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Voting has reset for the month of September. Valucre is in the top 10 but we aim for the top 3 for maximum visibility when people land on the home page of the topsite. If you want to help new members discover Valucre, vote for us daily.

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      Vote for Valucre [September]   09/01/2017

      Voting for the month of September is open on TopRPSites! Vote for Valucre daily and help new members searching for a place to roleplay discover the same joys you have in Valucre. You can vote daily, so make voting for Valucre a habit. Discussion thread

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"I am not quite sure I understand what it is you are saying, Bishop Leeto."

"The High Lord Mason no longer requires your employ. He feels that you have become old."

"He feels ... or you feel?"

"I speak for His will and I am His testament. After your display in the court, you have dishonored Him."

"...because I did not strike down a fellow soldier of the Crystal for your sport?"

"No. Because you failed obey me. Because you could not show the counsel how you are supposedly so successful. Because of your actions, doubt has spread throughout the program and doubt to your ability and skill has come into question. Speculation as to whether your victims are even dead now that you could not even kill another being for the sake of your Lord and Master."

"I chose wisdom over murder to keep the secret of my being. Of the things I am forbade to speak of ... punishable by death and you use it against me? Why?"

"Because of your actions and words. You lack the ability to follow, quietly. Sure, you do as you are asked ... but you constantly question my authority."

"So this is about your pride. Precisely why I question you, Bishop. The High Lord has never so much imparted a word to me, except supposedly through you. I have done my own digging. The slaughter of families. Specific groups. Ties to a small village. All of them revolve around your past ... as a commoner."

"You will silence yourself and be so. By decree of the High Lord Mason, you have been stripped of your title and possessions and relieved of your duties and forfeit your life, as such."

 

Long shadows stretched across the center of the room, spilling demons of the darkness from beyond the pillars of chaos. High ceilings kept by columns of crimson offered solitude to soldiers, whom now emerged with ethereal blades drawn. Their mystic glow of aquamarine harshly contrasted the tyrannical shadows that now lingered to outcast a man who gave his life to the sword for a man he had never met, nor seen.

 

"Take him outside of the city. Into the forest. Dispose of this traitorous trash." The bishop pointed at the man, "Fox Blade. Your name shall be stained with your treason, henceforth."

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"I may be stricken, but you will remember my face when I haunt your sleep and stand over your corpse..."

 

Tucked between the arms of two men and surrounded from sight, the gaggle stalked through the shadows of narrow buildings and away from the military barracks which resided in the middle section between what would be considered Upper Cosanastre and Lower. The group could not afford for any of the Lessers to see a prisoner in transport, due to sympathizers and stowaway rebels from Izral; heretics, the lot of them...

Emerging from a safeway tunnel outside of the walls of Cosanastre, two men remained at the open gateway while the other four pursued on with the traitor. They assumed that his senses had been dulled by the black shroud over his crown, and yet the smell of the walkways and the sounds of the watery passages surrounding gave him a keen indication of his whereabouts.

He had lived and breathed these walls from a whelp. The smell of the north guard shack wafted through his nostrils of wintergreen herb, which the men on the gates used to keep them up and their eyes wide. Each place had something unique about it: a taste upon the air—the south gate loved target practice, so it often smelled of static mana from the small arms fire, west was all older men carving wood and the sweet scent of caasta filled the nostrils, and the east smelled of piss most often—the harbor for criminals—mostly the Lessers who had been caught stealing food for their families...

They had kept quiet until they were out of the city, but now that they were two men down, doubt filled a voice, "Is this guy really the Fox Blade?"

"Supposedly. But they said he was a traitor because he failed the courtyard combat trial. If it was the Fox Blade truly, I think he wouldn't have lost..."

"But ... you know ... if it is ... I heard he was a demon."

"I heard that he was an experiment using the Crystal's powers."

"Oh, nonsense. Who did you hear that hogs-wallow from?"

"Gentry down at south gate."

"That alcoholic?" Fox questioned and all the men hesitated to look at him for a moment.

Edited by fox blade

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Cosanastre and its underground network of tunnels were known to every man, woman and child within the boundaries of Alterion. With the nation's history of piracy and conquest, it came as no surprise that its capital, no matter how Holy or revered, played host to a network of tunnels and passages that stretched for miles beneath Alterion's surface. This was common knowledge a ditch digger in Terrenus could hear over a stale mug of ale or poorly performed fellatio. What remained a mystery, even to those within the nation's borders, was navigating the labyrinth of tunnels. One needed to be intimately familiar with the Masonic Higher Ups in order to know which passage ended where. 

How a lone man, drunk beyond all reason, stumbled out of the darkness of the tunnel (roughly fifty yards behind the guards) was anyone's guess. Though a short distance from the men, it was clear that the figure was tall--the lanky proportion of his limbs marked him as gangly. Garbed in dark robes, the man possessed the trappings of a standard wanderer of the realm, a simple satchel upon one hip and a jug of wine upon the other.

The man's staggering came to an abrupt halt, along with whatever string of murmurings that plagued his lips. Standing upright, the dark clad fellow ran a hand down his rumpled robes and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

"I'm...I'm am not...that is to say, I'm sober as an oak." Narrowing his eyes at the men, he raised his voice. "Does any among your ilk, my fine friends, possess the skills of a healer? I ran afoul of a rather economically priced young lady and it's been a week since I've had a clean piss." Despite his initial stutter, the man's focus persevered and allowed him to speak clearly and concisely his request for medical attention.

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"Do you think the Bishop is overstretching his word of the Lord High Mason?" One of the men muttered quietly, taking a drag from a rolled piece of tobacco as he watched the group disappear over the hill against the tree line. He crouched slowly upon the hillside, holding a spear against his shoulder before turning a squinted eye to his watchful counterpart who stood in front of a rogue bush relieving himself.

"Best keep shitè like that to yourself, bruv... you'll be next."

"—that is what I'm getting at. The. Fox. Blade. THE!" He hissed through whispered teeth, "If that guy literally is the Fox Blade—how many have been butchered without a trace?"

"You heard the whispers of the court yesterday though ... everyone did. He supposedly faked all of those deaths."

"Ohyie, horse shit. How do you merc over a hundred people ... easily a hundred, mind you—AND those were just the bounty boards and clean ups for harder jobs ... and none have been found since. We're talkin' years, bruv!" He waved a maddening hand with the ember of the cigarette drawing a frantic line of hysteric legitimacy.

"So what are you saying? That guy... who just walked off with ONLY four people and was escorted by SIX SeeD Elites ...—?" He shook his dick off and turned slowly to hear someone else approaching.

"I'm saying! They're not all on some fuckin' island alive...!" With a quick pivot, a drunken man stumbled out of the tunnels with clarity and precision to his alcohol-fouled words. "Oyie... Riva's Tit... fuckin' drunkard nearly scared the shit out of me..." The smoking soldier had a spear in hand by now and leaned toward the figure while the other soldier finished with his trousers and turned slowly, waving a hand. "How the hell did you even find you way through there... get lost."

"Maybe if we investigated XaengriLa?" He took another thoughtful drag off the cancer stick.

"Oh shut the fuck up, Carl." Turning away from the drunk, the soldier stared into the forest line with some sort of curiosity and concern, "...if... I were the Fox Blade ..." He chewed his lip with some concern before looking back to his counterpart, "... I'd have waited to be that far out and alone ... you ... don't think ..."

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"Oyie. This is the end of the line for you, bub. I don't know what you did to piss off the Bishop... but you shouldn't fake being someone like the Fox Blade. Bad deal all around."

Three of the soldiers took the Fox and pinned him to a tree before lacing the rope around his wrists on the other side of the tree, then his neck and knees before standing back and chuckling. Two cigarettes were lit within the first minute of their completion and they looked around the blackened forest with nothing more than faint blue glowing from two drawn swords and the amber crackle of inhalation.

"There is no way this guy is the Fox Blade. Totally compliant. Not even a fight put up. I mean—that guy is ruthless, right?" Asked the youngest of them.

"I heard he once took out an entire village by himself. Someone that denied giving tribute to the Lord High Mason..." Spoke a second.

The third snickered, "Women and children. I think it was like twenty folks in total."

"Thirty, actually. And no women and children were slain. I don't make it a habit of killing the innocent or weak, my bloodlust doesn't permit the taste of either. And it wasn't a lack of tribute—but a conquest point for mineral and material beneath their camp. One place we found ancient Alterna for the Bishop's study. Gems of magnified and ample power, that could transform a man into a Zodiack of Legend. Said to be thirteen stones in total, but one has been stricken and forbidden... to speak of." Fox monologued nonchalantly. 

"Luckily for you all, hearing of this forbidden alterna from a treacherous outcast as I seem to be now—your deaths will be meaninglessly compliant with the Law of the Mason."

The four of them laughed and passed their cigarettes around and shared drags. All blades were sheathed now, as though they were just getting comfortable and enjoying the cool night breeze that passed through the tree, listening to the story and enjoying this man's amusing threats.

"There's four of us. You're tied to a tree, fool. No wonder the Bishop wants you dead... you're fuckin' crazy."

"Zodiack of Legend? You mean like ... Lucavi?" Came the quiet of the third.

"Fuckin' nerd." The fourth mumbled with a chuckle and a slow long drag of the smoke as he listened.

"A reader, eh? Indeed. So you know of the zodiacs?"

"Yeah. I've heard of them, but that is just a rumor."

"Is it now? I know you've heard of the decimation of Izral rebellions quelled by a smog of black cloud and nothing is left behind..."

"... that's just a unique power."

"No... no. Pray tell, reader—the thirteenth?"

"There is no such thing!" The second chimed in and laughed once more.

"Not entirely accurate... The books speak of lore and rumor, beyond even those of the zodiacs—the enigma, revered; even among the others."

"You're far too smart to just be an Elite SeeD, my boy. Your talents and intellect have been wasted." Fox chuckled from beneath the black hood.

"What are you saying then, Fox Blade?"

"Bruv. He's not the Fox Blade!" Came the first, throwing his cigarette to the ground and pulling his blade from it's sheath once more.

"There is no way he is a drunken idiot or commoner with this extensive knowledge." Chimed two.

"How do you know so much about it then?" Questioned four.

"... I have access to the High Mason's Royal Library. Invitation only."

"... how the fuck did you get that?" Barked one, however he was clearly on edge and affected by the realization.

"He had to have been in there or known someone, but he seems to know more than I..."

"Fuck this." One snarled, and swung the blade at Fox's head.

 

Even now, it was far too late...

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The drunk appeared oblivious to the situation unfolding before him, for despite the warnings of the soldiers and the palpable tension in the air, he staggered forward towards the group. Earth and greenery crunched beneath his feet as he made his way up the hill, only barely seeing the kneeling figure the guards surrounded. Giving pause at this revelation, the man peered about the area. It was, he decided, as good a place as any for a man to meet his end. The picturesque city of Cosanastre stretched behind them--a monolith of beauty and order amidst the chaos of the wilds that surrounded them. The foliage of the forest at his front, the city at his back, and the fading sun slowly disappearing beyond the horizon.

"The old folk that settled this land...long before the Masons and their forefathers came, used to say that the Sun died every night, only to be reborn each morning, put together by the light of the moon."  The man let loose a loud huff, the trek up the hill having taken it's toll on him. Raising his arms above his head, the gangly figure tried to catch his breath.

The men did not hear him, rather they did not care to, their focus was fixed intently on the man at their center.

"They didn't fear death like so many today do, they saw it as a necessity another adventure they were tasked to endure by the gods."

No doubt the men were all much to busy to mind the ramblings of some drunk wanderer--let alone pay any attention to the mass of energy that had begun to build within him. By the time the man's blade came down on Fox Blade, the façade of the drunk ceased to exist and Genbu dropped his hands to his side.

"But death," Genbu said "Truly is just the beginning..."

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They had given him all the time in the world to prepare for what came. As the blade swing inward, it stopped abruptly in mid-swing and a manic laugh ebbed from beyond clenched teeth and the cacophony of lamentations and insanity filled the air, passing through the blade that rest pinned between the man's jaw from behind the veil...

He released the blade and staggered backwards. The blade's song was a desperate one and the sound of whining metal echoed throughout the forest before it shattered. Raining to the ground in pieces, the group of men had encountered intimidation and it froze them like statues to only witness the unfolding events. The clothing upon the body, tied to the tree went limp without form and hung to the bark, drawing the realization that the man was gone...

The laughter filled the forest and the men huddled tighter and three blades were drawn now, backs together as they looked all around in a frantic, panicked chaos. 

"Where the fuck is he?!"

"H-h-How did he see the blade!"

"UGghHHS!!!" Was the sound of a throat being ripped out, spraying blood across the grass. The body slumped to knees and hit the ground and the three swordsmen turned to see nothing but the first man's corpse.

"He... he is the Fox Blade. F-Fuck this!"

The soldier pushed off, looking over his shoulder at the group before smashing headlong into something that didn't budge an inch. The feeling of warm energy consumed him and with wide eyes he stepped back to see the visage of chaos and energy bound—at this distance, so close, the only thing to be noticed was a jade orb within the static, humming energy and nothing more. As though he's smashed into a lightning storm, he never would see what murdered him.

 

The two had watched their buddy push off of them, running for the gates, but the ethereal energy that arose in front of him was awe-inspiring. It looked like metallic plates, bound together in an electromagnetic fashion, harnessed into a draconic form by shocks and plumes of plum and lavender electricity. Motes of amethyst burned the grass around the monstrosity  and a massive claw outstretched with razored blades for fingers before cleaving the man into nearly six pieces. With body parts scattered, the corpse dissolved into the haze, leaving only mauve ash and charred earth where it once was.

 

"Feeed.... meee ... You ... dared to ... mock ... a god."

Starshine eyes blazed vibrantly, turning toward the two men who now stood—weapons dropped to the earth at their feet as they watched this draconic serpentine creature slither and morph it's way toward them, like a living, breathing cumulonimbus—charged with the Devil's Own arcane energies. As it passed over the first fallen, the body evaporated into the maelstrom.

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From where the two guards stood by the entrance of the tunnel, less than two hundred meters from where the group had vanished off into the woods with their victim—only a plum haze, unfelt by this world, unseen by mortal eyes, and the unearthly cries that echoed from the great Caasta's could be sensed.

The cigarette dropped from the soldier's mouth and he was no longer concerned with the drunkard, but pointed to the forest.

A voice cried out. He recognized the pitch, but not the gulching sound of blood and gore that followed and was heard from so far off. "Fuckin' Riva... you don't think ..."

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In many ways, he'd been rebelling his entire life. From the moment, the Masons declared him and his kin refugees within their own land, the war had begun. Alterion was large enough that pockets of Rebellion would always exist, and in this way his people thrived. A genocide had left them a minority of the populace, but their war raged on to this day. Forced to conduct one life for his captors and another behind closed door, Black Tortoise managed to survive and continue the struggle. As the men off in the distance met their gruesome end, Genbu studied the two men closes to him. 

That wealth of energy gathered within the pit of his being remained primed and ready for use, prompting the tall dark figure to reach out his fingertips, tendrils of crimson light in tow. "Disintegrate, you cur of mortality. Look upon your wretched self with horror and claw out your throat."#9 The spell took effect before the incantation was complete, engulfing the two soldiers' bodies in a dim red light, muscles seized, teeth clenched and two soldiers found themselves completely paralyzed. Exhaling a heavy sigh, Genbu dropped his hands and moved past the two men towards the commotion. 

 

"You know," Genbu said "Losing control doesn't have to be terrifying...some people consider it the ultimate thrill and pay good money for it in the Red Light District. Control is something of an interest of mine." 

If he was perturbed by the chaos up ahead, he did not show it. With head held high, Genbu walked into the blood bath. 

 

 

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As the last cry of agony rang out, the sizzling beast of legend and lore spiraled slowly within the area. From a distance that Genbu traveled, the beast would have taken a very different shape than the one previously. It was longer than several Terrenian railcars and snaked through the air casually and slowly, as any apex predator would after a satisfying meal. The slender body coiled slowly in an unusual figure eight pattern in the air, a giant leviathan with flared wings of ebony that was darker than the night that surrounded it and veins of lavender which pulsated like a kneading stomach.

A memory. A figment lingered. But it was not a happy one. Erratic movements caused a temporal shift in the framework of the beast and it trembled violently, unnaturally—and then it was back to the lethargic sway of its every motion. Watching it would have been akin to witnessing a glitch or stutter-step action, but in that faint memory, the hunger of two bodies was apparent and it knew where they were located. And so it began a mental, secretive desire to consume them as well, when a man willingly approached and shifted the balance entirely. 

The zolom's body collapsed to the ground in a weightless drop of energy, which sent a shockwave strong enough to topple the closest trees within proximity away from his being, as it then coiled like a snake and arose as a viper—hood flaired, and eyeballing a meal, the viper snapped it's jaws to warn the potential threat.

"Feeed ... I ... musssstt feeeeeed." 

A demonic smile curled upon an beak of energy. The lines were heavily traced in black and a tongue flicked out like a blown transformer. Static flashed in a haze of cerulean and retracted once more, looming slowly down and over Genbu.

"... what ... areeeee yooouuuuu ..." The chaotic energy hissed. The tongue flick had revealed a charge of magick that he hadn't tasted in a long while...

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"Lucavi..." The onmyoji said, his voice soft and seductive. He declared the title with all the sweetness of a long-lost paramour, aching for the touch of his beloved. "Blessed esper of time immemorial...I have found you, at last."  Whatever fear permeated the area, grew tepid and died the moment it attempted to wrap its grip about the dark man's soul. Whatever the stench of this ancient beast, it poured off of him in droves--an eldritch ichor that seeped from every pore and slowly took shape into a palpable aura around his person. 

In much the same way words rolled off his honeyed tongue, that ancient ichor tumbled about his approaching form, shaping into tendrils and further solidifying into ebon chains that snaked closer and closer to the lucavi's form. Slithering in a close imitation of the Zolom's own movements, the chains coiled about the beast with all the tender grace of a lover's gentle touch. The beast would feel no pain--for the energy was its own (in some ways), if anything it might feel at home and at ease. 

"I," Genbu said, opening his arms broadly "Am but a humble servant of the Old Gods. That which the Abomination feasted upon after its arrival. That which birthed you..." These chains of love while a source of great comfort for the moment, could be turned into a source of absolute agony--a fact the Onmyoji was certain his reptilian colleague deduced in an instant. 

"Do you hunger now?" Genbu asked, feeding oceans of his energy into the beast in an attempt to sate its primordial hunger. 

"When my clan last walked the earth, my people were masters in the art of sealing, but even then--when we numbered as the stars above, only a scant few were born with the gifts I now possess. It is my purpose, oh great one, to guide you and your kind. I am called Genbu--The Black Tortoise and I am he who will conquer the world."

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To some, the dance at hand may have been considered perverse in nature. A serpent coiled against bindings, but the gravity of the situation was an intangible understanding that left the visual display to be gleaned. The sparse visual knowledge was filled in like molded adobe by the artisan who told a legacy of lost arts and ancient skills that some would dare to say were forgotten. This lustful bond left the serpent's belly only full of rage, as the hunger had been satiated.

Vibrant fins flared from the body, and the hood spread even further as the energy amassed. But like any natural high, the consumption of too much of a good thing would unbalance the rest, and so with the fine show of might, the serpent coiled slowly around and around until its head rested upon static, sizzling blades of metal and arcane energy, burning into the very grass beneath his energetic frame and stared longingly at Genbu.

"It has been an eternity since I have had a master... but the chaos is gone... for now. Genbu, Servant of the Lucavi—what is it that you desire of my mortal coil, so to speak..." With a rolling jaw, aching from the controlled use of syllables and words of its own accord, Serpentarius spoke with precision for the first time in centuries.

"It has been far too long that I have had a master with an Onmoyji master. The pair shall forever be bound by blood and Arcane. Do you accept this pact? Do you bind your lifeforce to this man known as the Fox Blade? In my many centuries, only have I found one other that compares—ahh... Aeon EpiCentury. But that was another world..."

The reminiscing words left to linger end with a cryptic message, but the pact stands for Genbu to decide. The massive zolom lifts its head slowly and snares into the man's soul awaiting his answer.

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The onmyoji bowed in deference to the Lucavi before answering it’s query.

 

I seek,” He said, his voice even timbred. “To accomplish that which my ancestors could not...to subjugate those who encroached upon our land.” Rising to his full height, the dark haired figure spread his arms and gestured to the vast horizon stretching behind him. “I would reclaim my land, great Lucavi and once more return it to the olds gods who once saw fit to grace it with their presence.”

 

The name mentioned was foreign to Genbu, yet it stopped him in his tracks. The weight of it bore down on him and prompted him to catch his breath and regroup. His limbs felt weak and stringy, but ached with the sensation of the power that still coursed through him and into the Lucavi.  Releasing the creatures from his binds, Genbu folded his hands and nodded his head.


I do accept this pact, Lucavi.” His arms down at his side, the Onyoji raised his head to peer into the serpentine eyes bearing down on him. “And I will rid this land of the pretender king and his false god!”

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"Then—" 

Serpentarius reeled back swiftly, the energetic body grew tense and taut, frozen for that moment when a man's realizes that he is in immediate danger and every ounce of his being dares him to dodge—begs and pleads with every fiber of his being. It is a natural response to dodge, avoid, and evade the feeling of pain, and when a serpent—taller than most trees and as wide as four grown men, made of sizzling, flesh-searing energy recoils to obviously strike—that feeling is overwhelming.

But the peace between them...

"—let us be one."

Lucavi struck with viper precision. The energy swoll as the chains fell from his body, and every ounce of it coursed into the core-being of Genbu without exiting his back. Were he a lesser man; were he a mortal; were he anyone beyond that of his lineage and arcane descendancy, Genbu would have been immolated from the inside out and ribbons of plum, ashen flesh would have peeled from the frozen-ash corpse. 

Instead, the power dissipated. The rage had been quelled and consumed—controlled. And at Genbu's feet, upon his knees, rested a man trying to catch his breath. Fingers curled into the grass and nails scraped into the soft earth, gulping at the air and trying to catch his breath. His eyes turned up slowly, following the linen-clad legs before a torso and a head—the face of a savior.

In this moment, the Fox Blade was still and in awe, for this was the first time he had transformed back into the host for such an immeasurable power—and someone was still alive.

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