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Damnatus last won the day on February 11 2013

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  1. Artanthos merely deigned to listen quietly to his comrade's own thoughts to their current path. Matsumoto held his own reservations to the lands of Yh'mi, but perhaps they ran a bit too deep. It was a tad easier for the warrior monk to regard their endeavors in a light even less charitable than Artanthos' most cynical observations when he possessed some measure of financial backing from a knightly order, after all. It was not as though Artanthos desired to strike it rich as a sellsword, and aimed to buy a plot of land and retire in some misbegotten countryside somewhere, but the world still ran on coin, and a dearth of it would do little to assuage a rumbling stomach or tend to rusting gear. Still, as his good eye wandered the warrior camps and the dismal gazes of the scarce populace here, who in turn regarded him with pure distrust, he pondered what good he could do to assist these people. That line of thought always dogged him, no matter what path he tread, but in these cursed lands, the people were contending against nature itself. A twisted mockery of it, to be sure, but it was man's greed that drove them to seek glory in these lands, not at the behest of any local baron or count conscripting them into their dooms. Their fates were wrought by their own hands. Uskglass clearly held grander designs for this land; Artanthos would sooner depart his friend than remain here for any significant length of time. For now, though, it was possible to assist some others while still being able to earn some keep. As the two parties met, Artanthos' first surprise of the day came with the revelation that the contract owner and Arthur were acquainted with one another. The exiled knight did not bristle at being completely ignored by Archibald, as the alchemist had revealed, rather preferring to rely on this preexisting connection. Not only would it be possible to ensure their reward was satisfactory, but the chance that they would be waylaid by false pretenses were dramatically lessened. It took a certain cunning to parlay with the entities that lay in the Beyond, and as Arthur had survived doing just that for so long, Artanthos held little doubt over the man's ability to judge others. The other two mercenaries present remained unknowns, though; Artanthos regarded the eastern warrior back silently, though he only offered a quirked brow in response to the Outsider woman's comment. She yet remained the unknown factor, and Artanthos could only hope she would pull her weight, otherwise he doubted the others would be troubled over the prospect of leaving her behind. Supplies and maps were divvied out; Artanthos too threaded the alchemic lamp through his belt, though a bit to the rear of his right waist as to avoid accidentally clipping it with his arms while swinging his sword. The other supplies were transferred to his own haversack, which was currently strapped to the back of his destrier. A quick glance between Myrmidon and the rest of the group was enough to make up his mind on a certain matter. As he hoisted his pack over his shoulders, he returned to Arthur and Tenkai's side while giving Archibald, his assistant, and the other two mercenaries an appraising look. "We know who is missing, and where their last known location was, but not of what they sought so deep within these lands. Try to glean this; I would feel more comfort knowing the nature of their exploratory mission, since it could very well be relevant to their disappearance." He said somewhat tersely, his focus primarily on Arthur, as his connections and knowledge of the occult would give them the best chance at gathering this knowledge. "As neither of you, nor the other two, possess any sort of mount, I feel it pertinent to leave Myr behind. I'll get him some suitable quarters while we are away. I'll return anon." With that, he gave Tenkai a friendly pat on the shoulder before gathering his steed's reins and leading him back off into the town.
  2. The path that had led the exiled knight so far to the south to his blighted land was an intriguing tale, insofar as failing to even show up to an invitational tournament could be intriguing. Though Artanthos Thulmann cared naught for the pomp and circumstance behind the Trueblade competition, nor even the prestige granted to competitors, and indeed, champions, he had still found himself drawn to the event. He had known a close comrade of his, Arthur Uskglass, was entering, and had put in the word that had seen his invitation in the first place. It was no mere empty gesture, as it had come in response to their shared, albeit brief, time at Heaven or Hell. Artanthos was not one to insult a friend by turning down such an offer; beyond that, even he found it difficult to ignore the sort of primal response elicited in the face of such competition. To hone one's skills against the best of the land in a controlled environment was doubtlessly beneficial, as normally Artanthos' sole source of martial improvement was matching steel against the caitiffs that possessed the ill fortune of drawing his attention. And, as though fate simply could not help itself, it was yet again such scum that drew him away from his intended path. It was ultimately Artanthos' choice in the matter, of course, and one he would not fail to take in any other circumstance. During his trek to the tournament, he happened across a ransacked caravan that had been run off the trail. It had not taken him long to investigate the matter. There had been a melee, though woefully one-sided, given the poor state the defenders' bodies were in. The carts had been wrecked and some burned, and the amount of supplies strewn about indicated these had been no passing merchants, but traveling families, likely looking to strike out and hopefully find fortune elsewhere in those wild lands. That they met such a fate was no surprise, but no less embittering for the fallen knight. Artanthos had noted the murders of carrion birds had yet to get their fill on ripening meat, which meant that the men who had wrought this were not so far gone. And, beyond the atrocities laid before him, Artanthos knew the whoresons had taken captives with them. Truly, then, there had been no choice in the end. Artanthos had little use for riches, less even for the pittance of fame. It had taken him three nights of endless pursuit to run down the bandits; another evening waiting them out in their camp, even as his eyes felt withered and his muscles burned from the lack of respite and the choler that threatened to overtake him. They had been trite matters, though, and could do nothing to err him from his goal. It had been just past the witching hour of the fourth night when he had descended upon the camp. The lackwits had felt it sufficient to post one guard, half gone with the rotgut they chugged regularly every night, and he had failed to warn his comrades of the coming storm when he had found his throat neatly excised by a war sword. There had been no frenzied bellows as the bandits came to know death; no sworn oaths or cruel jests as they sluggishly arose from their inebriated slumbers to find what now walked among their ranks. It had been a quiet affair; the cold, silent fury of the acts only interrupted by the surprised gurgles of men drowning on their own lifeblood as they woke to a sword in their belly, or brief calls and curses before being struck down, as efficiently and as tidily as a farmer tilling his field. As always, there had been no half measures. Once he had performed his charge, Artanthos had come to the posts where the prisoners had been corralled. The distant, dead look in their eyes as they had regarded the scene before them...it had told him more than enough, and it punched him in the gut no less than the first time he had witnessed such gazes. He had set to freeing them, and though there had been little thanks to go around for his rescue, he had still seen to it that the survivors made it to their original destination unmarred; or rather, no more unmarred than they already were. By then, Artanthos had known the tournament must have already drawn to a close. Gripped with fatigue and regrets, he had nonetheless resumed his trek. He had waited patiently for Arthur, now the champion Trueblade, concluded his duel with the grand master of the Force Majeure, before reuniting with him. The exiled knight had given his excuses, apologizing for his tardiness with a tight, wan smile. Arthur had understood, at least on the surface, and had proposed a trek to the south; apparently the alchemist had contacts there, and heard of opportunities for those willing to dare those cursed lands. By that point, another familiar face had joined them. Artanthos had not seen Tenkai Matsumoto for some time, but it had been a pleasant surprise. The monk had chimed in and asked to tag along, and neither Artanthos or Arthur held any objections to the matter. Provisioning was handled swiftly enough, and they had been on their way the following morning. ********************* In the end, the trio had found opportunity - of a sorts, anyway. The land that Artanthos had entered had drawn him back to that night not so long ago, where his sole eye had met the gazes of the surviving captives. The sights he had beheld were devoid of hope, passion, happiness, of everything that served as the animus to humanity. Artanthos had seen eyes like those more times than he cared to count, and knew to expect legions more before his path came to a final closure. This land, this town, it felt as though it utterly embodied those gazes, of forlorn hope and sanity on a treacherous precipice. "I must confess, Arthur," Artanthos commented darkly, his eye slowly regarding the town about him, "I still hold reservations over what fortune is to be eked from this land." The idea of Inns'th being considered a town rung hollow to him; the most apt description that came to mind was a frontiersman camp sprung up in the middle of a graveyard. The earth was packed hard and cold, only punctuated by even rougher stones and the rare tufts of withered, ragged weeds that somehow managed to persist in blighted soil. The only prominent structure seemed to be the Order of the White Hand's redoubt, and the walls to the north and south, segregating these dark lands from the civilization to the north. What few inns existed were already booked, so they had been forced to initially camp out in tents in the outskirts of the town. It had suited Artanthos well enough, as he would have held zero trust in any proprietor in safeguarding his destrier from theft. Most of the available contracts posted at one of the tavern's wanted boards had seemed ill suited for what they sought, though Artanthos' eye had caught one buried beneath several folds of more recent requests. After reading the request, they had all agreed upon it. The walk to where the expedition's support team was stationed was brief, but due to his prior concerns, Artanthos kept Myrmidon at his side, leading the warhorse by his harness while he walked alongside it. He was dressed in his travel attire, which consisted of a worn brigandine, a set of plate arm harnesses and hourglass gauntlets, greaves and poleyns - all of which were beginning to bear some faint hints of rust, despite Artanthos' earnest attempts at maintenance. The rain on their journey had practically drowned them, and his gear had suffered the consequence of their poor luck. He had at least managed to keep his war sword wrapped in oiled leather, and his misericorde was always tucked neatly in its scabbard at his left waist. Now, the two-handed sword rested neatly against his right shoulder, supported by the pommel of the weapon pressing against his palm while he kept the sword slightly angled upward. As they rounded another bunched grouping of tents, Artanthos spotted what appeared to be the man they were looking for, a short distance from the walls and the portcullis that led to the beyond. With him stood a man-at-arms; Artanthos recognized the man's weapon as a katana, and the form of armour he wore, and surmised he must have hailed to the east. He had expected to find such mercenaries rallying at this quest, but the sight of the woman by him was of another matter. Dressed as though she had wandered out of a courtly dinner and had somehow made it to Yh'mi, the exiled knight felt she must be of a sorcerous nature, until he saw the horns and tail. The discovery caused his eye to narrow, and his estimation of the woman rose considerably. He did not want to assume she was of an Outsider nature, but the tell-tale signs were there. Artanthos was no religious bigot; he cared little for the dogmatic persecution of all that was considered unnatural in the greater scheme of existence's cosmology, but he could not deny that her presence put him on edge. Only time and interaction would unveil who this woman was, and what her intent with this contract was. "Hail," Artanthos called as the group moved within speaking distance. He briefly regarded the other two persons present before turning to the man with the umbrella. "I take it you serve as representative to the Heydrich expedition?"
  3. "Ah, about damned time." Elias had already expressed his displeasure in how Uskglass wanted to handle this endeavor, but now that they were committed to it, he wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. The arcanist could never have conjectured he would have engaged in such activities, given the grandeur of his past - piracy was the tool of the dregs, of desperate outcasts who could turn to no other avenue to amass power. Yes, one could say Elias was indeed a desperate outcast now, but it would be unwise to tell him such a thing. Still, if such was his fate, then why not embrace it in totality? Subduing their foes, rather than killing them, required far more concerted effort on the crew's part; that, and it was far more likely to be detrimental to their health. Scratching his beard as he strode forth to the edge of the cliff side, Elias ruminated over his options. He had prepared an assortment of spells that would meet the alchemist's inane criteria, but he had also memorized ones that would not be so kind to the crew they were about to accost. Elias would play nice, if everything went accordingly. Should it prove more problematic, though, then he would not hesitate to utilize all tools available to him. The arcanist glanced at Alastaire as he began to act, unfurling his wings before taking flight. Elias narrowed his eyes at the natural advantage this man possessed, but it was not something he could not meet with his own methods. "Vofli," he chanted in a peculiar tongue, his hands gesturing to draw a quick, but complex, pattern in the air. It took but a moment, and a gust of wind buffeted him from below for a second. Then, without hesitation, he took a step off the cliff. Though his face did not reveal it, Elias felt a lurch in his heart, along with a brief bout of vertigo, as he did this, though he knew he would not plunge to his death upon the jagged rocks below. Instead, he hung suspended in the air, carried by an unseen force. With a thought, Elias propelled himself forward, easily keeping pace with the flying sorcerer ahead of him. It did not take them long to reach their prey; in fact, they were to overtake them before Arthur and their dinghy would, as planned. Alastaire served as the initial offense; Elias could feel the evocative magics channeled forth into the dagger, charging its very molecular structure to the point of overload. It didn't take an arcane scholar to know what would happen once the material composition thresholds met their limits. A bit violent for what Arthur had intended, though Elias approved of the idea. Still, it was still currently feasible to meet the objective as stated, so the arcanist reigned in his wrath for the moment. Besides, he had to deter the fools below from their counterattack. "I think not," Elias murmured in reply, standing in mid air while his robes fluttered wildly about him in the trade wind, and stretched his right arm forth, hand splayed. "Skari carvi," his voice boomed this time; immediately following the incantation, strobes of prismatic energies burst forth from his palm. The Colour Spray showered down upon the boat like fireworks, shimmering and crackling and popping. Not even a single hair upon their precious heads were harmed by the spell, but it did not go so well for their senses. Most were temporarily blinded, and even a handful were utterly stupefied by the display. The crossbows that had been aimed in their direction still snapped their bolts out, but they zipped by harmlessly, the aim of the marines thrown utterly off by the spell. Exhaling softly, Elias kept a mental tab on how much time his spell of Flight had left, all the while preparing for his next move.
  4. The sorcerer was not alone on that salted cliffside. Another figure stood vigil there, or in this case, sat. Even as he recognized the nearing task looming before them, Elias Curwen made no move to disturb his current state. Not for at least another several moments. Sitting neatly, legs tucked and crossed, and his arms rested upon them, he was too busy finalizing his own preparation. Only the faintest sliver of his consciousness was attuned to the reality outside of him, in spite of the crash of the sea on the cliffside below and the deep throbbing in his left knee. His attention was focused upon a wholly different sea: his consciousness. ‘That should do it,’ the human arcanist muttered internally as his mind went through the motions of finalizing the last spell. The formulae was drawn from the impressive book laid out before him, propped up somewhat unceremoniously by a pile of stones. The grimoire was his spell book, and his most valued treasure; one of the few he was able to retain during the fall of his family. The vellum pages fluttered, turning as though caught by the wind, but further observation would reveal they moved to the tune of a wholly different force. Elias’ mind set about constructing the formulae inside his sea of consciousness, each resembling three-dimensional runes of differing complexities. The final tier he was preparing was the most complex he had yet to decipher; this particular spell’s rune consisted of countless matricies of smaller runes that formed the lattice structure that formed the final composition. That served as the preparation. The catalyst was the very blood that coursed through his veins; heeding his will, Elias’ bloodline ignited the rune, completing it within his mind’s eye. “There,” he spat drly, his voice carrying the lit of an aristocratic upbringing and the irritability of someone forced to live within lesser means. Slowly, and painfully, he unfurled his legs and began the laborious process of standing up, gathering and closing his grimoire at the same time. Such a task was only possible with the cane resting at his left, a construct of mahogany that terminated with a brass, pear-shaped handle. Upon its face were engravings of complex geometric designs, their origins difficult to decipher for those without a deep understanding of planar mechanics. After strapping his spell book to his side with a thick belt, Elias exhaled, dusted himself off a tad and limped over to the other sorcerer. “Has the alchemist given the signal yet,” he inquired, his tone dry and indifferent now. Thin lips were pulled into a permanent frown, framed by a full beard that normally saw far more fastidious trimming than its current state. Piercing brown eyes scanned the horizon before them, darting erratically, as if catching unseen details laid out before them. He wore an unpleasantly ragged set of brown robes, untied at the waist, and over the ensemble a nobleman might have worn in the past. Now, though, the vest, dress shirt, slacks and boots were in a rather poor state, which might have explained why a magus such as him would lower himself to petty larceny. Tea. Pah! Uskglass had been a final option for the disgraced noble, and though he held respect for the man’s knowledge and skill in the realms of the occult, he could not say the same for the scope of his plans. Elias aspired to a greater vision, and though he understood the alchemist was merely building up to grander ventures, it still irked him to no end that this was the fate that he was forced to endure. For now, anyway.
  5. Artanthos was not one to be fashionably late to a duel, but he was not wont to miss such challenges entirely. The raucous generated by the crowd was a living, breathing thing as the exiled knight finally began his descent into the arena. It was enough to make the ears ring; not like the sudden, deafening retort of munitions going off several yards away, but the dull, throbbing roar of an army signaling their readiness to their commander. No generals to control this lot, though, and their eagerness - and impatience - was well-heard. The scent of copper was heavy on the air, wafting up towards Artanthos as soon as he had stepped into the appropriately-named Charnel House. Appropriate, though a tad predictable. Most training grounds did not produce fatal outcomes, but the scent of blood that assaulted his senses made him ponder the practices of the Force Majure for a moment. A fleeting thought, anyway, as his sole eye turned to the figure that now awaited him in the arena proper below. "Hm, he opted for the pollaxe. Smart," Artanthos murmured to himself as he regarded Arthur Uskglass with a practiced gaze, taking in a man that was a colleague outside this match, and was now a foe to size up. Though alchemists weren't known to wear plate, Uskglass had chosen the set provided by their hosts. Another intelligent choice; there was a reason men wore armour when they knew violence was on the horizon. Artanthos' own thoughts on the matter reflected his friend's, and was reflected in the training armour he wore as well. The exiled knight had been pleasantly surprised at how well the harness fitted, fastening to his arming doublet with no less ease and comfort than the personally-fitted set he had worn as a knight-commander of Iltheria. The set he had chosen was forged in the Gothic style, with fluting that was impressive to behold and resilient. Not that he would want to test its efficacy against the hammer portion of Uskglass' weapon. His own choice would have been predictable for the few who knew him, but why deviate from what you knew worked well? The sword that rested across his right shoulder was nearly as long as his opponent's polearm - 68 inches in length, just a hair under 6ft. A long cruciform hilt topped with a pear-shaped pommel gave it powerful leverage in its cuts, and just above it rested two prongs that protruded out the side of the sword's ricasso: parrying hooks, giving the weapon more options in the bind. The blade itself was fairly wide, emphasizing cuts, but had a tapered point that meant maille would be hard-pressed to stop its powerful thrusts. It was a zweihander, montante, spadone - a two-handed sword. Artanthos knew Arthur would have known he'd have chosen such a weapon, and it was Artanthos' confidence in his own skill with the weapon that he did not regard this knowledge as a weakness. Belted to his left waist were a pair of smaller weapons: an arming sword known as a katzbalger, and a rondel dagger. Proper side weapons for the duels to come. The crowd's noise began to rise to almost impossible heights as Artanthos reached the arena, coming to stand across from his friend, his foe. He gave Uskglass a hint of a smile. "I suppose we should try to avoid disappointing them," he commented, projecting his voice enough for Uskglass to hear him. With that stated, he moved to salute his opponent; he hefted his montante off of his shoulder before sweeping it up and before him in a fencer's salute. That he controlled the 2.5kg weapon with such finesse would likely portend what was to come. Artanthos shifted after the salute, moving his right leg forward as his lead, leaving a shoulder-length's space between his slightly bent legs. His right hand led with the weapon, resting below the crossguard, his left further down the hilt to steer it. He pulled it down to his left side, the pommel nestling into his hip. It was a Pflug guard - Plow. As simple yet as stable as one could get for an opening move, though as Artanthos began to gather step towards his opponent, it was unlikely that such a position would remain static. @Voldemort @Fierach
  6. Just state what type of sword it is, any features it might have, and what it's dimensions/weight are. Ez pz.
  7. Oh? Could you tell me what systems you train in? I'd like to see which ones have techniques based around dual wielding.
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