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Tenkai Matsumoto

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  1. Tenkai Matsumoto

    dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same

    --- Nu Martyr, Inside the Palace of the PRIME, Study Hall Tenkai could see the way his presence and that of the Custodes affected the Renovatian soldiers and, in a way, that was a bit concerning. Though he was prepared to do all he could to protect them, this was not some small matter of a single malcontent or a rampaging monster that needed slaying. This was war, and as mighty as the Order's combatants were individually, there was only so much they would be able to do if they could not count on the Renovatians to be able to stand on their own. These men were not civilians and village folk. They were soldiers, and Tenkai counted on their strength and courage just as much as they would count on his. One could only hope that their presence here would instead uplift the fighting spirits of those who fought for Nu Martyr rather than lull them into complacency. But first things first. The warrior monk and his retinue entered the PRIME's study early enough for them to catch a bit of their war room discussion on the way in. It was a fairly big study, after all, and the echoes of their robust discourse carried through the room. This was good, thought Tenkai. He didn't want to waste any time. As Ardon Dallas spoke to him, Tenkai stopped and gave him a short bow. It was not a gesture of allegiance, but of respect. It was the kind that Tenkai was culturally accustomed to giving, even though that was now worlds away from him. "Thank you, Lord Dallas," he said. "I am Tenkai Matsumoto, knight of the Order of Force Majuere." With a nod, he turned to the four captains, allowing them to make their own introductions and signs of respect. They would undoubtedly be quick and to the point, just as Tenkai was. They didn't have much time to spare. Almost immediately, Tenkai marched over to the war table and leaned over it as if he was one of the Nu Martyr generals. Having stepped closer, his features would be made fairly clear. His manner of dress was unlike that of his fellows, as the Order was rather eclectic in its expressions of individuality. His manner of dress was a peculiar mix of humble, traditional clothing similar to that which was worn in Weland combined with modern armor and technology. From what one could tell, he was dressed from the neck down in a jet black bodysuit worn under a dark grey kimono top and black pants that were tucked into a pair of gunmetal sune-ate, samurai knee guards and shin armor that protected him from knee to instep, the plates on his feet segmented in a design that resembled its traditional counterpart using modern methods that seemed more at home in Terrenus than elsewhere. Half of his kimono was worn off of his left side, while the half on his right side was mostly obscured by a gauntlet and interlocking armor plates connected to a black half-chestplate. Over all of this was a large black shoulder guard with the main plate carved in the visage of an angry deity. A large-beaded rosary necklace was slung across his left shoulder and chest like a bandolier, one of the few pieces of religious paraphernalia that indicated his monkhood. An eyepatch made from a round disc guard from a sword covered his presumably missing right eye, which somehow managed to make the gaze of his remaining eye twice as intense to compensate. And there, fastened upon his back by some high-tech mechanism connected to his metallic utility belt was a sword, a katana by the look of it, yet bound in modern fittings much like the rest of the small bits of advanced technology in his wargear. "If I may," Tenkai said, as if to preempt any protestation from the elder strategists present. He reached over with his gauntlet-clad right hand and pointed at the mark on the map that indicated the city of Keto. "Based on your map here, the Cult's main force has made landfall here and they're heading down the peninsula directly towards the main city here, correct?" In essence, Tenkai had mostly repeated what the strategists had discussed, except for the fact that Tenkai traced all the way to Nu Martyr rather than simply Nu Delo. After all, it was here in this city that Lilith's prize awaited. The monk waited for any sort of response from those present before he proceeded. "And currently, based by these three markers here, Lilith's so-named 'Paragons' have all managed to hit these three completely separate cities almost simultaneously, and are thus lost to us. Correct?" It was clear that the enemy was using some sort of magic to engage in a rapid deployment of their troops, striking in several directions at once. So far, besides the city of Keto that had been almost instantly decimated by the arrival of Lilith's main force, the three other cities to fall were Hungary, Taronta and Apolypse. It only took a glance at the way the pieces moved on the board for Tenkai to come to a general idea of what was to come. To that end, Tenkai would share his thoughts. "At first, these additional strikes appear to be little more than a distraction, but that seems to be merely an added bonus of their unique method of sortie. If you would look here..." Tenkai tapped the spot on the map labeled Apolypse and traced upward towards Nu Rosinder. "From the south, there is nothing in the way between Apolypse and Nu Rosinder. But Nu Rosinder is far larger and more heavily defended than the other cities. They could attempt to lay siege from the south, but that would only serve as a petty distraction. What concerns me more is this city here." Tenkai pointed to the city of Draven, which lay between the major cities of Nu Rosinder and Nu Martyr. "This is your supply line between Nu Rosinder and Nu Martyr. If that supply line falls, neither city will be able to reinforce the other, and there will be no escape. And here..." Tenkai pointed to the small island of Hungary, just off the eastern coast of Yascrow. "It's clear that they intend to cut off escape from Nu Martyr by sea. Not that they seem to need to traverse by sea, but attacking your island cities disrupts your maritime forces and leaves you vulnerable. From here, they will likely head to Yascrow in order to completely cut off your sea route. It is also possible they intend to link up with their southern forces and converge upon Draven to cut Nu Martyr off. And finally..." Tenkai pointed to Taronta in the north, tracing a line to the thin strip of land between it and Nu Delo. "From here, their northern forces could link up with their main force, or flank your armies from the coast as they meet with the main force on the peninsula. They could decide to move along the northern region and take out the outlying cities, but there's little point in them doing that unless they somehow manage to garrison troops throughout the northern region without being spread too thin. And on top of all of this is the knowledge that Lilith could have many more of these 'Paragons' ready to jump out of nowhere at the drop of a hat and throw everything into disarray." By now, the monk had surely spoken volumes to the strategists at the table, and much of it was of matters that they themselves were aware of. Tenkai could sense their impatience. The Order wasn't summoned here to point out the obvious. They needed action. "If I may be so bold, I do have a plan." Tenkai pointed at Nu Rosinder. "It is imperative that the forces at Apolypse do not head to Draven. Have your defenders at Nu Rosinder attempt to corral them into your defenses, while your forces at Shrreb move in from the south to take them at the rear. If they head straight for Nu Rosinder anyway, all the better. They'll be too busy throwing themselves at your defenses to notice they're being flanked." He next pointed to Hungary. "It is likely that the enemy will head to Yascrow next. If your forces at Landonia can cut them off before then, you just might be able to reach them before they make landfall. At the very least, you'll be able to reinforce Yascrow from their rear if they manage to get there first." Then he pointed back to Taronta. "Your forces in Ralrome and Algany should seek to engage their northern forces immediately. It is imperative that you prevent them from linking up with the main force. If they try to head across the northern region, they will inevitably run into these two cities. Hitting Algany in order to reach Nu Martyr from the river will leave them open to attack from Ralrome, and if they try to bypass both cities to reach the mainland, you can pincer them here." He pointed in between the two cities in question. "As for the part we'll be playing," Tenkai continued, bringing his finger back to Nu Rosinder. "Though nothing has fallen yet, I take it by the pieces on your board that Primaria is also threatened. If that falls, Nu Rosinder is as good as gone. As heavily defended as it may be, I doubt even it would hold against a pincer attack from the north and the south. Half of our forces will head to Primaria to engage Lilith's Paragons. And as for Lilith's main force..." With an emphatic thrust of his finger, Tenkai nearly slammed his armored fingertip into the spot that indicated Parrish. "I need you to advance your forces from Parrish to meet their main force at Nu Delo. It is inevitable that they will face the brunt of the Cult's armies, but at the moment they are still at Nu Delo. It is likely that Nu Delo will be lost by the time your forces reach them, but that may work to your benefit. Fighting them at Nu Delo gives them the advantage by occupying the city, and opens you to being flanked by their northern forces. But if you meet them here at the bend of the coast as they march towards Parrish, you'll create an opening. An opening that I plan to drive our frigate through." With Tenkai's air frigate, the Susano'o, he would be able to approach Lilith's main force from the sea by taking a direct route, such so that even their forces at Hungary would not be able to reach them before the Renovatian military mobilized on their position. From there, he could drive straight into the dark heart of their army, and it was there that the Order of Force Majuere was most capable. "That's complete suicide!" exclaimed one of the strategists. "You mean to throw yourself at the Commander herself?" "I mean to engage her in combat, yes. And I would like it if you could bring two deployment vessels full of your own troops to join me. Once I get into the opening, I'm going to blow that flank wide open, and we'll need enough troops on the ground to form a front. There's also the possibility that their troops at Hungary manage to catch on to our movements and attempt to give chase. We'll need some way of delaying them until your other forces can engage." There was much furrowing of brows and gritting of teeth among the strategists gathered around the PRIME. Tenkai's plan was an incredibly brazen one, but this was a situation in which they had very little recourse. In the midst of a chaotic battlefield where the winds of war could change at any moment, hesitation was like letting your grip fail you while hanging on for dear life in the midst of a crashing tide. It was only by being decisive in their action that they would have any hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. "There is one thing that I must ask of you, Lord Dallas." The PRIME seemed perplexed. Tenkai already asked so much of him already. What more could he possibly want? "Speak." "I want to know what this 'crown' is," said Tenkai. "Is it truly a powerful and dangerous relic, or merely an icon of legendary status? Why would Lilith go to such lengths in order to take it?" Tenkai knew that if James had been here, he would have come up with some cheeky idea to destroy the crown or replace it with a fake, whatever way he could to frustrate the Commander and rob her of her prize even if she burned all of Nu Martyr to ash. He was a bit of an iconoclast, though Tenkai was not that much different. Surely there would be others who felt the same way. "All of this for a stupid crown?" they would say. The difference here was that Tenkai would not be so presumptuous as to assume that the crown was merely a fancy McGuffin. There had to be a reason why someone in charge of a group called the "Cult of Power" would want it. It was clear that Lilith and her subordinates were only interested in increasing their own strength by whatever means possible. If the crown really did have some incredibly dangerous power to it, Tenkai wanted to know. He wanted to know what sort of consequences there would be if Lilith ultimately succeeded. @Ataraxy @Fierach
  2. Tenkai Matsumoto

    dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same

    ---- Dawn Komturie, Fortress of the Order of Force Majeure; 1 week ago "HYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" "EEEEIIIII--!" "HRRAAAGGHHHH!!" Vigorous shouts of effort and strength resounded across the fortress training courtyards as Order aspirants diligently went about their exercises. There were quite a number of them, carrying all manner of practice longswords made of wood, bamboo and blunted steel. From the sleek and subtle curves of Elven design to thick slabs resembling the make of Dwarven or Orcish origin, all the way to common human training foils and bamboo shafts. Students drilled their techiques in unison with weighted rods for endurance while others practiced the specific intricacies of the myriad styles that their masters had brought to the Order. Aspirants of all sizes and shapes sparred against one another, regardless of advantage or class, honing their strengths and learning from their weaknesses. Though there was much different about them all, they were all training in some form of longsword, and all for the same reason: to join the ranks of the newly founded branch of the Order Custodes, the Vanquishers. Not too far away, Order Knight Tenkai Matsumoto watched the aspirants quietly from just outside the training courtyard, pleased with the progress that he saw. It was he who broached the idea of a fourth branch of Custodes with Master Knight James Eredas, one that could strike precisely at high-value targets like the Seekers but with a melee presence focusing on mastery of the sword. These would be the kind of warriors Tenkai could fight alongside as opposed to solely relying on Seekers for cover on the battlefield. Several Custodes among the other branches who possessed their own mastery of the sword took to Tenkai's idea and formed the foundation of the new branch, eager to use their skills in the Order's service and pass that knowledge on to their aspirants. Thanks to this, the Vanquishers had plenty to their number already, and soon the time would come for them to be tested in battle. It seemed that time was to come sooner than he realized. "Sir Tenkai." The swordsman-monk turned his head to the side, where a pair of Seekers and one Vanquisher were standing a few feet away. Turning the rest of the way to receive them, Tenkai could see that one of the Seekers was carrying a missive. An undoubtedly urgent one, he supposed. The Seekers didn't deal in innocuous correspondence. "Yes, go ahead." "We've recently received this missive from a Veluriyam messenger. They were particularly urgent in insisting that this gets into the hands of a Knight." "Very well," said Tenkai, accepting the missive from the Seeker and breaking the wax seal. It was amusing how even in a world and age filled with many impressive technologies, simple means such as parchment and wax seals still had their place. It could very well have been that the wax was enchanted in some way, though, perhaps to make sure it reached the intended recipient. None of that really mattered to Tenkai, however. Especially not after he read the message. The amusement was swiftly drained from him. Having gleaned all that he needed to from he message, he rolled it up and looked back up at the Custodes. "Alert the Custodes and patch me in with Master Eredas. We don't have much time." ---- Nu Martyr, outside the docked Khan-class Cruiser Invictus Nova, present time It had been about a week since Tenkai had received the message. At first he thought there would have been some protest from James at the request to bring the Invictus Nova, the Order's flagship cruiser, to Nu Martyr. After all the trouble they went through in the construction of Tenkai's personal frigate, the Susano'o, Tenkai almost thought James would begrudge a request for even more of the Order's resources. However, it seemed that James trusted Tenkai enough to believe him when he said the threat was dire enough to require them to field a force of this magnitude. At least the kind of magnitude the Order was capable of fielding, that is. Their number was far smaller than that of the vast armies they often found themselves fighting alongside and against, but any nation that had dealt with the Order on either end of the blade knew where their strength laid. It seemed that the Veluriyam Empire knew this as well, or else they would not have wasted precious time and resources reaching out to the Order for aid. In both cases, this is what Tenkai would have considered good fortune. That they would immediately recognize the threat that this "Lilith" and her Cult of Power posed meant a lot less wasted time. He knew he could count on James for that. Indeed, ever since the Symposium, those strange questions proposed by that lone journalist had piqued both his interest and suspicion, and he had since looked into accounts and information regarding the one the cultists referred to as "the Commander." He knew she was a necromancer, and a rather powerful one at that, which was more than enough to draw the eye of a man who was committed to making sure the dead stayed that way. This was not the same kind of necromancer as Perestroika or the Order's Craftsmen. This was was a power much darker than that, and Tenkai didn't need any previous information in order to know this. He could feel it quite clearly. With both the Invictus Nova and the Susano'o docked within the city, getting to the PRIME's palace wouldn't take very long. While the Custodes and other Order personnel made their preparations aboard the cruiser, Tenkai chose four Custodes captains to accompany him, one from each of the four main branches present with him in this endeavor, to accompany him as he sought an audience with Ardon Dallas. Though the Order was here acting on behalf of the Veluriyam Empire as part of the Allied Nations of Terrenus, it was Dallas and Nu Martyr military that he would be assisting. Tenkai admittedly did not know much about the PRIME other than the fact that he had come into possession of an artifact of great power, the very same item that had now literally brought death to his doorstep. If this artifact was so important as to spur Lilith into such brazen action, then one could only wonder what Ardon Dallas intended to do with it. After all, if its power was a mere fabrication, there was nothing stopping him from discarding it for the sake of sparing his city. Was he trying to protect it from the hands of one who would undoubtedly use it to obscenely evil ends? Or was there something else to all of this? One way or another, Tenkai would find out. After all, they were here on behalf of Veluriyam, not the PRIME of Nu Martyr. He had no interest in aiding anyone's ambitions or the selfish pursuit of glory. Even then, his interest was less in the empire's stake in the region and more in preventing such an immense loss of innocent life. To that end, Tenkai wished to see how much of their aims aligned. Once they made it to the front gate, Tenkai and his retinue stopped in front of the guards that stood watch over the entrance, wary of those who would seek out their ruler in the midst of an impending crisis. "I am here to request and audience with PRIME Ardon Dallas regarding the defense of the city," the Knight said as the Custodes Captains stood solemnly behind him. @Ataraxy @Fierach @Twitterpated @Djinn&Juice
  3. Tenkai Matsumoto

    Lilith Brings War to Nu Martyr

    @Ataraxy I think the idea I had was to have some dramatic entrance to help turn the tide against an attack. So would I just need to wait for one of the attackers to go first? I mean, then again, with how the defenders outnumber the attackers, it’s unlikely anyone would be unattended to. I guess I could do the whole thing to an NPC army of undead but it’s really hard to work off of things when you need to use someone else’s lore you don’t know about and basically RP with yourself. .w.;;; I guess I’ll start by reading what’s here and seeing if anything clicks.
  4. Tenkai Matsumoto

    Lilith Brings War to Nu Martyr

    If we’re defenders and we start in a city by ourselves, does that mean it’s not under attack until someone invades it? Or would we just have to roleplay Lilith’s forces attacking the city apart from the main force led by you? If I have to wait then I could probably just do transitionary stuff and then pop in once Lilith gets closer to Nu Martyr, I guess.
  5. Tenkai Matsumoto

    Nu Martyr Goes to War

    Anyone here with knowledge of Veluriyam/Nu Martyr lore and the situation at hand want to volunteer to play the person who contacts the OFM/Tenkai about what's happening in a quick thread?
  6. Tenkai Matsumoto

    Nu Martyr Goes to War

    I have been summoned. owo If the Order is called then Tenkai will be there.
  7. Tenkai Matsumoto

    The Harrowing | Kadia Event

    Ship Travel Turn: 1 For someone who had never traveled through the Warp on a ship like this, Tenkai was preternaturally calm. Calm, but not quite what one would call "good spirits". Not that there was anything particularly gloomy about him for that matter, but more to the point that he wasn't about to prop up his feet and treat this venture like a leisurely cruise on the sea. The severity of the situation, both their current status and the endeavor as a whole, was not lost on him for a moment. He could not allow it to be. Things may have been relatively peaceful for now (as 'peaceful' as it could get, at least), but that could change in an instant, and Tenkai had to be ready to act immediately. So he would remain vigilant. Still, he would not risk the damage to the morale of the Custodes by telling them they could not seek levity. There was nothing wrong with finding ways to cope with the harshness of reality if it helped one move on through the adversity. It was only when it got in the way of readiness and responsibility that it quickly spoiled into delusion. For now, such was not the case, and the Custodes continued to go about their duties. The monk, too, had to shoulder this burden with them. The plan to reduce rations to three-fourths was not at all a problem for Tenkai. Personally, he intended to reduce his own rations by half or less, depending on the day. Tenkai was used to going for long periods without much food, as was often the case for traveling monks. Hunger was a particularly deceptive need that rapidly fluctuated between that which was necessary to survive and that which was purely desire and attachment to food. Reducing his rations wasn't about willfully starving himself like a foolish martyr and more about conditioning himself so that the fine line between sustenance and gluttony was clearer to him. So long as there was little need for intensive physical activity, or rather, so long as they weren't in any combat situation, he could keep himself sustained with a small amount of food and meditation. Living as a wanderer taught him much about how to sleep efficiently. This only seemed to further justify Tenkai's decision not to bring his newly trained Vanquishers with him. More people meant a tighter strain on rations. Although it wouldn't have been a significant margin, every little bit helps. One day along their voyage, the thought of the Vanquishers prompted Tenkai to pay a visit to the armory. It was imperative that everything was kept in order in the event of an attack. Troops needed to be sortied without any delay, and part of making that possible was a well kept armory. Of course, as far as Tenkai was concerned, there was little he could say or do in the way of managing the Custodes' firearms and other forms of projectile weaponry. That wasn't Tenkai's particular area of expertise. But their swords, on the other hand, was a different matter entirely. Though he clearly had his own weapon of choice, he knew enough about the maintenance of blades in general to provide assistance. Yet swords were often a very personal matter, and by and large it would seem that the Custodes were responsible for the maintenance of their own blades. It was likely that some of them preferred to keep their blades at their sides in their own quarters rather than store them in the armory, and the latter ones were the property of the individual Custodes. However, there were auxiliary weapons within the armory meant as back-up arms for proper Custodes as well as armaments for crewmen who were not men-at-arms. Making sure these were well maintained was just as important, and that was exactly what he did. The monk went through the weapon racks, doing a random inspection of every third or fourth blade he came across, or at least any one that managed to hit his eye. One of the blades in particular was a well-crafted longsword of some non-standard make, likely some form of advanced or special class material that made it a grade above mundane weaponry but not quite to the same level as the enchanted or master-crafted weapons that the Custodes were likely to carry. Tenkai could tell by the way the light hit the edge that it was starting to dull a bit, so he put it to a whetstone to sharpen it. Tenkai was no master togishi, but he knew his way around Japanese water stones, and although the ones in the Order's possession were all some sort of special grade from uncommon materials beyond those he was used to normally, they functioned all the same. He would never be able to get the blade as sharp as his Muramasa, but its strikes would be true. +1 Maintain Armory The next day, Tenkai spent most of his time meditating by the bridge, seated with his legs crossed and his sword sheathed in his lap as his fingers interlaced in the Naibaku-in mudra, the Seal of the Inner Binding. There was no din of murmured mantras from his mouth. It was simply silence as the focus of his meditation was turned inward, maintaining the psychic shield of faith that allowed a holy warrior like Tenkai to combat the unspeakable horrors they would most assuredly face. To that end, there was much for Tenkai to contemplate about what effect the Warp would have on him. Or, to be more particular, his eye. The Magatama did more than just allow him to see souls as easily as he saw people. It also put him in between the mortal and spiritual planes simultaneously. To that end, one's psychic presence within the Warp was deeply connected with that of the soul, if not nearly synonymous with it. As long as they remained in the Warp, part of this was moot, as being physically present inside of the Warp was to have one's psychic presence be synonymous with one's physical presence anyway. It was why fighting a daemon within the Warp was just as dangerous for the daemon as it was for the slayer, for to slay a daemon there means a true death. Whether the same logic of "true death" applied to mortals within the warp was hard to say, being creatures of reality that rightly did not belong in such an accursed plane. Suffice it to say, any such fate within the Immaterium likely had consequences so disastrous that a "true death" was little more than a mercy denied to them. That being said, how would the Magatama's sight function in the Warp? How was the spirit world, the Shadowlands, reflected in the Immaterium? Were they connected? Were they one and the same? Or perhaps something entirely separate? Either way, it was less a matter of if his eye would function and more of a matter of how. It could allow him to perceive the Warp with some measure of protection from the madness it could induce by nature of not being a mortal eye. Or it could allow him to see it too differently, possibly magnifying the effect it would have otherwise had on him. Perhaps it had no effect at all. At any rate, Tenkai was content with the fact that the shielding that protected the ship from the Warp also managed to block out and filter what would have been too much of a strain on his psyche, so this was not something imminent he needed to worry about. It was, however, something to prepare for. "Does it help?" Tenkai opened his eye and quietly regarded the voice of the one who had interrupted his meditation. It was one of the Seekers, an elf by first glance of his height, build and (obviously) ears. If the monk was annoyed at the interruption, he did not show it. Truth be told, Tenkai did not care either way. Knowing how to resume meditation and attain clarity quickly was yet another skill, and being so attached to the seclusion of meditation was counter-intuitive. That was part of why he chose not to meditate in his own private quarters. "Pardon?" replied the monk. "Does it help?" asked the Seeker, "Your meditation?" "If it did not, I would be a fool to waste my time doing it. Why do you ask?" The elf had a subtle hint of embarrassment on his face. He did a good job of hiding it, but he couldn't hide it from Tenkai. Elves were a very proud race. Not that humans were incapable of hubris themselves, but elves had a far stronger tendency towards it due to their natural aptitudes and culture. At least, for high elves, this much was certainly true. "Frankly, I've never understood the point of it," he said. "How does one focus the mind by simply doing nothing? Now, don't get me wrong here, I understand it has its virtues but where I come from, the magi always seemed to have some...purpose or direction to their meditation. Circles of power, weaving the Winds and all things of that nature. I can even understand focusing the mind through the lens of knowledge, like reading a book, or perhaps pouring one's focus into one's chores, or perhaps a nice, refreshing session of target practice to hone one's skills. Something, anything that could serve as a means of taking their mind off of the fact that they're sailing through the Immaterium in a giant metal deathtrap off to confront the very stuff of nightmares, but really, how does doing nothing actually help you get through this?" Tenkai said nothing, his eye unflinching save for a few unmoved blinks. The Seeker's words had told him all he needed to know, and he kept that steady, knowing gaze upon him. "Would you like to join me?" Tenkai asked of him. "Yes please," he replied. Taking a seat next to Tenkai, the elf crossed his legs, laying his sword and bow in his lap much like how Tenkai had done with his sword. He did not attempt to copy whatever Buddhist ritualism he thought Tenkai was doing. The Seeker merely folded his arms and lowered his head a bit as he closed his eyes, quietly turning his focus inward. +1 Maintain Morale
  8. Oh, sorry. I had wanted to wait for people who hadn’t posted yet before me, such as those who skipped, but it seems there’s enough material to work with. I’ll post today after work, I figure, but no one wait on me either, especially if @Paroxysm @Ataraxy and @Deus Ex Aizen want to go first. I’ll adjust accordingly by then.
  9. Tenkai Matsumoto

    The Harrowing | Kadia Event

    In a way, Tenkai was both relieved and disappointed at the same time. Not in James, but in himself. Tenkai should have known better than to presume the nature of James’ resolve. Even with his willingness to give his life, he would have surely chosen life over death if there was truly a way for him to do so. In this case, it was Tenkai’s responsibility to make sure that option stayed on the table. The Order existed to triumph over Chaos, not die before it. Attempting to predict the gesture, Tenkai put out his hand as James raised his fist for the ubiquitous fist bump. However, Tenkai had actually expected a handshake from James instead, so he found his open hand clasping around the Master Knight’s fist for a brief moment. He pulled his hand back, realizing his error, but if James tried to shake his hand instead, he would just end up tapping fingertips against Tenkai’s fist this time around. Unable to find a way to get in sync with James, the monk’s hand awkwardly shifted phase between open hand and closed fist rapidly until he finally gave up and committed to a safe, passable thumbs-up. Of course, the awkwardness would not end there. Somehow, Tenkai’s words had moved Selene to the point that she would suddenly embrace him, a gesture that the monk was not prepared for. He looked upward, almost incredulous as to what was taking place, arms held outward past Selene as she wrapped her own around him. Taking the moment to think about how best to respond, he merely took one arm and wrapped it around Selene in response, giving her a small pat on the back. “Yes,” Tenkai said, clearing his throat. “Right.” With that matter settled, the awkward fist bump and awkward hug gave way to awkward silence. “I’m...going to get on the ship,” said Tenkai, jutting his thumb at the frigate behind him. As he headed for the frigate, Tenkai thought about whether he should have been going on this mission alone or if he should be accompanied by the new Custodes from the branch that was currently being established at his request. As much as he knew they would fight no matter what enemy laid before them, they were still not yet ready. Most of them were either aspirants in training or former Seekers and Guardians still adjusting to the transition. The most accomplished of them needed to stay behind, protect the Dawn Komturie and train the aspirants. Their time would come, eventually. @Fierach @-Lilium-
  10. Tenkai Matsumoto

    The Harrowing | Kadia Event

    One way or another, Tenkai had expected this outcome. It had been some time since he had visited Kadia. His stay was brief, but in that short period of time he had learned enough about Kadian society, even going so far as to meet with the God-Emperor and Goddess-Empress themselves. Though there was much about Kadia that had given him pause, James had stressed that the conclusions they had come to regarding the nature of their society and culture were directly related to their struggles against the forces of Chaos. Resigning himself to the idea that their laws and customs were necessary in order to ensure that the Ruinous Powers never claimed their empire, Tenkai cast the thought from his mind and ceased to question further. Ultimately, Tenkai's fears had proven to be well founded, and Kadia now suffered a fate similar to other nations who faced the same question of how to best deal with the ever-corrupting nature of Chaos. James must have known as much, given the Order's resources as well as whatever history the Eredas family had cataloged. Though the specifics were likely different this time around, there was always a common trend among them that was made clear to him soon after his initial visit to the Imperium. Once more, cruel Fate had played its hand. The monk cursed it as he rested his hand upon Muramasa's hilt. One thing Tenkai knew was different for sure this time was that things had gone so catastrophically bad that the end result was far worse than the mere conquest of a nation by Chaos cults. The very fabric of reality had been torn asunder in Kadia. If left unchecked, the fate of Kadia was the least of the problem. Something of this magnitude threatened the entirety of Valucre itself. There were far worse things than simple warp-spawn within the Immaterium, and if the way was opened wide enough, there was no telling what manner of daemon could claw its way out into real-space. "I can't convince James any better than you can, Sir Tenris," said the monk matter-of-factly. "There's only one thing I can do in this situation." Tenkai knew there was absolutely nothing he could stay that could deter James the moment he set his mind on something. That was why he would have to take a different approach. ------------------------------------------- "Together?" Tenkai made his presence known rather loudly and abruptly as he approached James and Selene during their obviously touching moment of mutual resolve. At first blush, it seemed like the right kind of attitude to have when facing a moment of unparalleled adversity. After all, the bonds of love were stronger than most people gave them credit for, quite often the target of ridicule from more cynical folk. Yet Tenkai was no fool, and his "eye" revealed much more to him than others realized. James vowed to save them, but its core these were little more than words of hope to give Selene peace in the face of something James wholly believed to be suicide. One thing that Tenkai had begun to notice about James through witnessing his exploits was that he possessed a "heroic martyr" complex to almost absurd levels. Tenkai understood selflessness more than anything, but sometimes it felt as if James was simply trying to find ways to get himself killed in a blaze of glory, so long as the emphasis was on the glory. It reminded him of the ideal of the pluperfect, consummate warrior, wanting nothing more than a "warrior's death" on the battlefield and dreading the thought of passing away peacefully of old age. People like that annoyed the ever-loving piss out of Tenkai. "If by 'together' you mean 'die together on the field of battle against impossible odds', then you'll excuse me if I ask you to spare me the drama," Tenkai folded his arms, his tone carrying what could clearly be interpreted as disappointment. "If you really think this is a suicide mission, then you may as well be open about it." By now, James would probably have figured the monk had come here in an attempt to discourage James, just as Tenris had hoped. After all, James never expected Tenkai to throw his life away, knowing full well the threat that the Warp posed. He would probably attempt to remind Tenkai that he was under no obligation to join James in this "fool's death". But the monk would cut him off swiftly. "You are aware, Master Knight, what sort of threat this poses," said Tenkai, "not just to Kadia, but to the entire world." Tenkai shot his eyes towards Selene as he put the emphasis on "Kadia". "You said so yourself. We do what must be done. And something must be done about this, otherwise this whole world is doomed and we'll all be dead anyway. Do you know what I'm getting at here?" Tenkai held his right hand forward and clenched his fist until the finger-plates of his gauntlet ground against each other. "It means that death is not an option! Do not lie to me. I know you're eager to sacrifice yourself to save this world like some damned hero, but if either of you go out into that Warp-blasted mess thinking this a suicide mission, you will die. Together. Done in by your own fixation, be it duty to your nation or your own bull-headed principles." The monk beat his fist against his breast, over his heart, not as some salute at attention, but as a gesture of resolve. "I joined the Order because of our common cause, our common enemy, and the knowledge that there is only so much I can accomplish alone. I cannot allow Chaos to dig its roots into this world as it has others. That is why I must do what needs to be done and join you on this mission. But I am also coming to make damned well sure that you don't start throwing your life away just to find your personal blaze of glory. If we go into that storm, we do so because we believe we can stop it. We know we can." Faith was a powerful thing, especially against the Warp. The Dark Powers that governed the realms of Chaos knew how to find and exploit the tiniest sliver of doubt or uncertainty and turning it against those that opposed them. If any of them believed they would give their lives for the sake of this fight, their beliefs would be made manifest in that realm, be it for good or otherwise. Chaos had its way of perverting the noblest of sacrifices and twisting it in their own image. Though Tenris thought it all to be folly, James himself was no different so long as he knew it was folly and simply didn't care. It was like blindly tumbling off a cliff because he forgot how to fly. For many, death in the face of Chaos and the Warp was simply fate. For Tenkai, fate was yet another foe to be cut down. Breaking away from James and Selene for a moment, Tenkai turned his attention to the Custodes who thus far had thrown their lot in with James. With a flash that streaked through the air, he drew Muramasa from its sheath and pointed it at them. The bewitching sword was incited by the fires of Tenkai's righteous indignation, to the degree that the mere sight of its edge would make one feel as if Tenkai had cut down to the core of their souls. "All of you here understand what we are up against. The danger is immense, that is for certain. No one would fault any of you for opting not to join Master Eredas in this endeavor, and knowing this, you chose to say. Which is why I say to any of you joining because it is simply 'your duty', or because you want that 'glorious death' you feel you deserve, or that you want to show your courage in the face of an 'unwinnable scenario', do me a favor and stay here. For those of you who step aboard that frigate, there is no such thing as an unwinnable scenario. We cannot allow this world to die! No other thought should plague your mind! Otherwise, you may as well all fall on your swords where you stand. Is this understood?" Though Tenkai did not hold the rank of command in the same manner as James, that would not prevent the monk from speaking with utmost earnestness. His words thundered against them with the force of his ki, so that they would know that this was not some empty-hearted pep talk. He was not about to send the Custodes off to die just to clean up the mess Kadia created. They were being sent there to defeat their eternal enemy, and they would do so. Anything else was either hesitation or recklessness, and both would lead to a terrible end. With these words, Tenkai sought to uproot it from their minds and hearts. The monk returned Muramasa to its scabbard as he turned back to face James and Selene once more. It always disappointed the sword to be drawn and sheathed without once drawing blood, yet somehow it felt oddly satisfied by the magnitude of spirit Tenkai had displayed. Though his words would not have the same effect on James or Selene as they would on the Custodes, he trusted they understood his meaning. "Now we can do this. Together." Tenkai reached his hand out to the two of them. Between James and Selene, through arrogant confidence and love, there was much they could accomplish. But with the addition of Tenkai, there was now faith. Truly ironic, it was, for a man of foreign faith to come to the aid of Kadia, of all places. @Fierach @-Lilium-
  11. [ Sits on the rock ] :U Hopefully we don't get too many skips, or else it's gonna come back to me again and I can't hand the baton back to myself. .w.;;
  12. Tenkai Matsumoto

    Symposium Against Doom

    Tenkai listened as those who came after him spoke, and the more he heard, the more it became apparent that these "Enrele" were by far the most pressing matter facing Terrenus at present. Dredge was still at large, but after driving back his siege of Last Chance, it would undoubtedly be a while before he mustered up the forces needed to mount further assaults. Whether or not the symposium would come around to the issue of the Legion was not as important to Tenkai in the long run, given the nature of the threat the Enrele posed. There was a time and a place for everything. Still, there was something that struck him as odd. Namely, the freelance journalist by the name of Saturn. Rather than focusing on any one issue, she had instead tied them all together through the common thread of border security issues. It came off as strange to the monk, who knew that nothing less than a fully armed bastion at several points surrounding Terrenus would have delayed a force the size of the Legion's. After all, Dredge had attacked by sea, but the threat he posed originated from within the continent. For that matter, focusing on conventional defenses and methods to deal with an unconventional foe like the Enrele felt counter-intuitive, and suggesting that Terrenus' governors were inadequate because of these issues wasn't exactly helpful at all. There was something particularly strange about this one. There was something about the look of her soul that made the monk suspicious, as if something unseen was at play here. Of course, this was Terrenus, and there was already quite a number of strange things about the souls of everyone present. It was not something he wished to distract himself with, but he would not forget it nonetheless. The monk pored over the data provided to him by Noel. These "Enrele" did not sound pleasant in the slightest. The rate at which they had grown in number was staggering. Over 22 million people claimed by an alien parasite? Was there any way to reverse such damage? For the most part, the suggestions from the rest of the symposium ran the gamut between practical and pragmatic to the most predictable "we shall defeat this alien menace!" zeal. There was much talk of fighting the threat like any other enemy in war, while also ideas about following the trend of infection, sterilization, inoculation and other means of preventing these creatures from spreading further. Yet there was virtually no one speaking about a way to save those already taken by the parasite. When the one named Audric spoke of striking down suspicious groups, was he speaking of the Enrele alone or of their hosts as well? Hopefully not. After all, what good was a surgical strike if whole clusters of people were now hostile targets to be killed? For a brief moment, Tenkai's eyes fell upon Raveena. No doubt this situation reminded her of the same thing. After all, Tenkai was there as well when the so-called "Infiltrators" had struck, at a time that felt like almost a lifetime ago. Neither of them were strangers to the thought of having to kill innocent people who were too far gone to be saved. That was why Tenkai would not be satisfied until he was all but certain it had come to that. When the baton came to him, the monk made his thoughts brief. "Rather than speak of what I think should be done to deal with the Enrele, I have some questions to ask in order to gain a better understanding of the situation. Namely, has there been any instance of reversing the infection in an individual or safely removing the parasite from them? Additionally, has the Terran government or any concerned parties involved sent any psychics or psionically-capable operatives to deal with this threat?" Being a relative stranger for the most part, Tenkai needed to know these answers before he could speak further. For all he knew, his questions could open up an entirely new angle of thought for those present.
  13. @desolate Is there anyone I should wait for before posting, or is it just a matter of not posting twice in between cycles?
  14. I was mostly referring to that part where she made that last comment before passing the baton at the urging of the Lunar Mark. But I may have been misreading that as coming off as an unnaturally hasty comment or something. If you don't mind Tenkai being a little wary or suspicious of the foreign energy, I can do that. He wouldn't note it publicly though.
  15. @Ataraxy Would it be possible for anyone with the ability to literally see souls manage to see that something is off about Saturn? Or take notice of any peculiarities in her mannerisms that would arouse suspicion? Of course, if any of that would be too much of a premature reveal, I could just have Tenkai not notice it at all depending on where you want the story to go.