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  1. Today
  2. A dry chuckle rumbled out of Enoch at the mention of his health. “No offense, old man, but I believe I’ll be outliving you.” He said with a grin. “At the very least, it’s gonna take more than a bad habit to put me down. Comes with the territory. As for the cough, well…” The young man trailed off, deciding not to elaborate on that story. ”Anyway, I wanted to pick your brain on something.” He said, changing the subject. “Bit of a long shot, but I figure you see some strange things in your line of work. And you’ve been doing that sort of thing longer than I have, so…” Enoch hesitated again, mulling over the subject in his head before looking Kaige in the eyes and taking a more serious tone. ”What do you know about ghosts?” His expression was sharper, less relaxed. “And not the usual hocus pocus either. I mean the kind that like to follow after you.” His eyes drifted back to the downpour outside. “I get some info from my job, it works for payment. But you’re someone I can trust. Someone I can talk to face to face.” As he spoke, his eyes appeared to focus on something. Of course, nothing lay before him but the entrance to the pub. Yet he seemed nonchalantly transfixed. As if acknowledging someone else as he conversed with Kaige. @The Hummingbird
  3. Last week
  4. By the time Laz came into his view, he was seemingly surrounded by about half a dozen guys. About double the usual amount. 'Shit! Surely dey not so fucking stupid!' With the product already set on the ground, Lazarus was preparing to receive the payment, that's when one of the goons ahead struck Lazarus in the back of his head; Attacking from his flank. The boy knocked forward into the one that was acting as if he was about to pay him, at which point he gut checked the boy, knocking the wind out of him and dropping him to his knees, coughing and gasping for air. The other five goons closed in and began to kick and stomp at the boy, at which point the laughing man that dropped him got wide eyed as he suddenly recalled, this wasn't Bishop. "That's enough fellas, save it for the big fish, matter of fact - " Suddenly, The Ripper himself was upon them, and before anyone could turn to face him, before anyone could react to his presence, he stood with his face and torso swollen, a glow accenting these regions as he'd already prepared his Fire Breath Weapon attack. His eyes became emissive temporarily as his mouth opened, a guttural yell alerting the thugs as a cone of flames blossomed from his throat. The five goons closest to him, the ones most harshly assaulting his son were the ones roasted and lit aflame. The aroma of burning hair and flesh swiftly began to take over the area as the goon farthest back began to back petal. His movement was dwarfed when Lazarus reach out from the ground and grasped the man's ankle nearest him. As soon as he made contact, he expressed his own mutant ability, and froze the man's appendage harshly enough to cause a first degree frost bite and apply a thin sheet of ice over the most directly effected region. This cause him to fall down, in which he instantly panicked and used his free hand to kick the boy in the face and regain his freedom long enough to try and run away. One of the five now burn victims fell dead, no doubt the one closest to the source of the flames, in which one of the others ran around screaming and flailing his arms, and the remaining three were found rolling around on the ground as they hit themselves, attempting to staunch the flames and prevent further injury, or even their death. Surrender peacefully. I won't hesitate to hit you harder if you resist. Despite the shouts and screams of pain and terror, he had no issues hearing her. Still coughing, Laz rose to his feet, "Dad", he forced out hoarsely. "Not now, get outta' her', get home." "But, dad-" "Now!" As he turned to face the mercenary, the only one not burning alive at the moment scrambled to get to his feet and continued to run. Simultaneously, Lazarus listened and he too ran in a different direction. Thankfully with a hood on his head, his identity was mostly concealed, unlike his father. "An' jus'who th'fuck you s'pose t'be? Samus head-ass!" He mused into a grin, the man with the frost bitten leg now frantically limping away for feigned safety. Whether this broad wanted to get knocked out before or after, that bastard wouldn't live to breath another day. Even if that jumping was meant for Bishop, and dually meant for his demise, there was no redemption from his wrath for beating on his baby boy. If she moved to save the injured goons from death first, he'd naturally go after the one limping away before he ran to lose the merc. Then like he told Lazarus, he'd see him back at home in time for dinner no less. Though if her focus was on neutralizing him first as the threat, then shit was about to get real ugly. @Metty
  5. Stormbreaker Arashi watched her squad get ready, checking her gun and making sure it was ready to go. She didn't say much as she wanted her squad to get ready, so they go and deal with whatever was up ahead. She kept thinking about whatever was acting that civilians to act crazy though. What a weird coincidence. Hopefully, they would find out whatever was going on ahead. "Additional instructions? I believe I'm made enough instructions as I manage. Weapons free, don't hesitate. No killing if able. We're here to protect the public at large, not cause them to lose trust in us. That is all." Arashi wasn't a woman with many words. She got the job done. That was it. She wasn't great at talking whatsoever. "I take it, your with me, Rocko? Or does anybody else want to partner with me? Somebody will have to cover for me if I have to hold the enemy back." To the point. She didn't beat around the bush when it came to anything. @zackoman
  6. Stormbreaker Easy enough they said to do, huh? They said they've given me good enough currency to do so. Nothing is too hard for me yet. She thought to herself as she carefully walked the mines, making sure not to stumble accidentally into some hole or anything. Arashi was a unique one. Her heightened senses made her the perfect person for most mercenary types of jobs, and it made getting them done much easier. Usually they were easy to complete jobs that were done within the day and she'd finish them quickly, which led to her gaining a pretty decent rep about mercenary jobs. Arashi hadn't yet had a job she couldn't handle, let alone turn down. She had killed people, helped anybody she could, but jobs like this made her have fun. There was nobody she couldn't arrest yet. I hope they don't put up too much of a fight. It fucking sucks if they do. Nobody yet has been powerful enough to annoy me to that level, though. Arashi followed what seems to be a man through the many tunnels, watching him closely. Big guy fits the description of the person I'm meant to arrest. They said they would pay me triple to get this job done. But I still found any criminals that supply the drug I'm on. Making it myself is a pain. She made sure to not raise suspicion, the hooded Draconic mercenary, stepping around carefully as she tailed Bishop. I could ambush him there and now, but I'm waiting till I find whoever he meets. Then maybe... maybe I have the chance to get a drop on him. She cautiously eyed the area carefully, watching him. Arashi waited until he met up with the people he was with, jumping off the ledge and dashing forward with superhuman speed, launching a low voltage electrified punch at one of the thugs, aiming to knock him out in the process. Blue lightning surrounded her body as she did so and her markings and eyes glow electric blue, as she stared down the criminals from under her mask. "Surrender peacefully. I won't hesitate to hit you harder if you resist." @Pundigirion
  7. Pundigirion

    Noetic

    "Do you want one of yourself?" "Hai!" He exclaimed without regard of being about the library, his fist pumping into the air as he proclaimed. "Maybe someday, my friend, Come on, the restricted section is probably inside." He followed Kaige in, and once inside it finally dawned on him that this place would redefine libraries to him. The colors and lights were pretty gnarly, setting a certain ambient tone to the environment. He was quickly overwhelmed by the columns and rows of a variety of parchment. While he hadn't considered it, perhaps he should peruse for scrolls or tomes of that he could make use of. Even blank ones he could use to prescribe his own spells to. As Kaige found his own distractions for the moment, Jinsoku noticed the Restricted Section. Standing guard it seemed was one staff member that looked bored out of his skull. Jinsoku refreshed his charming smirk and approached them without much hesitation at all. Stopping a few feet from them, he squared his shoulders and closed one fist before firmly, yet gently pressing it into the opposed open one, affixed before his chest. With a slight crunch and a bow of the head, he essentially saluted the staff member as he addressed them. "Good day, My name is Jinsoku Hayabusa, Knight of the Order of Force Majeure, Second of the Master Knight James Eredas, and, one of the trainers of the first generation of Enforcers." His arms fell casually to his sides once more as he stood erect at 5'6", pausing a brief moment to let the staff member absorb that information before finishing with his request. "I'm hoping my resume is enough to grant me entrance to the Restricted Section to begin gathering intel on the darkness plaguing the West, and hopefully some of the monstrosities that come with it." @The Hummingbird
  8. Rocko raised an eyebrow at Arashi, his expression unflinching. A part of him, a seasoned and trustworthy place at the back of his mind, urged him to tell Arashi not to get cocky. But he ignored it. He knew she was like that and it hadn't gotten in the way of her job thus far. Also, he could remember how he was when he was younger. He had an arrogant hot streak a mile long with the macho bravado to match. He was insufferable, far worse than Arashi. So bad in fact, that it caused him to make a few really bad mistakes. Mistakes he wished HE could have suffered for instead of the people who actually did. The only reason he was allowed to stay on the force was because the chief vouched for his love for the city AND his ability to ADAPT to any situation. When Chief Smoke said the latter, he didn't mean that Rocko was a tactical savant that could fight in any situation. No. He meant that if Rocko didn't have an attitude change right then and there and ADAPT to a force that shunned egotism, he'd be handing over his badge, his gun, and his potential. "Hm." Rocko merely grunted at Arashi's self-praise, choosing to talk to her about it later. He was confident there would be a later. "Y-Yes, ma'am!" Dean said, clumsily standing at attention with a salute. "You heard her everyone!" Rocko turned to the rest of the squad. "We are set to initiate the infiltration via the rear entrance. Prepare for entry. Breachers, ensure all equipment is secured and comms are clear. Confirm readiness status, we go in two. Any questions, bring them up now." Rocko studied the other men in a routine fashion, his eyes searching for imperfections. He find more than a few on one operator casually leaned up against the truck, polishing and examining his combat knife. "Stitch, are you deaf?" Rocko asked the operator in a harsh tone. Stich, fully clad in his armor and gear, simply nodded casually. "Loud and clear, T-L." said Stich in his typical, cold, venom filled tone. Stich was not supposed to be an operator. He was a war vet who was dishonorably discharged for doing drugs while on duty. In spite of his frankly terrifying service record and confirmed kills in the field, he was shipped home and put on watch. He applied to be police officer and Chief Smoke let him have the job in hopes that it'd keep him out of trouble. Stitch was just supposed to be a patrol officer, but when other officers got to see how effective he was in shootouts and fights, it was obvious that his talents were being wasted. There were also rumors that Stitch did contract killings for government officials on the side, although Rocko could never find proof. Smoke did not want him on the SWAT team, but gave him a spot anyway, never explaining why to Rocko or Arashi. Rocko thought it was awful decision to let a man like him be an operator, but Stitch proved to be an asset. He was mean, cold, and generally offensive, but he'd proved multiple times that he was willing to risk his life for innocents, and he followed orders. He was loyal. Also, he was the only other person Rocko knew that could fight like Arashi. Still, Rocko wished he knew more. Stitch seldom talked unless he was being smart-mouthed, and he never shared details about himself. Much of his service record in the military was classified, even to Arashi. Rocko doubted that even the Chief knew was on those classified documents. Rocko examined Stitch, desperately searching for the smallest, most infantile imperfection in his gear. He found none. Stitch was always the first to be geared up and ready to go, and he took his gear seriously. His shotgun was slung over his shoulder as Stitched studied his knife for microscopic stains or bits of dirt. He wondered what Arashi thought about Stitch. "W-What do I do?" asked Dean nervously. "Marksman Tarry, you're with Dean on oversight." said Rocko, gesturing for Tarry to come over. "...Yes sir." said Tarry after a moment of stunned hesitation. Dean tried not to look Tarry in the eye as he walked over, knowing that he wasn't well liked by most of the team. Rocko looked at his watch and checked over the team one last time before putting on his helmet. "We move in thirty seconds." Rocko said to Arashi as he checked his MP5 for the tenth time in the last two minutes. "Additional instructions?" OPTIONAL: [CONCEPTUALIZATION: MEDIUM 9] - Say something witty and cool. (This is a RED CHECK. There is sometimes only one opportunity to pass a RED CHECK, and they cannot be retried. For this check, which is just a test, you need to roll a total of 9 to pass it. If you want to try it, no need to roll. Just write out what she says. I'll then roll for you and write out its effect in my next post! More fun that way.)
  9. Earlier
  10. Kaige blinked in surprise as Enoch produced the small cylinder. It was part of a system that produced a scratchy, but still clearly comprehensible recording of sound. It was a rare item; in fact, it was still advertised as experimental, constantly being improved upon. Nor was it cheap, and Kaige did not ask how Enoch had acquired one. He picked the device up, turning it his way and that as he examined it, for it was not something he saw often. “I’ll look into it soon, boyo. Thanks.” Kaige slipped the cylinder into a side pocket stitched into the tunic he wore. Kage ran through the list of contacts he had acquired in Jinth. The second half of the sound system was not easy to find any more than the first. Kaige considered contacting his employers, but shook his head slightly. Though they might be able to procure the item for him free of charge, it was not Kaige’s habit to involve them in cases they didn’t need to know of. Not until enough information, facts, and evidence were at hand. He returned to his wine, glancing at the young werewolf and smiled ruefully. “It’s for your own good, boyo. You don’t want black lungs, right? Take my advice and quit the smoking habit. It’ll stop the cough, at least. Knew someone who wouldn’t quit and he died. I’d prefer it if you stuck around a while,” he sighed, taking another swig. He set the empty glass down. “I used to know a lot of people,” he said softly, almost to himself. “Now, I try not to. Do me favor and don’t be part of a past I’d rather forget, kid.” He dug into the stew again, drinking the broth until the last drop of the savory soup was gone. Again he glanced at Enoch, noticing the queer expression of a struggle on the young man’s face. “Is something bothering you, boyo? Come on, you can tell me,” Kaige coaxed.
  11. Die Shize

    Rancor and Rust

    Strange. Stranger things, this warrior and explorer had encountered in his time so far given to him amid this world. However, not all things had Kerion Takeshi yet encountered, including this strange being. Where are we? He had previously asked, only to be given no answer, of course, given that his companion was a wolf. What are you? That was another question. It warranted a tilt of the wolf’s head, studying him. Was it confusion? The way a beast expresses when uncertain of what the other strange being is speaking? Maybe. Yet, in that moment, Kerion sensed something, by no grand power vested within him. No, it was…familiar…and that word meant more than one thing. Lights flickered to life, here in the deep, there in the depths of death amid organic monstrosities; organs both living and dead, maybe, for all Kerion Takeshi may expect and make sense. Magic? Perhaps. Yet he had no mind to theorize just yet. He was too busy taking in the sight of his companion, such as it was. I…know that face… No. He was mistaken, surely. Scar. Ear. Far too familiar. However, before he could think further on the matter, the wolf began walking again, and just as surely it was followed by the human in its presence, Kerion Takeshi, who was certainly not this creature’s master by any means. Forward, the explorer traversed, onward toward wherever the path may take him on his way to find a man. However, now he was ultimately just trying to find a way out without becoming another corpse on the floor. One was enough. More than one was too much. This place was dangerous and that was an understatement. Kerion moved forth toward the iron door. Iron was in his sword, in his mind and spirit, for he was ever determined to find the exit. If this door was it then so be it. Upon the huff of the wolf, Kerion nodded in acknowledgment. What paws cannot accomplish, perhaps the hands of a human might. He would try. “Your scar,” Kerion opened with as his hands found a handle. “Your ear.” He had no fear despite his predicament. Should this place become his own grave then so be it. “Are familiar.” A wolf was strong, brave, able to survive by itself day and night, but it did not have the ability to grasp objects quite like a man did. Unless Kerion was as mistaken with this beast as he was with this metallic contraption then the door opened the next moment, assuming it needed no key. Yet, he did not immediately step through the doorway. Instead, expressionless, he turned toward the wolf, suddenly remembering. “I have studied paintings, poetry, enough to detect embellishments as much as blemishes.” He pointed toward the wolf. “A facial scar. A mutilated ear.” He tilted his head like the wolf did earlier. “Rather similar to that man with the bundle of meat and bread, isn’t it?” @Enoch
  12. The Rattaz | (“to scrape, gnaw, scratch”) The refuse, the denied, the rebuked, the unworthy, the blasphemous, the slanderous, and the damned! In short, those that earn themselves a swift excommunication and expulsion from the society. Or worse, deserters of the society. Regardless of why, those ejected from the society find themselves marked, most often for death. It isn't typically personal, though once someone knows a certain amount of society secrets, those secrets must remain within the society. That being said, some few, special cases have found memory wiping to suffice, though most people didn't willing sign on to have their memories manipulated. The mere thought of something going wrong in the process being too much to bare. Apparently more so than one's own life. -
  13. The Cunning Society has been brewed, now to finish designing its phantom leader. 🙏

    1. Pundigirion

      Pundigirion

      Done and done. RIP to my dog Dzul that I still miss very much. May his spirit live on in my memory as I adapt parts of him into this character. ❤️

  14. Name: Deasil Murklins Alias: Knell Race: Khaiperian | Off-Worlder | Human | Jantu | Yōsei Gender: Male Age: 26 Nationality: Ozani | Jinthi | Madaian Ethnicity: Asirian | Vitharian | Dojian | Dalaiyin | Ahkarian | Zenyan Residence: Port Kyros Affiliation: Magic: Vanakaran | Khali Element: Aether Appearance: (Credit to creator of webtoon: Duke Prandragon) Eyes: Wisteria, oval shaped. Hair: Short, unkempt, brown. Height: 5'11" Talents: Pact Magic (Pact of Hamartithia) - As a Warlock of The Pact of Hamartithia, Deasil sources his magical spells and prowess from his patron deity, Hamartithia. This allows him a myriad of spells and effects that he otherwise wouldn't have access to. It should be duly noted that he is also capable of non-pact magics to some degree; In which he holds more proficiency over Vanakaran magics than any other sort naturally. Personality: The Murklins family hails from the nomadic, Dalayin tribes of Madai; Deasil being the first generation of his family being born in Jinth. As such, its hard for him to fit in when his origins are exposed, otherwise he blends in well enough with a myriad of the other locals. His humble heritage does well to pay him occasional reality checks as well as drive his burning ambitions to do more, to be more. While he doesn't crave reputation or notoriety, he does crave success, and a life devoid of any further hardships than the ones endured in his youth. Despite his latent, magical talents, the youngest of the Murklins didn't appear to have enough discipline to succeed academically. Though a strange twist of fate has certainly saved him from becoming the family failure. While he can be harsh, he is just as well known to be brave and loyal. Thread Tracker: Current: List active threads Completed: List completed threads
  15. The Cunning Society of The Surreptitiously Ubiquitous is a motley crew of eccentric intellectuals that toe the line of too far at the chance to aquire the likes occult knowledge and ancient artifacts. It is a shadow or ghost organization that prides itself on remaining unknown, lurking in the shadows. Those involved with the society have a small variety of ways to identify one another, even if they've never met prior. To the unaffiliated however, this society likely serves as little more than rumor if anything at all. The ones whom undoubtedly knew about them were no doubt previous victims of their antics. Even to the affiliates of the society, the identity of its founder remains a mystery. Some of them doubted there was such a person, instead believing an inner circle was impersonating a false identity to uphold as the founder/leader. In truth however, they did in fact exist, and the fewest of individuals were not only aware of this but also knew the identity of them. Regardless, members and affiliates are held to a fairly high standard of secrecy and excellence. Failure to uphold these standards typically result in immediate ejection from the society, and in severe cases, death. The inner circle, including the founder are referred to as The Cadre; The founder themselves coined by the society as the Magna Cadre. The MC themselves don't like this title, but to speak out against it would potentially expose their identity. An act that would compromise their greatest asset, and one of their primary means of escaping things like the authorities. Plausible deniability. The society itself has no known headquarters, though there are a small variety of places they may or may not be known to frequent. They typically meet up a few times throughout the year to share stories and compare, sell, or even outright trade their spoils. Otherwise they don't gather in large numbers, and the only time they are known to congregate is in the case of a large enough acquisition to warrant their attendance, or of course in the case of intrapersonal relationships. There is no known way to apply directly to the society. However, potential prospects shine best by achieving feats akin to the society's goals. In which, if found attractive enough, the society will invite one to join them. This is however, a one time invitation with an expiration. So they'd best think and act fast, skills folks like them needed the most. Upon their entry into the society, members are typically gifted with an enchanted Cloak of Displacement*. Are you cunning enough to catch their eye? Name: The Cunning Society of The Surreptitiously Ubiquitous Type: Political | Religious | Professional | Tribal | Periodical | Social | Other Location: Everywhere and Nowhere Legality: "We solemnly swear we are up to no good." Structure: - Founder: Unknown - Leader: The Cadre (The Inner Circle) - Members: Knell (Deasil Murklins), Agenda: The discovery, and if possible the acquisition of occult knowledge, and ancient artifacts. Operations: - Current: - Completed: - Abandoned: History: - Canonized Events
  16. Enoch let out another ragged chuckle, ending in a cough as he poured another glass. Unfortunately, the bottle spit out its last few drops as the glass became about half full, prompting a frown from the lycan as he attempted to shake a bit more liquor out. "Contrary to appearances, I don't go looking for trouble." He said as he looked into the bottle to be sure. "At least when its not the paying kind. Just need to know what to look out for." With a groan, he set the bottle down in defeat. "Not like I ain't got enough of either kind as is. Don't know if you noticed, but this town ain't short on crazy." Enoch sat silent for a time, seemingly contemplating something. With a sigh and a roll of his eyes, he seemingly relented to his own mental argument and reached for something in his coat. A slight panic flashed in his eyes as he began to wonder if he had the item, before he finally produced a wax cylinder and placed if before Kaige on the counter. An axle ran through the object and various, minuscule etchings covered its surface in intricate patterns. "You'll need to get a player for it." The familiar said as he shifted on his seat, leaning against the bar. "You know, one of them sound machines. I'm sure you got the money for it, assuming you don't know anyone that owns one." His expression darkened a bit as his gaze became a bit distant. "It sums up just about everything I found on those documents. You know, the ones we found in that basement? I don't got the files anymore, so you'll just have to make do with that." Without thinking, Enoch began to reach for a cigarette, before he remembered Kaige's request and stopped, face soured. Wrapping his fingers on the counter for a moment, Enoch seemed to wrestle with something for a time, as if he wanted to ask about something and the indecision only served to irritate the young man. @The Hummingbird
  17. Enoch

    Rancor and Rust

    The wolf looked back at his recent companion and tilted his head. His silver eyes seemed to judge the swordsman. The wound in his underbelly seemed to stop dripping by now, the blood matting his fur now starting to dry. Before the beast could give any sort of meaningful response, a set of lights flickered to life. Unlike most artificially lit buildings in Joki, no steam pipes could be seen. The wolf seemed curious of this himself, staring at the light fixtures with a more thoughtful expression than one might expect. In this light, a familiar facial scar could be made out on the beast's face and a piece missing from his ear, both a which had long since healed. Looking back to the swordsman, the wolf jerked his head towards the wall beyond and continued walking until he met an intersection. A long withered corpse lay propped against the wall adjacent to the right turn in the rusty iron hall, some drag marks between it an the previous chamber. The wolf gave the body a few sniffs, then moved on, looking down each path in the intersection. A scent similar to the previous room could be detected from the left hand path, even to those of normal human senses. To the right, the hall darkened, the lights seemingly disconnected or burnt out. Ahead, there was a heavily reinforced iron door. The wolf made a bee line for the barricade, pulling on the handle and attempting to break it open, to no avail. Upon giving up, he returned to the intersection and huffed at his companion, as if inquiring his view on the matter. @Die Shize
  18. A wild ZARAK has appeared!

  19. His brown, beady-eyes shot open wide suddenly as he sat up much too fast. His hand rose to palm his forehead as he winced, sharply inhaling through his teeth. His eyes shut tightly again simultaneously, his free hand planting itself firmly on the ground to support him as he came to. "Ugh..." He grunted again as he fought to rise to his feet, his eyes opening once again as he first took account of his immediate surroundings. Where ever he was, this time, it still most certainly was not Algon. Where had he wound up this time? How long had he been here? How did he get here? With no immediate threat in his disoriented perception, he proceeded to check himself over for injuries. To his luck and surprise, some dried blood from several hours ago was found scattered about his entire form. Otherwise he was fine. Next he checked his gear. His explorer's pack was missing, as was his great axe*. His cloak still hugged his shoulders and was also infused with dried blood throughout. Swatting flies out of his face, he grunted again, his back stiff from...Come to think of it, while he didn't quite recall just yet, his body did know this sensation. He fell, and as far as he could tell, from pretty high up. He was perhaps lucky to be alive from that alone, though obviously he remained untouched by whatever local predators loomed thus far. Perhaps he was a large and ugly enough creature to warrant them off. That or he was just lucky. Reaching up yet again he felt to make sure that the spiraled point of an ivory, unicorn horn was still proudly protruding from his skull. His hand axes were still at his sides, his javelins lost with his pack, Zarak wasn't bare, but he was damn near close. Sporting only a loincloth beneath his owlbear skin cloak, his hands and feet bound in tarnished, dirty wrappings, now also stained in dried blood. His boots and bracers still very much intact. Without any respective leads and the light of the day already gone, he started searching in any one random direction. Thanks to his heritage, he could see just as well in the dark as he could in the light. Thanks even more to the divine for granting him the capability to see relatively well, in great discerning detail, up to approximately one mile away. Anything that could see him would likely notice upon closer inspection that his marred, leathery flesh was hairless head to toe, covered in old scars from blade and flame alike. A hulking figure around seven feet in height, and over 300 pounds of dense, well defined muscle. One of his most striking features being that of his small nipples, the likes of which he'd never seen any smaller. A testament to the strength housed within him. Parting the foliage in his way, making a path as he almost shook off the difficult terrain, he undoubtedly followed his senses toward what was obviously a water source. It wasn't until he was aware of its proximity that he noticed just how parched he was. With a scratchy tongue he failed to licked his dry lips, a grunt of frustration escaping him as he realized his head was probably hurting because he was thirsty. He was almost just as certain that quenching his thirst would reveal that he was also hungry. Without his javelins, hunting was a little harder, though not impossible. It just took more work. Still, he had to know what was available before making a plan for a successful hunt. This lush green water world was not unlike his home world or several others he'd been to, though it was not a forest or jungle he felt familiar in. Call it a hunch, but he did after all hold expertise in survival.
  20. JSMR

    Please Be Shrine

    “Where are we going next?” Ugoku-Ko asked. She was halfway submerged in the side of Ugoku-Ki, the great tree. Ugoku-Ko, Uko for short, was a soshi of a dryadic nature. She looked like a beautiful woman with smooth skin resembling a wood grain, and leafy mossy hair, with deep green forest eyes and a spread of freckles across her cheeks. As usual she was beaming with energy, and vanakara drawn from the ley lines they sat over. “I’m not sure, Uko,” Sonotoha said. He was sitting in the lotus position with his crook shaped staff across his legs, and his head bowed in concentration. “When are you going to know?” Ugoku-ko asked, dragging out each word to emphasize her impatience. “When I know.” Sonata said. Ugoku-ko sighed and swam through the length of the tree, running around the room carved out of it and coming up out of the floor to sit beside Sonotoha. “Song?” She started, “can I help?” “Actually,” Song said, “you can.” “Really?!” Ugoku-Ko exclaimed in surprise. “How?!” Sonotoha smiled. “By being patient and quiet while I find out.” “Boo!” She said, and gently pushed him before submerging back into the wood of the floor and swimming up the walls. Sonotoha ignored her and exhaled deeply. He needed to focus regardless of Uko’s interruptions. He took a deep breath pulling on not only his pool of internal vanakara, but the vast flow of it running beneath his feet. He exhaled and pushed his power out, manifesting it in the form of a weave forming roots. The roots dug deep through the floor of wood beneath him, and entwined with Ugoku-ki’s own tremendous roots and their weave, forming a seamless pattern with them. Together with the tree soshi and its massive vessel the two dug into the leylines beneath their feet. The outrageous amount of vanakara flowing through it was almost too much to handle, even with Ugoku-Ki’s help. Still after a moment he managed to find his focus even in the torrential waves of vanakara that tried to wash away his thoughts. With his mind fixed on his task he pushed his mind down the leylines, splitting into pieces where they branched out and following a number of different lines all at once. He traveled miles across Ozan passing over its countryside in moments. He didn’t like what he found. Across a number of branches he found knots in the leylines, places of great disruption in their flow where something was just Wrong. He couldn’t be sure what it was, but he knew it needed healing, he knew the land was suffering because of these knots, just as any creature would suffer from having knots in its pattern. And for as many paths as he traveled down, after encountering the knots they all led back to a single convergence point. A place knotted so deeply it was nearly black in an otherwise entirely luminous vision. He felt himself being pulled, dragged even towards the knot. He resisted, struggled, sent out roots to hold onto the earth and solidify his place. But the mass of knots was relentless, it dragged him with such intensity that his branches broke and he fell closer and closer to the darkness. It was about to consume him. But he avoided whatever fate lay within the knotted darkness. His vision was interrupted with a powerful eruption that sent waves of light through his vision. A massive tree broke through the canopy of darkness that pulled at him. It tore it asunder and let light shine down on his vision once more. The tree pulsed with a power unlike any other, the quintessence of wood. The Heart of the Forest itself. Sonotoha had encountered this mythical entity in his visions before, but never so blatantly before. And never had it ostensibly rescued him. He wasn’t sure what that meant. But he did know what the Heart’s presence meant. It wanted to speak. So he listened. He felt himself pulled within the Heart’s embrace, and pushed through its roots. He moved with superlative quickness across Ozan’s countryside, too fast to make much of it out, but knowing in his mind where he was passing thanks to the Heart. He found himself heading west, not just west, but into the Sunken West, a place of myth and legend, or where they died at least, and many died trying to find them again. He felt himself pushing through the forest, into a labyrinth of vines, over craggy cliffs, through a mess of thickets, down a waterfall, and finally into a cave deep within the forest’s heart. And deep within he saw, what was that, a shrine of some sort? His vision changed again, now he saw nature, no shadow, no soshi of all elements. What was that about? And then that too was swallowed up by darkness, and a feeling of hunger, of void, not like a kali, but something else, something Wrong. And then he woke up, sitting in Ugou-Ki, with Uko rubbing his shoulders and calling his name. “Song! Song! Sonotoha!” Ugoku-Ko cried. “Song are you okay?” “I’m okay” he said, pushing off her attention. ‘I know where we’re going.’ “You do?” She asked? “Mhm, we’re going west.”
  21. Coire Ansic (The Un-drying Cauldron) The Cauldron sits nestled near the epicenter of the Hill; though on the sides of the Hill where The Cauldron is nestled among the non-fae, is location seems to change periodically with no particular pattern, rhyme, or reason other than magic. On the outside it doesn't look much like anything special. In fact it was akin to an old witch's cottage, to some it was more like a long abandoned summerhouse that stood in protest of its demise. Rickety, rundown, and a well settled foundation all donated to most staying away from it if/ when seen. However, occasionally one found themselves in dire need of help. More oft than not though, curiosity was the most common among the adventuring caste. And satisfaction did not always garuntee its come back. Upon breaching any entrance to the establishment, its glamour became anxiously apparent. Spacial Distortion magics caused the outside to appear much smaller than what was found within! From the main entrance, one found themselves in a foyer, complete with a podium and one of several dozen Redcaps that kept the place running, and safe. Typically assited by one of the many willow wisps floating about that not only served as short term guides, but also as permanent surveillance. Those whom were expected, invited, or held reservations to The Cauldron were swiftly identified and escorted to where they were expected/expecting to be; Typically with whom. Walk-ins were accepted, though any non-fae folk without some sort of fae escort or representation should hope they were well versed in fae culture; Lest they be added to the menu! The foyer gave way to a grandiose dining hall. It was always as small as possible, though it was also always as large as it needed to be. There was enough seating to easily house a few hundred small to medium size creatures at any given moment. Straight across the dining room set a modest stage, accom pool accompanied by a designated dance floor. To the left from the foyer and dining rooms were the bathrooms, and to the right a fully equipped bar dividing the dining room from the equally equipped slaughterhouse, kitchen combination. Between the bar and the foyer, along the wall, there was another door that lead out to a patio lit by Faerie Fire. Despite the lack of speakers, whatever entertainment was available live or otherwise was equally able to be heard from the patio. The glamour of The Cauldron's exterior kept the patrons and on going percievable by the fae side of the Hill, though to the outside it remained an old, run down, abandoned cottage. Complete with cob and spider webs alike, and a feint orange flow upon the lurid darkness seen through a window of broken glass. While The Cauldron did not openly advertise it, those aware knew they could rent a room upstairs. Any noise from below was unheard above. Safe from disturbances and distractions alike, patrons could host VIP parties, secret meetings, or even just claim a room for some actual R & R. Rooms may usually be arranged for on a night to night or weekly basis, except for special cases where a patron might be afforded prolonged stays. It's safe to assume any patron with an outstanding occupancy within The Cauldron likely has ties or dealings with it directly.
  22. Daoine Maithe (Aos Sí) The lawful evil fae courts of the innerworld. While they differ from their more chaotic cousins found in the mountains, they are just as dangerous if not more so. Often offering aid to those willing or in need in exchange for a myriad of precise conditions varying from one of them to the next. It's always cold and dark, save for the cities and towns nearest volcanoes. While widely humanoid in appearance, some Aos Sí feature more unnatural characteristics not found in mankind proper. This can vary from skin, hair, or eye colors among other potential mutations such as horns, or the shape of the pupils. They also widely have the ability to shapeshift into animal form, a rare few being able to change into more than one kind; As well as the uncanny ability to project themselves in an ethereal state akin to a living ghost or spirit. While most remain beneath the surface, there are a small variety of creatures and beings that visit the surface. Either to act as an intermediary on behalf of the innerworld courts, or to take a stab at successfully living on the surface world. A common place known for their presence is a tavern and inn known as the Coire Ansic (The Un-drying Cauldron). Also simply referred to as The Cauldron. Nestled in The Hidden East of Ozan, within a clearing in the primeval forestry the region boasts, the tavern can be found. Careful however, for its duely rumored that the establishment moves locations throughout the forest. Or perhaps there's more than one conventional way to find it and it doesn't move at all. None have cared to investigate regardless. The hidden town consequently surrounding the tavern is referred to as Draíocht Sídhe (The Enchanted Hill). Existing truly as a parallel world, albeit invisible to most mortals, the hill and its thriving community don't appear on any maps. One must discover one of the various ways to gain access, lest they be of fae-kind or something akin to. Otherwise, like most mortals, one typically winds up here on accident after becoming lost in the forest. No doubt some sort of portal or gateway system being the underlying culprit to their arrival.
  23. "Ohayo gozaimasu!" He verbally greeted them more properly as he reached their proximity. "Everyone appears well rested and prepared to embark, that's reassuring." It didn't bother him in the least that his two companions were female. Though he was still concerned that three wasn't enough to complete the task before them. Five, maybe even six minimum would be preferrable. He mentally reminded himself that they just needed to make progress as he cleared his throat, licking his lips before speaking again. "First and foremost, thank you for your company and service today ladies, sincerely. I'm sure we all know by now that I would in fact foolishly brave this task alone if I had to. That being said, this task is so daunting that nobody expects us to succeed. None have survived the catacombs and caverns all the way to the west as far as I can surmise. I want to be clear: If in fact we must, we will turn back. If any one of us is unable to continue, we will turn back. And lastly," he paused as his charcoal eyes drifted over to Okina, giving his a knowing look before effectively sliding his helm over his head. "If at any point we are overwhelmed, and I tell you to run, run. If I tell you to leave me behind, you leave me behind and escape to survive." Nallyn furrowed her eyebrows, grunting as she stamped her little foot in frustration. Perhaps she was threatening to some, but to Jinsoku, this was outright adorable. Though he'd make sure not to outwardly mock or tease her over it. "But we should be in this together right? You brought me on primarily as your party's healer, I can't heal you by leaving you behind right? Besides, if you're protecting us and we're running away, who's helping to protect you? I think we should stick together no matter what." Placing his fists upon her hips, she anticipated some misogynistic rhetoric to come from his mouth, though she was quite pleasantly surprised by how he actually responded. "There's simply too many variables I can't account for, Nallyn. Especially cave ins. In any scenario, my entire skillset is mostly comprised of harsh, outward expressions that is a variable I can account for. I don't want to place any friendlies at risk of injury, though likewise, I'd hate to handicap myself in a dire situation that calls for certain detail." He paused as he crossed his arms over his chest, in haling deeply before sigh lightly. "I don't want to be 'that guy', but a party is only cohesive if one person is primarily calling the shots. If you think you might have a hard time following orders then -" "Nononononono! No hard times or problems here, only solutions. I just don't like the thought of abandoning a teammate. I've heard some pretty bad stories...Not all here mind you, but more of them than I'd like to count." The concerned look in her eyes showed him enough to not pry on the matter, though he was thankful she hadn't been a victim or survivor of such a tragic happening herself. It was one thing for someone to chose to sacrifice themselves to save the rest, easier to begrudgingly accept. Regardless, abandoning someone was something she wasn't sure she could live with. Turning his head, he peered over to Okina through the vented slots on the face of his helm, silently observing and essentially giving her the space to chime in with any input before driving their communications home with some reassurance. @AeonIngenuity
  24. Amidst the cacophony of pickaxes beating against rock and the bustling of rusty wheels moving precious minerals by the cart load, something else could barely be heard. Easily overlooked by those that knew what was good for them. That of so familiar tone of flesh slamming against flesh; The tearing of flesh, the breaking of bone. This unfortunate soul thought toting a weapon would serve him the upper hand against the irascible Meta. Or Mutant as some preferred to call people like him. He swung one of those crude pickaxes at the Meta's head, his eyes growing wide in fear when not only missed, but felt the handle of the pickaxe slide effortlessly from his grasp. He didn't understand, being that he was much larger than the Meta, and that he himself was not known locally to be a push over. But there was something different about this Off-Worlder. Tossing the pickaxe aside, he took a half step in. He now stood about a foot and a half from the assailant, glaring straight into his soul with obvious frustration on his face. He was annoyed anytime somebody wanted to get in his way, but especially when it came it his money. His primary, necessary means of survival. To add insult to injury, while he failed to save his wife, he had managed to save his son in the wake of The Great Calamity. So this wasn't so much a stab at the Meta himself as it was to his responsibility to his family. "T'be real wit' ya' comrade, I'm not th' type t' jus' let shit slide. But I gotta' good thin' goin' on her'. But I'll make a deal wit' ya'. Walk th'fuck outta' her' on ya' own two feet..." He spoke as he kept his arms down at his sides, his fists open. The blood on his knuckles beginning to dry. "Or y'fuck 'round an' end up li' tha' mu'fukka ova' ther'. Maybe worse." As menacing as his speech was, his tone was calm. His eyes matched the bravado of his vocabulary to no end though. If the poor SOB was savvy, he'd realize now what he should've realized sooner. That this was not the sort of man to be trifled with. The mere thought that he could do worse than the guy being tossed haphazardly in a cart nearby after being offered the same chance he was. The same opportunity. "An' o'coarse y'speak a word o'this t' any one soul, I'll finish you." A smirk crept on his face as he added that last part, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly. "Let'em know when he wake up, same shit applies." Was he even sane? Thanks to this little incident, he was running behind to make the drop. He sent Lazarus en route with the product, though he fully intended to catch up to him to intercept it to complete the actual drop. At this rate, Laz would likely have to make the drop alone. Something he'd never done before. With his boyish charm and his mother's eyes, Laz was sure to look a little sweet. Perhaps like a straight up victim even. It'd be like taking candy from a baby. Or so they'd think. Laz could throw hands, he'd been teaching the boy how too. But he wasn't sure if it was enough to let him solo the world just yet. With no time to waste, he made his way out of the mines and essentially started sprinting once he cleared them. The clientele wasn't the only liability here either. Rumor had it that the town had been reaching out for help in investigating the recent shortages in parts of the supply chain. Despite switching up how the flow went, a pattern still seemed to have been established. Or perhaps he'd simply gotten a little greedy on the last few transactions. None the less. Chandara managed to afford some mercenary or some shit, and the fact that he hadn't seen any new faces in the mines, none newer than his anyway, he had growing concerns that Laz might actually get pinched by the law. Something he couldn't afford to let happen. As he raced to catch up to his son, Lazarus himself was actually getting pretty close to the drop point. He was only about a half a mile off. If Bishop was lucky, he'd make it before the drop was done, but there was no way he'd make it to the boy before the handoff was made. The worst case scenario was getting robbed and having his son get arrested on top of almost losing his job. If this day got any worse, he was going to blow a gasket! Something that those familiar with his history and/or his nature knew ultimate worst case scenario for everyone involved, including himself. @Metty
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