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Noko

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Noko last won the day on September 22

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  1. Hey folks, I'm AFV for a week. See you early October!
  2. "We have to get to that church.." Natalie was defiant, refocusing after Doctor Morton's departure. She shoved fists into her pockets, set her jaw, and dared disagreement as she looked between Ben and the unnamed associate. At this point in his day, Ben would've followed Natalie into hell's gaping maw, so he nodded dutifully and chanced an encouraging smile. "Of course, let's do it." The trio made their way through the remnants of Treedell. Natalie traversed its ruin with reverence, a sharp eye out for anyone along the way who might be trapped or lost, as well for any lingering demons. Of the former, there were a handful- of the latter, none. It was eerie how total the destruction was- in a classic engagement, there would be far more injured on both sides, but in Treedell the vast majority of bodies were just that - bodies - and, in some cases, sloppy smears of dissolved organics. A few times, after donning an army green rebreather and protective gloves, Natalie stopped and carefully gathered some of the slime in tiny stoppered glass vials which she then slipped into one of her many, many, pockets. In a few short blocks, the trio came upon Treedell's ruined church, nestled dead center in the middle of the town amidst a plot of consecrated ground. The building itself was still standing, though it had suffered a good deal of damage. The stone and wood structure defied expectation- a towering testament to Gaia's power even amidst such a field of destruction- but its patrons hadn't fared quite so well. All around were the dead and the dying, some skewered and torn apart by demonic tendrils and claws, while others seemed to have just dropped and died where they stood, now laying with their waxy greenish countenance turned toward the sky. From inside the church a faint voice could be heard calling out for help. Natalie hurried that way, skipping effortlessly through the rubble, with Ben scrambling to follow. "Come on!" She called back, then beckoned Shikai with the curl of her palm as she ducked beneath the church's once proud archway and into the darkened shadow beyond. At its threshold, she paused just a long enough to scrape her fingertips in the dirt and smear it over her heart. The church's interior had been set up as a circular amphitheater with a large, ancient, tree at its center and curved pews set all around it. The roof echoed that same circle, opening and allowing the tree to burst through the top and unfurl its large, lush leaves to the sun and weather above. Somehow, the tree had been spared, and despite the fallen rock and coating of dust that had shaken free from the mortar, the interior of the church looked as good as anyone had a right to expect. At the base of the tree's waist-high roots lay its priest, his thin voice beseeching anyone nearby. "Help, please help.."
  3. Noko

    Lagrimosa AMA 2.0

    Does Gaianism have the concept of 'consecrated ground' and, if so, is it commonly deployed at churches and holy sites, and what types of creatures would it impact?
  4. With his jest as well-received as a puppy's tail-wagging pounce, the good Doctor Morton took his leave for parts more appropriate to his skillset. Welcomed by his medical counterparts, Doctor Morton worked tirelessly to achieve his ends. When all was said and done, he gained vital information about the nature of the demonic wounds and how to treat them, successfully saving many lives and limbs.
  5. The unfolding narrative was familiar to Phoebe- it was as common as hookers in Last Chance and as worn as prayer books in Muhir's alleys. It was a story of power- of who had it, and who didn't, and the consequences of that imbalance. It was the story of how Phoebe came to be Dead- and now the story of how her General did, as well. Every moment of the Shikai's life bloomed in the fertile soil of Phoebe's mind before sprouting slowly around him; each carried the skew of her thoughts and the slant of her experience. There was a malice woven into the remembrance that came unintentionally, but solely, from the blood-stained hands which summoned them. It was all high contrast, deep blacks and glaring whites, sharp lines and razored edges, with not a muted or undefined color to be found. First, Phoebe conjured the soldiers- the brutal dispassion in their faces, the way they loomed over Shikai like shadows come to life and set their will upon him. The scene took on an almost hellish cast as the edge of the soldiers' eyes, the whites of their teeth, their angles and hollows sharpened and became as pronounced as a mob of torches on a moonless night. Their ears stretched, elongating and pointing to a knife's edge, ghastly with its ugliness. Rot crept; it crawled along the desert tan uniforms with tiny spider legs that slunk and slithered like the chemicals the Dead used to disposed of their victims. Above its blackness, their bloodless, nightmarish faces, shone like corpses in the night. His enemy was upon him, but Shikai was not alone- in the shadow, the First wove ghastly, grinning, skulls, and vicious blades, and they gathered around Shikai like family. "You're my General." Phoebe's voice was all around, resonating within the perceived world as if she were its omniscient, omnipotent, god. On the floor, Shikai's father's knife glinted in the flickering light. "You have all the power here."
  6. You can probably take me out of the post order- Tak is not going to run and join the fray, lol. He's going to sit with the civvies and wait for backup.
  7. Noko

    Fade Out

    Four minutes. That's all Tak had- three minutes, if you wanted to be realistic, which Tak very much did. He didn't want to be stuck in the club while the last ten seconds counted down, no. He wanted to be sitting out in the parking lot with some marshmallows and a lawn chair. The flat soles of Tak's dress shoes skidded as he sprinted through the club, taking corners only with anchors, and straight-aways like they were downhill, and he was on skates. His voice echoed through, propelled by frantic necessity, and punctuating in between the fire alarm's shrill blare. "EVERYONE OUT!" Who knew if everyone made it, but Tak did his best, and when the first fiery volley hit the Neon Trails, he was stumbling to an exhausted, wheezing halt in the front parking lot with the staff and what few early-bird customers there were. Only then did he have the wherewithal to open a line to the police district and call for assistance: <Central, this Officer Chan. We've got the Enforcer down at Neon Trails. I cleared with civvies I could. Send backup, rescue, and fire. Lots of fire.>
  8. Hey, I'd love to be here but sadly I'm not - feel free to take me out of the post order. I hope you all have a fantastic time and I hope to participate more actively in upcoming threads!
  9. Let's talk details! Post order: for now, I don't think we need a post order. We can review that as things progress. Time between posts: I'd like to be able to move things forward if the thread sits for five days. Is that agreeable to everyone?
  10. It was night. Somewhere, somehow, between the shimmering, flickering, portal, and the lush, overgrown, wall of trees on its other side, they had lost the day. It had just vanished, like so many things were prone to do here, and left them with the black blindness of a moonless night. However, where the team had lost the sun's light, they gained its heat as the sticky and humid air wrapped around them like a too-close dancer in a too-busy nightclub. It was unpleasant, suffocating and handsy, and all-together impossible for any of them slip away from. The forest rolled out eternally in front of the newcomers- a rug, down a hallway, that never ended and never started. It was seemingly impenetrable; their travel would be slow going, for certain, and hard-fought. Vines as thick as a dwarf's chest shot from the ground to the distant treetops high overhead- sometimes, the vines were lashed to the trees with enormous sticky webs; other times, they hung free. Still, often the creepers carried draping plants and tangled birds nests as wide as a family's dinner table as they disappeared into the far-flung canopy. Beneath the newcomers' feet, the ground was soft, almost padded- there was a sense that they stood upon millennia of fallen leaves and degraded scat, with little feel as to what lay beneath that. The roots were so buried they couldn't be seen; here, rocks were rare, though the terrain promised an ankle-turn or two if they chose to take a route toward only visible point of interest- a distant mountain rising to a craggy peak, bare to the clouds and the whistling winds. Besides that, there was only the deep green shadow and a feel of dreadful solitude. As each person arrived, they would be welcomed by a pervasive lack. Absolute silence reigned; there was no wind noise, no crickets, no distant howls or screams. No low and threatening growls; no roar of orcs cresting a distant hill. No roaring fire; no click of a gun; no snap of a twig, crack of a branch, snick of a knife. Just nothing. Nothing. They were here to set a totem in place- to bring Alignak to the uncivilized and spread its word, and its power, across the face of Valucre. An ideal location would be high and isolated, but would they chance the mountain? Would they travel at night? Choices come with consequences, consequences with challenges, and challenges with growth. There was balance in this land; there was harmony. At least until they arrived.
  11. Ok, I assume that this will also come to cooperative negotiations later. Full disclosure: I fully expected the cooperative-give-and-take was over and that we were now just writing the story of what we had already agreed to - this seems to be a misunderstanding of mine! Given that, in some kind of edit / ooc post / new post I'll add what the Dead do / take and we can cooperatively negotiate the results of that when it comes up. Sound good?
  12. I assumed it was the myth of Androcles. You tried for the shoe horn with thorn #1 😉 It sketches nicely if it isn't.
  13. Sorry, I also was moved by the spirit. I did have a question about ye olde psychic fingerprint - I wasn't clear if it was a fingerprint of the dream or of Phoebe or of something else?
  14. Back at the Red Door (Insurance Claim: #4RTA8874902-B) The bar was a war zone, bleeding as Phoebe did. With great, gaping, holes in its walls and floors mopped with blood, there was a sense that only its history and the force of its reputation kept it together. It was hurt; she was furious. Incensed, the First carved her way through the club's ruins, fast-stepped down its once polished staircase, and burst through the shattered remains of its once vibrant Red Doors. Her eyes searched the horizon and locked on to the skyship as it lazily wove its way through the night sky with infuriating deliberateness. The nymph Phoebe clung to was growing further away- and the Skeleton it had consumed was long dead- their contract faded, disintegrating and crumbling with death's decay, even as Phoebe struggled to force its pieces back together long enough to identify her attackers. "FUCK." Phoebe swore as the contract failed, as her second sight dimmed, then was ripped out of her mind like all the rest of the Dead souls had been. She set her jaw, teeth white and flashing in the red and orange haze that served as 'light', and curled around her wound as it tore with the exclamation. Bending double, she pressed her hand hard against the torn flesh and tried to slow her breathing. A fire had started somewhere and its haunted light cast wicked shadows. "You're bleeding." A skeleton spied her and jogged over, stating the obvious as he slowed by her side. He was one of the luckier skeletons- assigned to guard the smuggling tunnel, he'd avoided the initial onslaught and spent the battle on the offense, cleaving through tiny rodent heads. Phoebe's lashes fluttered, her eyes rolled behind her closed eyelids as she set her jaw against the pain and forced herself to straighten. "Yes, I do that sometimes," she answered, lifting the edge of her shirt to bare the wound to her examining gaze and the flickering firelight. It looked ghastly- torn along the seam and weeping crimson, with tendrils of snapped stitching waving at its edges. The woman remained impassive, summoning her psionics and beginning to stitch the wound in full view of the Skeleton- a demonstration, of a sort, a denial of her mortality even in the face of so much death. "I have a lot of questions," she stated. The skeleton tilted his head toward her, waiting. "But first, we have a lot to do- I need you to gather up the rest of the survivors; we need everyone to evacuate in case the police show up. Then, I need a woman - any woman - to be the new owner and prepare to deal with the police or rescue personnel when they arrive Which I assume they will, because it's been that kind of night," she said, smiling wryly, "and this has obviously been a very loud and unfortunate gas explosion. Then I want to know who and what was taken." Phoebe's eyes shifted, reflecting the flickering orange across their light green surface as she traced the path of the disappearing skyship. Once it faded from view, she turned back and smiled at the Skeleton- despite her beauty, it was a grim sight. "...and then I want to tear his tongue out through his asshole. But we'll get to that later."
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