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Found 104 results

  1. Rebuild of Mitsuba Academy

    [Long time no see, everyone. Sir Vey Lance here. After a long period of inactivity on both Mitsuba threads, the four of us consisting of wstfgl, shipspassinthenight, myself and Trioctium have decided to revive our brain child with everyone being in one club this time. Due to a large number of key NPCs and PCs being absent/changed/replaced/reskinned, we have decided the best way to do so would regrettably have to be a full retcon. Here's hoping we can last for a bit longer this time] On the outskirts of Eaglesham, a sleepy old town in the middle of nowhere, was an ancient church dating back to the Victorian era that had seen better days. Pedestrians walking the only road leading into the village from afar could discern with naked eyes the blasted out sections of the church, scars left behind by the aerial bombers after World War II. Vines crept up along the crevasses and forced their way into the gaps, further tearing the shambling structure apart, yet not a single animal chose to make the place its home. Now and again, a large storm would sweep through the region, and people would open their door the next day expecting the church to be demolished by the gale. And against all odds, the structure remained standing. Gossip amongst villagers had it that a frightening ghoul moved between its crumbling hallways and hid behind the pillars, waiting for any man or woman foolish enough to lay foot inside. Being a grotesque creature, he would go green with envy at the sight of the healthy person and proceed to break his limbs, cut his face, and tear away the hair until the person’s appearance was as revolting as the ghoul’s. In reality, this ‘ghoul’ was nothing more than a dehumanization of the homeless vagrants and travelers without money seeking shelter inside. With the recent implementation of the Camden benches, the sidewalk spikes, not to mention the upcoming European Monsoon, it was nothing strange to see these people flocking toward the old church. No, what was disturbing was the fact that ever since one week ago, some of them never made it out. --- The green field in the distance was gone. It had been buried under waves of rolling white mist, as if a patch of fair-weather cloud had fallen down to earth. Pulling her mantle closer for warmth, Constable Faith looked up at the old church. The courtyard was enclosed by a tall iron fence, leaving no way to exit or enter aside from the main cobblestone walk out to the field. The vegetation around the steeple seemed hideously warped somehow, some of them even appeared mummified, yet wet with moisture from the gathering mist. Some sort of poisonous substance seeping into the ground and was absorbed by the plants, she thought, but what kind? Though three years of being in law enforcement had sent her patrolling down every dank nook and cranny Eaglesham had to offer, it was an unspoken agreement that the old church was far enough from the main town to be considered out of the local police’s jurisdiction. This was to be her first time entering the infamous landmark. As a precaution, her fingers inched somewhat closer to the pistol holstered at her side. Faith took a step forward, then turned back to look for her partner. “Willis, stop lollygagging and get over here,†she said, beckoning the tall man with auburn hair who looked as pale as if he had just seen a ghost. Beads of cold sweat formed steadily on his quivering forehead as Constable Willis stammered out a response. “D-Do we really have to go in there, Faith?†“Not this again...Citizens have reported a lot of strange stories about this church. You were there when Mr. Turner came into our office just now, weren’t you? It’s our job to verify the truth behind these rumors.†“That daft old hobo? Faith, dear, do you even know why the fella is homeless in the first place?†“Do enlighten me.†“Because he spent every last penny from his pension on hooch instead of his rent. Trust me you, I got called to see his arse kicked out of a local pub once every fortnight for drinking more than he could possibly pay for. Heck, I’m no lightweight myself and I got tipsy just breathing the same air with him just now.†Faith sighed and readjusted the cap around her bundled up hair. “Just get to the point, Willis.†“Alright, sure. My point is, maybe his wife got straight fed up with him and left. He couldn’t cope with the very thought of it, so he invented this fantasy about how, in the dark of night, a ghoul showed up in the church and kidnapped her. There, case closed.†Silence reigned for a moment. “Willis, are those really the words of a responsible police constable?†she asked in exasperation. He nodded almost sincerely. “My pa always told me to work smarter, not harder.†“Let’s say your theory is true, then there shouldn’t be any ghoul or ghost or monster lurking within the old church. And thus no harm would befall us for investigating it, yes?†“W-well, there’s always the off chance that I’m wrong and the place is home to something freaky…My pa also said it’s better to be safe than -†he answered then paused, finally noticing the determined expression on Faith’s face. “Fine, fine, let’s do it your way.†She smiled and walked ahead to push open the double door. A nasty stench, something like a cross between rotten food and stale air, greeted the pair’s noses as darkness gave way to mountains of dust over box pews, altar, hourglass pulpit, and sounding-board. Ropes of cobweb stretched among the pointed arches of the main hall up in the air, while on the ground various discarded boxes of food could be found lumped together into mounds at the corner. Willis pinched his nose, while Faith squinted at the traces of footsteps and knocked over furniture. Seemed like a mass of people recently rushed out of the church in a panic not too long ago. Sploch….sploch… Something made a continuous dripping noise in the dark. Faith looked around and found herself staring at the source soon after: a small pool of viscous, tar-like black substance on the ground. She gazed up. It seemed to have leaked down to the ground floor following some cracks along the ceiling. “Lots of doors in this place,†commented Willis. “I noticed,†said Faith. “Reckon we should split up: you check all these rooms on the main floor, I will head upstairs and see what I can find. Afterward, we can make a trip to the dock and ask the local hobo community if they could give us some information about this place.†Willis didn’t seem to like the idea of splitting up, though he stayed quiet, nodded and complied. Faith made her way up the flight of creaking stairs and entered through the single door at the top. It opened up to a decrepit room filled with dust-covered books and rotten wooden furniture. Up here, light barely spilled in through the cloudy windows on opposite sides of the room, courtesy of the mist and the lack of sunlight during a rainy day. Yet, some kind of heat wafted in through cracks in the wall and through the floorboards beneath, setting off a vague alarm somewhere in the back of the constable’s mind. “That idiot Willis, now all his crazy ramblings are starting to make me lose my nerves,†she muttered. Turning on her flashlight for a source of illumination, she searched the area methodically, only to be perplexed by the apparent size of the vestry room she was now standing in. It was grand, yes, though going by the dimensions of the floor below and the stairs placement, she was expecting the second floor to be somewhat bigger. This place was built shortly before the war began, and it wasn’t unheard of for churches to offer shelter to civilians and wounded soldiers. I wonder…she thought idly, knocking the walls around the room and along the corridors lightly with the back of her flashlight. The staccato taps broke away the silence reigning over the second floor, dead and dulled and dispersed. Time and again Faith would crack open a small patch on a wall, thinking that she had found something, only to realize that termites had done a serious number on the material beneath. Feeling somewhat ridiculous, she tapped on another wall, this one made out of rocks, and- Hesitated. It didn’t feel as if she had knocked on something completely dense judging by the hollow noise it produced. Eureka. Faith tucked the small flashlight behind her ear for light, then examined the wall more closely, looking for a loose brick or a leverage of some sort. Only she wasn’t finding it. Up and down, left and right, this end of the hallway to the other, nothing seemed to stand out. Frustrated, she gave the wall a little kick at the end of her search, finding it sliding inward a little. Okay, that was anticlimactic… The room within was small, cramped and reeked of something far worse than the stench of garbage that had been lingering in the atmosphere. The room was coated in equal proportion of mold and a patina of that black, sludgy grime she had discovered downstairs. Faith thought she could discern some articles of clothing laying within the pool of dark fluid, and the moment she stepped into the room, she could feel a wave of dizziness and nausea washing over her mind, as if a dozen voices were ringing simultaneously in her head. Some young, some old, some hoarse, some clear… I WANT TO GO HOME! DEAR, WHERE ARE YOU? IT IS SO COLD. SO COLD. SO COLD. SO COLD She stumbled out of the room, her mind struggling to process the massive amount of sepulchral echoes going through it just now. Somehow, just somehow, she knew on an instinctive level what the black sludge was. It was the missing people, all that remained of them. They were reduced to nothing more than a primordial fluid, having lost every shred of humanity that gave them shapes and thoughts. Her stomach churned, and she could feel the acidic taste of digestive juice overflowing out of her throat. Faith struggled to keep her lunch down and hastily reached for the radio strapped to the side of her coat lapel. It let out a squealing buzz of static and fell silent. She cursed. Bootsteps, crunching just around the corner, somewhere further down the hallway. “Dare da? De te kinasai.†A man’s voice called out in a language unbeknownst to her, hushed and harsh. Judging from the noise, he was dragging behind him something massive, the object scraping against the stone tiles with every step he made. Training took over at this point, and Faith quickly drew the .38 Automatic Colt Pistol, aiming down the iron sight as she did. There were so many questions and confusions going through her head as of this point, but in her mind one thing was clear. Whomever, whatever it is that lurks within the old church as of this moment, it can’t be anything good. “Stop, or I will shoot!†she announced, moments before the person came into view. “Move forward and put your hands where I can see them!†He stopped, as if gauging the situation, but eventually stepped up next to one of the windows where the overcast was still providing some light and revealed himself. It was a young man, not a day over 20 if he was even that old, and judging from his dark hair and skin complexion, Faith would place him to be either Chinese or Japanese. He was wearing a vicar’s attire dyed red and white, which strangely enough spotted metallic vambraces and greaves like some sort of protection from the medieval age. A silver cross hung loosely around his neck, the object glowing with a faint hue in the dark. What drew the majority of her attention though, was the massive thing he was dragging behind which, while definitely was in the shape of a greatsword, was more akin to a gargantuan slab of steel attached to a hilt. She doubted the youth could so much as lift the thing above his head, let alone swing it. “This place is not safe Miss, you should leave it as soon as possible,†he spoke calmly in clear, if somewhat stilted English. “I will be the judge of that. Who are you and what are you doing here?†pressed Faith. He clicked his tongue, which annoyed her greatly. “My name isn’t anything of import. And I’m here on a mission.†“A mission,†she repeated dryly. “Yes. A monster had recently taken over this old church as its lair. I have been tasked with its eradication by my Order.†Faith squinted but didn’t lower her firearm. “A likely story. Alright if you don’t feel like telling me your name, I’m Constable Faith. Regardless of your goal here, we have had records of people being kidnapped and possibly assaulted in the surrounding area. I will need you to follow me and my partner to the precinct. Don’t worry, we are not suspecting you for doing anything unlawful as of yet, but you could have witnessed certain events that would provide us wi-“ A bloodcurdling scream coming from somewhere down below interrupted Faith’s speech; shriek of such base, feral intensity that it could only have come from someone being in mortal danger. She spun, recognizing the voice to be that of Willis’, though her gun remained trained on this suspicious individual. “Did you come here with another person, Miss Faith?†the man asked, a flash of genuine worry evident on his face. She didn’t answer his question, which was enough. “Then we have no time,†said the youth. He let go of the blade he was holding on to, but instead of dropping to the ground with a loud thud, the weapon shattered into millions of shimmering particles, which rushed toward the pendant hanging around his neck in a silvery stream. Before she could even process what was happening, let alone react, his arm had already wrapped itself around her waist, and her whole view of the world was disappearing down a spinning tunnel, into a vortex of warped images and those sad, haunting voices filling up the silence saying IT FOUND ITS NEXT MEAL. "Teleportation could be a bit dizzying. Hold on tight." Somewhere between a nanosecond and a day later, Faith opened her eyes and immediately wished she hadn’t. She was standing at the entrance to the church, but right now there was one particular thing that she distinctly remembered not seeing when she set foot into this place. Vast, otherworldly and loathsome, she was looking at a screaming, writhing patchwork of a monster: a hideous, warped agglomeration of countless human faces stitched together into one gigantic head, itself twisting and melding into a grotesque parody of a smile. It was not in possession of any feature that could be labeled eyes within its sockets, but spotted two pools of spiraling darkness brimming with the thick, black sludge she had seen earlier. The monster’s grin became unnervingly broader, showing to the rest of the world its grotesque collection of deformed, rotten teeth, like tombstones erected over a graveyard. It turned to look. “What is this?†she muttered, stunned, moments before a gigantic blade crashed through the ceiling and severed the creature from top to bottom. It reacted violently, and from the creature came a piercing sound – a roar that blended the sound of tearing metal and wounded beasts, a chthonic noise that forced into her ears and tore her nerves. More of that sludge started to ooze away from the creature as its body slowly degenerated into a swarm of cockroaches, spiders, beetles and flies. The bugs scurried away in every direction, leaving behind almost no physical trace of the creature that was once there. Faith thought she could hear voices from the black tar beckoning for her to get closer, that she could see and recognize some of the faces that seemed to bubble up to the surface somehow. She reached out with one of her hands. “Stop.†commanded the youth from before, Willis' body draping across his shoulder like a sack of flour. He came closer to Faith before gingerly laying her partner down on the ground. The constable was still breathing, though he seemed to do so with some degree of difficulty. Broken ribs most likely, she thought. “What the hell was that thing?†she asked again while looking over Willis’ wounds. “A Thrall. Slivers of a Demon summoned into our world through twisted rituals and blackest magic. With its master being…indisposed, the only thing left in the creature’s mind right now is an insatiable desire to consume, which it quenches through the flesh of the poor people who have been seeking shelter within this church.†“T-then, this black fluid on the ground is…†“Yes, that is called ectoplasm, all that remains of the Thrall’s victims. Although one have to be somewhat magically gifted to even be able to see such a thing. Please refrain from touching it under any circumstance, Miss. More often than not people who are killed due to supernatural reasons would leave behind psychic echoes. An Altered like you run the risk of being possessed especially.†His calm, composed demeanor sent a chill down her spine. Given any other day, if someone had approached her with so much nonsense, she would have definitely phoned the local asylum to see if they had any escaped patient. But now that she had seen such a creature with her own eyes, had heard the cries of the dead bemoaning their fates, Faith wondered if she was the one going mental instead. A thousand questions swam to the surface of her thoughts. “Did you kill it?†she asked finally. He shook his head. “No, not yet. Just barely grazed the creature’s core with my last throw. It is wounded and thus is trying to escape and reform itself. I can ensure it will not leave this place, but before that I will need you to take your friend and make your escape from here as fast as you can.†He then turned back to regard the church, and his voice took on a different quality. It sounded colder, crueler, more vindictive. “And as for you, demonspawn. Run away, hide away, take your last stand. Nothing you do from this point on will make a difference. In the end, it always comes down to the Knights of the Cross to return filth to where they rightfully belong. Tonight, Raiha joins the hunt.â€
  2. This here RP is open to any and all who are interested! The Story So Far... For the last 3000 years, Demons have been invading earth in an attempt to take control and reign supreme. In all of this time, they have never been successful and this is down to an organisation known as The Order of the Divine. The Order of the Divine is made up of humans, known as Divines, who have the ability to channel magic; a universal energy that is wildly effective at slaying Demons. They have been protecting Earth for all this time, but as the strength of the Demons increased, the Divines have been slowly dwindling in numbers. 20 years ago, the one particular Demon orchestrated an attack so devastating that The Order was reduced to a mere handful; it only took the Demons 4 years to take full control of the planet. Now, there are only three Divines left alive: Michael, Gabriel, and Lisa. As the last surviving members, they went into hiding and bided their time until the oppurtune moment arrived. Their original plan was to locate more magically attuned humans and induct them into The Order. However, they soon found that the Demons had already hunted down and killed many of them. So they came up with a different plan, a more modern one. Professor Jacob Carnak is a brilliant scientist and inventor that works every day of his life to find a way to destroy the Demons for good and take the Earth back into human hands. He has managed to develop weapons of immense strength, and trained users capable of wielding these weapons, but he still couldn't find anything to kill the stronger Demons. Then he came across The Order, or rather they tracked him down. Using the Divines' knowledge and power, Professor Carnak invented a magically enhanced machine that allowed him to amalgamate magic and technology; two previously incompatible existences. Using this new machine, he created weapons he called 'Magitech', strong enough to kill any Demons they came across. The Divines and Professor Carnak trained new people, new warriors, to wield the Magitech and take the fight to the Demons; they became known as Diviniters. This is where we all come in. We will be newly trained Diviniters who can wield the Magitech and have been charged with the duty to slay the Demons and take back the earth! A few definitions below, so read on! Magitech - Weapons created by Professor Carnak to combat the Demons. They are a mixture of magic and technology and can be of any size, shape, form, function and anything else; it is entirely up to you! Professor Jacob Carnak - Jacob is the Q (you know, from James Bond) of this RP. His job will be creating and maintaining the Magitech as well as inventing cool, smaller gadgets for anyone to use. The Divines - Michael, Gabriel, and Lisa are the sole users of Magic left alive in the world. They will act as mentors to the Diviniters and train them in one-on-one combat, teamwork, and anything else that comes up that isn't technology based. World State - The world was as it was today before the Demons took over. Think apocalyptic and hell-like; Demons aren't as civilised as Humans after all. Official governments no longer exist, although small pockets may still exist. The main militaries of the world were destroyed during the Demons campaign, but of course, remnants are sure to still be in hiding. The Demons - Ruled by a stone cold badass known as Sarketh, the Demons are like organised barbarians. They are ranked in strength from 1st Ring to 7th Ring, 1st being the weakest, 7th being the strongest. Only 2 of the 7th Ring are known to exist. 1st Ring - These are the low level thugs of the Demons. They can be taken out by standard human weapons if they are hit enough times. They are the least powerful and least threatening and make up for that by attacking with sheer numbers. 2nd Ring - These are slightly tougher and can withstand most levels of small arms fire. They are generally only injured by heavy machine gun like the .50 cal. 3rd Ring - Tougher still, these guys are completely impervious to small arms fire and pretty resistant to larger calibers. These Demons are best taken care off with explosives or tank/artillery shells. 4th Ring - Normal Humans can't do much against these monsters. When they were still available, airborne missiles were the best bet against them. 5th Ring - The bigger ICBM was the only way to take down one of these bad boys. With none of these available anymore, Human's run in the presence of these Demons. 6th Ring - A nuclear attack was theorized to have been able to kill a Demon of this level but it was never achieved. No other weapon was effective. 7th Ring - Pretty much immortal and invincible as far as the Humans are concerned. Most people give up merely at the sight of one of them. So far, only two confirmed 7th Ringers exist on Earth. Any queries, questions, or anything, give us a shout and I'll do my best to answer them!
  3. Plot: Your character(s) and Emily Darrell are exploring the rumored location of an extraterrestrial artifact supposedly discovered and worshipped by an indigenous tribe. According to sparse legends and anecdotes, the artifact granted the tribe's leaders them a far-advanced knowledge of technology, enabling them to plan advanced structures, predict the weather, and heal sickness. However, the tribe is described as having went extinct for unknown reasons and practically nothing about them is known, to the extent that the most prominent historians and archaeologists consider the legends surrounding the tribe to be complete falsehood. The theory of the "lost tribe" and their artifact is supported by the existence of a small lake - a "pond" much deeper than it appears - with radioactivity and unique cyanobacteria believed to have originated from an asteroid strike. Additionally, two interesting artifacts were recovered from the Pacific ocean: a stone tablet with etchings filled with gold, and a solid-gold tablet with uniform circular cut-outs. Both items are rumored to be parts from an ancient computer - a bus and punch card of sorts - estimated to have originated from the coast of Alaska. Coincidentally, the artifacts were reportedly lost at sea off the coast of New Zealand (conveniently in proximity to the Bougainville Trench...), en-route to an Australian lab to be carbon-dated, and were not known to be recovered. Setting: Alaskan Aleutian Islands, present day. Temps are in the mid 40s and there is rain this time of year. RP Expectation: I'm aiming for a Tomb Raider/X-Files level of realism, which can still include a lot of Sci-Fi elements. Ideally, we can post every 1-3 days, and I'd prefer a few short paragraphs or a single large paragraph. The rolling and pitching of the small ship made sleeping easy for Emily. For the others? Their mileage may vary...Hopefully, though, they were well-rested as they had a long day ahead of them. Emily was awakened by the vibration of her phone between the mattress and bunk frame and though the ship's interior was cold and dark, she didn't delay quietly getting out of the bed. The tiniest amount of moonlight shown through the porthole so the room wasn't completely black and she didn't bother with a flashlight. Being the prepared person she was, she had laid her clothing out the evening before and was able to dress in the almost-dark except her shoes. For now, she could scuff around the ship in her slippers. The hinges of the door of the sleeping quarters made a shrill squeal as she opened it - she forgot it did that - but on her way out, toiletry bag and a journal in-hand, she wore a determined knitted brow as she closed it as slowly and softly as possible. After she brushed her teeth, tossed a few handfuls of nearly-freezing water on her face, and threw her hair back into a ponytail, she went to the galley to prepare a bowl of oatmeal - unsweetened, save a handful of berries - and eat it while studying maps and the day's itinerary with the ceiling lamp swaying gently overhead. It wasn't often Emily took off on a "flight of fancy" trip based on info that was practically a possible hoax. Practically every surface feature of every inch of the earth had been mapped with a satellite, so she was skeptical that they would find any ruins or "lost"-anything. She would consider the trip a success if even a fragment of the lost tribe's civilization were recovered. At the very worst, it was a sight-seeing voyage. It was difficult enough finding someone who would drive their small ship to the location. Local fishermen weren't as critical of her motives as she expected the scientific and archaeological communities to be, but many questioned her and suggested she was just a silly girl for wanting to do such a thing. Today, they were going to hike toward the pond for five miles, then set up a base camp and begin surveying for possible places to dig. The forecast reported damp, rainy weather, which tended to make the cool temperature soak in even more; Emily advised everyone to bring wool, wool, and more wool to stay warm. The boat was returning in a week and nobody should get frostbite during that time. Until then, they were on the island with no cell coverage and very spotty radio, but everyone would have a two-way radio. EDIT: The types of characters I'm looking for this RP are pretty open, but some tropes might be adventurer, action-geek, I'm-just-an-intern, stubborn skeptic, conspiracy theorist, or a poseur survivalist. If you're interested in it but need additional information PM me and I can add it. I'm sort of new at creating new RPs so I'm probably missing things.
  4. //System Booting… //Loading Memory… //Running Diagnostics…Clean //System Check Pass… //Initializing Code::LUX… //Restoring…3…2…1… //DG_REGALIA_Q::N// After being locked in a pod for a century or three, the magic substance known as Luxcerium has been replenished on the planet Grudate in the lack of human presence. The pod activates and a woman escapes into dark, collapsed tunnels. Thinking logically, her best decision now is to escape the tunnels. With the layout still fresh in her mind, she makes her way through the dilapidated building and to a flight of stairs that would take her to the upper floors for escape. However, part way up they are collapsed and blocked as well. Sitting on the stairs and thinking of solutions, the rubble around and behind her collapses to reveal a young man, who is stunned speechless at the sight of a naked woman behind the rubble. Hey people who are still here. Thought I'd start up an RP for anyone who actually still likes this stuff. This is the beginning of another story I started writing, but never finished. In this story, there are three races to choose from: The returned Humans- Humans who came back to Grudate after centuries had passed and the planet was inhabitable again. The returned Mages- People who used the Luxcerium as a magic substance to cast spells and magic. The Arunian- A race of androids who run on the power of Lucerium. When the supple depleted, they all went into their life pods to wait for a day when they could thrive again. Their queen has awoken, but if any others have a well, they are few and far between. The story basically follows the queen after she wakes up, and the people who she interacts with from then on. You can be any race really, but remember Arunians are androids who were at war with the humans and mages when the earth was abandoned.
  5. Chaotic Ripples

    (( At the moment I am currently looking for people to join this roleplay I am forming known as "Chaotic Ripples". Chaotic Ripples is about people who have these artifacts known as Ripples which cause them to gain certain abilities and powers but at a price. And during this era where Ripples are becoming widespread, being either artificially created or ancient Ripples being found. So, thus during this Ripple Rush your character encounters friends and foes alike trying to either make sure the Ripples are in the right hands, being used to their potential or just going completely mad with power using them. Also, before we start, I want to make a character posting page so that I know who is joining the roleplay.)) (( My personal rules for this roleplay include: No character deaths unless you speak with someone and they are ok with it.Explicit romance should be done off screen or in a PM somewhereDon't throw a fit if your character loses a battle against someoneMake sure you have funThere are tons of Ripples out there, be creative!)) (( So we will hopefully begin once people start posting in here asking to join or joining, thank you! ))
  6. Another average day had gone by quietly and peacefully for Yang Quan, a convenience shop owner in Fabletown. The place itself was far from paradise. Noisy, corrupt by gangs and organised crime, not to mention that not a single one of the people living there behaved like regular humans. Well, you can take the monster out of the forest, and so on, he guessed. Or maybe that's as much as their glamour could do for them. Luckily for him, he attracted no attention. There was much still left of the length of his existence and he wanted to spend it away from the chaos of the world. After closing up the shop, he retired to the apartment just above it. It was a quaint little place, old and worn out by time but with some care it was home. He logged onto his computer to hopefully lose himself in the internet, when a curious site caught his eye. There was a girl on his desktop, messing with his files and programs. The thought that it might be some kind of advanced virus worried him, as the possibility of one destroying his entire hard drive was not something he wanted to allow. He opened his antivirus to begin a scan, and then, hopefully, a quick purge.
  7. Wasted Safety

    "War... is nice. War is a simple thing. You have allies and enemies, and civilians. You protect the civilians, you kill the enemies, you follow your orders... your commanding officer's orders nearly get you killed. Then, if somehow your squad survives long enough, your commanding officer gets promoted despite being a moron" That's a bit of satire soldiers used to share over the dinner table. Not anymore though. Most people don't even know what satire is. They literally don't know the meaning of the word. And they don't bother to find out either. They weren't always like this though. Used to be that society was a very controversial argumentative thing. There was tell of a thing called opinions, which would spark said arguments all the time. People thinking they were right, other people trying to prove them wrong. Eventually the latter would give up because usually the former were too stupid and stubborn to admit to their mistake. Most people would say that's bad. But is it worse than how it is now? Who knows. Not a lot of the ones from those times are alive to remember and complain how things used to be better. Now the young inherit what's left of the world while the old sit back in their rickety chairs in the dark, mumbling to each other. But who cares about the old anyway? Nobody, that's who. So let's look at young ones. One example would be Colonel Gilmore Floyd. Don't let the rank fool you, it just means he's a slice above the rest. It doesn't really mean anything but it's meant to make people feel good about themselves. Plus, military service is always good if you want a special privilege or two here and there. But let's not digress more than we have already. His more or less easy, patrol, peace-keeping, etc. And it just so happened that today, he had to interrogate a bunch of prisoners they had captured. Insurgents or raiders or something. Not that there's really a difference. He put on his jacket and his cap and left his office at the military camp where he worked. It was more of a booth to be frank but anyways. He went to the interrogation cage where most prisoners are put in temporary confinement. In reality it was an old zoo cage with a bit of newspaper padding on the ground and barbed wire horizontally wound around the bars due to cutbacks. Not that anyone seemed to complain. Aside from the prisoners themselves, of course.
  8. NC-17 Taken

    Taken (Continued) Crystal strained herself to sit up straight and glanced at her body, realizing only now that she’d fallen asleep in full battle armor. For the first time since the war had begun, Crystal smiled and even laughed just a little at how absurd they looked. “I guess you’re right. Maybe we should take a shower…â€Crystal paused, unsure of what Storm would think of that suggestion. He didn’t like water, even if it was her water. She’d also thought before that moment that she would be comfortable with it. After losing Storm though, she knew that he was the only one for her. She didn’t want to leave his side for even a moment right now either. She couldn’t help but feel a tightness in her chest at the thought that he was almost lost forever though, and it was only with deep breaths and self-control that she managed to hold back more tears.
  9. Lionel hit the ground running. Above him, lightning arced across the night sky, causing the air to crackle with energy in the aftermath of the spell. Lionel cursed, ducking into another abandoned alleyway as he heard the sounds of heavy footsteps across the brick rooftops behind him. Lightning magic was a very efficient way to kill someone - fast, lethal and nearly undodgeable. So far, he had gotten off from the fact that the man had terrible aiming, especially under the cover of darkness, but he doubted that fate would be so kind to him for much longer. Since when has fate been kind to you? Nala'hedriel scoffed. He discarded the staff he'd been carrying around - his disguise had been blown anyway. Peeking out of his corner, Lionel took a moment to make sure that the road was clear before dashing out once again, heading towards one of the many safehouses he had arranged in this town... But once again he felt a familiar tingling sensation across his skin, allowing him to narrowly avoid the bolt of lightning that shot past his right elbow. His hunter stood behind him as he spun around, fingers extended out in a handgun-esque gesture as a grin extended from his grizzled face. "Checkmate, Zero." The spell-hunter fired another bolt of lightning. Darkness leapt from the shadows around Lionel, throwing themselves in front of him, attracted by the sudden burst of magical energy. The lightning bolt hit the wall of darkness squarely in the middle, striking with all the force needed to smash straight through a concrete wall - and vanished in a burst of blue light. The shadows fell away, revealing Lionel's grim expression as he stared back at his assailant. "Yes, checkmate," he replied. "For you." Lionel crossed the distance between them in an instant, but the spell-hunter was skilled. He drew his sword, swinging it with swift, expert strikes directed at Lionel's neck. He must have been some sort of fencing master, Lionel decided, barely moving out of the way each time the sword came darting forwards, while the spell-hunter moved back, maintaining arms-length distance between them. Lunge, step, slash, step. It was all like a carefully choreographed dance between the two of them, but the uncertainty soon began to show on the spell-hunter's face. Obviously, he wasn't used to having his prey put up so much resistance at close range. It's the superspeed, Nala'hedriel drawled. It always gets them, every time. His defense faltered for a split second, but it was enough. Lionel sent a punch into his gut, causing him to flinch and recoil backwards. He grabbed the man's sword arm and gave it a sharp twist; the weapon fell to the ground after a cry of pain. A punch to the face, a strike in the chest, and the man was sent reeling onto the ground. Three ribs broken, Lionel noted. He'll have difficulty breathing. He bent down, grabbing the spell-hunter by his collar as he lifted the man up face to face. "Who sent you?" Lionel snarled. "How do you know the name Zero?" The spell-hunter laughed, a hearty laugh that caused him to cough up a bubble of blood. "Your past haunts you, homunculus. You will never be free of it." Something shifted within the man as he continued laughing, his head lolling back at the sky. Lionel threw him onto the ground by reflex, shadows flying to his arms... But no magical assault came. The man continued his hysterical laughter as his flesh began to melt away, sizzling under the influence of his own spell until there was nothing left of the man except his skeleton. And the sinister black pendant that lay inside. The Circle of Dead. Lionel Descartes woke up with a gasp. Dancing with Death A private RP between TriOctium and Ice. Cold sweat rolled down Lionel's forehead as he pushed himself out of bed, groaning. A bowl of water with a towel had been prepared on the table, and he gratefully used it to wipe his face as last night's dream continued to play over and over in his head. Dreams are a privilege, he reminded himself, remembering the days when he had spent each night in utter silence, his body resting yet not fully asleep. Even so, being haunted by events that happened months ago was nothing to scoff about, and it took Lionel a few moments to calm his nerves down. What's the matter, chuckles? Nala'hedriel asked. Had a bad night? "Nothing for you to be concerned about," he muttered in response. For all their mind-reading abilities, Lionel had learned early on that T'Skarin were notably unable to share dreams with their hosts. It was one of the many strange things about his 'symbiotic' relationship with Nala'hedriel, the T'Skarin Prince of Shadows. Judging by the sunlight, it was time for him to set off. He threw on a cloak and his pair of sandals, grabbed his cane lying by the bedside and left the room for breakfast. The Dancing Sword Inn was a quiet place in the mornings, a sharp contrast with the noisy scene it had been last night. One of the tables was still lying on the floor in the far corner, broken glass all around it. Lionel ignored that scene, taking his seat near the bar instead as Zoraida came out with a hunk of bread and a flagon of wine. "You don' look too well, son," the middle-aged barmaid commented. "You feelin' alright?" "I'm alright. Thanks for asking." Lionel took a large bite out of the bread, then winced at the stale taste. "Well, if you say so." Zoraida took a look around the mostly empty inn before leaning closer to his ear. "Did you hear? The Baron's been killed. In his own castle, too!" Lionel choked slightly on his beer, putting down the flagon slowly. "Last night?" Zoraida nodded with a serious expression on her face. "There's been a big hassle in the morning. Mageknights coming here from the capital an' everything. I was quite surprised when you didn't wake up from all the ruckus!" Lionel's stomach turned. He hadn't had many good experiences with mageknights, the so-called defenders of the common folk. But a Baron being assassinated... that was big news. And perhaps too much of a coincidence. Satisfied that she had shared the news, Zoraida glided back into the kitchen, leaving Lionel alone with his thoughts. ... A small crowd had already gathered before the Baron's castle, though none dared to attempt to push past the line of mageknights that had been formed around the main entrance. Their efforts were mostly futile; at this distance there was absolutely nothing to look at, except perhaps the castle's wonderfully kept garden of flowers. Lionel made his way around the boundary, passing by several more mageknights stationed along the west wall before he reached a more secluded spot. The only reason why no guards were positioned here was because a humongous wall, towering nearly three metres in height, blocked the way into the castle. Lionel knelt down, feeling around at the base of the wall. Within seconds he located the alarm spell that would have triggered should anyone actually succeed in vaulting over the wall, and sent the tiniest bit of his own shadow into the magic circuitry as it fizzled and died out. Not enough to cancel the spell permanently, but enough to stop it for a minute or two. Stepping back, he took a deep breath before performing a running jump - soaring just high enough to land feet-first on top of the wall. And with that, he was in. His landing was softened by the grass underfoot, and he quickly moved into one of the side doors as he made his way deeper into the castle. Voices echoed across the empty hallways, its premises having been vacated because of its owner's death. Lionel moved past a large dining hall, ducking out just in time as a clanking mageknight in white armor marched past, then slipping behind him and continuing towards the Baron's bedroom. He'd only been here once before, through the same way. But the layout of the castle was easy to remember, and Lionel found himself tracing the same steps he had made all those weeks ago. Just as he got into one of the waiting rooms, he felt cold steel press against his neck. "Don't move, Lionel." The voice was very familiar. Lionel put up his hands in surrender, allowing himself to be pushed against the wall and turned around to face the newcomer: a messy-haired Inquisitor with a sharp nose and a blade in each hand. "Fancy meeting you here, Jarrod," Lionel greeted with a nervous laugh. "I knew they were going to put an Inquisitor on the case. But I didn't expect them to send you." Jarrod didn't have the optimistic smile Lionel remembered from five years ago. His face looked grizzled, more hardened by recent events. "You shouldn't have come here, Lionel. I was hoping it wasn't you... but you being here is only going to implicate you in matters further." Lionel raised an eyebrow. "Are you suggesting that I was the one who killed the Baron?" Jarrod didn't answer, simply staring straight at him for a moment. Then, with a great sigh, he lowered his sword from his neck, sheathing it slowly. "No, you don't have any reason to go around killing Barons. At least, not that I've discovered," the Inquisitor explained, slowly pacing around the room. "But that still isn't enough to stop you from being my prime suspect." "Why? Why am I the prime suspect?" "Because the assassin canceled the Baron's magic."
  10. The town was ablaze. The epicenter, the place where the old temple had once stood, was a scene of pandemonium -- rather apropos, considering what had started the mess in the first place. Though it was a moonless night, the overcast sky glowed a dull red like embers in a dying flame, the clouds reflecting the light of the fires blazing down below. Smoke trails spiraled skywards, filling the air with choking soot and ash, and the ground was treacherous, rent apart by scores of yawning fissures and strewn with piles of rubble and the occasional charred corpse. Despite this, three figures continued forging their way down the street, unperturbed by the carnage that surrounded them. They would have seemed out of place anywhere else -- they weren't so much humans as they were heroes of myth and legend somehow transplanted into the modern world. Leading them was a knight in gleaming armor, an imposing figure encased from head to toe in burnished pearl-white plates of steel. Following closely behind was a tall, lanky man in a billowing duster, a heavy battleaxe resting upon one shoulder. And finally, bringing up the rear from several paces away was a woman with a rifle, her gear rustling near-inaudibly as she picked her way through the rubble with measured strides. Finally, the trio came to a halt below the ruined gate of the temple, gazing across the scorched flagstones at the figure awaiting them. She was alone and unarmed, though the mass of swirling darkness behind her could have concealed any number of unseen enemies. After a quick exchange of gestures and words, they readied themselves for battle -- then, the world around them erupted into chaos. The sniper was the first to fall, her rifle arm blown clean off by a crackling lance of blindingly-white light. As she fell to her knees, her eyes wide with shock, the shadows around her abruptly shifted, and she was dragged off screaming into the darkness by dozens of wickedly sharp talons. The lanky man surged forwards with a shout, cutting down each shadowy creature that surged forwards to face him with a single blow of his battleaxe. However, as he got closer, the hordes of demonspawn pouring forth from the darkness only seemed to grow in number, and finally, just meters from the witch standing before him, one of the creatures' claws tore through his back, and immediately, he vanished within a growing pile of jet-black bodies. He had bought enough time, however. Even as he fell, his last surviving companion advanced forwards, the witch's energy bolts glancing off the armor plate. Then, a shot slammed into the knight's helmet, tearing it off and revealing the face of a young woman below it. The woman grimaced briefly, then charged forward with renewed vigor, slamming into the witch as she drove the tactical knife in her mail-clad hand through her opponent's rib cage. "This ends here, witch," she spat, putting her weight behind the knife and slamming her enemy to the ground. Then, her free hand wrapped around the other woman's head as her fingertips began to glow with a pale light. "Checkmate." The witch merely laughed hoarsely through blood-speckled lips. "Yes... it's checkmate, alright." she rasped as the light in her eyes slowly faded. "Milord... The final sacrifice is here." With those parting words, the witch was no more. Slowly, the knight turned her head upwards to look into the mass of roiling darkness before her -- and a dozen eyes the color of molten iron gazed back. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Erin Lafayette's eyes abruptly snapped open as she choked back a gasp. Slowly, her eyes panned across her surroundings, and she let out a sigh of relief -- her surroundings were reassuringly familiar. She was still in bed, surrounded by the organized chaos of her room -- a large, goofy-looking teddy bear on one side of her bed missing one of its beady button eyes, a jumbled pile of magazines with far too many shirtless men on the covers, the morning sunlight filtering through the Venetian blinds on the window, a red plastic alarm clock reading '7.11' on its luminous analogue dial and other assorted detritus. Phew. Looks like it was just a dream, then- Her gaze slowly swiveled back to the alarm clock. 7.11. There's no mistaking it. It says 7.11. No, wait. 7.12 now. There was a sudden, awful moment of clarity. Oh shit, I might be late for school. ... "Coming up after the break: an exclusive interview with Kagutsuchi-san, owner of the 'genius cat' who passed the Turing Test-" *click* Erin, now fully dressed and ready for school, sighed as she put the remote control down. Father really was irresponsible -- he'd not only left the TV on when he'd left, he'd left all the breakfast dishes in the sink with a little Post-It note saying "I trust that any child of mine will do their share of the family chores!" on the fridge. He even drew a smiley face on it. He leaves me this note, and completely neglects to... well, actually wake me up before he leaves? Dad... you're kind of a dick. She shrugged, stepping out of the door and locking it behind her. Never mind that; it was her first day in high school, and it probably wouldn't be a good idea to be late. ... It didn't take long for her to reach school, and thankfully, she'd managed to make it with a minute or two to spare. Then again, running the whole distance wasn't even that hard; even when her Demon Reaper was dematerialized, its invigorating effects seemed to linger on her. She strode purposefully onward, following the crowd of students towards the hall. Then, she felt a touch on her shoulder. Almost instinctively, she snapped to attention, a faint flicker of bluish light passing between the fingertips of her left hand as she readied her Demon Reaper for summoning. Who'd attack in broad daylight like that?! "My, my! Your tie's crooked," a tall, serious-looking girl with straight, waist-length black hair remarked to Erin, leaning in a little too close for her liking. "Thanks. I'll go fix it," she muttered and continued walking at the same brisk pace, fumbling clumsily with her tie and leaving the other girl in the dust. "S-she didn't even call me senpai..." the heartbroken girl nearly sobbed, staring at the rapidly receding silhouette of the girl who had shattered her romantic illusions. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ After dozing off through the interminable enrollment speeches that marked the start of the school year, Erin headed down to the classroom she'd been assigned to -- Class 1-C, a room on the third floor overlooking the track. She strolled over to the back of the class and slumped onto one of the chairs, idly glancing at the other students as they took their seats and settled. Is it just me, or does that other blonde girl next to me look a little unhinged? She idly thought as she reached into her bag, pulling out and stuffing a few books under her table. "GOOD MORNING~" A voice boomed out from the door as a distressingly familiar face practically pranced in. Oh, for the love of... why does the homeroom teacher have to be him? Her adoptive father, known to everyone as Mr. Lavalley, was... eccentric-looking, to say the least. He spent a frankly unwarranted amount of time every morning making sure his mustache was trimmed to micrometer precision, perpetually wore a pressed white suit (paired with a truly ghastly bow tie for whatever reason) with a blithe disregard of climate and fashion, and was seemingly never seen without his checkered top hat. When she'd asked why he kept dressing like that, he unfailingly replied that it was okay, since he was a foreigner. Erin found that frankly unlikely -- like her adoptive father, she had partially foreign blood too; she was pretty damn sure dressing like a period drama reject was not okay. "Salutations to you, Class 1-C! I am Giles Lavalley, the school's one and only foreign languages teacher, and I'll be your homeroom teacher this year!" he announced, scribbling his name upon the chalkboard in katakana. "Since I don't know most of you, I'd like you all to give a short introduction about yourselves in initiative... I mean, in alphabetical order. First up, Akagi!" There was a brief pause, and then a mousy-looking brown-haired girl at the front stood up, introducing herself with some trepidation. ... "Ibuki!" A short, bespectacled girl stood up, frantically yelped out her name and something about liking dogs before sitting back down. "Katsuragi!" A boy with a pompadour stood up, declaring that he wanted to become a banker someday. "Kurosawa!" No response. Looks like they were absent. "Lafayette!" With a little trepidation, Erin stood up, cleared her throat and took a deep breath. She began, "Hello, I'm Erin-" "- Lafayette, my very own adorable adoptive daughter!" Mr. Lavalley abruptly declared; Erin froze, her gaze focusing onto a particularly interesting part of the floor. "She likes Italian food, long walks in the countryside and drawing stuff that she refuses to show anyone! Also, just a heads up to all of you boys here...and girls, I guess... she's totally, perfectly eligible!" Immediately, the class broke out into tittering and guffaws, and Erin groaned, putting a palm to her forehead. This is going to be a long, long year.
  11. CLOSED Gods Among Us

    It was meant to be a lazy day. Lana had planned to make this one Sunday in Spring a very relaxing and easy day. She had no work from anyone and was happy about it. Rather than her usual 8:00 A.M. wake up call, Lana slept in until 10:00. Instead of a rushed morning to get her schedule together and make sure everything was laid out, she moved form her bedroom to the kitchen, fixed a bowl of cereal, the to the living room where she clicked on the TV. Clad in her Pajamas and curled up on the couch, she began her day just the way she wanted. No responsibility and no worries. Around eleven Lana finally crawled from the comfort of her plaid couch and shuffled to the bathroom. Stripping down, she hopped in the shower and let the water run over her bare skin. Onto her neck, cascading down her breasts and back, and rushing down her legs to meet the bottom of the shower the water went. She shampoo and conditioned her hair, then washed her body, getting all the places one might miss while not paying attention. After that, she just let the water wash over her until she could feel her hands getting too prune'y for her liking. Lana turned the water off and the silence that followed was ever soothing. After grabbing a towel and drying her hair and body as best she could, Lana wrapped it around her to cover her body then waltzed lazily to her closet where her outfits awaited use from day to day. Rather than something suited for a party or maybe business affairs, Lana chose a pair of khaki shorts that stopped just short of the knees, and a V-neck colored red with the words I'm not lazy, I simply enjoy doing nothing printed across the front. Next came socks and shoes, which had clearly been worn down from use. "All right! I'm finally gunna enjoy a nice Spring day with no destination for once," she stated aloud, daring anyone to object. Double checking everything was turned off and her door was locked, Lana left her apartment with a spring in her step and a body of vigor. She went off down the street of the city and, without destination, walked endlessly under the warmth of the sun that burned in the cloudless sky. Everything was going much better than she'd thought on her day off. No one had even dialed her cell to ask her to come for work or even to just hangout. It was a lovely day up until noon of course. Lana had stepped into one of the largest shopping centers in the city of Konell for lunch. It was one of those multistory shopping malls that have way more shops that any one other place. Standing in line to order Chinese food, the whole of the building shook as an explosion rocked through it. With the food courts on and upper floor and being full of people, it was the perfect target for an attack. Masked groups rushed, a motley bunch of people, and with the aid of Celestians they took control of the building. Those who tried to escape were captured and thrown back into being hostages, and any who stood to fight were met with vicious assault by the various beasts that aided the enemy. Lana's day went from being perfect to a tragedy in a matter of minutes. After the chaos of the explosion and attacks subsided it was obvious who held control, and they wasted no time either. "Listen here. You are all hostages now. Don't talk, don't cry, don't shout. Just shut the fuck up and do whatever we command. If you try to escape we'll catch you and make and example of your body. If you try to attack us we'll kill you. Simple as that. Now just sit tight and hope your military is willing to cooperate," the man who seemed to have the most authority stated. Lana noted that, while most of them had Celestians at their beck and call, the enemy also held automatic rifles and likely explosives based on their display from before. Why did my day have to turn out like this. Even if I wanted to save everyone it'd be a hassle to get through so many of them. Damn all you bastards! While thinking to herself, sirens from far below could be heard as the first appearance of help was made. Lana sighed heavily and chose to sit tight for time being. If push comes to shove she could at least escape herself. That much wasn't a grand feat, but maybe the military would be able to play it out smoother than she could alone. Next time I have a day off I'm just staying in and ordering take out she told herself while leaning against the wall they'd been pushed against for easy holding.
  12. "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.
  13. Gods Among Us Long long ago, man dominated the planet. By fire, by tool, by knowledge, by wisdom, by intelligence. They built structures to protect and created tools to kill and survive. By using these means, man thrived off of other species. They ruled over them, hunted them, and often times lived in harmony with them. That is until the beasts appeared. A celestial body plunged through earths atmosphere and into the ocean. Many people saw this astonishing sight and marveled at it. It was something very rare, but after the commotion died down, it was nearly forgotten. That is until a terrifying beast emerged from the water one day and slaughtered many people out fishing. It was only the first of many to come. No one knows how they breed, where exactly they come from, or why they chose earth, but that one meteor brought them and they covered the globe. Man was no longer the dominant race. They had no means to fight these being of death and after failing many times to conquer, they lived in fear and dubbed the beasts Celestians. After living in hiding for an extended period, one man had doubt about how evil the Celestians were. He sought one out and, whether by luck or fate, found one who didn't try to kill him. Rather, they began communicating in an awkward manner and together they formed a contract. At the expense of the Celestian's freedom, it gained increased power and a better understanding of the man. Together, they became a beacon of hope for humanity and a long period of back and forths between the Celestians, humans, and now Contractors began. All until they were swept away in the sands of time. Presently, after many years of writing off the myths, man has found Contractors who may summon Celestians via their bond. Since this event, society has moved forward with these people. Contractors have become a symbol of power among the countries and war has begun with these new weapons several times. However, they are viewed by many as nothing more than tools, or just evil, anti-social beasts. This has create massive fractions all along the world. Now, there are Contractors who want freedom from the government, and those who are content with whatever lives they have, and those who side with the government and fight against the rebels. There are humans who advocate freedom for Contractors, those who couldn't care less, and those who think all are just beasts that should be locked away or used as tools simply to die in battle. Where does this leave us? Who is right in this global battle for freedom and power? Where do you belong? This RP is open for anyone who wants to join right now. It was originally started for Yajuu, Rippernik, and me. Now it seems it's just Yajuu and me, but feel free to join in the merry making. Things to Know Celestians are beasts of any nature you want. they don't have to be based in reality, though they can be if you so choose. You do not have to RP as a contractor, or you can RP as more than just one character. There is a certain system behind Celestians when you create them. They are ranked by stars 1-7 based on the deepness of their bond with their Contractor. As the bond deepens and the stars increase, so does the Celestians power and their appearance may change. They are also categorized based on what they do, called Type. For instance, a flying one would be Type: Flying. Or a big armored one might be Type: Shielding. The other category is Class. This is in two parts. The class is in a sense their alignment. Chaotic, Neutral, Lawful. For instance Class:Seraph Lawful or maybe Class:Reaper Chaotic I think that covers everything, so anyone else interested in this? ^.^
  14. Incursion A Mini-RP hosted by Wstfgl Rules of Mini-RPs No character sheets, no indication of interest required. If you like the story, just jump in with any character you wish.There will be no OOC thread for this RP. All OOC chat will be enclosed in square boxes [like this] either before or after your IC post.If your character dies, you may enter with another character at any time.RP posts are limited to a maximum of 300 words for Graduates only. Students can write as long as they wish. This is to encourage shorter and more frequent posts!For Students, posts below 300 words cannot be used as part of your Graduation attempt.The plot of the story will be unraveled by the host of the mini-RP, who will be directing NPCs and enemies according to the scenario.Post often and have fun!The Story So Far Hamsdale, Population 500,000. A moderately-sized American city with a pleasant temperate climate set amid a landscape of gently rolling hills. It accommodates a wide mix of ethnicities and cultures that would leave no social justice warrior unsatisfied, has a woefully underperforming baseball team, and is home to Starr University, a private college mostly known for its faculty's laissez-faire attitude towards student antics -- but otherwise, it's a completely unremarkable city indistinguishable from the many others dotting the US west coast. Well, until now. Or there won't be a plot, you see. Several people across the city have acquired a strange ability -- they have summoned a being from another realm -- otherwise known as a Knight -- and have gained the ability to magically compel these Knights to do their bidding, willing or otherwise. However, these "lucky" few have more to worry about than figuring out how to share the house with a spiky-haired, angsty dude with a sword twice as heavy as he is -- a strange fog has started spreading across the city at nightfall, and tales abound of strange noises and movement within the dense fog... tl;dr You summon an RP character of choice and fight scary monsters. Explosions might ensue. Character Guidelines: - The so-called Summoners are ordinary people, nothing special about them. Think of 'em as yourself, basically. They lack special abilities besides commanding their Knights to follow their orders. - The Knights themselves can be basically anyone (or anything). Basically grab any RP character of yours you like, regardless of genre. Go wild. - You could write from the point of view of a Summoner or the Knight themselves, or both if you're feeling up for it. (Or you could write from the point of view of someone completely unrelated to the conflict, but why the hell would you even do such a thing) - If your Knight dies, you can summon a new Knight (after the obligatory grieving for your new friend, most likely). If you, the Summoner, die... uh, try not to let that happen, okay? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "This is Weston Finagle, reporting to you live from Main Street," the garishly-dressed man with a greasy pompadour narrates over the TV screen, the image faded-looking and flickering irregularly. "The recent spate of unusually foggy nights has gone on for almost a week now, and while the fog seems harmless, no one knows where it comes from, how it came to be, or whether it's got anything to do with the phone and internet connectivity issues everyone's been plagued with for the last few days. Our weatherman's been completely baffled by it; Hamsdale hasn't seen a day of fog since it was founded- what was that?" Suddenly, the image on the TV distorts and abruptly dies -- and the very last thing those tuning in see on their screens is a human-looking silhouette looming behind the reporter, its eyes points of luminescent green in the darkness. "Hey, you. What the hell's that thing?" The bespectacled, nerdy-looking young man mutters, staring at the static-filled TV screen as though expecting the program to resume. A mechanical click resounds from somewhere behind him. "A man of your station ought to address me as 'sir'. Know your place," a formally-dressed man with an impeccably-trimmed mustache declares as he hefts the crossbow in his hands. "And to answer your question... that's exactly what I came here to deal with." "You mean, you didn't just come here to mooch off me and be an all-around pain in the ass... sir?" "Ah, I finally get the respect befitting a gentleman such as myself. At least you're learning," the man replies as he pulls on his great coat and struts out of the door of the little apartment and down onto the street.
  15. NC-17 Fandom Plots (MxF)

    Hello everyone, Celtic here! This is my first time posting a request thread here on this site and I'm hoping to find any detailed partners to write with. I consider myself semi-literate and I usually post two decent size paragraphs or more. Um, as the title states, I'm only interested in fandoms for now and I can play both Canons and OCs. My pairing preferences are as followed (YOU X ME): Canon x OC, Canon x Canon, and maybe OC x OC. Also just to give you guys a heads up, I'm not interested in any anime/manga, video-games, furries, and incest. Hmm, what else... I do love romance in all my plots/settings, but I do LOVE me some good ol' fashion action and adventure, too. Well, I believe that's it! If you like to know more about what I'm looking for in a partner or about me, feel free to stop by and drop me a PM. :) So to get this thing started, I already have some plots in mind: The Dark Knight Trilogy: Idea 1. My character is a new staff member and this is her first year working at Arkham Asylum and she is in charge of Dr. Jonathan Crane. During their time together, Crane starts to slowly manipulate her and manages to get my character to work for him. (We can add more to this plot.) Idea 2. My character is the youngest daughter of Jim Gordon and she's an detective who is on the hunt for Dr. Crane. Immediately when they come face to face for the first time, Crane is already obsessed with my character. She is then rescued by Batman (who returns after five years) and asks him if he could teach her how to fight crime like he does. (Again we can add more.) Enchanted: Idea 1. This follows the same basic story line from the film. Prince Edward goes to find Giselle, but meets an entirely different woman (my OC) and he falls in love with her. But this time he's stuck in New York and he can't go back to Andalasia, and so my character helps him make a living in the real world. Idea 2. My character is sort of like a ranger/huntsman and she is sent to New York by the evil queen to bring back Prince Edward and to kill Giselle instead of Nathaniel. (We can add more.) Ghost Adventures: The Ghost Adventures crew is investigating the abandoned Costello Grand Hotel in Manhattan, New York to investigate the claims of people seeing multiple apparitions, hearing voices, and possible demonic attacks and possessions. Upon arrival, the trio meets up with their client Susan Harrow a former maid who worked in the hotel back in the early seventies, and tells them the story of a young woman who was found brutally murdered in the main part of the theater of the hotel back in 1936. Nobody knows for sure, but some say it’s Lucy Costello; the daughter of the original owner and mob leader, Jack ‘Uncle Jack’ Costello. Wanting to further investigate the story of Lucy, Zak desperately tries to reach out to her and finds he’s in for a big surprise. One moment he’s in the back part of the theater searching for any signs of the young woman, the next he finds himself transported back to the year of 1936. Hairspray: Idea 1. My character is a twenty-two-year-old independent singer and songwriter who travels to Baltimore, Maryland. She comes across an old abandoned studio building that once aired the popular 6o's tv program: The Corny Collins Show. The next day, she wakes up and finds herself in the year of 1963. (I'm looking for someone to play Corny Collins for me.) Idea 2. My character is the oldest and quite ordinary sister of Amber Von Tussle who works with her mother on the set of the Corny Collins Show. She can't sing and can't dance, but she can paint! Her dream is to travel all over the world to study and paint abroad, but her mother won't have it; and so she's stuck being Amber's and her mother's assistant. The only person that truly makes her happy is Corny, but unfortunately he just sees her as a friend, until he meets my character's new boyfriend and he seems to be a little jealous for some reason. Indiana Jones: The year is 1940 and somebody has stolen the Crown Jewels and the MI5 are baffled. One day Dr. Jones receives a wire from the British Embassy stating the MI5 needs his help. Of course he has no interest in the case until one of their secret agents; a beautiful English woman meets Indy in person. She says he's the only one who can help them find the culprit since the thief left a hidden/coded message only Indy could decipher. The message is written in a dead language. Now he must travel to England with the stunning woman and help the agency before it's too late. Lord of the Rings: Idea 1. My character is a 28-year-old woman who works at the Smithsonian Institution and it's her first day on the job. She comes across a rather unique necklace that the curators still have not yet identified where it originally came from. The moment she touches it, she is transported into another world where fantasy-like creatures are real and dark forces are soon closing in. While exploring, she finds herself in a village called Meduseld and soon meets the handsome Rohirrim King. (This takes place a couple of years after the ring is destroyed and we can add more ideas to this.) Idea 2. My character is the younger daughter of Lord Elrond and decides against her father's wishes to live among Men. She travels to Edoras and soon becomes close friends with Eowyn and becomes the girl's lady-in-waiting. But the fair maiden's brother is not too thrilled of the idea of having an elf living under their roof. But in time he learns to soften up and starts falling in love with my character. Idea 3. My character is a beautiful Haradrim slave who is secretly being put up for auction at the Gondorian market. She is noticed by King Eomer who is out visiting Aragorn and decides to buy her and to set her free. But by law, she can only be free if someone speaks to the Haradrim leader and offers him riches. So now she is the King's slave and not too happy about it. (We can definitely add more to this plot.) The Notebook: Idea 1. My character has just graduated from Stanford University and travels to New York City to work at the New York Times as a journalist. She receives a strange letter (that explains a family inheritance she's never even heard of) at her new apartment from a man who claims to be her maternal grandfather, and asks her to travel to Charleston, South Carolina to meet him. She meets him at a local elderly home and he tells her of an historical plantation plot that was her mother's childhood home and puts the house under my character's name, since he's dying and he can't take care of it anymore. Curious, she checks out the old home and comes across an old photo album with a picture of two young handsome men in late 40's attire. She clearly recognizes that one of them is her grandfather, the other... she has no idea who except for the man's first two initials: L.H. She wakes up the next day and decides to check out who this L.H. guy was when something impossible happens-- Why are people dressed like they were from the 40's, and what happened to everything else? She starts to freak out when she meets the very man she was going to research on. Idea 2. My character and Lon Hammond were close childhood friends until they grew apart and went on with their separate lives; he went off to war and she became a teacher. After the war was officially over, they accidentally ran to each other in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina; both of them happily engaged. My character had always been very fond of Lon and was (secretly) hoping he would come back in her life and sweep her off her feet. But it seemed to her that he only thought of her as a sister than a significant other. But when she found out about Lon and Allie were not together anymore, she decided the best way to be there for a friend is to comfort him. Star Trek (Abrams-verse): Idea 1. My character is the daughter of Captain Christopher Pike and she has just recently been enrolled to Starfleet Academy alongside Kirk and McCoy. The trio becomes fast friends and they do everything together. But unfortunately, my character has a major crush on Bones and she's too nervous and shy to make the first move and/or share her true feelings to him. Also like my character, Bones has a hard time sharing his feelings too. (We can add more to this, but basically is set before the first film.) Idea 2. My character wakes up from a deep hibernation sleep and she finds herself in the year/stardate 2259.24. She has no idea where she's at except she's in space and on a ship called the Enterprise. She has no memory of her past except the year she was born in and the year she fell into a deep sleep. Something happened all those years ago on Earth, and my character is the last remaining link to the past. (Basically Bones helps my character and starts having feelings for her. We can add more to this. This will take place after Into Darkness.) Idea 3. Again, my character is the daughter of Captain Pike. She, McCoy, and other science officers are beamed down on a planet when they are soon ambushed by a tribe of natives. The group gets separated and my character and Bones are lost in the forest. They need to somehow find their way back to their rendezvous point without the use of their communicators and phasers. During that time they develop an interest with each other. (Again, we can add more to this plot.) Idea 4. The Enterprise crew is on a diplomatic mission to please a rich aristocrat/prince and offers him to become an ally for the Federation, but unfortunately the mission goes wrong and the man takes and enslaves the most beautiful female crew members including my character; who is the younger daughter of Admiral Marcus. In order to free the females, a male must choose which woman to fight for. Bones has always liked my character and so he fights in her honor to save her. (This will take place after Into Darkness.) Superman/Returns: Idea 1. My character is Lois Lane's younger sister and she now works at the Daily Planet as a journalist. Ever since meeting Lois's fiance Richard White she's develop a huge crush, but she has always been the shy one. Now it seems she has a chance with him since Superman has returned and Lois ended her engagement. But she may never be with Richard when she gets herself caught and experimented on and now she's a freak with superpowers. Idea 2. My character is a beautiful Kryptonian and she has been taken in and brain-washed by Lex Luthor. Her main goal is to kill Superman. (Christopher Reeve or Brandon Routh. We can add more to this.) X-Men: (These are all Cyclops x OC related, but I'm willing to double. I will also like to point out that I will never play as Emma Frost or any other female canons with Scott Summers. But I will play as Jean Grey/OC against him.) Idea 1. It's almost time for the year-end exams and every year, one of the top students gets to be paired up with an X-Men in order to pass their two-part exam (a mock-up simulation and first mission). My character is the 18 year-old-daughter of Mystique and Sabertooth and she has just learned that she'll be mentored by Cyclops. During their time together, they start to develop an intense (love/hate) relationship while he's still with Jean. (Cinematic Universe) Idea 2. After the 'death' of Jean, Cyclops leaves the X-Mansion and goes rogue and comes across a 'hitchhiker' (my character), who he later finds out she's a mutant bounty hunter. She decides to tag along for the fun of it, when she later learns that she has been betrayed by her own father William Striker. And now she's a fugitive and teams up with Cyclops for justice. (Cinematic or 90's) Idea 3. My character is a doctor/nurse who is a spitting image of Jean. She comes across Scott laying off shore and decides to take him to the hospital where she works. After waking up from a coma, he has no memory of himself being a mutant and being part of the X-Men. And, he can see without the use of his visor/glasses. The two fall in love and he's finally happy, until he starts to remember... Now, he must decide if he should stay with my character or go back to the person he once was in order to protect to her. (Cinematic Universe) Idea 4. The teenage X-Men has finally graduated from high school and now teachers themselves along with my character. It's been great until Jean starts to change into becoming the Phoenix and she has vanished. She shows up a few months later and has sided with a powerful mutant who wants to destroy all human kind and mutants who defy him. And now it's up to the young X-Men to stop him and their beloved friend. (Evolution) Idea 5. A Powerful mutant has the power to time-travel and he sends Cyclops and my character or Jean Grey back to a time period (your choice) and they have to find a way to get back to their own time. (Shows or films) Idea 6. Project X has just created another wolverine-like clone (my character) and her orders are to terminate Wolverine and the others. Can a certain team leader get through to her or will she forever be a cold-blooded murderer? (Cinematic or Evolution) Idea 7. Cyclops and Wolverine volunteer to go back in time and to try to stop Mystique from assassinating Trask. The two men gets separated and Cyclops ends up finding my character who is also a mutant (and a undercover agent) and the two fall in love. He has to decide if he should stay behind or take her back to his own time. But it will come with some severe consequences. (This will take place during DoFP and that Cyclops never died in Last Stand)
  16. How much for a sword?

    A small village is under threat by a group of bandits, they extort, kidnap, rape and steal. Tired of the continuous harassment they seek outside help to save them, but without treasure of any kind what sort of mercenary can they hire? Hungry ones! I am interested in a low-fantasy medieval RP: less magic, more grumbling. Develop down-on-your-luck mercenaries or down-trodden villagers. Whatever might fit into the story. I think 4 participants would be ideal. I'll release some more background stuff once I think it up.
  17. And so is the Golden City blackenedWith each step you take in my Hall.Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting.You have brought Sin to HeavenAnd doom upon all the world. They say that it's our fault, that it's because of us these monsters have appeared. It seems like everywhere you go, the peasants and slaves have renewed boldness, spitting and cursing our presence regardless of consequences. They threaten to rebel, emboldened by their preoccupied masters' lack of focus--already Emerius has shed blood in its streets, quieting the protests. But with its leadership in disarray, too preoccupied with rumors of a weakening Archon, a new prospect of power, the commonfolk will not stay quiet. The Imperium is already weak, this endless century-long war having weathered the foundations on which we once stood. You'd think that those responsible for upholding our grand kingdom would take more action to put an end to this 'Blight', but instead the fools sit and squabble amongst themselves, playing their hands conservatively to protect their holds and properties. Some even incite more carnage, using the blood that has been spilled to fuel their snatches at more power. Thedas is already going to hell in a handbasket--who can get dragged down with the most to their name? Idiots, all of them. It doesn't matter who did what or why, all that matters is these . . . darkspawn must be stopped. Horrifying, vile creatures that taint everything they touch--even dragons! For the past one hundred years, one High Dragon, twisted and terrifying, has been seen . . . rallying these monsters, like a leader of some kind. Some people think that it is one of our beloved Gods, tainted to reveal His true nature by humanity's sins. I doubt that, and it doesn't really make a damned difference anyway, does it? Nor will we, as long as people expect the magisters to do something. The world is crumbling, the Imperium is falling apart, and all anyone can seem to do is curl up in a corner and cower. Even the stout and valorous dwarves of Kal-Sharok have withdrawn--although that's hardly their fault, since these creatures supposedly came from underground. Minrathous still stands, at least, but that's hardly saying anything, given it won't stand for much longer if this continues. Sure, we've managed some victories, kept some cities and outposts from being utterly ransacked, but the people are changed. Some wind up tainted, perhaps as an effect of the darkspawn as the rumors go, and become ghoulish and mad--leaving someone the sad choice of putting the miserable creature down. No more. This Blight--as people have been calling it--must be stopped. Gods, dragons, magic, Fade, demons--whatever the source does not truly matter, and speculation and blame do not stop the fact that it is a disease that is destroying us. I will no longer wait for others to take action--it's high time someone took matters into their own hands, and that someone may as well be me. Moral Grey It's been almost a century since the Blight began, marked by the rise of a twisted Dragon people have taken to calling an Archdemon, and the world has slowly fallen into chaos as creatures known as the darkspawn ravage the lands. No one's certain where the darkspawn came from or what this 'Archdemon' really is, or even how to destroy them, for while the darkspawn fall easily enough to metal and magic, the Archdemon seems nigh immortal. With an immortal creature leading a horde apparently set on destroying Thedas, the people are thrown into a panic, and at the heart of the chaos is the Tevinter Imperium. Once a powerful kingdom ruled by blood magic that stood upon the backs of elvhen slaves, the Archdemon and its monstrous army are no doubt herald of its impending fall. Not only do slaves and peasants rebel as the darkspawn lay siege to the Imperium, the Imperium also suffers from within as magisters threaten civil war. Some wish to topple their incompetent Archon and claim the rule for themselves, others use the chaos to further their own agendas and try to 'settle' old disputes, and the rest who pledge their forces to fight the darkspawn are simply too few. But to the east, in the port-city of Qarinus where the darkspawn assaults are fewer, rumors of a strange woman looking for aid circulate. The past several weeks, as the locals will tell you, she has been going around, asking for volunteers to aid her in defeating the Blight. She claims to know a way to put a stop to it, and demands only that those who would help her be strong in their convictions. Be they slaves, Soporati, Laetans, even rebels--she calls for aid from all. But does she really know how to stop the Blight? And how can one small group possibly hope to change the world? ------------ Setting: The Tevinter Imperium, approx. -302TE (fall) Regions include Seheron, Anderfels, Antiva, and Tevinter Map of Thedas (large file) Races: Humans, elves, dwarves All classes and most specializations are permissible Elf-blooded are fairly common, though frowned upon. Dwarf-blooded are rarer, but not unheard of. Dwarves are also more virile than in Origins. Kossith not yet discovered--had one settlement in the Korcari Wilds before being wiped out during the Blight. Alamarri, Clayne, Chasind, and Avvar tribes exist Worship of the Old Gods is in rapid decline, and practitioners are met with mixed reactions. Chantry has not yet been founded, and thus templars do not exist. Circles do, though. Elves have no claim to the Dales and thus there are no Dalish elves, meaning there are no Keepers. However, renegade elves free from slavery do exist Blood magic is prevalent almost everywhere. Most, if not all mages, at least know the basics. Reavers are also fairly common. Somniari exist, albeit still rare. Their association with Archon Thalsian and thus the Old Gods have increased hostility towards them, in some cases even resulting in purging. Most, though not all thaigs have fallen. Kal-Sharok maintains minimal contact with the surface. Legion of the Dead is not yet founded. This is an idea I've had in my head for awhile now, and that I've been dying to play out. I originally intended to play it out as a story for the tabletop DA game, but I couldn't get my hands on the books I needed and then later moved to an area where tabletop gaming is virtually unheard of (the horror!). However, I still think the story has great potential, and would love to roleplay it out in one form or another, so I figure why not roleplay it here? Anyone is welcome to join, even if you haven't played the games, and I'm more than happy to provide information wherever needed. Most of the info here is based on heavy research into the otherwise minimal descriptions of Dragon Age history, and as such is taken with a lot of liberties. I believe most of it is accurate, although if someone else equally familiar with Thedosian history would like to provide advice and corrections where they're needed, it's certainly not unwelcome. Given that this is set during a time period not officially expanded on in-canon, there will be plenty of room to flex ideas--after all, given Thedas' history, much knowledge of magic, Arlathan, dwarves, the thaigs, and so much more was lost, especially after the fall of the Imperium. And since this takes place while the Imperium still retains far more power than the Imperium in Origins, it is safe to assume that much more knowledge is still to be had. The primary plot of this roleplay will be centered around founding the Grey Wardens, with plenty of bumps along the road, of course. Expect there to be plenty of magic, demons, Fade wandering (because what DA story is complete without at least one trip into the Fade), political strife, intrigue, and of course plenty of darkspawn waiting to have blades sunken into them! If you want to join, just fill out the following:
  18. 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."
  19. 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:
  20. The Vile Siren Tales of a Pirate Ship and It's Crew Story The fear of pirates and pirate ships has long held strong in this land. Tales of torture and terror fall even upon the ears of the youth. With the tales come the names of the fearsome ships, The Vicious Executioner, Bloody Lightning of Hell, Hades' Nightmare, The Scream of the Ocean. And with these ships come the menacing Pirate's or sail upon them, Toothless Jack Klek, Captain Kala Darkblade, Raving Jack Ravenblack, and Vicious Simon Gully to name a few. The ships sail heavy with gold, carrying weapons polished with the blood of those they stole it from. They battle fiercely with one another to remain Kings of the Sea. But this is not the tale of a Pirate Ship of renown. No, this is the tale of the maiden voyage of The Vile Siren. A fearsome name, but the ship has not proven itself to be fearsome yet. A fledgling crew, shipping out with dreams of adventure and riches on their mind. Will they find the treasure they wish for? Will they all survive the journey? The sea's of fate await! Summary Pirates are fun and cool. Let's do an RP about Pirates! Looking for people to play all kinds of roles on this ship. It will be fun, trust me. I'm willing to let this be a bit fantastical too if people want to incorporate magic or what not. If so, we'll have to come up with power guidelines and what not. But that's only if people are interested! Probably won't start until August because I have a convention to go to between now and then. So... join and be a pirate! Characters Full Name: Nickname: Age: Position: Personality: Weapons: Skills: Appearance: History:
  21. Shadows of Chandur A Miniature RP hosted by TriOctium Rules of Mini-RPs No character sheets, no indication of interest required. If you like the story, just jump in with any character you wish!There will be no OOC thread for this RP. All OOC chat will be enclosed in square boxes [like this] either before or after your IC post.If your character dies, you may enter with another character at any time.RP posts are limited to a maximum of 300 words for Graduates only. Students can write as long as they wish. This is to encourage shorter and more frequent posts!For Students, posts below 300 words cannot be used as part of your Graduation attempt.The plot of the story will be unraveled by the host of the mini-RP, who will be directing NPCs and enemies according to the scenario.Post often and have fun!The Story So Far Chandur is a peaceful, medieval land filled with humans, elves, dwarves, dragonborn and other mythical races, all living in harmony. However, the peace was broken ten years ago when Balthur the Nefarious, a dark and powerful wizard, marched forth from the Northern Wastes with an army of enslaved orcs and dragons, conquering Chandur by force and turning it into a dark and dreary place. Since then, no one has been able to oppose Balthur's reign. Recently, a prophecy has arisen, that a group of brave men and women would arise, wielding legendary weapons of magic and might, to bring down Balthur's tyrannical rule once and for all, and restore balance to Chandur! Are you one of these legendary heroes? The town of Nottingham was a quaint little place, mostly populated by humans and elves who had been driven out of their homes further north when the dragon Graven descended from the skies. Ever since Balthur rose to power, the skies have perpetually been beset by huge, dark thunderclouds, barely letting any sunlight through for as long as anyone could remember. Under the influence of the gloomy atmosphere, the citizens of Nottingham shuffled here and there in silence, simply attending to their various chores of the day. Kote, the owner of the local inn, could be included in one of these seemingly lifeless individuals. With a tired gesture, he put up a piece of parchment on the noticeboard in the town square, gave it a look, and turned to walk back to his pub. The parchment read: HELP NEEDED! Locals have reported an outbreak of wolves in the vicinity of the town. Adventurers willing to dispatch of these wolves will be handsomely rewarded by the town mayor. Approach Kote for more details.
  22. [Discussion] Dragoons

    Background Story My grandpa always used to say: “Who needs flavour text when you’ve got robots?†My grandpa was a genius. - Random passerby, 2075 Setting Hello freunden. This RP is a cyberpunk mecha series that rips off Gundam, Shadowrun and a little bit of Full Metal Panic. Due to advancements in technology there were several important breakthroughs that would eventually lead to the creation of the very first Dragoon. The Dragon was a gigantic mobile weapon created in the shape of a human being. Initially this was impractical, but the human urge to ride giant robots overtook common sense and a considerate amount of time and money was dedicated making the Dragoon work. Eventually they managed to miniaturize all the parts required for a fully functioning Dragoon, which in turn allowed them to make a smaller version. By 2040, many different corporations had started building their own kinds of Dragoons, whether under orders of one of the many nations or not, which eventually accumulated in the Great War of 2047. This Great War, sometimes referred to as World War III, took place in the Middle-East. A historical hotbed of military and terrorist activity which eventually caused the third world war and the biggest one the world had ever seen. And it took place with Dragoons. Almost every single nation of note had something at stake during this war and thousands upon thousands of Dragoons were deployed. Many nations did not even have the treasury required to afford purchasing these Dragoons, but with little choice they increased their put themselves in debt in order to be able to participate in the war. Eventually the war came of the an end, three years later, after both sides decided that it was pointless. At least, that is what they told the public. In truth, nearly every nation in the world had run through it’s treasury in the first month of the war. Dragoons were expensive and no one could really afford them. After three years of measuring who had the biggest dick, they decided that they had dug a hole deep enough to bury them and all of their families. Going on any longer than this would just be retarded. As if it wasn’t that already. The many corporations that produced Dragoons (a total of 12, at the time) basically owned every single nation of note between them. The debt the world had to these corporations was so large, that it would take centuries for them to pay it off if they had done so with their regular cash flow. Instead these 12 corporations managed to strike a deal with the nations. They managed to bargain extraterritorial status. Now, this wasn’t something that came easy. Many nations opposed it, lead mostly by the United States, but when these corporations were given extraterritorial status by the likes of Russia and China, those that opposed it had no choice. Either they gave in or their enemies in the previous war would receive weaponry far more advanced than they could even dream of. The wealth of these 12 corporations, henceforth known as the Mega Corporations, would lead to them buying huge plots of land over the entire world where they could basically do whatever they pleased. In their territories they were the law, the judge, the jury and the executioner and the morality of their host nations was of little concern to them. This lead to many Dragoons becoming easily purchasable by private owners. Even if owning a Dragoon was technically illegal in many countries, it was impossible to prevent. Many Dragoons fell into the hands of terrorists, wealthy criminals, nations deemed international threats and all kinds of unsavoury creatures who could inflict a massive amount of damage if they weren’t stopped. Luckily, not all Mega Corporations were bad. The Kaiju Zaibatsu, a Japanese Mega Corp named after the huge monsters that appear in movies like Godzilla, was one of the few with a functioning moral compass. Not only did they refuse to sell to those that were likely to commit heinous deeds using their machines, but they did something more important than that. In 2060 they formed Aegis, an NGO backed by the many nations that used to form the now defunct UN. Aegis was set up by the KaiZai, funded by the KaiZai and received additionally backing from almost every single nation. Aegis was tasked with rooting out the many problems that persisted in the world. While every nation had its own army outfitted with Dragoons, they decided to leave it to a singular entity to take care of the smaller problems that persisted on an international scale. While most nations were too busy posturing and showing off how awesome their army was, they also gave Aegis permission to operate freely within their territory so they never had to spend their own resources in order to make their countries a safe place. Fastforward to 2075, where this RP takes place. The Mega Corporations #01 The Kaiju Zaibatsu - The founder of the KaiZai (as it is mostly referred to) was a huge fan of the kaiju genre of tokusatsu movies and chose to name his company after them. The Kaiju Zaibatsu, like every single company in the world, has one aim: making profit. They simply choose to operate differently from their fellow Mega Corps. By funding Aegis and adhering to their code of honor they have created a base of loyal customers who will only order and use Dragoons created by KaiZai. Their customers include Aegis, various western nations and wealthy philanthropists. #02 ??? - #03 ??? - #04 ??? - #05 ??? - #06 ??? - #07 ??? - #08 ??? - #09 ??? - #10 ??? - #11 ??? - #12 ??? - Terminology Dragoon - Humanoid mobile weapon. 6 meters tall, outfitted ARES and possesses various kinds of weaponry depending on the type. ARES - Autonomous Regenerative Explosive-interception Suite. In addition to their considerable armor plating, every Dragoon possesses ARES: regenerating reactive armor that destroys incoming projectiles before they can strike the Dragoon. Bypassing the ARES requires huge directed-energy weapons, enough firepower to overwhelm the defenses or giant melee weapons capable of piercing through the ARES. Mega Corp - Corporations that managed to gain considerable amounts of money by selling Dragoons to whoever wanted to pay. Gained extraterritorial status after the Great War. Player Characters/Dragoons Name: Age: Personality: Appearance: Dragoon: Weapons: Abilities: Background: This RP is supposed to fit in the Real Robot genre, so while you can outfit your mecha as you’d like, anything outrageous will just get declined. Meaning no TransAm bullshit or whatever. If you would like to contribute to the list of Mega Corps, be my guest. PS: Mecha designs are based on the Mobile Suits used in Gundam Wing, in case you need something to reference~
  23. So I see that there isn't much open action going on in the student section other than the mini-rp, so I thought I'd start a thread, get into the loop a little bit! :^) So what I was thinking was a story idea I had at one point that I never did anything with. The premise is that either through a computer virus sent from a bizarre end of the internet or through a popular candy/sports drink brand, certain individuals get 'infected' by a virus that causes unfortunate side effects. Mainly, they become magical girls. It becomes branded as the magical girl disease, with side effects being that victims start sparkling, their hair changes color, and they undergo glittery transformations into peculiar magic frilly dresses before wielding colorful over-sized weapons and overzealous attacks with names like ~*~*Love Dreamer Miraculous Healing Storm*~*~. But not necessarily 'normal' magical girls, the side effects could also include mutating into monsters and out of control powers, whatever it is it's over the top, bonus points if it still manages to be super cliche to the magical girl genre. The overall idea that I was thinking of that it would be incredibly contagious, the disease features several stages as side effects appear very slowly, before a highlight phase where everything seems good and magical and "everyone should want this!!!" before the next stage kicks in, the side effects grow out of control and it starts to linger on the edge of psychological horror. They also may start hallucinating and attacking random civilians who they mistake for monsters? I wasn't sure if I wanted to add that, looking for some feedback. Certain characters try to avoid becoming infected, and if they do contract the disease, they might deal with trying to: stay sane, defeat their magical enemies, and avoid the company who released the product, who is now attempting to capture and contain any evidence of their product's side effects. Also, I say magical girl as an umbrella term so that people get the idea of the genre I'm talking about, the characters themselves could be any gender. A lot of the concept is still under development, though. Would anyone be interested in joining or collaborating on this?
  24. 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.
  25. “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.