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BZPRPG - Kentoku Archipelago


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#681 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 01:21 AM

IC: Amaki

 

"Ah, sorry," said Amaki, giving a quick bow, having not noticed the person who had bumped into her.


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#682 Offline namcurtsnoC

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 08:21 AM

IC Seiryū
"No, it is I who should apologize," Seiryū replied, giving the customary apology bow. He slightly adjusted hi helmet-"Now I can actually see through this," he muttered to himself-before asking "Do you know of any herbal medicine shops in the area? The one me and my servants usually frequent seems to have sit down."

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Antidermis: 50% pit mutagen, 50% questionable Ga-Koro water. We now know the secrets of Makuta's servants.


#683 Online Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 07:59 PM

Still unclothed and dripping wet Kulrik walked to the main door, opening it a crack to peer into the hallway. There were two Dasaka guards outside with their backs to the entranceway, their presence a natural courtesy of the Ageru. One was obviously a Mindarm, the other either a Soulsword or Willhammer. Kulrik realized that the Mindarm was the same guard he'd been whispering to before talking to Toroshu Kilanya. She was unusually cute for a guard, who were normally trained to be be awfully gruff, and Kulrik remembered how she'd blushed and positively squirmed under his attention earlier. He opened the door a little more and leaned out.

 

"Excuse me" he whispered into the Mindarm's ear, who trembled in surprise. "Do you think you can help me?  I'm trying to bathe but there's only so much a Dashi can do with a brush; I much prefer the touch of a Mindarm."

 

IC (NPC Ageru Mindarm)

 

The Menti's posture stiffened visibly, her gaze desperately trying to rest anywhere but the First Son.

 

"I'm sorry, sir," she said, "I - I'm under orders to guard this door."

 

She hoped her mask would hide her blushes.

 

IC (Kilanya)

 

"...and there's still the matter of the Eiyu expedition, my lady," the Toroshu's aide continued. "They are due to set out today, and we still have not sent our delegate."

 

Kilanya nodded contemplatively.

 

"Is that all?" she asked.

 

"There is one more thing. One of the clan's youngsters reportedly made a remarkable display in the Yards, under Umbraline Arisaka's tuition."

 

"Arisaka pushes them hard," said Kilanya knowingly. "What happened?"

 

"Soulsword energy, my lady. Clove a boulder in two with it."

 

"Impressive," she mused. "What was her name?"

 

"She is called Enali, ma'am."

 

The Toroshu was silent for a few moments, her chin clasped between thumb and forefinger of an arm propped against the wooden armrest of her seat. Her expression was impassive, unreadable, but her eyes glowed with the light of intense contemplation.

 

"Then I think we have our delegate, Raiyu. Send for her; I will speak with her in person."

 

The aide bowed, and walked briskly down the length of the hall, disappearing through the double doors. It would not be long before she returned with the rookie.

 

Kilanya waited patiently and pensively.


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#684 Offline GSR

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 11:35 PM

IC: Soraya (Sado Markets)
 
"That's not a euphemism, by the way.  Well, not as far as I know," Soraya added.  The guard furrowed her brow in a mix of skepticism and shock, and Soraya fought back a grin.  What was life without a little tweaking of the local guards?
 
At her side, Hatchi was staring down the guard; if she had heard the joke, she made no indication as such.  Soraya gave her a friendly nudge of the elbow, to little response.  The guard's gaze narrowed, and Soraya's playfulness faded.  Spoilsports.  "Sorry, let me start again.  I'm a local merchant, and I thought I'd take the opportunity to see the Tajaar's wares as long as they're around.  If there's anything you need to see to grant us passage-"
 
The guard regarded her a moment longer, looked to Hatchi again, and then shrugged.  "You're on your way out, so that won't be necessary.  But don't cause any undue trouble."
 
Soraya bit back both responses of but where's the fun in that and then how about due trouble and nodded.  She and Hatchi stepped out through the gate and started down the beat path; for a moment, she wondered if the shapes pounded into the dust were the remains of this Tajaar's caravan coming through.
 
Hatchi was still staring straight ahead, her body tensed up; her steed plodded along apparently of its own will.  Soraya sighed and looked up to the other Dashi.  "Alright, lemme guess.  Worried about being a small Tajaar in a big city?"

Edited by GSR, Mar 12 2014 - 11:35 PM.

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#685 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 02:51 AM

IC: Amaki

 

"I know of one nearby," she replied. "Do you wish for me to guide you there?"


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#686 Offline namcurtsnoC

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 08:41 AM

IC Seiryu
"Yes, please do so."

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#687 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 02:03 PM

IC:

 

"Ah, that's what it is " Soraph said, laughing again. "Flattery; that's how you've achieved your illustrious career and distinguished reputation. But it won't work here old man; you'll be paid standard wages for anyone of your age and experience."

 

Soon enough the pair of Vilda reached the stadium, following directions from a number of attendants to the actual field. Soraph and Mako were early, most of the stadium noticeably absent.

 

Soraph pointed to a pair of seats near centre field, and two slowly made their way over.

 

"Are you a betting man, Mako? I don't usually gamble, but I enjoy a friendly wager from time to time."

 

 

 

Kulrik kept his eyes focused intently on the Mindarm,eyes full of desire and intent. He was the most handsome bachelor in the Empire, and one of the most charming; it was unlikely a simple guard could resist his charisma, and certainly not one as enamoured as this one. The Vilda's lips curled slightly when he noticed the blush, still apparent despite the Volitak she was wearing. She kept darting her gaze around everywhere but his face, as if she knew that her resolution would break if she did. 

 

The First Son opened the door a crack more, feigning a look back in.

 

"It's your job, umm...?"

 

"Aveela" the guard mumbled her name, her fluttering gaze slowing down to finally rest on Kulrik.

 

"Well Aveela, it seems to me you could just as well guard this door from the inside, and I'd also be much safer." Kulrik stroked his chin, assuming a thoughtful expression. "Doing this favour for me would go a long way to cementing the ties between our clans. Surely there can't be anything wrong with helping fulfill a diplomatic request?"

 

He could tell that his words had had the intended effect; the Ageru Mindarm's eyes were now fixed on his, and she tilted her head in such a way that it was clear she was reconsidering Kulrik's request. He waited, assured of what her response would be.


Edited by Toa Fanixe, Mar 13 2014 - 02:03 PM.

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Which Barraki are you?

#688 Offline Geardirector

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 02:45 PM

IC: Vilda Mako (Tribunes)

 

"I'm not being flattering, it's the truth" I replied in mock indignation as I sat myself down beside Soraph.

 

"Besides, what's 'standard wages' for me is for one day about the same as an entire week's pay for a Ringti, I really don't think fishing for a raise is high on my priority list"

 

"And funny you should mention gambling, because I'm actually feeling lucky today. Granted, that might just be you, but I think my chances are good enough"

 

"I'll have to look at the players, first, though"


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#689 Online Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 03:33 PM

IC (Ageru NPCs)

 

"Well, sir...I...that is, I suppose..." Aveela stammered, her resolve melting under Kulrik's spell.

 

But the First Son had chosen a most inopportune moment. The sound of marching boots suddenly echoed down the hallway, as three Menti turned the corner. At their head was a tall Dasaka, wearing finer crystal armour than the average Ageru guard: she was Nahila, captain of the Mahuika guard and one of the Toroshu's most trusted warriors.

 

She regarded the dripping male and flustered female with a steely gaze.

 

"Vilda Kulrik," she stated. Her tone was no-nonsense. "I hope you're not causing my guards any distress."

 

IC (Enali)

 

Enali woke to sunshine streaming in through the shutter-slats. Woozily, she pulled her torso upright, yawning wide. Yesterday's exertion had made her more tired than she realised. Still, today was her day off lessons for the week, so she could allow herself a lie-in...which, judging by the angle of the sunlight, she already had.

 

Suddenly, there was a sharp knock at the door downstairs. Enali tumbled out of bed, racing through the morning routine in a flurry of water and clothes. Not too long (though it still felt like too long) later, she thundered down the stairs and opened the door - and her eyes widened, for before her stood one of the aides of the Toroshu herself.

 

"Good morning, Enali," said the aide with a businesslike smile. "Toroshu Kilanya has sent for your presence."

 

"O...ok!" the young Dasaka replied, surprised. What was this about? Did the Toroshu already know about what had happened in her lesson?

 

"Follow me," said the aide, and Enali obliged. She was more than a little nervous as they ascended the many steps leading to Mahuika Hall and passed through the great doors.


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#690 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 04:03 PM

IC:

 

Kulrik's eyes widened in surprise at the appearance of the new Dasaka, but he recovered before any could notice.

 

He examined the newcomer, a Menti that was obviously a cut above the guards following her as well as the  two guards that had been posted to his door. Her armour was more expensive, more useful in open combat.  She had a steely resolve to her, seemingly impervious to Kulrik's influence; the First Son made a mental note that when he had doe free time, he would gladly accept the challenge to his abilities.

 

Having studied up on the Ageru before visiting, Kulrik realized that it must be Nahila, Captain of the Guard in Mahuika Hall. 

 

"None at all, Captain Nahila" Kulrik said with a short bow, shining a dazzling smile at the expert warrior. 

 

"I was just discussing with your guard the security that the Ageru have so graciously provided me with during my stay here. Right?"

 

"Yes, sir" Aveela said, gulping audibly for Kulrik, who was standing right next to her, to hear.

 

"I'd like to thank you" Kulrik said, returning his attention to Nahila, "I am most satisfied with the protection that you and your clan have provided me. They appear well trained and very loyal to Ageru; I feel very safe in their presence.

 

 My commendations to you as a leader and a warrior. I know you must be busy keeping the Guard well oiled, so I won't take up any more of your time, but I hear you are an excellent swordswoman.  I hope to keep my own skills up to par while I visit, so perhaps we can spar at some point during the week? When I'm mite more well rested, and dressed."


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Which Barraki are you?

#691 Online Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 05:44 PM

IC (Ageru NPCs)

 

Nahila wasn't fooled - Aveela's body-language had made sure of that - but she was professional. If Kulrik was going to cross lines, she'd act accordingly - but she had no intention of causing a diplomatic incident herself.

 

She gave a controlled nod.

 

"Anyone who thinks the Ageru are simple farmers is mistaken," she said. "We pride ourselves on discipline and rigour, and if I do say so myself, you will find few places on Odaiba safer than Mahuika Hall."

 

She paused for breath, and to give his offer consideration.

 

"I'd be happy to test my arm against yours, First Son. And yes, clothing would be advisable."

 

She gave him a curt nod.

 

"Good day to you."

 

IC (Kilanya and Enali)

 

Kilanya looked up as the doors at the end of the vaulted hall opened, and two Dasaka began to cross the flagstones toward her dais. They stopped in front of her.

 

The Toroshu's eyes lingered over Enali for a few moments, taking in every detail of the girl's small frame. Enali shifted a little under her gaze, staring firmly at the steps in front of her.

 

"You are Enali, are you not?"

 

She'd never heard her leader speak up close before - the Toroshu's voice was strong, but gentler than she'd expected. It was a charismatic voice, and oddly comforting to the young Dasaka.

 

"Yes, my lady," she replied meekly, still in awe at the powerful Menti, raising her eyes to meet hers.

 

"I'm told you performed very well in Umbraline Arisaka's test," Kilanya said. "Is that so?"

 

"That's very kind of you to say," Enali mumbled.

 

"You've impressed a lot of people, Enali," the Toroshu continued. She looked down at the girl without smiling, but her tone was not unkind. "Including me. So I have decided to grant you special task."

 

Enali's eyes widened a little.

 

"My lady?"

 

"Clan Eiyu are planning a special expedition," she explained. "They will need a guide. You know Odaiba well, yes? Good. I am assigning you to their party. It will be useful experience for you, and you will bring your clan honour if you succeed. I cannot tell you the details now; you will learn everything you need to know when you meet the rest of the expedition."

 

Enali bowed low, butterflies suddenly exploding in her stomach. She was joining an expedition? Going where? To do what? And this seemed like both a great honour and a great responsibility...what if she messed it up? Was the Toroshu was assigning her to this because of what she'd done in the Yards? She hadn't even known what she was doing - how could she reproduce it?

 

Calm, calm, she told herself. The Toroshu wouldn't do this unless she knew it was best.

 

"Thank you, Toroshu," she said humbly, straightening up. "I will do all I can to bring us honour."

 

Kilanya gave the girl a slight smile.

 

"Good," she said. "You are to meet your companions in the Yards two hours from now."

 

She inclined her head a little in dismissal.

 

"You may go."

 

Enali bowed again, and turned on her heel, walking down the long hall and out of the doors. She could feel Kilanya's eyes on her back all the way.

 

***

 

Enali stopped briefly at her small dwelling to feed Ketu and pick up what she thought she'd need (arbitrarily, given her total lack of knowledge of what she was preparing for) before setting off on the long road to Sado, wondering all the way just what this mysterious expedition might be.


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#692 Offline Visaru

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 06:31 PM

IC

 

Oshi walked with a bounce across the rolling fields of the countryside, breathing in deeply. The weather was beautiful this time of year. The day was clear, and the sun shone down on her blue and crystal armor, warming it pleasantly. The aroma of grass and warm breeze filled her mouth. She smiled, and let the handle of her soulsword manifest itself in her hand. Her hand wrapped around it loosely. It felt great- the hand was shaped to grasp that sword, and she felt awkward when she wasn't holding it. She closed her eyes, and felt immensely at peace. 

 

She opened her eyes and looked ahead. The glittering enormous city rose ahead of her, shining magnificently, almost blindingly. Sun beams glittered gloriously off the crystal spires and enormous skyscrapers, reminding her again of the glory of her people. She strode forwards confidently, picking up the pace as she approached her destination, humming a lively tune as the city grew closer and closer.

 

As she grew closer she passed more and more people on the road, many who nodded or smiled at her, her happiness and optimism infectious. Carts rumbled past her, throwing up mud and water that had collected from a recent rain. Workers averted their eyes from Oshi, hiding their faces beneath woven hats or hoods with a small bow. She returned the small nod with a grin. 

 

Soon, the rush of people was joined by outlying farmhouses and fields of grain or other food products, and then by a few guardhouses. Soon the road was positively bustling with a sea of blue colored civilians, and before long she was in the city. It was glistening and awe-inspiring, enormous columns of crystal arching high into the sky and curving majestically high above. The sun sparkled brilliantly off the surface of every building, every step revealing new patterns of the sparkling reflections.

 

Still smiling, the warrior turned left, making her way to the Training Yards.

 

OOC

 

Open for interaction obviously


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#693 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 07:35 PM

IC:

 

Kulrik watched Captain Nahila walk back down the hallway and turn the corner, then waited until the sound of her and her guards' marching had dissipated completely. He wondered if the Captain had appeared by accident, or if she found him specifically in the hopes that the meeting would result in a duel. Based solely on their short encounter, the First Son could already tell that Nahila was cunning, strong and above all, dangerous. In other words, Toroshu Kilanya had chosen her Captain well.

 

He looked back to his side to Aveela. She was unmoving, obviously still distressed by the dual appearance of both Kulrik and her boss. 

 

Kulrik laid an on arm on her shoulder reassuringly, eliciting a quiet shriek from the Mindarm. She quickly relaxed, breathing deep and slow. Kulrik showed her another one his charming smiles, and saw a slight sparkle in Aveela's eyes. Kulrik, now knowing that the Captain' surprise drop-in hadn't perturbed Aveela too greatly, smiled a little wider.

 

"Well, I don't think Captain Nahila would mind if you helped make Mahuika Hall a little safer. Think you can come inside now and use your abilities to help me with bath?" Kulrik asked.


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You are strong and kinda smart, but not too much
Which Barraki are you?

#694 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 03:00 AM

IC: Amaki

 

"Right, just follow me."


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#695 Online Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 06:23 PM

IC (Ageru NPCs)

 

Aveela giggled nervously.

 

"Well, I suppose I could..."

 

Her partner stood stoically on the other side of the door, eyes straight ahead.

 

IC (Enali)

 

Enali made it to the Yards by noon. Passing the yard where she'd faced Arisaka's boulders, she could still see the impressions the rocks had made in the earth. It had certainly been an intense training session...

 

She soon reached the small room the Yards' wardens had indicated was the meeting-place for the expedition, and opened the door hesitantly, peeking inside to see whether anybody else had arrived yet.


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#696 Offline namcurtsnoC

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 08:11 PM

IC Seiryū
Seiryū followed after this Menti, hoping that she would actually lead him to his intended destination.

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#697 Offline Yukiko

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Posted Mar 15 2014 - 12:59 PM

[Sado, Southwest of City Proper]


Hatchi relaxed, rolling her shoulders as she dismissed the prick of annoyance flickering at the back of her head.  Night might have fallen, but this was the capital; there were always travelers coming and going.


It wasn’t annoyance, really, anyway.  It was jealously.  Hatchi wouldn’t have been able to get away with a fraction of a things that Soraya had said in the past few minutes.  It was easier to deal with the feeling once she had a name for it.
 

“One must always be aware of one’s place in the great order of things,” she said, nudging Myzru with her right heel so that he picked up speed.


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#698 Offline GSR

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Posted Mar 15 2014 - 07:11 PM

IC: Soraya (Sado Markets)
 
Soraya nearly tripped over her own feet as she picked up the pace to match her companion.  "Yeah, yeah, I know.  You hear that a lot in my line of work."

 

She could see Hatchi was relaxing, but she couldn't shake the feeling the exchange with the guard had touched a nerve.  "Hey," she called up, "don't get too hung up over this stuff.  It's just how things work in the capitol.  I can get away with a little tweaking here and there, but-" She shrugged.  "I'm a merchant too, remember? I may not have to deal with as much as a Tajaar, but I've eaten my fair share of dirt over the years."  She gave a bitter grin.  "Granted, doesn't mean I'm happy about it.  Half the folks in this city put more value on my wares than they do on me.  Very fine wares, to be sure, but-"

 

She was rambling, wasn't she.  Probably better to let the Tajaar get a word in edgewise; if she wanted to complain, she had a mirror back home.  "Anyway.  Obnoxious guards aside, how's business these days for your caravan?"


Edited by GSR, Mar 17 2014 - 08:49 PM.

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#699 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 01:23 AM

IC:

 

"Wonderful."

 

Kulrik opened the door, standing aside to make room for the Ageru guard to enter.

 

"This way to the bath" he said, ushering Aveela inside.

 

*************

 

 

Two hours later, Kulrik lay relaxed in the warm waters and watched as Aveela hastily gathered up her clothes. They were strewn across the First Son's apartment, so Aveela was bustling from room to room to find everything.

 

"Are you sure you have to go so soon, my dear Av?"

 

Aveela, bent over picking up her crystal sword, paused to look out window. The sun was setting, which meant her shift was almost over. If she wasn't outside Kulrik's door by then, she would certainly be dishonoured and punished. Possibly even fired, and she didn't think she could stomach that. She was young, having just completed her Menti training and begun her job as a guard a little over a month ago. The stain would ruin her and her family's reputation.

 

"You know I have to, Kulrik. If I don't, I won't be here to guard you again."

 

"Ah, well then why don't I help you?"

 

Kulrik got out of the tub, and after some searching, found and handed Aveela one of her gauntlets. It was the last of her clothing, and so she began tugging them back on.

 

"I need of a favour from you." Aveela asked.

 

Kulrik's attention was roused. It was not usually permitted for a lower ranking member of the Empire, such as a Menti guard, to request a favour of a member higher up the social ladder, such as a First Son.  For her to do that, Aveela's favour must be especially important. The Vilda also became aware that Aveela's demeanour had changed since he'd invited her into his room; she was much more self-assured and,she no longer giggled or stuttered in his presence. The experience must have had quite the effect on her.

 

"What is it?"

 

"Please don't tell anyone about this." Aveela prayed to Zuto-Nui that the Vilda First Son agreed. The room was soundproof and the windows glazed on one side, so she didn't have to worry about their having been spied on. No, she only had to hope that Kulrik wouldn't blab about what had gone on. If anyone found out, they could it trace it back to her and... she tried not to think about the bleak consequences. No one could know.

 

Kulrik bent to one knee, grabbed Aveela's hand and kissed it.

 

"Of course, Av. If you don't want me to,I won't" he pledged.

 

Aveela's heart fluttered at the display of affection, but she kept herself steady. She finished gearing herself up for duty then ran to the door. He chased after her, kissing her lightly.

 

"I'll see you again soon, won't I?" Aveela asked, lips quivering in uncertainty. As much as she wanted this all to be a secret, there was still a part of her that longed to return to the First Son's embrace.

 

"Yes, I certainly hope so" Kulrik answered.

 

With that, Aveela smiled and exited through the door, taking up her post mere minutes before the next shift came into view.

 

 

*******

 

That night, Kulrik lay in bed, his stomach full of food and wine that Seigyo had brought up to his room. His thoughts were happy ones, full of strong emotions and desires. He was finally free, no longer enslaved by his mother Toroshu's watchful eye. And as a First Son he was also unburdened by the tiresome duties that defined his gender's life in the Empire. He could now live, love, hate or fight now, if he so desired. 

 

He considered the events of the past day.

 

After much travelling he'd finally arrived on Odaiba and entered Ageru land. He'd secured a meeting with a Toroshu with one of the more important clans in the Empire, he'd arranged a duel with possibly the most adept fighter on the island and he'd made a lovely lady friend to finish it all off.

 

It's been a good first day, Kulrik thought. 

 

The first day I've actually lived.

 

He slept.


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You are strong and kinda smart, but not too much
Which Barraki are you?

#700 Offline BenLuke

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 05:36 AM

IC: Enyo

 

      I pick my way carefully through the wave of Dasaka-kind breaking itself across the stalls and shops of the market, my pack heavier than usual.  The Palace’s atmosphere is stifling, too many people packed on one piece of rock on the sea, but business is business, and I’ll have to get used to it until I can find a buyer willing to pay enough for my cargo to be worth the cost of the ferry from Iki. Prospect hadn’t been good, so far, but that wasn’t going to stop me. Persistence is a businessman’s greatest virtue, my father would always say when he was in high spirits about a deal, and we had hopes for a warm meal and to sleep in a bed that night.

 

      By Zuto Nui, I miss him, sometimes.

 

      I idly dig one hand into my pack and produce one of my wares to examine: A carved red protocrystal gem, cut by one of the highest skill gem cutters of the Ringti cast. The glow of the sin and the lightstones hanging overhead shine into it spilling refracted red lines of light across the group.  Pretty. Reasonably uncommon mineral. Somebody has to want it.

 

      My other hand rests on my sword hilt, thieves are rare, compared to other places I’ve been, in the Imperial Palace, but caution was another virtue, I’d learned . If were a thief I’d rob me, I’m not exactly what most people, any people, would call intimating, which is often an advantage but mostly just as much a problem. Nothing to be down there, I think, and sigh. There have been times a more dread-inspiring present might have helped. Father had one, when he wanted to.

 

      I shake my head clear and deposit the game back with the ten or so other in the pack. It was closer to nightfall then not, which means I’ll have to find someone interested sooner, not later. I smiled, and began shifting my mind into the salesman’s mode while I scanned the market around me for potential customers.

 

I’m not in a sleeping under the stars in a ditch somewhere mood ever, but I'm especially not tonight.

 

OOC: Open for interaction


Edited by BenLuke, Mar 16 2014 - 05:41 AM.

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#701 Offline Yukiko

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 05:17 PM

[Sado, Southwest of City Proper]

 

“Zuto Nui has smiled upon us this year,” Hatchi said, grateful for Soraya’s change of the subject.  She did not have to think too hard about the warm feeling that sat in her chest whenever she thought about how profitable this year’s trading had been.


“The great head of our clans graced us with her presence today.  Tonight, we feast in gratitude and joy,” she continued, guiding Myzru around a couple of young townwoman returning from the beach.  The hardly gave the pair a glance; Taajar were a common sight on the road to Sado.


Most of the stalls erected beside for sale had been taken down, except two small half-open tents.  A lantern had been hung inside each of them, illuminating the glittering glass jewelry within.  The two dashi inside the tents looked as if they much rather be in the circle of yurts that were stationed up the hill.   Already, the rich smell of roast Mukau and potato stew floated down the hill.  Hatchi didn’t see any signs of the Angavur, but only Imperials were preoccupied with coming early.  Besides, she needed a little bit of time to talk with the other caravan leaders.  The Astyzyar Jahagir might be favorable towards the old ways, but that didn’t say anything about her clan members.  A little kaoliang could smooth things over, but it also could surface emotions better left buried.


Upon seeing Hatchi, the dashi in the left tent started, and dashed off.  Hatchi knew she would be back with the cane soon.  She swung carefully off Myzru.  The usual stabbing pain ran up her twisted left leg, but she had enough discipline left, even after such an exhausting day, not to wince.


She wondered how Soraya would react.  Was she the type who pretended not to notice?   Or would she right up ask Hatchi how she got the injury?


Probably the second one.


Hatchi motioned to the Imperial ringti-saihoko as she limped over to left tent.  Samichyr had hurriedly put up two wooden stools next to her own seat.  Hatchi sat down in one of them, while Soraya stayed standing, looking around the tent with an appraising eye.


“Some kaoliang for our guest,” she whispered in Samichyr’s ear.  The young dashi got up (with remarkable poise, Hatchi noticed) and carefully poured a thimbleful of the black liquor from a rough earthen pitcher into a little porcelain cup.  Soraya took it hesitantly and sniffed at it while Hatchi accepted her own.  It had been her idea to serve a little liquor to the prospectors who came at night.  Just the right amount would smooth the deal without making any potential buyers suspicious that they were being duped.  With Imperial tolerance, they didn’t need much at all.
 

Hatchi took a sip of the strong black liquor, eyes focused on Soraya.

“What catches your eye, Plangori?” she said in Imperial.  Soraya might have been the chummy type, but Hatchi still wasn’t confident enough to address her by her first name.


Edited by Yukiko, Mar 17 2014 - 05:23 PM.

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#702 Offline Kughii

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 06:34 PM

OOC:  I was going to write something else but then I decided, "plot advancement > long post."

 

IC: Daikura Koga

 

Sado had always been a maze.  How a majestic crown jewel of enlightened civilization filled with art and culture and science could possibly forget a separate entrance into the Coliseum district of its own capital baffled Koga every time he rode in the darkness of his palanquin.  From within the dimly lit container he could feel the unguarded minds of dashi, the brash arrogance of the lone menti in the ocean of fear, and the occasional datsue who didn't give two kanohi dragons whether or not a first son was passing by.  Sometimes the seclusion of caste felt like a sour comedy to Koga, but if he was an actor in the farce he had long ago decided to win an award for his performance.  

 

:We are at the entrance, lord Koga,: the soft voice of one in his retinue projected.  The first son of the Daikura nodded, forgetting for a moment the woman was incapable of seeing through walls, then brushed aside the thick carpet fabric of the side and stepped out.  His sport armor seemed to absorb the sunlight and was like the ocean under a new moon, elaborate crystal guards on his limbs studded with waves, his breastplate engraved with the Daikura family crest in a glittering silver metal.  A sarong of fine fabric in his family colors flowed from his hips to his ankles.  In his right hand was a crystal paero ring, thin and semi-translucent.  Two flights of stairs and a circular doorway later Koga had found himself on the field.  

 

Paero was as much a religious experience as a sport.  Three pillars stood on opposite ends of the circular field, a total of six and all made of wood.  They represented the Core Pillars: Honor, Order, Power.  Koga knew he would have to throw a crystal ring over each virtue in order to win.  One could not become a successful or enlightened being without mastering the Core Pillars in life, and Paero was a metaphor for life.  

 

Rolling his shoulder Koga looked to see if any of the other First Sons had arrived.

 


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#703 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 06:56 PM

IC: Amaki

 

Soon enough, they reached their destination.


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#704 Offline namcurtsnoC

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 08:26 PM

IC: Seiryū

Staring at the shop that this Menti had brought him to, Seiryū breathed a sigh of relief. "See, it's okay to trust people once in a while," he thought to himself. Nevertheless, he couldn't bring himself to enter the shop. Thoughts were swirling around in his head like a whirlwind.

 

"What if it's a trap? What if it's not actually a medicine shop? Even if it's a shop, could the owner be preparing a trap? Not just the shopkeeper; could this Menti be an agent of one of my enemies? Or maybe it's somebody in the crowd right now..." Seiryū cautiously scanned his surroundings, fully expecting a heavily armed warrior to come charging at him at any second. Or maybe it would be the least conspicuous of people, who would simply drive a knife into his back rather than a head-on confrontation. Anxiety levels skyrocketing, he tightened his fist, Soulsword energy pooling around his wrist...

 

... Which then dissipated. "Paranoia was always one of my weaknesses," he muttered to himself ever so quietly. "Okay, deep breath in, deep breath out." Was there really any sound reason to think somebody was going to sabatoge you at every turn? Seiryū was very aware of the irrationality of his almost delusional levels of paranoia, but he could never rest easy. Nevertheless, he pushed all such thoughts from his mind. "Thank you; I rarely frequent the markets as a whole and as such have much difficulty navigating hereabouts." He took a step forward but stopped. "Pray forgive me," he spoke, turning back to the Menti that had brought him here. "It would appear that I neglected to properly introduce myself. My sister would berate me to no end," he chuckled as he shook his head. "Kyōshi Amakusa Seiryuū at your service," he stated formally, bowing just in case he was talking to somebody important. "May I inquire as to what you call yourself?"


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#705 Offline Parks and Rekt

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 10:14 PM



Ic:  This death, however, was suitably mysterious, even at the superficial glance afforded to me so far. It was rightly up Desde's alley, too: Creepy, strange, unsettling... "I suppose this is as good a time as any to tell me, though."

 

IC:

 

"Well, like I said, we're investigating. Hana and I were going to seek access to the body sometime later to assure it wasn't poison or some other bodily cause. If we can affirm that the root of the assassination was psionic, then we'll have a smaller list of suspects to go down. We have plenty of enemies here at court who might be responsible for such an attack on Umbraline justice, whereas, you know, any lout can go ahead and poison a patsy." Desdemona casually sent out a little tug on her psychic web, testing her own fortitude and discipline. Their conversation was totally protected from eavesdroppers both real and psychic; they were cloaked by a powerful audio-visual illusion that could sufficiently fool all but the very elite of the Sighteyes at the Palace. Especially a Fursic.

 

Though she was not so trusting to confide all her opinions and secrets in the handmaiden like her sister, the two princesses shared a natural suspicion of the Clan Fursic based on years of history - and, of course, Kuno. Her sister's fiance-to-be. Bummer for Yumi. Yumi, who would be the Rora of all the Archipelago, who would be "the greatest Rora the world has ever known," Yumi who liked feasts and riding and handsome men. And Kuno. There wasn't a lot of love lost on her older sister's end, but that didn't mean that Des couldn't and didn't feel empathy for the situation she had been cast in. As if I'd want to be chojo with a match like that.

 

"Regardless, pulling schemes out by the roots is lonely work in any Gardens, even those as magnificent as these," she offered, with a subtle, but unmistakable note of hope in her smile and tone. "Hana and I would welcome any company you had time for, Yumi."

 

-Tyler


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PROUD CO-CAPTAIN OF TEAM DASTANA

 

 

"What's ours is theirs - but it is ours."

 

 

LIBERATION OR DEATH

 


#706 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted Mar 16 2014 - 11:49 PM

Ic: "Yes, Yumi, we would!" Hanako told me with earnest eyes. She knew I knew by now that she stole away and maybe she was looking for some approval in my own expression, but she also knew just the look to make me at least tolerate Desdemona's wraith-like antics. Her tone suddenly dropped a bit to reverence, though, as she reverted to the formal programming she was still getting over. "... Iiiif the lady chojō would like to be a part of this adventure."

 

"Oh, honey, you know just the word!" I cheered and bumped my first into my sweetbun's shoulder. All it took was Hana to say that keyword that starts with ad- and ends with -venture to make me excited for whatever. Now, uhhhh, I should confirm that there was much more to it than just some incantation that made me forget how much I didn't like my sister and want to do some private-eyeing; truth is I had heard about that foiled assassination and the sudden death of the would-be murderer did pique my own interest, too, though not in the sort of wide-eyed-wonder Desde had (I swear, it's like she gets off on these freaky stories – what does she do in that tower of hers, anyway?) but rather in a more practical, oh-shiznaps-there's-something-up-here-and-it-reeks-of-politics sort of way.

 

Basically, I focused on the broader scope here. Someone wanted a sword bannerman of the Umbralines dead and sent an assassin to the toroshu, but the assassin was caught and imprisoned. The prisoner was now dead, meaning what, exactly? Anything on a toroshu, especially an attempted hit, was news, but this wasn't just a toroshu, no, this was a sword banner to my clan and my clan took care of our people. This deserved looking into and an honest inquisition! There was definitely a grander plan in the works here. Inokio would be so proud! Good Yumi! :)

 

But yeah. The whole "adventure" thing also helped. Gawd knows I do love the wild things, too. Speaking of wild – well, okay, not at all wild and quite thoroughly domesticated – things: My riding lessons! They don't happen every day, you know, and I wanted to get to it since I'd been looking forward to the regimen for, uh, hours! "How about this late afternoon, after my riding and late lunch?" I suggested as we walked through the lush flora that arched above us into a tunnel of greenery with splashes of color.

 

Hana gave me a small, subtle jab at the small of my back as if to tell me to "be nice to your sister." Okay.

 

"Or you could join me for those activities. Don't say no, Desde. You know there's no refusing my invites," I warned jokingly.


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#707 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 17 2014 - 01:15 AM

IC: Amaki

 

Oh.

 

Oooooh.

 

Amaki bowed profusely. "I, Fursic Amaki, apologise for failing to recognise you!"


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#708 Offline namcurtsnoC

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Posted Mar 17 2014 - 09:13 PM

IC Seiryū
Fursic.

Fursic.

FURSIC

Fursicfursicfursicfursicfursicfursicfursicfursicfursic...

Killedmymotherkilledmymotherkilledmymotherkillewdmymother...

Paranoid voices started swirling around again in Seiryū's mind, almost taking him or he point of dizziness. "She's a... A..."

Okay.

Stop.

It's alright.

"No need to apologize; if anything I'm trying to obscure my identity by wearing these face concealing robes." Seiryū smiled underneath his hood, though Amaki probably couldn't see it. "Well then, a very good day to you, no matter how you spend it." Seiryū turned and entered the shop, nodding goodbye. "It's okay; she probably wasn't at fault. I doubt she was even involved with the war."

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#709 Offline GSR

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Posted Mar 17 2014 - 10:08 PM

IC: Soraya (southwest of city)
 
Down to business so soon? That's a shame.  She'd been hoping to get at least a little more of a look around the camp before Hatchi went in for the sell. 

 

"Well..." Soraya drawled the word, taking her time to look over the goods lining the walls of the hut.  She had to admit, some of the Tajaar's wares were good, but when it came to bartering a deal, Soraya could keep a stone face that could put half the city's carvers out of work.  She took a sip of the offered drink and held it in her mouth for a moment; there was a bit of sting to it, and she swallowed hesitantly.  It had been a while since she'd had a Tajaar's kaoling, but the familiar burn served as a reminder that she'd do well not to overdo it.  Hatchi was probably trying to smooth the deal along; Soraya would be almost insulted if she hadn't used the trick half a hundred times herself.

 

"Quite a bit," she said, turning as she spoke.  "These lanterns, for starters.  I'm betting you haul them halfway 'round the archipelago before they need fixing or replacing, but here they are throwing off just enough pattern in the light to impress a visitor while still keeping the place illuminated enough for them to get a good look at the wares."  She took another sip.  "Not too good a look, after all - don't want anyone noticing any scratches or scuffs on the flashier pieces."

 

Was it a bit mean to turn on saleswoman-mode? Was there a good chance karma was going to come smashing down on her before the night was up and she was going to get swindled out of half her wallet? Yeah, probably.  But Zuto Nui take it, if she wasn't getting some of that stew up the hill, she was at least going to have some fun with her shopping. 

 

"Other things -" she turned and pointed to each item in turn - "those earrings, that eyepiece, that cane-topper -"

 

She turned back to Hatchi.  "That leg."

 

Maybe more than a little mean.


Edited by GSR, Mar 21 2014 - 05:32 PM.

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#710 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 17 2014 - 10:52 PM

IC: Amaki

 

...

 

What?


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#711 Offline BenLuke

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Posted Mar 18 2014 - 01:20 PM

IC: Enyo

 

- - - -

 

     I sold the gems to the stooped Datsue owner of a shabby jewelry shop, probably a fence for stolen goods, but he gave me the best deal I would but fine, so who cares. Not my problem.

 

     I spend the night in a cheap but serviceable inn in the wards district, sleeping happy with the significant bulge of metal coins pushing on back of my head from under the pillow, enough to live comfortably for a month  or two after reinvesting into different goods. After weeks of living off residual funds it was comforting to not have all my money tied up assets, for a moment.

 

 


Edited by BenLuke, Mar 18 2014 - 01:23 PM.

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#712 Online Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted Mar 18 2014 - 02:29 PM

IC (Ageru NPCs)

 

Kulrik might have been a First Son, but he was foolish to think he could shrug off Nahila's suspicion so easily. So naturally, when she and her brace of Menti returned to the corridor a couple of minutes later, she was unsurprised to see that now only one guard stood outside the guest suite's door.

 

One look from Nahila was enough to have her reporting exactly what had happened. It didn't take long; there wasn't much to tell. After muttering a few terse instructions to the guard, she continued on her way, her strides now even more purposeful. The Toroshu would hear about this.

 

***

 

The following morning, there was a knock on Kulrik's door. One of Kilanya's courtiers stood outside, tapping her foot a little as she waited for the visiting First Son to answer.


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#713 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 18 2014 - 07:32 PM

IC:

 

Kulrik was already up, having woken up shortly before dawn to watch the rising sun. It was a tradition he'd begun as a child on Oki, and saw no reason to stop.

He answered the door, fully dressed for a change, and towered over the Dashi attendant.

 

She was slightly astonished by the size of Kulrik, and his handsome features already intimidated her. Still, the Dashi was well trained and took but a few moments to recover.

 

"First son Kulrik" she said with a bow, "my- my lady Toroshu Kilanya requests your presence."

 

"Of course, I'll come with your straight away. And might I say, your hair looks exquisite this morning, lady" Kulrik answered. 

 

The Dashi blushed, turning and walking off down the hallway. Kulrik followed after her, and wasn't surprised to see Seigyo appear from nowhere close behind. She certainly gave the Herupa clan a good reputation, Kulrik thought.

 

He wondered where he would meet the Toroshu.

 

 

 

Soraph looked at the crowd of First Sons, making their way onto the field from various entrances. She saw the outline of someone, whom she thought she recognized. She strained her eyes.

 

Is it....? But - My, it completely slipped my mind that he would be here!.

 

Soraph sent her mind questing across the psychic plane, searching for a particular presence. She found it easily enough, Koga's flame now incredibly familiar. She used her Willhammer abilities to quickly overcome Koga's defences and enter the First son's thoughts. The ease with which she did so was not unexpected, Soraph realized. After minds are so substantially melded as their's were the previous night, a certain link remained for a time. It would probable weaken to nothing over the next little while, but for now it suited Soraph's purpose.

 

​:Hello there, bird boy: Soraph thought directly into Koga's mind. :I'm looking forward to a good show; I hope you don't disappoint:

 

"That's First Son Koga, of the Daikura clan" Soraph mentioned to Mako at her side. "He's supposed to be one of the best Paero players I hear."

 

 

 

Relisai looked out to sea from the vessel she rode.

 

It would be a long journey to Sado, over a week with the boat she was now on. A slew of guards accompanied her on her journey, Mindarms, Willhammers and Soulswords alike. Considering the political climate in the Empire at this point in history, Relisai had no doubt the extraordinary number of guards would be more than necessary.

 

"The invitations are all ready for sending" a page reported to the Vilda Toroshu.

 

"Good" Relisai smiled. "Remember - they are to be sent  with the swiftest messenger the moment we arrive in the capitol. We wouldn't want anyone to miss the party, after all."

 

"No ma'am, we wouldn't"

 

And what a party it will be.

 

ooc: Open for interaction on Sado, if anyone wants to talk to a Toroshu surrounded by guards.


Edited by Toa Fanixe, Mar 18 2014 - 07:32 PM.

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#714 Online Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted Mar 19 2014 - 06:18 PM

IC (Kilanya)

 

The Dashi led Kulrik and his retainer back to the castle's throne hall where he had first met the Toroshu. Now, however, Gestheru's Seat was empty, and instead the Vilda First Son's eyes were caught by a table that had been placed nearby, between the dais and the great fire at the centre of the hall. It was laden with bowls of fruit and glass containers full of juices and conserves of the same, along with baskets of golden bread and steaming teapots. It went without saying that this breakfast was all fresh from the Ageru land.

 

Several Dasaka sat around the table, many of whom Kulrik would recognise since they were present at his arrival. Kilanya sat at the head of the table, and there were a couple of empty chairs to her left, to which she gestured in greeting as she caught sight of him.

 

"Good morning, Vilda Kulrik," she called cordially. "Please, join us for breakfast. I trust you slept well?"


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#715 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 19 2014 - 06:29 PM

IC:

 

"Why yes, thank you for asking Toroshu Kilanya" Kulrik replied happily.

 

The First Son sat down in a chair two away from the Ageru leader's helping himself to a choice selection of fruit. They were all perfectly ripe and the plethora of colours was a fine sight. Most were species generally cultivated in the Empire, but Kulrik recognized one or two that originated from Oki.

 

He took a bite of the golden bread, licking his lips to savour the honey that had been baked into it.

 

"You have an excellent spread, Toroshu. My compliments to you and your clan's farming abilities; it's quite remarkable to frank. Do you eat like this every morning, or is this all in my honour?" he asked in jest.


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#716 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 20 2014 - 02:49 AM

IC: Noshima

 

"It would lead to my giving of great thanks if we were to consume some calamari."


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#717 Online Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted Mar 20 2014 - 03:13 PM

IC (Kilanya)

 

"On the contrary, this is a somewhat humble table," Kilanya replied, smiling wryly. "If you took breakfast with even the commonest of our farmers, you would see little less. Tell us, First Son, how are meals among the Vilda?"

 

As she spoke, an attendant poured a cup of tea for the guest. A small haze of steam drifted wispily from the dark-brown liquid, carrying with it the rich smell of the leaves.


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#718 Offline Geardirector

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Posted Mar 20 2014 - 03:31 PM

IC: Vilda Mako (Tribunes)

 

"Oh, is he now?" I asked, leaning forward purposefully and craning my neck in a way that would make any old gossipy fart jealous.

 

The Daikura were in charge of my old stomping grounds, I recalled, the School of the Mind here on Sado, and to be quite frank I rather expected their first son to look a bit more... what's the word?

 

Ah; "Bookish", that's it.

 

But he was a tall, stout young lad, with one of the masks I'd mentioned earlier as not worth two dragons in a fight covering his shifty features. I certainly wouldn't trust him to teach how to mentally throw people that annoyed me.

 

"Fairly unimpressive as First Sons go if you ask me" I remarked.


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#719 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 20 2014 - 04:55 PM

IC:

 

"Our diet is somewhat less, ah, I suppose 'cultivated' is the right word" Kulrik began. He placed the chunk of bread he was holding back on his plate as he spoke to Toroshu Kilanaya.

 

"Our patron clan, the Umbralines, are generous with the food shipments they send us, but the food is first harvested here on Odaibo, sent to Sado for sorting and then finally delivered to my people on Oki. As you can imagine, most of the food is in less than prime condition once they reach our shores. They are still enjoyable, but we choose to decide to supplant our diet with more 'wild' nourishment. Fruits plucked from trees, berries from bushes and a few vegetables; that sort of thing. We also eat a fair amount of meat; unfortunately, many animals must be slaughtered to ensure the strength of the herd."

 

Kulrik picked up his cup, bringing it near his nose to breathe in it's rich aroma. He took a small sip, the steaming tea nearly scalding his tongue.

 

"So, you say you eat the same food as your people. That is very honourable, and all too rare in our Empire. Since I arrived yesterday, you and the rest of the Ageru have never failed to impress me. When you have the free time, I very much look forward to you showing me rest of this wonderful clan. Do you have much work today?"

 

 

"Oh well, now isn't that a little much to assume?" Soraph asked, slightly offended. She had thought the Daikura interesting during their dinner, and a pleasure to speak to.  He was knowledgable, and his secrets intrigued her.

 

"From what I've heard, he's quite the warrior on the training grounds, and the scholar among Menti teachers. Perhaps your vision is beginning to fail you in your old age, Datsue Mako" the Vilda mocked jokingly.


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You are strong and kinda smart, but not too much
Which Barraki are you?

#720 Offline Parks and Rekt

Parks and Rekt
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Posted Mar 20 2014 - 10:22 PM



Ic: "Or you could join me for those activities. Don't say no, Desde. You know there's no refusing my invites," I warned jokingly.

 

IC:

 

"Sharing your company sounds lovely, big sister," Desde accepted with a gracious smile, though the hope for actual, genuine sister bonding time had wilted like a flower trapped in an attic (the irony of that one...) with every word of Yumiwa's invite. She was too keen to not recognize the faux attempt at an invitation from the chojo but it wouldn't stop her from taking Yumi up on it anyway. One way or another, the Umbralines found a way to make the best of things. That's why we're princesses.

 

-Tyler


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