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Found 20 results

  1. Aleksei

    Brightside

    The elf helped the gentleman gather his fallen goods, and awkwardly she smiled through his apologies as if he were inconveniencing her any. Emerald hues glittered in amusement. It had been her fault for arriving without sending word beforehand. Also, she was a bit occupied with her surroundings to see where she was going. This was her first time being in an encampment, the overall hustle and bustle were impressive enough to draw the elf's attention. When they collided, there had been a passing pause between them as they awkwardly tried to figure out what to do. Taking the initiative, the gentleman desperately attempted to smooth the issue over with his apologies while gathering the items she knocked out of his arms. Shanti hoped that the awkwardness was just the naturalness of the man, and not because of who she was. In the city itself she felt like she was being suffocated by the constant worrying; here there was no one around to tell her to sit down and doing whatever she was doing, no one to tell her to go lay down and rest, no one to be the mother hen. Appreciative beyond the use of words, these strangers took care of her and offered her shelter and comforts they did not have to sacrifice for her, but such attention is foreign to her. "Please, don't worry about it." Her voice was still a bit hoarse, the angry bruise decorating her neck is a raw and angry looking thing; blues, purples, and yellows made it look like a miserable storm dancing beneath her pale skin. Talking was difficult, more so since she liked to talk. Everyone was new and strange, any opportunity to learn more about them she would take, often to the annoyance of the people who claimed to be her caretakers. They don't understand that Shanti may never get another chance to soak in the knowledge of these people. Any chance may be her only chance. "I'm sorry to bother you, but could you point me the direction of Michael?' His name had been burned into her memory, a soft little song she had repeated over and over again during her stay. When she awoke, the first question on her lips was about the man she had caught on the beach. The next round of questions was about his health: was he okay? How terrible were his injuries? Could she help him? What could she do to ease his discomfort? Shanti hadn't the strength to do anything, but her determination didn't know that it was ready to do war once more. Thankfully (unfortunately) she wasn't needed, leaving only to heal herself. Pointed in the right direction, she gave her thanks and quickly shuffled forward. She felt like she was continually swaying back and forth when she walked, the strange shifting of weight (or lack thereof) throws her off. It is to the point now she has to force herself to think about walking, to think about grasping things with her left hand for her right no longer existed. The most straightforward task was no longer common and as frustrating as it was, she welcomed this change. There was no reason for her to be angry at the loss or want to seek revenge because she is alive and these days she will not waste them on pettiness. Though she is a bit sour about the loss of her staff. The passing thought made her bored hand sift through the pale strands of curled hair; her lips turned into a pout that did well to accentuate the angles of her soft face. It was an item her master had given her when she was a child, her very first gift from him, and she is not above a bit of sentimentality. She lost it in battle at least, and not because she was careless. Briefly, she opened her only arm in thought, remembering when she had caught Michael and then when she had lost her arm protecting him. Beyond her sourness, she can at least say that the loss was well worth it, that she would do it over and over again if it meant saving him. Such decisions are not trying to make. @amenities
  2. Miss Blonde

    We Can Do Both

    We Can Do Both Miss Blonde was a nobody in this world. Her past accolades and position of power didn’t matter, and part of her liked that. She was always feared and regarded as being pure evil. Half the time she was referred to as a terrorist, and the other half it was a ruthless crime lord. That was all people thought of her as, not a person or someone struggling to raise a family of four by herself, and certainly not a decent person. So she had become what everyone had made her out to be. The terrorist who bombed civilians when governments refused to give into her demands. The killer of all her own men in her close circle when even the slightest bit of info was leaked. But that wasn’t the type of person she wanted to be anymore. Of course she was no hero, those days were long gone. All she could do was try to be the best person she could be within the lens of her profession, and while good people normally died in this business. She was willing to risk it to an extent. Miss Blonde was always a cautious woman, someone who so far had not given out even her code name to these people. Her birth name mattered not as she wasn’t registered in any data base on this planet, so for all these people knew Miss Blonde might as well of been her real name. The contract that she had released into the mercenary world was vague at best. “Looking for experienced mercenaries and contractors of an evening of work. Danger level medium. Payment two hundred gold pieces and a custom minor magic item per person. Meet at X coordinates in the dead of night, your ride will be waiting for you there along with further instructions. Come wearing your faces concealed and with a code name.” Which was somewhere deep into La Ultima Opportunidad. Far from her bar, and far from the prying eyes where most law enforcement dare not go. The crew would assemble in a twin horse drawn wagon with a black tarp laid over it to conceal them. Sitting there in the back of the wagon was a small woman with short raven black hair, a tactical vest, fatigues, a black plate metal mask, and what looked to be a pistol strapped to her side. She had been the first one there, and was considered to be the liaison for the job. Once everyone had gathered, a strange device light up at the center of the wagon and filled the cabin with a soft blue light that emitted a three dimensional holographic image of a gas mask. ”Good evening everyone. Tonight we have a very special game to play. You’ll be knocking over a club for me. Though not just any club, one that is shall we say much more shady and illicit than most. Club Euphoria. As some of you may or may not know, it’s a rather heinous establishment. Run by killer enforcers, human traffickers, and genuinely unpleasant people. People who I want dead. So the job is quite simple. The primary objective is to clear and secure the club of all these scumbags. Secondary objective is to free the sex slaves being held there and give them the packs of gold pieces that have directions to the nearest shelter. You will find those under your seats. If you are caught stealing these packs, I’ll collect your fucking fingers. You are to infiltrate the club with stealth and eliminate the outside guards quietly. Once inside firearms are free to use. My lieutenant Miss Blink will be leading the operation, any order from her is to be considered an order from me. You’ve all been informed of the rules of engagement, so go get the job done.” The voice and image went black and it was time to begin. The wagon began to move and traveled for about a good ten minutes through the streets of Last Chance. It would be a few minutes before they arrived. If anyone needed to say anything or ask any questions to the still nameless boss’ liaison, then this was the moment to do so. OOC Please read before you join for rules.
  3. Aleksei

    Here with Me

    Off in the distance, she heard the inkling of laughter; it made her smile, relieving the ache in her chest by a little. The bit of light to the darkness was reduced by the sounds of lapping waves delicately dancing along tarnished shores. Nighttime covered most of the aches and pains of the city, giving the eyes and hearts some reprieve that can't be found during the daylight. Right now the moon lazily hangs amongst bright stars; there isn't a single cloud to be seen, making the hour a refreshing one in comparison to the last few. Again, the laughter broke through the sounds of water. The struggle to sit down on her own left her a bit breathless, but the prize of serenity was worth the price of pain. Her body - much like Last Chance - was healing. Ribs were broken, her right arm was lost, a nasty bruise painted the entirety of her delicate throat - really, she looked a damned mess. Injuries and a myriad of cuts covered her small form in an abusive manner, showing a story of a battle that was won but not without sacrifices. Has it been a week? Less than so? Shanti wasn't precisely sure since a majority of that she had been battling against her body to heal faster. Between moments of consciousness, she had seen blurred faces with prominent voices, their words lost to her but their concern not. People entered and left the small room she had been kept in, some would say something to her, others would hold her only hand, the rest would be silent, but she could feel their presence. It was unfortunate that she had been so weak, for she would have liked to speak to these unfamiliar faces, thank them for their bravery. When she had finally woken up she was alone; that was two days ago. There was no more fighting, and without a clear purpose, she felt a bit lost. She wasn't trained to do much and being a foreigner she felt incredibly out of place - by no fault of anyone! When they weren't busy, many people took the time to speak with her, and half the time they'd give her something small to do. Being busy kept her mind off her losses, it made her feel more grounded, no longer lost out in this weird orbit. Such small pleasures she did not take for granted as she was just as surprised as everyone that she was still alive. Dredge had tried his hardest to kill her, but he was thwarted by grander forces he hadn't anticipated. He was so close, she thought to herself, flexing her bruised fingers in wonder. In a single moment, she had lost her arm and then almost her life, yet she hadn't been afraid when she and death shared a moment. Should one be frightened by that? It was a thought that worried her in moments of silence such as this. Was she indeed that ready to die for others, to set aside her life for something more significant? Was she allowed to be so .. so proud? A soft breeze sifted through the long strands of tousled hair; the silky strands tickled her cheeks; the sensation woke the elf out of her deep meditation. If given a chance, if she had to return to those moments of near death, she would do it over and over again. Absolutely. Pulling her legs to her chest, she wrapped her single arm around them and rested her cheek atop her knees. It was dark, life was still happening around her, and it was peaceful. Setting: Last Chance - 1 week after this event.
  4. Fierach

    After the Chance

    "Who's like us?" came the roar. "Damn few! And they're all dead!" came the thunderous reply. Any louder and some might've thought battle had broken out again. As few as the Custodes of the Order of Force Majeure were, and fewer still after the brutal battle for Last Chance, the common soldiery of the Knightly Order, they still drank like legends and raised their glasses to the victorious dead. Most were human, some were elven, even one orc was present in the Seekers, but they all shared the same fortune and pride of being among the most elite soldiers present, serving a cause that was greater then any one nation or world. It had been the Custodes' first major enmasse deployment since the seige of Sigil City itself, and whilst they had undoubtedly suffered casualties, both within the city, and outside on the beaches, morale was high. They had weathered that particular storm, and this one was easy in comparison. Had they anywhere near the forces they were able to bring to bear in the City of Doors, the Legion of Doom would not have even gotten away with their token prizes. And so they celebrated, with one of the surviving Greatswords, a rugged, elite career soldier named Eshara Dominic, leading the toasts. --- Out on the beaches, James Eredas stood under the night sky. While most of the bodies were already removed, much parts of the beach still smoked or smoldered with flame. There was barely a surface left untouched by crater, unscorched, or wasn't subjected to glassing. The stench of death was still prevalent in the air as the Daemonslayer gazed out across the waters, silent sentinel with his thoughts only for companionship, and the artifact nodachi Amaterasu in his hands, resting tip down with hands atop the hilt. It was just the ending of another perfect day.
  5. The sensation of falling in one’s sleep. It’s always an interesting sensation. The darkness and comfort of rest suddenly cut short by the sharp skip of a heartbeat followed by that fleeting moment of free falling through the air. There’s always a hint of fear or shock that cuts through the dulled senses and pierces the brain’s amygdala. That all but brief moment that this was it and you had died. Death however would of been a mercy for Miss Blonde, because when that sensation was over she had to face her new reality. One where she wouldn’t awake to the familiar feeling of her bed and warm body lying next to her. There would only be the cold hard ground. Dark reflective lenses of a gas mask lay blank and expressionless, it’s hard metallic casing showing no signs of movement simply lay there resting atop a head of long blonde hair. A still silence that filled the air and soon was swiftly ended by a blur of movement and a mechanical cocking mechanism. Sitting up with speed and intensity, Miss Blonde’s gas mask came to life with red flashing LED lights that opened completely to almost express her shock. In her hand was the smooth and engraved .44 caliber pistol that began to scan the room. Something had knocked her out at the height of the party. Something that would have to be powerful to put her under the table. Yet all she could see were the black suit and tie adorned and unconscious bodies of her employees. Her closest lieutenants who she had gathered here for a reason should could not quite remember. Which was odd, because normally the woman had the mind of a steel box. In fact her mind was even protected by the enchantment placed on her mask. So with a few wobbly shakes, the small Crime Lord stood on her feet and kept her pistol firmly in her grasp. From the looks of things they were all still in the cabana club, the small and out of the way bar she owned on Relovian. Which was good, perhaps they all just had too much to drink. Taking her free hand she rubbed her sore and throbbing head and sighed. ”Haven’t has a headache like this since college.” Taking a few steps towards the center of the bar, she looked around for her personal assistant. Finding his slightly pale red hair, the man was doubled over a bench with his drink still held loosely in his hand. ”Orange, wake your ass up.” With a slight kick to his side the man sputtered and soon fell over onto his back and groaned. His face was also obscured by a mask similar to Blonde’s but even through the mask’s robotic vocalizes one could hear the misery of what might be identified as a hangover. ”Wake up the others then call me a speeder home. Looks like we went all night.” Blonde said with some kindness towards the man but still made sure to convey that this was an order. ”Sure thing, boss. Can we get some MandoBurger on the way back? Cause I could use it.” Orange asked as he began to pick himself up from the bench. ”Sure, just call the speeder.“ Placing her pistol back into its holster the woman would proceed to walk towards the front door. Daylight shined through the shutters and slightly illuminated the tropical and playful decor of the bar. About fifteen of her top men were here for what had seemed to be a party in her honor. Maybe they had just pulled off some kind of heist? No, she’d of remembered that. Did they make a big weapon or drugs sale? Maybe a successful auction? Again she’d of known about that. Pacing her way towards the door, Blonde needed some fresh air. ”Boss... there’s a problem. Comms are down. In fact I’m not seeing any signal, anywhere.” Orange said in a worried tone while hunched over a screen. ”Just run a diagnostics check on the system I’m sure it’s just the-“ Blonde paused in shock as she stepped out the door. It all hit her at once. The strange architecture, the smell of the air, and especially the completely alien species that could be seen walking around the streets. Species that her scanners couldn’t even identify, which was impossible. ”It’s probably the what, Boss?” Orange asked as he looked up from the screen towards Blonde. All of it was overwhelming. The information was flooding in faster than her brain could process it all. She took a few steps forward to turn around and look at her bar. It was all roughly the same but rather than being in its normal spot against the coast on the beach it was tucked away in the slums and back alleyways of some sort of sprawling alien metropolis. A few people on the street even approached her. Species that she had no idea what they were or what they wanted. Her hand reached into her jacket to grasp at her pistol while still concealed in her coat. ”You open? Me bredren and me just got off the night shift. Could use a drink.” What looked to be a troll with fiery red hair looked down at the girl and by his side he was flanked by a small gnome and a half orc. ”We’ve never seen your bar before. You guys just open up?” The half orc asked kindly. Blonde could understand them, which was odd. They spoke basic. So slowly releasing the pistol grip, she smiled beneath her mask and the lights on her masked turned to their standard yellow. ”By all means. Come inside, have a drink.” She said with some mild intent in her robotic laced voice. To the more magical adept of Last Chance a powerful and cosmic based magic would light up Blonde’s bar in the invisible residue of powerful magic that could be felt for miles. The city was still recovering from a large attack and there was sure to be people of note in the city. For now though, Blonde would just lead the three men inside.
  6. ”Our time has come. For hundreds of years you casted us down, but it only amplified our hatred. It only made us stronger.” “While you rested upon your laurels and in your cities, bathing yourselves in the creature comforts of civilized life, believing the lie that your people were safe and protected. You grew fat. Lazy. Incompetent. Your failures gave birth to us. We have grown lean, strong, and hungry. We will have what you for so long have denied us. We will have blood... We will have death... We will have revenge.” “We are Legion.” Objective 1 Ocean waves crashed against simplistic amphibious landing craft. The open air shined the early morning sun down on rows of armored uniformed and organized soldiers. Standing in neat rows of three, the men wore the soulless helmets of Legion. Their visors blackened and their uniforms had a metallic faint shine of iron armor. They held their rifles tight to their chest, and fear had all but gripped them. Not fear for the battle to come, no that was only the afterthought to the terror that stood before them. Many of the men had only seen Dredge in passing or standing upon a balcony for their graduating infantry class. They had never seen the dark and terrifying monolith of evil in person. The sheer and utter gravitas of his presence was both inspiring and horrific, and who were they to warrant such a guest? They had merely been graduating class zero zero nine, they were nobodies. Trolls, Hobgoblins, Ken-Ku, a mixed batch of standard infantry from the wilds and boondocks of Terrenus. Yet their lord was riding with them to certain death. ”Keep your head low. Find cover and advance quickly! Secure the beach head and clear those murder holes! Fortifications will be forward, remember your training and follow me and you’ll probably survive this. They will be expecting us after all.” Dredge said in a stern militaristic voice. ”Take back your pride! Take back what belongs to you!” Dredge yelled out to his men. Readying himself, Dredge pulled his bastard sword and prepared a telekinetic barrier above his landing craft to protect his men and himself from incoming fire. Artillery shells hammered down around the ocean and splashed water against his armor. Within the waters boats around him were struck with explosive shells. Men sunk to the bottom of the eastern ocean and died. Yet Dredge remained still, gears and cogs began to rotate and soon the ramp that divided them between the enemy dropped. Expecting a full force of fire, Dredge thought the Terric military would open fire upon him and his men with MMGs, snipers, and any small arms weapons that could hit one at one point five kilometers. Yet, when the ramp dropped, he was still only met with the explosions of artillery fire. ”Oh. Yeah that’s right.” Dredge said with a rather disappointed voice. ”God this world sucks.” He sighed and said the same disappointed vibe and voice. ”ADVANCE!! SPREAD OUT!! DON’T LET THE SHELS HIT YOU!!!” Dredge yelled out to his army. Spreading out between themselves it was a game of chance. It was one thing to see your enemy in front of you and strike them down. It was an entirely different game to leave up to fate and see the man next to you be blown to pieces. Artillery shells took one to four at a time. Yet undeterred they had pressed forward with speed and intensity until they hit what Dredge had expected. Coming within range of their small arms. Dredge had his men halt even in the face of the explosive shells that continued to go off. What they faced ahead of them was more than a mine field. Explosions rocked the beach and the shockwaves had already filled his new army with slight fear. Yet despite that fear, Dredge stood with them on the front line. He lead from the front. Dredge wouldn’t dare go out from stray shell. If he were to be struck down by a random artillery, then he did not deserve the title of Supreme Overlord. Passing on orders to his men, they all lined up and prepared themselves. Dredge gave no grand speech. He simply pointed his sword forward and had it ignite in flames the burned white hot for all to see. He melted their fear with his presence and filled them confidence and bravery. ”KILL THEM ALL!!!” War cries echoed behind him, it was time to do battle. Behind him the roars and cries of thousands echoed in force against the fortifications of Last Chance. They would drown out everything around them as every man pushed forward to take the beach. Explosions and small arms took out men as they ran towards the beach fortifications. Their courage was spurred by the Overlord himself who charged among them as one of their own. Objective 2 Darkness. Locked away in complete and utter darkness, men and women had been all but strapped and locked to the walls. Sealed away in a metallic world and cut off from everyone and everything but each other. It was enough to drive some to madness. But they had conquered the insanity of their situation, time and training had hardened them. The necessity to not only survive but to thrive was what drove them forward, and when the light finally came on. They were ready. A dim red light illuminated the metallic prison to show the darkened armor of Legion’s best. Commandos, elite warriors who had shown exceptional aptitude in the art of war. Many of them had already tasted war and combat before they had ascended into the ranks of Legion’s commando program. Orcs and other monsters that had faced the Terric military in the various squabbles and skirmishes that plagued the land, but now they faced them once more. Not as the petty monsters and demons that they once were. Now they would face them as an elite force death dealers and soldiers. ”Thirty seconds.” A scrambled and almost robotic tone came from the vocalizer of a helmet. The various weapons they held went through their last checks. Weapons wracking and cocking echoed through the chamber. They knew what they had to do, and for most of them they knew this was a one way trip. Yet they were ok with that. ”Ten seconds.” The scrambled voice rang out again. There was a moment of complete silence before the light within the cabin turned green and a feeling of weightlessness would take over. Shaking and rattling against their will, the men felt the press of intense Gs against their systems. ”Deploying buffer.” The source of the voice, a black clad legion commando with a red strip across his helmet reached out and slammed his palm against a hand imprint on the side of the wall. Flooding the cabin with green runes and sigils, the sense of falling lessened until the container hit what was undoubtedly concrete or stone. The cabin shook violently with impact and within the blink of an eye, daylight flooded the cabin to reveal the high walls and stone guard towers of Last Chance prison. There was no hesitation on their part, stepping out of what could now be seen as multiple drop pods within the prison rec-yard, commandos quickly raised their weapons to their shoulders, and fired upon the guards within the towers. Many of the hard working guards were gunned down in an instant, others with more experience hit the deck and sounded made sure to sound the alarm. ”Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, proceed with objective one. Remaining teams push to objective two.” With the commandos now within the prison, it was time to raise a little hell. High above them soared the forms of massive dragons, their job was a simple one. Them and their riders were tasked with keeping out the city guard and Terric military forces from reinforcing the prison long enough to allow for extraction via them or through the ensuing chaos that would come if all primary objectives were achieved. The military would certainly arrive, and when they did, they would be met with
  7. There were several lines leading into the encampment north of Last Chance. All of them entailed a detail of prisoners, their delineation based on the prisoners’ state of mobility. Some were walked in cuffed, some were carried in or dollied in wearing muzzles; some yet were wheeled in on stretchers with sheets over their heads. All would be subject to reanimation, metallurgy, analysis, and retromental facilitation in order to see what could be gleaned from their bodies and dying thoughts. Leading through wired fences draped in tarps and magically enhanced barbed wire, a selective anti-magic field, and a series of other security measures, prisoners were ID’ed by blood and placed in guarded and gated cells. This settlement of prisoners, celled individually in variance from dead to alive, took up about half of the massive interrogation tent. The other half was composed of a series of steel receptacles within which a desolate regime of interrogators ruthlessly pried answers from Legionnaires— from their prey. From the other side of the encampment it was jeered at as “the circus.” Indeed, to any who ventured into the stinking pits of the tent, the circus was in town. To the tireless men and women who ground prisoners through cogs and reviewed tables of torture, the show must go on, and on, and on. Each interrogator got their own room of ribbed steel. The heat and shrieks and blood mingled in an iron vapor that disgusted many. Most interrogators were to take shifts and submit to therapeutic wellness checks in order to ensure mission integrity. After achieving certain wellness scores on a repeated basis, select interrogators were allowed the liberty to continue interrogations beyond the initial quota. Michael had proven himself a ruthless interrogator. While some lower interrogators were given rooms with one-way mirrors, his was a steel box of fire and pestilence. Prisoners who had been deemed of high priority but had resisted speaking were passed from lower-ranking interrogators up, until they had either become carcasses or sufficient answers had been sussed from their pulped psyches. This was an art exhibit for the Peacekeeper who, by some, was just barely worthy of his title if at all; he sliced and carved, cauterized and plucked every fiber away from a being. The talent he honed was keeping them alive as long as possible, keeping them talking until after the life had bled from their eyes. The last thing he wanted left alive was their lips, their tongue, their very convictions. Only two days after the battle, all of their hatred and diatribe would be as fresh as bloody roses to the Wielder. “‘Tell me why I shouldn’t kill you,’ I told him,” said the manic and pale, white-haired Michael, walking in a slow circle around a Meron Skin. This had only been one of Dredge’s rumored confidantes, there was barely any intel to support their presence here. But Michael was voracious. He waved a scalpel, a habit he’d inherited from a surgical mastermind of archaic and far-away origins, as he circled. “But the fucker still came at me!” Mike swiped down to punctuate his words, forging a barbarically deep slice down the back of Meron’s scalp and back, all the way from right ear to left right hip. “And you followed him. For what? WHY!?” The heat in Michael’s room climbed to surreal heights in his times of greatest exasperation. Perhaps he had masked a little too much madness in his wellness therapy— he was simply brimming with rage and fire that turned his room into a veritable oven of despise. “What did he want to do with Last Chance?” he said softly, a stark polarization against the jerking motion with which he pulled Meron’s head back by the hair. It was disgusting, unfortunate, and convenient, but Michael could smell before he could see that the soaked Meron had died from dehydration. Where did Meron go? Nowhere. He was pushed into the corner with the four other deceased in Michael’s series of interrogations, his chair vacated for the next profile on the clipboard. "Mayumi” echoed his voice from inside the hotbox that was Commager’s Interrogation Cell. They hadn’t managed to get her last name, but somebody had acquired a first through double agent intel.
  8. ---Before the Legion's retreat during the Battle at Last Chance--- ---Moments after Shethid and Mayumi was captured--- ---Inside the Black Spear cartel's mindscape" It was a different place, one unlike Terrenus. Travelling here in the flesh was both a dangerous act and a necessity, one Middy willingly for the sake of his ideals. The misty darkness seemed to impeded not only his vision but also his progress in this directionless, endless mindscape, one born from the Black Head of the cartel. He knew that his every move is being watched, every labored step he took was entertainment to all cartel members. It was a simple congregation of mind and spirit, all members are simply limbs, extensions of the giant mass of consciousness which was the Black Head. This congregation, this have mind was the secret to the cartel's power and the root from where this mindscape was born. Such was the cost of their power, the loss of privacy, of individuality, the very meaning of their life, their free will. They are all slaves to the Black Head's will, to all her pleasures. And it was a burden that Middy must end. A few breaths ago, he was on the deck of the cartel's ghost ship contemplating on the loss of one of the cartel's members, Shethid Faqir. In the past he had considered that spineless coward a friend and an older brother. Now, he only saw him as a valuable asset, important but still expendable. When did he ever become this cold, calculating bastard? Or has he always been like this and was simply denying this part of him for all this time? This was why he decided to enter the Lady's realm, a place where her power, and all the cartel's power lies. Perhaps he was simply deluded and chose to enter this realm in his own fleshly vessel and not as a figment of thought. But he needed to have an audience with the Lady Blackhead, a conversation long overdue. His boots slogged through the thick sludge of some kind of liquid, black with a metallic stench. Every time he visits this place it was always a different theme, a different environment. He knew that this mindscape is simply a reflection of the Lady's thoughts. Nothing in here could ever harm him, (WIP)
  9. jaistlyn

    Groundwork

    It was a tense situation. For all his training and experience, Delistair hadn't seen such a large force being mobilized before. The discipline of the military's training wasn't for naught, though. All of the soldiers were prepared to fight, to defend their homes against the terrorists who were foolish enough to try and test their capabilities. It was not as if the Terran military were cowards or incompetents. Although they had less surveillance equipment in the wilds of the land, reports from victims of the attacks on the village near the Dark Forest had reached the authorities several months ago. The bigger attack on Tormo had cemented the group of terrorists as a high-risk threat. Their rate of growth was astounding, goaded by the charisma of their leader. Thus, even in the midst of the civil war, the military had diverted much of their resources to monitoring the group's movements and actions, to come up with a strategic plan to hit them hard. They assessed enemy strengths and forces through strategic placement of resources, and through the intel provided to them by allied forces. Vigilantes had taken it upon themselves to exert justice on the terrorists, and although they had been beaten back, they had provided additional information on the Legion's troops and composition. Constant pinging of the comms device by Terrenus' orbital satellites on the undercover agent whom the military had successfully planted in the Legion had allowed them to track enemy movements, from the north where the infamous Red Festival occurred, south towards the major cities of Ashville and Last Chance. The momentum of the army led military analysts to believe that Last Chance was the next target, and though some forces in Ashville were prepared for battle, most of military's forces had been concentrated in Last Chance. It was here that Delistair Paige - a sergeant from the Recon division of the Terrenus military had been deployed, his specialty in abjuration magic an asset in putting up large-scale defensive magical spells throughout strategic areas in the city, as well as enchanting the equipment of front-line troops with anti-magic properties.
  10. In the slums of the city, tucked away in the alleys, two windows are alight with a soft and faint orange glow. A wooden door, that doesn’t quite fit, leaks warmth from the gaps along the frame. From outside the chatter of merriment spills into the streets, filling an otherwise glum world with the briefest hint of happiness. Although the grime built up on the windows keeps the casually traveler from peering in, the distinct aroma of baked bread, roasted meats, and grilled vegetables saturates the air. All of the clues hint at a celebration, a party, or some other kind of revelry for a select group… and for the most part this is true. For those that are indoctrinated to look, just barely visible on the worn wood door, an etching of a sword bisecting a scale is their invitation. In passing this group has met many, in song their tale has been told, and of those who have become acquainted a select few have been called. Some of these invitations were in person, others came in dreams, and still yet a few were delivered upon wings. On this dreary and moonless night, when fog and rain harass the streets, a select few heed the call to greatness and venture forth to this very door. Crossing the threshold, weaving through the crowds, and moving past an old oak bar, a curtain with a familiar emblem conceals the portal to the back room. It is here that a small group sits and waits at a large round table with near thirty seats. Candles in the middle and torches along the wall fill the room with a magic suppressing haze. On the East side of the table sits the interviewer, her brown hair in a bun. A set of rimless glasses rest on her slightly upturned nose, the chain of which runs down pronounced cheek bones. Her garb, of brown leather pants and tan cotton blouse, are oddly plain when compared to the gem encrusted platinum bracelet and necklaces. On the West side of the table is the handler, before him a map of Last Chance lays. His bare arms are massive, and his broad chest nearly pops the buttons on the black leather vest. His hair, not that there is much to speak of, is dotted with specks of white, black, and grey and is complemented by a similarly shaded stubble that barely hides the scars on his face. Off in a corner, surrounded by torch smoke, a set of flaming irides patiently hover. Beneath a flaring mane, stoic features assess the recruits as they trickle in. Although his arms are crossed and he stands off from the rest of the group, and by all accounts gives the appearance of judgment, the truth is he’s just tired from his travels. It is here that those blessed by the vision for a better tomorrow begin their journey.
  11. Radioactive

    Less-world [Quest] [Closed]

    Anouk hadn’t slept well since she left Ronda’s Lot two weeks ago. Her dreams were filled with images of bodies piled on top of each other, all of them covered in gore and sporting horrific toothy smiles. The heavy set girl with acne, whom she had failed to save, always looks at her, despite being obviously dead, and says, “Am I a ghost? Well, close enough.” Then she winks, and Anouk wakes up. The same dream every night. Other than the reoccurring nightmare and the occasional bout of insomnia, things were looking up. She had been promoted! She was Corporal Enouk now, which meant more responsibility, and more important missions. An aristocrat, whom she did not know and whose name was above her paygrade, had requested that a certain item of value be retrieved from a place known as “the underworld”. Her commander had informed her that it’s actually only AN underworld, not THE underworld. She didn’t know what that meant exactly, but it was all the same to her.
  12. -Lilium-

    Chapter 1: Convergence.

    Delightful Misfortune. Chapter 1: Convergence. Location - Last Chance, Terrenus And so it begins… Adventure. The young women sets forth into a world full of vast unknowns waiting to be challenged. This leaves where she came from, as less important than where she is travelling to. With nothing more than an eclectically austere appearance, an expression of exhilaration adorning her face, a nearly empty satchel bouncing at her hip, and shoulders held erect with purpose… She trudges forth against a grated walkway in search of her own story. Beginning what she believes will be the greatest tale the world will ever witness. It is a hard bump on the bone her bag provides, having tucked a thick leather bound journal within its folds. If only to provide an outlet in which to describe the world she clasps by sight, alongside the rest of her senses. Today is a fortunate day. The sun shines brightly overhead, seeming to burn away the travesty of sin the city is notorious for. This portion of the city having been most recently swept of unfortunates. Businesses await notice. Signs flipped or turned on to indicate their being ‘open’ to the customers sharing the sidewalk with her. Only a few catch her wandering eyes. Window shopping only, for stepping inside would be a detriment to her meager collection of coins. For the moment she consigns herself to remaining diligent and truthful to her quest. A new city, a new story to be told. How long she has been wandering the road is anyone’s best guess, though she appears to be quite young to be walking through La Ultima Fortuna on her lonesome. Even if it is the cleaner neighborhood. “And so the young lady walks forth. Enamored by the sultry air clinging to the last rays of summer. A daunting task at hand… Where will she venture? Whom will she meet? And what shall they do…? Life is always a question!” There is many-a-time, where Miss Eleanor Trapps, will speak aloud to herself. Not about anything in particular, but almost always in the format of telling a tale. Those very webs immediately finding themselves notched into the pages of her journal without the need of ink and quill. Click-click, click-click. Tempered steps sound off as heels continue on their steady pace, a little more hurried. A sign hanging in the distance a few minutes walk away, catches her eyes, and is suddenly marked as appropriately important. ‘Cutthroat Dagger.’ Fortuitous though, is the vacancy sign marking empty rooms for the taking. With a skip in her small stride, Miss Eleanor Trapps finds her way stepping into the tavern portion of the enclave. Boisterous laughter, clinking glass, stomping feet, perfection. To further indicate her rousing enjoyment, she claps her hands delightedly. Since her head and shoulders are visible enough against the height of the counter she is able to raise a pallid hand and wave at the Tender. “Mead please!” With a gentle swipe of the other hand come the scraping sounds of coins as they slip towards the bar keep. In a place like this, there is comfort to be had.
  13. A busy market-square. Indoors, it was warm and welcoming. Many hard-looking souls wandered about the booths. Quite a few butchers had their wares out, but their animals were not pigs and goats, they were dragons and intestines in jars. Plenty of blacksmiths were showing off their practical goods, but kitchen knives and belt buckles they were not. Any Manor of hidden weapon and sharp thing was strewn across their tables. Outside, through the glass dome above them, one could see a war between the heavens above raging about. The storm did little to quiet the negotiations in the black market below. And in the loft office overlooking the whole thing, the most expensive of them all. Jason had his feet propped up on a coffee table, his arms across the back of the couch he sat on comfortably. Acrossed from him was a rather slimy-looking cuacasian man in a suit smoking a cigar. He had long blonde hair, and a wide brimmed white hat that matched the rose in his front pocket. "So you see, Monsuer Jason, 've simply need you for the sake of deniability. Of course we could anhiilate the dogs ourselvez, but then they'll know it was us. The cops 'vill immediately say 'oh zat dirty Frenchman and his men were down here. Look, they even used .22 caliber as zey always do'" The French gangster sighed. "no one respects the classics." "And how much are you willing to pay for this alibi?" Asked Jason, thinking absentmindedly about his come back offer regardless of what the Frenchman's number was. "One million." Jason had just been taking a sip of water when the Frenchman said this, and in that moment had no longer been taking a sip of water as it was sprayed all over one of his subbordinates. Jason payed no mind to this. "Deal. How many are there?" "The sharks have a yearly meeting to vote in their leader. It is taking place next Tuesday. All their members are required to attend. There will be approximately one hundred and twelve fully armed men." Jason slumped in his chair a bit. "And you expected to hire one man for this job?" "Hire more of your super-powered freak friends if you must. It is up to you." Said the man with an air of being done with this conversation. Jason walked out of the room. A week. He had a week to hire enough people for a hundred and twelve person mob hit.
  14. Information Mission Statement: "Shining the light of truth to destroy the curtain of shadows corruption cowers behind." The Public Defender is a news agency, an organization which gathers reports and sells them to other, subscribing organizations, such as newspapers, radio, and so on; their largest subscriber is the Daily Weekly. The Defender is a leading source of information for all things local to Last Chance, but has agents spread out all over Terrenus and are poised to expand into other countries. The Defender eschews traditional news categories such as sports, entertainment, and finance to focus on investigative journalism. Topics which the Defender covers include but are not limited to: serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. Their methods include: interviews with on-the-record sources and anonymous sources, liaising with the Storage Movement in Ignatz for access to bot assisted legal and business research, and reviewing public records. Layout The Defender leases the first two floors in a building occupied by other news agencies. One floor is "the pit", a farm of cubicles that are transiently occupied by reporters that file in and out on a regular basis. The second floor is the "management floor", and is peopled by the Defender's upper management, which is also, for the most part, made up by some of their more daring journalists. History The Defender is a relatively new institution and so they have little in the way of cloud, but the editor-in-chief of a local newspaper in Last Chance backs their credibility personally. Security The building is fully insured against flood, fire, and acts of Gaia by building management. As the building is housed by multiple news agencies and privacy is an utmost concern by the individual agencies, the building has a standard array of anti-divination wards to protect against scrying, remote-viewing, and astral projection. The Defender's chief technical officer makes it a point to offload any sensitive information to a private storage facility in an unspecified location, and to encrypt any volatile data at-rest and in-transit; this data is made up mostly of information on sources and reporters. No valuables are kept in the offices otherwise. Canon Chasing shadows: Event in which The Public Defender is established
  15. supernal

    Chasing shadows [quest]

    "What are you, exactly?" "You've heard of a private investigator right? I'm something like a private criminal justice system. Or an agent of one, rather. I use different tactics but I'm working towards the same goal – some variation of justice." "Does that mean you're going to help me?" Jericho was a quick wit, and often responded to inquiries within a half-second of their being asked. But now and again he took his time to truly consider a matter and give it all due respect before committing himself to a reply. This was one of those moments, in which Jericho peered out of the window into the foggy, pre-rain streets of renovated Last Chance. They were in the third floor of this man's news agency. The employees milling about no doubt afforded the editor-in-chief a strong sense of security. Numbers tended to do that, but any amount of sheep failed to pose the same threat to a single lion as the inverse. "It means I'll take up your case. I'll figure out what's going on. I'll follow it through to the end, and mete out an appropriate justice to the appropriate parties, as the evidence suggests to me. Whether this ends up helping you or hurting you isn't something I can promise upfront. If you're being honest with me and aren't a lowlife piece of shit pretending to be a regular person, you and I will get along just fine." Jericho turned back around to face Seabald. He moved away from the window and leaned back against the wall it connected to, stuffing his hands into the high pockets of his overalls. "So. Two reporters found dead and one gone missing. Sounds promising. What can you tell me about what they were working on?"
  16. The shiny, metallic blue wall of Last Chance grew nearer and nearer. Bela took a deep breath of the fresh sea air, not looking particularly forward to the smell and heat of the city. She immediately felt claustrophobic when they made port; she belonged on the wide stretches of the sea. However, the crew of The Black Kora needed fresh supplies and their late captain had left them a treasure map that very clearly pointed to Last Chance. Besides, every time they made port, it was a chance for the pirates to waste all their earnings on rum and women - and the first one was definitely reason enough for Bela to place her feet on solid ground again. The young, red-haired woman put her binoculars safely in her belt and climbed down from the mast with quick, rehearsed movements. She had been on The Black Kora for five years now, and she knew the ship and most of the crew better than her own pocket. She went to the front of the ship to see the wall in all its glory. She was wearing a green shirt, black pants and a long, brown jacket, everything a bit stiff from being exposed to the salty air without being washed for months. She fiddled a bit with one of the line of pearls in her hair, lost in thought. The wind had blown in their favor for the last few days, and they arrived earlier than expected, which suited her just fine. 'The sooner we arrive,' she thought to herself with a crooked smile, 'the sooner we can leave.'
  17. Juliana Shale

    End of the Line

    It was another busy night at O'Rory's, and Kaye Kamen barely had time to catch her breath between the beginning of her shift at 6 p.m. and the end at midnight. She liked it better that way -- less time to get too caught up in her thoughts. When the clock struck midnight, she didn't linger. Her drinking days were behind her, and anyhow, O'Rory's just wasn't that kind of place. Some bars she'd worked in were like families -- the staff and the regulars all knew each other, all shared drinks and stories, toasted successes and mourned losses together. Not O'Rory's. Here, everyone was like her: just passing through. People came to O'Rory's so they could be alone in a crowded room. "Good night, Leon," she said to the man who took her place behind the bar. "Don't let them make too big a mess in here." Leon blinked and gave her a lethargic nod. Kaye stepped out into the warm night, and wind off the sea caught her hair and light summer dress. She could sense rain in the air. She made the five minute walk to the waterfront, slipping off her sandals when she reached the sand and tucking them along with her purse behind some scrub brush. The beach was deserted -- not unusual this time of night. He'd said he would meet her here around one o'clock; Kaye didn't have a watch, but she guessed she still had a while to wait. Kaye walked out into the surf until the water came up around her ankles and stood there looking out to sea, watching the lights from the jetty sparkle on the water. Looking up and down the long, curving shoreline, she saw a figure approaching from the north. In the dark, she couldn't tell if it was him, but who else would be out here at this hour? She started walking his way. * * * Jack Demetriou started his day the same way he always did. He was up and dressed by 5:15 a.m., knowing that Shad Underhill was waiting for him outside, and would be gone if he wasn't out by 5:20. He stepped out onto the porch stretching the stiffness out of his joints and blinking in the predawn dimness. He smelled Shad's cigarette before he saw the man himself, his wiry frame leaning against the house next to the door. "Morning, Shad," he said, rubbing his hands together. He was always cold in the mornings. Shad grunted and handed him a cigarette. Jack thanked him and struck a match. "How are ya?" he said around the cigarette as he lit it. Shad said, "Grateful." Like he always did. They walked in silence through the narrow streets, making the beach just as the sun was rising up over the water. Jack said, "How'd you do yesterday?" "Made it through. You?" "Made it through." After a while he added, "Got bad there, yesterday afternoon. I was ready to jump out of my skin, couldn't hardly breathe thinking about the mess I've made of my life." "End of the day, you didn't have a drink. That's a victory." Jack lit another cigarette. "That's right, I didn't. But I lost a whole day trying not to." He felt some of yesterday's desperation welling back up in him again. "Fighting the same battle over and over again every day, it just wears you down." Shad said, "Better than before, though." "I guess." They walked on in silence a while, listening to the waves and the gulls, and Jack felt some of the tension he felt at the prospect of facing another day ebb out of him. They were all right, Shad, Mors, everybody. You just had to keep going, taking it one moment at a time. He was shaken from his thoughts when he caught sight of something up ahead. Somebody was lying on the sand at the edge of the water, and something about the way they were lying there gave him a bad feeling. Shad must have seen it too, because he quickened his pace. Jack matched him. Moments later, the two of them were staring down at the motionless body of a young woman. She was lying on her back on the sand, eyes closed. Her yellow sundress and the sand beneath her were stained with blood, and her hands were pressed to a spot on her chest as though she'd been trying to staunch the wound. Jack felt a chill as he looked at her expressionless face and dyed turquoise hair, because he knew her. "It's Kaye Kamen," he said to Shad, who nodded gravely. Jack felt for a pulse, but Kaye was dead, her skin cold to the touch and pale as the sand. He reeled back, and for a moment or two wasn't sure if he was going to be sick or not. Shad said, "We shouldn't be here. Nothing we can do for her now. Call the Watch and let them do their jobs." Jack shook his head. "Watch isn't going to care about somebody like her. They'll have a couple guys walk around asking questions for a day or two, and if they don't come up with a killer, they'll file her name away somewhere and forget about her." "Nothin' we can do about that. Come on." Shad started to walk away. Jack called after him, an idea starting to form in his mind. "Just...wait. She's like family, Shad. She deserves justice if we can get it for her, and I think I know how we might. Can you wait with her a minute while I run back and talk to Mors?" Shad sighed, but he agreed. Jack turned and ran as fast as thirty-six years of hard living would allow him, all the way back home to the apartment he was sharing with Sir Mors Volturnis -- more accurately, the apartment that Mors was paying for and allowing him to stay in while got clean. It had been six weeks since Mors found him passed out in that alley, six weeks since he'd had a drink. Jack hadn't yet worked up to asking if someone had hired Mors to go looking for him, or if he'd just done it for the sake of their old friendship. "Mors," Jack gasped as he opened the door, "you up?" His lungs burned, his head felt light. He staggered over to a chair and sort of fell into it. "I need your help."
  18. The Hound

    To Walk Alone No More

    Love, Arkadia concluded, was the most powerful force in the universe. Men had waged wars in its’ name, blood had been spilled on its behalf, and kingdoms were raised and felled by its’ intense flames. Love could even change those who were born of darkness. Laying in the bed they shared the incubus shifted his side in order to stare at the woman who had gone from his prey to his queen and smiled. With a slender build and wrapped in naught but the sheets of the bed, the tiny brunette had finally found peace in her slumber after the tumultuous events of the first few months they had spent together. The incubus felt the age old anger bubble from his demon as he replayed the events that had caused her so much pain, but he pushed the feelings aside as he reached his pale hand to ever so gently push away a wayward strand of her thick brown mane. With delicate features and full, plump lips, he found himself hard-pressed to find anything he had seen in his nigh-immortality that was filled with half as much beauty. Turning his head toward their bedroom’s window Arkadia watched for a moment as the strong rains of spring pitter-pattered against the glass with no sign of letting up. Their house, which he finally found himself admitting to becoming a home, was silent save for his lover’s breath and the staccato rhythm of the rain. In the nights where he had fallen asleep with his lover’s warmth beside him, he had never found sleep a difficult task… Until this night. Six months to the day the incubus had come across a rather headstrong barmaid who had dared resist his charm. For a while, anyway. At the time, he had seen her as any other female: Food. And a challenge. And so he had taken her in a mostly unkind, uncaring, and uncouth manner. But something about her had awoken a beast that had slept within the predator for nearly centuries. He had been plagued by thoughts of her and her well-being. With a start, he had found he could not sleep, feed, or bear being without her presence. For a while, he had rationalized that it was simply because she was his prey and he could not bear the thought of anything else destroying her. But as the weeks passed, and he watched her behavior change… He felt the spark that had ignited within his soul grow and explode, engulfing him in flames stronger than any desire-- Stronger than his demon. For the first time in centuries, Arkadia had found that control was beyond his grasp. And so he had began to follow her, saving her from a would-be rapist only to find that in the end? It was her soft touch and love that had saved him. With a deep sigh, the incubus pushed himself off of the bed gently as so not to wake her and sat himself in his comfortable white leather chair, where he had spent so many a night after feeding trips watching her sleep. Humming gently to himself, he felt the tug of his demon’s will telling him to awaken her and take her into their embrace. Shaking his head to himself, he silently marveled at how even the darkest parts of himself still desired his beloved. Today was the day, however… And for the first time in nearly four centuries the incubus found himself with fraying nerves. Standing up, Arkadia headed toward their shared closed and closed its’ doors silently as he dropped to one knee. Fumbling around in the darkness of their closet, the incubus found the small compartment he had made especially at his request and pressed his open palm against the wooden square. With a soft hiss, the square panel slid aside and revealed a small combination safe. With deft fingers, the incubus input the combination he had set and opened the vault and pulled out a small, ornately carved white leather box. Nervously, he wrapped his fingers around it and rehearsed the day’s plan in his head for a moment. To steady himself, the incubus opened the box and peaked at the surprise therein with a small smile before he shot a look toward the door behind himself. Satisfied at the soft sounds of his lover’s mumbles in her sleep, the incubus closed the safe and placed the ring inside of his loose white pants pockets. Reaching for one of the hangers, Arkadia pulled out a dark grey three piece suit set and a light gray button up set. Pushing the closet’s door open, the incubus nearly sprinted straight into their restroom and locked the door behind himself. He hung his suit carefully against the door, and removed the small jewelry box from his pocket, placing it reverently atop his sink with a smile. In an hour’s time, his plans would be set in motion and perhaps he would be able to stifle the nervousness in his gut. Turning the water to the hottest setting they came in, the incubus shimmied the loose white pants he had taken to wearing to bed off and set to broil himself alive, hardly feeling the heated rivulets of water that seemed cold compared to the burning in his soul. In 30 minutes, the servants of the house would be allowing in the flower merchants. Which meant that the cooks he had hired were already well underway of preparing his lover’s breakfast. Listlessly, the incubus scrubbed himself clean and toweled himself dry. He was careful to remain as quiet as possible as so not to awake her, he began to prepare himself for the day. His hair, usually worn as a shoulder-length curtain framing his face was carefully dried and pulled into a tight, neat ponytail, held in place by a small throng of black silk. Pulling on his undergarments and buttoning up his light gray shirt, the incubus paid special attention to making sure that nothing was amiss as he readied himself for the day. His eyes darted constantly toward the little box and the titanic effect it had on his life, and slowly he found the nervousness that had been eating at his soul replaced with the sheer excitement at the prospect of seeing his beloved’s face. Clad in the suit he had made specifically for this occasion, Arkadia took a moment to admire himself in the mirror before he pocketed the small jewelry box with a grin. All modesty aside, he knew that out of all days he would be cutting a particularly fine figure… But that the eyes of the people surrounding them would be on the beauty he held in his arms. Humming cheerfully to himself, Arkadia’s face was a study of raw, honest joy as he slowly tiptoed his way out of their bedroom and finally put on his shoes. Without needing to look, Arkadia reached for the ornate black and silver cane that laid beside their door and began to swiftly stroll down the stairs. Altering his course, the incubus beelined toward Sean’s room, satisfied when he heard the quiet snoring that signaled the young man’s sleep. Making his way down the stairs, the incubus found his nostrils assaulted by the mingled scent of food and roses as he made his way into the kitchen. As instructed, the florists had began to construct the scene that would greet Billy this morning: Their kitchen, an open space surrounded by windows and decorations she had picked out, was overflowing with vases of white roses. “G’day, Master Ar’adia.” The old florist woman said, hobbling her way toward him as she flashed him with a toothless smile. Taking her hand into his, Arkadia bowed his head over her hand and flashed her a dazzling smile. “We was doin’ as instructed, makin’ nary a sound so that lil’ Billy wouldn’t be ‘waken” “As always, I do not find myself disappointed by your works Ophelia.” He said in a pleasant voice, nodding his head vigorously toward the woman as his manservant Archibald instructed the cooks in the preparation of his mistress’ favorites. “Make sure that you have the petals trailed all the way to our bedroom’s door. And whoever you send must be entirely silent.” “Yessuh.” She said quietly, hobbling away to relay his orders to one of her people. Satisfied, Arkadia turned his back toward her in order to seek Billy’s personal maid. Placing a gentle hand against her shoulder, Arkadia smiled at the matronly woman before him. “Lilian, you know your job. The dress is in the guest bedroom closet, and you’ll…” He trailed off, clearly indicating it was her turn to go over her part of the plan. “You know that I am aware of my duties, boy.” She sniffed derisively, meeting metallic gray eyes with annoyed blue ones. “Oh, alright. I’ll awaken Billy in 30 minutes, gift her with the dress that you picked out for her and instruct her to meet you at the kitchen. I’ll tell ‘er nothing else about the day, save for your wishes, and I will accompany Master Sean over to visit his grandmother.” Nodding his head without speaking, Arkadia found himself amused at the woman who served his Billy. Untaken by his charm and unwilling to bend head she had been a rather odd choice, but one even he had to admit was indispensable. Eyeing the single red rose set in a vase by the table, Arkadia busied himself with making sure that the preparations for the rest of their day were in place. He would accept nothing but perfection. Not in this day. And not for her. Oddly, he found the fierce excitement within him to only be part his own as his Demon awaited anxiously, trying to mute their excitement so that their beloved would not be disturbed through their bond. For once, man and beast worked together in order to achieve their common goal: To see their Billy have a perfect day, because she deserved it. Today was the day… And he would not have his proposal go awry. @Song Sprite
  19. Pasion Pasiva

    Word Has It

    Gabriela sat forward in her chair, with a single pale hand gripping the worn armrest. Her fingers dug into the upholstered fabric, but she was so very distressed that she didn’t have time to even think or comment on how strange the material felt. Her eyes were on the horizon, from which a blue-metallic structure could be seen protruding from the otherwise flat landscape. It was a wall, she knew, but her mind didn’t really have the capacity to admire its size, it’s gleaming color (even in the very faint evening light), or it’s purpose. Her mind was elsewhere -- like taking careful measure of her surroundings to better gauge the possibilities of the airship that carried her falling down from the sky and crashing into the earth below. Winter had been kind enough to supply her with a steady stream of that wonderful sedative, which she still wasn’t particularly how she had managed to keep down. Anything that wasn’t heavily diluted with blood always had a tendency to make her violently ill. And yet the potent medication had been taken straight and its calming effects had been powerful -- but not powerful enough to remove the edge of her own imagination. And there was much and more to be worried about now that they were finally upon the brink of their destination. Why here -- she had asked herself, late into the morning, when she felt the weight of exhausting trying to push her under the surface of consciousness. She had been sleeping on the bottom bunk of a cozy little room she shared with Elie. The little halfling had taken to her schedule, and was fast asleep the moment the horizon broke with the light of day. But Gabriela couldn’t sleep, and so she had wandered out, and kept herself isolated for most of the day. Now that dusk was finally settling down the exhaustion of a long day spent worrying was finally catching up on her -- that and the fact that she was hungry. It had been about three days since she last had a drop of blood, and normally that wouldn’t have been a problem. She could go nearly a week and a half without feeling the worst pangs of hunger. But two days into this forced fasting and she felt like she was about ready to request the bottle of lamb’s blood. Lambs blood -- it made her think of Last Chance again, of the dark and dismal world she was about to willingly step into. That’s why she picked this place. She knew of it’s seedy reputation, and felt it was the only place to find what she was looking for. Money. Lots of money. Fast and without too many questions. She tapped her foot nervously and crossed her arms. She felt like she was going to throw up, her stomach twisted up and churned and she had to remind herself that there was nothing left in her to spill out. Still, a single dry heave escaped her and was caught behind the back of a small, white, trembling hand. She felt the force of it shake her entire core, but settled once the initial shock of it left her system. It was embarrassing to say the least, but one glance up and she saw that no one had noticed -- or at least that everyone was far too polite to notice. She had been like this for most of the trip. Looking paler, wearier, and all around unwell. Of course, when concern did prompt someone to ask what was wrong, she assured them it was the flight. It was a questionable response, but everyone seemed to accept it -- except Winter. He continued to poke and prod, trying to discover if there was anything else, anything at all, that could possibly be wrong with her. It added a thick layer to her already mounting anxiety. Was there something wrong with her? She didn’t know… “Reinhard,” she spoke up, probably startling most in the room. She could be so quiet sometimes, so still and silent. She was leaning over her armrest, looking back at the small group of followers she had managed to gather. Her eyes were set on the giant of a man, her newly appointed guard. She smiled at him as he approached, and when he was within hearing distance, she spoke to him in a low and gentle voice. She wasn't trying to keep it a secret, but she didn’t want to make an announcement either. “When land, and finally get off this god forsaken death trap, I don’t want you to come with us.” She motioned to the rest of the women, the three ladies in waiting who sat around a table, each one busy with some sort of project. “We’ll focus on finding a safe place to stay, but you -- I need you to do me a favor. I trust you know your way around the questionable type of place we will soon be inhabiting, so I want you to spread the word, let everyone who should know-- know -- that I have arrived. I want the right people to catch wind that the Black Queen of Orisia is here, and that she’s looking to make a deal. Can you do that?” She reached out, she touched his hand and held it gently -- her grip was cold as ice. “Please?”
  20. (See this thread for the event intro.) *** A few drops of amber liquid swirled about in the depths of the glass mug, running around its edges like frightened mice until they finally collided, merging together to form a tiny pool. A quick tip upwards, and the last dregs slid down the sides of their home, to plunge into the depths of the thirsty maw below. The mug came back down hard on the counter, with an audible thunk. The man hunched over at the bar stared morosely at the emptiness within the glass, contemplating it as deeply as the wisest of philosophers. Was that all there was to it? What was a man, when he had reached the end of his drink? One hand came up, lazily scratching the thick stubble on his chin as the question was mulled over. Perhaps, he decided, as he turned the glass sideways to peer at it from another angle, the answer was simply a man who needs another fucking drink. He sat up, his half-glazed eyes sweeping over the tavern's interior. It was fairly quiet in the Cutthroat Dagger, far more than one would expect at this hour, only a few lonely souls taking refuge here rather than the usual crowd. Its absence didn't bother this man, however. Far more important was the utter lack of any bartenders, a void that stuck out like a sore thumb. Who the hell was supposed to be serving the drinks? With a sudden lurch, he half-stepped, half-fell of his stool, and wandered through the tavern, flimsy sandals slapping loudly against the ground. His shoulder-length hair, which clearly hadn't seen a brush in years, swayed back and forth as the man stumbled about in no particular direction, lacking any real goal to move towards. He certainly looked like a mess: grimy skin, unfocused and bloodshot eyes, clad in a loose brown vestment that was somewhere between a monk's habit and a rich man's bathrobe, with a long wooden staff tied to the back by a bright red sash. With a bump against a table here, a crash against a chair there, he went absolutely nowhere, growing more and more frustrated. "Where the fuck is the fuck-fuckering bartender?" He spread his arms wide gazing about with growing desperation. "Any of you lot seen him?" As his hoarse cries rang out, there was a sudden banging, a loud rapping upon the front door, too hard to be any ordinary knock. The sound seemed to wake up the ragged man to some degree. His eyes grew more focused, and he turned, looking towards the source of the noise. "Aaaaah... there you are..." He made his way closer, shoving past a few tables and people who stood in his way, until he reached the door, and threw it open. There was a feral growl, a deep and primal sound that shook the bones, a sound of hot rage and pure, blackest hatred. A person- or rather, a thing, that might once have been called a man -came charging in, foaming at the mouth, its hands forming vicious claws to tear into anything in its path. Its pupils were tiny points, frenzied orbs that gazed into the soul as if the abyss itself were behind those eyes, the darkest depths of human emotion, the force that now drove the body forwards with unstoppable willpower. The ragged man kicked it hard in the stomach, and sent it flying out onto the street. He slammed the door, breathing hard. "Fucking locals!" The banging had already resumed, and now it was coming from multiple places at once, doors and walls and windows all shaking as mad souls threw themselves or were thrown against the tavern. Anyone looking outside would see the streets filled with violence, people shouting and striking and drawing weapons on each other with reckless abandon, all in the shadow of a vast and menacing spike that loomed over the city, surrounded by clouds of deep and impenetrable mists. The man's eyes widened in realization. "Oh shit..." He paused, coughing, before he continued with a tone of pure dread. "... I think this place might be all out of drinks."
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