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Ghosthands

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About Ghosthands

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Year 12
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    BZPRPG Staff
  • Birthday 03/01/1995

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    Male
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    UK
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    Mostly just here for the BZPRPG, of which I've somehow become a staff member.

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  1. IC (Syrik) "Well, let's see..." Syrik began to count on his fingers for emphasis as he listed his topics of interest. "The Akiri, past and present; inter-Koro politics; the Maru..." His gaze became just a little more intense. "...and Xa-Koro. As in, who blew it up. And why."
  2. IC (Ageru Kilanya) Kilanya greeted the approaching First Son with a nod. "Jasik. I fear your sister and I don't quite see eye to eye." She allowed herself a small, wry smile, showing that the irony of the phrase given her recent disfigurement was not lost on her. "I hope you both understand that I ask only what I must, for the sake of all our people, not just the Ageru."
  3. IC (Syrik) "Well, for one thing, I wanted to be sure he really was dead," Syrik replied with a smirk. "Bit disappointing, that. I'd have liked to be the one to do it myself. But hey, we can't always get what we want. One less maniac in the world, at least." He glanced over the paper again, skimming a few lines of Aerus' decryption. "As for the notes, well, Echelon had his fingers in a lot of pies. Lot of interesting things have happened these past few years, after all. I figured there's probably some juicy intel to be had here." He looked back to Aerus. "And you want something from his old ones, am I right? Seems to me that we can help each other."
  4. IC (Syrik) Now I've got his attention. "Seems he underestimated both of us, huh?"
  5. The Zakaz map has been updated with the locations of the approved forts. Happy hunting, warlords.
  6. IC (Syrik) "He had you handling his correspondence, huh? Interesting..." From the desk, Syrik plucked a sheet of paper covered with handwritten text. One half was a transcription of Echelon's coded notes, the other Aerus' decrypted version. The Toa glanced over it, and laughed. "So, the paranoid old ####### changed his cipher," he said, then arched his eyebrows in surprise. "Oh, and you've cracked it. Very nice."
  7. IC "Aa-aa-ah," the stranger murmured. "So you are one of his. Funny, you don't seem like an Echelon kinda guy. Bit too...Matoran. Still, he always did find ways to surprise you." He pulled back his hood to reveal a young man's face under a Mahiki-shaped mask, and held out a hand. The gesture itself was non-threatening, but there was still a glimmer in those orange eyes that was difficult to read. "The name's Syrik. And yeah, you could say I was a tenant...maybe 'lodger' would be more accurate."
  8. IC The stranger laughed. "Oh no, quite the opposite," he said. "You could say I'm...well, it's a long story. Ah, but where are my manners..." He made a lazy flick of the wrist, and Aerus found himself spun back upright just as abruptly as he'd been inverted, and lowered to the ground somewhat more gently. The stranger cocked his head to one side. "So...who might you be?"
  9. IC A Toa stepped through the doorway. He was a stranger to Aerus: tall, hooded, athletic of build, gripping an unadorned Protosteel staff in one hand. Beneath the shadow of the hood, orange eyes widened briefly in surprise as they settled on the Matoran, then narrowed again as a smirk formed on the Toa's face. The man shot out one hand towards him, and Aerus felt an all-too-familiar force pull on his armour and his very bones. Elemental Magnetism hoisted him into the air by his legs to dangle, upside-down, above the desk. His cane clattered to the floor. The stranger advanced slowly, his left arm still raised, maintaining the field that held Aerus suspended. He moved with a gait that was confident and cautious at once; strong, but slow and deliberate, panther-like. "Well, hello there," he said calmly, still wearing that smile that was somewhere between amused and bemused. "Heard the old man was dead, but I wasn't expecting to find squatters down here."
  10. IC In the study at the hub of Echelon's erstwhile lair, Aerus was shaken from his studies by a sound that should've been impossible. The door to Echelon's base had a lock without a keyhole. Beneath the door's smooth metal surface lay a hidden mechanism of bolts and levers, designed personally by the late Necromancer and only openable via the precise application of magnetic fields. Echelon had built Aerus a key of sorts: a contraption of wires and electromagnets that would mimic the magnetic fields he was able to create personally to unlock the door. It was hardly an impregnable barrier; a Toa of Iron, for example, would have little difficulty absorbing or warping the metal out of their way. But to do that they would first have to find it, and the base was buried in the depths of a remote glacier, its location known only to a select few. Of those few, only Aerus had the means of opening the door. He, and the dead Necromancer himself. And yet, from the hallway that led to the base's entrance there came a series of faint but unmistakable clicks and grinds. Then the deeper grind of the door sliding open. Then echoing footsteps, growing louder as their source approached down the long metal entrance corridor. They would soon reach the study.
  11. IC (Ageru Kilanya) Kilanya was somewhat mollified by Arsix's answer. Hard numbers were what she needed, and when pressed, the new Rora had given them. Five hundred more troops would make a very significant difference on Odaiba, when added to the six hundred (or thereabouts) currently holding the line against the Rahkshi and Infected beasts. It was still not quite as many as she was expecting, particularly for a campaign to retake the island as Arsix had suggested, but it was a clear commitment and that would have to be good enough for now. The Dastana Rora's other words were less welcome — not because Kilanya disagreed with them, quite the opposite. Arsix almost could not have stated Kilanya's own views on Dasaka unity more accurately. To be lectured as though she were thinking only of her own clan...it rankled. It seemed especially rich when the Dastana's priority had so obviously been Iki, despite the paramount strategic importance of Odaiba, the island that fed the rest of Kentoku — which was the point she had been making with her previous remark, rather than the implication of "engorging themselves" with which Arsix had (perhaps wilfully?) misinterpreted it. There was no room for selfishness in this war council — but neither, Kilanya knew, was there room for pride. There was nothing to be gained from dwelling on the Dastana's apparent hypocrisy, much less arguing the point further. In practical terms, this was a satisfactory outcome: she would have the reinforcements she so desperately needed within the next few days. That was what really mattered. She rose from her seat at the table, and caught Dastana Jasik's eye as she made for the exit. She and the First Son had developed something of an unlikely rapport in recent weeks, despite their differences; he oversaw the defence of Sado much as she did for Odaiba, and he too had been wounded in that defence. Arsix had settled a little too well into the role of Rora; Kilanya found it easier to speak with the brother when she needed to coordinate with the Dastana.
  12. IC (Ageru Kilanya) As she looked up from the projected map to the new Rora, Kilanya's one visible eye narrowed, albeit almost imperceptibly. The Toroshu was no fool, and the vagueness with which Arsix had answered her question did not escape her notice. Arsix hadn't been coy about the Dastana's numbers before the push to retake Iki. Why ask how many were needed — surely she understood the situation on Odaiba well enough to know that the Ageru needed any and all possible reinforcements? Kilanya's mind was not eased by Jasik's interjection either, as he brought the discussion back to Plangori Morie's interest in Rahkshi materiel before she could respond. The male even seemed to flatter her with a wink and an allusion to her experience. Were the Dastana twins trying to hide something? Arsix answering with a non-answer, and Jasik deftly steering the conversation to a more comfortable topic? Kilanya could not help but wonder just how well the campaign for Iki had progressed. She had been strongly opposed to it on the grounds that the Dasaka could not afford to split their remaining forces into a war on two fronts, especially while they were barely holding onto their foothold on Odaiba and its precious farmland (let alone her private bitterness at the Dastana securing their homeland while she fought tooth and nail to hold even a fraction of hers). But the twins would not be dissuaded, assuring her that the enemy presence on Iki was relatively low and the campaign would be over quickly, after which Odaiba would be the focus. But now that it was, Arsix was apparently being evasive. Were the Dastana hoping to keep a portion of their forces in reserve for some purpose? Or did they simply no longer have the numbers she'd been led to expect? Or were Kilanya's nerves, frayed as they were from week after week of fighting, getting the better of her? Whatever the case, it would be best not to jump to any conclusions, nor voice her frustration too directly. How appropriate for the Dasaka that even with demonic hordes at their gates, politics still reigned supreme... "What Dastana Jasik says is true," Kilanya said levelly, and tapped twice on her new Rahk-metal sode. "It is a formidable metal." She turned her one-eyed gaze back to Arsix. "But to give an answer to the Rora's question," she continued, "I can only say that I need as many as can be spared, because I can spare none. Every Rahkshi we kill at the barricades is one that cannot slaughter my people..." She decided a little directness wouldn't do any harm. "...as they work in the fields to feed yours."
  13. That's fine for Zakaz native tech, especially since it's for a small vessel.
  14. Traditionally, rowing and sailing have been the main propulsion methods, yes. Lesterin are natural sailors and maintain a strong tradition of building swift, elegant sailing ships with complicated rigging systems etc. They're very much in their "age of sail". Skakdi, on the other hand, have no shortage of powerful labour and so have favoured galleys for their simplicity and reliability. There is plenty of overlap and hybridisation between the two, of course. However, engine technology has been gaining traction recently (no pun intended) on Zakaz, especially with Avak's sonic-powered motorcycles being in vogue among certain warlords, so powered vessels are becoming more common (but still relatively rare and rather more difficult to build).
  15. OOC: This was originally going to include a more detailed telling of Kilanya’s response to the Rahkshi invasion, including wrapping up some long-awaited character stuff, but it was getting far too long and self-indulgent so I will post that as a flashback at a later date. IC (Ageru Kilanya) It was difficult to find anything that had not changed in the Kentoku Archipelago since the assault of the Rahkshi. Buildings lay in ruins, even within the once-thought-impregnable Imperial Palace itself. Fields of crops on Odaiba were now smouldering wastes of ash and soot. Proud Menti warriors, once bearing the finery of status and rank, lay buried in unmarked graves. That which was not destroyed had been remade in the crucible of this unprecedented war, transformed to something that resembled the original, but was indelibly changed. Some bore new names: the Dasaka Empire had become the Dasaka Republic, the council chamber had become the War Room, Toroshu Arsix of the Dastana had become Rora Arsix. Toroshu Kilanya of the Ageru was still Toroshu Kilanya, and yet you would be hard pressed to find a living Dasaka in Kentoku who had changed quite as much as she had. Gone was the elegant stateswoman who had attended the Rora’s parties, who had pondered the balance of right and responsibility in the luxury of peacetime. As a crystalsmith must chip and carve away at their work, stripping away the unneeded crystal splinter by splinter until only the keen-edged blade remains, Toroshu Kilanya had been stripped down to a warrior. Her armour, once pristine and polished, bore the wear and scars of repeated battle (as did the skin underneath). No longer was it the elegant ceremonial set that had been her uniform of office: it had become practical, asymmetrical where it had been supplemented with scavenged pieces, and rough where it had been repaired without ceremony or filigree. Her face was grim, her back bent with exhaustion. Her hands lay together on the table as though still gripping her Soulsword. The most striking change of all was the deep scar that ran beneath a matching gash in her Kanohi Haunoru, starting in the middle of her left cheek and running up, through the eye socket, to terminate in her forehead. No gilded eyepatch for the warrior Toroshu: only a simple band of Ageru-green cloth was tied around her head to conceal the missing eye. For Toroshu Kilanya had not fled the Kentoku Archipelago as her Rora had commanded, despite evacuating as many of her people as she had ships for (barely a third). Nor, in the days that followed the exodus, had she heeded the pleas of her advisors to command the Menti of Clan Ageru from the relative safety of Sado. With the Ageru bearing the brunt of the assault on Odaiba, Kilanya had devoted herself to ensuring the line was held and her people defended, whatever the risk to her own person. The Rahkshi were fearless and relentless enemies, and to combat them, she’d had to become so as well. She knew her troops needed leadership; to allow morale to falter would be to invite disaster. So she stood amongst them every day she was able to, directing them personally when the Rahkshi raids came and fighting alongside them when the defensive lines broke. The sky-blue brilliance of her Soulsword and Haunoru-shield was the rallying beacon of the Ageru Menti. She had personally slain numerous Rahkshi, including two in the same battle that cost her an eye, when she’d become separated from her personal guard and been forced to fight the pair of monsters single-handed. Plates of the armour covering their curved backs had been cut away and hammered into a pair of sode that now adorned the Toroshu’s shoulders, curved gunmetal rectangles that looked oddly old-fashioned, harking back to the days when warriors wore broad leather plates for protection rather than the compact crystal of the modern era. Such a presence was she on the battlefield that there were now awed whispers among the troops of the Rakumetsu Toroshu: the Rahkslayer Toroshu. Kilanya was aware of the epithet, but it was cold comfort. It could not soothe her aching muscles, nor ease her wearied mind. It could not balance out the cost of this war. With every attack she lost more of her clan, her people. The death rate had slowed as they’d come to know their enemy, to learn their multitudinous powers and understand their tactics, but the creatures were simply too strong and too numerous for there not to be a steady stream of casualties as the conflict continued. The Ageru’s main settlement of Mahuika was lost; the home of her ancestors since Gestheru herself lay in ruin. It was simply too close to Koshiki; Kilanya had had no choice but to fall back to the old but defensible Fort Kizuno, near the western coastline and the bridges to Sado. Ageru Dashi farmed as best they could in the limited foothold the Dasaka currently maintained on Odaiba, and Ageru Menti held the line. The other remaining clans had bolstered their ranks, of course, but they were still stretched to breaking point. So, in a voice made hoarse by shouting orders and battle-cries, Kilanya said what she had been saying since Arsix had first established her war council: “I need more Menti.” There was a silence among the council at Kilanya’s words. The Ageru Toroshu’s personal action in the war effort — to the point of recklessness, some argued — was something of an elephant in the room. Her single eye was fixed not on Arsix, but on the projected image of her island home. “And so, while I am glad to hear this promise of reinforcements on Odaiba,” she continued, “I must ask exactly how soon, and how much of her forces the Rora is able to commit.”
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