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IC: Vazaria – Mashtet Fortress

Vaza’s bleary eyes blinked open. Slivers of moonlight were slicing down through gaps in the rotted roof overhead, silvery swords slashing at the shadows that Vaza was sheltering in.

It was midnight, or near enough to it.

It was time to begin.

Time to end.  

She sat up, dust and splinters falling away as she moved. She didn’t remember falling asleep. All she remembered was righteous rage and savage sorrow, eventually followed by a surprising sense of certainty that she found strangely comforting.

She looked down to the pendant clutched in her other hand, the green crystal appearing brown in places from the blood that had dried on it. Such a small, insignificant thing. It wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else, but for her it was a sign. A sign that she’d made the right choice. A sign that she was where she was meant to be, doing what she was meant to do.

She stepped out into the corridor and made her way back towards the main chamber to reunite with her allies. There was no hesitancy in her now. Her doubts had been dispelled. Her path was clear.

The children of Zataka had avenged her family.

Now it was time for her to repay that debt.

@a goose

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Embers - A Bionicle Saga - Chapters/Review

Class Is Out - A Farewell To Corpus Rahkshi - Chapters/Review

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

BZPRPG Mercenary Group - The Outsiders - Description - History - Base

Ghosts Of Bara Magna - Ash Tribe - Precipere - Kehla, Somok, Skrall, Gayle, Avinus, Zha'ar

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IC: Caana (Mashtet Fortress)

By the time Vazaria had reached the main chamber, Caana was already present and poring over a relatively intact map of Hanaloi, her yatate in hand. As the other Menti entered, Caana looked up at her and nodded in greeting.

OOC: @Nato G

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IC: Vazaria - Mashtet Fortress

She returned the nod as she moved over to look at the map. "You know our enemy better than I. Where will they be?" 

@a goose

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Embers - A Bionicle Saga - Chapters/Review

Class Is Out - A Farewell To Corpus Rahkshi - Chapters/Review

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

BZPRPG Mercenary Group - The Outsiders - Description - History - Base

Ghosts Of Bara Magna - Ash Tribe - Precipere - Kehla, Somok, Skrall, Gayle, Avinus, Zha'ar

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IC: Caana (Mashtet Fortress)

"They're based in an observatory, somewhere around here…" Caana used her index finger to circle an area near where their battle had taken place. "The Datsue likely knows the exact location, and we'll need her knowledge of the landscape too. I already have a rough idea of where we should set our first fires, but I'd prefer to work with all the available information at our disposal."

She straightened up, and turned her attention back from the map to Vazaria. "Speaking of which, do you know how many Kavinika we have left?"

OOC: @Nato G

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IC: Vazaria - Mashtet Fortress

"I don't even know how many we had to begin with," she admitted, "The Rahkshi aren't the most... conversational."

@a goose

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BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

BZPRPG Mercenary Group - The Outsiders - Description - History - Base

Ghosts Of Bara Magna - Ash Tribe - Precipere - Kehla, Somok, Skrall, Gayle, Avinus, Zha'ar

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IC: Caana (Mashtet Fortress)

"Mm."

She looked back at the map, her hand curled into a loose fist against her lips. Though seemingly deep in thought, her eyes were as sharp and aware as ever.

"Would you have any objections to leading this particular operation? That is to say… I believe you are the most suited of us to the task. Neither Falki nor I know the terrain, and the Mashtet Datsue is unlikely to be quick enough on her feet to avoid being caught in the fire. Your mask offers you a bird's eye view, and allows you to move faster than any of us bar the Rahkshi, who I would like to accompany you. Between yourself and them, you would be able to deliver the Kraata to the target areas at speed; any efforts to extinguish the fires would be rendered futile.

"Barring any objections, the Datsue, Falki and I – and, I suspect, whichever Rahkshi chooses to stay behind – will stay to defend the fortress until your return, in case the Mashtet or their allies launch an attack. That way, we can be certain that our sanctuary will not be captured."

OOC: @Nato G

Edited by a goose
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IC: Vazaria - Mashtet Fortress

"Of course," she nodded, her serene façade cracking slightly as eager anticipation surged through her. She wanted to be the one to light the fires, to inflict on her enemies the same pain she'd suffered. After everything she'd endured... she'd earned this. 

"Whatever you need."

@a goose

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BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

BZPRPG Mercenary Group - The Outsiders - Description - History - Base

Ghosts Of Bara Magna - Ash Tribe - Precipere - Kehla, Somok, Skrall, Gayle, Avinus, Zha'ar

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IC: Caana (Mashtet Fortress)

A warm smirk broke through Caana's previously stoic expression. There was a surprisingly deep satisfaction in this; not only to be on the precipice of seeing her plan made manifest, but to have won her allies to her side. Just hours ago, Vazaria had resented her leadership – now, she followed enthusiastically. This, then, was what it was to be a leader of women.

In that moment, Caana felt made for it.

"Excellent. Now we need only await the others."

Edited by a goose
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IC: Somei - Mashtet Fortress

"You may find our observatory to the north; by flight, it is the tallest tree you will find, near to where our forces first met."

Somei hobbled up to Vazaria, offering her a pair of kraata, the color of embers and blackened soot, the other an evolved green and blue. "Forest fires were a danger that always loomed, but the Fursic had tried to set fires before; we were able to limit it by controlling where it could spread and start. What we feared was a skystrike of lightning; sudden, uncontrollable, and it could happen anywhere."

"This one will set fires, but this one," she said as she picked up the green and blue kraata by its midsection, "is an energetic little one. It's lightning will catch multiple parts of a single tree, or multiple trees close together. Ideal for your purposes... that is, if you are fast enough."

The datsue smiled as the creatures crawled onto Vazaria. "But you are a champion of Zataka, so I have no doubt of your success."

OOC: @Nato G @a goose

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Vazaria - Mashtet Fortress

"They sound perfect," she returned the Datsue's smile as she cradled the creatures in her arms, "Thank you."

Behind the smile, however, one final doubt still hid. Was she deserving of the praise, of the faith of her new allies? She'd come here alone, full of confidence, only to meet with foes she couldn't defeat and allies far more capable than she was. She didn't feel like a champion... yet.

But once she'd razed this rock of its resources, left the empire with nothing but ash and anguish... "You said you'd identified the ideal areas to light our first fires," she turned back to Caana, "Where?"

@a goose @Keeper of Kraata

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BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

BZPRPG Mercenary Group - The Outsiders - Description - History - Base

Ghosts Of Bara Magna - Ash Tribe - Precipere - Kehla, Somok, Skrall, Gayle, Avinus, Zha'ar

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[Hanaloi, Mashtet Fortress (Falki)]
Falki had been watching the conversation in silence, ready to take up her weapons when the time came.   She was somewhat disappointed that she would be left at the fortress—she wouldn’t be able to meet Semeraed, if she still remained.  She wouldn’t get to show her the truth.

Semeraed is too smart for that, she reassured herself.   And Ilykaed is too much of a coward to come back.   It will be only those imperials, fine enough prey for a vulture—even though I would rather do it myself.
OOC:  @a goose @Nato G @Keeper of Kraata

[The Sea, near Odaiba (Semeraed/NPC]
Semeraed did not scream, as her mask was likewise cleaned.   It hurt, like a thousand tiny knives carving out her eye, but without her mask she simply had no energy to protest.   Or maybe it was that she already had felt a deeper pain, and she already new there was no helping the eye.   She barely heard the doctor attempting to assure her that the wound was very clean.

She was bandaged similar to Askha, a clean strip of cloth covering most of the left side of her face.   She gazed out over the star-kissed sea, tired deep in her bones but with no desire to sleep.  She would sleep when they found the bulk of the Kuychar refugees, she told herself.   Then she could see Enkhi, and maybe…

The stars shimmered in the heavens, offering nothing but their cold, distant light.

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC: Raika

 

The wiry dasaka stepped forward, casting their eyes across the hull. 

While by no means seaworthy, the ship seemed to be in remarkably good condition.

 

They turned to Yuna, who they knew at least had some experience with sailing craft.

.:So, what needs to be done? And how can I help? I may not have any of your experie-:.

 

They paused, and resisted the urge to smack themself in the forehead. 

Yuna was deaf to their voice. They'd known that the day before, having to layer their words with the force of a psionic attack to drill them through. But practical, day-to-day communication? That seemed out of the question for now. They'd need to devise some way to speak more efficiently (and in less of a violating way) to the pretty Dasaka. It would be impractical to be fully unable to speak to a crewmate on a long voyage, let alone a friend.

 

Ahri was exhausted from using his mindarm abilities to lift the ship. After a slight pause, Raika passed him her flask and then strode purposefully toward Mitsuri. They were a little reluctant, given what had happened the day before. But they at least knew that they could trust the fellow Willhammer. If She'd seen anything in Raika's mind, they would likely have woken up lashed to a tree rather than asleep beneath it. And she was the only one not shaking from exhaustion after raising the wooden carcass before them.

 

.:Good day,:. they spoke, forcing themself to meet Mitsuri's gaze. .:I was hoping you could tell me if I had missed anything important. And if not, what I could do to help with the repairs of this watercraft. It sounds like we'll have no shortage of hands, but still.:.

 

A pause, then,

.:...I cannot ask Yuna directly, and Ahri is in no position to answer any questions at the moment.:.

 

OOC: @Click @Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp

Edited by Lady Takanuva
fudgefudgefudge I MESSED UP HER NAME but it's okay it's fixed now.
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Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

                                       BZPRPG character masterpost

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                      "Just promise me something... don't let me go."

 

 

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IC: Caana (Mashtet Fortress)

"I believe the ideal targets are here, here, and here." Using her pen, she marked each spot with an X. "Dense foliage, meaning plenty of fuel, and each a good distance from expected response areas – not so close that they can douse it, and not far enough that they'll have time to dig a fireline. The strong coastal winds will work in our favour; by morning, the flames will have spread across the whole island. The wise will evacuate, and the unwise will die."

OOC: @Nato G @Keeper of Kraata @Mel

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IC: Vazaria - Mashtet Fotress

She almost hoped their foes would be unwise. This wasn't going to feel like much of a victory if none of their enemies perished in the effort. 

"Is there anything more I should know, or other preparations that need to be made?" She asked the group, as the kraata crept up her arms to settle under the armour of her shoulders, "Or shall I begin?" 

@a goose @Keeper of Kraata @Mel

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Embers - A Bionicle Saga - Chapters/Review

Class Is Out - A Farewell To Corpus Rahkshi - Chapters/Review

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

BZPRPG Mercenary Group - The Outsiders - Description - History - Base

Ghosts Of Bara Magna - Ash Tribe - Precipere - Kehla, Somok, Skrall, Gayle, Avinus, Zha'ar

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IC: Mitsuri - Oki Village

Mitsuri had indeed walked her way back to the coast, a slow process, but she was determined not to keep the others waiting for long. She would not be a burden, not to these people who had already suffered so much and gone out of their way to help her. Even now, she rested to the side, out of the way of the others, making a fresh poultice for her wounds from plants she had gathered on the way.

Most of her focus however was within Shinku, spiraling high overhead and keeping an eye on the ship rising from the water, giving sharp calls if it saw the ship growing uneven, but even this was hardly necessary. The Mindarms did masterful work, and soon enough the boat was risen and ready to be repaired. Mitsuri idly watched through Shinku's eyes as the bird perched on the ship's mast, appraising the vessel while her own hands almost automatically applied the poultice.

And so when she heard a voice in her mind projected from nearby, she jolted slightly as she yanked her perception back from her companion. Her shoulders quickly relaxed as she recognized Raika, and she tried to offer a sympathetic smile, though she wasn't sure how effective it was given the state of her face, scarred and covered in fresh bandages. On realizing that, she quickly looked away herself. .:I hope you slept well, friend. That is the best thing you can be doing for all of us in these times. You missed very little, at least in terms of what us more... mentally attuned Dasaka can help with. But I was just...:. Mitsuri grunted softly as she started pushing herself up, .:...thinking of checking with the others myself.:.

Once she was more or less eye to eye with the shorter Dasaka, Mitsuri caught her shoulder and tried to meet her gaze with a more serious expression, at least for a moment. .:Are you sure you are well, friend? The repairs can wait for a time, your health cannot any longer. I will not pry without your consent again, but please... at least consider my offer of assistance?:.

OOC: @Lady Takanuva

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On 2/2/2023 at 12:10 AM, Mel said:

[Sado, Streets(Morie)]
“Her name is unknown to anyone here,” Morie said, abruptly and out loud.  “Should she still be alive, we can consult the other Daikura at the palace and find her.   Should she be dead, I have no doubt she would wish you to be safe.”

Her tone of voice indicated that, indeed, there was some doubt.

“Now, let us go.”

OOC: @Perp

 

IC: Suzume - Sado Streets 

Alive, or dead?

Alive, or dead?

Alive, or dead?

In great, audible heaves, Suzume breathed in and out. Her chest felt over-pressured, on the verge of bursting. Her heart pounded in her ears. The stars were out and flitted this way and that, though it was daytime. Toroshu Morie and the band of Menti accompanying her were scarcely present – the words were very far away.

Everything was far away. Colourless.

She opened her mouth. Her throat was stuffed with cotton.

“I’m-”

The world faded from view, and a moment later she was on the ground, crumpled in a pile of gangly limbs and cloth.

She slept dreamlessly.

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IC: Raika

 

Several emotions grappled for space in Raika's mind. Their immediate response was to brush off the help. But when they tried to form a response to this end, it was as if they couldn't get the words out. Add to this that a growing part of them wanted some peace and clarity of mind. For things to feel simple and straightforward. 

But there was a very real danger if Mitsuri found out their identity as The Wraith, let alone the information Raika was carrying in their mind from years of espionage. 

 

Add to all this that three hours isn't really that much sleep, especially when one hasn't slept in three days. Wakefulness is either a fevered half-dream or a rictus of wired, anxious hyperclarity with the fragility of fine crystal. Raika was solidly set in the second of these camps, the smells and sounds of their nightmares still echoing in their memory.

 

As such, their response managed the twin achievement of being both blunt and potentially condemning.

 

.:To be honest, I could absolutely use some clarity. However: the only place I can call my own in this world is inside of my head, and I don't like sharing the secrets I have there.:. They chuckled through ideatalk. .:Also, I'd have to make sure I can trust you. I have a pretty good feeling that if you knew what was in my head, you'd want to kill me.:.

 

Cold terror slowly flowed into Raika's veins as they processed what they had just said. They'd shown cards that had been clutched to their chest most of their life, to a willhammer far more trained than they themself. They glanced anxiously at her, wondering what would happen now that the kavinika was out of the pen.

OOC: @Click

@Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp

Edited by Lady Takanuva
Forgot to tag rest of the group
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Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

                                       BZPRPG character masterpost

20220406_234727.jpg

                      "Just promise me something... don't let me go."

 

 

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[Sado, Streets(Morie/NPC)]

Morie sighed in annoyance as one of her party caught Suzume.   At least the girl wouldn’t ask any more questions, and they could bring her back to the compound within the gardens with no protest.   It would be nice if she could have gone there on her own legs, however.

::Let us return.::

The scouting group fell into position once again, two of the stronger members carrying Suzume’s unconscious form with the assistance of a mindarm.   Morie mused on what to do with the girl as they marched back through the streets, when a string of ideatalk cut through her thoughts.

::Excuse me, who’re you?::

She recognized the psionic tell—Zuto Nui even the Dastana’s ideatalk sounded common.   The former customs inspector had been elevated to Menti status by decree of the Rora, and by all accounts was doing her work acceptably.   Morie just wished she would take more care with her speech.   And her hygiene, for that matter.

::I am General Plangori.  What is it?::


::Well, see.   I just was doing my routine inspection and I came across a patrol and the thing was—::

::More concise explanation please.   We have an injured civilian to get to safety.::

::They were dead, Ma’am.  All five of them.::

::What.::

Morie stiffened, her mind suddenly razor sharp petals sensitive to the slightest twitch in the mental plane.   She locked eyes with the other three willhamers in a group one at a time, feelings and impressions flying between them at the speed of thought.

::Remove yourself; and show me as much of the scene as you can.   If there are daemon’s abou—::

::With all due respect, your toroshuship,   I don’t think this was the dark lady’s sons.  I mean could be, but let me—::

The Dastana investigator’s sighteye was blurry, conveying only the stark outline of the scene.   This was enough, however—the captain stabbed with her own knife in her own hand, a smashed head, a hole burned through the body.   There were demons that could do this, certainly, but with all of them together…

::You think menti did this, inspector?::

::Three menti, or two maybe, if one was well tr—.::

::Or one battlemaster.::  The former Toroshu’s mouth set in a thin line at the thought.   They could hardly afford to have any menti on the side of the invasion, let alone someone of a battlemaster’s skill.  Even if this wasn’t the case, it boded poorly for the city.   There were demons that could change shape and disguise themselves as well as any sighteye, but one of the few uses willhammers had was they could see through this.   That was not the case with Menti who had sworn themselves to such forces.

::I will convey the fact of this to your Toroshu.   Make a full report yourself—leave out no details.   Asagi will stay with you.:: She nodded at one of the willhammers, a trusted warrior of her clan, and the menti pealed off the group.   ::If you suspect those who did this might be close, run.::

Morie sighed, looking towards the gardens.   Evidently, Zuto Nui was testing her today.

OOC: @Perp I’ll follow up with Suzume in another post soon, so feel free to detail her dreams or whatever.

[The Sea, near Odaiba (Semeraed/NPC]
“I am sorry…if only I could have come sooner—”

“No, please.”  Semeraed tried to keep her voice calm and measured, kind and soft, but the tireness and pain ate at her.   She could not have Enkhi’s despair also on her mind.  “It would have been too much of a risk.   There will be others injured, who will need you more than I.”

She thought of the Kaazi warrior, Riko, unconscious on the boat.  She had not told Enkhi about this, with the fear that the fragile healer would insist on seeing her immediately.   She had been born sickly, the kind of child the harsher clans might have tossed out to die, but Ilykaed had given her the sana and the healer’s mantle, an honor she had carried uneasily ever since her childhood.

“It doesn’t hurt as much anymore,” Semeraed said, grasping for that small assurance.   The pain on the left side of her face had receded to a dull ache with Enkhi’s touch.   The healer smiled hesitantly.

“That is good.   You should still get some rest.”

Semeraed took the opportunity to escape from the sickroom, back into the cool night air.   She considered talking her bedroll out to the deck, but the coldness of the faraway stars seemed too much to bear, on this night.  Instead she slipped in next to Sedskar, resting a hand on his wrist as he murmured in his sleep.   She lay like that for several minutes, staring at the burlap ceiling of the boat-tent and listening to his breath, before exhaustion pulled her under like a riptide.

Her dreams were full of Falki’s face, not cold and terrible but warm and mischievous, as she had known her.   This only made them hurt more.

IC: [Sado, Imperial Gardens (Hatchi)]
Hatchi did not exactly relish brushing the soko.   The other horses seemed to tolerate imperial presence at least, though most snapped at all but Taajar if they attempted to groom or ride them.  Maki, however, seemed most insistent that only Hatchi see to her.  It wasn’t difficult work—Maki was exceedingly well behaved, but it did mean that Hatchi had to climb awkwardly onto her back to brush her mane, an undignified position to be in in front of the other Taajar refugees that had taken to tending to the soko.

Grandfather, when will you tell us the last story?

Not for a while now.   You must grow into it.   It is a tragic story.

More tragic than the old amuka?

A snort.  That was not tragic, little one.  Old people die all the time, and it is sad, but it passes.  A tragedy is a different thing.

Different how?

Brushing finished, Hatchi maneuvered back onto the ground, using zir cane to catch zir body falling forward, before carefully lowering one leg and then another, all the while ignoring the worried looks of the other dashi.

It was time to tend to other things.  The soko were impatient beasts, and hopefully someday soon the Kuychar would return.   Hatchi found zirself wondering what zi would do then.   Perhaps zi would continue to make lists here with the refugees—but something discontented still beat against zir chest, for all the attempts to be useful.

Pah, you are trying to get it out of me.   Tend to your duties, little one.  Stories are dangerous things.   Once they rest inside you, they will beg to be let out.  It is not a burden you should take lightly.

OOC: Hatchi open for interaction.

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC: Ageru Tamachan (Sado, Imperial Gardens)

The population of Soko being cared for in the gardens of the capital often got company from one who stood out for their striking, black coloration. This steed, a powerful, large specimen bred for war was not so much unwelcome as simply very easy to notice, for this color that was considered unlucky on their kind. Old superstitions like that were becoming a bit less important when every available hand was needed to deal with the... everything that was happening in Kentoku at present.

Ageru Tamachan was quite concerned about that everything. The Menti had only recently arrived in Sado on one of her sporadic, but always brief excursions to do some sort of care for her Soko, Sarala. The Ageru Soulsword was very active in the field these days, as a scout to keep an eye out for the dangerous creatures that were now infesting the isles.

Right now, she was returning from her own visit to Sarala, and was on her way to get something to eat, when she spotted a familiar face. She decided to speak up and get her attention.

"Hatchi," she spoke, seeming comfortable with taking to a given name, "how are you faring?"

OOC: @Mel

Edited by Geardirector

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IC: [Sado, Imperial Gardens(Hatchi)]
It took Hatchi a few moments to recall the face that greeted them now—so much had happened since zi first encountered the menti on the road back home. “Ageru Tama.  I am doing…about as well as can be expected.   I am still without my clan, although, as you can see, not without their soko.”

Hatchi glanced ruefully at Maki, who was currently becoming acquainted with Tama’s steed.  They were both large mares, bulky enough to challenge any young stallion, but Maki was broader and stockier, built to carry a big woman like Ilykaed, and her body all dappled subtle shades of pearl whites and browns.   Tama’s steed was taller and more gracile, her coat a uniform shade of deep, shimmering black, the kind of black that holds all other colors on its surface, waiting to spring forth.   She nickered curiously as she bent in to nuzzle the older mare, evidently excited to ingratiate herself into the Kuychar herd. Black was just a color to soko—they held no ideas about what it meant.


OOC: @Geardirector

[Sado, Yards(Morie/NPC)]

Morie had much to do once the group arrived back to safety.   First, she sent a messenger to Arsix, informing her of the brutal slaughter of the patrol.   Next was properly taking care of Daikura Suzume—the unconscious menti was deposited in a spare room in the barracks, divested of her valuables, which Morie secured for later, noting with appreciation the Plangori scarf that she wore, and swaddled in a futon. The erstwhile toroshu directed her servants to keep watch on the girl and bring her rice and roasted tea when she woke.  This taken care of, she began sending out feelers to the Daikura around the compound, seeing if she could put her finger on the whereabouts of Hiromi.


OOC: @Perp, and I guess @Palm if you're interested in Arsix personally responding to the incident

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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC Inokio | Sado

Sydelia had barely arrived when the familiar man appeared and sat in the chair opposite her and ceremoniously let his kasa fall from his head to his back to reveal his weary-looking Kanohi Rau. The menti seemed a little more flustered than she'd last seen him, as though he'd been roughed by ruffians or taken a bad spill along the way, and while he managed to mask the appearance of being affected by an inconvenience along the way his stress level was obviously through the roof to Sydelia's trained eyes. This menti could perhaps hide many things, but his stress levels were not among them. But curiously it was not his status as a ronin that he seemed anxious about, as though he played the role of an unsanctioned Menti and outcast ronin he still carried himself with a self-respecting air of aristocracy that matched the mood of some of the well-to-do patrons of the izakaya's rickety chairs. 

"My humblest apologies if I kept you waiting," he proffered with a downward-turned gaze. "I did not mean to be the second to arrive."

A waiter appeared and he ordered a hot saké, a miso soup and a few poached duck eggs to share. Sydelia ordered something as well for the pair and the waitstaff soon departed. Suddenly, the ronin's eyes burned with a different glow than before as he then looked up to meet Sydelia's gaze directly, as if he had gained his gumption anew and gotten a degree of unseen-before boldness. "I am grateful—and pleased—you chose to rendezvous... May I enter?

@Keeper of Kraata

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IC: Sydelia - Sado

She had ordered a salad and a light drink; for all her other vices, she did not much enjoy alcohol, and she did not want a hangover or a stomacheache when she returned for her next shift. And don't forget that you'd probably be saving a life, that too, Sydelia.

She flashed a smile. "Of course!" She felt a strange thrill, and slight dread, at letting an admittedly cute stranger into her mind. Fortunately, she wasn't a stranger herself to these kind of meetings. She hadn't said a word; only continued to nibble on her salad, watching the male's face. She let her Sighteye do the talking.

OOC: @EmperorWhenua

 

IC: Ahri - Oki Coastline

The coastal breeze was invigorating, and with the rush from Mindarm and the breeze, Ahri almost forgot the circumstances he was stuck in. He looked over the boat, and at Yuna inspecting it. "You know, we're going to need lumber either way, plus extra. I'm going to go get some of the more able refugees and organize some teams. Need anything else from the camp, Yuna?"

OOC: @Click @ARROW404 @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp

The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Ageru Tamachan (Sado, Imperial Gardens)

She cast a glance back over her shoulder, her gaze resting with some approval at seeing her steed get acquianted with one of Hatchi's herd. It was an attractive thing to see, and she did appreacite the relatively open welcome Sarala had gotten on her in-frequent visists to the new den of the creatures.

"Indeed, she's nearly back to her best, pristine self. The environment here is doing her a world of good"

The same couldn't really be said for the Ageru Soulsword who was speaking. Her appearance had never been particularly glamorous, one that spoke of rough strength and living, and of lesser means to provide for life. One of her crystalline shoulderplates bore a noticeable web of cracks that spread from a point of impact.

"I'm just looking to get something to eat, would you... would you care to join me?" she asked, hesitation very evident in her voice.

OOC: @Mel

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IC: Suzume - Sado, The Yards
 

Bundled in a nest

the slumbering sparrow wakes

she will sing no song
 

Perception returned slowly, and in chunks. Sound was the first to begin rousing her, in bursts of intensity; the bark of orders issued, yelping of the injured as they were attended to, the omnipresent warbling drone of hushed conversations. All of it seemed a dull roar to the waking Daikura Suzume, who was used to solace and quiet. Her eyes fluttered open, and the world was a monochrome blur – colour lagged behind, gradually seeping back into the little she could see. Awareness was even more gradual, the thick fog within her head slow to dissipate. Suzume remained groggy and disoriented. She could feel her tongue now, dry, thick, and heavy. A faint metallic taste; blood, or maybe bile. Her limbs ached, and every inch of her body was cold and on the verge of shivering, despite the warmth of the air. Everything in her vision was dim, but she could just about make out two or maybe three person-shaped blurs before her.

It was wrong, something was very wrong. A snap realization sheared through her fugue, as her other senses began functioning again. Little details like the texture of the fabric beneath her fingertips, the scent of a place foreign to her, non-recognition of whatever voices she could pick out – it all painted the suddenly clear picture that Suzume was not where she was supposed to be, if wherever that was was a place she felt safe. This environment was alien. Panic and fear threatened to overwhelm her again, had confusion not been the sensation that had taken root immediately and grown.

Pushing against the futon that was not hers, Suzume struggled against her sore muscles to right herself into a sitting position. She immediately regretted it once she succeeded – a new wave of light-headedness almost toppled her again, and she noticed the figures before her stir.

“Where…” she rasped, and swallowed. No improvement. “...Where am I?”


OOC: @Mel

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IC: Caana (Mashtet Fortress)

Caana cast her eyes over Falki and the Datsue, waiting for a reply to Vazaria’s question; when none was forthcoming, she turned her gaze back to the other Menti.

“Farewell, Vazaria; may Zataka fan your flames.”

OOC: @Nato G

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Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - KouraLearu - Alteora - Fuacht - Caana Nessen - Merrill

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IC: Vazaria – Hanaloi

With a resolute nod, the vulture activated her Kadin and flew forth from the fortress, duty-bound to deliver devastating annihilation to the island beyond.

* * *

Vazaria was free.

Fate had long ago forced her to shed the shackles of caste and clan. Zataka had dispelled the doubt and despair from her mind. And now the burden of her harrowing history had been lifted.

She had allies. She had a cause.

And now, she could finally have her revenge.

Caana had suggested three locations on the island for her to target, but with the lightning kraata now offering a way for her to spark fires without even having to stop, she decided to make some adjustments to the plan on the fly.

As she flew along the same course that had brought her to battle hours earlier, the kraata cradled in her arms sporadically strafed the treetops with lashes of lightning, scattering spot-fires in Vazaria’s wake. The wind whipping in her face offered her no opportunity to smell the smoke, but the ominous, growing glow at her back told her all she needed to know.

The towering tree that marked the position of the Observatory flitted by in the dim distance as Vazaria continued on her way. She soon reached the first of the locations Caana had identified, and flew down through the foliage to land at ground level, lingering only long enough for the kraata to set the undergrowth alight before taking off again. Onwards she went, intent on repeating the process at the remaining two targets before her own wildfires caught up with her.

She wondered how many of the island’s inhabitants were in the forests below, flailing in the flames. All of them, she hoped. This victory would feel hollow without casualties. 

Deep down, though, there was a small, selfish part of her hoped there would be survivors. She wanted the empire to hear whispers of what had happened here, of the night that Zataka's sickly star had streaked across the skies of Hanaloi, slashing its forests asunder with fiery light.

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Embers - A Bionicle Saga - Chapters/Review

Class Is Out - A Farewell To Corpus Rahkshi - Chapters/Review

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

BZPRPG Mercenary Group - The Outsiders - Description - History - Base

Ghosts Of Bara Magna - Ash Tribe - Precipere - Kehla, Somok, Skrall, Gayle, Avinus, Zha'ar

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OOC: Please experience with the recommended vibes.

 

IC: Caana (Mashtet Fortress)

Caana stood, solitary, atop the ramparts. The view offered her the ideal perspective for archery, and this was the justification she would have offered to any who questioned her. In truth, though, she was there to watch the fire rise. To watch her fire rise.

Oh, Vazaria could contest her claim, and Caana would allow it; after all, she knew the truth, and she had no appetite for glory. But the vulture had been directionless before her arrival, acting at the whims of Rahkshi. In Caana's hands, Vazaria was a weapon, a fully-realised instrument of destruction –  and with her guidance, Falki could become even more.

Already, she could see the red glow amidst the trees; she inhaled deeply, savouring the smell of smoke. This was her first great achievement, the first proof of her theory – once the roar of the flames had subsided, the forest would fall silent for decades to come, perhaps even centuries. And somewhere out there, somewhere beyond her sight, the survivors were huddled on boats, watching their homes burn. Her unwitting disciples.

Hambra, no doubt, was among them. The Ronin felt a pang of disappointment as she realised the Jahagir would never understand the gift Caana had given her. Hambra thought her just another Imperial, acting out mindless violence upon the world around her. She failed to see the vision behind it all. But then, hadn't Caana known from the start that it would be this way?

This was the path she had chosen.

This was the only way to save them, and they would hate her for it.

There was one, though, who might understand – the one who had started it all, the catalyst of Caana's evolution. The first, truest expression of Dasakan potential.

Caana looked out over the burning horizon, and wondered if the Rakumetsu Toroshu was watching.

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On 3/3/2023 at 8:53 PM, Keeper of Kraata said:

[Sydelia] ordered a salad and a light drink; for all her other vices, she did not much enjoy alcohol, and she did not want a hangover or a stomacheache when she returned for her next shift. And don't forget that you'd probably be saving a life, that too, Sydelia.

She flashed a smile. "Of course!" She felt a strange thrill, and slight dread, at letting an admittedly cute stranger into her mind. Fortunately, she wasn't a stranger herself to these kind of meetings. She hadn't said a word; only continued to nibble on her salad, watching the male's face. She let her Sighteye do the talking.

IC Inokio | An award-winning eatery in Sado

Sydelia rightly guessed Inokio's wish to enter her mind, the equivalent to entering a private room and shutting the door to outside listeners. As far as he was aware neither of them had been followed to the eatery, but the ronin's life was rife with paranoia and espionage so he took great pains to make all risks measured to the milligram. Telepathically inserting his thoughts into Sydelia's mind just so offered him the least amount of risk. He nodded at her invitation and then waited in silence. As soon as the food and drinks were provided, Inokio wasted no time in seizing a quail egg with the chopsticks and entered.

::I know who you were,:: his voice said in Sydelia's mind, or rather, a voice that sounded as Inokio imagined himself to sounding. It came in broken sentences that were more pictures than words, thoughts that sunk into her own thoughts like claws in dense fur. ::I know this about you because of what you are now. We were once butterflies who flitted at the same tree.::

The implications were visceral—the man was claiming to be a former Fursic, and by means of his demonstrated precautions was adept at spying. Claiming to be a former spy was a dangerous thing to do, it meant he had enemies and agendas, and spoke nothing about his current loyalties. With a 'normal' Dasaka that may have been the end of the discussion, an exit explained with a No thank you—this is too much drama for a lunch meeting, but Sydelia was not one to adhere to those standards and she didn't back down. For her, Inokio's words likely excited her for the dangers it all but guaranteed and he indulged her fascination further

::Knowing someone's name from behind a one-way mirror holds unbalanced power over the other, which I want to address. My name carries no honor, my dignity is a thing of memory, and telling people who I am places them in danger, but I am compelled to tell you my name so that you may know who you are dealing with. I wish to deal with you. I wish to gain your trust, or, failing that, your respect, because I wish to work with the versions of you from both the past and present.::

He deposited the quail egg in his maw and savored the creamy yolk. It was a shame for Sydelia that none of Inokio's speech was carnal. 

::Do you want to know my name, Mashtet Sydelia?::

Edited by EmperorWhenua
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 IC: [Sado, Imperial Gardens (Hatchi)]
Hatchi smiled.  The hesitancy in the menti’s voice made zir feel a little warm inside—it was always nice when someone else cared enough to be polite to you, and it was a privilege granted by precious few in Sado to a lone Taajar.  Then zi wrinkled zir nose.
 
“I would enjoy that.  Unfortunately, I smell of soko and saddle oil right now.  For the sake of both of our appetites, I should have a quick wash.  Is there a place we can meet up?”
OOC: 
@Geardirector 

[Sado, Yards (NPC)]
Suzume’s crusted eyes lit upon two Dashi in the corner of the room—both were dressed in simple dark-plum kimono, and one whispered to the other, who promptly stood up and left.  The other approached Suzume knee-walking, then bowed deeply before settling in beside her futon.

“Miss Daikura, we are in the Imperial Yards.  General Morie has ordered that you be tended to here until you are fit to train.  Usukō is fetching nourishment.  Do you desire anything else to make you more comfortable?”

OOC: @Perp

[Hanaloi, Mashtet Fortress (Falki)]
Falki simply watched.   This was a means to an end, but she preferred blades, not fire, and no one came screaming out of the forest.   Something sunk deep in her stomach, the assurance that the cunning Imperials had already run.  She would taste no true blood tonight.

She glanced up at Caana’s shadow, on the ramparts.  She could tell the outcast was thinking, although about what, she had no idea.  Falki shuffled back and forth impatiently, her eyes occasionally darting back towards the forest.  She wondered, where there any more of those little Rahi in there?

OOC:  @a goose @Nato G @Keeper of Kraata

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC Yuna - Oki Village

"Huh? Oh, no, no, I've asked enough from you for a while, don't wanna over-do it, y'know?" I laughed, but it came out more nervous than intended.

I still had that monster inside to deal with. And I wanted to deal with it before Raika or Mitsuri had to see it.

 

@Click@ARROW404@Keeper of Kraata@Lady Takanuva

 

Edited by The UltimoScorp
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IC: Ageru Tamachan (Sado, Imperial Gardens)

"Yes that's acceptable. I can meet you over at the exit to the main complex" Tama answered, and she turned to head in a different direction without another word. She did also have a few things to take care of, like seeing a crystalsmith if she could find the means to procure their services. Her last dragons had been spent a while ago-

She stopped, turning to look at Hatchi over her shoulder, "I'm... I bid you fair travels till then"

Then she actually left.

OOC: @Mel

Edited by Geardirector

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IC: [Sado, Imperial Gardens (Hatchi)]

There was no fresh water in the gardens for bathing, any who wished to clean themselves had to be content with a cold saltwater scrub.  Well, anyone in the rabble at least.  Hatchi was pretty sure the high rank clan-affiliated menti warriors still had access to the few hotsprings on the island.  Well, zi was use to it—it wasn’t like bathing on the caravan trail was particularly luxurious either.

It was now too warm for the firs they had worn when they fled Odaiba, so that was one thing zi didn’t have to worry about washing.   Taking up the unvarnished cane one of the other taajar had carved for zir, zi walked to the haphazardly erected canvas “gate” that separated the refugee’s tents from the rest of the palace.

Tama had left in a hurry, so she might still be caught up with something.  Hatchi leaned against a wall to wait.  Zi missed Myzru, he could try and eat zir mask rings all he wanted.

OOC:
@Geardirector

There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC: Suzume - Sado, The Yards

Detail flooded ever faster into the world around her – the figures before her were no longer blurred shapes, the subtle lines of their faces discernible. To Suzume, it was almost as if she were waking up into a dream, rather than out of one. What little she remembered of her previous waking moments in the street felt equally surreal and fragmented. Had those events really happened, or were they imagined? It was hard to tell at the moment.

Beneath the turbulent glow of the world clarifying around her, Suzume could feel that it was all painfully real. Something bad had happened, and it wasn’t a dream she could be rid of by simply waking up. The words spoken to her by the remaining figure in the room registered, but were not fully grasped. Unconsciously, she patted her hands around her person, searching for something that wasn’t there.

“My shinobue,” she muttered, cotton-mouthed. “My flute. I need my flute…”

Through the stupor, something sparked the faintest echo of a memory in her mind. At once, Suzume realized what had triggered it – the faint smell in the background. Salt and brine, unmistakable. The kind of scent that permeated everywhere when you were in proximity to the ocean shore, near piers or dockyards or other structures that stretched out into the waters, foaming and churning.

Hadn’t she been somewhere like this before…?

 

OOC: @Mel

Edited by Perp
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IC: Ageru Tamachan (Sado, Imperial Gardens)

It turned out to be easier than Tama had expected to find someone available to do repairwork on her shoulderplate. Easier than she'd feared, at least. She had to leave it with them for some time, just so they would actually have time to get around to it in between all the other work they were swamped with. No surprise, weapons and armor depreciated quickly in the face of the Rahkshi.

She rolled her shoulder, never quite comfortable when her armor didn't rest against it or anywhere else she wore it. Her swordarm needed to be as good as possible, it had gotten a lot of work recently. The amount of parries she'd been doing would have blunted any physical blade.

The training yards that still stood nearby to the School of the Mind were not a place that Tama had assumed she would ever return to willingly, but here she was after all. It had a very different character now. Finding a sparring partner was easily done, and she could put her mind to getting some real practice done, no fuss about her style or affect. Everyone here had more important things to worry about.

She cut the practice session short, delivered a bow to her partner, and went to meet with Hatchi.

"Hello. I hope I didn't keep you waiting" she said as she arrived.

OOC: @Mel

Edited by Geardirector

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IC: [Sado, Imperial Gardens (Hatchi)]

Hatchi shook zir head.   “No, I was over-eager to get going, I think.   I see you have been occupied with needed things.”  They gestured to the menti’s missing pauldron—no doubt it was getting patched of the crack that had lanced through it before. “Now, let’s see what the tents have to offer, shall we?”

There was no former “mess hall” in the imperial gardens, at least for the dashi and others refugees who could not lend their blades or their skills as psionics.  However, a motley collection of former restaurant owners in the city had collected into a little hamlet of tents in the outside, with free meals exchanged for the price of a token, twice a day.   The smell of steamed buns, roasting fish, and boiling broth percolated the air around them as the menti and former caravan leader collected their tokens from the dashi at the gate.

OOC: @Geardirector

[Sado, Yards (NPC)]

The dashi bowed again.  “When you have finished your meal, I will inquire with General Plagori as to the whereabouts of your flute.”

At this, the other dashi, Usukō, returned, carrying a tray with a bowl of rice, miso soup, a small cut of roasted fish, pickles, and a cup of weak green tea.

OOC: @Perp

There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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  • 3 weeks later...

IC: Mitsuri - Oki Village

Mitsuri involuntarily took a step backward, eye narrowed. It occurred to her in that moment that she still knew very little about any of her rescuers, nor if they had ulterior motives for rescuing her. Anxiety coursed through her, preparing her limbs, atrophied as they were, to run; purely by habit, she was already reaching out to Shinku to follow her out...

Listen Gankonut, you can't let your emotions get the best of you like that. You want to make the most of the situation? Calm down, sit tight, and let them make the first move.

The voice unexpectedly bubbled up from her past, knocking the wind out of Mitsuri as effectively as any physical blow could have. She took a quivery breath, and another, opening her good eye that she hadn't consciously squeezed shut to see the fear in Raika's eyes, to realize that that same fear had been seeping into her mind over their connection. And once she realized that, she sealed off that emotion from her own and calmed down as she had been taught. She knew how to deal with that fear in Rahi, the fear that made one feel so trapped and isolated and ready to lash out. She knew with certainty that Raika would not hurt her, they were just scared of whatever past they hid.

Mitsuri let a very slight smile spread across her face, and reached out her hand again for Raika to take, an anchor in the storm of emotion. .:I'm willing to offer my help and not my judgement, Raika. But trust has to go both ways, and it begins with an act of faith.:.

OOC: @Lady Takanuva

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IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki:

With a deep breath to calm her jangling nerves, Yuna stepped into the hole in the side of the ship. There it was. Laid out on the deck was the still form of one of those monsters. It's shell was a sickly brown color, reminiscent of the one she had fought, and she failed to suppress a shudder.

Yuna knelt down to take hold of it's arm to drag it out but the curled, taloned fingers of the thing made her reconsider. If by some chance it was still alive, she'd rather it not wake up with her in front of it. She moved around to the things leg and gingerly picked it up. It was heavy, heavier than she'd expected. Yuna grimaced, she hadn't had the time to rest that the others had, and it had already been a long day with fishing, rescuing the others, and raising the ship. Her muscles burned.

But she was the only one who could do this right now. Ahri was off getting supplies and people, and she didn't dare to ask Raika or Mitsuri for help after what they'd been through.

It was up to her.

Gritting her teeth, she opted to just drag the stupid thing out. The sound of metal dragging on wood, muffled swears, and ragged breaths became her world and she slowly hauled the dead creature out of the hole. It got caught on more than a few edges, and by the time it finally fell limply to the sandy ground she was entirely exhausted.

Panting, she took a quick look around to make sure no one was watching her, then reached out to the sea, and a swell of water came forth to pull the carcass away from the beach, never to be seen again below the waves.

Finally done, she collapsed on the sand.

@Lady Takanuva  @Click

Edited by The UltimoScorp
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IC: Ageru Tamachan (Sado, Imperial Gardens)

"Yes, it was high time I found someone to give that a look." She answered quite matter-of-factly. A simple statement about that which could be uncontroversially agreed upon, she was very good with those.

Tama weighed the token in her hand for a moment, mulling over what she'd be having. Actually having multiple choices was still a bit new for her... fish? No, she'd already had one herself just recently and she was very used to that. She ultimately settled on a bowl of the steaming broth that she saw one of the cooks serving. The inviting smell and warmth of something to hold in her limbs as she went to sleep on solid ground rather than in the saddle sounded ideal.

OOC: @Mel

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/9/2023 at 11:15 PM, The UltimoScorp said:

IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki:

With a deep breath to calm her jangling nerves, Yuna stepped into the hole in the side of the ship. There it was. Laid out on the deck was the still form of one of those monsters. It's shell was a sickly brown color, reminiscent of the one she had fought, and she failed to suppress a shudder.

Yuna knelt down to take hold of it's arm to drag it out but the curled taloned fingers of the thing made her reconsider. If by some chance it was still alive, she'd rather it not wake up with her in front of it. She moved around to the things leg and gingerly picked it up. It was heavy, heavier than she'd expected. Yuna grimaced, she hadn't had the time to rest that the others had, and it had already been a long day with fishing, rescuing the others, and raising the ship. Her muscles burned.

But she was the only one who could do this right now. Ahri was off getting supplies and people, and she didn't dare to ask Raika or Mitsuri for help after what they'd been through.

It was up to her.

Gritting her teeth, she opted to just drag the stupid thing out. The sound of metal dragging on wood, muffled swears, and ragged breaths became her world and she slowly hauled the dead creature out of the hole. It got caught on more than a few edges, and by the time it finally fell limply to the sandy ground she was entirely exhausted.

Panting, she took a quick look around to make sure no one was watching her, then reached out to the sea to pull the carcass away from the beach, never to be seen again below the waves.

Finally done, she collapsed on the sand.

@Lady Takanuva  @Click

OoC: Sorry y'all, for some reason I had a lot of trouble getting into the Kentoku side of things, but I'll put in some more effort here now.

IC: Ikyazu and Yoka

The shared body of the two Iden-users peered around the hull of the vessel. Rest finished, Ikyazu had gotten up to inspect it some more, and now heard a peculiar grinding sound from the other side. The source became apparent as she came into view. A chill rand down both of their spines as they beheld the empty shell of a Rahkshi's armor. Setting her jaw, she kept herself from clenching the side of the boat too hard, and approached the collapsed Yuna. "Easy," she said, not quite as gently as she intended to. She wasn't too experienced with 'gentle'.

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IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki village:

 

The not-Menti nearly jumped right out of her skin, and more literally jumped to her feet, panic written all over her mask, "Zuto Nui, don't sneak up on a girl like that!"

The Realization quickly set in that if she hadn't heard Ikyazu approach, she might also have not seen her. Which meant.....

"How.... how long were you watching me?"

OOC: uh oh!

@ARROW404@Keeper of Kraata@Click@Lady Takanuva

Edited by The UltimoScorp
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