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IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki refugee camp:

Please don't bypass the word filter. -B6

"No, like.... with my.... brain. Like a lot of it. From the....ocean. Which I was in at the time cause I was running away and all. I didn't really fight it off so much as I got away from it. Maybe it being all rubbery made it hard to swim, I dunno. I hid in some sea grass til it went away."

I shrugged.

To be honest, it had been far more than that. That thing had chased me into the ocean, not knowing I had some weird freaky connection with water. I'd created a whirlpool that I'd hoped would keep it away, but it had stretched out and grabbed me. If it hadn't been for my mask and the fact that neither of us could escape the torrent while it was still going, I'm pretty sure we'd have both drowned instead of just the creature. To be honest I'm still not sure if it was really dead, but I didn't stick around long enough to check.

@Keeper of Kraata @TL01 NUVA

Edited by Black Six
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IC: Raika, Oki Refugee Camp

 

Raika almost jumped as Ahri's hand rested on their shoulder, but forced themself to calm down. It… it was reassuring, in an odd way.


Well, they thought, looking back to Yuna, that certainly WAS a nifty power.

Even just as a distraction.

But… Raika knew how to downplay an ability. And Yuna was starting to become uncomfortable it seemed. 

 

A small seed of worry was forming in Raika's mind. The tired wanderer was excited to have a friend with new abilities they could ask about.

But the Wraith, the parts of her who traced their paranoid birth to years of political espionage, brought a worrying possibility to the table:

 

If Yuna was hiding a secret… how dangerous would it be when it came out? They could hide very effectively, but perhaps there was some part of this water technique that could be used to reveal their footsteps, or to ward their entrance? If her mind was strong enough to hurl a bolt of water and stun a serpent, what would happen if that power was focused on someone's throat?

 

Their heartlight beat a panicked tattoo beneath their scarf, and they fought the instinct to grab onto their blades. 

 

Aaaaaaaaah…. They wanted to trust Yuna, they wanted to trust Ahri, but… secrets, secrets everywhere. Raika felt as though they were sitting upon a powder keg. And, if pasts did eventually come out… theirs might just be enough to set the lot ablaze.

 

Looking down at their feet, they said .:I understand. A lot happened in the moment. Not to draw attention away, but what do we do now? Yuna, surely you must know a few of the people around here. Is there someone we could go to to find out what we can do to help?:.

Privately, to Ahri, they added .:You are welcome to weigh in. After all, the two of us are acting with full memories. I fully understand if you wish to move on, and I p…. I p-promise I'll accompany you if you choose to leave.:.

 

OOC @Keeper of Kraata@The UltimoScorp

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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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 [Hanaloi, Observatory Entrance(Fanai/NPC)]

“We should talk, but I doubt refugees will have room for—”

::Something evil.  Above you.::

Mari sidestepped just as the writhing slug dropped down, mindarm tugging a knife free—but there was no need as two blazing lights cut through the darkness.   Trained reflexes and reach won out in the space of miliseconds and the creature was divided by a line of magenta.  Murasaki stepped back, barely avoiding a cut from the soulwhip herself before glancing upward, glowing machete still in hand.

Mari glanced only briefly at the steaming corpse of the slug that would have—without a warning from Fanai, latched onto her mask, and then her gaze returned to Askha.

::Pull her up.   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: Vazaria – Odaiba

“Better.”

Vazaria cracked open her bleary eyes, surprised to find that nothing had changed. The coarse, cracked surface of the volcano crater was still beneath her. She was still sprawled on all fours, her knees digging furrows in the dirt, her fingers curled like claws, clutching at the acrid ash.

She slowly raised her hands to her face, touching her mask where the kraata had latched onto her.  

They were still her hands. It was still her mask. She still felt like herself.

“No need for ceremony now, is there?”

The words were as loud within her head as they were without. Like they were her own words, her own thoughts. A part of her. She looked up, but saw no sign of Zataka. It was just the Rahkshi now, staring at her expectantly.

“Go. My Children besiege the city, but they whisper to me of a troublesome island. Hanaloi. See to it.”

“Of course,” Vazaria rose to her feet. Somewhere deep within, she was dimly aware that she should have felt something more. Trepidation at being entrusted with the task, irritation at the lack of more detailed instruction, disappointment at being sent so far from the main battlefront… but she felt none of it.

Zataka had instructed.

And she would obey.

It’s better this way, she reflected, as she activated her Kanohi and took to the air, gliding down the mountainside towards the northern shore. No more despair. No more doubts. Just purpose.

She never stopped to wonder whether the thoughts were truly her own.

Edited by Nato G
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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Kenji - A Rat Among Hounds 

Kozu. 

You have long since forgotten what it looked like before the darkness came to ruin it. Fursic turf. You sneered at them once, your brother and mother even warned you might have to cross blades with them in the event you'd actually be called out to do anything of worth. The Rahkshi beat you to that one, and here you are now. Among their bones and ruins. You inherited land, just not the land you wanted.

You hear hissing and stomping somewhere near the building you're crouched in. The smell of moss and rot hides your own stench, and the rubble and rock is of no interest to the dark servants on the island with you. You are free to fester at your own leisure.

Something pricks your ears, among the now distanced snorting and unholy patrolling outside. No, this sound is inside. With you.

You stir from your rest, aching bones and muscle stretching and mustard eyes creaking fully open. You often wish you'd packed an Arthron before you'd departed, but then, you weren't exactly brimming with time to spare. What you had was enough, technically. So you instead rely on your bare ears, crawling in the dark along the cracked and wet stone. 

There it is again. 

Sniff and scamper. Sniff and scamper. 

You slowly drag yourself closer, your knees scraping gently against the floor. You creep, patiently.

Then, something rewards that patience; a slice of light pokes itself through a crack in the keep wall, illuminating brown fur, and gleaming tiny teeth. Small red eyes meet your own. 

You take a moment to admire the other glimmer of life in the room with you. A stone rat. Even the rahi of this island seem to have largely died out or vanished, and now only the bottom feeders remain. It is likely quite hungry. Ordinarily, you would consider offering it some food, or perhaps even attempt to play with the creature. 

But your own stomach rumbled. Your aching hands feel your ribs. You were the hungrier parasite. The rat sniffs the floor in front of you both, arms twitching and scratching at itself. Itself seems unsure of what to do. Then there's a moment of realisation in the tiny beast's head. You too, are flesh and blood.

Before the rat had a chance to launch itself at you, you strike first. Hands close around the creature's body and it screeches as you squeeze it tight, one hand snatching your shattered shortsword and the other pinning the rat to the ground. A small gush of liquid blasts from the rahi's neck as you sever its head with the remaining edge of your dirty metal blade.

Its squirming ends quickly. It twitches for a minute or so, as you wipe the blood and some of the dirt from the blade with your withered kimono, and then it stops. Once again, there's silence. The Rahkshi, as usual, ignore the bottom feeders on the island.

Edited by Johnny Blocksville
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IC: Vazaria – Odaiba (Coastline)

Salty sea spray stung Vazaria’s eyes as she landed on the beach, her feet sinking into the soft sand, the wind buffeting her battered body. Crabs scuttled for cover in her wake, scrambling for the safety of their alcoves and burrows, while seabirds took off squawking as their airspace was so abruptly invaded.  

Vazaria barely registered the assortment of sights and sounds. 

She felt content, her brain blissfully bereft of questions.

She knew where she had to go and what she had to do, who she was doing it for and how it would benefit her.

She didn’t need to worry or wonder anymore.

She had a direction.

I have a destiny. 

But still, she knew it wouldn’t be handed to her. She had to work for it. She needed a plan, but before she could do that, she needed to better understand what had happened to her. Something had changed, she could feel it… something new, lodged deep within her… or perhaps what she felt was the absence of something else, old and gone.

She knelt by a rock pool, inspecting her reflection in the still surface of the water. She could see it now, a stain smeared across her Kanohi where the shadow-spawn had touched her. It resembled rust or some kind of corrosion, but clearly there was no real damage to her mask given that it still functioned. Still, it was a clear sign of… something… and she didn’t want whoever was on Hanaloi to have cause to be suspicious of her (more-so than they already would be at the sight of a stranger turning up at their gates).

Dipping her hands into the pool, she gathered up a heaping handful of muck and mud and set about smearing it across her face and shoulders, crushing dirt into every crack and contour of her mask and armour. Not only would it camouflage the mark on her mask, it would serve as evidence for her intended cover story of having washed up on Hanaloi after escaping Odaiba by raft. The bounty of bruises and abrasions she’d picked up from being knocked out of the sky by the Rahkshi would also help sell the story.

Satisfied with her work, she took to the air once more, and headed for Hanaloi.

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Ahri - Oki Refugee Camp

The amnesiac shook his head. "I don't even know where I'd go; home, I suppose? I'm supposed to be castellan of the Mashtet fortress, I don't know what I'm doing on Oki. And my memories... it doesn't bode well for Hanaloi. Maybe it was Fursic attack, maybe it was this new threat. My clan needs me, but..." He looked at the refugees, then glanced at at Raika and Yuna. Raika's fear, and Yuna's uncertainty... it was nothing to be ashamed of, but if there was a true threat, if these creatures attacked the camp, people would die; perhaps them. He couldn't allow that.

"Yuna, I didn't mean to sound dismissive, I've just never heard of a Menti being able to effectively use Mindarm to move water. I was just surprised." Memories surfaced, picking coastal fruit and mentally stacking stones. He didn't just know Mindarm, he had taught Mindarm. Ahri glanced to a cracked pot that was half buried in the sand. He reached out his hand, his will, and the pot lifted; sand streamed out of a hole in the bottom.

"When I learned Mindarm, the easiest way to figure it out was to envision an invisible hand grasping your target. After you mastered the basics, you could try things impossible to do with your own body, even at range;" he punctuated this by stressing the pot along its fault lines, shattering it into four pieces; he reached out, letting the sand inside fall through his fingertips. "But something like sand is still exceptionally difficult. Hundreds, thousands of grains; the Dasakan mind just isn't made for such a feat."

He tossed the broken pottery into a rubbage pile. "Hence, my confusion about the water. Water is... water, it can't even be broken down into particles; I've seen masters pull beads of morning dew, but never the ocean itself. You must have a very unique talent."

OOC: @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp

IC: Hambra - Hanaloi Jungle

Using her Pakari, the Kaazi stomped the ground as she had her ash bear form lower itself back onto all fours. Under the illusion, she readied her own tri-tip demon staff.

.:Possibly. It is my, and my tribe's, charge to defend this island, to ward off outsiders from the Mashtet's home and secrets, and I will not be the first to break the pledge we have honored for generations. Today, though, it also serves to save your life; the demons will not give you a chance to change your mind.:.

OOC: @Goose

IC: Askha & Somei - Hanaloi Observatory

The young Mashtet tugged on the rope, hauling her aunt back in until she could see her to lift her with Mindarm. As the Datsue took over and gently floated to the floor, only then did Askha stare at the bisected worm. "What in Zat...  Zuto Nui's name is that?"

Once Somei was on the ground, she reached out and telekinetically grasped both halves of the slug's carcass. "It's head... I've seen it before. This isn't a rahi, this is a part of the Rahkshi. When their faces open, these are in there." Its brain? A parasite? Something worse?

OOC: @Mel

IC: NPC - Hanaloi, Mashtet Fortress

The abandoned Mashtet fortress was slightly overgrown, but much of it looked untouched by time, as opposed to the small town around it, which was almost entirely overgrown and falling into disrepair. The only sign from the air that the occupants had been missing for years was a decaying Mashtet Carving on the top of the gate with the clan's symbol. Still, Vazaria could feel that she was not alone. As she lit down in the courtyard, the rogue Menti observed her surroundings. There was a central well in the middle of the courtyard and several smaller buildings, most of the doors shut. Tools were not strewn about, but put down as if their users had expected to pick them up after a midday meal. Stone stairs made their way to the largest building, where large gates with wholly inactive Mashtet carvings lay open. In front of the gate, on top of the stairs, a single Rahkshi crouched, its both hands holding its staff at rest.

The rahkshi, primarily a light purple, turned its head as it studied Vazaria. It made no sounds; the Dasaka could see that its faceplate had been damaged by a soulsword, and what would be one of its lower mandibles was missing. Vazaria then sensed the Rahkshi on the mental plane; it looked at her in the physical world, but at the same time, it was probing her mind, her memories, her thoughts, what she had seen, her conversation with Zataka. In moments, it was finished; it hadn't bothered with subtlety, but Vazaria's willing (or already compromised) mind didn't take long to read. Behind her, from the well, a second rahkshi clutched at the edge, whickering as it peered over the edge at the Dasaka. It shrieked at her, then descended back into the well.

The mind-reader stared at Vazaria. It glanced at the well, then back to Vazaria with mild interest.

OOC: @Nato G

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Caana (Hanaloi, Forest)

.:Look at my back. I do not fear the Rahkshi, and if I meet my death here, I will accept my fate. I would walk alone into the Mashtet compound if necessary, but I see no reason to do so – not when an alliance is possible.:.

Caana had not encountered a shape-changer before. It was a curious skill, and she couldn't help but wonder if it was simply an illusion – a well-crafted lie, but a lie nonetheless. With the move to a more aggressive posture, she couldn't afford to make either assumption.

.:I will not insult you by arguing that the Mashtet are already gone, nor by arguing that the Rahkshi have broken your vow for you by violating the Mashtet's home. I understand the importance of your honour, if you understand that I will not be swayed from my purpose. I would, however, argue that outsiders walk this island already. They profane the places your clan holds sacred; they have no interest in co-operation, and if there is common purpose to be found, they do not care to find it. They are beasts, capable only of destruction.:.

.:Let me repeat that I say this not to dishonour you; I say this because an outsider who would work with you deserves, under these circumstances, an audience. I will not force you to make this decision alone, and if I must meet your leaders or your clansmen as a prisoner, I shall willingly surrender myself to you. The choice is yours.:.

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

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[BZPRPG PROFILES]

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IC: Vazaria – Hanaloi (Mashtet Fortress)

For a few moments after the Rahkshi’s touch withdrew from her mind, Vazaria didn’t say or do anything. She was fixated on the creature before her, marvelling in its majesty.

The Rahkshi that Vazaria had encountered during her audience with Zataka had been pristine, perfect and powerful, unmarred by injury or damage. The one before her bore the scars of battle, indicating that the creatures could indeed be harmed, but somehow that didn’t diminish its standing to any degree.

A warrior who could still function with a chunk of their face carved off… these were formidable allies indeed.

“You’ve seen my thoughts. You know why I’m here,” she finally spoke, “How can I help?”

@Keeper of Kraata

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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 Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness, heading south
Is it nearly sunset already?  Time must fly when lost in thought or having fun, and Hyan-Fei is not sure which of those applies more to her.  Regardless, the time to stop for the day has apparently come, if a little earlier than she would like.  But she supposes it would do no good to wander about in the dark when there are dragons and spined things to look out for, and it would do the same to drag her new companion into her bad habit of staying up too late.

At the pointed boulder, which looks remarkably like an ancient sundial, Kuar offers her hand and warns about the dismount.  Hyan-Fei gives a smile and a small "Hmph" in return, as if to say, "I've got this."  She does not, however, have this.  As she begins moving to dismount, the muscles of her hips and lower back tweak and seize from the pain of being worked more than usual over the bumps and bounces of Naiana's gait.  She begins losing her balance so badly that her still-activated mask power cannot compensate for it, and it is only the last-second grabbing of Kura's hand that keeps her from landing sprawled on her back in the dirt.

Back on her feet, trousers dusted off, and mask power deactivated, Hyan-Fei crosses her arms and pouts, fully expecting Kura to giggle at her... less than graceful dismount.

OOC:
@Palm no worries mate.  i think a hearty "welcome back" is in order

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On 3/3/2022 at 2:22 AM, Ghosthands said:

IC (Ageru Kilanya) [Fort Kizuno, Odaiba]

"That is a difficult question to answer," Kilanya replied. "Clearly you must find whatever it is that blocks you, but that is easier said than done. Introspection and meditation may help, but...sometimes an outside perspective is needed, to see in oneself what the self cannot."

The Toroshu rubbed her chin, frowning not in displeasure but in contemplation.

"When is your next training shift?"

IC: Ageru Shiki (Dastana Republic Odaiba Encampment - Fort Kizuno)

As she says those words, my spine immediately goes alight with a rushing sensation, already stiff as it is from my endurance of her dismay.

There are only a few ways to take such a question, and all of them— all that I've come up with— mean she intends to hunt me down once that time arrives.

Hunting down a struggling Soulsword, met by little more than chance...

Could it be? There's no way— surely there's so much else that takes precedence, over every trainee— to say nothing of a Menti like little old me.

I don't really know what to think, except that I should probably not think too much about it. If I spin off in my own head with expectations and theories on just what might be in store for me, I'll be set up for a bad time— be it disappointment or outright failure. Again, this is my Toroshu. Our clan's very tip of the spear in both the theaters of the war and of politics. I had only expected a passing advice from her when I made my insolent query, and I shouldn't go around acting like I've suddenly earned more than that just yet. For all I know, there are far more pressing matters that would need attending to long into the timeframe she seeks anyway.

...But really, what else could it mean?

"Well, there are two answers. Schedules usually have me train on the evenings,"

As much as I intend to cool my head before I think rashly—

"But I intend to get back to it as soon as I've finished my work."

My mouth moves of its own accord. 

It would be impolite to brush her off even if we were on equal standing, and downright insulting to do it to her as my elder and leader, true— but I'm still overwhelmed by the feeling that "I couldn't help myself", rather than "I held to decorum".

I just need to see where this ends up now. after all, even if the hope I dare not entertain comes to pass, to what end would it be? I had no guarantee that this would be any different from the thousands of ways I've tried to approach this beforehand, with those that had much more time and energy to devote to someone like me than someone so lofty as her. It's like an eagle teaching a fledgling sparrow to ride the wind, isn't it?

If it is a disrespect to my former mentors to think this would succeed where they have failed, I don't want to commit that.

Yet.

Regardless of every part of me that's logical... Hope rises, from deep within the Soul.

Am I arrogant in thinking of this? Am I dooming myself? 

She's cupping her chin in thought, but as her gaze narrows on me, I realize something must show upon my face, and that I've worked myself up regardless, in spite of my best efforts. I guess I can't help the excitement— but I can help the attention. More than ever, I need it to be absolute and undivided. I'll never get a shot at moving forward quite like this again.

I clap my face, palms meeting the cheeks of my Kiril twice. It's a classic, stinging smack upon the skin— and it's an easy reset button on the train of thought. I can wonder and worry and wait once my time is my own time, after all.

"Is there anything else I might do for you, Toroshu-dono?"

My head inclines.

Right now, I've been using hers.

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IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness, heading south

I watched as Hyan-Fei unceremoniously began dusting off her clothing, and couldn't help but let a bit of a smile creep into view, "Don't be too embarrassed Hyan-Fei. You've taken your fall rather well, considering. My mother was so annoyed at my crying that she tossed me back onto the horse." I put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, neglecting to mention Chand girls like myself were, well, children when we first learned to ride. Not that I thought so little of my new companion. If anything, Hyan-Fei's pride despite the tumble was one of the endearing qualities about her.

"You won't have to worry about whether or not I'll toss you back on, on my honor as a Chand woman," I gave a somewhat facetious bow, with one hand over my fist to sell the act. I looked back up at her, to see crossed arms, and lips pressed tightly together, "I don't think I'd be able to if I tried, and definitely not when you've got that look on your face. I'd rather wait until your guard is down."

OOC:  @capMARVELOUS

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IC (Ageru Kilanya) [Fort Kizuno, Odaiba]

Kilanya nodded as Shiki stated her training hours. She had tarried to speak with the young Menti and it was high time she continued her inspection of the Kizuno defences, but her timetable for the evening was more open. It would not be difficult for her to commit some time to overseeing the training yards. She could not devote such time purely to helping one Menti with her struggles, of course, but the training session as a whole would undoubtedly benefit from her oversight, and showing her face among the troops was always good for morale. If she happened upon young Shiki while doing so, and had the opportunity to assess her issues properly, that would simply be one small part of a wider gain.

The Toroshu almost smiled, chiding herself. Even now, after all that had happened these past months, it seemed her sentimental streak was still alive and well. Why did she feel so compelled to help this young Menti, to the extent that she was already making excuses to arrange her schedule around it? Did she see something in Shiki, some spark of potential that demanded cultivation? Or was it a more selfish desire for connection amid the isolation her status and responsibility engendered? Or a displacement of her longing for the daughter she had barely known, and now might never again? All of them, perhaps. Or maybe it didn't matter — maybe what was important was to hold on to these little moments of humanity in this long and brutal war. Zuto Nui knew, there had been precious few of them.

 

On 3/10/2022 at 11:11 PM, Razgriz said:

"Is there anything else I might do for you, Toroshu-dono?"


"Only what I ask of all Ageru," Kilanya replied. "Give your all in the defence of our home and people. Stand firm in the face of terror and pain. And above all...cultivate hope."

The Toroshu looked away, past Kizuno's far wall and the distant spires of Sado to the cloud-streaked western sky.

"It is a fragile crop," she said quietly. "But it may grow in even the harshest soil."

She gazed out at the sky a moment longer and raised a hand to brush at something near her eye. Then she turned back to Shiki, wistfulness gone, commanding once more.

"That is all," she said. "Until we meet again, Ageru Shiki."

The Toroshu inclined her head in a brief nod of farewell, and strode away.

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IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki Refugee camp:

"More like a curse," I muttered. "Anyway, if we're all rested up, we could go see what kind of shape any other boats in the area are in?"

Was this a very poor attempt to quickly change the subject? Yes, absolutely.

@Keeper of Kraata

 

 

Edited by The UltimoScorp
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  • 2 weeks later...

IC: Raika, Oki Refugee Camp 

 

Something akin to a mixture of admiration and burning jealousy settled in Raika's gut as they watched Ahri expertly wield his mindarm abilities. That's what a Menti looks like they told themself, a sour taste rising in their throat. That's what this village needs. Not a sneak thief.

 

Searching for anywhere else to look but at Ahri, cheeks crimson beneath their mask with shame, they noticed Yuna's discomfort. A combination of genuine concern and selfish desire to change the subject before Ahri asked them to demonstrate their own abilities led them to respond immediately to Yuna.

 

The wiry Dasaka nodded their head. .:Yes, that sounds like a good idea. Those boats will probably be essential soon. It's been… a long time, but I have helped repair a boat or two before.:.

 

Once. When they were small. They'd gotten hot tar on their hands and needed to soak them in the water until the burning subsided… 

 

The crafts' owner had said that the blobbily caulked boards were a good job, but a week later Raika noticed the boards were sanded and recaulked with rope and fresh pine resin. It was then they realised that the Saihoko had been humoring her clan's firstborn, and not actually grateful for their help. 

 

Raika shook their head, trying to dispel the image of the smiling face and the reset boards. They may not be any good, but they were a nobody now. Maybe someone could help them learn, properly this time. Maybe they could actually help someone.

 

IC: @Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp

Edited by Lady Takanuva

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 A ronin | Sado, Gardens District

Conflicts, no matter the scale, hurt people. Whether between two dueling highborn menti or toroshu intent at exterminating another clan, war was war, and war always afflicted the people in terrible ways that left every aggrieved dasaka somberly coping with casualties both corporeal and intangible. The physical wounds were cared for as best as able, but those mental injuries persisted in ways that stewed and turned septic, and the ronin's lips turned down in a frown as he admitted the great irony that beings who's powers came from the mind itself were so woefully ill equipped to process the trauma they incurred. It was an unfortunate tragedy he, least of all, could not unravel—after all, he'd fallen victim to the same cycle of ill mental health as any other, and had let his own ambitions and insufficiencies take their tolls on his fellow countrypeople. The current conflict may not have been his doing, but he'd cost many lives in wars past; yet another trauma he'd allow to scar over time. 

This war was against demons of a different sort, and that was perhaps a hidden—and singular—blessing as a dasaka could not rationally levy the blame for it against another dasaka. Their losses were taken by foes they did not know, using powers they'd never seen, fighting on behalf of a god they never knew, and there was not a one person left untainted or an ivory castle left unsullied, so all the clans fought for their survival together. How refreshing, the ronin morbidly thought at the change in fortune and tone, a cringeworthy idea he swallowed instantly when he glanced at the dozens of stretchers and medical beds, each with menti and dashi in various stages between recovering fully and cadaverdom. 

He was dressed in a dark grey linen kimono with a jet black obi at his waist, and on his stooping back was a rucksack overflowing with bundles of herbs and small baskets of flowers. He wore a straw hat, the wide-brimmed conical sort the fisher clans donned, that shrouded his green eyes, but when he looked up to see the street it was not hard to see the weariness on his long, gaunt face. He walked slowly with the deferential care of a pragmatic survivor, wary to get in other people's way as they milled about with more urgent purposes than his own in the tents of the medical centre constructed in what was once the Imperial garden sanctuary. 

"Excuse me," he said to an orderly when he came close to the administrative tent, "I have some rare herbs and remedies to share for the cause. Perhaps they can be put to use by an expert's hand."

@Keeper of Kraata

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IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness, heading south
"If you try tossing me back on there without permission, I'll toss you in the river," Hyan-Fei replies with just enough bluster to indicate that she is likewise teasing.  Her serious expression lasts for all of a few seconds more before she starts to laugh along with Kura.  But her laugh is interrupted by a small groan of pain as her muscles remind her that they need some relief; she answers their call by doing some lower-body stretches.

As she stretches, she looks a question at Kura.  Wanting to know what her companion thinks of their first day of journeying so far, she makes her question verbal.  "So.  Do you still have a good feeling about this?"

OOC:
@Palm

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IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

"So. Do you still have a good feeling about this?"

If I was being honest, I would tell Hyan-Fei that I didn't, and that every passing moment brought me closer and closer to the realization that I really would never see my mother again, and that even more than that, that this very same fear was keeping both of us here, so close to the opening of the earth below and all its evils within, when we should be fleeing. But as much as I may have demanded that same straight-forwardness from my mother, I was unaware of these truths inside of me.

Perhaps it was the guilt, that Hyan-Fei was following me towards greater danger, or just my own foolishness that clouded my heart and my mind. Either way, I answered with what I felt was true at the time, false or not,
"I think so. Take you for example! If you were unaffected by the Dead Mountain, there has to be a real chance that there are others out there, in need of our help," A sudden cool breeze washed over us, rustling the leaves of the trees above, "Anyways, I would never be able to forgive myself if I turned back now, after all this searching."

I turned away from my companion as my voice wavered, the first sign to us both that in truth, I had no idea what I truly felt deep down. Maybe she heard it too; maybe she would see that I was completely in over my head, and that she should never have agreed to come along. She should have stayed in that little clearing, far away from here - far away from me. And I should have been much wiser to see it.

I took a short breath, and with the now cooler air as my reminder, I began scrounging up sticks for kindling.

OOC: @capMARVELOUS

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| BZPRPG Profiles |

 

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IC: Ahri - Oki Refugee Camp

Yuna's comment didn't escape Ahri's notice, but he didn't say anything about it, only nodded. These two, these outcast, neglected members of Dasaka society... it couldn't have been a coincidence he was here. Providence of Zuto Nui in these trying times? Something else?

"I agree. But I'd rather not swim, I've had enough of the ocean for now. If we stick to the coastline, we should find something; we might even find some Vilda to help."

As the three began walking, Ahri paused to consider his lack of weapons. He eyed Yuna's sheathed katana at her side, then Raika's daggers. His eyes flicked to a stalk of dead bamboo still standing off the beach. The Mashtet snapped his foot in a low kick, eliciting a sharp crack as the bamboo twisted and fell. Before it hit the ground, Ahri caught the length of bamboo with Mindarm. As the three walked, he went to work snapping the bamboo to usable lengths and peeling off strips to use as makeshift binding. In a few minutes, he had fashioned himself some additional protection to his hands and wrists, and had himself a decent-sized stick.

He hadn't said anything as he worked. When he saw Yuna and Raika's glances, he shrugged. "If you see a sword, I'll take it. I prefer straight swords to curved, though."

OOC: @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp

Edited by Keeper of Kraata
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IC: Long Hayn-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness, heading south
Hyan-Fei does hear the waver in Kura's voice, sees her turn away just a little too quickly, feels the aura of doubt radiating off her.  She can tell that her companion is thinking that roping her into this expedition, or maybe even the expedition itself, was a bad idea.  The reiteration once again of her, Hyan-Fei's, intact status sounds even more like she is trying to convince herself that it is a good sign, when in reality, it is almost certainly not a sign at all.

Perhaps lingering and looking for survivors is a bad idea.  But an even worse idea is lingering and looking for survivors by yourself.  After all, in times of danger, the only way to guarantee that someone comes out alive is to have that someone be you.  And that is much easier to do with someone watching your back.  For this reason, Hyan-Fei does not regret coming along.  (Plus, bad idea or no, she finds that she enjoys Kura's company more than she thought she would.)

She sees that Kura needs some comforting words; alas, her brusqueness will likely mangle any she could offer.  She settles for giving a small smile and an encouraging, if somewhat rough, pat on the shoulder, hoping that that will be enough.  Leaving her companion to her task, she retrieves her fishing pole and begins trying to catch their dinner- seated on the bank, feet dipped in the water, in exactly the same pose she was in when their paths first crossed.

OOC:
@Palm

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IC: Raika, Oki refugee camp.

 

The slight warrior looked at Ahri's improvised stave with admiration, shifting their shoulders and self-consciously feeling for the halves of their own bo staff to clunk against their back.

A small battle raged in their mind for a few moments, before the Wraith deftly drew one of their daggers.

They paused, glancing at the ill-maintained yet still razor-sharp protocrystal dagger. Half the heatstone core sat snug in the blade's warm grip, the other half warming the spine of the knife. When squeezed, the trigger brought the two shards of stone together, superheating the weapon in a matter of seconds. Effective if you wanted to cut through armor.

 

Or to fake the wound of a Soulsword.

 

Nausea roiled in Raika's throat as they looked at the Wraith's dagger. It wouldn't do to offer anyway. It was too short to be a proper sword.

 

A coward's weapon.

 

Unslinging the halves of her bo, Raika deftly screwed them together and, more deftly that the daggers, gave the staff a quick, affectionate twirl, and held it out towards Ahri.

 

It was a decent thing. In fact, decent was hardly the word. It was beautiful sea-blue crystal, etched with flowing waves on one side and partially set with turquoise hills the other, though some of the set stones seemed to have fallen out or cracked with use. Save one area, that seemed to have had its stones gouged deliberately out. It looked like it had once been quite an expensive tool, but now bore the hallmarks of use and longevity.

 

.:Just until we find you a sword, okay? That bamboo trick was cool, but we meet one of those… demons… you'll want good Kentoku crystal in your hands, trust me.:.

 

Scarlet colored their cheeks as they weighed the weapon in their hand. Were they… really going to just loan this to a person they just met? It was… one of the few bits of home they still had….

 

 Looking pointedly away, they added .:If you don't give it back when you do find one I'll knock your mask off with it once I take it back:.

OOC:

@Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp

Edited by Lady Takanuva
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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: Hambra - Hanaloi (Forest)

.:You may not be friend to the demons, but that does not mean you are friend to the Kaazi. But... :.

The ash bear moved toward the Menti, softly growling. Behind her illusion, Jahagir Hambra studied the stranger. She was calm; either she had nerves of protocrystal, or she knew something that Hambra didn't. However, she did indeed possess a Demon's staff; unless it was scavenged, she had slain one. She stepped back and dropped her Ash Bear form, holding her three-pointed Demon's staff as the ready. The massive Menti standing at full height was slightly shorter than when she had stood as an ash bear, but the resemblance had been repeated to Hambra many times.

"We know of the destruction these.. rahskshi bring. My tribe has been decimated; I have three zrupgar remaining." She tilted her head, her eyes remaining narrowed. "I am Jahagir Hambra, of the Kaazi tribe. I would like nothing more than to purge this island, my home, of these creatures, but it is no easy task. I don't think we will have to do it alone, though."

She studied the body language of the ronin. If she was to be trusted, her reaction to her next statement was vital. "Some Mashtet yet live. My zrupgar are with them and their... expedition."

OOC: @Goose

IC: NPC - Hanaloi (Mashtet Fortress)

The scarred Rahkshi briefly glanced at Vazaria before continuing its vigil. From the well, the light blue rahkshi again poked its head up, warbling. Once the creature was sure it had the fallen Dasaka's attention, it crawled back into the well, scaling the mossy walls like a colossal, uncanny insect. Vazaria could see that the Rahkshi disappeared into a hole near the bottom, above the water line; whether it was a natural cave or a crude tunnel was impossible to tell from the top.

Vazaria could feel the scarred Rahkshi's attention be directed elsewhere. It did not move, only turning its head to focus on another empty space in the courtyard.

OOC: @Nato G

Edited by Keeper of Kraata
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IC: Vazaria - Mashtet Fortress

Evidently Zataka had not gifted her children with the capacity to speak or ideatalk, at least not in any language that Vazaria could comprehend. 

Or perhaps they were so unified in mind and purpose that they were beyond the need for such things.

Regardless, the blue Rahkshi's request was simple enough for her to understand. Once it had disappeared from sight, Vaza clambered up over the side of the well and dropped in after it, momentarily activating her Kanohi as she neared the bottom, flying briefly upwards against gravity's pull to slow her fall. Her arms caught the edge of the hole as her legs splashed into the grimy water, the sound of her ungainly entrance echoing up the walls of the well. 

Peering into the gloom ahead of her, she pulled herself up into the tunnel and crawled on in search of the blue Rahkshi. 

@Keeper of Kraata

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Caana (Hanaloi, Forest)

Caana lowered her hands now, and respectfully bowed her head. She was confident that the worst of the danger was past – and almost certain that the ash bear was an illusion, now that the facade had been dropped. Things were unlikely to come to blows now, but if they did, her tonfa were the answer, if she was to get close enough to this Hambra to render her staff useless. Moreover, if she told the truth, she was alone, her only surviving clansmen attending to the Mashtet.

Her tale of surviving Mashtet, however, left Caana more curious than anything; her face turned thoughtful, and she neither tensed nor relaxed. Their agenda was unknown, but the disappearance of their clan would be deeply personal to them – perhaps enough so that they might share Caana's goal.

"From what I have heard of this island and its legends, you may not have been alone regardless." Her initial sense of the island's loneliness, while not entirely dissipated, had been slowly overcome by the distinct feeling of being watched. Caana did not tend to indulge such flights of fancy, but Hanaloi was an unusual place; its myths of ghosts and lost scouting parties had been well-earned. "This expedition – its goal is to purge the Rahkshi?"

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

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[BZPRPG PROFILES]

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

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IC: Sydelia - Sado Gardens

The orderly gently took the basket and briefly looked through the contents before turning back to the ronin. Before she could vocalize any thanks, a Menti had already glided over and scooped the basket out of her hands, rummaging through it. "I thought I smelled something. Let's see... Odaiba poppy, we can turn that into incense and treat whole tents at a time."

"I-I was taught that we make a tea-"

 "Which when properly rationed," the gaunt Menti replied, "can be administered to maybe eight patients, and it requires us to pour it down throats if they can't drink it. Trust me, smo... inhaling it has just a strong effect, if shorter. A fine tradeoff in our situation."

As she rifled through the herbs, she already felt better. Less casualties were coming in now that the main onslaught of the Rahkshi had slowed, however, that meant that the gardens had a large amount of wounded that were going to be in a lot of pain, very soon. Even with Sydelia 'extending' supplies here, they were being stretched thin. The Fursic's eyes shot open as her breath stopped. "Volcanic Lotus..." A rare flower, one petal supposedly could put someone to sleep for a day with pleasant dreams. One heII of a downer. She wiped away some drool, disguising it by scratching at her mask.

Carefully, she handed the basket back to the order and turned to the newcomer, carefully composing herself and hoping she wasn't too stained with dry blood. "Thank you, sir Menti; that was a very generous donation. Where did you find all these?"

OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa

Edited by Keeper of Kraata
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IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki coastline

"Unless you're a lot stronger than you look, I dunno how much use those will be." I held out my hands,  "Lemme see that staff and one of your daggers for a sec, some of that binding, too."

Ooc: @Lady Takanuva

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                                                                                           The Unofficial Guide to TBRPG Combat!

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[Hanaloi, Observatory Entrance(Fanai/NPC)]
As the others examined the creature, Fanai spoke.

“I felt its mind—it was very much like a rakshi, but the rakshi has something that…enhances it.   I do not know.   We would need to keep a live one to find out the difference.”

She didn’t need to spell out the impossibility of that experiment.

Meanwhile, Murasaki coughed—she had attempted to use her machete soulsword for its most appropriate purpose and been rewarded with a foul smelling cloud of pollen as she cleared away the plant growth.

“Whatever that thing was…it left behind…eaaaagh.”

“We can do science experiments later—that thing came from somewhere”  Mari said, looking at Somei.   “Where’s that old compound that the Taajar mentioned?”

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

 

[Sado, Streets(Morie)]
Glory was not one of the three virtues.

Granted, it was necessary to have figures to aspire to.   The Dasaka needed their Rakumetsu Toroshu to give them hope, and Morie did not begrudge Kilanya her title—it was one she had earned, and one she had payed for.

Morie, however, knew she could never be that to her people.   An artist of subtlety, she could only watch from the back, secure in the notion that she could prevent at least a good amount of the young Willhammers from throwing their lives away trying to match their will to Zataka’s.  Thus, here she was, guiding them through a relatively safe area of Sado’s outer streets.

Safe until now, at least.  She hated being right.

Yet, as she began to brush, ever so slightly, as she had taught others to do, against the consciousness moving through the streets, she sensed none of the signs of a demon wearing the guise of a Dasaka.  Still, she waited, examining it several times.   The rakshi had not yet produced a variety that could fool a willhammer, but that did not mean they would not.

Finally, after a couple minutes of strained idea-talk conversations among the group, Morie sent a psychic thread out to the consciousness wobbling through the streets.

::State your name and clan and your reason for being in this area without notifying the war council.::

OOC: @Perp

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: Raika, Oki Refugee Camp

Raika looked at the two weapons, then to Yuna. They bit back the acidic remark that rose in their throat at the suggestion that Raika could not look after themself.

The wraith stowed their daggers, folded the staff under their arm, began to unwind the linen strips from their wrist absentmindedly for a few seconds, then went rigid. They tasted bile from sheer anxiety and shot Yuna another hurried glance. Handing the staff over, they then reluctantly drew the dagger and held it out, handle first. 

.: Going to need some better wrappings than thes. Besides, my hands would get caught in the ends of the sleeve.:.

It was a feeble lie, Raika knew. But they also figured Yuna was not in a position to start questioning alibis at the moment.

A shameful feeling squirmed through Raika's gut as they thought this. They nearly shook their head. No. Not suspicion. They needed to trust her.

ooc: @Keeper of Kraata@The UltimoScorp

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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IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki Coastline:

"No worries, I'll use my sash." I pulled the bow tied behind me apart and unwrapped it from my midsection. It didn't really hold anything up, it was my one vanity, really.

 I took the dagger, the staff, and the sash and set to work.

"Not exactly a sword, but with those things, all the reach you can get is crucial."

Being a Saihoko was good for one thing, at least. I could make stuff out of other stuff pretty easily now. learning how to make and mend all of my own things had been..... illuminating.

All it took was a nice bit of wrapping and a good strong knot and I'd made a half decent spear.

"There we go." I held it out. "You two can uh.... figure out who gets to use it, I guess?"

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata@Lady Takanuva

 

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                           The Unofficial Guide to TBRPG Combat!

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IC A ronin | Sado, Gardens District

The black-clad menti had stood back when the other excedly swept into the scene and took the bag of donated goods from the orderly. While he remained quiet as she excitedly combed through the assortment of herbs and remedies, in the shadow of his hat's brim grew a thin smile of self-satisfaction for bringing the right form of currency to the table. His gamble paid well and he'd found exactly who he was looking for; Sydelia's mannerisms—and perversions of kanpō remedies—were unmistakable. 

"Volcanic Lotus..." Carefully, she handed the basket back to the orderly and turned to the newcomer, carefully composing herself and hoping she wasn't too stained with dry blood. "Thank you, sir Menti; that was a very generous donation. Where did you find all these?"

Pretending to be no longer burdened by the weight of the heavy rucksack and its contents, he straightened his back somewhat and tilted his chin up to see Sydelia with his own eyes, and showed his face in the process. It was unlikely Sydelia would know who he was, having worked in entirely different echelons of society and clans, completely notwithstanding the ronin's adoption of a Kanohi Rau to replace the loss of his former mask of power, but he knew her face from the dossiers he'd been able to access previously: Fursic Sydelia, born Mashtet Sydelia, the "mad medic."

"You're very welcome," he said. "Some I cultivated in my own backyard, but most of these come from my friends on Oki." This was patently false as the ronin neither had a backyard (unless one counted the whole of Sado as 'his backyard' in a semantic stretch) or any friends on Oki (least of all friends he could be in contact with), but without Rayuke's truth-finding abilities he was in the clear for lies such as this one, particularly with his abilities to shield his mind from most probes, and his presence was mysterious but not suspicious so he had little to worry about. In truth, he'd stolen that particular cache of remedies from a botanical storehouse in the former Umbraline complex on Sado. With that little bit of context, his reference to 'friends on Oki' was a humorous derision, indeed, and an offset to his deep-seated traumas. 

"I can bring you more herbs as I get them," the ronin mentioned. "It'll be good knowing these will be in an expert's hands."

@Keeper of Kraata

Edited by Umbraline Yumiwa
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IC: Raika, Oki Refugee Camp

 

When Raika saw what Yuna was using, they immediately felt a knot rise in their throat. As the sash was tied tight, Raika felt at their neck to the scarf, their only vanity. 

 

Oh, VERY nice. And now she's used that because you were too scared to show a few scars. Because you didn't want them to ask where they came from.

 

Raika accepted the lance carefully, cheeks flushed with shame and odd gratitude. .:I… y-you…:. They stared at the binding intently, not meeting Yuna's gaze. 

 

.:Th…thank you. I'm sorr- I… thank you. I'll make sure you get your sash back in one piece.:.

 

Their hands shook slightly as guilty conscience continued tearing at their insides.

 

She probably did it for Ahri. Just being polite offering for you to use it. Why would someone want to help you anyway?All you've done is panic and hold the others back.

 

More gingerly this time, Raika weighed the spear in their hand, finding the new center of balance Once they had, they held out the weapon between themself and Ahri.

 

.:H-here you are, then. You'll probably get some good leverage with this.:.

 

Their dagger and their staff. That was a steep blow, but… Ahri would be safe. Raika wondered what it would be like to have a friend who would sacrifice something like Yuna just had. 

 

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata@The UltimoScorp

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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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IC: Askha & Somei - Hanaloi Observatory

Somei studied the trail left by the creature. She could only help but be clinical in this situation. "I think that thing was the source of discoloration I spotted on the camouflage outside..." She noticed that Mari had been addressing her. "Ah, yes, our compound. It's south of here, in the valley; we should be able to see it with the telescope..."

"It is called the Observatory," Askha remarked before looking out the window onto Hanaloi. Her old home was down there in the forest... waiting. Askha inhaled, and pivoted the telescope on the compound,

Her home was down there. And someone else had just visited.

"I saw someone, I think a Dasaka, fly in," Askha said tersely. "I'm going to check it out, I'll be right back."

Somei's eyes widened as she raised her hand to her niece. "Askha, wait!" But her warning came too late; the Mashtet Menti had already slouched into a crosslegged position as her Kanohi glowed.

.:I'll be careful.:.

*     *     *

Askha's projected form swooped through the trees, ignoring the physical matter. As she approached where she knew her clan's fortress stood, she swung up; the walls were lined with carvings. In life, they had served as a source of beauty, a show of power, and a handy defense mechanism against others with Idens; on the mental plane, they were as real as the crystal and wood they were carved into, and in her astral form, Askha could only converse in Ideatalk by speaking. She didn't want to plow face-first into a wall.

She came to a stop hovering above the courtyard to her home. Pangs of homesickness struck her to her core. There should be people here. Ringti having lunch, her father practicing with one of her sisters, Dashi attendants running to appointments. But there was no activity, so friendly bustle of conversations. But the courtyard was not empty.

A Rahkshi crouched outside the gates to the main castle and a Dasaka with a muddy Kadin and ramshackle armor stood in the center of the courtyard. It made no move to attack, only staring at her. Slowly, Askha descended, attempting to keep very quiet. She didn't want to startle anyone, but... why was she still alive?

“You’ve seen my thoughts. You know why I’m here. How can I help?”

What? Askha's gaze shot to the Dasaka. A Menti working with the creatures? She'd heard of Menti going insane after being hit with the Rahkshi's powers, but none like this. Askha studied the woman as she looked around, being greeted by a second Rahkshi in the well. Askha didn't recognize her, but she detected no hint of madness. She narrowed her eyes; one more enemy in her home. But wait, what she had said...

Askha looked over her shoulder at the purple Rahkshi that the traitor had been addressing, and had to stifle a shriek. It was staring right at her. Its eyes followed her movements. It stood, its monstrous gaze locked on her. She felt it in her soul, peeling away at her mind. Who she was, her memories of her Clan's home, her family... Somei... the expedition...

"Lesson one: Defense." Her mother, Toroshu Kaetyo. "The best line of defense against a Willhammer is simple; its not to be a better Willhammer, or have an unbreakable will; its to not let them read your mind. When we hide, we use obstacles to block the sight of those who search, we strike first, or for the Sighteye's among us, we make them think we are not here."

It took effort to remember her senses; Askha shot into the air like a firework, and sped back to the Observatory. Lesson one: be somewhere else. Rejoining her body was more violent than usual, and the Menti spilled across the floor, coughing as her lungs remembered how to breathe.

"Askha? What happened?" Somei asked. She was packing her kit; Askha had to remember it had scarcely been several minutes, even though it had felt far, far longer.

The younger Mashtet caught her breath. "It saw me... and read me... one of the Rahkshi." She slowly struggled to her feet. "It saw me on the mental plane and read my mind; I don't know how much was compromised, but it definitely knows about all of us. We need to move. And... there was a Dasaka there. She was working with them. They're doing something under our fortress."

OOC: @Mel

IC: Hambra - Hanaloi, Forest

The Jahagir lowered her staff. "No," she said, a hint of displeasure in her voice, harsh, but still quiet. "Though making contact with the Kaazi was their first step, the expedition is primarily from Clan Dastana to secure Hanaloi's supply of lumber once again."

Hambra broke eye contact, scanning the treeline. "Not that I blame them; while the Vilda eclipsed them, the Mashtet made their living before we even got here off the lumber of this island. If the mainland is having as much trouble as we are, an unsullied source of-"

The Taajar stopped, tilting her head. There was a muted ringing coming from nearby; like a mix between a wind chime and a ghekula. Hambra glanced at Caana, holding a finger to her mouth. The Jahagir turned transparent; invisible, but allowing the outsider in on her illusion. She crept towards the sound, which repeated once. Together, the two discovered the source. Carefully lifting aside a fern's leaf, the two found the source of the noise.

A small rahi, appearing as barely a set of arms and eyes over a leaf-like body, shivered on the ground. It bled from several bite wounds, and half its body was withered like a rotting plant.

OOC: @Goose

IC: NPCs - Mashtet Fortress

The sounds of dripping water faded behind Vazaria as she crawled through the tunnel. The cool, moist air slowly became replaced by oppressive humidity. Eventually, she heard the Rahkshi in front of her scramble to its feet, and soon after spotted a faint light. As she pulled herself upright, she found herself in a tunnel that was dimly lit by what appeared to be fading lightstones. No, heatstones. The Rahkshi checked that she was still following, then began stalking through the tunnels, occasionally stepping on brittle refuse, snapping it beneath its feet. Vazaria looked down; the tunnel's floor was the rough but uniform stone of a volcanic tunnel, possibly worn smoother by foot traffic.

They walking through desiccated remains of Dashi.

The Rahkshi ahead of her halted at a huge rock growth with numerous heatstone outcroppings. The creature rested one of its claws on the stone to get a grip, and the remaining moisture from their trek through the tunnel hissed and evaporated as if from a pan; the Rahkshi was unfazed, seeming to consider the best angle to remove the stone. It crouched, kicking against the wall for leverage; nothing. Vazaria once more felt the gaze of Zataka's spawn as the cerulean Rahkshi glanced at her, warbling. It needed her help.

OOC: @Nato G

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

 

 

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IC: Vazaria – Mashtet Fortress

Despite her commitment to her new allies, Vazaria found herself flinching slightly when she realised what – or rather who – she was standing on as she worked her way through the tunnel.

She tiptoed and leapfrogged awkwardly through the remainder of the passageway, doing her best to avoid treading on any more remains. There wasn’t much she could offer these dead Dashi, except some small measure of respect. Enemies or not, everyone deserved peace in death,

At last, she caught up with her cerulean companion as it worked away at the rock. Realising what the creature wanted of her, Vazaria approached the rock and gingerly brushed her fingertips against its surface, recoiling as the heat stung her skin. With no other tools to hand to work with, Vazaria reluctantly pried a piece of armour from one of the bodies on the ground and used it to feel around the outer edge of the rock, searching for any kind of gap or seam between the scalding stone and the tunnel wall.

Once she found a spot that felt somewhat promising, she set the armour fragment aside and raised her hands over the edge of the rock, devoting her focus to the effort of attempting to manifest her soulsword between the stone and the wall. At the very least, it would give her better leverage than trying to jam a branch or bone into the rock would.

@Keeper of Kraata

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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IC: Caana (Hanaloi, Forest)

Caana crouched, examining the injured creature with a deep sadness in her eyes.

.:Koshi. Then they are real. My m-:.

She paused.

.:I heard the stories as a child. Dismissed them as old wives' tales. And yet…:.

She straightened up. .:No one has ever found a body, but that withering... could be poison. Is the bite pattern familiar to you?:.

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

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[BZPRPG PROFILES]

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

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IC: Ahri - Oki Coastline

"Uh... thank you?" Ahri took the cobbled together spear. In all ways, this was both Raika and Yuna working together to help him. He gripped the spear tight, before resting it on his shoulder. "I promise I won't use it any longer than I have to," he said to Raika. "I don't want to deprive your of your tools. And besides, we're Menti; our best weapons are our minds, and in my case as a Mindarm, the second-best is the environment. You'll get it back if you need it."

The tall Dasaka squinted, shielding his eyes from the sun as he looked farther along the coastline. In the distance, smoke rose just off the coastline. "Doesn't look good... but its definitely a town. Maybe a Vilda settlement."

OOC: @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp

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

 

 

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IC: Ageru Shiki (Dastana Republic Odaiba Encampment - Fort Kizuno)

I have my orders.

I dip lower, stiffly changing from my nod to a full bow as she turns and walks away. Without realizing it, my breath has caught at the parting words she left me with, a wistful rumination that's the best insight I may ever have into the mind of my Toroshu. Hope to be cultivated... It's as if she sensed my doubts. Flying in the face of my reassurances to the opposite, "until we next meet" supplanted "fare thee well"— Even a fool like me could be forgiven for inferring, right?

As the clipped, tight steps fade away into the fort's interior, I whirl to the wall and take a knee, brow furrowing again. 

If I am to give my all to our continued survival, I must ratchet up the pace. It'll give me the time I need to train as much as I can.

If I am to become a woman who can cultivate hope, I must first find it within. It'll give me the faith that my training will amount to something.

I pull a deep, cleansing breath of the coastside air, and set to the next scar in the wood.

 

—————

 

The day drags on, and I soon arrive at sundown. The tawny pinks, oranges, and golds of the sky have painted the white clouds and crystalline towers of Sado alike, as though sakura bloom atop trees of glittering ruby or amethyst. It'd be a beautiful sight, if I didn't know the disarray the Capital was in. You could call it a transient beauty in the same vein as those trees, I guess, but I'm not a Soulsword trainee on account of my gripping poetic sense.

To wield sword and pen with equal skill is the ideal, of course, but I'd like them both to be up to par.

It's with that mind that I tear my eyes away from drinking in the evening sun, blink out the spots in my vision (you moron.) and recenter myself into My Self. It's a familiar stance, seiza— my hakama are worn enough at the knees that the rough hemp fiber's finally starting to smooth, even against the relatively forgiving and gentle grasses of the clearing repurposed as Kizuno's training grounds.

I'm a little early. Only a few other trainees have filtered in, and only a few of them before me— we greet eachother with small nods all the same.

Maybe I've enough time to try one more swing at manifesting my blade more efficiently?

I don't know if I should risk it.

If I can't make headway, and a significant portion of it, I'd be going into my training mentally exhausted.

...Never you mind that I've been doggedly throwing myself at it day in and day out whenever I got the chance, but tonight of all nights would not be the venue for a tepid showing.

I promised her I was no slacker.

Edited by Razgriz
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helo frens

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IC: Suzume - Sado Streets 

It was the eerie quiet that eventually got to her first.

Living in the city, even as a shut-in, left an impression on one’s conception of normalcy and comfort. The din of conversation layered over punctuations of shopkeepers and peddlers slinging their wares with voices carrying across multiple blocks; screams and giggles of young children scurrying this way and that, playing at being Menti; tinkling of crystal bells and the low roar of waves pounding onto the beaches, living so close to the island’s edge.

And, of course, the music.

Suffice to say that, lacking all of the above save for the occasional commanding bark from some faraway, unintelligible voice, or a terrible sound Suzume could not even hope to comprehend, the crystal towers of Sado metamorphosed into monoliths of stillness, of death. They no longer contained the life that produced the auditory heartbeat of the city, emanating from open windows and the harmonics of wind sweeping through the glassy avenues. To any other Dasaka, it might simply be creepy. To Suzume, however, whose ears were half of her talent and her most substantial connection to the world outside the small apartment, the silence was petrifying. 

Just a few days ago she’d ventured out and had a similar experience with the lack of Sado’s usual bustle. The combination of wilful ignorance, misplaced rationalization, and the relatively deafening sounds her stomach was making at the time prevented her from fully grasping the implications of the soundlessness. Now, those feelings of unease were amplified with each step, anxiety building within her chest and knotting up the heart within. Her own footsteps reverberated a meek pitter-patter on a half-second delay, crystal façades reflecting the sound unpredictably and driving stakes of fear into her chest every time she glanced over her shoulder, expecting someone to be shadowing her.

It was such a contradictory fear, and Suzume could not parse her definitive wishes on the matter. Did she most fear seeing somebody following her during those brief glances, or continuing to see nobody at all, despite how long she walked? She felt like screaming, if only to hear a voice - but such a sentiment was short-lived, as a blast of Ideatalk assailed her mind.

::State your name and clan and your reason for being in this area without notifying the war council.::

“AAH!”

She did end up screaming.

A moment later, she parsed what exactly the words within her mind were saying; though she still whipped her head around this way and that, almost knocking herself off-balance with how violently she was pivoting her body to gaze down the empty streets in search of the speaker. She found no-one.

::Huh?! … whuh??? Who? Where?!:: came the unfocused, diminutive reply.

OOC: @Mel

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IC Yuna

I frowned, "Any fires from the attacks would have burnt out by now. Could be trouble. Could also be someone trying to survive... Either way, we should be careful."

With the dull scrape of wood on crystal, I drew the flame scorched katana at my side.

@Keeper of Kraata

@Lady Takanuva

 

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                           The Unofficial Guide to TBRPG Combat!

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TW: Mentions of trauma response

IC: Raika, Oki shoreline

 

 

The Menti drew their remaining dagger and tried to control the manic pounding of their heartlight. Suddenly the scent of burning in the air felt choking and oppressive.  Raika's hands shook visibly.

 

They shook their head slightly, willing their eyes to focus as adrenaline poured into their system. 

It's not real, the Menti told themself. It's not on fire it's just a campsite like we were just at. .:It's not real, they aren't dead, it's going t-:.

 

Raika froze, falling behind a few steps as they realized that in their panic, they had momentarily slipped into ideatalk.


They kicked themself mentally. Still off-guard after that serpent's attack. Babbling like a child. Fools get friends killed, Raika.

 

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata@The UltimoScorp

Edited by Lady Takanuva

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: Ahri - Oki Shoreline

Briefly closing his eyes, Ahri centered himself.

If he was to perform violence, then violence will be inflicted. If it is my time, it is my time; if I meet an enemy in battle, I will make sure they meet Zataka before I do.

Finishing with forceful exhale, Ahri again opened his eyes. .:We enter quietly, stick to the docks until we-:. He glanced for a moment at Yuna, then away in guilt for not remembering her disability. "Better plan, Raika, you keep ahead and out of sight, but keep in contact with me via Ideatalk. Yuna, stay with me, at least close enough to hear each other without raising our voices. Raika can be our eyes and ears while we search for intact vessels."

Ahri gripped the spear overhand over his shoulder; he could throw it or grip it in two hands to stab with it at a moment's notice.

OOC:  @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp

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

 

 

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