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  1. Arthur belched out loud in the open antechamber, the sound echoing off the walls in the privacy of the open-spaced room. The mage chuckled, resting the seven foot shaft of his pollaxe on his shoulder as his other hand pushed open the doors to the Charnel House. Instantly, he was greeted by the roars of the gathering crowd, especially when the mutant began to descend the stairs towards the pit at the center of the training grounds. For his first battle, the alchemist wore his black dress shirt and slacks, his brown lace up boots rounding up the first layer of his outfit. The second layer was composed of a number of pieces of steel armor, adhering to his body by preternatural means in a curious combination of protective components. He carried three weapons as well. A combination of axe and hammer gleamed from the top of the pollaxe's long shaft, a narrow point extending upwards for thrusting. Meanwhile, hanging from a pair of thick, zig-zagging baldrics of brown leather, his long sword (Bogatyr) was sheathed on the left side of his hip while a Rondel dagger was sheathed on the right. Arthur's fiery eyes surveyed the crowd of strangers, grinning roguishly as he enjoyed the limelight. After all, renown and the showcasing of his skills were the only reasons that the alchemist even entertained combat-oriented competitions, even after the immense failure of Heaven or Hell and the near depletion of his wallet in the process. Stepping down onto the pit, the mutant walked leisurely to the middle of the pit, planting the sharpened bottom of his pollaxe on the sandy floor and awaited the arrival his opponent (and friend). @Damnatus @Fierach
  2. Voldemort

    To Lose A Star

    "I wouldn't dream of it, friend," Arthur replied with an amused chuckle, continuing to carve the dry wood in his grasp into the shape of a spoon as he spared his sight momentarily to offer his tree-like companion an honest grin. It had taken some time for the mutant to learn the leshen's ways, but he was quickly becoming quite adept at understanding Cabbage's 'words.' "But I don't intend to wait here ages for an employer either. There's much nicer and quieter places to lounge around. I'll go as far as to say that Inns'th isn't even in my top fifty places to pitch a tarp...." The mage wanted to continue in his instructive tone; however, he found himself distracted when his sharp senses picked up the arrival of a newcomer. The smell of the woman's perfume and the sound of her footsteps differentiated her from the many who walked past his tarp, his fiery eyes peered underneath the slanted roof of his shelter and settling on the woman's boots as she stood outside. When she finally crouched at the entrance, Arthur was watching her with an almost expectant look, holding his knife in a steady grasp while he awaited the newcomer to explain her sudden presence. Arthur gave a crooked smile at the woman's words, reclining back onto the ground cloth in a restful manner as he continued to carve his spoon. The mutant gestured towards his half of the note atop his flattened bedroll, pointing at the sheet of parchment with his chin. "If it belongs to you, then perhaps you should keep it safely in your care at all times. As it was posted on the jobs' board, I felt within my rights in taking it until either I tracked you down, or you saved me the trouble. "My name is Arthur Uskglass," the mage introduced himself, speaking directly to the woman even as his attentions were set on completing his spoon. "The little one is named Cabbage. We're package deal. him and I, so please oblige his entrepreneurial spirit." Arthur spared a glance towards the leshen, his talk of 'entrepreneurship' clearly referring to the sudden growth of berries upon the creature's body. The mutant paused for a few seconds before clarifying, "He's offering a trade." @Akako Akari @Spooky Mittens @Fierach
  3. Voldemort

    To Lose A Star

    Arthur sat with his legs folded underneath him in a lotus position, resting atop a grey canvas ground cloth and underneath the shade of a similarly colored tarp. It didn't block out the sun for darkness always fell upon Yh'mi (a fact that the mage was only starting to get used to after a few days in Inns'th), but rather that some sort of makeshift shelter afforded the alchemist a modicum of privacy among the camps that made up a majority of the small settlement. As long as the black mage kept his tarp in a C-wedge as opposed to a lean-to, the various strangers around him wouldn't make the assumption that he was a merchant, or presume that he was willing to share his supplies with others. Arthur was lost in thought, his fiery eyes scanning over his outstretched (yet incomplete) bedroll and the plethora of items that were sprawled across its surface. It was all of his equipment for the coming foray into the untamed wilds of Yh'mi. His sword, Bogatyr, was laid lengthwise across the bedroll, its wicked black blade blending in with the shadows. Next to it was the mage's wizard staff, a long pole of ash with a poleaxe head affixed to one end and a sharp point on the other. Similarly, Arthur's bedroll temporarily housed tools like his hatchet and curved saw, his assortment of cordage of various lengths, food wrapped in ensorcelled paper of preservation, his armor, two sheathed knives, his sizable rucksack laid empty, his cookware (a small pot and frying pan), mess kit, extra clothes, the tent pegs that weren't already in use, fifty feet of rope, a lantern, wax candles, two waterskins, his harness and pouches, supply of magical and alchemical reagents, other miscellaneous items (like his alchemy equipment), and over a dozen bundles of small sticks tied together with cordage. The mage collected the sticks personally outside of Inns'th, knowing that there wouldn't be any way to light a campfire otherwise for much of the journey south, and knowing that there was deadly need for illumination in Yh'mi. Even for those like Arthur who could see perfectly in the darkness. "How long do you think we'll have to wait?" the mage asked his leshen friend with an amused grin, carving a new spoon with one of his knives as his eyes glanced down a distinct piece of parchment. Though it seemed like Arthur wanted to ward away guests, they were actually expecting some unknown employer. The mage and Cabbage had spent their first couple of days gathering information and getting a lay of the land. Today, however, they'd been pointed to the bulletin board and Arthur was drawn to a particular posted note. An anonymous poster was seeking companions to travel to the Whitewoods in search of a runaway sorcerer and a stolen lantern on behalf of the Order of the White Hand. And while the job itself was interesting, what had piqued Arthur's difference had nothing to do with the note itself. Underneath the writing, a magic circle was carefully drawn onto the parchment and the paper seemed to hum minutely with arcane energy. The alchemist took the notice and walked straight back to his and Cabbage's camp, as he knew well that their potential employer could track them via a simple sympathetic binding. "Hopefully soon, I'm running out of things to carve and dead wood to carve with," Arthur added with a low chuckle, focused on shaving away unnecessary parts of his new spoon. @Akako Akari @Spooky Mittens @Fierach
  4. Can’t wait. Hopefully we can get some more people for the True Blade competition
  5. As the battle continued, the mutant had hid himself behind cover and went about the process of tending to his new wound. Though a ghastly sight, it looked much worse than it actually was as the round flattened and broke apart as it attempted to penetrate Arthur's preternaturally tough flesh. He removed as much clothing as necessary and had the marine that was left behind irrigate the wound with what remained of Arthur's water. They disinfected the area and Arthur took a pair of pliers and began to remove the fragments of the bullet while the marine held the wound open with a tool. Normally, it would have been smarter to allow someone else to remove the shrapnel. However, as a transmuter, the mage could feel the metal inside him as keenly as the pain the radiated from the area. Patched up, Arthur spent much of the rest of the day and the next tired and quiet. He undid the spell that tethered the souls of the others to him, and transformed the effigies around his neck back to their flesh forms so they could be buried with the others. Arthur didn't care for the service, wholly devoid of any family that might have been awaiting the marines' return, but the mage didn't care to argue with the misguided and spoiled rotten noble. "I don't think the world is much safer with it in your hands," Arthur quipped honestly after their last encounter with the pirates, his arm hanging from a makeshift sling and hidden under the folds of his robes as he continued to heal from his chest wound. "But I'm not paid to pontificate on such matters, just to kill your enemies." @Tyler @Lady Gilaen
  6. The mage ran as hard as he could, his muscles straining and his blood pumping as shots rang out and whizzed by him dangerously. It only urged him onward, managing to maintain his mighty pace even as it slowly began to dwindle along with his energy. He had to get these men back to the trucks, lest they end up as human shields in the face of the munitions being fired off. Because of that, Arthur was glad that the duchess had sent two men along as an escort. They'd kept the mutant and their comrades quite safe, fighting like dogs until Arthur managed to reach Dicken and one of his escorts was killed by an equestrian pirate. Dodging behind the jeep he'd driven on, Arthur lowered his petrified companions to the ground and took haggard breaths as the acid under his flesh burned hotly and painfully in reaction to his flight. He nodded to Dicken before speaking, "I've got just thing for the bastards." Arthur stood and moved around to the backseat of the jeep, feeling dizzy as he lifted his rucksack and carried it back behind the cover of the vehicle. Between the war all around him and the spirits in his head, screaming for vengeance, it was becoming difficult to focus for the wizard. Gritting his teeth, Arthur opened his bag and pulled out a smaller sack of burlap from within. As he opened it, a pile of rocks could be seen within, some the size of pebbles and others as big as a human fist. Instead of explaining himself, he allowed himself a necessary demonstration, grabbing one of the stones as he undid the spell of polymorphia upon the stone. The mutant flung the stone as the horseman who had killed his escort rode the opposite way in search of a kill. A stone like that might have proved effective only if it struck the pirate in the head, but the stone seemed to expand into a sizable boulder as it came closer to the horseman, returning to its original size before bowling the horse and its rider over in a substantial collision. Turning away, the mage would act fast as he pulled a vial of reddish liquid from one of the many pouches connected to his harness under his robes. Speaking the words of his spell, his tongue burned under their effect as he crushed the vial in his right palm. The muscles in his right arm bulged and grew bigger at a rapid rate until a monstrous arm covered in warts replaced the mage's human limb. His new arm seemed quite a few sizes too large for the mutant's body, closer to what one would expect of a cave troll than a typical humanoid. Arthur opened his enlarged palm, allowing the material component of his spell to to dissipate as a black gas that soon disappeared into nothingness. "Dicken," the mage finally spoke, "Fill my palm with as many stones as you feasibly can. I'm sure you've heard of catapults, but I'm sure you've never seen a wizard BE a catapult." When the black mage stepped out of his cover, his massive hand was filled with a plethora of stones and he undid the polymorphic spell on the entire batch. "We'll have at least another throw or two after this, so stay alert and be ready to reload," Arthur instructed Dicken, pushing the cloth of his robes off his right shoulder as he swung his monstrous arm backwards, causing his feet to slip slightly along with its weight, then his whole body lurched forward thunderously as the mutant moved his grotesque limb in an overhand swing that cast the myriad of stones straight into the sky. The rocks soared through the air in a parabolic arc, each individual stone spreading wide and only beginning their descent as they reached the treeline. However, they transmuted back to their original forms and began to plunge into the trees by the power of gravity and their newfound weight. They tumbled downwards over the center right of the pirates' battle lines; the impacts of the stones and boulders causing large branches to fall or even leveling whole trees if the boulder struck it directly. If they managed to slip betwixt the plant life, they fell onto men or near enough to send them off in a hasty retreat. With the disruption of the pirates' battle lines, and possibly even major loses to their unit, Arthur hoped to force the pirates on the right flank and center to retreat to the left flank where they could be surrounded by the duchess' forces. Or at least send them running from the battlefield. Arthur was about to turn around and reload his trollish arm, and perhaps even show off to Dicken when a round whizzed by Arthur's head and a second embedded itself in the mage's left pectoral muscle. The mage collapsed onto his backside, lightheaded and hazy as he used his massive arm to drag himself behind the jeep. Perhaps Arthur had turned the tide of the battle, but he did so at a price. @Tyler @Lady Gilaen
  7. Through labored breaths and a body drenched in sweat, the mutant managed to more or less keep pace with his other allies as they retreated. Arthur remained within five feet of the person in the rear, his legs working overtime while they moved like pistons across the sands. It wasn’t before long that they retreated from one battlefield to an even greater one; the mage slowed his gait and crouched low with both petrified men still slung over his broad shoulders and gathered around the others as Abigail turned to speak to him. “I could reverse their petrification if I had time with my alchemy kit and a fire, but we don’t have that luxury. Agreed. I have some things in my pack that should help us anyways, just destabilize their left flank but don’t penetrate their lines too deeply. I plan to make much of the treeline a very dangerous place to be.” Afterwards, Arthur wasted little time in veering off and sprinting away towards the trucks, his speed slower than it had been when they first began running, but still fast for someone carrying two grown adults. @Tyler @Lady Gilaen
  8. Arthur stared down at the gore that drenched his hand as it was recalled back to his side, his hardened aura disintegrating away in the wind as a blackened mist. It didn't matter how thickly he wrapped his limbs in his own Resonance, the nastiness always remained. The mutant thought it was a good thing by his own reckoning. A mage shouldn't be allowed to separate the magic he creates and the carnage that might follow if they aren't wise. He couldn't be a pacifist either as his indecision could also lead to carnage; a carnage visited upon himself or worse: his allies. Having trained out the voices around him, he came back to his senses as Enid tossed her balloon at the men that surrounded them on one side. A look of terror and recognition crossed his features, and the mage wheeled around to deal with the other pirates who had surrounded them. They needed to be dealt with as they covered their escape route from the bees who were certainly going to be exploding from Enid's insect-bomb. Arthur stepped forward, placing himself between his allies and the armed pirates. Speaking in a dark tongue that had his tongue sizzling blasphemously, the mage took a deep breath and let loose possibly the most ferocious and monstrous roar that any of them (save Enid) had ever heard; a column of destructive wind followed that roar, aiming to strike the pirate to his right head on with enough force to knock him away and flat on the ground. Arthur swiveled his head to left, training his torrent on wind on the remaining two like a swiping blade as he moved from right to left. If he managed to knock the pirates away, the mutant bellowed with a lingering growl, "Run!" If his companions indeed ran, the mage waited until the passed him by before he fetched the two petrified solders and followed after Enid and the others at a labored sprint. But a sprint nonetheless. @Tyler @Lady Gilaen
  9. @Tyler Gonna start writing now
  10. The mutant unwound his arms, bringing the hilt level with his abdomen and extending the blade's narrow point in front of him, threatening any who dared to enter his range. Arthur turned his gaze as a pirate assaulted Enid, driving her backwards with whirling cuts from his sword. He nearly wheeled about to strike the new enemy from behind, aiding his companion. However, a second pirate came to to the aid of his compatriot, lunging in the engage with the mage's sword. Arthur met that pressure with pressure of his own, pressing laterally against the pirate's cutlass as they crossed blades. The black mage advanced on his lead leg and lifted the hilt of his sword, his lower hand changed its grip, cupping the long sword's pommel and transitioned into his Two-Horned guard. He held the blade in a rigid fashion, making it nearly impossible for the pirate to prevent the thrust that the mage leveled on his face. The blade's tip passed through the pirate's skull easily, killing the man as Arthur framed his right foot on the pirate's midsection and kicked him away while wrenching his blackened blade out. Meanwhile, Enid had dispatched her opponent and returned to his side, casting a spell against the enemy mage who had been making a mess of their companions. Arthur followed with an attack of his own, not leaving it up to the Duchess' men to finish the pirate mage off. The black mage rummaged through his harness and crushed a vial of thermite dust in his hand, speaking a string of short incantations in a strange tongue as he did so. The mage extended his arm in a punch, his limb suddenly stretching out towards the wand-wielding pirate's abdomen in a serpentine manner, and crossing the great distance in a near instant. As it did, his second spell came into effect as his arm was wreathed in a black, metallic like second skin and burst into flames as his fist impacted the pirate. The force of his blow was suddenly tripled and the explosion would tear a hole in the mage pirate's stomach, sending the pirate toppling to the ground, gore spraying in nearly every direction. The attack drenched Arthur's attacking arm in blood and blown up viscera. A downside which became very apparent once the mage's arm stretched back to its normal size and the armored skin dissipated into a black mist. "Do you have anything with more oomph?" the mage asked Enid, "If we hit them as hard as we can, we may be able to disperse them long enough to reunite with the rest of the duchess' forces." @Tyler @Lady Gilaen
  11. The mage listened to the leader of their expedition, his eyebrows arching curiously when he mentioned the travelers who had traveled into the mountains and had since disappeared. He wasn't particularly surprised by the development; if one were to be lost, the place that they were going to travel through would be as treacherous a place as any. Arthur gritted his teeth in a strange smirk, his anticipation ramping up within him in a combination of anxiety and elation at the upcoming challenge and proximity to the ultimate danger. The mystery made Arthur eager to begin but he understood that his other companions might need more rest. Albeit brief rest, Arthur agreed as he turned towards Luna as she spoke of her leeriness at Lirrey. He'd underestimated the strange village during his first night in town, having slept through the night as if there'd been nothing to worry about even if the mutant was a light sleeper. "I agree," the black mage spoke up, leaning back into the couch as he got comfortable, "We should stay alert and leave as soon as we can in the morning. If anything happens tonight, I can formulate a Circle of Protection inside this room and we can stay inside of it until it blows over." Arthur turned his gaze back on Connor, "Speaking of which, I'll stay here on the couch then. Let's sleep in shifts? You can go first. Too excited to sleep just yet."
  12. Arthur locked his jaw closed, bringing an abrupt end to the stream of flames that he had breathed upon their ambushing enemies. With the brush aflame, dark smoke wafted into the sky which served as a signal for the other marines in their expeditionary force along with the sounds of battle itself. Though seemingly impressive, Arthur's spell had only managed to kill one pirate, leaving the others free to charge from down range, closing the distance on the mage and the others in an instant. The mutant reached into his robes and rifled through one of the pouches on his harness, retrieving a diminutive item that looked like a black tooth pick from afar. It wasn't. Whispering words of power, the mutant undid the polymorphing spell that kept the item in its tiny state, causing it to expand and lengthen into the mage's prized long sword. Bogatyr was an impressively large weapon, fitted with a 42 inch blade and waisted grip meant for two hands. The blade's steel was the color of the darkest obsidian; a menacing sight as Arthur took the weapon in both his hands and aimed its narrow tip forward and down towards the ground. The stance kept much of his body open to attack, but it was deceptive. In this stance, Arthur was like an iron gate. Steadfast and immovable. A pirate charged Arthur, lunging forward with a thrust of the criminal's cutlass, aiming to pierce Arthur through the chest. However, as the cutlass' tip made its approach, the mage lifted his sword high, striking the cutlass from below and forcing the shorter blade into an overhead position as the mutant followed suit with his own weapon. Arthur transitioned seamlessly from the parry into an overhead high guard, immediately taking advantage of the opening he'd created in his opponent's own stance. The mage wound his arms in a clockwise direction, sending his blade in a crosswise cut that lopped off the pirate's raised forearm. The pirate fell back, screaming and clutching at his horrific injury as bright arterial blood squirted from it in gruesome spurts. Leaving his sword in a hanging guard near his head, Arthur turned to look at Enid as she joined him. "What do you mean?" the mage asked, "As always, the dead have unfinished business that they want me to attend to." @Tyler @Lady Gilaen
  13. I'm sorry. My medical residency started last Monday and I worked 70 hours last week. But I'm gonna make posts in the call room when I'm out of the lab.
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