sure to be a fan favorite and making sure this whole thing ends how it should, exactly how I want it to! WA HA HA, my self esteem is now infinite!" This spiritual journey took place over the course of half a minute, and looked like little more than if Spear Thistle had forgotten how her face muscles worked and was rapidly going through exaggerated expressions to refresh her memory. The important part being that she had gone from confident and energetic, to confident and energetic and with an actual idea of what she was doing. Spear Thistle poked her head out from behind a ration bar to see who were actually interested in Eryel's proposal. She was rather surprised by the fact that two whole people had come forward, and by how both of them looked super sketchy. The first was a woman who looked like the kind of person who was a vivid character that could exist in different settings seamlessly. Like, you could see her at a noble party, or a run down orphanage, or a demonic cult and not bat an eye once. Hopefully getting to know her would rule out the third option, because other wise oh no. The second was a giant dog woman who towered over everyone and had pretty nice hair. She was pretty scary. Dog lady had the whole wild animal vibe going on where it felt like she was always moments away from just trying to eat you. The fact that the coloring of her face fur looked like a skull didn't help much either. Neither did the fact that the dog lady seemed to be possibly aware of Spear Thistle's presence, somehow despite Spear Thistle being magically hard to see and behind a mountain of salted pork stacked on dishrags. It wasn't impossible, but extra alarming if true. Some of this fear was calmed however by the fact that Spear Thistle had built in defenses, her outfit's fuzzy spikes weren't just for show and many a predator learned this fact the hard way. Looking back at Eryel, Thistle saw that the girl was going for cute feminine charm out of desperation, a dangerous strategy when both of her targets seemed to be unmarried women. To make sure this wasn't a death sentence, Spear Thistle sprung into action, discretely zapping Eryel with a spell to boost her charm. These kinds of spells were hardly Thistle's forte, but there wasn't a fairy alive who didn't at least know the basics, it was a universally required course.
  6. 2 points

    Fun in the Sun - Open

    It was half an hour into the walk when they came. Figures, she thought to herself. The so called scary path was just a ruse to get Sarah into a secluded spot, allowing the robbers tailing her to strike undisturbed. "Your money or your life, bitch." Six men, each wearing leather armor, daggers in hand with swords at their hips. Staying silent, she took the small coin purse that was fastened to the cloth around her, held it out and dropped it onto the ground with a muffled clink. They didn't take kindly to the gesture. "You better pick that back up bitch, then toss it to us real nice and easy." After another moment of silence, one of them got restless and went to take the gold for themselves. That's when she struck. Quicker than a viper, she grabbed the man's wrist, twisting it sharply to force him to drop the dagger, then broke it. He didn't have a moment to scream, because one blow to the neck caved in his trachea, and he suffocated on the ground, writhing in pain while shock ran it's course through the others. Taking the sword off the dead man, she held it and the dagger in a defensive state. All she had to say to them before they rushed her was this: "You better make sure you kill me." It was a gruelling half hour of work, but the two warriors finally brought the heavy chest to shore. "Yes! Oh thank the gods we made it!" Eric said, exhausted but triumphant. "Oh I can't wait to open this thing up. What do you think is in here?" Phillip asked, taking a look at the lock fixed onto their prize. Upon further inspection, he discovered the chest to be completely sealed, meaning there probably wasn't a single drop of water in there. "Must be something important." He muttered to himself. "I bet it's diamonds." Eric imagined. "Great big diamonds the size of your head. Worth a fortune or three, I bet. Come on let's force this thing open." "Hold on." Phillip said. "It could be booby trapped. Let's focus on trying to open this the right way, okay?" Nodding, Eric snapped his fingers. "Cragmar has some tools we could use. I bet we could get him to let us borrow them for a moment." "We may have to use the money to bail him out of jail." Phillip said in a worried tone. Pointing across the beach, Cragmar had his axe with him, as angry as he could be. "Stay with the chest, I'll make sure he doesn't kill anyone." "You got it, Commander." After fetching his weapon from the supply wagon, the dwarf was ready to get his vengeance. That big oaf believed himself so tough, Cragmar thought, let's see how tough he is after someone lops off his knees. "Hold it, Cragmar." Came a voice behind him. Turning back he saw Phillip, standing there, still wet, and a stern look on his face. "Please tell me you aren't going to use that." "And what if I am?" He asked. "Some idiot yokel starts mouthing off to me and pushing me around, what do you expect from me?" "You're better than this, Cragmar." After a moment of seething in his anger, he shook and threw down his weapon. "Damn you! Don't think this means I'm gonna forgive him." The dwarf said in a huff. "I would never expect that. Let's go find this guy and see if we can't get him to apologize." Cragmar was amicable to that, and so the two went off to find the beach bully, and would eventually find the man sitting right on top of him. "More grapes, Mistress?" As she opened her mouth, the fruit was lowered inside, and she thankfully bit down to take some from its branch. As Lancellar purred her approval, the man serving her couldn't help but notice some of the juice from the graps was leaking from her mouth, and dripping down her chin onto her almost naked chest. "Oh, it looks like I've had an accident." She said coyly. "Would you be a dear and...lick it off for me?" The others, who were tasked with fanning her, massaging her feet and fetching her drinks, looked on with jealousy and lust as the dark skinned boy leaned down and with one motion licked the sweet juice off her body. "Like that, mistress?" "Mmmmm yes, thank you. Now be an absolute dear and trim my fingernails please? They're getting awfully long." Said Lancellar, holding out her hand to the boy, helplessly caught in her Web of seduction. Eagerly he agreed and took a file from a nearby table, working to make the cuticles as beautiful as they could be. "I can definitely classify this as my favorite vacation." She said with a smile. Who would have thought that her body would be so sought after that she could bend these little humans to her will. Of course none of them would ever get a chance to explore her garden, so to speak, but that didn't mean she couldn't put them to good use waiting on her hand and foot. The only thing that would make this better is if Sarah were here to enjoy it with her. Yes the half vampire did have an uneasy relationship with the sun, but that didn't mean she couldn't have any of these willing slaves to hold an umbrella for her.
  7. 2 points

    The Heavy Hand (Outpost 4?)

    Caden reached out and grabbed Ivan's wrist, the grip soft but unyielding, as if held in place by little iron bars. He reached into Ivan's pocket himself and pulled the notes out, keeping Ivan aloft with one hand while rifling through the ream of papers with the other. Satisfied, at least on the surface, that this wasn't a red herring Caden let Ivan go completely and used two hands to pick through the notes, probing for any misstep on Ivan's side that might justify a full loosening of his teeth. But it checked out. "Ain't nothing stupid about where I put you." Maybe Ivan had been too cool a customer to realize Caden had been holding his face to the tracks meanwhile a train trundled in their direction, the precision arrangement of psychological pressures all around him to yield maximum harvest with minimum time. If Vito rounded the corner and found Caden beating Ivan inches within his life, who was he likely to help? If it was Kaiser and he noticed which one of them actually had hands on his precious artifact, who was he likely to target? "That's good enough for me. Next time ask so's I can tell you about how come I don't like people peepin' on me. I heard Vito this way. I'll take point." Caden grabbed the nearest table, pulled off one of its legs to hand to Ivan as makeshift club, then held it to his body as slapdash shield and rushed the home's interior, hugging the wall. He took a sharp corner and got it in the face – 'it', here, was the keen edge of a broadsword, and 'in the face' meant lodged about a quarter inch into his left cheekbone. He reached up and snapped the blade where it met the handle, then punched through his own table and thudded heavily against the mercenary's chest, immediately breaking three ribs and dropping the man in a bloody coughing fit. "Can you get up there or do I have to throw ya?" Vito was in sight now, as were three more guards flooding into the common room through adjacent hallways, as was the already broken window Vito took coming in.
  8. 2 points

    The Dead of Winter

    Sikko took a moment to admire Marcellus as his body twisted into that of an animal. It was an alarming sight, the piercing eyes and mangled fir. He knew that inside was his friend, a companion that had suffered as much loss as he had, but it still scared him. What if this was all a trap? It wouldn't have been the first time the man had led a group of people out into the wilds to be killed and scattered into piles of flesh and bone. He thought of the captain, his head rolling off of his shoulders, blooding hissing as it hit the snow. And now he knew why Silverstrike never liked the man. Now was not the time for such thoughts, though. Throwing out his hands, he caused a pillar of snow to shoot him in the air. At the same time, while snow covered the sleigh he sent a thin spire of ice to prick Marcellus' skin, planting a little ice into his body. Just in case, he thought, landing onto the sleigh. If he did decide to kill them, at least they'd have half a chance to get away from his beast form as ice temporarily immobilized him. "Alright, let's go!" As Marcellus drove the sleigh he'd help by clearing a path in front of the werewolves path. "I hope you've got something up our sleeve Marcellus!"
  9. 2 points

    The Heavy Hand (Outpost 4?)

    Chaos was such an odd concept to Ivan. It made sense because it didn't. It was one of those things that one excepted as part of life, as part of being human. Who questioned chaos? No, you question what brought on the chaos, not why chaos is the automatic result when there's a lack of organization or order. That's exactly what was happening in Kaiser's home in those moments after he pointed out the trapped door. One second he'd been pointing, the next he was falling into the shirt of a man with a large knife, scraping the floor as he fell. And before he could even get his bearings from that, Caden was holding him against a wall. "...Who do you work for?!" "Wha-" Ivan stopped, thinking for a moment. When had he been watching Caden and why the hell was he so mad about it? He thought for a second, blocking out the clanging of weapons and the shouts of fighting men. Then he remembered, and laughed. "Caden, firstly I work for you guys and this organization." He shifted a bit. "And secondly I was watching you to make notes on the drug, nothing more." He would attempt to pull out his notebook and show Caden his notes. He began to laugh, bowing over at the stupidity of the situation. Out of all of the times to confront him about snooping, he wanted to do it while they were trying to get out of a trap infested house. He'd thought Caden at least had a half a mind of common sense, but obviously not. He didn't blame him though, emotions were a hell of a thing to keep in check, they drove him to partner with criminals to find Daria. "So are you going to let me go now, or just sit here and be captured?" He wouldn't move at all until Caden allowed him to do so. A crash sounded in the distance as a guard flew through one of the windows. "You should probably make the decision sooner rather than later, I'd hate to meet such a stupid end after everything we went through just to get here."
  10. 2 points
    Mission accomplished, Soggy.
  11. 2 points

    Fun in the Sun - Open

    Grant smiled at Lencio. "I think I understand what you're saying. You're surrounded everyday by some of the most amazing people on the planet, and you want to be extraordinary too. But what you don't see is all the time and effort those people put into getting where they are. Sabine is one of the best warriors this Empire has to offer, but she didn't start out that way. She worked at it, one day at a time until accomplished her goals. But before that, she had to know what she wanted." He reached out and put a hand on his brothers shoulder, "You don't have to be in such a hurry. But if you want to be cool, first figure out what being cool means to you. Once you know, then strive towards it every day. I'll help you any way I can. But right now..." The Prince hoisted his brother into the air and slung him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. It was something he did often when his mother needed one of his siblings out of the room. When he was smaller Len used to squeal with delight whenever he did this. Now he would pound softly on his big brothers back in mock outrage. "Right now you can meet some friends of your big brother!" He walked over to where Thurgood and Aveline were standing, an easy grin on his face. He hadn't seen the two of them since their houses had been abolished in Ursa Madeum, and he was glad to see them again. "Thurgood, Aveline! Great to see you again," he put Lencio down and spun him around to face the siblings, "This is my little brother Lencio." @notmuch_23 @Malintzin
  12. 2 points
    Cheating and outside interference in my tournament? -judgeface intensifies-
  13. 2 points
    I just want to interject and say, because I am absolutely awful at all things fighting, that I find this discussion absolutely refreshing. I love it. I hope you two can figure out some outcome that allows each of you to continue writing the stories you want, versus just getting caught up on the purely technical aspect of the fighting (although you both have been through and respectful in presenting your cases). I am more than happy to provide Gabriela as a means to hinder the fight, if you guys need an out. I am not sure what she could do, or what Fier might allow me to do, but I am not above Gabriela having an absolute meltdown because she thinks these two people she has some type of feelings for might actually end up hurting each other. She's tittering on the edge, might as well shove her clear off. Story wise, I believe Gabriela still has an affinity for shadow manipulation, and I could see the ribbon around Arthur's wrist suddenly coming to live to pull at his arm in an attempt to tether him back from attaching Cae, and given Gabriela's meeting with Cae, it could make the poor Heiress look like a cheater. It would also give Arthur a reason to want to come strangle Isabella... Just one idea!
  14. 2 points

    The Problem Nexus

    Rings of Fire edited to correct code errors. Apologies for the confusion.
  15. 2 points

    Fun in the Sun - Open

    Arashi looked over at Rae, shooting a grin as she answered the dragon's questions. "They have dragons and you didn't tell me? I want one now...wonder how it'll take to me being a dragon and all. I'm not exactly great at interacting with the other members of my species..." Arashi sighed. She never had the skills to do that. "So why did you want me here? I was gonna train today...but if you want me to freeze the ocean or boil it instead, I can do that." Arashi paused for a second. "Only kidding, then the kids would scared of "the evil dragon lady" even more. I doubt they think of me as that but I do look pretty scary right? Unless they aren't scared of dragons..." @Malintzin
  16. 2 points

    (ARTIFACT) A Master of Space and Self

    Reinhardt wasn’t an idiot by any measure, and certainly was skilled in retreating when it needed to be done. The soldier was moving just before Jame’s shout to take cover even left his lips. Flight gear humming, the runes glowing bright as the small scale reactor hummed into overdrive. Blue mana exuded in a burst of flame like miasma as he shot forward. Eyes moving left to right as he searched for a place to hide. Eyes lighting up as he saw a stalactite he whipped around, the force of the maneuver causing his insides to feel as though they twisted into a knot. Shit, still need to get used to this. The thought came as he stealthily hid behind the formation of stone. Then came the heat. Reactive barrier flickering as it tried to compensate against the blast of heat. He was worried he would be roasted, after a few moments the heat abated. Sneakily looking around the corner he caught sight of the massive creature, obviously it was mad, not that he was certain if elementals has human like emotions to begin with. Then he turned his gaze to the stalactite he cursed. The massive stone formation was almost melted completely through. Perhaps being in the environment gave it some resistance to the heat. After all, it was not uncommon for even stone to absorb certain properties of mana in the right conditions. “Shit, any longer and I would have died.” Placing a hand to the communication device at his ear, he spoke to James. “I got an idea, but it will take a minute or two to set it up. My rifle can use certain elements in the exalta rounds. Give me time and I’ll give the damn thing a lesson it won’t soon forget.” He breathed out, taking a fresh clip placed it into the top of the gun. The round were different, similar in appearance save for the unique set of runes that laced the exalta tips of the rounds. Taking a breath he focused. As all augmenters do he focused the ambient energy of his soul, channeling it into the rounds of his gun. ”Careful, don’t want to burn out my soul, focus on the ambient aura, draw it into the runes.” The beautiful thing about Augmenters, was they they didn’t need to be mages to make full use of their Abilities. [Prep-Augmentation: 1]
  17. 2 points

    A Cure For What Aleth You

    It seemed that she was too late. Jason of the Lions had been easily dispatched by her companions but this did not faze her one bit. The woman once known as the Mistress Blackhead still had a trick up her sleeve. Once again, she had unveiled the High Lord's blade, Baeoi. She had already unsheathed the blade as soon as Jason was hit. When the former 'hero' was throw far far away, she had no choice but take a risk. She had to throw the blade. Letting it go was rather hasty of her but this was the best she can do for now. Three commands was the most she can give Baeoi at the moment but that should be enough to achieve her desired outcome. Her eyes trailed after the receding figure of the flying sword. With her famed weapon no longer visible, the woman who called herself 'The Mistress' moved her attention towards the impending fight. It has been a long time since she enjoyed herself. It's not everyday she could get an opportunity like this. And against of all things. The very notion of this idea only made her lips curl in a rather smug grin. When I met the titan Cialo, I had to fight a whole mountain range. When I met the titan Montis Maximus, I had to face an erupting volcano. When I met the seraphim Sagittarius, I had to challenge a thunderstorm. When I met the seraphim Aquarius, I had to confront a whole sea. When I met the fallen archon Rifornire, I had to survive through a world of fire. When I met the high seraphim Libra, I had to match the powers of time and space. "Now I have to face this abomination of a god and the whole city." This last line she may have spoken out loud. "CANCER." She knew the god's name. This she deduced from the memories and from the words of the gods living inside her. "We'll meet soon." As she spoke, the wanted terrorist produced a pair of revolvers from inside her coat pockets. She raised one of the pistols just in time to meet the rushing dragon rider. She only needed a moment to dispose of this problem. Aim- Then she gets pulled out of the way by her sister who was screaming in her ear. "Are you trying to get yourself killed?!" "No! I'm trying to get us all killed. Now let's find that god." The wanted terrorist retorted then turned her attention to the mountain boy. "Hey, Argi! We must rush to beat Aleth before it becomes an actual god!"
  18. 1 point
    Pasion Pasiva

    Rising Darkness

    It was raining -- storming actually. The sitting room where she stood, was shrouded in darkness, save for when lightning cracked across the sky, breaking the clouds open for a split second or two. In that moment, cold, white light filled the room with clinical brightness for a second or two before dying away, leaving her eyes hurting behind the black, lace mask she wore pressed like a second skin against her face. There wasn’t much in the form of modern luxury in this city, but she had found it, the one hotel that offered a little of this and a little of that, and by the blessings of her hard work, managed to rent out the penthouse suite for a week -- long enough for the quiet contemplation she so desperately needed. Her mind had become a jumble of dark memories and bright goals, but she couldn’t be certain which were which anymore. There was silence in the past and now, it seemed, there would be nothing but silence in the future. A small hand, a warm hand, reached out and planted itself against the ice-cold glass of the nearly room-sized window. It was a singular piece of glass, massive and thick, but not thick enough to keep out the cold, which she could feel when she drew too close, leaching the warmth from her. Now she was feeding it, literally pouring the warmth of her blood through her fingertips, into the cold night beyond that chilled the see-through surface that kept her from stepping forward and outward into the abyss and her death. Under her mask, her golden eyes shifted across the sky, guessing at where the next cut of lightning would come. In reality, she was searching for a memory -- something that felt beyond distant, more like a dream, or perhaps a fantasy. A room, not unlike this one, on a night when snow fell rather than rain. And rather than black, she wore white, for him. Did that really happen? She frowned at her reflection, which suddenly appeared as the room lit up again. For a moment, just a split second, she examined herself. She was in black again, a dress with a plunging neckline that dipped just above her navel. The cut of the dress, beyond that daring neckline, appeared modest, with long sleeves, and wrapped shoulders, a completely covered back, and full skirt that spread out just under her waist, save of course for the fact that the whole bodice was made of the same skin-revealing lace as on her mask. Her warm, supple flesh peeked through the carefully knitted lace -- the swell of her breast, the lines of her shoulder blades, the elegant curve of her back as she stepped closer to the window, closer to the glass, and closer to the darkness beyond. “Why am I here?” she asked her reflection, her lips mere inches from the glass -- from the perfectly captured image of herself. But she was looking beyond, her eyes had turned upward, farther than the lights of the sprawling city below, toward the crowning jewel, the citadel. It was a black mass, massive and awful, save when the sky came to life with another firebolt. Then she saw faint details, things that helped to feed the murky memory she had, nothing like the vision of it that she had carried as a vampyre. The darkness, the rain, and the wind -- it blurred everything, including his face, his voice, and the memory of his touch. “Rain, rain...go away.” Those fingers slipped away, downward, leaving a small imprint against the condensation that had begun to gather. As a human, she ran rather hot, whether it was due to her own natural inclination or some sick joke, compliments of Rodan, she couldn’t know -- wouldn’t know. But she had to back away from the glass, had to leave it behind before she ruined her view of the city. So reluctantly she backed away, and went to one of the gray chairs that awaited. There she sat, legs crossed, and her arms stretched out so that her elbows rested on the armrests of the chair. It was as if she were taking in a grand show, but it was just the storming sky beyond, and the outline of that building -- with its highest tower, and it’s room with a lock. Thoughtlessly, she plucked her glass of wine from the table that sat beside her chair. It was her third glass of pinot noir, and she was well under the pleasant effects of alcohol. Her dinner sat untouched on a far table, cold now and utterly unappetizing. Lately, it seemed her diet consisted mostly of liquids, the type of which could quickly alter the state of her mood and make her forget the ache in her chest. In her humanity she had discovered her enjoyment of sweets, but she had also come to rely heavily upon alcohol to regulate the highs and lows of her day to day existence. She didn’t care about the damage it might do to her body, to her heart, or to her mind, after all -- she didn’t plan on hanging around for much longer. So then, was this goodbye? Half a glass of wine disappeared in two massive gulps, which burned and hurt her chest from the inside out. The discomfort caused her to shift, to reach between her breasts where the burn lingered, and where still-cold fingers could press against mostly exposed flesh. A groan escaped her wine-stained lips as she grimaced at the heartburn that threatened to stop her intoxicated-contemplation of the Crimson City, it’s value, both from a sentimental perspective as well as a potential source of resources. There had to be something here, something she could use, something she could take -- she hadn’t cried, bled, and suffered upon this godforsaken land for nothing. “I will take what is mine!” she yelled, suddenly, just as the sky burned hot-white and her wine glass flew across the room to crash and shatter against the window. She is sitting up, on the edge of the chair, with her hands gripping at the arms. Her breathing hitched and trembled. “I paid in blood and tears -- I paid in flesh and life.” Up. Up she went, swaying prettily in a drunken-stupor toward another table. A half-empty bottle of wine was waiting for her, calling out for her, even as her stomach churned and twisted in knots. “They’ll all pay. Every, single, last, one of them…” The wine bottle knocked out of her fingers and onto the ground. In a great torrent, the crimson liquid poured out, and she cried out in despair. Still, she managed to gather up a portion of her skirts, to keep the fine fabric of her gown from soaking in the spilled wine while her bare toes stepped into the growing puddle. The sight of it, of the wine between her toes, sloshing along the tops of her white feet -- Philippe’s birth came to the forefront of her memories. There had been blood, so much blood. “They’ll pay for everything.”
  19. 1 point

    General OOC

    You do whateva ya want, boo. Have fun with it. No posting order for this.
  20. 1 point

    Fun in the Sun - Open

    Watching the dwarf walk over with his ax T.E.M. couldn't help but chuckle. "Oh lookie! He's coming for your legs big guy." A slight shift from under the elf and a groan escaped the beach bully. "I think I hit you too hard. Your insides a bit shuffled around? Yeah that happens. My hand to hand is way better than my weapon skills." As the dwarf and another man came over, T.E.M. stood up and lifted the beach bully up, twisting his arm behind his back. "Say sorry you big oaf." The beach bully looked down at Cragmar and grunted, visibly annoyed and in pain. "Sorry you midg-" A quiet crack and a scream escaped the bully. "Fuck! Gah I'm sorry I knocked your sandcastle down. And pushed you down." T.E.M. peeked out from the behind the bully and threw him in the other direction. "Don't be a dick anymore!" The small elf turned to Cragmar and his friend. "I'm sorry he did that. Regardless of who the person is, don't bully." Holding his hand out for a shake T.E.M. smiled. "The name's Ali. Buy you a drink?"
  21. 1 point

    James Eredas versus New Challenger

    @Phoebe James looked at Addison closely, with all of the assurance of an alpha predator deigning to even gaze upon a challenger. It was not mere arrogance in those eyes either, it was the knowledge of hundreds of battles etched into his bones, the history of thousands more passed down in his blood. The woman was formidable, and she had a harrowing journey indeed, but it still remained to be seen if she could defeat the Daemonslayer himself. "You didn't even say please" he growled. How rude. It was time to put this stranger in her place. He could see that she was braced against the table. In response, James subtly curved his foot down, leveraging up against the underside of the table, and with a show of strength, he shoved up mightily with one leg, flipping his end of it up into the air and threatening to have it to crash down on Addison. His beautiful opponent did not seem the type to be dissuaded easily, clearly she was anticipating the furniture to be used against her, but was she expecting this manner of assault? His beloved would be angry at the smashed table, but hopefully she would understand. After all, it went in service of a good cause. He would still have to make it up to her later though.
  22. 1 point

    Heavy hand OOC

    @Supernal Downstairs by the frontdoor is the window Vito came through, not sure where Caden is. And I don't mind post order, story movement is rarely a bad thing.
  23. 1 point

    What rule of magic would you add?

    There is no such thing as My special magic>Everything else. Just because you may have provided a list of weaknesses does not automatically make it an exhaustive list. If something already canonized can be articulated to perform the same function, it should. The addition of kewl sounding proper nouns and cosmetic effects do not, and should not be assumed to make a spell stronger. I could argue that a Dark Fireball is weaker than a Fireball because the fancy one wastes magic on a cosmetic effect instead of more burning.
  24. 1 point

    The Heavy Hand (Outpost 4?)

    Ivan has the goods and Caden has made a wide enough opening in the closed door for the two of them to step through with only minor hunching. There are some guards already occupying the staircase, what remained of those whose attention was otherwise diverted by Vito's tactics. Caden was at a light jog taking the steps two at a time. When he saw them, he started taking them three and four at a time, then tucked his knees into his chest and bowled into them like a human cannonball, his hardened body hitting with about as much impact and parting the men like reeds on a window day; at least one was unconscious. Caden is on his feet and scouring the scene. Ivan can pick his way through the scattered bodies of dazed guards. In moments the mage is pointing up at a window, calm as can be. There was something to envy in Ivan's academic detachment, an analytical lens that found their way out and reasoned in nearly the same instant that it was likely no less trapped than any other square meter of Kaiser's home. The other side of that envy was gratitude for lacking the same, manifested with the very practical realization that one of the guards had found both his feet and a rather long knife, and was taking literal steps to plant the weapon into Ivan's lungs through his ribs. He closed the distance between them, pressing his hands against Ivan's chest, pushing his accomplice off his feet and into the body of the knife-wielding lunatic, interruption the arc of his lateral swing before he could complete it. Caden took hold of the man's wrist and closed a vice grip around it which fractured the bones, then lifted him off the ground with one hand before immediately dropping him back down flat on his back with enough force to concuss. Rather than stepping back and letting Ivan recover his footing, Caden closed both of his hands around Ivan's collar, lifted him off the ground, pressed him against the nearest wall. "If I hear you chanting, if I see you drawing symbols, anything like that, I'm gonna punch my fist through your fucking stomach. Why were you spying on me? Who do you work for?!" The sound of a smashed window, the tinkle of falling glass, then Vito's voice probing the chasm between them. Around the perimeter of the estate a cadre of guards, for the time being engaged by Vito's own men, but for how long? Caden, still waiting, teeth bared in a display of almost laughable animalism, but eyes completely cool and focused.
  25. 1 point
    Auspicious Link

    A Fool's Errand

    Khada wrinkled his snout slightly. "My mum's dead," he muttered. He wouldn't respond in kind to that. . . Such language was beyond him. He'd been taught as a boy to at least act polite to others, even if you planned on stealing from them in the future. His father might've been scum, but he certainly knew his manners. . . when he benefited from them. Unlike his father, though, Khada had absorbed good manners, and couldn't help but be polite when he could afford to. Right now, he was too tired to exchange polite commentary. . . "Good," he murmured, tail dragging in the dirt as he walked. "I was worried that I might look as bad as you." Reis wasn't fully able to marvel at the building as they approached, but he still managed to make a comment on it. "Y'know. . ." Reis's head dipped slightly. "If I wasn't going to die here, I'd be eager to check this place out a little more. I find the place refreshing. . . You wouldn't believe the monotony of my home's buildings and landscape. It was so dull. . . and cold. You wouldn't believe how cold it was." In the back of his mind, Reis was wondering why he was talking so much. He didn't feel very alarmed about it, though. . . In fact, he was starting to feel relaxed. The idea of finding a fireplace was what sold it to the kobold. Without another word, he dashed ahead of Tana to enter the building, though his gait looked rather unsteady. "Well then, why didn't you say so? I think I'mma freeze to death out here. . ." Inside the building, the kobold's hopes seemed to deflate a little when he saw the unlit fireplace. They raised once more once he saw all of the potential firewood lying around, though. It struck him as odd that he hadn't thought of using that before. Was his mind always this sluggish? He didn't question it at the moment - he needed to get warm. Khada took the fire starting tools from Tana, giving her a weak smile in return. "Sure thing," he said, his voice slurring slightly. He didn't notice it, though. He got to work prying pieces of wood from the destroyed furniture, occasionally injuring himself further. He payed the injuries no mind. He couldn't get splinters with these scales, and the only thing that was happening was the occasional bruise when he fell. Why he was falling, he couldn't say. Soon, he had more than enough wood to get a fire going. He shredded up a bit of the smaller pieces and tossed them into the fireplace, before getting to work with the flint. It took much longer than it should've, but eventually he got a few embers going. Once he'd added in more fuel, and the fire was beginning to truly roar, the kobold sat back and admired his handiwork. His joy was cut off by an increased throbbing in his forearm, though. He growled slightly, holding it up to examine it in the light. It was still bent awkwardly. . . what was he supposed to do with a broken arm again? Set it or something. . . a splint? He hadn't the slightest idea at the moment. All he wanted to do was sleep. . . Khada's head dipped, and he found himself slipping out of consciousness for a moment. When the lights came back, he felt a bit nauseous. The pain felt even stronger now. . . Reis briefly wondered where Tana was. Maybe she knew what to do. His attempt to stand and find her was abruptly halted, though - he immediately fell back onto his rear. Now he was a tad bit concerned. . . why was he so tired and sloppy? And cold. . . maybe a bit of rest would do him some good. The thought he only just crossed Khada's mind before he completely nodded off, slumped at the base of a ruined couch with his bad arm folded in his lap.
  26. 1 point

    Free HTML Templates

    copycat. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Neque vitae tempus quam pellentesque nec nam aliquam sem. Euismod elementum nisi quis eleifend quam. Ut pharetra sit amet aliquam. Elementum integer enim neque volutpat ac tincidunt. Posuere ac ut consequat semper viverra nam. Vel pretium lectus quam id leo in vitae turpis. Auctor augue mauris augue neque gravida in fermentum. Ut tellus elementum sagittis vitae et. Lectus sit amet est placerat in egestas erat imperdiet. Elementum pulvinar etiam non quam lacus suspendisse faucibus interdum posuere. Ornare quam viverra orci sagittis eu volutpat odio. Commodo elit at imperdiet dui accumsan. Vitae turpis massa sed elementum tempus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Eros donec ac odio tempor orci dapibus ultrices. Fringilla ut morbi tincidunt augue interdum velit. Orci dapibus ultrices in iaculis nunc sed. Dictum fusce ut placerat orci nulla. Elit duis tristique sollicitudin nibh. sorry, i'm sorry, sorry. . . s i k e! BY MESSALA + VIELLE
  27. 1 point
    The Alexandrian

    Please Don't Stop the Music

    "We don't see many of your kind around here." Unnaturals, outsiders, and terrestrial monstrosities: all are welcome in Club Tablillas. That's what's printed in the illustrated brochures, anyway. In reality, "thin-bloods" are something of an exception to the rule. Universally despised, thin-bloods embody the generational decay of vampiric clans. By the fifteenth generation, the Curse of Cain is diluted to the extent that fifteenth generation Cainites and beyond are not considered true vampires. Viewed as weak and worthless, "thin-bloods" are outcasts among men, mer, outsiders, and unnaturals. Tian refugees on either side of the supernatural divide have no love for "thin-bloods." While Sarah is a half-vampire, not a thin-blood, she is similar enough to be mistaken as one. And when she jostles her way to and vies for position at to the bar to order a "Slit Throat," she is met by variety of eyes: some beady, some kawaii - all expressing disapproval or surprise. Thankfully, the bartender, yet another catgirl with sparkling pink eyes, greets her with equal parts surprise and cheer, though she seems a tad hesitant to comply with Sarah's commands. Um... Well... I'm sorry miss, but you're, uh - A púca, radiating hostility and ill-fortune, snarls from its stool. There! Her kind belongs over there with the other blood-sucking leeches! The catgirl frowns and purses her lips, appraising Sarah with keen catlike eyes. She sets a bottle on the counter before her and leans forward to sniff at Sarah. She idles, pondering something as she taps her index finger against polished wood. Finally, she renders her judgement. I don't think so, George. She smells different. Wrong, even. I think she belongs here with us misfits. George grumbles, and returns to glaring into the viscous, swirling concoction in his half-full glass. With a respectful nod, the catgirl plunks a decanter of the same liquid beside the grouchy imp, at which he stares suspicious at the bartender. What are you up to. You know I can't afford that. But I can, George. Drink up. Today's the anniversary of grand escape! George's face is ill-suited to a smile, but he tries to rustle one up for the bartender's sake. That's enough for her. She turns back to Sarah, ready to mix her drink, and then, her smile falls and she tilts her head inquisitively. We don't have any real blood at this station, so I hope you're okay with ichor. What flavor strikes your fancy?
  28. 1 point
    Like I said, talk to me or Spooky first and we’ll make sure that your moves aren’t silly and you’ll learn too. At the end of the day, it’s pointless if myself and a small handful of others just hoard all the fencing knowledge and just stood over everyone as the “best.” As the swordplay gurus or whatever bullshit. I want any who are interested to learn and learn as much as they can. Because then and only then does a PvP/T1/RP fighting community actually form. I don’t want to make people feel like they couldn’t do this if they tried. Rather, I want to build on that interest because (in reality) anyone can RP fight and no one should feel discouraged or feel like it’s a daunting task.
  29. 1 point

    Welcome to Valucre! ^_^

    Welcome to Valucre! ^_^
  30. 1 point

    James Eredas versus New Challenger

    Addison scowled like a furious feline as the man placed his foot upon the table. Her grip tightened around the table edge as she leaned forward in her seat, her feet braced heavily against the ground. Her upper torso tensed up in anticipation as her arms locked in position, holding the table firmly in place. ”Spare the furniture,” she spat, not wanting to create a mess in the house, but even as she did, her desire to kill began to overwhelm all form of rational thought. There was a wild look in her eyes, one that could only be likened to a cougar preparing to spring onto it’s prey. Her hips, calves, thighs and back cranked into position in near perfect synchronisation as the hunter assumed her hunting stance. The man would pay dearly for rubbing his dirty sole on her table which she so meticulously cleaned every day. @Fierach
  31. 1 point

    A Crowning Achievement [Artifact]

    Abigail, Holly and their respective entourages arrived at the front door, where they were greeted by a fairly typical-looking butler with light brown skin and a thick but well-trimmed mustache. "Greetings your ladyships," he bowed, "I will ask you each please bring only servant with you inside, for security reasons. The rest may feel free to find a seat here on the porch. The staff will see to their needs shortly." He then bid them enter. "This way please. Mr. Da Villa is just concluding his current appointment." They arrived in the waiting room outside the office, just as Mr. Da Villa, a tall, proud and sleek-looking middle-aged fellow, and his contact, a rather ordinary-looking fellow in a purple cloak, stepped out and shook hands. "I look forward to doing business with your organization, Mr. Allagi," Da Villa was saying, "Safe travels to you." "Indeed, it has been a pleasure, Mr. Da Villa. My man should be in contact with you in less than a week," the man in purple nodded, then looked over and noticed Abigail and Holly, "Ah, but it seems you have far lovelier engagements to attend to, so I will not keep you with more small talk." The man then made for the exit, passing by and offering a polite nod to the noblewomen as he passed by. "Ladies," he spoke in a voice that sounded honest, and a smile that seemed genuine, though Abigail saw a certain predatory malice in his eyes that made her grateful that he was leaving. "I apologize for any delay," Da Villa now approached them, "I hope the wait was not too long?" * * * Mara unslung the magitech assault rifle from her shoulder and nodded. "Wait! I don't even have a gun!" Shane protested. Mara brushed her off, not figuring it was worth her bothering to loan Shane a gun when Khaki and Sera were already loaded with them. Also Shane was their companion, and thus, their responsibility. Instead she sighted the security guard down the scope of her assault rifle and... *BLAM*
  32. 1 point

    James Eredas versus New Challenger

    @Phoebe Addison's opponent appeared as he might've a long time ago. Before he donned the armor of the Bane of Daemons. Before he was enlightened by Harlequins and adopted their death-mask. Before he wore the Halo of Parime as his visage of war. Before all of that, he was simply a martial artist named James Eredas. Born of a warrior clan blessed with the power of ancient flames, the scion of his generation who went out into the world as an adventurer and glory-seeker. He was dressed in his travelling clothing from the past, a comfortable dark leather jacket upon whose back was emblazoned with the symbol of his clan, a corona of fire, and was reinforced with metal plates inlaid into its lining. A set of relaxed jeans matched in color, accompanied by steel-toed shoes. One of his most important, but easily looked pieces of wargear however, were the custom-fitted gloves he wore, matching his jacket in their armor, a blend of ease of use with their fingerless form, and protection with the rivets and plates that extended to just reaching the knuckles. A quirk of the cosmos kept either fighter from recognizing the other, confident in the fact that all each really needed to know were the weapons they had readied. For James possessed his Rending Blade, and the Rekka Hidemitsu, a longsword and tachi respectively, sheathed on his right and left side at the waist. Within the confines of his jacket, he also possessed a single collapsible spear, currently retracted, as well as a sheathed combat knife of no small importance. Where she was sitting, James was standing, left hand placed on the table before her. Blank eyes surveyed her in response until at last, one of them broke the silence. "You're in my house(?)"
  33. 1 point
    Pasion Pasiva

    The Hunger Calls

    “Ah,” said Tenebre with a click of his tongue -- or rather, the dense, black, tar-like substance that made up a shape of a tongue inside the hole that had been carved into the mask he now wore as a face. Still, the sound was natural and reverberated through the darkness of the small, cramped, and for some inexplicable reason, damp hold. “If Gabriela could only see the degree of sorrow her selfishness has caused, the lengths that vampyres have taken in order to secure offspring -- it would break her heart.” Vampyres were a curious species, which was of course why Tenebre found them interesting in the first place, at least enough to imbued them with his favor and some with his power. The fact that they could not procreate unless a Royal Pair was matched, and able to conceive -- it essentially meant there could be centuries without children, and that was enough to drive more than a few individuals mad with despair. Case in point, this poor, pathetic creature’s father. To think that she was his heiress, when he knew better. A true blood, a pure-blood, a natural vampyre is the only real successor an elder like Hugo. But he wasn’t about to reveal this ugly truth to this hungry and suffering child. She was just one more casualty of his own daughter’s poor upbringing, his own failure as a father to instill in Gabriela a true sense of duty and honor, at least in the mortal sense. “Are you okay, madame?” Someone had approached the trembling young woman, just as he heard the flesh of her upper gums tear open. Her incisors had pushed through, bloody from the carnage of breaking through. “I just need a little bit of blood. I’m too weak to make it to the animals… please I promise I won’t…” Through the darkness, in the shadow cast by the tragedy of their performance, Tenebre watched as she reached out with pleading hands, her fingertips shaking badly with need. And of course, he was not in the least bit surprised by the sudden recoil of the crew-member, and the look of horror and disgust that covered his rugged face. Her lack of planning, her self-imposed starvation had led to this tragedy -- she did look like some blood-thirsty animals, who could blame the man from backing away, and from calling her a monster? She was the very essence of monstrous in her hunger pangs. “Dear gods, you’re a vampire! Get away from me monster!” And then he was gone, shifting through the shadows with a quickstep that no mortal-eye could ever hope to follow, vampyric or human alike. He manifested once again behind the man, appearing as if from the depths of the darkness that began to crowd around them. “You are overthinking it -- right and wrong have nothing to do with survival. What your father did, he did out of weakness and madness. He was corrupted by silly notions of morality, and therefore acted in what he believed was the opposite of moral -- but he was only foolish and cruel, bestial really.” The man jolted suddenly. He scrambled to rush forward and away from the shadow that had appeared at his flank but he didn’t get far. A hand struck out, with flesh that was black as night. Thick, wide fingers closed around the man’s throat, squeezing until his struggling cries were nothing more than gurgles and groans. And then those same fingers pinched inward, until black nails bit the tender flesh of the man’s throat, pushing until they tore the skin open and beautiful, red blood bloomed from the piercings that had been made. Another hand joined the first, and the man’s throat was held by two, which gripped at the flesh and pulled until his throat was ripped open and a shower of blood rained upon the girl. “Drink and live, or refuse...and die, while blessings rain upon you.”
  34. 1 point

    The Promised Hunt

    THE ELDEST The emotions of their Raven was fickle at best. An ally or a traitor to her, The Eldest would never be able to tell. Were all empaths so mercurial in their nature — easily swung by the hearts of another? Were her emotions so easily swayed by them? Would those feelings of hers betray her for feelings of another? If so, then the brothers were dangerous to her. Monsters were notorious for their swings in mood; The Jagdhunde were no exception. Her sudden shift from joy to sadness was a clear sign of that. The grief which was theirs was now hers, and she wore it like a familiar jacket. His hand reached towards her face without thought, a single finger wiping at the tears which flowed, but instead of brushing the wetness of her cheeks, he froze the salted water into crystal droplets which dotted the pallor of her already-frostbitten skin. Sad diamonds upon sad skin. Beautiful, but also heartbreaking. She was a reflection of him and his brothers. A thin sheet of ice which could crack at any moment. She laid out her regrets for him to witness in full, and it wasn’t just the words she spoke about the beasts. In truth, their Raven was open in those moments, and he saw much of what she carried with her. Her ‘sorry’s were more than an apology to him, but rather an apology to everyone and everything she touched. To all that she loved. Raven spoke of him, but her heart spoke of many. She bore the grief of hurting others whom she cared about. Many griefs as opposed to the single one the beasts carried. One memory stood out in particular — a visceral image which gripped The Eldest and shook his form — threatening to tear him from reality. His eyes were still transfixed on hers — face frozen with that same look of care and worry —, but his mind was pulled elsewhere. Deep and deeper he dove. She pulled him in down further, her subconscious trusting him with truths untold. Truths which — if they ever surfaced — would threaten the very world she lived in. Truths which threatened to shatter her like he and his brothers. It was the acrid odor of sharp antiseptic which hit him first, alongside the unnatural scent of metallic vapors. He was strapped to a chair — or was she the one strapped to a chair? He couldn’t tell anymore. All he knew was that his wrists burned from the tightened bands of black, varnished leather. This was far more intimate than their usual empathetic link. Far more real. Things muddled in those moments. Was his mind was hazy from analyzing the creases of her memories, or was it hazy from the sheer sharpness of her recollection? The fogginess she experienced in that lurid room was now his. Drugged, restrained, and helpless. No use screaming when your throat, mouth, and voice were numbed with the anesthesia which flowed through the respirator. Those doctors were thorough in their measurements against her. — And yet they had failed to note that she was still conscious. He was not a woman, so he would have never been able to understand the desire to be a mother; however, in those moments when the knife sunk into her flesh, he could feel that desire being cut away, bit by bit. The pain of sterilization was far worse than every cruel incision from the blade. He screamed — she screamed — doctors deaf to their silent wails. In those moments, he felt worthless, and just wanted everything to end. They had stolen something precious from him. They had stolen his dreams of being a parent. The worst part of it was that he could do nothing. He — she was an experiment to these monsters. A puppet. It felt like an eternity in that hell. Only after living through that reel countless times was there finally an interruption. Something new to break the never-ending cycle. Voices came through murkily, overlaying the scene in its drowned out tones. They were sounds which did not belong to this memory, and soon, he was ripped from that chair — thrust back into the waking world. So naturally did he try to grab onto something did he do what he did best. He took a piece of her — the piece that was that place of terror. Even if that memory twisted him, he wasn’t going to leave her with the filth of that nightmare. No woman deserved to be treated like an animal. No woman deserved to be spayed like one. He took that part of her memories — cut it out quickly and carelessly like the surgeons who cut her up. If there were those who stole her dreams, The Eldest would steal her pain. Chartreuse eyes flickered open as his head was left spinning. The horrors of that memory were freshly implanted in him now, and The Beast was left shivering. When he finally came to, he saw that his Raven had moved to the other edge of the bed. Her hand reached out for the support of the bedside wall while three figures fought over her like pups for a tit. The trio were all bearing the same waft of freshly cut gardenias — a scent immediately recognizable. Those were Raven’s children, he instantly knew. They were petals from the sepal of a bloom which the beasts adored, freshly fallen and just as beautiful as the flower they came from. The one which clutched her tightly and looked to both he and his brothers with childlike curiosity was the one that he would never forget. Playful eyes met his regretful gaze. Tan skin with ruddy cheeks, a mess of dark hair, and emeralds much greener — much richer than his. Of course it was Lencio, the child they had stolen. Oh how he wished to spill his apologies to the boy if he wasn't petrified from those echoes of the lab. The Eldest looked back towards his brothers, a haunted look plastered on his face, and they all agreed silently. One by one, they quietly faded back to nothing as their songbird and her chicks left for the halls. She needed time with her children, and he needed time to process everything he saw. A flinch from the shadows — the steel of the scalpel sunk deeply into the flesh of his psyche. He needed time — time to find a way to hide that memory from his love. She would never be allowed to know. This was his secret now, and if there were more like it, he would steal them, hoard them, stash them away far from her reach. He would do this out of sheer and unrestrained love. — Even if it killed him. @Malintzin
  35. 1 point
    Ah, details details~. I'll try to avoid being too specific, as I don't necessarily wanna feed you moves to bootyblister Voldemort here, but I'll help you work through your thoughts. Parrying the zwerchau; So, basically what's happening with Arthur's zwerchau is he is angling the motion to cut at Cecelia's arm, rather than the head like would be normal. When you transition up to shoulder height, you're putting the blade of your rapier in it's path because his sword has to pass that line to offend you. Parries directly with your guard, no matter what kind of guard it is, are always incidental, you should never aim to party with your guard on purpose. That is asking for bad outcomes. The transition from high-Seconda to a full Prima guard isn't gonna do much of anything to Arthur's sword, a left to right zwerc is usually followed up with another zwerc or a krump to unwind the arms. He's in a position to immediately transition to his next offensive action with no down-time. What this move does is it puts your sword arm in a strong position to receive and direct the easiest follow-up play for him to execute. Basically you will be able to guard against the next zwerc without doing anything extra, forcing him to pick a different play. There is no opening to his head or face here because the same defense as before will work in reverse. His arms have to cross his face to unwind. Your dagger blade is 19", so you have a lot more reach than you might otherwise be imagining. With fencing styles across the world it is common to see squared hips, but A frame legs, so you have one leg in front and one in back, but you turn your hips so that they aren't facing your for sidelong. This is important, because it builds tension from the heel of your back foot right up through your core muscles. That is how you're going to generate power, attack with the right hand, push with the left leg. Attack with the left hand, push with the right leg. How does this affect reach? It's much easier to hinge at your waist if your hips are square, even if your legs are not. You simply tilt forward so that your shoulders line up with your leading knee. This reduces your target, and it gives you a little bit of extra reach from where your feet are planted. So let's assume you are in the position to do Capo Ferro's lunge. You're hinged at the waist, you're ready to slide your front leg forward and lean into it, pushing with your right leg since this is a left handed attack. You can easily cover three feet just with the step, an extra foot and a half with the lean, six inches with your hinged waist, two feet with your arm, and sixteen inches of blade (because if you aim with alll 19 then you miss). That gives you a cool 8 foot~ish measure. So no, you don't wanna step in at all, you're too close for that. It would be better to maintain your footing, or even to step back on the right foot and then just lean forward in place with your dagger already in position. Retreating from the current play is definitely an effective option available to you, but Arthur is in position with forward momentum to chase you, you'll have to defend yourself while you retreat if that's the course you choose. @The Alexandrian
  36. 1 point

    A Crowning Achievement [Artifact]

    While it was amusing to see Abby struggle with the pamel, Holly did not have the time to enjoy for now. She had to press the goddamn button and began relaying the necessary information and credentials. Soon, the doors are widely open and the two are ushered into the estate. Meanwhile, on the other side of the estate. As Shane was busy panicking, Khakina and Sera are already pulling out of their duffel bags as many guns and ammunition as they can possibly carry. Now armed to the teeth, the duo turned to face Mara. "Commencing operation." "Let's fucking go cunts!"
  37. 1 point

    War IS The Answer!

    As he and Cordoza tried their best to bob and weave through the maze of bullets, magical beams, body-parts, and explosions, Zack couldn’t help but think about why he was there. He hadn’t remotely planned for any of this. He and Clive had taken a job to recapture a man aboard the Air Jockey’s ship who could prove invaluable to the police during another criminals trial. Zack had gone over the plan with Clive for about a week before even setting out. He’d come prepared with all manner of equipment and backup plans in case anything went wrong, even taking into consideration the possibility of the ship exploding due to various outlying circumstances he could not easily prevent. And yet here he was, nowhere near the ship, without any of his equipment, badly injured, trying to stop a heartless genocidal maniac from acquiring an object of great power while running for his life in the middle of a war he wanted nothing to do with. It just didn’t seem fair. The outcome of all his hard work, as was usually the case in his life, seemed to be either the same as or perhaps worse than a person that didn’t put in any work at all. Zack really hated that. There was very little that was more disrespectful to him than rendering someones hard work completely fruitless, a lesson that Cordoza seemed to be learning. She didn’t appear to be coping with the situation that well. She looked terrified, completely unfamiliar with her surroundings despite it being her own city. She flinched at the sound of gunfire and shuddered at the sight of gore. A part of Zack felt satisfied that she was getting a front row seat to the chaos. Perhaps now she was beginning to comprehend the undeniable weight of her decision to put her people on the line. It was difficult to keep a line of sight to her amid all the chaos, but he made sure to stay close. He’d hoped they wouldn’t get wrapped up in the fighting, but it was too late to complain about that. Although he felt he wouldn’t have to worry about the Norkotians losing any ground in the battle and making their descent even more difficult than it was, the militia were putting up a savage fight. They were using whatever they could find to fight off the city’s attackers, apparently knowing that this would be their last stand and not even sparing their own lives as an expense on the battlefield. He could see none surrendering. They’d accepted their fate, and their bitterness over it fueled their rampant bloodlust. “Geez…” he breathed, spotting a young Norkic soldier calling for his mother as some sort of acidic spell was rapidly eating away at his flesh until he was nothing more than a pinkish, sizzling puddle. Shortly afterwards he witnessed a militia woman getting her head pounded in by a crazed Norkotian. The woman was likely dead after the third hit, but he kept on well passed a dozen until he was covered in blood and bits of brain. He could’ve just pulverized some recently orphaned son’s mother or older sister, but he didn’t care. Even though they’d thrown the first punch, they too had taken their losses. Norkotia would not back down until they saw to it that their sacrifices and actions were justified. Many might assume that because Zack was a mercenary that he was used to sights like these, but they’d horribly mistaken. Zack hated death just as much or perhaps even more than he did when he first saw it up close, the only difference now being that it no longer made him nauseous. He imagined what the dead must have felt right before their demise. Was there really any peace in it? Was it truly a release to be forever imprisoned in death in order to spare one’s self from the atrocities of life? Was it fair to knowingly take that answer into one’s own hands at such a grand scale over such menial disagreements? “NNGH!” Zack grunted when he felt something searing hot slam into his side, no doubt breaking one of his already cracked ribs. The force sent him to the ground, but he quickly rolled to his feet and jumped into a nearby alley before turning to see what had hit him. He did so just in time to see a Norkotian shout and tackle Cordoza into the same alley, a narrow, bright beam of magical energy piercing through him like butter when he did so. Zack felt a strong, despairing sense of deja’vu when he saw the shocked expression of pain on the soldiers face as he tried and failed to push himself off the ground. With desperate cries of pain, he resorted to trying to crawl, an alarming trail of blood following him. Zack knew he couldn’t be helped at this point and looked away with a pained expression after the man let out a final wheeze and his eyes glazed over. The man had saved a stranger’s life despite not knowing whether or not he’d survive, but done it anyway. He was a good man. His reward should have been life ten times over, but he’d only suffered an agonizing death and became a martyr. All because two people had a disagreement. “Gods,” Cordoza pressed her back against the wall, her eyes locked with the death gaze of the dead man, “Gods, why… why did I do this?” Zack slowly turned to look at her, his gaze withdrawn and filled with an explosiveness the moment he laid eyes on her. He felt his muscles tense up, the bones in his hands feeling itchy like they were trying to jump out of his skin wrap around her throat. He’d seen this too many times in the few years he’d been in this world. Far too many so short a time. He was beyond tired of people in power making terrible decisions that resulted in the hardship and death of others only to feel bad about it later. Only later did they ever realize what they did was wrong… Zack said nothing in response, turning away from her while trying to ease his trembling hands. He stared at the ground, his eyes wide with ferocity and distant. “I have to go out there and stop them,” she looked over at Zack, who had probably caught up with her by now, if he had fallen behind before, “If I can just... save even a few people..." “None of this should have happened in the first place.” said Zack in a cold, dark, tone, still looking at the ground. “I DON’T see how you didn’t know all this was going to happen when you declared a DAMNED WAR!” Zack’s cruel, manic gaze fell onto her. “What the HELL did you think a WAR was, huh!?” He began walking towards her, his hands unfurled and twitching as his glare grew colder. His voice was loud and laced with a deep, feral, intensity not befitting someone his size, but the gunfire and screams would make it difficult for the other soldiers to hear. “I can’t STAND people like you!” Zack was now only a few feet away, his teeth gritted beneath his balaclava. “You know what you dessrve!? You....” he was only a foot away now, stopping just short of her with shaking hands and screaming, roaring eyes that revealed an other-worldly ire. Then came his mothers stern, country drawl. That anger ain’t gone’ bring’bout nothin’ good, sonny’. Keep what’s good in view, ya’hear? He froze, his hands no longer twitching with intent of a slow and brutal, mutilation. His mouth gradually closed, his teeth no longer gritted to the point of cracking. The dark, feral, look he was giving her became tame, no longer seeing possibilities in which she’d meet some grizzly end. He turned and walked a few feet away, stopping to get his breathing in check and calm down. “Gotta focus.” he muttered to himself, thinking about the situation from outside of himself. He needed Cordoza to find the ace, and although she’d been beyond foolish in contributing to all this as he’d seen dozens of times, she was likely genuinely regretful. He figured there was no way to stop the fighting unless there was a cease fire, which Norkotia definitely wasn’t in the spirit of calling. Cordoza would be willing, but that’d likely mean giving her up to the Norkotian’s and losing his easy ticket to the ace. Part of him argued that doing so could possibly doom millions, but Zack didn’t think about life in numbers and decimals. He had a chance to end the current battle and save liver right here and now, and he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he didn’t at least try. A life was always worth a try to him. Also, there might have been a way to make use of her change of heart to solve all their problems in one go. It’d be a long shot, but a worthwhile shot if things went smoothly. “Okay…” said Zack, taking a deep breath and turning to her. His voice was still a bit cold, but he no longer looked like he wanted to rip her skull out through her stomach. “You serious about saving some lives, hm? Then you’re gonna call a cease fire.” Zack didn’t wait for her response, going over the details out loud as he walked back and forth. “I take it that Norkotia hasn’t had the same change of heart as you, so it’ll be one sided. But if we can retreat further back and find someone in command who can radio their superiors and relay your intents to stop the fighting, Norkotia can fall back from the fighting and let you call out the cease to your people. Assuming that works and they don’t instantly shoot you for having a hand in all the lives already lost, you’ll have to figure out a way to convince your people that there’s no valor in their vengeance or their deaths. They might get pissed at you and even try to take a shot given how much they’ve already lost at your discretion, but if you’re serious, putting your own life on the line shouldn’t even make you flinch.” Zack figured that there plenty places where this plan could go wrong since it revolved around other people’s self control, but it was the only thing he could think of at the moment. More concerning though, was why the Tin Man hadn’t caught up to them yet. For a demented murderer, he was still very smart. Zack was certain he’d be able to work out where they’d gone through questioning, his tech, or just general deduction, so it didn’t make sense that they hadn’t at least seen him or his men in the area. When he thought about why, his paranoia got to coming up with many scenarios. One in particular seemed extremely likely. “You uhhh…” said Zack, looking up out of the alley with a nervous expression. “I think you might have to go on your own though. I…I gotta check something.” *** “I suppose we are in your debt now, thank you,” said Tynes. “Is’ nuthin.” breathed Clive, the shocked expression on his face gradually giving way to fear. He barely paid any attention to Krieger’s words or his actions as he struggled to come to terms what all this might’ve meant. The Tin Man was up to something, and Clive might’ve just gotten in his way. Although a high-rolling type of man, even he knew when he’d overstepped his boundaries and crossed the point of no return. His chances had dropped like boulder in an ocean, and every second he spent freaking out about it, that boulder was sinking. Taking a deep breath and massaging his face, he got to his feet and started paying attention to what Krieger was saying. The man was clearly an experienced soldier, not wasting time in despair like Clive had done and focusing on their next move. He was adapting, and he aimed to overcome. Clive had served in wars, but had never been a good soldier. Most of the time, what kept him alive was his dead-eye, his speed, a ton of luck, a silver tongue, and enough whiskey to dull his fears. He adapted to trials with guns, and often overcame them with bullets, so he usually left all the tactics to the more capable combatants. This time would be no different. He followed Kriger and Tynes, doing his best to keep up and stay out of sight. Thankfully this was made a bit easier by some of the commotion the Tin Man’s men were causing among the Norkotians. While there was still no fighting, many of them had gotten into a heated dispute about whether it was better to be a soldier or a mercenary, spouting off expletives and insults that’d make a sailor cringe. When they eventually got to armored van and climbed inside, Clive exhaled in relief. The whole way there, he’d been worried about some invisible force putting an abrupt end to his life from some alley, window, or rooftop. “Before we proceed any further,” Krieger began, staring at Clive again, “I want to know just who you are, mercenary, and how you know so much about this Tin Man.” “Clive McTeague.” sighed Clive, leaning back with his eyes closed as the van bumped along the road. “An’ I-” “I think, regardless, the quickest way to get to the truth is to force the Tin Man to play his hand, if he has one to play,” he said, “Our contract is for his forces to assist in the capture of the city, and the city is more or less in our hands now. I will order him to recall and withdraw his men immediately, since they are no longer needed. How he reacts should clue us in to his intentions.” “I’m truly no tactician.” said Clive, opening his eyes but still keeping his head leaned back. “But I gotta gut feelin’ that all that’ll do is get him ta’ call the grunts back. He’ll probably keep them invisible things around, and hell if I know what their doin’ out here. Probably lookin’ ta’ get rid’a folks that's keen on his scheme like us.” He reached his hands up to massage his face, realizing that Zack had been right about getting out of the city. With all his tech, hired guns, and brains, Clive knew that the Tin Man could easily have him killed or captured. Even if he somehow managed to leave the city, he knew what the Tin Man was like. He’d hunt Clive down to the ends of the planet until he was able to personally rip his head off with those cold, metal, hands. Then he’d put his head and mangled body up some place public just to make an example out of him. “This is real bad.” said Clive, still massaging his face. “I hope that thing wasn’t recordin’ everythin’ that just happened.” Clive let his hands fall and sighed again before reaching behind him on his belt to take out his metal flask. He swished the flask around a bit to gauge how much was left. It was nowhere near enough be considered a worthy last drink, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. He looked up to Tynes. “Yer’ pardner there don’t seem to be the ‘drinkin’ on the job’ type, so I’m gonna offer to split this last little bit with ya’. There’s a high chance that bastards gonna kill all three’a us before too long and it won’t be a nice death, so ya’ might as well take a swig.” Clive unscrewed the cap of the flask and started to hand it to Tynes, but stopped. “Nah.” he said, shaking his head and pulling it back before downing the last sliver of it’s contents. The alcohol percentage of the beverage was through the roof and into the the ozone layer and would likely taste like straight up poison to Tynes anyway. Or so he reasoned with himself so that he could have an excuse for being selfish. He screwed the cap back onto the flask and set it down on the seat beside him. The alcohol had dulled his headache a bit, but he would have still preferred not needing to be that fast for the next few hours. “Wish ya’ll what’nt at war right now.” said Clive. “Anything dealin’ with killin’ destabilizes anything it comes into contact with. Fills your moral compass full’a holes and makes ya’ unstable. Different. Like you don’t know wus’ right no more. And you don’t wanna know. Cause then ya gotta accept what’chu are.” Clive took off his hat and examined the front of it in his lap, his empty, black, pupils reflecting off the silver skull tacked on the front. The emptiness and pointlessness stared back at him, like it did every time. “Some folk block it out and keep right on killin’.” he nodded. “They look for reasons to kill, tryin’ to find a target that they can see and defeat. They put real, livin’ faces to them personal demons and just…let loose soon as they get the chance. Soon as they get an excuse. And so the killin’ and self denial goes on.” He flipped his hat around in his hands mindlessly. “I’d wonder if that’s what happened to the Tin Man but….I doubt it. Ya’ll don’t really know much about him, obviously, but he’s…he’s somethin’ else. He don’t need an excuse for killin’. He don’t wanna be justified. He just…does it. A lot. Guess that’s why he’s the better killer.” He chuckled to himself before putting his hat back on, making sure that it was snug. “Some punk told me bout’im some time ago.” he said, shaking his head with a small smile. “Real paranoid, goody-two-shoes type. I was actually with him today, but he cut out and left. Probably should’a went with him.” he chuckled again before looking back at Tynes and Krieger. “But I guess I’m gettin’ ahead’a ma’self. We ain’t dead yet.”
  38. 1 point
    I suppose this is the central issue. I described an action that is apparently physically impossible. I would have been better off describing Caeceila thrusting her rapier into Arthur's exposed armpit, but I was honestly trying to avoid lethal shots because 1) my character is averse to killing innocents, not even in tournaments where it apparently doesn't matter, and 2) I figured you were new to this and had goofed and I wanted to give you a way out. You kind of let my character take all of the space, which strikes me as a bad idea, so I thought you might be new to this. I'm not particularly competitive when it comes to this sort of thing because nothing is at stake, and I genuinely don't have time to study treatises right now. I studied poleaxe/pollaxe treatises for hours only to have them banned from the tournament, and there's no way I can get up to speed on new weapons with the number of scenes I'm in. I'm in seven scenes, somehow, and at this rate, I'll never catch up in any of them. This tournament has been kind of hard for me to justify IC, and it was kind of a mistake signing up in the first place since my character doesn't kill innocents. I realized this early on. When I realized characters are wearing even less armor than I initially believed - because I kind of just eyeballed half-plate and rolled with video game simplifications - I had even more trouble justifying my character's involvement. I initially signed up to improve my ability to write fight scenes, and I learned 1) this isn't my bag and 2) it isn't really helping aside from feedback I receive from Fierach because most of this just isn't applicable to general fight scenes. This wasn't a big deal at first because I was in, like, three scenes (A Cure for What Aleth You, this, and one other I can't quite recall). Then, I ended up posting in the Feast thread because something on my group's agenda came up. Then, I started to move forward with overarching plans in Fiat Iustitia Et Pereat Mundus because A Cure for What Aleth You was progressing well and we were paused here. I joined The Tide Calls with the intent of placing a character in a minor, coordination-focused role because I personally want to see more rp like that. I find madness an incredibly interesting subject. I think problems really began to crop up when I was also tasked with defending Club Tablillas against a burglarly, and I'm also participating in the IC portion of this fight thread with the goal of delivering a message to Isabella to backwards-justify her involvement in Fiat Iustitia Et Pereat Mundus. I ended up informing Eagle that I couldn't start a new scene with one of his characters at the moment, and this caused him to get frustrated with me and leave the forums again! >.< Things snowballed really fast! So my options are to pare down and/or shorten the length of my posts or continue to kind of flounder and not accomplish anything and make other rpers frustrated. I've already cut most of the research from what I'm writing here - I went with third guard in the post before my last without really knowing what it was or how to work with it because I just needed to post something - and I can't scour the internet searching for Medieval Longsword techniques at the moment, so please bear with me if we continue this scene. I will warn you right now that it may be better if I just bow out of this gracefully lest I continue to completely misjudge how things work, repeatedly ask for clarifications, and make silly mistakes for lack of time. I don't know how the lower bracket works, but I don't really have the time for another fight. This tournament has been going for, like, 7-9 months, which is way longer than I expected. I was and am hesitant to drop out of this battle because I know that your partners have been dropping for most of this tournament, and I'd like to break that trend. At the same time, I don't have time for this anymore. To be transparent, time constraints are influencing some of my IC actions in other plots, like A Cure for What Aleth You where they are reinforcing my initial assessment of withdrawing from Dougton in the face of overwhelming opposition. I will leave it to you to decide whether we ought to continue. We may be able to arrange a "lightning fight," a fight that lasts for just a few hours OoC starting at a prearranged time, if that would work better. Back to the subject of the fight proper, I must ask for clarification on several other issues. I think the speed with which Arthur executes his zwerchau would be limited by the time it would take for him to bring his trailing foot up to his leading foot and plant it on the ground, meaning the guy executing 53 zwerchaus in twenty seconds, while interesting, does not mean Arthur can execute 53 zwerchaus in twenty seconds from his current position. Caeceila would also start to withdraw as soon as she determines her "attack" is completely ineffectual, meaning that she and Arthur should "step off" at approximately the same time. This should provide Caeceila with enough time to step back and transition into high third, I think. If that is not so, could you please explain why? I think it would be quite quick to transition from third to high third but stepping is a trickier matter. Caeceila is considerably lower than Arthur, which I only just found out yesterday when I did more research on third. He's executing some sort of low zwerchau, then, correct? That looks like it would provide his face with adequate protection. In this case, Caeceila will attempt to strike him in the leg between his tassets and his greaves.
  39. 1 point
    saga juliet

    of lances and lilies [closed].

    —( 1 )— Ensign 969 The rains that year had been the worst in the city’s memory. There had been one night of miracle, when the moon shined through after forty days and nights of rain as the eye of a wide storm, and we were all breathless as hopeful as young lovers – and then it resumed in sheets and waves. The gutters bloated with the corpses of rats. The streets grew a routine of tides and ebbs. Vagrants coalesced in violent blooms in the few blocks permanently above water, before guards scattered them all one night with a flurry of arrows from the castle gates. There were small blessings. The Leve Ancien held firm, if only barely. And the rain gave the locals something to grumble about, cower from. Any potential insurgents were as reluctant to stir the pot as we were. Easy to scheme inside, out of the water, but crossing into the storm took something herculean that no rational person in Monzia had. So we hadn’t lost a man to anything but disease since the rains started. I wasn’t fooled. Something would give. Something always gives. We walked, Turncollar and I, along the lip of the Leve, carrying torches to light the way. Elsewhere in the world it might have been evening and brilliant, but beneath the drizzle that fact took no real hold in Monzia. The Sparmo river raged and splashed up against the walls of the Leve, trickling over every so often. I stepped through a puddle deeper than it was dark and felt it seep cold through my boot. “What was wrong with thumbing our asses where it was dry?” I demanded. Turncollar grunted. The brevity qualified as a whole speech. When it came to words, Turncollar is ordinarily a man of generous temperament. The Senator had us chasing two men who had gone missing on dawnwatch. Forty days we’d been buried deep in fire-warm bedrolls and now he had us exhumed for the express purpose of finding truants. There had been grumbling. I volunteered by grumbling the least. Turncollar was conscripted when the rest of our sorcerous muscle pulled seniority. Not for lack of effort. Senator tried to have Augus to handle it. Augus threatened to sink the castle into the river. For all his ways with words, Turncollar couldn’t produce a convincing counter. So here we were. The Senator was spooked, big time. These would be our first casualties since we’d busted into Monzia. It was bad news no matter which way it cut. “They could be shirking,” I observed feebly. I was half-hoping to turn a blind eye. There were a fair few pubs nearby. The flooding had halted prospects of a northward advance across the river for months. Boredom breeds trouble. The men were encouraged towards laxity. Truancy was almost policy at this point. “Or getting robbed of a good time down on Curtain Street.” Turncollar disagreed. Walking got his mouth warmed up. “Senator didn’t send me to baby you through brothels.” Pride being a cardinal sin, Turncollar isn’t much proud of having the talent. But he is fond of reminding us that his time was expensive as a result. All the things a wizard can do, you don’t send him sniffing through piss-stained sheets. “So you think the locals are acting up.” “I think that the Senator sees someone trying to muscle us.” The thought disturbed me. The town had been on good behavior up until now, even if the peace was uneasy. As with a sleep disturbed by the crack of dawn, I was hoping it’d keep on a few more moments into forever. “I don’ t like to believe it,” Turncollar admitted. “But it was only a matter of time.” Something always gives. Crows cawed as we ambled along the wall beside the Warden’s Quarter. We saw a smattering of lights rise from the Castle like a small nebula of migrant stars, undefeated by the rain. We watched them soar overhead and then wink out of sight, one after another, as they plunged up into the low-bellied clouds. “I don’t know how they do it,” I said. “Must be cold enough to freeze the tit off a witch up so high.” “Surely not a worry. Their tits are already cold as ice.” Envoys from the crumbling Empire of Glia. The Invisible Country up north. The Glian has three Princesses, all of whom wear bad news easily as a nightgown. Don’t be fooled by the title. These were no youthful dames of good fortune. Each of the Princesses are old as death with the cunning to match. Augus cannot remember a year when they were not in power, and he is at least a hundred if the stories are to be believed. But Augus has notoriously poor memory. He says that he doesn’t like to get involved in politics. He does claim to remember a time when the position of Princess was considered figurehead. That is one of many things about Glia that were no longer true. Their Princesses had been making a tour about the front. Making a point of letting us know that they had their eyes on us from the back of their flying pegasi, even if they didn’t have an obvious horse in this race. Even now, a shadow of their heyday, Glia still had rights to overwatch and enough muscle to make things ugly for anyone who didn’t like it. Neither Zenith nor Isore would tolerate interference on the other side, so all they did was fly for now. But there were no delusions among the powers that be that if things started going south of Imperial interests, there would be unpleasant surprises coming one of the ways. The invisible third country in the campaign. There had been rumors; talk was that once we were done with Isore, the Lords wanted to take a crack at Glia. The Senator assured us it was all false. He was a fervent supporter of remaining ally with the Empire. The Senator happened to be Glia’s favored child amongst the House of Lords. The Princesses always made a point to visit and chat on their embassies. That made us some enemies among the other Lords, who were not so confident that they’d have Glia’s backing in tumultuous times. The company did not trust the Glians by a long shot, but we did trust the Senator. So we were glad for what we got. We continued walking. The shadow of night crept over the shadow of dusk. Soon even the outlines of the levee would be imperceptible. A thought occurred to me. “The rock is pretty slick close to the edge. Suppose they just...fell?” “You demonstrate and we’ll call this case closed.” I grimaced as I approached the edge of the Leve. I could barely make out the surface but what little there was churned ferociously in the flood-current. There was no way of knowing, but the undertows seemed vicious enough to swallow a boat. Something colored stood out from the monotoned water, bobbing on the water. I swung the torch down low. “What the hell is that?” The body was caught on a log sunken deep into the mud. Turncollar cast around for a stick, fished it out of the water. I recognized the man. Lapel. He had been one of the ones to go missing. We laid him out on the stone. His skin was purple. Turncollar flipped him over. We cut his clothes open. I was careless. The dagger nicked his upper chest and the lungs flattened like a balloon. Cloudy fluid poured out. I took a moment to lob sick into the Sparmo. “I tell them that dandies can’t be soldiers.” Turncollar said. I made a rude gesture. He offered me a dab of mint oil. I spread it beneath my nose, gagged. “So much for foul play.” “Uhm.” Turncollar frowned and prodded Lapel’s body. Water seeped out in rivulets. It occurred to me that the Senator had a razor-sharp instinct for management. Turncollar is the company doctor. “It’s not a drowning,” he said. “The man’s been in the water for one day tops. The decay is too advanced.” He produced the bottle of oil again. We cased Lapel scalp to heel. I found what we were looking for. There was a small mark, almost like a brand, in the armpit. The hairs around it had been singed to ash. Turncollar inspected it, shook his head. “Almighty.” “Familiar?” “Not to me, but it’s sorcery. A child could tell that.” “The Isorians rustled up their own wizard?” “Must have.” That prospect made him uncomfortable. Even with our own file of them, wizards weren’t things that could be dealt with without cunning in spades and a few dead afterwards. Turncollar said a prayer and put his hands under Lapel’s arm. He told me to get the feet. “Seems like Cazch’s specialty. Let's see what he has to say.”
  40. 1 point
    The Alexandrian

    The Tide Calls (Preparation)

    Nope! Nope. Nooooope. M'yr's arm is horrifying. Why, Camelia has never before seen an arm in such bad shape besides arms attached to zombies, ghouls, and other gruesome abominations. Oh, and arms that aren't attached to anything at all. Try as she might, she can't forget about those. The barnacles, though? That's, uh, that's avant-garde even for cultists. Whatever warped M'yr's healing processes better not be contagious! The last things Valucre needs are eldritch, amphibious were-tigers. Okay, maybe that's the second to last thing. The last things Valucre needs are eldritch, amphibious were-tigers that have vivid hallucinations about a flood-based apocalypse. Let the vampires keep their Diluvians and Antediluvians; werebeasties have their own crosses to bear. With conscious effort, Camelia refrains from immediately yanking her hand away from M'yr and TORCHING IT HERE AND NOW when she perceived the nauseating state of his arms. She struggled to ignore this, however much it gnawed at her, and concentrate on M'yr's despairing eyes to convince herself that, despite his icy palms, trembling frame, and lifeless eyes, she was addressing a living, breathing man. Only after they mutually parted and under the cover of a forced smile did she douse her right hand in flame. Under ordinary circumstances, it wouldn't be difficult for her to activate her flame shield safely within enclosed spaces. Tonight, however, M'yr's gut-wrenching self-mutilation, inauspicious behavior, and deeply disturbing regenerative abilities caused her to be a little overenthusiastic about CLEANSING HER FLESH OF ALL CONTAMINANTS WITH ALL-CONSUMING HELLFIRE. When her entire right arm goes up in flame, her cloth jumpsuit follows suit. Calmly, Cammy jogs to the fireplace, whether it be in this room or in the kitchen, and positions herself so she will not burn down M'yr's house as her clothing goes up in flames. Nevertheless, she catches the general gist of the preferences of the other mercenaries. The first two, the salty octopus/squid woman and another female, possibly the comely little elven tart - wait, was she an elf - the comely little maybe-elven tart, and the last one, that damnable Mistress Blackhead Black Sera Maiden Bushblack, had their hearts set on assaulting the joint. Ironically, the macho men, the sky pirate and the half-dead gunslinger, were members of the quiet club. The party is divided by gender, perhaps because ladies can't technically be sneaky bastards. Actually, with a dose of genderbending magic they could become sneaky bastards! It really is a shame Camelia misplaced that grimoire ages ago. Oh. Right. The plan. The p-l-a-n. Hmm... Yeah. Totenborough. Totenborough is that place where the giant skeleton that proposed to the late Emperor Titus lives, right? It's near that chokepoint with the Xer Orians, right? From the fireplace, Camelia shouts over the crackling and popping of her burning jumpsuit. Alarmingly, she is totally unfazed by her condition. Most people would freak out were they set on fire, but Camelia's exposed flesh, which steadily increases in area as time wears on, is perfectly unscathed. If we go in loud, getting in will be the easy part. Camelia taps the index finger of her right hand against her cheek, as if estimating their chances of success. Flames overtaking the collar of her jumpsuit lick her face with bright orange and red tongues. We would bust through the front entrance and trigger all of the alarms, so we would have roughly ten minutes before cops swarm us were we nearly anywhere else. To get out, we'd definitely have to break through the cops' line, which would not be easy if there are only two ways into and out of the library itself. Assaulting an establishment in a mega-city isn't ideal, that much is clear to her. Absent-mindedly, Camelia begins to brush layers of soot from her shield. The last time this happened, she had to pay a fine. Luckily, she had learned her lesson and was wearing fireproof undergarments. She shouldn't have been so cheap; she could have enchanted her jumpsuit as well. Yeah, Totenborough is a highly defensible city. The sole entrances to the city, as far as I'm aware, are the North and South passageways which defenders will close off if we press them too hard. A beat. As if that isn't enough, the library is part of the Bastion, if I recall - I started researching Totenborough after the governor of Lunaris told me there's a monster around there that has blocked off the passages to Xer Orian territory - so when the cops show up, they'll show up in force. Oh, and they'll show up fast! Like, the Bastion is a fortress, if you couldn't tell from the name! And again. If the library isn't heavily warded, we could passwall into it. I can prepare that spell tonight and have it ready to go tomorrow. At least her ribbons are fireproof. She would die if she lost them. Alright, she probably wouldn't die if she lost her ribbons, but someone would! If we try to go in quietly, we should probably spend some time casing the library: see who works there, when shifts change, and stuff. We might be able to substitute some of our own for the guards; just gotta find out where they live and rough them up there. There's a ritual I know that would allows me to take the form of things I eat, but, um, that would involve, you know, cannibalism, so let's not do that! We could just dominate the guards but I don't know how to do that! I can melt people and set fire to things and stop people's hearts and irradiate objects and ward things and stuff like that, but I don't do the whole charm people and heal people routine... Melting people is fun and - Hey! She's not on fire anymore! Cammy's shoes have melted and her jumpsuit is a pile of ash, but she is perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with her whatsoever! Her eyes light up and she fills with energy as a great idea dawns on her! Hey! What if we do both? Like, one team goes in all sneaky-like, and the other team goes in loud shortly after. If something goes wrong, the loud team goes in immediately and everything is the same as going loud. If the sneaky team is sneaky, then the sneaky team can provide the loud team with intelligence so when they go in they know a little more about what they're looking for than they did beforehand.
  41. 1 point
    For Sarah, her trial was different. Her obstacle was far more dangerous, and far more personal. Walking through the forest was proving tedious for the half vampire, her feet feeling tired once more, though she could smell her friend even closer than before. If it kept up like this, she was certain to find her, and then they could get out of this wretched forest. All this she thought, until the rustling of bushes caught her attention. "Phillip?" She asked, sword drawn, shield at the ready. "My dearest Sarah, it hurts me for you to identify me as one of those lesser creatures." From the overgrowth of the forest came the one man she hated more than anything in the world. Baron Hugo Bouchard, or as she knew him as: "Father." "Yes. I am glad to have finally found you. It's not been easy trying to locate you, but a father never stops looking for his daughter." A tall man of broad shoulders, hawk like features and long flowing golden hair, he was the picture of nobility, but Sarah knew what really hid beneath the surface. "So what, you're going to just force me back to Orisia, where I can become your little slave just like my mother?" She asked, her tone dripping with spite. The baron responded with what Sarah believed as feigned hurt at the jobs. "Oh daughter, you can never understand the depths my love go for you. Fortunately, things will be all better once you come back with me, and we can finally begin the ceremony." Stepping back in both confusion and shock, Sarah barked back at him. "What the hell are you talking about? What ceremony?" He laughed, and it disturbed her even more than what he said next. "Why, the wedding ceremony, of course. This way you will be my bride, and be mine. Forever."
  42. 1 point

    [Quest] En Passant

    "My, my. So exciting," exclaimed the woman known as Linda Linda. Wave after wave of Xers are heading towards them and such a scene only brought wonderful nostalgia to her. Fun memories of the good old days when she and Lilith and the other members of the cult hunted down the Xers for that one blade that baby Sammy was holding now. She's not worried about being overwhelmed by these bugs. Carrying Baeoi everywhere is a good enough contingency plan for, well, almost any contingency. That said, she needed to slow these things down. Taking her stand, Linda Linda splayed both her arms before her with both hands forming a pistol gesture. From the tip of her outstretched index fingers, multiple rays of light were shot out, each of these light bullets would be hitting the Xers like a artillery rounds. "This is the life," she sighed in amusement as she continued shooting at the rushing insects while covering the rear of the group.
  43. 1 point

    Fun in the Sun - Open

    T.E.M. wandered the beach looking for a spot to stop at. The sight of kids immediately made the androgynous male elf annoyed. 'Kids... stay away from me. You little piles of raw sugar always question if I'm a man or a woman then run off to either of your parents for more sugar.' Looking around he notices a dwarf building a sand castle and an impressive one at that. He also felt he recognized the dwarf from the list of mercenaries he compiled. It makes sense that a mercenary would take vacation time, they are people and have needs as well. As the elf walked over to the dwarf and his sand castle he witnessed an altercation as someone crashed into it. The bully pushed the dwarf down, the dwarf left and the bully stood there. With an annoyed and very agitated sigh T.E.M. walked over to the bully, tapped him on the back. "Huh?" The bully turned around to see the smaller elf ans laughed. "What do you want pipsqueak?" "Apologize to the dwarf." The bully laughed and shook his head. "Nah. I got a game to play. Now buzz o-" Before the bully could turn around to leave a fist was placed firmly into the bully's gut, planting him on the ground. T.E.M. shook his head and sat on the bully while waiting for the dwarf to return in hopes the bully will apologizing for knocking his hard work down. "Cragmar won't recognize me for sure but I'll help a fellow mercenary out with an ass like you." @Zigzag
  44. 1 point

    Fun in the Sun - Open

    "Slit Throat, put a couple mint leaves in it, no ice." Sarah sighed as she turned and leaned back against the bar counter. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and she didn't care for any of it. They can keep their sunshine and sand, the half vampire thought, she'd rather take somewhere dark and cold. Her drink came, and she sipped it gingerly, chest heaving from her next sigh. "Gotta find something else to do." "You can check out one of the walking trails." Suggested the barkeep. "They lead to some pretty spooky places, if you take the right turns." She thought about it for a while, mulling it over between sips. "I could go for it." "Here's another drink for the road, for good luck." Thanking him, she headed over to where the signs started pointing out where the hiking trails were. Maybe it wouldn't be as nice as staring out rainy windows with a blanket and a warm drink, but maybe she can see something nice while she's here. --------------------------------------- Sun tanning was proving to be more advantageous for her than Lancellar realized, as it seemed she had drawn an audience around her. They were mostly men, with an odd woman or two not afraid to admire a female form in the way a man would, their eyes upon her, staring as if she didn't notice them. When she cracked an eye open just a bit, the group of about four or so people backed away a bit, perhaps embarrassed or uncertain what she may do to them for ogling. "Anyone perhaps want to rub some oil on my back? I can never seem to get every spot by myself." Flipping over, she help up the small poultice, waiting for one of them to work up the courage to approach her. Finally she felt the small jar be taken from her grasp, and the small, feminine hands of one of the women began to rub the cool liquid over her. "Mmmmm thank you so much." She purred, pulling her hair up so they could massage her shoulders. "So how long have you been watching." "My apologies." She said in that thick accent common to this region. "We didn't mean to you're just...so tall. It's like you are descended from a tree." "We'll I'm pretty sure my grandfather had a few trysts with some wood nymphs before meeting my grandmother. Some say it was suspicious how he had four children when his wife had only given birth three times." The woman gasped. "How scandalous." She exclaimed. "Mmmmm, yes. My family has had something of a checkered past, you might say. Speaking of checkered, could you perhaps untie my top? I absolutely hate having a tan line on my back. Makes it impossible for me to wear dresses without backs." There was a seconds pause, and for a moment she thought the stranger might object. Finally she felt the tension of the strings holding her top go slack, and once again more of the oil was applied. "I think I can really grow to love this place." --------------------------------------- Breaking from the surface of the water, the two warriors drew large breaths, desperate for air. "I think I saw some clams down there. Think they have any pearls in em?" Eric asked, enjoying the feeling of the currents while they casually stayed afloat. This was definitely a good place to relax, he thought to himself. "Clams? I didn't see any clams. Pretty sure I saw a chest though." Phillip said. "A chest? By the gods that could be better than a couple of pearls! Come on then lets go get it. How large is it?" "Two arms wide, and an arm tall. It's gonna take us a while to get it back to shore." If it had sunken all the way to the bottom, it was likely heavy, which could be trouble for them. "Well then we better get started, shouldn't we?" They laughed and went back under, ready to plunder the depths for their prize. ------------------------------------------------- "Just have to reinforce the rampart here, put some detail on this archway." He continued to mutter to himself, working diligently on the sand fort he had been going at since they got here. When it was required he would take a break to reapply the balm on his skin, but even then, he was making great progress. "There. That ought to do it." After wiping his hands of any spare sand, he stood back and looked at it, admiring his handiwork. Standing at least five foot tall and ten feet across, the castle was an incredible feat of beach side engineering. It had a main gate, a rampart going up one side and a compliment of towers that rose high in the air. While not structurally sound given the materials used to erect it, the building was still a marvel to behold. And then someone crashed into it. "Whoa, sorry little man." The guy chuckled, hefting up the leather ball to his chest and brushing himself off. "You okay?" "No I'm not okay!" Cragmar yelled. "Do you know how much work I put into that thing? You better watch where yer going next time before you get the tar beaten out of ya." "Oh yeah?" He stooped down, his muscles flexing from the effort. "I'd like to see you try it, short stuff." They stared each other down, until the bully got bored and pushed the dwarf down into the sand. "Heh, yeah, didn't think so." Getting up in a huff, Cragmar muttered angrily to himself while he stomped on over to the supply cart they brought with them, rummaging around for something.
  45. 1 point
    The hound had covered herself with a long plain cloak. Something about decency and stuff. She didn't really understand. Her grey skin, fiery orange eye and her appearance in general would be giveaways to her non-human race anyway. She'd be the last person to arrive. Upon doing such, she'd hear them all talking and keep quiet herself. She'd look at whoever was talking as they spoke, everyone had something to say and they were here first. "Contract?" She asked. Pyrrah hadn't heard that term many times before. "You need help?" she asked quietly, really it was to the parties in general and not one specific person. Pyrrah had limited speech due to a barrier of language. She was from a plain of existence not of human influence. Now she'd been away from it for years, but that didn't change where she came from. She looked at everyone in a rotation of focus. "My name is Pyrrah" she said, "I came to help." her voice had an almost metaphoric tone of subservience to it, like that a dogs would be if a dog could speak. The bottom of the cloak stopped just above her knees, and with her tail being just slightly longer it would peak just below said cloak.
  46. 1 point

    Fun in the Sun - Open

    Raveena smiled an easy smile. It was good to have the Arashi she was familiar with back again. She sat beneath a great umbrella jabbed into the sand. Several blankets were placed around. It was unnaturally cool, for within the depths of the shadow cast by the Umbrella did her newfound Shadow Beast pack nestle. They loitered close to Raveena, peering through Tenenbrae from time to time to see her world. Raveena pulled her curtain of curls aside, “This is Everett Knight, my youngest. He is very fragile so we must take care not to scare him, hm?” Everett, with his father’s tan complexion, his mother’s dark hair and hazel green eyes. He slept soundly despite the commotion of the beach and was part of why Raveena hung so far back from the larger crowds. “Then there’s Lencio.” She pointed to the young boy by Grant. He sported an olive complexion that could have easily passed for Rowan’s son. He had a mop of brown hair, bright green eyes and was far too clever for his young age. “He was the son of a friend of mine who died. I promised I would take him, since his father was raising him by himself.” She thought of Thenry and his easy charm. There was a lot of Thenry in Lencio. He adored her, how could she say no? “The boy that looks like she could be Sabine’s son is Giliam. He was a refugee. The orphanage said that he was being bullied over his skin’s color.” There was a laughter in her smile, “I couldn’t resist him. He is a kind, thoughtful child. His brother Ventys,” She pointed to the blond-haired, steely-blue eyed boy who was the tallest of her three adopted, “He had a hard time as well. Lots of fighting. Trust issues. No one wanted him. He took some time and work, but. I love my sons. They have their own dragon hatchlings they are learning to care for. Someday Everett will have one, too.” She watched Grant bond with his younger brothers, her smiled widening. It lifted her heart and mended old wounds that she had allowed to open. @Metty -- “Quiet!” Lencio stared at the water with all the intensity a child could. He lowered his voice, “Nobody move! I am trying to make the water stop moving!” He flung his hands out at the water and growled. His face was screwed up in concentration. He immediately gave up and huffed. “Ugh…how come eevveerryyoonnnee but Gil and Ven can do cool stuff?” He frowned and looked up at Grant, “I’m cool! I showed mom this cool sand dollar that I caught all—all by myself!” He threw his arms up in a grand gesture, “I’m cool, I think…” He thought long and hard about before twisting and looking around. Everyone seemed different. Everyone except him. He didn’t know if his brothers felt the same. He wanted to be cool, too! @danzilla3
  47. 1 point

    Member of the Month 2020

    A little bit of jumping the gun. The last day is tomorrow but the delta between one spot and the other is large enough that I don’t think it’ll make a difference. If I’m wrong and it does then I’ll check and / or wreck myself So member of the month for January is - @Csl! Congrats! Confetti and cake!
  48. 1 point

    Fractured Paths

    Jerich nodded, satisfied that Matte was Matte after all, and not a Doppleganger, Mimic, Sleeper agent disguised by way of witchcraft, or Enrele-infested cadaver. At least, reasonably satisfied. [backtrack over] # # # "Those really our only options for going in? I'm seeing all these roads here along either side." Jericho posed his question without derision or dissembling, just a blank honesty about his tone and expression as his finger pointed out the other roads which led into and out of the small town. "I guess it'd take longer but I don't want to limit our options just cause it's a bit more of a hike to get a better position. I think you got a fine enough plan there bud, but maybe fine ain't good enough for getting out of this thing squeaky clean. "We can work a little off what we got from those duds, but if I was a smart little bandit fuck, and we should assume our opponent is, I'd maybe not let the shit-heels of my crew know all that much about my operation. Just keep them paid and fed, ready to kill or die. I ain't all that convinced they'd flee just cause there's three of us. I mean they should if they knew what was good for them, but not at first glance. "We don't have a firm handle on their numbers, weapons, skills, or distribution. Maybe they're all holed up in one place. Is that how you'd run it? So's some smarty pants fuck can bring down you and your crew lighting just one place on fire? One kamikaze run? If it was me, probably I'm distributing my captains. Probably there's a place I use to do regular business but me, I keep moving from spot to spot. That's how I'd set myself up if I was planning to operate inside of the same town I'm fucking over. "So I say our first order of business is to figure all that out. Go out there and call, see what calls back, and take it from there." # # # Jericho presented an innocuous figure. He begged for attention, holding an artificial torch of luminescent crystal overhead as he walked down a small dirt road into the town. His sword was on display; he didn't want to hide the fact he posed a threat, wanted any distant observer to tip their hand as to how they respond to a weapon. As the Wilds fell away, replaced by the blocky structures of homes, the dirt with cobblestone, the dark with faint streetlamps to which his personal torch still added an appreciable light, Jericho noted that the streets were sullen. Not abandoned in the way of a ghost town, but empty in the way of cemeteries; conscious and forlorn. The scent of a people oppressed. "Pardon me! I don't mean to be a bother!" Matte and Yshmael had their choice of following along with Jericho's half-mad plot on the ground with him, or from a rooftop, where they could spy the comings and goings of the street from a bird's eye view. After all, if Jericho was stuffed into a burlap sack and whisked away, someone had to see where the abducted where taken. "I'm looking for Ms. Daisy Mae. Is she still 'round these parts? I kinda lost my way."
  49. 1 point

    The Hunger Calls

    Every inch felt like a battle, her body demanding she succumb, while her mind resisted with everything it could muster. His words cut through the thick blood lust, hitting her hard. "Because I..." She took a long, shuddering breath, feeling her fangs jutting through. "I don't want to be like him." The memories came flooding back to her, tears coming down her cheek as the pain ripped it's way through her once more. "Mother...mother can you ear me? Mother what's wrong?" "She can't hear you anymore, Sarah. I'm afraid she's been under my spell for too long." Her mother, Ellesia, simply sat there, smiling, but not responding. She was a doll, a husk that had no soul left behind those sea blue eyes, a fate she felt, even worse than death. It was then that she learned of how her father, Baron Hugo "the Beguiling" Bouchard had hypnotized her mother into being his little plaything, not even aware of the life growing inside her until she gave birth, and then taking her in as his own, having made her into the half vampire she was today, from the constant feeding he enacted upon her. He was a monster, and so she vowed never to be anything like him. Sarah had rejected everything that her father tried to instill in her, wandering the lands, becoming a mercenary, all of it just to spite him and his wishes to make her into his ideal heiress. He had sent men to retrieve her, but after sending back so many heads, she figured he must have given up. "Are you okay, madame?" One of the crewmembers asked, visibly concerned. "I just need a little bit of blood." Looking towards them, her fangs were now almost jutting past her lips, her eyes filled with a mixture of pleading and hunger. "I'm too weak to make it to the animals...please I promise I won't..." "Dear gods, you're a vampire!" The man stepped back, both parts distressed and disgusted. "Get away from me monster!" Shaking with rage and hunger, her hand reached back to herself, clawing deep gouges into the wood. All she had to do was let down her defenses, and she could tear him apart with ease, but was that the right thing to do? Would she be any better than her father? Could she ever come back from such a decision?
  50. 0 points

    James Eredas versus New Challenger

    To him, her words were equally impossible. His eyes narrowed, and his battle lust began to simmer under the surface. His hands curled inwards into fists, cracking his joints, stretching in anticipation of a battle breaking out. He could sense her sudden desire to kill him, and he was unfazed in the slightest. After all, why would he be alarmed if she wished to kill him? She would hardly be the first person who ever tried to slay the Slayer. It was merely part of the natural order of the universe. The sun rose from the east and set in the west. The tides came in and went out as surely as the seasons changed. People wished to kill James Eredas. Simple. Natural. Yet calmer heads might still prevail. "Am I?" he asked coolly. He raised up his right leg and set his foot up against the edge of the table from his end, letting his right arm rest on his thigh languidly. If it were indeed her house, could she stand such disrespect? No, it was James's home. He could do as he wished, with only the consequence that he would have to clean the mark on the table later. His beloved would be upset at it.
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