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Spooky Mittens

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  1. He awaited a cut, but no such move came. The monk leaned into his lead leg and thrust his sword fourth while keeping his arms in position. A safe position, but it didn't much impact what Ren's plan was. Their blades bridged the center and the monk aimed for Ren's right arm. Ren slipped his right foot back and out, pushed his left arm forward, and pulled his right arm back, completing the movement into kasumi with the arms extended. This placed his right hand in line with his cheek. This pulled his right arm away from the neutral thrust the monk executed and moved the tip of his own sword in a line to intersect the monk's right arm behind the wrist by appearances, but from below. A ruse, Ren only sought to give the impression of a shallow worrying cut. He passed the chance and positioned the tip of his sword to the right, the tip aligned with his navel. @Tenkai Matsumoto
  2. Ren stood, restrained and firm, as the warrior monk prepared himself. He didn't mind waiting, for Ren preferred to fight his opponents openly and without tricks. He let the monk don his armor, he let the monk draw his sword, and he let the monk shout his name and his school to the void. It didn't matter. Ren had no house. Ren had no school. He was a shadow flitting between worlds. His reply came like a whisper compared to Tenkai's proclamation. "レンです" (Rendesu) Just a name, and nothing more. Ren lurched forward just then, bridging the gap between himself and the monk. His sword dropped below his hips into waki no kamae, his kashira aimed ahead while the tip of his tachi arched behind him. His right hand found purchase on the kashira, and after a long floaty stride, Ren stopped. He halted for a brief moment just seven feet from the monk. He leaned forward as though he intended to strike, and he moved his sword from waki position into a halfway point between waki no kamae and kasumi no kamae. He stepped forward one half measure with his left foot, but he pulled his right heel off the stone floor. @Tenkai Matsumoto
  3. Gathering In Inn'sth Archibald regarded Isaac’s question for a moment before he adjusted his glasses and looked him straight in the face. He had a rather grim expression all of a sudden, since the question itself had raised a few red flags in the researcher’s mind. He needed to let this man know exactly what hells lay in wait beyond the yonder gate. “My lad, you have heard of Yh’mi? It is a rarity that trouble does not find those who venture beyond the walls. It is a grave danger to be out there, especially as deep into the wilderness as his band travelled. They were accompanied by a band of mercenaries not unlike yourselves. I would hate for you to find yourself in over your head. Are you sure you want to proceed?” The Succubus seemed not to join in the conversation. The remaining three talked among themselves and Arthur asked a very good question. The Knight of the Order seconded his curiosity. Artanthos went off to find somewhere to keep his horse. “It’s only natural that you might be interested in what Heydrich was working on, and you’re correct Mr. Uskglass. He was a specialist in portals. His group was to investigate some form of energy spike out by The Pillars that seemed to indicate portal activity. So far we received regular correspondence over the past month, but we have since been unable to reach them. I assume the worst, but it might be possible that they are holed up somewhere and unable to get a message out.” Archibald turned to his assistant and gathered his notes from under the umbrella. He caught himself as he saw one particular page. “I feel I should note that they are right at the edge of the unknown territories. They may have encountered things never seen before. Here.” He held out a page from his notes. A series of etchings on a piece of vellum. Manlike creatures with long snouts and fangs, not unlike werebeasts in their own way. In the margins were a few small notes; Cat? Dog? Man? Rat? Pack hunters. Efficient. Possible threat, have avoided confrontation. These were from a fairly skilled scout by the looks of things. Whomever wished to take the page could do so. “I’ll be heading back to the inn. When you return, come find me there.” At least he said when and not if. @Voldemort @Tenkai Matsumoto @Damnatus @Phoebe @Fierach
  4. Gathering In Inns'th The pair of scholars stood and waited for everyone to arrive. The first of which would be a mercenary who wore an eastern garb. Isaac was the first to address the researcher, who returned his bow with a nod. "Welcome." The elderly man's voice carried raspy and harsh, as though his throat were dry as sun baked sand. The next to arrive would be the she-demon who wore the skin of a beautiful woman. The researcher regarded her no differently than he had Isaac, though he engaged with her greeting a bit more than the former. "Is it evening? I hadn't realized. A few weeks here and you lose all sense of day or night." He shot a glare at the boy holding the umbrella, though, for as he turned to look back he seemed to be drooling over himself staring at the succubus. The researcher gave him a smack upside the head with a stack of papers and whispered through his teeth "mind your manners lad or I'll have to copy all nine volumes of my text books by hand." The final three arrived together, one who was known to the researcher, and two who weren't. Another eastern warrior and a heavily armored muscle man by the looks of things. "Is that you Mister Uskglass? My, it has been a while. I hardly recognize you." His tone was warm and welcoming, though the tone sneaking in behind his voice seemed to suggest a level of detachment from the rest of the world. Probably had something to do with the scenery. It seemed the question asked to him by the larger man Artanthos went unheeded after the old man saw a familiar face. "It's good to see you are well, though I wish we were meeting under more favorable circumstances." For a man with a raspy voice he seemed to talk quite well. It was at this point that he took hold of the umbrella and released his assistant. The boy started to gather up the objects laid out on the sandy turf which he then began to distribute. Each member of the party was to receive one each of the following items to aid them in their search. An ensorcelled hooded lantern with a flame that did not generate heat, nor required any fuel to remain alight, with a belt hook. An alchemical flare to be used if the party is split. Basic supplies such as dried food and water, enough to last a trip there and back when rationed. Archibald offered one more piece of kit, but it would have to be shared among the party. A set of maps, showing where the camp was supposed to be beyond The Pillars to the south west. The smaller map was hand drawn and lacked color, looking to be more of a rough drawn layout than a work of true cartography. The second map was larger and more detailed, depicting the known areas of Yh'mi. Taken in tandem the two maps would lead the party to the rough area of the expedition camp. "I haven't got much in the way of news to give you I'm afraid. This is their last known location, but we haven't any idea what caused them to go silent. We assume the worst, but if his research can be recovered it will be of enormous value to us." @Voldemort @Tenkai Matsumoto @Damnatus @Phoebe @Fierach
  5. "I like paper." Cyril defended himself, feigning offense as he lifted the foil tab from his box and stuck it to the side. He contemplated for a moment the spiked seltzer she offered with a quirked brow. In the end he decided to take it, chugging down his paper water as fast as possible with one big gulp and a squeeze. He wasn't sure where the recycling chute was hidden in this place, as so often they were in fancy apartments, so he set the box back on the counter. With his white claw Ivory Talon in hand he leaned in closer, following Unity's lead as she was about to tell him a story he wanted to hear. "Well then. They certainly did a number on you. To take away someone's free will is easy, but to completely overwrite their instincts takes precision." He started, realizing just how deep Unity has found herself. It wasn't like with him, where he was lab-grown from the start. This was something new, modifications to a fully developed adult with little to no evidence. He couldn't help but admire the work just a little bit, but at the same time he could understand Unity's state of mind when describing it. The idea that you no longer reacted negatively to fear might sound great from the outside, but to actually be in a situation like that was probably terrifying. "Before I tell you what I was doing, let me apologize. I've hunted several cybernetics in the past so I thought my old strategy would work, but it seems they've decided to go for ultraviolence with you. So, sorry, I didn't realize the danger I was putting you in." He cracked his Ivory Talon and he looked down into the open mouth of the can. His thumb compressed the side ever so slightly before releasing, allowing the aluminum to pop and the contents to sizzle. "I was hunting, not for game but for data, just like your employer. Everyone here in Absalom is always in an arms race against each other, so the old man wanted me to bring you in. It wasn't like he was targeting you in particular, not at first. Initially he just wanted me to keep things quiet and let you pass through, but then the Gremlin." Cyril took a sip of his drink, contemplated it for a moment, and set the can back down. "Once the Gremlin started taunting you he wanted me to bring you in. They work in tandem with the Marionettes, usually half a dozen gremlins to ever central mass, but this one was freshly printed and only had one drone. To have it go and focus on you, instead of on me who had been vexing it for damn near an hour was pretty unusual. See, I was gathering data on how Marionettes self evolve, and you played a very big role in the evolution of that particular specimen." @Sigil Warden
  6. Thou shalt have thine post tonight

    1. Spooky Mittens

      Spooky Mittens

      I lied, it's only half done :c

  7. Gathering in Inns'th Our tale begins north of the gates, a misguided band of adventurers gathers to seek fortune in the dangers beyond the walls. They are sent in the smallest hope that they may recover something lost. An ill-fated doctor and his research crew fell silent and ceased reports, leaving his compatriots to assume the worst. Now they have hired a rescue crew, but the feel of this mission is more likely to recover a body, for the lands beyond the walls are dangerous beyond reason. A researcher stands about one hundred feet from the wall. He has an assistant who holds an umbrella and a lantern. The day is blackened by clouds over-head such that the sun may as well not exist. Sight is limited further by a thick fog, with a very slight sprinkling of rain. The researcher is a man who appears to be on in years, with his wispy white eyebrows and his long scratchy beard. He has, by his feet, a few small sacks of odds and ends to offer the people he has hired for this task. He holds a slate and a piece of vellum, upon which he writes small notes. They need only show up.
  8. The spirit turned to look at the monk who addressed him. His hair, which had previously been wafting about in the air, seemed to calm and drift low. The strands were long and Raven black, interspersed with streaks of white along his sideburns. It draped over his form like a wet cloth. The spirit pointed his blade towards Tenkai, leveling his aqua blue eyes onto the Monk's waist. He answered, though not in Japanese. It was some otherworldly language, something far removed, but once heard by mortal beings it assembled itself into something familiar. "Am I? I was. I'm not so sure anymore." He paced to the left a bit, laying his right hand atop the tsuka of the dead Lord's own blade. The faint whisper of a roar could be heard filling the chamber from all around until the spirit Ren removed his digits from the weapon. "I was starting to lose hope, but, you'll do in his stead." For a moment the veil dropped and Ren would appear to Tenkai as he truly was. A half-skeletal visage, his body bathed in blood with festering wounds all over. For the briefest flash he took this appearance, but as he right hand found its way to the bottom of his tachi he again appeared soft to the monk. For spirits, emotions flowed like material, akin to a gas, throughout their surroundings. This spirit in particular was giving off a heavy cloud of bloodlust, though oddly his killer intent seemed to waver. He was unsure of one thing, but dead sure of the other, and his intentions were laid bare as he leveled the point of his sword towards the monk. @Tenkai Matsumoto
  9. The walk was quiet. Cyril was used to this, he was comfortable with this. Quiet he could handle because it gave him time to formulate his thoughts into actual coherent sentences. He wasn't exactly trained for delivering speeches or giving verbal reports. Cyril was a man of action, so to speak, trained to do things with as little thought as possible. This was probably an adequate explanation for his awkwardness around the opposite sex. If it wasn't something he could fight he just hadn't a clue how to deal with it. His nervousness wasn't wholly obvious, but to a woman like Unity she'd be able to detect the subtle body language queues. Cyril was definitely out of his element, like a work dog who was off-duty. So the silence was good. He glanced at Unity from time to time, but mostly he kept his eyes unfocused and flighty. Absalom was not exactly an apocalyptic wasteland where every passer-by would rob you and leave you for dead, but then it also wasn't exactly not that. Cyril kept his senses spread wide. When his eyes weren't laid upon Unity he could be seen scanning. He took mental notes of everyone they passed. Accountant. Merc. Engineer. Homeless. Servants galore. Just a normal day. Their destination was close, and as Unity opened the doorway he followed behind her. He made sure the door was closed, since he was the hypervigilant sort, and once he was satisfied he looked to the rest of the facility. He heard the rubbery flapping of shoes hitting the floor, followed by the pitter patter of bare feet. In the background he heard the flowing water fountain and he turned to look across the rest of the flat. It was actually quite nice, rather like the executive quarters that Applied Arcana used. Not as good as Cyril's employer, perhaps, but several orders of magnitude better than what the average person could claim. It was better than Cyril's quarters at the very least. He took to removing his own shoes to follow Unity's example. No sense tracking in the street with him. They were "tieless", held on with a set of quick release straps and elastic laces. He simply loosened them up and pulled them off, plopping them down beside Unity's haphazardly kicked off sneakers. He took her up on her offer to check the "cooler panel", a refrigeration unit hidden in the wall as a big tile. Just tapping the marked section allowed it to pop open with a hiss. Yep, definitely fully stocked with beverages. Cyril perused the selection, skipping over the juices and the electrolytes and zoning in on the hoity toity boxed water. You know, like bottled water but in a little cardboard box. It was almost comical to Cyril to see this sort of product around, since only the wealthiest citizens could even afford it and benefitted least from it's lower greenhouse impact. "A'ight." Cyril murmured to himself as he took one and meandered over to the bar counter that split the living space and kitchen. He set his water down and started to take off his heavy jacket. He proceeded to remove his armored vest, undo his utility belt and set all of his weapons out on the counter top. It only amounted to thirty pounds or so of gear but it still felt good to be rid of it for a little while. Without all of the accessories in place it was obvious just how muscular Cyril actually was. The benefits of gene mods, surely, as the practice was common for "lab wizards" like him. He had on a simple garment designed to prevent chaffing and to wick away sweat, a kind of spandex material that covered his neck and torso. The rib panels of the garment were yellow like his hair, but black everywhere else. It took him about as long to remove his armor and other gear as it took Unity to change clothes and paint her eyes. He decided to let her have the first word from there. @Sigil Warden
  10. The many spirits who resided here in the tomb seemed to mostly be in a state of unease, though not overly so. While surprised that the monk appeared to them as they appeared to one another, one couldn't say that they were actually upset at this. Rather, the spirit lingering deeper within put them on edge. This wasn't to say they were afraid, or even threatened. No, the air here felt closer to indignant. They did not fear the maligned spirit, rather they were upset that he disturbed their rest. They seemed even to welcome the monk. Perhaps they knew on some level that he was here to help them rest once more. So long as that thing remained, nobody would get any sleep here. "How frustrating." The words echoed up the halls of the tomb. Delving deeper, one would find the main chamber where the founder of Hemlock Knoll had been interred. A burial urn stood on a pedestal in the middle of the room, a simple thing of clay and glaze. Around this pedestal were his earthly belongings consisting of his armor and sword. It was oddly eastern in design. Lamellar armor twined together by technicolor silken cord, a helm with a hanging neck guard and a crest to signify his station, a face covering that depicted the tusks of a demon, and of course a curved blade in a lacquered wooden scabbard. Flanking this weapon and armor were the old warrior's tools, signifying that this man had turned to a life of carpentry. There in the chamber, pacing restlessly back and fourth in front of the armor, was a young man about midway through his twenties. He had black hair that swirled about his head in a mess as though he were underwater. He wore simple garb of black and white cloth consisting of a hitatare robe and kobakama. His feet were bare. He carried a sword as well, a tachi to be specific. "How can it be? Why won't he WAKE UP!?" The spirit shouted, his voice affecting the physical world with a wave of pressure. He drew his sword and he cut across the armor stand, his blade passing through it cleanly and without causing damage. The tip of his sword rebounded off the stone with a loud metallic clang. He proceeded to shout at the armor stand in frustration. @Tenkai Matsumoto
  11. Hemlock Knoll It was a small hamlet of trappers and craftsmen, hardly worth naming. Three generations of five families lived here, secluded from the world in a thick grove of trees. They preferred it this way, keeping to their solitude and honing their trades to sell in the large cities. It was a quiet life, a simple life, but the people here were happy. It was called Hemlock Knoll for the formation of the land, a small isolated hill covered in hemlocks. Local tales, if the old timers were to be believed, was that the hamlet was founded by a warrior in ages past. Generations ago, he defeated a great demon with a magic sword, bringing glory to his king and the people, but he grew weary of the endless battles and the fame that came with it. He sought to bring balance to his life, and so he left his king behind and took his retainers into the wilderness to lead a life of a simple craftsman. His children, and his children's children, and those of his retainers kept to his wishes for the most part, and Hemlock Knoll has remained small and secretive. Legend tells that this warrior was entombed on the windward side of the knoll in a structure the he and his family had constructed in the distant past. All those born in Hemlock Knoll were interred in this tomb, and in the deepest chamber, legend tells, was the ashes and regalia of the nameless founder. Something Spooky Some weeks ago, the people of the hamlet sent out a call for help to a man of spiritual prowess. An exorcist, or a medium, anyone who could speak with the dead because there was a disturbance in the tomb. When their latest elder passed the people of the village performed his funeral rites, burned his body, and descended into the tomb to place his urn in the spot laid out by his forefathers for him. While carrying his remains, a great spiritual force cried out from the darkness deep within, an otherworldly roar and the scent of rotting blood filled their ears and their noses. They heard the sound of steel on stone, but none save a small boy saw the source. A ghostly swordsman, wielding a curved blade. They dropped the urn and ran from the tomb, fearing that the ghost of their ancestor had come back seeking bloodshed once more. @Tenkai Matsumoto
  12. Alastaire watched the ship's deck like a hawk. He saw the blades charging as the crew readied to fire back, when just as they were ready Elias came to the rescue. A swath of magic lights washed over the men, throwing off their aim in such a spectacular manner that Alastaire needn't even dodge. "Hah! Brilliant." Freed up to turn his gaze elsewhere, Alastair noted the man in the crow's nest with the crossbow. He swooped down from the sun, diving into Elias' path. He spread his wings and let his legs dangle, shifting his angle into a straight shot towards the top mast. As the quarrel flew he could see it, and he reached out with the power lurking within to the space surrounding him. His skin shimmered red near his hands and eyes as he overwrote the eidos of the very air itself until it became hard like glass. The bolt collided with this glassy surface, shattering the air into pieces and curving and tumbling off to the side until it fell into the ocean. Alastair continued towards the crows nest, fully intent on landing there in the next moments. To cover his approach, he pulled the remaining stone daggers from his sack and began to throw them two at a time. Their flight paths were straight as could be, again aimed at no one in particular but intended instead to force the guardsmen on deck to take cover and scatter so that they couldn't form a sufficient counter attack. He tossed his final two near the big man with the hammer. The Guard Captain started to move now as he realized just what kind of position the ship was really in. These magicians were no common brigands, they were highly skilled in the arcane arts. Just four men, one with giant wings, another walking clear across the sky, and two others in a tiny boat with a bag of wind straight out of ancient myths. He glared as his men were blinded by illusion, her grumbled as his scout told him the position of the dinghy. He shouted as he watched the stone knives sink into the deck once more. "Incoming! Hit the deck!" He barked to the guards who still rubbed their eyes. The rest who could see just fine took initiative to cover on their own. The guard captain himself made no effort to hide, he looked at the final two knives head on and as they neared he slammed the butt of his hammer's haft into the deck, discharging a wave of force from the hammer face, setting the knives off early and directing their scattered projectile fragments to the wind. He looked to the rest of his men. Two wizards in the sky, or the unknowns in the boat? He could tell their attention was being divided on purpose at this point, so he decided to focus on one threat instead of both. It was probably a little late for that, but this gave him their best chance in his estimation. He pointed over the side of the ship. "Take out that dinghy." He pointed to two other guardsmen. "You're with me." He chose to keep his attention on the airborne threat.
  13. Cyril was no stranger to the wiles of women or their subtle flirtations. That didn't make him any less awkward about it. To put it as simply as possible he had no game. While attractive in his own right and fairly well-off he'd had startlingly few flings in his time. Perhaps that came with the territory of being a bio-weapon, or perhaps it had more to do with his off-putting attitude? All the same his face contorted into a confused expression as he watched Unity perform her little song and dance. She invited him back to her place, the implications of the offer flew over his head but the swagger in her hips certainly caught his attention. He spent a little too long staring at her backside as she strolled away, perhaps long enough for her to look back and catch him zoning out. He caught himself and reasserted his attention to above Unity's shoulders before he started to follow. "Sure." He said it in a way that sounded uncertain, like he was confused at the suggestion. After all, why would she want to invite this predator back to her den? He had no nefarious plots hidden in the back of his mind, but it put him on his guard. His stride was quick to catch up and his hands found their way behind his back once again. This kept his overcoat open around the waist, which itself was part of Cyril's strategy for travelling unmolested. He caught up to Unity and then slowed down to match her pace. "Lead the way." @Sigil Warden
  14. An Apology? Cyril hadn't really had much experience giving apologies, at least not ones that he actually meant to give. He was familiar with the concept of remorse, or sympathy, but his experience of those feelings was rather limited.; a byproduct of living in Absalom. He let her say her piece, keeping his eyes intently locked onto hers. He noticed her glancing around the small compartment of the elevator and the gears turned in his head about what she could be thinking but not saying. Was she looking for an escape? He probably would have been if the positions were switched. "Sorry." The word came out as she finished speaking. He said it flatly, monotone, and with little in the way of a facial expression to accompany it. The elevator came to a stop and the door slid open with a gentle ping sound. They were in the lobby of an apartment complex of some sort. The company logo over the exits indicated Applied Arcana as the owner of the building. Unity was free to leave now, no longer confined, but Cyril kept speaking. "Why didn't you just run?" This time, his voice carried a tone of annoyance. He couldn't fathom why this woman had pushed herself so hard when her mobility was clearly leagues beyond the creatures she'd fought. After all, it had been his plan to funnel her, not stone-wall her, and he wasn't really good at lures. Terror, on the other hand, he was good at. @Sigil Warden
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