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BZPRPG - Kentoku Archipelago


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#721 Offline Kughii

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 12:33 AM

IC: Daikura Koga

The words, the feeling of entwining vines with flowers that came to bud, blossomed, and lingered with sweet perfume in Koga’s mind.  She had not so much entered his mind as been allowed within once more, his defenses down for the woman of the past evening.  Despite the lack of need Koga turned slowly around, eyes gazing through the stands of quickly arriving spectators until he found her, there in the upper boxes, with an old datsue he felt embarrassed for not recognizing.  

 

:Would you like to bet on that?: He asked Soraph softly through their connection, giving a wink she couldn’t possibly see from the distance.

 

OOC:  Short post.  Longer post upcoming.  Any other first sons want to participate??


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Link for the BZPRPG 2013 arc profiles.


#722 Online Yukiko

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 05:14 PM

[Sado, Southwest of City Proper]


Definitely the second one then.  Well, Hatchi hadn’t become leader of this caravan because she lost her cool every time another merchant treated her wares with scepticism or pointed out her injury.


“I’m afraid the last one isn’t for sale, unfortunately.  I’d love to have someone buy for me,” she said, allowing a little amusement to show in her face.  It had been while since she could play this game with such a skillful opponent for the sheer pleasure of it.  Myzru chose that particular time to stick his head through one of the tent flaps.  She reached up to pet him, firmly guiding him away from her mask-rings.


She saw the corner of Samichyr’s mouth twitch.


“This is not my stand, however.  I am sure that Samichyr would love to introduce you to her.”


The dashi’s look of hidden amusement changed to one of nervous apprehension, but Hatchi wasn’t worried.  The worst that could happen was that Soraya would bargain them down too much.  However, these were trinkets, so it wouldn’t be quite a loss.  Soraya wasn’t here for the objects anyway.  She had a burning curiosity about Hatchi, probably about people in general.   However, Hatchi could tell that she rarely thought about the reactions or feelings those under her.  She was secure in her position and used to a lack of consequences.  That meant she wasn’t just any merchant.


“This humble one is honored by your notice,” Samichyr said.  “Each of my wares is the same price: 15 wagon wheels.   However, if the honored guest desires, I can show you eyepieces of much finer quality, suited to your delicate work.”

 

Myzru squawked in approval as Hatchi scratched a particularly sensitive part of his neck.


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[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - LuciraMorie - Shuuan

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#723 Online GSR

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 06:10 PM

IC: Soraya (southwest of city)
 
Soraya took another sip of her drink as she turned to Samichyr.  Honored guest? Now there's a part of working for the Umbralines I'm never going to get used to.  Still, this was fun.  Hatchi was doing double-duty by putting her subordinate on the spot; it might throw Soraya off her pace to switch negotiating gears, and Hatchi would get to see how well the other Dashi could handle bargaining with an unusual customer.  Bet she'd get along great with Morie.

 

"Well, truth be told, in my line of work it's usually less about the details and more about the -" she gave Samichyr's robe an appraising glare - "overall color of the thing."  She let the moment hang in the air before continuing on. 

 

"But if you have any pieces you're particularly proud of, I'd love to see them.  I don't get enough chances to get a look at what Tajaar can do these days."  She shot Hatchi a glance out of the corner of her eye; she was really looking forward to how the senior Tajaar would react if Samichyr hadn't yet picked up that she wasn't actually aiming to be a big spender tonight.


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#724 Offline That Ghosthands is a spy

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 06:21 PM

IC (Kilanya)

 

Kilanya inclined her head gracefully, acknowledging the compliment as she took a sip of tea.

 

"It's funny you should say that, Kulrik," she said. "I was just about to ask whether you might care to join me for a walk across our lands, once you've had your fill?"

 

The Toroshu had already finished her own food before Kulrik arrived, and had her schedule cleared for the day.


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#725 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 01:36 AM

Ooc: Jam with Nia.

 

Ic: After Desdemona accepted my invitation to join me for the rest of the day's adventures I wasted no time in hurrying to the riding sesh.

 

For the interest of storytelling, however, I will merely condense this episode into a snapshot of a scene: Imagine me, the glorious and incredibly refined Chojō Umbraline Yumiwa, riding on my stallion rahi through fields of open pasture in the vast expanse of the Gardens, free as the wind with my passionfruit Hanako giving me a valiant chase on her own steed, all while my noodle princess sister Desdemona watched longingly from an observation stand wishing she could ride without snapping in twain. It's okay; she wasn't alone because I made sure at least a couple of my handmaidens tended to her needs, whatever they were.

 

And then, after that, we all retired to the palace for dinner, which I also invited Desde to. While she went directly to the dining room Hanako and I went to a wash room to remove the dust whipped upon us from our bodies. We were alone, which, believe me, is totally okay in my book.

 

"You know what this empire needs now, more than ever?" I said to Hanako as we readied ourselves for dinner. I had scrubba-scrub-scrubbed my hands and washed my face of dust from the afternoon riding and was just drying myself in front of the small mirror that actually took up the entire wall when I clandestinely and playfully kicked Hana's foot and proclaimed my idea: "A party."

 

"Oooh, a party!" I giggled, a Gala would be nice, something that will relieve tension, that the rabble rouser in the Market had tried to stir up. That, and the Palace had seemed rather gloomy as of late, especially when conspiracy was about. When was it never about was the real question, but it was among my duties to both be aware of the rumors, and trying to quell them in my own ways. As well as keeping Yumi informed. "When would you like to throw this party, Yumi?" I said.

 

"Well, soon," I mumbled from behind the towel. It was so warm and fluffy I didn't want to part from it so when I was done wiping with it I settled for hanging it from my neck like a scarf. "In the next couple days, or basically as soon as the planning wraps up and promotion gets around? Uhhhh do you have any experience with this sort of thing?"

 

"Well I've never actually planned a party. I mean part of my training was keeping things organized, diplomacy, but I haven't done one so far," I sighed. I was ashamed I hadn't but while party planning wasn't exactly my field, that didn't mean I wasn't able to help out. Yumi's my best friend and my Chojo, I didn't want to disappoint her. I took a washcloth and place some soap on it, dipping it warm water, and rubbing at my neck and sides of my face. "I don't think it could be too hard, I guess the first thing is figuring out where we'd like to situate our party," I turned to Yumi, smiling.

 

I looked sidelong at my girl and came to a solid conclusion: Mannnn, Hana was prettyyyy. I mean, just the grace of her body and how it moved even while she was doing something as casual as washing her neck. She was like a motorized sculpture of gorgeous, maybe out of diplomatic need (I mean come on she was groomed to be my handmaiden) (or otherwise because objectively beautiful people fare better in our society) (I mean I'm pretty fine myself hahaha). "Let me help with that," I offered, stepped behind Hana and gently caressed her neck and head with the towel.

"It would have to be in the palace, obviously," I said. "I'm thinking something outright grand and opulent. The uhhhh Dragon Hall, maybe?"

 

"Thank you Yumi," I said, as she she continued with the towel. Yumi was, besides her sister, the only real friend I had. My family... well they weren't much of a family. Well, mother did the best she could, but tradition defines us Dasaka. Her youngest daughter showing the most promise, only meant she had to push me harder, and harder, but she could not be as kind as I knew she wanted to. She could not make me soft, if I was to carry the burdens I would have to in the future. Jiyu was distant, cold to me. I didn't know why, what had I done to earn my brother's ire? Was it simply because I was who I was? I don't know... I think that's why I didn't like the subtle hostility between Yumi and Desde.

"The Dragon Hall Yumi, that would be a perfect choice! Perhaps part of this celebration could be held at the Gardens, if you wished. Uhh, then again too much foot traffic would spoil the tranquility of the Gardens. Focusing on the Dragon Hall would be the best choice." I loved the Palace Gardens, any time I wasn't studying, practicing, training, or spending time with my two best friends, I spent there. It was not long that I could spend time there, but each moment there felt like an eternity in the best kind of way.

 

"I think maybe invite all the toroshu and their immediate family members," I thought aloud. Wow, that towel was fluff-eeee! Once I finished Hana's head and neck I moved on to the shoulders after moistening the towel once more. "I mean, I seriously doubt everyone will even come. People have schedules and stuff to keep, even if it's an invite from the crown princess herself!" I laughed. "But still, the broader the target audience the more will attend. Just nobody lesser than a noble. We can't have the peasants stop turning the gears of the empire!"

Oh. But what about Hana's family? I wondered. She didn't get along well with the rest of the Herupa clan. Generally, that clan was about as vain and flat as a Fursic pancake with only dearest little honeybun Hanako as the single risen cake with actual substance of the lot. Would she be fine with having her other sister or, -gasp- her brother be in attendance? Maybe. Maybe not... It wasn't as though she'd be forced to be in their company for the duration of the festivities. There would be other guests, after all...

 

"It would be excellent to have the nobles assembled for something besides political games and court assemblies," I observed. "Maybe just have fun instead of yabbling on about power plays at home and abroad, you know what I mean?" I imagined well-dressed and regal peoples gathered around a fountain of saké discussing frivolous but well-to-do conversation like the latest art scenes or what the cat brought home last night, poking witty jokes at each other like needles thrown at balloons, and headdresses the size of small chandeliers on the heads of the esteemed guests so that they had to reach out precariously from a balanced cage to seize any drinks offered to them by the staff.

My towel glided further to her sides and chest and I slid my arms under hers in a light embrace to better wash her. She smiled at the kindness, looking right at my eyes through the mirror in front of us. My fingertips plunged the towel's fibres into the confines of her chest armor, swiftly gauging the dust particles wedged within in a soft massage. I nestled my chin on her shoulder and lovingly gazed back at my best friend's golden eyes. I could get lost in them. They melted me like a speck of gold dust that fell into a vat of the molten stuff and made me feel warmer and fuzzier than the towel I held in hand and around my neck. Hanako was kind, brave and cultured when I strayed towards renegade antics but somehow we were the same person inside. We could sing and dance and play hide and seek (though she always won, much to my chagrin) and we could stargaze into the dawn and I loved it. I loved my best friend.

... Loved my best friend... Ahhhh bloody ###### ######. My eyes turned from glistening opals of irradiating joy to stone-cold aquamarine as a single face plummeted over my mind like a curtain at the end of an opera. "Ohmygod," I said in complete dread and turned my gaze down at the sink before a single name that held all my ire and loathing dropped from my lips like rancid vomit.

"Kuno."

 

My heart fluttered when I looked into those sky blue eyes of Yumi's. I smiled, but not the kind of smile I wanted. There was no tinge of pink on my cheeks, just the normal shade of medium blue. First part of Herupa training is about concealing your emotions, hiding who you truly were. In some ways this was a great thing, because it meant I had a high level of emotional control. However it also meant, that I stopped myself a lot, even when I was open with Yumi, I was only mostly open with her.

I didn't like Kuno, he wasn't exactly that endearing, but more so I didn't like that Yumi had to be wed to him. If she had the choice, I know she wouldn't go through with it. Marriage for our people though, it was never for love. It was always for power, or in the case of the Fursics, to make nice with old enemies. People didn't see what I saw in Yumi, that deep down she longed to be free of the responsibilities that had beset her. To ride freely, to explore new lands, not to be bound ruling a court. It was like caging a beautiful bird, not realizing that it was more beautiful in flight, than it ever could be coupped up in its cage. Both sisters were bound like that in their own ways, our entire lives were built around our station. I was handmaiden, I was Yumi's friend, but I could not be more, even if I wanted. I knew she didn't want to be with him, but she had to marry him.


"Yumi, Kuno will serve well as your husband, and the Fursics will be kept in line. You're doing a great thing for your people," I said.

 

"Yeahhh. Nahhhh. I don't knowwwww," I confessed, still with my chin perched on Hana's shoulder like a parrot — a gloomy, moody, disappointed parrot. "I get the nasty feeling that this marriage is just another sham, that in the long run whatever unity we reach between Fursic and Umbraline leagues will be undone by a power struggle later on." I was thinking on bigger things since that day's lessons in the Market. A marriage of this sort would certainly all-but-ensure Fursic loyalty for a generation, but as soon as one or both of us were extinct it would be the same game all over again. You can't put a tiger on a leash and expect the tiger to be anything less of a predatory animal when the leash is finally removed; so it was with the Fursics. My mom meant well for the realm with the match but did she really get what she was doing was the equivalent of putting a patch on a leaky dam?

"It may bring about a time of further peace, but I have no anticipation of Kuno 'serving' me in any way, Hana," I lamented. "The Fursics will always be as they have been. And how can I be the greatest rora that will ever be when even my accomplishments brought about nothing more than an temporal armistice?" I shook my head and hugged Hana's midsection more tightly than before. "No. I will not have it. i will fight this arrangement with all my vigor. It will mean less to the empire than Lord Fursic Kuno can ever mean to me."

I sighed, momentarily mentally exhausted from my outburst, and forlornly looked to the side. Then I turned a torch to the crimson curtain in my mind and inwardly laughed as the Fursic cloth burned away for the show to go on. A smile gradually spread across my face and I perked up slightly, cheerily looked back at Hana's reflection in the mirror and dropped the towel into the sink. "Party!" I burst out and punctuated by slapping her bosom playfully then whisking myself away and to the side. "We mustn't waste time. I was thinking — what about a masquerade theme?"

 

I was glad, I couldn't show it, but I was happy when she said she'd fight this arrangement. Kuno Fursic was not the kind of person I wanted marrying my Yumi. The Fursics were often a power hungry people, not all of them were bad, a few houses underneath them were good, but in a house that had always challenged the Umbralines for leadership, it was hard to find the few that were decent people. To hear her actually speak her mind about this, saying the words I wanted to hear, that she'd fight it. That she wouldn't be bound to this Fursic, even if she was bound to help her subjects. At least for a little while longer, she wouldn't be Kuno's. She be herself, not forcing herself to live with that man for duty. Inwardly I smiled, and then I squeaked in surprise to Yumi's playful slap. She probably found much joy in that, it was hard to elicit such a surprised reaction from me.

"Masquerade! That sounds rather exciting," I giggled. Kind of ironic, considering we already wore masks, but I didn't really consider my mask to really be a "mask", it was my face, and frankly I don't think I would ever change it, at least not willingly. This idea though, it was an interesting concept to work with, and something I would love to help plan out.

 

Ah hahaha! Hana squeaked! She reacted! Alas, there were limits to Hana's adhesion to protocol after all! Clever Yumi! :)

"Tonight I'd like you to assemble the other handmaidens and develop a list of other, uhhhh, things to plan for," I said for want of a better term. "Catering and the menu, musical entertainment, layout of the candles and lanterns, promotion of the party — you know, the whole shebang and all. Let me know as it goes; I want final say," I added. Being the chief of the handmaidens also made Hana my chief of staff, which didn't officially become an actual duty until something like this came up.

I led the way from the washroom down the hall to our smallish dining room. "For now, though, let's have dinner with my—" there she was, the queen of stick figures herself "—dear sister! I see you've started with my cherry honey crumbcakes." I took a seat opposite her and put on a royal smile of feigned joy as I saw Desdemona begin her meal with my favourite pastry.

Be cheerful for your sister, Yumi! Be glad to spend time with the [Des]demoness of bamboo!

... What-everrrrr. :annoyed:


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#726 Offline Simon the Digger

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 10:59 AM

IC:

 

“You’re right on time.”

 

A voice floated out to Enali’s ears from the dimly-lit room, the speaker a darkly-armored Menti perched on a chair near the rear of the room. She was noticeably smaller than most of her caste, a bit more slender. In fact, were it not for the blade sheathed at her waist, one would almost think her of another profession. Perhaps a diplomat, or a scholar. The Eiyu Menti regarded Enali with a friendly expression, beckoning her into the room.

“Come on in. You’re Enali, I presume? We’re still waiting for the others, but they should be arriving soon. My partner is hanging around here somewhere, and our fourth member should be on her way.”


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Red Skies, an FTL Prequel (Updated 7/13)


#727 Online First Son Jiyu

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 11:05 AM

OOC: "Because I knew if not me... ...Him. This was the story of the end of a world. The story of hubris, and trust, and of doing the right thing. It was the story of power. Of who leads, and who is led. Who deserves it...

 

... And who desires it."

-RID #16 Heavy is the Head.

 

IC:

 

“Then who am I? What am I supposed to be?”

 

“You are Herupa Jiyu, first son of the clan. That is all.”

 

Then she turned away, leaving the young titan to his lonesome as his mother walked away to attend to his new, younger sister. Hanako. It felt weird for him, to call her his sister. Seigyo, his twin didn’t count. She was born with him. He didn’t really count her as much of a sister than as… He wasn’t sure what to define Seigyo as. She rarely spoke to anyone, and even his mother seemed to disregard her.

 

Just like how she disregarded him. Jiyu was barely considered halfway through his childhood, and he already was taller than most, almost as tall as a Dasaka. Outside of his great height, he and his twin shared another feature… They were both red. They were anomalies. And sometimes, Jiyu wondered if his mother despised him for it. Because that he wasn’t the perfect son that she wanted…

 

Jiyu watched over Hanako. He watched her play, he watched her train. Often without her knowledge. He also watched his mother. He watched her continue to take pride in her daughter, while she ignored Jiyu and Seigyo. At events, she’d call up Jiyu to stand beside her, but say nothing to him, instead praising Hanako’s achievements and skills.

 

The Rose of Clan Herupa. That’s what they called her. While the colossal Jiyu remained a shadow in the back of their minds, watching silently. That’s all he ever did, was watch. And one day, when he was fed up with watching, and tore apart the southwest grove, was when he realized. He was first son. He was outside the system. He was to his mother a symbol, while Hanako was the realization of her dreams. A heir to her. That’s when he decided, since he was outside the system, he would turn his pent-up aggression against it. He would defy his mother, and her role for him, and he would achieve everything that she wanted for Hanako.

 

He would become Toroshu, Jiyu decided on that day. He decided to become Toroshu, and punish the Clan Elders for casting him into the shadows as if he was worthless. He was the one who wrecked the north gate, as well as steal her documentation for making Hanako her heir, and modifying it so that it would be him. He prevented her attempts to appoint Hanako, and jealously supported her in secret so that she’d become the model for the clan. In secret, he excelled under the limited lessons that Eshiwa gave him, and eagerly responded to the role that she gave him in public. The uncaring, lazy, party-loving Jiyu who would never achieve his goal. That his aunt Zola would take the position he had be written as going to take.

 

He was the reason, and he would not be so eagerly denied. Which was why he sat in his room, paper in front of him, the ink to his side. One letter to Hanako. To tell her about Eshiwa, and her sickness. He wrote it. He took it to be delivered, and then crumpled it and threw it into the sea.

 

Let Eshiwa’s death be a shock to her. Let it be the revenge that Jiyu so long desired. Let her be shocked at the passing of her mother, in return for being the one to be born with the talent, with the perfection that Eshiwa so long desired. Speaking of which… There was one final business to attend to before his mother passed. He must visit his aunt.

 

When he was finally admitted, he sat patiently waiting for her, his head almost scraping against the ceiling. When she arrived, he tried to stand in greeting.

 

“Aunt,” He said respectfully, his eyes tracking her movements, “Your sister, my mother, Eshiwa… Her health is failing. It is doubted that she will last the night.”

 

“I am aware of this Jiyu,” She spat, balefully looking up at him, “If you have come here to remind me of the known, then you’d best leave. I will not tolerate your impetuance here.”

 

“I have not come for that. I have come to speak to you of your plans of becoming Toroshu,” Jiyu said, his calm eyes looking right back into her’s.

 

“I will not consent in my position,” She remarked, scowling, “You are unfit. Your lazy attitude will lead us to ruin, or worse, incur Zuto-Nui’s wrath upon us.”

 

“Then I am truly sorry,” Jiyu said, lowering his head, “For you have brought this upon yourself. I never wished for anyone to oppose my point of view, but… I guess that is an inevitable, yes?”

 

“What are you talking about Jiyu? What do you dare intend to do?” Zola demanded, narrowing her eyes.

 

“Then I regret to inform you of Eshiwa’s Death. As well as yours.”

 

Zola’s eyes widened as she tried to grasp what Jiyu had said, as well as recognizing the threat at the same time, and leaping up at the titan, drawing a hidden knife. Jiyu did little more that tell her mind that she was incapable of movement, and she thought that she was. Her leap was frozen before it began, as she crumpled to the ground next to the table they sat at.

 

“Zola, you all made a single flaw. You thought that I was lazy, weak, powerless,” Jiyu said, surprisingly calm. After all, his hands were not dirty, nor shall they become so tonight, “But, by forgetting about me, you granted me freedom, and in doing so… I perfected my secret art.”

 

“You are a… !”

 

“I am. I learned that strength in the body alone may be powerful… But unless the mind is sharp, no one may ever hope to become power incarnate. In doing so, I learned that this power is the most dangerous of all the paths, as it is the one that may be most easily exploited when the user is left alone for weeks at a time, with nothing to do…”

 

“Then…”

 

“Then you are mine now Zola,” Jiyu commanded, cutting down her final defenses with all of his strength, “And you are to obey me…”

 

-

 

Jiyu was in panic.

 

“Someone! Come here!” Jiyu cried, suddenly bursting from the room and looking for the nearest clan member, “Zola… She’s stabbed herself!”

 

The confusion was immediate, as guards rushed in to find Zola’s hands, still wrapped around the hilt of the knife she had plunged through her vital organs. Aid was called, and Zola was carted away, no doubt to her death. Jiyu was detained by the guards, suspected of murdering Zola. However, there was nothing they could do. Jiyu was uncovered in any blood, and the knife Zola had stabbed herself with was too small to properly fit in Jiyu’s hands.

 

And of course, there was the fact that Zola had actually stabbed herself, as Jiyu watched on. As he watched on, in fear and terror as news of Eshiwa’s death was told to her only sister, and as her only sister quickly withdrew a knife and killed herself, mad with grief. Which was the truth after all.

Jiyu had made sure she thought so.


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BZPRPG Characters | Midnight City

 

Oh why you so sad?
What have they done?
Forget those mindless baboons
They're off playing god
Copycats in cheap suits
All playing it safe
While cannibals with their bad news
Consume the parade

Is it so... Wonderful?

 

Marvel, Rebirth Characters | FTL

 


#728 Offline That Ghosthands is a spy

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 02:09 PM

IC (Enali)

 

Enali's mouth formed an 'o' of surprise - she hadn't seen the Menti until she spoke - then settled into a smile.

 

"That's me!" she said brightly, taking a few steps forward, before remembering herself and folding her body forwards in a bow. "I'm honoured to meet you."

 

Straightening back up, she looked at the Eiyu woman curiously.

 

"I hope you don't mind my asking, it seems like a silly question...but what are we actually doing on this expedition?"


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#729 Offline Last Son Amakusa

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 03:50 PM

IC: Seiryū

"Daikura, may I inquire as to why you have summoned me here? If not for the urging of my sister. What is it that is so important that my sister orders me, a recluse by predisposition, to grossly overextend the longest visit I have made to the outside world for more than five years?" It was a truly rare sight to see the Amakusa First Son and Chancellor of the Kyōshi Confederacy away from the walls of the Odaiba university; credible sources had put his last formal visit to Sado seven years ago; he was rarely ever present at gatherings of any sort, going so far as to not even respond to summons from the Rora herself. The last time anybody had ever seen him prior to the disturbance at the market was when he was hot on the heels of the Six, with witnesses describing him as but a shadow.

 

"Shadow, perhaps that is my habitat..." Seiryū mused to himself. Even as a child, he feared the light. It scarred its eyes, it burned what skin showed from under his armor, and he had seen what the midday sun did to raw meat. He did not like what it did to raw meat. The Menti had always preferred the cover of darkness, with its cool shade and... its lack of light, for lack of a ebtter word. Unlike most, he could see very well in the shadows, but whenever he ventured out into the day, he had to wear special shades to shield his eyes-"Probably an over concentration of light-sensitive receptors in my eyes," Seiryuū mused, recalling a lesson in biology he had learned. 

 

But that was not important at the moment. The important thing was that for some reason, Koga, First Son of Clan Daikura had summoned him here for an undisclosed reason; or at least, a reason that hadn't reached his ears-servants could be unreliable like that. He was currently standing in a stadium of sorts... oh. So that's what it was. "Why would my sister, Toroshu Minami, think that my time would be better spent playing a silly game which I do not even know the rules of rather than actually staying at home and doing work? Most of the time, it's the exact opposite..." Seiryū's frustration slowly turned into amusement as he contemplated that last line.


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#730 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 08:49 PM

IC:

 

:Oh,: thought Soraph. :and what will the terms of our wager be? And the stakes?  There is little a woman of my position wants for..:

 

 

 

 

"That sounds absolutely wonderful, Toroshu Kilanya. I would be honoured to accompany you on a tour of Ageru lands" Kulrik said respectfully. 

 

The Vilda First Son quickly ate his fill, the homegrown Ageru food amazingly fresh and tasty. He noted that Kilanya refrained from partaking anything from the meal other than the tea she was sipping, which Kulrik took to mean that the Toroshu had already eaten. He considered if there was some hidden reason for this, but found none. He glanced at his hostess.

 

There were a few Dasaka that considered Kulrik a bit of a flirt - on Sado, there were several women that probably had more colourful terms for him - but Kulrik was always one that knew his place. He could joke, play, charm and say sweet things to lower caste members without fear of consequences. He was a First Son after all, and there was nothing a Saihoko or Ringti do to harm him. Toroshu, however, were another species entirely. They, along with the nobility that surrounded them, were among the only beings in the Empire Kulrik was truly afraid of. There outranked the First Son by a bio, and with there words alone they could have Kulrik strung and killed.

 

For that reason, Kulrik was ever polite in their presence, respectful of their authority. He might joke and laugh, but he was always aware that impropriety would likely not be tolerated, and that Toroshu were the greatest danger to his freedom as a male, and as a First Son.

 

Kulrik smiled at Kilanya, enjoying his meal.

 

When he was finished he pushed his plate to the side, which an attendant quickly lifted out of view and brought it back to the kitchen.

 

"Well, breakfast was delicious, so again I thank you Toroshu Kilanya. Shall we be off then?"


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#731 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 22 2014 - 11:53 PM

IC: Amaki

 

Amaki wandered the streets of the marketplace once more.

 

OOC: Open for interaction.


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#732 Offline VoxuChro

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Posted Mar 23 2014 - 12:32 AM

IC: Vadiru Celis (Sado, Markets)

 

Celis had been walking through the markets for quite some time and seemed to just be enjoying the calm.. However she now rested against the side of a building leaning on her crystal cane heavily. 


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BZPRPG CHARACTERS

Syvra-Tivanu-Vrina-Voulge-Kidona-Chivinix-Celis-Darvin-Draeverian 'DJ'-

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"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."

My new Sprite-shop is open.  Click the image above to head over to the topic.


#733 Offline Kughii

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Posted Mar 23 2014 - 12:10 PM

IC: Noshima

 

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

 

IC: Hogo Kamari

 

"Calamari?" Kamarai respectfully questioned.  The menti were in the gardens of Sado, moving softly down the winding paths through foliage (a distraction, foliage provided cover for potential assassins and therefore was better burned to ash).  Her left hand held her bow softly, her right freely swinging at her side.  It wasn't a drill march, a pleasant stroll (if Kamari could stop thinking about security or Noshima long enough to realize).  

 

"Noshima's servant seems to remember the last time the Toroshu ate calamari she got very ill, with all respect."  She paused.  "May her servant suggest something without batter?"


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#734 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 23 2014 - 04:09 PM

IC: Noshima

 

Noshima paused, giving her friend a sheepish smile. "Indeed, I apologise for letting the previous event slip from my mind."

 

She had not exactly been a very dignified leader back in those days.

 

"May I please inquire into your recommendations?"


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#735 Offline Al the Chicken Man

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Posted Mar 23 2014 - 11:36 PM

IC:(Rano)

 

As Jiyu's hijinks occurred, Rano was in a nearby patch of land, perfecting her Soulsword technique. That is all.


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IC:
 
"It comes with the job," Halfimus explained, "I'm not paid enough to give anything outside quick flavour descriptions."
 
So pay me more AuRon.


#736 Offline Gyro Gearloose

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Posted Mar 27 2014 - 05:18 PM

IC: Daikura Koga

 

:Would you like to bet on that?: He asked Soraph softly through their connection, giving a wink she couldn’t possibly see from the distance.

 

 

IC:

 

:Oh,: thought Soraph. :and what will the terms of our wager be? And the stakes?  There is little a woman of my position wants for..:

 

IC: Mako (Tribunes)

 

It was clear immediately that Soraph and Koga where more than just a little familiar, I exchanged another meaningful look with Kama, as she ascended from my arm, seemingly in flight to greet the Daikura First Son, but in reality I was using her as a way of getting a real good look at Koga, trying to assess my fellow male before I said something that might actually have dire consequences.

 

"I'd say it seems you know him quite well" I prodded to Soraph.


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#737 Offline Kughii

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Posted Mar 28 2014 - 01:43 AM

IC: Kamari 

 

"Perhaps braised fish?"  Kamari suggested.  


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#738 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 28 2014 - 02:59 AM

IC: Noshima

 

"I have never tasted it prior."


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#739 Offline Kughii

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Posted Mar 28 2014 - 12:25 PM

IC: Kamari

 

Kamari blinked, her mind reeling back throughout their long history together.  They had eaten many meals, some elegant, others made by the side of a dusty campaign road during the war against the Fursics, but never once had they eaten braised fish.  

 

"This, with your permission Toroshu, is an unfortunate revelation which should be remedied."  Kamari smiled, and snapped for a runner, who quickly rushed off after a few hushed words.  

 

"She will find the best restaurant for braised fish, reserve a table, and then send for the palanquin."

 

IC: Daikura Koga

 

:There are many ways in which a woman with everything can be left wanting,: Koga replied with charm, a warm flame kindled by their conversation.  However, honor brought his attention toward the man striding his way: Seiryū.  

 

The troubles of the first son for once without his characteristic robes had been many, and Koga sympathized with each in turn.  Seiryū was part of an honorable but fragmenting clan alliance, had tried to fix things while only in the end disrupting them, and had himself become a wound of the conflict.  However, these thoughts were brief, little more than flitting visions in a guarded palace before Koga had given the customary bow.  

 

:For our regular game of Paero of course, Kyōshi-Amakusa.: He used the formal form of address.  :Or had you forgotten the debt my team owes yours from our last play?:


Edited by Hatachi, Mar 28 2014 - 03:33 PM.

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#740 Offline Onarax

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Posted Mar 28 2014 - 06:34 PM

IC: Noshima

 

"Thank you, Kamari."


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#741 Offline That Ghosthands is a spy

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Posted Mar 31 2014 - 04:34 PM

OOC: Let's get this going ^^

 

IC (Gotsoko)

 

The Lorekeeper led her guests up to her study on the highest level of the Library. On top of the cathedral-like building was a relatively modest tower, and it was there that Gotsoko had her study and personal quarters. It was high up enough to command a pleasant view over the Sado rooftops to the sea beyond.

 

The study took up a whole floor of the tower, and all the space on the walls that was not taken up by the four large windows (one at each compass-point) was covered with yet more bookshelves. In the middle was the Lorekeeper's desk. Its varnished wooden surface was occupied by a couple of crystal books and several sheets of paper bearing paragraph after paragraph of notes in the Datsue's spidery hand.

 

Gotsoko seated herself behind the desk, and gestured to a couple of chairs nearby.

 

"Please, pull up a seat," she said cordially.

 

IC (Kilanya)

 

Kilanya gave Kulrik's suggestion a nod and a smile.

 

"Indeed," she said. "Let's not waste such a beautiful morning."

 

The Toroshu rose from the table, and her company did likewise, Dashi servants gathering up the remnants of the meal in a matter of seconds and whisking the table out of sight. Soon there was not so much as a crumb on the floor.

 

Kilanya gave only the slightest hint of an approving smile, but she was proud of her staff; they were on top form today.

 

She turned to the First Son.

 

"Your companion is welcome to accompany us," she said, and gave nod to the courtiers nearby to indicate that a retinue would not be necessary. "Let's be on our way."


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#742 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Mar 31 2014 - 06:18 PM

IC:

 

:Indeed there is: Soraph replied slowly to the Daikura First Son. Her presence on the mental plane danced around his, wafting the sweet smell of flowers after a thunderstorm towards Koga's psionic senses. She thought about what Koga might offer her that she didn't have already.

 

Finally, Soraph came up with a wager.

 

:Lose this Paero match and you give me your ceremonial Master Daikura outfit. Win, and I'll let you entertain me another night. I think that seems fair, don't you Daikura Koga?:

 

The Vilda princess turned her attention to her older kinsmen sitting beside her.

 

"Not too well," Soraph told the Datsue Mako. She saw no reason for anyone to know of her association with Koga; in the Empire, loyalties could just as easily bring a friend into her hand as a knife in her back. For the time being, Koga would be Soraph's secret.

 

"We've met a few times before, then shared an interesting conversation at an inter-clan dinner. He's quite knowledgable, and being a Daikura, an expert on the battlefield I'm sure."

 

Soraph lowered her eyelids, carefully inspecting her fellow Vilda.

 

"How about this? If Daikura Koga wins the Paero match, you owe me three hundred dragons - a week's pay - and a favour. If he loses, I owe you the same. How does that wager seem to you, dear Mako?"

 

 

"Of course, let's begin right away" Kulrik agreed with the Ageru Toroshu.

 

Kulrik met the gaze of his Herapu, Seigyo, and nodded. Unspoken understanding passed between them, and Kulrik's personal aide readied to follow him, from an appropriate distance.

 

The Vilda rose from the the table, moving after Kilanya until he marched beside her and was led outside Mahuika hall.

 

"Your staff are remarkably skilled, Toroshu" Kulrik complimented. A corner of his lip curled in pleasure as he remembered the previous day and the fun he'd had with the Ageru guard. 

 

"I look forward to meeting the rest of the Ageru. Do you have a clan-sponsoured program to train your farmers, or is taught as a matter from mother to daughter?" Kulrik asked as they passed some buildings.

 

ooc: feel free to world-build your clan's layout  :D


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#743 Offline Last Son Amakusa

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Posted Mar 31 2014 - 10:28 PM

IC Seiryu
"... I have no recollection of that event whatsoever, so no; I do not remember any wager we may or may not have made."

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#744 Online Brooklyn Pace-Carlisle

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Posted Apr 01 2014 - 03:18 PM

IC:

 

"I guess I'm just not sure why you're so interested in some far away little island all of a sudden, Desde."

 
Because I'm smarter than you, beloved sister, and I can see that this far away little island could ruin us all. Knowing that this plea would only ignite her sister, though, Desdemona resisted another slice of Yumi's crumbcake - Zuto Nui forbid her sister went rabid over dessert and tried to put the server through the bones in her hand - and politely wiped a crumb away from the corner of her mouth with a napkin. The aftertaste lingered on her tongue and sought out the corners of her mouth that were not affected; the sweetness of the honey made speaking a small chore and locked the fragile frame of her jaw. She took a sip of water and collected what she wanted to say carefully. Yumiwa was a renegade, never one to hold back an opinion from her carefully-woven inner circle, even the farthest recesses of that circle with frayed edges such as Des. But Yusanora Umbraline had not raised a fool in her younger daughter - she collected her main ideas carefully and let them roll off her silver tongue, careful not to ignite scorn or snark from the crown princess where she could avoid it. Her last statement was a challenge - a hunting snare. Treat it as such. Tread carefully. Nothing loud. Nothing abrasive.
 
"The idea of a more fully realized expeditionary force is a good one," she granted, for that it was, "and I would not argue that the Clan needs proper representation on such an important voyage in Dasaka history. I just can't help but suggest that perhaps we treat this situation with the trepidation it's due. Our aunt is a Toroshu, Toroshu of the ruling clan and handling the affairs Mother cannot - is not a force like this practically ready-made for her? Or our Uncle. I don't doubt we'll be sending Menti along with whatever force we muster, and he speak with the Rora's voice when it comes to matters of justice. If we expect to find some thread that leads to the Chaotic Six, is not his presence vital? We have people who were born and raised for an opportunity like this."
 
"Do you think our presence would be a mistake?" Hana asked gently. Unavoidable. Yumi won't respect anything but a yes or no here. How to make her see...
 
"Yes," she finally said directly, "I think it would be a mistake." Not so hard. You lived, Des. Now lay out your case. Properly. Like an adviser would. There was not much, Desdemona knew, that her sister respected about her, but the younger princess' skill as a family spin doctor had been unparalleled and recognized by the inner court since their childhoods; it was that expertise - with both her craft and her big sister - that she called on now, hoping for some sort of breakthrough. "Just a short time ago, an assassination attempt on an influential, known isolationist-leaning courtier is foiled and the assassin ends up inexplicably dead, right under our noses. Before we can even pick up a scent, another Menti - one who, with a little digging, I've found actually assisted with our prior exploration of the island of Mata Nui - turns up in the Markets at an ideal time, with several high-ranking Dasaka and First Sons in attendance. And then you, the chōjo and heir of all the Empire, are drawn out in public? This was no flash mob, big sister, this was someone helping to cultivate an image. Imagine the credence that image could be given with this expedition." Desdemona looked at the handmaiden now, breaking Yumi's gaze for the first time to return the calculating look of the one bright spot both sisters shared. 
 
"Hana is at your side everywhere you go. She's the pride and joy of an old Clan, the best recruit the Herupas have produced in generations. You two, together, represent the future of our Empire and our Clan. With you at the core of a vanguard on the way to Mata Nui - a vanguard that could easily become a fighting force, if the rest of the culture there is as sour and malicious as the Chaotic Six - people will notice, in many ways that we don't want them to. If so much as one variable comes loose on the island of Mata Nui Mata Nui, a smart Fursic with dumb luck could use it against us. Against you. We have one instance of intelligence on this place so far. We can let another slip by, and another, if we have to, before we send you. I'm just begging you, from sister to sister. Consider."
 
There. That, Yumi could appreciate. That she could listen to, and respect. Hopefully she'd given cause to consider. Big hopefully.
 
-Tyler

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~who is this sassy delight getting reported so much~


#745 Offline Gyro Gearloose

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Posted Apr 01 2014 - 05:01 PM

IC (Gotsoko)

 

"Please, pull up a seat," she said cordially.

 

IC: Eiyu Ankora (Gotsoko's Study)

 

"Don't take issue with it if I commit such an action" Ankora replied as she mindarmed, rather than strongarmed, one of the nearby chairs for her to sit in. She had noticed the directions of the windows, smiling a tad at the symbolism, Gotsoko liked to keep things in order.

 

She threw a quick glance at Kwaiya, then Gotsoko, and then seemed to take a sudden, unexplained interest in a nondescript spot on the wall behind Gotsoko.

 

"I wonder if I could pull up an old Datsue's tale in relation to this meeting"

 

IC:

 

"How about this? If Daikura Koga wins the Paero match, you owe me three hundred dragons - a week's pay - and a favour. If he loses, I owe you the same. How does that wager seem to you, dear Mako?"

 

IC: Vilda Mako (Tribunes)

 

I coughed, masking a "darn kids" under it as I reviewed the images of Koga's face my link with Kama had granted me. He was like a wave, deep blue, rushing.. and way too poetic for his own good...

 

You can say many things about a wave, and you could say many things about Koga just by looking at him. He had that look, that look of someone who's in deep conflict about his position. I'd seen that look plague many a male before, and I'd learned to recognize it at the drop of a mask.

 

It was a look that annoyed me to this day, especially when I saw it in a First Son's eyes. Being a male in the society we have here is not easy, and I have the scars to prove it, (including a few where the sun doesn't and never should shine), but I had a bloody good reason to be mad about it, I had to serve someone else's purpose and ends since the day I was gutsy enough to wrestle my teddy bear, but Koga over there, he was a different story.

 

He'd been groomed, nurtured and adored from birth, very much expected to bother his pretty widdle head with politics and be a good boy. He got to take the precious time to frolic at his leisure now and then, and he had influence, he had power.

 

I despised the attitude because it was insult to me and my fellow "regular" males, the ones with no freedom, whatsoever until age released us from the bondage of servitude.

 

You think your position sucks? Just wait until I give you a piece of my mind and a new hole to spew your trite hogwash from, you whiny little sod, you.

 

"You're on, Soraph"


Edited by Geardirector, Apr 01 2014 - 05:03 PM.

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#746 Offline Visaru

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Posted Apr 01 2014 - 10:41 PM

IC- Oshi

 

 

The doors unexpectedly swung open, cutting off the potential answer to Enali’s question and revealing the athletic Dasaka standing in the doorway. She was grinning optimistically, standing proudly upright, exuding exuberance and looking as proud and regal as she ought to be as a powerful Menti soldier.

 

She strode into the room, looking at the two Dasaka already present and giving each a small bow of the head to show respect. She took a position in the room that put her at equal distance to the two, forming a triangle between the three of them, and stood proudly and confidently. It was the stance of a soldier.

 

“My name is Oshi,” she said, “And I assume you two are my companions in this venture.” Her tone was kind, yet sharp and to the point.


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#747 Offline The Mugbearer

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Posted Apr 01 2014 - 11:39 PM

IC: Gaia [Healer's Shop]

 

In a town not far away from Castle of Eiyu lived a Dashi woman. She was the kindest soul in the neighborhood, with a big heart and miraculous hands. Every day, early in a morning, she was waking up filled with her love to all of the world. She did her household things, and then she will put on her shawl, go out of the house and head to her shop. Always with a smile, always nodding to her neighbors, greeting folks on her way. Every one of them knew her or have heard a stories about Gaia the Healer. That's what she's doing: she heals folk. Simple folk like artisans, farmers, everybody in need. Since her teacher and employer has retired, she was the one who held the healing shop. Sometimes she even went to the bazaar to personally buy all the insufficient ingredients, but for the most part it was Sheeta's duty.

Sheeta was an orphan Dashi girl who had no family at all. She lived in an old abandoned potter workshop on the edge of the town. She was that dreaming type of teenagers who loved sky and liked to talk about flying alot. Gaia always listened to her with a smile while cleaning the counter.

She was a good girl and was first candidate to inherit the shop once Gaia will decide to retire too. However, Sheeta's Burdens still had an effect on her: a rumors of Mata Nui that came up sometime ago sowed a Fear in Sheeta's heart. She was afraid that since she was all alone, Mataa Nuians will come at night and kidnap her.

Gaia did anything in her power to eliminate that Burden, with varying success.

 

She approached her little shop staying among other buildings on the small town square and put out her key. Then she unlocked the door and let in the morning light and fresh air inside. She opened all the windows and went to the back room. Meanwhile Sheeta showed up.

"Good morning!" she exclaimed.

"Good morning," answered Gaia, coming out with a bucket and giving it to the girl. "How are you doing today?"

She saw a slight touch of frown on Sheeta's Rau, but it disappeared right away.

"I am fine, Gaia-san," she bowed receiving the bucket and then went out to the well to get some water.

 

When she returned, Gaia already began the cleaning: she swept out all dust with a broom and gave Sheeta a rug.

"Sweep the furniture, my dear," she asked and the girl nodded and went inside.

 

Thus, the shop got clean and Sheeta brought some food she prepared before going here. They had a nice healthy breakfast in the back room and after that Gaia let her helper to go out and wander around while she stood behind the counter, waiting for her first customers, always with her warm smile of Love and understanding.


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#748 Offline Kughii

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Posted Apr 02 2014 - 01:19 AM

OOC:  Introducing a new style of writing I’ve been working on with my novel the past few weeks.  If you notice influence from the Engineer Trilogy, congratulations: you get a cookie for knowing an obscure writer of excellent fiction.

 

IC: Hogo Kamari

 

“It’s my duty to serve,” Kamari replied in a rare moment where her true emotions broached the surface of an otherwise smooth lake.  The menti walked down the meandering garden path.  Soft gravel crunched beneath their feet.  She could breath in the crisp air and smell the sea at the city’s edge.  

 

“It may be out of place to question, but this humble servant feels as if we are not placing enough stress in the attempted assassination attempt.”  Kamari paused, realizing she had spoken abruptly, even if the subject was a commonplace one for a Hogo.  She looked quickly toward Noshima.  What reaction would the Toroshu express?

 

IC: Eiyu Kwaiya

 

Kwaiya had been in the lore keeper’s study twice: once for a case of broken bindings (the look on Gotsoko’s face when she had returned the fragile object had been priceless, as if her own child had been cured of some chronic illness), and the second time after the dashi had knocked a cart of crystal books down the stairwell (on accident, despite Gotsoko’s disbelief).  Neither time had she been offered a chair.  

 

Timidly Kwaiya found herself an unassuming footstool from beside a bookshelf and sat opposite the lore keeper.  Then she kept her mouth shut and her ears open.

 

IC: Daikura Koga

 

Koga allowed himself for once to show something beyond the bookish man the public believed him to be.  “Perhaps that’s because you haven’t played Paero before.  A shame really, given the religious significance.  Allow me to explain the rules while we walk to the team benches.  I’m sure you’ll have an excellent team to help you learn, though…”  He paused before starting a clan feud with his next words and instead moved on to explaining the game of Paero.  

 

“Naturally you would have seen a few games,” Koga stated.  Any first son of any clan would have seen a Paero game.  What else was there to do besides practice the art of brutally murdering someone or act as consort and trophy?  “The field is, as you can see, a large circle of smooth crystal.  Of course, the public coliseum has a larger ring for league matches, but since this is more of a well-to-do thing it’s been made slightly more intimate.  Makes for more intense games, I find.  But that’s besides the point.  Paero’s goal is to work with your teammates to toss a crystal ring over each of the three pillars on the opposing team’s side of the field.  Of course, you can’t move one of your feet once you’re holding a crystal ring.  Throw it to your teammate, and you can run again” Koga paused to pantomime the motion with the crystal ring in his own hand, “see?  It’s really a simple game.  Oh…  No menti disciplines or kanohi.  We are all naked in the eyes of Zuto-Nui.”  He smiled at the last phrase, a direct quotation from some old stuffy book he had read decades ago.  

 

“You understand?”

 

In Soraph's mind, the image of two hands shaking in front of a gavel finalized the bet.


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#749 Offline Onarax

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Posted Apr 02 2014 - 01:47 AM

IC: Noshima

 

"Measures have been undertaken to bolster the security," replied Noshima matter-of-factly. "I am deeply apologetic for my belief, however, that such an occurrence is vital to the safety of those residing here."


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#750 Offline That Ghosthands is a spy

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Posted Apr 02 2014 - 01:51 PM

IC- Oshi

 

 

The doors unexpectedly swung open, cutting off the potential answer to Enali’s question and revealing the athletic Dasaka standing in the doorway. She was grinning optimistically, standing proudly upright, exuding exuberance and looking as proud and regal as she ought to be as a powerful Menti soldier.

 

She strode into the room, looking at the two Dasaka already present and giving each a small bow of the head to show respect. She took a position in the room that put her at equal distance to the two, forming a triangle between the three of them, and stood proudly and confidently. It was the stance of a soldier.

 

“My name is Oshi,” she said, “And I assume you two are my companions in this venture.” Her tone was kind, yet sharp and to the point.

 

IC (Enali)

 

Enali, in contrast, was not a soldier - she was barely even a Menti yet, and her stance was much more maidenly. The young Dasaka stood meekly, with her hands clasped and resting on the green sash at her waist - respectful and a little shy, but nowhere near as nervous as she had been when speaking with her Toroshu. These two Menti were of much lower standing than Kilanya, and she felt much more at ease with them. They were so friendly!

 

She smiled, and returned Oshi's nod (a little lower and longer than the Menti had).

 

"I am Ageru Enali," she said.

 

 

"Of course, let's begin right away" Kulrik agreed with the Ageru Toroshu.

 

Kulrik met the gaze of his Herapu, Seigyo, and nodded. Unspoken understanding passed between them, and Kulrik's personal aide readied to follow him, from an appropriate distance.

 

The Vilda rose from the the table, moving after Kilanya until he marched beside her and was led outside Mahuika hall.

 

"Your staff are remarkably skilled, Toroshu" Kulrik complimented. A corner of his lip curled in pleasure as he remembered the previous day and the fun he'd had with the Ageru guard. 

 

"I look forward to meeting the rest of the Ageru. Do you have a clan-sponsoured program to train your farmers, or is taught as a matter from mother to daughter?" Kulrik asked as they passed some buildings.

 

ooc: feel free to world-build your clan's layout  :D

 

OOC: I intend to :P

 

IC (Kilanya)

 

"Mainly the latter," the Toroshu replied, leading Kulrik at a purposeful but not overly brisk pace along the bridge that connected the hill on which the Hall stood to its smaller sister. "Young Dashi help their families around the farm, and thus learn the basics of their trade. As they grow older, they may be apprenticed to other families in order to learn more specific skills; the clan oversees this process, but much of the details are left to the individual families. As you can see, it is a system that serves us well."

 

Having descended the steps down the hill, the two Dasaka followed the main road through Mahuika, the settlement surrounding and named after the Hall, and the effective capital of Ageru lands. As they walked, they passed locals of all shapes and castes.

 

"Our Dashi work the fields and plantations for our produce," Kilanya continued as they progressed. "Our Saihoko are responsible for delivering it to other clans and for selling it at the Sado markets. Our Ringti create tools to aid in the farming, or work as chefs to find new combinations of flavours."

 

 

IC: Eiyu Ankora (Gotsoko's Study)

 

"Don't take issue with it if I commit such an action" Ankora replied as she mindarmed, rather than strongarmed, one of the nearby chairs for her to sit in. She had noticed the directions of the windows, smiling a tad at the symbolism, Gotsoko liked to keep things in order.

 

She threw a quick glance at Kwaiya, then Gotsoko, and then seemed to take a sudden, unexplained interest in a nondescript spot on the wall behind Gotsoko.

 

"I wonder if I could pull up an old Datsue's tale in relation to this meeting"

 

IC (Gotsoko)

 

Gotsoko looked at Ankora quizzically.

 

"And why would I take issue with it?" she asked. "It was I that recommended that you do so..."


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#751 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted Apr 02 2014 - 04:35 PM

IC:

 

"Yes, given the success of the Ageru, it is indeed a very efficient system" Kulrik agreed with the Toroshu.

 

"And your Menti? Do they only serve in your Hall and along the borders, or do they also help with the farming?  Forgive me for mentioning them, but is there in fact any truth to the rumors that your Soulswords participate in the reaping and hone their skill?"

 

First Son Kulrik took a look at the settlement around them, counting a number of warehouses and other buildings associated with the agricultural process.

 

"And your land; are there any acres left that have been untouched, or has it all been developed? I've seen naught but farmland and Mahuika hall since I've reached the Ageru."


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#752 Offline Gyro Gearloose

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Posted Apr 04 2014 - 07:31 AM

IC (Gotsoko)

 

"And why would I take issue with it?" she asked. "It was I that recommended that you do so..."

 

IC: Eiyu Ankora (Gotsoko's Study)

 

"I thought we weren't going to argue semantics" Ankora replied gloomily, before moodswinging into a more inquisitive pattern.

"But enough of that, how about those ancient texts?"


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#753 Online Yukiko

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Posted Apr 07 2014 - 12:57 PM

[Sado, Southwest of City Proper]

 

Hatchi watched as Samichyr took out an unassuming wooden box from behind a curtain.  Most Taajar didn’t bother with locks; it was likely that any box that could actually keep anything in was valuable enough that people would steal the whole thing.  With an expert flourish, the young dachi unwrapped three pocket eyepieces.  They were lacquered wood on the outside, and Hatchi guessed they had been lensed with Angavur-made crystal.

 

“If it please the honored guest, may I present you these pieces?  They are simple, it is true, but the lense inside is of the finest Angavur crystal.  Their clarity is unmatched, and they can even be used to start fires through focusing sunlight.  Their value is truly unmatched, but for the honored guest, I will only charge two serpents and five foxes.”

 

It was astounding how Samichyr managed to get it all out in one breath.  She had shot first, that was good--but the price was fairly high--too high in normal circumstances.  Hatchi drained her class of kaoliang, raising an eyebrow at Soraya.

 

The other nightseller chose that moment to come back to the tent, carrying Hatchi’s cane.  Hatchi motioned for her to take Myzru’s reigns and whispered in her ear in Vulgar Taa.

 

“Bring three bowls of stew.”

 

“But--”

 

“Don’t worry; I’ll make sure she gets charged.”

 

She turned back to Samichyr and Soraya.


Edited by Yukiko, Apr 07 2014 - 12:57 PM.

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#754 Online GSR

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Posted Apr 07 2014 - 08:43 PM


IC: Soraya (southwest of city)
 
Soraya had something like half of that tucked away in her bag, and she wouldn't opposed to spending half of that.  Which meant-
 
"No, I don't think you will."  She crossed the distance between herself and Samichyr, picked one up, and held it up to the light.  "It's decent work, I'll give you that.  But I said I don't get enough chances to look at Tajaar work these days, not that I've never seen it in my life.  Half a year ago I caught a caravan that was peddling Angavur crystalware.  Beautiful stuff.  And they had glassware larger for this for less the price."  She handed it back to Samichyr.  "Tell me why a bit of lacquered wood is worth five extra foxes, for starters, and we'll work from there."
 
You're starting to sound like Morie, Soraya.  Might want to take smaller sips from now on before you cross the line from 'haggle' to 'utter jerkface'.

Edited by GSR, Apr 07 2014 - 08:44 PM.

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#755 Offline Onarax

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Posted Apr 08 2014 - 09:16 AM

IC: Amaki

 

Amaki sat on a bench in the market, watching as pedestrians walked by.

 

OOC: Open for interaction.


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#756 Offline Smaug the Terrible

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Posted Apr 08 2014 - 10:06 AM

IC:

 

With the departure of the princess, the crowd had slowly but surely started to thin out, and the commodore had had no problem making her way to the palace directly. Ayiwah took a look up at the crystal spires that rose into the sky, catching any light nearby and breaking it into soft kaleidoscopic patterns playing across its faces. A few minutes later, she reached the imposing main-gate, passing nearly unhindered by the elite guards protecting the Rora's humble abode. Her position definitely had its perks here and there, but she had never wasted a single thought on such privileges. It was no a point of prestige, merely a convenience that made it a little easier to fulfill her duty to the throne and the clan.

 

As she entered the palace premises proper, she briefly wondered how Tazera was faring in her quest finding out where the Menti on the roof had come from and what had motivated her to make such a public appearance. She wasn't worried though. Her first mate had never disappointed her and she trusted her implicitly. In a way, she was the part of her that allowed her to be in two places at once. Taz would get Yumiwa the requested information.

 

She followed the avenue leading from the gate to one of the main entrances and ascended the perfectly carved stairs. At the top another pair of guards was posted who opened the door for her and saluted. Ayiwah entered with a small nod of acknowledgement and stepped into the architectural masterwork that was the palace's interior. It was imposing, intricate, yet clear in design; a sign of wealth and power, without giving into excess. It projected just the right image for the royal family. Ayiwah knew the sight well. When she had been but a child, Mune had often taken her with him while training her. He had taught her protocol and discipline...and so much more.

 

The fond memories of her father accompanied the commodore on her way through the palace, right up until she reached one of the highest floors of the central spire. Double doors marked the entrance to the secretary's office. To the right of them, there was a smaller L-shaped desk for one of the many assistants. Tazera had once jokingly  remarked that the secretary's secretary probably had a number of servants as well. As soon as the Dashi spotted her she rang a small bell signaling the arrival of a visitor and gave the commodore a nod, indicating the door with her right hand. "She expects you, commodore." she stated the obvious. Ayiwah's facial expression didn't change as she briefly replied: "Indeed, thank you.", before opening the door. The Dashi fell silent, returning to her work before further embarrassing herself.

 

Light flooded the luxurious office when Ayiwah stepped inside, falling in through an opening to a large balcony that spanned almost two thirds of the far side of the room. Despite that and how far above ground they were, there was virtually no draft. Another accomplishment of the palace architect. To the sides, the entrance was flanked by slightly elevated platforms, which were lined with high crystal shelves arranged in a U-Shape along the outside and had a small reading desk at the center of each.

 

Behind them, decorative pillars rose from floor to ceiling. They were intricately carved into the slightly abstract shapes of intertwined Dasaka, locked in an eternal dance. The artist responsible had found a perfect balance between soft shapes and hard edges, which gave the figures an inherent flow that made them appear rather attractive, without sacrificing any of the tastefulness. Between the pillars, thin curtains that diffused the light and lessened the cast shadows were hanging from the ceiling, optically separating the study area of the office from the secretary’s work space, which consisted of a large, neatly organized desk in front of the balcony, more shelves to the sides of the room and a map-desk to the right.

 

The secretary herself stood silhouetted behind her desk, her back slightly turned towards the entrance as she read over a tablet in her hand. Her attire was formal, very much in line with the palace’s style of attire, but much lighter, featuring only sparse crystalline adornments, unlike the almost ceremonial royal armor. She wore a long skirt that came down almost to her ankles in the back and a light cuirass with wide flowing sleeves attached that left her midriff bare. Her face was defined by fine, high cheekbones and a pair of piercing bright blue, almost bordering on silver eyes that looked up from her tablet as the Menti entered the room.

 

Ayiwah walked up to the desk and took a deep bow. Not quite as far as she would have during a royal audience, but close to it. Much like Tazera, the secretary commanded the same level of respect as the one she served under. She straightened back up, placing her hands behind her back and standing comfortably, though far from relaxed.

 

“Commodore.” the Secretary acknowledged her presence. “Secretary.” Ayiwah returned the greeting.

 

“I assume you are aware of the recent discovery of the Island of Mata-Nui?” the secretary asked. There was a certain glare in her eyes that Ayiwah recognized. The Rora’s chief assistant was the one who made sure her highness could focus on the issues of utmost importance, while the lesser day-to-day business was handled by her and her assistants. It was no simple task. And with so much to do, she did not suffer fools, nor those who failed to prepare accordingly before asking for an audience with her. Ayiwah fit in neither category, however.

 

“I have read the reports from the expedition.” she replied.

 

“And what is your assessment of the situation?”

 

“The discovery does not affect the empire at large just yet, but it will, in the foreseeable future, now that we have come into contact with this other culture. The prospect of beings that can control the elements themselves is a troubling one, but while they remain confined to this island the more immediate effects will be seen in the political balance between the clans. Mata-Nui has changed the status quo, it is a new piece on the board. I am sure there are some who wish to make use of these circumstances.” the commodore briefly summed up her thoughts on the matter, but she didn’t offer any more than that. It was not her place to make recommendations just now, unless she was specifically asked for them.

 

The secretary just nodded. This was not a discussion or strategic meeting, after all. The Rora merely wanted to stay informed of where the players on the political playing field stood in relation to her. Though the commodore had worded it nicely, political intrigue was a constant and the idea that people were going to try and exploit the discovery of Mata Nui was pretty much a given. As such, keeping track of her allies in order to know where the lines were drawn was only prudent of her highness. The secretary placed the tablet she had been holding back on her desk, before reaching for another, from the top of a small stack.

 

“The Rora has come to the conclusion that future encounters with the people of Mata-Nui will be inevitable. But from what we have learned so far, they do not seem to have the capability for such long journeys yet. While that is the case, any further contact should happen on our terms. Your new orders will allow us to do just that.”

 

She slid the tablet over to the commodore, who picked it up and read the orders inscribed on it.

 

Change of Standing Orders

by command of her royal highness

Rora Yusanora of Umbraline

 

To the commodore of the Empire’s Nautical Forces:

 

i) A newly commissioned submersible vessel is currently under construction in the yards. You are to assume direct command of this as yet unnamed vessel to carry future expeditionary forces and high-ranking officials to newly discovered lands outside the borders of the realm.

 

ii) You are to assemble and train an expert new crew for the vessel within the coming weeks and reach an initial operational capability as soon as possible. As this is a new vessel you are given authority to recruit anybody willing and able that you deem qualified, both from within the Navy and outside of its ranks.

 

iii) You are to ensure that the imperial fleet remains at maximum readiness during this time and during deployment of expeditionary forces to ensure the safety of our nautical borders. Use the authority granted to you by your rank and any means at your disposal to make the necessary changes in organization as you see fit to best adapt to the new circumstances.

 

 

Ayiwah looked up from the tablet, back at the secretary. “Any questions, Commodore?” she asked. The Menti could tell she would not get any long-winded clarifications. Still, there was one part that she felt she needed to confirm: “Anybody who meets the necessary requirements can be offered a position?”

 

The secretary nodded. “Yes. Her majesty is aware of your excellent record of forming highly loyal, solidary crews despite mixed castes and clans. Despite some...resistance, the Rora has decided to trust your skills on this matter and allow you to form a crew as you see fit. Do not let that trust be misplaced.”

 

The commodore could tell that the mentioned resistance most likely had come from the secretary herself. She did not know exactly why, but she assumed that it was the part about having high-ranking officials on board that made her dislike the idea.

 

“No further questions, secretary.” Ayiwah said.

 

“Good, dismissed.”

 

After another bow, the commodore pocketed her tablet, turned and left the office the same way she had come, descending the stairs leading back down to the busier parts of the palace. She wasn't quite sure what to think about these new orders - it meant passing on command of the Yukanna for some time, after all. She hoped Taz would be done with her task soon. She was curious to hear her best friends thoughts on the matter.

 

 

 

OOC: If anybody wants to talk to the commodore while she’s still on palace grounds, she’s open for interaction.


Edited by Smaug the Terrible, Apr 09 2014 - 05:35 AM.

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#757 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted Apr 08 2014 - 10:11 PM

Ic: I've always been jealous of Desdemona. Everything came so naturally to her – even court intrigue I studied long and hard ever since I could read developed as instinctively to her like swimming to a fish. I don't think Hanako ever really understood that my deploration of my sister was mostly rooted in the fact that every time we interacted I felt... overshadowed by her cleverness. "Clever Yumi!" had no impact on my self esteem whenever Desde was around. She never lifted a finger to me, probably never even meant to be so oppressing to me, but she was like a wound in my aura. At least she couldn't affect me so long as she was stuck in that tower of hers. Desde was like a wasp, thin, spindly and unnatural, that descended from her nest up high to drift from one pretty thing to the next, pollinating and doing good work all while being oblivious to the nuisance she posed to me, the unwitting spheksophobic.

 

I could never bring myself to telling her I despised her because she was a prodigy, so instead I tried to stay at a distance. Only Hana or our mom could get us to be together, if only for a moment. In this case it was Hana and from the look of it she was starting to regret it.

 

It's not that I hate Desde, it's just that I can't stand her. She's everything I'd love to be (minus the looks) without the effort. If we were one person there's no doubt I'd be a Battlemaster by now. There's always been a very unique difference between my sister and me, though: I'm the crown princess and she's not. This just spurred me to move forward better, though: If I'm going to be the greatest rora there ever was and will be I'm going to need to be better than my sister.

 

See, I respect her for her intellect. Maybe even a bit too much. That's why I'm daunted. That's why I... fear her somewhat. So when she answers Hana's question and point blank shoots it out of the sky I can't help but feel a little bit of anger about it. The fact that she's probably right in her points does nothing to soothe me, nor the fact that she has literally zero idea how much her mere words stab me like needles. Even so, I decide to counter with my own opinions – and some facts.

 

"Sorry, sissy, but I don't think the assembly in the Market was orchestrated, at least not to the extent you seem to think. Yes, so this Menti on a roof–"

 

"Nihi."

 

"–Sure. –was set up to give a rooouusing speech for blatant Fursic policies, but there's no way in ###### that all the nobles were supposed to be there. Me? Nobody knew I was going to be at the Market, nobody other than Inokio. I'll wager all my crumbcakes for a week that, uh, Nihi was utterly shocked to see me present in the crowd. The Fursics are tricky and deceptive but they can't manipulate that many nobles to be in as unlikely a place as that at that exact time. They're not magicians. I think it's faaar more likely that what started out as a sermon to the rabble turned into more than Nihi gambled for and it backfired. And let's not forget the fact that my presence all but nullified Nihi's proclamation in the first place. In the end nobody stood with her, not a single noble sided for expansion to Mata Nui.

 

"Whatever resulting 'image' was meant from the event in the Market, it's now an image of quintessential Umbraline moderation and respect for my diplomacy. These are good things for us, Desde. If I were to go with an expedition to Mata Nui I would carry the weight that image projects and I think that's exactly what we should present to the toroshu." On one hand, I understood, it would seem odd that the person who stood up for Umbraline values of reservation be a part of the expedition to Mata Nui, though I was careful and deliberate in my words in the Market. I stood for long-term insight, for logical baby steps. I argued against an invasion of Mata Nui but certain not wholly for seclusion.

 

Desde sometimes forgets that I've been tutored and tailored to be perfect and can be just as insightful as she (with some added experience in actual ruling, to boot). I'm less a natural at schemes but I'm still as deft as can be in politics.

 

"And since you brought up alternatives for representing the Throne abroad, well... Our aunt's place has always been in Oki; I doubt she'd leave her rock for a ship. Our uncle is the prime bodyguard to mother; he'd never be sent away from his ward. Would they be better choices for diplomacy and war, respectively? Yes! But I'm not proposing either a delegation of utter peace or war. We'd have to be prepared for anything and as far as that goes neither of them is qualified. Am I? At least I know some of both aspects and would never be alone. With Hanako with me for wisdom and Battlemaster Inokio for protection I would feel safe. And let's not forget who'd be on the short list for leading the expedition: I saw Commodore Ayiwah earlier today; she'd likely be commander of the forces deployed."

 

I finished my pastry before reclining back in my chair and pawing the plush armrests in thought. "By virtue of Hana and I being the future of the empire we should be a part of investigating what may well be the future of the empire. Buuuuuut before we get ahead of ourselves, remember that we're just three ladies in a palace room tossing ideas to and fro. All we can do, all any of us can do, is give our suggestions to Mom. She'll make the call."

 

Mom was always ahead of us, even when we were just kids so many years ago. "And as far as any of us know she may already have." How right I was.


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#758 Offline Kughii

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Posted Apr 08 2014 - 10:58 PM

IC: Kamari Hogo

 

"What sort of measures?"


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#759 Offline Nuju Metru

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Posted Apr 09 2014 - 01:37 AM

IC:

Nihi tried not to feel the stare on the back of her head.

 

 

The ring-dancer couldn’t amuse Kuno, because he was not alone.

 

 

Ever since the day at the Markets when her hotheadedness had gotten the better of her, Nihi hadn't been able to traverse the streets of Sado comfortably in the daytime.

 

The remarks she'd made on that day from the rooftop of a stall had been heard by quite a crowd of locals; now, wherever she went, Nihi was bound to pass by at least one member of her Markets audience (or a friend of one, or a servant of one, and they’d doubtless have been told who she was) while running her daily errands. Though she walked quickly with her head down, and made a habit of choosing circuitous and less-traveled routes, Sado was overcrowded – it had been for generations – so Nihi could never avoid people, and subsequently, attention, altogether.

 

Today, as she passed a throng of Dashi here, a couple of chattering Datsue there, even a Dasaka walking purposefully in the opposite direction, she drew their gazes. The Dashi immediately began to converse in low tones; the Datsue traded snide remarks and chortles as they carried on; the Dasaka stopped in her tracks and turned to watch Nihi pass.

 

Nihi tried not to feel the stare on the back of her head. The Dasaka muttered something to her nearby friend; the friend probably nodded. Nihi swallowed her desire to scream something at the rude duo for staring, because it’d do her no good. The deed was already done; with her muttering, the Dasaka had created another starer, another future prompt for Nihi’s shame. Shouting would only enhance Nihi’s notoriety. That kind of outburst was to blame for her current infamy.

 

By incessantly replaying her day at the Markets, Nihi couldn’t help but keep it fresh in her mind.

 

After having made her inflammatory remarks on top of the stall, as the Chojo and countless others of great stature had ridiculed Nihi’s position and reminded her of her place – how, she always despaired, had she thought it’d be a good idea to speak at all – she had, immobilized and incapacitated by the verbal assault of those more important than she, hardly heard the ensuing debate. There’d followed a period of indeterminate length when Nihi had been acutely aware of her incapacity to move or speak, and in the timeless paralysis she had at once been transported to the last time she’d been unwillingly, helplessly motionless in the face of catastrophe.

 

Nihi felt like the level ground she stood on had started to tip forward, so far on the diagonal that it would spill her into a void. She was acutely aware of her own heartbeat, the shrill ring in her ears, and the sound of her own breathing. How different it was from her sister’s erratic rasps.

 

Eventually, though, the heat of embarrassment had thawed Nihi’s frozen body. Shakily, the debate echoing meaninglessly in her ears, she’d clambered down from the stall rooftop, wanting to disappear. But Nihi had found herself surrounded by a throng of Dasaka that’d just had their eyes and ears fixed on her; disappearing, she’d recognized, would be impossible. Even though the crowd had given her a wide berth as she’d reached the ground, Nihi had felt suddenly claustrophobic surrounded by it. She’d wanted to hit them, wanted to stab her fingers into their stupid, staring eyes, but that hadn’t been an option. Red in the face, Nihi had been forced instead to shove her way through the thick circle, jostling aside Dasaka as she’d held back her muggy tears. Detachedly, Nihi had noted as she departed that the Chojo’s gaze had followed her progress, and that Kuno’s servant had vanished. As she’d passed close to a neighboring stall, Nihi had accidentally knocked over a crate of fruit.

 

In her memory, Nihi saw the crate fly gently, captured in elongated time, towards her sister. It spun in the air as though one of its corners had been softly tapped. Then the crate splintered against Nachi.

 

The debate in the Markets had continued in Nihi’s absence, but she hadn’t cared. She’d run away.

 

 …

 

The debate in the Markets hadn’t gone well; thus, Kuno’s second scheme had been foiled.

 

Had the Fursic First Son been alone (that is to say, alone but for me; a stone, even in dimness, cannot be without its shadow), the ring-dance might have distracted him from brooding on his latest defeat. Usually, art could placate Kuno; he had good taste, and the subtleties of the delicacies he had the duty to enjoy were not lost on him. Ring-dance was one such delicacy, an entertainment meant for the powerful.

 

On a wide wooden stage before Kuno, the ring-dancer – a Dasaka with a form like running water, without any garb to weigh her down save a close-hanging amethyst pendant dangling from her neck – executed her extremely athletic art without visible effort, which was just as it should have been. I’d hired her on recommendation, and she was performing to the expected caliber. The dancer’s strong technique was evident; her face was set in a long-developed mask of elegant slackness, designed by the ancestral masters to belie the fluid tension that flowed through her body.

 

As the ring, large enough for the dancer to stand inside with her arms holding its edge, twirled and rolled around the stage, each maneuver she executed was inseparable from the next. One second, she flipped the flat plane of the narrow, flexible ring in a dizzying series of traveling turns that were hardly audible on the ground; the next, she was spread-eagled and taut inside the ring while it meandered to rest like a dropped coin, getting within a hands-width of the ground on its oscillation before she undulated her body and spun her circle gradually back into verticality. Just a moment later, she held onto the top of the ring with only her legs, and her arms were spread beneath her as she compelled her ring, using Mindarm powers, smoothly off the ground and into an airborne flip; she ended sitting inside the floating ring for just an instant before resuming the dance. It was an impressive display, but Kuno was in no temper to see it.

 

The ring-dancer couldn’t amuse Kuno, because he was not alone. His mother had arrived at the Imperial Palace earlier that day, and he had no good news for her.

 

Toroshu Nera, holding herself as far upright as she could in her advanced age, sat in a backless chair next to her son, who was similarly seated. Kuno’s shoulders, hidden under his ruby cloak, were stiff, and his hands were clasped in his lap. The sunlight from the wide window caught in his most elaborate set of crystal armor, decorated with sparse lines of metal. Nera, garbed in an opulent red robe lined by small rubies that clinked together as she moved, watched the ring-dancer attentively; her face, drawn by countless years of Fursic leadership and, consequently, the evasion of countless (and several deserved) allegations, was hawkish even when she judged art. She gestured for me, and I poured juice into her smooth ceramic cup as she spoke to her son. Nera’s voice didn’t match her age; it cut through the air with vigor that did not match her withered appearance.

 

“She is skillful,” Nera noted, pointing at the ring-dancer, who had just completed a particularly graceful sequence. Even issuing a compliment, Nera’s voice was like a whip. “There are no performers like this on Kozu. The Rora keeps her riches close.”

 

Kuno met his mother’s eye for a moment, and nodded noncommittally, returning his gaze to the ring-dancer in a semblance of interest. Nera knew her son too well; she moved her eyes to him and kept them there. “It is a shame that I must make the voyage to Sado to enjoy artists like these,” she went on, her tone lacerating the wordless atmosphere. “It is also a shame that I must make the voyage to Sado to see my son, for he never visits me.”

 

“Mother,” Kuno assured, “Seeing you is my greatest pleasure.”

 

“Indeed,” Nera replied. “And yet you do not return to Kozu unless I order you back.”

 

“I am very busy,” Kuno answered diplomatically. “Regrettably, I do not have time to come home. The tasks you assign me occupy me ful—”

 

“Ah,” Nera interrupted, clearly unconvinced. She sipped her juice, puckered up her face, and held out the cup for me to retrieve. I took it away. “Kuno, you have bad taste. And no, Ikori, I would not prefer something else.” I returned the tray of liquids to its attendant table as Nera’s words lashed her captive son again. “You are occupied, of course… always the obedient son. Tell me, then, Kuno: have you made any progress?”

 

Kuno raised his own cup to his lips and sipped as slowly as he dared. The ring-dancer continued her sweeping ballet, unaware of the world around her.

 

 

Unawareness was a miracle that only came with the nighttime. Nihi could sometimes forget herself during the peace that the night afforded her. It was nice to forget things, she’d decided, but forgetting was difficult, because she couldn’t make a conscious effort to do it; forgetfulness had to kiss her of its own volition, and she only felt its sacred lips in the serenity of the night. If the healing level of the Gardens had been open during the evening, Nihi would have been able to avoid the daytime almost altogether. Since that wasn’t the case, though, she was forced to endure the day.

 

At last, several condemning recognitions after the Dasaka and her friend, Nihi arrived at her destination, a stone-paved plaza. Above and beyond the square, towering like hovering jewels, the crystalline layers of the Gardens were draped in greenery that caught the Kentoku sun. There wasn’t much movement on those walkways; maybe it was too hot of a day for many nobles to visit their exclusive park. A few birds flitted here and there across the trees, though; Nihi, looking up from the sidewalk as she customarily did before proceeding across the square, caught sight of a gleaming Janu among them. The flash of gorgeous plumage cut through Nihi’s melancholy, and she smiled; they were beautiful birds. She forced herself to lower her gaze to the ground level tier of the gardens, which was vastly more active than the upper ones. There was always a sizable bustle around the healing centers; the injured and sick came for treatment, and their families and friends only added to the traffic. Nihi, one more Dasaka, wouldn’t be noticed among them.

 

She wove her way through the pillars, potted ferns, and moving bodies with practiced skill, until she reached a certain doorway. Outside the doorway was a plump Dashi behind a desk, writing something on a piece of paper. As Nihi approached, the Dashi looked up. Blessedly, she didn’t yet associate Nihi with the debate at the Markets; Nihi was sure that sooner or later, though, the kind Dashi would hear about it and stare at Nihi with the rest of the Imperial Palace. As Nihi approached, the Dashi put aside her paper and stylus and, bowing politely, smiled at her.

 

“Hello, Nihi,” the Dashi said. “Good to see you as always. How can I help you today?”

 

“Good afternoon, Gysha,” Nihi said, returning the bow. “I’m here to see my sister.”

 

 

“Even my sister, inefficient as she is, would have done something,” Nera scowled to herself, absently picking up and examining one of several round-polished crystal orbs in the bowl on the table between her and the oblivious ring-dancer. “My son, however, tells me he has done nothing.”

 

Kuno had stood when his mother had risen from her seat; but even with his feet habitually planted and his posture habitually perfect he looked diminutive beside his Datsue mother. Long years of power were traceable in the shapes of Nera’s small being. The furrow in her brow, the increased creases about her mouth, and her retreat into showy introspection were all telltale signs of Nera’s understated contempt. Kuno read these signs as easily as words carved on stone, and I read Kuno with similar effortlessness. As Nera toyed with the decorative balls, he clasped and unclasped his hands before him, shifted his weight from foot to foot, frowned slightly. The penitence and apprehension he may have felt before were forgotten in the face of his mother’s insults. She was excellent at making him angry.

 

“Ikori,” Nera summoned, not looking away from the sphere that she now clutched before her face like the skull of an enemy.

 

“Yes, ma’am?” I asked, bowing even though she did not see me.

 

“Dismiss the ring-dancer,” Nera commanded. “I wish to speak to my son alone.”

 

“Of course, ma’am,” I replied.

 

I approached the wooden stage, and knocked on it twice. The ring-dancer, so concentrated in her choreography, was only receptive to signs like these; she was trained to let go of most outside sights and noises, as they could disrupt her rhythm. The knocking was an exception; the wooden rap summoned the dancer and her ring back to the ground. She stopped its rotation, and held the ring upright as she bowed to the two nobles; then, shouldering it, she made her way towards the door. The sudden halt of the dance, though, had left the ring-dancer dizzy; as she walked towards the exit, her faltering feet had none of the grace that they’d possessed during the performance. She had already been paid, but I followed her, prepared to leave my master and his mother alone. I was about to shut the door behind me when Kuno’s voice stopped me short.

 

“Ikori,” Kuno ordered. “Stay here.”

 

“Ikori,” Nera said, pinning Kuno with my name as I stood motionless in the doorway. “You may leave my son and I alone.”

 

“I would like for Ikori to stay here,” Kuno countered, his voice slow and firm.

 

“And I would like for her to go,” his mother snapped back, swiveling to him.

 

“Your great pardon, ma’am,” I interjected as diplomatically as I could, bowing once more. “I deeply respect your request, but I am bound by mortal oath to obey my master’s orders and fulfill his wishes. If he would like me to stay, I must stay. I apologize. ”

 

“Ah,” Nera repeated, only this time she’d bared her teeth in the semblance of a lupine smile. She deliberately set down the crystal ball, and continued to address her son across the table. “Yes, quite so… Here, Kuno, is a servant who knows her place. Here is a servant who is unafraid to follow her orders, even when tackling adversity. Here is a servant who does not settle for failure. Ikori honors her family and her oaths by her actions.”

 

“Thank you, ma’am,” I responded courteously. I took a step back into the room, and made again to shut the door. Kuno nodded at me; this was his highest praise. 

 

“Wait just a moment, Ikori,” Nera said, holding up a finger. She took a long exhale, as if to collect herself. To Kuno, this could have just as easily been the gathering of storm clouds. Nera’s next sentences were precise. “Kuno, I am your Toroshu, your superior, and your mother. You are my son, and therefore you are my servant. You must learn to obey me. Dismiss Ikori.”

 

Kuno’s visage was as artfully blank as the ring-dancer’s had been. His resentment only made itself evident in the temperature of his reply. “Ikori, you may leave me alone with Toroshu Nera.”

 

I bowed to Kuno and departed the room, closing the door at last behind me. However, I pressed my ear against it. Kuno would not be deprived his shadow.

 

 

The plant cast dappled shadows in its corner of the room; the shade of its stems wove an elegant network of looping silhouettes on the wall. No longer as cleanly groomed as it’d been on the day Nihi had bought it – for she didn’t trust herself to do anything more than water it with every visit – the shrub’s green leaves looked brown by the amber light of the falling afternoon. On its table in the corner, the plant looked no different than it had during her last visit. Safe in its little pot in its bed of Ikian artisanal pebbles, the plant was much easier for Nihi to focus on than the flower in the other bed in the room.

 

Tucked beneath her sheets unnervingly cleanly from the waist down, Nachi sat up in her cot. She didn’t really sit, though, because she didn’t support herself. None of her uprightness had been Nachi’s own doing; the Healers had propped her up with cushions and a bamboo backrest, and secured her lower half with the covers, so that she’d be easier to feed. Nihi knew this because she’d seen it happen several times; every instance, when the Healers altered her sister’s positioning with practiced deftness, and subsequently gave Nachi mashed foods spoonful by spoonful, Nihi felt like she just was in their way. But she was disappointed to have missed arriving in time for Nachi’s meal, today; Nihi could sometimes imagine a little spark returned to her sister’s eyes at the taste of the mush.

 

Nachi’s hands were limp at her sides as they lay atop the covers, and her blue fingers were soft and flaccid as dead slugs. Her head lolled against the pillow, back and a little to the side facing the window, so that as Nihi entered the room, Nachi’s face wasn’t directed at her. The sound of Nihi’s entrance drew no reaction from Nachi, but Nihi hadn’t expected one. Nihi closed the door behind her, and then looked at the plant. She held the back of her neck in her hands and bounced a little in her knees as she gave its untamed foliage more of her attention than it deserved. At last, Nihi tore her eyes away from the pattern of shades on the wall, and looked at her sister. Nachi didn’t look back, of course. Nihi spoke, and was able to summon a smile.

 

“Hey, Nachi,” she beamed. “It’s good to see you. I hope your meal was nice today. I would have come sooner, but there were some people who slowed me down. They were rude, and I can hate them, but I can’t blame them for staring. I already told you what happened, and I know we would have stared, if it’d been someone else. Gysha told me you ate well today, that you swallowed everything perfectly. I’m proud of you.”

 

Nachi’s head slumped a little; she’d slipped a bit on her pillow. Nihi rubbed the back of her neck more, and her smile dropped. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I was inconsiderate—let me help you.” She approached the bed, and hesitated for just a moment before she reached it. She’d looked at how the sun gleamed off her sister’s forearm; it was so much slimmer than it’d been before Nachi’s incident. Even though Nihi had become acquainted to her sister’s new shape, sometimes under stark light its transformation could still affect her. Nevertheless, Nihi soldiered on. “Let’s free you up a little, hm?” she proposed.

 

Nihi tugged a bit on either side of the covers, giving Nachi ease enough to slide down into a deeper recline. As she did so, Nihi removed cushion by cushion, and finally took the bamboo support from behind her sister. However, she removed it too quickly, and Nachi’s head thumped lightly against the bed, still faced towards the window. Nihi, in her startled shame, almost fell next to her sister, but regained her balance as she waved the bamboo support out behind her. Nihi carefully set this down after a flailing moment and started at once to rub her sister’s head. It moved unresistingly at the neck under her strokes.

 

“I’m so sorry,” Nihi grimaced to herself as she continued petting Nachi. “Still not good at this, am I? Sorry.” She bent down with her free hand and plucked a pillow from the discarded pile on the floor. Nihi sat perpendicularly to the line of Nachi’s body and, turning to her sister with the pillow on her lap, gently lifted and repositioned Nachi’s head so that she could slide the pillow beneath it. As Nihi held Nachi’s head, she glanced at its uncomprehending eyes. As always, they stared at unseen patterns in the air.

 

Nachi’s eyes were open again, facing the right way, now. They stared dolefully past Nihi. Nihi turned her sister’s limp head towards herself, but Nachi still looked past her, as though she wasn’t there. The firelight danced in her eyes beside a new companion: ambivalent madness.

 

Nihi forced herself not to try and riddle reason from Nachi’s senseless gaze. She lowered Nachi’s head onto the pillow, and let its aimless vision take in the ceiling.  Nachi looked back at the plant, but she covered Nachi’s hand with her own as she went on speaking.

 

“It’s funny,” Nihi continued, trying to rediscover her smile; if she could smile, she could be happy. “My mind keeps going back to Kuno. Before you say anything—” She stuttered, but picked up her thread right away. “I know you’ll think that’s because he’s a male, and yes, I’ll concede that he’s one of just two I’ve ever talked to… and you were there the first time, remember how we giggled?” There the grin was. Nihi’s mouth pulled up of its own accord at the memory, and as she recalled the story, she squeezed on the unmoving digits beneath her own; they didn’t respond, but they were warm.

 

“We made such cool dudes of ourselves, that time,” Nihi chuckled, half-turning to Nachi before going on. “But no, I don’t mean I keep going back to Kuno like that. Even though he… well, I already told you about that, too, and I know if you get me started on talking about it, I won’t actually get to what I wanted to say! What did I want to say…? Ugh, you’re terrible!” Nihi threw her sister a mock-frustrated glance, and then her eyebrows puckered. “Hm. Okay. Right. I said keep going back to Kuno, but I mean that I keep going back to what he said to me. He told me exactly what I wanted to hear, and he’s a Fursic. No need to connect the dots, I know I was manipulated; I just don’t know why.”

 

Nachi kept staring at the ceiling. Nihi loved when her sister listened to her.

 

 

“Listen to me, Kuno,” Nera said, her voice carrying through the wooden door. “You have failed again, and I grow very tired of your failures.”

 

“Mothe—” Kuno started.

 

“You will address me as ‘Toroshu’ until you learn respect,” Nera condemned.

 

“I respect you,” Kuno assured.

 

“I disagree,” Nera sniped. “You do not follow my orders. You do not execute the tasks I assign you. And you do not address me respectfully even immediately after I instruct you to.” There was the sound of something heavy falling to earth, and the crack of crystal-on-crystal.

 

“The tasks you assign me are difficult!” Kuno shouted, raising his voice for the first time, hoarse angst coloring his words.

 

“The-tasks-you-assign-me-are-difficult, Toroshu!” Nera dominated. There was a second hefty noise, and a restrained, male grunt. “Difficulty, pah,” she continued icily. “No game is difficult if you understand its rules and its pieces. That’s how you cheat, how you win.”

 

“The Rora’s court is not a simple game,” Kuno said, before hastily tacking on a “Toroshu.”

 

“Of course it is, Kuno,” Nera instructed. “Power is power. Those that wish to remain isolated simply do so because they feel assured in their power here. The alliances and counter-alliances that cloud your vision are trifles that are forgotten in the face of the right opportunities.”

 

“I have tried to present them with opportunities, Toroshu. None have taken my bait.”

 

“Of course they have not: the bait comes from you. These politicians are stupid, but they can see the wires on simple lures. You are heavy-handed; you’ve always been heavy-handed. Your ineffective attempt in the Markets was, characteristically, heavy-handed. Enlighten me: how did you imagine one low-level Menti could change the popular opinion of the Rora’s city with her tirades of guileless hatred?”

 

“She had no affiliations to our family, Toroshu; there were no strings to be seen. I decided that she was a safe choice, but beyond that, the Menti I used was passionate and physically striking. I thought her a suitable candidate for stirring something in the populace.”

 

“’Passionate…’ ‘Physically striking…’ ‘Stirring,’” Nera listed languorously, her voice still bladed. “I wish that I didn’t know better than to believe that you found this Menti attractive. Don’t make that face at me, Kuno, I’m not naïve.”

 

“I am arranged to be united with the Chojo,” Kuno cited flatly.

 

“At my command,” Nera qualified. “And at the Chojo’s dismay, I hear. I would be dismayed as well, knowing the sort of male you are.”

 

My attention was drawn by a noise from my side of the door: footsteps, approaching around the corner. I immediately withdrew my ear from the doorway, and stood straight beside it as one of the Rora’s couriers approached. In her hand, plucked from a clinking bag she wore over her shoulder, was a little stick of crystal. She handed it to me, and we exchanged bows. As she left the way she’d come, I read the inscription on the tablet.

 

I knocked twice on the wooden door, and the heated conversation inside halted. “Master Kuno,” I called. “A message for you, from the Chojo.”

 

A few seconds later, the door opened. It was Nera, not Kuno, who took the crystal-engraved message from me. She read its inscription at arm’s length, and then turned back inside, passing it to her son as he made his way towards me.

 

“A party, Kuno,” she announced grandly, a wan smile stretching her wrinkled face. “Use it to your advantage; make me proud of you for once.”


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#760 Offline VoxuChro

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Posted Apr 09 2014 - 05:15 AM

IC: Celis (Sado, Markets)

 

Celis wiped her hands as she walked away from a certain vendor. She had been rather successful in procuring several much needed supplies, including various messenger birds. She gave the vendor the directions of her ship along with a message for them to head back and return in a day. She had business to attend to and she needed time for it.

 

As she continued through the markets she came to a small, hole in the wall restaurant. Despite the lack of finesse she knew it served some of the best food in the markets, yet was rather unknown to most yet she had been visiting it for years now, whenever she came to sado. One look to the dashi owner and a look of recognition came over his face as she immediately went back to prepare her usual dish. She sat at the left most table given their was only three, yes it was that hole in a wall restaurant. It did not take long for the owner and cook, yes he is that good, to return with a fresh plate of unadon. You see Unadon is a dish composed of Grilled Kozu eel coated with a sweet sauce and served atop rice. Many do not enjoy the taste of eel given it's oily texture, hence the adopted name the Kozu eel, yet Celis had acquired a taste for the oily fish and this cook had managed to counteract the oiliness with her mixture of sweet sauce. 

 

As she acquired the dish she took in a deep whiff of the steam that wafted from the dish and smiled gently 

"Ah... Novida you never disappoint me. If I did not know better I would say you worked magic on this eel." 

 

Novida, the dashi owner merely smiled even as Celis passed over the required payment and proceeded to slowly enjoy the meal, savoring each bite. She turned to Novida narrowing her gaze a bit as she took up a more conversational tone. Novida was one of the few dashi she respected and felt like she could hold a conversation with

"So Novida did you hear about that big debate in the market?"

 

Novida rubbed her hands over the apron "Frankly if I may be direct Toroshu, I find it is safer if I just don't get involved with such things. As such it keeps myself neutral and It allows me to serve any customer without prejudiced."

 

Celis smiled as she took another bite of the grilled eel, dabbing it in the excess sauce while collecting some rice on the eel "That is a rather interesting view to take and one that has it's own benefits. And as such I won't fill you in on the details of the debate so as to allow you to keep your neutral stance."

 

Novida bowed his head to Celis as she spoke this "Thank you Toroshu... Will you be having more?" Celis shook her head "No no Novida. Have some business to attend to but felt the urge to come have some of your amazing Unadon." Novida nodded and merely smiled "Then I shall leave you to enjoy your meal. Toroshu." 

 

Celis nodded as she continued her meal at the restaurant seemingly oblivious to those that passed by yet secretly noting each one who did

 

OOC: Celis is open for Interaction


Edited by Voxumo, Apr 09 2014 - 05:16 AM.

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BZPRPG CHARACTERS

Syvra-Tivanu-Vrina-Voulge-Kidona-Chivinix-Celis-Darvin-Draeverian 'DJ'-

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"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."

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