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BZPRPG - Kentoku Archipelago


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IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki Refugee camp:

Internally, I groaned. I should have guessed a Menti would be a stickler for Order.

"Well, it's not like you two are in any fit state to go anywhere just yet. Get a couple of days of rest in you, give it some thought."

I shrugged. "Zuto Nui help you if you snore, though. We had to hide one Menti in the basement with rugs over the opening for fear she'd draw those creatures to us with the noise!"

@Keeper of Kraata

@TL01 NUVA

 

Edited by The UltimoScorp

 

                                                                                                                                                       

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 [North of Odaiba, At Sea (Fanai/NPC)]
The Dastana mindarm raised an eyebrow.  “Of course.   Still, don’t like our odds against four of these things—and if there are seven, we run.   The black and brown creatures are a nuisance, but they’re not invincible, they just heal incredibly fast.   I’ve heard stories about the blue things, though, and none of them are pretty.  Don’t let them touch you.”

The two soulswords stood at attention at the railing, while Fanai had placed herself towards the prow, allowing her awareness to blanket the ship.   Many willhammers had found out the hard way that the creatures were not to be commanded on the mental plain, but Fanai had studied all her life to become part of the scenery—she could only hope that in a fight she could float unnoticed on the surface of the creatures thoughts, predicting their movements.

There was no time for hope however, or for anticipation.  There was only now, and the mental plane, and feel of the world around her, as she let go of her singular ego and knit into the fabric of reality, becoming simply a collection of senses.
OOC:  @Keeper of Kraata

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

[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: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
Hyan-Fei does, in fact, notice Kura's verbal stumble.  So she's trying to find someone specific while hunting for survivors?  Odaiba is big, and even with the surprising frequency of encounters with other wanderers, the odds of finding a specific one are very slim.  If she, Hyan-Fei, were in Kura's position, she would likely have given up the search if her first encounter was not her intended one.  But deep down, she supposes she admires her new companion's persistence.

Instead of making these thoughts known, she simply says, "Right.  Guide stones."

Camp fully broken now, and backpack slung back over her shoulder, Hyan-Fei stands, dusts herself off, and shadows her brow as she looks once again down the branches of the river flowing in different directions.  "I suppose the only question now is, would west or south be a better pick?" she asks, inviting Kura to choose which way they will search first.

OOC:
@Palm sorry again about the wait mate

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IC:

"There's no need for gratitude," The (former?) Eiyu Toroshu said softly, activating her own Kanohi in kind. She had seen her sister's discipline often enough over the months that it was nothing to duplicate it again. Her own unseen hands gathered materials to supplement Saritsu's own while she turned her gaze back to the Datsue. Whatever the difference between their castes, Datsue and Menti, she understood that the difference in their ages was not so clear. The Old Wyrm had grown old before his time it seemed to her, and he was not so resigned to it as she might think. "Whatever our differences, Jahagir, I couldn't ignore children in need of assistance. Tajaar or my own clan. I..."

Nihonei shrugged. It didn't matter. The scholar was out of words and the dragons had never had much use for them anyway. Her own clan was gone or sheltered inside the capital if they had made it at all. Or if the capital still stood. But those were thoughts for another time. Her mind, she had found, was her best friend and her worst enemy; the same foresight, the same wisdom, that had allowed her to excel as a Toroshu of the Eiyu was a curse now. It allowed her too much capacity for thought. Too long to ruminate on the end of the days and what had become of her people and might yet become of her and hers. She forced them out of her mind now, focused on the task at hand. She gave the smile that Lii would have rejected to the children in her care, crouching to better approach their level.

Saritsu's mask would be better served for the proper setting of bones. But Nihonei, hers could be used to take the pain while she worked. So she did. She smiled and she used her illusions to take their pain while Saritsu worked.

"Young Lii?"

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Askha & Somei - Hanaloi, Northeast Shore

The ocean seemed to quiet as the Dastana vessel entered the north bay of Hanaloi. The surrounding cliffs deadened the sound from the surrounding sea; only the lapping of the waves upon the bay and the cries of gull rahi. Somei pointed the saihoko at the helm of the ship to an array of rocks sticking out from the tide; once, Somei remembered, this had been a carefully maintained jetty made to look natural; now, it was in disrepair, and was indeed just a pile of rocks poking out of the water. But as the vessel grew nearer, the reason for their emplacement became apparent: the cliffs revealed a set of steep stairs. From afar, the cliffs looked sheer; only by moving in would the stairs become visible.

Askha shaded her eyes as she gazed at the top of the cliff. She didn't spot any movement; still, she sat behind the railling, activating her mask. Moments later, she was on top of the cliff. She drifted through the trees, watching for observers. She even checked the old observation post, camouflaged into an ancient tree, but no, it was moldering. It was then she noticed something odd. Odd beyond the deja vu of returning finally, beyond the quiet of the forest that hadn't been tended in years. The path at the top... she saw a torn tree. She flew closer. It had been a nice big one, big enough to support a Menti; it had been blown in half at the middle. There were several other marks on the ground, blasts. And they led toward the first stop on their expedition. She flew back to her body, and awoke to see Somei (and several of the saihoko) staring at her, expectantly.

"It looks clear," she said, rising. The Dastana crew had already dropped anchor after abandoning any idea of trying to moor the ship at the ruined jetty. Askha jumped over the side and hopped the rocks; Somei waited for the crew to drop a gangplank before disembarking.

.:The path we're taking to one of the Taajar settlements shows signs of Rahkshi attacks; I still think the Kaazi's encampment should be our first stop. See what's happened to them.:.

"Menti, you should take a look at this," one of the Saihoko called out. She had been tying down some rigging on the side of the ship; she herself looked down, off the side and into the water. The Plangori, Mashtet, and Dastana Menti looked at the water themselves; it was calm, clear. Askha could spot the skeleton of an older vessel she had seen here before; when she and her sisters and cousins had gone swimming here, they would take turns diving through the ribs. But her eyes spotted something new; underwater, by the jetty, were the remains of a dead rahkshi. No, several dead rahkshi. It was more than it looked like, just pieces. She saw a foot there, a few hands elsewhere. The remains of a net drifted among them.

"Good news," Somei considered. "Maybe."

OOC: @Mel

The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC:

Vazaria didn't have to wait long. Those unseen eyes, searching and scouring, had watched her begin her ascent and allowed it to continue. For a time. They seemed... Curious. Unusual behavior from the monsters but then their quarry was an unusual Dasaka. She had not gone unnoticed, not as much as she believed; un-assailed, mostly, and relatively unharmed. But not unnoticed. They allowed her flight, up and up past the vacated lands upon its slope. 

Until the Confusion blast hit her and she dropped like a stone, striking the loamy soil of the volcanic mountain once, twice, then rolling to a stop. 

She was surrounded as soon as her eyes opened by half a dozen, perhaps more, of Zataka's children. They hissed, faceplates opening to reveal the creatures inside, but they didn't attack. They waited. For her to act, maybe. Or for something else.

@Nato The Whisperer

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Vazaria – Mount Koshiki

Dimly, Vaza realised she was falling.

It was a familiar feeling. In a way, she’d been falling for a long time. Falling out of favour, falling from grace, falling short of expectations, of her own aspirations… falling… Falling!

The impact rocked her back to reality, realisation and pain breaking through the barricade of bewilderment blockading her brain. She inhaled sharply, coughing as more dirt than air filled her mouth. Her scarred hands clawed furrows in the cloying soil as she scrabbled for purchase and pushed herself up onto her knees, blinking her bleary eyes. Sleek, serpentine shapes surrounded her, strange sizzling sounds issuing from their segmented skulls.

She blinked again, and the world snapped back into focus. A group of the invaders stood arrayed around her, savage staves in their hands, faceplates folded back to reveal the fetid, fleshy creatures that resided within. Beyond the bruises and abrasions she’d acquired on impact, she couldn’t see or feel any new wounds, despite the devastation she knew these creatures were capable of. And they weren’t attacking… yet. Could they somehow sense her intentions, or were they merely curious?

Moving slowly in the hopes of not provoking an attack, she undid the strap securing her sword across her back, and placed the weapon on the ground, before raising her hands in a placating gesture. For a brief instant, her old doubts swam to the surface, but she dismissed them as swiftly as they came. She was already way past the point of no return now.

“Children of Zataka,” she spoke, bowing her head in what she hoped the creatures would take as a sign of deference and respect, “I’ve come a long way to find you. I seek to stand with you. I seek to serve.”  

@Krayzikk

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

"South," I say. At this point, it was starting to seem a lot more likely that nobody had gone north. Maybe, many Taajar had finally turned their eyes onto Sado,  but if my mother was still alive, she certainly wouldn't. Leaving her ancestral lands was one thing, but leaving Odaiba was an entirely different story. I turn to Hyan-Fei, and instead of elaborating further, I pat Naiana's back, and playfully raised an eyebrow.

"Would you like your first lesson, Hyan-Fei?"

OOC: @capMARVELOUS no worries!

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| BZPRPG Profiles |

 

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IC Long Shunkyou (The Outskirts of Dastana Republic Territory, Odaiba):

His gaze turned downwards as they spoke, two heads of clan with more important things to worry about than the petty quarrels between those that spoke Imperial or Vulgar Taa. Ushering a hatchling forward, Shunkyou minded the words floating through the air, mostly in his direction, as his Noble Sana gently glowed while he focused on the scratches— No, real cuts to one who is so young— beneath the Toroshu's bandages. Urging her to tread lightly on the leg for the next ten leagues, the procession moved onto the next, a cracked shin. 

"A way will be found." he stated to Saritsu, blunt and between deep breaths— showing the young woman how to calm herself while the younger of the Eiyu set her bones in a makeshift brace. "In the worst case, your capital may have burnt the bridges to the seat of their power to check the advance of these demons, but such is not an insurmountable obstacle."

He waved a hand flippantly, gesturing around them.

"If nothing else, they did not think to deprive us of the trees."

Edited by Razgriz

helo frens

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 [Hanaloi, North Shore (Fanai/NPC)]
The Dastana soulsword whistled she took in the dead rahkshi remains.  “Nice.   Hope whoever got that done has a few more tricks up their sleeve.”

Her Plangori counterpart looked on in disapproval.

Fanai made no comment—she simply perceived.

OOC: @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

[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: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
Here and now, at the beginning of their journey, is as good a time as any to begin learning to ride.  "S-sure," Hyan-Fei answers, before trying again, more confidently, "Yes, I would like that."  She tells herself that this time will be different, mainly because this time, she is in full control of her senses.

Despite Kura's claim of Naiana being very gentle, Hyan-Fei decides that some caution is still in order; this is, after all, a cultivated creature belonging to someone else, not a wild stray that she can be rough with and suffer no consequences.  She approaches the Soko slowly so as not to frighten her, reaches out a hand to gently pet her on the nose.  Up close, she truly is a beautiful specimen.

OOC:
@Palm

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IC: Saritsu | The Outskirts of Odaiba

Heh. 

"I like the way you think, jahagir," Saritsu said, finishing another splint for another fracture. Some of these individuals had been walking on hairline cracks for days from the looks of it, probably taking rests that were too short to stay beyond the reach of those demons. If they couldn't find proper medicine, many of this caravan would be nursing these injuries for the rest of their lives -- however long those proved to be, it seemed.

"If you don't my asking, sir," she continued, "but your people were at Koshiki when they arrived, weren't you? Is it true that they simply came from the mouth of the mountain? I thought only dragons could survive those fumes."

OOC: @Razgriz

-Void

 
 
[ BZPRPG ]

 

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On 11/1/2021 at 2:55 AM, Nato The Whisperer said:

IC: Vazaria – Mount Koshiki

Dimly, Vaza realised she was falling.

It was a familiar feeling. In a way, she’d been falling for a long time. Falling out of favour, falling from grace, falling short of expectations, of her own aspirations… falling… Falling!

The impact rocked her back to reality, realisation and pain breaking through the barricade of bewilderment blockading her brain. She inhaled sharply, coughing as more dirt than air filled her mouth. Her scarred hands clawed furrows in the cloying soil as she scrabbled for purchase and pushed herself up onto her knees, blinking her bleary eyes. Sleek, serpentine shapes surrounded her, strange sizzling sounds issuing from their segmented skulls.

She blinked again, and the world snapped back into focus. A group of the invaders stood arrayed around her, savage staves in their hands, faceplates folded back to reveal the fetid, fleshy creatures that resided within. Beyond the bruises and abrasions she’d acquired on impact, she couldn’t see or feel any new wounds, despite the devastation she knew these creatures were capable of. And they weren’t attacking… yet. Could they somehow sense her intentions, or were they merely curious?

Moving slowly in the hopes of not provoking an attack, she undid the strap securing her sword across her back, and placed the weapon on the ground, before raising her hands in a placating gesture. For a brief instant, her old doubts swam to the surface, but she dismissed them as swiftly as they came. She was already way past the point of no return now.

“Children of Zataka,” she spoke, bowing her head in what she hoped the creatures would take as a sign of deference and respect, “I’ve come a long way to find you. I seek to stand with you. I seek to serve.”  

@Krayzikk

IC:

Their spines rustled, a chattering sound as they let out a lower, softer hiss. Unhappy, then, at least as much as the creatures had shown a capacity for any sort of emotion. Their stance, their vocalizations, their sound of their jaws gnashing irritably spoke of their desire to strike. To take advantage of the weakness showcased before them and strike down their enemy as they had hundreds, even thousands, of times already. But they waited, held at bay by something else.

And one shifted, melting before Vazaria's eyes until it was no beast at all but a visage that every Dasaka had seen, with small variations from time to time and artist to artist, from the moment they were old enough to revere the spirits properly. Her face was not pleased, but it did not contain a trace of hostility. Not yet. The Menti before her was beneath that but for now she held enough of the dark spirit's interest to stay alive.

"And why," It spoke with Zataka's voice, a voice soft in tone but harsh with dispassion. "Should you wish that? Have you decided that your best chance to survive is to grovel well enough at my feet? I've little use for cowards."

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Vazaria – Mount Koshiki

An involuntary chill ran down Vazaria’s spine. 

She hadn't been sure what to expect in response to her words, but the idea of Zataka putting in a personal appearance had seemed laughable until a few seconds ago.

“No. I suspect my best chance to survive would be to run and hide, to steal a boat and sail away,” she replied, raising her eyes to meet those of the goddess before her.

“I came because this archipelago has stagnated for centuries under the rule of despots who deem our destines to be decided from the day we’re born… everything we do, everything we are, categorised by class or caste or clan... and you don’t care about any of it. Your slaughter hasn’t discriminated. You represent the kind of meaningful change I’ve always dreamed of seeing, and I… well, I wish to be part of it.”

@Krayzikk

Edited by Nato The Whisperer

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC:

"A simple, if potentially useful answer. And if I don't think you should be a part of it?" Disinterest took on a lethal edge. "I don't much care about those distinctions. I don't much care about a single Menti, either, however zealous. And you are something of a zealot, aren't you?"

It gestured with a hand, and Zataka's children bristled and chattered as they took a step, two, towards the Menti on the ground before again stopping.

"What then?"

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Vazaria – Mount Koshiki

“I suppose I am,” she nodded, doing her best not to flinch as the Children closed in. “I have no illusions about my worth. I know your servants are stronger than myself, or any other Menti. But I’m here, of my own free will, offering what I can to your cause. Accept me or annihilate me... I don't imagine there's another option." 

@Krayzikk

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Hanaloi (Askha, Somei)

The path was run-down and slightly overgrown, but it showed signs that it had been maintained in the last few years; at least until the crisis that enveloped Kentoku. The Saihoko stayed behind on the ship, with the captain saying that she would keep the ship ready for a quick getaway if necessary. But she knew the stories; even before they had disappeared, Hanaloi was selective in who she dealt with. The Fursics had lost explorers; something didn't want them here. And something didn't want the creatures wreaking havoc on Kentoku here either

After the steep climb of the stairs cut into the cliff wall, the Menti of the expedition fanned out along the footpath. Askha at the tip, and Somei in the center. She was a Datsue, and before that, had been a Ringti; the Dastana weren't about to let an elder get caught unaware. The forest continued its quiet around the mixed party that followed the path. There had been a few dilapidated stands and logging huts, which were empty. Askha explained that every able member of the clan learned to scale the trees using their broad knives and, for dashi, spurs, so the stands were more for storing gear. It looked like they had been cleared out at some point. The more recent damage soon crossed the path; several craters dotted the cleared area, and one felled tree crossed the path.

They had been walking for about twenty minutes - two thirds of the time Askha recalled that it took to get from the family dock to the Taajar village. She called for a scouting stop; as the Menti and Plangori posted up, Askha scaled one of the trees with her broadknife and reclined into a branch. Her mask glowed as she projected out of her body. Beneath her, Somei listened to the forest. She smiled as a faint insect call broke the silence.

"Hanaloi songwings. It must be about noon; the insects only come out after the morning dew is fully burned off." She looked through the forest to the center of the island. There was an ancient tree, the most massive one on the island as well as the tallest point; the Observatory. It still stood; she hoped they would get there before nightfall. "After we check on the Kaazi village, we should make our way to the center of the island. If we can secure the Observatory, we'll be in a better position to scout the rest of the island... including the Mashtet compound."

Meanwhile, Askha's projected form was doing the former. After a quick scout around the team to make sure they weren't being followed, Askha zoomed to the coastal village, passing through trees and obstacles.

The Kaazi village was empty.

Askha felt a cold feeling in her gut. It wasn't the same pang as when her astral form had walked into the Mashtet compound those years ago, finding it empty, but it was an echo. But wait, this different. There was destruction; several craters lay amid the destroyed longhouses. This place had been attacked, and recently; but it hadn't been a slaughter. There were no bodies. There were rahkshi that didn't leave bodies, but she doubted each corpse had been disintegrated; and, there were no tools lying around. Every usable tool, every piece of food, gone. This place had been practically stripped bare. There were survivors, or at least, had been survivors. At least there was that. They just needed to find them...

Eyes watched the expedition. They watched from behind a tree, about fifty meters away. A gust of wind shook the forest canopy, and sunlight shone through, illuminating the figure. In the light, its jagged spines shone and its carapace glinted copper. It moved back behind the tree, out of the light.

The Dastana mindarm was fingerwalking a dragon when she caught the glint. The coin dropped from her hand, but she caught it with Mindarm, tucking it back into a pouch while remaining motionless. In the distance, she saw brown claws retreat behind a tree. She drew out a throwing knife to replace the coin in her hand.

.:We're being watched, northwest.:. She also transmitted an image of what she had seen; Somei turned her head, warily trying to make out the rahkshi. 

.:It's not alone, southeast and southwest.:. The soulsword transmitted images of two more rahkshi creeping through the brush.

Fanai caught a glimpse of another one blocking off the path behind them. They were surrounded, and the rahkshi slowly crept in.

OOC: @Mel

IC: Ahri -  Oki Refugee Camp

Smiling, the Menti grasped Raika's shoulder. "If you're tired, you should get some sleep. I got a quick nap in, I should be good. Yuna and I can handle this; we're all these people have right now, and we're no use if we fall asleep protecting them. Get your beauty sleep." He stepped away from Raika, turning to the Koizumi. "Yuna, I've rested long enough. You've been in this area for a while; is there anywhere else on Oki we can get boats to evacuate these people?"

OOC: @TL01 NUVA @The UltimoScorp

The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Lii [Odaiba, Outskirts]

Lii watched with a careful intensity as the Toroshu worked among her charges, an readiness about her that failed to dissipate even as tensions seemed to relax somewhat. She bristled slightly as the Toroshu approached her, obviously with the intention of tending to her own wound. The martial artist's eyes met the Eiyu's, and for a moment a flame burned beneath them.

It was a moment before Lii moved from her state of near motionlessness, slowly shaking her head to decline as politely as she seemed able to.

Wordlessly.

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BZPRPG -

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[Hanaloi, North Shore (Fanai/NPC)]

Dastana Mari had not survived the siege of Iki by being a chump, but this time she felt like like one.   What was she doing, letting sleeping beauty there up into a tree (something her mask notably did not require), wasting time playing with dragons?   If she didn’t know better, she would have thought Zataka had stolen her concentration.

::Northwest, we charge—take that one out before its buddies can reach it.   Fanai, take that elder and wake up our princess up in the trees.::

She kept the throwing knife at the ready, mentally loosening the twin staves across her back.
  Rina next to her vanished from the visible plane as her Huna activated, the Plangori soulsword matched her pace, the Calix would hopefully live up to its reputation as a mask of cheating death.

As the rest of the party broke for the ambushing rahkshi, Fanai grabbed Somei without a word, hoisting her onto her back.  ::Askha, get back into yourself.   The rahkshi have come.::

She measured the space of the seconds while she waited, noting the sounds and sorting them into atmosphere and threats.

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

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

[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: Somei, - Hanaloi

Somei clung to Fanai's back. "Say the word," she whispered, "and we can disappear, too." Mentally, she cursed herself; she should have hidden them all earlier when they stopped to rest. She had let herself get distracted by the fact that she was back home.

The Rahkshi closed in steadily, weaving through the trees. They did not stop, but they did slow when the visible Dastana and Plangori Menti dashed into the trees. The copper rahkshi, whickered as it glanced between the two Dasaka, and shifted behind a tree - and disappeared. The two Menti slowed, wary. The Soulsword was caught off guard as something attacked her from her flank, batting her away; she spun in the air, but her Calix stabilized the fall and she landed on her feet. It wasn't a rahkshi that had attacked her; it was a grizzled ash bear. She let out a hoarse snarl, and slammed the ground with her front paws, shaking the trees - and anybody on two legs.

As Fanai Perceived around her, she still did not sense Mashtet Askha's spirit. She could pinpoint Rina's location as well as the other members of the group. As she extended her awareness to sense the Rahkshi, something caught her attention - in the immediate area, there should be two minds, her and the Datsue, three if Askha was back. She sensed six.

OOC: @Mel

 

The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

"She is very gentle," I said, stroking Naiana's mane, "She remained calm even as those beasts took Koshiki, so don't be nervous. I doubt you could frighten her if they couldn't," I looked at Hyan-Fei and did my best to give her a reassuring smile. I put my hand on the bump of the saddle on the opposite side we stood.

"When you jump up, put your hand here, so you don't twist the saddle," I stepped back to let her try.

OOC: @capMARVELOUS

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| BZPRPG Profiles |

 

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[Hanaloi, North Shore (Fanai/NPC)]

The ashbear roared as a magenta whip of light encircled her neck, seemingly dancing in air of its own accord.   While she was far stronger than the biped hanging onto her, the psychic whip pressed along her breathing apparatus whenever she attempted to thrash free.  Mari noted Rina’s position and then her awareness flickered back to the rahkshi.   While its chameleon powers hid it from the visible plane its texture jumped out with the aid of her arthron, metallic and smooth against rough earth and delicate leaves.

::Cover my back, don’t waste energy trying to kill the bear unless you have to.::

She didn’t like to leave Rina and the Plangori to play cleanup but she needed to deal with this creature yesterday—whatever was influencing the ash bear would have to wait.   One of the staves at her back settled into her hands, while the other flew straight at it, point first.   Meanwhile, she released her throwing knife, mentally guiding it on a curved trajectory that would take it in one eye and out the other.

The rahkshi closed in.  Fanai had little time.   She reached out to the four other minds.

::I do not know you, yet you cannot be Zataka’s sons.   If caution stays you, it should not for long.::

To Somei she thought only one word.  ::Now.::

OOC: @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

[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: Askha, Somei, Hambra/NPCs - Hanaloi North Forest

The Datsue's mind raced; who else was there? She was not a Willhammer; she couldn't sense anyone else. Still, she had to trust in Fanai. She could feel vertigo zooming in on her senses as she hid herself and the Menti from she sensed; leave these non-rahkshi to Fanai. But... non-rahkshi on Hanaloi? Could it be-

Fanai heard them before she saw them. The soft shuffling of vegetation, and the faint creaking of wood and sinew - bows, she realized. One by one, four diminutive figures separated from the bases of trees and rocks; their masks painted and cloaks interwoven with pieces of the forest. Each had crystal rings tied to the sides of their masks, and held what to a Menti would be a recurve shortbow; for the Dashi, it was full-sized.

Somei's eyes widened. She changed the illusion she wove; instead of disappearing, she had Somei walk into the road away from their current position; the little warriors' eyes and bows followed them. If these were who she thought they were, she would have to handle this delicately. She prepared to mentally throw her voice; auditory Sighteye was never her strong suit.

The illusory Somei jumped off of Fanai's back. Over her head, she held her Mashtet Token, itself seeming to glow: "Koshi Zrupgar of the Kaazi Tribe, I am Mashtet Somei, Datsue; these mainlanders travel under our auspices!"

The archers glanced between one another and the token. One lowered their bow and raised her hand to her mouth, emitting a shrill, warbling whistle.

Kaazi Hambra winced as she held off the spitting soulwhip with her trophy staff. She had shifted her Ashbear form so that it throat appeared over her staff; accursed mainlanders. She had drawn out the Huna user so the Koshi Zrupgar could pepper her with arrows, but they wouldn't dare take the shot with the Menti on their Jahagir. She glanced over at Riko; she had used her Kualsi to close the gap and reinforce her, but she had never been good with layering a combat form and invisibility, and one of the mainlanders had spotted her and thrown a knife and one of the demon's staves. Her worry turned to fierce pride as Riko had her layered combat form dodge the thrown staff but taking the knife, becoming visible and screeching. It would have been an ear-piercing sound to those who thought they heard it.

The distraction was enough, Hambra decided. Her Pakari glowed again as she drove her trophy staff into the ground. When it was secure she ducked; she had her Ashbear form shook violently, but she herself knocked the Soulsword's head against the flat of her staff, stunning her. It was enough for Hambra to shake her off for real; she grabbed her staff and backed off raising her hand to signal to the Koshi Zrupgar to fire.

She heard one of her Koshi Zrupgar watching the road whistle-signal. Mashtet, safe. Her eyes narrowed, but she backed away from the Soulsword as sprang to her feet. Nobody on this island had used that signal in years; it was unlikely to be one of the demon's tricks. She glanced at Riko, who was looking back and forth from her to the Dasaka with the Arthron. Hambra nodded. Eyeing the mainlanders, she and Riko dropped their combat forms; Hambra her Ashbear, and Riko of one of the demons. In the distance, she saw the last member of her cohort drop her demon form as well.

Hambra turned back to the Dasaka that had attacked her. She coldly glanced them over as she hoisted the stolen staff onto her shoulder, resting it alongside the spiny carapace of its former owner. "Well fought," she said with a rough Taajar accent. "I haven't crossed any mainlanders for years except Fursic scouts. But still, you're obviously not Mashtet; I don't recognize you."

OOC: @Mel

Edited by Keeper of Kraata
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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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[Central Hanaloi (Fanai/NPC)]

The Plangori soulsword stepped back, so startled by the Ash Bear’s transformation that she defaulted to practiced social niceties.  She bowed.

“P-plangori Murasaki.  Well met.”

The Dastana soulsword snorted at the ironic words as she flickered back into view, the magenta soulwhip still wound around her hand.  “Dastana Rina.  Funny way of welcoming people you have on this island.”

Mari retrieved her weapons with her mindarm but remained at attention, still scanning the forest around her.

“Dastana Mari.  Any actual demons we have to fight before we have tea?”

 

Fanai remained still under the cloak of the illusion; she had never needed encouragement to let someone else do the talking.

She continued to float in her mind, questing for the acidic touch of a rahkshi or Askha’s now familiar presence.

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

Edited by Mel

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

[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:

"Of your own free will." Every word carried, dripped, disdain. Contempt. Not the vague hostility, for the potential for it, from a moment ago; whatever Vazaria had said was wrong, at least in the spirit's eyes, and the cord on which her life hung frayed a little more. Zataka's eyes narrowed, lips pursed, and her presence seemed to grow. The shadows deepened and the low rustle of Rahkshi became a vicious, throaty rumble of violence. "You came of your own free will, isn't that a contradiction? You traveled here of your own free will only to surrender it. The Virtues are insidious. Even outside the Empire you hate you crave Order. Subservience. You want the Order gone but you don't know what to do without it, so you latch onto the most powerful force outside the system. To give you the guidance you seek."

"Disappointing. But there's no reason to do away with useful, willing material." The entity seemed to sigh, and the Children closed in again. Not to kill, not that Vazaria knew it at first; when claws hands close upon you, the same hands that you have seen tearing so many Dasaka, there isn't much room for hope. But they didn't. A Rahkshi grabbed her arms, and a second her head; claws digging lightly into her face, a none too subtle warning as she was held still none too gently. A third, at the darkness' bidding, stepped towards her and knelt reverently. Her hand gripped the pines on its back and tore open its carapace, snatching the screeching, writhing kraata from within. "But if you would surrender so easily you are useless like this. Too little will to stiffen that spine. We'll have to fix that."

The darkness regarded the kraata within her grasp, screeching at its exposure to the open air. She took no steps closer to Vazaria, clearly considering the Menti beneath such effort even through a proxy. She tossed the serpent, almost  washing her hands of ever having sunken so low as to touch it. It oriented itself within the air, sensing the intent of its master, and when it struck Vazaria's mask it latched on and didn't let go. It screeched, a sound that carried through her bones like it had originated within her own body, and the pain began. An ache like a drill in the back of her mind, burrowing deeper and deeper and spreading through the whole of her being. Her Kanohi darkened and with every second the fear lessened, the pain faded away, and in their place was delight. A contentment in slavery. A desire, above all else, to do what the dark spirit willed.

As though there were any other option.

"You came to offer me your will. It seems rude not to take it."

@Nato The Whisperer

IC:

"Lii."

A stronger note crept, not without hesitation, into Nihonei's voice. The Tajaar had her reasons and any other time that would be fine. She could accept that they wouldn't get along but that there was enough space in the Archipelago for them both. Not now. Now division was dangerous when they would have to work together at least as long as it took to reach safety. Better to talk, to work at smoothing out the centuries of bad blood between their cultures. To build a bridge in the ruin of everything that had been. But there wasn't time and more importantly Lii wouldn't listen.

Talking wasn't the way of the Dragon.

For their nobility dragons were strong. Fierce. Their disagreements they settled not with measured debate but with a show of force, and when each understood their mettle only then could there be coexistence. Youth was much the same, though to combine both in one person was certainly impressive.

"These children need you. Fighting fit. You're standing between them and the monsters, and you're going to turn help down just because you're proud?" The Toroshu shook her head, forcing the steel to stay in her tone and rising to her feet to look the Tajaar in the eye. "You don't like Imperials, that's fine. History is full of reasons not to. But we need each other, you and I at least, to get through this so don't be a moron."

"Talking with your fists is what you get, isn't it? Come on, then, let's get these issues worked out."

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Vazaria – Mount Koshiki

As the sun shone down upon her bent back, Vazaria shivered. The shadows seemed to congeal around her as Zataka spoke, the goddess oozing an oppressive presence that chilled her to her core.

“Even outside the Empire you hate you crave Order. Subservience,” Zataka said, “You want the Order gone but you don't know what to do without it, so you latch onto the most powerful force outside the system. To give you the guidance you seek."

The truth of Zataka’s words cut deeper than her darkness.

She’d never truly tried to lead.

She’d never taken a stand for herself.

As much as she resented the empire, as much as she sought to rebel against the system that had stifled her people’s freedom for centuries, Vazaria had never really made a decision for herself. She’d taken jobs and orders and assignments, clung to the ambitions of others to guide her actions. All she’d done was trade one type of control for another, in the belief that it would somehow bring her liberation.

What had she even been fighting for? Mindless spite against a world that had spurned her? Rebellion for rebellion's sake? She'd never really thought about what would come after, all she'd ever thought about was the satisfaction of seeing the empire someday brought low, as if that would somehow balance out all that she'd suffered. 

“Disappointing. But there's no reason to do away with useful, willing material.”

The creatures closed in, and Vazaria flinched, furtive flickers of fear setting her battered body ablaze. She closed her eyes, fingers folding into fists in the dirt as she braced herself for the fate she’d feared from the moment she’d first considered coming up the mountain. The hands seized her arms and face, claws cruelly scraping her skin… but the agony she’d anticipated didn’t arrive. Her limbs remained firmly attached to her torso.

She cracked open her eyes, looking up at Zataka as the goddess ripped a screaming serpent from the shell of her child.

“But if you would surrender so easily you are useless like this. Too little will to stiffen that spine. We'll have to fix that.”

In the space between eyeblinks, the serpent was suddenly sailing towards her, contorting in midair to latch onto her Kanohi, screeching as it struck her. The sound split through her skull, a savage song of surrender and submission that stabbed into her psyche and brought with it a sense of acceptance.

She didn’t fight it.

She was past the point of choice.

She'd known there was no going back.

“You came to offer me your will. It seems rude not to take it.”

For a brief, fleeting moment, she wondered what she would become, if she would remember who and what she’d been before this moment, whether there would be any part of her capable of regretting the decisions that her brought her here.

The doubts faded, and she silently bowed her head, submitting to the will of her new goddess.

@Krayzikk

Edited by Nato The Whisperer
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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC Long Shunkyou (The Outskirts of Dastana Republic Territory, Odaiba):

"What I will say is that they descended upon us from the slopes that rose past our Temple," came the nebulously elder's response, cloaked in a tightness that belied hidden bristling at a perceived barb now being reexamined by a cooler head. "For all I know, the demons themselves are the ash manifest, twisted against the world. Perhaps eruptions from Koshiki take many forms— but I am certain they fell upon us. I was there for it, in the last moments we lived there. The question of 'how' is as elusive to me as it is you. Perhaps it is not meant for us to divine right now."

He snorted, unclear as to the victim of his disdain. Saritsu, the imperial whose words betrayed a mind slower than the mouth, unknowing in how her emphasis could be construed as insulting? Lii, for her hot head and old grudges overshadowing the fact that she was keen upon hampering her potential eternally by refusing healing? Nihonei, boldly taking a stance and seeming to jump into traditional Long culture from the standpoint of an academic, dissecting the person in front of her whom she had only met? Himself, for burning out before this journey had begun, now only vague in his authority to right this ship?

Who could say? Perhaps it was all of this. Perhaps his bones simply creaked in a way he did not like.

This one doubts evenm he would be able to tell you.

What was clear, however, were the words he spoke— whatever prompted the gesture mattered less.

"If you intend to duel, I will need to oversee— And I will set the terms."

He did not disguise the pointed look he gave Lii. She knew as well as him why— it was in her nature.

"If such is agreeable, then we simply need find clear ground."

He refused to buoy the idea that it wasn't. 

Edited by Razgriz
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helo frens

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IC: Saritsu | The Outskirts of Odaiba

:I sure hope you know what you're doing, Nini.:

The way that Saritsu saw this playing out could run one of two ways. The first was that Nihonei pulled out every trick that the Hogo in the Yards had taught them as children -- not to mention the ones that the two of them had cobbled together themselves in the significantly-less-formal yards of their home -- and she beat Lii, and Lii resented her even more for being an imperial who had shown her up in front of her own clan. The second was that Nihonei was a woman who had studied combat from an academic's perspective going up against a girl who had battled as she breathed -- Nihonei lost, and maybe that would be enough to save Lii's wounded pride. Either way, she and Saritsu were losing diplomatic ground fast.

For now, though, there was little enough that she would be able to do. Best to keep tending wounds, and wait for whatever happened to play out.

OOC: @Krayzikk @Razgriz @sunflower

-Void

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[ BZPRPG ]

 

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IC: Lii [Odaiba, Outskirts]

The yellow-armored martial artist bristled, and she crossed her arms, regarding the Toroshu with a gaze that burned. She had the countenance of a cornered beast, it didn't take a great deal of thinking to recognize when she'd been maneuvered into a corner.

"Fine," She spoke after a moment of consideration, though certainly not hesitation, "I accept."

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BZPRPG -

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IC:

.:Makes two of us, huh, Sari?:. 

Nihonei favored her sister with a grin more confident than she felt. The mood floated between them, fatigue and uncertainty but with it a trace of surety. Her sister adventured, learned to fight, and she knew— felt as if it were her own— the doubts. That her sister the Toroshu, the academic, could handle going toe-to-toe with a younger Tajaar who looked like she ate weight training for breakfast. And she understood. She wasn't certain she could win, either, but that wasn't the point. Lii was angry. Furious, truthfully, and Nihonei understood. The destruction of her home, the death of her people, and her utter helplessness to stop it filled her with wrath. It made her harsher, angrier, more willing to fight. And that was the crux of it.

.:Watch these. Shouldn't take long.:. She slipped the bag worn across her body back over her head, place it gently on the ground next to her sister. No emphasis was necessary. The contents were priceless, at least to her, and her sister knew it. She unclasped and lay next to it her swords and her staff. .:Think up your praise for if I win.:.

"I accept and agree." 

Nothing else had to be said on the subject. The challenge had been issues, accepted, and the judge agreed upon. Anger came from something else. From fear, pain, betrayal or loss and any combination of them all. Anger was the soul's anesthetic. From a Tajaar to an Imperial there were uncountable possibilities for her pain. None of them she could repair, but between herself and the Wyrm there could be peace upon respect. It was the same she needed from Lii. Respect regardless of their pasts. Even if they had to beat each other black and blue.

"Will that clearing there suffice, jahagir?"

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC Long Shunkyou (The Outskirts of Dastana Republic Territory, Odaiba):

"Mm... Yes, this will do."

Flat, firm earth there, judging from the grasses that grew. Framed by the trees some rough 25 feet apart, it was neither claustrophobic nor so open as to encourage running— not that either was to do so as he read things. Lii was too prideful, her furor too genuine, and her courage too bottomless. Nihonei was in turn far too focused on completing her objective, too willing to sacrifice if it meant smoothing this out now.

No, they wouldn't run. They would use this makeshift ring to its extent, he was sure, but neither would dishonor themselves or the other by turning tail.

All that needed to be done was ensure they could both walk by the end.

"To first blood," he called, motioning for the two combatants to follow him as he marched forward to the center of the clearing. "or to one's surrender. When I call it off, it is done."

He breathed deep, summoning the faint embers that still simmered beneath his heartlight, and concentrated them to his right leg, a compact pattern of energy appearing above it. Foot cloaked in the Scales, he dashed it against the earth sharply three paces from the center, drawing a line.

Six paces opposite.

The same swift kick, tight and economical as it carved through the top layers of soil. Even carelessly drawing lines in the sand was something to be done with propriety— contained within its own power.

"Now then— I haven't got all morning."

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IC: Askha, Somei, Hambra, NPCs - Hanaloi

Hambra nodded. "Jahagir Hambra of the Kaazi tribe." She glanced at the Dastana as she turned to the road and began marching. "The Mashtet invite guests to Hanaloi. The Kaazi's job is to remove everyone else. And we haven't had Mashtet here for years." The large Taajar woman whistled, and several forms descended from trees around them, her other three Koshi Zrupgar. They fell in behind her, along with Riko.

The second Kaazi, Riko, nodded respectfully towards the Dastana. "Our scouts spotted three approaching the island several hours ago; they went to the old Mashtet hold; no sight since."

As the warriors approached, Somei noticed the Koshi Zrupgar around them lowering their bows. She had her illusionary double look around in confusion while she got off Fanai's back and moved to achieve parity with her illusion. "I am Mashtet Somei, Datsue of Clan Mashtet," she repeated, this time in Imperial. "You have fulfilled your obligations to the Mashtet and Hanaloi well; I apologize that the Mashtet have not been able to fulfill our own responsibilities."

"I wondered when you would come back, Datsue. You are a friend of the Kaazi, Somei; we would have welcomed you back." The broad-shoulded Taajar broke through the brush, smiling.

Somei gasped; her illusion dropped. Fortunately, Fanai was still hidden, but there was no double. "Jahagir Hambra! We were on our way to the Kaazi village to meet with you. Mashtet Askha," she gestured at Askha's form in the tree behind her, "was scouting it out."

The wide smile disappeared from Hambra's mask. "She won't find much there. The demons attacked us several weeks ago; several destroyed the village. We lost too many. The warriors and Koshi Zrupgar you see are almost all what the Kaazi tribe has to muster."

.:Speak of Zataka - Oops, probably should use another turn of phrase:.

Askha's body twitched as her spirit reentered her body. She tried to roll out of the tree, but the strapped Rahkshi staff tripped her up and turned the smooth motion into an awkward tumble to the ground. Hambra wore a bemused look as the Mashtet heir clambered to her feet. "I saw the damage; I'm sorry. I wish we could have been here sooner, but that destruction is only a fraction of what has hit Sado, and the rest of Kentoku."

Hambra hefted her three-bladed trophy staff off her shoulder and looked to some of the other captured staves among the Menti. "It appears at least we have all made the monsters pay for the destruction they have caused."

Somei gripped her staff with both hands, suddenly self-conscious. "Hambra, tell me..." she spoke softly in the Taajar tongue, "Did... Roshuen make it out?"

The Jahagir's grip on her trophy staff weakened. "No, I'm sorry. He was tired and went to bed early in the Longhouse. It was destroyed first by the Demons; Roshuen was killed in his sleep."

Somei's vision was suddenly blurry. "Oh." She let out a long, tense sigh. It didn't help the cold knot in her stomach. She felt large arms envelop her; the other warrior, Riko, knelt to embrace her. "He was my father," the Taajar said. Somei held the Taajar girl as she struggled to hold back her tears.

Askha's own gut churned. But she had to turn this back to their mission; there would be time to mourn later. She couldn't let herself mourn now. The eyed the third Kaazi approaching, shedding her Rahkshi illusion. "If you're the group I spotted south of here earlier, we're still down one. Two, actually; where's Fanai?"

OOC: @Mel

Edited by Keeper of Kraata
Fixing tag
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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
Hyan-Fei tries to return Kura's smile in full, and almost succeeds.  Almost- a small remnant of nervousness slightly weighs down the corners of her mouth.  Nonetheless, she places her hand where she is supposed to on the saddle and jumps up into the seat.

She overshoots the landing slightly, and begins to fall out.  Just before she hits that point of no return, however, she instinctively activates her mask power, heightening her sense of balance just enough to keep her on Naiana.  She adjusts herself upright, and when she is comfortable, tosses her head in satisfaction, as if that were the easiest thing in the world... despite the faint glow around her mask clearly hinting that she did not actually do it unassisted.

"Okay, what's next?" she asks Kura.

OOC:
@Palm

Edited by capMARVELOUS
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 [Hanaloi, North Shore (Fanai/NPC)]

Mari gave Rina a look that said don’t even think about it.  The younger soulsword was a little too devoted to the Jasix school of running your mouth.

“We came here to collect materials on behalf of the Mashtet,” she said.  “I understand this is your island, but more of those things are going to come from the mainland every day.  You might want to think about packing up—we could use your battle prowess on the front in Odaiba.”

::I am right here.:: Fanai’s ideatalk floated gently up into Askha’s mind.   ::Your elder saw fit to hide me when the Kaazi advanced, and she has not yet unshielded me.::

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

Edited by Mel

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

[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: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

"I wish I had your mask when I was learning," I said with a small smile, "It would have gone a long way to save me many scrapes and bruises," I finished with a chuckle. Then, I realized what I had said, that riding Soko meant falling off Soko too. I quickly corrected, I didn't want Hyan-Fei to feel nervous, "I was only a child though, so I wouldn't worry too much about suffering the same fate as I."

I began walking, and let out a little click. Naiana immediately stepped off, following alongside me, "For now, we'll just let her get used to you. But don't worry," I said with a little wink, "You'll be a galloping horse-woman in no time."

OOC: @capMARVELOUS

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| BZPRPG Profiles |

 

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IC:

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

Their meager column had stopped in the trees. He could hear Shunkyou and others speaking, but care was beyond him; he had been walking all day, with no opportunity to do anything else, or to get away from the others, those who simultaneously pulled away from him—

As well they should.

—As they drew close, certain strictures only half-followed in the extenuating circumstances, mutual aid momentarily prioritized over the demands of his vow. He cared little; now, at long last, he would have an opportunity to take a moment to himself, apart from those he was resigned to travel with. And so he had stepped a ways away, ignoring the protestations of some young hatchling that sought to keep him confined with the rest. Staff at his side, Long Gigen walked into the trees.

He felt the sun overhead as it shone down through the canopy. Warmer here, colder there; the mustiness of moldering leaves rose to his nostrils as he strode along, twigs snapping beneath his feet. His mask vibrated against his cheekbones, filling his mind with a sense of what was about him; behind, the mass of his clan. Ahead, his target. Long Gigen had walked with purpose, to a tree that stood as knobbly and gnarled as the Old Wyrm had so rapidly become; a hard, solid trunk, against which to strengthen his own body. He layed his staff on the ground, and withdrew his focus from his mask, the world drawing apart from him in an instant.

Then, there were only the voices a ways off, and the tree he could touch.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

Today was a day to focus on his hands. The legs had had enough so far in the walk, so it was only his knuckles and fingers that rhythmically dug into the wood. The dents left in the bark would heal quickly. His hands, too, would bear the weathering with little complaint; this was maintenance, not creation. To properly emulate the dragon, his claws and body would have to be as iron. To make them as iron, he had to train and condition them, continually strengthening the weaker mortal flesh.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

"We may be able to work something out, as we march to the farmlands."

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

"I picked up a thing or not when it comes to medicine in my travels, I'll do what I can."

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

"Broken bones and cuts are the worst of them."

Perhaps physically.

"If nothing else, they did not think to deprive us of the trees."

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

"Talking with your fists is what you get, isn't it? Come on, then, let's get these issues worked out."

"If you intend to duel, I will need to oversee— And I will set the terms."

Thunk...thunk...thunk...

Stray thought crept past the wall of focus, the rhythm slowing perceptibly at that. Perhaps he should have been paying more attention to the conversation after all.

"Fine. I accept."

Thunk-thunk. The rhythm slipped, skipping a beat.

"Will that clearing there suffice, jahagir?"

Thunk.

"To first blood, or to one's surrender. When I call it off, it is done."

Long Gigen's hand stopped millimeters short of the tree's bark. He relented after a moment, and placed his hand, open-palmed, against the bark, feeling the dents he had made, and knowing that the ancient life at the heart would long forget the assault before he'd ever pass by it again. He gave it a respectful nod of his head, reached down to pick up his staff, and walked again; this time around the wider group, his mask buzzing against his cheeks and forehead again, alerting him to the position of everything in the near vicinity, their forms producing noticeable walls in the constantly-shifting echo pattern.

And just as the Old Wyrm's seeming-impatient words rang out into the clearing, Gigen came to a stop opposite him, hands upon his staff, intent on what was to happen in the ring.

This was not a matter that he could simply ignore.

Edited by Bjorkway
font you too editor
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profiles i guess

i'm a south american giant otter now

 

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IC: Lii [Outskirts, Makeshift Arena]

She stood, eyes fixed on the Toroshu standing before her, only six paces apart. Her eyes were intense, yes, but surprisingly clear given the fire which had burned within them only moments before. Her stance, for it couldn't be mistaken for anything else, was set with her left foot positioned just in front of the other, crystalline armored boot on her back foot sinking slightly deeper into the soil. Hands raised.

The Grandmaster had only just cleared the area and expressed his impatience when she began moving. There was no flourish, no excess motion, pure intention. Lii crossed the intervening distance in nearly a single stride. Her step turned into a pivot, as her right foot planted firmly and began to rotate outward on the ball of her foot. Her left foot followed, and replaced the right in its grounded position as she pulled the other up- tensing up into the viciously fast side kick that snapped towards Nihonei's midsection. Her heel lead, pushing into her opponent's center of mass.

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IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
Kura's words succeed in somewhat lessening the feeling that Hyan-Fei refuses to call nervousness.  Knowing that her new friend used to be in the same place she, Hyan-Fei, is now makes the task of becoming a Soko horsewoman a little less daunting.

Naiana's initial takeoff startles her, and for several moments she keeps her muscles tight and her back painfully straight.  As she gets more familiar with the creature's gait, however, she visibly relaxes, allowing herself to follow the sways and lifts instead of fighting against them.  (Through all this, she does not deactivate her mask power.)  A smile begins to break out on her face.  She finds that she is enjoying herself.

OOC:
@Palm

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  • 2 weeks later...

IC A Datsue | Sado

"Tsk, keep going, little old short legs," she cursed, urging herself to continue walking through the streets of the city. Exercise was never one of her pastimes and even as a menti she'd preferred drinking plum wine in the company of koi and mosses, the sort of languid pastimes an era of peace and prosperity had afforded her clan. When everything hit the fans later on she'd been drafted to fight for the crown as her clan raised their pennants for Yusanora then, but it was not long until she suffered an injury that ended her service early, and then she returned to the mist of manicured gardens and orchards she so loved. While her accident and subsequent discharge had been 'honorable' it was still regarded with some heavy cloaked disdain by others, so while her status had not been touched her reputation and honor were irreparably tarnished. Eventually, the lazy menti warrior had turned into the sour datsue, relying on her position as an elder to stave off the reproaches and continue doing the things she'd always done. 

But time had not been kind to her since then, and bitterness creeps in the heart like rot through apple trees, or like cirrhosis of the liver. Her clan had fared well until the latest series of conflicts, and the last battle left most of their menti either deceased or missing. The diaspora of her clan included some few who'd fled with the current rora, and a small cluster of families who remained on Odaiba in hiding. The rest were on Sado, huddling with their remaining resources and dwindling power, including the one datsue who lived separately from all the others and kept to herself. Nobody questioned her life choices and none looked for her either. How she survived the battle was anyone's guess, though there was little interest in wondering.

She left her small apartment in The Wards occasionally so seeing her wander about the city wasn't out of the ordinary. In the wake of the battle she busied herself with visiting the Gardens' ruins and tending to the traumatized fish while also avoiding the healing encampments of injured menti and dashi, but rarely she'd also strike out in other directions as she did this day. She hated all the flights of stairs in the Palace complex and sometimes wondered if they made them specifically to spite lazy former farm girls like her, but she was on a mission this time. In the datsue's hand she clutched a cylindrical leathern case, and it was to be delivered to just one person. She'd impulsively said she'd do it when she was asked, and while she now doubted the life's choice she was stubborn enough to see it through. 

Her knees, however, had more loud protestations. Gears ground with pronounced decrepitness and servos strained from the movement, and she had to constantly override her impulse to rest her tired bones for a while. The guard numbers were far lower than they'd been when the Hogo clan kept the imperial family and their treasury and the new sentries who now were stationed allowed her passage only after some minor questioning. Datsue were given the privilege of movement about mostly out of respect of their elderly status and role as arbiters, and if anyone dragged her into protracted interviews she'd dazzle with long filibusters of old woman tales and archaic gardening regulations. Inevitably she was permitted to continue, which was how she finally navigated to what was once the old Umbraline section, the one that had few remaining residents with the whole clan's exodus from Sado. When she arrived thence she gleefully sat herself in the small meditation alcove on the promenade between the former imperial family apartments, and there she waited.

For a while she sat muttering to herself, complaining about the pain in her joints and the weariness in her soul, but then she allowed herself to sink back in to her usual calming trance. She listened to the gentle babble of the water fountain, letting her mind wander in the murmuring of water trickling down the rough stone. The soft whisper of a breeze touched her face like her mother's hand, evoking memories of many an afternoon tending the flower beds that left earthy aromas of root and loam, further comforting her mind with images of a quiet past long since gone. The moss that graced all the rocks and crept up the wooden walls in a well-manicured sprawl fed her eyes with a vibrant feast of greenery, and she could easily see herself sitting at the far end of a meadow gazing up at the burgeoning slope of Mount Koshiki and its many foothills and the moss representing the forests on those hills. Not one to get too sucked into her mind's eyes, she noticed that people still passed by, sometimes with a busy gait and others with listless pace, as a kind reminder that this was still an occupied residential quarter, but none paid the tired looking elder woman any heed and neither did she bother looking up at them. 

Finally, her attention was caught by the heavy walk of the person she was waiting for. Lord Rayuke, the Umbraline First Son and [former?] Royal Executioner, walked around the corner and she instantly got to her feet to intercept him, muttering a grumble at the quick motion as she hobbled towards him. "Lord Rayuke," she said meekly with a slight bow of deeper respect. "I bear a message for you." She fumbled with her canister and pulled out a small scroll. It was a graphite grey piece of handmade parchment that bore a seal of black wax with the shape of a lily. 

The Umbraline son plucked it delicately from the datsue's fingers and carefully cracked the seal. As he unrolled it he noted the paper had been folded in half and inside were two poems written in bright red paint, one on each side; on one side it said;

The scarred first son
stands alone in the palace.
Where are the Seconds? He asks; 
is first also last?
The last one is not alone
though he might wish it were so.

And on the other side it read:

When the moon's face swims
under Koshiki's shadow,
be where Spirit spoke
and the empress did listen.
You will see me awaiting.

When Rayuke looked up from the poems his mind raced for questions, but the datsue had somehow vanished entirely without a sound. 

@Haman Karn: A Magical Girl 

Edited by Umbraline Yumiwa
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IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

"See? You're a natural," I said, noticing Hyan-Fei's brightened expression. We continued quietly for some time, and as we moved through the grassy foothills, I found my mind wandering. The last words I said to my mother, echoed within my mind, replaying over and over. 

.: You won't see me again, until I know the truth. :.

.: You don't deserve to know the truth, Kura. :.

.: Then you surely will never see me again. :.

All those years, I spent my life angry, searching for my father in clan not my own. I turned my back on my mother to do it even, and now instead of answers, I only carried regret. A regret that continued to grow and grow, like the long shadow of Koshiki spreading over the land. I began to feel that the worse had yet to come - that this shadow was only beginning to spread, and that we would find ourselves wholly caught up in its wake.

I prayed silently as I followed alongside Naiana and Hyan-Fei, that I was wrong, but I wasn't.

OOC: @capMARVELOUS

Edited by Palm

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