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  1. "And remember to cut your hair by next week, Raiha-kun," Akira concluded, just as the bell signalling the end of homeroom sounded. "To repeat myself, those of you who are good at drawing can consider joining the Art Club. We will start our activities after school today." From within his briefcase, he produced a bunch of flyers with pictures of famous artists photoshopped together, with the caption 'ARTISTS UNITE!!! JOIN THE ART CLUB TODAY!!!' emblazoned on the top as well as several details on how to locate the Art Room at the bottom. Only those who could see Demons or the supernatural would also notice the luminescent blue words, scrawled across the middle as though it had been drawn with a finger. "Demon Hunters Wanted." "Class dismissed." Akira gave the students a quick bow as they stood up in unison and did likewise, bursting into chatter as he retrieved his briefcase and headed out of the room. Locating the various noticeboards positioned all across the school, he put up more of those flyers on each of them. Being a relief teacher, he didn't have many lessons to take charge of, and had quite a lot of free time, in fact. Enough to give Mitsuba a quick search, in fact. Loosening his tie, Akira headed out of the school gates. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hellmouths are huge, often cavernous tears in the fabric of reality, linking our mortal realm with that of the demonic world. Being located in between realms, even power users and practitioners of magic cannot normally see it. They can, however, locate certain hotspots around the Hellmouth where the fabric of reality is particularly weak, with the proper detection spells and know-how. These hotspots are normally located in areas less populated by humans, as they give out a sense of dread and fear that even ordinary mortals can feel; the sense of something watching you, giving you goosebumps and causing your hair to stand on end. This was one such hotspot. A lone man stumbled into the dusty room, clutching his head as though he was in terrible pain. "The pain... take it away! I can't take it anymore! Please! KILL ME!!" He collapsed onto the hard stone floor, as a dark shadow loomed over his fallen figure. "Please..." he could still be heard mumbling. "I don't want to give in to the voices..." The robed figure crouched down, running a hand through the man's hair. "Hush now. Everything will be alright. Soon, it will all be over." As he stroked the man's hair, it seemed to get longer and bushier. In fact, the man's entire body seemed to be sprouting hair as it metamorphosed into a more lupine shape, and soon his mumblings became low-pitched and incoherent, the words merging into rumbling growls. Within minutes, there was no trace of the man any longer, only a wolf that lay obediently at the feet of the robed figure. "You will be rewarded for your obedience," said the figure. The wolf slowly stood up, shaking its fur as it glanced up into the eyes of the figure. "Go now. There is work to be done." Wordlessly, the wolf turned and bounded out of the room, headed for the destination that had been imprinted into its head. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was already late afternoon when Akira arrived back in the compound of Mitsuba No. 1 High School, and students were already streaming towards their various club locations or heading out the school gates. He quickly headed up to room 02-11, where a sign labelled 'Art Room' could be seen on the front door. Below that, the same luminescent blue words 'Demon Hunters Wanted' had been painted over the door. He smiled, entered the room, and took a seat, waiting for the first student to arrive.
  2. CLOSED Darkness Falls

    OOC: Private RP between myself and Erogenous Enigma, rated NC-17 for violence, gore and dark themes, etc. DARKNESS FALLS "Fairy tales do not tell children that monsters exist. Children already know that monsters exist. Fairy tales tell children that monsters can be killed." Galatris, capital city of Lunaria. Named for the holy divine, Galatea. It is a trade hub, home to the royal family, to Queen Theresa, known for it's art and music as well as it's night life. But crime is also rife here, pickpockets are everywhere and most murders go unsolved. The police are fighting a losing war against crime on the streets of Galatris. For every crime they solve, five more pop up in it's place. It is like a living monster, a hydra. Unfortunately, real monsters are out of their skill range, for that, a Wolf is required... The train lurched as it pulled into the station, groaning in discomfort while the doors of the compartments opened and hundreds flocked out onto the platform. Many of them stayed close to the train, looking it over and talking about it. The people of Galatris were still unused to travelling by railroad between the major cities. It was a very recent feat of technology, and while not an unwelcome one - for the sights of the countryside could be quite beautiful on the ride over - it still created a feeling of disquiet and unease amongst the passengers. Save for one man. He stepped from the train with purpose, dressed immaculately in fine clothing. Crisp black trousers and shining black boots, a pearl white shirt with a crimson vest and a black coat. He pulled a gold pocket watch from his vest coat pocket and clicked it open, cradling it carefully with hands covered by black gloves. After a moment's examination he clicked the watch shut and replaced it, watching the throngs of people move around him with a slight, lop-sided grin. The man was handsome enough, with slightly tan skin and hazel eyes. His dark brown hair was long yet a little unkempt, as though he had been sticking his head out a window on the train ride over, for which he tried to correct by brushing it back out of his face. He had a light stubble growing on his face, he had perhaps not shaved for a day or so. But in spite of his slightly dishevelled appearance, he looked every part a gentleman. Once he was happy with his appearance, he picked up his carry case which despite it's size, appeared to be quite light, and in his spare hand picked up a long black cane with an intricately carved metal handle shaped like the head of a wolf. Upon leaving the station, he could finally appreciate the moon and it's gentle light casting itself across the dark, dingy street. Occasionally a horse-drawn carriage passed him in the middle of the road, but most of the traffic for the evening had died down, after all, it was an unreasonable hour. He had a few things to attend to this evening, however, and time was of the essence, for he knew that if he was not swift, his target of interest would escape him yet again. He was patient, but he also did not want to play the cat to his mouse any longer, whether they knew it or not, he would soon be upon them. The city was just another stop for him, he was going to meet an informant who claimed to have ironclad evidence of his target's next location, so he hailed a passing carriage and started to climb aboard. "Oh, sorry sir. Wait one moment, i'll get your bag." The driver offered, immediately stepping down from his seat at the front. "It's fine, driver. I like to keep my belongings close by." The man smiled back at the driver who already had his hand on the handle of the case and tried lifting it from his customer's grip, but couldn't. He wasn't sure if it was the man himself, or the weight of the bag, but despite the strength he was exerting the case did not move. When his face began to turn pink in the cheeks, he finally relented and laughed, "By the divine, sir, you don't travel light, if you don't mind me sayin'." "Ordinarily, I would. This is not for me." He replied, stepping into the carriage as the driver shut the door behind him. The journey didn't take long, within a half hour the carriage rolled to a stop, he paid the driver and walked into an inn called the Fox and Hound. It had seen better days, but it was as good a place as any to meet his informant. When he arrived, he spoke to the owner who directed him upstairs. Third door on the right, he had said. And so he went upstairs, followed the owner's instructions and knocked three times on the door. He heard movement inside and listened intently. Footsteps quietly crossed the room, perhaps silently for anyone but himself. He heard breathing on the other side of the door and raised an eyebrow. He raised his cane and with a sharp tap, banged the metal head against the door. "Let me in, little pig!" He called, and heard a scuffle as the body inside recoiled and fumbled with the door handle. When the door swung open, he stepped inside and shut it behind him. The room was dark, lit only by a single candle on a table across the room. "Do you have everything I asked for?" He held up his large carry case and let it drop a couple inches above the ground. After the heavy thunk, a metallic sound rang out from the inside of the case. He watched as the figure in front of him stepped forwards to examine the case. He was a man in his early thirties, just as he himself appeared. The man took a single look over the case, glanced at him and then slightly opened it. What he saw inside delighted him and he hauled it off to one side, with a great degree of difficulty. "Alright." He said at last and crossed the room, indicating for him to follow. "Let me just get this straight, before we go any further, you're Alexander Lachance right?" "Right." Lex replied, smiling. "So, so this is all on the up and up right, I mean, i've never seen your face before, Mr. Lachance, but you're a Wolf and all, right? I mean, this ain't against the law or nothin' right?" He was nervous. The informant's heartbeat was racing, he could hear it, feel it. "It's alright." Lex said soothingly, "You have nothing to fear, just leave what I asked for by the table and be on your way." The informant nodded nervously and glanced at his face as he walked back towards the case, he noticed Alexander's hazel-coloured eyes, and thought for a moment, that in the right light, they seemed an amber hue. He picked up the case with both hands, and huffing as he left, said his goodbyes and wished Alexander well in his hunt, and closed the door to the room on his way out. For a moment, there was silence. Lex stretched and sighed, yawning - flashing an inhuman set of teeth. There were no flat molars, only wide, triangular fangs, almost like a shark's. His teeth instantly transformed the way he looked, and regardless of his serene expression, gave him a monstrous quality. Perhaps it was this that panicked the other occupant of the room, or perhaps he was just waking up for the first time since Lex had entered, either way, Lex walked over to the table and moved the candle to the edge before he sat on the free chair besides the restrained occupant of the other. "Evening." Lex half-bowed while sitting and the man in the chair groaned as his eyes looked around wildly. "Give me a moment, if you please." He added, and then picked up a small envelope on the table, tore it open with a single swipe of a fingernail which seemed more like a claw and then pulled out a short letter. The letter only held two lines, and read: Constance Geneve Drennen Hearthwood He was close now. Hearthwood was perhaps only a day's travel, and a lot less for him if he choose to make his own travel arrangements. And now, at least, he had a name to go with his target. She was travelling to Hearthwood then, just a small town. No doubt she'd gone there rather than come to Galatris because of the crowds and the stronger police presence so close to the royal palace. He would be upon her soon. Alexander was pulled from his thoughts by a nervous whimper from the restrained man in the chair beside him, so he laid the letter down on the table and turned his attention to this man. He was in his 40's, muscular and weather-worn. Perhaps a labourer. He had a mean face about him, piercing eyes and sallow cheeks. His mouth had been stuffed with a rag, which Alexander pulled free and smiled. "So, you're not having a very good evening, then." "Oh, you're very perceptive, ain't ye." The man growled, looking around the room for the first time and then back at Alexander. "What the FUCKING hell am I doing here? LET ME GO!!" The man yelled, and started to struggle to break his bonds, but they were too tight. "Well it seems my friend did a rather good job with those knots, what do you think - sailor?" He raised an eyebrow curiously as he examined them which only infuriated the man further. "I ain't done nothin', let me go!!" "Well that's funny," Lex replied, leaning on his cane. "Because my friend - the one who just left with that case full of gold? He tells me, that you are a rapist and a murderer." "He's a bloody liar!!" The man snapped. "Is he? Oh, alright then, I apologise." Lex stood up, leant forwards and sliced through the man's bonds. Quickly, the man was on his feet and stood as tall as Alexander himself, just over six foot. "It's a shame, really. You see, the last time I killed someone, they really deserved it and--" "You're a killer?" The man asked, frowning. "Oh, yes. Gratuitously." Alexander replied, in a mellifluous voice. "Oh..." The man fell silent, and the two stood before one another for a long while. Alexander knew that silence was better than questions, and so he allowed it to remain as such until at last the man choose to speak once again. "Hah, well..." He paused, eyeing Alexander, but something about him must have resonated with this man, as he nodded, "Alright, yeah, I killed her. Had my way with her too, when she was still 'bove ground, an' all. But she was askin' for it, she's a prostitute, it's just--" "-- she gets it all the time, why not right?" Alexander nodded. "EXACTLY!" The man agreed enthusiastically, "It's not like she gets paid much for it is it, so she must want it, stupid bitch was sayin' she didn't want it, but I know she did, they all did. She weren't the first, and she won't be the last neither." "Mmm," Lex mused, and smiled to the man. But this time, he parted his lips, and flashed the man his mouth full of fangs. "We're more alike than you might realise," The man recoiled so quickly, for a moment Lex thought he was trying to flee out of his own body. He tripped over the chair behind him and hit the floor, staring up at Alexander. "We're both monsters, I mean, myself literally, and you...? Figuratively, I suppose." "Leave me the fuck alone!!" The man squeeled and leapt up, pushing Alexander aside. He wasn't just running now, he was sprinting. He was just a couple more steps from the handle of the door when something brushed past him with an incredible speed and suddenly a hand darted out in front of him and grabbed him by the throat. "Well all monsters have to eat. You've had your fill, now i'll have mine." Lex threw the man across the room, he crashed into the table, snuffing the candle and it's warm orange glow, casting the room into darkness. A slight white-blue hue from the light of the moon cast across the floor, enough only to light the legs of the men inside that room. Alexander's predatory footsteps descended on the punch drunk rapist, who was attempting to pull himself to his feet. He had barely succeeded in this feat, when one of Alexander's gloves hit the floor and the rapist's feet were lifted two feet off the ground, suspended in the air as he choked. He tried to let out a scream, but the noise wouldn't leave his throat. Then he fell silent, his feet stopped shaking and Alexander released his grip on the man who collapsed to the ground, his face illuminated at last by the moon. The rapist had aged over fifty years! His skin was loose and wrinkled, his hair had turned a brilliant white and his eyes were sunken and nearly lifeless. He shook ever so slightly, with the rigours of old age suddenly upon him. Alexander picked up his glove, pulled it back on and placed his hand upon the head of his cane. "W-what... h-have you... d-done to m-me?!" He groaned, trying to stand back up. It took him almost a minute to do so, but when he was finally upright, Alexander pulled on the head of his cane, and the wolf's head came away. As the wolf's head left the cane, a long strip of metal went with it. For the cane was in fact a holster for a deadly looking sword. It shimmered in the moonlight and the rapist had time enough to question what had happened before the notion that his head had separated from his body reached his mind and his eyes rolled over as the head hit the ground with a wet thump, and the body collapsed beside it. Replacing the blade in his cane, Alexander left the inn. To Hearthwood.
  3. "Come on Pete, just let me read it," she pleaded. "Just relax Sam, it'll be finished soon," he responded quietly, pen poised upon his lips. She shook her head at him but a faint smile played across her features as she ran a hand over the small bulge in her stomach. "Have you thought of any names yet?" He scribbled a few words upon the notebook and responded with a shake of his head, framed eyes stealing a glance at the tiny baby bump his wife was massaging. "I'll give it some thought," he offered lightly, before returning to his own little world. Samantha ran her fingers through his hair and reclined her head upon a pillow, still smiling at the prospect of motherhood. ----- Peter lifted his head from the pillow, fingers blindly scrambling upon the bedside table in search of his glasses; finally seizing them, he hastily donned them and clicked his lamp on. With a quick glance at his watch, he shuffled out of bed and began murmuring to himself as he strode across the mostly darkened bedroom, pale moonlight failing to penetrate the many windows that adorned the walls. Down the hallway he roamed, his hands gesturing at the invisible ideas flowing from his lips; on cue, his right hand found a brass doorknob, and he lifted the slightly tilted door upward to prevent it from squeaking as he opened it. He peeked inside of his daughter's room, which was awash in a soft pink glow emitted from a night light; he monitored her for a moment, watching her chest and the teddy bear she clutched to it in her sleep rise and fall without effort. Sophie is safe Peter, now get to the typewriter. He closed the door with a cautiously slow deliberance before proceeding further down the hallway, eyes on his watch once again. His bare feet met the familiar cool metal of a slender spiral staircase, the muscle memory of the repetitive action kicking in; within moments, he found himself within his office, a spacious third floor of the house that housed his writing materials and more importantly, his creative space. "Ok, 3:23 in the morning," he mumbled softly as he approached his desk. His slender fingers were punching keys upon the typewriter before he had seated himself, or even had turned the desk lamp on; he eventually treated himself to the lamp's light after fifteen minutes of writing, and only because he had stopped to remove his cumbersome watch. His new novel was, sadly, coming along at a snail's pace; Peter was plagued by a nasty case of writer's block, but only because the characters of the story just weren't cooperating with him. His male lead, for example, refused to translate onto paper the way he visualized him inside his mind, which was infinitely frustrating. "Come on Michael," he uttered platonically, his fingers flying across the well-worn keys. It was going to be a long night. ----- The mug of forgotten coffee had long ago turned stone cold, but Peter was far too gone to even realize the rising sun eagerly awaiting his attention. He massaged his stubble and peered up at the ceiling, his fingertips aching; he hadn't accomplished much and that was a disappointing omen. His middle of the night writing sessions had proved fruitful for many years, but lately, they had caused him more frustration than anything. But why? His head tilted and the dull gleam of sunlight filtering in through the window behind him reflected off his wedding ring, catching his sore eyes. He studied the ring for a few moments, the symbolism not lost upon him; even though he was extremely tired, he could easily recognize the connection between the ring and his faltering storytelling ability. Somewhere outside, he heard birds chirping, their announcement of a new day causing him to flip over the watch on his desk. It read 6:26. Sophie will be awake soon and you need to get breakfast ready--it's a school day, after all. Heeding his mind's advice, he stood to his feet and scooped up the watch before switching off the lamp, leaving behind his workspace of turmoil in search of a more positive environment. ----- One of Peter's hidden talents was his ability to cook, and exceptionally well at that; it was a very therapeutic procedure for him, and sometimes Sophie would help him out in the kitchen. On most nights, he would let her choose what they would eat for dinner and he would set out to make sure the food knocked her socks off; he had gotten pretty good at it too, because she was even eating her vegetables now, which was a milestone victory in any parent's life. On this particular morning, he was putting together sausages, eggs and cheese on English muffins with silver dollar sized blueberry pancakes; he surprisingly found that he was ravenous this morning, which was uncharacteristic of him, seeing as how he wasn't a breakfast man. He set the table with care, plates and silverware for them both, though their beverages differed at orange juice for her, slightly-nauseating-reheated-burnt coffee for him. Peter patted his hands dry on his pajama pants and walked briskly over to the intercom; he had a system installed throughout the house, mostly because Sophie was sometimes afraid to venture to his room or office when she woke up in the middle of the night--the intercom eliminated that problem. "Sophie," he called through the intercom, hearing his own voice within her room up on the second floor, "time to wake up sleepyhead."
  4. CLOSED Darkness Falls

    Private RP between myself and ErogenousEnigma, rated for violence, descriptive blood/gore and dark themes. At night, you tell your children stories. Tales intended to keep them safe. To be wary, to be cautious. You tell them stories about wolves and witches and all manner of things that go bump in the night. They are metaphors for the true evils that exist in your world. We tell our children similar stories, stories meant to keep them safe. Because in our world, monsters are very real. But, what makes a monster? Is it their claws and fangs? Is it their nature? Or is it a choice they made. Okay, my dumb thoughts put to paper out of the way, this RP is about supernatural, bump-in-the-night monster hunting... stuff. It's a story where morality is so often blurred, that knowing who is good or evil (if the concept even exists) is difficult to gauge. Set in a Victorian-style fantasy Gothic world with minor steampunk elements (to facilitate a little basic technology). This is just a place to compile our thoughts and lore or discussion in general for our RP, so here's a start: LUNARIA The name of the continent our story is based in. While we might decide to create more later down the line, or reference them for characters who might be introduced from overseas, I thought it important to base the majority of our story (at least for the time being) in one place. Lunaria is a greatly varied continent however. Freezing mountain ranges to the north, and a desert to the east. The majority of the landmass is a mix of valley/forest, the weather is often quite poor however, and is well known to have more days when it is raining, snowing, foggy, etc. than it does when the sun is shining or the cold bite of the wind is absent. QUEEN THERESA Theresa Wolfswood rules all of Lunaria, and is much beloved by her people, however she is not perfect by any means and there has been a great deal of conflict and in-fighting during her rule. She is forced to deal with everything from the ever-present threat of monsters, to growing crime and lawlessness. Many of her people are sick or hungry, and her resources are often stretched thin. Despite these issues, she appears to genuinely care for her subjects. For example, it was Queen Theresa who created the first task force to deal exclusively with monsters. WOLVES/WOLF A 'Wolf' is the title given to a member of the Queen's monster-hunting task force. They are essentially above the law, given rights to hunt, judge and if necessary, to pardon or slay a potential suspect without fear of repercussion. Their ranks are chosen from with extreme care and many Wolves were originally members of the Queen's Royal Guard. But again, they are not without fault, and whether rumour or fact many stories circulate the Kingdom about their brutal and indiscriminate nature. As such, people fear them and they are mostly given a wide birth. They are commonly given derogatory titles such as 'Dogs of the Queen', 'The Royal Hounds', etc. TECHNOLOGY For the most part, it's a mixture between medieval and Victorian, on a case by case basis, but much like Victorian-era England, Lunaria is in an age of industrial revolution. Travel is still commonly by foot or by horse, but the first train lines have begun to be laid down between major cities. Lighting is usually by candle or oil lamps, but most technology is steam-based. Weapons are mostly melee in nature, however law-enforcement, the Queen's guard, etc. carry projectile weapons, albeit they are extremely flawed. Mostly due to inaccuracy or long-reload times. There are many 'modern' conveniences such as newspapers, cigarettes, etc. The utilisation of electricity is in it's infancy, but it has been used with success in one endeavour - the electric telegraph, whereby an electrical current is used to move magnetic needles and so transmit messages via code. However, this process requires great expense, and is only utilised in the major cities, and it would still require the recipient to check with a local message holder, otherwise they would obviously not receive the message. RELIGION There is only one major religion in Lunaria, known as the Church of the Divine. Their beliefs centre around a God called Galatea, who was once human but ascended to the heavens. Most Lunarians are followers of the Divine, to one extent or another and the church is an integral part for most of their lives, even the royal family shares and acknowledges the power of the church and it's current leader, Cardinal Richelieu. Followers of the church are often called 'Children of the Divine'. Priests are most commonly titled 'Father'/'Padre' if they are male, or 'Mother'/'Madre' if female. God is usually referred to as the 'Holy Mother', 'Divine Mother', 'Divine', etc. Men and women of the cloth who have devoted themselves to God, but have not taken the vows of the priesthood are called 'Acolytes'. MAGEEvery so often a human is born with unexplainable talents, they are known as mages, not to be confused with warlocks. Mages have an innate ability to connect with the world around them and forces that make the universe tick. Generally a mages’ powers can be grouped into a specific tree of skills: elemental, arcane, creation, and spirit. Occasionally a mage will have natural talent in more than one tree; however any mage can learn any tree with the proper training and instruction. The highest tier of mages are known as the high mages, who often have ability in as many as three of the known tiers, and are usually masters of their natural tree. A mage’s ‘natural tree’ is the tree in which they first showed signs of magic, which can show up in children as young as five. Elemental – Fire, cold, wind, lightning, water, earth; the manipulation and creation of these elements. Arcane – The manipulation of the magic in the air, sometimes called ‘force’ as these mages will often be seen performing amazing feats of acrobatics, by managing the magic around their own body. They can also manipulate the magic around other people ‘forcing’ them, as if they’re being pushed or pulled by an invisible force. Powerful arcane mages can draw the magic into a visible form, generally taking on a blue or purple tone. A strong enough person can resist an assault of arcane, but should they see a visible wave of arcane it is suggested they not try and resist it, but to quickly get out of its range. While most commonly used as a force, it can be manipulated into many shapes, mimicking attacks like a slash from a sword or a thrust from a spear. Creation – Sometimes referred to as ‘conjuration’ but as conjuration is often associated with summoning which is an ability known only to warlocks, the high mages prefer the term ‘creation.’ This tree is most commonly associated with healing as it has the ability to mend flesh by ‘creating’ new tissue, however it can also create items, or simple tools. Anything created that is not being sustained by some means – either the mage, or a living body – will disintegrate quickly. They also have some power over earth and are able to grow plants and greenery. They cannot grow a plant from nothing without having to constantly funnel magic into it, however the seed is all they need, or even a leaf, as long as it is not already dead.Spirit – Magic that directly manipulates an individual’s soul, whether their own or someone else’s, though the use of someone else’s soul is strictly forbade among the high mages. A powerful spirit mage has learned how to expand their own soul, which can be done slowly over time by the natural magic in the air, or quickly(and illegally) by the absorption of other souls. Spirit mages are highly feared and never allowed to join the hunters. Their own soul is their greatest tool, they can do many feats from the other trees but not to the same potential, they can cause more havoc and damage by just using the raw energy of their soul. WARLOCKA human who deals with demons in order to gain supernatural abilities. By ‘deal’ they are joining into some sort of contract or agreement in which the human aids the demon into the mortal realm through use of their body and soul and in return the demon will grant them power. These powers can resemble that of the demon they deal with, another creature of lore, or mage trees, sometimes it is a mix of abilities. Demons can sometimes communicate with humans via dreams or where the veil between worlds is thin, or the human can contact demons through a ritual or by summoning them directly to the mortal realm which usually results in a massacre. SHADEA Shade is a consumer of energy. They can feed on almost any kind of energy, with perhaps solar energy being the only real exception. They are powerful physical beings that grow stronger when well fed, but grow tired and weak when they go without a food source. Though they can feed on any kind of energy, most prefer to feed on the life energy of humans, even to the point of their death. It is thought that they do this because the human body releases some kind of dormant energy upon reaching a near-death state that is extremely powerful. Though powerful, they have several weaknesses. Without a food supply, they quickly weaken. Though they can exist in daylight, it also tires them, compounding any effects of lack of food.It is said that to be fed upon is the most painful experience known to humanity, and that the process of feeding ages the victim dramatically, so that even if they were to survive, they could have lost years, even decades from their life (this is likely the reason that Shades do not appear to age). Many also fear being turned into a Shade, but the truth is that it is extremely rare with perhaps only 1 in 1,000 ever contracting the disease, if that is even what it is. Even then, Shades rarely leave their meal alive, and if they are unable to finish feeding, they will often choose to kill their victim. There are many theories for this practice, but none have been proven. There are three things that identify a Shade: First, their teeth. Unlike a human, the teeth of a Shade are comprised entirely of triangular fangs. Second, their hands. A Shade's palms have marks on them, vertical cuts each around two inches long that allow them to feed as easily from their hands as they do their mouth. Third and last, their eyes. While a Shade's eyes will appear as normal as they were when they were human, should they go without feeding for any length of time, a change in colour begins to occur. First their eyes take on an amber hue, then a dark golden colour as it finally turns to an ever darkening and intensifying crimson.Shades do not tend to live amongst humans, although it is not unheard of, and it is likely that many do without our knowledge. For although they are powerful, physically, and have incredibly keen senses, they are not invincible. They have an incredible healing rate, but only when they have recently fed, and so they are creatures of guile and cunning. Choosing subterfuge and stealth, rather than brute force. There are rumours that a small minority of Shades are capable of manipulating magical forces to one extent or another, but this has been undocumented thus far, either because it does not exist, or because those with such powers have left no witnesses.There is no known hierarchy amongst their kind, and they are as likely to avoid one another as work together as Shades are capable of feeding on one another, though this is thought to only happen in rare cases of necessity. They lack emotion, empathy, and though rare compared to many other monsters in our world, they are considered one of our most hated and feared. NYMPHThey appear like normal humans but they are always beautiful and far more devious. Though their intentions are not to harm or kill, they often ruin marriages. They ‘feed’ off of sexual energy, and they do not discriminate in their partners. While they can survive without it, they crave it like a human craves sweets. They are no more powerful than the average human, they do however have magical charming capabilities that come through in their words and voice, making manipulation much easier. STALKERA bestial species, while they are bipedal they are no more intelligent than a pack of wolves. If they speak it is in growls and guttural sounds, but there is no proof that they understand each other beyond a basic instinct. They generally feed on humans. They are covered in fur of various colours, mostly black, or dark shades of grey or brown, they have a hunched over posture and stand on their toes like most quadruped creatures. Their hands have hard leather palms so they can run more like a beast with the aid of their hands, giving them a drastic boost to speed. JACKALOPEA small creature that looks much like a fox with large floppy ears, horns that can take various shapes, and can be found in a wide array of colors. While not particularly dangerous they are known for their mischievous ways and strange capabilities to enter into ones dreams. Mostly they go completely unnoticed, but will sometimes alter the flow of dreams, causing nightmares or simply awkward dreams. They are hyper sensitive to a person’s emotions and feelings and are sometimes kept as pets by nobles as a security means – assuming the noble can prove themselves to the creature. Name: Alexander Lachance Age: 31 (43) Appearance: Personality: Though he is wise, aristocratic, well-spoken and charming, Alexander is also short-tempered, vain and extremely stubborn. He is patient up to a point, until he loses his temper but he does what he can to keep his stronger negative emotions in check. He can be inwardly self-deprecating, and struggles to balance his morals and humanity with his instincts and urgency to feed. History: Alexander remembers nothing of his parents, he was found abandoned on a church porch when he was a newborn. He had a relatively normal childhood, went to school, learnt the ways of the world, learned to read and write and yet he had always found peace and happiness in his faith, and so as soon as he was able he began studying to become a priest. When he was 24, he finished his studies, took his vows and spent the next 7 years tending to his flock at the very same church he had once been abandoned at. The day he returned, he found the church a crumbling shambles, but over the years and with support from the community he returned it to past glory and began holding service there. He had a simple life, but he was content. The night a Shade found it's way into the priest's rectory and began to feed upon his brothers and sisters, Alexander flung himself at the creature, hoping to wound or even kill it, or at least buy his adopted family time to escape. But the creature brushed him aside as the wind would a sheet of paper. When the Shade was done with the other priests, it came to him next. He would never forget the colour of it's eyes, changing from the darkest red he had ever seen, into a warm amber hue and even as it began to feed on him, he could not take his eyes from it's own. The amber irises turning to a light blue as he felt the life draining from him. The pain was unbearable, mind-numbing. He blacked out, not expecting to return to the living. Yet when he woke, something was different, over the coming days he found a sensitivity to light and a growing hunger that no food or drink would quench. He tried to hide his urges, tried to contain them, but eventually, the beast inside him won out, and by the time he was done, he stood over a bloodbath. He was a priest who had slaughtered his entire congregation, save for a young girl. She looked up at him, and he reached out, but before he could understand what he had intended something distracted him, his instincts told him to run, that he was too weak, too young, and so he ran into the night and never returned. 10 years passed. He came to understand what he was, what he was capable of, and despised it. For a time, he wandered aimlessly, feeding as sparingly as he could, hoping that he would cause nobody any further harm. However, after getting lost in a deep forest, and having not fed for almost a week, he was near death. When he finally found his way out, he fell upon the first unfortunate person he came across, and unable to stop himself, fed until they died. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) his victim had been a royal guard. He had found his way to the capital city, the home of the Queen herself. Before he had time to escape however, another human found him but this one was different. He called himself a Wolf, and he was far more skilled than the city guard. He heard tales of the Wolves as a child, and knew he was in mortal danger. He fought and managed to wound the man, but ultimately he was captured. He was tortured for weeks, studied and examined, asked questions of every facet of his life and nature. But in time, he found a sympathetic ear. It was in fact the man who had captured him, who went only by 'Leon'. Alexander and Leon came to know one another well, and eventually Leon suggested to his superiors that Alexander be allowed freedom under condition that he was to spend his life in service to the Wolves, and the Queen. Knowing it was this, or death, and that it might bring the possibility of saving lives as some small repentance for having taken so many, he accepted without hesitation and spent the following two years hunting those that would harm humankind. A monster hunting other monsters. Abilities: Alexander shares the various abilities of other Shades, including enhanced speed, agility, reflexes and strength as well as an abnormally fast healing rate (assuming he has fed recently). His senses are also particularly keen, but he has one ability that he gained and mastered over time that as far as he knows, he is the only one capable of using. Alexander is able to control his own centre of gravity using some form of instinctual air magic. Meaning he can scale walls as though he were walking on the floor, recline on ceilings, levitate and fly and become weightless or even extremely heavy if required, allowing multiple uses in and out of combat.
  5. Is Anyone Free

    A tiny huff escaped past a pair of pale pink petite lips as the young woman attempted to blow her bangs out of her face. Brilliantly violet eyes scanned the horizon, looking over everything that was under her care. The lush meadows to the east dotted with farms and little shops, down south the glittering teal of the ocean, with its glorious ships housed safely, within her northern castle walls her loyal people who place all their faith in her to protect them. With a saddened glance to the west she was reminded of what she has lost. The sky hung bleak and grey, the ground barren and terror clung to every soul that remained there. It was the darkest corner of Acacia Averil Aumen-Antare and it was because of Princess Anistalia Alyna Avenci that this area has fallen to darkness. She was naïve, young, and thought that he truly interested in helping her and ruling with her but alas it was not their destiny to rule side by side but rather to face one another in opposition. His name was Oncyrus Malmor, and he was determined to take all that he could from her. She could not bear the idea of allowing him to rule her lands; could not stand the horrors that he would bring in his wake. His power was a dark one and hers a light but it would seem that in this desperate time for need she would have to do the unthinkable. Her thoughts were disrupted by the abrupt knock at the door. Her voice echoed in the grand room as she commanded the guard to enter. “Your Highness, I have brought the exiled as you have requested. He brings a bag yet has refused to be searched. Shall we…†Raising a fair hand she silenced him. “That will not be necessary. I am aware of what he brings and I am the only one who needs to know.†The high Guard opened his mouth to speak but she spoke over him. “Do not question my decision. My mind has been made.†Turning slowly to face him, she held her head high yet her voice gave away her true emotion behind her façade. “I need for you not to fear, my people need strength while I am gone and who is to give them that in my absence. The guard nodded in understanding. “Remember no one is to know my true intentions, the people are to believe that I am traveling overseas to locate assistance. Until I return the exiled is to remain within the castle walls, locked at all times. Now bring him in.†The guard left for but a moment and returned with an elderly man. He grasped at the head of his staff, avoiding looking Anistalia in the eyes, his face sunken in giving him a ghostly appearance. His voice was dry when he spoke but none the less still clear. “Princess, how wonderful to see you. You look more like your mother every day. However you seem to have inherited a few of your father’s traits. You have his eyes; you also have the mark of a gift. A very strong one at that. The king would have been proud.†Anistalia covered the starburst birthmark that hid just behind her left ear. “You know as well as I do the king was far from proud, this same mark is the reason you were exiled. How could he live happily knowing that the child he called his was the great mage’s daughter? He tried so hard to deny it, named me after his mother. Went as far as to create the royal markings on my wrist.†She glanced down at the three stars that had been burned on to her skin as a babe.†All that was left was to remove the great mage from the picture. Mother begged for your life to be spared, putting her life in danger to save that of her child’s father. For nineteen years I had believed the king was my father only to find out it was you.†The old man removed the cloak he had been wearing to reveal his own pair of bright violet eyes in shock. Anistalia’s eyes lowered to the ground. “Mother told me on her death bed years ago. But it is in the past. I need your help, and I am glad you have agreed. I can’t help but feel you are only doing it out of guilt but regardless when I return we will have time to discuss at length. I need to go now. Have you brought everything?†The mage came out of his surprised stupor and nodded. “You know that this particular spell is forbidden correct?†Anistalia smirked. “Then who better to trust than an exiled mage and my father to keep the secret?†The mage threw up his hands in defeat and started pulling items out of the sack. “Alright we have the dragon’s fang, stands of elvish hair, snake poison and an infant’s heart…†Anistalia spun around quickly to face the old man. “I beg your pardon, an infant’s what?†He placed the items to form a circle not even looking her way when he responded. “I told you the spell is forbidden; now if you plan of proceeding with this I need you to recite the incantation with me.†Anistalia simply grit her teeth and took the parchment from him, staring down at the words. There on the parchment was an old language scrawled in horrid penmanship, it was actually quite difficult to make out the words. Taking a deep breath to calm herself Anistalia began to mutter the words as she saw them, tripping over her tongue in attempts to properly say the words. Within the circle the mage had placed out the ground began to warp and illuminate before her very eyes. She could hardly believe what she saw. A completely different world shimmered from the ground. The old man’s voice penetrated past her awe. “You only have a few days to find help. Another portal will open allowing you to return. But be warned, if you miss that time frame you will be trapped until you can open a new one. Do you understand?†Anistalia rolled up the spell and tucked it under the layers of her dress, determination glowing in her eyes. Without a word she took the plunge, colors swirling around in a frightening manner. She didn’t expect the trip to be so short but the heavy thud that she landed with made it more than apparent that she had arrived. Looking around fear gripped at her soul. Where exactly had she arrived to, when to be more correct. The vast amount of trees she had grown accustomed to seeing had been removed and what lay before her was a rather bustling town with all sorts of sounds and smells she had never encountered. Brushing the dirt of her full pale silver gown, Anistalia pulled her bouncing blond hair away from her face and made her way into the town. The sight she was greeted with was more than she expected. People rushed passed without as much as a glance. Did they not know or care as to who she was? Looks like she was going to have to gain someone’s attention. She spent a few minutes trying to speak to any of the people that passed her but no one stopped. Accepting defeat Anistalia made her way to a building that looked familiar. It was a small inn but it would have to do. “Pardon me; I’d like your best room please. One with a view of the water preferably.†She placed a coin on the counter and waited for the key, however what she got in response was the attendant shouting at her for thinking they were fools to accept counterfeit payment. After moments of heated argument Anistalia had had enough and stormed out of the building. Fed up with not knowing anything she finally decided to just speak with the royals, all that was necessary was to locate them. Finally getting the attention of a passerby, Anistalia tried to speak without her anxiety getting to her. “I beg your pardon I am Princess Anistalia Alyna Avenci of Acacia Averil Aumen-Antare. Could you possibly lead me to the castle for this kingdom? It is imperative that I speak with the royals.â€
  6. Love Bite

    I'd rather be living back at home than suffering this shit for money. It seemed like Silas always heard people say everything went blank when they were on stage. They went into some zen zone in their head where there was no audience, not even any bandmates - just them. Just the void and living sound. It never felt that way to him. Maybe because his band sucked. He really hated to admit it to himself - he loved his bandmates, or most of them - but they were wannabes, and he knew it. He had faith in his own skills, obviously; he'd been playing since he was eight, when his mom saved up for a month or more to get him his first guitar. Nearly every day since then he'd practiced. But fucking Leah got her drums three months ago. Date Ethan for a few months and apparently he'll just let you join his band. Ugh. Despite what everyone else said, Silas didn't give a sloppy fuck about her being a girl. What was in someone's pants didn't have shit to do with their skill as a musician. It was just that she didn't have any skill to speak of. At least there was Jacob: his roommate, and best friend. With the two of them on guitar, they could make any band a little less terrible. So that was what they strove to do: to make it just a little less awful. The two of them shared looks when their last song was over. There were a few stray claps around the bar, but mostly the din faded into the heavy, depressing quiet of the drunk and lonely. At this point, Silas had a mind to become one of them himself. Jacob approached him after they packed everything into the van. "Ready to go?" he asked. Silas shrugged him off. "I think I'm gonna stay and have a few. You go on, I'll stay with Wes or something." Wes was a fuck-buddy who lived nearby. Sorta nearby, anyway. He didn't care right now. He just wanted to sit and drink a beer and be alone. Jacob must have seen it on his face, because he backed off quickly. "Yeah, okay. Give me a call if you need a ride. Later, man." With that, the defeated young man slipped into a bar stool and ordered a damn drink. Thankfully the bartender was merciful enough not to card him, the way he looked. He didn't even care how out-of-place this rundown place made him look in his tight jeans and ripped up black tank-top and chic jewelry. He just wanted to forget the past three hours thoroughly.
  7. How much for a sword? [R]

    There is a rhythm in all things, peace turns to war, safety turns to fear, friends turn to enemies, lords and kings come and go. A time of uncertainty and war has fallen on the land. The strong do what they want, and the weak suffer what they must. Sweat beaded and ran down his brow as large as pebbled. He couldn't stop his heart pounding or his legs shaking. His hand was clamped over his mouth for fear they would hear his rapid breath. Even though his heart beat pounded in his ears, he could hear everything clearly, even the smallest things. The horses snuffled and shuffled their feet in the lush grass of summer. Leather creaked when one rider shifted in the saddle. Metal clinked against metal. Rossi jumped and almost let out a yelp when one of the riders spoke up. "What do you think?" A male human voice said. "I'd guess two months before harvest time." A female elf voice answered. "Not worth it yet." The first voice answered. "Unless we want moldy blankets and barrels of flat beer." He let out a half laugh. "We hit this place last year anyhow, I doubt they have much else left." Said a lizardman voice. "Lets not waste our time here, we will be back in three months and take all they got." Said strong human voice. "We will hit that village down the river, I want fish anyhow." The band of horseman turned and headed back over the crest of the hill from which they were viewing the tiny village. Rossi waited until he no longer heard them before scrambling up out of the patch of think thorns and vines that had concealed him. He gave one frightened look in the direction the horsemen departed in, and ran down the him as fast as his old legs would carry him ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Someone were crying, most were silent. They all knew what was at stake. Loosing one harvest was a disaster, loosing two in a row was a death sentence. Most of the village was gathered in the dusty common land at the center of town. Some shouted, some cried, some sat silently. Every so often someone would shout a suggestion, then get shouted down by dissenters. "We should give in! Beg to keep enough to live off of!" - "They would take everything just to spite us!' "We should contact the lord!" - "He would do nothing! Just like last time!" "We should just kill ourselves! Then the lord might notice!" Everyone fell silent at that suggestion. Ranunt, one of the more weathly farmers, spoke up at last. "We should as the Old Man." Everyone silently agreed, and shuffled after Ranunt, toward the old, creaky mill at the edge of town. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not everyone would fit inside the mill house, most crowded out front, peering through windows. Ranunt and Rossi sat on the rushes silently. Everyone was silent and tense. They had told everything they knew, telling every detail they knew or imagined. The Old Man just sat, sunken old eyes looking down, deep in thought. "We must contact the lord." Said Ranunt. "We must give them what they want." Said Rossi. "We must fight!" Shouted a younger villager pushing into the room. It was a younger elf, Turas, his eyes burning. The Old Man did not respond or even seem to react. Everyone held their breath. Finally, as quiet as a whisper, the Old Man spoke: "When I was a young man, I saw many villages burnt and destroyed. I once found one that was intact." "What did they do?" Rossi interjected. "They hired fighters." The Old Man answered slowly. "But how, we have no money, only grain," The Old Man smirked "Well then hire hungry soldiers." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After some deliberation, it had been decided that Ranunt and Rossi would go to look for soldiers. Turas had insisted to come along too, and they did not turn him away. They set out the next morning with meager rations, old woolen cloaks and walking sticks. A bedraggled last hope for the village. The had walked for two days before making it to the nearest town, Cooper's Crossing, the nearest ferry and the only thing considered a town for leagues in any direction. Even so it was a bustling place for the small town farmers, and full of traps set for easy marks. Luckily their lack of valuable got them out of most scrapes but soon left them with little food, and had robbed them of the few copper coins they had gathered in the village. Every time they had approach a person bearing arms, they had been laughed away. No one was willing to risk their necks for a meal or two a day. Time wore on and they seemed to get no where. Their hope failing, they sat in the corner of the public house they stayed in. "Maybe we should return home." Rossi said. "At least we can starve in our own homes." "Don't think that way." Turas snapped. "We must succeed." "We certainly must." Ranunt said staring at the dirt floor. "I just hope we find at least one soldier willing to help us soon."
  8. Background As a species, our oldest, most primal fear is of the darkness. We vilify it in our language; the mere utterance of the term brings to mind wickedness and corruption. We hide from it, huddling in our homes and around our fires, praying for deliverance when the sun rises again. Since the dawn of humanity, we have sought to progressively banish it from our lives. In this day and age, these fears seem laughably quaint, mere stories to scare children into obedience. In an era of nights awash with neon lights and sleep cycles defined not by circadian rhythm but by caffeine intake, it is all too easy to forget that we feared the darkness for good reason -- that unknown to most, the things that made us fear the night still haunt the shadows of our shining cities. Stories of these nightmares made flesh pervade our collective consciousness, cautionary tales steeped in myth. While these horrors can come from the unknown, from the depths of the deep ocean to beyond the three familiar dimensions of reality, among the most insidious and dangerous of them are the ones who walk unseen among us. We have a thousand names in every language for these creatures: Naagloshii. Strigoi. Changelings. Youkai. I call them the Werebeasts. They're more common than one might expect. Walk down a busy street at peak hour, and one would almost certainly pass half a dozen of them. Unlike the other monsters I hunt, one cannot tell them apart from a normal human -- and many choose to live that way, holding back the beast within them. However, many give in to the lust for bloodshed -- or worse, use these monstrous powers for their cruel human whims. I, however, do not fear them. There are monsters in the world, but do the stories not say that monsters can be slain? I bear a weapon that can destroy these creatures for good, the light of deliverance forged into cold steel. I am not alone in this quest - I, like those who fight by my side, am humanity's bulwark against the darkness. We hunt the hunters. -- The journal of Auguste Zeppeli, 14 November 2011 Setting So this is an urban fantasy RP set in the modern day. The actual locale of the RP's yet to be decided; I'll probably just pull some fictional town out of my ass as usual. Basically, we, the player characters, fight werewolves. Or were-bears, or whatever were-animal is deemed appropriate. Or you play one of said were-whatevers and lay the smack down on some of your more immoral kin, if you'd prefer it that way. Anyway, here's some details of the setting. Werebeasts A person who turns into an animal, usually a predatory one. Records of their origins are spotty and contradictory -- many accounts show that the condition is hereditary, and yet anecdotes abound of Werebeasts being born to completely ordinary people. One won't turn into a Werebeast just by being bitten. Though there's a chance you'll catch a nasty case of rabies/avian flu/AIDS and die, of course. Initially, a werebeast's first transformations are involuntary and happen at night -- however, as they grow in strength, they can turn at will, even under broad daylight. Werebeasts possess powers typical to the creatures they transform into, with the strongest of them even possessing clearly supernatural abilities like precognition or teleportation. However, they share some common characteristics, among them being a pathological addiction to bloodshed and powerful regenerative abilities -- while sunlight weakens them and fire will hurt them (just as it will everything else; fire's very dependable), the only sure-fire way to slay a Werebeast is to completely destroy both their heart and their brain. The Anima Going up against incredibly durable, extremely fast and strong Werebeasts is a dicey proposition at best. While modern weaponry can prove an effective equalizer, if prone to collateral damage, the main weapons against these monsters are The Anima: weapons or armor that imbue their users with increased physical capabilities and supernatural powers. Anima seemingly have a will of their own, and when bound to a user, can be summoned and dismissed at will with some practice. While an Anima might grant several powers, a human can only be bound to one of them at once. Participants Wstfgl TriOctium Yajuu_Kikuishi Kyo HerculeHastings Still open for sign-ups, up to around 5 people. Please commit to posting with at least some semblance of regularity, or at least let us know if you're taking a hiatus. Rated NC-17 for violence and probable grimdark. Character Template Name: Age: Appearance: Personality: Anima/Werebeast Abilities: Miscellaneous:
  9. [ this is describing "he/him" and was thinking of not naming him.. It seems more suitable in a way. Tell me what you think about that :] He stood there, his fingers gripping lightly onto the cart handle bar. The skin on his sweaty palms burned. It seemed he was constantly holding onto some object, whether it would be in a form of comfort or protection or a mere habit, there was never any hesitation while doing so. The leather covering on the steering wheel of his rusty pick up truck, the stair railing in his place of residence and of course, the construction work he was forced to entwine in daily were all possible necessities to hold onto. Along with this obsession, he found himself trailing off often as well. Staring at the sky as it changed colors, watching a happy couple kissing in the corner of the grocery store, even watching the children leaving school with smiles across their lips kept him entwined, not only in his work, but his thoughts about life. At a young age, his father had divorced his mother. He was forced to live alone, without a man to lead him and raise him. His mother wasn't any different. She was constantly complaining about life without her husband, but who doesn't complain? These were not one of his concerns. All he wanted was a family of his own, but just as any other young man with a job lacking free time, he was forced to suffice to his lonesome life style. At least the liveliness of his neighborhood grocery store was keeping him occupied. At least this way he'd be able to dwell in the life he had always wished for. Continuing on, hands still stinging with sweat, moving a cart toward his rusty pick up, the young man started toward loading his shopping bags. The usual consisted of these bags; milk, bread, eggs, honey, and a tub of pecan ice cream. Afterward, he slowly sauntered toward the drivers seat and buckled up. His lips parted to sigh, a hand running through his hair as he checked his reflection in the rear view mirror. The hot summer days attracted all types of tiny creatures. Most seemed to enjoy leaving their excretions on his vehicle. It seemed he wasn't even allowed to look at himself without seeing blurred images. As if his life had always been missing so much yet at the same time he had so much. If only they were tangible; physically tangible. [] Later [] "No sir. I have to change my schedule. Something important came up. I can't explain though.. sorry sir. I'll be a few hours late for my shift on the weekdays. I'll work extra hours during the weekend. Please sir...!" It seemed he had this issue so many times. Ultimately, his boss was a hard headed old geezer. His expression tamed anyone that laid eyes on him. His employees wondered how his wife had managed to survive for so long. Others wondered if she was even human. No one had seen her. He had never seen her. Who would marry his boss?Who would want to spend the rest of their precious lives with someone so demeaning and so hideous? He probably took her hostage. She could be locked up for all anyone knew. Shouldn't someone report him? Driving his pick up toward work, after the certain phone call, he stopped near a cliff. Not far from his work place far enough to enjoy the evening sunset. The sun was teasing his eyes with a dim yellow fading behind the ocean just before it with a subtle hint of orange gradually morphing into a crimson red, yet not as bright, and finally dispersing over the rest of the sky into a light blue and in the end, navy. Colors seemed to relieve him of his stressful life. Despite his short schedule his vicious thoughts intervened. The judgment he shot at himself, telling himself he was never good enough stressed him out. If only the sun set was around often. If only it didn't disappear during the winter. If only he could feel relieved for eternity.
  10. Ten years ago, an unexplained explosion shook the city of Tokyo in the early hours of the morning. Some people were hurt, a few homes were destroyed, and the media was predictably abuzz with speculation about terrorism, meteorites and other such bizarre explanations. Oddly, two hundred people, mostly young girls, were miraculously unharmed by the blast -- however, all their memories of the time of the blast had been completely erased, leaving their escape a riddle wrapped within a puzzle ensconced in an enigma. Eventually, the authorities concluded it had been caused by an earthquake, closed the case, and over the years, it quickly faded from public memory. Obviously, the story didn't end here, or I wouldn't be recounting it to you now. Over the years, more strange occurrences began to transpire in Tokyo, from strange noises in the night, inexplicable property damage and even people seemingly disappearing into thin air. The effects of that strange explosion had only just begun to become apparent -- those who had lost their memories in the blast began to see strange things. They saw the world standing still around them as though they were trapped in a still photograph, huge, bizarre beasts plodding silently down the streets of Tokyo, and people moving among this strange, frozen tableau -- others with powers like them. They were the ones who possessed The Heart. Those who were fated... to become Magical Girls. This is the story of the life of one of those with The Heart -- one whose life would change forever... MAHOU SHOUJO SPARKLING SUBARU A Totally Legit Magical Girl RP by Wstfgl, Demonic Gate and HerculeHastings Why would we lie to you Subaru Kirara eyed the huge creature lumbering down the street towards her, its mouth gaping open and dripping with spittle and its eyes flashing with menace. The creature stopped before her; she smelt the beast's cloying, rancid stench clogging the air around her and winced in disgust. It loomed above her, its beady eyes staring down her with a cold, inhuman menace -- and she didn't flinch, continuing to stare it down, her feet firmly planted on the ground in its way. "I won't let you have your way with my friends! Not while I can still fight!" The creature opened its mouth, and an infernal noise issued forth -- and slowly, Subaru realized that the monster was laughing. "Don't you underestimate me! You might think you've broken me, but I still believe in friendship!" Then, there was a flash of light as a jewel-studded baby-blue rod appeared in her hands, and she twirled it around like a band leader's baton as the air filled with brilliant sparkles. "Pretty Lyrical Magical Transformation! By the power of the stars above, you shall know the price of your sins!" Then, her clothes exploded as the surroundings became awash with pink light. After a half-minute sequence with far too much whirling, close-ups of each part of her outfit materializing in slow motion and entirely too much possibly-underage nudity, the pink light flared up and faded, revealing Subaru again, now dressed in a gorgeous, frilly blue dress adorned with sparkling green gemstones and silver filigree, the tip of her magical wand blazing with blue light. "STAR SAPPHIRE SPARKLE SUBARU, READY FOR COMBAT!" The beast roared, its head snapping forward to crush its new opponent between its powerful jaws -- and its teeth closed around air, and a hint of what could have been bewilderment flashed through its eyes. Then, there was a rush of wind, and Star Sapphire Sparkle Subaru appeared behind it, her wand raised as the light at its tip intensified to a blinding radiance. "SHINY BLAZE... SPARK!" For a moment, the world turned into a solid wall of blue. Then, there was a roar of rushing wind as the shockwave spread, shattering windows down the street and sending debris flying in every direction. There was a little clack as Star Sapphire Sparkle Subaru's heels clicked against the asphalt of the street -- then, as the smoke began to clear, she saw a huge shadow looming within the gloom. Then, an ear-splitting roar pierced the air. The Jewel Monster was still alive. Subaru took a step back, her eyes widening in shock as the dust cloud suddenly dispersed, revealing a crackling hemisphere of purple energy covering the Jewel Monster like a parasol. Standing in front of it, like a circus ringmaster before a lion, was a girl in a black-and-purple dress adorned with far too many unnecessary leather belts and laces. She had long, straight black hair, purple eyes that glowed like candle lights in the darkness and a wicked grin upon her face -- and held in her hands was another wand like Star Sapphire Sparkle Subaru's, except this one was jet-black, with a glowing purple eye upon its head instead of the silver heart upon Subaru's. "Impossible..." Subaru gasped, pointing her wand towards her fellow magical girl. "Kuro Schwarznoir banished you to the Shadow Realm! How could you have returned... and why are you working for them?!" "I am no longer the Fabulous Amethyst Dazzling Darling you know, Subaru Kirara!" the other girl declared, her eyes flashing as the head of her weapon transformed into a huge axe-head of purple energy. "I am Evil Amethyst Dazzling Darling now, and the Jewel Monster will be ours!" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" TO BE CONTINUED *click* ... Norio turned the TV off, glancing at the digital clock on top of his TV. It displayed 2:56 am in luminescent green digits -- the night was still young, by his standards, but that didn’t change the fact that he still had to show up for work tomorrow -- and he’d already been warned that he’d get fired if he showed up late again. Say what he liked about his work, it put the food on the table. And without money, how will I ever be able to afford those wonderful lunch dates with Subaru-chan? He sighed, gazing lovingly at the wall painstakingly festooned with dozens of photos of his angel, the sweet, demure light of his life; then, just for good measure, he whispered under his breath, “I love you, Subaru-chan. I hope you notice me someday.†Then, he staggered to his futon and collapsed onto it, letting a dreamless sleep overtake him. A new day dawned upon Tokyo. The skies today were steel-grey, with massed clouds gathering across the sky like a great armada moored at anchor thousands of feet above the scurrying masses of humanity below. Norio was among the massed crowds below, hurriedly pacing towards the entrance of the Metro line that would lead him to work. His dead-end, boring, repetitive job, a chore he did not for passion or ambition, but merely for the adequate paychecks his employers saw fit to give him -- just joining thousands of other people as anonymous, faceless cogs in some great machine churning to some unknown end. This daily grind sickened him. It had been why he’d retreated from it all, and yet he’d been forced to return every time. His late parents had called it the meaning of becoming an adult, but to Norio, this mindless day-to-day drudgery was a drawn-out death. Onwards I toil towards retirement and senescence, working, eating, and sleeping until my time comes to be replaced like a rusty gear or worn-out spring. All so that some fat cat can proudly boast about a change of numbers on some arcane pie chart. Whatever happened to your hopes, Norio Takamichi? Your dreams, your pride, all swallowed by the merciless grinder of society. It disgusts me. Work, as usual, was more of the same unfruitful drudgery. Once again, his superior, a balding, plump man with bottle-thick glasses and a propensity for wearing so-called ‘humorous’ ties in a sad pretense at hiding the unfeeling, humorless void he had for a heart (and probably for a brain, too), screamed at him for not being more productive, and as usual, he had just bowed his head and nodded, muttering the usual platitudes about trying harder at his work. All empty promises. Meaningless. He avoided eye contact with his fellow employees -- he cared nothing for their presence, and they surely reciprocated the sentiment -- and shuffled back to his tiny, bare cubicle like one of the walking dead, burying himself in his work and clearing his mind of thought. … “Akihabara Station,†the soothing female voice intoned as the doors hissed open. Norio filed out of the train, immediately making a beeline towards the familiar exit he had walked through so many times before. Finally, he felt free, no longer bound by the suffocating atmosphere of his workplace. Even if it was just for a scant hour, he was free… and once again, he could see the light of his life again. His footsteps quickened as he headed through the passageway beside the train station, straight towards Akihabara’s Electrical Town -- the Mecca of men like him everywhere, the place where his heart truly felt at peace. Finally, as he stepped out onto the street again, he was greeted by the sounds of bubblegum pop music and the bright primary colours of anime posters, and he knew that he had come home. Subaru-chan… I know you’ll be waiting for me… as always.
  11. “Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals.†- Fulton J. Sheen It was the seventh hour of the morning when Sylvaria rose from a fitful slumber plagued by phantoms to join the steady procession of nobles trickling through Upper Ale'del. Low clouds wreathed the Cirakin Mountains, shrouding the city in a gray mist that made the cobbled roadways more cumbersome to navigate. With meticulous care, Sylvaria guided her filly through the main thoroughfare leading to the royal palace. Months of traveling in foreign lands, free from the strictures of aristocratic society, had acclimated her to certain liberties, and she had to readjust to the formalities of her heritage, gingerly threading her way through slow-moving carriages and other riders. The fog had lifted slightly by the time she arrived at her destination, affording her a clearer view of the congregation assembled upon the rostrum at the western edge of the palace grounds. Where there would normally be a monarch or Council member issuing announcements to the residents of Lower Ale'del, instead a throng of nobles had gathered, clustered at the balustrade to watch the spectacle unfolding below in the market district. Most of her peers were clad in somber hues, and only the fine material of their attire betrayed their wealth and influence. Sylvaria herself had chosen a loose-fitting gown of crushed black velvet, with a high neckline and a modest cut befitting the occasion. Her eyes were masked by a half-veil secured to her cropped sable locks by simple black hairpins. The dark gauze obscured her features, granting her a welcome measure of privacy within the spaces of her own mind. She was not yet ready to be questioned about the presence of Soliri within the city. She took a place at the fringes of the crowd and gazed down at the market square. A dais had been erected in the center of the square, ringed by an assembly of merchants, tradesmen, and laborers. Seated upon the platform in high-backed chairs were the eight members of the Council, waiting impassively as two armored guards dragged a prisoner to the wooden crucifix mounted before them. From what little she could discern, high above the proceedings, Sylvaria could see that the man bore the sharp, angular features of the Vales, but his appearance was otherwise unremarkable, his visage nondescript and forgettable. Hidden from view, his eyes were lost beneath the tangled ropes of unkempt brown hair that hung limply against his face. He had a lean frame draped in tattered rags, and through the torn fabric Sylvaria could glimpse the angry network of scars stretching across his back, caked with dried blood and riddled with bruises that had already turned yellow with age. He was raving as his detainers pulled him to the crucifix and settled him roughly against the wooden post, lashing his wrists and ankles to the stake. “You are fools,†he spat, punctuating the statement with derisive laughter. Although his voice was hoarse, and cracked from dehydration and disuse, his words carried over the sudden stillness that fell over the crowd. “All of you. You will learn the truth of your folly soon enough, and it will avail you nothing. There is naught you can do to change your fate.†He laughed again at that, the sound growing in volume until the last cord was tightened and he was forced to imbibe a vial of nightsbane extract. Then he laughed no more, and in the wake of his silence, low murmurs of speculation arose from the gathering. “The man merely states the obvious,†a disinterested male voice commented carelessly. Shifting her gaze discreetly, Sylvaria observed that the man who had spoken was among the few who had dressed without regard for propriety, attending the proceedings in opulent finery inlaid with elaborate gold and silver brocade. “So long as we harbor the savages within our walls, our fates are, naturally, sealed.†He sighed mockingly. “Perhaps His Grace should have considered his own safety before eviscerating our policies.†“I’ll thank you to not speak of that again, for I’ve no wish to face the Council’s scrutiny,†a woman’s voice snapped in response, cutting through the flurry of gossip that followed. The man bit out a brazen retort, but Sylvaria scarcely heard it, as anger had washed over her, sudden and consuming. She willed herself to remain calm by grasping the railing and taking deep breaths. Beneath the thrum of chatter all around her, she could hear the roar of blood pounding through her ears. Seconds stretched on into minutes...until finally, the crimson haze clouding her vision dissipated, and her heartbeat returned to a steady rhythm. Moments later, the screams began. For all his insolence, the captive was mortal, and susceptible to the infirmities of his own mortality. Though she had never witnessed an execution involving the use of nightsbane, Sylvaria could recount the symptoms that afflicted him. Long before his organs failed - and they would, eventually - the toxins in his body would assault his senses, amplifying them until the merest hint of sunlight would be searing, the faintest noise deafening, and each breath excruciating. He would not taste the luxury of a swift release, either; the torment would persist for several more minutes before he would be permitted, at last, to embrace death. Sylvaria forced her gaze to remain steady by reminding herself that she beheld the man who had murdered her mentor. Her father's account of the crime still rang in her ears. The assassin had attacked as King Dorien dined in the Great Hall, loosing a poison-tipped crossbow bolt at the monarch as he bantered with guests. The attempt had nearly been thwarted by a member of the Royal Guard, who had discovered the assassin as he moved to fire, but the bolt had nonetheless found its target, lodging itself in the king’s shoulder. For a time, the king had appeared to be recovering; the bolt had missed his heart, and the injury seemed to be healing. Then, abruptly, the wound had festered, the corruption spreading rapidly through the rest of his body. He'd spent the last of his days in a fever-stricken delirium. Sylvaria could hardly imagine the pain of Lady Amalia...or Lord Damien, who had barely reached his seventh name day. How much had they suffered, to have the king inexplicably ripped from their arms? The injustice of the situation steeled her conscience, and she listened stoically as the last of the assassin’s guttering cries dissolved into silence. Once his anguished convulsions had ceased, the guards stepped forward to cut his body down from the stake. There would be no proper burial for a traitor of the realm such as he; the corpse would be flung from the heights of the Cirakin, and left to the vagaries of the wilderness. As the guards hauled the body away, a flicker of movement at the edge of sight caught her attention. But when her eyes shifted towards the source, she saw only a pair of doves taking flight, circling around the rooftops of Lower Ale'del before disappearing behind the distant spires of the Cirakin. She watched them for a long moment, then turned and slipped into the crowd of nobles filing off of the platform.
  12. Thump-Thump...Thump-Thump...Thump-Thump...What is that?...Thump-Thump...A heart. Of course...Thump-Thump...My heart...Thump-Thump...But why? Is there an afterlife after all? Wait! No! This ins't something like that...Thump-Thump...That's right. It's all coming back to me now. That day. That evening. I'm remembering. I was going to the arcade after helping a girl with cleaning duties. Stupid. There was some chick meeting a man. It was weird; they didn't seem like friends or anything. And then...And then something happened.... _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ "Thanks so much for helping me Hakuya. I really appreciate it," Sumire said with a broom in hand, an innocent smile spread across her face. She looked just like a girl who'd just spoken to the boy she had a crush on for far too long, which might not be too far from the truth as Hakuya finished placing the last desk back in place. He straightened his back in a final stretch and smiled at her, a smile that resonated from his whole face. "Of course. I couldn't just let you do all this work alone. You're delicate girl after all," he said. She blushed and busied herself with putting the broom back in the cabinet and collected her bag. She rushed to the door and stopped for just a moment. Hakuya looked slightly puzzled at the way she moved so quickly now. "Thanks again Hakuya!" she said, then fled from the room with a big embarrassed smile. The moment she way gone Hakuya visibly slackened. His radiance faded completely, his shoulders slumped and his face went from a brilliant smile to a totally dead expression. He moved down the aisle to his desk in the back while loosening his tie and in a few broad strides grabbed his bag, then turned for the door. Time for the arcade. I'm tired after helping her with cleanup duty. I really shouldn't have helped her out after all. With a shrug Hakuya threw his bag over the shoulder and left the classroom. One hall, a right, down the stairs and to the lockers. Changed shoes, and out the door. He looked up at the sky and smiled to himself. It was still only around 5:30 with plenty of light left out. Summer's the best. He moved to head for the school entranced when he heard a girls voice calling out to someone. He glanced around but saw no one. The sound was coming form the side of the building and Hakuya was driven by curiosity to locate the source. He jogged over to the side of the school building where people were often known to confess their love. Hakuya wasn't interested in that, but couldn't help but wonder still. He reached the side and saw a girl he only vaguely recognized. Too many faces greeted him from day to day for him to remember them all. He scratched his head through the locks of dark hair and stared for a moment at the girl who looked almost lost calling out for someone to show up. She was wearing the school uniform, so he knew she couldn't be lost. He glanced around to see if anyone was approaching from his side and, seeing no one took a step forward while turning back to the girl. And a man? A man stood a good distance away from her now. He, however, was not wearing the school uniform. Instead it was substituted with a red and black T-shirt and a pair of black jeans. He wore no shoes, which was only part of the strange character. He had small chains links strung all across his body and this rather crazed look was plastered on his face. Hakuya heard the girl finally see him and say, "So you're the one who called me out here? What do you want anyway, showing up late? It'd better be good for wasting my time like this." The man started walking forward and raised his palm to face her, a knife glowing red hot in his hand. Closing the gap he said, "Well aren't you just a joy. Well, I guess it won't matter for long. Just do me a favor and die easily." Seven yards from me to her. Twelve between them. I don't know if I can make it in time, I don't know what the fuck is going on. Dammit! Before Hakuya had enough time to figure anything out, his body was already in motion. He put all his potential and energy into a sprint for the girl to reach her before who ever the "enemy" was could. He reached her and everything in the moment seemed to explode. One hand on her arm, then she was being forced aside with his full weight, then a hell storm of red hot metal filled the air and ripped into the earth as the sped for Hakuya. As the flurry reached him everything went white, the kind of bright flash as if looking into the sun fused with a bolt of lightning striking mere meters away from you. Hakuya could hear the sound of sizzling heat and the crazy laugh from somewhere. Then the light began to fade into black from the edged of his vision as he felt the strength drain from his body. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ There was a flash of light and then I died, but I guess I didn't. I remember saving her like a moron hero, then whatever the hell all that was, then nothing. I remember it all now. But what about after that then? Where am I now? This doesn't feel like ground, or death either. Did I get taken to the hospital, or dragged to my apartment maybe? My head hurts, and I can already tell it's still dark out. I should just go back to sleep and forget about it all for now. That's for the best I'm sure. What a pain this is. Finally, after sorting through the squall of thoughts surging in his mind, Hakuya began to stir from his almost comatose state. He forced his eyes open, not daring to move yet, and surveyed his surroundings. He was resting in a bed in some unfamiliar room. It was a surprisingly bland room. There was a night stand, a place that looked like it was used for studying based on the books and closed laptop resting there. A bookshelf with books of different origins, some photos, and other objects on it as well, and photos and posters here and there on the walls. Finally, his eyes landed on the girl who'd fallen asleep at the bedside, pinning his left arm beneath the blanket, which was a girly bit of cloth that splashed color to the otherwise bland room. Hakuya could see the sun was just barely starting to shine it's light across the region through the one window in the room, which was rare considering he slept in near every morning. Other than that, there was a small lamp left on the light the room. He then noticed the damp cloth laid across his forehead and realized that whoever this girl was must have taken care of him after the hellish incident of...Wait, how long have I been out? He didn't bother to move his body though, partly because he didn't want to wake his apparent caretaker, and partly for the soreness that had began to spread through him in general. Instead, he remained totally still and closed his eyes again, waiting to either fall back asleep, or for the girl to awaken and free him for the realm of unknown knowledge. What a hassle. I should have just left. Or gone straight to the arcade. Or better yet, just skipped that duty and left. It wasn't even my day. *inner sigh*
  13. The Sword of Ascalon A role-play by Etereality & HerculeHastings Prologue The frail husk of a man lay motionless on his throne, high up in the tower of his lofty fortress. The stone walls, through which no light nor warmth could penetrate, insulated him from the world outside in both the literal and figurative sense; none of the servants that oversaw the castle's upkeep has ever laid eyes on their master. After decades of servitude to their reclusive, the servants knew instinctively to avoid the northernmost tower lest they attract their lord's attention and be ensnared by his will. For although the immortal is nearly blind and deaf, he has mastered sight beyond sight and sees far more than any ordinary mortal ever can. Today, however, the immortal is satisfied. After centuries of careful machinations, executed by the oblivious pawns whose minds he had spiked, the pieces are finally in place. There were times when he had nearly given in to the pain that wracked every fibre of his body, to the comforting light of oblivion within his own mind. Those were dark, dark times… times when the immortality that he had sacrificed so much to wrest away from the jealous bosom of God had seemed like a curse, not a precious gift. He had painfully learned that although he has conquered Death itself, Time remains his greatest adversary. Struck down by the wrath of God, he had lost nearly everything, been reduced to this most wretched state of All Creation. But no matter, today he was closer to surpassing godhood than ever. Today, the pain was much more endurable than ever. For this was the day when he would set the wheels of fate into motion. First, he would claim for himself Silene of the West, whose flames once laid waste to the Arkenath continent many eons ago. The Uiurs were headed for Ascalon even now; soon Silene would join her strength with his. With the ferocity of the famed dragon, he would then wage war against the East and eventually all of Arkenath. With a bit more patience, he would see his dominion over the children of God restored, just as the way it was two millennia ago. With his children pined under the iron fist of his greatest enemy, God would surely be forced to reveal himself. And when that happens, the immortal would be waiting, ready to usurp the absent Father of All Creation and begin a new age of divine rule. One that will last forever. Urgarth the Undying allowed himself the satisfaction of a small smile, an expression that was hidden from the sight of even God himself. - Chak… chak… chak... The scraping of the rutter against the loamy soil was a ticker that divided the interminable flow of time into a comforting rhythm. Draken Hearthstone's arm had long gone past the point of soreness; now all he felt was the sensation of movement. At this moment, his entire world consisted solely of the area of loam before him and the bundle of sensations that was his body. His thin cottony shirt clung to his perspiring skin as he labored under the waning rays of the evening sun. Setting aside the tool, he tugged at a clump of weed, dislodging it easily. He dropped the errant plant into a raggedy pouch lying by the side and sat back on his haunches, wiping his face on a soaked sleeve. Ascalon was neatly laid out on the plains before him, a rustic collection of stone huts silently enduring the elements. Smoke was coming out of the firesmith’s forge to the north, together with the occasional burst of flames through the billows. Draken imagined that Rinne must be hammering away at an implement even now, her keen features blackened with soot and slick with perspiration. His sister was the one who had inherited their parents’ talents and was the town’s best apprentice firesmith, as Dulmar the Iron-Dwarf had been boasting to anyone who would listen. “Unlike that soft-hammed Draken,†Dulmar would say as he snorted dismissively. Draken still winced at the memory of Excalipoor, the sword he had forged after hours of backbreaking work with the forge. When he had tested it by swinging it at a rockmelon fruit, it sank exactly one inch into the flesh and became stuck there. Dulmar had chortled and made it a permanent exhibit in the forge, together with the rockmelon, which had become a permanent fixture of the weapon. Burning with shame from the memory, Draken averted his eyes from the forge and let his gaze roam across the landscape – past the marketplace, the distinctive henge stonework that was Ascalon’s centerpiece, and the numerous farm-and-cottage clusters. He finally allowed it to settle on the jagged peaks of the distant mountainous range, where Central Arkenath lay hidden from sight. An insistent gust of wind blew from there, creating a hollow sound audible throughout the village. “’You have done well today, but it is time we head back, young Draken. Night will fall soon.†It was Balthier who had spoken and who looked at Draken with benevolent eyes. The former Conductor had taken in the young Dragonkin under his apprenticeship when it had seemed like no one else would. Draken was immensely grateful for the his tutelage, even if he didn’t know Balthier very well and still didn’t quite understand exactly what he was supposed to be learning from the inscrutable man. All summer, the man had made him do odd jobs across the village like gather specific herbs from the surrounding forestry, weed the fields and observe the movement of the clouds, which hadn’t struck Draken as being particularly useful for his Calling when it comes two autumns from now. But follow Balthier’s words he did, for he had no other choice really. “Yes, Elder Balthier.†There was no reply from Balthier, and so Draken looked up at the man, who turned out to be squinting intently at the distant horizon, his grey eyebrows furrowed. “Those clouds herald ominous tidings, Draken...†At these words, Draken redirected his attention back to the mountains, but all he saw were the murky clouds that possibly signaled imminent rain.
  14. She lifted it up triumphantly, the sun shining as brightly as her excitement. "The first piece!" She exclaimed, holding the old stone covered in markings above her head as if it was a new idol of hers. After nerves finally calmed down a bit, she carefully placed the item in her small pack, pulling out a tattered piece of cloth-like paper in the process. She pulled out a pencil along with it and made an 'X' on one of the areas of the map drawn. "I knew this was as real as anything. Insolent humans. They are too dense to take the clues given to them to find what would once again make them the top of the food chain. Their mistake. I have it now." She gave a cold chuckle as she folded the paper and placed it back in her pack with the pencil, shouldering it as she rose to her feet among the rubble about her. Broken statues, broken walls. Everything surrounding her was shattered or crumbled, including the 20 or so broken bodies lying lifeless only a few feet from her. Her bloodied clothes yet lack of wounds could easily answer who had caused this new mess but that was about it. What had transpired here, why, and how would never be answered as she walked over the mess and back towards the closest village. She picked her way carefully but skillfully, hardly looking at the dead she stepped over and giving no sign of remorse at what she'd done. Her sense of accomplishment still lingered in the air about her. She happily stayed with her thoughts. If it's going to be this easy for each piece then I'll rule this world before anyone even knew what was going on. Though I doubt it will be that easy. I am not naive. It will probably get harder as I go on, though that's alright with me. Anyone who saw her walking towards the village would probably expect nothing of her except that she needed immediate medical attention. She looked nothing more than a delicate woman, beautiful in all ways except for her newly dirtied clothes. Her white hair was out of place for such a young woman but no one here would say anything to her concerning it. She had stayed here for 2 weeks searching for this special stone and had caused no one any trouble. Though she was not particularly kind, she was polite and mostly kept to herself. If anything, she didn't look like someone who could kill another human on her own, let alone the 20 different creatures lying out of the village's sight. She finally reached the village entrance and walked in as strongly as she felt, though no one saw her as strong and so rushed to her, trying to make sure she was alright. She spun a story as calmly as anything. "It's nothing. I was just not paying any attention and tripped over a dead animal. I guess its predator had had all it had wanted and just left it there. Excuse me. I need to clean up." She walked coldly past the humans surrounding her, rolling her eyes. Petty things. This is why they can never win a war. She made her way to the inn she had been staying at, walking in and going directly upstairs to her room, unlocking it and going to her closet, picking out some clean clothes and making her way to the bathroom. Lying her pack down, she undressed and cleaned herself up, her eyes never letting her pack go unguarded. Finishing and dressing, she went out and sat on her bed, taking the stone out again and examining it, trying unsuccessfully to make out any language she knew in the writing on it. Sighing, she put it back in her pack and put it on, going back downstairs to the small bar and taking a seat. The bartender silently came up to her, in no mood to be sweet with his guests though she didn't mind. "Whiskey." She said flatly and he fix her a few shots and let her be. Downing one, she sighed. If there is no way to read them then how do I figure out the instructions I don't have?
  15. The sun shone through the intermittent clouds yet the sky seemed darker today. As if noticing this, the village seemed to respond by being unusually quiet. The children that were usually out playing at this noon time were instead staying nervously close to their parents who were accomplishing things at very distracted paces. In fact, every set of eyes in that village have probably been on the castle at the center 100 times in the past couple of morning hours. It is true, today was like no other. The people had been told this day would go down in history as saving many lives and many struggles for both species, humans and demons alike. However, such a promise was hard to take easily. The demons had always been out for their lives, always out for their blood. Now they were suddenly alright with making a truce? Having such a dangerous species within their very own village, one they had been at war with ever since anyone could remember, was understandably unsettling. Regardless, things had to get done today and Lily did everything in her power to keep her mind calm so she could accomplish what she had set to get done today. She wasn't doing a very good job of that, only having accomplished a very few chores her mother had put on her list for the day but she couldn't be late. Along with everyone else, she didn't think it a wise idea to leave too far from her home but she had made a promise with Seth. Every Wednesday, they would meet at the fields where Lily would collect herbs for her mother's concoctions. She didn't have many people who liked her as she tended to talk a bit too much for a proper lady but Seth didn't mind. He was more of the quiet type and he didn't seem to struggle with getting words in with Lily. He seemed quite content with her babbling. Besides, she worried about him sometimes. He never seemed to assert himself and he didn't seem to have many other friends than her. She liked keeping him company. Wanting to make herself less noticeable, she quickly tied her long red hair up and put the hood of her cloak over her head. Slinking around to the back of her hut, she rushed off for the fields. With everything going on, her anxiety was threatening to go through the roof if she didn't find someone to spill her worries and thoughts too. I really hope all this doesn't keep Seth from coming... What if he thinks it's too risky? Oh.... The path to the fields went through some alleys of the numerous homes and she felt she knew this path by heart. She didn't notice how much it could bother her that she was out in the open until now, though, when she finally left the safety of the huts and entered the wide open fields. She couldn't help instinctively crouching lower in the tall grasses and wrapping her arms around herself, keeping the cloak tight to her. Maybe I should sit down instead of stand. I know he might not be able to see me but... oh, surely he'd look for my red cloak! He should know I wouldn't be the one to break our promise! Assuming he comes.... She sighed. settling down into the little cover the grasses gave to her and drawing her knees up to her chest, wondering what could be going on in the castle. Did they have sufficient guards? What if the demons tried to kill the King? Not that she would feel much if they did. She didn't like him very much, anyway. The last King had been personal with everyone in the village so the change to a King who was rarely even seen made her uneasy. Still, he always seemed to have the village's well-being first in his priorities. But how can you rule a people when you don't even know them? She laid her head on her knees. Seth, please come.... She wasn't all that close with Seth but he was still the best thing she had to a 'friend'. She could get along with most anyone but her mouth just always kept everyone at bay from getting to know her.
  16. This roleplay already has its chosen members. Therefore, it is closed. This discussion thread is for collaboration purposes, questions of the members therein, or... for random chattering. Whatever it seems best used for. LIKE FOR CHARACTER SHEETS, WHICH WEST WAS SO KIND TO REMIND ME I HAVE COMPLETE AND UTTER CONTROL OVER! MUAHAHAHAHA! First thing's first. Those participating in this roleplay are: Taco West Shadow Ice Next order of business. The character sheets. What I'd like to see in them isn't much. At least not to me. It may be work for you three. In which case, :) (and, yes, you may hold more than one character... in fact, I think I encourage that. May do it myself.) Name: Age: Species: Role: Appearance: Personality: Traits/Abilities: Name, age, and species are easy enough. Role would be the role the character is playing. For example, a mentor, a student, the dictator, etc. I know I'll be talking to each of you about what role(s) you will all be playing so there shouldn't be any clashing here(as I will hopefully find a way to keep things smooth with my two dictator-loving roleplayers before things begin :P). Appearance, I would like that to have the basics like hair, eyes, any twirks in outfit, etc. Personality- ya know. A personality. Don't say 'normal' either. No such thing. And then the traits/abilities. These are the powers or special traits your character has. MKAY THEN. Let's see. A basic overview? I can do that. I think. Overview As you all know, this roleplay will be revolving around a Resistance-type theme. Over hundreds of years, tyranny ran recklessly through the world. Every nation wanted nothing more than to learn to withhold it, capture it, and destroy it. Agreeing on how to do this was never a calmly reasoned topic so everyone decided to take matters into their own hands. The most successful of all these idealists started with a single person, which bloomed into a cult, which blossomed into a powerful nation called Elvashnia. What was their plans? Their rules? How did they seem to be able to unlock the secret the rest of the world continued to fail in obtaining? And so easily? They still had an army, a very strong one, to defend themselves from the rest of the world who still rolled in turmoil. They had every species working together in that army, working well together in that army. In fact... no one had ever been able to get past that army to see the secret this nation had unlocked. They had elves, demons, humans, dragons, they had so many different forms of creatures that couldn't get along outside of this nation for more than five minutes. Such a strong force to reckon with! Did they act the same within the nation? Were there ever battles that needed to be handled with a strong police force? Honestly, no one from the army could tell you because none of them ever mixed with the civilians. They never saw the civilians they were sworn to protect. They only knew about them from what they were taught in their training. You see, this wasn't that difficult to keep up. The army was kept at the borders of the nation as is, to prevent outsiders from entering, and the army understood why and were well-cared for... so long as they always obeyed. So the only time the army had a chance to possibly mix with civilians would be from their training years... but this was taken care of very well. The soldiers were not the same as the civilians. They were born of other soldiers, they were cared for and trained by retired soldiers or active volunteering soldiers. And they were all trained within an enormous complex, which was centered within their very own town. A civilian would never be caught dead trespassing into this town and the soldiers never wondered why. They assumed it was for lack of need, that they were as well-cared for as the rest of them. They assumed that, for every murderer they killed, for every kidnapper they tortured, for every terrorist they strangled, the civilians were allowed a better life. But it is hard to say that everyone agreed with these methods. That no one questioned reality. That no one thought against the training, the 'facts', the statistics. It was hard to say that everything was as it seemed to be. That no one would find a leak. That no one would push for a change.... Extras I'm sorry if that ^ was bad. Don't hate me. I tried. Anyway, this rp will have plenty of roles to be played if anyone gets ambitious. I will be playing a mentor and possibly something else. We have the bad dictator, the Resistance leader, and everything in between. Characters may be of different species and powers are very much existent. Weapons are limited, though. We are in a more-modern time but not too much. We have video-cameras(watching hallways and training arenas), we have headsets(to command groups of specialized soldiers or to speak to Mentors(<--- the Trainer's titles)), we have guns(as they just came with the modernish time period, so knock yourselves out), we have grenades and other explosive devices(looking at you, West), and other things. There will be vehicles. These will consist of a few trains(which will carry supplies and resources from civilian cities to the soldiers' city) and army trucks. These army trucks will only be driven by highly trusted personnel and these personnel will be the only ones with the knowledge of how to drive a vehicle. There will be no personal transportation for anyone else. We do NOT have anything like cell phones or cars(come on, we can walk and a big truck is not stealthy), or other more-futurey things. Of course, the Resistance's goal is to defeat this dictatorship and the true suffering behind all of this perfection-sight. Any questions or requests, guys, leave 'em here for me. And keep in mind, I'm not a huge planner. I have told you all how I expect, in the long run, for the Mentor(and others) to be working for the Resistance undercover and(at least) the Mentor is caught and flees before he can be put to death. Being so loved by his fellow-soldiers, hiding isn't a problem. The Dictator will send his student on a dangerous mission that will seem easy enough to him/her but will be meant to result in his/her death(to get rid of such a bright mind led by a Resistance member). The Mentor will know about this and will reappear and will attempt to redirect his student before they make the wrong move, using headsets and hoping trust is his ally. And this is only one of the(hopefully) many different little stories I hope to see in here. I've no idea if we'll be a compatible rp group or if this rp will get off its feet BUT can't say we aren't giving it a try, right? I wuv you guys so mmmmmmuch! :D Yes. I'm tired. I am craving something sweet. Do not judge me. DON'T FRICKIN DO IT. Edit 1
  17. Reika vs Isebella

    "How unpleasant. I didn't ask for this." Reika grumbled, peering at her strange surroundings. She must have been spirited away somewhere after she'd taken that dirt nap, since this very definitely wasn't Fuyukaba. "Oho, but I definitely did," The Lord of the Schism chuckled, gazing down upon his newfound captive. Such a being, exempt from the very rules of how reality worked, could very well have appeared as anything he wanted to Reika, but right now, he had taken the form of her old Sensei; presumably his idea of a cruel joke. "Let me go. I've got things to do, old demon." "Do not worry, my child. The moment I've had my fill, I'll put you back on Earth, right where you left off. No time would have passed for you; your little bizarre adventure here would feel like just another dream." The simulacrum of her Sensei adjusted his glasses by the bridge, and grinned. "Provided you survive, that is." He paused, examining the swirling streams of multicolored energy that permeated the boundless space surrounding them. "Ah, it seems that your appointment has arrived, young lady. Off you go, then. Arrivederci." Unexpectedly, Reika felt herself being bodily lifted up by some invisible force. She struggled against it, but it remained adamant, inscrutable even to her magical senses. Then, she felt a great acceleration upon her, and everything went white. When she opened her eyes, all she saw was the rapidly closing mouth of some kind of portal. From it, she could still hear the Lord's barking laughter. Before it shut fully, she flipped it the bird. "Asshole." Then, she took some time to peer at her surroundings. It seemed to be some metal structure, perhaps an oil rig or the like, anchored to the sea bed, a solitary, monolithic hulk of metal rising from the middle of miles of empty ocean. All was quiet except for the lapping of waves upon the struts of the rig; it seemed as though this place had been abandoned for a good number of years. The cranes and machinery had fallen into disrepair, their paint flaked off and their metal bodies spotted with rust and speckled with guano from passing seabirds, and the glass in the rig's windows had long since been shattered. What an ominous place for a fight. Plenty of hiding spots for someone to be skulking around... Suddenly, she realized something was very amiss. A disturbance in the magnetic field lines, a very familiar twisting and warping of the fields. It was exactly the same as what she'd felt the night before, when she'd gone up against the Demon Elbarak. A particle cannon! Oh god, why is it always death rays?! Thankfully, there was plenty of metal around for her to work with. In the art of killing, metal was her canvas. Bloody Stream, her trusty weapon, lashed out, attracted to the steel of the rig by an induced magnetic charge, and embedded itself into a creaky strut high up in the superstructure. The ribbon attaching the blade to her wrist suddenly coiled, rapidly contracting and launching her skywards, and just in time, too. A scant moment later, a lance of brilliant red light shot along the floor of the rig where she last stood, blasting the metal into molten, incandescent slag and punching a gaping hole in a crane behind her. The tortured metal, now unable to bear the strain of its own weight, gave way, and several tons of steel went plummeting into the ocean below with a thunderous splash. From her vantage point, she peered downwards at the source of that beam of destruction. A strangely-dressed woman had stepped out from somewhere, a large cannon-like device embedded in her bare stomach crackling with pent-up energy. So that's my enemy, huh? Let's get started. From her pocket, she whipped out a pair of steel nails, and with a push of magnetic force, sent them hurtling towards the newcomer with the force of two high-caliber bullets. More than sufficient against a mortal human, even if they'd been wearing body armor, but judging from whatever strange augmentations her enemy had, she wasn't so sure it would be enough...
  18. This is just basically an idea dump for Psych and I's rp because we forget stuff all the time. If you don't want spoilers for the RP don't read! Or at least read at your own risk :). ===== Early Plot Crap It's an EPILOGUE YAY Starts off shortly after LOS2, livin in dat church. Alu's gettin antsy cause he wants to go save the world and Gabe is just like "Newww let's spend time togezerrrr." and let's be real, Gabe isn't a character of change. So after a while they get in a spat. Alu runs off to go save humanity, Gabe sulks because... That's what he does. So all this time the Brotherhood has begun to reform. (dundundunnn) Now Alu goes to help them get back on their feet cause he helped them in the way past cause they protect humanity... And Alu protects humanity. Under the agreement that they would lay off Gabe. Of course, this is the brotherhood and they always have ulterior motives. They've discovered that Gabriel can bring back the "good parts" of the Lords of Shadow from Heaven because he is a lord of shadow. So, they steal his combat cross and take Alu as hostage (sometime before then Alu and Gabe reconcile). So Gabe has to choose between helping bringing those bastards back or his son dying. Of course... THERE'S MOAR! They want to create a utopia in which they rule, basically becoming "gods" Naturally, they're brought back cause HELLO GABE ISN'T ABOUT TO LET HIS SON DIE. Enter new enemy to defeat. (Maybe this earns some sort of judgment from God? Maybe the Brotherhood?) Gabriel and God Gabriel has gone with God's plan since the beginning, mostly unwilling. He is God's ultimate weapon against evil... While also being evil himself. So, wouldn't God use Gabriel to execute judgment on the Brotherhood/the founders of the brotherhood? They committed a perversion by bringing the founders back for power. PLOT HOLE NOOOOOOO!!!! So Cornel tells Gabe that he's killing the good guys by killing the bad guys. PROBLEMMM FOR OUR STORYYYY NOOOO. SOLUTION! They combine because they still connected and they go to MIDDLE EARTH, I mean, purgatory... yeah. Trevor is Frodo. Basically. ANYWAY, Gabriel can access this realm because he is still whole and now they are so he can play fetch. Yeah... Would Alucard be conflicted about killing the brotherhood founders? No, because they seriously effed up his life and are a threat to humanity. Questions to still be answered How the eff does Gabriel get to purgatory?!!!???!!
  19. The Ash Prophecy

    Private RP between myself, Erogenous Enigma, and Kyo. Rated 'NC-17' for dark themes, gore, violence and all manner of nastiness. Our world was once beautiful. Our cities touched the sky and we wanted for nothing. Advances in the two most prominent fields of research, technology and magic, gave our people comfortable, happy lives. We grew content, but stagnant. With stagnation came unrest. Hatred that had bubbled beneath the surface of our society for thousands of years came rushing to the surface. Those select few touched by magic could live in great luxury, while the rest of society grew jealous and resentful. In the space of a few short years, our serene, every day lives were obliterated by pain and conflict. The war against magic, which would later simply be known as 'The Fall', lasted for nearly a decade. As resources slowly dwindled to critical levels and the casualties of war escalated on both sides, the most powerful mage of the era gave the government an ultimatum - Every person, mage or otherwise, would have the right to live and prosper as they saw fit. Or nobody would. But the government was winning the war against mages and the leader of the world's armies refused his offer, convinced that victory was at hand. They could not have been more wrong. The mage sacrificed himself to cast a spell. A spell so powerful that it spread over the planet like a grasping hand, touching everything in it's wake. Millions died in the initial blast, wiping out an entire city in the blink of an eye. Billions died within hours, choking on the magical miasma. The spell affected everything, from plant to animal to person. When the dust finally settled, nine-tenths of the population had been wiped out. Most of the cities had fallen, crumbling ruins that served only as reminders of what we once aspired to. Strange plants grew from freshly planted seeds, their growth so aggressive that they spread over our planet in little more than a decade. Animal life too had changed, as almost all known species died out or gave rise to new, more aggressive species. In time, people stopped calling them animals, and they became 'monsters'. Humankind, though already terribly wounded by this magic, was not spared it's secondary effects. People began to fall ill with a terrible disease. We called it the 'phage', and no cure was ever found. There was not crippling pain like other diseases, no physical wounds appeared about the body. Only a slow descent into madness as their bodies and their minds became numb to sensation. The signs were small at first, maybe they felt no wind upon their face, or no heat from their drink. Perhaps a song fell on deaf ears, or a kiss on dull lips, until at last there was nothing left of them that made them human. From there, only two possibilities remained. Death or mutation. Some fates are worse than death. 35 years have passed since the Fall. Civilisation is in ruins. Resources are scarce. People live in fear every day of their lives, in a world in which the strong prey upon the weak, and closing your eyes to sleep, might mean never waking up again. The government continues its war against mages even in this post-apocalypse, but small pockets of resistance exist, opposed to their so-called 'ideals' and though many have forgotten, or never known the world before, a glimmer of hope remains for their future. A rumour, or perhaps more accurately, a fairy tale. Name: Garrett Age: 44 Appearance: Limbs Reference: Personality: History: Abilities:
  20. The wind blew her hair softly, keeping her cool under the warm sunlight as she continued picking the various herbs around her. She loved this job. Sitting in the grass, taking the gifts from the earth. Separating the different leaves and stems, it was a motion she went through easily anymore, something she'd learned to do from her mother since she was very young. Not that being outside wasn't something she loved more than anything. It was where she felt most at- She turned, her golden hair falling over her shoulders. "Hello?" Her voice mimicked the sound of song, her brown eyes searching around her for the noise she'd just heard. Her brow furrowed in curiosity as she heard another noise but no response. "Is someone there?" She called, looking for any furry creatures trying to stalk up on her. Some crunched leaves, some snapping twigs. Her voice turned into a defensive hiss followed by a growl in an attempt to scare off whatever had found her interesting enough to approach. Whatever it was seemed even more interested now and it started coming for her quickly, along with what sounded like some friends. Millia leaped to her feet and crouched, spilling her collected herbs out of her dress. Her growl came, very threatening as her eyes stayed on the weaving bushes. A little closer and she could see- A cold shock ran through her spine and her vision went black. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Creaking wheels. Mumbling voices. These sounds are what she woke to, along with the rough rope she felt at her wrists and ankles. With a groan, she got herself into a sitting position, opening her eyes to find the others with her. Everyone was tied, males and females, of all different species of demon. After studying some of these others, their bodies, their strengths, their appearances, she searched for her voice. "What is going on here?" As she expected, one of the males nearer to the end of the wagon they rode in, spoke up. His strong body gave hint to his strong confidence, therefore showing he'd be most likely to answer her. "What do you think is going on, sweetcheeks? We've been captured." "And what is to happen next?" She asked calmly, though she sighed inwardly as she felt she shouldn't have had to ask. He laughed as if she had cracked a joke. "Are you that hidden from the world? We are going to be sold and you are going to do whatever your owner wants from you." Her eyes narrowed. "I am owned by no one." "You will be. And you better get used to it." "And how do you know so much about what's going on, then? No one can keep me where I do not wish to be." He only laughed as the cart came to a stop. Men, human men, came around and began ordering everyone out of the wagon. Their heavily-armed bodies gave good enough reason to obey though one younger male demon showed exactly what could be done should you run. As soon as his feet hit the dirt ground, his ropes, pre-cut, fell to the ground and he darted off. His demonic speeds seemed to be helpful... but it only took the 30 arrows from the archers perched about to take him down. Remaining calm, Millia finally looked at where they had arrived. They were in a village of some sort, archers hidden in the roofs of many homes. Other than that, nothing else seemed hugely spectacular of this village. The shout and hard grip on her upper arm cut her observing short as the tied demons lined up and began following the lead human towards the gallows ahead. Gallows? Are we to be hanged, then? She watched with her guard up as they approached the large platform and were told to line up and face forward. She did and some humans came forward. They had pieces of paper and looked at each demon in turn, occasionally touching some of the male's arms or inside someone's mouth before scribbling some things down. Millia's attention strayed from these humans as others began gathering below the gallows, counting money and looking at the demons lined up. It is true, then. We are to be sold. Still, I cannot be kept where I am not wanted. The first night, I will simply leave. No fuss. "The auction will begin in 5 minutes!" A human spoke, his voice raised as the humans inspecting the demons began finishing up. They got together and combined their notes then handed a single sheet of paper to the one who had spoken. The speaker looked it over then looked down at his crowded clan to make sure the gathering was full. "The auction will begin!" The demons before her were jerked up front to be bid on and met with force when they didn't cooperate. Millia paid little attention to the bidding or the things said about those for sale. She was more focused on the greedy eyes of those who were bidding. What did they use demons as slaves for? Were they too lazy to live lives themselves? Her thoughts were forced away as another rough human hand grabbed her upper arm and jerked her forward. "This here is a beautiful female demon, seeming to be from the earthy-groups. Bidding starts at 150 gold pieces!" Hmph.
  21. World of Darkness: 13 Nights in Pleasant Glen [Music] Welcome to Pleasant Glen. The bus had passed the signboard marking the boundary between the outside world and Pleasant Glen fifteen minutes ago. The rain and fogging obscures much of what you can see through the filthy windows of your transport, but your feel of the town is that it is suburban. As far as you can tell from your vantage points, the town comprises plots of lands divided by roads, and narrow alleyways. You are surprised by the emergence of the occasional large, municipal buildings from the fog; they are few and far in-between. Some of the plots are occupied by small residences, but more still are merely empty lots. There is no one else to be seen on the pavements, which you surmise is attributable to the dreary weather. You had been chatting among yourselves along the route to Pleasant Glen, as there were only four of you on-board the fortnightly shuttle bus. But all of you had fallen silent upon entering the town, each fully absorbed in the view that was gradually darkening into view outside your window. The bus eventually slows to a stop with a gentle screech of metal, and all of you alight, stepping into the Eastern European chill that is characteristic of this time of the year. Before you looms a building larger and taller than any you had hitherto seen in this town. A faded nameplate over the entrance identified it as Bedlam Hostel. Eager to escape the downpour, all of you push open the double doors, which creaked noisily, and bundle inside. --- [silence] The lobby of Bedlam Hostel is a throwback to the 80s. You get a sense that it must have been grand once, but those days are long gone. The candescent lighting provide but dim visibility. The decors seem gaudy to your sensibilities. The air smells musty. You will be relieved if your beds didn't house bedbugs. Strangely, the hotel seems empty and subdued, with even the rain outside sounding muted and distant. However, as you approach the front desk, you notice that your keys have been neatly laid out for you. The allocations are as follows: Steven - 605 Jaegar Durant - 503 Jiri Uetz - 602 Marissa Washington - 601 You decide to check into your rooms by yourselves. Thankfully, there is a working elevator. It proves to be a bit of a squeeze for all of you and your luggages, but you manage. Jaegar alights at the fifth story, while the rest alights at the sixth. The disquieting silence in the narrow corridors makes even your footfalls on the maroon carpet sound conspicuously loud. The rooms are ordered such that odd-numbered rooms are on one side of the corridors and the even-numbered ones on the other. There are only six rooms on each level. The rooms are similar in design. Each has a single bed tucked against a wall. The far wall has two panels of full-length windows installed with thick red curtains. There is a bedside cabinet with a bedside lamp, a table with a make-up mirror and a wardrobe, but no television. Steven finds that the lock to his room is faulty; his room cannot be locked. Jiri finds that his room has a faint, rancid smell. Marissa finds that her room's make-up mirror is completely covered with the blanket. Everyone finds a tray of items laid out for them on the table: a brochure, a telephone that has yet to be connected to the socket in the room, a card with instructions on how to use the hostel's phone system, a small and worn copy of the bible, a roll of toilet paper, a glass cup and a thermoflask. A quick check outside reveals that it has stopped raining. It is now 3pm. What will each of you do? Here are some possible options: A. Attempt to remedy the defects of your room by yourself B. Attempt to search the hotel C. Explore the surroundings D. Any other actions you deem useful.
  22. NC-17 Corporate Heroes

    “Just… just shut up and trust me. When have I lied to you, Phantom?†Luther did his best to keep his frustration and fear hidden as he stared at the rooftop of the skyscraper across from his current location. A week ago the gap between the two rooftops would have been too large for Luther to jump across, despite his enhanced physique and the augmentations provided by the Sony Hypersuit Mk III Ghost the gap would’ve been insurmountable. Yet the technician kept insisting that the gap between the Mk III Ghost and the Mk IV Ghost Prototype was enough for this to become an easy feat. Normally Luther would’ve believed him, but normally Luther wouldn’t be facing a horrendous plummet towards his own death. “How big is the chance that you’re wrong and I’ll end up dead?†He asked and a video feed opened up in the corner of his helmet’s HUD, showing the technician sitting safely in Sony’s Neo Human Division’s HQ. “I’d rather not end up a smear on the pavement, Roy.†The technician shrugged. “You didn’t mind going through all the other hazard test. You didn’t mind being set on fire, shot, stabbed, beaten, electrocuted or deprived of oxygen, but you’re scared of jumping?†“I dislike heights.†“Then you picked the wrong business, hero. Come on, trust me. I’ve got this.†Luther let out a deep audible sigh, making sure that the microphone installed in his helmet caught every second of it, before moving to the far end of the rooftop. He crouched, putting his left knee adjacent to the right ankle, hands resting on the ground at shoulder width. He took a few deep breaths before raising his hips slightly higher than his shoulders, another deep breath. Luther remained motionless as he visualized the jump and in a split second he jumped from his starting position into a sprint. The force of the impact of each step was enough to leave marks on the rooftop as Luther ran across with incredible speed. Each subsequent stride was longer than the last, until he finally reached the edge. He jumped, vertically, allowing the speed of the sprint to carry him forward as he prayed to whatever god he normally did not believe in to allow him to make it. Each passing second seemed to last a lifetime as the opposing rooftop got closer and closer. Even with the oxygen regulatory system built into the suit Luther couldn’t help but feel short of breath as the moment of truth approached ever so slowly. A sudden beep, accompanied by a blinking exclamation mark surrounded by a red triangle on his HUD, pulled him out of his trance and broke his concentration. No longer focused on his jump, it seemed as if time fast forwarded to him landing on the rooftop. The momentum of the jump was enough to prevent a sudden stop, causing Luther to trip and roll forward after safely landing on his feet. He spun around twice before slamming his hand through the roof to stop the momentum. “See, you made it,†Roy said as he clapped at the achievement. Luther took a moment to calm down before standing up and looking at the damage he had caused during his landing. He was glad to see that the jump was indeed as easy as Roy had said, he had landed comfortably in the middle of the rooftop area, but the cracks that originated at the point of impact could be dangerous for civilians on the top floor of the skyscraper. “Don’t worry,†Roy said, as if reading Luther’s thoughts, “we’ll get a clean up crew on those two rooftops as soon as possible. For now, you should get to work. You heard the alarm right? It’s time for a field test.†----- “I still don’t understand why you insist on testing my jumping when you know that I can create a paraglider at will.†Luther had arrived on street level and walked in the opposite direction of the fleeing and panicking crowd. Something was going on and it is always a safe bet to go to the point everyone is running from if you are looking for trouble. “I thought it would be funny,†Roy said as he kept an eye on the video feed sent over by the cameras built into Luther’s helmet. “Any idea what is going on?†“No,†Luther replied, “no visual on any suspect activity. Any other Neo Humans on site?†“Negative, you’re the only one here, but if you don’t hurry up someone will show up and steal your Board Points.†“Let them. I am going to see if I can reach a decent vantage point.†Luther jumped and latched onto the wall of one of the many buildings that oversaw the street; it only took a bit of climbing for him to reach a suitable height. From here Luther could see that the crowd was much larger than he had initially anticipated, even for a friday night in the middle of the city’s center. “I still don’t see anything.†“Try zooming in.†“Roger,†Luther replied as a slit opened in the normally smooth black helmet. The camera lenses readjusted as Luther zoomed in to try and get a visual on ground zero. “Uhh, Roy, do you see this?†“Is that what I think it is?†“I’m going in,†the lenses returned back to their normal state as the slit in Luther’s helmet closed. He jumped off the wall, stretched out his arms and a set of black bat-like wings manifested on his back along his arms. Using the contraption he rapidly glided over the crowd, no longer having to deal with random civilians bumping into him, and mentally prepared for combat. “Wow…†Roy said as Luther made his landing, “your camera didn’t deceive us. It really was a huge wolf. Try not to get bitten, we have no idea if the suit can sustain a bite from the jaws of a beast as big as that.†“Roger,†Luther slowly approached the gigantic rampaging wolf. The creature’s size compared to that of a car, but if Luther didn’t stop him innocent people would get hurt. “Hey, you!†Luther shouted; the wolf turned in his directed, snarled and began growling. “Yeah, Luther said, “that trick works on civvies, but I’m not going to turn tail and run. Either you tell me who you are or I beat you up and then you tell me who you are.†The wolf’s snarl disappeared. “Figured a Neo Human wouldn’t fall for it. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.†“Phantom.†“Phantom? Oh! I didn’t recognize the suit.†The wolf began circling around the stationary Luther, it’s large tongue licking it’s snout. “Is it new? Well, not that it matters after I tear it off your cold, dead body.†“Name.†“How rude of me, they call my Lupus, nice to meet you. I wonder how many spots I’ll jump after killing you… I might even reach the top -1000! That’d be fantastic.†“That’s why I never heard of you. You’re just a puppy.†Luther taunted, but before he could continue Lupus lunged at him without any additional warning. The jaws of the wolf spread wide open, giving Luther a clear view of the gaping maw that approached his face. Not willing to risk the battle of teeth and helmet he reached out and grabbed both ends of the maw, maneuvering his fingers to avoid them getting cut by the teeth, and stopped the creature in its tracks. “Thought so,†Luther said, still completely serene, “You’re big, but that’s it. You’re just small fry.†Lupus began growling and violently movings its jaws as it tried to close its maw and bite off Luther’s fingers, but Lupus’ jaw strength couldn’t match the power of the Mk IV Ghost. As if tossing an average sized human, Luther turned and performed a simple hip throw to get the wolf flat on the ground. As the wolf lay dazed on the ground, Luther quickly got on top of it and wrapped his arm around the wolf’s neck, putting it in a rear naked choke. The animal viciously twisted and turned as it did its best to escape Luther’s grasp, but the increased strength of the suit was enough to keep him steady and subdue Lupus. It didn’t take long for the lack of oxygen to knock out the wolf. Luther exhaled before letting go of the wolf’s body, noticing that it slowly started shifting back into a humanoid form. “Roy, call the authorities. I’ve got a Bad for them.â€
  23. Astride a dragon, no man is bound to the earth. No man can claim himself shackled by riches, women, honor, or even gravity, when looking down upon the bustling commons of even the grandest of cities. No, such a man has an aloof mind, and such a man is truly happy. It is said by some that a man finds himself, truly, in the throes of love. Others claim that a man feels the full brunt of the responsibility of existence, crowned in a throne, heeding his subjects. Yet others argue that no man who has ever seen the open sea may die happily, except on the sea itself. But John the Scarred is a dragon-rider, and he does not intend to die on the open sea. I had had other names before. John of Hunter's Corner was my child name, and John Sure-Shot was my man's name. The Accused, too, I had gone by, but I found The Scarred to be much more fitting. The Accused implied that I had stood before the courts pleading innocence, which was not the case. The Scarred implied only that I had been marked by the past, that I had been maimed, and I did not mind if those aspects defined me. But, in the skies, I was not John the Scarred, and I was not even John. I was just a dragon-rider. In Hunter's Corner, wyverns were a dangerous part of the night. They were something to be dealt with, like bandits, and traveling merchants, and slavers. The town would offer their price, and should it match the requirements of the newcomer, the town would find their children spared, or their interests furthered. John of Hunter's Corner had had a sister, who was killed by a wyvern. He did not frequently think of her, but he did frequently remember that he hated dragons. He remembered this, very frequently, almost as frequently as he remembered that he hated bandits, slavers, and traveling merchants. I hate many things, really. I hate war, and combat. I hate the sounds of dying men, horses and dragons. I hate slaves, and the way they submit to anyone, just because they are weaker. I hate the sounds they make when being whipped or used. I hate slavers, and bandits, and traveling merchants, because they are all essentially the same thing. But most of all, I hate royals. The soft, useless, unblooded royals, their women worthless trophies, their men thin-bearded children. I hate the wars they fight against each other, the way they turn blind eyes to slavers, and the way they buy and sell dragons and dragon-riders like mere product. I hate the way they buy men, train them as battle slaves, and call them Soldiers and Heroes, Knights and Cavaliers. I hate soldiers, who bow to anyone with a crown, all for money or glory or honor. John Sure-Shot had been proud of his strength and his honor. He had never shirked his duties. But John the Scarred, with the pale hempen pattern across the skin of his upper neck, hated his strength and his honor. John the Scarred hated his duties. But, John the Scarred did not hate flying, and he especially did not hate flying with alacrity. This wyvern, though young, was the swiftest I had ever flown. I was sure I could escape from Lancaster for good, presently, on the back of this beast. We could cross the gleaming seas and return home to Thera in just one night and one day. I fantasized about stealing the dragon for the rest of my time in flight. When I landed him, it was no small affair. A commotion had gathered, pointing, and the people aground had applauded Lord John's graceful command of the fanged monster. This was a wyvern that Lancaster soldiers had captured with iron and chains, a young male, untrained, wild and feral. And this man was the mysterious new Lord Horsemaster of Lancaster, even if no true lord except in name, resplendent in the pristine uniform of one befitting his station and title. Today was the second day that I had spent with the dragon, and I already knew the beast trusted me to fly him. Most men were not able to handle a wyvern. Most men were not talented at racing them, either. Most men were not dragon-riders. When I dismounted, I kept a firm grip on the leather rope that was attached to the creature's jaws. As the crowd gasped, I turned to face the wyvern, pulling on the rope, until its reptilian head was level with my own. Deeply in focus, we stared at each other for a long time, as the crowd whispered foolish warnings at me. They called that I would die, they pleaded with me to be careful, to stop, to run. Some children whispered prayers to the dragon that it did not kill me. Indeed, the wyvern's wings twitched in irritation. Indeed, the leather straps across its jaw would not stop it from tearing me to pieces. But I knew that this eye contact would stop it, would force it to consider me. Some lordlings in the crowd jeered that I must be seeking to earn a new scar by dragonclaw. Others laughed uncomfortably. The dragon blinked, and I blinked, and then we put our skulls together. I patted its neck roughly, with a smile. The wyvern responded by bumping its snout into my temple, gently, dazing me. I was very glad I was wearing a rider's helmet, shaped like a dragon's crown, or that might have been the end of Lord John, Horsemaster of Lancaster. I gave the dragon an appreciative look, and removed the helmet. I loosened the rein, and offered it over to the dragon's keeper, the man that I personally considered to be the bravest Knight in all of Lancaster. "I will accept the price," I said to the Knight, who had captured the dragon from its roost. The Knight ignored the ritual offer of the rein, for he was not a dragon-rider, but he did offer a handshake to confirm the transaction. I am certain that the dragon had noticed all of this. "Then it is done, and I am happy for it," laughed the grey-haired Knight. I was not sure if he meant he was happy for the promise of the gold, or happy to be rid of the wyvern. The beast was a young male, very territorial, and very hungry. It was no small feat to contain a dragon, and required special holding pens, of which there were few in Lancaster. Furthermore, it was no small cost to feed a young dragon, as they usually required much living meat. They were very picky, and refused to eat anything they had not personally killed. I had been told that the dragon - now, my dragon - was used to a diet that was about two pigs per day, or two deer, or one cow, or occasionally one boar, when a live one could be found. I was glad to hear that it was no longer accustomed to human flesh, as that had likely been much of its diet when it lived free. "Will you name him?" asked the ignorant Knight. A dragon-rider is like to use many dragons in his lifetime, and must be willing to sacrifice or even kill his own dragon. Even outside of combat, a dragon may turn wild and demand an honorable fight to the death with his master, usually by means of immediately tearing his head off. I had never named a dragon before. I had ridden named dragons, to be sure, especially while racing. Most of those dragons, though swift, were very weak, almost tame. They had trainers and feeders and fans, who all loved it, and so they were bestowed names. "Myr," I said, without thinking, and then I blinked. The dragon, of course, did not react. "That is a good name," said the Knight, still in a good mood. He was eager to be done with the transaction, and now, so was I. That night, I did not return to the castle. The nobles did not expect me to, I was certain, as I had allowed rumors to start that I liked to spend my nights in common taverns. I did wear a modest brown cloak, but under it, I wore my gleaming uniform, brocaded in scarlet with silver linings. My outfit and station required that I wear a rapier, one of the strange dueling swords of noblemen. I decided that it was an utterly useless weapon, a trinket for rich men to display their virility, like the ruby-studded steel codpiece of the Head Knight of Lancaster. But, tonight, I was not hiding, so I wore my full uniform, but I wanted to be perceived as though I intended to hide, so I also wore a humble traveler's cloak. Indeed, the tavern wenches did not seem to notice that I sat below my station, for one of them jested so fiercely about my beard that, on another night, I would have had her by the wrist and rented a room for the night in an instant. But I was here on business, tonight, so she earned a compliment by way of the flat of my palm. Like many of the wenches, she pretended to hide a dagger in her bosom, but unlike the others, hers was actually strapped to her corset. If she did choose to draw it, she would not cut herself, and I had the feeling she knew how to use it. I did not think she desired to use it on people like me, though. In my cups, as I waited, I thought of Myr, the riding-dragon. Myr was a dragon that I had not named, but who it was my job to ride. She was a mare, but kept alone and unbred, and so even in her maturity Myr was a vicious rider while in heat. I had not felt close to her, as a dragon-rider does not feel closely to a dragon, but she had acted as tame as any wyvern could pretend to be. In fact, she would kneel her head, on its long neck, as I mounted her, which I found both amusing and comforting. It was, apparently, a sign that she considered me worthy of mounting her, as it was the same gesture a mare-dragon would make to a virile stallion-dragon, were she in heat and considered him suitable. Of course, our relations were not of that nature. Our record was a good one, and when she died of scalerot, I was one of many in the room. In Thera, the city of the greatest dragon races in the world, she was well-loved, and when she died, I was the one who the masses held responsible for her spectacular winning record. The most vivacious fans of the sport, especially in Thera, would sometimes recognize me and hail me as John, Master of Myr. I wondered if my new Myr would be offended to have the name of a female. I wondered if he would be honored to be the first dragon I named, and moreso to hold such an important name. I wondered if dragons ever learned that their names were their names, and not one of the many meaningless, strange mouth-noises that we strange hominids would scream at them. The same serving wench I had appreciatively clapped on the behind was again at my table, and I looked up. Now she carried two goblets, and placed them both down. There was a man at my table. He had been watching from below, even from the start, when I had flown today. "For the hairy master, and the old master," the maid chirped, and turned carefully. "She turns well," admired the stranger. He took a drink. "That is true," I said. "She walks beautifully, as well. I should hope to return here again." I lifted the goblet to my lips, but did not drink. "I think she would be relieved to hear that," said he. I eyed him freely now, as he admired her still. He openly wore silver buttons with rubies inlaid, and I might have recognized him sooner if not for the hood he wore. Unlike me, this man actually concealed his identity, but now that he sat, I saw the fantastic hilt of his own rapier. I had seen him use it, and I would allow that in his hands, the sword was not a useless weapon. He was the Master at Arms, whom I was subordinate to in my new position. "Baena is a sly girl, gentle as silk, but she likes to be treated roughly. And she likes hairy men, I have been told. She has worked with me for many years." He eyed my goblet. This time, I did drink. When I put the goblet back down, it was empty. "You are the one who contacted me in Thera," I said, quietly. With a look that silenced me, he nodded. "Baena! More drinks, girl!" When she returned, she stayed, with her hand on my shoulder. I remembered the dagger in her bosom, and thought much of it. However, since her hand was on my shoulder, I let my own hand stray to her bottom. She did not seem to mind, but I still kept my other hand in plain view, on the table. It would not do well for Master Arin to think I was after his life. We drank in silence, but played a game that any soldier knew well. We both leaned forward slightly, stiffened, waiting for the other to make a move. Of course, neither of us would make a move. But the other patrons, wary that a fight might start, perhaps over the wench, moved away from the corner. "Would you like a room, Hairy Master?" Baena purred, backing away from my touch. Having found the staring contest going in my favor, I had taken a bold, victorious grope. It was a meaningless gesture, and his eyes flicked to her questioningly as she shifted. "That might do us well," I said, not breaking eye contact with Master Arin. I thought that now that we were relatively alone in the corner of the tavern, he might be willing to speak to me more, but he remained silent. I put two gold pieces on the table. Baena snatched them up, in a moment, disbelievingly. "I know these are Thera coins, but I believe they should be sufficient," I explained. Arin smiled, and we broke eye contact. He nodded to Baena, and scribbled a note to me on a piece of scrap paper. I memorized the allotted time and place, and immediately placed it into the candle. The date was set as almost a month from now, which I found curious. Baena gave me other things to think about, though, tugging me upstairs. She gave me other things to think about for more than an hour. I was comfortable while naked, and so was Baena. While Master Arin's entrance startled us both, towards the end of that hour, neither of us were surprised. The girl, her duty fulfilled, clothed herself swiftly and left. As for myself, I knew I was not allowed to clothe myself, but I did at least settle the blanket across my manhood. I continued to lounge, watching Baena as she changed, trading with her promises of 'next time,' all the while keeping the corner of my eye on the lithe old man, her true master, with his hand tightly on his hilt. Only when she was gone did he lock the door, and finally relax. I took that as a queue to clothe myself, and did so. He did not seem to mind. It was thus that he explained to me the actual details of the reason I had been offered this job in Lancaster. I knew, of course, that some sort of assassination would be involved. I did not think for a second that, as the story claimed, Lancaster sought to gain more influence with the Dragon's Guild by hiring a dragon-rider as their Head Cavalry Tutor. In essence, naming me Lord John, Horsemaster of Lancaster, was a joke for the noblemen, as a Horsemaster is nothing more than an upjumped stableman, albeit one suited to hold lessons on riding and care of horses. For a dragon-rider to be so named was, I had assumed correctly, a test of my patience and willingness to live with the royals. I expressed gratitude, and while acknowledging my patience, I did not allow him to sense the deep hatred I had for the courtly games of the lordlings and ladies. To him, I was a talented warrior, a respectably cunning master of the bow and dragon, and therefore a sufficient assassin. To me, I was John the Scarred, seeking a worthwhile investment temporarily in the shining, cruel castle of Lancaster. Master Arin did not name himself or me, but he spoke directly and simply. I was grateful that he chose to speak to me as a common warrior, rather than another player of his court games, in their innuendos and implications. I could understand the orders he lined out. I would tutor the royal family starting the day after tomorrow, and I must always remain inside the castle, unless I was in this room to see Baena. I would patiently mind the patterns of the guards, and the rotations of the battlements, such as the deadly collection of ballistae. "You will slay the target at the time and place previously mentioned," he finished, "and you will return to this room to collect the second part of your payment." I nodded, and began to ask questions about my supposed back-story. He filled them in for me, gracefully. I said that I would need my Theran monies exchanged for the less-conspicuous Lancaster coins. He tossed a large sack of money to my feet. I whistled. I supposed that I might make mistakes and offend some noblemen. He shrugged, gesturing to my rapier, hanging beside the bed. That made me smile, which in turn made him smile. I asked about the nature of my lessons, for I was no expert with horses, and I asked about who I would be teaching. I was not surprised when he informed me I would teach even the Firstborn Family of Lancaster itself. I did not ask any details about court intrigue, or his part in this ploy, or his motivations. As such, he found me comfortable to talk to, and as such I asked him about perhaps having Baena moved into my quarters, and I asked for a commendation for a dragon-armorer, such that I could fit out my new dragon, Myr, with the royal Scarlet and Silver of Lancaster. Altogether, I believe Master Arin found me an amiable assassin. He pretended to prepare to leave. That is when I chose to say, "You have not marked my target." He had been waiting for this. From his pocket, he took a silver piece of Lancaster coin. While the Gold pieces had printed upon them the sword, balanced upon which the scales of justice, the Silver piece proudly displayed the crown of Lancaster, showing off its modest glory. "The Firstborn claimant to the blessed Lancaster throne," said he, with pride. "Hail Glorious Lancaster." And he left. "Hail Lancaster," I murmured respectfully, tossing the coin into the sack. My scar twitched with the muscles on my neck. All the way home, I gripped the hilt of my tiny sword intensely. I did hate royals so.
  24. || Setting || Modern, adventure, drama, romance, (non-lethal) survival. || Warning || This thread may contain profanity, violence, sexuality*, drug/alcohol use, and other adult themes. *mild, i.e. nothing full-blown or explicit. Lurkers are advised to read at their own discretion. Shall you wish to participate (though I doubt this, but feel free), simply pop me a PM and once I give the OK, take whatever roles that are designated as NPCs - you can take 'em over from there, as long as you've read this thread from head to toe to know what's going on. || Plot || Japan has been known to be a nation that sports world-famous idol groups, as well as being infamous for creating the most challenging reality shows to amuse her population. The new big hit, "Teen Nation" ('Shonen no Koku') recruits popular celebrity youths under 30 and randomly distributes them into two different teams, sent off to a privately owned mass of land in Hokkaido, where each round teams are expected to accomplish a goal, and the victor shall be granted privileges to alleviate some discomforts throughout their stay, while the losing team will have to decide which member is going to get eliminated. This will be ongoing until the end of 12 rounds, each round lasting one week. The last standing batch will take home 1 billion yen - fairly distributed. That's 9 zeroes, yo. What happens when you're separated from friends you have been thorugh thick and thin with? Risa Koizumi from the uprising group 'Kolor Me Kisses' will be one of the many to find out. || Rules || Please ensure that you fulfill the following criteria before filing for an application to me. Proper punctuation - we're speaking regular standards here, fear not the Nazi in me for this one. Basic grammar - avoid making noticeable mistakes all over the place. At least three lines per post, unless interacting with environment to trigger effect. Maintain strictly IC. Out-of-Character conversations should be taken to PMs or the Roleplay Discussion board. || Characters || There will be no need for skeleton as we take only characters from the anime Lovely Complex (thus the Fandom roleplay, if it isn't neon obvious by now, do check tags). Unclaimed characters will be considered as NPCs. List of Characters: Risa Koizumi (Uwakimono) Atsushi Ootani (Rhythm) Umibozu (Uwakimono) Chiharu Tanaka Haruka Fukagawa Heikichi Nakao Kazuki Kohori (Uwakimono) Kuniumi Maitake Mayu Kanzaki Mimi Yoshioka (Uwakimono) Nobuko Ishihara (Rhythm) Ryouji Suzuki (Rhythm) Seishirou [seiko] Kotobuki
  25. NC-17 Chosen Persona

    Aglaya's eyes opened so slow. Her head threw itself into an immediate throb and she was curled up into herself, tears falling like someone had come into the room and verbally assaulted her. She let out rough, pained cries as she flinched and moaned as the pains grew deeper, tighter, harsher, wider until her eyes shot open and she was staring wide eyed at her bedroom door. Her breath was heavy, labored with a moist brow and neck. What had happened? Slowly she sat up in her bed, gathering herself and sliding her feet to the floor to find a pair of panda bear slippers. Placing her feet in them she stared at the fluffy white and black creatures for a moment before looking up at her door. The sensation she had had the moment before truly waking up was terrifying. A void of that kind of pain and agony forced her head to turn a little and close her eyes. Had it been a dream or a true migraine of the devils doing? She did not dismiss the random occurrence of such a pain among her head. Standing from her bed she scooted her left and right feet across the wooden floor to her bedroom door and opened it to view a whole other world. A bedroom with soft walls, more feminine touch, to a messy, cluttered and dysfunctional room that she could read like a book. Shuffling through the living area she avoided towers of binders, notebooks, reference books and various other organized piles until she stopped in her little white kitchen. Aglaya lifted a long baggy sweat shirt clothed arm to her eyes and rubbed tenderly until she felt a little more awareness in them. Looking at the little white kitchen she made note of how the grays in it seemed sluggish and lazy compared to many of the other shadows in the kitchen. No lights were on to chase their laziness away, yet. Yawning and stretching as she walked to her cabinet she grabbed a cup and shuffled to the faucet for some water and then dropped a green tea bag into the cup and into the microwave it went! Staring at the speckled layer on the front of her microwave, supposed to help prevent damage to the eyes upon directly staring at the light in the microwave, she watched how her purple and blue glazed cup rotated until the seconds stopped and the handle appeared facing her as she opened the door. Taking the cup she scooted back into her living area, crossed the maze to her balcony and shoved the sliding door open. Walking outside and then closing the door behind her she brought her attention to the city scape above and below her. Aglaya lived on the sixth floor of a thirty floor building. The ants below her darted, paused, scurried and repeated. Her tired hand set the cup of tea down on a small table near by, still watching the busy ants. She brought a small pale hand up to her face and shoved a handful of pitch black hair behind her ear, still quietly observing the ants. “Is this what they think about me, when they look down on me as I travel?†Aglaya said in a soft voice, her heritage barely clinging to her words at this point in her life. The dark haired, pale skinned girl darted out of her apartment complex and dove into the city transit bus before its doors closed. She clung to the rail at the left as she went up the two steps and permitted the meter to read her monthly pass ticket. Proceeding to the back of the bus she carved her sight into the floor of the buss. Never permitting her sight to fly back to anyone that might be gazing in on the new passenger. It was awkward enough getting on the bus and being seen by its audience, worsening when they got the time to stare at you as you walked down it. “Miss Maxim.†The middle aged male voice said drawing the endless stare out of her pale youthful face. “Yes?†Aglaya said startled as her eyes snapped to his mundane existence. He was so boring to listen to dribble on about things that he felt were important, when she could have explained the purpose of the writers direction. Maybe that was why he would drop her grades below the one point they deserved. Despite his quip she fell back into a fantasy a little more dark and artistic than he would have understood or appreciated. Aglaya smiled faintly, to herself and no one else, as her eyes flickered slowly and the light from the window drew her back into the world she had been rudely taken from moments ago. “Out, out! Go!†The teacher said exhausted from his lecture. Aglaya looked up sleepily from her continued daze and noted the mass of her classroom flooding through the door. Now was her time to take leave and hide in her sanctuary for the rest of the day. Excitement buzzed in her chest the moment she thought about the thick, large, old crafted wooden doors to her library. Standing up from her seat she fed her class supplies into her bag and threw the long messenger bag style shoulder over her left and hurried out with the tail end of the class. She was in the protection and comfort of the library within minuets. A breath inhaling the new and old texts that had always kept her company. There were more interesting and intriguing personalities to keep her fancy in this one room than there were in the world from the day of its creation until the second of her arrival in that very library. All the men in the world and she had their attention, their devotion, their desire to share with her their crafted secrets. The women were always secondary. Research and assistance to the brilliance of man, the men, she respected so highly. Trotting down her usual path she plowed deep into the depths of the library and sprawled out on a table right next to the rounded dome portion of her sanctuary. It was made completely out of glass, permitting all natural light to come in and bathe its readers. Aglaya could never function out of its natural warmth and brilliance, it was a necessity. She spent the remainder of her day, afternoon and into the night in that same spot. Food or drink seemed trivial and hardly a requirement to keep going. Though her focus was shifted when she stood up to go to the bathroom to relieve herself. Another student of the college had taken to interrupt that intended action. Her lower half was pressed up against the table as he barely gave her room to move. Aglaya's back was arched, hands reaching to support herself as she tried so hard to put a distance between him and her. Long black hair piled on the table as concerned blue eyes stared at the face grinning at her. “Eh . . Miss Maxum . . “ He said amused at her startled look. “Ma-Maaxim.†Aglaya corrected. “Whatever. You seem too occupied.†He was amused with his discomfort in her eyes. It was as if he had a thrill driving that emotion in her, taking her and consuming that emotion. “No—I.†A thunderstorm had just started and it began on the roughest front possible. The water from their clouds so heavy it made the building feel weak and much older than it truly was. Its glass clipped, shrieked and shook as stronger angles slammed into it hurriedly. As if the water itself was emulating how quick Agalay's heart was pattering. Thunder rattled the building and her being, there was a pause and then a series of lightning flashes went off. Aglaya's eyes grew wider, her chest stopped its fearful fall and rise as she saw a figure standing outside of the libraries glass. He was just standing there through the several flickers of light, watching her and the student intent on his design with her. Aglaya let out a shriek of total fear when the body vanished and she fell onto the table and started to scoot wildly from the students company. “Did . . there!†Aglaya said terrified as she pointed at the empty space the male figure had been standing. A strange and startled look set on his face as he put a hand on his hip. “No wonder you're still a virgin.†He scoffed as he walked off and left the petrified woman on the table to fend for herself.