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Friar Tuck

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About Friar Tuck

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    Retired BZPRPG Dictator
  • Birthday 12/26/1986

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    Male
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    Navigating the windmills of your mind
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    Frisbee golf, RTS games, my beloved Reach-edition Xbox 360 and all its glorious games, running the RPG with my iron fist... and of course BZPower

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  1. IC A slight snort of mild amusement escaped my nostrils as she blurted that last part, my eyes still staring at the door across the lounge. "Your compliment... means much." I began slowly, thinking carefully on how I wanted to word this. "I do not... receive them often. But as to... fulfilling both roles, I... was only able to because... your mother was alive. I did not feel... the pressure of... family patriarch. I could... serve her, be... Executioner, and privately... be your uncle. But in even that I... seem to have... failed in. I know you as well as... inside the crater atop Mount Koshiki. I did not... spend the time with you... when I had the chance. Now I fear... I don't." I paused for a second, closing my eyes. "Which might explain... our spat. I don't... know you or your... ways of leadership. I don't... understand your... 'style'. You may have been... properly trained and prepared, but I... still see an inexperienced, if not at times a... spoiled and bratty Chojo. Perhaps I need to... realize you are now an adult, let you... lead as you should. You ARE... the Rora. But there are... few outside the palace who have... confidence in that. Or you." "And forgive me, my... Rora, but I am... one of those... people." I sank a little lower in the sofa, feeling relieved of the admission but at the same time extremely guilty for saying so. The term I used - her title - was purposeful and explicit; as my niece, daughter of my sister, my own flesh and blood, I had every confidence and undying love for her as one of my only two remaining close family members. As supreme ruler of this empire however... that confidence wasn't as stable. She may be strong and smart and resourceful, but as always I watched. I'd seen her when she thought she was alone. Observed her mannerisms and they way she dealt with individuals. And having been there during that party when she... I willed that particular memory out of my head. To always walk the tightrope Yumi, to be two different people and maintain dignity and honor for both... is something that few understand. To be continuously on the outside looking in, rarely able to share what's in my head... it's maddening, I thought privately. The interview had only lasted a few minutes thus far, yet his was probably the deepest and most perceptive conversation I had ever had with her. I had no idea how she was going to react to what I said... because I didn't know her. This was either going to be a really short or really long conversation.
  2. IC "Come in," came the rather regal reply through the door. I almost rolled my eyes as I went to open it; even now she still had it in her to sound like Queen of the World. How she managed to do it despite circumstances I would never fathom... I stepped in, closed the door quietly behind me, then looked as Yumiwa- And promptly everything I thought I had prepared to possibly say went out the window. She stood in front of the sofa, hands behind her back, as calm and cool as any regent should be. Fairly relaxed and dignified stance with feet at shoulder width, calm and colected face, neutral demeanor, a near duplicate of my late sister, albeit much younger. It was the perfect poise for this meeting, a near-perfect impression for the upcoming... discussion, if you wanted to call it that. But that's all it was - an impression. A good one at that, but I could see. Her knees were slightly locked, no doubt to prevent shaking; hands behind back to hide any possible tremors; a hint of overly timed breathing to relax unsteady nerves; but what most got me was the eyes. Hidden behind the regal gaze of a prepared Rora, tucked away beneath those steely, glowing orbs: anxiety. No matter hard hard she hid it, no matter how calm she made herself, the fact was there - she was afraid. And that hit me harder than any strike that I had ever felt during any honor duel. To see her frightened of me, even in a subtle way... it really was the last straw. Part of me broke. It shouldn't be like this. The people were generally afraid of my position as enforcer of the laws; the Twins while innocent were still mildly terrified when presented with the concept of being questioned; even Inokio fidgeted and looked uncomfortable when talking with me. Now this. No matter where I go or who I speak with mild apprehension seems to surround my presence, regardless of my words or actions. Only the guilty should have to fear me, not... everyone. Not... family. I... At this moment my mind refused to work, nothing I could do but stand and stare at her for a long minute, longer than I really should have. By sheer will I managed to pull myself out of it, unclasping my sword as I did so and setting it by the door. Very slowly I walked over the couch and sat down, the sofa a size too small for my frame, and... sighed, my chin leaning heavily on a pair of fists as elbows dug almost painfully into a set of knees. She may not be, but I was tired of keeping up appearances. There was no point. "How... are you feeling?" I finally asked
  3. IC And so pretension to Order is coming to its climax. Everything that has been bubbling underneath, unseen, hidden, for generations, is finally coming to the surface. I walked slowly through the Royal Apartments, more so than usual even for me, lost in my own thoughts. Part of me was consumed with this increasingly-frustrating search for my sister's killer, the the other half was slowly coming to grips with political ramifications of my earlier actions. I was not convinced that they were wrong; at this point however I could see that I was not completely in the right either. The last several weeks had been difficult and tolling on both my mind and body, to which the meeting with the twins put me on edge... and then Yumi put me over the edge. Again, I was not wrong... but somewhere in the back of my head I felt like I was missing something. Generation gap possibly? I really didn't know her as well as I should. At this point though I should be used to missing a lot of things; I was no longer in the loop with anything these days it seemed, my inability to bring Justice and Order to the Empire proof of concept. I let out a long sigh and shook my head. I was getting... tired. Ever since the day I was handed this mask and sword it was my duty to uphold Law and Order. Justice. And though that, Honor. Every waking moment and every single day as was my obligation. It was my purpose, my sole reason for existence. I never mated or had children. I didn't have a personal life. No friends, only distant family and coworkers. The closest thing to a vacation I ever got was my fleeting escapes to bonsai plants and crystal-carving. There was no place I could go, no one I could talk to about the daily struggles I went through. I had no one to bear my feelings to, no individual that I could release the inner pressures this job demanded. There was one person, but now she was dead. Masa helped, her constant presence a witness to my struggles, but she was my underling and therefore the relationship only went so far. Simply put I was very much... alone. I stopped in the hallway, standing only for a second before turning sideways and leaning back into one of the pillars. The stress and burden of my responsibilities were weighing heavier on me these days, and I felt like it was beginning to show. This was not because of age; I was the youngest of my generation, only now beginning to enter middle-age, but even I would admit I looked far older. I closed my eyes, my mind drifting. Had it been worth it? The personal sacrifices given to be where I was now, to have the authority of the law on your side, to have ultimate Power over life and death? To be the unshakable pillar of Order? After the events of the last twenty-four hours, I was beginning to doubt that. Beginning to wonder if my lack relationships with my nieces was worth the tradeoff. Clan honor and all that. Flaring my nostrils I pushed myself upright once more and resumed my stroll, this time with a little more purpose. It wasn't long before I arrived at the Rora's personal quarters, my women still standing guard faithfully. "Report." "No visitors save the Chojo," replied the sergeant crisply, giving a short bow, "bringing food per your orders." Despite my neutral stance my eyebrow went up a fraction. "I... see. What kind... of food?" "Basic gruel, my lord, per your instructions. Palatable, but I wouldn't call it even three-star dining." The slight smirk on her face revealed her true thoughts even as it faded as quickly as it came. I could sense they all felt the same way... with a slight exhale of breath I waved my hand. "Thank you. Dismissed." Each saluted as they filed away, leaving me alone at my niece's door. I raised my hand to knock, but paused right before I did. Desde always did have a kind heart. Though fooling my guards like that... I would need to have a chat with her about faking orders. The thought of my younger niece almost made me smile. With a few solid raps I knocked, awaiting permission to enter. I had no doubt she was going to rail into me... and probably with good reason too. As always I would need to stand there and take it, just like I did with the Twins... and pretty much everybody else. Sometimes my job required me to be the proverbial punching bag... though this time it was going to be different. Different because now I had an opportunity to have a real sit down and conversation with Yumi - a conversation I've never had before. This was possibly the best chance to begin to learn who she was now that she was Rora and an adult. Learn how to deal - no, work - with her. She was, after all, the Rora, and I was the Executioner, elder uncle or not. If I didn't start now, I feared I would never get the chance to again. Clasping my hands behind my back I awaited patiently.
  4. IC Toa Joske Location: Ta-Koro Streets Chapter Two: Courage under Fire I should have seen that coming. It was a strange turn of events: after years of getting swarmed by fans, friends, and foes alike, I was finding myself having to prove my own identity. I mean itt made sense after all the changes over the past two years, both physically and socially, but I honestly hadn't really thought about it until now. I could not help but grin at the prospect - one of the most famous people on the island suddenly a nobody because nobody recognized him. It almost made me giggle. Almost. I gazed around, looking for something that might help me with this endeavor. I began to (carefully) tear up the place, this smorgasbord of trinkets and strange wares, looking for the one thing that I could use to... aha! From underneath a pile of blankets and fur pelts I pulled out an old staple of mine: a Kohlii ball. Truly an indispensable tool, without such an object it I would have been unable to unlock off the temples on my first go around the island... not to mention kill time during the slow spots. Standing up to my full height I gave her a wink and without fanfare dropped the ball. *tap... tap... tappy tap tap tap* With a flick of the ankle the ball hit my foot and bounced back up in the air, to which I caught it with my right knee. After balancing it there for a second I went to a hopping routine, bouncing the ball back and forth with precision between my kneecaps. With a sudden upwards motion I shot straight up, as it drifted back down I bounced it off my forehead, letting it drop again as I used my left foot to catch and release, this time the ball gracefully arcing over my left shoulder to behind my back. What should have been the end of the foot juggling routine instead became my second act as I bounced the ball off my heel as I kicked my foot towards my rear, the ball arcing over my other shoulder, then off the knee again... The next minute was a flurry of fancy footwork, the ball bouncing between my knees, feet, over the shoulder, head, and otherwise demonstrating my superior feet-eye coordination, never once the ball hitting the ground or even looking like it was close to doing so. After that minute was up I gingerly caught it in my hand, and with the other I began to spin it, balancing the spinning sphere on one finger. Once it was moving fast enough I began to move it from hand to hand, finger to finger, under the arms and legs, and otherwise doing contortion tricks even as I kept it continuously balanced on a single finger. Eventually I came to the point where I was tilted sideways, ball held up in the air, to which I let it go, letting it roll down my arms and shoulders right into Kaia's awaiting arms. Slowly I bent down, grinning like a kid on his birthday. "That, little one, was no mask power; that's pure skill, skill honed by years of play and experience. But if you need more proof... " With that I reached into my bag, pulling out my old Kakama, the unmistakable gold mask with red streaks on it's edges. Along with that I also produced a fistful of documentation and paperwork that Angelus had given me not an hour earlier, my name and signature written all over it. With my eyes shining bright, not having that much fun showing off in years, I grinned at her triumphantly. "You convinced or am I going to have to drag you out to Captain Angelus myself to validate all this?"
  5. I don't see any reason why not. If a weapon, or any item for that matter, is left behind, either on purpose or because of extraneous circumstances, others can take it.
  6. IC Toa Joske Location: Ta-Koro Streets Chapter Two: Courage under Fire I could not help but smile back. As were all Le-Matoran she was energetic and excitable, not to mention sociable and curious, making it easy to feel comfortable around her. Also, her tree-speak accent wasn't as pronounced as it could have been, making it relatively easy to understand her. I grasped her small hand and shook it firmly, enjoying a "normal" conversational exchange for once. How long had it been since I had simply meandered through a Koro square browsing? "Joske... Joske Nimil. And yes, I am an island-traveler... of sorts. I can't say I've ever seen you or your stand before, though after seeing what you have I'm kinda disappointed I haven't. This is pretty amazing stuff you got here... " It would probably take a week for someone to fully comb through what she had here, my eyes unable to soak it all up fast enough. Placing my hand on my hips I took yet another look around, marveling at the mini miracle I saw before me. "How do you manage so much stuff... ? Sorry, I'm getting sidetracked. Yes, that 'Shaddix Scarf'... and that plain white one. How much?"
  7. IC The mention of my beloved sister like that caused me the stiffen ever so slightly, but it was more of a knee-jerk reaction than any form of anger. .:You are right. I took too long in my initial investigation, tarried too much before confronting the Twins, and what I have to show for it is riots in the streets and nothing for the murderer. I moved too slowly and therefore bear some of the blame for this current situation. Normally my slow pace is acceptable, but it seems we no longer have that luxury. We need to act swiftly to engage this new threat:. Even as I "spoke" those words I could not help but notice his fingers twitching. Probably a nervous tick, nothing more, though for some reason my gut was giving me mixed signals about it. Obviously this was distressing news, and though his words wise and rather sage for his age he seemed more... worried than I would expect. Almost... torn about something? Still, he brought up several good points that needed addressing so I simply filed the observation away. I myself was not in top shape after the days events so I could hardly judge. .:Speaking of swiftness, I appreciate your approval of cleaning house. Not that I need your approval, of course, but it will make the process significantly easier if you are willing to work with me on this and throw your weight behind it. To that extent I am going to ask you and your staff to be the first ones I interview... I won't order you to do it, not yet at least. If this is kept as voluntary as possible it will make the process that much smoother. Still, I won't be able to move as swift as I need with my current boundaries... I will need my hands unshackled to do so. I hate to say this, but I will need more power and authority to interrogate those I need to in the timeframe we need:. Out of the corner of my eye I saw it was his turn to stiffen. It took a moment for that movement to happen however as Inokio's mind processed and then dredged up the particular power I was speaking of. In my peripheral vision I saw him turn towards me with wide eyes. I didn't return to look, instead choosing to stand rather stoically, hands clasped behind my back as I gazed out over the Endless Sea as the sky turned from the blue-orange to bright red. "Yes... the Inquisition." I rumbled quietly, eyes hard. This was something I hoped I would never have to do, but as Inokio had rightfully pointed out events were moving faster than we could possibly hope to control. We would need to move as fast or faster to catch up if we had any hope of countering this new threat. "I... will need permission from... the Dastue that... make up my superiors. To grant... me the power to... activate the office... under their watch." I paused for a moment, contemplating what I was suggesting .:But first I must speak with my nieces... about all of this. Bring them up to speed. If they agree then I can possibly activate the Inquisition and within a day or so clear the inner circle but also the privy council... or at least, those that remain here. I know it's a tad unorthodox, but it's the only way to get to the point where the Rora can begin making decisions as quickly as possible, as well as free myself up to pinpoint the person who helped the murderer get so close to... :. I forced myself not to think about my sister .:I will remain cautious and meticulous as always, but now speed is of the essence. No one will be spared my gaze, not even you. Order, Honor, Power... our virtues will be upheld. Even if I have to go to great lengths to do it:. I bowed my head, looking at the sprawling palace below. I never thought I would have to use this power, let alone ask for it... but it seemed that I didn't have a choice. My usual methods had failed; it was time to up the ante. I just hoped my nieces understood.
  8. I have... Regained... My honour... *Glurk*. Edit: wrng quote I declare this an official WIN. Well done Norik, you would make an amazing Menti in real life This made my night...
  9. IC "Thank you... for being level-headed." The compliment was an honest one; I may not be one to lie, but it was not out of the ordinary for me to do the backhanded compliment or to use slighted politeness on occasion if called for it. As much as the Battlemaster may have hated politics I loathed it even more. I took a moment before answering, choosing to lean forward heavily on balustrade, eyes closed, letting the built-up tension of the day release somewhat. It would take more than this single moment to undo my irritability, but at least now I was allowed regain a bit of my composure. Inokio was respectfully looking as the sunset, but I had no doubt he could see the frustration and anxiety on my person as I slowly forced myself to relax. This was not my usual demeanor, not by any means, but everyone had their bad days. Slowly I breathed out, letting the stiffness in my neck and shoulders melt away, finally opening my eyes to enjoy the sight as well. Sunsets were particularly beautiful this time of year, especially from this vantage point. It... almost gave me some inspiration for my next carving. I gave a small nod. "Stunning... isn't it." "Mhm." It was the classic answer of truthful acknowledgement with the undertone of too-much-on-the-mind. I snorted and frowned slightly. .:I hope you don't mind if we converse like this; I can relay more accurate information quicker than if I were to speak:. .:Not at all:. .:Thank you. Where to begin? The beginning is the best place I suppose. So the Twins... :. * * * .:So as you can see this is not at all our parent's or even grandparent's conflict:. The wonder of Ideatalk was the ability to express more complete feelings and knowledge quicker than speech, something that was not lost on me. What would have taken more than an hour took only ten minutes or so, with more detail than words would allow. The crowds, the attempted deception of the twins and their identity, Jasix's unbridled cheekiness, Arsix's untold hatred of the system, his exoneration of the crime... but the biggest part was her feelings; no, their feelings. My mask had given me a glimpse into their world, their views, the ability to see things from the other side of the wall... and it wasn't good. It was as if they didn't care if Jasix was found guilty or innocent - and in all honestly it probably didn't. .:They have no love for the system, for the way things have been. They, in fact, loathe it more than they do Yumiwa, to the point where they see no reason to be a part of it. It was not said explicitly in my presence, but after centuries of experience I am well versed in reading between the lines: they mean revolution. This is not a power struggle; it is, in fact, the complete opposite. They want nothing to do with the current power system - they want out. Completely out. Either they are going to foster a rebellion the likes never before seen, or more likely, and what I am afraid of... complete secession:. I paused for a second before continuing .:Until they make their next open and public move I cannot prove this, but I am willing to wager my sword that is their game plan. But the worst of it is that now that I am certain that the Dastana family heads had nothing to do with the murder, I am left at square one. Which means I will need to do the one thing I didn't want to do - start cleaning house from the inside out. Interrogating everyone, questioning even those who I know are steadfastly loyal to us... not what I want to do. Add the general state of disorder these days and the looming threat of clan secession and you get my situation:. I turned to look at him .:So what does your years of service and experience in the political world advise you about that?:.
  10. Yup. The Bzprpg began its existence in 2002, though I myself didn't start playing until 2003, the year I joined this site. Technically the game started in 2001, as B6's timestamp clarifies, but it was pretty much only a dry run on the island of Mata-Nui. After that kiddies the rest is history Boy have I been around for a while More on-topic I remember reading somewheres that we had an archeologist or two in the character bunch here... who are they, where are they, and who controls them? I may have a job for you...
  11. IC Toa Joske Location: Ta-Koro Guard HQ Chapter One: Crystals, Temples, Secrets... oh my. "Shoot straight, stay true, say hi to the girls," Angelus ordered, forgoing the fist and standing up to embrace his one-time teammate. "And bring everyone home again. I'll have one of the deadbeats outside see that you get a little bit of a Guard pension if you need some coinage in your pockets - if you need anything else, just let them know." I embraced him back, taking a moment longer than usual. "Yes sah. I'll what I can do about Dorian, though I can pretty much promise you you'll have a full report on Ta-Kini on your desk by evening. Hopefully there will be something in there salvageable for you." I turned to leave. "Oh, by the way... good luck. You're gonna need it." "Me? What about you?" "Ah, don't worry about me, brother. I make my own luck." With that I tapped my mask, smiled, winked, and disappeared out of his office. * * * "Personal log: the counteroffensive has begun. As of today I managed to meet up with long-time friend Angelus, who also happens to be Captain of the Ta-Koro Guard. I divulged to him as much information and knowledge as I could without compromising the main objective... needless to say he knows. Knows enough to start organizing the people and the Koros for the storm that is coming. It's a small start, but now that I have shared most of the burden I feel significantly better, especially since it's someone I know I can trust explicitly... not to mention someone who knows how to use such information to the greatest advantage. If he can draw the attention of the forces of darkness on this island long enough I might be able to sneak past and complete my mission relatively unnoticed. Still, easier said than done... especially considering I haven't been able to get in touch with most of my former teammates, let alone patch things up seeing how long I was away. I doubt I will successful unless I can restore Unity in my daily workings. First though I will tackle Ta-Kini seeing as I am here. Hopefully things go smoothly. Joske out." I clicked off the iStone, stashing it away as I stepped out of the bathroom. Apparently the techs knew their stuff and it took less time than predicted to download the info Angelus promised me, giving me just enough time to scurry down the street to the forger's shop and pick up my personalized gear. By the time I got back they were done, reading me to the bathrooms where I could change and record my recent activity in private. Speaking of change, I re-adjusted the strap yet one more time. It was strange wearing fabric armor even if it didn't look like it; the paint and shellac-like coating gave it a metallic look, and the cuts were fairly straight. The weight however was different, as well as how it was distributed, not to mention how it moved. Yet despite the strangeness of it the feeling was right, and it fact flowed better as I walked than any metallic armor I had worn to date. I felt lighter, faster, more nimble, yet just as protected as before. So far I was liking the change. As I walked out of the Guard HQ for the final time I had to marvel at their efficiency. Not only the techs but the paper-pushers at their desks, even the the "deadbeats" as Angelus called them got me the proper authorization and even spending money in no time flat. Armed, armored, all geared up... I chuckled. This was probably the first time I was actually prepared for something in my life rather than winging it. Me? Toa Joske Nimil... actually prepared? It was a scary thought. The world was not ready for this. Sucks to be the world. Ah, the dry humor. It was back. I MUST be feeling better. Now where was Dor... ? * * * Toa Joske Location: Ta-Koro Streets Chapter Two: Courage under Fire You'd think finding a charasmatic high-profile merc coupled with an attractive Le-Toa warrior girlfriend who talks to much easy to find, but clearly either they were hiding or I still had issues with my new mask. They weren't home, and as I wandered the streets of Ta-Koro I wasn't having any more luck finding them either. You know luck doesn't exist, I chastised myself silently, your eyes have been opened to that. To an extent chance does, but that's merely Destiny's way of tying things together... I stopped, taking a second look at my own thoughts. If I couldn't find Dor, normally a very easy task, then that meant there must be a reason I couldn't find him. Which meant where I needed to be was right here... I looked around, finding myself in the middle of the Ta-Koro marketplace. It was late morning, by now everybody was out and about, the bustling of shoppers and the calls of the merchants in full swing. Frowning I planted my hands on my hips, just taking in the scene. Well, I guess I should wander. Either Dor will find me or I will find what I am apparently looking for- Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something. Scarves. There was a stand selling... scarves? Ta-Koro was the warmest Koro on the map, why would anyone be selling cold-weather gear here? I mean who wears scarves in the middle of... oh yeah. Dorian. You know, his collection seemed to be getting a bit old and ratty. It would be a nice gesture... not to mention a way to start re-building the relationship after that terrible disaster in Le-Koro. I've made headway already, but honestly who doesn't like a good gift? Something told me there were few people who were actually nice to Dor for no other reason than being nice. Oh why the karz not. I strode up to the stand, noticing the Le-Matoran hovering around it. As I began to pick through the selection of scarves I also noticed the seemingly odd collection of other tradeable items on the shelves: kaoris, pelts, sand tarakava bones, but there was also fruit, trapping supplies, and apparently a decent selection of other clothing attire. If this wasn't the oddest assortment of wares I'd ever seen... "How much for the scarves?" I asked absentmindedly. OOC: Kughii, that's you!
  12. IC This is why I try stay out of politics... the incessant needles and dagger jabs under the guise of cordiality are enough to drive any sane Menti mad. "Ah, yes... because I have the... unfortunate advantage of... knowing more than I... have been allowed to share." I begrudgingly gave Inokio credit. He was courageously standing his ground despite his anxiety... and yes I could see it. I have spent a lifetime reading people, studying their mannerisms and movements, learning what makes a liar, a killer, or a truth-teller. Despite appearances he was a little flustered, and I could not blame him; most did not find themselves at odds with me, let alone continue to verbally spar. "I... understand where you... come from. I agree my... actions may be... questionable. But I ask... when was... the last time you... saw me lie?" I let my last two statements sit on him for a moment. Nobody was perfect. If anyone under Zuto-Nui's grace knew that, it was me. Everyone had their dark secrets. Everyone had their vice. Yet most individuals also had a handful of things that was their virtue, a redeeming quality that was above reproach. I may be slow in action as speech, I may be overbearing with Order and Honor, I may even be a bit zealous when it comes to traditionalism, but the one thing I had above reproach was my honesty. I may not understand everything perfectly, but when I DID speak it was truth, or as close as one could come to it. Perhaps it was my nature, or perhaps it was an after effect of using the Rode for the last several centuries, but in any case no one in recent memory had known me to speak falsely. :So if you combine the two, Inokio, perhaps you will better grasp my actions. This is NOT just another conflict, not a 'civil war' in terms you understand. I admit, you make more than a point with my dealings with Yumiwa earlier, but you seemed to have missed the boat and point she was trying to make to you about there being more going on that what is visible on the surface... not that I can blame you. You poked, and she swung back. Hard: I let out a long breath of air :So if you're willing to settle down and get off that high-steed of yours I would be more than happy to explain to you the information that you are missing. If afterwards you wish to pass judgement then so be it but I would appreciate it that you would hold off such pointed remarks until you know the whole story. This is, after all, my specialty: I respected Inokio. He was an acclaimed Battlermaster, a devoted tutor, and a skilled bodyguard. I could not deny that... but that didn't mean I had to like him. Let's just say he had always rubbed me the wrong way... even if he WAS previously my sister's bodyguard.
  13. IC "... these are the last words I will say to you today." "STOP." The deep rumbling baritone of my voice could have mistaken for a small thunderclap. "Everyone. Just... stop." I found myself in the awkward situation of standing between my shadow and the Battlemaster mentor. The moment I opened my mouth the arguments and vocal back-and-forth ceased instantly, an uncomfortable silence settling on this wing of the Royal Apartments. I rubbed the bridge of my mask in frustration, eventually leaning back to stair at the ceiling, placing my hands on my hips and with enough air to fill three Menti's lungs released a large sigh. I glanced first at Masayoshi, then at Inokio, my eyes flicking back and forth a few times before eventually settling on the Toroshu. I could deal with my Shadow later, in private, right now the most pressing concern is preventing this day from getting any worse. Not that it really could at this rate. "Toroshu Morie, please... forgive the offense. My... apologies that you have... wandered into a... family affair," at that statement I glared at Inokio, "made... further complicated by lack... of knowledge and communication. Not every here is... privy to what I... may know, and the... precedence it sets. Or again... lack thereof." This time turned to Masa and glared at her before returning my gaze to clan leader, forcing myself to be humble and gracious as much as I could despite my temperament, willing my mask to be pleasantly neutral. "There is... no reason you cannot... see her. In fact, my Shadow, Masayoshi, will... escort you personally to her quarters. Again... forgive the delay... Toroshu." Even as I gave a half bow Morie - not nearly as awkward as my massive frame would suggest - I could see my Shadow stiffen out of the corner of my eye. My words were in effect a dismissal, the closest thing to punishment for her that I could do without actually physically doing anything... the mild shame of it would be enough to satisfy me, as well as get her out of this conversation - not to mention move the Toroshu away from these currently private matter and to her delayed request. Over the years I had found it was best not to keep an elderly woman waiting, especially without good reason. With a sharp movement to attention and a respectful bow to me Masa gestured to the noble, the two of them quickly disappearing from view. Inwardly I breathed a sigh of relief; this conversation would have gotten nowhere without the separation of the Battlemaster and my bodyguard. Having solved three problems with one solution I was finally able to divert all my attentions to Inokio and his... word paintings. We just stared at each other, after a moment I found myself shaking my head. "You know better than to... insult honor... in front of her. Not everyone is as... gracious or thick-skinned... as I." I wasn't smiling, but there was a hint of amusement in my voice.
  14. IC Toa Joske Location: Ta-Koro Guard HQ Chapter One: Crystals, Temples, Secrets... oh my. "Legally, the bounty is Dorian's for the taking," Angelus explained, scribbling as he did. "And as much as I hate the smug little Brakas, if I know him at all, he'll spend some of the money on Tuara. But with the Piraka attacking, and the Lavapool destroyed, Dorian's consulting agreement is technically null and void unless we can find him another Guard-sanctioned job. I could have had a secretary or something do it, but since you mentioned stiffing him...what do you think, partner? You've spent time with him. What kind of employment do you think would do him some good?" I leaned back, hands laced behind my head as the old chair groaned quietly in protest. I studied the ceiling for a second, a debate raging in my head. To his credit Angelus seemed to sense this, giving me a quizzical look. I rolled my eyes. "Do him some good? Because honestly I have a perfect solution, not only keeping him busy but also having him literally doing some old-fashioned hero good for once. But I would probably hate every minute of it." He had gone back to write, but as I spoke those words he paused. But it wasn't the kind of pause of wheel turning, however, it was more like... my eyes shot wide with indignation as I leaped forward, slamming my palms on the table. "Son of a rahkshi, this was trap, wasn't it?!" "You suggested it." "You mean I fell for it, you twit. You knew I would suggest he come temple diving with me." He shrugged. "Just playing the cards right." I fell back into my chair, arms crossed, fuming, while he smiled triumphantly. "Yeah, sticking with me might show him the other side of things, a hands-on lesson on being the good guy without removing the danger part of it. Not only that since we're now working together he would now be working for you as well, giving all the perks you're giving me, so still working for the Guard. I suppose this is why you're Captain?" He gave me that wolfish grin. I sneered at him, snatching the ledger from his hands. "Well, glad to see that the side of Right has a Chess Master at the helm. Now if you don't mind I'm going to stalk off now, fuming as I go, trying to convince Dor to come with me. No promises though. If he says no, he's YOUR problem, not mine. I'll pick up my stuff after I figure out Ta-Kini, which should give you enough time to get the stuff uploaded and make copies of your files. I'll make sure to report what I find to you then as well." I stood up, finally smiling. "Now that I got that out of my system... well played." I held out a fist. "Any last words brother before we start the counteroffensive?"
  15. IC What would I do without her... A pace behind and to the right. So simple, so normal, so... inconsequential. Yet it was the little things like that which always garnered my attention. Granted, I may be quick on my feet for my size, I may have unusually quick reaction times for my frame, my arm strength was enough to take my blade and cleave in two any living being, but all that did not counter the simple fact that my swing still took time, the right being my exposed and indeed weak flank during my initial attack. With her being right there she is the perfect shield for my one weak spot, buying me time should the unthinkable happen. And I didn't even show her this. She just... learned. On her own. Through her own wits, intelligence, and observation. But her position by my side merely looked like the respectful distance kept by underling to her superior... the perfect placement. It's the little things. "Lord High Executioner!" I turned the corner, and there he was. Or should I say, there they were. Inokio had not come alone, for behind him stood what looked like the entirety of the Rora's personal security detail, Dasaka and Dashi alike, all grim-faced and armed for Kanohi Dragon. That is, except for Inokio, as usual wearing minimal armor, instead opting for the open robe of his clan's color, deep orange, with a black belt around his waist. Clearly he himself did not come itching for a fight or planned on having his soldiers do it for him - if he was he would be wearing the standard opaque azure armor over his teal body. I'd never seen him wear it unless actively serving as a soldier, mostly because his powers and reputation were great enough that he didn't need much armor to protect himself adequately. Still, this conflict of messages interested me, causing me to wonder if it was done on purpose if only to throw me off balance. "We need to talk." "Indeed." I rumbled in reply, coming to halt just a few paces before him, assuming my normal casual position of spread-legs and arms clasped behind my back. I could feel my Shadow stiffen slightly; it irked her to no end that I would constantly put myself in more vulnerable positions when dealing with people, but experience had taught me that if someone thought they had the upper hand, they were less likely to instigate hostilities, not to mention looking less of a threat made that concept more crystal. "You seem... agitated." "Yes, and I wonder why." came the dripping retort. "Do you have any idea what kind of spectacle you pulled back there? In front of who? And with whom!?" "Lord Executioner... usurping the Rora's... influence, in... the Throne Room." "This is not a board game, ######!" He waved a finger at me. "That is my charge that you humiliated back there! Do you understand the repercussions that your actions may cause? Believe me, I understand why you did that, everyone does, but that does not give you permission to do it! At least, not like that, not so drastically and with so many witnesses." His usual kind and calm demeanor was cracking, his voice no longer gentle and with some force; clearly I struck a nerve somewhere. What I said next probably wouldn't help. "Yes... it does." He was dumbstruck for a full minute before replying. "What... how!?" At that last world I could see his warriors tense, as if mentally preparing for an order soon to come. Ignoring them I continued. "Yes... because if you haven't... noticed, I am now in a... difficult position." I broke eye contact, looking at the floor. "With the death of... Yusanora, I am now the... patriarch of the family. I bear the... responsibility of... rearing and training the... younger generation and preserving the... honor of the clan. Yet I am still the... Lord High Executioner. I am to be... apart and above family, to be separate from... the politics and games of nobles, to serve... the Rora unquestionably, to... maintain Order and Justice. I am simultaneously my... niece's superior and... her humble servant. I must find... balance between... the roles." Inokio didn't reply immediately, instead taking a long moment to weigh what I said as he evaluated me. "Alright, I can see some reasoning behind your actions, but why break tradition completely and barge into the Throne Room unannounced and order court around like you were Zuto-Nui herself? I've seen you execute someone for less. What could possibly be so important that you risk such dishonor and possible political travesty-" :Because Jasik is innocent: The thought blew across every consciousness in the immediate vicinity like a firework on Founding Day. Inokio stood there in absolute shock, as did all his soldiers. Pressing the advantage I continued :Yes, the First Son of Clan Dastana did not kill the late Rora, and I have witnesses to my interrogation. This unfortunately leaves more questions than answers, stuck with an even more pressing concern than a spoiled Rora - there is a murderer on the loose, one that can duplicate Soulsword weapons: I took a step forward, leaning down and onto Inokio slightly :And if you do not understand the implications, allow me to extrapolate; weapons created by Soulswords are as unique as the individual wielding them as both the mind and soul are put into its creation. Yet here we are with an individual who not only can copy that ability, but also has the skills to enter into a secured platform unnoticed, move about undetected, and then leave without anyone getting as much as a trace. Not only is this person a master of the mind, but also had help - help from the inside. Otherwise it would have been impossible to get in and away so cleanly. Which means everyone here is suspect. Everyone. To find this individual should be our top priority, but even that pales to what else I learned while talking to the Dastana twins: The Battlemaster looked a little pale as the full scope of what I just said sunk in :There's more?: :Yes, there is: I paused, unsure how to to word this. :The possibility of outright civil war:
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