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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
  15. "Not Yet." Alastaire answered to the other flier of the group. He hadn't really had any time to get to know this man, since it's been strict business since they linked up with Arthur. Even now, alone on this cliff side, Alastaire's demeanor led him only to communicate the bare necessities. He kept his eyes on the sandbar down below for the most part but he couldn't help but look to the horizon every now and again. It didn't take very long for the ship in question to appear. Alastaire looked to the sandbar and saw the alchemist waving his hands frantically. The sorcerer couldn't help himself but chuckle. Was this the big signal? It served him well enough. "Now." His voice remained even and calm. He took in a deep breath after he spoke and spread his wings to their full breadth. Each limb was as long as he was tall, reaching into the air and flexing. The slender digit portions of his wings belied the powerful muscles underneath. With little more than a grunt and a leap, Alastaire beat his wings with force, blasting the space where he previously stood with a gust of wind that could knock a man clean off his feet if he wasn't careful. This shot the sorcerer high, his legs curling in under his body and his tail whipping in a spiral for stability. He caught a draft of ocean breeze and allowed it to carry him as it would for the time being. They had a game plan. He wasn't here to take the ship all on his lonesome. No heroic drop onto the deck with a fancy pose. No, indeed, his preparations would be put to work in the next moments. The guards on the deck would no doubt aim to shoot down any would-be bandits such as himself, and so he sought to keep his position far away and in the sun to make this more difficult. From the cloth roll he drew the first of his seven stone daggers. He spoke words that few today would understand, but which could be recognized as some dialect of draconic. "Throden makaidic." His crystallized blood answered some ancestral call, shimmering with arcane machination. He tossed the stone haphazardly and yet it flew in a nearly straight line towards the ship below a loud whistle. This object was not aimed at anyone in particular. Instead it sought to sink itself into the deck surface, burying the tip in for just a moment. Then, after that moment, the arcana gathered within the blood coating erupted from within the stone knife. The object burst into a dozen small razors of flint, scattering at upward angles towards anyone foolish enough to remain near it. The ship was valuable, it's crew not so much, and while these were unlikely to kill they were excellent for wounding. Over the next moments, Alastaire would spend his attention throwing the remaining six while evading. The Guard Captain left the Captain's Quarters, his armor donned and his hammer in hand. He gripped the haft with his right hand, letting the weight of the hammer rest across his shoulders. As a sailor, this man's hammer was modified in such a way as to make the weapon useful for more than just hitting stuff. While the hammer face would usually be opposite to a spike or an axe blade, this hammer sported a hook and a spade-point tip. It looked like a boarding hook with a four point hammer bit attached. It didn't take long for his nerves to be confirmed. His premonition of danger revealed itself as a figure from the nearby cliffs. Some winged beast. "What is that?!" He shouted to the crows nest, demanding a reply from the man with the spyglass. "I-i'ts a man! With wings!" The scout shouted back. "Is he stupid?" The Guard Captain mused aloud, wondering what kind of ploy this figure planned. When he threw his dagger, it whistled towards the boat with a bright red glow. The projectile was swift, and yet it struck no one in particular. It didn't take a genius to figure it was dangerous, but just in case. "Cover!" The Captain barked, pointing his hammer towards the group of guards nearest the stone knife. "Volley!" He continued, pointing to a different group of five. Each guard only had two charges. There wasn't much sense having all fifteen shoot at a single man.
  16. He waited a good while in silence. The elevator was quite swift, but even so the trip was also quite long. Occasionally he tipped himself up onto his toes, and lowered himself back down without much noise. He remained like this until Unity finally broke the silence. He paused a moment, peeling his eyes away from the ceiling and settling them on her face. He took in a deep breath as though he was about to let out a huff, but he released it slowly, and also with words. "I had planned on it. Is there something I should say?" He unfolded his arms, letting them hang relaxed by his sides. He figured she would be upset with him after learning that he was responsible for her test going sideways. He wondered if he should explain himself, if he should let her know the reasons or that the plan had been something else entirely. How was he supposed to know that she was a blood thirsty berserker hopped up on stims? His mouth contorted a bit, pinching on the left side and remaining limp on the right. @Sigil Warden
  17. "Alright then." Cyril answered, stepping astride from his corner to the touch panel by the doors. He typed in a password and the dim screen lit up bright blue. This prompted the doors to close following a pleasant bell chime. A second set of button taps and the sensation of lateral movement became apparent, like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Cyril then leaned himself back into the corner where he proceeded to fold himself up and lean his head back, like he was just so above it all. He was obviously some kind of mercenary, or if not a mercenary then part of one of the many security corps that kept Absalom violent. His armor was some kind of plastic, a blend of defensive plates and fabric. A small rod hung at his waist, though it appeared far too small to actually be a weapon. Next to that was also a firearm of some design, though again it appeared to have no barrel or even a slot for a magazine. He cleared his throat a bit, but otherwise he didn't seem to keen on saying anything. He also seemed to be avoiding looking directly at Unity. @Sigil Warden
  18. The old man let her speak. He seemed to offer no sympathy for her position either, but he remained attentive and waited until she was finished before speaking up. While waiting, he placed the card down on his arm rest and pressed the tips of all his fingers together as if in thought. "It isn't the first time I've seen something like that.". He began, his raspy voice carrying the same monotone as before. "I won't push you, of course. If you think you are better off where you are now then myself and my colleagues won't interfere again." He motioned for Cyril at this point, and the armored man obliged. He walked over and handed something off to the old man in the wheelchair before pressing himself into the elevator where he stood quietly. "If you ever need help, you can reach me with this." The old man said as he held out what looked like little more than a carved piece of salt. It was old, a type of magic not really used in Absalom anymore, but which could therefore go undetected by modern machines. "Put it in a bowl of warm water first." He would wait to see if she took the trinket before moving himself out of the way. Whether she took it or not, he wasn't blocking her path. @Sigil Warden
  19. Cyril plopped himself down on a couch across the room and kicked his feet up onto a coffee table. To Unity's comments he merely chuckled and waved his hand. The old man looked at Unity intently, pausing for a moment in the off chance she had more to say. When he was sure that she was finished he started to reply. "A fair assumption, but I'm not looking to keep you.". He rolled himself over towards the door and pressed his hand against a panel beside it. A soft bell tone sounded and a little green arrow lit up on the wall above the door, indicating that this was an elevator. "Once the lift gets here you're free to go on about your business. You can take your things and go, but hear me out while we wait." He had a tone to his voice that made him seem sincere, but then all of these corporate types learned to sound that way on purpose. "I would be lying if I said my goals aren't self serving. They certainly are. I seek to destabilize the new masters you find yourself linked to, that's just a simple fact of life here in Absalom. I can offer you your freedom in exchange for a few small favors, one of which you have unwillingly provided already. I do apologize for that, but I'm sure you'd be more interested in compensation over apologies." The elevator Bell tolled once more and the doors slid open. The old man pulled a card from his robe pocket and held it beside him. "You'll find a good sum of credits linked to this card. Transfer them wherever you want, it should cover about a quarter of your debts if you're so inclined." @Sigil Warden
  20. Alastaire knew the task. He couldn't quite remember what event had him roped into this fools errand, yet here he was resting atop a cliff side. Under different circumstances he would probably be taking in the sights, painting a picture of the sea, or just lazily napping, but he had a job to do. The sorcerer had been awake for some time now, performing some kind of ritual over a set of carefully shaped stones. There were seven in all, knapped flint knives in fact. As Alastaire meditated over them, murmuring quietly into the air, he poured his will into the surroundings. His mind sought for the eidos of these seven stone knives, carefully constructing a reality within his imagination and then altering it to fit his inner desires. The static in the air around him condensed, crackling across his narrow horns and channeling into his limbs. His eyes bolted open, white voids, and he withdrew a metal dagger from his belt, slashing across his left palm. As his blood spilled upon the flint knives laid out in front of him the magic of his bloodline took shape on their surface, forming a crust of red crystals. After the seventh, his eyes returned to their usual crimson and the wound in his hand scabbed over with similar mineral growths. If it was to be an air drop then he figured they would need some bombs. He stood, then, and gathered his new toys into a cloth that he tucked neatly beneath his right arm. Alastaire was not a terribly tall man at five foot nine, but he was pretty muscular for a mage type. Though he was human, you wouldn't know it just looking at him. His physical body manifested his own eidos, and so like his distant draconic ancestors before him he grew several perks. Two horns rose from the corners of his forehead, arching back over his scalp and recurving at the crown of his skull. Each horn was black as midnight, standing out against his head of scarlet hair. Two wings sprouted from his back, colored much akin to his noggin with black scales and red webbing. His garb matched his natural coloration, though he notably didn't wear shoes. Instead he had on a set of trapeze gaiters just to brace his ankles. Alastaire wasn't really one for talking, so once he was finished dusting himself off he wandered to the cliff's edge in order to get a better look. Once Arthur gave the signal it was go time, and he wanted to be ready. He checked his left hip to make sure his weapon was still there, a rather plain looking liuyedao. His other weapon he didn't need to check for, as it was inside his head.
  21. Unity would find her journey to find said host was rather short. Leaving the bedroom where she'd been sleeping, she passed an office, a bathroom, and another, somewhat smaller bedroom, with little else to get in her way. The corridor in question was quite short so as she wandered along it she would hear the voices coming from the main living space. Her elderly host seemed to be in the middle of a hushed argument of some kind with another man. "You went too far, Cyril." The old man's voice carried. He spoke low, but he seemed to be making no attempts to keep himself unheard. The other man, however, seemed keen on keeping his voice to a whisper. "If you ask me, I didn't go far enough." He answered at a hiss. Before the old man could rebuke him, Unity would round the corner into the chamber. The room was tall, spanning two stories with a vaulted ceiling. It was an open floor plan living space, spanning a kitchen, living room, and an upstairs corridor lined with books and plants that led who-knows-where. The space itself was quite large, and combined with the other rooms that Unity had so far seen it was easily over five thousand square feet. To afford such a large domicile in Absalom was nearly unheard of, so one had to wonder just exactly who this old man was. "Ah, you're up and about." The old man called, his voice raspy and tired. All traces of his fury melted away as he caught sight of the woman, and he waved a hand at the other man, who could only be the Cyril that the elder had just been scolding. He was dressed as if he meant for battle, wearing a very specialized sort of plastic armor. He was tall, well built, and his hair was a sickly color of neon yellow. He turned off the path that the elder wished to move and Unity would be able to see his face. A handsome sort of man, save for the scarring around the corners of his eyes. His natural eyes had clearly been replaced by cybernetic optics, for they too were a sickly neon yellow with clearly mechanical pupils. "No doubt you're missing your friends." The old man rolled his wheel chair across the composite flooring over to his kitchen counter. There on the island in a neat little pile would be what remained of Unity's kit. Her daggers included. "I'm sure you overheard us, so let me fill you in. The reason your test run went so poorly is because of the meddling of this young man here. Cyril Arcturis." He began, pointing at his companion. "I sent him down there to watch you." Cyril opened his mouth at this point. "I'm not gonna just let them make another super weapon." He clearly had more he wanted to say, but a raised hand by the old man stopped him from carrying on. "Right, so he altered the parameters. That thing you encountered? It's not normal to find a marionette like that so close to the surface. Cyril lured it into the testing zone on purpose in order to isolate you from your creditors. It certainly worked, but I'm sure you know first hand why I disapprove." @Sigil Warden
  22. The nurse smiled, somewhat, and there was an audible exhale but no real sound. She looked to be chuckling, if you could chuckle on mute, and the scars covering her throat would provide all the evidence one needed to know that she probably couldn't talk either. Still, she seemed to have a sense of humor. At this point another entered the room. This time it was a man, somewhat elderly, confined to a mobile chair. He wore quite expensive looking robes and bunny slippers. There wasn't a control device to be seen on the chair, yet it moved all the same, hovering along the floor. "I'm afraid that you can't afford to live either, little fly." His voice was hoarse and weathered, marching quite well with his gaunt face and his wispy white hair. "Though, if you'll oblige me, I'd be most appreciative if you would. Gertrude here will see to it that you have everything you need, just ask and she'll make it happen. When you're ready to be up and about there's something I'd like to discuss." He held out a stack of what appeared to be clothing for the nurse, now Gertrude, to take. Once handed off, he would round his chair and float back out whence he came. @Sigil Warden
  23. She awoke, and yet found herself having difficulty moving. That was to be expected after she put her nervous system under such strain, the healing serum dripping into her veins could only go so far on it's own. It wouldn't be until a few minutes later that someone came to check on Unity. She was tall and slender. A woman, from the look of her face and chest, but an android by the looks of her limbs. This girl looked as though she had once been beautiful, at least in a certain kind of way. Her bone structure was good, her hair was smooth and wheat-yellow, but scarring marked her face and neck such that she was fairly grotesque to look at now. Cybernetics were visible peeking through the skin layers, lending evidence to some horrific past trauma that irreparably damaged her lower jaw and left eye socket. Obviously, she had lost all of her arms and legs, as these had been replaced with amalgams of plastic and alloy. Her ambulation was elegant, though, so whoever made this prosthesis was clearly a master of his or her craft. She wore a nursing uniform, though she appeared not to carry any medical apparatus. She strolled up alongside Unity and placed her fingertips along the side of Unity's head. Her fingers were warm to the touch despite being metal tipped. Her left eye lit up like a bulb for a moment, and several grids of green light projected from it onto Unity's body. The woman said nothing, but a moment later she removed her hand and closed her eye. She would linger a while longer. @Sigil Warden
  24. It wasn't to be that Unity's journey ended here. For all the hopelessness she felt, the executives who had paid so much to have her upgraded would have been foolish to actually throw her away like this. The truth is, they had been baited, same as she, by some unseen hand. The Nanite Marionette, as some organizations referred to it, was usually never found so close to the entrance of The Sarcophagus. As far as local legend, this creature was so rare that nobody on the street would even know what you're talking about. They'd never expected that it would show up and eliminate the actual test. Unity had done better than most. This Marionette had expended nearly all of the bioenergy it had collected just to keep itself intact. As Unity dropped, she might notice that the machine was putting itself together rather slowly. She might even hear the sound of a crash behind her as the gremlin ceased cackling. Whatever else happened would have appeared to her as nothing more than a bad dream. She awoke some time later. Had it been hours, or days? She wouldn't know for the moment. She was laid up in a comfortable bed, several fluids dripping from bags hanging next to the headboard, flowing steadily into her veins. One was clear, the other green. It looked less like a hospital room and more like someone's actual bedroom in a penthouse of some sort. The windows were tall, from floor to ceiling, and the room.was divided into two elevations with an open study. It appeared to be night time. If Unity sat up or stirred more than a sleeping person might, then she would realize quickly that the windows were actually screens as the nighttime landscape would quickly change to a morning sunrise. She seemed to be alone, for the time being. @Sigil Warden
  25. 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
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