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Conflict Arises! [Alethea]

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It was a good day in Genesaris, which usually meant something bad was on the horizon. When it came to the city of Alethea, the danger was always closer than it seemed. In the days that follow this event, many would question how such mundane actions lead to such a spectacular conclusion, but in truth, the violence was always just one action away from exploding outwards. Hate had that effect on people, unfortunately...

"Sorry, but if you can't pay the tax, you can't get on." The guard said, barring the minotaur from accessing the large vehicle being used as public transportation. He was a stern man, and wasn't about to allow free loaders onto the magitech vessel, especially a non human.

"Please." She begged. "I have to get to my job quickly or else they'll fire me. My husband is injured and we have no other means of paying our rent." Dressed in the clothes of a laborer, she looked as if she made her living doing work in a factory. Hard work indeed to support a family in need.

But the guard would not be swayed. "That's not my problem. Now either cough up the five hawks or you can start hoofing it." From the look in his eyes, the slur was not an accidental slip of the tongue. 

@Dmitry

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Among the hustle and bustle of the split city, a boy hurried through the streets. He was late...again, she was gonna kill him at this rate. His black hair was just a bit too short to be rustled by the wind as he weaved through the crowds as best he could, occasionally bumping into some people as he went and quickly apologizing. However, when he came to the loading point for the rather overpriced tram service, a bit of commotion stopped him in his tracks. As he tried to slip by as quickly as possible, his dull, grey eyes glanced at the woman trying to board the tacky vehicle. 

"Five hawks..." he muttered to himself with his usually shaky voice. "Yeah right, who has that anymore." The guy didn't need to be such a jerk about it, even if she would've been better served spending this time heading to her job. If the sixteen year-old boy had the money, he might've loaned it to her. But as he said, who had five hawks to spare?

Shaking off the thought, the boy continued onward to his own job, not wanting to be late himself. Several more apologies and a great deal of exhaustion later, he made it to the small antique shop where he worked. As he walked through the rather modest entrance, a female voice immediately greeted him, almost as if on cue. 

"You're late again, Rhyko!" Shouted the girl across the counter, looking no more than a year or two older than the boy in question. "Yes, Mae..." The boy spoke dejectedly as he grabbed a broom and headed for the back of the store, a little disappointed in himself. This seemed like it happened all the time.


(OOC: Is this in Illyrium or Tal Village?)

Edited by Dmitry

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The issue with the raised price didn't stop when Rhyko entered his job. People were beginning to see the injustice of the high prices to board the vehicle and were voicing their anger about it. Tensions were rising, and it seemed as if things were reaching their boiling point.

During this time, a Dragonborn was making his way through the crowd, intent on taking passage into the bus so he could get someplace on the other side of the city. Scarlet scales covered his body, rich fabric made up his clothing, and his eyes glowed with a rich amber as he shoved past the minotaur. "I need to get to the other side of town. Here's your coin, now let's get going."

"Wait, please!" The woman grabbed his sleeve, pleading. "Just a few coins, that's all I ask of you, so I can keep this job and make sure my family has a roof over our heads." 

Pulling away with a sneer, he answered her. "It is not my problem how you worthless rabble make your money, but it won't be from my pockets. Touch me again and I promise you it'll be the last thing you do." 

Rebuked, the minotaur could only sob as she realized her life was going to be thrown into chaos. The others, a combination of gnolls, low born humans and even arrakoa, looked upon the Dragonborn with disdain at his act of selfishness. 

"To hell with you all! If you want her to get on so bad, then you pay the man." The Dragonborn spat, turning away from them as he entered.

"You heartless bastard!"

"You quill lizards are always putting us down!"

"Greedy, greedy lizards!" Squawk!

Next came the group closing in on the vehicle, surrounding it and pushing at it from all sides, their anger getting the best of their senses. 

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A bit of silence filled the room, broken only by the boy's sweeping. It was less an awkward silence and more the nonchalant day to day of the modest shop, something they'd both grown accustomed to. However, it seemed some noise from outside was making things less and less like usual, the boy pausing every so often to look out the window.

"Seems like things have gotten pretty tense lately..." The Mae broke the silence all of a sudden, making Rhyko jump a bit. "Uh...yeah, seems that way." He said, thinking back to his commute earlier. "Apparently its five hawks just to ride the tram now a days. I saw some poor lady trying to cross town on my way over." The girl behind the counter shook her head, face framed slightly by brown bangs left out of the ponytail on the back of her head. "Seems like the city's asking for trouble." Before she could continue, the noise outside seemed to escalate.

Not much later, a man burst into the building, a loud uproar quite audible even after he shut the door. The owner of the business had a panicked look painted on his features, sweat glistening his face as he struggled to catch his breath. "Dad, what's going on out there?" With that, Mae seemed to successfully bring her father back to his senses. "Mae, lock the back door and bolt all the windows." He said, moving toward the door. "Rhyko, come with me to the shed, we need to get something to board up the doors with, hopefully some of the windows to if we have time." Mae, knowing not to question her father when he was this visibly shaken, moved to the back entrance of the building. Rhyko on the other hand followed behind his employer out the front door.

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Things were bad, but were soon to get worse very soon. Alethea was a difficult place to live in, but when the factions got involved, violence was sure to follow.

Coalition and Consortium forces were coming in to break up the crowd and extract their members from the growing unrest directed at them. Armed to the teeth and gleaming in immaculate armor, the soldiers were ready to get their hands dirty to get the mission done. Loyalty to the faction often trumped traditional ethics and rules of engagement. 

In response came members of both the Dreadfeathers and the Mystics, while clad more in leathers and cloth, they held as much firepower as their counterparts. Both forces were about to clash, and the people of Alethea were caught in the crossfire.

Sounds of shouting, of violence and the clashing of weapons sounded from the streets. Civilians were running for cover, hoping to get out of the way of flying spells and arrows. Men, Dragonborn, Arrakoa and Gnolls were being injured left and right, the violence heating up with both sides refusing to back down. Curses were being thrown, marching orders shouted and the yapping of several gnolls were creating an orchestra of dizzying chaos just outside the door of the shop. 

Bang! Bang! Bang!

"Open up! We have wounded with us! In the name of Queen Raveena open up in there!" Four men stood outside, two severely wounded, hoping to find some relief from the storm outside. The Coalition wasn't faring well, and were in danger of being wiped out if they didn't form an exit strategy soon. 

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A pounding on the door stopped the two in there tracks, the sounds outside getting demonstrably worse. It seemed that the situation had indeed erupted into full scale violence in the streets and the loyalist factions were taking losses, evident in there current plight. However, it seemed rather unlikely that the crisis outside would pause for there safe refuge, making it a rather tall order to open the door right now.

After a bout a minute of contemplating, Mae's father bolted the door. "Dad!" The young woman shouted, shocked at her fathers actions. "What the hell are you doing?" Rhyko, meanwhile, backed away from the door, eyes darting back and forth between Mae and her father. The boy was indecisive at the best of times, let alone in such a dangerous situation like this. It was something that plagued him his whole life, possibly a result of his own inadequacies. "Rhyko, go into the back and barricade the door." Called out of his stupor by his employer, the boy shakily nodded at the command and hurried into the back room and began meekly pushing a book shelf in front of the exit, struggling more than one might expect, but ultimately sealing off that door. Back in the front of the shop, he could here the two arguing.

"Aren't we gonna let them in?" Mae pleaded to her father, who only shook his head. "I'm not opening this door, not while all that's going on out there. Now get upstairs." As Rhyko came back into the room, it seemed Mae had obeyed her father and gone upstairs, her father now standing next to a large display case by the door. "Help me move this son."

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After realizing they would find no shelter here, the faction soldiers cursed the family and went on their way, hoping to find a better place for their wounded. From then on the battle continued, until the sounds of fighting faded minutes later. The battle was over, but the aftermath...

It was amazing how there weren't any bodies out on the streets. Whether it meant no one had died, or the different factions had taken their dead with them, no one could know for certain. The trolley was destroyed entirely, riddled with crossbow bolts in some places, melted in others and in small places you could see where a magical spell had entirely destroyed a section. Blood, feathers, scales and fur lay in all kinds of piles throughout the street. 

Patrols of Guardias, official policemen of the state, were trying to understand what had happened to cause such a violent outburst in the streets. Those they did talk to were clearly caught in the crossfire, sporting wounds of their own, but otherwise unwilling to talk. Going against any of the factions was usually a very bad idea. 

Two officers approached the store, wanting to speak with anyone that might have witnessed it. They wore golden armor and red cloth underneath. "Excuse me? We are hoping to try and understand what happened here? Did you see anything?"

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By the time they moved the display case in front of the main entrance, it seemed the people seeking asylum had left. Not long after, the sounds from outside escalated even further, as one might expect. "Alright son, keep away from the door and we should be fine...I hope." Rhyko simply nodded at the words of his employer, a cold sweat breaking out as the violence raged outside. He hoped the older man was right, as he wasn't good at much to begin with, let alone a life or death scenario. What's more, he wouldn't want to cause any danger to Mae and her father. Thankfully, there were no other doors into the building and every window had its shutters latched. Even if it wasn't a fortress, it was certainly safer than being outside. 

Some time later, what seemed like an eternity, the sounds of violence faded and fighting seemed to be at an end. Still a bit cautious, Mae's father instructed her and Rhyko to stay inside while he went out to check on some of their neighbors and see how extensive the damage from the battle was. In the meantime, there was nothing more for the two of them to do except continue with their normal work and await his return.

Eventually, a pair of Guardias arrived and began questioning the two, asking about how everything transpired. "I've been in here all day, so there isn't much I can say." Mae answered honestly, her usual shift making it impossible for her to have any worthwhile information. Rhyko, meanwhile, had his head pointed to the ground, nervously scratching the back of his head. "Um...I remember seeing some commotion on the way here..." He muttered, unsure of his own answer. "It s-seemed like some people were angry about the tram fee and I guess it got out of control...or something."

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They listened to what he had to say, then spoke privately to themselves for a moment. It wasn't easy, but certain words could extracted from their hushed conversation. "Coalition." "Extortion." "Gangs."

After a moment they looked to Rhyko and thanked him for his information. They told him that if he ever remembered anything else, or heard of anything else, he should report it to them as soon as possible.

In taking their leave, it could be seen that some of the people were watching the interaction. Whether they were doing it out of curiosity or something else was hard to say, until one took a glance at a young man no more than a year or so older than Rhyko. Making a slashing motion to his wrist with his other hand, he turned and disappeared through an alley. 

The message was clear as day. Rhyko would be reported to the Coalition as a snitch, and his life would then on be in danger. 

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Mae's father returned not long after the two Guardias left, the grimness of his expression having not faltered at all in the time he was gone. It seemed the damage he'd seen was enough to convince him just how bad things were in Alethea as of late, if the riot itself hadn't already. Upon arrival, he went upstairs for another hour, seemingly going over some things. When he finally came back down, his mood seemed to have calmed somewhat.

"Rhyko, why don't you go on and head home?" He proposed to the boy, taking him off guard a bit. "Don't worry, I'll pay you for your normal hours. Besides, its not like we're gonna have any customers and there isn't much more you can help with, son." The boy hesitated for a moment before anxiously nodding his head and taking off the apron he had donned earlier in the day, hanging it up and putting away the broom he'd been using all day. By the time he said his goodbyes and stepped out the door, the sun was just about to begin setting. Some were still attempting to repair their homes or businesses; the shop really did get off lucky. Several others were simply boarding everything up, worried that things would become violent again. As he was walking back towards his very modest 'home', something bizarre caught his eye as he peer off to his left. 

There, in the distance, yet quite clearly still in the city.

There it stood, brazen and audacious.

As though invisible to everyone else, a large, black wolf stood among the stone and metal. For a moment, Rhyko found himself transfixed by the beast. Not afraid, not curious, simply entranced. It wasn't until the sound of some lumber falling over, followed by some cursing and complaints, that the boy managed to tear his eyes away, if only in surprise. In looking back at the same spot, he saw nothing. Shaking his head in worry at his own faculties, the young shop worker hurried along.


(OOC: If I may make a request, a large group would be best, whether its Coalition retaliating or Guardias responding to the commotion.)

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Later in the night...

There was a sceatching, like claws against stone, and a metal cover into the sewers was moved from the inside. Ascending from the rank darkness were a troupe of rat men, with one goal in mind.

Kill the boy who dared to speak out to the authorities.

A group of over a dozen of them were sneaking about, climbing up buildings and advancing to their target. In a matter of moments, daggers were being drawn, and poison was being applied to the blades. Just one strike would be all it would require, to end the boys life. 

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((WARNING: The following post is rated M for MEEETAAAAALLL!!!.....and blood and gore. Viewer discretion is advised.))


 

The boy had arrived home just as the sun was setting, making no detours after the point which he saw the strange beast. However, for some reason, Rhyko couldn't shake the sight from his head. It made him feel restless, unable to settle himself even into the night. Now he was simply laying awake on his rather modest bed, in a fairly humble home. It was a little messy, but he didn't own enough to make a lot of clutter in the first place. There was only one room, present immediately upon entry into the abode.

From where he lay, the clumsy teen seemed to lose track of time itself. That was until something caught his attention from outside. In truth, he should've missed the sounds, were it not for current state of mind and the silence of the night. It was like...rodents crawling all over. Already unnerved by his encounter with the wolf, Rhyko stood up out of bed. Just as he did so, the only window in the room erupted in a blast of shards, a ratman in its place. Immediately panicked, the boy squickly made for the door and burst through, incidentally knocking over another ratman who was apparently about to enter. What's more, the building seemed to be surrounded by the assailants, who seemed to be making ready to charge the unathletic human. 

Why? Why was this happening? What did he do to deserve this? The questions running through his fear addled mind would have to wait as he turned his back on the worm-tailed mob and ran through the nearest alley, of which there were many. As weak as the boy was, his body was fueled by the adrenaline of a life or death situation, his mental response falling firmly within flight. As he sprinted down the narrow pathway, he saw a man at the other end carrying a lantern, causing a small bit of hope to well up in him. 

"Help!" Rhyko shouted, hoping for anything to grasp onto in such a moment. At the pace he was going, it didn't even take half a minute to reach the bystander. At that moment, something stopped him like a wall, leaving an intense pain in his stomach. The world became blurry as he stumbled back, the sword that impaled him sliding back out. "The Coalition sends it's 'gratitude'." Said the assailant as the boy fell on his back. Before long, the ratmen caught up with the boy, along with a host of Coalition members. The two forces began the usual routine of bearing there teeth, both figuratively and literally.

For the boy, however, the world seemed to become empty. There was a quiet as he looked at the full moon above him, which he could've sworn was crescent just a moment ago, had he bothered to look. A pair of silver eyes loomed into view, carried by the beast that so rattled him earlier in the day. For a moment, the large canine simply stared into his eyes before opening its toothy maw, slowly maneuvering its fangs around his head and...

Spoiler

 

A sharp, labored gasp filled the lungs of the wounded boy, laying under the crescent moon. His eyes widened as he slowly rolled over, now facing the ground with his head pointed away from the mob of bickering political activists. 

"I..." He didn't know what compelled him in this moment, his arms and legs feebly dragging him across the ground. "I don't...I don't wanna die..." Terror, rage, exhilaration, intoxication; these feelings began to swirl around within the broken body of this weak human.

The threats and glares began to die down as the two factions began to notice that the shadows around them seemed to moving, converging slowly but surely on a single spot in the alley. 

"I don't wanna die....I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die!" The boy was truly scared now. Not of the wound in his chest and certainly not the armed miscreants behind him. No, what Rhyko truly feared now was the surge of raw, intense feeling coming from within him. It was a sensation he'd never known, yet why was it so familiar. And why...

...Why did it feel so good?

Finally, the shadows (or whatever they were) began to stick to the crawling figure, slowly consuming him. Before long, he was swallowed whole and the blackness began to take on a new shape. Unlike the boy, who was crawling away, the black wolf that soon stood before the crowd of humans and ratmen was upright and glaring them down, pupils glowing green against the lantern-light. 

Before either side could react to the development in front of them, the beast charged forward, covering the few feet of distance in an instant. The first unfortunate man before it was met with teeth in his larynx before the beast immediately leaped backward off of the dying human and tackled a ratman to the ground, tearing open his throat. Before another ratman was able to bring a knife down onto the animal, it leaped to the right and quickly lunged at the rodent, latching onto her stomach and swinging its body and using its momentum to disembowel her. As the wolf continued to wade into the crowd, occasionally bouncing off the walls deftly avoiding each attack sent its way, the beast soon became a black and red blur of fur and blood. It wasn't long before the mob broke rank, as it were, and fled into the open streets just outside the alley.

When the Guardias arrived in response to the commotion along with reports of suspicious gatherings in the area, they were greeted by what was left of both groups scrambling out in multiple directions, numbering less than half the number that either started with. The last man out was swiftly tackled from behind, his neck snapped before the beast charged at the new arrivals.

The man in front of the wolf, who happened to be the commanding officer of this squad, attempted a horizontal swing at the creature. However, before he even realized it, the arm that held his sword was torn off his shoulder, weapon still clutched within its hand. The animal that mutilated him tossed the appendage aside as it quickly turned and bowled the armored man over, making short work of the plate strapped to his chest. As the piece of metal clanged against the ground, the monster brutally tore open its victim's chest cavity and consumed his heart. While it may very well have been exposed, the squad leaders subordinates, trained fighters all, were frozen in place. The men and women accustomed to dealing with thieves and rioters couldn't comprehend what they were seeing in front of them, let along the pile of bodies that some of them spotted in the nearby alley.

As the stunned Guardias looked on in horror, the black wolf turned its head to the sky, closed its silver eyes, and let loose a howl that carried through the entire district, if not most of the city.

 


(For everyone who showed an interest in mah boi ))

@Malintzin @sheep @SteamWarden @Sir Nathaniel @Blackguard

Edited by Dmitry

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The violence was quick, devastating and brutal beyond comprehension. Word spread quickly, and many were quick to place blame upon something, anything. Witness accounts pointed towards a werewolf, which was difficult to believe, as there was no werewolf in record with such strength. 

A decision was made, and an investigation was put underway to get to the bottom of the issue. What they found were clues that lead nowhere, and no solution to what was clearly a difficult problem. For now all they could do was bury the dead, and try to figure out what measures can be taken to make sure this never happens again. 

Both the Coalition and the Consortium are working together now in further gathering evidence as to the culprit of this massacre. When their projects were completed, they would be ready for the next time a werewolf came to cause trouble in Alethea. 

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