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  1. Word spreads quick for those with more eyes among the populace than they would let know. Indeed, she was expecting the question to come out since Asora-san had entered the state with Haruhi in tow. Her family had left a legacy that was fairly untarnished, and now as heir, Tsuyu had to make sure it remained so, specially among the clans such as the Yanaihara. Tsuyu nodded politely and finished her tea, waiting for everyone to finish theirs before finally standing up. She excused herself with her yokai mother before extending her hand towards the pair of honored guests, the servants diligently fixing the dishes while the group walked back out of the gardens. As they walked, Tsuyu calmly explained her creative process. "You are correct Asora-sama. Since I was but a child, the intrincacies of art have interested me beyond reproach. At first it was caligraphy, paintings, drawings... The usual affair for a kid. However, as I grew, more things began to call my attention. Pattern complexity, origami, clock-making... Though I have to admit this last one still eludes me to this day. It seemed like my mind grew restless, so my mother recommended to turn my eye towards an art that combined almost all of these things into one." Ryohei walked in front, eventually reaching a large portculis with drapes instead of a door. The trusty bodyguard moved the drapes over to allow for the women to pass, revealing the room behind them. Rolls of silk of different colors, cloths and fabrics. A needlework station, a loom, mannequins... Everything an upstanding modist would need and more could be find inside. "This is my second workshop. My work as a seamstress is only second to my sculpting... Perhaps evenly matched, though perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part to be as skilled as I can be in the trades I love." Ryohei quickly pulled large cushions, posing them over the soft tatami floor for the ladies to sit. Though a bit informal, the workshop still held most comforts a girl would wish for. "Fortunately, I was prepared for something of a demonstration." She said, pulling a mannequin into the center of the room, fully in sight of the two ladies. Over the model, a simple dress was posed, unassuming and regular to a fault. The mannequin also had bracers and other jewelry on the wrists, a necklace with some prayer beads and a wig held up in a ponytail by a comb and some lace. "A dress..." She said simply. It was no work of art at all. "But like the feathers of an owl, what can be seen is not all there is." Tsuyu grabbed what looked like a slightly thread in the hem of the sleeve. She pulled it, and silently, a metallic wire extended comfortably to 40 cm in length. "Many call this piano wire. Doesn't take a lot of strength to use, just have to be careful with the grasping hand" As she let it go, the wire quickly retracted back into the hem, like it never was there. Tsuyu then continued by inserting her hand into the sleeve, almost to the elbow, and when pulling it out, a small cube was in her hand. She opened it, revealing roll of almost transparent thread with a slightly sharp tip, the base of the cube also bearing this tip. "A wire trap. When armed in a door frame or a narrow hall, it's almost imperceptible, but when tripped..." Tsuyu cut the wire and a very faint but distinctive sound, like that of a wailing baby cat, could be heard. "Useful for when you want to know if someone is coming... Now this." She grabbed one of the bangles and pulled it out. "This bangle is hollow, if you give a little twist and throw it with enough force..." Tsuyu said, twisting the metalic frame just a bit and throwing it outside the window. A thick cloud of smoke began to rapidly spread outside. "Just a few easy to procure chemicals. Though it's not very stealthy, it could help on a hasty escape. Now I have a few recent developments as well. Specifically these two." Tsuyu removed the comb and the prayer beads from the mannequin and showed them to the ladies. The final two beads of the necklace were black and white, respectively. "First, the beads. They look like normal prayer beads, nothing out of the ordinary. But crush the white one and the powder inside can be used to spike someone's food or beverage. It's nightshade extract combined with black lotus resin. It will induce a heart attack in 30 seconds, and it is nigh-undetectable when used correctly. The black bead on the other hand hold the antidote to the poison, how you use it is up to you, but it might be a bargain chip, or a pleasant surprise." Finally, Tsuyu showed them the comb. A beautiful jeweled comb, with shiny teeth and a sturdy body. "This is quite simple..." She said, pressing the body. The comb's teeth lengthened a few inches and turn to a side, becoming fan like. When hit by the light, the ladies would be able to appreciate the keen edge on it. "A hidden blade, you can throw it, or use it as is to slash. Press again to turn it back into the comb." Tsuyu smiled and returned all items to the mannequin before turning back to her guests. "Other than those well, there are many hidden pockets on the inner parts of the dress. The underlayers are also stab-resistant, and could also probably stop a slashing as well, though obviously it is better to avoid such dangers. The sash is filtered, it will allow you to breath in the presence of airborne poisons and can be used as a convenient face mask to this purpose. And just as an emergency..." Tsuyu finally put her hand under the skirt of the dress, a most unladylike place to be precise. With a quick pull, however, she revealed a hidden, fairly large matte-colored tanto knife. "Let's hope no one gets to this part of the plan..." She said, putting the knife on a table before sitting in front of her guests. "It might look... Gruesome. And dangerous for sure. But in our line of work, sometimes violence is needed. Any other modifications that you might think of, I might be able to work into your dress. Caltrops, sleep agents, stuff like that. I also have to take your measurements, and for that you would need to disrobe. But no worries, Ryohei will wait outside, and will not let anyone enter." She said rather coldly. Ryohei nodded and calmly walked out of the workshop, standing guard outside. Tsuyu awaited Haruhi's and Asora's answer, a tad nervous that perhaps it would look like she was too much into killing, when in fact she disliked violence greatly.
  2. "Activating oxygen recycling and contingency procedures... I should be fine out there Master Eredas. I will go with you." Ellyna said rather matter of factly. Her artificial skin was highly resistant to heat, as her father had previewed the possibility of fire damage in her creation. However, with the intense heat, most of Ellyna's sensory modules would be useless and at best, she would have to rely on enhanced vision and sonic detections. It was not much, the equivalent of a particularly sensitive human with magic potential, but she thought it would be enough for her. The walk through the hellscape was a treacherous one, with lava pits, molten rock geysers and even the walls being a possible hazard. She dutifully stayed right behind James, keeping her senses working on any external threats. Their voyage eventually took them through a tunnel, reaching an altar among a sea of magma. "Fascinating. My father's books never spoke of something like this... It's beautiful, in it's own way. Don't you agree?" She asked around her cheerfully to those who came with them, though she certainly didn't expect much of an answer. Suddenly, from a rock, a small shining orb of light appeared. Ellyna picked up on it almost immediately and observed it moving around, sort of like... Fluttering. Adjusting her ocular ligh sensitivity, she could finally recognize it was a crimson, glowing butterfly. She was mesmerized by the small little insect, and her brain tried it's best to analyze it, the girl standing still for a second as she watched this delicate creature surviving in such inhospitable place. It was then that she picked up. The massive signature, coming from the nearby pits of molten rock. As James prepared for battle, Ellyna walked to his side and looked at the creature, mystified. "Apart from the obvious demonic figure and horns... It kinda looks like you Master Eredas." She said smiling. In a split second, she retrieved her blades from her back, the familiar cyan glow of their edges brimming with energy as she readied for combat. In her battle stance, she began to bob and bounce very subtly, following the rhythm of the music inside her. Those around her would hear the melody as well, but like it was inside of them, beating in their minds and their chests. It was not distracting, as they could ignore it's beats if they wanted, but the effect was the same. They would feel their hearts beating in unison, their muscles invigorated, their reflexes even faster than before. Ellyna's Battle Hymn had began, a buff she was sure James and the rest would be truly appreciative of.
  3. The ache on her muscles was overwhelming at this point. With each psychic blast, each blade stroke, each dodge she did, her body felt more and more tired. However, at the same time, her fear began to subside... It was still there, but faint. What was survival instinct was shifting, shaping into something more, an energy that fueled her psyche with power she previously felt chained in the deepest recesses of her mind. She was not a warrior. She could not face the beast men face to face, blade to blade. No, she had to be devious, so she stayed behind Lena at all times, burning those who tried to attack her blind spot, providing shielding and finishing off the occasional down-but-not-out beast with her side arm. It was a steady rhythm, but like everything in war, one that was bound to change in seconds. The beasts pushed mightily against the custodes combat lines, and despite the greater effort they were doing, the breach they were providing for Master Eredas and Master Tenkai was slowly being pushed back. It was not until a charging, filthy goat-monster crashed into her side that her concentration was broken, carrying her on his fortunately blunt horns towards the right flank. As the beast stopped, Alexa was flinged back forcefully, crashing into the dusty ground violently. Lena watched helplessly, a surprised "Alexa!" being bellowed before another group of foes called for her attention. Lena could only carry on with her gruesome task, her armor covered in a thick coat of blackish-red blood. Alexa on the other hand, tried to stand up only to feel a sharp, excruciating pain to her side. Blood dripped from her mouth, and every breath was a horrid task. Her heartbeat thumped inside her head, to her ears, and her sight was obscured by a red blurry filter. She was no warrior. She was frail. The beast walked towards her, drooling in anticipation to what she hoped was a clean killing blow. The custodes around them had problems of their own, as the chaos horde was just too large and the Guardians, though fierce, could only kill so many at the same time. She prepared to give up, to close her eyes and let the dark take her. But something in her mind would not shut up. "Stand up!" it screamed. "Stand up and fight!" She gritted her teeth. It was nothing super natural. It was not a voice from the warp, nor an entity pleading for her life. It was herself, he own instincts stubbornly asking her to shut up and do her job. Something had clicked, tempered by the sheer amount of death around her. She understood now. If she failed here, she would never see those she loved again. Her new home, her new family, her friends, those who found her in the gutter and still thought she was worth something. She was now worth something, no longer a mere slave to her condition. She screamed. The beastman was taken aback as the diminutive Inquisitor charged towards it. Not even bracing, the chaos minion merely readied it's axe to strike her down when suddenly, Alexa raised her arms towards his figure, her eyes bursting aflame in incandescent warp energy. A wave of kinetic energy pushed against the sinewy muscle with unrelenting force, the massive knock back so strong it sent the beastman barreling towards it's brethren, striking them like a cannonball at full speed. Without even wasting a second, Alexa gazed towards the hordes of chaos and held her head between her hands, screaming at the top of her lungs towards her assailants. An expansive wave of warp energy suddenly shot out from her, like purple static chaining through every beastman in a large radius. The custodes in the right flank would find their enemies clutching their heads and braying in pain, desperately clawing at their temples trying to get whatever something was currently assaulting their heads. The weaker ones straight up collapsed into seizures as the targeted psychic scream overloaded every nerve in their brains beyond their limits. "This is our chance! PRESS THE ASSAULT! WITH ME BROTHERS, ADVANCE!" Yelled a Greatsword, practically jumping into the fray with his weapon held high. The rest of the warriors followed suit as they attacked with renewed zeal, massacring their foes left and right before they could recover from the psychic assault. James and Tenkai would now find out the custodes at the right flank being able to support their efforts as combat medics rushed towards the inquisitor who was now kneeling on the backlines. Alexa fell on her back, exhausted and calling for aid. The medics took the chance given by the push to gather the injured and give the wounded some proper attention. A concerned Lena rushed to her side as the medics carried her back. "Inquisitor! You are alive, thank the heavens. You have done it, you gave us a breach. Our troops will hammer these beasts until none of them are left..." Alexa gazed at the Guardian with a faint smile before looking up into the reddened sky, for it were the Dark Gods that would taste defeat today, and she knew it.
  4. A soft hammering could be heard behind the wooden panels of the workshop, the smell of oak and lavender filling the air as the sonorous strings of a harp could be heard as well. Ryohei, Lady Shirokawa's cousin and appointed personal bodyguard, stepped quietly towards the door and knocked a couple of times. The harp slowly faded in volume, a low murmur being heard from behind the door. A few seconds passed before the door opened. A figure stood by the door, feminine in shape yet obviously not human. Clawed, scaled hands and talons adorned with jewelry and bracelets, a lithe body covered by a purple cloak with golden designs embroidered all over and a face obscured by a hood, the only recognizable feature being a pair of almond shaped glowing pink eyes. The figure floated a couple inches over the floor and was gazing at Ryohei attently. Yet the young man didn't flinch and instead bowed politely, the figure doing the same, her eyes seemingly "smiling". "Momo-sama, I didn't know you were here." Ryo said to the yokai. "Who is it Oka-san?" A young female voice came from the other side of the room. The yokai turned to the voice and let out a few sounds, like bells and meowlings fluttering in a melodic way. Ryo peered inside to see Tsuyu standing on a small wooden ladder, working on the top of a block of white-gray stone, already showing some rough details of a masked face and a figure locked into a sort of dance position. "Excuse me my lady. Ladies Asora and Haruhi have arrived to the estate, they seem eager to have an audience with you." Ryo continued. Tsuyu stepped off the ladder and wiped her hands in a small towel before signaling for a couple of servants to help her with the supplies. "Please prepare a quick bath for me, and the silken robes..." She said to the servants before turning to Ryohei. "They are the Yanaihara, Ryo-kun, if anything, I'm the one having an audience with them... Good thing I finished those designs yesterday. They will be impressed." The confident tones of her voice clashed very much with her small, cute figure. "Oka-san, would you please tell the staff to entertain our guests? I'm sure they will be delighted with your tea, if you are willing." She continued, approaching the yokai and holding her arm tenderly and flashing a smile to the spirit. The ghastly figure chimed adorably and nodded, her hands clapping softly before taking her leave. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Shirokawa family tea room was anything but traditional. Though preserving the classic central table and seats, the room's windows were large and open, looking directly into a small yet well tended garden. The corners of the room were adorned with artsy sculptures and paintings of vast fields of flowers and other nature sights hanged from the walls, bearing the signature of Tsuyu and her mother's respectively. In the center, Momo-san used her claws to delicately add petals and other aromatics to the tea. It was obviously not the standard tea ceremony, but the normal seemed to have given room to some eccentricities since Tsuyu had officially been announced as the next head of the household. The tea was served, a delicious honeyed aroma mixed with hints of jasmine. Tsuyu bowed happily and smiled at her guests, extending a hand in a gesture to enjoy the beverage. "I am grateful to host such esteemed and beloved guests as our Ladies Asora-sama and Haruhi-sama. I beg to the kami that the tea served by my beloved spirit mother is of your delight. Without bragging, I would say it is the best tasting tea this side of the Empire." Tsuyu began to say, adding grandeur and flair to her words. "Asora-sama, I can not avoid but to admire your presence blessing my home, for that I am grateful. I hope it has been of your liking so far." Tsuyu continued, focusing on Asora before turning to Haruhi, her eyes seemingly glittering. "And you Haruhi-sama. Pardon my words if they are too forward, but your beauty surpasses that of the rainbows over a sunset sky." In a moment, Tsuyu took a sip of the hot beverage, closing her eyes to feel the smooth flavor of the tea washing over her tongue. As she opened her eyes, her pupils seemed to have sharpened, and a happy yet slightly devious smile formed on her lips. "It will be an honor to serve the clan... In court, street or battlefield. How may I serve?"
  5. I have discord in my phone and my computer so that sounds like the best idea for me as I'm basically always on xD Either the Datsuzoku one or Yanahaira's own to avoid clutter I'm ok with either choice.
  6. She has been created! I will update her little by little with more stuff, but she is officially alive :3
  7. Name: Shirokawa Tsuyu Age: 18 Height: 160 cm Class: Noble/Trapmaker Occupation: Artists/Spy Hair: Mid-back length Black Hair Eyes: Purple Body Type: Small and Petite Personal Habits: Reading, sculpting and painting are her main hobbies, specially in well cared, beautiful natural spaces. She also enjoys tinkering with her traps, having an interest in bothany and machinery. Enjoys food of any type and has great fondness for “junk food” as a guilty pleasure, though she makes an effort to eat reasonably as to remain healthy. Personality: Though usually calm and elegant, Tsuyu can at times be overly emotional, specially when subjected to high amounts of stress or when overwhelmed by strong sentiments. She often suffers from a Princess Complex, loving being pampered, served and feeling socially superior to others, though she refrains from being a cruel taskmaster. She firmly believes that people who dabble in crime and other disreputable vices like drugs and excessive drinking are not “Worthy”, the opposite being true as well as she considers clean and proper individuals “High Stock” regardless of social standing. Otherwise, she is amicable and highly capable at blending in socially. She is highly protective of her family and clan, from servants to siblings, and greatly dislikes when someone disrespects them. Equipment: Modified Clothing: Tsuyu dresses on fine garments, yukatas and kimonos, as well as other less traditional but equally fine clothes. Most of these clothes have extensive but seamless modifications, such as pockets and compartments where she can stash objects and poisons as well as trap materials that could help her while in the field.
  8. Great then! I'll start working on her sheet right away :3 My only question right now is, is there any lore I should be aware of besides the Clan page? I'm pretty excited for this xD
  9. My idea for her was to be a sculptor and a painter. This would allow her to blend nicely and be good at subterfuge when it comes to the "Darker" part of her job, that of a trap maker and creator of ways to silently neutralize the clan's enemies when words are not enough. She is not fond of direct combat, so "accidents" and "unexpected tragedies" would be her way to deal with those that need uh... Dealing. So basically, artistry and espionage, and other members of the clan would be welcome to come to her for traps and low-profile assassination needs.
  10. Hello there! I am interested in making a character for clan, if it isn't too much of a bother and you are willing to accept my poor soul. My idea is: Let me know if my character could fit the clan nicely and I'll have a character sheet ready very soon :3
  11. It seemed like the battle had been raging for hours by now, and every Custode around them was ever present in combat, their near superhuman stamina stretching into it's limits as every swipe of their weapons and every shot of their shotguns rent flesh and bone by the troves. Yet the beastman hordes didn't relent, as with every fallen warrior there was another three to take it's place. Alexa alternated between healing and fighting as well, supported by Lena at all times. However, her stamina was nowhere near the level of the custodes, and with every blade swipe and every psychic bolt she dealt her breath became more ragged and pained. Panting, she knelt next to a wounded Guardian and began to heal his wounds. The sound of the Imperator's cannons created a tempo she could keep up with. Every shot pushed the horde back a few inches, and the militants didn't hesitate to push harder into the fray. It allowed her to focus on healing and rest up a bit before having to retake her place as psychic artillery. That's when it happened. The Daemon Engine fired a shot that rattled the very earth they were standing in. As the bolt of warp energy crashed into the Imperator Bellum's shields, the sheer magnitude of the impact almost threw Alexa off balance. She saw as some Custodes near the ship caught fire and desperately attempted to quench the flames. Others were thrown back and knocked by the blast, but that wasn't the worst part of it. The ship had redirected all energy to the shields, the cannons stopping their onslaught upon the beast hordes. Without the support of the ships weaponry, the beastmen crashed into the Force Majeure ranks with increased savagery. Alexa stood there, watching the wretched army of wild sinew and muscle push through the soldiers on the field, cutting down what they could and bashing that they could not. The Custodes fought with greater zeal as well, but the numbers were against them. She fought that familiar feeling in her gut, her hand grasping on her blade so hard her knuckles would go white if they weren't bionic. Her other hand rested on her temple, trying to soothe the heartbeats pounding into her brain. She wanted to run, to find ephemeral safety somewhere, to curl up and cry. "Inquisitor!" Alexa opened her eyes. Lena was in front of her, clashing blades with a massive monster of a beastman, her armor chipped and scratched. Despite her great strength, the beast proved to be driven to split her in two as his axe fell over and over, Lena's halberd barely resisting the savage attacks. A sudden rush of adrenaline came by the Inquisitor as she saw her aide so close to being cut down. Her mind went blank for a second, rushing to understand the situation in front of her. Her eyes glanced to her mechanic arm, the blade glowing a faint blue hue. Her exhaustion dissapeared and her body acted on instinct. The daemon touched warrior swung it's axe down heavily, but before it could crash into Lena, it stopped suddenly. The beastman's muscles bulged as he tried to finish his swing, or to move his axe at all, but an invisible force kept the wicked cutter in place. A scream was heard, and out of the corner of it's eye, Alexa jumped into it's view, her eyes aflame with warp energy. In one stroke, her blade buried deep into the beast's chest before pulling it out and thrusting it right under it's muzzle, the simmering of warp fire evaporating the blood that shot out and came in contact with the warp enhanced metal. More beasts came to avenge the fallen barbarian, and Lena met them head first, Alexa close by with her eyes shimmering in unbriddled warp power. "We must push into their ranks, Lord James and Commander Tenkai must be covered at all cost!" Lena screamed into the communication link. As an unit, a group of guardians moved with the pair and created a sort of spearhead, eventually fighting their way to the group protecting the advance of their leader units. Alexa and Lena fought next to Knight Selene with all the might they could muster. The Inquisitor moved forward and raised her arms, projecting a directed stasis field that stopped the beasts around them in their tracks. With this opportunity, James and Tenkai would have enough breathing room to carve a path towards their objective, also allowing the custodes guarding their backs to retaliate and score some easy kills. However, the strain of her psychic powers was exhausting her, and Alexa struggled to keep the field up. "Hurry! I... I don't know how much more I can hold it!" She said into the comm link.
  12. Virgil took the teasing like a champ, a slightly annoyed one at that, while Hunter merely smiled and walked along with the team. He knew Virgil was a man of action, and several times were their necks saved by the quick thinking of the man. It was like back when they were younger and they had met each other for the first time, cracking jokes, teasing and sometimes bickering about inane and nonsensical stuff. However, Hunter couldn't take this strange feeling off the back of his mind, like something was odd in the air. Once the group had reached the rooftops, the topic of conversation turned into the wreckage that was the ruins of the Whispernight. Could this happen to Aelindra someday? Perhaps. But if it came, he thought, he would be there standing to either reverse it, or avenge it. His reminiscing was cut short by a precise discharge of Elson's caster gun, blasting down a black figure from the sky in a swift motion. "Excellent shot Elson. Let's hope we all share your mighty aim when the dragons come a-knocking." He spoke before retrieving his binoculars. He scanned around the ruins, trying to ascertain where exactly were they supposed to be. "Not to bring down my own abilities as a Cavalry Officer, but I have no bloody idea of our surroundings... However." His gaze moved towards a nearby area of the city, reaching into a caved in street where he supposed the warehouse district would have stood. Under the rubble he could spy pieces of machinery, like something large had crashed into the place... Or attempted to get out. He held out his binoculars for anyone to take while pointing in that direction. "Eastward, by the arches. I don't have any reference but I know of a clue when I see one. Hopefully the way remains unimpeded."
  13. Maverick

    Liber Corvinum

    “With the war finally ending and the threat of chaos finally quelled before Kadian soil, the people mourned and rejoiced equally, their lives able to continue on in the times of peace sure to follow in the post-bellum period. Those soldiers with a family rejoined them, smiles and warm embraces to heal the scars of war. Those without them honored their dead, tears of sorrow and melancholy, but with their brothers in arms providing a shoulder to cry on. In the black spire of the Inquisition, silent comrades sat side by side, sharing a meal and mending their wounds, their work never ending, their respite short. But perhaps by overcoming the hellish events they endured, they became closer, stronger and more respectful of their position. The royal families weren’t without loses either. Many a child was lost in the battles, many a parent never to return. Their tombs were gilded, with images and ostentatious decorations… But the death tell no tales, nor enjoy such frivolous mortal privileges. At the end of the day, the ground reclaimed them all, and their names… All of them, rich or poor, old or young… Would be remembered in history as heroes, for the blood spilled in defense of their homes was not in vain. Kadia would honor their sacrifice. A great pyre and a long vigil of prayers were given to those lost in the immaterium, asking to the heavens for peace to their souls, respite from the horrid touch of chaos. No talk of the dark gods was given, not even in loathing, for the worst punishment for their atrocities would be ignorance and indifference. Do not feed the foul beast willingly, as it will bite your arm in payment. For 3 nights, every city in the Empire would light up in fire and word, with Axis Mundi offering the largest, as to guide the righteous souls to an eternal, peaceful rest. The brave warriors of the Empire, those still standing, joined in prayer as well, promising to carry their wills until their last breath announced their reunion. As for the young Emperor, the son of Corvinus, he was the leader who stood at the front of the line, who carried the weight of a nation on his shoulders in its darkest times. For that he received the eternal praises and gratitudes of his people… But we knew him better. We, who stood behind him, who fight to alleviate the crushing responsibility of his position. His friends, family and allies. We knew that behind the proud visage of a ruler, lied the painful memories of those he couldn’t save. Innocence, lost at such a young age, thrown into the harsh reality of a world who would attempt to crush him at any opportunity. And yet he stood there, facing the abyss... And driving it back. The scars we bear will never disappear. The lives we lost will never return. But we carry on, with the unyielding will of humanity as our standard, facing the darkness proud and defiant. Long live the Empire of Kadia, and its people, forever stalwart into the future.” From the Prologue of “The Harrowing - A Memoir” by Inquisitor Alexandra Caelestia.
  14. I'm also interested in the unnamed island, with a plan to make it the site for a kingdom of amphibian antropomorphs. Obviously, my experience in running a land is quite low in comparison to other Val users but I'm more than willing to try my best to make it something cute and enjoyable for everyone.
  15. The conversation between the Lord Inquisitor and the Empress, despite being clad in wealth and royalty, was filled with a homely, familiar sense that she doubted most of the people outside the walls of the palace would believe they had. It was almost absurd, to see the majestic visage of Empress Leoa so casually bringing a plain brow paper bag to what she could assess was a man with the power to make people dissapear without trace. She couldn't avoid but to feel a sense of admiration, tarnished with a feeling of self-consciousness... After all, Alexa never had a family to speak off, besides of a drunk of a father and a legion of droning, merciless taskmasters willing to throw her into a furnace for three extra degrees of precision in a warp-jump. She had no one... And the only one she did have had suffered her same fate... Or even worse. Her reminiscence got interrupted by the warm feeling of a hand grasping her own. It was the Empress again, a reassuring grip that brought calmness to her despite having met her bare minutes ago. Alexa tried her hardest to contain the rush emotions currently invading her, managing to swallow the overwhelming urge to cry. Such simple words, carrying such an impact on a wayward soul. It was then that the Lord Inquisitor ordered for Alexa to be measured and clothed for her now fated reunion with the Empress, a triad of female Inquisitors cordially telling her to follow them. A few minutes passed on the hallways as the young psion tried to digest the turn her life had just taken, when suddenly, a stern voice stopped the group in their tracks. "Ladies... I'll take it from here, return to your duties." The voice said, Alexa gazing up to see the source of it. Another Inquisitor stood in front of them, this one a more experienced looking one. She was a woman a few inches taller than the other Inquisitors, the creases and marks of age already showing in her otherwise immaculate face. Her poise was remarkable, and her steel gray eyes pierced the air like a cold dagger. At her hip, a gleaming silver-blue rapier, bejeweled and bearing the mark of the empire rested on an oak-colored half scabbard, mirrored on the other side by an equally engraved and obviously custom-made pistol. She took a few heavy steps forward, looking up and down Alexa's figure in an inquisitive manner before turning back. "Follow me Dear..." With doe eyes, Alexa nodded and followed this new acquaintance, a few steps behind her. "Your name young lady?" The inquisitor asked, without turning her head. "Hmmm... Alexa, my lady." She answered nervously. "No need for formalities dear. We Inquisitors don't care much for ranks. As long as you do your job and do it well, respect will come by itself. The obvious exception would be the Grand Lord Inquisitor himself, but he sometimes can be a little... Forgetful." The pair ended up on a small office, a guardsman in administrative uniform sitting behind a desk with a dull, dutiful look as he seemed to input data on hologlyph tablet. Stacks of files and requisition warrants rested on his desk as he perused each carefully before typing the information in the tablet. As he noticed the pair entering his office, his face changed to one of attention. Fixing his collar, he quickly tidied up the desk before adressing the women in front of him. "Inquisitor Bastille, glad to see you back from your mission." He said politely before continuing. "What can I help you with madame?" "This young woman is a new addition to our esteemed organization. Please submit her information into the system and assign her living quarters at once. I'm sure we have available facilities." "Right now?" "That is the definition of 'at once', private." The guardsman nodded, a nervous grimace in her face as he took notes of Alexa's information. It took only a few minutes for the clerk to finish up the procedure, with some slight pushing from Inquisitor Bastille, and the young girl promptly received a set of keys with her name on them. With puzzlement, Alexa looked at Bastille as she nodded silently and turned around, signaling her to follow again. Without hesitation, the psion retook her position at her side. "We have not had any new members since a long time ago, pardon the bureaucracy and paperwork." "It's no issue... But if you excuse my... Prying? Why are you escorting me personally?" The Inquisitor smirked and fixed her coat softly. "I ran into our royal highness, Empress Leoa Melisende, on the way to the Lord Inquisitor's office. You seemed to have made quite an impression... I was asked to personally see to your induction to the order, and I respectfully agreed." Bastille answered, rounding a corner and running into a single door at the end of a hallway. As they approached, Alexa could pick up the faint smell of fabric and dyes, getting stronger as they got closer to it. As they entered the room, it was like they had entered an entire new building. Instead of the sterile, eerie feeling of the Lord Inquisitor's Office, the workshop they were standing in was almost too colorful. On the walls, lines upon lines of designs and fashion sketches hanged proudly on display. On the floor, rolls of expensive fabrics and sewing utensils rested right next to boxes labeled things like 'Military grade plasteel' and 'Shock resistant microfiber'. On the other side of the room, a posh, graceful looking woman with carefully kept hair and wide rimmed glasses worked on a drawing table, dainty hands moving a pencil in delicate, singular arcs and motions. However, as the women approached the desk, the woman noticed them and her face lit up like a rainbow after a rainy day. Standing up and walking happily to them, she surprised them by wrapping her arms around the Inquisitor in an explosive, overly cheerful manner. "Oh Valeria! So good to see you my dear oooh, I figured you were going to be back in a couple weeks or so." She said, jumping back and smiling widely. The Inquisitor looked non-chalant at best, but Alexa figured they were acquainted enough to be in friendly terms. "Good to see you as well Lady Laurien. Working on more designs I presume?" The Inquisitor asked, prompting a cheerful nod from her opposite. "Oh yes yes, I got the best designs ready for Prince Connor's first steps... Though it would help immensely if Corvinus didn't have such fondness for such dark palletes. I can't really count with my fingers how many rolls of black I have used by now. Oh, and who this might be? Such a young, fair lady!" Laurien blabbered, recognizing the presence of Alexa after a long rant. The Inquisitor nodded. "This young lady is Alexia Caelestia. She is the new addition to the Inquisition so she's gonna need a wardrobe of her own, with full capabilities. She also has a meeting with our dear Empress. Maybe you have something in there already made that could fit?" Lady Lauriens face lit up in absolute delight at the prospect of making a new outfit and quickly gathered up her tools, measuring tapes and needles. "Oh my dear I'm gonna make you look the part in no time. Oh such possibilities with your beauty. So much time without working on such a cute young girl like yourself. Now I'm gonna need you to take those old clothes off there in the back so I can take your measurements." Alexa's eyes went wide, a reflexive "What?" coming out of her lips as she took a step back. With a puzzle look, Lady Laurien looked at Bastille for a second before focusing back to Alexa. Likewise, Bastille worriedly looked at her. Laurien instead began to smile. "Oh dear, maybe you are shy? Don't worry, I'm sure you don't have anything we haven't seen before, and if you do well. As a royal seamstress I've already seen way too many things. I can't take your exact measurements with those wet clothes on. Bastille, could you give us some privacy please?" The Inquisitor nodded and left the workshop in an instant, reassuring Alexa that she would wait outside. Meanwhile, Laurien led Alexa deeper into the workshop, to an area with a small padded pedestal and a few mannequins with strands of cloth on top of them. "Now come on honey. It's just you and me in here, no need to be ashamed, I assure you I'm a professional of utmost caliber." Laurien smiled at this last part, trying to ease up the young girl into letting her take the measurements needed. Alexa thought about it for a few more minutes, nervously fidgeting in place until eventually accepting that it was just her job, and she was wasting her time at this point. Alexa slowly, shyly began to remove her clothes. As clothes began to fall, Lady Laurien's expression began to change, from awe, to surprise, to sadness. Alexa's body was covered in scars... Lashes, burns, cuts and the like pockmarking her otherwise alabaster skin. To the left side of her body, just under her ribs, a branded black tattoo of an eye surrounded by the crown of a sun on top of a capital 'I'. She stood there in her underwear, her bionic arm completely free from any cloth or fabric. Laurien approached her with a tinge of sorrow in her eyes, but quickly turned her expression into a reassuring, warm smile. Carefully, she began to take Alexa's measurements, noting all of them in a small notebook with another bunch of scribbles and doodles. "Well... That is all honey. Thank you for cooperating." Laurien said, moving a strand of hair from Alexa's hair away from her face. "I... I'm sorry. It must be hard to show this much to total strangers. I thank you for at least trusting with that much. I promise I won't tell anyone girl... We all carry the scars of our past." Alexa took a deep breath and smiled to Lady Laurien, nodding to her words before trying to pick up her clothes. However, Laurien stopped her before she could move. "Oh no no no dear, you are going to see the Empress. I'm going to dress you up for the occasion. I think I have something your size around here..." It was a few more minutes before Alexa left the workshop to reunite with Bastille in the hallway, garnering a small smile from the veteran inquisitor as she guided her to the area where Empress Leoa would meet her. When she entered, Leoa would see Alexa dressed in a beautiful burgundy dress, paired with stylish but cute gloves and a small, fixed up bow on her hair. Under observation, some of her scars and the obvious sight of her metallic arm could be seen, but Alexa's demeanor had changed considerably. She was teary eyed and shy, but with a genuine smile. Looking up to the Empress, she bowed politely. "I... Thank you for this your highness... I... I never... I don't know what to say. This is too much..." She stuttered, avoiding eye contact. "I just... Thank you."
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