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Tenkai Matsumoto

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Posts posted by Tenkai Matsumoto


  1. Wait, are we all doing descriptions of who we're bringing or is this just in response to Noko's description?

    I would do one if I had more context as to what the scene is. I don't know what characters @Voldemort and @Damnatus are bringing but regardless if its Arthur and Artanthos or not, Tenkai is the best fit for anything martial arts/sword related.

    And if @Fierach and @Twitterpated are on the sidelines as well as James and Jin, that would make it fit even more. But I don't know what you guys are doing yet so I'm not jumping to conclusions. I can work with whatever the plan is.


  2. Oh right! Here’s a thought.

    If the non-combatants are just guys following along with the heroes as they take down the villains each room, I could definitely bring Tenkai and have him say shit like “He used the ***** technique to reverse the enemy’s *****!” Or “I’ve never seen a technique like that before!”

    I think I’d probably need more context behind the story before I could figure out whether he’d work for that or if there was another role to fill with a different character.


  3. 1 hour ago, Voldemort said:

    @Tenkai Matsumoto @Die Shize

    With Noko, we’re currently at capacity for combatants at 3. If people drop, I’ll let you guys know.

    Otherwise, as of now, we’re only looking for non-combatants. Which, I know, sounds boring if you want to fight, but I’ll be coming up with activities for the side-liners so everyone can have fun.

    I’m fine with playing any role required of me. Noko was here first. 
     

    Though at first I thought you meant additional players would be able to take scene directions from Spooky and help play the antagonists, but if Spooky wants to handle all that himself I’m perfectly fine just adding in whatever is needed or welcomed.


  4. By the time James had given the order to strike, Tenkai and the crew of the Susano-o were already at their stations and prepared to act. Despite his suggestion that they rely on their long-ranged weaponry before resorting to anything risky, James seemed ready to go forward with one of his much-favored alpha strike maneuvers, eager to be the first man on the ground. Although the use of the Cornerstone of Space would make such tactics far more effective than they normally were, there was still a large amount of risk involved. Besides the fact that their own fleet was about to bombard their target, their enemy was far more capable on the ground than a mere regimented battalion. Tenkai knew this from first hand experience, having encountered Lilith Reiter herself previously, and Ankou Lethe was as much a danger in his own right. Still, if there was any time to strike that could be considered the most advantageous to their operation, it was in the middle of a direct assault following the confusion from the barriers being brought down. Besides, the bombardment alone wasn't going to be enough to draw them out into the open. Ultimately, they would need to be located first. 

    But before any of that could happen, they needed to take advantage of this opening with hard-hitting firepower.

    Truth be told, despite the Susano'o being Tenkai's personal frigate, he didn't feel comfortable commanding a bridge. He was more of a passenger than a captain when it came to the seas and skies, and he would not pretend he suddenly knew everything he needed to know about commanding a vessel just because it was put under his charge. Back when the construction of the Susano'o had just been completed and the Custodes Locus was being newly organized, Tenkai saw to personally choosing a Captain for the frigate among those who answered the Order's call. Though they had hired personnel from various parts of Valucre and beyond, especially from Predator's Keep, Tenkai had chosen a man by the name of Shigetaro Morikawa. Captain Morikawa was particularly salty fisherman from the port of Nagoya, in a land on the very star that Tenkai originated from. However, in his younger days, he was formerly a captain of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, knowing enough in the way of naval command to be as comfortable on a battleship as he was on a fishing vessel. He had come all the way from Earth following the news disseminated through the Order's contacts at RAKAN Industries, the very same group that had been responsible for building the Susano-o based off of Kadia's Belisarius-Sinistrum design. Spurred on by a sense of adventure and a desire to see new world and relive the days of his youth, Captain Morikawa came through the City of Doors to Predator's Keep in order to join the newly formed Custodes Locus. Impressed with both his credentials and the lengths to which he went through just to reach him, Tenkai decided to give the old sea dog his wings and help him command the Susano-o

    One would think Tenkai would have opted for someone with more experience with flying rather than sailing for the airship, but Captain Morikawa proved to be a good fit. After all, sailing an airship was much closer to sailing a seaborne vessel than it was flying a plane or a fighter jet, and Captain Morikawa had some prior air force experience before he switched to the navy. The man was in his sixties, after all, and his obsession with piloting and commanding large craft had led him to various levels of self-study. It was probably also a plus that both he and Dr. Ishiyama could converse directly in their native tongue, so it didn't take very long at all for him to know all of the in's and out's of the Susano-o itself.

    Before long, Tenkai would have to take to the field. He would not allow Lilith to get away with all that she had done. Not again. When that happened, Captain Morikawa had to be there to command the bridge, just as Captain Clavis would for the Imperator Bellum.

    "We should be receiving the order any moment, Captain," said Tenkai, standing next to the uniformed man in the command chair.

    "Understood, Commander," replied the captain, leaning forward in his seat, rubbing his box-trimmed grey-speckled beard. "Activate the vulcan cannons and set all lance batteries to forward firing arcs. We open fire on Captain Clavis' mark."

    There was a brief silence on the bridge as the tension finally hit its thunderous crescendo, capped off by the sound of the High Magic barrier fizzling out of existence. Captain Clavis' order came through the fleetwide vox, and Captain Morikawa responded in kind.

    "Fire!"

    The Susano-o's weapon batteries roared to life as they fired upon their targets. The rotating multi-barrel vulcans on each side of the ship started to turn before erupting in thunderous burst, the muzzle flash from each barrel like a gout of blue flame. The rotating particle-accelerator cannons delivered their payloads with such speed and force that their rounds could barely be seen before hitting their marks, exploding in a burst of fire and force that would tear holes through smaller craft and blast apart the armor of any Cult vessel caught in its crosshairs, with the exception of the Clockwork Grind itself. The laser lances would finish the job from there, piercing through the compromised hulls to damage their less-fortified insides. Though the Susano-o was weak when it came to broadside confrontations, it made up the difference in the sheer amount amount of firepower it could deliver from the front. It was the spear that would pierce through the enemy armada, carving a path for the rest of the fleet.

    Still, all of this was little more than a prelude. The Cult was their foe, that was certain, but for Lilith these were just pawns for her to throw in their way and slow them down. Ultimately, they were still just ants fighting back against the boot that stepped on them, from her perspective. No matter how many Cultists they brought down, this wouldn't end until Lilith Reiter herself was brought down and contained. That moment would come, and to see it through, Tenkai was as ready to take to the field as James was. 

    For now, however, they were to judge the enemy's response. Blindly charging into a sprung ambush was a good way to have the tables turned on you.


  5. Tenkai was surprised. He hadn't expected Shishi to put forward such a suggestion. It was not one without merit, but neither was it without danger. Though he was as confident as she was that he could subdue her if she managed to lose control, it wasn't Shishi that he would need to stop. The sword itself was an unknown factor here, and there was no telling what sort of power it truly held. If it managed to possess her, he'd have to content with whatever malevolent sentience it harbored, and who knew what it could take to accomplish that? Risking the life of a knight-apprentice was not something Tenkai wished to do, but in the end it was Shishi who made the resolve to take such a risk. If she was willing to go that far, it would be disrespectful not to support her.

    "I suppose you are right," said Tenkai. "If there's any place suited for that kind of test, it would be here. We'll have the demonstration area sealed off as an added layer of safety."

    Tenkai walked over to one side of the demonstration room, relaying orders to the Custodes overseeing the training facilities. As far as they were concerned, this was just another full-contact sparring session with live weaponry. Not exactly the safest means of practice, but not entirely out of the ordinary for the Order. Perhaps the envelope was being pushed a bit further by using it as an opportunity to test out a potentially dangerous sword that may end up needing to be contained, but the room was designed for this as well. 

    "Very well, then. Draw your blade and take up your guard."

     

    @Zashiii


  6. Tenkai figured this would be a long enough explanation to merit taking a seat. He sat down, arms folded, listening intently to James's recounting of recently passed events. He did remember the notice regarding the particle of eldritch substance, but nothing else had come of it at the time. It seemed like this time was different, and with it came a new and unexpected development.

    "So that's who that visitor was..." Tenkai mused aloud. "Suffice it to say, I think you made the right choice. Regardless of their true motives, paying for intelligence is a level of political gameplay best left to nations and empires. Even if it's legitimate, there's no telling how they got the information. It'd leave a bad taste in my mouth if we contributed to that kind of black market directly from our coffers. And on top of that, she came to you, on behalf of an anonymous third party. That's a bit too peculiar for my tastes."

    It was one thing to pay for information when you were the one seeking to buy it. Freelance spies who dealt in that kind of trade were the type of people to avoid showing up directly at the doorstep of police and paramilitary forces, or just about any entity large and public enough to make things dicey for them. You usually had to seek them out, finding them on their terms, because you knew a guy who knew a guy who knew they knew what you wanted to know. You were the one making the offer to them, and not just limited to coin, either. Trading information could be just as lucrative for them if their values balanced out or it directly benefit them some way. But this woman wasn't just dealing information she obtained herself. She was a broker, representing clients that she had entered some contracted agreement that the Order knew nothing of. She was offering information on a serious threat the same way someone would sell a pyramid scheme: pursuing a lead at their door and withholding key information.

    "The real question is...who is her client and why do they want to remain anonymous? Moreover, what are we to do now given that we know a threat exists?"


  7. On 10/29/2020 at 12:59 PM, Fierach said:

    You heard that from my navigation officer Tenkai? I expect yours will have a similar answer. Our enemy is before us, firing lanes clear. Hard to get more ideal conditions for your Totsuka cannon. What do you think? We press them and cover for your main gun?"

     

    "Negative. It's too risky."

    Tenkai gave his brief reply while standing on the command bridge of the Susano’o, surrounded by hard light holo-screens upon which one of them displayed the communication feed coming in from the Imperator Bellum. Like that selfsame flagship of the Order’s Master Knight, the Susano’o was a heavily modified Belisarius-Sinistrum class frigate originally of Kadian design albeit in a different fashion than its older sibling. Through cooperation between the OFM and RAKAN Industries, additional changes had been made to the weapons array, hull layout and engine configuration. On top of this was the addition of the Totsuka WMG Mk. 1, the ship’s aptly-named main gun and brainchild of Chief Engineer Kazuo Ishiyama. It was a high-density energy converter that fired a condensed particle beam powerful enough to punch a hole through an entire mountain range. It had been designed with penetration and precision in mind rather than sheer destructive power, with the intention of reducing collateral damage as much as possible. No doubt James thought that using their best guns against the Cult's flagship was their best bet, but Tenkai did not agree.

    The Clockwork Grind was one of the most powerful Genesarian airships, if not the most powerful airship on this star. There was no telling how a blast from the Totsuka could react with its defenses, of which they only knew so much about. That wasn't even factoring in the additional defenses afforded by the powers of both Lilith Reiter and Ankou Lethe, both of whom were on that ship. Even if the shot was successful, the most they could theoretically do is damage one of the engines, if even that. Taking such a risk where there were so many opportunities for it to backfire just to clip its wings a bit wasn't going to be enough. It was a flying fortress, and even at a slower pace it would be able to withstand a prolonged aerial assault. The only way they could corner the Cult would be if they could force them to land, and until Order and the other allied forces knew the extent of the enemy's defenses, any drastic measures taken would be a dice roll with poor odds on their end.

    And Tenkai was not a big fan of gambling.

    "We can't do anything without first knowing what they're capable of," Tenkai continued. "We need to probe their defenses. If there's a simpler way to force them to land, we should pursue that instead of using a weapon that hasn't even been battle-tested yet."

    "Battle" was the key word here. The Totsuka had been tested before, to the point that Tenkai understood what it was capable of. That knowledge was part of what gave him pause about using it. Their enemy were two of this world's most powerful magic users. Nothing could be taken as a certainty where sorcery was involved. Sometimes using sheer brute force to overcome magical resourcefulness didn't always pan out well for the former, especially when the latter also had force on their side. Tenkai understood that more than anyone else in the Order. The only way to turn the tide was to outsmart them, and outsmarting a mage was always a tall order.

    "We should press them with our other long-range weaponry for now. Our firing lane may be clear, but we don't have an opening. Yet."

    @Fierach


  8. The Order will be there, so naturally Tenkai will be there as well. In what capacity, of course, is a matter of discussion now that everything discussed before no longer applies.

    I would like to be a part of this, since I did use the other subsequent stories to lay the groundwork for my own character development and canon going forward, and it would be nice to fulfill that investment. Granted, I know that in perspective I may not deserve that much and won’t entirely bank my involvement on that. At the very least I’ll be there in acting capacity as deemed by Fierach.

    As for glory, that’s hard to say. “Glory” isn’t important to me here so much so as being true to my character. Tenkai was there when Nu Martyr fell and, at least in the post mortem we discussed @Ataraxy, Tenkai and Lilith fought there only for Lilith to prove impervious and ultimately victorious against the defending forces. I feel like he’d at least be somewhat invested in the fate of Nu Martyr and bringing the Cult to justice.

    However. I acknowledge that we never officially roleplayed that out, so I respect the notion that there may be no validity to what I’m asking. In which case, if it suits everyone, I can always retcon everything that was not written out specifically in the Nu Martyr defense and simply say that Tenkai was there and failed to stop the Cult.

    But it all that’s fine and you want to stick with that canon, I’m fine with keeping it. I guess the only “glory” I’d look for would just to be part of the team that fights Lilith directly. Part of that, since “major injuries” are being demanded of us, would be being able to also deal injuries (but obviously not fatal) to Lilith since the whole idea of the canon this sprang from was improving his sword to the point where it could actually wound her like a mortal. Mind you, this doesn’t mean I want  a lion share of the “glory” from fighting Lilith, obviously there’s going to be more than one person fighting the Raid Boss here. I just want it to matter with regards to her capture and pose a proper threat.

    Again, I’m fine with being rejected if that doesn’t fly. In which case I’ll just retcon a few weaker spots in the canon and just, I dunno, help James fight Ankou or whatever Fierach wants to do. 
     

    sorry, I know there’s a form to fill out, I’ll get to that later when we have this ironed out and I’m not on my phone.


  9. “No!!!”

    Tenkai watched as Asil made his bold attempt to strike down the weakened daemon, only to be impaled on its hellblade. After most of their group had been slaughtered by the Blackened Knight, Tenkai had resolved to prevent any further losses and send the beast screaming back into the Warp. But seeing another one of his comrades cut down was a painful blow, carrying with it the bitter sting of failure. It was a feeling he knew all to well, even in the days long before he joined the Order, before he even left his homeworld. There was a time when that biting edge would cut off a piece of him every time it struck, each successive failure chipping away his spirit and adding to his burden. 

    No longer.

    Now every loss, every sacrifice made by those who fought alongside him and put their trust in him burned in a furnace of vengeful fury. As deleterious as the effects of revenge could be on ones karma, drawing them further down the Path of Asura, it was undeniably a powerful resource in times of desperation. It was a font of strength that Tenkai no longer hesitated to draw from when time came, and now was that time.

    Tenkai drew his sword back into a sha no kamae, a tail guard parallel to the ground as he focused his ki. The magitek circuitry in Muramasa’s hilt came to life in response  to this abrupt surge in power. The monk and the sword’s combined aura rose from them like vapors as arcs of energy sparked to life and grounded themselves to the floor. He deepened the stance, turning his hips to the right until the sword was behind his back, an exaggerated posture that had far too many openings and impracticalities to be a functional guard.

    But it wasn’t a guard. Tenkai was simply winding up. 

    Up until now, all they had managed to do was chip the daemon’s armor, riddle it with holes, small cuts and leave it hamstrung. Though this had clearly worn down the monster, such debilitations were only worrying cuts and flesh wounds to the daemonic champions of Khorne. It would not stop, carried forward by its unrelenting bloodthirst, so long as it could still move and function. The only way to put down these berserkers was with a decisive killing blow. And thanks to the relentless assault of Inquisitor Alexa and the Custodes, dealing such a blow was now possible. 

    Tenkai made no move to advance. There would be no need to come within measure, for the daemon was already within measure. With the last of his strength, Asil managed to keep the daemon’s blade in place so that even if it gained the courage to betray its own nature and flee from Tenkai’s strike, he would not be able to do so. And though Tenkai would not end up hitting Asil, it was clear that the Greatsword’s fate was sealed. There was no way the daemon could use that against him now. 

    I have HAD IT with you! 

    Zetsu...!!!

    Having mustered up the strength, Tenkai swiftly raised the blade up from his exaggerated posture, transitioning into a high guard and cutting downward decisively in a single beat.

    “...Itto Ryodan!

    絶・一刀両断

    Zetsu Itto Ryodan

    (Absolute One-Stroke Bisection)

     

    The sheer force of the ki released from Tenkai’s strike displaced a massive amount of air  in the shape of a blade beam that streaked over the ground on a direct course with the daemon. It was similar to the attack Tenkai had used before, except far more condensed and far taller than the daemon. The wave blade would cut the Blackened Knight completely down the middle, armor and all, and still possess enough force to continue traveling down the corridor until it collided with part of the ship, dealing collateral damage to its cursed hull and whatever awaited in the room ahead.


  10. Tenkai was waiting outside the room, arms folded, not within earshot of the meeting itself but close enough to know when it had ended. As soon as he saw their guest being escorted out by the Custodes, he knew their business had concluded. Based on the way Ana was bantering with her escort, one would almost think that things had gone relatively smoothly. But that simply wasn’t the way body language worked, and Tenkai was a good enough reader of people to know that he outcome of this meeting was probably less than beneficial. He did not change his position as the broker passed by, paying no more than a passing one-eyed glance as the Custodes led her out of the Komturie.

    Tenkai hadn’t stepped two feet into the door of James’ office before his gauntlet communicator started beeping. It seemed like the Master Knight had wasted no time putting out an all-points bulletin after the meeting had concluded. This was no surprise, of course. James was a careful one, even when subterfuge was unlikely. One had to be that cautious when dealing with the sort of batters that the Order dealt with. There were always infiltrators seeking to compromise their operations.

    Switching off the alert with a push of a hard light terminal key, Tenkai relaxed his arm at his side and regarded James with his single eye.

    ”I take it that went well. You rang?”

    @Fierach


  11. Ren, is it?, thought Tenkai. A fairly simple name. Had it been short for a much longer given or chosen name? Would the spirit have even remembered, were it so?

    None of that mattered now. They had given their proper introductions, and Ren was in no mood to tarry. Eager to sate his worldly desire for combat, the spirit had made the first move as he sought to pressure the monk into attacking. Tenkai noted that his opponent was left-handed, something that could complicate matters of measure versus his own right-leading posture. Despite what could have been centuries of undeath, Ren’s positioning and footwork were still careful and calculated. This was no mere ghost whose warrior spirit was ground away by his own torment. Tenkai could tell that Ren fought as if he still lived and breathed.

    As the ghost suddenly half-stepped forward and moved to change his posture, Tenkai made a swift and sudden gathering step with his leading right foot, landing on the ball of his foot as he straightened the angle of his sword and reached out with his arms in order to poke Ren in his right elbow.

    @Spooky Mittens


  12. Tenkai's distraction had worked far better than he could have anticipated.

    With the daemon's attention focused on the monk, Guardian Drachenberg was given the opening needed to deliver a crippling blow. The halberd jammed into its heel would make it harder to move and turn on a dime, which is exactly what was needed in order to outmaneuver the beast. For her efforts, Lena had been repaid with a violent backhand, keeping her from pressing the advantage further.

    But she wouldn't need to. Her actions were not in vain, for the time the daemon had wasted switching its attention once more to an entirely different source of ire had taken its mind off of the one who had originally snatched it in the first place. It had made a grave mistake, for the brief moment it had been distracted by the Guardian was like an eternity for Tenkai to work with, closing the distance from the rear on the side near the Herald's crippled leg. Though that backhand had surely given it the satisfaction of crumpling Lena's form, it had also given Tenkai an unloaded and outstretched limb well within his measure.

    As if without warning, a flash of steel so bright and so brief that it could scar the very air shot out as Tenkai took full advantage of the opening, cutting the daemon's arm right at the elbow. Oh, did Tenkai love how much the warriors of Khorne were such slaves to their own aversion to showing weakness and cowardice that they so brazenly wore armor that would show off their "blessed" physique, corded muscles made of fibers like spun iron. Though their gauntlets and breastplates could protect them from blows and bear the mark of their god, their exposed biceps and elbows were prime targets. Against an ordinary swordsman with an ordinary sword, armor was a trivial thing to a Bloodletter, let alone a Herald of Khorne. 

    But Tenkai was no ordinary swordsman, nor Muramasa an ordinary sword.

    Landing that strike earlier had managed to achieve two things. It left the daemon feeling overconfident in its own gifts, knowing that the blades of its enemies could not pierce its hide. However, it also gave Tenkai a fairly good idea of the thickness and toughness of the daemon's flesh, with his hands honed by years of training and test-cutting to understand just what kind of force and angle was needed to drive his blade through it. Enemies who relied on their armor-like skin did not last long against Tenkai so long as he was able to land a few hits to get used to the resistance. That was why this time around, there was no getting stuck half-way through the muscle or stopped by bone. Tenkai's Muramasa would end up cleaving straight through the limb in a single clean stroke, severing it at the elbow and leaving it disarmed. 

    And while simply disarming a Herald of Khorne was in no way a finishing blow, it would be more than enough to turn the tables on the creature and overwhelm it.


  13. The matter of Tenkai being a monk was a confusing one indeed, both true and yet in several ways not quite accurate. He certainly looked the part, at least as far as his manner of dress, his adherence to Buddhism and other aesthetic evidence. Indeed, he had been instructed alongside his brother monks at a Buddhist temple many years ago, long before he ventured off-world to live the life most people knew him from. Yet his chosen path in life had led him in directions that he could not truly follow the strict tenets of a monastic. This was reflected in the fact that he had not shaved his head into a tonsure. Given the manner of death-dealing that invariably followed with being a "professional thorn-in-the-side", Tenkai knew that if he ever was to free himself from the Samsara, it would not be in this life. Thus would his own path to Buddhahood was delayed so that he might do what he could for others to have their chance to go before him. In a strange way, this would make him a "shepherd-like bodhisattva", though Tenkai would never accept such a thought so long as he wielded a sword in violence.

    To that end, what little she knew of him was perhaps the one thing he came to be known most by. Thus did Tenkai seem far more like a samurai than a monk, as much as he denied the former. And yet for as skilled at killing with the sword as he so seemed, if he was truly here to hunt her down in such a way, he had already failed. Brandishing a sword so suddenly in the middle of a casino was a great way to make a mess of things very quickly. After all, Tenkai could no longer benefit from the privilege of anonymity. Ever since he very publicly stood with the Order and the Terrenus military in defense of Last Chance, he was no longer just a random nobody wandering around slaying demons. Hasty actions on his part carried ramifications for both himself and the Order. That said, putting himself out in the open like that was such an amateurish move that it was hard to think that anyone so experienced in combat would ever do something like that.

    This meant one of two things; either Tenkai was not as good as she had thought, or he wasn't here to kill her. If the truth was the latter, then why exactly was he here?

    Tenkai turned to her as she spoke. If he had recognized her at all beneath that glamour, he certainly didn't show it. She may as well have been a stranger to him, which was not to say they were ever truly familiar back in the day. As he turned his head to her, however, it would be clear that time had not been kind to the monk. She had remembered that he was a monk and good with a sword, but part of what had made him such a "goody gumdrop" was how warm and friendly he had been, almost annoyingly peaceful and optimistic when he wasn't fighting. After all, how else would such a moniker enter her head upon the sight of him? Yet something had clearly changed about Tenkai, and it wasn't just the fact that he was very clearly missing his right eye. The eye that remained was calm yet scrutinizing, wary but not apprehensive. It was a look of healthy suspicion, one that she would feel far more familiar with than a cloyingly bright-eyed gaze and far more comfortable than a cocksure ogling. 

    "I guess I'm in luck," he said plainly with the slightest of smiles and nods. "Let's hope that bodes well for this game."

    Little did she know, Tenkai didn't have to play the uncultured traveler to pull this off. Though he was not entirely unaware of how certain games worked, his experience with them was actually lacking. He understood a bit of how blackjack worked, but his acquaintance was clearly the more experienced of the two, and he considered anything she wished to impart on him valuable information. All good covers were at least in some way rooted in an honest truth. 

    Tenkai listened as Gloria explained the rules briefly, a small nod here and there to show that he understood what she was saying. It seemed that the game was as much as he had pictured, a tenuous balance between luck and skill bolstered by one's aptitude for numbers and probability. Truth be told, a man of Tenkai's skills would probably be far better suited to poker than blackjack, as he was far better at reading tells and gleaning intention from eye movement and facial expressions. Both of them were psykers of some fashion, but Tenkai was no mind-reader or manipulator of probability. Gloria's psionic abilities were likely more robust, though she probably didn't need to use them here. 

    On 8/7/2020 at 1:52 AM, The Usual Suspect said:

    "Gotta think smart. It's you versus the dealer, the rest of us are just decoration, got it?"

    "Mm," Tenkai replied with a small nod. As she gave him the run-down of the rules, the dealer had already set about preparing the game. It seemed like dealing the cards, as was his wont. He dealt the first card to Tenkai, face up. The 9 of Hearts. The next card he dealt to himself, which turned out to be the Jack of Clubs. The dealer dealt Tenkai his second face-up card, this time being the 9 of Diamonds. The dealer's second card was dealt face down.

    "18," said the dealer, though that much was evident to Tenkai. He may not have been an avid card player, but he could do basic math. Thankfully, the cards he was dealt were not face cards, or else Gloria would have to explain how a "king" counted as a "ten". "Hit, stand or split?"

    Split? Tenkai understood what hit and stand were, at least from previous knowledge and Gloria's explanation. He had no idea what a "split" was. He'd pause for a moment in case Gloria wanted to provide a bit of information on splitting pairs. Of course, with a number as high as 18, it was probably close enough to 21 to be better used as a pair, and splitting would just require her to bet more chips. That was probably not something she wanted to risk on a newbie like Tenkai.

    "Stand."

    The dealer turned his hole card face up. 8 of Diamonds. 18 against 18. The dealer was forced to stand. 

    "18. Push," he said, raking back his bet. It was a tie.

    Tenkai quirked his brow in amusement. This was actually quite fun. 

    The dealer re-shuffled the deck and started another deal. Tenkai did  This time Tenkai's was dealt the 2 of Clubs first. The dealer dealt himself the 10 of Clubs. Tenkai's second card was the 3 of Hearts. Once the hole card was dealt, the dealer spoke.

    "5. Hit or stand?" he said. The dealer could already tell Tenkai was inexperienced with the game by the way he used none of the common gestures to signal hitting and standing, so he'd continue to provide him with this options.

    "...Hit." 

    The dealer dealt Tenkai another card. The 8 of Clubs. "13!"

    Tenkai did not hesitate. "Again."

    The next card was dealt. The Ace of Hearts. Perhaps that would have been a good time for Gloria to tell Tenkai that the Ace counted as either a 1 or an 11. In this case, it was automatically a 1, as an 11 would have made him go bust.

    "14! Hit or stand?"

    Once more, no hesitation. "Hit."

    6 of Hearts. A 20.

    "Stand," said Tenkai almost immediately, waving his hand. 

    The dealer turned over the hole card. 9 of Clubs. A 19 that was forced to stand against Tenkai's 20. He had won the hand.

    "19. Well played, sir!" said the dealer as he pushed the chips over to Tenkai and Gloria. The monk turned to her.

    "I guess it did bode well," said Tenkai. "If your good luck hasn't completely rubbed off onto me, would you like to swap in?"

    @The Usual Suspect

     


  14. "I never said anyone begged me for it."

    Tenkai folded his arms, resigning himself to his decision. Despite his companions' displeasure, though only Arthur had managed to make it known, Tenkai wouldn't be dissuaded. Decisions such as these were always within his character to do so, and no influence from the Order would lessen nor bolster it. It was true that out of the lot of them, Tenkai was more or less the only one who was part of a larger collective that should all but disqualify from being considered "self-employed". This implied being bound by a code or a single unifying purpose which may or may not always clearly align with what was truly right or just for a situation. Orders were systems, and systems were often rigid. Tenkai could only imagine that his compatriots here had questions about that, given what he already knew about them. Artanthos had said nothing, but it stood to reason a fallen knight who rightly spurned knightly orders for their inherent corruption would feel similarly. Tenkai could understand the mistrust. After all, he had been the same way before he had joined the order. In some small way, it was still true.

    Despite it feeling like ages so far, he was relatively new to the Order compared to others, like the eager and hot-blooded Jinsoku. The distrust he felt as a representative of a larger order was the reverse of the distrust he had felt from some upon first joining, feeling he had not "earned his place" among them. Though ultimately respecting James's decision to induct Tenkai, there were still others he had to prove himself to before it was finally settled. It had been like the Vatican all over again, though now Tenkai was not entirely the same person anymore. And yet despite earning that trust, Tenkai still felt the need to keep himself distant. James had been fairly clear that Knights were not bound by oath, united solely by their shared causes, but there was always the lingering thought that he could let himself get too comfortable if he relied that assurance. He still held reservations about how close the Order was with the Imperium of Kadia, and James' penchant for glory-bound heroism clashed with Tenkai's pragmatism. There were even occasions where Tenkai had questioned whether he had done the right thing in choosing to join rather than remaining a ronin much in the same vein as Arthur and Artanthos. 

    For good or for ill, Tenkai had to understand that being part of an Order had given him no small amount of privileges, something he had become fully aware of. He knew that it meant being unable to relate to the struggles he had once gone through and opened himself up to a new kind of scrutiny. Indeed, it was a scrutiny he needed to hold himself to as much as others would him, lest he find himself straying too far from his chosen path. Ultimately, this was the path Tenkai had chosen, and so long as it was he who chose it, he would accept whatever consequence came of it.

    On 8/7/2020 at 11:34 AM, Voldemort said:

    “It’s a nearly two hundred kilometer wall that’s stood for centuries. You’re not replacing it with the proceeds from this job.” 

    "Mm. Perhaps not," Tenkai replied. "Not alone, at least."

    This was not meant to imply that anyone else give up their share for what was a seemingly futile effort. If anything, it was a reminder of why Tenkai ultimately decided to join the Order. It was a reminder of why despite having all of his hope in the goodness of adventurers literally clawed out of him, he still found himself joining with others on quests like these. 

    Because there were some things he just couldn't do alone.


     

    Tenkai listened to Arthur and Archibald discuss the matters of their quest while Artanthos set abound his business stabling his mount. Considering the latter, Tenkai couldn't help but spare a thought for Kuroshiro, his old friend that he had parted ways with long before venturing to this world. One of the last vestiges of his rose-tinted halcyon days on Gaia, the monk had left the gentle panda somewhere where he could live out the rest of his days peacefully. The path Tenkai had walked down since then was not one he wished to drag such a creature along with him, lest the suffering that came with it further burdened him with guilt. 

    But now was not the time to be distracted by the past. Archibald was giving them much needed information, and Tenkai felt he at least had some way to contribute.

    "Portal activity?" Tenkai replied, not so much a question as it was an expression of surprise. Ever since the Order came into possession of the Cornerstone of Space, Tenkai's discussions with the Order's magitek engineers had taught him much in the way of how portals operate. He had thought he had understood enough about them through his experience with the City of Doors, but he had been quite wrong about that. Indeed, portals required a surprisingly large amount of energy compared to their size, a necessary expenditure in order to open them as well as keep them stable. It was for this reason that most portals were temporary or required constant channeling to maintain them. Some portals required alternative means of energy or channeling, as the power required would otherwise tear a mage apart. On top of that, it was never as simple as simply opening a space big enough for one's body to pass through. There were factors that had to be accounted for, such as where the portal was opening to or from, the sheer scope of the space-time they cut across and, most importantly, the power of that which passed through them. 

    "If a portal was opened in Yh'mi that created an energy spike large enough to grab Dr. Heydrich's attention, then this doesn't bode well," said Tenkai. After all, who or what on this world or another would possibly want to enter Yh'mi in such a manner? And yet, perhaps a far more dire implication would be what could be using such a portal to escape Yh'mi? If James' original hypothesis about these lands were true, either possibility was potentially catastrophic. Nevertheless, there was no need for him to bring that up just yet. These were mere postulations for now, requiring more evidence of their probability before they became relevant. They were to proceed with all due haste regardless. 

    Tenkai nodded to Artanthos in agreement. "A sound plan. We should be on our way."

     

    @Spooky Mittens@Damnatus@Voldemort@Phoebe@Fierach


  15. "So that's how it is. I guess it can't be helped."

    Tenkai kept his distance from the threatening spectre as he pointed his tachi directly at Tenkai, directing a wave of concentrated bloodlust in his direction. It was a very familiar feeling to Tenkai, the kind that he felt whenever he encountered any warrior firmly set down the Path of Asura. It was likely that in the ghost's lifetime, conflict and strife were ever-present. Perhaps he had lived in an age of war, knowing nothing but the battlefield throughout his young life. Perhaps he had been an assassin, where dealing in death became his very livelihood. Or perhaps he was just another wandering warrior, giving his whole life to the sword and the perfection of his art. Whichever it may be, this aura was unmistakably the one of someone who had lived for nothing but battle, and all the blood that came with it. For such a desire to be strong enough to tether one's spirit to the mortal plane was both awe-inspiring and terrifying at the same time. 

    This was not she kind of spirit that Tenkai was capable of quelling as a monk. He could only do so as a swordsman of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. 

    Carefully, Tenkai undid the string tying the end of the cloth that concealed his sword, revealing its odd-looking hilt. It held a shape similar to that of a typical tsuka that Ren would recognize, but the materials and make were completely different and unlike that of what he would remember from his lifetime, should he remember any of it at all. With his left hand holding the blade by the saya, Tenkai carefully undid the harness on his kesa until both it and his entire robe fell to the floor. Underneath his robes, Tenkai was clad in an unusually modern-looking pair of sune-ate over a tsutsu-hakama, held together by an armored utility belt and a long gray waist cape. He withdrew his armored right arm through the sleeve of his charcoal black kimono jacket and pulled it through the center, shrugging the garment off of his shoulders and stringing his arm through his rosary necklace so that it wrapped across his chest. As he exposed the shoulder of his armored kote, the darkness of the tomb was suddenly illuminated by the light of small, thin streaks of cerulean energy that formed the outline of additional pieces of armor that materialized on his body as if summoned by magic. An imposing shoulderguard of lamellar plates connected to a larger pauldron carved in the likeness of an angered Acalanatha appeared on his right shoulder. A magitek housing unit not that much bigger than the saya of his sword appeared at the left side of his hip, encasing the saya itself so that the sheathed sword would stay anchored at his side.

    All this was done without Tenkai's attention ever leaving the spirit, unfazed by its aura of bloodshed and the natural sense of terror exuded by disembodied spirits. He took note of the fact that the spirit was leading with his left hand, though he did not immediately assume that meant he was predominantly left-handed. Presuming that the spirit did not attempt to take the initiative as the monk prepared himself, he would finally draw his sword, turning his hips to pull back the scabbard in his hand and draw the blade in a single, fluid motion. With the tip of the blade pointing at the spirit's eyes, it took little more than a small step back with his left foot and a twist of his blade for Tenkai to assume seigan-no-kurai. Unlike the usual seigan-no-kamae, Shinkage-ryu's seigan-no-kurai was a more angled posture, with the right side forward and the fists held just to the right of Tenkai's center-line from the spirit's perspective. Despite the angling of his body and the blade itself, the tip remained level with the spirit's eyes.

    A cold determination burned dimly in Tenkai's eye like a flickering blue ember. If the only thing that would settle this spirit and therefore rid the tomb of its disquiet was a duel, then Tenkai would do as he must.

    我は柳生新陰流の松本天海。推して参る!

    "Ware wa Yagyu Shinkage-ryu no Matsumoto Tenkai. Oshite mairu!"
    (I am Tenkai Matsumoto of Yagyu New Shadow School. Have at thee!)


  16. For a moment Tenkai had thought his blow had struck home, and in some fashion it had. The tip of his sword had managed to bite into the side of its knee, but before the cut could travel all the way Tenkai would find himself blindsided by the heavily armored form of Davath crashing into him. The Herald's violent backswing crashed into Tenkai's unarmored left side, swatting him away with the weight of a fully-armored Custodes.

    Presuming that the daemon let go of Davath, the two of them would be sent flying backwards before crashing into a heap. Tenkai's bodysuit had afforded him some manner of protection from any cuts and scrapes he would have received by having his skin snag against any sharp or pointed sections of armor, but there was little to be done about the concussive force other than to go with it rather than resist. Had Tenkai not been made of sterner stuff, the crash would have broken every bone in his body.

    Meanwhile, Alexa's valiant efforts to hold the daemon at bay were met with a powerful roar of unbridled hatred as the Blood God's blessing surged within the Herald. It sought to repel them all with a psychic scream that burned with Khorne's infinite enmity towards psychics and magic-users. Tenkai was nearly beaten back down by the scream alone, but he braced himself on his knee like a stone in a raging river, clearing his mind so that the unrelenting force would pass him. Alexa's attempt to deal a decisive blow to the daemon had bought them some breathing room, despite the disorienting roar. It was not unlike a daemon of Khorne to take a moment to savor their own rage and delight in the bloodshed, resulting in the briefest of pauses. Normally that would serve as a good opening, but after being waylaid by the scream, that opportunity wasn't in the cards for now.

    But it did manage to buy Tenkai a second wind.

    With a flash of steel the swordsman lashed out with a powerful swing of his Muramasa, cutting through empty space with such force that it split the very air in two, displacing it and sending a blade of air pressure flying toward's the creature's neck.

    風神斬!
    

    "Fuujinzan!"
    (Wind God Slash)

    It was true that direct psychic assaults did not work against Khornate daemons and warriors who held great favor with the Blood God. Khorne's own being as a penultimate Warp entity, a god among daemons, was a psychic force in and of itself that could overpower even the most powerful psykers. But that did not spare his followers from indirect psychic attacks, such as objects thrown via telekinesis or daemon-quelling magicks focused through a physical weapon. Tenkai's attack worked in an almost similar fashion, using his ki to launch a strike that turned the air itself into a weapon that would deal damage to the Herald irregardless of its god's blessing. Though the strike would likely not pierce its armor, whether or not it cut flesh would not matter as the force of the blow would still rattle the daemon's helmet enough to anger it. Tenkai wanted to keep the Herald's attention focused on him. After Ashil and Davath were waylaid so, Tenkai remained as the only one with a chance of standing toe-to-toe with the daemon in full on melee combat. In the meantime, he could only hope that Inquisitor Alexa or the Custodes would notice the wound on the Blackend Knight's knee and focus on it. There were other points where its armor was compromised, but this was a wound to its corporeal form. Exploiting and compromising it would make it easier for the daemon's entire physical form to unravel.

    @Fierach@Maverick


  17. On 7/22/2020 at 12:09 PM, Voldemort said:

    Arthur kept the look of contemplation off his features, however, sticking his tongue out slightly in jest as he regarded Tenkai and his words. “Then you’ll have no issue handing over your share of the proceeds then, monk.” 

    "Gladly," Tenkai replied with a wry half-smirk. He knew that Arthur was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, which was ironic given how he was sticking it out of his mouth. Interestingly, however, there was more than just jest at play with the monk's reply. "I intend to give my share to Inn'sth."

    Tenkai looked around at the run-down hamlet and its despondent inhabitants. He could see how much the land had scarred them, both in body and soul. How any of them managed to hold on to sanity with such little resources was astonishing, which was probably why such cases were so few and far between. "It's important that whatever we find out there in the wastes is kept there rather than being left free roam the continent, and the people of this town have a part to play in maintaining this redoubt. Not just the Order of the White Hand, or the Order of Force Majeure. For all they've been through, the least we could do is give them a better wall."

    It was true that Tenkai could afford the luxury of giving away his share of the bounty. The Order's resources ran deep, and there was little Tenkai needed in this life. Whatever he did need was well within the Order's ability to provide. In that sense, he had fallen out of his old vagabond ways into a more privileged existence, but that privilege was not lost on him. Regardless of the Order's aid or no, the result would have been the same. Even in days past, Tenkai had no need for trinkets and treasure. The only difference now was that the hopeful sense of adventure he had once possessed had been snuffed out.


     

    Tenkai wasn't the least bit surprised that Arthur knew the researcher that they were supposed to rendezvous with outside of Inn'sth. Arthur was a very resourceful individual and a magus to boot, and mages were a very academic lot for the most part. In a way, hearing that there was some manner of personal investment to their task on his compatriot's part felt oddly refreshing. This meant that their aims would align all the more, despite the end result of their venture. The monk made no indication of quarrel over what could have been considered withheld information, and it seemed like Artanthos was of the same mind. With that settled, he let Arthur and Archibald take the time to catch up as the whole group got up to speed together. 

    Tenkai graciously accepted the provisions from Archibald's assistant, inspecting each one. The enchanted lantern was one of the more fascinating items. Tenkai possessed various magitek gadgets himself, but even the small flashlight mounting he kept in one of the compartments still ran on power cells. Magitek power cells, but power cells nonetheless. It was better to rely on this ensorcelled cold-flame lantern to light the way, saving his backups as a last resort. The fact that it gave off no heat signature would undoubtedly be very useful for keeping themselves hidden. Truth be told, Tenkai had often overlooked the value of alternate light sources, given the fact that he could generate light as needed using his own abilities as a monk. However, using one's spirit energy simply as a light source was not a very cost effective means of doing so, and in Tenkai's case it would require him to chant a mantra in order to keep it up. There were ways to maintain it more easily, but that required other pieces of Buddhist paraphernalia that Tenkai did not bring with him. Ultimately, Tenkai was far more fortunate to be provided with the lantern. The flares would also come in handy if they needed to split up for any reason, though Tenkai was loathe to even consider that possibility. Splitting up sounded like a very bad idea for a place like Yh'mi, but the possibility was always there. They had to be prepared.

    Besides all of these, the only other piece of equipment that was of most use to this situation besides his sword was the small book that James had provided him with. The book contained a brief bestiary of the many denizens of Yh'mi and the terrible ways they could kill you. There were a few in particular that James had specifically warned him about already, but having the book to review was a good way to keep this knowledge fresh. It seemed like the book would be the perfect way to pass the time in the event that they had to set up camp on their journey. While many might think of reading such literature in the middle of the wastes themselves akin to reading the Malleus Maleficarum while traipsing the Nine Hells or Little Red Riding Hood in the middle of a wolf-infested forest, Tenkai was not so easily disquieted. If anything, reading such a text helped him feel just about as safe as he possibly could be in a place like this, armed with the necessary knowledge of the darkness before them.

    The monk saw no problem when it came to rationing the provisions, either. Going for days without food was one of those skills that managed to stick with Tenkai long after his traveling days had ended. Monks were taught to live off the alms of strangers, and on pilgrimages Tenkai would have to put himself at the mercy of other peoples' kindness or cruelty. Doing so had taught him a deep appreciation of even the most meager of meals and the nature of the suffering brought on by hunger. This was needed in order to develop compassion for the preta, the hungry ghosts of those whose previous lives had been filled with greed and gluttony and now suffered greatly for it. That being said, he felt it was best to leave the food portioning to the party leaders, and he would take only what was given to him.

    On 8/2/2020 at 7:27 PM, Damnatus said:

    "As neither of you, nor the other two, possess any sort of mount, I feel it pertinent to leave Myr behind. I'll get him some suitable quarters while we are away. I'll return anon." With that, he gave Tenkai a friendly pat on the shoulder before gathering his steed's reins and leading him back off into the town. 

    "Understood," Tenkai replied with a nod. It was surprising to see Artanthos in what could only be described as an affable mood, especially in a situation like this. Not to say that Artanthos was particularly dour, but what little he knew of the fallen knight had shown him to be rather stern and severe when it came to the grim work he was often faced with. Perhaps this was simply the side of him that could only be seen by those who gained some modicum of his trust, something that Tenkai himself had seemingly lost the ability to do long ago. Or at least he thought he had. There was a grim honesty about Artanthos and his self-imposed duty, and that was something Tenkai could understand and relate to after everything that had happened to him. It was something that made the fallen knight seem worth trusting, far more than anyone of a more lighthearted nature.

    While Artanthos saw to his steed, Tenkai was as much intent on learning what he could from their current host as Artanthos was. No doubt Arthur would like to learn what Archibald knew of those they sought and what they had been seeking as well, and it was likely he was already asking the old researcher just that. Regardless of which, proper introductions were in order.

    "I have to say I concur with my companion on this one," said Tenkai as he stepped closer to the rest of the group. "It's best that you tell us all that you know of these missing researchers and just what exactly they were looking for out here. But before that, I would have all your names." His attention was primarily focused on that of the two mercenaries who had came to the forward camp before them, as Tenkai already knew Arthur. However, despite knowing the researcher's name, it would be good to receive a proper introduction to Archibald. Perhaps Arthur could do the honors, given his previous acquaintance? To that end, Tenkai gave Arthur the slightest knowing tilt of the head.

    "My name is Tenkai," he began, not one to ask for that which he would not give himself. "I am a Knight of the Order of Force Majeure."


  18. 1 hour ago, Ataraxy said:

    It's last ditch for me. That's my end goal for Lilith, so if I have to leave Val, I'll push her into that spot. Again though, even for this you're asking for specifics. As if I've thought about every little thing and avenue I'll take. I plan and I think, but I don't cross bridges until I get to it.

    So your end goal for her character is to become a historical figure?

    Wouldn't that happen regardless of how events transpired? Maybe I'm just not understanding what you mean with the whole Zengi thing.


  19. @Ataraxy I'm sorry, just as an additional here:

    I'm not trying to start a fight/argument over this here, and I don't want you to be put off by what I'm saying. These are just things to keep in mind and consider, as well as me addressing the points you bring up that seem to be holding you back on this story. I 100% understand and respect the level of attachment you have with Lilith. I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't believe that. I just think that requires some definite agreement here so that we're all on the same page. It should be none of this "well, that's what YOU guys thought, but I think--". Once we're in the story together, there has to be communication and honesty of what's doable and what isn't, as well as whether people want to do it or not.

    That being said, I think we've at least settled what will happen in Nede 2.

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