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TheEyeOfNight last won the day on December 29 2018

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About TheEyeOfNight

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    Hellbound Hyena
  • Birthday 09/12/1987

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  1. Silver Harbor always bowed to the Queen's approach. Window shutters were locked tight, no children played in the lamp-lit darkness, and no voices broke the strange tension of the city streets. Even the fishing boats were drawn close to the pier, parting for a respectful gap that left an entire dock for the smuggling vessel. It was not an invitation, but a compliance: past experience had taught the fishermen that any boat left in the Iron Queen's dock would be wreckage by morning. The enormous hull drove a wedge through the still water like a wading beast, flying flags of war and plunder. The twin rows of magitech guns and cannon, placed along its railings, tracked each of the little boats as they passed, alert for any motion and ready to turn the harbor red with fire if needed. It was an unchallenged juggernaut, striding into the harbor as an alpha predator. Slowly, the ship eased its pace, coming up along the rickety dock with a well-practiced drift. The beast shuddered, though not as much as the dock did, as the two brushed together. The crew stood ready with loops of cord and heavy rope in their hands, crouching by the railing and turning their eyes to the upper deck. The gunners swept the waterfront with the barrels of their weapons, tense and ready for whichever command came down. From the mouth of the harbor, a distant speck of light flashed twice: the Red Venom, signalling all clear. From the Queen's upper deck, Captain Rand turned and blew a cloud of smoke from his lips, surveying the city's waterfront for a long moment. Something felt strange about this night, something that raised the hairs on his sun-baked neck and caused a twinge in his stomach. The sleepy town had not given him cause to worry in years, a fact that put to rest any misgivings he was having this evening. Maybe his stomach was upset about the fish from earlier. He flicked his cigar forward, and teams of smugglers swung into action, tossing ropes and tethers from the Queen to the docks. Most of the gunners left their posts, lending needed hands to the bucket brigades which strained to haul up the first crates and boxes. Rand nodded, without a smile, and dismissed the bad feeling with another draw on his cigar. "Get it going." * * * * Roht's blood was up. He ground his teeth together, watching the smugglers move through the alley's opening. He had tried to count, and had lost track within seconds, it was like counting ants building a mound. There were a lot of them, that was certain, and they were moving with confidence and practiced motion. They also weren't paying a lot of attention to their surroundings. That was Lynch's second-favorite word: complacence. Roht was half-slouched by a mound of trash in the alleyway, his axe pressed up against the shadows of the brick building, so the glint of metal would not warn any of their prey prematurely. The biggest threat to their position, however, was the frantic whispering of the half-drunk riot leader, Mr. Hollon, who stood just behind him and hissed words and spittle all over Roht's fur as he tighted the wraps of sailcloth around his arms: the best most of them could do for armor on short notice. "We could gut 'em each as they leave the boat! Look at 'em! Pike 'em one at a time!" The gnoll squeezed his eyes closed against the latest barrage of stupidity. "Shut. Up." The man threw his hands up, reaching for the fishing lance he had resting against the wall. "No sense waiting on this, let's just-" "Look at your shoes." Hollon paused, his stream of words interrupted suddenly. "What?" "Your shoes." The senior fisherman blinked in confusion, lowering his head to glance at the beaten, worn-out black boots concealing his toes. A heavy, furred paw swung around to the back of his head, gripping his skull with the ease of a child grasping a stone, holding his eyes down and preventing him from moving. Roht's voice lowered to a feral growl, keeping his tone soft to avoid alerting the smugglers ahead. "We move when Lynch says we move. Rheinhardt's gotta hit the Venom, Gachi's gotta get in there, and the Ta's aren't here yet." Up ahead, the first of the smugglers had already leaped onto the deck and begun to stack crates along the waterfront. The first few boxes were small, probably furs and individual precious items. The heavy coin would come later, and it would try all their patience to hold their strike until that time came. Roht turned his yellow eyes back, over Hollon's bent head, and to the rest of the fishermen waiting in a tense mass. His gaze spoke of immediate death and slower dismemberment for any who went early. "Hold your asses."
  2. Love it. And pardon the absence, been prepping to move to the East Coast (U.S.) in about a month, so stuff's been crazy. Will have the opening of the raid night up this evening! EDIT: And my life heard me say "this evening" and took it as a challenge. Will have it up tomorrow, sorry gang
  3. Every member of their trinity had their skills and abilities, from Avarice's cunning and foresight to Roht's stubborn brute strength and unending loyalty. Of the three, Sorano's were the most mystical and the most dangerous: a woman without a past, and her twin divine weapons that he was certain could blow holes clean through this deck and into whatever lay below them. When she spoke of them humming and warning her, Avarice knew better than to doubt. He reached out to take her hand as it lay on her chest, and brought it to his lips gently, stepping close to her as he did. His other arm set the goblet down and circled her waist, drawing her close as if for a dance. The reassuring smile was back, but a genuine admiration and adoration showed through. He could always count on his companions to speak their minds, and they could always count on him to listen. “Thank you. We'll keep ourselves on the move during the trip, there are enough spare rooms for us to stay mobile for the remaining days. Our hostile player will either disembark before we do, or we'll know that we carry them in our own entourage.” He exchanged a quick glance with Roht, who huffed audibly, but nodded reluctantly. So much for a relaxing cruise for any of them: mobility had long proved to be the key to survival, and evading assassins, during their exile from Terrenus. Avarice stole a soft kiss from Sorano and inclined his head towards the window. “The truth is, I'm less concerned about our journey and more worried about our destin-” “Attention on deck!” The captain's voice, slightly slurred from drink and relaxation, echoed through the ship, carried by magitech conduits to the relevant decks. “The dinner compartment will close in twenty minutes, and we will begin our descent towards Joran City.” Roht raised his head from the couch, lip curling in confusion and curiosity. Avarice waved him off, and shook his head, lowering his voice. “This isn't our stop. We will be the last landing, an unscheduled and unannounced visit to the northern coastline. It cost extra to arrange, but it is a far faster way to get to..." He paused, as if debating whether to reveal their site, but decided to allow it in a hushed tone" ...Port City.” Port City, the once great harbor, utterly ravaged by the Whispernight storm, and abandoned save for the groans of the drowned dead that still wandered its roads in their refusal to remain still. Once protected by a great shield against the ocean's wrath, the magestorm had shattered the city's defenses and cleansed it of the living in the same awful nightmare that had taken Celin City. Now it was only a half-drowned graveyard, full of mythical treasures on wrecked ships, guarded by liches, hags, and dragons. It was widely known, along with many of the Whispernight ruins, as a place to perish horribly while in search of lost treasure. Roht groaned violently, a crass sound of displeasure. He hadn't known their destination, none of them did. If he had, he might have reconsidered allowing himself, Avarice, or Sorano on the ship. “Lynch, you're an asshole.”
  4. Don't mind at all, winded theatrics are highly encouraged. Explosions, too. For now, though, stick to preparation posts, let people get their stuff sorted if they need to, and after I post about the ships entering port, we can commence with the boom EDIT: In addition, if anyone wants to do anything covertly, or make side bargains, good time to do so. @Die Shize, Avarice would like to meet with Tara separately before the Big Night(tm). Can haggle it in PMs if you like, or in the main post
  5. “You gotta really be GOOD to mess with HER; if you know what I mean. Right guys?” “I assure you, my dear, I come highly recommended from people with money and good taste. They assure me that my presence will be of benefit. And besides, I suspect my superiors would not be overly upset if I was destroyed in a flash of anti-matter either.” It was a joke, matched with a playful wink, but undercut with a bit of truth to it. He knew most of them would be glad to be rid of him if it came to that, but thus far he had proven too stubborn to end up dead. He kept moving his hands, a steady motion designed to calm her nerves and relax the muscles of her feet. “Your social health is just as important, and I wish I could say your school will be a good environment for that sort of thing. But as your lovely friend says, "normal" society is unkind. Remember that words are words, and were they able to do injury, my surgeries would be much simpler." Herrod smiled and nodded graciously at Rebecca as she left, and raised an eyebrow as Avus disappeared through the window itself. He glanced back at Abraxis and started to say something, but caught himself and closed his mouth instead. He pulled out a prescription pad, complete with his personal watermark and an ostentatious gilded border, and flipped one of the sheets over backwards. His hand passed over the paper, making quick flicks with a ballpoint pen to spell out letters, and turned the pad towards her. Herrod was more than willing to communicate in her medium of writing, and he wanted to make doubly sure no one was listening to them until he understood all the pieces in play. He spoke a little louder than usual as he adjusted the pad so she could read it. “It's important that you maintain healthy circulation, we'll work on daily walks to help with that.” The paper read: Do you know who is after your friends?
  6. "You're not going anywhere until you had a decent meal.” “Not going to argue with that.” He took a seat at the table, immediately tearing into the eggs with a grateful nod towards Isabella. He listened to them discuss the Plutonium Knights, and the apparent danger they presented, and he gestured with his fork when Ra asked him. “Disguising ourselves? I mean, it might give us enough time to get in and out, or they might just gut us on the spot for lying. I'm guessing they wouldn't be open to just allowing us in, because I don't have any bribe money on me.” “Lost your family to the Neverend.” He stopped chewing. That was a plot twist he hadn't expected, and it surprised him that Isabella would still be found anywhere near the sword if it had killed her loved ones. Tal made a note to re-evaluate his initial opinion of her, and he nodded to Ra as she stood to leave. “He seems corrupted.” “Corruption. Now we're using words I understand. The Neverend, I'm gathering that it's more than a sword, which means I got really misled back before I met Ra. And if knights are ending up corrupted, then it can't be something that's just laying around waiting to be found. So one way or another, this is going to turn into a fight.” Tal glanced over his shoulder, ensuring Ra was out of earshot. It wasn't that he didn't trust her, but he was still new to this endeavor, and she was evidently a veteran. There was probably a lot she took for granted that he really didn't understand at all. She was right, he was good in a fight, and was willing to go toe-to-toe with whoever was in that cave. But he preferred to know what he was up against, if only to soothe the panicking part of his brain. He moved closer, placing an arm around Isabella's shoulders in a gesture that, from a distance, might have looked comforting, or even affectionate. Tal rested his forehead against the crown of her head, and lowered his voice so no one else could hear. “I have to find this thing, I don't have a choice. But if there's anything I need to know before I do this, now is the time to tell me.”
  7. Post is up, and again I apologize for the delay. I'll give everyone a bit to do any between-now-and-then preparations or posts as they like, and just sound off in here once your character is ready. If you have nothing to plan out, just chime in here, and once we're all good we'll move to the night of the attack with the Iron Queen's arrival Pretty stoked at the crew we've assembled here
  8. “Unless we eliminate the crew above sea level or get them to surrender then we’ll have to go diving for our treasure. That means damaging only parts of the ship that won’t in turn damage our merchandise when she sinks.” “It means employing only the very best of professionals to handle a delicate situation.” Avarice raised his glass in a slow toast, acknowledging each of them in turn. “The cityfolk will make ample foot soldiers, but I called for operatives. And I have great expectations and trust in your capabilities to handle the fight as it develops.” He took note of the crew's reactions: Reinhardt's eagerness, Tara's analytical dismantling of the situation, Tana's cynical smile, and Gachi's abrupt glare. If they didn't tear him apart for this, every one of them may yet turn into a valuable ally. And if everything went to plan, he was going to need reliable people in the immediate future. Assuming they didn't all die, become imprisoned, or be forced into years of exile. Again. “The ship puts in at half past midnight.” He paused for each person to acknowledge the timeliness. “We'll allow them one hour to unload as much as they can before we strike. Until then, faith and firepower be with you.” * * * * Roht set the axe to the side as the erstwhile team members left, lowering his voice to its customary growl as the last of them departed the roof. “You think they'll survive?” “I certainly hope so. We could use some friends for a change.” “You said the F word. Bad Lynch.” Avarice ignored him, and nodded towards the door. “They're suspicious.” Roht laughed, and toyed with the wooden ship model between his claws. “If they weren't, then they'd be idiots, and you wouldn't be hiring them.” “Eloquent as ever. But you are right.” Lynch sighed, letting his shoulders fall from the manufactured posture of control and grace. He immediately looked more like a man, and less like an artist's rendering of a noble. He slugged back the remaining drink from his glass and set it on the table. A slow nod, then firmer, as he finished another set of mental simulations for the coming conflict. “They'll be alright. They can do it.” “Sure they can, but what about the off-chance it all goes to shit?” Roht flicked a keen look at him, then at the rooftop door. “You won't be there to call the shots, which I'm still pissed about by the way. Figure I can only pull one of them out under fire if those guns aren't quiet. Who's it going to be?” A silent moment. “Use your best judgment.” “No.” Roht snapped with an odd venom in his voice. “No, no, that's not how this works. You make the tough asshole decisions, I hit things.” He pointed a claw at Avarice. “Asshole.” His thumb jerked back at himself. “Thing-hitter. If you want me to be the asshole, you're going to have to take this axe down to the waterfront tomorrow and swing.” “You're right.” Avarice conceded, turning his eyes down to the map, scrutinizing it as if the answer was in his own hand-scrawled markings. These decision had once been reflexive for him: priorities, objectives, and lives added like numbers to a ledger. It never got any easier, but he stopped feeling badly about it years ago. “If it comes to it, get Karla out.” The gnoll rolled his yellow eyes back in his head. “Tell me it's not because she's got a tight-” “Because we need that logbook more than we need that ship sunk.” A chill underlaced his words, colder than the seaborne wind that swept the roof. Hopefully the plan would hold, but if it fell apart, there was always another, darker plan beneath it. That was his signature, and it never changed. Roht's muzzle split in a satisfied grin, and he nodded once, hefting his axe onto his shoulder. “That's more like it. Logbook it is.” * * * * Captain Alken Rand watched the sun pass overhead with a half-squinted eye, before a fluttering sail obscured it from view. This had been a long run, the ship was heavy with cargo, and it felt like the Iron Queen was trudging along at a snail's pace through the water. No matter how profitable, or how daring, their journey had been, it was this final leg that always set his teeth on edge. This was always their most vulnerable: loaded with freight, and making the slow turn north along the Genesaris coast. The sea breeze ruffled his clothes, and he smelled the salt and fury of the crashing coastline not far from them. A smile, unbidden, rose to his face, as if he could see the welcoming inlet of Silver Harbor before them even now. “Mister Threlfall!” “Ser.” The older man, captain's aide, was already there and waiting to be called, but the surprise of his constant presence had worn off years ago. Rand simply nodded to the red-tinged sails of the smaller ship ahead, guarding their passage with its array of heavy guns. “Signal the Red Venom to start the turn. Our fortunes await us.”
  9. If I owe you posts, be assured I have drafts ready for final check and posting to be released. Look for my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the east.

    Or check the threads tomorrow evening for posts, they shall arrive.

    1. princeben07


      I knew that lol!!!


  10. Sorry for the holdup, gang, got a lot going on. Next piece is forthcoming
  11. No problem, I'll get a post up in the next day or two. If everyone's cool with it, it'll close out the conversation on the rooftop and set us up for the raid itself
  12. Ah, the mysterious 'they'. Sorano's longtime allies and tools, and still the one part of her that Avarice didn't understand as well as he wished. Even in his studies of magic, he rarely came across instances of divine intervention, and certainly had seldom heard of divine armament. But Sorano trusted their judgment, and he trusted hers. He didn't want to alarm the more skeptical members of their adventure, but a new set of variables ran sideways through his calculations: if the danger was aboard the ship with them, and not waiting on the surface below. “Something is terribly wrong and I feel it in my core.” The gnoll raised a victorious hand from the couch, swallowing the last massive bite of steak and wiping his maw with the back of a furry hand. “Eat it, Lynch, you're outnumbered by us paranoid crazies.” “I yield the game.” Avarice smiled warmly, holding up his hands in mock surrender. “I'll speak with Captain Karal, and afford him extra coin to police the ship. The pilot won't mind, I'm sure.” Roht snorted from his prone position. “Oh sure, you'll listen when she says 'be careful'.” Avarice placed a soft kiss in Sorano's hair, and offered a half-hearted shrug. “Well, she's convincing.” “No, I'm 'convincing'. She's just got that...” The gnoll gyrated clumsily on the couch, in a poor imitation of a sultry swagger. It came across much more like a flopping fish breathing its last, making the luxurious wood creak under his flailing weight. Avarice grimaced, using his goblet to try and hide his expression from the other lounge patrons. “Point conceded. Just...never do that again.” “Your loss.” The gnoll nestled into the sofa, stifling a long yawn that made wicked display of his teeth. “I'm doing rounds later, this floating bucket's got too many hidey-holes. So if you guys are going to ruin our room with your wild humping, have the decency to wait until then.” Avarice ignored him as the gnoll fell asleep almost instantly. Instead, he turned to Sorano, running his fingertips down her cheek, looking down at her with concern. His voice lowered to a cautious level, an unnecessary precaution as most of the bystanders were staring at Roht. “Do they say anything specific, or do you think they sense the danger ahead of us?” * * * * The past always returns. Nadya, her birth name but not the name she gave when she boarded this ship, remembered the phrase as she watched the cook thrash on the deck, his eyes clouding with dark blood, unable to speak as a paralysis seized his limbs. Like an old lover, or a vengeful son, the past always returns. The cook had done nothing to offend her, save perhaps follow her too eagerly when she smiled playfully and beckoned him to the quiet corners of the airship. It wasn't that he had to die, it was that she needed to stay in practice, and remind herself to be patient. Her ultimate target was an experienced rune mage, well versed in both practice and patience. Two skills that Nadya knew well, well enough to understand that confronting her target directly would not end well. Rune mages were notoriously crafty, and this one particularly had a long history of disarming and ruining those who simply charged at him. The cook was beginning to convulse in his death throes. An invisible, silent tendril connected his mind to her fingertips, and she played her hand through the air softly as if conducting an orchestra. This was her gift: a cascading hemorrhage of the hippocampus, a psychic trauma that brought forth long-term memories and used them as weapons against their creator. The man's past, relived in bloody visions, was killing him at her command. Just as it would kill her target in due time. The past always returns.
  13. Herrod took a seat in the bean bag chair, setting his dark duffel bag at his feet as he settled in gentl, taking a quick stock of the others as he did. It was a welcoming enough environment, a feeling which ran at odds to his initial assessment of the operation. He nodded his thanks, and gently took her foot as she raised it, softly pressing his thumbs into the sole of her foot and watching for any reactions. "There are a number of afflictions with which you may be suffering, and we will address them individually to try to find the problem. Acute stress, for one, which we will remedy through a strict prescription of getting outside of this house and rejoining the world." His warm smile hid a lingering concern: a human might suffer depression with typical symptoms, but changing the mood of someone who could control anti-matter was a substantially riskier operation. Without her medical history, it would take some time to do a proper diagnosis, but he assumed she could hold her own against most enemies outside of her own mind. He couldn't help but glance back at the tiny scar on his neck. The incision was nearly perfect, an artful and elegant suture. Horrific and debilitating, of course, but also a level of professionalism to be appreciated. Herrod leaned back with a reassuring smile and patted her knee confidently, taking a quick mental stock of how much ammunition he had brought with him in the car. If someone was after Benaires, Graymite, or Abraxis herself, they were unlikely to come unprepared. "But you are fortunate to have friends to surround yourself with. Concern yourself only with enjoying yourself, and your school. Your companions and I will concern ourselves with your safety." He turned his head as Rebecca entered, and resumed the welcoming smile he wore most waking hours. "Lovely. Do you know Lady Abraxis well?"
  14. Got my letter of acceptance into grad school today! Huge load off my mind

    1. supernal


      Congratulations that’s awesome! 

    2. Sorano


      This is amazing!!! Such big congrats you nerdy genius! 😊

  15. Gee, you seem more nervous than me. "Yeah, well, this is kinda my first time running off for an artifact. Or palling around with a demon. No offense." He kept an eye on the countryside as they walked, mentally losing track of the distance. It was an old trick, to help time pass when traveling, or wandering aimlessly. Both of which he did quite often, just usually with less company. "Besides, I'm about out of options. If I die on the quest, I get judged for the ten thousands sins I'm carrying around. If I don't go on the quest, I still get judged, just with more ceremony beforehand." Ra! Tal's hand went to his sword reflexively, leveraging the giant blade up onto his shoulder and dropping his feet into a guarded stance, sliding habitually between Ra and the shout. He didn't think of himself as high-strung, but the nature of the quest and its stakes had him on edge. He eased up as Isabella came into view, re-latching the sword into position across his back and offering her a curt nod. The newcomer's tease at Ra prompted an amused smile, which he shook away. "Tal. Charmed, doomed, and a little amused. And yes, we're here for the Neverend, and horses would be a great addition. So would food, actually." A cave. Beasts and demons. An inquisitor and a knight commander. This adventure was becoming more complicated by the minute. "Cut off? Do we need to get a permission slip or something?" He uncorked the waterskin at his side and took a long drink, his mouth watering at the smell of food. The meager pittance he normally carried left him with less-than-elegant food options, and the scent of a feast was an enticing option. It also reminded him to get on with the job, so he could continue to enjoy such pleasures in the future. Speaking of which, he eyed Ra up and down as he followed her past the food, contemplating her earlier boast about being able to tear things apart with her hands. "You know, we could probably get in and out without anyone noticing until the screams start. Unless you think this...knight commander would take offense to the idea?"
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