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  1. "Uhg....what a day" said a certain cat boy.....or rather, a cat man who appeared as a boy, said as he entered the doors of the changing room at the current place he was staying at, the Saezaeshita Hot Spring and Onsen, which was equipped with a fully developed and wonderfully made facility for him to rest and relax after a hard day's work. He had recieved an urgent request from a local hospital that had been overburdened to help deal with the recent influx or patients. And somehow, he ended up assisting with surgery to repair a man's heart. Lyrian quickly took off all his clothes and then grabbed a towel, slinging it across his shoulder instead of wrapping it around his waist. He was a doctor after all, he changed with everyone else in the locker room every day, took cleansing showers with the rest of the staff after surgery or dealing with infectious patients, and had to change the clothes of his patients even and see them naked just like how most of the staff had seen him naked today. Sure, he looked young, but that was because he was a rare strain of cat people. He looked 12, maybe 13, but he was actually 22 years old. And it did not stop him from getting married, though it did not stop the divorce either. He did think it was odd though, he thought a number of the patients had the same symptoms. The hospital took measures of course to prevent diseases from spreading, including having some of their lighting fixtures radiate light that helps deal with diseases at a level harmless to people, and had other methods as well. He started to think through all of his notes that he had taken today, but quickly shook it out of his head. He had just worked 26 hours non stop, he needed to spend some time soaking in a hot springs. He soon entered the bathing area, and went over and sat on a stool while he placed his towel in a safe spot, washing his body off before he would get into the water. He wondered if anyone was going to offer to wash his back like what sometimes happened at places like this, but for now he just started on his own so he could quickly enter the water. "I hope they wont need as much help tomorrow. I can work with low sleep just fine, but its not like I enjoy it...." he mentioned, as he enjoyed the atmosphere of the open air of the hot springs even while washing off his body before he had entered the water, including the air that felt like it cleared his nose right up and rejuvenated his body already.
  2. Kallias had landed in the nearly abandoned outskirts of the Eastern Quarter. Its state of affairs was mostly his doing. He had indirectly had a hand in the deaths of thousands of citizens, most of them being from this particular quarter. A low moan escaped his lips as he forced the magic to bind his wings. His wings moved involuntarily, struggling against the confines he had forced upon them. To an on-looker, it would look like flesh colored ropes wrapped around his wings and forced them toward his back. In this moment, he was prone to the things that prowled the Eastern Quarter. The man placed a hand upon his chest as if that motion was going to slow his heart's racing beat. After a few moments of the man's pure agony, the magic continued to weave itself around the man's body. The clothing around his body fell down his shoulders, bearing his shoulders. The masculine features that once defined Kallias faded and dulled into feminine grace. Her eyes remained the same color as Kallias's eyes. If anyone knew what he looked like, it would be relatively noticeable. She took a deep breath and stood up. She took two shaking steps. Her long legs were always awkward no matter how often she changed her body. The clothing that hung off her body was being held by her own hands in a haphazard manner. The woman looked like a typical Welander woman, except- thanks to the blood of the Unseelie- somehow more intriguing and mysterious. The woman looked around with a confused expression on her face. "I saw that." A flat voice laced with the slightest of accents greeted her. The red head walked around the corner of an abandoned building that appeared to be an old theater. She unsheathed her katana slowly. "I didn't think you'd be dumb enough to show your face in Weland again." Kallias turned, recognizing the voice that greeted her. Her tongue moved across her lips. Her mind went blank as she let go of her clothing, readying to defend herself in case she had to fight the red-head. Her voice was hoarse as she greeted the other woman. "Kenshin. Or Kana. What is it this time?" The tension between the two was almost tangible.
  3. Emerging from beneath Weland, a pair of drow crawled upon the surface. They were silent, both dragging what appeared to be half a body with them. The torso was very visibly ripped in half. Entrails followed it as they climbed to the surface. Breathing heavily, they finally collapsed three blocks from the entrance of their home. It was common for people to pass out drunk in the Western Quarter, but it was less common for them to be drow. This drew the attention of a woman passing by with her two guards. She stopped in front of the unconscious drow. Kneeling down, the woman began to examine one of the fallen drow. She neared the closest to her, a young female who had lacerations on her face. The woman reached out towards her. The injured woman’s eyes opened and stared up at Shigeko, the curious one. Shigeko nearly fell backwards as the female drow’s eyes pierced her own. “Souzou is angry.” She whispered over and over. A few days pass by… “The female is recovering nicely. The male, not so much. It seems he has taken the brunt of whatever attacked them. Elerra is almost certain to make a full recovery. Her partner, who we still have not identified, has not awakened. However, Elerra keeps whispering something about Souzou being angry.” The doctor explained to Kenshin, who just rubbed her chin in thought. “That’s a shame. He probably saved her life.” Kenshin mused. “Souzou, as far as I know, has not awakened yet. The other gods have been running amok in Weland.” Her brow furrowed. The hospital shook suddenly and violently. Clipboards of medical documents fell from walls. The lights flickered. Kenshin could hear the sound of people yelling in surprise. Soon, the shaking stopped. The hospital was in decent shape, no major damage. Nurses rushed to organize the papers that had fallen. “Tch, these tremors have been happening more frequently.” The doctor mused. “I noticed. It’s strange. Chizuru-sama is concerned.” Kenshin replied. “She’s asked some folks down at the base in Weland Gorge if they could figure out what was happening.” From inside the room, Kenshin could hear Elerra mutter in horror about what could have caused the quake. What Kenshin didn’t say was that these tremors were not natural at all. It wasn’t like Kenshin needed to say that the tremors weren’t natural. They also had nothing to do with the leylines. Perhaps Elerra was onto something. It wasn’t normal for an entire society of drow to suddenly vanish. Northern Quarter… Now, this was life. Kallias, having only been in Weland for about a day, was already receiving his first massage. Of course, no one knew that the young samurai fellow was not a samurai at all. Such was the way that he wove his disguises. Kallias knew better than most how to blend in with a crowd when he wanted to. Two women rubbed his shoulders while his eyes closed halfway. A catlike smile played upon his lips as both his arms relaxed at his sides. Then came the most powerful jolt from far below the earth. One of the girls had actually fallen. Kallias’s eyes opened wide. From deep below the city, he felt a surge of magic like none he had felt prior to meeting Meryam, of course. It was the same feeling. A feeling of excitement and exhilaration. What was it? What was it that made his heart race so? He was at his feet, reaching for a katana that he had managed to pilfer off some poor soul that was even poorer at making good judgement calls. Kallias helped the girl that fell to her feet and placed coins in the palm of her hand. He turned to the other girl and placed coins in her palm as well before wandering out into the street. “The arrival of another of Meryam’s caliber would be interesting to meet.” He said to no one in particular. After the jolt came an eerie silence that was suddenly punctured by birds flying from the direction of the Gorge. Weland Gorge was home to some weird stuff. But nothing had ever made the birds scatter like that.
  4. Esben sighed as he stood there. The slum streets were not a place for the young elf. But it would do because he didn't bring a lot of money. His fine silks were wrinkled and a mess due to the run ins with people he tried to make slaves and failed at. He shook his head as he had been holed up here for a week now. He had managed to charm his way onto the ship but after that, it was hard to charm a way into a nice looking place. Weland seemed to be a tougher place it seemed. It was here Esben's stomach growled. He was hungry. But what could his little pocket money catch? Making his way onto the street, he placed his hands into his coat pockets. He wondered whom would fall into his spider's web? He didn't know but he would perform the best show in the land. It would be grand.
  5. Dan skidded to a stop and entered the city of Weland. Immediately, he was hit with a serious old Japanese vibe. Therefore, he liked this city. After a bit of waiting, his little birds had returned to him with songs about a psionic medic. A doctor, a mage, a scientist, the stories varied in what exactly his profession was. But they all agreed on what mattered: He had done research in the Bi'Le'Ah ruins, he specialized in the removal of psionic parasites, and he was situated in Weland. That was all Dan needed to hear. He had packed and set off at once. For reasons he was unsure of, he had been tasked by the Headmistress of Umbra, his headmistress, as a matter of fact, to find this man, kill him, and destroy his work. Why in the world she wanted him to do that after having said numerous times how she wished to be rid of the Illithid in her head, Dan couldn't guess. He had committed to nothing; Dan did not slaughter innocents. He was going to learn about the man, see what he did, and find out if he deserved it. His little birds had not said much about anything shady the man was doing, in fact the city seemed to love him. He had come at a most opportune time, when a plague of psionic ailments and parasites had descended on the city. They said that the sicknesses had not manifested themselves but 2 weeks prior to his arrival. First thing was first. Dan checked into a hotel. He settled for the second best, since the best would draw attention to him. He dropped off his stuff in his room, and went for a walk about the city. It took him about two hours to find the mans clinic. It wasn't buzzing, but there were plenty enough people in there for them to likely not need to worry about budget. Dan decided to check the place, and the doctor, out at night. So, the last thing he did before he returned to his hotel room to crash after so much running was get a haircut. It was getting a bit too long for his liking. Afterward, it was just touching the middle of his neck. The barber even had the kindness to attempt to tame the messy locks. The attempts failed, of course, and ended up making it even more messy and frizzy. Eh. When he returned, Dan was anxious. He wanted to try conjuring his new thief outfit idea, but he knew he should wait until after nightfall. If anyone in the hotel saw him in it there would be significant trouble after the deed was done.
  6. ARYELA: Aryela was thankful that she had enough money for the Supido Train. The skies looked like they'd unleash a downpour any minute now. She wore her black tunic and kept her hair in a long, sleek ponytail. Her katana was safe in it's holder, by her side. She knew that she looked a strange site amongst the city dwellers who wore modern clothing but she was apathetic towards other people's opinions. The private yellow train soon came into view from the dark tunnel. One of the attendants checked her card for perhaps the thousandth time, making sure she was allowed on it. She had the strongest urge to slice his head of his neck, but she knew what would follow that, besides the fact that she wouldn't be able to ride the train. She sucked in her breath and entered the train, along with just a few other travelers. She sat all the way in the back, her legs crossed. She rested her head against the window and closed her eyes, resting. When the trained began to move, the passengers, primarily wealthy individuals, began conversing, mostly about politics and business related things. Aryela herself was coming back from speaking with an Intel about her latest findings on a vampire cult. The cult was very mysterious and hard to track down. If it weren't for a spy they had planted they would never have gotten the information. Aryela rubbed her face in frustration. So many people wanted to get rid and of her kind but they were just like any other species, with their own diets and behaviors. Aryela hated when she saw someone being punished for being the way they were born. On the other hand, if the cult wanted to end them because of the demonic branch of vampires, Aryela couldn't disagree. So many wild and bloodthirsty vampires she had seen slain because of their vile but natural actions. At the third stop Aryela got off the train and saw that it was raining hard. The attendants didn't give her a second look, maybe because they were too worried about the weather outside. Aryela heard a crack of thunder so loud that she even need to cover her ears. She quickly placed the hood over her head and hastily made her way outside. Which way had the Intel said the hotel was? Maybe he said left after the first corner by the statue. The sky was dark from the oncoming storm and the streetlights were just kicking in. Aryela bit her lip worry. Vampires were invincible, especially when it came to natural disasters. She hurried and crossed the street, staying as close to the buildings as she could. The wind began to blow hard, causing small a objects to fly around, like newspapers and leaves. Aryela cursed, maybe she should've just stayed with Intel but he had looked a little too happy to let her stay in his home, so she'd declined coldly. Maybe that's why he sent her to some confusing area in the wake of a storm. Aryela was about to cross a street when she saw a large object fly towards her and she had barely time to duck before it hit the pavement where she had stood; it was a metal trashbin. "What the hell -" started Aryela but she cut herself off, instead focusing on finding a safe location. There was barely anyone else around and those who were out were sprinting, not wobbling around like her. She didn't know why she wasn't thinking clearly. Maybe it was because - CLANG. Aryela fell to the floor in the middle of the street, whee she'd been trying to cross. She moaned softly, gripping her leg. Then she switched to guarding her head from other objects. It looked like there was going to be tornado but she could that it was just the wind. She tried crawling in the slippery water towards the street but it hurt too much, something had cut through her leg and was sticking out. She put her fist in her mouth to stop her from screaming, in case there were any dangerous people around waiting for some unlucky person that needed help. Aryela held back her tears and stood up, ignoring the pain. She limped onto the sidewalk and made good progress for a few minutes but then her leg gave out and she gasped loudly in pain. She but her lip in anguish, mad about the entire situation.
  7. The nervous farmer looked across the table at the wild-eyed girl that had cornered him. She claimed to be a bounty hunter, but whether she was that or something else, all he knew was that she was trouble. The questions she asked, about his family, about his farm, about the man whose visage haunted the minds of all in his household, only cut at his fragile self-control as she continued to press. He had denied every accusation she hurled his way thus-far, but he was afraid too much more and he'd lose his nerve. "Look girl, I just wanted to have a quiet drink." he said, referring to the reason he'd originally come to this obscure pub, "If you won't leave, I will." "Ah, the pressure's getting to ya, isn't it?" Terryn "Twitch" Rosk replied, her face contorted into a deranged grin, "The description rung a bell, didn't it? Now tell me, what think you of this?!" She unfolded a sketch and slapped it onto the table between them, revealing the image of a man in a cowl, with a face that was vague in certain spots but distinctive in others. There were two words scribbled underneath the image, which simply read: "The Mutator. The farmer's eyes flashed a sign of recognition, as hard as he tried not to acknowledge that he knew the man. "Oh, and did I mention, he carries a whip?" Twitch added. The farmer began to sweat. There was no doubt that she was after the guy who, along with his minions, had rescued the farmer's family from the clutches of a vile clan of Centaurs, only recruit those former captors to force the family into serfdom. If the man in the cowl got word that the farmer had betrayed any information about him or his organization, the consequences would be dire. "You know him." the teenage bounty hunter nodded smugly. "NO!" the farmer nearly screamed, causing a few eyes to be cast in the direction of their corner table. "So you're covering for him." Twitch nodded, "I wonder what the authorities would think if they discovered you harbored a dangerous fugitive? A notorious kidnapper no less!" "Shh!" the farmer hissed, his eyes widening as he feared others may hear, "Look, fine, I saw him. He rescued my family. He's gone now, that's all I know." "Is it? Why does your family no longer trade in Weland?" "I... I... we found better prices elsewhere." the farmer whimpered, but quickly sighed, "I mean... look, I don't know what they'll do to us if I talk." "Who's they?" The farmer glanced around the pub, his face gripped in sheer paranoia. When he looked back at Twitch and spoke, his voice was an almost inaudible whisper. "Abbadon." "Who?" "The Abbadon Triumvirate. They're some sort of cult somewhere in Patia. The Mutator said he represented them. They take all our profit as tribute. That's all I know, I swear! Please don't tell anyone, it's worth my family's life!" the farmer urged, his voice as hushed as he could possibly make it. "Your secret is safe." Terryn nodded, standing up, "But know that you will be sorry if you lied to me." "I'll be sorry if you are the one who has lied." the farmer sighed. The young bounty hunter departed the bar, satisfied that she had a solid lead in the case. Her target was not a well-known criminal, but he had left a sporadic trail of disappearances in his wake, with strange stories being relayed by some of the families of the victims. She had tracked him here to Weland, where supposedly he had come in contact with a member of the Lingxi family, farmers of the Southern Quarter. That had led her to the man she had just interrogated, who was one of the only family members that was ever seen in town since the "incident". Now it was on to the Black City of Patia, to search for this "Abbadon Triumvirate" and see if they now harbored the Mutator. Sunset was upon Weland by the time she reached her hotel, a cheap place near the edge of town. It was only two stories tall, with Twitch's room being on the upper level. She ascended the staircase slowly, looking down at her hand which was shaking faintly. Her stimulant addition had fried her nerves so badly that she suffered all sorts of twitches and shakes when not given her daily dose of adrenals. Unfortunately, those injections also made her hyper and delusional, causing her difficulty throughout the day in focusing on her task. Based on how her body was acting now though, she needed another dose. The old wooden door creaked as she opened it, revealing the dim room within. The blinds were pulled, letting only a faint amount of orange light filter into the lodgings. Her stimulants would be sitting on the nightstand, as that was where she left them when she had departed that morning...
  8. Month’s had passed, and the absence of her dear Marquis was felt throughout the Gorge. Where once the world seemed so vibrant and full of mischief, it had no grown rather lackluster. The Dark Goddess was left to her own devices, and even through a period of mourning the loss of Marquis, she started to muster up her own ideas. The Marquis had told her once that he believed that she was meant for something much more, but what was that exactly? Her original plan to kill the Bloody Seer and take her place had failed, not for the lack of trying but the motivation just wasn’t there. It seemed the Bloody Seer was well established on her morbid throne, and deep down Kalicity knew how much the Bloody Seer meant to Marquis, so she settled comfortably in as a servant of the Bloody Faith. It wasn’t a bad place to be, to be honest. The Bloody Seer was beyond kind in her ways, offering what help the Dark Goddess needed to broaden her view. Word had come to her that a chain of Islands, located off the coast of Terrenus was in need of new leadership. Their Queen was no longer fit to rule, as noted by some and the structure itself was hanging by a thread. It was an opportunity to stake her claims, but it would take a little planning. There was no doubt in her mind that she would be able to kill that little Queen but the rest of the islands may not take kindly to an intruder. It was with this thought that she grinned. Crimson lips peeled back against her milky white skin, her piercing blue hues glimmered in the dancing light provided by the uniquely designed chandelier’s in the library. Delicate fingertips traced along the binds of the books as she elegantly strode down the aisle. What she was looking for was knowledge of these islands, a place called Ursa Madeum. She wanted to learn all that she could about the land she wanted to take over. She already had so many idea’s swarming in her head; to be Queen. No, to be the Goddess overlooking her territory. With every step her beautiful dress seemed to flow with her , it made of silk and lace with a fitted bodice and a flowing skirt. The sleeves came down almost to the small of wrist while the top went straight across, hugging the curves of her shoulders and stopping right above her breasts. Silver hair was delicately placed in a messy bun, soft strands falling here and there which accented her lovely features. What she didn't know, was that she would be getting paid a visit from somebody that she did not expect.
  9. How was I supposed to cope? I tried living without looking back, I rejected any responsibility for her death. She helped me become the man that I wanted to be. She fought for my adoption and she made sure that I was in a position of power. We went from the strongest force in all of Realms and Sevenhells only to wind up on separate planes. I'm not talking airborne vehicles neither. I reversed my role as savior, as King, as father, as brother...I collapsed into what I remember as my fondest moment, I reversed the clock in my heart. I am a mercenary once more, nobody knows my name. I can do what I want on my own terms. I am free and yet the loneliness is never comfortable. There's a side effect to walking away from everything you've built. Especially with this dark energy I used to suppress through scientific measures. My daily doses from injections of the remains of celestials have concluded.A side effect occurred, but it's nothing I can't make normal again, besides a devil wing and a crystallized left forearm is a omen to most I pass. I can't even get a bite to eat without scrutiny. Feels like I'm giving off the right vibes to the mood I've been in. Perhaps it's a wicked reflection of those emotions, hm....nevermind. I told myself I would face whatever repercussions I am destined to. I've learned enough to know that if I decide on something, I have to see it through. Natives have been eyeballing me awfully hard this afternoon. These looks are not of hate, it's more of an indecisiveness. Maybe they've been scarred...just like I have. It's a suitable environment then. Probably, maybe, and might....the three thoughts of a damaged man. Should you be courteous, curious, or cautious? Trusting your innermost thoughts always guides a man to the threshold of a new beginning then the doubt sets in, escorting you off of the premises. I travel to ignore those thoughts, I go where I wanna go, I take a scene and mold it into what I want to happen. I am in control and I'll be damned if I lose it again. I wandered through many areas, some colder than others, but I haven't stopped to take in the scenery. I lost that feeling of something breathtaking taking my world and expanding it. It used to be an amazing feeling, to have discovered a new piece of information that can warp your entire outlook on life. Did I spoil this selfish vacation? I may have and yet....there's a specific piece of fabric catches my eye. Even if it's meters away, it stands out in my peripherals. My visual prowess used to heightened when enemies or familiar scents were around. So why does this feel new to me? I approach the royal blue scarf folded over a mannequin's right shoulder. A sharp pain in my chest and I step away from the glass between it and I. What am I forgetting? Why this type of pain? I didn't come here to feel emotional trauma damn it! *Crash* Now I've done it. In my frustration I lost my cool and an telekinetic shock wave exploded the waiting bench just outside of the shop. The owner is making her way over, I could flee, but...I can do more than be a bastard. The shop owner comes out nearly ready to yell at whomever she thinks is causing the ruckus. She's treated to the image of me sitting on the bench, it fully in tact, not a flaw in sight. My image darkened most people's days, but maybe it was my hunching over and peering into the distance that made her reject any confrontational words she may have had to a stranger with a tattered cloak and a over saturated odor of adventure. Moments pass and her customers leave. She finds me again beneath the streetlight, back against it with my arms folded, she says nothing as she closes up her shop, nothing, but "thank you." I didn't know what for and I didn't react....until her back was turned. Yes, this is her. This is the one. This is my first. I may carry several materials, but my abilities hinder sounds that may give my target the idea that I exist within their comfort zone, creeping ever so closely and yet so far as to not let my shadow loom over. Such a hefty weapon I carry upon my back, it's not, at least it's 200 pounds isn't a nuisance to me. When I grasped it this night, it felt absolutely heavy. I've felt this before, the first time of being nervous, I swallowed the nerve then and I can find the strength to do it again. Shh. You hear that? She stopped, but her heart is racing. She knows that I am here? How? I am not in sight. I have been careful...I...I see. She's making her final stand. She knew from the beginning. That I'd come for her. I leap out of an open window to a vacant home I used to bridge the lengthy gap between us. Second floor so the wind is my vessel, she feels the sudden breeze overhead and looks above, she then hears the sound of my blade making contact. She gasps as her body bends instinctively causing her to leap frighteningly into the building's wall. She forces herself to turn around to witness her last breaths...as a victim being taken away. There in the alleyway leading to her home she watches a centaur's legs go stiff. It always takes mythical creatures a while a to realize that they are dead. Soon after, I'm sure she recognized it's lack of a human torso. That is with me. It's only right I deliver the human half to the starving wolves. Don't worry, they won't get a taste for human flesh, it's in their digestive system now, they get a taste of mythical beasts and pledge their diets to the feast. They travel in packs and will only have enchanted fangs for piercing enchanted throats. This is my insurance to her. My first loose end. Her mother. I can sense her heart slowing, she's stable now. I'm sorry Miss Jayde, I didn't mean to startle you this night....have a good night ma'am...have good nights forever. The night is still young and there's still work for me to do before it's climax. Now that I think about it....did I just make a new breed of wolves? Mythical wolves at that....hm..I wonder if that is what I should call them...
  10. “Tai Tai No Sen!” Blades descended upon the three Yokai that had attacked her. Blades rained down from nearly every angle, missing Ruka completely, but slicing right through her attackers. Ruka was breathing heavily as the Yokai were too surprised to even let a scream escape their lips. She looked around, scanning the area before liberating the Yokai of their relics and putting them in a pouch she kept at her waist. She didn’t spend much time at the scene. Ruka took off, still wearing the outfit she transformed into. This was a lesson she learned from Kazuhiko. Do not remove your transformation until you were sure you were safe. Running through the night was a typical thing for her. The girl was nineteen, in college. She had a career started. She had everything going for her. Ruka paused to see if something or someone was chasing her. She turned a corner, able to be seen by anyone and everyone. These people dismissed her as part of a theater troupe. She was in Kabukicho. The Eastern Quarter of Weland had undergone some renovations, but there were still parts that were rough. Ruka looked around once more before she slipped into a restaurant. Halia is near. Ruka’s pulse quickened. Halia was just like her, only she was now a more than worthy opponent. And with her back turned to Ruka, she saw Halia’s trademark white hair. A pair of horns sat on either side of the girl’s head. Halia sat comfortably with her back turned to Ruka. Ruka slipped out of the restaurant, hopefully unnoticed. This was going to be a rough night. She was feeding the first of her three relics to her spirit crystal when she heard a low wail and the rushing of air slice through the silence. Ruka looked up, seeing a body hurtling downwards towards her.
  11. Deep in the Southern Quarter of Weland, the land slowly turns from city to suburb to a rural area. And that rural area is eventually reclaimed by the forest known as Scudders' Woods. The local legend is that the woods that border the most southern farmlands are home to a clan of fierce centaur who give the forest their namesake. There would be periods of peace when the centaur would leave these farmers alone. These moments happened most of the time. There would be no activity at night. However, as the seasons changed from autumn to winter, the centaur became restless. Unfortunately, it was often the families of farmers that would come under the cross hairs of their destructive behavior. It was rare that crops would be destroyed, but property would be damaged and farm animals would be let free. One such farm was the Lingxi farm. The Lingxi farm wasn't particularly close to the woods. The family was a large family that rarely, if ever, left their land to travel due to their distrust in outsiders coming in to steal their crops. As the family laid down for the night, the rumors of the Scudder clan coming around, taking people into the night forced two of the Lingxi sons up at night. The sons were old enough to move out on their own, but the Lingxi's lands were vast. There was plenty of room for all of them. However, nothing could prepare the two young men for the sight they saw. Coming from the direction of the woods were a small group of young centaur men. It was different when they just heard stories. But now they saw the centaurs and nothing could prepare them for the attack that was coming straight towards them. The elder of the two men was knocked unconscious before the first centaur stepped foot near the home. They yelled at each other, coordinating their attacks on the defenseless family. The panic spread through their compound, but it was not enough. In a few minutes, the silence that settled in on the home of the Lingxi was unsettling to say the least. The eldest Lingxi son was found wandering towards the city a few hours later as the sun rose. He bled from a wound on the side of his head. Both of his arms wrapped around his strong body. He knew that the rumors of the centaurs from the woods were circulating around Weland, but this was the first time he had seen it first hand. His sisters, wife, daughter, and two sons were gone. His parents had been killed. The raid on the Lingxi farm was unsettling. It was also not the first of its kind by far.
  12. The climate in Weland is, on most days, a relatively comfortable one, if you were to consider weather alone. Sure, with few meteorological anomalies, a very fair, oftentimes warm forecast, and a longer-than-average growing season, one could certainly argue that Weland is a pleasant enough city to visit. Unless, of course, you considered the social climate as well. Most people did, and yet there was still a lot of through traffic in Weland. Visitors flocked there often, and in droves, taking to the more wealthy parts of city, though the occasional visitor might wander through the western quarter from time to time, and astonishingly enough, a lot of through traffic, in the form of mercenaries and adventurers tend to find their way there specifically, so rife with problems as it tends to be. The citizenry must have taken note of this as well, as these wanderers serve as a source of alternative problem solving. The politcal powers that be in Weland are often so preoccupied with other, less quality-of-living centered issues, that several of the issues that fester within its walls go unnoticed, for example, the plague that ravaged the city not long ago, or the terror attacks that took out the rail system. Adventurers act as a sort of freelance military, then, working for coin alone to give the people what they need, fending off villains, providing aid. To this nature posters can be found plastered on nearly every surface of free advertising space within the district, voicing need for these wandering warriors to assist the populace, however they might need it. The source of a lot of these posters comes from an additional outside source, however. The nation-funded Game and Hunting office often appears wherever monsters and beastmen do, offering handsome rewards in exchange for non-union laborers to assist in damage control. With their signature stamp, most job offers can be expected to be snatched up right away, whisking scores of heroes off to do battle with nearby monstrosities. One of these particular posters might have been reached for, but was quickly released after the would-be quest-taker took note of the stamp on it and had second thoughts. The initial, most striking part of the poster was, certainly, the 'official' stamp on the poster, as it was not only reversed, but also boasted an alternative serial number underneath it, which could tell even the most inexperienced wanderer that this was, in fact, a fake. Whether this meant the poster itself was a farce was unknown, but with nobody to collect it, or consider it, there was no way for anyone to know for sure. It would have been buried in other, official papers as well, had it not been torn from its place by another passerby and dropped, fluttering in the breeze down the road leading out of town.
  13. The Mask Covering Loneliness Chizuru's day started like any other day. She adjusted the obi of her kimono and grinned at herself in the mirror. Was it a reassurance? The Regent was confident. The Regent was bold, daring, unconventional, witty. She was everything she didn't think she was as a teenager. As a teen, she was merely clinging to life. She sailed the oceans, surviving day to day. Perhaps this was what lead her to this point. She pressed a hand against the mirror, not even thinking about the possibility of leaving fingerprints. She moved her head slightly as the grin faded. The estate was quiet except for the footsteps of the guards doing their rounds or the droids that occasionally roamed the halls doing scans of each room. But it was clear to her. Each room was empty. Chizuru took a step out of her room. Two guards parted to allow her to pass. They both bowed deeply towards their Queen. Then they resumed position as she walked past. She moved slowly past the empty rooms that her sons once slept in. She paused in front of Kazuhiko's room. Her eyes closed halfway as she paused to reminisce. Then again, her son had some questionable pursuits. Her eyes narrowed as she thought of some of the girls that he could have possibly known. Then again, it didn't matter of her opinion of them. It would have probably never mattered. The woman moved towards the bed, then knelt down. Her hand wrapped around the hilt of a katana with its own black blade. It was different from her own. She moved it, then held it up towards her eye level. She silently regarded it. It was crafted well. The history of the blade was ancient, made from the old Welander steel. This was one of the legendary guardian weapons. She stood slowly, looking for the sheath. She found it resting on a dresser. This was one of the guardian blades. The legendary kami that inhabited the swords were said to be able to guide the one that it chose to hold the sword. The silence demonstrated that she was not the one that would wield this weapon. It would seem that Kazuhiko was probably not chosen either. She put the sword in its sheath and let it rest silently. There was someone out in Weland that would be able to awaken Genbu. They just didn't live in this estate. Chizuru walked out of Kazuhiko's room with the sword in her hand. It was not as though she entirely had a purpose. There was nothing to look forward to when she got home. There was no husband to vent to. There were no sons to coddle (perhaps too much so). Chizuru sighed heavily as she stared at the dining room. It wasn't a terribly large room. It wasn't ornately decorated. It was simple, with dim lighting. Everything that the eye would catch was muted and simplistic. It had a purpose. At one point, it was the conversation between family members that filled this room with light and life. Now, it was usually Chizuru alone that occupied this room. Sometimes she as joined by Shinkan or Kenshin. The room was silent, but the smell of food beckoned her in. She knelt down on the tatami, resting her feet beneath her body. Her eyes moved to a wall as a heavy sigh escaped her thin, pink lips. The cook was hard at work. He had adapted to Chizuru's simple tastes. A maid served her tea, rice, grilled fish, and soup. A moment of peace occupied the space as the Lady pressed both of her hands together and bowed slightly. She thanked the gods for her food. Then, Chizuru ate quickly, eager to distract herself with the day's work. The chatter between cook and maid were minimal. They behaved as though their Lady was in mourning. It was quite true that she was in mourning. The Lady gobbled up her food, not even bothering to savor the cook's creation. With that, she pressed her hands together and bowed once again, complimenting the cook on his hard work. The maid cleaned Chizuru's area as the Regent walked out of the room and went on with her day. This would be her first day out of the estate in over a month. The sun hit her face, warming her pale cheeks. She wore a kimono appropriate for fall. It was a brown cotton kimono with orange and red maple leaves that fell from spiny branches. Her obi was decadent gold with a maple leaf pattern of its own. When the Regent emerged, it seemed like time had stopped in Weland and a weight had been lifted from everyone's shoulders including her own. This was still her city.
  14. The smell of food perfumed the air. The day was a hot one. Midsummer in Weland was not always merciful on those who were sensitive to heat. Along with the heat came the humidity. The air was charged, ready for the ripe afternoon thunderstorms that brought little relief to the day’s heat and humidity. The heat didn’t bother many of the citizens. The heat didn’t bother the Tenpo, a group of wanderers who had unknown origins. They were said to be of fae blood. Despite the heat, a man strummed on his guitar, humming to himself as he tuned the instrument. A pair of fur covered ears moved around his head as a group of children gathered around him, whispering about what song he was going to play. Even the citizens supported their presence. It was a rumor that the Tenpo brought prosperity with them. There were also rumors of strange happenings that came with them. Those rumors were not untrue. A young woman held out her hand, beckoning to passers-by. “Get your drinks here from our cart! So refreshing! So cold! They even give you wings! ...Maybe… Get your drink! Red drink! Orange drink! Purple drink!” She waved her arms around, trying to get the attention of those around her. And people stopped, approaching the cart. Money exchanged hands quickly. This was the perfect day for the drink, after all. The drink wasn’t the only thing that had drawn people to the small festival that was being thrown for the Tenpo. A small red-haired teenaged girl walked through a crowd, holding three chive and pork dumplings on a stick. She looked around with wide eyes, obviously lost in the city. She waved a hand in front of her in a pale attempt to fan herself. The air was still. Mette took a bite out of one of the dumplings and stood in front of the cart where they were selling some sort of drink. She narrowed her eyes and wrinkled her nose. She just watched the child’s reaction, which was strange at first. Then she moved away, turning her attention elsewhere. Suddenly, there was a high-pitched screech and the pale teenager, who appeared out of place, was staring at the child. The child had grown a full beard and was hysterical. The woman that served the drink reassured her that the effects were temporary. Mette smirked. “Oh yeah?” She raised her hand upwards and then took a bite of her dumpling stick. “I want that drink!” She yelled, holding out a single gold coin. The woman handed Mette a cup of the orange drink. Mette stared at it for a moment, then grinned. The girl took a swig. It was definitely orange flavored. The sweet and tart taste was refreshingly cold. She waited for something to happen. The woman had already moved on. This girl in furs was staring at the woman with some sort of expectation. It hit her like a ton of bricks. Her legs shifted, then she fell to the ground. The Snow Princess was down on the ground and not moving at all.
  15. (continuing from https://www.valucre.com/topic/36152-okasan/ ) “I’ve missed you, Ruka…” She followed Kazuhiko with the hint of a smile on her face. Their relationship was complicated. Ruka didn’t know how to describe it. He knew how to push her buttons and make her lose her mind. She knew better than to do the things he often told her were her faults. Ruka’s general feelings of distrust and mild dislike have faded to a dull emptiness. The negativity had disappeared mostly. Then it happened. That kiss. She couldn’t resist it. She returned his kiss. Her own breath caught in her throat. It was a surprise. The two old friends had a falling out. When the pair separated for a brief moment so that he could speak, she looked up into his eyes. An eyebrow rose inquisitively. What was it that Kazuhiko was thinking? “I… I’m afraid I’ve missed you, too.” She laughed, patting a hand against Kazuhiko’s chest. “Your mother and Kenshin make good teachers.” Ruka was embarrassed by her own words. I’m afraid I’ve missed you, too? Was that the best I could do? Perhaps escaping to privacy would help her become more confident. She hoped. Kazuhiko’s return wasn’t exactly unexpected. “Sure. Let’s talk in private.” There was a lot of protocol here. Protocol that she didn’t have to follow if they were alone. Teachings were drilled into her head and she wasn’t sure if her reactions were scripted, but the flurry of emotions was definitely natural. He was always good looking to her. He seemed charming except when they went hunting together. Then she could be just as happy stabbing him in the forehead. However, that was frowned upon and what he was saying to her wasn’t untrue. While he wasn’t gone for a long amount of time, he was gone long enough for her to reflect upon her feelings for Kazuhiko. Ruka realized she never did totally dislike him and her reason for being angry with him was not his fault. Ruka smirked. “I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on things, Kazuhiko-san.”
  16. The air in the port of Weland smelled of smoke that dawn, ashy and desiccant not from the harsh winds, but carried from the vessel that floated just off the harbor. It floated only barely, a charred-black skeleton of a Brigantine whose hull was half-drowned by seawater, like fabled mermaids themselves were trying to drag it down into the depths. The rear mast was burning, sails still aflame and steadily being devoured by embers, while the master foremast was no more than scorched bones of what used to be, the bow almost painted by a seared brush, and decayed. The sailors aboard shouted for help, a noise that carried across the top of the still water as easily as all in Weland had heard the patter of rain last night, evidence of the storm still soggied the streets, away from the seemingly burning ocean. The husk of a ship had been burned nearly to ruin, all save for the colors of Umbra, and the Emperor of the Arcane East of Genesaris-- the reason the white flag was waved so diligently from onboard. The distressed vessel was corralled in by Weland's navy upon the docks, pulled like a sheep who was too panicked to lure itself out of the depths, choking on water and slowly drowning. It sank further, the farther distance it took on tug line, its inhabitants gathered on what little lumber remained dry, even as it seemed to crumble and gurgle beneath their feet. When they approached the docks, some required the help of others to disembark the sinking Brigantine so far from home, weak with fever and chills and others bruised and battered that they leaned on their comrades like a crutch, others carried. One was carried off on a makeshift gurney, lying motionless on her back; a woman. Captain Logan Fowler, a grizzled old man with a fraying beard, seemed as if all his gray hair had grown in overnight, taking upon the seemingly Herculean task of seeing what remained of his crew to safety. He sported a limp and not few scars, though neither had hindered a gruff voice that set quickly to negotiating with the dock's first lieutenant to see to the care of his men. The hospital in the Southern Quarter of Weland would be provided for their sick and wounded, and provide temporary housing for the well until passage home could be arranged. For that, Captain Fowler was grateful, begrudgingly that the latter orders from the An'She didn't catapult them into more peril; his men had certainly seen enough for one voyage. Casting a worried glance at the An'She, passed out on the gurney as she had been for several hours, she'd been both the harbinger that harmed them and the device that saved them. Upon the Emperor's order Captain Fowler's vessel was at the An'She's command, taken to imposing tariffs on ships who didn't pay royalties to the crown of the Arcane East for safe passage. At first it was simply around the seas of Genesaris, directly in his territories, but the An'She's greed bled them into international waters around Renovatio and Tellus Mater, practically threatening merchant ships by way of piracy. The An'She, who burned as if she had a fire in her belly that shone through piercing yellow eyes, terrorized the seas like a proper cutthroat corsair, all while under the protection of immunity from her moment's benefactor back in Umbra. None among the crew had dared question the An'She, for no one could doubt the loyalty for their sovereign... not even as she charted them into the worst storm Captain Fowler had ever seen in his decades of seafaring. Lightning was constant and erratic, whipping the ship like divine justice for the An'She's terrible avarice, setting aflame the Brigantine that had once been a marvel upon the seas, now no more than firewood adrift on the waves. More than half the crew was lost that night; the depths threatened to take them all, but the An'She had used what magic she had to call the lightning bolts to herself, channeling them to hurtle them off into the dark, raining nothingness that surrounded them. Lightning, however, was a wild, great, dangerous element; mistakes by the untrained were bound to be made. "See to the An'She immediately," Captain Fowler pressed the lieutenant, watching intently as fresh men came to take the handles of her gurney and pass by him. Her black hair had been singed, brow pinched in a furrow of silent pain, those yellow eyes that had held such fire had been closed for hours. Her left arm from nearly finger to elbow was ashy and slightly sticky by the foul humors that came with exposed skin, raw from the electrical burn that entered at her fingertips, the lightning rod. Its partner wound was emblazoned on her chest, just above her heart-- a chalky, circular scar seeped with pus and blood. The fact that she yet breathed was nearly a miracle. Her last words ushered them here, to Weland. The storm had wrecked them too far from the Arcane East to return, though the An'She had promised them that they'd be received in Weland... even while flying the colors of the enemy. The An'She had seemed reluctant to give the order, as Captain Fowler remembered, but she had assured them that they'd be safest there. Just as she'd said, Weland took them in; he'd had to agree that they'd likely been left to drown in the ports surrounding Biazo aisle, and they'd perish before ever making it further south to Palgard. With one final look back at the sea whence they came, Captain Fowler watched as his beloved Brigantine bubbled its final gasps before disappearing beneath the blue-gray dark. Like a parade of wounded they were taken to hospital to be tended to; the An'She was cleaned and changed in a quiet room with the doctors of the Southern Quarter attending to her. Medical advancement was at progress here; it was their small bit of good fortune that it should be where they landed, where they needed it most. Captain Fowler waited outside of her modest room like an obedient old dog, told by his master to watch over his young daughter's sleep and protect her. But he couldn't protect the An'She from the murmurings of Weland's own, who'd seen familiarity and recognition in one told to be from so far away. It made his gray hairs prickle on the back of his neck, knowing that was why they were received-- that he would be summoned here. She would have someone else to worry for her; who likely already knew that she was in his territory and was more than likely on his way. Rising from his seat with a tired creak to his old bones, he went to see to his men and pen a letter to his sovereign, who hadn't yet the chance to worry about the An'She's condition. For now, she slept.
  17. The Teka District was already known for being where unsavory folks hung out. It was no wonder that the place was infested with Yokai that wanted to take control of people's bodies or drive them to their deaths. The Teka District was also home to one thing that it held in abundance. It held plenty of abandoned buildings and hiding places for rogue Yokai to hide out, awaiting their next victim. It was nightfall and the fog had yet to settle in. It always rolled in from the South before settling in the North until the sun burnt it off the next day. The cool mist of the night made the air an uncomfortable, sticky feeling. Okamura Ruka, the daughter of the former regent of Weland, crept towards a door to an abandoned factory. A small white sprite sat upon her shoulders, telling her to be careful, but not really doing much else. She moved quietly through the factory, keeping her ears honed upon every single sound she heard. The armored girl had already transformed before approaching the factory. Her eyes scanned the darkness that surrounded her. Yomigane had given her sight to see the Yokai in Weland. Ruka just wished she could turn it off sometimes in order to be able to focus on things a normal teenage girl should focus on. In a way, Ruka felt like her life was over, as she was not the one controlling her life anymore. Her mind began to wander about as she thought of her own wish that made her this way. That night was dark. She didn't know what to do or where to go. The loss of her father and mother on the same day, a day when she was to end her own life, was devastating. While her uncle tried to do a good job of raising her, he was always cautious around her. Ruka just wanted her aunt and uncle to accept her and love her. Yomigane had a way with words and magic. In a strange turn of events, the Okamura estate was attacked by rioters who nearly killed the entire family. Ruka's wish was to defend her family from the attackers and it was granted. Now, as Ruka clenched her fist, she was someone who was able to take a beating without backing down. She was strong. Ruka was aware that there were other girls or boys like her. Those chosen by Yomigane and somewhat groomed to defend Weland from the Yokai that threatened its harmony. The wet sounds of sloshing sounded from a few feet ahead, behind some boxes. Something told her this was a Yokai and it was probably going to be an ugly one. Without making a noise, the silver armored magical girl cloaked her body in the metal that her armor was made from. Withdrawing a scroll from her breastplate, she moved quickly towards the one making the sloshing noise. There was no time to recoil from the disgusting sight. The girl nearly slipped in the blood that was pooling on the floor. The choked voice of a man, gurgling in his own blood, mouthed a plea for help, while one of his hands searched for the wound to close it. The girl looked around while the white sprite lept from her shoulder onto the man. From a stack of boxes against the wall, a large, hunched form screeched at her and took a leap down at Ruka. Ruka's arms moved outwards to catch the Yokai in mid-air. As she did, the thing clawed at her, trying to scratch her skin, but getting nothing but metal. Ruka grunted, tossing the Yokai to the ground and pinning it there. The girl's form, complete with a short, pleated skirt, a short vest, white shirt, and a hat with a long feather, would be outlined in the lights of passing carriages as a gloved hand began to slam down into the screeching demon's face. There were others and the Yokai's screams were going to alert them all. Ruka slammed the scroll against the Yokai's chest and watched it do its work. She rolled off the body and checked on the sprite. It was healing the man, but more Yokai would show up soon. The Yokai slowly disintegrated into ashes, leaving only the relic that Ruka needed before she grabbed it and took off running to find a spot to hide. The screams of the Yokai made this a hotbed of activity as others were making their presence known throughout the Teka District.
  18. After taking some time to locate the entrance of the military base, Minerva Ultstrong smiled as she had arrived. This was to be where she would learn to become a ranger, a real soldier for the Terran army. The only thing she wished she had more than anything was her father to see her on this day. Pushing back a tear, Minerva looked around for a moment, attempting to look for someone in charge. All she had was some clothes, her bow, her hunting knife and a couple of her favorite hunting trophies. A hoof from a raging bull she brought down, and part of an antler she wore around her neck from a buck that tried to take her out one morning. She wasn't a master hunter who killed unicorns or dragons or anything, but she did her best to make it happen. "Well, I'm sure someone in charge is around here. They'll be here in just a moment, I'm sure of it." Waiting patiently, Minerva stood at the entrance to the base, her smile never fading as her dreams were coming true. She only hoped that she could make these people proud of her and her abilities. All she's ever wanted was to serve her country and she felt like she could make a difference this way. @spacegy4
  19. Welcome to the Weland and Weland Gorge Quest Board! This board will be updated with weekly and monthly quests as well as quests for Weland and the Weland Gorge military base. The completion of a quest will get your character some in game loot in the form of artifacts, property, or some other compensation. The goal of this board is to create a place where new players can have a start at playing in the setting of Valucre without pressure, and to give the older players some new plot and character development. Most of all, I’d like for players to have fun! Here are some things to keep in mind before you decide to take a quest. Let PandaHat (me) know which quest you plan on taking. I do reply to PM’s on Val, just not often in a timely manner. Quests that are not taken after two months will be replaced with new ones. A quest that is taken that week will be updated on the board with a link to the corresponding thread. It is up to the discretion of the person who claims a quest as to whether or not other players will be able to join, as always. Posting rules and order is up to the discretion of the players. Also, let me know if a quest has been completed. I tried to be a mind reader. It didn’t work out. If there is a need for a storyteller or some general assistance, let me know. I can help, but in a very limited capacity. Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, how about we get to the quests? Monthly Quests: The Roaming Egg: A rare egg has been stolen from a shop in Renmin Square. The owner of the shop claimed the glowing egg was not for sale to the public and it was locked away in a box. Now a reward is being offered for the return of the egg. Or one could simply keep the phoenix egg for themselves. (Easy) From the Woods: To the South of Weland stretches Cory Scudders’ Woods. The Scudders brothers are a clan of centaurs that have gone rogue in recent years. Farmers are complaining about their crops getting destroyed or their livestock being killed. However, even more alarming is the rate of people, mostly women, going missing has gone up. Find the missing people and stop the raids from the woods. (Hard) Normal Quests (up until someone completes it and becomes part of Weland’s lore): What You Are: An old alchemist has recently created a tea that enables a person to transform into yokai. Are you willing to try the tea and see what the fuss is about? (Easy to Medium) The Two Sisters: Not much is known about the Okamura family tree. Taiji Okamura and his wife had two daughters, one they knew about and the other from a different mother. Now that Taiji is dead, one of the sisters knows that she is the only heir to their family heirloom, Genbu. The other sister bursts onto the scene and wants all of the samurai relics for herself in order to protect the city of Weland from an unknown threat. Choose a side and/or figure out the unknown threat to the city. (Easy) Welander Kaiju: A large armored creature has awakened from its slumber deep beneath Weland Gorge. It sets its sights on the source of the power that has awakened it, the hydroelectric plant of Weland Gorge along with the town and its inhabitants. Stop the monster from destroying the dam or the northern quarter of Weland will be destroyed. (Hard)
  20. The alarm started to go off on her clock, which meant only one thing. "Eight o'clock. Fuck." Rushing out of bed, Gokida Kawa Iwinari got dressed as quick as she could. Sensei didn't appreciate tardiness, which is why she set two alarms, but from the look of the broken clock beside the other one, this tardiness would be her fault yet again. Her scalp already felt bruised from the wallop she would surely get as her punishment. With her No-Dachi strapped to the duffel bag she kept her training clothes in, the young twenty year old dashed out the door of her room. Gokida has lived in Weland her entire life, so she knew that cutting through the Tekka district would get her there faster. Rounding scorner a few blocks from her apartment, Gokida saw that the way into the poorer district was sealed off. "What? This wasn't here yesterday. Didn't they already get rid of the plague?" With her shortcut blocked off, she would have to go the long way up to the family dojo. It was crap like this that got her in a bad way with the rest of her family. If she kept this up they would kick her out of the clan for good.
  21. Distances North: ~910 miles to sea. ~1300 miles to Patia. North-East: ~620 miles to Weland Gorge. ~1300 miles to Labyrinth Forest. East: ~1000 miles to Dougton. South-East: ~1700 miles to Casper. South: ~870 miles to Oliver Scudders' Woods. ~1500 miles to Hills of Noddendoddy. South-West: ~260 miles to Cory Scudders' Woods. West: ~670 miles to sea. North-West: ~650 miles to Marlboro Keep. Terrain/Climate Weland is bordered by mountains to the north, and almost surrounded by forests to the south. The city enjoys a temperate climate with cold winters and hot, humid summers. Winters have the potential to be harsh, with cold air being blown down from the mountains. The city often sees snowfall, but not to the point where it is constantly buried by snow. The spring tends to be cool and rainy. Summers are often hot and humid. Thunderstorms are not at all uncommon, due to the clashing of cold air from the mountains and the humidity from the city. Fog often rolls down from the mountains and blankets Weland with fog overnight that burns off with the rising sun. The soil in and around Weland is fertile and crops are rotated to keep the soil from losing its nutrients. Aside from grains and foodstuffs, many of Weland’s gardeners and farmers grow medicinal herbs. The growth of so many varieties of medicinal herbs along with the appearance of a well-known natural hot spring, Sazaeshita (spelling) Hot Spring, and a proposed hospital, utilizing Okamura’s Grace, aim to give Casper a run for their money on having the healthiest citizens. Political Atmosphere The citizens of Weland are in a state of discontent with their leadership. The view of the common citizen is that the leaders, the Okamura, are doing nothing to help them deal with the plague and the attack on their Lightning Rail. The belief is that the police department is corrupt and undisciplined, despite their officers being relatively well trained. It is common knowledge that most of the police force is made up of those in the higher levels of society that can afford the highest levels of education. Essentially, Weland is a powder keg, waiting to explode. However, the Okamura have been removed from office. A new regent has been elected and so far, things are hopeful for progress. The new regent is seen as being a proponent for change in getting rid of the outdated views of the old samurai family regime. Time will tell. Samurai The samurai have long run the society that governs Weland. The typical samurai is of the upper-class. They are few in number, outnumbered by the commoners by a vast margin. Despite their fewer numbers, the samurai are respected. Each samurai is descended from one of the few first families that have inhabited Weland since its founding. Through the generations, the ideals of being a samurai remain unchanged. While maintaining the idea of bushido, most samurai have been trained with more modern weapons, but the sword is the most sacred of all weaponry that one could hold. There are five notable families in Weland. These five families are considered to be the five original families from which Weland was actually founded. Each of these families have a special weapon that is passed down through the generations. These weapons are able to summon a guardian to aid them in battle. However, only one person can summon the guardian and that person is the one whom the weapon rightfully belongs to. Usually anyone else trying to summon a guardian has to face the wrath of the guardian unless it is a dire situation. However, the person who wields the weapon can dictate who they wish to hand it down to. These five notable families are The Okamura- The current ruling family and founders of Weland. This family’s sword gets passed down to the eldest son of each generation once that son reaches the age of 20. The current bearer of the sword is Kazuhiko Xanathi, having been given the blade by Masato Okamura. This sword summons Genbu, the Black Tortoise. The controller of the sword is given the ability to use stone based attacks and defense. The Torii- One of the rivals of the Okamura. Since the eldest daughter of the clan is married to Masato Okamura, there has been peace between the two rival families. This clan is known for their tactics using the fan. The fan is handed down to the eldest female once she reaches the age of 20. The current owner of the fan is Ayako Torii. She is able to summon Suzaku, the Vermillion Bird. The controller of the fan is given the ability to have control over air, which grants its user the ability of temporary levitation. The Araki- This family has typically stayed out of the way of both the Torii and the Okamura as they fought for leadership. Currently, the family is on friendly terms with the Okamura. They are widely known for their skill with the bow and arrow. To choose a guardian, candidates are thrust into an archery competition until the one who is the most accurate from the furthest distance wins. The current one who possesses the bow and arrows that represent the family is Yukimori Araki. The bow and arrows represent Ho-o, the Red Bird. The wielder of the bow and arrows is granted high levels of healing abilities for themselves and others. The Bessho- Another rival of both the Okamura and the Torii. This family has existed alongside the Araki and are often allies with the Araki. The weapon this family is known for using is the naginata, a bladed staff. It is currently wielded by Fumiko Bessho.The naginata is used to summon Byakko, the White Tiger. It is usually the eldest child regardless of gender that is handed the naginata. Byakko allows the user to utilize fire and lightning magic. The Iwanari- This family is on friendly terms with the Okamura, but is known for being double-crossers when push comes to shove. They are not known to be trustworthy, but they are known for being very strong allies, producing very capable fighters. The family weapon is the no-dachi, a very long sword. The no-dachi is handed down to the child who most demonstrates their ability to fight and survive without a weapon. It is seen as a gift to be invited to go on “The Great Hunt”. The guardian of the Iwanari is Zennyo Ryo, the Blue Dragon. The no-dachi grants its user the power over water, to make rain and use water and ice based attacks. The one who possesses this sword is Ginzo Iwanari. The samurai clans are older than Weland itself. All of them once worshipped Yomigane no Ookami at some point. The Torii were the first to convert to Gaianism, which started the rift between the Okamura and Torii. Slowly, the Torii were able to convert the Iwanari to Gaianism and the families fought amongst one another. It wasn't until the Araki had converted that the Bessho and Okamura converted to Gaianism. Following the teachings of Gaianism, the Okamura buried all evidence of Yomigane no Ookami’s worship along with the worship of her pantheon. Those who have been chosen to wield the weapons of the family guardians are considered to be guardians of the city. These guardians take great pride in protecting the city in a more vigilante type style. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for the group to put politics aside sometimes to fight together as a cohesive unit. Shinobi Shinobi are even harder to find than samurai. Unlike samurai, they do not prefer the pomp and circumstance that a samurai would prefer. Their actions are performed in secret, often at night. During the day, the shinobi often act as normal merchants, wanderers, or any other type of average citizen. However, at night, they can become hardened killers. Many shinobi are skilled commoners, which makes it even harder to pin down one shinobi. Like samurai, shinobi operate with clans. Clans have a different power structure than a samurai’s family would. Unlike samurai, most aren’t born with a title of leadership. Leadership is earned by completing missions successfully. Punishment for failure is often harsh and can even include very painful ways to die. It is rare, extremely rare for a shinobi to quit and survive for more than three days, but it is possible. Shinobi typically are only loyal to those who pay them the most either in money or favors. They swear to the mission until the end. Some even carry poison on them to kill themselves with, just so that they could avoid the terrible punishment. A clan of shinobi are a conglomerate of families that work together and benefit from one another. There are three major clans that operate in Weland. These clans do not take kindly to others operating on their “turf”. They have their own territories in Weland and have it divided three ways. Occasionally, the clans will work together as one unit if there is a major mission that affects Weland as a whole. These three clans are: The Kakushigoto: This is a clan formed of three families. First is the smallest family, the Ikeda. This family is skilled mostly at poisons and close range combat. The Ikeda are all dragons that masquerade as humans and are considered to be extremely dangerous. The Eru have been part of the Kakushigoto for a long time. Their specialty is disguises and explosives. Ever since the influx of newer, more powerful explosives, the Eru have decided to fine tune it to provide more lethal results. The last family that is part of the Kakushigoto is the Hinode. These people are chameleons, able to blend in perfectly with their surroundings and gather information to aid the other two families that are part of the clan. The Henshin: The Henshin is comprised of two families, the Karasu and the Yakou. The Henshin is comprised of shapeshifters. The Karasu are able to take the form of a crow, while the Yakou are able to take the form of a fox. The two clans have an uneasy agreement, and they both seem to distrust one another. However, the pair do not attack each other and are often seen working together. The Inzen: A clan comprised mostly of shinobi who are not part of a family. This clan operates more like a roving street gang than in the organized fashion of the other two clans. They often are seen unfavorably by the other two clans. Their abilities are largely unknown and believed to be widely varied. The Inzen also are the most numerous of all the clans. Most shinobi are hired by samurai families as spies. Though, occasionally, they are used to collect debts, capture criminals who have learned how to evade the samurai themselves, or to even kill those who are thought to pose a danger to society. Essentially, the shinobi are the “cleaners” of Weland’s society. Unlike the samurai, the shinobi have very little impact on the religious movement in Weland with many clans still worshipping Yomigane no Ookami in secret. Historical Timeline Hotaka Okamura discovers the bog that will become Weland. He envisions it as being a paradise for himself initially. Gradually, he runs out of money to fund the building of his own fortress on the wetlands and has to ask other samurai families for help. Leaping at the opportunity to have a better fortified location, four other families accept. They were all tired at being badgered by centaurs, undead, and angry fae folk. The construction accelerates rapidly. Hotaka Okamura converts to Gaianism and tries to get the other families to do the same. A quarrel breaks out, but construction continued. Construction finally finishes. Weland opens its doors to people, offering adequate housing that was unique compared to the clay homes that were the main source of shelter in surrounding cities. At first, housing was cheap, but despite this, very few people made the jump to live in Weland. Using force, everyone is finally converted to Gaianism. The Sazaeshita (spelling) Hot Spring is discovered. Over the next two years, the water is experimented upon and found to have curative properties. This causes people from surrounding villages to filter in, hoping to be able to make money off the water from the hot springs. The Hotaka Blossom opens in this same year. Hotaka Okamura dies. Okamura’s Grace and the surrounding gardens are built in his honor. They are finished two years later. The lower floor is transformed into a library. Taiji Okamura is appointed as regent and Taiji appoints Masato, his younger brother, as the director of defense. Taiji, in an attempt to eclipse his father, introduced many influences from the outside cities via trade deals. Over the course of a decade, Weland modernized. Many different races of people moved to Weland to aid with industry. Jobs were plenty as well as food. Economy and Influences Weland’s economy relies on trade with the closest cities of Casper and Dougton. While Patia is a neighboring city, there is not much interaction between the two cities. Weland’s exports include wood, steel, silk, rice, vegetables, and in very rare occurrences, water from Saezashita Springs. Casper provides Weland with fish, a very important part of the diets in Weland as well as a way to fertilize farmer’s fields, salt, and iron. Dougton provides Weland with wheat and textiles. While Weland remains a unique city, there are a few influences that are prevalent in Weland’s culture from outside the city. There is a sense of paranoia and superstition in some of the poorer parts of Weland. This stems from their old religion mostly. The city’s leaders wish to have the healthiest population out of every city in Terrenus. They look to Casper and Paul’s Hospital as a model for this. The rivalry is a friendly one where everyone seems to benefit. While Casper is bustling, Weland is more relaxed and many shops sell medicinal herbs and potions for the travel. Much of Weland’s manufacturing goes to making weapons and items to defend the city from outside invaders, such as the inhabitants of the woods around them which see Weland as being a noisy distraction and a brutal killer of the environment. Some do so for foreign religious reasons. For this reason, many common citizens are trained to fight and defend themselves, even women and children. Old Gods of Weland Yomigane no Ookami is the goddess of oaths and contracts. While the power is split evenly between four deities, she is one of the most important ones. She has been sealed beneath the Gaian Temple in Weland to be forgotten over the years. She has been recently freed and has imbued some of her power and will into a woman named Shigeko and her companion, Ichi. Her main artifact is a black bladed wakazashi known as the Pen of Yomigane. It is being kept safely by the Okamura. With the pen, Yomigane’s agents could and would be able to awaken Yomigane’s brothers and sister in the same manner that Yomigane was awakened. Meibatsu no Ookami is the god of retribution. Like Yomigane, he is a major god in the old religion of Weland. He still remains imprisoned, waiting to be freed by Yomigane’s agents. Shouraku no Ookami is the goddess of bliss. She has also been imprisoned and remains as such. However, statues of her likeness had formerly decorated the streets of Weland. She is not quite as powerful as Yomigane or Meibatsu, but she is definitely more popular. Souzou no Ookami is the god of creation. His likeness is often that of an older man with a long beard. His image was seen often in works of Weland art. He is seen riding a horse, carrying a large paintbrush. In the beginning, Souzou was feeling lonely. He waited an eternity for something to happen, but when he grew old, he began to create his siblings, starting with Shouraku. Shouraku made Souzou incredibly happy with her jokes and her songs, but she felt that something was missing. Shouraku convinced Souzou to create the first humans. First they were created in Souzou’s image. Shouraku became rather envious and convinced Souzou to make humans in her image. Together, the siblings created plants and animals to entertain the humans. After a while, the humans were causing harm to each other and to some of the animals, so in a rage, Souzou created both Yomigane and Meibatsu to govern the humans. Respectfully, they did and the humans became “tame” and more friendly. While Souzou and Shouraku worked in the background, Yomigane and Meibatsu governed the humans accordingly and peace was restored. Secretive temples are located around the city, dedicated to these four gods. There is one in each quarter, which people now believe connect the gods to the four cardinal points on a compass. These temples are said to seal the gods’ powers beneath the surface of Valucre. The only god that has been freed so far is Yomigane, in the east. Her powers have been granted to two citizens, but her weapon remains missing. It is said to be located somewhere in Okamura’s Grace along with the weapons of the other gods. The popularity of Gaianism and the frequent appearances of Gaianist Inquisitors have caused this religion to become more of something secretive. Holidays and Tournaments Winter Snow Festival: This festival is usually held in Renmin Square. Food stalls open to serve hot soups, stews, and curry. Jade Lake is used as an ice skating rink. Usually during this festival, there is a beauty contest to see who would be crowned Miss Winter Beauty. It is usually judged by “famous” locals. Spring Flower Festival: Bring your prettiest flowers! This festival boasts magnificent creations made with flowers from the small statuette to the large monument. During this time, citizens are encouraged to picnic in the garden outside Okamura’s Grace. Summer Fireworks Festival: The largest festival featuring fireworks! Competitions are thrown, seeing who can make the biggest and best fireworks display. There are games of chance, many food stalls, and even amusement park rides. The city is lit all in red, the color of fire. During this time, there is a large festival at night in Renmin Square complete with music and dancing. Autumn Harvest Festival: The largest food festival in Terrenus! There are food competitions, games, and prizes. Of course there are prizes! Farmers from Terrenus are invited to show off their produce and livestock. At the end of the day, there is a drinking contest. Major tournaments happen twice a year. However, there are always smaller tournaments happening in Weland. There are several syndicates of underground fighters. Some schools exist in Weland that teach explicitly fighting in a certain style. There is no dominant fighting school in Weland as of yet. The two major tournaments happen before the Spring Flower Festival and before the Autumn Harvest festival. The winners of these tournaments are given special honors at the festivals. Government Current Regent: Chizuru Ryuzoji Peace Keeper: Zeph Vidal The current government consists of Chizuru Ryuzoji as the regent. The previous samurai families are more akin to celebrities and guard captains. Chizuru has established a council that is known as Guardians. While she chooses to take more of a back seat to this group, the formation of this group was mainly for the citizens to have a voice. Chizuru feels that the guardians are the bridge between her and the citizens. While the regent works on projects to benefit the city, the Guardians are there to protect the citizens while giving Chizuru feedback. Important Landmarks Okamura’s Grace: A 13-story tower that is/was home to the Okamura clan as they ruled over Weland. The first floor is a public library. The second two floors are administrative offices for the library. The 4th-6th floors contain offices and spaces dedicated to the Weland guards. There are holding cells, an infirmary, and police desks. The 7th and 8th floors are offices dedicated to the city management of Weland. The 9th floor contains the offices of Taiji and Masato Okamura. The 10th-13th floors are were the Okamura family actually resides. These floors boast floor to ceiling windows made from tempered glass, able to absorb bullets. A complex network of Welander steel and other building material meets geomancy to form the tower’s foundation. A magitech system has formed a thin shield of constantly moving air that shields the floors from the 4th floor to the 13th floor to help deter any projectiles from damaging the tower from the outside. The central system controlling the device is located somewhere on the 8th floor. The interior of the building is heavily guarded by droids and human patrols. The higher up the building, the more security clearance is needed. The Hotaka Blossom: This teahouse was named after Hotaka Okamura, the founder of Weland. This tea house boasts three stories, and is considered the most popular tea house in Weland by residents and tourists alike. The Hotaka Blossom is the spot where people can meet with samurai, chatter with beautiful women, and enjoy Weland’s hospitality. Renmin Square: A bustling marketplace right in the center of Weland. Here, one can find anything from top notch weapons to fresh produce to beautiful clothing. This marketplace is always busy and it is always loud with shopkeepers trying to attract shoppers to their stalls. Teka District/ Rantou: This is considered one of the shadier parts of the city. This is where there is a market for unconventional weaponry, bootleg goods, and other services. The Rantou is an underground fighting ring that hosts high-stakes tournaments. The Teka District is found deep within Weland’s Western Quarter. Kabukicho: The theater district is dull of theaters, bawdy tea houses, and bars. Located in the Eastern Quarter, it is currently mostly abandoned, slated to be renovated. The plague hit Kabukicho harder than any other part of Weland. It is currently considered to be lawless land that is rarely patrolled by the Weland guards. Saezaeshita Hot Spring and Onsen: The waters from the hot spring are said to have healing qualities. There is no other place in Terrenus that has a feature that boasts this quality. The hot spring is a large tourist attraction, attracting people from all over Terrenus to experience the rejuvenating effects of the hot spring’s water. The mysterious nature of the water’s warmth and the fact that there is no actual source funneling into the spring is often chalked up as being a part of Gaia’s warmth or being part of one of Souzou no-Ookami’s strange creations. Xingjuan Garden and Quan Lake: This garden surrounds Okamura’s Grace and borders Renmin Square. It is a large city park with flowers and trees that are planted in a way that makes the garden constantly burst with color. The lake is a recreational lake that is used for fishing or canoeing. This is a very romantic spot. Population Humans make up most of the population. This is followed by elves, dwarves, anthros, and draconians. Humans make up 55% of the population, elves and anthros make up 30% (20% anthros and 10% elves) of the population combined, dwarves make up 8% of the population and draconians make up 7% of the population. Fashion The fashion of Weland is constantly changing. These days, the youthful fashions tend to combine traditional robes and hakama with clothing designs from far away places in Terrenus. The population boast a style of dress that is a true melting pot from all over Valucre that is combined with the traditional fashions from the old days of Weland’s founding. Transportation Lightning Rail: Currently destroyed. This is a mode of transportation that connects the cities of Terrenus to each other. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in two separate terrorist attacks. Trolleys: The trolleys are used mostly for local transportation. They run on a consistent schedule and are affordable. However, they aren’t known to be speedy. These trolleys do not run at night. Supido Trains: A small subway system that is privately owned. These trains only travel throughout Weland underground. The tickets are more expensive than that of a trolley, but one could pay more for a weekly or monthly rate. The Supido Trains have a characteristic yellow color. The headquarters is housed in a building in the Southern Quarter. The trains run on a schedule that continues throughout the night. Train stations are found in every quarter and each quarter has about five train stations. The trains are very reliable and clean. Carriages and Bikes: Bikes are one of the most popular forms of transportation. Many of the busier roads around Weland have specific lanes for bicycle traffic. Traditional carriages and motorized carriages also travel the streets of Weland, but they are expensive and some streets aren’t wide enough for two carriages to travel down them at the same time. Airship: Airships are generally privately owned. They are very expensive and there are not many places where an airship can land. Ferry: The main ferry company in Weland is the Enko Kappa Ferry Company. They are a family owned business that has been around since the founding of Weland. They specialize in delivering freight and also carrying people to and from Weland. The ticket prices often are cheap in the summer and expensive in the winter, as the Day River tends to freeze. The ships must use more gas to break through the ice. Weland’s Quarters Northern Quarter: This is the wealthiest part of Weland. Okamura’s Grace is located in the Northern Quarter. Many of the residents live in siheyuan, homes comprised of villas surrounding a courtyard. These homes are made from clay and wood mostly. The Araki and Okamura reside in the Northern Quarter. This quarter is more traditional in appearance with smaller marketplaces that sell goods that can also often be found in Renmin Square. The atmosphere is peaceful. The crime rate in the Northern Quarter is very low. Western Quarter: One of the poorer regions of Weland. Many of the people in this quarter work on farms on the outskirts of Weland or they work in the steel factories. The homes in this quarter have been formed out of clay and stone by Terran geomancy. These homes look similar to those found in Casper. The crime rate is higher than that in the Northern and Southern Quarters. The people here have adopted an approach of not ratting one another out which makes fighting crime difficult. The Teka District and Rantou are located here. Things that cannot be found in Renmin Square are often sold in the Teka District for a very high price. The Iwanari family call this district home. The shinobi clan, The Karasu, also call this district home. They operate a few shops in the Teka District. The headquarters of the steel industry is found in this quarter as well. Southern Quarter: This is considered one of the modern quarters with large buildings. Most of the population calls the Southern Quarter home. The Southern Quarter is the headquarters of the burgeoning medical field. Medical research and technology is starting to blossom. This is considered to be one of the more hopeful places to live in Weland, as the quarter is changing from being behind in the times to catching up and even surpassing many cities in Terrenus. The crime rate in the Southern Quarter is relatively high, as people see the wealthiness of those in this quarter as an open door to theft. The guards often patrol the Southern Quarter, but there is a growing sentiment for those who prefer to be vigilantes of sorts. The Torii and Bessho reside in the Southern Quarter. Those who live in this quarter live in tall buildings, but none towering over Okamura’s Grace. Eastern Quarter: This is the poorest district in Weland currently. A plague has ravaged the quarter and has killed off many of the younger men and women. This leads to a sense of lawlessness in this quarter. The homes in the Eastern Quarter are siheyuan, just like those in the Northern Quarter. This was once a very prosperous section of Weland. Many of the siheyuan are abandoned. This quarter houses Kabukicho, which now has many empty theaters and closed down bars. Many of the businesses were bought by Chizuru Ryuzoji-Xanathi in an attempt to rejuvenate the theater district. The headquarters for the shinobi clan, Kakushigoto, and Chizuru’s own home are in the Eastern Quarter. The guard rarely visits the Eastern Quarter. Education Education is considered to be one of the most important aspects of Welander society. Schools are highly competitive with one another. Not only that, but students are also very competitive with each other. Weland is home to many private elementary schools that attempt to woo parents with high test scores and military curriculum. These are considered to be prestigious schools. However, most remain on par with Weland’s public education system in terms of military curriculum. Public schools in Weland focus mostly on learning of the military. At a young age, students are taught how to defend themselves without weapons. As children get older, they learn how to use weapons to defend themselves. The history of Terrenus, arithmetics, languages, and social studies round out the elementary school education. In intermediate school, students begin learning about trade and, in a lesser extent, economics. After intermediate school, students are given the opportunity to go to a trade school, continue to a military school, or continue to a school that teaches children about more scholarly pursuits that will lead them to further their education at a university either in Weland or beyond Weland’s borders. Excellence in education is stressed in Weland. Their reasoning is seemingly connected to the idea that each student who does well in school will be a benefit to the city of Weland. To do poorly in school is to be a humiliation to not just family, but sometimes even an entire school. Alienation is not uncommon to students who do poorly. A student who does well is a success, and each success is a contribution to society- from students who are just starting out in school at the age of 5 to students ending school at the age of 17 or 18. The idea that an excellent student will lead to a lifetime of personal wealth is not something that is heard of in Weland. A student that does well in school is becoming a productive member of society. Before a student graduates to move up to a different school, they must take exams that cover all areas that were taught in school. The average school day in Weland lasts from early morning to early evening. During exam times, students may stay at school for longer days in order to study. To fail an exam would be shameful for a student. There are occasional instances where students would hurt or kill themselves if they were to fail. However, students get the opportunity to take exams again after another year. While there are numerous elementary and intermediate schools scattered across Weland, there are only four very large high schools in Weland. Tenjin Academy: Students who do not wish to go to trade school and only wish to move on to a university would generally go to this school. This school has been split into two separate academies, both bearing the same name. This is the most popular school amongst those who graduate from intermediate school. The schools are divided between the Tenjin Academy of Science in the Southern Quarter of Weland and the Tenjin Academy of the Arts in the Northern Quarter of Weland. Curriculum in the Academy of Science focuses mainly on alchemy, biology, and medicine. The Academy of the Arts focuses on languages, writing, music, and other fine art. Tamonten Military Academy: While learning self-defense is drilled into the core of every student in Weland, the military academy goes further. Students learn about military history, in depth lessons about weaponry and technology, and strategy. Upon graduation of this school, most students enlist in the Terren military or they work for the city guard. Kanayama Trade Institute: This school has a short year, as most of the students go out on an apprenticeship. Students are expected to already know a trade which they would pursue. Many students that go to this school only go for about two years before they’re deemed successful enough to work full time with other people in their fields. Weapon and armor smithing is the most popular trade at this school, but careers based in the engineering field and the magitech assembly fields are becoming increasingly popular as Weland becomes a more modern society. Jade Lake University: Named after the lake that is found in the Xingjuan Garden. The university caters to students from all over Terrenus. Its curriculum focuses mostly on engineering and science related fields. Medicine is the most popular major. In all schools, religion is not something that is taught. This is not done as a blow to the Gaianism majority. The push to keep religion out of education is to immerse the student with real world logic. Credits supernal, for the original creation of Weland hawkwrithe, for the initial overhaul of the lore PandaHata, for current management and additions of lore
  22. The young teenage girl walked along the outskirts of the Northern Quarter of Weland. She had been traveling for some time from the monastery that she lived in for most of her life, with a few of the monks as chaperones because she had wandered off many times in the boundaries of the monastery. The snow covered streets gave her directions to go to Okumara's Grace, where the monks told her about the mission she was supposed to help out with. The monks told Joy that she was there to talk to the dead and see if something went wrong in the afterlife or if something was missing, which she wasn't sure what they were talking about. The only thing that made sense to her was the friends that she talked to, but it seemed like the monks couldn't see them at all and some of the had the same exact names as people in her textbooks. The blonde-haired and green-eyed teenager walked to the first station for the trolley, and then picked up a map. She looked for the quickest route to Okumara's Grace, but she got easily distracted when she started hearing some voices. She looked up to find out where the voices were, before realizing that she had to stick with the station in case the trolley came by. The voice called to her again, and she finally saw what it was coming from. The voice was coming from a person that didn't look like they were fully in the world, and looked at a bit crazed. Not fully realizing that going towards the person was the best idea for staying safe (Stranger Danger was sadly not an idea that stuck with Joy for a long time), she moved up. "Hey, how are you doing today?" cheerfully blurted out Joy, waving her hand at the spirit. @PandaHat @B2BBear@CaptainCausal @Alex Kimichi
  23. Kazuhiko heard word of Rin’s predicament in the cell she was being held in. The prison was one of the worst in Terrenus and the foolish woman decided to put herself there. Guards watched their Prince with an unease. Their young master had been pacing the hallway, or living room quarters lost in deep thought. They assumed he pined after the woman that had been imprisoned and rumors flourished. One would think that the rumors would wilt and die like a newly plucked rose, but they continued to manifest around the prince. Caught in a dilemma, he glanced at his family’s crest, that was stamped on his uniform, in a gilded mirror that hung in the hallway. He stopped pacing and the act made the guards nervous. Kazuhiko waved his hand at them to dismiss them from his sight. Now was the time to be alone with his thoughts and consider his next plan of action. To sit idly, would prolong the situation and it was his firm belief that one solved problems through action. His cobalt gaze looked outside and he watched the sunset lazily descend across the skyscape. Brilliant purples, peaches and salmon colors, blended in to create an ethereal surprise that only mother nature could achieve. He was taken aback for a moment by its beauty and went back to his thoughts. Rin was placed in the most secure facility because of her nature, not just her actions. Rumors had spread like wildfire that he had been the one to arrest the infamous dark princess. The act had been done with a heavy heart, their history stirred something in him that he couldn’t quite relate to yet. He studied the family crest again and knew what had to be done. Shadows morphed around their master and claimed him for the umteenth time that day. A blackened cocoon shrouded his form and took the prince to another part of the palace. The guards would never see him, but perhaps they would feel his eerie presence, but not be able to recall what that spine-tingling sensation was about. His movements were with purpose and his path secured, he took a few more turns down the corridors and evaded his own guards with ease. Once in awhile one felt his presence, but it would be felt like a cold chill that ran through their morrow. The shadows understood their masters desires and carried him through the dark veil. In the veil, everything was warped to the perception of the shadow realm. From his perspective, it was of the norm, but to another being, everything would appear nightmarish and unbearable. “Rin…” His voice whispered toward her cell. She would recognize his deep honeyed tone. The guards marched outside her quarters, so their escape would have to be timed with great precision. He calculated the footfalls of the guards and knew they had limited time to carry her through the veil. The only drawback of taking her through the veil, was that she risked corruption because of her nature. @Rin
  24. It had been years since she heard anything about her dearest brother, last she knew he was still revolting against the belief of following in the footsteps of their father. Rumors and whispers about the great castle that sprung up in Athentha run by the great Raven Sithis brought her from the shadows, inspired her to come forth once more. Eternity had spent much of her time traveling to the places revealed in her visions, often trying to decipher their meanings. This time they were cloudy, blurred with little showings the closer she got to her destination of Weland. The woman clearly came from royalty of sorts based on the way she carried herself, she was clean and well groomed. With long thick red hair falling to her waist, teasing over the silk fabric of the yellow dress she wore. The dress stopped just above the knee, giving room to show the black knee high boots she wore. Naturally her mother would have preferred longer skirts, but she was dead and Eternity didn't care much anymore. The sweet aroma of lavender teased her nose as she got closer to the Tea House near the more upper class of town, the herbs and flowers grown for the teas smelled wonderful. Warmth flowed over her body with the thought of tea, of the sight of the leaves soaking the water with their essence. The decision was made before she could think much more, following in other women dressed in such beautiful kimonos, Eternity was smiling as she was soon greeted. Met at the door by the tea house staff, they seemed to whisper among themselves about the deep red of their guests hair, and the vermillion gaze that smiled at them. She was a rare beauty in this land, hard to ignore by some. Following a young woman to a table, she would take a long look around. “Sweet Rose tea, please.” Her voice was soft and perfect to the ear drums. If she sang it would become ever so hypnotizing for those around her. The woman bowed before rushing off to fetch the tea and other arrangements, leaving Eternity watching the other staff tend other patrons.
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