Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

It's a castle....and it's floating! :O

Moderator: Floating Castle Mods

Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby AMimsyBorogove on Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:00 pm

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The raven-haired thief grinned, gazing up at the starlit heavens as the smoke obscuring them was blown back momentarily by a sudden breeze, a small shower of sparks rising skyward from the bonfire as laughter boomed throughout the courtyard below him. The sounds of raucous voices, mugs being filled and knocked together, and general revelry were clearly audible no matter where one stood within the fortress which had become colloquially known as the Valefar Arsenal, or, more formally, The Arsenal of the King. Even Seire thought the latter name was a little silly, but, he had to admit, it was pretty cool, and that suited him just fine.

Smirking with satisfaction, he turned away from the window, casually swirling the red wine in the crystal glass he held before unceremoniously downing the remnants of the drink in a single gulp. Setting the glass aside on a nearby table, the King of Thieves flopped down into the gigantic chair - or, more accurately, throne - that served as the centerpiece of the long hall's back wall. Naturally, the gargantuan seat, complete with staggeringly luxurious cushions of white velvet and ornate patterns of silver and gold lining its surface, had not originally been part of the Arsenal. But, after finding that the deposed former "king" apparently no longer had any need of his throne, Seire had been charmed by the enormous and exceedingly comfortable piece of furniture, and had personally overseen its... acquisition. Besides, there was a big, empty hallway on the second floor with a polished hard wood floor, fancy white and gold carpeting, and a gratuitous amount of ornamentation, with an unoccupied space in the back situated between two large marble support pillars. That was just begging to have a throne installed, in Seire's opinion. A square, glass-topped table with seats for all of his chosen officers and a hollow inside complete with magical projectors for strategy meetings, as well as a few other miscellaneous and suitably grandiose furnishings, had completed the setup, creating one of Seire's favorite rooms in the Arsenal: the grand hall, officers' mess, and war room. Granted, even though Seire now had an army of his own and enough weapons and supplies to equip them, and even though he was now technically the King of his own micronation within the tower, he didn't really plan on starting any wars, so the name was largely superficial, but still, a war room he had declared it, and so a war room it would be.

Sweeping his gaze across the rest of the hall, the thief allowed his eyes to wander over the many tapestries and fanciful gilt patterns adorning the wall on his right and the ceiling, as well as out of the many giant windows on the left side, and the table that ran down the room's center. The five other chairs surrounding the table - two at either hand on his throne, two at the opposite side, and one across from his throne - were occupied save one, and housed a diverse group of figures who seemed to be enjoying themselves, again save one. The seat on Seire's left hand, now occupied by the formidable shape of the former pirate Black Zess - Seire had appointed him as an officer both out of respect for his skill and honor, and so as to keep his personal followers in line and under the command of someone they knew and trusted - was the one towards which the most attention was now directed. Two of the individuals currently conversing with the somewhat uneasy pirate were some of Seire's fellows from the mainland, consisting of a serious-looking giant of a man with long red hair, and a much smaller, expressionless woman whose pale skin, white hair, and red eyes stood as a sharp contrast to the man sitting close beside her. These two were some of Seire's oldest comrades, as well as being some of his closest friends.

The young man, Shirou, was a former knight and member of the nobility, who, disillusioned by the corruption inherent in the system, had abandoned his title, sold his estate, and took up life as a wandering warrior, perpetually seeking out battle in the hopes of becoming stronger, before a certain encounter swayed him at first through his honor, and later through his beliefs, to join the Valefar Group as its foremost fighter and instructor in combat. However, although his serious external appearance and businesslike manner as well as his rather intimidating stature made many fear him, the truth was that he was just as carefree as his commander. Either way, the two were sworn brothers, and got along capitally, working together on almost everything they did. Although, that tradition had changed as of late, as Shirou now had other things to worry about as well as helping Seire manage the guild. Most notable among these was the young woman seated next to him, and their recent marriage. The thief grinned at the thought of those fond memories. As they couldn't have the ceremonies officiated by the church due to the rather pressing issue of being labeled enemies of said establishment for... certain reasons... Seire had instead taken matters into his own hands. Suffice to say, the crew of a state-of-the-art ship of the line had never expected to have their proud and mighty vessel stolen for a day by a guild of thieves so that their leader could briefly assume captaincy and carry out a wedding under that authority. Granted, he probably could have just had a certain priest he was well acquainted with have done the deed for him, but that would have been no fun.

The young lady's given name was Scarlet, but due to the inevitable confusion between Scarlet and Shirou's names due to their overwhelmingly mismatched nature, most people simply took to referring to her by the nickname of "Mute," which she certainly seemed to be in regards to most conversation. Although her past as a Mage-Assassin still haunted her to the present day, with the help of Shirou and the encouragement of Seire, she had managed to come a long way from how she had been when the two "brothers," give or take one sarcastic archer, had first rescued her from her old life, installing her as the chief intelligence officer of the old Valefar Group, a role she had now assumed once again within the new guild.

The other officer, however, was a new addition to Seire's personal circle, a certain old man who, instead of resuming his post as gate guard, had been abruptly promoted out of deference to his incredible loyalty, determination, and experience. "Old Aldric" as he was most well known served as the guild's quartermaster, treasurer, and inspector, ensuring that the Arsenal was well stocked with provisions, that payments were received and distributed properly, and that all members of the guild were upholding the rules Seire had laid down. A respected member of the group, his wisdom had earned him a place apart from the rest, and a smaller, secondary throne of his own across from that of the King of Thieves.

Black Zess, meanwhile, although initially distrusted, had been instated as the enforcer and operative of the PTA, their hand outside of the boundaries of the Arsenal. When there was a threat to their guild, a deal to be carried out, or other such tasks to be dealt with, the Reagal Group was there to perform the task. Playing the part of a separate entity from the PTA, they in fact served as a front for the thieves' guild as a whole, doing the guild's dirty work without inculpating the guild itself. This had earned Zess himself a title aside from his personal nickname, as his status as essentially Seire, but on a smaller scale, had not gone unnoticed by members of either the main guild or his own following. Initially a joke at his expense, he'd taken the title as a badge of pride: The Little King. Seire found this moniker rather amusing, both because it elevated his own standing, and because Zess was far more physically imposing than his superior officer. Consequently, it had fallen into use throughout the guild, and, in some cases, even outside of it.

And, as for the final officer (well, actually, the owners of the six seats weren't the only officers of the guild, but nobody really cared about the seventh member and unofficial second-in-command of the PTA, the only evidence of whose existence and position was a tiny, featureless stool of half-rotten wood nestled into the very corner of the room.) the voice of Seire and the chief of public relations for the guild - although she carried out both of these tasks only indirectly, not wanting to be associated with the sordid reputation of the PTA... She whose seat was at Seire's right hand was currently standing next to one of the windows, looking with mingled surprise and patient, dismayed acceptance down on the rowdy celebration taking place in the courtyard below, and largely tuning out the three officers' inquisition of Black Zess following his appointment.

"Is something the matter, Giselle?" Seire asked, grinning as he lounged casually in his throne. The Archer sighed, turning to face her commander with a complicated expression somewhere between a painfully forced smile and a countenance of disbelief.

"When you called this a 'merry little band,' you weren't joking," She replied sarcastically. "Well, aside from maybe the 'little' part. How many people in this castle answer to you now, anyway?"

"Oh, at least a few thousand, I should expect. Many of my old associates from the continent have made their way here to join the new guild," The King of Thieves replied casually.

"I rest my case," Giselle sighed. "Anyway, what are we even celebrating this time? And where are you getting all of the provisions for these feasts of yours, anyway?"

"I won't bother with the second question, as you already know as well as I do what the answer to that is. As to what the subject of our revelry is... er... I suppose it's a celebration of the appointment of our newest officer. Yes, that sounds like a reasonable enough justification, doesn't it?"

"So, in short, you have absolutely no idea why your men have started a bonfire in the courtyard and are currently drinking themselves into a stupor on stolen wine... again."

"That about sums it up," Seire replied, shrugging dismissively.

"It's best not to question these things, I think," A voice piped in helpfully from the table as the red-maned head of Shirou turned to face the Archer. He gave a grin, kicking back and resting his feet on the table.

"Exactly what he said," Seire agreed, nodding in what was probably supposed to be a sage manner.

"Just how do you people remain an effective, functioning guild, anyway? This place seems more like a banquet hall than a fortress, if you ask my honest opinion," Giselle asked pointedly.

"Ah, but you see, my dear Giselle, nobody did," Seire grinned cheerily, abruptly sitting up. "But, I'm in a generous mood, so since you've given me your unsolicited opinion, I'll give you mine! It's because of our determination, willpower, and manly spirit!" Rising to his feet, the thief struck a comically overdramatic pose in an obvious parody of his own theatrics. To the slight surprise of Black Zess, however, Seire's ridiculous stance was abruptly one-upped as Shirou, too, rose from his seat with sudden violence, striking an even more ridiculous posture. To the ever-mounting disbelief and confusion of- well, actually, Black Zess was the only one who both had no idea what was going on and was actually surprised at this point, but still, it counted. Anyway, to HIS ever mounting surprise and confusion, both Seire and Shirou began without warning to... well, actually, it wasn't really clear what they were doing. It seemed like some sort of competition to see who could be more ridiculous than the other, but it might have been a debate as well. It was hard to tell.

"Indeed, my brother!" He cried enthusiastically. "Our manliness is what sustains us, guiding us towards our tomorrow - no, towards our DESTINY in the face of all the trials that stand in our way!"

"Like alcoholism?" Giselle asked pointedly from the sidelines.

"Especially alcoholism," Shirou replied calmly, dropping his outstretched hand and resuming a normal posture just long enough to speak before clearing his throat and returning to his ridiculous stance as though he had never left it.

"No, brother!" Seire replied pointing accusingly towards his red-haired partner in insanity before grasping dramatically towards the ceiling. "Why should we let ourselves be shackled by destiny?! He who gives into fate submits to a path which he is forced to walk, unto the bitter end! All men are oppressed by the cruel tyrant known as destiny, the inevitable end to which their dreams seem like they must come. BUT!" Seire spread his arms wide, as though to take in the whole of the room. "This is not the end! Even in the face of inexorable predetermination, men may yet struggle to achieve their dreams! The road is long and hard, and yet, it is a path that must be walked! For at the end of this road lies not loss and pain, but triumph! If you wrest your dreams from the cruel grasp of fate, that means you've won! COURAGE, MY BROTHER! COURAGE, FORTITUDE, AND A MAN'S BURNING HEART! It is these things, and these things alone, that can determine the path that a man walks!"

"What the hell are you people even going on about?" Black Zess asked, bemused, from where he sat.

"You are new here, yes?" The quiet, calm voice of the white haired girl seemed to display absolutely no surprise at, or even interest in the bizarre conversation taking place right beside her, as did her expressionless face. "You will grow accustomed to it," She assured calmly. Old Aldric, meanwhile, merely smiled, and remained silent.

"This is normal for them," Giselle sighed. "Sadly."

"AGH!" Shirou groaned, clutching at his forehead in a completely absurd manner. "How could I have been so blind!? You speak the truth, my brother! I am sorry... I have failed you!" With those words, the red-haired man knelt as though struck down by the force of the thief's bombastic proclamation. "I am beaten! Before the truth of such a man, I am but a boy!"

"Say no more!" Seire protested, stepping down from the podium of his throne as he firmly laid hold of Shirou's wrist, hoisting him to his feet. He returned the grip, a cross-handed, old-fashioned sort of handshake that was made hilarious by the impossibly serious expressions worn by both participants in the gesture. "You are no boy, my brother... YOU, TOO, ARE A MAN! If you can see the path ahead of you, then come with me, and we shall walk it together!"

"Can such a thing be done?" Shirou asked hopefully.

"With our boiling blood, anything can be done! We are brothers, Shirou! Believe in that bond, and together, we shall grasp the future, and mold it into our own image! That is the promise we made long ago, is it not?" Shirou nodded intently, with the air of a student heeding the advice of a wise master.

"Yes, my brother!" Shirou replied, and with those words, the two spoke together, reciting what was apparently some sort of catchphrase between them.

"WE ARE THE ONES WHO WILL MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE!" Seire declared. Without missing a beat, Shirou took up the recitation. At the same time, the two broke off their handgrip, each flinging themselves backward and spinning around in a completely ridiculous manner. Seire pointed at Shirou as he spoke, who returned the gesture by spreading his arms while his "brother" swept up his hand towards the heavens.

"WE ARE THE ONES WHO WILL CARRY THE UNDYING FLAME OF MANHOOD ON TO TOMORROW!" With those words, Shirou swept back one of his hands, shaking a fist before him. Seire continued by clenching his own hand into a fist, and wrenching it downward as though he was trying to tear the sky down.

"WITH THAT IMMORTAL FIRE, WE WILL BECOME STARS, BURNING BRIGHTER THAN ALL OF THE LIMITLESS HEAVENS!" Both braced themselves, and then, leveling their fists, lunged towards, yet past each other, aiming their right hands to intersect as they passed.

""WE ARE THE ONES WHO WILL BRING AN END TO FATE, AND FORGE OUR OWN DESTINIES IN THE FIRES OF OUR BURNING HEARTS!"" As both shouted those words, their fists collided with overwhelming force, Seire striking downward, while Shirou lunged upward. With a mutual roar, Seire pushed off of his brother's arm, while Shirou used the momentary locking of fists to launch his partner upward. Seire flew into the air, flipping head over heels, while Shirou spun about with the force of his punch even as Seire landed and pivoted to face him. In perfect synchronization, they locked arms, and then spun to face their at least partially baffled audience, punching with their interlinked right hands even as they completed their ritual. It wasn't clear whether it was the force of their shouting or of their mutual strike, but the wineglass Seire had set down across the hall spontaneously shattered into countless pieces.

""BROTHERS' SECRET ART: FISTBUMP! OF! ETERNAL! FIIIIIIIIGHTTTIIIIIIIIIIINGGGGGGG SPIIIIIIIIIIIRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!""

...

The hall was completely silent. A moment later, the two released each other's arms gave a mutual, grave nod of respect, and then returned to their seats.

...

"No, seriously," Black Zess asked, his eyebrow still twitching slightly. "What the bloody hell just happened?"

"They're toying with your mind," Giselle replied, sighing as she, too, returned to her seat, rubbing her head in the futile hope of driving away the headache that now assailed it. Whether this was caused by her frustration at her demented company or the sheer volume of their voices, however, none could say. "Trust me. This is normal for anyone new to their crazy pack." She put her hands on her hips, striking a less extreme version of one of Seire's earlier poses. "They stand like this and go on about MANLINESS, because clearly that's the only quality that's done any good for this guild, but the actual content of their speech is irrelevant. It's their unique brand of hazing. They screw with your head as much as possible, and if you can cope with it, then you pass the test."

"Wait, SERIOUSLY?!" Black Zess asked, incredulous. "So all that posturing you're so fond of... all that's just an act? I thought you were legitimately insane."

"Why, Zess! You wound me!" Seire said overdramatically, clutching his heart as though it pained him before abruptly grinning and continuing normally. "Now what fun would it be if I was acting?"

"Great. My new commanding officer is a nutcase. This is worse than that time in the Telzacan Gulf," The pirate groaned.

"Out of curiosity, what exactly happened 'that time in the Telzacan Gulf?'" Seire asked innocently.

"Oh, don't even get me started." Disgust filled Zess' voice at the mere mention of the incident. "I just hope the damn bird that caused all that has his own special place in hell. I'll never keep a parrot again."

"I... see..." Giselle grimaced sympathetically to Zess' plight. "But, you know, I have to say, I pity you. You have it worse off than any of us ever did."

"What do you mean?" Zess asked, seeming irritated by this.

"Well, back when I first met him, Seire was really the only maniac to deal with. His lackeys were all relatively normal... or at least, as normal you can be when you're working with him. As for those two..." The Archer pointed to the two seated further down the table. "Well, she joined under special circumstances, so she never got the full treatment, and as you can see, he turned out to be just as crazy as Seire was."

"I see... Well, in that case, I see only one solution to this problem."

"What's that?" Seire asked.

"If being crazy is what you need to last here, then I'll just go drink until I'm just as loony as you lot are," Zess declared triumphantly, rising from his chair with a smirk and striking a salute that was nearly as over-the-top as Seire and Shirou's previous display. "If you'll excuse me, mon capitan!" With this bombastic declaration, he turned, and strode out the door. Seire gave a catlike grin, one that Shirou immediately matched.

"He's going to be fun," Seire observed, grinning broadly.

"He'll fit right in, don't you agree, Mute?" Shirou agreed, nodding enthusiastically. Scarlet merely nodded silently in response to this analysis, but evidently, this was enough to satisfy her enthusiastic husband, who seemed content to emote enough for both of them.

"Oh god, no, anything but another madman," Giselle added, planting her face against the glass of the transparent table. Ignoring her protest, however, the others merely grinned and continued their discussion.

"But, you know, if he joins us next time, we'll have to change up the ritual," Shirou observed somewhat poignantly. "He could always take your second line, so that the number of lines we deliver is all equal, but the Fistbump of Eternal Fighting Spirit is made for just two people. It's going to be hard, getting a third part in there."

"Hmm... you have a point. Maybe we could just have him do special effects? An explosion behind us as we finish the pose, for example?" Seire suggested.

"Well, he is a mage," Shirou agreed. "But, wait... didn't he only know ice spells?"

"Oh. Right. Well, that's a problem, then." The thief sighed, but swiftly grinned and continued. "You know, though," He observed. "It's really been too long since we did that last, hasn't it?"

"You're right. It's been a few years, hasn't it? Kind of nostalgic, now that I think about it."

"Yeah, it is," Seire agreed, nodding. "It really has been a long time. It really feels like just yesterday that all of this started, and yet, it's been ages since we first started operating, hasn't it?"

"Careful, brother," Shirou chided. "You're starting to sound like an old man."

"I take offense to that," Aldric chimed in quietly, breaking his long silence at last as he gave a sly smile beneath his white beard. Shirou and Seire glanced between each other for a moment, and then gave a raucous laugh. Even Scarlet, whose countenance usually displayed a complete lack of feeling, cracked a slight smile at long last, and Giselle, exasperated through she was by the impossibility of her new comrades in arms, joined in as well. To be perfectly honest, the four old acquaintances hadn't all been assembled together for a great many years. Giselle had left the Valefar Group on the mainland several years prior to the castle's appearance, and Shirou and Scarlet had been on leave until recently to set their new life together in order. Seire, meanwhile, had quit the Valefar group to relocate to the Floating Castle, starting the PTA in its place. And yet, somehow, they'd all found themselves meeting and working together once again. It was strange to call this sort of thing a coincidence, wasn't it...? Seire gave a wry smile as he thought of all the events that had led to this point. Although he was loath to admit it, the unlikelihood of the path he had walked certainly was enough to cast doubt on the belief that it had all happened on its own, that the present in which he now lived was just the sum total of all his choices and actions, and their outcomes, both coincidental and direct. Yes... although it went against his personal wishes, he supposed that his life up until this point, his past, and his experiences... they might all have been called the work of a sort of "fate."

Hey, me of yesterday... What do you think of the me of now? if you saw how far I'd come, would you finally be satisfied? I wonder...

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44 centimeters. That was the radius within which these arms of mine could reach. Everything within that circle was my domain, the realm of things that I could touch. It wasn't much, but it was all I had. I couldn't remember things ever having been different. Actually, I couldn't remember a lot of things in those days. Not my parents, not even my name, or the world outside of my home. All I knew was that I existed, and that I had no choice as to what I would do with the life I possessed.

I don't know if my parents sold me willingly or gave me up to pay some sort of debt. From what I can remember of them, I don't think it was the former. Call me naive, old fashioned, or overly idealistic, but... I'd like to believe that the individuals who birthed me into the world wouldn't just throw me away because it was convenient. Maybe it's just my imagination, but, sometimes, if I try really hard to remember, I can recall their faces, their smiles... But what I remember most is the last thing I ever saw of them. I think Dad was sitting in a chair by the fire with his head in his hands, but I'm not sure. But Mom... she was screaming, reaching out, trying to take me back. I think I reached for her too. But it didn't matter. She was too far away, and these arms were far, far too short. As the door closed between me and her, I could hear her shouting what I think was my name. If only I could remember what it was... Anyway, there was one last part of that recollection. I remember seeing a man climbing into a carriage across the street from me. He was blond, with blue eyes, and short, straight hair. His face was rigid and angular, and that, combined with the purple suit and accompanying silken cloak he wore, made me immediately recognize him as a noble. He shouted something to the driver, and pointed to a big castle on a hill in the distance, silhouetted by the sunset. I don't know why, but I remember his smirking face and that castle better than anything else. Maybe I felt like he was mocking me, towering over little old me with his wealth and power from the top of that distant hill.

It's been years since then. I got moved around a lot as I changed hands. First, I was part of a slave caravan that took me to a big city. I can't remember much of what happened there. I was still broken up about being away from my family, and I didn't really understand what was happening to me at the time. I must have been... what, six? I don't know. I can't remember. When I try, all that comes back to me is the light, and the noise. It was like a thousand suns, all focused directly on me. I couldn't see, but I could hear them, all around me. The other slaves were crying, or just shaking, making their chains rattle. But it wasn't them that caught my attention. Rather, it was the voices from beyond the auction block. I could hear people talking. I didn't know what they were saying. They were using a lot of words I didn't understand, and some of them might have even been speaking in a foreign language. Anyway, I didn't like it. There were people out there, but I couldn't see them. I tried to reach out to them, so I raised my arms, but again, I found that they were beyond my grasp.

After that day, things went by so quickly it's hard to detail. Nobody really had any interest in raising some kid from such a young age so that he might make a good servant later, so instead, people just passed me off like it was some sort of game. It seemed to me that a week didn't go by where I didn't change who it was that I called "master" at least once. I don't really remember much about those times, either. I spent most of my time, if I was lucky, cleaning my master's quarters, or waiting on his needs like a good little pet. Oftentimes, though, I wasn't so fortunate, and spent my days looking out through the airholes of a particularly large box. I didn't see much of the world outside of my crate, no matter how hard I tried to look. But, I guess I was never really one to give up, so I never stopped trying.

I don't know when I started, but I found that a good way to ease the tedium of being locked in a box for transport was to spread my arms and start spinning. The goal was for me to reach out further and further, until I could touch all of the walls of my box without moving. It was a silly plan, I guess, but with each time I spun around, I felt like the radius of my arms was growing wider. And, despite all the time that had passed and the countless miles that were now between us... I felt that if I kept on spinning like that, if I kept on reaching out further and further, I'd finally be able to touch the hand that I remembered so vividly reaching for mine.

Time passed, and eventually, my radius had grown wider. A full 65 centimeters were within my reach. Even within moving from where I stood as I spun, I found that I could touch the centers of all four sides of my box easily. Soon, I was sure I'd be able to touch every inch of the walls that encased me. I don't know why I was so hell-bent on it. Maybe I thought somebody'd praise me, or something? Well, it didn't really matter all that much, anyway. It gave me an objective, a purpose in my life, which was a novelty to me back then. If I had something to reach for, then I felt like I'd managed to accomplish something worthwhile. Even if it was just the walls of the prison around me, it was still a step up from not being able to touch anything.

Eventually, I guess, I must have gotten old enough that there was a use for me. The last of my many masters apparently got a really good deal, selling me off to some mining company operated by a noble of some sort or another. For whatever reason, I hated the man from the moment I set eyes on him. Maybe it was because he reminded me of the noble I remembered from the evening I was taken. In any case, I think the feeling was mutual, because he sent me away faster than any of my other masters ever had. At first, I thought I'd just be going back to my box. To my surprise, however, I found myself instead lead to a wagon full of other slaves - mostly kids like me, bought early so they'd have time to learn the ropes of the job they'd be doing for the rest of their lives, and so that they'd build up the necessary strength and experience to be productive during their prime. Far from being put back into my box, I was instead transported down into the bottom of a giant mining pit. Apparently, some kind of magic-rich jewel was found quite frequently there, and it was our job to dig out these jewels without breaking them.

In the place of my old box, I found myself packed into tight, underground quarters with a few other slaves. The walls here were farther apart, and I found once again that I couldn't reach them. It dismayed me to realize that I had to start all over again, and yet, I resolved to continue my spinning until I could overcome this obstacle. Time went by, and the walls grew closer. Soon enough, a comparatively broad radius of 75 centimeters was my dominion, and the distance between me and the boundaries within which I lived had been vanquished once more. Well, having the mind of a child, I couldn't help but feel pretty confident in my ability to reach and spin by this point. And so, I resolved upon a truly lofty goal.

From within the pit, the daylight was almost entirely obscured by the sheer cliff faces surrounding us. However, if I stood at the very center in the middle of the day and looked straight up, I found that I could see a narrow patch of sky. I suppose to most people, it wouldn't have seemed like much. But all I had ever seen of the world was a tiny pinprick of light faintly showing through the air holes of my box. To me, the sight of the blue sky, no matter far away it was, or how tiny it seemed, was a source of boundless wonder. I wanted to see more, wanted to reach up and touch the distant heavens. So, I spun. I kept on reaching out, grasping not for the concrete boundary of the walls around me, but for the sky itself. I guess it was more of a reasonable goal to reach for the earth instead, but, even if it was beyond the radius of my two arms, it seemed like it was almost within my grasp.

During this time, of course, my life was far from easy. Every day at sunrise, the overseers would arrive - both they and the supply train used some kind of hidden pathway down into the pit that we slaves weren't allowed to know about, for fear that we'd escape - wake all of us up, and assemble us outside. They would divide up tasks for the day, determining who would work in the mines, who would carry back the jewels we dug up, and so on and so forth. I was pretty big for my age, so I got sent to work pretty frequently from a fairly early point in time. I was just a kid, but I did my best to keep up with the adults as they dug. That was all I knew how to do: spin and dig. It was all that there was in my world, two simple tasks that took up the entirety of the radius of my arms. In that artificial world, far beneath the surface I dreamed of seeing, I was "fated" to remain for the rest of my life, spinning and digging and spinning and digging and reaching and reaching until I finally died.

I didn't get along well with the other slaves. Our portions of food were based on how profitable we were to the company. I did pretty well, I think, because I got fed enough to satisfy my needs, albeit not enough to quench my hunger entirely. Many of the others, however, weren't quite so lucky. They were fed enough to keep them productive while always keeping them hungry for more. It was a calculated strategy to control them, in the hopes that it would drive them to mine faster and dig deeper, increasing company profits whilst simultaneously reducing the expenses that the noble who ran the little operation had to deal with. At the same time, it kept them from trying to escape, since if they tried to leave, they'd starve long before they crossed the desert in which the pit was located and reached any civilized territory. Just in case that didn't scare us straight, they told all sorts of horror stories about how awful the surface was. Dragons waiting in the desert to swallow us up, giant beasts of metal that would crush us if we ever rebelled... They tried to convince us that things were actually better down in the pit we lived in, at the same time rhapsodizing about the noble who owned us, about how he had saved us from the terrors of the above-ground, and how he was the only thing protecting us from the innumerable threats lurking there. I don't really have a reason why, but I thought it was hogwash right from the very start. Maybe it's just because I hated the man, as I said. Or, maybe it's because I didn't want to believe that there could be suffering in a world with so much light, in a land where the sky was so bright and blue. To me, reaching the golden country of the surface was more important than anything, even my life.

But, I digress. As I said, I did not get along well with my fellow slaves. Quite frequently, I'd find myself cornered by groups of them, beaten into the dirt and left to lie sulking in a corner as I watched my hard earned meals being devoured. The overseers were pretty lax about things like that, and more often than not, fights between us slaves were more a break from duty than they were reason for the supervisors to exercise the authority of their whips. So long as it didn't get too serious, and they didn't run the risk of punishment, I guess they must have thought it was fun to watch us fight each other. I think I saw them taking bets at least once. But, the point was, when it came down to it, the people who claimed that they were protecting me didn't give a damn whether I lived or died, and with that realization, I found my convictions growing that this was not the place for me. I dreamed more vividly of the surface, of the faint memories of a home and family that I'm not even sure I ever really had. And so, I became even more determined to continue reaching out into the world around me.

I fought back. I realized that nobody was going to stand up for me, so I did it for myself. When they came at me with numbers, I fought back with strength and smarts. By letting one slave snatch some insignificant morsel from my bowl, I could get the others to turn against him, and then give them all a sound thrashing while they were distracted. Then I'd take all of their meals as well as what was left of my own, to teach them not to mess with me. Pretty soon, though, I found that nobody was going to try to stop me if I took what wasn't mine. It was then that I realized it: in this world, all that matters is how far a person's reach extends. Those with more power and influence than others take what they like and live as they please. By lowering others, they can raise themselves up, growing closer to their potential. More than anything else, I wanted to become as great as I could be, to reach out as far as I could, and touch the sky itself.

So, I turned the tables on them. The ones who had once singled me out, those who had beaten me down and stolen my hard-earned food from before my eyes, found their positions reversed. The hunter had become the hunted, and pretty soon, I was the one pummeling them into submission, then snatching up what scraps of food they'd been given and taking them for myself. I got stronger, and stronger, and stronger, and kept on reaching out into the world around me, snatching up what I liked and taking what I saw fit to. If somebody got in my way or pissed me off, then they were sure to get it. I'd beat the crap out of anybody who messed with me, and they knew it. Before too long, the puny little workaholic brat the rest of the slaves had terrorized had become one of the most feared kids in the pits.

Now, I say one of for a few reasons. Namely, because I wasn't the only punk there was. Far from it. I guess what made me stand out was that I was a loner, but there were certainly others, and unlike me, they didn't mind lowering themselves to hunt in packs. I had earned their hatred by standing up, and they wanted nothing more than to push me back into my place. But, they weren't the real threat.

Among the slaves, there was a kid around my age. He didn't look all that special, but there was just a certain... something about him. Everything he did seemed to exude power and authority. He carried a self-assurance that was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I really admired... or perhaps it would be better to say that I envied him? But that wasn't all he had that I didn't. No, the thing that made me most jealous was the fact that, unlike me, he had a name: Selles.

The fact that he actually had a name of his own was strange enough, but there was something far more bizarre about him. Namely, while most of us wretches were just interested in helping ourselves, that kid was different. Compared to us, he was basically a saint. Whenever one of the other slaves got picked on, he'd be there to help. And if somebody lost their food, they could always ask for his, and he'd hand it over without a second thought. I think I was in awe of him for that. I didn't understand why somebody would do such things.

Well, given how differently our attitudes were, it was inevitable that we end up fighting at some point. I decided I'd beat up some random kid two years younger for me just because she got a larger portion than I did - not something you'd expect me to do, huh? - when suddenly, I got creamed out of nowhere with the blunt end of a crowbar. By the time I got up, Selles was helping the girl to her feet, asking if she was alright, making sure she hadn't dropped her food, and being generally nice. I... I couldn't understand it... and it pissed me the hell off.

Let me begin by saying that, when I get mad, it's not a pretty sight. I have a tendency to completely lose it, and, consequently, things around me have a tendency to break. Things like people. I don't recall exactly what happened, but by the time I came to my senses, I was trying to throw a freaking mining cart at the kid, and he, for his part, was beating the shit out of me with a crowbar. Suffice to say, I lost that battle.

I was still recovering from the injuries I got in my fight with Selles, so you can imagine that I was far from being at my best. So, it was no surprise that the gangs of wannabe thieves I've already mentioned decided that this was the perfect chance to knock me down a few more notches. Before I knew it, I found that I'd been surrounded and was getting beaten to a pulp for the first time in ages. But, just then, what should happen but a crowbar comes flying out of nowhere, and who but Selles steps in and starts beating people down right and left? I didn't know what to think of it. Just a few days ago, I'd been trying my hardest to beat him to a pulp, and yet he came to save me without second thoughts. But, he had helped me, so I suddenly found it rather difficult to hate him. I never understood why he helped me that day, but from that point forward, he became my closest and only friend. I tried to emulate everything he did, even though I didn't understand the meaning behind it. I spoke with as much confidence as I could muster, acted and moved with purpose, and tried to match up the inflated mental image I had of Selles. I wanted to seem larger than life, somehow, just as he did.

Perhaps, at least in part, I succeeded, because he gave to me the thing I had envied him most for: a name. The word that was now my own was a simple one, and it, itself, meant roughly the same as having no name at all... and yet, it was mine. Somehow, that made all the difference.

"Null." That was my name.

Time continued to pass, but two things remained constant. Firstly, every time I reached for the sky, I found myself growing slowly closer to the heavens. A radius of 85 centimeters was now the distance that I could spin around, almost twice the area I first recalled as being my own. Secondly, I tried to be like Selles in everything he did. Together, I'd like to think that we made the pit a better place. Or rather, I'd like to think that the reason I fought so hard was so that I could do that. But the truth was much less idealistic than that. It was because I was simply living in awe of him, walking in his shadow in the hopes of becoming as strong as he was. I didn't understand the purpose he had for his actions, but I thought that, if it had made him so strong, then I, too, would try to be a "hero" like him, so that I could obtain that same power.

But, bit by bit, I think I came to understand him a little better. I, myself, could only reach within 85 centimeters of where I spun. But, I found to my surprise that the distance of my "world" now exceeded that, for I had the 90 centimeters of Selles' grasp upon which I could suddenly rely. 175 centimeters was the radius of my "world," and to my amazement, it suddenly began to expand. With every new person we helped, another pair of hands joined our "world." Reaching out alone was hard, so my two arms joined with two more. But just four was not enough, so a circle of hands formed together.

And then, as one... we reached for the heavens.

Selles, like myself, did not believe the tales told by the overseers. Granted, he had much more reason to, as he had apparently seen the surface personally, albeit not very much of it. But, to us, who knew only the life in the pit and our circular world of interlocked arms, even his limited tales of simple, mundane, and trivial things he had observed were like the messages of an oracle delivered to us, and they inspired a confidence and a fervor that soon overflowed. Fueled by Selles' stories of the surface and their anger at being lied to all their lives, the slaves revolted one day. I don't know what started it, to be honest. Maybe somebody didn't get enough food, or someone got tired of being whipped. It didn't really matter, though. In a matter of minutes, everything was pure chaos. Overseers were beating down anybody who came into reach, slaves were leaping atop their supervisors, trying to crush them into submission through sheer numbers. And me?

I hid. Because for all my vaunted strength, I was still afraid of getting hurt. The masters seemed invincible, unstoppable oppressors who would surely crush me if I went against them. I wanted to escape, to reach the blue sky above, but I found that my fear stayed my feet. That hesitation nearly got me killed.

The overseers swept the pits, armed with real weapons instead of just their usual whips. They cut down everyone in their way who didn't surrender and submit to punishment. And then, they came to me, frozen with terror as I was. I couldn't bring myself to reject my dreams and kneel, so they methodically prepared to kill me where I stood. The sword fell, and I was sure that I would die in another second.

And then? How did I escape? What saved me from being cut to pieces then and there? You probably have already guessed that by now. In case you haven't, though, I have a feeling you won't be surprised when I tell you that the man trying to kill me found both his wrists suddenly broken by a crowbar.

"Run," Selles told me, and run I did. To this day, I'm not sure how I escaped. I ran until there was nowhere left to go but up, so I went up, climbing at least half a mile of sheer, rocky cliff, then crossing at least a dozen more miles of desert to find the civilization I'd longed for at last. I don't know how I managed. I just did it. Around the time I reached the halfway point up the cliff, the sounds of fighting down below stopped. I never looked back down to check, but I didn't have to. Without a doubt, Selles, as well as all of the other slaves who had participated in the rebellion, were killed. I knew that, but I refused to see it for myself, because I was still scared. But now... I wasn't scared of dying. Rather, I was scared of seeing, ultimately, how strong the "hero" I had idolized was. Had I seen his body with my own eyes, I don't think I'd have been able to continue trying to become stronger, seeing the way that the path had ended for one who had been, in all ways, my better. He had died in my place. I didn't understand why he did it, just like I didn't understand why he had saved me to begin with. All I knew was that he had. And that... pissed me off.

I decided then and there what my new code of beliefs would be. I wanted to understand Selles, to be like he had. And so, I continued trying to emulate my own mental image of him, even though he himself was dead. First and foremost, I wanted to become stronger, to reach my potential. But to do that, I thought that somebody else would have to pay. A bizarre sort of equivalent exchange, as it were. But, it couldn't be just anyone. Those weaker than myself were not to be further lowered for my own gain. I'd become like Selles, hunting only those who thought they were strong, but who did oppress those weaker than themselves. Any of these people who desired strength but refused to seek it in improving themselves were the enemy. Those who sought power but would not stand on the backs of the weak to gain it were my comrades. I would search out those with similar goals to myself, assemble them, and, working together, take down those above us, just as Selles had tried and failed to do before me.

In those days, I never realized that I'd missed the entire point of being a "hero." For no matter how broad I thought the radius of my world now was, unrestricted as I was by the towering cliffs of the pit... I, without wings, still fell far short of reaching the sky.
Last edited by AMimsyBorogove on Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The Apocalypse is basically just a tutorial." - Sicon112.

"Due to the ambiguity of this wording, I am unable to determine whether or not I am the leader of the X-Men!"
"UNIVERSE-BREAKING EPILEPSY RAVE!" - AMimsyBorogove
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby JackAlsworth on Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:15 pm

(TIMELINE NOTE: This takes place a day or two after Quest 13.)

“So, you wanna help out around here, eh?” The blacksmith looked Jenny over closely. “I’d imagine you don’ have that much experience.”

“I don’t, not with metalwork,” she replied. “But I’m good with bows, and I used to make my own arrows with my family back home. And I… just need to take my mind off some things right now.”

The smith chuckled. “Seems t’be goin’ around right now. OI, BEN!” he hollered over his shoulder.

A short, slender man, face flushed from heat and exertion, looked up from the back of the shop. “Dammit, Tad, I’m in the middle of something! Can it wait?”

“Don’ worry, this’ll only take a second,” said Tad, walking over. “We got a green one, wants to give us a hand. Mind showin’ her around?”

The redhead glanced at Jenny, then back to his work. “Yeah, sure. Just let me finish up here.”

He was tempering a spearhead. Jenny watched silently as he hammered out the roughly-molded metal into a sharp point. When he was finished, he looked up and met Jenny’s gaze. She noticed his bright hazel eyes and thin features. Wait a minute…

The shorter woman held out a hand. “Got a name, m’lady?” she said with a slightly sardonic smile.

Jenny took it. “I’m Genevieve Hunter. Your name is Ben, right? That’s an odd-”

Ben raised an eyebrow. “Sure you want to finish that sentence?”

“Now, now, no need to scare the poor girl,” said Tad, clearly trying not to laugh. “Just give her some bearings, show her where everything is, maybe give her some pointers.”

“Should be easy enough.” Ben carefully picked up the spearhead and placed it with a similar group of items waiting to be crafted into weapons. “So, first things first – what do you know, and what do you have to be taught?”

“Well, I… uh, I can make arrows pretty well.”

Ben nodded. “A fletcher, huh? That’s a good start. We need arrows around here.” She gestured at another area in the smithy. “You want to show me what you can do?”

Jenny smiled. She liked this place already.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Lordxana0 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:25 pm

Salvantas smiled as he looked at his class of about forty people. A few men, quite a bit more women, and even a few kids stood at attention in the large building he had convinced the city to allow him to use as a school for anyone who wished to join. At the moment he and four other members of Heroes Unlimited where teaching people about self defense and how to protect themselves from common thugs. He had them start running through exercises to loosen them up when he saw a new face enter into the large building. He handed control of the lesson to his fellow guild members and walked over to greet the person. “Good morning to you, don’t suppose you have come to join our little class today have you?”

“Not today, I’m afraid.” The girl said, holding out her hand. “Name’s Anji. You must be Salvantas.”

He took her hand and gave it a small kiss and then a bow before letting it go. “It is my honor to meet you Lady Anji, Guild Master of Storm and Drive, what brings you to my small school this day?” he asked politely.

Anji paused for a long moment, then said. “I had heard of you and your guild, but our paths had never crossed. Then, lo and behold, you open a school for the poor to get the training they need to survive not three blocks down from the inn where I stay. It would be poor manners to not pop by and see what was going on.”

“Oh, that close, quite amazing how the world is so small at times is it not?” he smiled dreamily and looked back as the people had moved on to basic training. Throwing punches and kicks in times with certain routines. “I do thank you for coming, it is a small operation, but I truly believe that little by little we are making a difference, in the absence of ignorance peace is sure to spread” he frowned lightly. “I am just sad that there is not more we can do, supplies are limited and good people willing to help the cause of teaching the people are hard to come by, especially when you can pay them only in the smiles of the people they assist”

“I’m a fair hand at fist fighting. Though I don’t really know any of the fancy routines you have here. If you like, I’ll come with some of my group. We’ve got some trained fighters, at the very least, a few hours here can’t hurt them. You should think about getting more guilds involved. Between us all, you could have the entire city trained in a few months.” The short, red headed girl said, grinning.

“Of course you understand that there is more work that I do here” he looked at the crowd. “After this me and a few other guild members teach small history classes, reading fables and tales of the country below us that we have either memorized from our lives before this or have found around the castle, is serve the purpose of educating them on the history and teaching them how to read and write” he turned to her. “Through of course your guilds participation in all activities would be appreciated, the more we have the more....” a sudden cry rang out and Salvantas turned and saw that the class had switched up to sparring. One of the younger boys had been a little too rough and knocked another boy down. “Pardon me for one moment” he walked over. “Timmy, we have been over this, you need to reign back how hard you go, you could easily hurt someone.”

The boy looked down and clenched his fist. “It ain’t my fault, he wasn’t focusing hard enough” his small face was set in a deep scowl.

Salvantas helped the boy up. “Regardless you should never be fighting that hard unless you are fighting an enemy, now say sorry to Zack”

Timmy looked down and sighed. “Sorry Zack, I didn’t mean to hurt you or nuthin”

Zack smiled and wiped a few tears from his eyes. “It is okay, I got distracted, won’t happen again”

Salvantas smiled at the two boys and looked to the instructors. “The kids should be done for the day, Smoke!” he called out. The small wolf pup came over and Salvantas smiled. “Play with the kids in the other room for a bit, keep em entertained and tire them out” Smoke yapped and the kids cheered following the wolf into another room as the instructors continued teaching the adults. He got up and walked back over to the other guild leader and smiled. “Sorry, where were we again?”

Anji stared after the kids for a moment, “You shouldn’t discourage them from fighting. We’re at war, they need to press harder to reach the top.”

He sighed. “Tell me, do you believe that children should be deprived of their youth simply because a situation is grim” he looked her directly in the eyes his own burning with conviction. “If that is the case then I will work a thousand times harder so that not one of them has to see the horrors you and I face on a daily basis”

“I believe that everyone should get everything that they need. I also believe that all should be happy and right in the world. Maybe somewhere, there are puppies and kittens at every house. Maybe somewhere children like those,” she paused, pointing towards the children playing tag with the wolf pup, “wouldn’t have to worry about where they’d get their dinner at night. That place however, is not here. To tell them any different will weaken them, and this castle plays for keeps. If any one of these kids hesitates when a behemoth attacks, people will die. I will not accept that, Guild Master Salvantas.”

When she finished speaking he took a few moments and began to point at each child. “Taken from his parents, baby sister wasn’t teleported with them, brother went missing when the Kobolds made their raid on the city” he looked at her. “These children know the dangers of this castle, what I am trying to offer here is not only education, but a brief break from the horrors of this castle, they understand perfectly what kind of place this is, for the children at least, the adults I am fortifying, for it is their duty to protect each other and those younger than them, now then” he turned to her his eyes cold as the darkest winter. “I believe I will offer you my thanks for offering your services, but I will have to turn them down, for the most part, at nights we hold classes for just adults, but I will have to rebuke your request to help with any of the morning or noon classes, I hope you understand, but even if you do not that is the reality of this”

Nodding, Anji stepped back a few paces. “It was nice speaking with you, Guild Master. I will be sending a few of my guild for you to use as you see fit. I’ll be sure to send some with high levels of education.. they may be suited for your mental courses. If you ever need any more assistance, look for the compass rose.”

“Thank you for your assistance, I am sorry our viewpoints to not match up on the issues I have mentioned, though I do respect your offer and your guilds strength and hope we can build bonds around this issue, I do believe we both want the same thing in the end, now a new class is about to begin, and unless you want to discover the wonderful joys of letter writing and sentence structure you will probably be on your way” he turned. “By the by, I will say two things before leaving, I wish to hold special classes for those advanced in the arts of fighting, teach a few of my methods to other people, if you have heard rumors about my abilities with knives they are all true, and I would be happy to teach you a few things, also if some creature does come into the city, the only life that will be lost is mine, because I will die before I let it hurt one single person under my protection” he walked away not waiting for her response his frown turning into a smile as he addressed the people in the room telling them the next class would be starting soon.
Who you going to call? ME!
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Guyshane on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:04 pm

A threat
(Takes place hours after Quest 16)
Marcus was walking back home, ready to get some rest. Assassins. I swear every time I turn around here there is some new damn problem. What was really bothering Marcus were the last words of the one dressed as a farmhand he had killed. Why didn’t he care about his life? Paid killers a generally more concerned about their own skins over everything else, even the money.

He examined the black steel mace that he had taken of the killer for what felt like the hundredth time that day. The blackening doesn’t appear to be a finish, well-crafted and the smith's mark unfamiliar, They're well-funded.But No one has mentioned meeting anyone like them before now. Nothing about this adds up. I don’t like it, I feel like a pawn in a chess game. He grimaced.

Marcus arrived at a small boarding house where he had a room he thought to himself:Maybe it was a mistake to trick the guards into thinking those two were common crooks. This train of thought was interrupted by a sudden strike to his back. Marcus stumbled off balance before turning to view his opponents.

There were five of them in a loose group: four men and one woman. Already the man who had presumably attacked Marcus was bearing down on him with a club. Having no time to draw a weapon Marcus immediately attacked with his fist knocking the man unconscious with a right hook to the temple. The next man charged in and managing to get a hold of Marcus and fling him into a nearby wall. Marcus was able to grab an empty bottle from the ground which he swung at the attacker's kneecap and smashing him over the head once he had fallen.

That was when the mage hit him with a mild shock effectively knocking Marcus into a near-unconscious state. After that he got vague snippets of conversation
“-master wants him alive”
“-not dead”
“-im inside”
Marcus had the vague sensation of being lifted before everything went black.

When Marcus awoke he was sitting in his room with a knife at his throat. The woman stepped forward. She had black hair and an average build and seemed to be the leader of the group. Her face was concealed by shadows cast by her hood. She spoke. Marcus shuddered, it sounded like she had eaten glass shards for her last meal.

“Hello Marcus, we have a message for you.”
“If your going to kill me fine but don’t talk me to death first”
She sounded vaguely irritated as she spoke: “Such bravado wastes our time, we have a message and you will listen.”
“I suppose I don’t have much of a choice” Marcus looked around the room. “Weren’t there five of you?”
“The other two were left behind. They are the victims of a tragic mugging” Her voice did not quiver in the slightest.

“Now then to business. I am to tell you that if you ever tell the guards or the church or what passes for government here about us that we will kill everyone you know. The lovely mage you first met upon arrival, the shepherd in the forest, your employer, the guard you worked with to stop us, everyone on this miserable little street. They all will die.” She laughed then. Marcus had to struggle not to grimace, her laugh was worse than her voice.
“Who are you?”
“Call me Hara. Do not F*ck with us. We will be watching.” Suddenly everything went dark as Marcus was knocked unconscious.

The next day over lunch and ale Marcus finished telling all this to Elric. Elric took a long drink before speaking. “So why tell me this?”
“Why? So you can get out! I don’t trust them as far as they could throw me. The one who lead this squad was clearly a nutjob.” Marcus could feel the undercurrent of fear in his voice, he didn’t care.
Elric stared at him briefly. “Kid I'm a miser, not a coward. They aint running me out of town. And I will stick my foot in the ass of anyone who messes with my employees.” Marcus felt an immense surge of gratitude.

“Okay then but if these people have backup we're gonna need some too. Get in touch with all the guild leaders you know, I'll find a way to talk to the ones you don't. Lets arrange a meeting and see who's interested in hiring me.”

Elsewhere
Hara kneeled before the Guildmaster, in the dingy, dungeon of a guild hall.
“Sir the message was delivered.”
The robed man lifted his head slightly before speaking.
“Good now we can begin.”
I say we nuke it from orbit...its the only way to be sure.
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Guyshane
 
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Victin on Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:09 pm

{OOC: Happens at the Church event after Floor 1 Boss Battle}

-[Morionem]-

Morionem was already going to his inn, in case it survived the destruction of the city, when he noticed people were setting up makeshift beds at the church. “Huh? Oh, I get to sleep here for free? Sweet!” He thought, happily. The swordman then walked towards the door when three tall men came in, carrying a large wooden crate as the ones he had seen earlier. Two of them were slim and only the third was beefy. “What are you doing?” Asked Morionem.

“We are bringin' dees 'ealin' poshuns ter de church.” Said one of them.

“Oh, healing potions? Cool!” Replied him.

“Yeah, yeah, now git outta our way please.” The bulky man angrily spoke, as he tried to carry the large crate and put it wherever it was supposed to be faster, but as he was the only capable of doing so, they barely moved at all.

“Wanna some help?” Morionem forcefully took part onto carrying the large box.

“No. Webuh don't neid your help. Get away.” He tried to push the crate away from Morionem, but he almost made everyone drop it on the floor.

“Shut yer gob Sammie, help is allus welcome.” One of the thin men said.

“Aye, Sam. Let de fella ‘elp.” The first one who had spoken to Morionem said. “By de way, is mise Rob.”

“Hi Rob. I’m Morionem.” Everyone got weirded at the hearing of his name.

“Aye, we 'ill call yer dude.” Sam said, while they carried the crate. They proceeded to carry the heavy crate, still with some trouble. But giving small and slow steps each time, they managed to get a faster pace than before. Halfway through the cathedral, its door bursts open, echoing through the whole place. “What was that?” Asked Morionem, as he suddenly turned to see what happened.

“Stop! Don't move! Less put this hyar crate in its place fust, idiot.” One blonde man said.

“Ok, ok.” Morionem replied, worrying that he couldn’t catch anything but a glimpse of what happened.

-[...]-

“Gran', gran'. Nigh slowly... An'... Done!” Sam said after they finished putting the box together with the others. A group of priests, nuns and even some injuried people themselves gathered around. He opened the box of with a crowbar and the masses of people around quickly moved closer, trying to pick up at least one of the potions. As the crate was opened, Morionem noticed there was a note inside it, but he barely managed to pick up a few vials with one hand while the whole crowd tried to do the same. He decided he had enough and simply got away from it.

Once he moved away from the crowd, he noticed Sam on a corner, looking carefully to the group around the boxes. Morionem put the vials he managed to get inside his leather bag and went to talk to him. “Hey, Sam.”

“Wat do yer want?” The man replied, apparently annoyed.

“Where did these potions come from?”

“They were donated by me guildleader, Seire, de Phantom Thief.”

“Seir-Wait, what? Thief?”

“Aye, aye. Nigh, excuse me.” Sam said as he walked away from Morionem.

“Thief? A thief donating healing potions to the church? How does that even...?” He thought confusedly. He gave a step towards the door, but he saw a few priest watching over a little girl and someone walking away. “Oh hey, it’s that guy who got here bursting through the door. What’s the deal with him?” Morionem saw him going towards a corner close to the door, in the opposite side of the assembly around the crate of medical vials. He walked up to the man and said: “Hey, you, what happened over there?”

“Well, so much for resting a bit...” Thought Darren the moment he heard the sound of Morionem’s voice, turning his head towards its source, his eyes still closed from his interrupted rest. He slowly opened his eyes before asking the boy that stood before him: “What do you mean over there?”

“Over there, with the little girl and the priests... I saw you getting here with her. Or... Was it someone else?” He replied awkwardly.

“Oh... that.” Darren replied slowly, hesitating if he should tell the truth or just lie about it, to try and make the boy go away. “Maybe he’s a relative?” he thought as he got up from the floor, finding little reason to keep lying down. “Yeah... what about it?” he finally said, not settling for a specific course of action.

“I’m just curious on what happened. You got here all of a sudden, bashing through the door with a child in your arms... I’m just worried...”

“Worried about what? Darren asked crossing his arms, trying to be as cryptic as he could. “There are many injured people in here, are you worried about the girl in particular or everyone here? I’m hurt too... Are you worried about me too?” He said, sporting a smug smile on his face.

“Well, yes... But not everyone here got bursting the door open. Are you too hurt to burst the door open?” Morionem said sarcastically, giving a small smirk.
Darren laughed a bit. “Well, it’s not like I could open the door with my hands, even if I wanted to...” He looked towards the area where the girl rested peacefully, a priest dutifully keeping watch over her. He fell silent for a moment, trying to decide if he should be honest about the way the girl got injured. “...I’ll be fine, I guess.” He said, looking away. “My name’s Darren, what do you need from me?”

“I just want to know what happened to the girl... By the way, my name is Morionem.” He replied, with a cheerful smirk.

“I... I...” Darren started saying, the words getting stuck mid sentence. “I messed up. I was just trying to help her, and ended up making things worse.” He finally said.

“... I’m sorry, what? Did you hurt her?”

“No!” he shouted at Morionem’s suggestion, perhaps a bit louder than he would have wished. “She... If I had reacted sooner then... Crap!” He said, realizing he wasn’t making any sense at all. “The mage should have hurt me, not her!”

“Then how did you make things worse? You protected the girl and brought her to the church. What’s the problem?” Morionem asked sincerely. “Yo, I protected a girl from an evil wizard. I only got everything worse yo.” He said ironically, and then laughed loudly.

“If I had protected her, she wouldn’t have got hurt.” Darren snarked back, not realizing he was just making things worse. Morionem’s last comment made him want to punch the boy, but he resisted the urge to do so, this probably wasn’t the best place to fight and he wasn’t in any condition to be doing any fighting anyway, the same was probably too for Morionem, who seemed to be a bit injured too.

“So, you are saying you’d have prefered to have died? Instead of the little kid getting hurt you’d prefer having died and emotionally scarring the kid for life? You are a man! Not a demigod, or an angel. You can’t do everything. You did your best. You fought an evil guy, protected a little girl and brought her to be healed. That’s what matters. That’s what makes a true man.”

“You don’t get it...” Darren said with a low voice. “She just wanted to heal her mother, but nobody in here helped her. She said she wanted to heal her herself, but didn’t know how to use magic. So I went to look for a magic book she could use... And by look for, I mean steal.” He finally said, lowering his head in shame.

“Oh...” Morionem was startled by the other man’s confession. ”Well... You were trying to make her happy. Stealing isn’t good, but you did it to help the girl. So, you stole? That’s bad. But you were trying to help a child, and when she was attacked you protected her, fought a mage and brought her to be healed. Were you healed?”

“Does it matter?” Darren rudely replied.

“Yes. You cared for the kid more than for yourself. What do you have to say?”

“I’ll be fine.” Darren replied bluntly. “Besides, you should be taking care of yourself, you look like you’re hurt too.”

“I already took care of myself... And once again you prove that you care more about others than yourself. That’s what a true man does. The girl got hurt. You did your best to help. Don’t feel bad. You should feel great!” Morionem said, showing off a wide grin on his face.

“You... Still don’t get it.” said Darren as he walked past Morionem, intent on leaving the cathedral. “Sometimes, there’s just no fixing what’s broken.... But that’s just me. Anyway, take care I guess, I’ll go back to the inn or something, my guildmembers are probably waiting for me... or not.” He lazily lifted his arm to signal farewell and left the place before Morionem could make more questions that he’d rather not answer. “Man... what am I even supposed to do...?”.

Morionem stared at the man as he walked away. “Man... What’s up with the thieves in this city? One stole to make a little girl happy and the other is donating potions to the church. This sure is a weird place... But I guess I couldn’t cheer that Darren guy up... Well, now to more important matters.”

-[...]-

The little girl slowly opened her eyes. She confusedly looked around, without moving, but then she abruptly flung herself, stopping halway due to a chest pain.

“Calm down, girl. You probably are still hurt.” Said a man’s voice from behind her. She gradually turned around and saw a black-haired man with green eyes. “I’m Morionem, nice to meet ‘ya. You feeling okay?” The child quiet nodded a ‘yes’. “Good.” He said with a smile.

“H-Have you seen my mom?” The kid asked, her voice being almost too low for Morionem to hear.

“No... I guess.” He replied. ”Wanna go look for her?”

“Y-Yes!” The kid shouted, and tried to stand up quickly, but stopping and almost falling down because of pain, only to be grabbed by Morionem.

“Hold down, girl. You still are hurt.” He frowned while saying it, and then helped her to stand up and walk. “What’s your name?”

She walked leaning on Morionem, and the girl quickly found her mother amidst the crowd. She then excitedly pointed and shouted at the sight of the woman: “There she i-” But stopped mid sentence coughing. Her mother gasped as she saw the girl, but didn’t try to stand up and walk up to her. As Morionem and the kid got closer, the former could see her legs were fully bandaged, as well as some of her chest and the right side of her face. Even the right side of her long black hair, who the daughter had inherited, was burnt, leaving only the left side of her feathered locks of hair on her head, but even then completely disheveled. He was shocked at the sight of the once beautiful woman.

“Oh my god, what have happened to you?” The mom said as her daughter walked to her arms and they both hugged. The little girl shed tears and sobbed.

“I wanted to help them heal you!” She said sniffing and crawling around the woman.

“Oh, sweetie... You didn’t need to.” The mother tried to comfort her daughter, and noticed the man behind her.

“Oh... Hello, miss...” Said the swordsman.

“Hello my dear. Thank you for helping my daughter.” She replied.

“What? Me? I did nothing. Someone else carried her here - I think his name was Darren - And all I did was bring her to you. My name is Morionem, by the way.” He said as he moved his hand to greet the woman, but since she’d be unable to respond to the greeting he decided to clumsily bow at her.

The mother giggled at the ankward greeting, and told him their names. “I’m Sarah. My daughter’s name is Diana.” She said.

Morionem stood there for one or two minutes gazing at the woman comforting her crying daughter. Their state was truly depressing, and Morionem couldn’t leave them two like this. “Well, miss... I suppose you will need these more than me.” He gave her a few small glass bottles, which he had picked up some time earlier. These healing potions could come in hand for him, but this family needed them more.

“Oh... No, you don’t need to-” Before she finished her sentence, he threw the vials at her lap and leaped backwards, so she couldn’t give them back to him. One of the bottles hit the girl on her back, and she left out a very low “Ouch.”

“Sorry, that was dumb.” Morionem said blushing, while the woman gave a jovial laugh. Diana turned to him with a slightly annoyed look on her face, but couldn’t resist and giggle a little bit too.

“Well, if you insist... At least go talk to my husband. We have a store at the city. It was quite destroyed by the fire, but the same people which... Uh... Protected... Our store from... Thieves... Should help us to rebuild it. They... Are quite helpful...” Sarah said slowly, as if choosing her words carefully. “You should be able to get a simple sword or shield, he is quite the scrooge, but he isn’t like the man himself.” The mother said sporting a grin.

“Okay... Fine, I will... I need a new shield anyways...” Morionem replied. “But I’m not going away without you two. What kind of person would I be if I did so?”

The woman sighted, but smiled right after. “No need to. The same guild which takes care from our store is here.” She fondled her daughter who started to sleep. “They are going to help me. You may go.” Sarah spoke and stared deeply at Morionem eyes. Much to his chagrin, he knew she wouldn’t accept a ‘no’ as an answer.

“Fine, I’ll go...” He responded with a frown. “May I at least know what’s the name of your store?”

“The Dragon’s Dungeon.” Sarah told him. He thanked, and turned back to go away. He gave a few steps and noticed something was off.

“Really?” Morionem spoke as he turned to face the women once again.

“Uh...” The mother was quite surprised by this specific question, as if await for another one. “Yes... Dragons are told to keep massive amount of treasures inside their dwellings.”

“I thought they were supposed to hunt whales...” He responded thoughtful. “But that makes sense, I think. Don’t they eat rocks and metals, so they can spit of molten magma? Or something like that?” Sarah wasn’t sure how to answer to that, but before she could, Morionem said “Farewell.” and walked away.
Dolphins are some of the smartest animals, yes, but by human standards… Let's say you should praise the god that forces them to stay handless and underwater.
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Victin
 
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:17 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby AMimsyBorogove on Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:25 pm

(Timeline Placement: Approximately five minutes after Seire's betrayal at the end of "Think of the Bookworms!")

The thief leaped back as another narrow streak of lightning tore through the ground he'd just occupied, scorching the marble floor of the uppermost ring of the library, then fizzling out into nothingness. Seire smirked. Either his opponent was running out of steam, or he didn't want to damage the library they were fighting in. He didn't know which it was, but either way, that gave him the upper hand against his magic wielding opponent! Landing atop the railing of the balcony, the thief braced himself, then kicked off, jumping high in the air as another barrage of energy ripped through his position, missing him completely as it streaked out over the brink of the platform, then exploded violently. The magus covered his eyes for a moment, blinded by the radiance of his own attack. Yet, despite this, he took another blind shot at his rapidly moving target, who casually turned his jump into a flip, catching himself on one of the bits of piping hanging from the roof over the gardens, using this to launch himself once again, spinning himself head-over-heels yet again as he soared over the head of his enemy, sweeping downward with his sword. The boy hastily raised his shield, turning aside the powerful downward strike, but staggering back beneath its weight, momentarily knocked off balance. The thief wasted no time in exploiting this, landing and pivoting around, spinning to face his opponent and slashing at the same time, using his rotation to increase the power of his strike. Morionem tried to raise his shield once again to defend himself from the powerful attack, but he wasn't quite fast enough this time. Seire's curved blade hooked the very edge of his shield, and, using his attack to gain leverage, the thief abruptly wrenched the enemy's ward aside, forcing it away from the boy's body and leaving him open to attack. However, at that same instant, Morionem did something somewhat unexpected. Instead of attempting to regain his balance and step back to avoid the returning blade of the thief, he lunged forward, raising his own sword to stab forward in a risky counterattack, evidently hoping to shoulder-check Seire's sword arm, preventing him from simply finishing off his enemy then and there. Morionem gave a mighty cry, using the very force Seire had applied to him to rotate his shield arm back, all the while twisting his sword hand forward. This rising lunge managed to pack quite a punch, even despite the fact that the boy was only wielding his blade one handed. And yet, without a second hand to support his blade, there was still something that Morionem's strike lacked.

Seire grinned, bringing up his own back hand as he stepped to the boy's outside, matching the right handed thrust dealt towards him with a counter thrust with the scissors in his left hand. Stabbing them precisely into the flat of Morionem's blade, he easily diverted the force of the uncontrolled stroke without actually having to apply any major force of his own. The boy gave a cry of surprise as he found his blade arcing out wide, far from its intended target, as he found the full force of his lunge now pulling him forward. Already off balance, he had no choice but to stagger right past his evasive target, or else fall on his face. And, even as he stumbled, Seire was already using the motion of his own evasion to step behind his target, twisting about with his right hand to bring his sword sweeping down, carving a shallow scarlet swath across his enemy's back. Morionem gave a sharp cry, trying to spin around to bring up his own sword to counter, but found his blade meeting only thin air as the thief swiftly took a step back, just out of his enemy's reach. Seire's smirk broadened, and he was just about to step in and disarm the boy before he could recover his balance, when yet another unexpected thing happened. Giving an unintelligible cry that sounded vaguely similar to the word "Spoon," the boy continued his rotation far longer than any classically trained swordsman would dare, exposing his vitals completely for a split second and bringing his back hand forward. His back hand... which was holding his shield... which was currently wreathed in a curtain of lightning.

This kid's either a complete amateur when it comes to fighting, or just plain suicidal, Seire realized, his eyes widening as he hastily flicked his scissors back into his sleeve and brought up his back hand to support his sword as he quickly raised it before himself, blocking the magically charged attack head on. If he tried to dodge, the boy would just turn the lightning attack into another projectile, and he wouldn't be able to escape from that if he was already jumping backward. That left defense as the only option.

A tremendous blast of energy flashed across the top of the tower as, with a crash, the shield slammed into Seire's upraised blade, releasing an explosion of power that, despite its inability to physically reach him, still generated such a shockwave that the thief found himself picked up off of his feet and sent hurtling backward, only barely able to flip over in mid-flight, landing on his feet and skidding for quite some distance before his backwards motion was finally stopped by a somewhat violent collision with the balcony railing. He grinned slightly, recovering himself just in time to see the boy charging again. Bracing himself against the banister, he, too, kicked off, leaping towards his target and sweeping up his sword with both hands. The two combatants collided yet again, and, as the thief expected, it was Morionem who was driven back. The boy's strength was at best equal to the thief's own, but with his balance divided between two cumbersome weapons, he couldn't hope to match Seire's precision. And so, as he was forced to stop, raising his sword just in time to intercept his enemy's mighty slash, the thief didn't let up on his attack for an instant. Continuing his forward rush, much to his enemy's surprise, he turned his movement from a slash into a full blown shoulder charge, ducking beneath the boy's shield and slamming into him. The combined motion of these two attacks sent him staggering backward, nearly bowling him over entirely, and causing him to momentarily lower his guard from the weight of his weapons. This chance was all that Seire needed to continue his assault.

He didn't use his shield to defend when I charged him. In fact, I'm fairly sure I heard the sound of something snapping just as he hit me. When he attacked with his shield before... He must have damaged its fastenings. As it is now, if I strike precisely between the boards of its frame, I can probably pierce through it! Reasoning thus, the thief gave Morionem no time to recover. Planting his feet firmly where he stood, he continued his rotation, spinning fully around as he placed both hands on his sword, then lunging upward with the full force of his previous advance. The black and white blade streaked upward like a monochrome bullet as the boy frantically raised his front hand to defend himself, only to realize his mistake too late to prevent the inevitable. With a loud crack, Seire's saber slammed into the side of Morionem's shield, then kept on going, piercing cleanly through a joint in the wood and emerging on the other side. Yet, it didn't manage to penetrate quite well enough, stopping inches away from the boy's shoulder. Well, then, Seire would just have to correct that mistake, then! Giving a mighty cry, he used the last vestiges of his spin to wrench his blade sideways, cutting straight through the very edge of the shield and sweeping across the boy's chest, forcing him to backpedal to avoid being completely bisected. Even despite his attempts to retreat, however, he found the blade dealing another scratch to him as it grazed across his flesh, prompting him to grimace with pain. This expression, however, swiftly changed to one of disbelief as the thief yet again continued his rotation, building up even more momentum as he spun around a second time almost instantly, carried by the combined force of all of his previous attacks to achieve a now truly absurd level of momentum.

"Would you stop spinning already?!" Morionem cried with equal frustration and surprise.

"NEVER!" Seire shot back, giving a mad laugh as he dealt a truly staggering horizontal slash to his target, who only barely managed to bring down his sword in time to turn aside the blow before it would otherwise have cut cleanly through his shield, arm, and torso in a single sweep. And yet still, the thief did not stop, taking another step forward to close once more with his retreating adversary as, instead of losing his balance, he used the boy's parry of his stroke to instantly redirect his force back upward, dealing a diagonal swipe aimed from Morionem's hip to his opposite shoulder, forcing him yet again to draw back his sword and defend himself directly, lest he be cut in two. Seire only grinned, his saber giving a loud squeal as its flat ground against that of the mage's longsword, bouncing off of the boy's upraised guard, only to plummet downward once again as Seire dealt a vertical strike towards Morionem's head, slamming his saber into the boy's defenses yet again. Morionem's retreat had turned from a step back into several, which in turn gave way to frantic, panicked backpedaling as Seire only accelerated, raining blows upon him with such speed and force that, several times, the repeated impacts caused him to stumble, nearly falling.

Drawing back his blade, Seire lunged once as the boy tried to recover his balance, only to realize too late that he couldn't steady himself in time to turn aside the thief's attack. He gave a cry of pain as the thief's blade cut sharply across his upper torso, swiping along his side just below his shoulder. Again Seire lunged, this time aiming for the boy's opposite side, forcing Morionem to frantically sweep upward with his shield to turn aside the blow. Yet Seire instantly recovered, and, with all his might, dealt three final stabs so rapid that they might as well have occurred in the same instant. Morionem had no choice. He raised his shield before him, and intercepted the impacts that threatened to slip in between the joints of his mighty ward as best he could.

The thieves on the ground gave a cry of surprise which swiftly escalated into a cheer of triumph as they saw a small form come crashing through the open door out onto the tower balcony, rolling several times before slamming into the pedestal of the observatory's telescope, then shakily rising, his clothes beginning to stain with blood from several shallow yet painful stab wounds across the very edges of his body. Seire's attacks - the ones that had actually been meant to hit, anyway - had never quite been aimed at Morionem's vitals, instead opting to deal countless tiny wounds that he hoped would eventually keep his target down. And yet, despite the numerous small injuries he'd managed to inflict, Morionem still managed to stand up again, his eyes burning with fury and determination.

"I'm impressed," Seire said, smirking. "You've got almost no experience with that sword of yours, and yet you're defending yourself surprisingly well. On top of that, even when I do manage to hit you, you don't chicken out, and just keep coming back for more. You even intercepted that last kata I used, and that's apparently the secret technique of some well-known swordfighting school back on the mainland." The thief grinned, recovering from his final trio of stabs as he slowly dropped back into a casual, one-handed swordfighting stance. "For someone with no skills with a blade, you're surprisingly fun to fight."

"I'm... a... mage...!" The boy grunted angrily, leveling his sword. "OF COURSE I'M NO GOOD AT SWORDFIGHTING! Anyway, what the hell is with you?! You're supposed to be a thief! Thieves are supposed to be fast and cunning, not crazy-strong guys who rant about classical swordsmanship! Where the hell did you even learn all that!?"

"Where'd I get my skills, huh? Now do you really even need to ask that question?" Seire chuckled. "I stole them. Where else did you think a thief like me obtained knowledge of over a dozen traditional stances, styles, and forms of classical dueling?"

"What." Morionem seemed now to be more exasperated than angry. "WHAT." He repeated. "How does that even begin to make sense?! You can't just.... I mean, how do you even... WHAT?!"

"It's quite simple, actually. I learned how to fight by dueling more experienced swordsmen. Any time one of them would fight me, I would catalog their stances, their attack patterns, and their weaknesses. With each technique I saw in action, I grew more and more adept, honing my own skills through countless different battles with countless different people until finally, I knew how to deal with just about every common sequence of attacks you can think of. It's kind of funny, actually. I couldn't even begin to tally up the people I've fought, or the attacks I've seen used, even if I tried. There are so many that attempting to remember them all would be pointless. And yet, any time I see someone swing a sword, my body reacts on its own, telling me exactly what I need to eliminate the enemy." The thief shrugged, seeming to forget the battle for a moment as he continued speaking, casually shaking the blood from his sword. "I can't really explain it. Maybe I just have a really good fighter's instinct? Or maybe, I'm unconsciously using some form of magic? Who knows. But what I do know is that you're interesting. You're unlike anybody I've ever fought before. Even though you don't have a clue what you're doing, you don't simply flail around. You have a clear plan, I can see that. But, it's unlike any strategy I've seen used before." Delivering these words, he abruptly spun about, sweeping up his sword and slamming it against Morionem's guard. Taken by surprise, the mage found himself very nearly disarmed, and was sent staggering several steps backward by the thief's sudden strength, forced back to the far edge of the platform, ironically enough the very same place where he'd first climbed up the tower.

"However," Seire continued calmly. "I've finished memorizing your style as well. This battle no longer serves any purpose to me. So, without any further ado, I'll be claiming my victory now!" He declared loudly, smirking as resounding cheers reached his ears from the small crowd assembled at the gates below. His men, although they could not see the struggle taking place from where they stood, obscured as the two combatants were by the telescope, they heard their leader's loud voice, and knew that he was winning. And yet, what they did not hear were the words following those. Seire spoke quietly and calmly, even as he forced his blade slowly downward upon his enemy's upraised sword, overwhelming the boy with just one hand.

"The rope you used to climb the tower. It should still be there. We can both get out of this situation alive, so I see no point in killing you here when I could just as easily leave you and depart. When I push you over the edge, I want you to catch that rope and then hold on. Wait for my party and I to leave, and then you should be safe to escape. Understand?" Seire directed under his breath.

"What?" The boy hissed back in surprise. His disbelief, however, was short lived, for it was soon replaced by anger, and wounded pride. "Shut... UP!" He roared, releasing another sudden pulse of magic that sent Seire skidding backward, forced to leap away as the energy crackled around him. Morionem stepped away from the edge, bracing himself even as Seire recovered and prepared to charge again.

"I won't lose!" The boy declared gallantly. "With this, my special, secret technique, I'll finish you off for sure!" Seire raised an eyebrow. The whole point of a secret technique was that the enemy wouldn't see it coming... wasn't it? Then... why was he... Oh, right. The thief had almost forgotten that he was fighting an idiot. "Hraaaaaah...." The boy growled overdramatically, raising his sword to the sky and assuming a rather silly looking pose that he probably thought seemed suitably "heroic." He opened his mouth to continue his act, probably to declare some sort of over-the-top name for his secret skill, but he found himself abruptly cut off as a small, sharp object whizzed through the air, aimed straight for the boy's head. He gave a cry of surprise, darting to the side only barely fast enough to avoid being impaled by the thrown scissors, which had been cast with such force that they actually embedded themselves in the metal casing of the telescope behind the boy, quivering slightly with the force of the impact.

"Now look here!" Seire began, speaking with the tone of an experienced lecturer. "That is NOT how you act impressive. I would give you a complete course of the subject, as I happen to be a master of the dramatic, however, I really don't have the time to right now, so I'll just give you the brief version." The thief cleared his throat as he took a step forward, sheathing his sword. Morionem raised an eyebrow, lowering his own weapons. He had just opened his mouth to ask what Seire meant, when abruptly, the thief rounded upon him, and, raising his foot, planted it firmly in the unsuspecting boy's gut. With all his strength, and with a mighty roar, he dealt a staggering kick,

"USE! YOUR! DIAAAPHRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGM!"

The boy's astonished cry as he fell off of the tower and out of sight was the last Seire heard of him as he retrieved his scissors, sliding them back into his sleeve, and turned to walk away. As he did so, however, he stopped, reaching down to pick up a fallen object where the boy had been standing a moment before. Taking up the small leather bag, he glanced inside it, and gave an approving nod, patting his trusty scissors, which had handily severed the strap, causing it to fall from Morionem's shoulder without the young mage even noticing.

"Hmm... This must be his lunch," The thief muttered to himself before giving a somewhat childish grin and pumping his fist in the air. "Free food is the best kind!" He declared triumphantly. With those words, he wandered off, retrieving a small sandwich from the pouch and munching on it offhandedly as he made his way back downstairs.

Morionem, meanwhile, only barely resisted the urge to give voice to his overwhelming fury and discontent as he found himself only barely hanging on to the rope by which he'd climbed up, the realization slowly dawning on him that his precious lunch had fallen into enemy hands...

-[Morionem]-

Long after his fight with the Phantom thief, Morionem was still on the library tower, but this time he distracted himself by reading a book. After climbing back inside the tower and running downstairs only to find out that the criminals had ran away, he got really pissed off, but before he could decide on his plan of action he started reading about - "By the saints Morionem! So you are fine!"

"Aaahhhhh!" He let off a high-pitched yell as the scare by the sudden break on the environment's apparent silence made the swordsman fall off his chair and drop the book on the floor. The man who had spoken helped Morionem stand up again, and the latter noticed some people behind him.

"What have you been doing? We called for you before we got in, worrying about the criminals. And yet you gave us no notice that you had sent them away!" Said the cartographer. Asides from his other friends Morionem had met before, together there were two bulky men wearing a full set of steel armor, which Morionem could easily recognize as members of the city guard. The one on the left had a dark tan and carried with him two massive battle axes, big enough to split Morionem in half with little effort from its wielder. On the other hand, the second man, half the size of the first, rode a small donkey while he himself carried two pila, a spatha and a cavalry shield.

"Oh, yeah, I got distracted after I fought them... Sorry." Said Morioem, who was wondering who those two were, so he decided to ask. "Who are these guys?"

"Hm? Oh, the guards..." The brown-haired scholar was surprised at the question, because he thought the answer was obvious. "We called them so he could help in case there were some of those thieves in here when we came back. It's quite impressive you managed to get rid of those bandits by yourself, actually."

"I... I actually didn't get rid of them myself actually..." The swordsman replied, annoyed, but truthfully.

"You... You didn't?" Responded the scholar, which surprised the men in the room, but to the point they weren't expecting help, as it explained how all the thieves were gone. "Who helped you, then!?" Asked Thegal.

"It was a guild, if I'm not wrong... But they tricked me! I thought they were good, but they all were all criminals after all!" Morionem replied, not realising how he really sounded.

"That explains why there is no one here." Said the wizard, with his deep voice.

"Hm..." The dual axe-wielding guard was thoughtfully. "You realize you will have to answer us some questions, right?"

"Yeah... Right. Everything to catch those... Those... That damned thief!" The swordsman said angrily, as if picturing himself strangling said man. "But may I... Eat something first? I think I forgot to eat with this big mess... Hehehe..." Morionem tried to take his bag out of his back, but noticed it wasn't there. "Wait, where's my food?" He turned to look around and search for his backpack.

"What`s that on your back?" The cartographer asked.

"What? Where?" The swordsman tried to reach whatever was on his back, while spinning multiple times in the same place. The scholars and the guards stared startled for a few seconds before Mathew intervened by taking the note out of Morionem's back without having him to stop. He then gave the note to his friend, the cartographer. He then read the note out loud, as the monk made Morionem stop spinning.

Note wrote:I've taken your lunch.
~ Kaitou S.

P.S.: Please kick me.


After he read it, the other men looked at each other confused, and the green eyed scholar directed himself to the swordsman. "What is this?"

He stopped a second to realize what the Phantom Thief had done, but before he could yell of rage he was hit by a projectile... Made of leather. "Thanks for the food!" Called Seire as he strolled cheerfully out from between the stacks, headed for the door without a care in the world and with a bundle of books under each arm.

"Who are you!? And what are you doing?" Asked the startled scholar. The guards readied their weapons and stood in different battle stances.

"What, me? I`m just stealing some books! I figured it's about time I got some reading material for my new study, so-" He explained cheerfully, only to be cut off as the knight rushed at him with his mount. The Phantom Thief answered by flash stepping to the side, leaving the guard to run straight at a bookshelf. The other warrior tried to slice him with his axes, but Seire dodged and, casually extending his leg into the path of the overbalanced man, spun out of the way, hooking the surprised guard's ankle and knocking him flat on his face, at the same time turning once more to face the door. With a final wave, he hopped outside and down the front steps, shouting "Bye!" and giving a mirthful, taunting laugh as he went. Morionem, recovering from the sudden impact to his face, rose with a roar and threw his own bag aside, giving chase as the thief hopped out the door and went off on his merry way.

"GET BACK HERE! YOU! YOU... YOU BLACK-WHITE THIEF!" The swordsman shouted angrily as he set foot after Seire.

"That's much better!" The thief called back, grinning over his shoulder as he ran out the gates and down the mountain road, the enraged fighter-mage hot on his heels. "You actually used your diaphragm on that one!"

...

"WHRRGRAAHMMNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! QUIT MOCKING ME AND GET BACK HERE SO I CAN KILL YOU, SEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
"The Apocalypse is basically just a tutorial." - Sicon112.

"Due to the ambiguity of this wording, I am unable to determine whether or not I am the leader of the X-Men!"
"UNIVERSE-BREAKING EPILEPSY RAVE!" - AMimsyBorogove
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Scarab on Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:10 pm

It might have been morning, from a purely technical standpoint. The Nightwatch were changing guard, bakers were beginning their work, and if you looked closely, you might glimpse the occasional shadowy figure, slipping away across the rooftops. Thieves (surprisingly capable cat burglars, at that) were rampant in this part of town, so it was no wonder most of the residents slept lightly and usually kept something sharp hidden under their pillows, just in case. Tamar Delaney was no exception.

Of course, his new sword didn’t fit under the pillow, which ruled out that potential deterrent. Anji and Eliziya never seemed to worry about thieves for some reason, and Fade - Julius, that was... well, who on earth could get the drop on him? Tamar was still wrapping his head around that revelation; the guy could seemingly barely string a sentence together a week ago, and yet, he had turned out to be infinitely more intelligent than anyone else in their Guild... It was a little weird.

The cave bears that had been hovering around the edges of his dreams for the last couple of nights did the job of keeping him half awake, too. They weren’t bad dreams, exactly. Mostly the bears stayed just out of sight in the darkness of the caves in Tamar’s head, disappearing whenever he looked their way. (That was how he knew he was dreaming. Bears weren’t that stealthy in real life.) Anyway the point was, he had already been half awake when loud banging noises started echoing through the building from below. Anji had not. Tamar could hear her muttering through the thin walls. ”Hell! what in the name of the bloody underground...”

“Mrf... D’I start a fire again?”

“Nah, just some idiot, probably locked himself out last night, go back to sleep, Zi.”


Tamar (who had bolted upright when the banging started) sat there blinking sleep out of his eyes and listening to the slowly increasing murmurs of displeasure from... pretty much everyone in the Inn. There were about fifteen residents being rudely awoken at Saints only knew what hour, and he could hear heavy footsteps pounding down the corridor -the Inn Keeper, no doubt- heading towards the ground floor. The banging continued regardless. Tamar debated trying to go back to sleep. (hey, he’d slept through worse...)

“Hector, you dumbass! Go to sleep! The sun isn’t even up.”

...Oh. Okay, so maybe going back to sleep wasn’t an option, then. Tamar shuffled to the window of old warped wood and grey glass. It took some work to shove it open and even then he could barely see the man with green hair and armour at the door below through the crack. Anji, who had had more success in getting her window open was staring down at the front door from the room directly over the Inn’s back entrance, a disgruntled frown on her face.

“Heeey Anji! Long time, no Kobolt Scuffles!” Hector yelled. “How are ya on this fine day?”

“Fine day? What bleedin’ day? I ain’t even hearing sparrows yet! What’re you doing?”

“What was asked of me; there’s some training to be done in this guild.”

“...What? Storm and Drive’s odds’ll be a LOT higher if we get some sleep!”

“Oh that’s fine, you can sleep,” Hector continued, “Well most of you, at least. I need to borrow Delaney.”

“You need to bother who now?”

“Tamar Delaney? You know, funny hair, about so-tall, talks like an Uplander?” The swordsman’s arm lowered down the approximate height difference between him and Tamar as he explained.

“Oh right, him... what the heck do you want Tamar for? ‘Ere, you ain’t taking my guild members into anymore undergrounds, ya hear me!”

“Ah, don’t worry about that.” Hector laughed softly. “The Undergrounds are off limits now anyways, we couldn’t go down there even if we wanted to. So... is he here or not?”

By now Tamar had scrambled away from the window in search of his hood, still sort of wondering what all this was about. He could hear Anji yelling (probably the whole building could). “Are you even listening? You ain’t taking him! Ya got your own guild, anyway, go bother what’s her name.... Ben? Bother her!”

“Her? You seein’ straight?”

“Anji, it’s fine!” Tamar yelled through the thin walls (that was the advantage of staying in one of the cheapest Inns in town, you could communicate with people at the other end of the building without having to leave the room you were in.) He had by this point located shoes and was making his way out of the door. Anji was, true to form, directly behind him, following him down the stairs to the Inn entrance. There were a couple of people he didn’t know in the corridors, glaring, likely hungover and not at all pleased with their early morning wake up call.

He made it downstairs before Anji vaulted over the railing of the stairs and landed directly in front of him. “Hold it right there, what exactly are you two up to and is it gonna involve anymore of those wild bears?’

“I... No, no it’s alright, I mean the odds of bears being involved are really pretty low. I asked him to visit.”

“At four o'clock in the crow-begotten morning?”

“Okay that part was a surprise.” Tamar groaned.



“An opponent wouldn’t wait till afternoon, why should I?” Hector grinned coolly. he was leaning in the now open doorway, the Inn Keeper staring at the little debacle taking place on his doorstep with some confusion. He was probably wondering what on earth had possessed him to start taking in Guild members as customers. “Besides, Ben wakes me up like this every day; might as well use the time I’m given, ya know?”

Anji stared at Hector for another long, suspicious moment, before giving tamar a tap on the shoulder. “Fine, fine, go if you wanna, but whatever ya do, don’t let him drag ya to any taverns. Bloke can’t handle his liquor.”

“Uh... okay. Thanks Anj-”

“I mean it, Tamar, seriously.” Anji interrupted. “He gets completely smashed and starts bar brawls every stinkin’ time. Broken bones an’ ale everywhere. it ain’t pretty.”

“That’s a little unfair, it doesn't happen every time.” Hector pointed out, looking slightly miffed.

“Uhuh,” Anji looked unconvinced. “I’ll see you later, okay? Don’t go bringin’ the town guard down on us for disturbing the peace or anything. M’going back to sleep.”

~~~

“Here, catch.” Hector announced as he tossed one of the wooden swords tied to his waist to the younger swordsman, underhanded. Tamar’s hand snatched out on instinct, fumbling in the air, he ending up catching the wooden blade. “We’ll be using these for today.”

“Um... so you won’t be using Ivory?”

While the large broadsword was strapped to his back, the man made no effort to grab it. “Ivory is a strong woman, I don’t think you could handle her to start off. Maybe when you’re older.” Hector smirked. With a shrug of the shoulders, he continued, “You haven’t had much training with a real weapon anyway, it’d be dangerous to work with them before you get the basics down. Did you bring him along?”

It took Tamar a moment to realise Hector meant the gold tinted sword still held in the scabbard on Tamar’s belt. It didn’t feel right yet, too new and unfamiliar. “Yeah, I got it... him... the sword, guy, something.”

“Heh. Okay, put him aside for now, it’ll be easier if you’ve got less weighing you down.” Hector suggested, despite having a forty-plus pound sword on his back. Tamar decided not to comment. “Now there are as many styles of fencing and swordplay as there are floors to this castle; too many to learn and too many to teach. However, almost every style relies on the same basic fundamentals. Learn those, and you’re already a step above the common thugs around here.”

Tamar placed his sword on the wall that surrounded the back of the Inn. There were virtually no people about at this time of the morning, but he felt self conscious about it anyway. “Okay. So where do we start?”

“Usually, from the ground up,” Hector grinned, pointing downwards. Tamar glanced at his boots.

“... With my shoes?” Wait, he wasn’t going to have to replace those too, was he? Leather was expensive.

“It’ll be clear in a moment. For now, prepare yourself. Show me how you would defend yourself from a strike of this sword.”

“I... Now?”

The man sighed, “...No time like the present.”

Okay, so Tamar hadn’t thought about that. But he remembered pictures he had seen in books, and he recalled what had worked (sort of) against the Kobolds (planting his feet and leaning forwards a little) so he attempted to do the same now.

Hector looked on with a blank stare, neither commenting or judging. “Huh, well okay, let’s see how it holds up.” The man declared nonchalantly before lifting his own practice sword in his right hand, and casually down in just the right place for the weapon Tamar held to fly out of his hands.

Tamar didn’t actually see what happened. So far as he knew Hector had just... swept the practise sword clean out of his hands and stepped forward, giving Tamar a light nudge in the chest. The next thing Tamar knew he was on the ground in the dust. There was a lot of dust in the Inn’s yard.

“...Ow.” Tamar mumbled.

“Come on now, you weren’t complaining when you fell out of that tree.” Hector laughed.

“What did you even do?” Tamar frowned, more confused than anything else. Okay so Hector was build like a monolith, but surely it shouldn’t be that easy to knock somebody over?

“I took advantage of the worst stance I’ve seen in years. Just like any opponent who knew what he was doing would.” Hector chastised, before offering a hand to help the boy up. “The first thing you need to learn if you want to survive? Balance. Swords, spears, shields, pretty much every weapon you’d ever think to use; balance is the key to them all.”

“Oh... they never said that in any of the books.”

“You tried to learn swordplay from a book? Well that would certainly be part of the problem.”

“...Books are useful.”

“I hear they are, yes, for lots of things.” Hector muttered, “But a book can’t tell you when you’re understanding it wrong. Muscle memory plays a big part in techniques like these. A book won’t give you that. Come on, let’s try again. This time I’ll show you the right way to stand.”

Tamar nodded quietly, before accepting the hand that had been offered. Though it was not so much Hector helping him up as literally lifting him and placing him back on his feet. This, Tamar thought, with a new sense of anxiety, was going to be just as difficult as Hector had warned him it would be.

This thought turned out not to be unfounded. Within minutes his backside resembled the dirt more so than the actual dirt did. Stances were a lot harder to get right than they looked, and he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do with his feet and... well it was all kind of surprisingly complicated. “Sorry,” he mumbled, after Hector pulled him to his feet for at least the seventh time.

Hector didn't look too worried, though. “We’ve got a long way to go...”

~~~

Anji, in the meantime, was watching the two swordsman... well, one swordsman and a guy with a stick, rather. She’d dropped into the nearest tree after Hector had woken her up at god-knows-what hour and had been there ever since because hey, she couldn’t just let ter teammates go wandering off without making sure they weren’t getting into trouble, right?

Trouble didn’t seem to be on the cards today, though. Hector was just teaching Tamar about... stances or something. Anji, Eliziya’s protestation at the start aside, had always realised Tamar didn’t fully understand what he was doing... But she hadn't thought he was that bad. Then again, was that exactly fair, when he was sparring with an ox like Hector?

Probably not. Still, Storm and Drive needed people who could hold their own and not fall over every time somebody took a wooden practise sword to them.

Anji sighed and rested her head on her hands as she watched. Fights, she decided, were less interesting when you weren’t in them. But that was her guild member down there, damn it. It was probably some kind of Guild Master’s rule to at least make sure Hector didn’t accidentally kill him.

Still, two minutes with her eyes closed wouldn’t hurt, right?

That was one of the advantages of Anji’s lifestyle growing up. She could fall asleep literally anywhere.

~~~~

By the time the sun had risen above the surrounding buildings, Tamar had just about mastered not falling over whenever Hector nudged him with a finger.

To Tamar, this meant very little, but Hector seemed to read it as great progress. “See, now you’re starting to understand. Balance is everything. But this is just the beginning, keeping your balance for a single strike is one thing, doing so for an entire battle is another.”

“Right,” Tamar swung the practise sword experimentally (success: he didn't fall over immediately after doing so, maybe there was something to these stances after all) “So what about when you’re moving? How do you keep balance when your feet are never in the same place?”

“Well that’s where it gets interesting. But you should know by now just saying it isn’t good enough, I’ll give you some pointers, and you’ll figure it out yourself.” The man yawned, hoisting the practice sword on his shoulder lightly. Damn Ben and his early rising philosophies. “Why don’t we try something more interesting for a while?”

Tamar opened his mouth to ask what, but... it probably should’ve been obvious. Hector had drawn his practise sword and was pointing it in Tamar’s direction. “Try and hit me.”

“...What.”

“With the sword. Come at me like you did those Kobolts. That’s all you’ll need to do. I’ll make it interesting, don’t worry.” He grinned, instantly making Tamar uneasy. He’d seen that same smile directed at a homicidal, rampaging bear, after all.

Tamar took a deep breath. I’m not afraid. I can’t be afraid. It stops here, if I am. It’s just a wooden practise sword, why would I be scared? “...Alright.“

It went about as well as Tamar expected. For the first swing, Hector didn’t even bother to bring up his sword. He simply lifted his arm and blocked the incoming strike with his gauntlet. Tamar remembered the stance-thing and maybe that helped, but to hell if he knew. Trying to fight Hector was kind of like trying to fight a statue. That could move. And hurt you. Probably very badly if he felt that way inclined. Still Tamar was many things, but in the habit of giving up wasn’t one of them. He went in again, struggling to keep his balance and swing at the same time.

Continuing his movement he tried circling to Hector’s back, swinging his sword wildly. Surely at least one of them would make contact, but the large man was surprisingly quick with his reaction. As he whipped his right arm back and pushed his practice sword against the hilt of Tamar’s, causing an imbalance in the attack. Tamar was catching on, at least a little, because he managed to back up before Hector could trip him again with his free hand.

Hector, looking a bit impatient, took a step forward and gave a swing of his own sword with his right arm. Not to hit Tamar, but force the boy to keep his balance for a few more steps that he otherwise would not have needed to. Instinctively the boy managed to deflect the strike, but was still forced backwards from it.

It was a strange thing, barely noticeable at the time, but horrifying after the fact. He had staggered back from another thwarted strike, sword hilt gripped tightly in his hand, and that was when, for the second time in his life, he felt the flare of heat.

That was the only possibly word for it. He had drawn back for another attack and the heat rushed from his heart to his arm, like a rush of adrenaline and along with that, a stabbing sensation of fear. He couldn’t tell where those feelings came from. It was like an echo - the afterimage of thoughts he couldn’t quite remember. The skin of the hand gripping the hilt stung, and Tamar flinched backwards away from his almost-attack suddenly terrified of letting the sword make contact with it’s target, however unlikely that seemed. The words “Stop it!” rose into his mind unbidden even though he had no idea what he was meant to be stopping. Hector seemed to frown briefly at him, but perhaps Tamar imagined that too, as a second later both the heat, and the flare of pain had gone.

Regaining his composure, Tamar continued on the offensive trying his best to make contact against his opponent. It was becoming clear, after several deflected blows however that Hector was managing to keep up the whole time. Tamar didn’t understand how that made sense. One thing he was sure of was that he had to at least be faster than somebody with Hector’s build, and yet every single strike was deflected as if Hector could see it coming before Tamar himself did...

Wait... maybe he could. “Do you already know-” Tamar swung the sword in again. “-What I'm doing?”

Hector couldn’t help but grin. “Now you’re catching on. Left foot,” he said, and Tamar (who had indeed been about to lead off with his left foot), stumbled in confusion.

It was only a light strike with the flat of the wooden blade. Well, ‘light’ by Hector’s standards, not so much by Tamar’s. He had already been off balance, and the added momentum was enough to knock him off his feet. There was a painful thudding sensation at his back, followed by the rustling of leaves.

Anji, who had finally managed to doze back off in what to many would have called a precarious position, suddenly found herself floating on a large cloud in her peaceful dream. Only it stopped being a dream once she fell out of her tree and onto a very suprised Tamar.

It wasn’t clear which of them was more surprised.

“What in the-?” Hector questioned in surprise and confusion, scratching the back of his head. He didn’t mean for Tamar to hit the tree, and he sure as hell hadn’t thought anyone was up there. He had no idea what Anji had been doing, why anyone would be up there in the first place, but she sure wasn’t happy. Trying to make light of the situation, he quickly joked, “Hey, Tamar, it looks like you caught another bird! You’re really good at this.”

Tamar blinked in confusion for a moment, still shaking off the inexplicable remnants of fear and exchanging them for embarrassment. It was hard to come up with a coherent response when your Guild leader had just fallen on your face. And your chest. And everything else.

“Urgh... Sainted crows, what the bleedin’ hell?” Anji snapped.

“Uh... ow. This bird is a little bigger than the last,” Tamar wheezed (not fully understanding why Anji was an avian in this analogy) “I think she's... crushing me."

Anji’s responding glare could have slain a wyvern. “Who’re you callin’ a... damn it, Tamar, get off me right now!”

“You’re the... one on me, Anji.” Tamar coughed, before Hector’s hands snatched the two of them up and got them away from one another.

“Mornin’ again, Anji.” Hector bowed his head with a smirk plastered all over it, “I didn’t realize your room in the inn was this fine oak.” He laughed, “I would have trained him further away if I’d known, sorry.”

“M’pretty... sure that’s not her room,” Tamar muttered, still trying to catch his breath. “But... you can get... into that tree from the hallway... window.” Provided you could climb like a cat he didn’t say aloud. Honestly, it was kind of amazing the number of places Anji could turn up in if she wanted to.

“Aye, I was attempting to... uh... well I was trying to sleep. All that damn noise.... What are ya doin’, hitting each other with sticks?

Tamar really, really hoped she figured his face was red from all the fighting and not sheer embarrassment. “Training... I guess,” he mumbled, just loud enough for her to hear. “Why were you sleeping in the tree?”

Not important.”

“Really? It seems kind of important to your current situation.” Hector chimed in. “I don’t know many people who would happily take a nap in trees.”

“Yeah well, you talk to swords,” Anji grumbled.

“Hey, they speak to me. I just listen.” He paused, looking somewhat embarrassed, “and... occasionally answer.” Even he seemed to realize how crazy that sounded, as he looked around uncomfortably. “If you can sleep in a tree, I can talk to swords...”

Tamar paused before glimpsing at Anji, who looked torn between frustration and an are-you-certifiably-insane? expression. At this point, Tamar felt the sudden urge to defend his choice in tutelage. “...Look, I swear he’s really good at this teaching thing, he can’t knock me over with one hand anymore!” He defended, excitedly.

“...Wow. Progress.”

“Trust me on this, boss, it is.”

Anji raised an eyebrow, “Boss?”

The word had sort of slipped off his tongue without thinking. Tamar shuffled. “Well you’re the guild leader, aren't you? So... That’s what you call them.”

“Whatever.” Anji said, leaning against the tree. “So... are you guys going to train? Am I interrupting?”

“Well,” Hector looked thoughtful for a moment. “Since you’re here, you could always lend a hand.”

“A hand, huh? Sure, what do you need?” Anji said, grinning. Some might say maliciously. Hector seemed oblivious; Tamar, on the other hand, started wondering if it was too late to run.

“Hey, great!” Hector beamed, clapping his hands together. “We’re working on balance right now, but teaching him proper movement is a bit difficult with our size difference. Being closer in height to him, he might be able to follow your movements better and learn from them.” Picking up the practice sword, he handed it towards the scout, a grin still on his sincere face.

Tamar watched Anji’s expression closely, not sure whether he should feel more reassured by the uncertainty glancing across her face, or less. He’d seen Anji take things out with throwing knives from a hundred feet away, but come to think of it, he had never seen her using a sword.

“You want me to fight him.... with this?”

“Well...yeah.” Hector sounded surprised, “He needs to see the proper movements with swords if he’s gonna use them himself. You do know how to use a sword, right?”

Anji simply gestured to her knives, “Does it look like I use a sword to you?”

“That’s okay, I don’t look like I could use a sword either,” Tamar smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring way. It didn’t make Anji’s expression any less disturbing.

“Ha, so you could say you two are equals,here, then.” Hector commented, before Anji finally took the weapon from his hands. “This might work better actually, Tamar, sparring with someone closer to your level.”

Rolling her eyes, Anji settled into a familiar posture, the kind she used when she was about to pull knife from her belt. Instead, her hands closed around a sword hilt, which felt weird in her hand, heavy and off balance.

Hector seemed to pick up on this. “How would you handle this, Ivory?” Silently, He nodded to himself. “Alright, Tamar,” He called out specifically to the younger swordsman, “When holding a large weapon like a sword, the key is to position your legs, arms, and back to compensate for the additional weight. Stay light. Movement is key, your body needs to move with your strikes.” He explained, intentionally targeting Tamar with the advice instead of Anji. Even so, her ears seemed to twitch at the advice. “Alright Anji, let’s begin the lesson...”

They picked things up fast, that much was clear. By mid day even Hector had to admit that both of them had improved quite a bit since when they started.

It was interesting to pick up on their styles too. You could tell a lot about a person from the way they fought. Anji as light on her feet, honed by years of fast escapes no doubt, whereas Tamar was more defensive. he kept his sword up all the time, and never had to be reminded to watch his guard, but as for getting attacks to hit home, Anji was more skilled. Hours went by for the three as Anji and Tamar trained under Hector’s guidance, even if it ‘seemed’ like that guidance was being directed at solely Tamar. In truth the swordsman was watching them both, and attempted his best to improve both of their stances.

“Nice work today, Tamar.” He patted the exhausted boy on the shoulder, “And thanks for the help Anji. You really...cleared things up.” He smirked, “Well, anyway Tamar, you should get some rest. We’ll be back at it tomorrow. After all, we’ve barely scratched the surface.”

“Meh, I wasn’t busy,” Anji shrugged, hopping up onto the nearby wall. If she was as tired as Tamar felt, she was doing a good job of hiding it. But then, Anji seemed good at hiding an awful lot of things. Tamar understood that. “Anyway, I need guild mates who can, you know, use a weapon without brainin’ themselves, so every little helps.” She rubbed her arms lightly. There were small bruises blossoming under her skin where a wooden blade had broken through a hasty defence, and Tamar figured he must look much the same.

Still, there was a feeling of pride underneath it. His brief flare of terror from early was all but forgotten. “We’ll be using real swords tomorrow, then?”

“Ah... let’s, uh, let’s not walk before we can run, eh?” Hector brushed the question aside awkwardly. No way was Tamar ready for that, and Hector assumed the boy preferred to have both his arms. “We’ll get there, we’ll just need patience. Things will only get harder from here though, I’ll need you to give it your all each day.” He explained as he collected the practice weapons they had been using, preparing to leave. “Anyway...they should be waking up Ben by now, I should head back to the guild and greet him.” The man laughed heartily. “I’ll see you both tomorrow!”

Anji slipped a little from where she sat on the wall, but by the time she thought to protest Hector had already clapped both of them on the back and was vaulting over the wall surrounding the Inn’s yard. “Ah, damnit.”

“What’s wrong?” Tamar blinked, confused. Anji’s expression was a combination of amused and frustrated. Which was an expression she wore a lot when talking to or about Hector, now that Tamar thought about it. Then she shook her head.

“Ah, it’s nothing. I think I’m going to go to go... do some other... things... bloody swordsman...getting me into yet another....” Tamar couldn’t hear the rest as Anji clambered neatly into the second story window and out of sight.

Tamar stood there for a few seconds longer, before sighing and going to gather up his sword. He might get the hang of this swordplay stuff, but he wasn’t sure he’d ever work out his Guild leader. Still, on the plus side, at least he was probably going to be a lot less likely to accidentally get one of them killed by the end of all this.

Yeah. Not getting anyone killed would be a definite plus.
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Scarab
 
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:35 pm
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Lordxana0 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:58 pm

A door opened revealing a pitch black room with a single man sitting in it. The man looked like he might have once been in very good shape, but now looked weak and tired. He looked up from the floor and covered his eyes when light from a torch illuminated the room for the first time in a few days.

Blank looked at the man with emotionless eyes and motioned for him to stand up. The man did so and they walked out of the room. "We need to talk

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
A door opened revealing a well set up office, the walls lined with books and multiple papers, ink wells, and quills, sat lined in perfect order on the desk. Sitting behind the desk was Salvantas, who wore an open smile on his face. "Please sit down, I feel like we need to talk."

The woman who had opened the door walked in and took a seat at the chair opposite of Salvantas desk and looked at him. "How can I help you sir?"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"It has come to my attention that you wish to advance your placement in this guild, to ascend to the position of second in command, am I correct that this is your ambition?" Blank slowed his stride to allow the other man to keep pace with him. Blank was feared among the men and women of the organization. He could easily snap your neck for taking one step past the line, and he had shown he was more then willing to on more then one occasion.

"Yes Lord Blank, I believe that I can serve efficiently as the second in command over the dark forces when you are away, and I believe that I more then anyone have embraced your teachings, and I will do whatever it takes to prove it, I am not the murderer who came here, I have become a new man, one who wishes to protect rather then destroy" the man answered weakly.

"Hmm"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"So it has come to my attention that you have quite an impressive record, one of the highest capture ratings in the entire guild, and you are well respected among the men and women of Heroes Unlimited for your bravery and leadership skills, do you believe any of these rumors to be true?" Salvantas looked at the woman with a soft smile on his face and in his eyes. Many of the people in Heroes Unlimited described him as one of the kindest people they had ever worked for, and he worked hard to earn that title from them.

The woman cleared her throat before replying. "It is true that I have managed to capture quite a few criminals in my time, and that when I am in control of a mission or group people tend to listen to me. Speaking of which I have patrol in about twenty minutes sir, and I would like some time to prepare myself, no offense sir" the woman looked him in the eyes, confidence and a bit of pride glowing behind her own eyes.

"Hmm"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Blank lead the man into a large room. It was lit by torches which were held by twenty four other figures who were dressed completely in black robes which covered their entire bodies. They let out a small chant and the man saw what was illuminated in the middle of the room. A hangman's noose standing over what he knew to be a trap door that had been designed in their sewer base when they had taken residence in it. "Is this punishment for my sins?" the man asked. His voice had no edge to it, just simple acceptance.

"Yes, I have decided that what you have done in your past should deny you the right to live, and your ambitions make you to dangerous to be useful, do you accept this?" Blank asked in his monotone voice.

He nodded as Blank put the noose around his neck. "I accept my sins and am prepared to face my judgement, from both you and the gods, may my sentence be passed" The man watched Blank walk over to the lever without emotion. He would face his death like a man, starring it in the face instead of closing his eyes to it.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Salvantas stood from his chair. "Allow me to escort you out then, I could use the fresh air honestly" he smiled and offered his hand to held the woman from her chair. She accepted his hand and stood up with a slight nod of gratitude.

"So what was the purpose of calling me in today if you don't mind me asking sir... I hope it wasn't just to compliment my abilities or some nonsense like that" she opened the door and was taken back by what she saw. The twenty four other members of Heroes Unlimited stood around a small cake which had multiple candles burning on top of it.

"Actually I called you here to inspect what kind of person you were, and I have to say that the rumors proved true when it came to you, so that leaves me with one question to ask"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Blank pulled the lever and the false door dropped out from under the feet of the man. He didn't scream, or curse, or do anything other then simply drop. And drop he did. Straight onto a wooden board that had been placed in the hole, the rope giving him more then enough length to survive.

Blank went over and with a knife cut the rope and pulled the man out. "And with this your old self had died, who you were before you joined us has passed away, the mans crimes, pleasures, accomplishments, friends, family, all of it is gone, you are now a new man, reborn without a soul or past. Which leaves me with one question to ask"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Will you accept the responsibility as second in command of Heroes Unlimited"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The woman looked at Salvantas before kneeling down before him. "I do accept this, I will bring law and order to this place, I will protect the weak and be the champion of the innocent, I will lead our guild as your ways have taught." the men and women cheered and Salvantas smiled.

"Rise then Arania, Second in Command of Heroes Unlimited" he pulled her to her feet and bowed slightly to her. "May you forever walk to path of light"

She nodded. "And may the path of light forever lead me to protect those who need me"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The man fell to his hands and knees in a bow before Blank. "I do accept this my lord. I will destroy evil, eliminate anarchy, burn away the sins of those who would choose to hunt down the innocent. I will lead our group into the black night and kill all who would oppose justice"

"Rise from your knees then Amanas, Second in Command of Heroes Unlimited" he offered no hand but waiting for the man to rise to his own feet. "May the path of darkness forever follow the path of light"

The man took a few moments to wet his lips with his tongue before finishing the line. "And may the path of darkness strike those who would seek to harm the path of light" a group of the robed people went over to congratulate the man and offer him water and food, the first he would have had in quite some time.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Salvantas laid down in his bed and looked out the window at the dark city. "So now we will have more free time to spend on mission and other such pursuits. But the question is what do we do now?"

By now, do you mean this very moment?

Salvantas nodded to the voice inside his head. "I suppose I do."

When was the last time we slept. And I don't mean passing out from three days of work, but I mean proper sleep.

Salvantas tried to think back, but realized he couldn't remember a time in recent memory that had happened. "Well... I suppose with our second in commands helping run things it couldn't hurt... goodnight Blank" Salvantas closed his eyes and allowed sleep to take him.

...To you as well Salvantas.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Scarab on Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:18 pm

Under normal circumstances, Tamar was pretty good at getting out of these dreams.

They were usually pretty obvious about it, that was the thing. You can’t see cave bears flying around with hummingbird wings, or (to make an example of one of the weirder ones he’d had lately), Julius building an imitation of the Floating Castle out of wooden bricks and small bones, and not realise that this was not the way reality worked.
Except that in the Castle, with its Behemoths, enchanted ores and more mages than you could shake a stick at, sometimes it was. Perhaps that uncertainty changed things.

This was the same yard where Hector had trained Anji and Tamar only this morning. He tried to cling to that thought, to that memory of what was real. He tried to remember that the Floating Castle was not burning to the ground all around him, and that the alleyways were not as dark as they now seemed. But the fire she stood within was beautiful and terrible at the same time, enchanting. Her limbs too thin, spiderlike and iron-strong.

That was... not the way she really looked. Not on the outside, anyway.

She laughed. A low, quiet chuckle, not at all the laugh you’d expect from somebody who crushed a kingdom for fun. ‘Still a scrawy thing, I see. Is this the best you can offer your own bloodline?’

Tamar reached for the sword at his belt and, because today had obviously decided to screw him over, it wasn’t there. The walls around him buzzed and squirmed, like insects around a corpse. The purple light spread beneath her footsteps, like veins of mould.

‘I think you’ve done enough with that. Do you know I hear the gallows screaming, brother? They haven’t been used in a long time, I think they’re missing their purpose in life. You know why that is, don’t you?’

‘Because of you,’ Tamar spoke without meaning to. The atmosphere of the dream dragged the words from his tongue whether he wanted to speak or not. Yes, she has banned the gallows in the Veil, along with the hangman’s noose and the stocks and the ropes and horses, but it was why she had done it that held the horror. There was no altruism in it, just the desire for something deeper than execution could provide.

‘Yes. Because that’s not the way a Castor works. You know this. You must know this,’ the figure shook its head, like a ragdoll, seeming... confused. ‘You know the instinct that should compel you. And yet, here you are, pretending to be... what exactly? Some kind of swordsman?’ she grimaced. ‘Couldn’t find the magic, could you? It’s a shame. I had hoped it was in there somewhere, that maybe with enough encouragement...’

Encouragement.

Yeah. Right. The pain around his ribcage told Tamar all about encouragement. Don’t be scared don’t run again don’t be scared don’t run again. Don’t let her see it, don’t be scared.

‘I don’t... want what you can anyway.’ The aftershocks of pain from the old scar ran through him in rivulets, radiating from a point beneath his ribcage. ‘You shouldn’t be here.’

The unnaturally crooked jawed face of his sister blinked in apparently surprise. Her hands curled, dancing with purple flame between her fingers. ‘But we are the Veil. The Veil knows everything there is eventually. Oh, come now, little brother, did you really think the blood wouldn’t leave a trail?’ her voice trailed from amused to angry. Her eyed flashed with the burning of a thousand spells, each more exquisitely painful than the last. Tamar knew most of them. He knew which ones left scars and which ones didn’t.

Of course he hadn’t expected to escape. Because there was no place she wouldn’t follow. ‘Because the wolf always returns to the corpse it buried for later, don’t you see? I would always have found you. You think the lessons of some idiotic swordsman can save you from that? You think the raw nerve of some arrogant little street rat? Or the weak flickering flames of her sister? Or the man who failed the only duty he ever had? You think any of these people can find a worth for you? A point? Is that what you came here to find, little runaway?’ She sounded... almost curious. But the wall beneath Tamar’s hands continued to shift like a bed of flies, and he shuddered on instinct. ‘Well, so much for that. I will find you. Are you ready to come home when I do?’
And therein lay the root of it. This, Tamar thought, was the thing that made him jump into monsters hideaways, into shadows, into the path of things he should’ve known better than to face, and didn’t have the nerve to boast about. Because the alternative was turning around, and that was where she was waiting with her arms outstretched, and the pain of a thousand spells bubbling in her fingertips. This was something he would face any other horror to get away from.

Perhaps that was cowardly. Tamar wasn’t altogether sure what courage actually meant, but there was a flash of green hair in his mind when he thought of the word. Occasionally orange or ebony black, but usually green.

‘I’ll... take it. I’ll take punishment.’ He said, mostly to himself, but the rest of his sentence hung unspoken. ‘...But not yours. Anything but yours.’

‘Obedient, as usual. Good. You have no idea how surprised we were when you ran. How ashamed... but know this, brother, for as long as you run you shall leave more blood for us to follow. Everyone you've ever known will feel it, just as he did.’

'Stay away from them!'

'From who? Your guild? The feeble minded swordsman? The pretty little mage girl from the other side of the world? I'd ask you to be more specific, brother, but it's unrequired. You already know what awaits them, just as it awaits you. It's as inevitable as the end of a story.'

Usually, Tamar was pretty good at getting out of these dreams. He’d had a lot of practise. But sometimes they had a way of tricking you. Of convincing you that not only was this how things were, but it was how they had always been. This was easier when they had truths to draw on. So the purple fire felt real enough, as it crackled through the air and wrapped around him, reaching deep into his bones.

The pain in his dream was an echo of something real. It was probably that which woke him up. The ache bit deep into his bones as the world flickered into view around him, caught up in a silent scream. For a moment, Tamar sat there tense, wondering where the pain was coming from.

‘Right...the training. Ow.’

So it wasn’t the pain of the spells, but the pain of swinging a sword around all day when you aren’t used to it. The pain ran towards the scar tissue, and then stopped, blossoming briefly into agony around the edges of his ribs before fading away to the same numbness it always held. Tamar gripped the sheet tight and forced himself to remember what came afterwards.
There were books, things that told you how they thought dreams worked, why they worked: prediction or precognition were amongst the less common explanations and this... this wasn’t anything like that. This was just the same bad dream he had had a thousand times.

Tamar let out a breath, listening to the silence all around him. ‘Didn’t wake anyone this time. Good.’

It wasn’t as if sleep around here was usually restful anyway, but quite frankly, Tamar could do without the same old nightmares.
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Blurred_9L on Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:22 pm

(A day after Quest 16)
----------------------------------------

Darkness. Darkness in this world comes as the sun sets and goes away as it peeks through the horizon in the morning. And yet, this kind of darkness wasn’t that sort of thing that can be dispelled with light rays coming from the sun, a lamp or a candle. No, this sort of darkness threatened to swallow his entire existence and drown it in despair.

”The girl didn’t have it.”

The written words on the piece of paper raised too many questions for Darren to answer, and yet, he knew he had the answers to the most important ones. He furiously clutched the paper in his hand. How foolish had he been, expecting he could escape from his own past that easily? How long would it be before the days of running away came back, harsher than ever? Would he still be able to outrun his pursuers? Would they leave him alone if they found out he no longer had what they were looking for?

”No.” He thought as the paper lost its shape, ripped to pieces by his own hands. The sun had begun setting on the horizon indicated by the orange-like light coming from the window. Soon he would have to go to Castletown’s gates. Soon, the darkness would come and with it, the monsters that danced in its embrace. Darren closed his eyes as took a step towards the door, forcing his shaking legs to move. ”Haven’t I changed after all I have been through?” he thought, trying to encourage himself to go ahead and worry about whatever needed to be taken care of later. He opened the door, revealing the empty hallway inside the inn. Somehow, he found himself leaving the building, one step at a time, prompting the inn’s owner to eye him suspiciously as he exited through the front door. Not that he cared. Yet, as he made his way towards the castle gates, he felt he already knew the answer to his own question.

“No.” he spoke to himself, as he walked, his worn-out brown cloak covering his face.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

A lone figure stood amidst the a clearing inside the forest. On the ground, a huge cog-like structure extended. At its center, the stairs to the underground waited ominously. The woman looked around, the eyes of the forest wolves spying on her and her mission. Yet, their wild instincts prevented them from attacking her, from getting an “easy” meal. They knew this woman was dangerous, they knew that if they were to turn their fangs on this particular human, they would regret it. Which is why they waited, just like she did. She waited on top of the stair, quiet and unmoving. Sometimes she would tap her foot on the ground with impatience, but even so she waited.

The full moon was up in the sky by the time two men emerged from the darkness that spewed out of the stairs. They were gravely wounded, yet they walked as if their injuries were nothing more but mere scratches that would heal on their own. They saluted her, she just looked at them, judging the situation.

“Did you find what we were looking for?” She asked firmly, looking at one of the two men in the eyes, who immediately stepped back in fear. She got no response.

“Wasn’t a bigger unit assigned for this mission?” She asked after a moment of silence. The two men looked at each other doubtfully. The woman stomped her foot on the floor, startling both men, indicating she was running out of patience.

“T...The...They’re all dead!” one of them said, trying to hide the fear in his voice. The words came out in a blurt, his voice distorting itself from the effort.

“Useless.” The woman said under her breath as she turned around to leave. “Scum like you is the reason we were discovered in the first place. Even so, lowlifes as you can have a purpose... and if that purpose and your own will are enough, well, maybe you won’t be so useless after all.” she smiled in what seemed to be genuine happiness, yet her voice sounded mad and filled with anger at the men’s failure.

“I heard Hara delivered both messages...” she started speaking again after noticing her companions were too scared to be even talk. “...and... right now, the boy should be receiving the second one.” She turned back, walking over to one of the men, his body trembling, either due to fear or injury. “Oh... are you worried about something? You shouldn’t be! After all, I sent a very capable person, if I say so myself.” her smile widened beyond what could possible be considered normal as she said these words. Drops of sweat fell to the ground from the man’s face.

“I’m pretty sure you know each other. Short girl, short chestnut hair, pale skin... a member of the City Guard... just like you. Just like your former comrades you left inside that ‘horrible’ place. I’m sure she will get the job done.”

“As for you... I’m afraid we cannot tolerate failure. If you had brought back what I asked you to get, then, perhaps I would consider if you were to be given a second chance or not... But your whole unit is dead, you say. Scum like you are only useful as monster food!” she shouted, as she turner one last time, her black cloak floating in the air for a moment before disappearing completely. The two men stood dumbfounded, unsure of what they should do. Not too far away, a wolf howled, alerting it’s pack of the presence of intruders in the forest that would probably serve a good an easy meal. The men took out their weapons, ready to fight, but their injuries were too grave and the smell of blood would soon alert the nearby creatures, would they decide to venture outside the stairs...

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Darren panted heavily, his back against the wall, his hand covering his injured side. He was bleeding from the knife wound his assailant had given him earlier. He looked in front of him and saw a body laid out on the floor. He closed his eyes, trying his best to remain calm at the situation at hand, reviewing in his mind the memories of what just had happened.

”Again... again?”

His thoughts shifted toward the letter he had received earlier that day. A piece of paper and a knife keeping it stuck on the wall. The uncanny letters written in red. The cryptic message inside that very letter that reminded him of the things he had done.

”The girl didn’t have it.”

The message was clear, but he wasn’t ready to accept it yet. So he crawled towards the corpse in the middle of the candle-lit room. He carefully removed the black cloak that covered the face of the assassin revealing the face of a girl. The door opened, a guard looking at the mess inside. Knives and wood from broken chairs were all over the floor. How Darren and the assassin managed to not hit the candles on a shelf near the door he would never know.

Chestnut hair and pale skin. The gilr had stopped breathing and all that remained was the shell of the person she had been... and the one of the person she had been forced to be. She clutched a small note on her hand, which Darren recovered. It probably was the same kind of paper as the last one. The same calligraphy, the same uncanny red letters. The message that was written on it would be forever engraved inside his mind.




”The girl is no more.”
Why should we do the right thing?
-Well... because it's the right thing to do, there's no other good reason.

Am I a bad guy trying to be good, or a good guy trying to convince himself that he's not the bad guy?
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Lordxana0 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:18 am

Tenzami looked out of the window of the warehouse he and the other thirty members of his small unnamed gang had been working out of. Here they had been producing small quantities of a rather potent and highly addictive drug using plants and other materials they had found when the second floor had been made open for anyone to go to. It was amazing how quickly it had caught on among those the cities structure had decided was the lower class. He now had spies and agents among them, simply due to the fact they truly believed they could no longer live without his little creation. "You might as well come out, I know you are there."

Moramius stepped into the room, slowly closing the door behind him. He didn't know how Tenzami always managed to know when he entered the room. He always had spells that completely suppressed any noise he made, but his boss always knew the second he was within range. "My lord, what I heard about Kreiger, is it true that he is dead?" Moramius might have held no love for the giant, but he was still a member of the original four members of his group, and he wanted to make sure.

Tenzami sighed and walked over to his desk and pouring them both some wine into two wooden cups. "Yep the big dumb bastard is dead, to him" Tenzami raised the cup and then drank down the liquid. "Through two good things came out of it, the first being that we have secured a deal with a small sect of the Soul Drinkers in the lower floors, they will provide us with safety through their areas so long as our people continue to provide them with victims, they seem to really like little children and priests, guess you start to develop certain tastes after awhile" his lips curled into a cruel smile.

Moramius shivered slightly as he saw his boss put a smile onto his face. He always wondered what made him so afraid of Tenzami, after all he was a master of the art of the Black Flame, and had effortlessly killed people that made Tenzami look like a squire. Perhaps it was because in all his years he had never met someone who so enjoyed causing misery and pain. "And what is the second one?"

Tenzami smiled and sat at his chair before moving his legs to rest them on his small desk. "They confirmed my suspensions, the tomb of the Black King Scaromancer is in the castle, somewhere in the upper floors lays the one true king of the Earth, the one that will make the land run red with blood and grant those who bring him back to life eternal existence"

Moramius looked at his leader slack-jawed. "That is impossible, Scaromancer is a legend, something made up to scare children before they go to bed" Then again the power of the Black Flame was a legend as well, so perhaps in this situation he had no real room to talk.

"He ain't a legend you git, he is our ticket to life everlasting and slaughter never ending, guess fate has a funny way of showing its head where you least expect it, by bringing me here it moved me one step closer to the dream my family has held throughout the ages, to bring him back to life." he took another drink. "Far away from human hands the King of Darkness lies, should he ever resurrect to your love ones say goodbye, fear his coming and pray to your gods, less he awaken and bring an end to all" he finished the small rhyme and laughed. "Ain't nowhere I have ever seen been so far out of human hands as this castle, so it only makes sense"

Maramius slowly drained the last of the wine from the cup. "So you plan on going through with this... bringing back someone who has been said to bring about the end of the entire world?" He was less then happy about this development. He quite liked the world, it just so happened to be the only one he had ever known. "Doesn't that seem a bit... extreme, even for us?"

Tenzami put down his cup and in the blink of an eye pulled free one of his three blade and ran it through the mages shoulder and pinned him to a wall. "Don't question me, don't ever question me!" he roared in a voice akin to that of a demons. "You should know better then to do that by now man" he pulled the blade out and the wound quickly healed as the blade exited the mans shoulder. "Try not and do that again, kay?" he asked and slowly patted the Mage's cheek. He turned back and sat at his chair as the Mage composed himself.

"Right... any chance I can get another cup?" the Mage asked sitting on the opposite side of the table and holding the cup up. Now he remembered why he followed Tenzami. Because if you weren't with him you were dead, and that included people as powerful as he was.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Two figures dressed in full armour battled each other in the Severed Claws' training area. Their swords moved like blurs, constantly dancing about each other with great skill. Eventually one of the two figures disarmed the other, with a swift and complicated twist of the wrist.

The figures stepped back and one of them took off her helmet. Under the helmet was the grinning face of Ben. "Not bad. Not bad at all. I almost broke a sweat. Keep practicing; you can beat me yet. Who knows; maybe you'll even defeat Hector."

The other fighter took off her helmet and let spill from it a mass of brown hair. "Maybe if you fought me outside of this heavy armour nonsense, the tables would be turned around. I mean, honestly, I feel like if I were knocked over, all an enemy would have to do would be jump up and down hard enough to kill me." She began removing the armour.

Ben smirked. "It's always better to train in full armour. It helps build strength, which you can use when you're short on body weight advantages; and, besides, it's a closer simulation of real-battle conditions, where you'll need the protection a layer of sheet metal affords."

"And I beat you last time we sparred without the armour," she huffed.

"Right, the morning after Hector got me dead drunk," Ben agreed. "Great bragging point, that."

The other woman finally took off the last of her armour. "Uh huh."

Ben laughed lightly, obviously not taking the argument to heart. "Haven't we both got things to do? I know I promised Hector I'd look into some guild paperwork for him. You can probably use some down time right now."

The girl smiled and gave a mock salute. "You got it, boss."
Last edited by Lordxana0 on Thu May 30, 2013 2:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Falling With Style

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:08 pm

Ben rose early, as always; she knew Tad didn’t open the forge for another hour at least, but this was no time to get into bad habits. She preferred to watch the sunrise than let the whole day slip away.

She was surprised, though, to see another person up at this hour-- a teenage boy was in the courtyard, apparently fencing with the air. Ben had nothing particularly better to do with the time, so she leaned against a tree, watching him for a moment. She knew she should leave well enough alone, but his horrendous stance was like an itch she couldn’t scratch. Seriously. It was as if she were watching somebody who had learned the majority of his skills from books, and ones which were short on diagrams, at that. She was fairly sure the boy hadn’t noticed her yet, and while it would be nice to keep it that way, she was going to have to do something, as subtly as possible.

~~~

Well, so much for not falling over at all today.

In his own defence, Tamar thought he’d been doing pretty well up until somebody put a hand on his shoulders. His first instinct was to bolt, but his feet weren’t in the right place for it and he knew that would’ve sent him crashing to the ground. So he tensed up instead, an instinct that went about ten times deeper than anything he’d learned in the last forty-eight hours, waiting for the impact.

He was actually pretty surprised when it never came.

“Feet.”

Tamar blinked, still watching for the shock which never happened. The hand on his shoulder was firm, but apparently its owner had no intention of actually knocking him over or anything like that. “Um... sorry?”

“Your stance is all wrong. Whoever taught you to stand like that was probably having a joke at your expense.”

“No one taught me, I...” Tamar hesitated, remembering the last reaction somebody had had to the phrase “I saw it in a book.” The figure had moved to the side, and he got his first good look at her; red hair and sharp eyes. The kind of eyes you only saw in people who knew exactly what they were doing and exactly how they were going to do it. Or at least, they were exceptionally good at faking it. “I mean... it worked fine yesterday. We haven’t done that yet.”

Ben decided to gloss over the question of who exactly constituted ‘we’, instead asking, “What exactly qualifies as ‘fine’ combat, when you’re wide open to attacks from the left, right, and centre?” She considered demonstrating exactly where an enemy could strike at him unopposed, but the boy looked skittish enough without her pretending to attack right away.

“Um... if they were coming straight at me?” Tamar suggested hopefully. The swordswoman didn’t look impressed by this. “I mean... you came up from behind, I couldn’t see you.”

Ben raised a pair of thick eyebrows. Maybe he did need a demonstration... but she wasn’t going to wave a naked blade at the boy. She marched over to a nearby tree and snapped off a convenient branch. Returning, she outlined to him exactly how open he was. “If I came straight at you, and including only basic maneuvers, I could have struck at you up and under like this, or in from the left like this, or a diagonal cut down from your right like this, and you would be positioned in such a way that you would not be able to conveniently avoid the blow. Moreover, on the battlefield, it is possible for enemies to approach from behind, and while it’s occasionally impossible to anticipate their approach, it should be possible to get out of the way once they do make themselves known-- which you were not able to do, it seems, when I showed up.”

Tamar was just trying to match what she was saying with where the sword was pointing. He had no idea how he would have avoided any of those strikes. Brought the blade up, maybe? But then she’d just have hit him somewhere else, or...

...Okay, this was a lot less confusing when it was only the bear. Or, for that matter, when Hector had been showing him. He remembered what they had said about grounding, planting your feet, but how was that going to help when the sword was coming at your head? “W-well can’t I just dodge it?”

“The way you’re standing right now, you can’t,” Ben told him matter-of-factly. “You’re in totally the wrong position to fall properly.”

Wait, what? How was he supposed to avoid being beaten if... “Fall properly? But... why...”

Ben sighed, reading the confusion on his face. “The way to win a fight is not by being the one to fall down the least, you know. If you know how to fall, anyway, you can use it to your advantage, or at least prevent yourself being badly hurt when your no-falling posture eventually fails you and you get knocked over anyway.” The boy was still gaping at her, lost. “Here,” she said, drawing her sword... “knock me over, and I’ll show you how you really avoid falling.”

Okay, it seemed that just when Tamar thought the castle couldn’t possibly confuse him any more than it already had, somebody would stick another swordsman in front of him who attempted to defy everything he had managed to make sense of in the last few hours. He was trying not to be too frustrated by that because hey, she seemed to know what she was talking about. “Um... are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Skittish kid, huh? Well, she didn’t really need him to knock her over in order to fake a fall. Impatient, Ben ignored his question, and simply commanded, “Watch.” She then reacted as though someone had pushed her off balance; her right hand still firmly gripping her sword’s hilt, her left arm shot out, slapping the ground as it came rushing up to meet her. Faster than Tamar’s eyes could quite follow, Ben levered herself around her left arm, swinging her right leg around to push herself back up to a standing position, about a foot and a half to the left of where she had been.

Tamar stood there for a second trying to figure out what he had seen. Somehow she had managed to go from falling over to one side, to back on her feet in almost the same stance she had started in. He really couldn’t see Hector pulling the same trick (then again, what, short of a mountain bear with a bad temper, would be able to knock Hector over in the first place?). Heck, maybe that was the point. “Whoa...”

Ben smiled crookedly, and resigned herself to repeating the move in slow-motion. “See, you slap the ground with your free hand,” she explained. “That braces the brunt of the fall, means you don’t hit the cobbles smack on your face, and gives you more control of the situation.

“Don’t remain still for too long, or you’re leaving yourself open again-- when you’re falling, always be on the move.” Alex is so much better at this, she sighed. “If you use your arm for leverage, you can spin yourself over it to find a better place to come up-- while you’re dropping, you should swing your opposite leg over like this so that all you’ll need to do is pull the other leg out from under it, push up with your hand, and you’re standing again, like so.” She sheathed her sword, dusting off her palms. “Ready to try it?”

“...You’re going to knock me over.”

“Not if you’re not comfortable with that. ...I’m pretty sure you can knock yourself over with no outside help. The important part is what comes after, practicing that fall.”

Honestly, today couldn’t get any weirder, could it? Still, confusion aside, it wasn’t like he could avoid falling all the time. That was sort of impossible, right? So Tamar took a deep breath, and deliberately shifted one foot behind the other, mimicking what the swordswoman had done. That part went well. Falling was no problem at all. He was used to falling. It was the avoiding the ground part which he had trouble with.When he tried to do the leg swinging bit things went completely wrong and the next thing he knew he was on his back for... he thought it was probably the fifteenth time in the last three days. The air left his lungs in a rush.

O... kay... “Look,” Ben offered, “How about I walk you through this? First of all, you need to get your legs in order. You fall forward, put out your arm, and I’ll help you with the rest.” She watched as the boy imitated the movement, still hesitant and completely red in the face, but at the very least he would gain points for effort.

Satisfied that he’d managed to slap the ground properly, Ben grasped his right ankle and pulled it over his left leg to rest across it on the ground. Releasing his right leg, she took the left, untangling it neatly from the right, and told him, “Okay, now push yourself off and up.”

The fall felt all wrong at first, the way falls are probably supposed to feel but this time, his hand landed first, hard on the ground, and he went up again, instead of hitting the dirt. This surprised Tamar as much as anyone else, and while he probably looked a little weird for beaming about it, he did anyway. ”That actually worked! How the heck did that work?”

Ben caught his hand as he came up, a little wobbly, and steadied him. “Good job. Practice falling properly, now that you know how, and you’ll be able to use it.”

“Part two,” Ben said with a grin, “using falling for offensive purposes.” She paused, trying to think how best to introduce this. “Sometimes it’s to your advantage, if you’re going down anyway, to change the nature of the fight. If you pull your opponent down with you, you’re forcing them to be too close for proper stabbing range. Obviously, it won’t be advantageous if you’re up against someone bigger than you, but if you’re physically matched, like we are, or better yet, up against someone smaller than you-- kobold-sized, for example-- then you can see the positives to going from swordplay to wrestling, at least long enough to get the weapon out of the other guy’s hand.”

“I’ve fought Kobolds,” Tamar said, apropos of nothing. “They don’t seem like they fall over easily but they’re kinda... light.”

Ben flashed a wolfish grin. “That’s why you get to help them along.” Ben checked to make sure her scabbard was tightly secured to her belt, before turning back at him. “Attack me head-on and I’ll show you what I mean.”

This didn’t seem like a much better idea than it had a few minutes ago, but since Tamar was now running on what he presumed was the high of actually succeeding at something (not quite like taking down a giant grizzly bear with a sword hilt but hey, Tamar would take his boons where he could get them), so he nodded, stepped back, and lunged forward in one of the only moves he actually knew.

Ben reached forward with her left-- keeping her right hand free, as though it were occupied with wielding a sword-- and gripped Tamar’s right arm near the elbow, letting his lunge push her off balance. With no hands free this time, she braced the fall with her right leg, bending the knee behind her as she saw the fall coming so she wouldn’t crack her head on the ground. They landed with Tamar on top of the braced Ben, who immediately used her grip on his arm to wrestle him around to the bottom of the pair. As soon as Ben had Tamar on the ground, his sword arm stretched out so that the weapon couldn’t reach her, she sprang up in a swift, catlike motion, so that he wouldn’t feel threatened by her maneuver. She lounged against the tree as she waited for him to pick himself up.

Tamar had the distinct feeling he’d just become the Kobold in that little demonstration. “So... um... that was falling properly, right?”

“One way to do it, certainly,” Ben answered cheerfully. “I can try to demonstrate again with the air to show you what I did with my leg. Essentially, the most important thing is to know how to fall without injuring yourself; the rest, such as repositioning or wrestling your opponent, are just useful frills.”

Tamar picked himself up. “Thanks. Yeah, I... see what you mean. I don’t really think the throwing thing would work on Hector.”

Ben smirked. “You know Erastus? Yes, I’d wager you do not want him on top of you, even if you had the muscle to pull him down.”

Tamar snorted quietly. “No kidding, I saw him take down a bear the other day. A bear! Single-handed. When it was trying to eat us!” He paused. “...Actually, not sure about the eating us thing. I think it was just really annoyed, at least the second time, so maybe he didn’t exactly take it down the first time around. S’okay though,” he added when he noticed the look on her face. “We stuck a sword hilt through its head? So I’m pretty sure it’s dead now. Hector’s wearing it.” He brushed the dirt off his tunic. “So um... yes. Dead bear.”

Ben cocked her head. “...Right. So, you want to practice falling until you know how to not kill yourself?” She glanced up at the sky; the sun had already made it past the horizon. Time flies when you’re having fun, huh?

Tamar resisted the urge to ask exactly how long that would take, and how often he was probably going to have to fall over in the process. Somehow it seemed exactly against what he’d previously been learning, but... still it apparently worked pretty well. “Well, if I’m going to keep falling over all the time anyway, might as well do it with some style.”
Last edited by Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Pixelmage on Wed May 01, 2013 9:27 pm

NPC Event - The “Princeling” (Real name Adam)
Timeline placement: Two days before the Floor 2 Boss Battle.

Adam ran like a madman through the woods. He’d left the safety of the city months ago, braving the wilds to see what he could find. He had heard about the dangers that were natural to that kind of place from scouts and merchants he happened to meet, and also about the unsettling activities of roaming Kobolds, homeless Rakes and the various guilds and their machinations. Life was hard outside the protection of the first level. Yet, he still tried to overcome every challenge. Pick up your sword. Fight for those who can’t. Yeah, right... Next time tell someone who can fight to do that! His wounds weren’t life threatening, but his successes were limited.

He first encountered a couple of Rakes, scouring the shadows under the trees for small animals, and managed to scare them away easily enough. But shortly afterward he discovered why they would rather run from a lone adventurer, he found a bear’s lair. The stench was a clear indicator that the animal was dead inside, but that was also when his own luck ran out.

A small pack of Kobolds had claimed the cave, and his own skill was barely enough to keep him alive against the quick opponents. And so he ran. It was close to nightfall when he reached a Goblin settlement.

“My name is Adam. I am a human from the floor below. I understand your people have an agreement with mine, and under the terms of that treaty, whichever they may be, I request shelter for the night!” Adam called to the globin nearest to the palisade gates of the tribe.

“Eh? Say yer what now?” The goblin asked,his tongue stumbling over the foreign sounds.

“Human. I need somewhere safe to spend the night.”

“Oh? That all? Why didn’t ya just say so? Get in already!” The goblin beckoned, relaxing again in his post. “Ye humans... All complicated. Just find anywhere empty, ye’ll be safe in her.”

Almost as if to test his faith, a blast of dirt and smoke flew into the air barely an arm’s length away from Adam’s body. He stared at the goblin, who sat completely unfazed as a puff of smoke and debris filtered its way lazily into the air. “I... See... Thanks.” Not knowing what to do, he began to walk around the settlement, careful not to get close to anything that looked remotely like an explosive. Which was nearly everything inside the village.

It was already night time when he decided to sit at a wall and hope for no more bombs to go off. He wouldn’t be able to sleep, but it was still better than to worry about bears and rakes and kobolds in a dark and cold forest. He tried to avoid attracting attention to himself, but apparently the news of his presence had spread, and one of the goblins called out to him.

“So you’re the human who got lost in the woods...” He was slightly older than most other goblins in the settlement, and spoke in a more refined manner. “I wonder, why are you even here?”

“Sorry?” Adam focused his thoughts. “I... Well, I suppose I was looking for a way out of this Castle.”

“Young.” The goblin shook his head. “You barely got here and you already want to leave?”

“I suppose. But... Why do you ask that?”

“Humans come to this place from time to time... And they all seek to leave, at some point or another.”

“So, you know others? But, the city was deserted when we arrived... Or does this mean... For how long have the goblins lived here?”

The older goblin chuckled. “Wise question, for a young one such as you. Come. It’s best if you rest indoors, though it’ll be a bit cramped for someone of your size. I can probably tell you a few things to compensate for the discomfort.”

“My pleasure, sir.” Adam rose to his feet, following the goblin to one, comparatively, big house a short walk away.

The interior was indeed cramped, for someone of Adam’s proportions, but it was rather luxurious for a goblin that was half his height. The old goblin wasted little time in starting conversation again. “You wanted to know for how long we’ve been here... Well... I could say at least five centuries.”

“What? How did you stay here this long? How come you don’t leave?”

“Patience, young human. You have a sharp mind, but not an experienced one.” The goblin continued at his own pace. “Not me, or any of the others... We can live for a century or so, but our kind lives in this land for far longer than that, as you see. And of course, we tried to leave too, My own father reached the twentieth of these floors and some others tend to try to find their way every generation... But we have seen things that happen in these lands. Answer me this... Why do you want to leave? Why do your people want to leave?”

Adam struggled to find words, and the goblin simply waited in silence until the human managed to speak. “I can’t speak for my people... Not truly. But many of us lost what we had when we were dragged here. If we can’t leave, we’re just prisoners. We need to find a way out, it is our nature.”

“I see... It was the nature of all those of your kind who came here before as well. Always curious, always seeking the unknown, always fighting to find a way back to their old lands... And always dead and gone.”

“Dead?” Adam felt a chill down his spine.

“Dead. All of them. They fought each other and everything else... Or so our tradition tells us. Personally, I only saw one before you, and he was strong. But he is gone as well. He went up, and never came back down again. So did his people, or the ones that survived to follow him, anyway.”

“But if he never came back, that means he found a way to leave up there.”

“Or a way to die.”

“You seem so certain of this, what do you know? Is there any proof?” Adam protested.

“I’ve seen things happening a few times in my years, young one... Sometimes beasts come just like you did. Sometimes things change in ways that you wouldn’t deem possible. Maybe if one of them got to whatever top this ‘castle’ has, they found a way out, maybe they died before getting there... But I know that not many of them made it out of that ruin you now use.”

“What have you seen?”

“It wouldn’t help you to know. Things don’t usually repeat themselves.” The goblin said, shaking his head sadly.

“So what do you want by telling me all this?”

“I don’t know that myself. But your people has to make a choice. You could adapt to this place, accept it like my ancestors choose to. Or you could challenge it, seek your so called freedom... I’m just showing you what happens when boys like you run around, each with his own ideals. In that case, your kind will fail and disappear once again, like it did many times before.”

Both fell silent for a long time, Adam wanted to fall asleep, but his own mind wouldn’t allow it. If what the goblin told him was the truth, things were more dangerous than anyone realized. And if he was the only to know it, the burden of doing something about it. He asked for directions to the human settlement.

He was greeted by the usual guard routine, rudely interrogating who he was and what his intentions were. His tone was one of total authority. “I am heading back to town. Send a message to Legias and whoever is it that is in charge of the Lorekeepers. Tell them that we will meet at the city hall at dusk. We need to move, now.”
"Yami ni madoishi awarena kage yo
Hito o kizutsuke otoshimete,
Tsumi ni oboreshi gō no tama,
Ippen... shinde miru?"
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Lordxana0 on Thu May 09, 2013 4:34 am

Rose looked down at the map the Kobold's notes had provided her as she made her way to the field they had told her about. Technically she was suppose to be on duty right now, but when she had heard the news about what exact was growing in the field she had begged and pleaded with every other member of the Severed Claw until one of them took some form of pity and took over her place in the rotation. She glanced down, making sure she was on the right path before noticing the line of tree's was finally ending and giving out into a small grassy clearing that was filled with bright red flowers. And oddly enough another person.

She took a moment to examine the other person, thinking she had seen him somewhere before. He was tall, at least six foot and five inches. Red hair... that was unusual, in fact she had only met one other person with the color in her life. The man didn't seem to notice her, he was to busy examining the flowers and running fingers covered by two pairs of gloves over their steams to check for thorns. She decided that examining him for any longer would have just been rude, and decide to make her presence known. "Did you come here to see the Nomad Roses as well?" she asked.

At the sound of her voice the man turned his head and looked at her with a soft smile. "Yes, they only bloom once a year... I didn't actually know they grew anywhere other then Basafama" he stood up and brushed himself off.

"You are from Basafama too?" Rose asked, surprised that another person from the large island nation she had called home for most of her life had appeared in the castle. She had thought herself the only one, most of the others having come from foreign lands she had only read of in books.

"Yes I was born there, perhaps the world is smaller then we give it credit for hm?" the man slowly reached down and plucked one of the flowers from the ground and spun it in his hand. "I suppose you know the myth behind this flower then?"

Rose nodded and closed her eyes, remembering the story her mother had told her about the flowers. "Yes, the Nomad Rose will only bloom once a year, and even when it does bloom it will never bloom in the same area twice, it will forever move. It is said that if you keep hold of two of the flowers from different blooms you can cast a charm that will help you find something that was once lost." she smiled at the man. "What did you lose?"

The man frowned and looked at the flower in his hand. "Much, more then I ever believed possible, but I suppose, if I were to use the charm I would ask it to help me find a person, an old friend of mine... perhaps the only friend I ever had." there was true sorrow behind his voice, and a bit of regret as well.

Rose nodded and went to find one of her own examining the flowers to find the one that most called to her. "I think I would use it for the same purpose, many years ago I too lost...well two people actually, but only one of them can be found... through I quite imagine he has his own life at this point, I would ever so love to meet him again."

The man listened to her and found himself a patch of grass that wasn't covered in Nomad Roses. "This person you wish to meet, was he someone special to you?"

Rose finally found the perfect flower and very carefully pulled it from its home in the ground and placed it in the bindings of a notebook she had brought with her. "Yes, well... I am not quite sure, we were very young, and he was also very distant. But he was brave, and kind, and I would very much like to meet him once more, even if only to see the person he grew up too be. What of the one you want to find?" Rose asked, taking a seat in front of the man.

The man smiled fondly at whatever memory her question stirred in his head. "Back when I was a young boy there was a girl I was very fond of, she would always stand up for me and would never take any nonsense. She managed to make me smile despite my minds best attempts to make me frown, I suppose you could say I loved her, but at that age it is hard to tell isn't it?"

Rose nodded in agreement before responding. "Yes, through I don't truly believe it gets any easier with the passage of time does it?" she slowly pulled a few pieces of grass from the ground while thinking. "You know it is so odd, before I was snatched up by this castle I was actually going to be married to some boorish royal of some sort, but now that I am here I couldn't spare a single thought of him. Almost as if something else was calling to me..." her cheeks turned a light shade of pink. "Oh listen to me go on and on and make a fool of myself"

For his part the man didn't make fun of her or seem to distraught by her ramblings. "Oh heed no worry of it, listening to the tales of strangers is one of the few pleasures I have in this life." he laid back on the grass and looked up to the sky. "For my own part I came here to chase after something, through now my small mission seems so much less important with each thing that happens in this castle"

"You came here by choice?" Rose asked curiously. She had thought that the only people who could get here where those who had been transported in by whatever mysterious thing had plucked them from where they were to bring them here.

"Oh yes, I road up with a man who had created a device that could rise up to the heavens, I believe he called it a hot air balloon. It was quite amazing, being able to hold above the ground being lifted by nothing but the strength of a small flame" he chuckled lightly to himself. "So might I ask what it is you do about the castle. Be you are farmer, no not a farmer, perhaps you are a scholar?"

Rose smiled to herself, the idea that she could ever be either of those things brought her great amusement. "No, I am a member of Severed Claw"

The man looked at her and tilted his head. "Severed Claw you say?" he smiled. "Well allow me to thank you for your service and offer you my thanks for protecting the city"

Rose blushed lightly at the compliment but nodded her head in acceptance of it. "There is no need to thank me, protecting people is something that comes naturally to me." she had joined the guard wishing to make a difference and defend people, not wishing a repeat of the tragedy that had befallen her earlier in her life. "And what of you?"

The man was about the answer, but was stopped short as a young timber wolf came out of the forest with a note carrier attached to his neck. The man rubbed the wolf behind its ears and took the note from the carrier and cursed in a foreign tongue. "Just when it seems I can have a pleasant afternoon to myself" he stood up and put the note into his pocket. "As pleasant as our conversation is I am afraid I must take my leave of it" he bowed to her and turned. "Come Smoke, we have things that must be attended to" the wolf gave a bark of acknowledgement and began to follow his master.

"Wait before you go the least you could do is give me your name!" Rose called out, not quite sure why she wanted it so much.

The man paused for a second. "Salvantas, Salvantas Londgium" he gave a short nod back to her and continued on his path.

When the Salvantas spoke his name the puzzle pieces seemed to fall together in her mind. "Wai..." she began to call out before the oddest thing happened. Her mind became cloudy for a moment, and the knowledge of the mans name slipped her mind. She pursed her lips, not quite understand what just happened. "How odd, he must not have heard my question..." she shrugged to herself and laid back in the grass and looked up at the sky, thinking of the man she had met and wondering if she would ever see him again.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Oh young love, ain't it grand Maramius" Tenzami looked up from a bowl of water on his desk which held the image of Rose on its surface.

Maramius reached into the water and pulled out a black bead, the same kind he used to trap souls in order to use the power of the black flame. He took out a string that contained multiple other beads like it and slid it on. "I wouldn't know my lord, I burned the emotion of love long ago to feed the fire"

"Of course you did" Tenzami snapped and a servant entered the room and remove the bowl. "So that whammy you put on her, it will hold yes?"

The Mage of Black Flame nodded. "Yes, the name will be forgotten, through the purpose of me wasting the energy of my beads to cast such a spell still escapes me"

Tenzami clicked his tongue in disappointment. "Because the time just isn't right yet, in order for the plan to reach completion all of the pieces have to be in the right place." Tenzami slid a large chess board so it sat in the middle of his desk. It contained multiple pieces, each one in a different color. "If one piece moves one step out of bounds the entire game could be ruined, so it is worth sacrificing a Pawn that can be easily replaced to move an enemies Rook into a square that makes it easy to put the third enemies Queen and King into the same area to be checkmated."

"That is one player to many for a game of chess" Maramius stated dryly.

"The game I am playing is a bit more complicated then chess, through it ends in just about the same way, with a clear winner and a clear loser" Tenzami lifted a blood red piece off the board that was in the shape of a wolf. "And I will cheat every step of the way to make sure that the only one who wins this game is me" he put the piece in the middle of the board and smiled. "So I have made my next move, your turn castle, how do you play next, and how long will you attempt to hide away my masters tomb?"
Last edited by Lordxana0 on Thu May 30, 2013 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Scarab on Thu May 09, 2013 3:22 pm

The Veil, 4 years ago.

He was ten years old when his brother Took Control of the Veil.

It happened quickly, and in a surprisingly brutal manner, even for their lineage. Lords around here were not known for going peacefully in their sleep, but few potential rulers chose to overthrow the existing Lord by literally throwing them from the head of the governing table. Still, that was what was happening. A burst of magic echoed around the room, strong enough to make his teeth ache even from so far away. The flux tore the map spread across the table to shreds and sent cups of wine spilling in every direction. As the boy watched, the man he knew to be his father (although they barely saw one another enough to confirm it) was forced away from his chair and tossed aside like a dead rabbit that was too scrawny to be worth boiling.

The boy was hidden on an overhead balcony, peering out between the marble pillars into the large chamber below. He was too far away to hear exactly what was being said, but then again he probably didn’t need to. He understood what this meant.

It had been a long time coming, or so people would whisper later on. His father was old and wasn’t as strong as he used to be. With old age had come cowardice and with cowardice had come bad decisions and really, it was only a matter of time before Blake decided his father was no longer up to the task of ruling. Still this was... surprising, even for them. Fully within the rules, of course, but still the boy winced when the sword struck, winced again when the body hit the ground, and a third time when his father staggered to his knees...

He remembered the man as a shadow, towering over him and demanding things the young boy couldn't give. His father's aura had subsumed everything that stood within his shadow and most of the places outside of it. He entered the room and you felt your bones tensing even before you noticed it was him. A monster with a human’s face and the ability to burn the flesh from your bones if you dared to get too close to him. But now he didn’t look like a monster at all. Now he just seemed... small. Defeated. The power fluctuating in the room right now belonged almost entirely to the elder brother, and it made the air around them taste like sulphur and ice. If anybody had objected they would have had to immediately put their sword where their mouth was and nobody in the court of the veil was quite stupid enough to do that without planning it in advance.

The boy shuddered. He barely knew this man he called father as anything other than uninvolved, silent and cold. A wall of power and awe to keep his people in check. He had ascended in a way very similar to how he was now overthrown. The boy had watched him pass judgement on families and strangers alike. Still there was a twinge of empathy inside of him all the same, and he bit down on the inside of his cheek to keep it suppressed. ‘Act and die.’ It was true. His silence was the only way even he had lasted as long as he had. That and reputation... although why his family cared for their reputation amongst those they could easily, and frequently did, overpower was a bit of a mystery to him.

A hand fell lightly on his shoulder and he turned his head enough to see the boy sideways. ‘Delaney?’ the boy asked quietly.

‘The whole Castle’s buzzing today,’ Delaney murmured. ‘I suppose this is why. They’ve been planning this for a while, haven’t they? The two of them...’

The boy nodded hesitantly. Delaney crouched alongside him on the balcony and watched. The good thing about being one of the workers in the Veil was how invisible you could be if you put your mind to it. And you had to put your mind to it, because the only thing worse than being a Servant in the castle was being a servant in the castle who was in any way distinguishable. Delaney was good at not being seen.

The boy didn’t know where Delaney had been before he came to the Veil of Castor, or how an outsider had made their way to the inside of the Castle walls, but wherever he had been, he must have needed to be very good at sneaking around there. The boy was glad of it. Without him this whole awful mess would have been infinitely more unbearable than it already was. ‘You shouldn’t be here,’ Delaney said, quietly.

‘They’ll ignore me. They would do worse to you. Leave, Delaney.’

Delaney smiled, but there was no real humour in it. ‘I’ll pass. Let’s see how this ends.’

The boy shook his head. Once over, this had been normal. And then Delaney happened.

‘You realise, of course, that they’re possibly the only people around here who are more insane than the one who’s currently in charge?’ Delaney said calmly, eyes flickering around the room below. ‘Or at least, who was in charge until about five minutes ago. Think I’m getting used to how things work around here.’

‘I’m not... I... don’t,’ the boy murmured. ‘I don’t like this.’

Liking something has nothing to do with whether or not you get out of it in one piece,’ Delaney’s eyes flickered to the former Lord. By this point there was an awful lot of blood. And there were those words again: Out of it. As if there was really anywhere else to go... He supposed there msut be. After all, Delaney had come from out there, hadn't he? There were places beyond the Veil.

His sister was walking around the room below them as their brother spoke, uncaring of the fact that her father had just been thrown across the room, before having how own sword torn from his belt and thrust into his shoulder. Her hands were folded behind her back, and she hummed to herself while examining tapestries she had seen a hundred times before. There was a small, cruel smile on her face their Brother spoke and their father bled.

Their eyes met. Hers sharp, violet, and practically glowing. Magic danced along her fingertips, purple light leaking between her fingers. Terror crackled along his spine, and only Delaney’s hand on his arm kept him from flinching. A familiar phantom pain burned throughout his left side. Delaney was clearly holding his breath.

His sister, right hand man to the Lord of the Veil. As if they weren’t all screwed enough already.

She watched him for a moment longer, the cruel smile twisting into a smirk. Then she gave a small, mocking wave and tilted her head towards their brother, still smirking. There was an implication in her words more terrifying than anything else. Then she turned away, returning to their older brother’s side.

The boy and the servant stood in silence for a while longer, out of sight and out of mind, watching as the court rustled and stilled. Their initial surprise at what had happened giving away to acceptance. The men around the table were men of power, and lineage, and they had not gained that power by allowing the weakest to ascend. They understood what was happening here. This had happened before, after all, and would quite likely happen again one day.

This was how Power worked in the Veil. Once over, the boy had always assumed that this was how power worked everywhere.

Delaney let out a breath.‘That’s it, then,’ he said quietly. It wasn’t a question.

The younger boy nodded jerkily. ‘That’s it.’ Until the next riot, or the next time somebody tried to kill; until the next time somebody succeeded...

‘...Right. Come on.’

‘Where are we going?’

‘Climbing,’ Delaney said, far too lightly for the time and place. ‘We’re getting up a bloody tree, like, before your brother sets the beasts on us or something like that.’ It was a grim kind of joke, but the boy couldn’t help shuddering at the all too real implications underneath it, as he climbed shakily to his feet, unaware of how his hands were shaking until he tried to clench them into fists. Delaney’s hand tugged at his sleeve to pull him away from the balcony and out of the chamber.

There was a tired sort of acceptance in the words. The boy understood them. After all, this had happened before. It would happen again.
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Guyshane on Mon May 13, 2013 3:38 pm

“Marcus, time to come home now its time for dinner.”

The young boy turned and looked to his friends. They had been playing games out in the fields near the village.
“Lets come back out and meet up after dinner.” His friends Derrick said.
Marcus' expression soured and looked down. “I can't, Dad is making me do those stupid lessons tonight.”
Then a girl standing towards the back of the group with her arms wrapped around herself spoke up.
“We can wait until you're done Marcus.”
Marcus smiled at the girl. “Really Kira? You would do that? And the rest of you?”

There were several nods and words of agreement from the rest of the group. The kids walked back to the village together. It was a small, pleasant village surrounded by grassy fields and leading to a forest on one side. Marcus arrived at his home. As he opened his door his mother looked over and saw him. His mother was a kind woman with a cheery smile and golden hair.

“Marcus, dear the stew is already out on the table. Why don't you go and have a seat.”

Marcus nodded and went to the table where his father was already sitting. A prematurely grey haired man who while not un-kind often let his work take over his life a bit. He was also already training Marcus in the art of being a small town doctor. Marcus hated these lessons more than anything. More than bedtime. His father looked up and saw Marcus walk into the kitchen.

“Oh good you're here. Now we can get started on your training.” As soon as he had said that Marcus' mother walked in and slapped his father in the back of the head. Pointing a finger at her husband she sternly told him: “Not until after dinner.”

After dinner

Marcus was so bored. All these lessons ever were, were just stupid lessons on plants and how to use them. He was brought out of his revere by his father snapping a finger in front of his face. Marcus blinked and his father sighed.

“Marcus you have to focus. You have the potential to be very good at this and this village will need a new doctor one day.”
“Yes Dad.”
His father looked at Marcus with a mixture of disappointment and sadness in his eyes.
“Alright go and play with your friends I know they're waiting for you.”
Marcus nodded enthusiastically and ran off to see his friends. How can I get through to that boy? The father wondered as his son ran off. His wife walked over.
“I know you need to start early to train a doctor, but he's only seven years old. You need to be more lenient or Marcus will just come to resent the training.”
“But doesnt he realize how important this is?” He protested.
“I repeat: seven.”
“Even so he needs to learn, Marcus is the doctor for his friends when they grow up. Even though he doesn’t realize it.”

At the moment however all was right with the world. Marcus was running and playing with his friends. Derrick and his sister Meg, energetic Rachel, the farmer's son Christopher and sweet Kira. For this moment of time Marcus enjoyed life.

Several years later.....

Have to be fast here. I need to get the food and get out of here before he can send me on anymore errands.
A thirteen year old Marcus skirted the edges of buildings hoping to avoid being noticed. As he was already growing like a weed this was not an easy goal. Still, he waited in the shadows until the street was clear before sprinting to the tavern. He walked inside and saw Derrick standing behind the bar helping his father. Marcus moved up to the bar and put his money on the bar.

“Hey, have you got the food?”
Derrick shifted a tied bag over the counter. “Here you go.”
“You sure you cant get away?”
“Unfortunately not, say hi to everyone for me.”
Marcus nodded and grabbed the food. After a little bit he arrived at the meeting point near the edge of the forest. Rachel, Chris and Kira were already there. They grinned at him as he jogged over.

“Behold out plentiful bounty, now lets eat.” Rachel pushed to the front of the group.
“Feed me, I'm starving.” She yelled loudly. Marcus winced. “All right, all right. Just stop yelling in my ear. Rachel blushed but kept prodding Marcus with her finger until she got her food. Marcus gave her, her food and then gave meals to everyone else.

Afterwards everyone was sitting around enjoying the feeling of fullness. “So what now?” Chris asked. “Maybe we should just stay here and relax.” Kira suggested, already laying back.
Rachel immediately shot up when she heard that. “No way K! Where's the fun in that? We should go explore.”
“Well I don't know “ Chris interjected. “It is nice out, maybe relaxing would be nice.”
“Maybe do both?”
“Lets put it to a vote”
The vote ended up going the way of relaxing.
“You guys are no fun.” Rachel complained.
“Come on Rachel, you don’t know what you'd do without us.” Marcus replied. Rachel just smiled and dropped to the ground with the rest of them. After some time spent just doing nothing the friends decided to go into town so they could meet up with Derrick and Meg. They arrived at the tavern and got a table. Not long after the siblings came and joined them

“Hey everybody is here!” Derrick exclaimed happily.
“Hi Marcus.” Meg said blushing. Marcus found himself blushing and looking down. Derrick put a friendly arm around him before whispering in Marcus' ear: “You go down that road you better not hurt her.”
“Hey give me some credi-”
“Marcus!” Marcus' father had arrived. Oh great. What a wonderful way to ruin the day.
“You've been avoiding me.”
“That's because I haven’t had a day to myself in two and a half weeks.”
“I said I'd give you a few days off next week.”
“Yea and you said that the week before that, and the week before that.”
Marcus' friends were obviously uncomfortable with the argument brewing nearby. Chris spoke up: “Sir maybe you can let Marcus off today? We've been having an awful nice day, and it has been awhile since he's had time to spend with us.”
Marcus' Father looked at Chris. “No I can't this is crucial to his training. I think you would understand given your own responsibilities.”

Marcus let out a long-suffering sigh.
“Its okay guys, I'll meet up with you later if I can.” Marcus and his father left the tavern and walked towards home.
“Once again Marcus you need to take this more seriously.”
“Yes, Dad.”

Three years later.....

“There Dad I'm done for the day, can I please go see my girlfriend now?”
He's taking her more seriously than his training...again. “Fine I suppose so.” Marcus immediately rushed out of the house before any decisions could be changed. He walked out to the field where everyone had agreed to meet. At the moment Rachel and Derrick were practicing with their mock weapons. Meg was the first one to notice him.
“Marcus!” She yelled out running and throwing her arms around his shoulders.Marcus held her and kissed her.

Derrick looked over. “Oi you two! Not while we're a-Oof.” While Derrick had been distracted Rachel had got him. She smiled.
“Don't get distracted.” She teased. “Besides rabid cows couldn’t keep them apart”
Kira let out an extremely high-pitched giggle at this comment. Everyone stopped and stared at her. In all their years of friendship none of them had ever heard her do that. Kira started to go red. Then everyone burst out in to gales of laughter. Then Kira tried glaring them down while blushing. It only made everyone laugh harder. Once they all had recovered Marcus spoke up.

“Alright then. Since Derrick went and got himself killed.” An apple was thrown at Marcus which he dodged. “ I believe it is my turn. Who wants a round?”
“I'll do it.” Chris replied, picking up his quarterstaff. Marcus and Chris walked into the circle, Marcus unlimbering his club as he did so. Chris started a fight with a lunge at Marcus, who managed to evade it. Marcus replied with a backhanded swing which Chris managed to block. The fight was starting to get good when a loud shout interrupted.

“ALL OF YOU STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING.”

Dammit. A large crowd of adults, led by Marcus' father was walking up to the group.
“Oh this is gonna suck” Derrick said.
“What are you children doing?” accused the doctor. “It isn’t enough that you all distract Marcus from his studies but now you're all out here practicing combat?”
“Sir with all due respect, this isnt just about your son.” the villager turned to the whole group. “None of you should be using weapons. Our village was created several generations ago to get away from war.”
Marcus thought over that logic for a minute. “Thats nice and all. But don’t we have a militia for when we're under attack?”
“Yes but you aren't old enough to participate.”
“But I'm probably better trained than half of you are.”
“Thats not the point.”
“Then what is?” Rachel asked.
“The point” Marcus' father interjected. “Is that you can drop your weapons and forget this nonsense, or leave the village.” Marcus' mother grabbed her husband's arm. “What are you doing?” She hissed at him.
“This is the simplest way to make them grow up.”
“This goes for the rest of you too. Not just Marcus.” The village leader interjected
Bastard, thinks he can strong arm me into doing what he wants, I've had to beg for every break since I was ten. I'm done with this.

“Fine then I'm leaving.” Everyone was stunned into silence at that. “I'm done with my life being chosen for me.” Then Rachel spoke up. “I'm going to.” She walked over to stand next to Marcus. It took all of Marcus' self-control not to wrap her in a bear hug. At least I'm not alone in this. No one else looked as willing. Meg was crying, Derrick put an arm around her shoulder while shooting Marcus a look with a mix of rage and sadness, Chris was already walking away. Kira was just looking at her feet.

The rest of the crowd walked away from the two outsiders, until only two other people remained. Marcus' mother came up to him and gave him a tearful hug and telling him to “be strong” before running back to the village and Kira. Kira raised her head up to look at the two.
“I know you two must hate the village right now but please come back someday.” Marcus and Rachel looked at each other and nodded before turning and walking away.

About a month later...
Glasses clicked together in the tavern.

Rachel was still protesting even as the toast happened. “You really shouldn’t Marcus it isn’t that special.”
Marcus looked at her with his eyebrow raised. “First of all: Getting into the Bard's guild is too a big deal. Second of all: You already have the drink in your hand.”
She blushed. “I know that.” she lowered her voice. “But I also know you're short on money.” Marcus smiled.
“Tomorrow's problem. Tonight we celebrate.”
-------------------------------------------
Marcus woke up to a banging on his door. He slowly got up and opened it. It was his landlord.
“Marcus, I like you kid but if you don't get your rent in by tonight I have to kick you out.”
“Okay, okay I'll find something.”

Marcus got dressed and went out looking. There were various people moving about the town. I really should have had a better plan before I left. Then he heard a crier.
“Come join the national army. Protect these lands from invading nations and petty slavers.” Join the army? Marcus looked back at the town. Well protecting the country does sound like a worthwhile life goal. Marcus walked into the building. The recruiter was sitting at a desk. Marcus went over.
“So lad. You want to join the army?” the recruiter asked.
“Yes, I do.”
“Good choice, we'll make a man out of you. Any personal business you need to settle before you join?”
“I just need to get my stuff. And make a final payment to my landlord.”
“Get your stuff, you can send the money by mail. One last question. What's your name?
“Marcus, Marcus Oracon.”
I say we nuke it from orbit...its the only way to be sure.
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Guyshane
 
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:45 pm

Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Lordxana0 on Mon May 13, 2013 11:58 pm

Salvantas looked at the current base of the guild Storm and Drive and let out a small sigh, glad that his request for a meeting had been accepted by its leader. If his plans for the future where to come to a head he would need all the assistance he could get. He showed the request to the people guarding the doors and entered, finding his way to the guild masters door and placing three gentle knocks on the door frame. “Salvantas Londgium, Guild Master of Heroes Unlimited. I have come here to discuss matters which I feel are better said face to face then via message”

The door opened to reveal a messy study. Books and pens lay five deep in chairs, a few of the smaller tomes were stuck to the wall by some gleaming knives. Papers and old ink bottles littered the floor, and overall the entire study looked as if a hurricane had blown through. Anji was standing behind the door, clutching a book on what appeared to be horticulture. “Oh, hello. Nice to see you again, I think. Did someone mess up at the school?”

Salvantas shook his head, smiling at the office and how messy it was. His own office mess was hidden away in a separate room where he did most of his signing and work, while his main office was strictly used for meeting people. Yes she was indeed perfect for his plan. “No, today I come to you as one guild leader to another to discuss something that has been... troubling me for quite some time. If you have a few moments I would wish to talk to you about it”

Books clattered to the floor as Anji cleared a space. “Okay.... How can I help you today?” She asked warily.

He took a seat and looked at her. “As I am sure you know various new threats have arisen in the castle as of late. These underground beasts, the newly arisen assassins guild, and I am sure you have seen the wanted posters I have spread around town in order to hunt down two very dangerous criminals who have been building toward their own goals. I have begun to realize that Heroes Unlimited alone can not handle these threats, so I have come up with a proposal” he reached into his trench coat and pulled out an official looking document. “I call it the United League of Guilds, and I want you to be the first Guild to join in” he placed down the document which had multiple lines for guilds to sign in to join. All of which were blank. “And that isn’t all, I would like to elect you as our head chairwoman. Which would basically mean you would direct meetings between guild leaders and be a sort of official leader for the League once it is created”

“...And all the other guilds are alright with this? Does anyone else even know about this?”

He shook his head. “No, you are the first person I came to this with because you are the one I would most want to lead this, and if you say yes then I will remove myself from having created the idea and give full credit to you”

“Not to look the gift cow in the mouth, but what are you standing to gain from all of this? Seems like a lot of effort for such a small payoff.”

He looked at her and spread his arms. “What do you wish me to say?” he looked at her. “I have told you once already that I have only the best interest of those who have come to this castle at heart, divided the guilds will squabble and become useless, but together we can be strong enough to defend this city from all the dangers of this castle, my only reason for doing anything is to protect others. If I believed there was a different way I would take it, but this is the best option, and you are the best choice” he leaned forward. “I am not asking for power within the league, I do not ask you to view me as some sort of saint or hero, I just ask that you help me protect the people. Because alone I can’t do it. I beg of you to at least consider what I ask”

There was a long pause as Anji looked over the paper. The paper contained small rules for the guilds to follow, such as not attacking each other and having all disputes settled before a gathering of the league rather than handled personally. A few other things such as saying that if called upon to defend the city from attack all guild members would combine their forces without hesitation and follow the lead of the chairman of the council. A few lines here and there about always attending meetings unless serious circumstances prevented it, in which case a second in command would take the place of the leader. Nothing sinister or vague about it. All seemed rather straightforward and easy to understand.

Anji stretched over and grabbed a pen, then scratched her name in the appropriate space. “Alright, fine. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not going to steal your thunder. It’s a great idea, and taking credit for it wouldn’t exactly be a good way to start off.”

Salvantas placed his signature in the area below hers and shook his head. “No I wish for you to take credit for it, among the guilds you are well respected and well liked, if you say the idea is yours then people will flock to it with open minds. If I were to say it the idea was mine then people might think it merely a publicity stunt or a grab for power.”

“Well I suppose the next thing that needs to be done is speaking to all of the other people. Uh, highly respected guildleaders.” She said with a smile, standing. “Hopefully they don’t think we’re insane.”

“I believe after much examination that if they believe this was your idea they will happily join, it has been an honest pleasure listening to your idea, and I am glad to be a part of it.” He gave her a knowing wink and offered his hand to hers.

Anji shook hands with the other redhead. “Nice to be working with you, Salvantas.”

“Until we next meet then” he turned to leave but paused for a second. “About our early disagreement, consider that as if it had never happened if you please”

Nodding, Anji returned to her books. “See you later, Sally.”

“Indeed” he exited the building and a small smile crept to his face. “Phase one complete” he said under his breath once he was a good bit away. “Now to enter phase two”
Who you going to call? ME!
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Lordxana0
 
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:36 pm
Location: Long Beach

Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Sicon112 on Tue May 14, 2013 3:31 pm

Image

Image

Julius was called by a messenger of the Guard. Someone had issued a call for an official meeting. Being an independent force, Legias had requested that Julius be present in case he was able to identify the man.

“Someone had enough courage to order you around?” He asked.

“Save it. You already pushed your luck a lot farther than any sane man would.” Legias replied. “I still have that note you left when you so politely left custody, Valerian.”

“I didn’t think you were the type to hold a grudge.” He laughed.

Legias didn’t reply. Instead, she continued to scan the hall, waiting for Adam’s arrival. If that was his name. She paused, looking at one of the men close to the door.

“That’s not our mark.” Julius said. “He’s priest Konrad, I believe.”

“And you know him?”

“He helped my guildmaster once or twice before... And I seem to require the church’s healing services on occasion.” Doesn’t answer what he is doing here, however. Julius kept the last thought to himself.

As if on cue, Kurt noticed the two, and moved toward them. Holding up a hand in greeting, he called out to the two. “Ah, hello Julius. It has been a while since we last spoke. In fact, we haven’t spoken much at all, have we? I take it you got sent along to see what this Adam person is up to as well?”

“Courtesy of our guard leader, yes. Would you know anything about him already? I’m afraid I don’t recognize the name.”

“Not at all. The monks at the cathedral just asked me to stop by, but neglected to tell me much of anything. Since I didn’t really have any better ways to spend my day,” Kurt let his voice convey his true annoyance with the situation. “I graciously acquiesced to their wishes and payed the hall a visit. Speaking of not knowing people, who is your companion here?” The priest turned to face Legias, arching an eyebrow.

“Captain Legias of the City Guard.” Julius smirked, introducing the captain.

“Oh? You seem to have gone up in the world while I wasn’t looking. It wasn’t more than a month ago that you were sitting in her jail cells, wasn’t it?” Despite his reaction, Kurt didn’t seem to be very surprised at the revelation, almost as though he had already known. Or, perhaps the strange priest was just playing mind games again.

“Yes, you seem to have, Valerian.” The captain joined the conversation, smirking at the two men. “Pleased to meet you, monk Konrad. I’m afraid, however, that our supposed host hasn’t arrived yet.”

“Konrad may be my proper name, but I prefer to be known as Kurt, Captain. Also, my technical title would be priest, if you wish to be exact about it. Though, for fairness, I could start thinking of your rank as that of a naval officer, if you would like.” Glancing around the room at the people waiting there, he shrugged his shoulders casually. “You would think that after going to all this trouble to gather people, he would put more work into being present at the appointed time, but I suppose there isn’t much I can do. After all, the monks are giving me lodging, so I don’t really have any choice but to help them out from time to time.”

“Considering there’s no naval force to make a distinction, I don’t think it would matter too much. But I apologize. As for waiting, is the church updated on Aydin’s current standing? I figure that we could at least get other matters settled while we wait, if that’s still open.”

The amused smirk vanished from the monks face in a flash, replaced by a dark look and an oppressive aura to go with it. “I believe others amongst those who live at the cathedral are dealing with those matters. I have no wish to find myself involved once again.” he turned his head to look towards the door, where conversation had suddenly picked up. “I believe our host has perhaps arrived, or...” A loud voice that couldn’t quite be made out from within the depths of city hall rang out. “...Perhaps another one of our fellow guests.” Facing the two once more, he quickly, and rather curtly extricated himself from the conversation. “If you will excuse me, I had better go check on that. If you wish to send word of some new development in the Aydin case, I shall pass along word for the monks to send a representative to the guard when I return.” With that, the priest did not wait for a response, but slipped away into the flow of people moving for the door to see what the commotion was, still frowning darkly.

“Aydin... That runaway monk?”

“Yes, him. You caught him that night, but you never heard why, have you?”

“Only that he was charged by the church.” Julius replied, remembering the events that happened shortly after making his way out of guard custody. While going back to Storm and Drive’s quarters he came across a monk being chased by members of the guard, and he was gaining on them, thanks to both their lack of discipline and experience, and to being able to sneak into shadows and narrow passages in silence, by virtue of being alone. He did make one bad turn, however, heading towards the same garrison Julius had just left. When Legias arrived at the scene, the runaway was restrained. Not by one of her guard, but by one of her prisoners. “It was a interesting night, I still remember the look on your face when you saw that I was the one holding the man in place.”

“Don’t flatter yourself too much,” Legias replied. “But yes, that’s the one. On that note... You never told me just how you left custody, did you?”

“I left you a note explaining it. You even said you still have it!” Julius laughed.

“You wrote, and I quote, ‘Sorry, but your current soldiers combined have the discipline of a single goldfish. I’ll be at my guild quarters whenever you need to contact me.’ So, no, you didn’t tell me how you escaped.”

“Fair enough. I tell you what I know, and what I heard from Anji, and you tell me about Aydin?”

“You start.” Legias crossed her arms, leaning on the wall.

-------------

Anji stood for a moment, blood streaming down her arm, staring at the man in the shadows. I must look like I got mauled by a wolf… I need to find Zi, maybe she can wrap it up or something She realized how silly she looked, dirty and with clothes that needed a good wash and patching, knife in her good hand, panting.

The man stared at her for a moment, then backed away slowly, saying, “Please, d-don’t steal anything… I just have my cabbages… That’s all.” Stumbling back, Anji mumbled, “No, no I’m not… You’re fine. I don’t even LIKE cabbage.”

The man sent out a little shriek and ran away, cabbage cart in tow. weird… Anji turned toward the cathedral doors, and walked inside. The first thing Anji noticed was that the cathedral was warm. There were monks everywhere, but none of them approached. I guess they think I’m here to worship.

Cradling her arm, she leaned against one of the pillars in the church, glancing around the room for a familiar face. Seconds passed and she saw a man walk into the nave from the room opposite the pillar. He had a shock of white hair standing up on all ends, and a black suit with a black overcoat. “Hey, priest guy. I could use a hand.” Anji called out to him.

The man, who had been moving to walk past Anji, glanced up with a “Hmm?” and then appeared to get a good look at who exactly was calling out to him, causing him to arch an eyebrow. “I do believe both of your hands are present and accounted for. I would say your troubles appear to lie in other areas, to be honest.”

“My brain is fully present and accounted for." she said, letting her arm drop in order to grab the papers. "I don't believe you have all of your things present and accounted for, however."

At that movement, the white-haired man’s eyes narrowed to harsh slits, and covered by the sleeve of his coat, he made a sharp motion to stop, then twitched his head towards the passing monks across the room. His face transforming back to his usual deadpan expression, he came back with a retort as though nothing had ever happened. “You know, I don’t believe I specified what your problems were. Funny, hmm?”

Anji stared at the priest for a moment, then said, “Well obviously in such company as this I need to maintain my intellectual high ground. I would hate to see a monk such as yourself reduced to nothing more than a scribe in fancy clothing.”

Smirking back, the priest nodded imperceptibly in thanks as he spoke once more. “Well while you’re at that, why don’t you try not to drip more blood on the floor? For some reason, people don’t find a bloodstained atrium to be a positive aspect for a cathedral.”

“I thought it added atmosphere. Makes the room more homey, and really ties the carpet into the curtains.” Anji replied dryly.

“I’m sure it does. While we still have you channeling your inner interior designer, why don’t you go renovate the healing rooms for us?” The priest punctuated his statement by motioning to a hallway entrance off to one side, apparently the direction of the healing rooms.

Anji blanched, then nodded and followed the priest into the healing chambers. The rooms were stark white and smelled of lye. There was a table and basin of water on one end of the room, and a set of chairs on the other side.

Closing the door, the priest quickly strode across the room towards the basin, and with a wave of his hand and a flash of dim golden light, blessed the contents. “Much better. Now...” He turned back toward Anji, catching her with his serious gaze. “Where did you get those papers? I assume the same place as these wounds. Explain, but do so quickly.”

Anji began to explain as quickly as she could, “Woke up in the dungeons below the city... me and Fade... There were these.. things. Looked like us, had our memories... and tried to kill us. We escaped, and Fade was arrested by the Captain of the Guard, Legias. The papers were in my satchel when I woke up. I don’t know how they got there, or who put us in there. I figured the best place to start would be with you, unfortunate as it is.”

Kurt nodded absently as he soaked some bandages in the blessed basin of water. Finally turning to face Anji once more, he spoke with a frown as he began to clean her wounds with holy water. “Those papers are reports written by me. A detailed analysis of the first level of the underground, its denizens, and anything else I could come up with. The second, smaller set of papers includes information I’ve managed to dig up on the Kobold invasion force. They went missing from my rooms a few days ago before I could finish them. I was beginning to suspect something, but this proves it.”

“Proves what?” Anji said, wincing.

“What I feared. There is a traitor in the church. No one else has access to that wing, and whoever it is knows that the monks are the only ones who could conceivably pull it off, and therefore the prime suspects. That’s why they tried to frame someone.” Kurt finished bandaging Anji’s wounds and stepped back.

“Not to be dense but... Why a guild leader? I mean, I’m just one of many, and not even the top guild at that. Why not frame Legias? Or one of the others?” Anji asked, shrugging back into her coat

“Hmm, that is the question, isn’t it? As for why they left Legias out of this...” He paused and smirked a bit. “Well, good luck framing her. I suspect the issue they faced is this: When an attempt at framing someone is made, you have to choose the exact right target. Too prominent, too powerful, and even all the fakery in the world won’t do much more than create controversy.” The priest spoke with a slightly suspicious amount of confidence in his information. “Far too many will not believe you. Still... those things you described... It’s funny they only attacked you, isn’t it? I saw a similar creature on my last journey down there, but still, they should have attacked your captors too.” Moving to the window and looking out at the city, Kurt considered the situation in silence. “Never mind. I’ll deal with that myself. In the meantime, something has to be done, and fast. You said this “Fade” person was arrested? I assume he is a guildmate of yours. Did he have anything incriminating on him at the time?”

“No, I had kept it all with me. I’m less likely to be stopped, anyway.” Anji said with a wink. “His name’s Fade, and he’s my first mate. I sort of need him at the moment, running a guild and all. And another thing, I came to you for answers, not to be an errand boy. You’ve not only given me more questions, but you want me to follow your instructions like a valet?”

“I’d love to tell you exactly who is behind all this, but since you haven’t exactly given me a chance to find out, that isn’t possible.” Kurt shot an annoyed glance in Anji’s direction. “However, I think we both can agree that the first thing that must be done is freeing your friend. Correct?”

“Yes.” Anji said, returning the glare.

“Unfortunately,” Kurt continued, ignoring Anji’s look. “Legias is a problem. I’m familiar with the type of person she is, and once they get an idea into their heads, getting it out is... troublesome. Anyway, we can’t rely on convincing her to assist, which leaves us more... direct means.”

“Aye, so... who’s assassinating who?”

“I was thinking something more along the lines of a prison break, really, but if you feel the need to give them a legitimate reason to hunt you down, be my guest.” Kurt spread his arms and smirked towards the girl.

Stretching, the girl looked at the boy. “I’m not here for the pleasant company. Either tell me what you’ve got or I’ll find my own way.”

“Well, like I said, a prison break would be optimal. There is only one problem with that plan...” The priest trailed off for a moment.

“Aye, you’re no thief. I bet you’ve never crossed the law.” Anji smirked.

This resulted in a strange reaction from the white haired man. He began to laugh. Finishing his loud chuckle, he grinned calmly. “Don’t jump to conclusions about strangers. Sometimes, they may surprise you.” Still smiling, he casually walked over to the counter and began to sort the various healing implements there, placing them back where they belonged. “You weren’t too far off with your guess, though. The problem I was speaking of is the fact that I have neither the connections, nor the position to implement something like that as I am now. I’m afraid I won’t be able to help in this area.”

“Then why the hell am I talking to you?” was the exasperated reply.

“I only said that I couldn’t operate a prison break for you. I never said I didn’t know any way it could be done.” Finishing his idle work, Kurt moved towards a desk in the corner and began shuffling through its drawers.

“I’ve never met anyone so damn annoying in all my days...” Anji mumbled to herself, glaring at Kurt.

Kurt suddenly turned, drawing out an ornate pen with a casual twirl and holding up some parchment. “Thank you for the complement, Miss Anji. I assure you it’s one I have recieved many times before.” He paused for a moment, and then his eyes narrowed, as his smirk became smug, though it was no longer directed at her. “Now, about this prison break...”

“Someone was trying to kill us, puttin’ us in those caves... what’s to prevent them attempting something similar? They only have to get lucky once.”

“Don’t worry about that for now. I’ll handle it myself.” He kept talking, leaving no opening for an interjection. “Before you say something, I don’t know enough now to tell you who it is, why they did it, or other such things. While you are busy breaking your friend out of jail, I will be tracking your mysterious enemy for you.” Kurt’s demeanor, though he was still smirking slightly, was all business. The time for jokes was over. “However, for that I will need some assistance from you as well. This has caught me in an unfortunate position, one in which it is difficult for me to attack from. So, I propose a deal. I want to find the monk behind this, for my own, personal gratification. You want your friend out of jail. You can help me with what I want, and I can tell you how to get what you want. In addition, our own goals benefit each other.” Kurt held out a hand to shake calmly. “So, shall we set our trap?”

Shrugging, Anji shook hands with the monk. “Deal.”

Kurt nodded appreciatively, before turning and quickly beginning to scribble line after line of writing onto a sheet of parchment, addressing Anji as he did so. “Very well. Then the one who has the means to free your friend can be found on the outside edge of the city. He is quite famous, I believe. Though that’s to be expected, considering his exploits. I suspect you are already familiar with his name: Seire Valefar, Phantom Thief.”

Anji stared at the albino monk, jaw slack. Recovering, she made several attempts to speak, none of them successful. The monk chuckled at the short red head, then began to speak, “Well, that makes it apparent enough that you know exactly who I’m talking about. The man probably has more than a few things wrong with his head, but he is certainly capable of doing just about anything, especially with the full power of what is essentially a micronation of thieves at this point behind him all while he sits atop the biggest weapons stockpile in the known castle. Don’t you agree?”

“More than a few? The man’s insane.. and you’re... ohh no... I am NOT going to go to that madhouse.”

“Look at it this way, you get to unleash said madhouse on whomever you prefer. I’m writing Seire a letter to get him all wound up. You just point the way and watch the havoc, hopefully while getting all of the useful stuff done before he finishes his speeches.”

“Fine. I’m holding you responsible for any... insanities he does... Anything else I need to know? Does he have a pet lion that he keeps in his backyard?”

“Probably had one at some point, knowing him. It’s relatively simple to deal with him, though, to be honest.” He folded up the paper he was working on and slipped it into an envelope, shutting it and handing it off to his partner in crime. Or, well, in plotting crime anyway. “Just take this to him. It doesn’t matter if you tell him who wrote it. He’ll figure out, I’m sure. After that, tell him everything you know about the situation. I honestly have no idea what kind of absurdities he will come up with, but they’ll probably work. In the meantime, keep him under control. We don’t want too much chaos. I’ll send more letters with extra information once I can figure out who is behind all of this.”

“How long do you suppose this will take? I DO want to get to the second floor while I’m still able to walk, you know.”

Kurt paused, as if calculating something only he knew. “This will be over as the sun sets tonight. In eight simple steps, the one following you will be placed in checkmate. There will be no escape. However, before you leave, I need one more thing from you.”

“No, you cannot have my firstborn.” Anji said in a deadpan tone.

“Good. It will probably be a noisy brat.” Kurt smirked back at the streetrat. “No, what I was going to ask is...” He dropped off, as if deciding how best to put what he was about to say, or perhaps, as evidenced by what he ended up saying, how to say it in the worst way possible. “Does your guild have any money?”

-------------

Anji stole away from the church. Seire’s castle was about two hours walk from the city. Anji supposed she could make it in half that time if there were no other distractions. Like that monk, with his silly overblown plans that could get someone killed. Glowering at the passing cabbage merchants, she headed out towards the city gates, wondering if this was a bad idea.

As the guild leader covertly slipped out of the cathedral through a passage leading to the rear exit, two sharp eyes watched her from across the room. Almost a minute later, just enough time to avoid suspicion, or so he thought, the monk Aydin started to move slowly towards the door, trying to hide the worried expression on his face. This was not how things were supposed to go.

He never made it. A calm, deep voice rang out from behind him, along with the sound of someone clearing their throat. “Good day, Brother Aydin. You certainly seem hurried about something.” The monk turned to meet the amused smirk of a man in priest’s garb, only to feel a chill run down his spine. The man was the Executor that had arrived at the cathedral some time ago. For some reason, the man’s strange ability to show up unexpected at the most convenient of times, as well as the worst was profoundly unsettling.

“Not at all, Konrad. I was merely considering stepping outside to get some fresh air.” He nodded his head in greeting to the other man, hiding any traces of surprise from his features. After all, there was no way the Executor could have figured out anything about his actions, and even if he had, Executors were the ones most loyal to the church’s cause. Certainly, the man he was dealing with was dangerous, but if Aydin played his cards right, he could gain an otherwise impossible boon for their cause in this castle. An Executor would surely be even more enthusiastic than he himself was about this opportunity. Yet, he couldn’t help feeling somehow uneasy in the other man’s cool grey gaze, as if those colorless eyes were somehow staring into his soul and revealing his darkest secrets.

“Oh, is that so? My apologies. I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of your plans, after all.” Still smirking, the Executor sardonically stepped aside and motioned for Aydin to continue along his course, even as his words made the monk give an imperceptible start of fear. He could not explain the instinctive reaction, as it seemed to be merely a harmless phrase used by someone innocent of the true goings-on about the castle, but he couldn’t help but feel some amount of fear nonetheless. Saying his farewells to the priest, he forced himself to move casually towards a different door than the one the leader of Storm and Drive had taken, praying that he could find her again before she slipped into the city and vanished.

-------------

Kurt quietly watched from where he rested in the shadows of the cathedral’s upper hallways as the brown of a monks robes slipped into the streets below. A quiet frown had slipped across his face, and his hand silently toyed with the sealed envelope that Anji had left him before she herself had departed. He now had everything he needed to begin.

“Ah, Brother Konrad, what are you doing up here on such a fine day?” Kurt refocused his gaze on the benign monk approaching his side and let his frown slip away for a moment.

“Nothing in particular, I suppose.” the Executor said, shrugging his shoulders, though his voice held a slight tinge of weariness to it. “Just thinking about how many things are not as they first appear. A clouded sky and pouring rain can still watch over a peaceful day, and the clearest of blue skies sometimes only exists to hide the oncoming typhoon...”

-------------

Silently shaking himself from his memories of the events of a few weeks ago - events he would prefer no to relive - Kurt slipped quietly through the crown toward the window, though he already knew the cause of the noise outside, recognizing the voice at once. He decided to avoid the thief for the time being and remain watching from inside. Confrontations with Kaitou rarely ended in anything other than chaos, a fact Kurt knew from experience. That is, unless they were both working towards the same goal for the time being, as had been the case only a few weeks ago. When that happened, all bets were off, and even the best of manipulators couldn't predict the outcome...
Last edited by Sicon112 on Thu May 16, 2013 10:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
Normal people are the easiest to manipulate. Too smart and they have an annoying tendency to catch wind of your plans, too dumb and, in the words of a certain pirate, "You can never tell when they are about to do something incredibly...stupid."
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Wed May 15, 2013 5:19 pm

Anji was sitting in a chair in her library. It was boring sometimes, being stuck inside all day. Not by choice, mind you. Zi had nearly gone into an apoplectic fit when Anji got home to the “Inn”. Six weeks of no shenanigans, no leaving the Inn, no fun at all. The first two weeks nearly drove Anji insane, with nothing to do but practice throwing knives at a pegboard with Hara’s likeness plastered to it. Anji was no artist, and was restricted to only one hand, so Hara looked more like an ill horse than a professional assassin, but Anji didn’t mind the practice.

About halfway through her interminable healing period, Julius had shown her the study, “Not all of the books here are of the boring kind, there’s some fiction as well. They might pass the time better than just the knife practice.” He had told her. Doubtful, Anji picked up her first book, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. Smiling, Julius made some lame excuse about a meeting, then disappeared. Anji didn’t notice him leaving. She was hooked. Within a week she had burned through all the fiction in the small Inn, even buying copies off of wandering merchants and warriors.

By the end of week two, she had started on books detailing life in the castle, Herbology and Warcraft, Mages and You, How To Train Your Wyvern. Soon there was a knock on the door. A red-headed man came in to visit, detailing a plan he wished to be kept secret. Anji was nervous, but agreed to the plan to help pull all the guilds together. After the man had left, Anji called for Julius, only to be told that he was at a meeting, and detained for the rest of the day. Growling with irritation, Anji headed back to the study.

-----

“Did you call me?” Julius called out from the doorway to the study. Anji didn’t seem to leave the place at all these days, which was probably a good thing, he imagined. She had a sharp mind, and reading would only benefit her even more.

“Uh...yeah.. I-I did.. Uhm..” Books thumped to the floor as she cleared a space for the knight to sit. “Would you like some tea? Apparently we have errand boys now, one of them brought me a pot a few hours ago.”

“Oh... Well, not for now. But I’ll make note of that for later.” He said, finding a place to sit in the small room. “You seem to enjoy this place.”

“Uh well, it’s the only place I can... uh... I guess I like books now.” was the barely audible response. “In other news... Well, first off, what do you think about that idea I proposed at the council?”

“Sounds like a strong idea. It’s something we need to make sure we don’t end up fighting each other.” He gave a pause, considering how to voice his concern. “But it’s dangerous, leading the guilds like that can turn you into a target.”

Anji shuffled around nervously. “I know.”

“So... Why did you do it?” He asked honestly.

“You know who gave me the idea in the first place, right?”

“No. You never told me... It wasn’t your idea then?” Julius didn’t look surprised, or startled. Instead he choose to avoid thinking about what that fact meant for the moment.

Anji winced, then stood up and paced around the room. “It was Salvantas’ idea. He approached me earlier that night. I tried to find you but you were gone and I went for it. The idea is sound, the plan though... It bothers me. But I made a promise. I fully intend to keep that promise.” Her eyes glinted in the lamplight, daring him to attack her.

“I know you will.” He looked concerned. “But you have to be careful about it, it’s possible that he didn’t tell you everything... And even if he did this role is dangerous by itself.”

“I don’t think many assassins are going to be sneaking into a library.” she said with a smirk.

“Yes, they would.” Julius stood up, looking grim. “That’s what assassins do. That’s how they kill. That’s why people like me need to be there in the first place, Anji. And even that doesn’t mean they’ll fail.” His voice broke down into a whisper during the last sentence.

Anji’s grin faded. She walked away from Julius, and stood with her back to him, staring into the firelight. “Well, what would you have me do? Sit in the background, sweeping up? I’m not a little kid to be babied, and I don’t think I’m a thief anymore. This is the path I’ve been set on, I suppose I’m bound to finish it.”

“What I’d like you to do is make your own choice. You say you’ve been set on this path, but, if you want to step out of it, you can do so. If you continue on, it has to be because you want to continue, not because you’re resigned to following it.” He headed to the door, and stopped before stepping outside. “If you just accept what happens instead of making your own choice, you’ll become weak. And if you’re weak, you’ll fail.” He stepped out of the study. “I think I’ll get some of that tea now... Want me to bring you a cup?”

“No, I’m fine, Valerian. If you would, make sure that any new recruits are fully vetted before admittance. That’s all for now.” She didn’t move away from the flames, staring intently at a volume of Nordic mythology.

Julius listened, holding the door still open. For a moment, neither of them moved, but the man’s hand almost crushed the doorknob as he struggled to come to a decision. When he finally let go, he spoke a single word, and waited for Anji to turn toward him. “No.”

Anji turned towards the knight, eyes flashing icy blue. “No?”

“No. You’re not fine now, and you won’t be fine if you continue shutting yourself inside your head like this. You won’t stop, I know that much, but you’re not going ahead alone. I don’t care what you say, or what you want, I choose to fight for you because I trust you and I’d like to believe we became friends even. Things will get bad and dangerous, and I’ll still be here. But if for some silly reason you think you can’t talk to me because I’m a guild member, then I quit Storm and Drive. Would you be able to talk to me as a friend then?”

“Don’t....” Anji mumbled, tearing up. Clearing her throat she rubbed her eyes. “I... I need a moment... I think I’ll take that tea, Jules.”

“I’ll go prepare some for us, then.” He let out a faint smile. “Then we can talk about the weather or something silly like that.”

“Sure.” Anji replied as she walked over to the window seat and grabbed another annotated book.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Tohrinha on Thu May 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Timeline placement: Six years before arriving at the Floating Castle.

“When are we going to leave, Anna?”

A young woman looked up at her companion at the sound of her name. They were in a small cottage, barely more than a cave with its one room and sparse furniture, not much beyond a small fireplace and a set of cots pressed against the wall. A large dog lay on its side in front of the fire, head resting on the woman’s lap as she absently scratched its ears. The woman herself sat cross legged against the wall; she held a ragged book open in one hand, its thin cover creased and faded with long use.

The woman laughed slightly. “We’ve been hired for the season, Mirae. We’re not about to leave in the middle of it. Bear with me for a couple more months.” The girl she spoke to tugged at a rough curtain above her head, peering behind it to glimpse the sky. “How are the stars?”

“Oh, the Warrior’s out. And the Hunting Dogs, of course. The Eye’s blinking blue and red at me again. So, same as usual.” She laughed. “Just like you, changing the subject on me.” Anna grinned. This was an old point of contention between them.

Mirae stood up and stretched, running her fingers along the paper covering the dirt ceiling. Living in a hill wasn’t exactly the height of luxury, but it was a small pleasure. More often, they shared rows of bunks with other workers. Some owners didn’t even go to the trouble of housing their hands; one had given the pair a tarp and some firewood, then shut the door on them. They hadn’t stayed there long.

Anna had gone back to her book. Mirae looked at her for a moment, watching her nonchalantly flip a page, then knelt down and rummaged through her bag for her own volume. Not finding it, she returned her gaze to her sister. “You’re reading my myths again, aren’t you?”

Anna plastered an innocent smile on her face, then dropped into a genuine one as Mirae continued to stare. “Well, you were off stargazing. Honestly, you spend as much time exploring as you do working.”

“You spend too much time working. Don’t you want to do something different once in a while?”

“I have the evenings for reading. And I talk with you. That’s always an adventure.”

Mirae looked sideways at her. She couldn’t tell if that was a joke or not. Anna’s face was perfectly straight, but there was a suspicious lightness in her tone. Sisters.

She pushed herself off the floor and began to pace. The knotted planks of the door, turn, blank dirt wall, turn. Door, wall, door, wall, door, wall, back again to the door. She sighed. There wasn’t anything under this roof but tedium. With another melodramatic sigh, she dropped where she stood, conveniently under the window again. For a minute or two, all that could be heard was the fire crackling gently in the corner; the dog rhythmically drumming the floor with his tail; the horses that the owner sometimes paraded around the fields whickering quietly to each other before sleep.

She rested her head against the wall, staring through the gap between curtain and wall, and picked out the Eye again; it was by far the brightest star, and the most colorful. She watched it twinkle for a moment, musing. “I wonder what it’s like up there.”

If Anna was annoyed by the interruptions, she didn’t show it, instead leaving her book once more to respond. “What, with the stars?” Mirae nodded, not taking her eyes from the sky. “They’re points of light. Sure, they have stories associated with them, but they’re like these,” said Anna, gesturing with the book. “People made them up, to try and put a little fantasy into their lives.”

“Sure, but....” She thought, then started again. “All right, they’re not actually dogs, or coyotes, or fish, or any of that. But what if they’re not just points of light? Oh, stop looking at me like that. It’s like those mountains we crossed last season. They’re not flat blue hills, are they, even though that’s what they look like from a distance.” Mirae gave the curtain another triumphant tug.

“Fine. I’ll give you that. So what do you think is up there?”

“How should I know? I haven’t gone and looked, have I? Yet,” she amended.

Anna shook her head. “Glory, Mirae. You’re always one step ahead of where you are. It’s a wonder you don’t fall into a ditch while thinking you’re climbing the next hill.”

Their laughter slipped through the window into the night. It mingled with the fire’s smoke as it rose, a column of ash and sound, mixing earthly sparks among the stars.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Lordxana0 on Fri May 17, 2013 12:32 am

Salvantas stood atop the Churches roof and set down a small pan with a log in it and tossed in a match. The wood caught quickly and soon a small fire blazed in pan. He turned his head to the sky and saw the full moon slowly make its way up through the sky and pulled a small journal from his pocket. Marking the middle of the journal where two pure red roses.

"Oh, its you again" a voice from behind made Salvantas turn, but a small smile crept onto his face as he saw that the voice belonged to the stranger he had met while picking the Nomad Rose. She walked over, a coat covering her body and a pair of warm pants covering her lower body. "I suppose you are here for the same reason I am." she pulled out her own journal and put it in front of her, the two Nomad Roses marking the middle page, just the same as his.

Salvantas nodded and sat down watched the fire, pushing the log around with a small stick. "When full moon rises the powers of the Estanalas are strongest, and if the Nomad Rose is burned along with your hidden thoughts after being lain bare to someone else then the ashes shall find their way to the one you seek" Salvantas spoke the ritual into the night air.

She nodded and sat down near the fire, warming her hands. "Have you already shown yours to someone?" she asked with interest.

Salvantas looked down at the small book and shook his head. "Oddly enough I thought that you might show up, so I figured we could share them with one another, unless you have already shown yours to someone else?"

She shook her head and a light blush dusted her cheeks. "No, the same line of thought crossed my mind as well, so... shall we trade?" she asked with a small smile on her face.

They traded journals and began to flip through the pages. Rose's journal was filled with pictures of how she imagined her friend looking all grown up along with memories of her favorite times with him. She described how they would always protect each other. The boy she wrote about would always get into fights over people insulting her honor, and she would always chase away those who would mess with him.

Salvantas journal contained various poems and revelations on how he had felt about the girl. The poems where beautifully crafted, and compared the girl he looked for against all things of natural beauty and spoke on how none of them stirred the same happiness in him that the memory of the girl did.

The traded back journals and Rose smiled at him. "Do you think this girl was your Kiman?" On the island nation Basafama there was a strong belief that every person had an exact soul mate that would share a greater bond then any other person they might meet in the course of their lives. That person would be known as a Kiman, or soul mate. When the two finally met the bond would become apparent almost immediately unless acted upon by an outside force. And even then the Estanalas, divine servants of the Gods that protected the nature of love would find some way to subvert the force so the lovers could be together.

Salvantas felt a lump grow in his throat and he nodded, thankful for the darkness to hide his own face. "I was young when I last met her, but I have never felt that way for another person in my life, so yes, I suppose you could say that I believe she is my Kiman. Through it sounds like your person might be the same to you" He kept a careful track of the moon with his eyes. "It is time" he stood up. "Would you do the honors?" he asked.

Rose nodded and stood over the fires. "Oh mighty Estanalas, we call upon your strength this night to find those who we have lost, we offer two Nomad Roses hunted down from two separate blooms and our feelings for the one we wish to find, please aid us" they both tossed their journals in the fire and watched as it slowly consumed them.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Do you know what I hate most about these underground floors?" Tenzami asked as he walked along the cold stone of a church made of black obsidian.

Maramius followed two paces behind Tenzami and slowly unwrapped the dark black prayer beads from his arm. "I am guessing it has something to do with vampires?"

When they reached the middle of the pews a group of the creatures surrounded them, each holding a weapon at their sides. "Yep it has everything to do with vampires" he rolled his eyes. "Nice little show, what you think nine vampires armed with a few years of knowledge and weapons are scary?" he called out.

A mass of shadows entered the room from the windows of the church and met each other behind the pew, forming into the shape of a young man with bright blonde hair and pure blood red eyes. He was dressed in a suit and wore a blacktop hat on his head. By his side sat a cane whose head was a rather large looking black crystal. "So I have the pleasure of meeting the infamous Tenzami, I must thank you for all the snacks you sent my way, some vampires can't taste it quite the way I do, but the souls of the innocent taste so much better the the normal food"

"Don't bother thanking us, I just didn't want to kill my entire army before they realized they were to follow me and only me" Tenzami grinned at the man and yawned.

The blonde vampires face scrunched into a look of pure malice. "No one disrespects me" he snapped his fingers, all previous thoughts of an alliance thrown away at the sound of the mans arrogant tone. He didn't live as long as he had by suffering fools. The vampires leapt into the air, their weapons in hand and looks of glee on their faces.

Maramius broke the thin string that connected his beads and pulled one off that unlike the rest wasn't black, but rather a dull white. He began to chant and the vampires stopped in mid air, held by an invisible force. "Soul Absorption" he whispered. The vampires bodies began to shake and long strand of grey energy came from their mouths and connected to the small bead, turning the once white color into a dark black.

Tenzami looked at the vampires floating forms and barked out a cold laugh before grabbing one of the three blades by his side. The one he grabbed was the bottom one, and when he pulled it from its sheath he spoke a single word. "Rende!" the vampires bodies each received a large gash across their bodies, slashing their bodies through what was once their hearts and killing them instantly.

"How..." the blonde vampire pulled on the head of his cane and a long blade came out of it. The blade was consumed by the cracking of electric energy and he pointed the blade at them. "How did you come to obtain the fifth blade of the legendary nine blades of the dragon?" a hint of fear ran through the creatures voice and he very much wished he could flee. But any magic he did would have been dangerous if a Magi of the Black Flame was close enough to him.

"The how is simple, I am the Magus Vas Inferdam, Lord and Ruler of the Kiomas, last of my kind, the he who is known as Wanderlust" He grinned darkly at him and continued. "And you are the Drakas of Lomi, Low Servent of the Kiomas, the he who gave the right of his name to my clan and became the one known as Mocamius"

The words ripped through the blonde vampire and he fell to a knee. He hated the name of Mocamius, which in his own tongue meant servant to those you owe debt to. But if the person in front of him was telling the truth... and knowing his luck then yes it was... then the attack he had just made might cost him his life. "My lord I had no idea that it was you who I spoke to, if I had any idea that you were here I would have found you and delivered all I had gathered to you in tribute, forgive me" he said, swallowing hundreds of years of pride by groveling at the feet of the man who technically owned him.

"Oh like I care, murder is something I enjoy, through killing nine of my new men is a bit annoying, speaking of men exactly how many are at my disposal under your command?" Tenzami asked, taking a seat at one of the pews.

Mocamius looked at him from his bow. "Sixty two, through only five of them have broken a hundred, the rest are still young bloods." he felt irritation rise in his mind. His carefully cultivated army, the one he would have used to take more power from the other elders was being snatched from him by a man he never believed would have arrived here.

Tenzami smiled at the number. "That is a good number, you will order all of them to hunt for the ninth blade, Oathbreaker, nothing else matters other then obtaining that blade"

The name of the ninth and most powerful of the nine legendary swords fell on Mocamius's ears like a stone. Oathbreaker had the power to destroy anything, and it had been thought lost many ages ago. "That blade is here?" he asked with a slight hint of awe in his voice.

"Somewhere, and once I have it I will be one step closer to my..." Tenzami looked over to Maramius and frowned. His ally seemed to be having a hard time breathing all of the sudden. "What is wrong with you?" he barked.

The wizard cursed and pulled a knife from his coat and cut his hand, allowing blood to drip to the floor and form a small pool. After that he dropped one of his heads on the pool and an image began to form. "The spell you asked me to cast on the girl... did you know what she was to Salvantas?"

Tenzami stood up and looked into the pool, his blood turning to ice. "Oh you are fricking kidding me, they are..." he took a moment and spat out. "Kiman?"

"Yes, and you know as well as I do that there are three things that can stop the power of the Black Flame. White Fire, Very very powerful holy magic, and true, fricking, love" he pointed at the pool. "And guess what, true freaking love!"

Tenzami let out a long stream of curses in a foreign language and pulled out one of his blades and swung it, shattering the left side of the church with the force of the swing. "Damn it!" he put a hand over his face and took a few deep breaths to calm himself down. "Okay...okay this doesn't ruin everything... it makes things a fuckton more complicated, but it doesn't frick up everything" he turned toward the vampire. "Get it done" he waved for the mage to follow him and left the church, new plans forming in his head to follow up on the old ones that had to be replaced.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The fire eventually burned out and Salvantas turned toward Rose and nodded. "Would you like to do the honors or shall I?" he asked with a small grin.

Rose looked at the pan and then to Salvantas. "I think you should take this part."

He nodded and lifted the pan and with one movement tossed the ashes in the direction that the moon was and watched as the winds began to carry it away. "Watch the ashes, the winds are suppose to push them in the direction of the one you wish to find" they both watched the ashes before a sudden gust of wind pushed them all back and covered them both in black soot.

"Blag" Salvantas began to wipe the ashes off of his trench coat. "Well that was..." he stopped for a moment and a small thought sparked in his head. He turned to look at the girl and she turned to him.

"Oh my god its you!" the both broke out in wide grins which suddenly turned to looks of pure and utter embarrassment as they realized they had both revealed their inner most feelings to each other without even realizing it.

"While um... hi Rose" Salvantas finally spoke looking at her.

She turned her eyes to him. "Hi Rose?" she crossed her arms and a stern expression came across her face. "All these years and all I get is a hi Rose?" she raised an eyebrow and Salvantas took a few steps back with his hands raised.

"Hey I am not great at this, what am I suppose to say, that I have missed you and thought about you every day since I left?" he blurted the words out before realizing what he said and coverings his face. "Oh god I just said that didn't I?" he looked to the sky and raised his hands. "Help me out here would you?"

Rose giggled at him and took a step toward him, biting her bottom lip and wrapping him in a hug. "I missed you too Salvantas." she whispered as she held him.

They stayed their for awhile, wrapped in each others arms under the moonlight.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Standing on another building far away from the Church sat a figure dressed in bright white robes. On his back sat two pure white wings that matched his hair. "Well then, evil plans messed up, true love shining through, and all in one night of work. Next move is yours Salvantas, choose wisely" the man disappeared in a flash of light, leaving no sign he had ever been there other then a pure white feather, which quickly faded into nothingness.
Last edited by Lordxana0 on Thu May 30, 2013 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Adell on Fri May 17, 2013 2:23 pm

The Morning After "The Mirror Mirror" Underground Quest

“I don’t like it,” Ben said, releasing another arrow. The new bow wasn’t a type she was familiar with, but that only made her all the more determined to practice and master it. “I don’t like it at all.”

“It’s not exactly what I wanted either, but we didn’t have much of a choice.” Hector commented behind his ally, as she released another arrow at the target in front of them. “I wasn’t about to risk some child’s life.”

“Hmm.” The wind whipped the target around, and Ben thought aloud as she chose her aim carefully. “And you say you know Anjali too well for her to have been manipulating you?”

“I trust her.” Hector reassured. “There are some things a person’s eyes can’t hide. If she was lying, I would have noticed.”

Ben nodded absently. “I suppose I’ll have to go by your judgement on that, then... But that just narrows the playing field; there’s still some sort of foul play afoot. Did you see who else had already signed to the agreement?” The arrow hit the edge of the wooden target circle, sending it spinning even more. The next shot would be difficult, unless she was willing to wait; Ben was notorious for her impatience.

Hector thought for a moment, scratching behind his ear. “There were at least two other signatures, but uh...” He sighed, not wanting to say the truth, “I couldn’t read them,” he admitted quietly.

“Dammit. Why can’t more people in positions of responsibility write legibly? Alex does it.” The comment was more thinking aloud than actually directed at her guild leader, as she examined the problem from the new angles, loosing the arrow as she spoke.

“Yeah...” The man nodded his head, deciding to drop that embarrassing topic. “I think it’s safe to assume one of them was Anji’s guild, although I don’t know who else is a part of it. We can always ask her, I guess. However, I don’t think Luca is a part of some guild. I would have noticed by now,” he argued.

“So either he’s allied behind the scenes with someone who’s pretending to play nice, or there’s another agenda mixed in here... God, I’ll need a chessboard to keep track of everything if this keeps up.” Ben sighed, not even noticing that she’d hit her mark directly on the last shot, loading another arrow automatically. She couldn’t very well berate Hector for his decision, if Anjali’s story had been true; who knows what she would have signed to when her own brother was at swordpoint, if Jennifer hadn’t been there and armed to back her up.

“I don’t suppose there’s much to be done about it now,” she admitted, “except keep our eyes wide open for the first sign of a catch. I just... I don’t like it.”

“I can’t imagine what he wants out of a union between the guilds, but we’ll need to be careful in any decision making we do from here on, that’s for sure.” The man sighed, lowering his head, “I knew he was here, before this whole situation started... but I never imagined what his motives were. I won’t stand aside any longer, I need to find him and stop whatever it is he hopes to accomplish.” Hector prepared to return back inside at those words, his steps heavy. “I’m sorry, it seems my own problems have invaded our guild...”

Ben shook her head tiredly. “Don’t be. We’ll find a way to roll with this. At least because you know the fellow, we’re aware of the danger. Better than walking into this thing blind.”

“... Right. Just keep your eyes peeled for any red-headed bastards.” The green giant grinned.

Ben smirked, and shot the last arrow she had carried out. “I’ll keep away from the mirror for that one.”
If you ever need to ask the questions "Am I needed? Should I help them?" The answer is always yes. Always.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Fri May 17, 2013 4:19 pm

Anji didn't sleep very well the night after Luca visited. She looked at her torso, the skin underneath already purpling into a dark, angry bruise. Nothing felt broken, which was lucky for her. The last thing she needed was to be bed-ridden when everything was such a mess.

Composing herself, she walked down into the main room of the inn. Julius and Marcus were debating something over toast, Tamar had his head stuck in a book in the corner, as usual, and Zi was... nowhere to be found. Anji pushed back a wave of panic as she looked around for her sister before remembering where she’d seen her last and where she was likely to be now. Yeah, that probably wasn’t going to stop happening any time soon. Going into the kitchen, Anji grabbed some bread and cheese, then made for the study. She needed to think, and plan.

Slight obstruction to that plan: the study wasn’t empty. Anjali realised this moments before she entered and stilled, hand on the door, body tensed because nothing good came of people who sneaked into Inns in the middle of the day. “Hello?” she called out softly, “Uh, sorry about the mess... Not one for cleaning, really.” she directed her attention to the shock of grey hair that stuck out on all ends.

Tamar Delaney didn’t quite fall out of his seat, but his eyes went briefly wide and he jerked to his feet when he saw her, wincing as he did so, as if he’d just stuck his hand on something sharp. Anjali let out a breath. Honestly, this kid was as jumpy as a jackrabbit sometimes. It was a wonder he hadn’t gotten killed yet (then again, you could probably say that about most of Storm and drive, what with two thirds of them being runaways and vagabonds and... whatever they thought Julius was). “Ow! A-Anjali... hi. Sorry, I thought... um... this is yours, right?” he held out the book that had slipped out of his hands. The book came from the library, old and tattered around the edges, written in this cursive, fancy script that Anji wondered how anyone could read without getting eye strain, but it was a good book in spite of that.

“Uh, technically it’s yours too. Lori gave a few books on a loan, she seems to think that books would be good for me or something.” Anji snarked as she walked over to the desk, wincing as she sat down. Yeah... that’s going to hurt for a while

Tamar placed the book back down on the table between them, smiling faintly. “Hector’s training getting to you too, huh? I swear, I’m not sure he isn’t trying to kill us or something.” He paused. “Um... unless that’s not what it is.” He pushed the book closer, speaking again before Anjali could respond. “Have you read it yet? It’s one of the good ones. Nobody knows for sure where the stories came from, though. It’s like they just slipped through the cracks of the world and showed up in the libraries here. Pretty weird, huh?”

Anji glimpsed at the book. Nordic Mythologies. “Yeah... I suppose so... Nordic? What’s that?”

“See, that’s the strangest thing,” Tamar said, brightening automatically and reaching out to flick through the pages of the large book. Anjali noted the brief flinch in his shoulders as he did that, but chose not to comment. “Training. Right.. Kid probably never had a real fight before he showed up here.” See, it seems like basic creation myths to me, almost all countries have those. Back in the... Well where I come from ,there were a lot of stories about warlords, mages, people higher up than humans.”

“What, like gods?”

“Basically, but not all the time. Thing is, I can’t figure out where the heck these myths come from. They’re not native to Lomadia, or Manca, or anywhere like that. But they're still myths about gods. it’s like they’re all just... made up. Like fairytales.” Anjali’s eyebrow rose a little, because seeing Tamar get this worked up about something was... unusual. She’d had bigger things to worry about lately than her teammates hobbies, after all. “The Nordic myths centre around a pantheon... there’s Odin,” Tamar tapped a page. “I guess he’s about as high as the gods get... aaand Thor, and Tyr. Also, they seem to think the entire world was created with the... body and blood of slain giants.” Tamar grimaced. “Ew.”

“Well, I always heard that the world rode on a turtle. Can’t believe everything you hear, I suppose.” Anji said, picking up a book.

“I know... still. Things usually come from somewhere.” Tamar was staring intently at the page, like it was some kind of big mystery he absolutely had to figure out. “I kind of feel sorry for these guys.”

“...Who? The freaky wolf guy who seems to be...” Anjali squinted at the page. “...Eating the moon?”

“Fenrir. They locked him away. Heard some prophecy that he would destroy the gods one day. I mean, he did I guess, but still it seems kind of cruel... locking somebody away just because of what they MIGHT do? I guess gods aren’t known for being open minded, huh? Did you know there’s a whole chapter in here about a competition where they see who can insult each other the most?”

Anji started laughing, “They sound like us. I would love one of those competitions.” She winced as her laughter caused her ribs to creak painfully. Glancing up, she saw a look of worry.

“You’d... probably win.” Tamar mumbled, uneasily.

This kid, Anjali thought, not so big on direct communication. “I’m sure you didn’t start talking to me about Old Gods for no reason. What’s on your mind, Delaney?” Anji asked seriously, turning to look the smaller boy in the eye.

Tamar’s eyes slid away from hers, like matching poles of a magnet. “...Sometimes that’s what the Floating Castle feels like. Like... we’re all just players on some stage, you know? Like gods or something are playing games with us. And they don’t play fair...” he paused, a question on the tip of his tongue. Anjali waited. She could wait. “What are we doing here, Boss?” the question was quiet.

“We’re talking to each other in a library. And one of us is being unnecessarily cagey about his reasonings.” Anji said, eyes narrowing.

Tamar smiled again and really, he should stop doing that. “I think we’re both being kind of cagey about a lot of things. Anji, where did you and Eliziya go the other day? She disappeared, didn’t she?”

Anji glanced uneasily around the room. “Yes.” she said softly. “She disappeared. And I had to go find her.” Her eyes slid downward as she collapsed into a chair. “And stuff happened. Is that what you wanted to know?”

Tamar was biting his lower lip now, clearly having some kind of mental war about whether or not he was supposed to ask these things of the person who was, technically, in charge. “What happened to the two of you? I know it was something serious, Anjali, but nobody will explain it. And this Guild thing...” he trailed off. “Eliziya’s my friend too, and you’re my Guild Leader. I thought maybe... I’m not your enemy, right? You know that?”

“I know, Tamar. But I don’t...” She stopped, as if looking for the right words. “I’m being asked to do things I don’t want to do, in order to protect other people. Some want to force me to make certain choices, and to do that, they made sure I knew just how dangerous they could be.”

“They took her, didn’t they?” Tamar’s words were quiet, but he could see the reaction in his eyes: a bone deep anger that made his voice shake. “They took Eliziya... “ his hands closed into tight fists on the pages of the book in front of him, creasing the pages. When he spoke next there was something like determination in it. “But... they gave her back. That means they got what they wanted. What’re they forcing you to do, Anji? is it something to do with the Guilds?”

“Yes.” was the simple reply. Anji looked at Tamar, eyes burning. “The bastard will pay. I promise you that.”

“Then let me help,” for the first time in... probably since they'd met actually, there wasn’t the slightest hesitation in Tamar’s voice. “Isn’t that why we’re all here, Anji? To help people? We’re Storm and Drive,” he dragged the pendant out from under his shirt. Glistening iron, a pale stone centre. The ones they’d had made by the Blacksmith’s apprentices’. “Not Storm and ‘Sit Around Until the Bad Guys make Their Demands’. How do we stop them? Who are they?”
There was an uncomfortable silence for what seemed longer than it probably was. Tamar looked back to the book, seeming to realise the damage he’d done and trying to smooth out the pages. “There’s... there’s this story in here, the one about that wolf eating the moon? They all figured Fenrir was going to destroy everything, because some god or whoever told them... it was prophesied. Like that guy in the square was going on about the Guilds, remember? They locked him away, so that they wouldn’t have to deal with it.” He scowled, but not in anger, more like... he was willing Anji to understand something she had no hope of understanding without some actual freakin’ context. “You understand? They believed that was going to happen. They didn't have any proof of anything, except for the fact that Fenrir’s father was somebody they liked to think of as the Bad Guy, even though when you actually read it he hardly did anything worse than any of the other gods did! They just needed somebody to hoist blame on.. .” he swallowed. “They needed a scapegoat, so they could justify locking up somebody that might pose a threat to them.“

“...Are you making a point, Tamar?”

“You’re not a Scapegoat!” Tamar snapped, obviously angry now. “You’re not... whatever they want, it has something to do with this... weird guild alliance, with this agreement. I’m right, aren’t I? Hector was acting all weird the other day, I mean heck, I got an actual hit in on him, he was so distracted.”

“I am what I have to be.” Anji said, steeling herself. “I promised to help people, and that’s what I intend to do.”

“I know that,” Tamar sat back down, the anger draining away a little. “Anji, all you ever do is help people. Eliziya, the rest of the Guild, the townspeople... me.” He shuffled, clearly trying to choose frustration over embarrassment. “You’re one of the bravest people I ever met! If you didn’t want my help in return, well,” he held up the pendant again, smiling. “You shouldn’t have given me this. I know what it’s like, feeling like all your choices are being made for you and there’s no way out. But there is. There always is.”

“What do you suggest, Delaney?”

Tamar hesitated. It was clear he hadn't actually thought very far beyond that little speech. “I suggest... I suggest you keep doing what you said you were going to, boss. Only don’t do it on your own... tell us all what happened to Eliziya and you. Who took her. After that...” he trailed off. “I... don’t really know. But something is happening, isn’t it? Something’s about to go down. I can feel it. Please promise us you’re not going to face it on your own. I’m not letting Hector nearly beat me up on a regular basis for my own entertainment, ya know.”

...That was oddly close to being an actual joke. Anji smiled, “I’ll be sure to keep you up to date, Delaney. Just... Keep an eye out, alright? These people are playing for keeps.”

Tamar smiled again, closing the book and holding it out for her to take. “So are we, Boss. So... do you know any of their names? Any in particular I should watch out for?”

Anji was quiet for a long moment. A silent war was being fought. She trusted Tamar, really. But she did not want to see another person put into danger. She took a deep breath, and said, “Didn’t catch his name, I’m sorry. Random guy, in a hood.”

“Oh...” Tamar looked slightly suspicious and perhaps a bit disappointed. “Yeah I-I guess it makes sense they wouldn’t want you to know their names, huh? What is it with these guys and hoods, anyway?” This seemed more like genuine confusion than another bad attempt at humour.

“Heh..” Anji was lost in thought. After a long pause she looked up to see yet another worried look from the young squire. Clearing her throat, she said, “I- uh.. I’m not feeling too well. If you’ll excuse me.” Anji left the library quickly, going out into the noise and crowd of the castle in mid-morning. She ran for several blocks, then slowed to a walk, panting. Her hand felt like it wanted to fall off from gripping the old book for so long. Looking around, she ducked into a tavern, stealing a seat at the back of the dim restaurant. She examined the old book, looking for what Tamar saw in it. She tried very hard to ignore the fact that on the book’s cover was a leather-carved image of a direwolf bloody and scarred, devouring what might have been a mountain, or a forest. or a castle or frankly, just about anything. The artist was really shitty, so she couldn’t tell. Taking a deep breath, she opened the old book, and began to read.
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Pendants

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Wed May 22, 2013 1:47 pm

Timelime note: shortly after Marcus joins Storm and Drive


Ben faced the other girl with an evil grin. “So... ever shoed a horse?”

Jenny shook her head. “Our family never needed one, and I never did more than errands for the smith back home.” Then she turned, seeing Ben’s smile. “Oh no... Please tell me we’re not--”

Ben laughed, nodding. “Good. Never, never try to shoe a horse unless you are a blacksmith with several years’ experience. ...I was just messing with you. Really. Don’t do it. That’s what the professionals are here for.” She jerked her head to indicate Tad.

Jenny didn’t even try to conceal her relief. It had taken her a few days to get used to Ben’s odd sense of humor, and it still managed to catch her off guard sometimes.

Ben glanced sideways at Jeanna-- Jenny, she corrected herself. Dammit! Why did she think that name? They didn’t even look alike... but the combination, she supposed, of the similar names, and the smithing context, seemed to bring all sorts of things to the forefront of her subconscious. Jenny, she told herself forcefully, her name is Jenny. Ben glanced at Jenny, but whatever she had been about to say, interrupted as it had been with her mental dialogue, was completely forgotten with the intrusion of a customer into the forge.

Anji poked her head into the dimly lit forge. Well, here goes nothing. “Uh, hello? Anyone around?" she asked hesitantly, eyeing the forge with distrust.

Glad for something to take her away from her distracting train of thought, Ben jumped to attentiveness at the intruding voice. “You have business for the smith, or just never seen one in action before?” she asked, coming around to the entrance without a backward glance to see if Jenny was following.

“Both actually. Probably for the best, anyway. I’m Anji.” The shorter redhead shrugged, introducing herself, holding out her hand.

“Ben.” Ben shook the younger woman’s hand firmly, feeling the strength in the newcomer’s grip.

“Oh, uh... Ben?” Anji asked nervously. “The Severed Claws Ben?”

It felt odd to hear herself described in such terms, but Ben nodded with a crooked smile. “When relevant, yes.” She glanced around vaguely to find where the other girl was. “This is... Jenny, another apprentice.”

“Hey Hunter!” Anji said with a genuine grin, glad to be out of Ben’s appraising glare.

Jenny looked up. "Anji, hi!" She smiled. "What brings you here?"

“Uh, actually I came in here to hire you. Or your smithy skills, anyway,” she said, producing some papers and a satchel of money.

Ben tapped a foot, impatient with all the small talk. “The smith’s busy with some things at the moment, but if you tell us what you’re looking for, I can pass your commissions on.”

“Uh... Sure,” Anji said, handing the papers and satchel of money to the taller redhead. “It’s a compass rose.. I’d love it if they could be made.”

Ben took the papers, but didn’t look at them yet, instead trying to gauge whether the customer had any idea of the scope of what she was asking for. “You want a compass?” she asked. “He’ll need thunderbolt metal for that-- not impossible to get ahold of, but certainly not common-- not to mention contracting out to glassblowers and painters if you want it properly readable...”

“No, I think you misunderstand me. I want it to look like a compass rose, but not function as a compass.” Anji replied, sketching the rose on a spare piece of paper.

Jenny examined the drawing. “So... more like a pendant?”

Ben chuckled. “Well, that’s certainly more doable. I’m sure Tad will know how to do the... detailed-engraving... thing. He’s the one with the steady hands, after all.”

“Great. I’m sure Julius’ll love it.”

Ben grinned. “Ah, so you’re the infamous Anjali of Storm and Drive?”

“I wouldn’t say infamous.” Anji said, rubbing the back of her neck self-consciously.

“Well, you certainly keep... worthwhile company,” Ben said, sizing up the shorter woman in her mind, almost reflexively.

“What do you mean by that?” Anji asked, guardedly.

Instead of answering the question, Ben leafed through the papers she had been given. “This will probably be ready for you in a week or two.” She turned to Jenny for confirmation, since Tad was still occupied. “That sound right to you? Ten days?” Without waiting for a response, she put out her hand to shake Anjali’s again. “And send my best regards to Captain Valerian.”

Anji shook hands with the formal knight, then began to laugh, “He goes by Julius now, I believe. All titles were discarded when we got here, Benji.” Turning to Hunter, she said, “Thanks for all the help earlier. And remember, if you ever need me, I’ll show up.”

Jenny nodded. “Thank you. I’ll see you soon.”

As the other redhead left, Ben turned back to what they had been doing. Her name is Jenny, not Jeanna, she reminded herself. Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, “Jenny.”

“Yes?”

“Hmm?” Dammit, she’d said the name out loud, hadn’t she? Well, could be worse. She could have said “Jeanna.” “Uh.... nothing.”

“Okay...” Jenny wondered why the other woman looked suddenly flustered. Oh well, if it was important she’d tell me. “We should probably give these designs to Tad.”
Last edited by Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Floating Castle RP - Side Stories

Postby Tohrinha on Thu May 30, 2013 8:50 pm

Black smoke caught in her lungs, stung her eyes as they opened. For a moment, black was all she could see. The only way she could tell that her eyes were actually open was the tears rapidly forming. Coughing, Mirae wrapped her shawl around her face. Her cheeks warmed quickly under the coarse wool, but her breathing eased a little, and a small breeze swept away the worst of the black cloud, allowing her to take in her surroundings.

She was alone, standing in a field of grass, but the sound of crackling flames surrounded her. Yellow flame leapt as it flared through the dry grass, nothing like the tame blazes in a fireplace. She stood in an intact patch of land, though it would not last for long. The fire was already wending its way toward her, occasionally sparking new little conflagrations that subsequently melded with the larger group. Plumes of black and grey smoke rose and clouded the air, drifting in and out of her sight so that the field was momentarily lost to view, then returned. She didn’t need to see this place to remember it, though. She had been there long enough.

She held tightly to the memory of the field. Its character, its form. Maybe familiarity would stop panic. Everywhere. It’s everywhere. No time to run, no time to do anything but hide and wait for it to pass her by. She crouched down to where she could still see the land’s contours, but below the dark clouds, hastening between sections that weren’t on fire. Somewhere around here....

There. A depression in the ground, a small dip between fields, scoured free of grass in preparation for an irrigation channel that had never been built. Instead, it had often tripped her as she dragged hay; now, however, she threw herself down into it. She lay in the ditch, curled up and trembling, while around her fields burned.

***

Mirae woke with a start, feeling wooden slats under her head. She’d fallen asleep in the stables again. A horse slept beside her, unconcerned with the rapid drumbeat that was her heart. She stumbled to her feet and made for the door, brushing past Chet on her way out.

She leaned against the doorframe, slowly breathing in morning air clean of smoke. The birds were shrieking their morning calls; it always surprised Mirae that these never woke her, despite being deafening while awake. They certainly made their presence known now, however. The post-sleep fuzziness was already wearing off, the nightmare fading. She wished it would stay that way, the images burning off like morning fog. But the dream didn’t have to stay vivid to remind her.

A cottage dug into the side of a hill crowned with ash.

Empty corrals, their fences kicked down.

A dog huddled in the corner of the house, whining and shrinking away as she approached. She left the door open for him.

An empty road, wind-blown and clear of soot, leading off … somewhere.


It would not have taken long to hire new hands, she supposed. Folks would have been desperate for work, a home, even a charred hollow in a hill. Simple enough to pick up another migrant passing the fields.

Probably feels just the same. She smiled to herself, shaking off the unpleasant memory. Prairies never listened to a scrawny wildfire, let alone their “caretakers”. She had laughed at farmers as they struggled to make the grass grow in orderly rows, only to find them sprouting disorder as soon as they turned their back. Next season, there was no trace of any will but the field’s own caprice. Certainly made finding her way around easier, though, if the landscape never changed.

“Time to move on, I think,” she murmured, to no one in particular, before slipping back to Chet’s stable and pulling out her cloak, slinging it over her shoulder. “I’ll come back for you when I reach the next floor,” she said, laying a hand on the horse’s nose. She glanced back towards the still open door. A tendril of wind breezed past, lifting loose strands of hair. It could be her imagination, but she felt as if she could smell the forest that grew in tangles beyond the outpost walls, and the metallic tang of mining embedded in stone labyrinths. Magic-laced ritual fires where the kobolds roamed, mixed with the lingering scent of cattle. And something ... unknown, beyond that. “For now, though....” She stepped outside, letting the wind tug freely at her cloak. Time to run.

Timeline placement: Just before the second bossfight.
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